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Posted: 4/6/2001 1:22:07 PM EST
The Latest Waco Fireball
by James Bovard
The Waco ghost may be rising from the grave once more to
place its ice-cold hand again on the neck of the Washington
establishment. A new film and a new book by top Waco
experts achieve the miraculous -- further shredding
government credibility on the FBI's April 19, 1993 attack on
the Branch Davidians.
Back in September 1999, Attorney General Janet Reno
hand-picked establishment eminence and former U.S.
Senator John Danforth (R-MO) to put the wooden stake in
the heart of the Waco issue once and for all. Danforth,
operating supposedly as an independent counsel, did his
pious best -- and raced to release his report last summer just
as rumor had it that he was a top prospect to be Bush's vice
presidential candidate. Danforth basically exonerated the
feds, saving his scorn for low-life Americans who dared
criticize the government tank assault and gassing of the
women, children, and men in the Davidians' home.
[b]A key issue in Danforth's investigation was whether FBI
agents fired on Davidians during the final attack. Rhythmic
patterns on Forward Looking Infrared ("FLIR") tapes made
from an FBI plane strongly suggested automatic weapons
fire came from positions near the FBI tanks. Danforth
persuaded federal Judge Walter Smith to conduct a
re-enactment last year of the final day's action. Danforth
then proclaimed that the film from the re-enactment proved
beyond a doubt that federal agents did not shoot at
Davidians -- in large part because the muzzle flashes on the
re-enactment were much shorter than the shots from the
April 19, 1993 tape.
A new film, entitled "The F.L.I.R. Project," produced by
Mike McNulty (one of the masterminds behind the 1998
Academy Award finalist documentary, "Waco: Rules of
Engagement") reveals fatal flaws in Danforth's re-enactment.
(The film is available at www.flirproject.com)
On April 19, 1993, FBI agents relied on a commercial,
off-the-shelf ammo -- the type that would be used by any
hunter or shooter. For the March 19, 2000 Danforth-FBI
re-enactment, however, the FBI used military-issue
ammunition that had a special chemical coating on the
gunpowder to reduce muzzle flash (helpful in preventing
soldiers being detected in combat). The military ammo thus
had a built-in flash suppressant.
Since a key issue was the length of the muzzle flashes, using
flash-suppressing ammunition ensured that the re-enactment
would be a farce.
The Danforth-FBI re-enactment further biased the test
results by having the FBI agents use weapons with a 20-inch
barrel -- instead of weapons with 14-inch barrels which
agents carried on April 19, 1993. The longer a weapon's
barrel, the less muzzle flash will be shown from each shot.[/b]
Again, this is a tricky way to do an accurate re-enactment.
But the re-enactment produced the result that Reno and
Danforth sought -- and Danforth proceeded to denounce the
American people for thinking bad things about their federal
No doubt Danforth, the FBI, and others will continue to
insist that there was no gunfire by FBI agents on April 19,
1993. But if the feds are innocent, why have they gone to
such absurd lengths to fix the jury? The $12 million in tax
dollars that Danforth spent for his Waco investigation should
Outstanding! We may never really get to the truth about this but as long as McNulty keeps digging it might come out. One just hopes he doesnt have an "accident" somewhere down the road.
We do need to keep the Waco massacre and subsequent cover-up from "going away". I try to remind people of it every chance I get. It's good to see that McNulty hasn't given up yet either.
Thank you Don.
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