Tuesday, April 20, 2010

As long as Clinton's inserting himself into the news

Kenneth Anderson writes at Volokh that Clinton's words trying to tie the bombing at Oklahoma City to those who are angry about the federal government inspired him to remember details from a report on what happened at Waco. Referring to a review he wrote of the book by Dick J. Reavis, The Ashes of Waco, Anderson cites a horrifying detail that I didn't remember from the time.
[T]here is the post hoc justification for the use of CS tear-gas in the raid offered by the US Justice Department and senior Clinton administration officials. The public generally, and even the Congressional hearings, seem to have accepted that the children at Waco were gassed and then died as, in effect, “collateral damage” in the course of a raid aimed at their parents.

This is not quite the case, however, by the Clinton administration’s own admissions. CS gas was used at the compound, in order, as senior White House adviser George Stephanopoulos said, echoing senior Justice Department statements, to “try and pressure” those in the compound. It was hoped, he said, that as this “pressure was increased, the maternal instincts of the mothers might take over and they might try to leave with their kids” (Washington Times, April 23, 1995).

But the FBI knew beforehand that adults in the compound had gas masks; the gas therefore would not put pressure on them. On whom, then? If the FBI knew that the adults had gas masks, but went ahead with the gas attack anyway, it is plain that this “pressure” was brought directly against the children because, as the FBI knew, they could not fit into adult– size gas masks. “Maternal feelings”, the FBI hoped, would be unleashed in the mothers by watching their children choking, gasping and blistering from the gas.

The plan Reno approved and took to President Clinton for approval contemplated the children choking in the gas unprotected for forty-eight hours if necessary, to produce the requisite “maternal feelings”. By taking aim at the children with potentially lethal gas, their mothers would be compelled, according to the FBI plan repeatedly defended by the Clinton administration afterwards as “rational” planning, to flee with them into the arms of those trying to gas them. [Emphasis added.]

An independent report on Waco written by the Harvard Professor of Law and Psychiatry, Alan A. Stone, for the then Deputy Attorney General Philip Heymann, says it “is difficult to believe that the US government would deliberately plan to expose twenty-five children, most of them infants and toddlers, to CS gas for forty-eight hours”. Unfortunately, however, that appears to have been exactly the plan.

Now do a bit of role reversal in your imaginations. Just picture if the Bush administration had used these sorts of tactics against a group of Al Qaeda in Afghanistan or Iraq that included women and children and had used gas on the group deliberately targeting small children in order to put "pressure" on the adults. Can you imagine the international outrage?

Remember this story the next time you see Bill Clinton metaphorically shaking his finger at those who are criticizing the Democrats and the expansion of the federal government.


cirby said...

A lot of the initial evidence for the whole Branch Davidian assault was based on a warrant from an undercover agent. After the assault and fire, most of that info was sorta swept under the carpet, but enough of it showed up on the Internet of the time to cause me to doubt a lot of the ATF commentary.

For one thing, there were supposed to be two illegal rifles in the BD inventory - a couple of "Boys Antitank Rifles." They were .505 caliber (slightly larger than legal, falling under the category of "Destructive Devices"). The informant described them - but his description didn't match the Boys.

What he did describe was a Barrett Light Fifty - a powerful, long-range sniper rifle, that cost about $7000 a pop in the mid-1990s. When they wheeled the evidence into the courtroom after the fire, there were no Boys rifles visible - but there were two distinctive muzzle brakes belonging to - Barrett Light Fifty rifles.

Some of the other descriptions of illegal hardware turned out to be, well, fanciful - the sort of thing a half-trained or mistrained agent might put into a deposition in order to beef up a marginal case.

tfhr said...

Why the ATF didn't attempt to apprehend Koresh away from the Branch Davidian compound is beyond me. The initial raid was as ill-conceived as the final assault on the compound. That observation could be deemed hindsight but once Presidential politics became a component in a law enforcement problem, the outcome, not surprisingly became that much worse.

A 15 year old tragedy for which I hold Koresh almost completely responsible is now being manipulated by Bill Clinton. Again. It disgusts me that Clinton still attempts to lay blame at the foot of "conservative talk radio" when McVeigh's inspiration for his crime was the Waco tragedy. Such misdirection on the part of Bill Clinton is nothing more than a cynical effort to achieve fresh political advantage from a grotesquely mismanaged episode that his administration owns.

So Cal Jim said...

A couple of points:
(1) Clinton can and will get away with his unmitigated lie about the cause of the Oklahoma City bombing because the MSM is not interested in the truth. They are as ideologically directed as the most rabid leftist partisan and they value "truth" only so long as it advances their agenda. When it doesn't, they dispense with it.

(2) Waco wasn't the first time the ATF screwed the pooch and it certainly wasn't the last. That agency has a dismal history of rash acts based upon tips provided by informants that state narcotics detectives wouldn't touch with a ten foot pole. You may recall that ATF agents executed a high risk search warrant on the WRONG house in the middle of the night in Poway California several years ago after getting UNCORROBORATED intel from a long time professional crook informant. The law abiding home owner, thinking he was the victim of a home invasion robbery confronted the ATF agents with his gun. The home owner was promptly shot and nearly killed. The resulting egg on ATF's face was highly embarrassing, and altogether avoidable if they had only used the common sense possessed by your average rookie street cop.

archer52 said...

Here is my post about the situation.

I actually wrote a novel REVOLT (www.revoltthebook.com) which is just released and part of the motivation was Waco. Back in 1993 I was a young detective and watched in horror at what was happening. It was like a collective madness had infected the federal officers. But this is what happens when leftist elites run a nation.
They don't see people who are not blessed to be like them as really human.


My novel is about a town that refuses to knuckle under to any more intrusions by an aggressive federal government led by a narcissistic young President bent on taking over the nation. (Yes wrote the original script in 1997)
The plot ranges from the town to California to D.C. and even to Moscow as members of the fomer KGB find in an old file that they had recruited the President when he was in college. They realize to their horror he has activated himself and is using what they taught him to overthrow America.

There is a compliant MSM, a corrupt Congress and a public frightened and confused that makes the President believe he is destined to rule.

Back in 1997 when I showed the draft around people laughed saying now way it happens here.

They aren't laughing now.

Man, who knew...

Jim said...

Wow. I vaguely remember those details being mentioned at the time, but I didn't think about them as I was a teenager concerned with other things. But, um, how do I say this without being labeled a subversive by the talking heads... what is described there is state terrorism.