Afer the bombing of the Alfred J. Murrah federal building in Oklahoma City in 1995, President Clinton declared, “There’s nothing patriotic about hating your government or pretending you can hate your government but love your country.” I wonder whether the president still feels the same way in light of the government’s lies and cover-up about Waco.
As more facts come to light six years after the Waco inferno, Americans are confronting a gruesome possibility: that their own government officials knowingly and intentionally killed the Branch Davidians, almost a third of whom were children. What’s there to love about that?
Many Americans, of course, still have the quaint notion that federal officials love the poor, needy, and disadvantaged and would never engage in such an evil and immoral act.
Those who have been the victims of federal government wrongdoing, however, have no such illusion. Consider the unsuspecting African-American men whom the government used as guinea pigs in syphilis experiments. Or the American servicemen whom the government used for nuclear-radiation experiments.
Recall the government’s actions at Ruby Ridge, Idaho, several months before the Waco disaster. Officials persuaded Randy Weaver to purchase a shotgun that was one-fourth inch too short. When Weaver refused to become a government stool pigeon, they had him indicted. When he failed to appear in court, the FBI shot and killed his 14-year-old son, then surrounded his house and shot and killed his wife.
The FBI pulled out all the stops to get Weaver convicted, including lying and concealing pertinent documents in Weaver’s federal court trial. Fortunately, the jury saw through the government scam and acquitted Weaver of all the serious charges.
What is revealing in all this is the total lack of remorse by government officials for their wrongdoing. For example, did you ever see any government sorrow for the deaths of the Branch Davidian children? Any annual memorials, like those for the victims of the Oklahoma City bombing?
Of course not, and the reason is a simple one. In the minds of people who work for the FBI, the ATF, and the Justice Department, the likes of the Weaver family and the Branch Davidians are “white-trash” weirdoes whose lives aren’t as valuable as the families of, say, government officials.
Would the government have acted differently if the children inside the compound had been children of FBI officials who had been taken hostage? No doubt about it. There would never have been a tank attack, gassing, incendiary grenades, or an inferno. Nothing would have been done to endanger the lives of the children of government officials.
Did U.S. government officials murder the Branch Davidians? They certainly had a motive to do so: revenge for the killing of four government agents during the ATF’s initial raid on the compound. Why else bulldoze the entire site immediately after the killings, if not to destroy evidence of the murders? Why lie and perjure in subsequent official investigations? Why come up with a false excuse (child abuse) for the assault? Why conceal pertinent evidence for six years? Why send the FBI sharpshooter who killed Vickie Weaver at Ruby Ridge to man a sniper post at the Branch Davidian compound?
One horrible and tragic consequence of both the killings and the cover-up is what happened at Oklahoma City two years later. If the truth had been told and justice had been done at Waco, it is entirely possible that Timothy McVeigh might have been able to restrain his anger and quest for revenge. Thus, one cannot help but ask: Considering not only the killings at Waco but also the government’s subsequent cover-up, is the blood of both Waco and Oklahoma City on the hands of the FBI and other government officials who participated in the wrongdoing?
President Clinton is wrong. Real patriots are people who love their country and have the courage to stand against the evil and immoral acts of their own government-and ask such questions as: Are national police forces consistent with a free society, especially when they murder, lie, perjure, and cover up their own wrongdoing? Is it time to dismantle, not reform, the FBI and the ATF and leave law enforcement to state and local governments?