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In response to last week’s The Waco Phoenix
I received an e-mail from a reader who suggested I remember that “Reno
and Freeh didn’t say anything about reopening investigations into BATF
or FBI actions at Waco, only the cover-up,” and he added, “this is all
smoke, and nothing but smoke, and Congress is easier to befuddle, or to
buffalo, than we are.”

If we had to leave it up to the politicians, bureaucrats, and
especially those in this administration, the whole investigation would
be done in a smoke-filled room and would conclude in five minutes. But
freedom-loving Americans from all parts of the political spectrum now
have another opportunity to make their voices heard and have their
questions answered. The major questions should include:

  • What was the real reason the Bureau of Alcohol and Firearms (BATF)
    originally staged their illegal and foolhardy assault?

  • Who was ultimately responsible for the fiery death of innocent men,
    women, and children — the Davidians, the FBI, or even the illegal Delta
    Force?

  • Who or what persons in the FBI spent six years covering up their
    illegal and murderous activities?

In addition it will be very important that we not become distracted
by the blame game that is heating up between the supporters and
detractors of Reno and/or Freeh and keep the focus of any Waco
investigation, by either the Danforth investigation or by congressional
committees, on illegal government activities at any level and in any
department.

Many of the questions about the initial BATF raid that have never
been answered satisfactorily or even asked are:

  • What was the motivation behind the raid and why was the assault
    held at that time?

  • On what was the BATF warrant based?

  • Why did the BATF use police-state tactics against people they
    personally knew?

  • Why did the BATF agents go ahead with the plan when their orders were
    to stop if the element of surprise was gone?

  • Why did the original petition to the Department of Defense (DOD) from
    BATF, a petition that should have been certified by the attorney general
    as head of the Department of Justice, state that there was a
    methamphetamine lab on the Davidian Compound, thus requiring DOD
    involvement?

Isn’t it strange that the original affidavit seeking an arrest
warrant for David Koresh stated, “I believe that Vernon Howell, also
known as David Koresh, and/or his followers … are unlawfully
manufacturing and possessing machine guns and explosive devices.”
Special Agent Aguilera, who signed the affidavit, never actually
witnessed the manufacture or the possession of such firearms or
destructive devices. And to this date neither BATF nor FBI has ever
produced any of the alleged machine guns that were used by the
Davidians. Any firearms that were seized after the fiery destruction of
the Mount Carmel Center were kept in the custody of the Texas Rangers.
Since the guns had been in the center during the fire, they became
inoperable and in most instances the intense heat melted them into one
solid piece. It is now impossible to open the firearms and inspect them
to determine, without damaging the evidence, whether they included the
one part, a sear, which would classify them as machine guns. Yet, there
is a simple way to determine whether any gun included a sear — X-ray
the burned guns to discover whether a steel sear is in the gun. In 1995
just prior to the House of Representatives Joint Committee Hearing on
Waco, the Justice Department refused to let congressional investigators
X-ray those guns.

In the Treasury Department Report about the Feb. 28 raid on
the Mount Carmel Center a firearms expert discussed the validity of the
affidavit. He stated, “None of the many pieces of information available
to me is sufficient, by itself, to answer the question as to whether
Koresh and his followers inside the compound were engaged in assembling
automatic weapons in violation of the National Firearms Act.” In
addition the expert noted that the various gun parts Koresh ordered “do
not convert the rifle to automatic fire, except in combination with an
automatic sear. There is no automatic sear listed in the accounting. …
The material made available does not indicate that the Branch Davidians
received shipments containing automatic sears.”

On Capitol Hill, in the federal agencies Justice and Treasury and at
the White House there is absolutely no desire to learn the truth about
why and how our government attacked innocent men, women and children. An
arrogant attack that ultimately led to the senseless deaths of four
federal agents and most of the Davidians. The calls for investigations
are just a means by which some of those in high places can re-point the
finger of blame at David Koresh and anyone else who dares to question
their authority or even their veracity. Public officials want to be seen
as proactive, but when it’s time to be counted they will all act like
Sen. Charles Schumer, who made New York headlines by calling for an
“independent” investigator, while at the same time showing his inability
to entertain any concept other than Koresh starting the fire. After he
called for the investigation he seemed to have second thoughts, “This
whole thing might be getting out of hand,” he stated, and acknowledged
that he didn’t believe any of the facts would change.

Unless and until there are thousands upon thousands of angry citizens
asking their congressmen and senators to find out why BATF began the
Waco surveillance in the first place, why they attacked the Mount Carmel
Center when they could have arrested Koresh on the street or even in his
home, and why they chose to start the raid when the element of surprise
was lost, the prediction of my reader will come true. Without the
American people asking questions, the media firestorm over the latest
Waco revelations about illegal government activities and subsequent
cover-up will again end with federal bulldozers burying the truth.

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