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Konformist: Waco News Update 09-11-99

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  • Robalini@aol.com
    Please send as far and wide as possible. Thanks, Robert Sterling Editor, The Konformist http://www.konformist.com If you are interested in a free subscription
    Message 1 of 1 , Sep 11, 1999
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      Please send as far and wide as possible.


      Robert Sterling
      Editor, The Konformist

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      Date: Wednesday, September 08, 1999 11:11:59 AM
      From: Ian@...

      The report at the following URL presents evidence
      NEVER BEFORE SEEN on the Internet from the much-
      discussed FLIR video taken over Waco, Texas.


      This evidence, covered briefly in Mike McNulty's
      award-winning documentary "Waco: The Rules of
      Engagement" and corroborated by expert testimony,
      establishes beyond a reasonable doubt that the
      fire that engulfed the Mount Carmel Center in
      Waco, Texas, was started by the U.S. Government.
      This evidence is not being discussed on TV, but,
      thanks to the Internet, everyone can see it now!
      Friday, September 3, 1999

      FBI Tape Contradicts Testimony on Cult Siege
      Inquiry: Revelation that agent approved use of flammable munitions in
      Branch Davidian tragedy increases pressure for full congressional
      hearings. Reno plans to name outside investigator.
      By ERIC LICHTBLAU, RONALD J. OSTROW, Times Staff Writers

      WASHINGTON--An FBI tape recorded at the Branch Davidian disaster six
      years ago revealed Thursday that the special agent in charge gave the
      go-ahead to fire pyrotechnic munitions at a concrete bunker.
      Federal authorities released the audio-video tape in an effort to
      calm the growing controversy over why the FBI falsely denied for six
      years that it had used pyrotechnic devices on the final day of the
      51-day siege of the cult's compound near Waco, Texas. But the
      tape--which indicates that a senior FBI official made the decision to
      use "hot" tear gas canisters--seems likely only to trigger questions
      about what higher authorities knew about that day's deadly events.
      The special agent, Richard M. Rogers, later sat behind William S.
      Sessions, then director of the FBI, as he testified before Congress that
      no flammable munitions had been used that day.
      "It's definitely one more thing we want to look at. And we want to
      find out whether [the decision] goes even higher," said a Senate
      Republican source.
      Indeed, even as Justice Department officials confirmed that Atty.
      Gen. Janet Reno plans to appoint an outside investigator to pursue the
      matter, Republican lawmakers stepped up their demands for full
      congressional hearings. A House committee on Thursday issued subpoenas
      to the White House, the FBI and the Justice Department, among others,
      demanding access to all material related to the Branch Davidian tragedy.
      The controversy over the disaster--which claimed the lives of
      nearly 80 people on April 19, 1993--resurfaced as a political
      controversy last week when the FBI first acknowledged that its agents
      may have used pyrotechnic devices several hours before the compound went
      up in flames.
      The acknowledgment has damaged the credibility of Reno and other
      senior law enforcement officials, who have denied for six years that
      agents used any flammable materials that day. And it has bolstered the
      cause of activists in Texas and elsewhere who have charged for years
      that government agents were responsible for starting the blaze in which
      cult leader David Koresh and many of his followers died.
      Law enforcement officials said Thursday that the newly released
      tape, including aerial shots of the compound, should confirm that the
      tear gas canisters fired by the FBI did not start the fire that broke
      out about four hours later.
      "Everyone realizes the urgency in getting this information out
      there so the public can see what it shows--and what it doesn't show,
      which is just as important," said one law enforcement official who asked
      not to be identified. "The tear gas had nothing to do with the fire."
      The aerial footage includes audio from radio transmissions between
      FBI supervisors on the ground on the morning of April 19. The key
      portion released Thursday centers on the decision to fire military tear
      gas canisters at a concrete bunker a few dozen yards from Koresh's
      wooden compound, which later erupted in flames. The FBI wanted to use
      tear gas in the underground bunker to prevent Koresh or any of his
      followers from using it as an escape route.
      Reno has said she was assured when she approved the use of tear gas
      against Koresh and his followers that no incendiary devices would be
      used. She did not want to start fires that would endanger the lives of
      the several dozen children inside the compound.
      But the recording details the decision to use pyrotechnic
      munitions, as two FBI agents--Rogers, special agent in charge of the
      hostage rescue team, and Stephen P. McGavin, a supervisor for the
      team--discuss ways of getting gas canisters inside the bunker.
      About 7:48 a.m., Rogers asked McGavin if an agent could penetrate
      the bunker, according to an FBI transcript.
      "Ten-four. He thinks he can get into position with relative safety
      utilizing the track for cover and attempt to penetrate it with military
      rounds," McGavin answered, referring to the pyrotechnic tear gas
      "Roger. Of course, if there's water underneath, that's just going
      to extinguish [the tear gas canisters], but you can try it," Rogers
      "Ten-four. Copy. He can try it?" McGavin asked.
      "Yeah, that's affirmative," Rogers answered.
      Rogers could not be reached for comment Thursday. He is no longer
      with the FBI.
      He was removed as head of the agency's hostage team because of his
      role in the controversial 1992 siege of a white separatist's cabin at
      Ruby Ridge, Idaho. He was one of the officials who authorized a change
      during that operation in the FBI's standard policy of not shooting to
      kill unless fired upon.
      One of three people slain in the Ruby Ridge siege was an unarmed
      woman shot by an FBI sniper.
      FBI spokesman John Collingwood said that the decision to use the
      pyrotechnic canisters at the Branch Davidian compound appears to have
      been "outside the clear understanding that the attorney general had."
      The "$64,000 question," as one FBI official said, is determining
      who knew that pyrotechnics were used and why that information has come
      to light only in the last week.
      Nine days after the fire, Rogers was one of several agency
      officials who accompanied Sessions as he testified before the House
      Judiciary Committee.
      Sessions said repeatedly in his testimony that the FBI had
      carefully chosen "nonflammable" tear gas. "It will not start or
      contribute to a fire," Sessions said.
      Collingwood said that one of the issues in the upcoming
      investigation likely will be whether Rogers realized that Sessions'
      testimony may have been false.
      Because the tape indicates that Rogers' decision to use
      pyrotechnics was made quickly at the scene, "contemporaneous with the
      events," Collingwood said, "it's not inconceivable that he did not
      remember. . . . We're not taking a position on that."
      Another key question is whether senior Justice Department and FBI
      officials listening to sporadic radio communications from a command post
      in Washington were able to hear the discussion about the use of the
      military tear gas canisters.
      Collingwood said dispatches that could be heard in Washington were
      only intermittent. And Reno's chief spokesman at the time, who was at
      the command center for six hours that day and took extensive notes on
      what he heard, said in an interview that he does not recall any mention
      of the use of pyrotechnics.
      Instead, when Koresh and his followers began firing some 300 rounds
      from the compound, "the [FBI] leadership was proud of the fact" that
      agents did not fire back. "That was the running theme through the six
      hours," said Carl Stern, the former Reno spokesman.
      * * *
      Times staff writer Edwin Chen contributed to this story.
      Copyright 1999 Los Angeles Times. All Rights Reserved
      Center for Reform
      VOLUME 1 | SEPTEMBER 7, 1999 | NUMBER 21


