The Progressive Review's

1999 - 2000

APRIL 2001

DANIEL KAGAN, UPI: A new study by the Cato Institute says that the final official government report on the 1993 Branch Davidian disaster in Waco, Tex.-- which exonerated federal officials from wrongdoing-- is "not supported by the factual evidence." In "No Confidence: An Unofficial Account of the Waco Incident," criminal justice scholar Timothy Lynch, director of the libertarian Cato's Project on Criminal Justice, analyzes the legal implications of certain undisputed events and concludes that the official investigation into the incident -- led by special prosecutor former Sen. John Danforth of Missouri -- was "soft and incomplete." According to Lynch, many obvious crimes have gone unprosecuted. For example, says Lynch, ATF agents were caught on tape assaulting a local television cameraman after he had filmed their retreat from the initial raid on the Branch Davidian complex. Lynch says that ATF agents also lied to federal investigators -- a federal offense -- but were never prosecuted despite recommendations by U.S. Marshals. More seriously, he says, FBI agents exhibited a gross disregard for human life when they indiscriminately fired "ferret" rounds at the Davidian residence and used tanks to ram its walls. "Since at least one child was struck by a ferret round, second-degree murder charges may be appropriate," Lynch writes.



WASHINGTON POST: The whistle-blower who triggered the probe into the 1993 deaths of 74 Branch Davidians near Waco, Tex., was indicted yesterday by a federal grand jury on charges of obstructing justice and making false statements to investigators for special counsel John C. Danforth . . . Johnston, a former Texas prosecutor, maintained his innocence and said he is being made a scapegoat because he embarrassed top government officials. Danforth said Johnston is being prosecuted because he broke the law . . . Johnston's lawyer, Michael Kennedy, said his client will vigorously fight the charges. He said Johnston has been targeted because he embarrassed the government by forcing disclosure that the FBI fired pyrotechnic tear gas projectiles in the raid that left 74 Branch Davidians dead after their compound went up in flames. Attorney General Janet Reno and others had told Congress no such devices were used.



LEE HANCOCK & MICHELLE MITTELSTADT, DALLAS MORNING NEWS: A congressional report alleges that President Clinton and Attorney General Janet Reno misled the public for years with claims that US military experts endorsed the "flawed" FBI tear gas attack that ended the Branch Davidian siege. "President Clinton and Attorney General Reno have deceived the American people for over seven years by misrepresenting that the military endorsed, sanctioned or otherwise approvingly evaluated the plan," stated the report by the House Government Reform Committee. The 99-page report also vigorously criticizes that Justice Department's response in the aftermath of the tragedy, contending that all of the agency's actions "were consistent with an organization that was not eager to learn the full truth about what happened on April 19, 1993" . . . The report issued by the committee's Republican majority includes accounts from an Army general and colonel of how they refused Ms. Reno's request to evaluate an FBI plan to assault the Davidian compound when FBI officials were seeking her approval for the tear-gas operation carried out on April 19, 1993. The two special forces officers said they told Ms. Reno that federal limits on involvement by US military in domestic law enforcement actions prohibited them from offering any critique or suggestion about the Waco plan . . . The report adds that both officers told Congressional investigators that they were stunned when they later learned that the tear-gassing plan had been allowed to go forward, but were never contacted by Justice officials assigned to review what happened after the siege. "When they left the April 14, 1993, meeting, they were convinced the FBI would never execute the proposed operations plan as it was briefed at the meeting. The Army Colonel stated he believed the Attorney General 'didn't buy the plan being proposed by the FBI.' ...His impression from the meeting was that no one thought it was a smart way to proceed. He went on to state that he was astonished when he saw the fire on TV on April 19, 1993.

AUG 2000

LEE HANCOCK, DALLAS MORNING NEWS: The former prosecutor who warned last year of a possible cover-up of federal actions in the Branch Davidian siege has been told he is being targeted for prosecution by Waco Special Counsel John C. Danforth. Friends and associates of former assistant US Attorney Bill Johnston say he has been told by the special counsel's office that he will soon be indicted on charges ranging from obstruction of justice to making false statements to federal investigators. They say he has been told that the charges stem from his withholding of several pages of personal, pretrial notes from the 1994 federal prosecution of surviving Branch Davidians. They say that Mr. Johnston's action was a mistake driven by his concern that his notes would be misused by others in the US attorney's office who were angry about his public criticism of the Justice Department's handling of the Waco tragedy . . . Mr. Johnston's friends and former law enforcement associates in Waco say they already are rallying support for the embattled former prosecutor, starting a legal defense fund for what is expected to be an aggressive court battle . . .

JULY 2000


The so-called Danforth Report has predictably exonerated the government participants in the Waco massacre. But the accuracy of this document is seriously called into question by an another Danforth report, written six years earlier, in the form of a bizarre and self-damning exoneration of Clarence Thomas. After reading Danforth's "Resurrection," one should be loathe to ask the author for the correct time, let alone any questions of greater complexity or ethical content.

It is important to bear in mind that this political and media icon, near veepster, and prospective Dubya appointee holds both a divinity and law degree from Yale Thus he came to the Thomas matter as a person professing allegiance to higher moral standards than, say, your average political hit man. Yet page after page, Danforth displays remarkable ethical entropy, indifference to facts, a willingness to muck around in the gutter, and a sanctimonious self-justification that is almost, well, cult-like.

Because of Danforth's efforts to send Waco down the memory hole and the likelihood that we will hear of him again should Bush win, a few points about his strange book are worth noting:

*** Danforth knew Thomas wasn't qualified for the court. Danforth never admits this but hands us the evidence:

-- Danforth, who had hired Thomas while Missouri attorney general, dispenses with Thomas' virtues in two pages of trivial anecdotes, including the fact that as a judge he was nice to a black employee of the Senate Commerce Committee. He adds: "My support for Clarence Thomas had nothing to do with Clarence the person. I assumed President Bush could nominate any number of qualified individuals. . . I also assumed that there were many people more experienced and with better legal ability than Clarence. Certainly Clarence was intelligent enough to do the work on the Supreme Court, but he had served only a short time on the court of appeals, and most of his professional experience was not in the practice of law but in administering. . ."

-- "It seemed to me that because of his brief history as a lawyer and a judge, Clarence's first challenge was to get a 'qualified' rating by the American Bar Association. I thought as well that senators seeking to defeat him would keep him before the committee for a prolonged period of time, peppering him with difficult questions in an effort to show that he did not know enough law to serve on the highest court in the land."

[In fact, Thomas ended up in near the bottom of the only class for which records are available. All other records are under seal, although Thomas presumably could have unsealed them. Thomas' high point while working for Danforth in Missouri was to win a case in support of the governor's decision to abolish vanity license plates. Thomas then went on to be counsel for Monsanto, where, as Newsweek put it, "he learned the law of pesticides, fungicides and rodinicides." At the time of his Supreme Court appointment, Judge Thomas had written just 20 decisions. Further, Bush had named 73 judges in his first two years, but only two of them were black, including Thomas. Thus, as Danforth undoubtedly knew, Bush did not have much of a pool to choose from if he was looking for a black nominee.

