Hasn’t Al Sharpton Heard of Waco?
Those like Sharpton who hope to nationalize the police might want to recall what our national police forces accomplished on the dusty plains outside of Waco, Texas, twenty-two years ago next Sunday.
For those of short memory, the FBI, trying to mop up for a botched earlier raid by the Bureau of Alcohol Tobacco and Firearms (ATF), launched a tank attack on a Branch Davidian religious community called the Mount Carmel Center.
The ATF had gotten it into its head that the Branch Davidians were converting legally owned, semi-automatic AR-15s into illegal, fully automatic weapons. The ATF had no proof of this beyond the report from one neighbor who thought he heard machine gun fire, a report that the local sheriff had already investigated and discounted.
Based on this claim, the ATF obtained a search warrant and an arrest warrant for leader David Koresh and others suspected in the weapons conversion. Earlier Koresh had offered to let the ATF inspect the Branch Davidians’ weapons and paperwork, but the ATF declined. Instead, on February 28, 1993, to impress the incoming Clinton administration, the ATF launched an armed attack against the community called, appropriately enough, “Showtime.”
By comparison to Showtime, the ATF’s “Fast and Furious” program was a roaring success. The raid was a total botch. Six ATF agents were killed as were six Davidians. For the next fifty-one days the Davidians hunkered down and one nationalized police force, the FBI, took control from another, the ATF.
On April 19, 1993, losing patience, the FBI launched its assault. Leading the way were M728 Combat Engineer Vehicles, better known as “tanks.” Their task was to puncture the walls of the community and pump in CS gas.
The assault did not work quite as planned. The wood frame buildings caught fire, and seventy-four Davidians died, twenty of them children. Individually the federal agents involved were likely honorable and decent citizens. Those at the top of the hierarchy were not. Attorney General Janet Reno accepted responsibility. “I made the decision,” Reno said at a news conference. “I’m accountable. The buck stops with me.”
During the siege, and immediately afterwards, Bill Clinton proved to be as craven a buck passer as Obama has been post-Benghazi. “I was aware of it. I think the attorney general made the decision,” Clinton told the media while the compound burned. “I knew it was going to be done but the decisions were entirely theirs.”
When Clinton saw the laurels being tossed Reno’s way, however, he turned credit monger and fought for his share of the limelight. Yes, Virginia, there was limelight to be had. What may seem incredible, at least to those who take the media seriously, is that Reno’s approval ratings went up after the debacle.
Reno survived Waco — indeed, Clinton survived Waco — only because one crucial piece of evidence was successfully withheld from the public, quite possibly including Al Sharpton. I am talking here about the racial make-up of the Mount Carmel community.
As a test, ask a group of your smartest friends to describe what the victims at Waco looked like. Almost assuredly, your friends will describe them as white, Bible-toting, gun-loving Christians of the peckerwood variety.
What your friends almost assuredly will not know, and will be reluctant to believe, was that more than half of those presumed peckerwoods were racial minorities, thirty-nine out of seventy-four who died on April 19 to be precise. Six of the dead were Hispanic. Six were of Asian descent. Twenty-seven were black. The victims ranged in age from six to sixty-one.
Truth be told, Waco represented the single greatest federally orchestrated one-day slaughter of racial minorities on American soil since Wounded Knee in 1890, and there, at least, the Indians fought back, killing more than 30 American cavalry. And no, this is not something I read on the Internet. I found a verifiable list of the dead, broken out by age and ethnicity, and counted them.
The FBI had given the Branch Davidians video cameras. The Clinton White House knew who was in the buildings. So, almost assuredly, did the major media, but those video images were successfully suppressed, and the public never knew.
Although usually hypersensitive to the concerns of racial minorities, the media turned a strategically blind eye to their very presence at Waco, not to mention their deaths. As intended, scarcely a black person in America knew the hell visited on his brethren by white police in those early uncertain months of the Clinton era.
That knowledge would surely have strained black affection for the Clintons and maybe even party loyalty. The media were not about to encourage such a schism. Those under 30 may wonder how the media succeeded in keeping this information from the American people. The reason is simple: in 1993, a nearly monolithic broadcast media controlled close to all visual imagery.
A few points:
1. I always thought that there were a few non-white victims. One thing that Cashill did not mention here that is not well known but I know it is that a supposed KKK group in the area protested on the side of the ATF and FBI, and were happy with the way things turned out, because they denounced the BDs as race mixers. I was not aware until this how successful the BDs were at being a rainbow coalition.
2. The reason the ATF wanted to “impress the incoming Clinton administration” by using cowboy tactics instead of wonk tactics is because in the several years leading up to Waco, there was very serious talk about eliminating the ATF and subsuming its duties into the FBI. In the late Bush 41 years, the ATF was desperate to find reasons for its continued existence as a standalone agency, and desperate to prove this to politicians. With the change of Presidents, this gave the ATF a golden opportunity to show that once and for all. Therefore, Waco.
3. But Cashill is only fooling himself if he thinks that that the news that 36% of Waco victims were black and showing them on TV would have turned blacks against Bill Clinton. There were plenty of other obvious opportunities where one would think that blacks would have turned against Clinton, the most obvious of which was the supposed welfare reform in 1996. But it didn’t, and proper reporting on Waco would not have done the trick, either.
4. There’s a more fundamental point lurking here. See the title of this post. The media and black activist silence is deafening when a black life is taken by white or even other-than-white Federal law enforcement agents. If the LEA is a white local B&W, county mounty, state bear or state agent, then they’re pissed to high heaven, hashtags, protests, screaming. But when the LEA is a Federal agent or a cop whose paycheck comes from the Federal government, crickets. Notice you don’t see or hear the name Miriam Carey being written or said much anymore. Why this double standard?
Someone responded to my comment on the AT thread stating that the FBI did not want the ATF to be subsumed into the FBI, because the FBI agents didn’t want to work with and around the untermenschen ATF agents. Evidently, in Federal LEA lore, FBI agents are considered a cut above ATF agents. So you look at this from the other side of the coin, and I can easily see why the ATF was so scared of being subsumed into the FBI. It would have meant that “lesser” ATF people would be in the same boat as “better” FBI people, and therefore, the career trajectories of former ATF now FBI agents would be stalled if not ended. Mixing the ATF and FBI would have been like trying to mix oil and water. It also explains the ATF’s desperation in proving the necessity of it remaining a standalone agency, ergo Waco.