Justice/Treasury Waco reports reviewed--Hal P. (2-1/2 pp.)

                              Hal Pepinsky
                            October 23, 1993


Frank McCloskey, my representative, has sent me the Treasury and Justice
Dept. reports on Waco. Frank, I may think you're dead wrong about
Warren Christopher and about screaming for us to arm Bosnians and bomb
Serbians, but I do appreciate this constituent service. I'll FAX you
and Linda this memo of what the Waco reports you've sent me don't tell
us. I'd like to think you'll check into the matter. Thanks.

The reports, like the staging of their announcements, are starkly
different. The Treasury report comes in a nicely printed 8-1/2x11
paperback with a pretty cover--220 pages of text and more than as much
again in appendices. The Justice report has a cover like a draft
version of one of the NIJ reports we get, is in regular pica type, ends
at p. 63 with no appendices, is dated October 8 and labeled "redacted
version," which means that in various places some five or so of the 63
pages have been blanked out with a notice, "REDACTED FROM PUBLIC REPORT
about Koresh and his followers until p. 55, when the Attorney General's
decision-making process is evaluated. The entire review of FBI actions
in the final assault is contained in the subsection headed, "2.
Execution of the Gassing Plan," running from the middle of p. 58 to the
top of p. 60.

You'll recall my mentioning the scene that kept appearing on news
broadcasts when the Justice report was released, of footage in Linda
Thompson's video which she describes as a tank retriever knocking down
the stairwell over the only entrance to the bunker from the compound.
Pp. 58-60 of the Justice document read like a police traffic accident
report. Here, the tanks in Linda's footage are referred to by number;
the one on the networks--with the boom on the end of the tank knocking
hell out of a house--appears to be what the Justice report calls "CEV-
1" (for "Command Engineering Vehicle").

Before this footage in Linda's video we see footage which Linda
describes as a tank knocking a house in the compound off its foundations
a couple of hours before the fire. This appears to be what the Justice
report labels "CEV-2," and the report tells us, "This CEV was ordered to
clear a path through the compound in order to clear a path to the main
tower so that CEV-1 could insert tear gas in that area. In that
endeavor the CEV started to knock down a corner of the building and a
portion of the roof collapsed. Very shortly after this happened, fire
was observed in several locations in the compound." Well...there is
footage in Linda's video showing a flame thrower on the end of a third
tank crashing away at another stairwell in another compound building,
but the Justice report doesn't tell us any more about the FBI assault.

Recall that for Mary McCrory in questioning Lloyd Bentsen in his
presentation of the slick report, the troublesome part of Linda's
footage was that first showing three agents tossing a grenade into a
dark room through a window covered with a blanket, entering the room
firing, a break in the video, then the fourth agent on the roof up from
the window at the window, tossing in some kind of grenade that explodes,
firing into the room, AND THEN (with NO prior return fire) bullets
coming through the wall from inside the room, at one point three at a
time indicating that at least three guns are being fired from inside at
the time. Linda tells us that the three agents inside were three of the
four ATF agents who died in the attack, observing that all three had
been presidential bodyguards for Clinton at his inaugural. Printed
material she has sent since asserts that the room was empty, that it was
locked closed with a single steel door, and that the grenade tossed into
the room by the fourth agent was a fragmentation grenade. She also
shows the London Times report indicating that the FBI had installed
watching and listening devices enabling them to see and hear everything
happening everywhere in the compound at all times.

In all, the Treasury report devotes several pages to what appears to be
a different version of this incident. They refer to the room the agents
enter as "The `Arms Room'" (pp. 143-44).

The entire ATF assault description in the Treasury report is found at
pp. 96-101, headed "The Raid Team Arrives," where pp. 97 and 99 are big
useless pictures of the compound late in the assault and thereafter.

I find what appears to be the window/room scene described in three
paragraphs, at pp. 98-100, here in their entirety:

      At the arms room, Agent Jordan manqged to "break and rake" the
      window and Agent Bufore Threw a distraction device into the room.
      Buford, Constantino and Jordan entered. Inside, Agent Bufore saw
      a person armed with an assault rifle backing out of a doorway in
      the far left corner of the room. That individual began firing
      into the room from the other side of the think walls. The agents
      returned fire, but without automatic weapons, which are used to
      deliver a defensive spray of gunfire, they could not suppress the
      attacker's fire. The shots fired at the agents inside the room
      passed through the wall th where Special Agent Millen was
      positioned on the roof. Shots were also fired at Millen from the
      first floor up through the roof. He escaped th attackes by
      sliding down the ladder to the ground.

      Inside the room, Buford was shot twice in the supper thigh. Agent
      Constantino provided cover for Bufore and Jordan while they ran
      back for the window, dove out onto the pitched roof and then
      dropped to the grou8nd. As Agents Chisolm and Bonaventure dragged
      Bufore out of the line of fire, they were fired upon. A bullet
      creased Buford's nose. Agent chisolm threw his body over Buford
      to protect him [and the footnote here reads: "There were many
      acts of sacrifice and heroism during the attack on the agents,
      only some of which can be recounted here"]. When the shooting
      stopped, chisolm and Bonaventure pulled Buford to a safe position.
      Chisolm, the medic for his team, observed Buford's wounds and
      began administering an IV to him.

      Immediately after Buford and Jordan were out of the arms room, the
      firing stopped. As Constantino was deciding whether to hold his
      position or make a run for the window, a cult member entered the
      room aiming an assault rifle at him. He fired two or three shots
      at Constantino. Constantino returned fire and the man fell.
      Constantino ran for the window, but as he was going through it, he
      struck his head, knocked off his helmet and dropped his weapon.
      Dazed, he rolled off the roof and fell to the ground, severly
      fracturing his hip and leg and causing extensive injury to both
      knees. As he lay on the ground, vulnerable to the cult's guns, he
      saw two agents who had taken cover near the wall of the Compound.
      Constantino put his hand out and Special Agents David Millen and
      Charles Smith dragged him out of the line of fire. (Contrary to
      some publicly disseminated accounts, none of the agents that
      entered the armory were killed.)

I ask readers to consider optional interpretations of the manifest
discrepancies between what the video footage shows (Sam Luckey, former
Army Intelligence operative, says, "Watch the pictures!") and the
reports say. One is that the footage is faked. If so, why don't the
report refer to the footage and discredit its authenticity? Why are
networks using pieces of the footage the video shows without questioning
its authenticity?

Bentsen made a big deal out of the fact that outside investigators, as
from Customs, were brought in to do the investigation. Of course this
was long after the fact. The only optional interpretation I have is
that a large number of agents, in the ATF case at least, "found" bodies
in places where they in fact did not die, and concocted an elaborate lie
about who was where during the assault. They were given the benefit of
the doubt, heralded for heroism, and there, so far, the matter ends.

If the latter interpretation is true, it is one further sign to me that
mass murder in the military and law enforcement (and in prisons)
routinely gets covered up with the blessing of the highest levels of
officialdom and of major news network managers.

Put that together with the announcement this morning that Mayor Pratt
Kelly wants national guard troops to patrol Washington, D.C.'s ghettoes,
and you do have the makings of a police state, publicly blessed. I hope
my fellow citizens feel more inclined than Germans in the 1930s to
insist that discrepancies like those between the video and the reports
on Waco be explained. Because if my second interpretation of the
discrepancies is true and we let such stuff ride, we are virtually
begging to live under fascism.