And there is little doubt that is what was in the GOP's mind. The Sunday before Thomas was nominated, Orin Hatch appeared on the David Brinkley Show and was pressed to name some potential court choices. He said:

"Well, you have --you'd have to start with people like Ken Starr, the current solicitor general. And I think the president will have to look to minorities, such as our person on the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals [pauses] -- Fernando Fernandez I believe is his name. There's a fellow down on a district court down in Texas. Edith Jones, a wonderful woman jurist from the south. You could go on and on. Our current black judge on the Circuit Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia, he'd be a terrific choice."

Hatch couldn't even remember the name of the guy he would soon be assiduously defending. But he sure knew the color of Clarence Thomas' skin.]

*** Danforth and others coached Thomas over long periods of time, in order to give his colleagues and the American public a false impression of Thomas' abilities.

-- "Study for the hearing did not begin in earnest until after Congress recessed in early August. Seven days a week, the routine was the same. Mike Luttig gave Clarence large notebooks, each covering an area of the law. For example, there were two notebooks on the right of privacy, which includes the abortion issue. Each notebook contained the text of important cases and law review articles on the subject. The material was voluminous. Clarence got up between four and six o'clock every morning to being reading the notebook of the day. Every afternoon, Clarence and Mike met for two to five hours, usually at Clarence's house. Mike, who had done his own preparation in the morning, asked Clarence questions -- about court opinions, about dissents, even about footnotes to cases. The Mike, the process resembled a study group at law school."

-- "In fact, Luttig himself did not know how Clarence would rule as a judge. In Mike's eyes, Clarence had been 'much more of a political person than he was a judicial or a lawyer person.'"

*** Danforth knew that Thomas lacked the temperament to be a good justice.

-- "Luttig explained to Clarence the perils of giving public voice to his anger at attacks. If Clarence were to say what he thought, the next criticism would be that he lacked judicial temperament . . . Throughout the confirmation process, Luttig worried that Clarence's strong feelings and passion to speak out would hurt him. Always, Clarence's first reaction to a charge was shock and outrage."

-- "On Wednesday night, Clarence did not sleep at all. Ginni [his wife]stared to sleep, but was soon awake with her husband's tossing turning at her side. He got out of bed and was on the floor. Ginni describes it as 'like something was inside of him, physically, like there was this battle going on inside of him.'"

-- "Mike arrived at about nine o'clock and was sitting at the conference table when Clarence came in. He stood as Clarence closed the door. Clarence broke down immediately. He headed toward the conference table in what Mike describes as 'loud tears.' He began to stagger and seemed to collapse. Mike caught him halfway between the door and the table and 'almost carried him over to the conference table. Clarence was crying and hyperventilating.' . . . For about fifteen minutes, Clarence was 'just wailing.'"

*** Danforth deceived his senatorial colleagues.

-- "I was asking fellow senators to make public statements of support without disclosing to them that the Hill allegation was in the possession of the Judiciary Committee . . . I think that if I have any standing in the Senate, it is because my colleagues trust me. I have tried to win that trust by telling them the truth and not being devious. Now I was urging them to act without telling them about a charge that could cause them to act differently. Still, the strategy of trying to get senators to commit to Clarence was clearly correct."

*** Danforth knew that Thomas did not react in a way typical of someone certain of their innocence.

-- "At 0:45 AM on Wednesday September 25, Lee Liberman phoned Clarence at his home to tell him that the white House had received another allegation. . . Clarence describes his reaction to the call as 'panic.'"

-- Danforth quotes Thomas' wife: "What it felt like is that Clarence still had some sin his life and he had to get that out in order to be open to the Holy Spirit and that he had a vestige of sin, that he was in this furnace and God wasn't going to let him keep going without eliminating this vestige of sin."

*** Danforth displays an abysmal indifference to facts, preferring ex cathedra exculpation of Thomas and supporters and ad hominem attacks on his critics.

*** Danforth performed various sleazy or propagandistic tasks without remorse.

-- "My appearance on 'Face the Nation' was the beginning of my effort to destroy the credibility of Anita Hill. In the past four days, I had had a deeply spiritual experience. There would be no spiritual content to what would follow. When I put my hands on Clarence's shoulders on Friday morning and said, 'Go forth in the name of Christ, trusting in the power of the Holy Spirit," I acted as a minister. Now I would begin to act like a street fighter. No question about the propriety of doing this crossed my mind."

-- "Of course, I had never met Anita Hill. I had no expertise in psychology or psychiatry. I was not in a forum where my comments could be challenged successfully. I was in a fifteen-minute segment of a talk show, and I was accusing a perfect stranger of having a psychiatric condition."

-- "Now there was a new possibility: to establish Clarence's credibility behind a doubt by destroying the credibility of Anita Hill . . . I knew that Anita Hill was going to be demolished."

*** Danforth deceived his own readers.

Known to the committee, but mainly reported only by the alternative media (including TPR 12/91]was the fact that three key witnesses supported Hill's allegations but were never called to testify because, by that time, both the Democrats and the Republicans on the committee had apparently decided to take a dive on the Thomas case. Danforth mentions only one of these witnesses, Angela Wright, whom he says had been fired been three times, once by Thomas, but never cites her deposition corroborating Hill. This is typical of Danforth who seemed to make up his mind swiftly on such matters based on convenient tidbits from the right sources. The two other women are not mentioned at all.

*** Danforth made dubious, some might even say blasphemous, use of the Christian faith to pursue his tawdry ends.

-- "So I took Clarence into a bathroom and punched the button of a tape player, and a song came on that is rarely heard anymore in Christian churches. It is considered far too bellicose for today's believers Onward Christian soldiers, marching as to war! And when Clarence left my office for the Caucus Room, it was not as a martyr with his eyes fixed on heaven. It was as a warrior doing battle for the Lord."

-- He called his book "Resurrection."

-- He ends his book with these extraordinary words: "Clarence Thomas walked into the Senate Caucus Room, took his seat at the witness table, and commenced his testimony. Clarence had risen. Alleluia.!"


This is the man who was entrusted to investigate the deaths of those who had followed another leader who misused religion for his own puerile purposes. Danforth was clearly not the right person for the job and his latest report, like his book, must be regarded with deep suspicion. The Waco case is still open.

MAY 2000

HERE IS WHAT HAS HAPPENED recently to experts looking into aspects of the Waco massacre:

-- DIED: Carlos Ghigliotti, who had provided a congressional committee with damaging evidence, based on forward-looking infrared, against the FBI. According to the Laurel Police Department, an autopsy found that Ghigliotti, 42, had died of natural causes - a heart attack precipitated by arteriosclerosis.

-- STROKE: Edward Allard, who appears in the documentary, "Waco: The Rules of Engagement," produced by Michael McNulty. Has not fully recovered from the stroke that occurred in March.

-- BLOOD POISONING: FLIR expert Fred Zegel and associate of Allard at the Pentagon. Zegal at first sided with the government than changed his mind. Writes Sarah Foster in WorldNet Daily, "In April, he reportedly went to a public auction where he collapsed and was rushed to a hospital where he was diagnosed as having blood poisoning. He was in a serious condition for 10 days."

-- KIDNEY INFECTION: Maurice "Mac" Cox, a technical intelligence expert who as a consultant for McNulty's documentary. McNulty told WorldNet Daily that Cox had recently had a serious renal [kidney] infection. "However, he noted, Cox has had a "renal condition" for a number of years."


