Does Waco have you upset, now?greenspun.com : LUSENET : Robot Wisdom : One Thread
I saw the documentary pointed to in the "Getting It" headline at the Seattle International Film Festival in 1998. It didn't make me believe in any huge conspiracy, though -- bumbling and coverups, yes. (The more the producer talked in the after-film Q and A, the less I thought of him.) I suppose more and more stuff will come out now.
Has this sad story affected you strongly? Is the recent coverage making you more concerned than you were at the time?
Anita of Anita's BOD and Anita's LOL
-- Anita Rowland (email@example.com), September 15, 1999
The film would have needed ten hours to show how awful the whole situation is.
I watched the Congressional hearings on CSPAN, and the Democrats led by Charles Schumer were utterly villainous and despicable in their dishonesty.
The simplest fact is: a photo shows the BATF cowering behind cars that have NO broken windows, while the building is riddled with holes. So clearly the BDs had fired little if at all, at that point.
Add to that the blatant lies about how the fire started, revealed in the FLIR video-- the famous 'flamethrowing tank' did in fact break loose a burning wallboard at a point long before the gov't claims the fire started.
Add to that the insanity of playing audio tapes of rabbits being tortured, and Nancy Sinatra singing about her box of matches.
It was mass murder by the FBI et al.
-- Jorn (firstname.lastname@example.org), September 15, 1999.
But "bumbling and coverups" is not strong enough -- it's *systematic* bumbling, and most likely top-down bumbling (which is where the conspiracy angle fits). Like the ATF deciding it needs a big raid to show that they're worth an increased budget.
This speaks to a basic group-think incompetence that you find all over government. The message at all levels is not "let's fix the problem", but "let's show how big the problem is so we get a budget increase next year."
So to me there's no question it's a conspiracy, but not the Hollywood-militia-talk radio kind of conspiracy. I mean, look at it. Even as evidence is uncovered, the FBI spokespeople are in full frontal denial. The FBI thinks it's bigger, badder, different from everyone else. The FBI makes its own rules. The FBI doesn't rat on its own. It doesn't need a written conspiracy; each of the members is taught, through this group-think, to assume the same sort of approach. What's particularly galling is that this approach is not too different from the "cop attitude" developed by every single police officer after a few years on the job.
-- Arthur Alexander (email@example.com), September 16, 1999.
As a young man, watching the original coverage of the standoff destroyed what faith I still had in government and media. The bias was infurating and obvious.
I watched a religious group persecuted in the land of freedom of religion; watched an armed attack being defended against, and the defenders accused of murder; watched a community's water cut off and then charges of child abuse due to improper sanitation levelled; watched tanks being used against civilians; watched buildings burning with no effort made to save the people inside (and credible claims that people fleeing the fires were shot at); watched a woman take full responsibility for it and get a standing ovation.
Then I felt the explosion that destroyed the Alfred P. Murrah Federal Building - I was a mile and a half away. My mother's office (directly across the street) was destroyed. I watched the nursing students being pulled out of their finals to go help. I stood in a three-hour line to give blood. I was "lucky", as Oklahoma City residents went - as far as I know, I only knew three victims.
Yes, Waco still has me upset.
-- Todd Larason (firstname.lastname@example.org), September 16, 1999.
No more than usual. The worst part -- for which those involved should be prosecuted, IMO -- was the murder of those who tried to escape the fire. But blaming OK City on Waco is like blaming soon-to- be-dead Reagan's shooting on Jodie Foster. (It sure stopped the Republicans' ongoing frottage with the state "militias", didn't it?) McVeigh and his cohorts may be, like a stopped clock, right twice a day, but does that give their actions some moral validity? Did that baby with its brains blown outside its head have "Zionist Occupation Government" written all over its body or something?
If you're really upset about Waco I hope you have the human decency to be outraged by the fact that the Republican frontrunner for President is a member of the New England equivalent of a Gambino crime family, and that Bradley's getting treated as a Great Liberal Hope when he backed the Nicaraugan Contras (you know, the equivalent of our Founding Fathers, though I don't recall hearing about Jefferson or Adams or Paine stabbing, blowing up and raping doctors and teachers as part of their terror campaign for independence) to the bitter end. Sounds like a ton of Wacos. --Oh, they weren't *A*M*E*R*I*C*A*N*S*, so they don't count do they?
