Spitfire List Web site and blog of anti-fascist researcher and radio personality Dave Emory.

For The Record  

FTR #174 The Fire This Time: The Georges Bush and The Waco Inferno

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In the late summer of 1999 the devastating siege and destruction of the Branch Davidian compound in Waco, Texas became a potential issue in the 1999 presidential race. A number of issues came to light that put renewed pressure on Attorney General Janet Reno concerning the Justice Department’s behavior in the Waco incident. This program covers aspects of the Waco incident that have received little coverage to date. In particular, the broadcast highlights the decisive presence of Bush Administration officials at Waco. Associated with an interagency network, administered by then Vice-President (and former CIA director) George Bush, these officials were from the Justice Department and FBI. Having chaired the Vice-President’s Task Force on Counter-Terrorism, Bush oversaw and implemented recommendations issuing from the Task Force. In a series of National Security Decision Directives, Bush was given command of what authors John Loftus and Mark Aarons describe as “His (Bush’s) own private spy agency” and “a White House within the White House”.

Ostensibly created to provide a rapid, prophylactic response to “international terrorism,” these networks became the primary vehicle for the realization of the ill-fated, illegal and treasonous Iran-Contra and Iraqgate schemes. Far from being “out of the loop,” as he claimed, George Bush was the primary player in both affairs. In fact, his “private spy agency” was most significant in coordinating them. The program sets forth the participation in the Waco affair of Justice Department officials who had previously been involved in retarding investigations into criminal operations of the Iran-Contra and BNL (Iraqgate) operations. Allegedly involved with the Branch Davidian siege was Mark Richard, a long-time Justice Department official whose career has involved overseeing investigations of the intelligence community.

The program documents Richard’s involvement in frustrating the investigation into Iran-Contra drug running and the BNL affair. (The arming of Hussein’s Iraq was accomplished, in considerable measure, through an illegal covert operation centered on the Atlanta branch of the BNL, a major Italian commercial bank.) Working with Richard in diverting the BNL investigation was Ed Dennis, who wrote the final report on the Branch Davidian siege and exonerated the Justice Department of any wrongdoing in the affair. Janet Reno concluded an investigation into BNL that exonerated the Reagan and Bush administrations of criminal wrongdoing in that affair. The New York Times’ conservative columnist William Safire referred to this as “one hand whitewashing the other”.

The program also points out that former FBI official Jack Revell and other Bureau personnel, were involved in the harassment of Jack Terrell, an important Iran-Contra witness. Revell was the chief spokesperson for the Branch Davidian operation. Veteran Washington reporter Sarah MacClendon has reported that another Justice official overlapping the Waco and Iraqgate affair is Richard Scruggs. The possibility that the Waco operation may have been deliberately conducted in order to discredit and destabilize the Clinton administration and to help obfuscate the Iraqgate affair is not one that should be too readily cast aside.

The program also suggests that the sudden re-introduction of Waco into the news is intended to embarrass the Democrats as George W. aims at the presidency in 2000. James Francis, the Texas official who initiated the chain of events leading to the renewed investigation, has been deeply involved with the Bush presidential campaign. Disclosures of the possible (and, if so, illegal) involvement of the Army’s Delta Force in the siege were brought to light by a former CIA officer. (Former President George H.W. Bush was, of course, Director of the CIA. One wonders if an agency “old boy network” may have influenced events in this regard.) The broadcast concludes by examining the martial law contingency plans which, like the Iran-Contra nad Iraqgate affairs, had their genesis with the recommendations stemming from the Vice-President’s Task Force. These plans called for the deputization of paramilitary right-wingers as federal agents in the event of the declaration of martial law. Mr. Emory notes that the Waco incident has served to help coalesce the militia movement, creating the very paramilitary formations that could be utilized in a fascist takeover. (Recorded on 10/10/99)

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