LEE HANCOCK, DALLAS MORNING NEWS: The lead lawyer in the Branch Davidians' wrongful death lawsuit asked a federal judge Monday to impound all information relating to the 1993 siege of the sect's compound from a Washington-area office where an infrared expert was found dead last week. Mike Caddell of Houston said he sought emergency intervention from the court in Waco to ensure that all significant information was preserved from the Laurel, Md., office and home of Carlos Ghigliotti. Police were still investigating the cause of Mr. Ghigliotti's death Monday.

WASHINGTON POST: Carlos Ghigliotti, who had been retained by a US House committee to help investigate the 1993 siege of the Branch Davidian compound in Waco, Tex., was found dead in Laurel under unexplained circumstances yesterday.
"We're investigating it as a homicide," said Laurel police spokesman Jim Collins. Ghigliotti, 42, was found about 1:30 p.m. in the 600 block of Washington Boulevard. His body was badly decomposed, said police. There were no signs of a break-in or a struggle at the home, where Ghigliotti ran his business, Infrared Technologies Corp., police said. An expert in thermal imaging and videotape, Ghigliotti told the House Government Reform Committee in October that his analysis of tapes at Waco indicated that an FBI agent fired shots at the compound on April 19, the final day of the siege--a view disputed by the FBI.

WASHINGTON POST http://washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/articles/A38496-2000Apr29.html

Summary of most important events
that occurred on April 19, 1993,
at Waco according to the late expert
and congressional consultant Carlos Ghigliotti,
recently found dead in his home of suspected foul play

-- Total number of gunfire shots coming out of the structure 69
-- Total number of gunfire shots going into the structure 57
-- Total number of flash devices 1 cluster

-- Total number of times the tanks penetrated into the structure 33
-- Total number of times the tanks penetrated through the structure 1

INFOWARS: InfoWars has learned that the supposedly independent British company hired by the Justice Department to analyze the March 19, 1999 Fort Hood FLIR video is actually a Washington, DC-area defense contractor with ties to the BATF. Vector Data Systems is a division of Anteon Corporation, a professional technical services corporation staffed with 4,000 highly trained employees in more than 70 offices and government sites worldwide. The Fort Hood FLIR video project was staged by the government in order to counter the evidence presented in two documentary films produced by Michael McNulty that show clear evidence of government gunfire during the Mt. Carmel Massacre on April 19, 1993.

[An attorney who worked closely with suddenly dead FLIR expert Carlos Ghigliotty has posted an account of what he knew about the investigation and what Ghigliotty intended to give congressional investigators. David Hardy says that now that Ghigliotty is dead, he is free to reveal what he knows. It is disturbing.]

NEWSMAX http://www.newsmax.com/articles/?a=2000/4/30/160306
NEWSMAX http://www.newsmax.com/articles/?a=2000/4/30/155105

The Gonazalez and Waco incidents are not the only times that Janet Reno has mangled a case involving children. In 1989, as Florida state attorney, she pressed adult charges against a 13-year-old youth, Bobby Fijnje, accused of sexually molesting 21 children in his care during Presbyterian church services. The charges were driven by the testimony of children interviewed by mental health professionals using techniques against child-care providers later discredited as a contemporary version of witch hunts. The state dropped two of the accusers, including a boy who claimed he had turned himself into Superman, tied Fijnje up, flew out the window, and called the police.
As PBS Frontline reported later: "Prosecutors pressed forward, charging Bobby with seven counts of sexual battery against two young girls. But, neither of the girls, or other children serving as collateral witnesses, would testify at trial. The prosecutors took advantage of newly-adopted state laws that allowed for the admission of the children's videotaped testimony and expanded acceptance of hearsay evidence from parents, psychologists and state interviewers . . . [The defense] attacked the interviews of the therapists and State interviewers. They argued that repeated and suggestive questioning had accounted for the children's allegations."
Despite an early and disputed confession, Finjnje was acquitted of all charges and his family moved to Holland. According to PBS:
"And after the trial, Janet Reno received a letter from the jury. The jurors in the Fijnje case wanted Ms. Reno to know why her office had failed to make a convincing case. They wrote: 'It is our hope that this case will lay the foundation upon which a set of policies and guidelines are built so that when cases of abuse, especially child abuse, are alleged, the programs in place will allow for appropriate questioning and investigation by the police, physicians and child psychologists so as to drastically reduce the chances of conflicting testimony and charges of contamination that can and will raise reasonable doubt.'"
One of the experts in the case, Dr. Stephen Ceci, explained to PBS part of the problem with the techniques upon which Reno relied:
"There's something that we call stereotype induction in the literature, which means that if you repeatedly tell kids that someone's bad, sooner or later quite a few of those kids start acting in accordance with that. They start fearing the person, they won't be in the room with him, some of the kids will begin to confabulate stories about bad things the person did to them. We and others have done lots of experiments on this where we induce stereotypes in the preschoolers that someone takes something that didn't belong to him or someone doesn't share with another or someone is clumsy and is always breaking things or whatever. And we look to see what impact that has three, four months later, and it does have an impact on kids' accuracy. They give you a lot of this stereotyped consistent confabulation. And in Fijnje there was quite a lot of that.... For instance, the interviewer says things such as, "Don't worry, Bobby's in jail," or, "Did your mom and dad tell you he can't hurt children anymore because he's in jail?" That kind of repetitive negative stereotyping can be found, it's really littered throughout lots of the interviews in that case . . . Kids are cooperative conversational partners. They believe that you're asking them about something because it probably happened. They want to please you, they want to give you the answer that they think will make you happiest, and especially if the first couple times they resist this and say no and you keep bringing it up, they start to get the message that, "Well, maybe I've been giving the wrong answer and I should switch." So the negative stereotype induction frees kids. It allows them to use their imaginations about what other things would be consistent with someone who's bad, so you start to hear things about how, "Oh yeah, I remember, he made us kill a baby and put it in the microwave and we cooked it and we ate it."

APRIL 2000

LEE HANCOCK, DALLAS MORNING NEWS: A key FBI decision-maker wrote in late March 1993 that he feared bureau officials in Waco were lobbying to gas the Branch Davidians because the officials were tired, frustrated and under pressure from the FBI's hostage rescue team commander, documents show. Congressional officials said that memo is particularly disturbing because they have never seen it or several other internal FBI records detailing the contentious decision-making process that lead to the tear-gassing of the Branch Davidian compound. Some of those documents, which The Dallas Morning News recently obtained, show that senior FBI officials were initially deeply skeptical of their on-scene commander's insistence that tear gas was the only safe way to end the Waco standoff.


LEE HANCOCK, DALLAS MORNING NEWS: Efforts by federal prosecutors to access files from the government computer once used by a Waco whistle-blower prompted angry complaints to the Justice Department this week from a congressional committee investigating the Branch Davidian siege. House Government Reform Committee Chairman Dan Burton sent a letter to Attorney General Janet Reno late Tuesday demanding a full explanation for the search, which occurred days after that committee's investigators conducted lengthy interviews with the whistle-blower, former federal prosecutor Bill Johnston.




