Wednesday, September 17, 2008

Waco: Rules of Engagement

Part 1
One of the very first things Bill Clinton did as president was authorize an attack on a religious community in Waco, Texas.

Clinton was so keen to find justification for the attack that he had an operative in the Little Rock ATF office working up a case over the Christmas holiday before his inauguration.

The cover story is that the Branch Davidians were religious nuts who set their home on fire and stayed in the building and died rather than surrender to the authorities.

Their "crime" was shooting back at federal agents who showed up at their property in the early morning and began shooting at them.

Missing from this film is the simple fact that the Branch Davidians were licensed gun dealers. Selling, repairing and modifying guns was a business and income source for them.

I've never been able to confirm this, but it is possible that the Branch Davidians were somehow involved in the supply chain for the illegal arms that were shipped from Mena, Arkansas to Central America in the 1980s. It's only a six hour drive from Waco, TX to Mena, AK and one of the specialities of the Branch Davidian gunsmiths was converting inexpensive semi-automatic rifles to combat-ready automatic ones. They made quite a bit of money doing this and their customers for these weapons have never been identified.

"Rules of Engagement" is a full length film.

If you think you know what happened at Waco, you might want to look into it so you won't be surprised the next time something like this happens.

By the way, the guy who provided the training, weapons and the tactics for the final attack on Waco was none of than Wesley Clark, that earnest, well-spoken general who appears on the TV news to give war commentary. Until I reported on this in 1999, it appears to have been, for all practical purposes, a state secret.

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