-- W Tenino (email@example.com), September 16, 1999.
I can only assume that Mr. Tenino's comments re: the OKC bombing are in response to my posting, since I'm the only one who mentioned it.
I don't think, and don't think I said, that the bombing was justified. The anger that inspired it IS justified, I think, however. I don't think the Jodie Foster comparison is at all reasonable (among other reasons: Ms. Foster had no connection to Mr. Reagan nor had she done nothing she had any reason to think might stir up hostility).
In some large part, the attitude you're expressing makes me MORE upset about Waco, because it makes it so much more difficult (for me, at least) to express my upset; if I say I'm upset, I'm painted as a McVeigh sympathiser (which of course, to some *limited* extent I am).
I don't know exactly what you're referring to with the Gambino slam, but I don't support George W. Nor do I support Bradley. Nor did I support Contra funding.
But yes, Waco bothers me more than our misadventures abroad. The valid purpose of government, to the extent it has one, is to protect its citizens. Waco was diametrically opposed to this.
-- Todd Larason (firstname.lastname@example.org), September 16, 1999.
The country is becoming militarized thanks to the drug war. We engage in battles in which the only enemy is our own selves. Things will get worse before they get better. Janet Reno is not to blame--she was new on the job and had no experience. Nor is Louis Freeh to blame, he wasn't even working yet. Sessions was more concerned about his own problems. Sessions was gotten rid of by an internal FBI coup. The staffers--senior level managers--had their way. THe staffers knew that Reno was a child abuse prosecutor and that "the children" was a hallmark of her tenure as Dade County state attorney. These staffers told Reno that children were being abused. She saw no reason not to believe them. She had no day to day experience with federal agents. Everyone who does knows they spin. They spin to win criminal cases. They have to. There was an article in last week's Sunday Times Magazine about a Yale Professor suspected of, but not charged with a murder. The police wanted to charge him, but there waa an eyewitness who said that he saw the killer, who he could not identify, leave the scene in a red sedan. The suspect had a red Jeep. "couldn't it have been a jeep?" they asked him. In his own words, he said the police tried to "tilt" him. He had morale courage and said that he knew the difference between a sedan and a jeep. Most people would have gone along with the tilt, which is why so many people are shockingly being released from prison after DNA tests showed that they did not commit the crimes they were convicted of. Timothy McVeigh's actions are shocking. Shocking, because he is the first American to wage war against the federal government since John Brown. When the federal building was bombed, the media (and the FBI) were quick to blame the bombing on the Arabs. The truth was even more horrible--a domestic guerrilla cell engaging in a military action in a reprisal for Waco. "So now we have a guerilla," I thought. Only South American countries had guerrilla bands. Now it had come home. There was no reason to invade the Branch Davidian compound in the first place. Eventually, the Davidians would have come out. There is nothing to suggest otherwise. Had our Government acted with the skill and maturity of the FBI negotiators rather than the "cowboys" on the ground, none of this would have happened. The rule of law needs to be re-imposed. We don't need any more McVeigh's-and we certainly don't need a militarized FBI that is a law unto itself. I fear for this country.
-- P.Seingalt (email@example.com), September 16, 1999.
The scary thing about Waco is the general feeling by the media and our elected representatives that these people were different and, therefore, deserved to die. The most disturbing aspect of the incident is the growing power of the FBI and the ATF to just do what they want and justify it as a "war" on something (or "counterterrorism", another convenient excuse to expand the goverment's powers). The most chilling thing about Waco is the resemblance of the FBI and ATF people to the "good" Germans who operated the Third Reich's concentration camps. Eighty dead and it's all in a day's work. Or, to paraphrase our ultra-sensitive leader, "a bunch of nuts killed themselves" (Clinton's reaction to the massacre).
-- Patrick Dillon (firstname.lastname@example.org), September 18, 1999.