DALLAS MORNING NEWS: Suspicions about the role of military commandos in Waco also have been fed by various differing Pentagon statements about the total number of Delta Force soldiers who were sent. In October 1993, Congress was told that a total of three were sent "during the 51 day siege." A General Accounting Office investigator said last August that a lengthy GAO audit of military assistance in Waco could not determine the number of special forces soldiers. The investigator was told five by Pentagon officials but later found records showing eight were there. Justice Department lawyers filed court statements last year swearing that 10 special forces soldiers were sent. But Defense Department records include classified rosters of 14 special forces personnel assigned to Waco duties, and investigators are still trying to resolve the discrepancies.DALLAS NEWS

LEE HANCOCK, DALLAS MORNING NEWS: The FBI's two lead Waco commanders violated a Washington-approved plan by ordering tanks to begin demolishing the Branch Davidian compound in 1993, and thus should be liable for the horrific tragedy that ensued, the sect's lawyers argued Wednesday. Their Wednesday plea in a Waco federal court lays out a detailed case for how FBI commanders Jeffrey Jamar and Richard Rogers within hours diverted from the plan authorized by top FBI officials and approved by Attorney General Janet Reno. That written plan allowed for demolition of the sect's embattled building only after tear gas had been sprayed into it for 48 hours, but FBI tanks began demolishing the rear of the building less than five hours after the gassing began. "The decisions made by Rogers and Jamar were unauthorized, outside the scope of their authority, unjustified by the circumstances, and caused or contributed to the deaths of countless innocent children and some adults," the plaintiff's motion argued.DALLAS NEWS


LEE HANCOCK, DALLAS MORNING NEWS: During the FBI's efforts in 1993 to force sect members to surrender, agents used loudspeakers to blast loud music and other ear-splitting noises into the compound. FBI commanders said that nonstop nightly Nancy Sinatra songs, shrieks of dying rabbits, Christmas carols and Tibetan monk chants would increase the Branch Davidians' discomfort and sleep deprivation . . . Fredrick Lanceley, a retired FBI negotiator who was at Waco, said in 1993 that negotiators warned "they knew of no situation where this ever worked or where the FBI had ever failed to look bad in the media for doing this" . . . Intervention from FBI Director William Sessions, prompted by a letter of complaint from the Dalai Lama, Tibet's exiled spiritual leader, finally silenced the chant broadcasts, FBI records indicate. Other broadcasts continued.


Things that John Danforth,
Clarence Thomas, and Ralston Purina
have in common

-- DANFORTH hired THOMAS out of law school as an assistant attorney general in Missouri.
-- DANFORTH brought THOMAS to Washington as a legislative assistant when elected to the Senate.
-- DANFORTH helped THOMAS get appointed to the Reagan transition team, the Department of Education, and the EEOC.
-- DANFORTH helped THOMAS get appointed to the US Court of Appeals, calling him my "personal friend."
-- DANFORTH played a crucial role in getting THOMAS appointed to the Supreme Court.
-- DANFORTH, during the time in question, owned RALSTON PURINA stock worth more than $7.5 million.
-- Two brothers of DANFORTH were on the board of directors of RALSTON PURINA
-- One brother of DANFORTH was a member of the board of trustees of Washington University, which had large holdings in RALSTON PURINA.
-- Alpo and RALSTON PURINA were sued on charges of false advertising.
-- US District Judge Stanley Sporkin fond both companies in the wrong, but found that RALSTON PURINA alone had acted willfully in having "perpetrated a cruel hoax" on dog owners in its claims that it dog food could cure a serious ailment. He assessed a $10 million fine against RALSTON PURINA.
-- A few weeks after being confirmed, THOMAS heard the RALSTON PURINA appeal. He wrote an opinion for the court overturning the $10 million fine against RALSTON PURINA.
-- This was good news for his friend DANFORTH and his $7.5 million in RALSTON PURINA stock, but appears to be a clear violation of 28 USC 455 which requires a federal judge to disqualify himself in proceedings in which the judge's impartiality "might" reasonably be questioned.

[This information appeared in the August 24, 1991, edition of Legal Times in an article by Monroe Freedman, professor of legal ethics at Hofstra University Law School. Freedman wrote that "Thomas showed no regard for his ethical obligations as a judge and no respect for the statutory mandate that he recuse himself. On both counts, Thomas is unfit to sit on the Supreme Court of the United States." The media, more interested in stray hairs on Coke cans, ignored the story.]


The new defense authorization bill contains hidden language that would allow the Secretary of Defense to keep secret the names of any members of the armed forces "assigned to an overseas unit, a sensitive unit, or a routinely deployable unit." "Sensitive" units include a "unit that is primarily involved in training for the conduct of, or conducting, special activities or classified missions" or "any other unit that is designated as a sensitive unit by the Secretary of Defense." This measure would provide additional cover for illegal and anti-democratic domestic activities.

WASHINGTON POST: An expert retained by the House Government Reform Committee said yesterday that he believes an FBI agent fired shots during the bureau's 1993 siege of the Branch Davidian compound near Waco, Tex., a view that is at odds with the FBI's consistent position that none of its agents fired at any time.

WASHINGTON POST: http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-srv/WPcap/1999-10/06/064r-100699-idx.html

LEE HANCOCK, DALLAS MORNING NEWS: Federal officials from Attorney General Janet Reno down have maintained for years that the FBI did not know that the Davidians were spreading fuel and preparing to set a fire throughout the FBI's six-hour tank and tear gas assault on the compound. But Col. Rodney L. Rawlings of Austin said in an interview that "you could hear everything from the very beginning, as it was happening. I heard it," said Col. Rawlings, who heard bug transmissions from speakers in an FBI monitoring room. "Anyone who says you couldn't at the time is being less than truthful."


DRUDGE REPORT: Recently unearthed internal FBI documents reveal that the bureau faxed a formal assault plan directly to the White House in the early days of the 51-day Branch Davidian seige, Sunday's Dallas Morning News is reporting. The DMN's Lee Hancock and David Jackson are reporting that the attack plan was sent to the White House on March 8, 1993 at the behest of then Assistant Attorney General Webster Hubbell. Hubbell testified before Congress in 1995 that the White House played no role in Waco decision making ....

Also revealed: Tactical experts for the FBI also sought authority -- but were rejected -- to shoot upon Branch Davidians leaving the compound and approaching their armored vehicles .... The documents show regular and ongoing consultations between the FBI and military experts during the stand-off .... One undated document shows that the former head of the Army's secret anti-terrorist unit Delta Force, General Peter J. Schoomaker, was sent to Waco despite questions that he had the authority to be there in the first place.

DRUDGE REPORT http://www.drudgereport.com

JAMES RIDGEWAY, VILLAGE VOICE: The Army's Delta Force and the Navy Seals weren't the only observers at Waco, which, as details spill out, looks more and more like a training op for the international commando set. Among others present were representatives of Britain's elite Special Air Services, infamous for its counterinsurgency operations in Northern Ireland." Ridgeway cites a 1996 letter from the FBI to Senator Charles Robb, which says that "...two SAS soldiers visiting at Fort Bragg, North Carolina, requested and were granted a courtesy visit. The main purpose...was to experience how the FBI operated its command post. They were shown the relationship of the FBI's command post to the tactical operations center, were allowed a visit to the forward tactical area, and were provided generic briefings regarding the incident. Although the [Hostage Rescue Team] had tactical interface with the SAS during routine practice and training, at no time was the SAS called upon to participate in...the siege."