      By John Culbertson

      In the continuing investigation into recent revelations surrounding the
      tragic events at Waco, FRONTLINE has obtained information that
      clearly shows the United States Army Special Operations Command had
      a long and highly involved role in the Federal law Enforcement actions
      against the Branch Davidians near Waco, Texas.

      Documents obtained by FRONTLINE show involvement of the US Military
      as early as December 17, 1992 in the planning of the raid on the Branch
      Davidian compound.

      An ODA, or Operational Detachment Alpha or in popular parlance a hand
      picked "A" team known as ODA 381 from the United States Army Special
      Operations Command located at Ft. Bragg, North Carolina received orders
      to proceed to Texas in order to participate in training BATF agents at
      Hood at the MOUT or Military Operations in Urban Terrain site.

      The ODA is not a normal component of Joint Task Force Six and planning
      documents indicate that USASOC had concerns regarding the legality of
      the proposed mission.

      The order known as "FRAGO "E" to OPORDER JT002-93 is dated February
      14, 1993. "FRAGO" is a term that stands for Fragmentary Order. The US
      military defines FRAGO as "A FRAGO provides brief, specific, and timely
      instructions without loss of clarity, FRAGOs contain changes or
      information of immediate concern. These orders may be written or oral.
      The FRAGO will be issued to change an order that has already been

      FRAGO "E" was issued to the detachment of at least 8 known soldiers who
      were operating under an OPORDER or Operational Order that had been
      issued in December of 1992. The order does not instruct the detachment
      members to take part in the assault on the Davidian Compound and
      it cautions the members of the detachment to follow the Rules of
      Engagement with respect to interfacing with BATF agents with
      extreme care.

      However a line on page one provides ample illustration as to the very
      different missions of the US Military and US Law Enforcement.
      Under item 1. "Situation" is line "a." which reads: "Enemy Forces:

      "Enemy Forces" is the key term here, it is what the military is all about.
      In the simplest of terms an army goes out to face the enemy and kill or be
      killed, that is war. It is dangerous, it is the ultimate in many ways and
      in the outcome people die.

