Janet Rambo
Reno and the FBI spin another grim fairy tale

It's been nearly a week since the Federal Bureau of Investigation revealed that it lied about its April 19, 1993 attack that killed 86 people in Waco, Texas.

These admissions came only after The Dallas Morning News uncovered evidence from a Texas lawsuit that contends government forces used incendiary devices in the raid. The House Government Reform Committee on Monday subpoenaed Texas Rangers who have maintained for years that they were lied to by their superiors in the field.

So where are the media bloodhounds, thirsty for a juicy jugular and armed to the teeth with years of analyzed film and forensic evidence? Oh, that's right, I almost forgot ­- those bloodhounds have all had their balls cut off by their corporate masters. They're satisfied with press releases and "official statements," and don't bother to apply even a tinge of skepticism to the party line. It must be kinda hard to give the boss your exposé on the biggest government attack against civilians since the union riots earlier this century, when his hand is down Orrin Hatch's pants. If it wasn't for a couple of Senate Republicans already out for Janet Reno's blood, would we have heard any more than a whisper?

To give the media hacks the benefit of the doubt, though, one has to ask the question, "Is this news?" After all, it's been no great secret that the FBI hasn't given us the whole skinny on what happened that morning. And most Americans have been more than willing to sweep this under the carpet, satisfied to vilify Koresh and his alterna-religion "followers," some of whom had been born and raised on what authorities and the media insisted on calling "the compound" of Mount Carmel Center.

Yes, there's something about this latest FBI "revelation" that renders it almost newsless. Christ, even the fucking Hardy Boys could smell botched operation/cover-up on this one from the get-go.

Desperate for good publicity following Ruby Ridge, ATF geniuses -- officials who didn't even have jurisdiction over the crimes allegedly committed at Waco -- trumped up charges of child abuse and weapons "stockpiling" on the initial search warrant from February 18, 1993, which was served in front of a slew of local news vans. They then proceeded to demonstrate their proclivity for royally fucking up by riddling a residential dwelling with bullets that poured in from the ground and rained from the sky and, of course, getting four of their own agents promptly killed. Then they called their big brothers at the FBI to come beat up the "bully."

If, by chance, you were shocked or appalled at last week's meager morsel of admission, I highly recommend viewing William Gazecki's brilliant and disturbing Waco: The Rules of Engagement, released in 1997 by Somford Entertainment. The award-winning documentary clearly outlines (through aerial infrared images) just how the fire was started, and even reveals -- two years before the FBI admitted it -- that incendiary tear gas canisters were used during the attack.

But to be fair to the Bureau ('cause I'm all about fairness), those canisters might not have caused the fire. See, by that time the structures had been so flooded with CS gas (a highly-combustible tear gas) that any of the bullets being fired into them by agents on the ground and in tanks could have sparked the inferno. At the start of the fire, many of the people inside had been either shot or had died of tear gas inhalation. An autopsy photo of one eight-year-old girl showed she had probably broken her own back from spasms caused by the gas. Such grisly facts, which the media has largely ignored, are what will be neglected as Reno and the FBI, in their forthcoming "independent" investigation, keep the focus of "Firegate" on the incendiary tear gas canisters. (This will lead to a benign dead end, because, as most agree, the canisters didn't start the fire. But the process itself will give Reno a chance to redeem herself in the eyes of the public.)

Reno and the Bureau hierarchy are blaming "rogue elements" of the agency for keeping information from them. The more chilling reality is that the federal government's primary law enforcement agency is as much a rogue element itself as the Branch Davidians. The FBI just had more guns, a few tanks, Nancy Sinatra through loudspeakers, and public opinion at their disposal.

I don't know what Reno knows or doesn't know. She certainly didn't take much interest as the attack was happening, finding it more important to give a speech than to ensure the safety of American citizens. Her latest this-is-gonna-be-someone's-ASS! posturing rings a little hollow, and she even offered the obscene comment, quoted in a Washington Post article, "We don't know whether David Koresh would have [incinerated the compound] two weeks later on his own without any provocation."

If she didn't know about the tear gas, she should resign or be fired for her bloated incompetence. Anytime a mass death of civilians occurs during a law enforcement operation, it should be a given that no stone be left unturned. My fear is that after all the testimony is done, there will be about as much accountability as there was at Kent State, or Pine Ridge, or Ruby Ridge.

Terminal burnout Steve Robles spends most of his energy trying not to be paranoid about the ominous underpinnings of our modern government.

See also...
... by Steve Robles
... in the Scope section
... from September 2, 1999