LEE HANCOCK AND DAVID JACKSON, DALLAS MORNTING NEWS: Despite written statements from FBI agents and technicians that recordings were made [at Waco], no videotape from the surveillance cameras has ever been made public by the federal government. Critics of the government's actions in Waco say their efforts to obtain such videos have been blocked for years by the FBI and the Department of Justice .... Formal written statements, known as FBI 302s, obtained by The Dallas Morning News show that at least five FBI agents were sent to Waco to maintain closed-circuit cameras .... One agent reported watching from the closed-circuit TV system as FBI tanks began firing tear gas into the compound on April 19, the documents state. A supervisor from the FBI's Quantico, Va., training academy said that the FBI's cameras were also running as the compound caught fire with sect leader David Koresh and more than 80 followers inside, according to a second FBI 302.

LEE HANCOCK AND DAVID JACKSON, DALLAS MORNING NEWS: Despite written statements from FBI agents and technicians that recordings were made [at Waco], no videotape from the surveillance cameras has ever been made public by the federal government. Critics of the government's actions in Waco say their efforts to obtain such videos have been blocked for years by the FBI and the Department of Justice .... Formal written statements, known as FBI 302s, obtained by The Dallas Morning News show that at least five FBI agents were sent to Waco to maintain closed-circuit cameras .... One agent reported watching from the closed-circuit TV system as FBI tanks began firing tear gas into the compound on April 19, the documents state. A supervisor from the FBI's Quantico, Va., training academy said that the FBI's cameras were also running as the compound caught fire with sect leader David Koresh and more than 80 followers inside, according to a second FBI 302.

DRUDGE REPORT: The Justice Department has decided to back down from its attempt to stop a federal judge in Texas from gaining control of evidence relating to the Branch Davidian siege at Waco in 1993, the Dallas Morning News is reporting .... The News' Lee Hancock and David Jackson quote U.S. Attorney Mike Bradford, who initially expressed the government's plan to challenge Smith: "Our intent is to comply with the order. We're working on that now."

WACO TRIBUNE-HERALD: Plaintiffs in the Branch Davidian lawsuit against the government filed a document Monday in Waco's federal court stating they have an expert who will testify his analysis of a FLIR tape shows at least 60 shots were fired at the Davidians on the day their residence burned down.


CARL LIMBACHER, NEWSMAX: Inside Cover has learned that Parkland Memorial Hospital in Dallas, Texas was warned, by federal agents on the scene in Waco, to prepare for trauma victims at least six hours before a fiery inferno consumed the Branch Davidian compound on April 19, 1993 .... A news report, broadcast on local Dallas television as the Mt. Carmel church fire raged out of control, revealed that Parkland Hospital staff had been called by the FBI just after 6:00 A.M. that day, more than six hours before fire erupted inside the compound. The report featured a live interview with Parkland's then-Director of Emergency Services Jorie Kline by Channel 4's Cynthia Gau, a little more than an hour after the fire erupted: ....

UNIDENTIFIED ANCHOR: You bring up a good point here that 25 to 30 people may have survived. Let's go live now to Parkland Hospital, where Cynthia Gau is standing by with more on the medical aspect. Cynthia, what can you tell us in that respect?

GAU: We are in one of the largest and best burn centers in the state of Texas. And standing with me right now is Jorie Kline. And she is a nurse administrator here and she was put on alert; the whole hospital was put on alert, at 6:11 this morning. Now, what's going to be happening here?

KLINE: Well, everyone is on alert because of the potential situation in Waco and everybody's prepared to take care of any patients that are flown to us from the Waco area.

GAU: How many doctors will be available?

KLINE: Well, from the general surgery service we can pool our resources of approximately 50 surgeons. And then we also have our emergency medicine program as well as internal medicine in case there are any smoke inhalation victims.

NEWSMAX http://www.newsmax.com/showinsidecover.shtml?a=1999/9/10/214817


MARA LEVERITT, ARKANSAS TIMES: Good for Asa Hutchinson. This week the Arkansas congressman called for a bipartisan inquiry into the federal government's use of incendiary tear gas canisters during the final hours of the siege at Waco .... Way to go, Congressman. Pursue those questions about who consulted with whom, to what extent the Army's Delta Force was involved, why the attorney general was kept (as she claims) completely in the dark, and whatever other dark secrets whose answers ought to come to light .... But don't forget that there are federal secrets concerning a town in Arkansas that have been even more deeply buried.

As you may remember, I contacted you, asking your help in persuading the FBI to honor a Freedom of Information request about Mena that I'd had on file with them for years. You promised your assistance, but Rep. Vic Snyder, to whom I'd also written, actually went to work. The FBI stalled, but Snyder's staff persisted. Finally, their efforts paid off -- at least partly. Two weeks ago, I received 488 pages of FBI records pertaining to Barry Seal, the cocaine smuggler who, as you know, moved his billion-dollar drug business from Baton Rouge, Louisiana to the airport at Mena, Arkansas in 1982.

You were the U.S. attorney for Arkansas's western district at the time, and, according to at least one former agent, you called a meeting soon after Seal arrived to advise federal investigators in the state that the smuggler was setting up shop.

But, though he was constantly watched, Seal was never stopped. He operated from Mena, apparently unimpeded, until 1986, when he was murdered by Colombian operatives.

.... Opening the box from the FBI, I hoped that the documents inside would answer some of these questions. Unfortunately, they did not. Instead, they raised several even more intriguing questions. For example, according to one document, the Justice Department kept tight control of the investigation into Seal's murder, "since," as an assistant attorney general explained, "this is a case with apparent national and organized crime dimensions..."

.... But this is what I found most interesting. Notes explaining several of the deletions said that they had been made under provisions of the National Security Act of 1947 and the CIA Act of 1949. So it's quite a mess, you see, these jumbled references to organized crime and national security, to Colombian drug cartels and the CIA -- all within the heavily censored file of a smuggler who found safe haven in Arkansas during the last four years of his life.

ARKANSAS TIMES http://www.arktimes.com/mara/090399mara.html

AUSTIN AMERICAN-STATESMAN: In an admission sure to fuel new questions about military involvement in the Branch Davidian siege, state officials revealed in an Austin courtroom Friday that a Texas Rangers' report on evidence collected at the scene contains classified military secrets. Attorneys for the Texas Department of Public Safety said the report can't be made public yet because other agencies needed time to review it to see whether any parts of it should remain confidential.


"What's interesting about 'Waco,' is if you're looking for people who are unbalanced zealots, you don't find them among the Branch Davidians, you find them among the FBI and Alcohol, Tobacco and Firearms. Those are the people who deserve to be fears, I think." -- Movie critic Roger Ebert in a review when "Waco: The Rules of Engagement" was first released.

LEE HANCOCK, THE DALLAS MORNING NEWS: Expended U.S. military illumination flares fired by U.S. government personnel have been discovered in the tons of evidence recovered from the Branch Davidian compound, the head of the Texas Department of Public Safety said Tuesday night. Texas Rangers searching a Waco storage facility for missing pyrotechnic tear-gas grenades discovered one of the military devices, a star parachute flare. Evidence logs indicate that more of the flares were recovered in the weeks after the compound burned following an FBI siege and tear-gas assault April 19, 1993, said James B. Francis Jr. of Dallas .... "They didn't need these flares to light the compound. One or more was fired. For what purpose or reason would these rounds be used?" he said. "I can't tell you whether they were [shot by] the military or FBI, but certainly, they were fired by government officials," Mr. Francis said.