      Law enforcement however is a much more complex task, there is no room in
      our system for "Enemy Forces", the Constitution does not protect the
      rights of the enemy, it protects the rights of the accused or in modern
      day terminology the suspect. When a law enforcement agent goes out to

      a suspect he may well be on the receiving end of treatment from someone
      who wants to be his or her enemy, but in spite of what the suspect wants
      to dish out, in the eyes of the law he is still a suspect. This is what
      makes the job of law enforcement tough, and yet so very important to our
      way of life. When you cross the line, people die.

      The United States Army Special Operations Command was very sensitive to
      this mission and documents show many concerns were raised about the
      involvement of USASOC in the operation. A hand written fourth page of the
      FRAGO "E" cautions detachment members not to get on camera as BATF had
      apparently arranged for a film crew to record the mission. The order
      instructs the detachment members to "make sure this is up front with film
      crew, not ATF." Members are also instructed to "support ATF anyway you can
      within your ROE (Rules OF Engagement) and sustainment capabilities.

      According to statements of detachment members and reports filed with
      USASOC the ODA arrived at Ft. Hood on February 22, 1993 and left in two
      parties on February 27, 1993 and February 28, 1993. The order called for
      the ODA to EXFIL or exit via UH60-L Blackhawk helicopters on February 27,

      Six members of the eight man detachment left in helicopters on February
      27, 1993 according to reports filed with USASOC. Four members then left in
      two rental vans on February 28, 1993 according to the mission commanders
      report, but this raises questions as to the actual events and mission.

      According to the FRAGO "E" order ODA 381 was composed of eight persons.
      Reports filed after the mission indicate that ten persons were involved
      with ODA 381. It is known from reports that the Company Commander from Ft.
      Bragg arrived via commercial airline on February 24, 1993 but it is not
      clear if he was a passenger on one of the Blackhawks, he does not indicate
      whether this is so in his report. There has been speculation that the
      mission requirements changed midstream and that some members of the ODA
      also known as MTT might have been present at the initial raid n the Branch
      Davidian complex.

      USASOC had expressed reservations about the type of mission that was being
      planned and the possible legal and liability issues that such a mission
      posed. A fax cover sheet for a draft message to be sent to Joint

      Task Force Six regarding these issues a handwritten note expressed
      concerns and to "reinforce SOF resistance to potential "CHEATING" which
      seems to recur @ JTF-6."

      It is clear from the documents that FRONTLINE has examined so far that the
      Branch Davidian mission was controversial at best within USASOC. FRAGO
      "E" was the result of continual lobbying and mission redefinition on the
      part of BATF Headquarters and Joint Task Force Six.

      In an after action report detailing Special Operations Forces Involvement
      in the mission (JT002-93) the BATF had asked for a much larger involvement
      of US Military forces including SOT/CQB (Special Operations Tactics/Close
      Quarter Battle) training, Bradley fighting vehicles, on site medical
      evacuation assistance and assistance in planning. All of these items are
      clear violations of the Posse Comitatus Act.

      The document also states: "Legal reservations caused request to be
      downscoped to MTT (Mobile Training Team) training in company level
      tactical C2 (Command and Control), Medical Evacuation Training, IV ABC's,
      assistance with range and MOUT sites." The BATF eventually received small
      arms training as a part of this operation including hand guns, sub

      machine guns and sniper rifles.

      The most telling part of this document comes in the statement of the
      "Possibility that drug-connection was overstated to secure cost-free SOF

      training and assistance. No mention of drugs in public media."

      Perhaps the most profound observation of the entire exercise comes from
      this document as well, "AS A GENERAL PRINCIPLE, WHAT SOF DO DOES NOT LEND

      Thursday, September 9, 1999
      Waco: a sickening failure of American journalism

      by Alexander Cockburn
      Creators Syndicate

      THE ashes of the murdered Branch Davidians and their children - about 80
      of them, though we can't be sure - were still glowing as almost all the
      nation's major news institutions rousingly endorsed the decision of
      Attorney General Janet Reno and her boss, President Clinton, to give the
      FBI (and, as it turned out, the Delta Force) the go-ahead for an
      operation that ensured massacre.
      It was one of the great failures of American journalism, one of the most
      sickening, one of the most predictable and one of the most revealing.
      Liberals, by and large, were worse than conservatives in giving Reno a
      vote of confidence.

      To this day, I meet progressive types who devote many of their waking
      hours to activities designed to save Mumia abu Jamal, who didn't give a
      toss about the Branch Davidians and their terrible slaughter by the
      federal government, and who still don't.

