THE LIBERTARIAN ENTERPRISE
Number 422, June 17, 2007
"Aim at zero!"
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Albert Perez asks good questions in his letter.
It gets weirder. As I understand it, ATF agents did visit the church at Mt. Carmel, well before the raid. As I understand it, they also encountered Branch Davidian church members at a local gun range.
I've heard a great many things about Clinton's visit to the area months prior to the raid, to overlook the church. I've heard theories that some of the people in the church were involved with espionage agencies in other countries, or in this country, and that they were exterminated deliberately to be sure they died with their secrets.
But, the theory which makes the most sense to me is simply the money. The BATF wanted to justify a bigger budget. To be sure, they were actually correct in thinking that Congress would provide them more money if they were in a well-publicized raid where they took fire. After the Branch Davidians were massacred, the BATF did get a bigger budget, and was rewarded for its part in destroying the lives of two dozen women and children, as well as a total of seven dozen Texans. Most of that butchery was done by the FBI's Hostage Rescue Team and, woot!, they got a bigger budget, too.
So, the budget is up for review. How to grab some headlines? Where to find a group that would shoot back?
See, it does nothing good for the IRS to be constantly criticized for attacking mom and pop businesses and ransacking the papers of various people, especially ones who turn out to be innocent. It does nothing good for Congress to be holding hearings on Treasury agencies like IRS using official oppression to terrorize Americans. BATF is a Treasury agency, and it was also under fire for using acts of official oppression to terrorize Americans.
I mean, sure, it is sort of amusing to a brutal thug that some of his co-workers got to kick in the door of a family home and find the parents in bed having sex and then make them sit naked on their living room floor while the place is ransacked. Sure, it helps recruit other bullies when IRS agents burst in on a group of teenage girls having a slumber party and demand to watch while they get dressed. But it doesn't necessarily help the budget.
To get Congress to give an agency more money, one would have to find people who are willing to fight back against tyranny and injustice. Then, one would have to manipulate events, and the media, to make those people look like bad guys, so that their acts of self-defense become unjustifiable. Then, slaughter those rebels. That has been making budgets bigger since 1795. Congress is full of evil men and women who love to see rebellion crushed and rebels slaughteredthe more grisly and gruesome, the better.
So, it seems to me that the BATF agents knew what they were doing. They planned a raid to come out firing. They planned to get some of their number shot. There are stories that they even brought in a dead BATF agents to make sure they had a victim on their team. I find the evidence for that to be compelling, though not conclusive.
In any event, the Branch Davidians did tell everyone about their apocalyptic outlook. They did say they were expecting to be consumed in a battle with the forces of Babylon. They were right. But, I say that the BATF agents who planned that raid knew about those apocalyptic views, and exploited them. I believe the orders were for BATF agents to fire first.
I believe that David Koresh came to the door of his church in response to the arrival of government agents, unarmed, and fully expecting to be greeting someone bearing a warrant to search the premises. I believe that he took fire from the approaching agents. Koresh's lawyer, who saw the metal door in question, says that the evidence was there to be seen. (It is certainly a cover up that the door was taken away in the bulldozing of evidence after the fire.) Since we don't have that evidence any longer, the testimony of Koresh's lawyer is all we have to go on.
In response to the unjustifiable aggression used in attacking the Branch Davidians, they called the police. Yes, the Branch Davidians contacted the 911 operator in their community. They also moved to secure their premises and to use defensive force in response to evil, brutal, and disgusting acts of official oppression. They chose to apply deadly force to reduce the amount of fire they were taking from attackers.
The BATF got what they wanted. They found a group willing to fight back. They manipulated the Army into training BATF agents to raid that group. They manipulated the National Guard to support the raid with helicopters from which bullets were fired down into the church buildingsagain we have the eye witness account of an officer of the court, Koresh's lawyer, who inspected the roofs and ceilings before they were destroyed in fire.
To suggest that the Branch Davidians were aggressors bent on the massacre of government agents is idiotic. Of course, a mainstream television film portrayed them in this wayfor which I would think that television network ought to be sued by the survivors and estates for defamation of characterbut it was quite different in fact. The Davidians held their fire after it was clear the BATF had stopped firing on them.
Now, it is the case that the BATF agents didn't stop firing until they ran out of ammo. They were brutal thugs bent on the massacre of those church members, but they weren't smart enough to bring enough ammo. Yet, when they stopped firing, the Branch Davidians did not burst out and begin massacring the BATF agents. Far from it. The Branch Davidian church members stopped firing. They had the high ground inside those buildings, they had plenty of guns and ammo, and they were in a position to kill every single BATF agent who stood up and began gathering BATF wounded and dead to retreat, and they did not do so. Clearly, the actions of decent, Christian, charitable men and womenwho did not seek bloodshed.
Then, of course, the Branch Davidians made their greatest blunder. During that retreat, it seems to me, the members of the Branch Davidian church had an opportunity to take their families, guns, supplies, and spread out in all directions and flee. Most of them would probably be alive today. Even if only a group of children led by a few adults were to flee, that would have been better.
We've seen it time and time again. Continental siege warfare rules of engagement say that when a village resists, everyone inside is put to the sword. Neal Stephenson in his novels for "The Baroque Cycle" points out that the people killed in the Hundred Years War and the Thirty Years War and the other wars of religious controversy had simply run away, they would have lived. But, they held their ground.
Few sieges turn out well for the besieged. The Alamo is an example of a siege that went very poorly for the besieged. Some would say that the defense of Saragossa was honorablebut it involved an enormous amount of bloodshed. War to the knife generally goes poorly for those without guns. War with guns goes poorly for those without armored cavalry and air support.
Holding posts does not work. But, the Branch Davidians chose to hold their ground. And then they lost their opportunity to retreat. Not long after the first day's raid, the church buildings were surrounded. After that, those who tried to leave were shot at. And we know the rest of the story.
The Hostage Rescue Team of the FBI was called in to butcher everyone inside. They did their job with spirit and elan. Many of those evil men and women continue to be proud of butchering dozens of men, women, and children, gassing them, and burning their bodies.
The government of the United States is a tyranny. Expect no mercy when holding a post against them.
Re: "Lady Cindy and the Giant Pig", by L. Neil Smith
Guys, it's even worse than you think.
Re Cindy Sheehan: at least W admitted she was exercising her right to freedom of speech and did not stoop to insults to silence her. It's insane when your enemy at least pretends to have more respect for your rights than youralleged friends.
Regarding the giant pig: it seems our young hunter was turned loose against a hog that had until a few days before the hunt been kept in a pen and sold to the owner of a hunting preserve (So much for the "Our Woods" nonsense, the hunt was on private property.) The boy was told he was hunting a feral hog, implying an animal which had been running wild more than a few days. this would have provided a more challenging hunt. the boy and his father were defrauded by this misrepresentation. Strange that noone has complained about this injustice that violated the hunters' rights under both civil and criminal law.
Oh that's right. Liberals believe that freedom of speech means the right to parrot their party line.
The Department of Homeland Security is funding a $10 million domestic spying project that is being coordinated at Rutgers University. Researchers from the University of Southern California, the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, along with AT&T Laboratories, Bell Labs'/Lucent Technologies, Princeton University, Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute and Texas Southern University are also working with Rutgers University on this project.
The Off Our Campus Coalition, "a newly formed group of Rutgers students and activists committed to stopping this invasion of our lives and communities," has a blog which contains more information on what the progam is and what is being done to fight it.