MATT DRUDGE IS REPORTING that a former CIA agent who claims knowledge of involvement by Delta Force members in a shoot-out at Waco has been warned by the FBI that he signed confidentiality papers when he went to work for the agency. Two important points:

-- He is not alone. Nearly every government official with a security clearance has signed such a gag order -- as have those working for defense contractors. These employees commit a crime if they reveal even illegal activities. This system is designed to keep the public from knowing what is going on in the government it pays for.

-- What the hell was the CIA doing at Waco? It is against the law for the agency to intervene in domestic matters.

CHOOSING JOHN DANFORTH to investigate the Washington establishment is like asking a member of the College of Cardinals to rat on the Pope.

LEE HANCOCK, DALLAS MORNING NEWS: A federal judge was forced to intervene Friday after the federal Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco and Firearms tried to block Texas Rangers from searching a Waco storage facility for evidence that pyrotechnic devices were fired at the Branch Davidian complex. The brief skirmish came as FBI officials in Washington released the second of two newly discovered aerial videotapes that include conversations between FBI commanders about the use of combustible tear-gas canisters.

WACO TRIBUNE-HERALD: When the FBI took over the government's standoff with the Branch Davidians, it quickly asked for and got a store of equipment from the military. The list was extensive: 10 Bradley Fighting Vehicles; 4 Combat Engineering Vehicles; 2 Abrams tanks; an M88 tank retriever; helicopters; Humvees; tents, generators, video equipment; gas masks, night vision goggles and concertina wire. What the FBI didn't get was tear gas. An FBI spokesman told the Tribune-Herald that the agency's Hostage Rescue Team in 1993 carried military tear gas as a regular part of its inventory.

NEW YORK TIMES: The Pentagon's elite Special Operations Command sent observers to the siege of the Branch Davidian compound in Texas more than a month before the final assault on the compound, suggesting that military commandos had a far longer and closer involvement in the disastrous 1993 operation than previously divulged, according to declassified government documents. The documents obtained under the Freedom of Information Act also show for the first time that officials at the highest levels of the Defense Department, including Secretary of Defense Les Aspin and the Joint Chiefs of Staff, were briefed by the Special Operations Command about the events near Waco. The command, which is based at MacDill Air Force Base in Florida, oversees the military's most secretive commando squads, including the Army's Delta Force and the Navy Seals, and the documents suggest that the command was monitoring the situation virtually from the start of the 51-day siege. The command's spokesmen did not return calls for comment on the documents.

AGENCE FRANCE PRESS: Women and children among the 80 dead in the FBI siege at Waco, Texas in 1993, faced the choice of being burned alive in an inferno or shot to death by FBI agents blocking their escape, critics of the siege alleged Sunday. Michael McNulty, producer of a new film on the siege of the Branch Davidian compound, told "Fox New Sunday" talk show he had evidence that FBI sharpshooters were blocking the only exit from the burning building. He said he had footage of "individuals at the back of the building engaged in a gunfight" who were blocking the only escape route unmolested by tanks. "Once that building caught on fire, the women and the children and the adults inside that building had no way out," he said. "They had a choice of being shot to death or burning to death."

DRUDGE REPORT: A former government officer has told investigators that members of the secret Army unit Delta Force said they participated in a shoot-out during the final assault on the Branch Davidian compound in Waco. The witness, according to congressional sources, has already named names -- and will soon offer his account under oath.

THE OKLAHOMAN: It was April 1994, a year after the Branch Davidian standoff ended in disaster, when Bob Ricks had his chance to quiz Attorney General Janet Reno. He had finished his job as chief FBI spokesman during the 51-day siege outside Waco, Texas, but it still bothered him that the Justice Department later ordered agents, he said, not to speak about the operation. Reno was in Oklahoma City to promote a congressional crime bill and met with employees of the local FBI office. "I said, 'You probably don't realize it, but in the Midwest, Waco is still extremely a big deal out here, and it's the subject of much conversation. As you know, we've been ordered not to respond or say anything, and I think that that could ultimately end up being a problem,'" Ricks said Friday. The ex-agent said Reno replied, "I don't think the American people care about Waco anymore."
A Justice Department spokesman said Reno denies making the comment.

THE OKLAHOMAN: http://www.oklahoman.com/cgi-bin/shart?ID=370047&TP=getarticle

DALLAS MORNING NEWS: A U.S. district judge ordered government lawyers Thursday to turn over all evidence pertaining to the 1993 Branch Davidian siege by Oct. 1 or face contempt-of-court charges. The order by Judge Walter Smith of Waco came in response to a U.S. Justice Department motion this week challenging his authority to demand control of the evidence being sought in a wrongful-death lawsuit .... "The court's purpose is to secure the evidence so that neither the parties to the pending civil litigation, the media or the public will perceive that the government may have the opportunity to conceal, alter or fail to reveal evidence," Judge Smith wrote.

DALLAS MORNING NEWS: http://www.dallasnews.com/specials/waco/0903waco2judge.htm

JOSEPH FARAH, WORLD NET DAILY: One of the original witnesses against the Branch Davidians was Bill Buford, the agent in charge of the Little Rock, Ark., branch of the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco and Firearms. Buford was, also, according to Arkansas sources, a friend of Bill. The Waco case was apparently very important to Buford as an affidavit states he was working on New Year's Day calling former Branch Davidians seeking to find evidence of sexual abuse .... Documents show Buford is noted as one of two "senior raid planners." He was also one of the BATF agents wounded during the Feb. 28 assault, but he is perhaps the only BATF agent to be visited in the hospital by none other than top Treasury Department official Roger Altman. Altman was the long-time "Friend of Bill" appointed to be deputy secretary of the Treasury and chief executive officer of the Resolution Trust Corporation. He resigned in August 1994 due to his interference in the Whitewater investigation. At the time of the Waco raid, Roger Altman was the second highest-ranking official at the Department of the Treasury. The BATF is a bureau within the Treasury Department



JERRY SEPER, WASHINGTON TIMES: In addition to seeking information on the FBI's use of incendiary devices, which the FBI now admits, House
investigators have targeted the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco and Firearms
agents in its preparation for a failed attempt to arrest Davidian leader
David Koresh seven weeks before the compound exploded in a fireball on April 19, 1993 .... Capitol Hill sources say investigators want information about the suspected misuse of a Texas National Guard helicopter as a diversion during an earlier failed arrest attempt Feb. 28, 1993 -- during which four ATF agents were killed.

LEE HANCOCK, DALLAS MORNING NEWS: U.S. Justice Department lawyers on Tuesday challenged a federal judge's authority to take control over evidence in the Branch Davidian case, setting up a high-stakes legal showdown. An Aug. 9 order in which U.S. District Judge Walter Smith demanded custody of all documents and other evidence is without any legal basis under federal or civil court rules, Justice Department lawyers argued in a 19-page motion. The judge's move "threatens a wholesale intrusion" into the executive branch and an "unwarranted and substantial burden" on the entire federal government.

DALLAS MORNING NEWS http://www.dallasnews.com/

TEXAS DEPT OF PUBLIC SAFETY CHAIR JAMES FRANCIS: I think it's very unfortunate that the Justice Department would try to prevent the federal court in Waco from gaining access to all of the evidence in light of
everything that's happened in the last week... From what I can understand of
the Justice Department's motion today, they're still attempting to prevent
the evidence from being judicially reviewed. And I think that is most
unfortunate. [Note: Francis is a top fund-raiser for GWB]

LEE HANCOCK, DALLAS MORNING NEWS: A Waco federal prosecutor wrote Attorney General Janet Reno on Monday to warn that "individuals or components within the Department of Justice" may have long withheld evidence from her and the public about the FBI's use of pyrotechnic grenades on the day the Branch Davidian compound burned. Assistant U.S. Attorney Bill Johnston said he felt compelled to warn Ms. Reno after he was given a 5-year-old document that discusses the use of "military gas" by the FBI on April 19, 1993. He said he was concerned because the document, a three-page set of notes detailing an interview with members of the FBI's hostage rescue team, included handwritten notations suggesting that it be kept from anyone outside the department's legal staff.