      Use the word "cult," and both reason and moral judgment enter recess. So
      now comes further proof of the lies, deceptions and cover-ups of the
      FBI, and how do the big press pooh-bahs react? Do they make forthright
      confession that they bought a cover-up and tried to sell it to the
      American people, many of whom steadfastly continued to believe that the
      government was lying and that an infamy had been perpetrated?

      Here's Ted Koppel, the night of Sept. 1, discussing the seizure by
      federal marshals of tapes of FBI hostage "negotiators" discussing the
      use of pyrotechnic grenades the morning of the Waco raid:

      ". . . The credibility of the FBI, which probably did tell the truth
      about most of what happened, that credibility is badly damaged, while
      the credibility of conspiracy theorists, who tend to be wrong about most
      of what they've spun together about Waco, their credibility is newly
      enhanced. It is on these two fronts that the greatest damage has been

      In this repellent passage, Koppel defines his career role as flack for
      state power. For him, the issue is not that an agency of government
      appears to have planned mass murder, exactly as the so-called
      "conspiracy nuts" first conjectured, then proved. For him, the issue is
      the credibility of the state. For the liberal elite - in whose ranks
      most so-called conservatives can be numbered - this is always the issue.

      Koppel was scarcely alone. Here's a CBS broadcast of Sept. 2:

      "For years now, the disaster near Waco has been exhibit No. 1 for many
      who have deep distrust of the American government. From conspiracy sites
      on the Internet to documentary films, Waco has provided a focus for
      those who see the government as the enemy. And now they say there is
      proof the government has been lying, reports CBS News Correspondent John

      " `This is just fodder for the conspiracy theorists,' says psychologist
      Margaret Singer. She says this is just what the militia movement needs
      to say, `We told you so.' . . . Many are certain to see this as
      government out of control.

      " `The anti-government movement, the militia, hate groups are absolutely
      going to get a boost out of this, and I think it's really a tragedy for
      that reason,' said Mark Potok of the Southern Poverty Law Center. At one
      time, conspiracy theorists may have been viewed as eccentrics far out on
      the fringe, but then Timothy McVeigh drove a truck full of explosives to
      Oklahoma City, and we all discovered just how dangerous it can be when
      people stop trusting the government."

      As with Koppel, the problem for these CBS broadcasters is not one of
      overweening and murderous government (entirely in control), but of
      potential sedition. Anything that disturbs popular torpor is tactically
      inept. Accomplices in the great and ongoing Cover-up of Everything that
      Really Matters - the central mission of the Fourth Estate - they tremble
      for Power, whenever Power is displayed in an undignified or unappetizing
      light. It's why they thought Clinton should resign over the Lewinsky

      The film "Waco, A New Revelation," whose disclosures about the
      pyrotechnic devices provoked the current storm, has had the benign
      effect of discrediting the FBI and the Department of Justice and its
      chieftain, but in the end, it may permit the FBI to recoup by saying
      that the target of the pyrotechnic devices was just an outhouse, and
      that these same projectiles never struck the main building in which the
      Branch Davidians were sheltered.

      As Dan Gifford, executive producer of the earlier "Waco: The Rules of
      Engagement," pointed out on Sept. 3, "No national news organization is
      saying anything at all about the government's careful prepping of the
      Davidian building to burn, nor its machine-gunning of the Davidians in
      the burning building that is so clearly shown in the FBI's own aerial
      surveillance video that is included in `Waco: The Rules of Engagement.'

      One riposte of the state to the latest Waco disclosures is to emphasize,
      as did CBS's Blackstone, that those who mistrust government are by
      definition subversive, dangerous and possibly homicidal, and therefore
      deserving of incineration. A Reuters story by Jim Wolf, put out on Aug.
      31, sets the stage.

      "The U.S. government is preparing for possible violence from cults,
      guerrillas, hate groups and end-of-world-fearing zealots as 2000
      approaches," the report began.

      "The Federal Bureau of Investigation expects to see increased and
      possibly violent activities among certain groups related to the
      millennium," a top official warned Congress in July. So we can see the
      stage being set for the next Waco. The SWAT teams shouldn't forget
      Ronald Reagan. He used to express his confidence in the imminence of
      Armageddon, citing Holy Scripture as his authority.

      Maybe the ATF, which launched the first unprovoked attack on the Branch
      Davidian compound, should launch a preemptive strike on the former
      president's house, just to be on the safe side.

      (Copyright, 1999, Creators Syndicate Inc.)

      Copyright © 1999 Seattle Times Company
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