Thursday, April 20, 2006

Waco Massacre Anniversary

Yesterday was the 13th anniversary of the butchering of 80 men, women, and children by the Janet Reno's federal goon squad in Waco, Texas. I wanted to post yesterday, but I waited to see what the coverage would be. It was sparse. Over at Of Arms and the Law there's a good link and some interesting info:

"Carlos Ghigliotti, infrared expert, dead of a heart attack. Fred Zegel, infrared expert, died of unreported causes. One of the ATF agents committed suicide, saying he'd been blamed for the failure (he'd posed as a UPS deliveryman to gain info, and was a bit clumsy at it, not that that played any role in anything, but agencies look for scapegoats). One of the TV cameramen who filmed the first raid died at an early age, reportedly of drinking too much. At least one of the FBI higher-ups was drinking too much, it was said. Robert Rodriguez, ATF agent who tried to stop and raid (and whom David Koresh rather liked), forced out of the agency (and successfully sued them over leaking personal info to harm him ... as usual in a bureaucracy, the one guy who does things right is persecuted for making everyone else look bad)."

I was living in Los Angeles at the time. I was the only person among my coworkers who questioned the Federal Government's right to raid a compound that was, by all local accounts, civilian and police, no threat to anyone.

The things I remember:

1) The horrible press coverage.
2) Sen. Charles Schumer's smirking support for the raid, an attempt to show he can be tough on someone besides taxpayers.
3) Congressman Sonny Bono's admirable disgust when watching a tape of the massacre. Bono was new to Republican politics; he hadn't yet learned to dump his principles in the toilet at the first sign of government malfiesance.
4) Republican Senator John C. Danforth's ridiculous coverup of the ATF/Federal Government coverup. Ah, yes, just leading the fight for smaller, less intrusive government. Here's what Danforth's bio said about the massacre: "In September, 1999, Danforth was appointed Special Counsel by Attorney General Janet Reno to investigate the federal raid on the Branch Davidian compound in Waco, Texas." Appointed by Janet Reno to investigate the massacre. Oh yeah, that's the path to truth and justice.
5) The Documentary section of the Oscar committee didn't give an oscar to the excellent expose, WACO: The Rules of Engagement. Later they gave one to Michael Moron's fabricated piece of agit-prop, "Bowling for Columbine."
6) But most of all I remember the phone call made by the young girl inside the Branch Dividian Compound to an ATF agent, asking the agent "is someone is going to come inside and kill me?" The agent assured the little girl that no one was coming in at all.

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