DALLAS MORNING NEWS http://www.dallasnews.com/texas_southwest/0831tsw1waco.htm

UPI: The woman who headed the federal jury that convicted eight Branch Davidian members in connection with the 1993 siege near Waco, Texas, says they should get new trials because of new FBI admissions. Sarah Bain headed a federal court jury that convicted the Davidians on charges related to the Feb. 28, 1993 shootout .... In an interview with WOAI radio in San Antonio today, Bain said the admission by the FBI that agents fired flammable tear gas grenades near the compound hours before the fire that ended the siege is grounds to ask for new trials. Koresh and 80 of his followers died

JEFF NESMITH, COX NEWSPAPERS: Army anti-terrorism specialists, including the commander of the top-secret Delta Force, attended the 1993 meeting at which Attorney General Janet Reno approved use of tear gas against members of the Branch Davidian group near Waco, Texas. It is the first indication that the Delta Force, whose presence at the fatal raid was disclosed this week, was involved in planning the operation .... Documents released to Cox Newspapers on Friday by the FBI indicate that Col. William Boykin, then Delta Force commander, and Brig. Gen. Peter Schoomaker, then the assistant division commander of the 1st Cavalry Division at Fort Hood, Texas, were the previously unidentified officers who told Reno use of CS gas, a potent form of tear gas, would make the compound "untenable."

TPR : Nesmith is wrong in claiming this is the first report of Delta Force's involvement. Here's a story from Counterpunch that TPR described a month ago:

"Counterpunch has identified the two military men who took part in a Waco Massacre planning session at the Justice Department: Colonel Gerald Boykin, and his superior, Peter J. Schoomacher, the commanding general at Fort Bragg. Counterpunch says that NATO Commander Wesley Clark (who had served under Schoomacher) was not directly involved in the attack:

"Boykin and Schoomacher were present because the Army's Fort Bragg-based Combat Applications Group -- popularly known as the Delta Force -- had been enlisted as part of the assault team on the Branch Davidian Compound. It appears that President Clinton had signed a waiver of the Posse Comitatus Act, with the precedent being Ronald Reagan's revocation of the Act in 1987, allowing the Delta Force to be involved in suppressing the Atlanta prison riot.

"The role of the Delta Force, the identity of the two Army officers, the revocation of Posse Comitatus all form part of the disclosures of a forthcoming documentary film, 'Waco: A New Revelation,' put together by the same team that produced an earlier, excellent film, Waco: Rules of Engagement."
Among the materials obtained by the film producers are 28 videos showing US military in special assault gear and with name tags obscured in the final onslaught on the Waco compound.

"Producer Mike McNulty isolates Vince Foster as the White House point man for the Waco operation. Writes Counterpunch: "McNulty cites Foster's widow as saying that the depression that prompted the White House lawyer's death was fueled by horror at the carnage at Waco for which the White House had given the ultimate green light. Foster was writing a Waco report when he died. McNulty says that some documents about Foster and Waco were among those removed from his office after his death, later to surface in a White house store room sheltering archives of the First Lady."

COUNTERPUNCH http://www.counterpunch.org/

LEE HANCOCK, THE DALLAS MORNING NEWS: The chairman of the Department of Public Safety said that federal authorities also need to investigate and fully explain why members of the U.S. Army's secret Delta Force anti-terrorist unit were present on the day the compound burned. "Everyone involved knows they were there ...." said James B. Francis Jr. of Dallas. "Some of the evidence that I have reviewed and been made aware of is very problematical as to the role of Delta Force at the siege. However, I think it's only fair that real independent experts look into that highly sensitive issue." A Department of Defense document released under the federal Freedom of Information Act confirmed that members of a classified Army special forces unit were in the area when the FBI's hostage rescue team used tanks to assault the compound with tear gas.

DALLAS MORNING NEWS http://www.dallasnews.com/texas_southwest/0826tsw1davidians.htm

LEE HANCOCK, DALLAS MORNING NEWS: The FBI is preparing to acknowledge in a formal statement that its agents fired pyrotechnic tear gas grenades on the last day of the Branch Davidian siege, senior federal law enforcement officials said Tuesday. The statement would represent a reversal from the federal government's adamant, long-held position that the FBI used no device capable of sparking a fire on the day the Davidian compound burned near Waco. Earlier this week, former senior FBI official Danny Coulson told The Dallas Morning News that pyrotechnic grenades had been used on April 19, 1993, the day that the compound burned with David Koresh and more than 80 followers inside .... Earlier Tuesday, Texas Department of Public Safety Commission Chairman James B. Francis said the Texas Rangers have ``overwhelming evidence'' supporting Coulson's statement.


DALLAS MORNING NEWS: A federal judge in Waco told the federal government Monday to hand over every piece of evidence relating to the 1993 Branch Davidian standoff. In a sweeping order, U.S. District Judge Walter Smith told federal authorities to surrender to the federal clerk in Waco everything "in any way relevant to the events occurring at Mount Carmel," the Davidian compound besieged by federal authorities from Feb. 28 to April l9, 1993.

"It is important for two reasons that the materials be maintained and safeguarded. First and foremost, the parties to civil litigation pending in this court have a right to seek access," Judge Smith wrote. "Second, the events that took place between Feb. 28 and April 19, 1993, and thereafter, have resulted in sometimes intense interest from the national media and members of the public."

JULY 1999

DALLAS MORNING NEWS: The head of the Texas Department of Public Safety said Tuesday that evidence held by the Texas Rangers since the 1993 Branch Davidian siege calls into question the federal government's claim that its agents used no incendiary devices on the day that a fire consumed the sect's compound. "There's some evidence that is at least problematic or at least questionable with regard to what happened," said James B. Francis Jr. of Dallas, chairman of the Texas Department of Public Safety.

DALLAS MORNING NEWS http://www.dallasnews.com/texas_southwest/0728tsw100davidians.htm

Counterpunch has identified the two military men who took part in a Waco Massacre planning session at the Justice Department: Colonel Gerald Boykin, and his superior, Peter J. Schoomacher, the commanding general at Fort Bragg. Counterpunch says that NATO Commander Wesley Clark (who had served under Schoomacher) was not directly involved in the attack:

"Boykin and Schoomacher were present because the Army's Fort Bragg-based Combat Applications Group -- popularly known as the Delta Force -- had been enlisted as part of the assault team on the Branch Davidian Compound. It appears that President Clinton had signed a waiver of the Posse Comitatus Act, with the precedent being Ronald Reagan's revocation of the Act in 1987, allowing the Delta Force to be involved in suppressing the Atlanta prison riot.

"The role of the Delta Force, the identity of the two Army officers, the revocation of Posse Comitatus all form part of the disclosures of a forthcoming documentary film, 'Waco: A New Revelation,' put together by the same team that produced an earlier, excellent film, Waco: Rules of Engagement."

Among the materials obtained by the film producers are 28 videos showing US military in special assault gear and with name tags obscured in the final onslaught on the Waco compound.

Producer Mike McNulty isolates Vince Foster as the White House point man for the Waco operation. Writes Counterpunch: "McNulty cites Foster's widow as saying that the depression that prompted the White House lawyer's death was fueled by horror at the carnage at Waco for which the White House had given the ultimate green light. Foster was writing a Waco report when he died. McNulty says that some documents about Foster and Waco were among those removed from his office after his death, later to surface in a White house store room sheltering archives of the First Lady."

COUNTERPUNCH http://www.counterpunch.org/


Ambrose Evans-Pritchard in The Secret Life Of Bill Clinton writes, "The Branch Davidian siege was clearly on Foster's mind. He was 'drafting a letter involving Waco' on the day of this death, surely a point of some significance. He kept a Waco file in the locked cabinet that was off limits to everybody, including his secretary. His widow mentions Waco twice in her statement to the FBI: 'Toward the end of his life, Foster had no sense of joy or elation at work. The Branch Davidian incident near Waco, Texas, was also causing him a great deal of stress. Lisa Foster believes that he was horrified when the Branch Davidian complex burned. Foster believed that everything was his fault.'"

Evans-Pritchard makes no claim that Waco was a cause of Foster's death. After discussing other anomalies, such as his ties to the National Security Agency, the investigative reporter notes, "The point is that Foster was involved in activities that belie the carefully drawn portrait of a bemused country lawyer, and that have clearly been obscured on purpose."

These comments are worth reviving because of Counterpunch's revelation that two key Army officers were involved in the Justice Department planning for Waco and that Clinton had abrogated an longtime American principle of not using the military in domestic law enforcement.

We now also know that NATO chief Wesley Clark, then Texas-based, at the very least approved the seconding of logistical support from his command. We know that important records in Foster's possession were removed. And we know that a military intelligence group moved in on the White House following his death for unknown purposes.

This all, however, merely adds to the mystery of Foster. What remains true is that the existing facts argue strongly against Foster having died in a park of his own hand. Put directly, if he did kill himself, someone moved him afterwards, or else he was murdered. Under what circumstances and for what reasons, we still don't know.


According to an must-read report by Ken McCarthy at Brasscheck, the military was far more deeply involved in the Waco massacre than is generally realized. Behind the military's part in the operation was now NATO commander General Wesley Clark. Among the points McCarthy makes are these:

-- The military's involvment in a domestic law enforcement matter was illegal.
-- Used in the Waco massacre operation were 13 track vehicles, 9 combat engineer vehicles, 5 tank retrieval vehicles, and a tank.
-- The military equipment and personnel came from the US Army base at Ft. Hood, Texas, headquarters of III Corps. According to an account from attorney David T. Hardy, who filed a freedom of information action in the incident, "The operation required mustering approximately a hundred agents (flown in from sites around the country), and who received military training at Ft. Hood. They traveled in a convoy of sixty vehicles and were supported by three National Guard helicopters and one fixed-wing aircraft, with armored vehicles in reserve."
-- Clark was the Commander 1st Cavalry Division, Fort Hood, Texas from August 1992 to April 1994. The Mt. Carmel raid was on February 29, 1993. The arson-murders occurred April 19. Clark had been Commander of the National Training Center and Deputy Chief of Staff for Concepts, Doctrine and Developments, US Army Training and Doctrine Command TRADOC, where Clark was Deputy Chief right before becoming an armor commander at Ft Hood, has as its primary mission to "prepare soldiers for war and design the army of the future." Item number one from the TRADOC vision statement: "...enable America's Army to operate with joint, multinational and interagency partners across the full range of operations."
-- General Clark, thanks to his operations at Waco and in the Balkans, is now a front-runner to become America's first commander-in-chief of the anti-democratic domestic command Clinton wants to establish.
-- President Clinton said, "The first thing I did after the ATF agents were killed, once we knew that the FBI was going to go in, was to ask that the military be consulted because of the quasi-military nature of the conflict."
-- Attorney General Janet Reno attempted to explain away the FBI use of US Army tanks as being equivalent to an innocuous "rent a car" arrangement.
-- From early in the siege, "Operation Trojan Horse" became a popular destination for special forces officers both from around the United States and from its closest ally, the UK. They came to observe the effectiveness of various high tech devices and tactics that were being tested against the Branch Davidians.
-- Two unnamed high ranking Army officers personally presented Attorney General Janet Reno with the final assault tactics for her, as chief law enforcement officer of the US, to sign off on.
-- There are a number of rules used for the Waco massacre and the invasion of Yugoslavia including 1. Exert tight information control over a mostly cooperative US news media 2. Attribute civilian casualty reports to "propaganda" 3. Declare that the attacks are for humanitarian purposes, to "stop the bad guy." 4. Break numerous agreements then call the other side unreliable 5. Offer absurd terms in negotiation sessions, hide these terms from the public, then punish the other side for its recalcitrance in failing to accept a "reasonable" settlement. 6. Coordinate a propaganda effort against the other side before the assault (The Waco Tribune-Herald ran a two part smear piece against Koresh on Feb 27, 1993, the day before the raid, and on the morning of entitled, "The Sinful Messiah") 7. Accuse the other side of being responsible for crimes they did not commit.
-- General Clark's last assignment before taking over NATO was as Commander-in-Chief, United States Southern Command, Panama, where he commanded all U.S. forces and was "responsible for the direction of most U.S. military activities and interests in Latin America and the Caribbean." i.e. the support of repressive Latin American military and police operations and a phony war against drugs.

Meanwhile, Dan Gifford, producer of "Waco: The Rules of Engagement" writes that "Secret anti-terrorist U.S. Army Delta Force and British SAS soldiers were present at FBI invitation as 'observers.' But reports of those troops illegally killing Americans on American soil persist from sources that have provided accurate information in the past. So do reports of classified weapons testing on the Davidians that was being micro managed, along with everything else, from Washington. A confirmed June, 1997 'Soldier of Fortune' article by ABC Nightline contributor James Pate tells how FBI agents who crept into Mount Carmel on April 17th to plant electronic devices had a chance to arrest Koresh. But then Associate Attorney General Web Hubbell (the de facto U.S. Attorney General) passed word back from then White House counsel Vince Foster that Koresh was to be left in the building."

FULL BRASSCHECK ARTICLE http://www.brasscheck.com/clarkatwaco.html
WESLEY CLARK'S CAREER: http://www.counterpunch.org/clark.html
WACO MATERIALS: http://www.waco93.com

JAN 1999


The car of an aide to President Clinton's chief counsel was burglarized this week and several "sensitive documents" were stolen, White House officials said late Thursday. A local television station, WTTG, a Fox affiliate, reported that the documents included ones pertaining to the investigation of the 1993 death of White House deputy counsel Vince Foster and the 1994 federal raid on the Branch Davidian compound at Waco, Texas. The White House press office declined on the record to characterize the content of the documents. Other White House officials, speaking on the condition of anonymity, said however that among the material taken were several "sensitive documents." They did not elaborate and suggested that the break-in was more in the nature of a street crime than one of political motivation. "It was a simple break-in," said one official. The car belongs to Cheryl D. Mills, a special assistant to White House counsel Abner Mikva. -- Chattanooga Free Press, July 14, 1995

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