By: Roderick T. Beaman

Waco was a watershed event in American history. Together with Ruby Ridge, it served notice that neither Republican nor Democratic administrations would tolerate resistance to the excesses and demands of the federal government. Though there were far fewer casualties at Ruby Ridge, nevertheless the same principles were involved. 

There have been so many conflicting stories about Ruby Ridge, especially from the government, that it is hard to know exactly what it was that they accused Randy and Vicki Weaver of. Suffice it to declare that many of the government allegations were unsubstantiated, and even disproved by subsequent documents and that the FBI, Secret Service, United States Marshals, National Guard and ATF were involved and that many of the personnel at Ruby Ridge were later at Waco. The government calls such collaborations by citizens conspiracies.  The casualties were three people, his wife Vicki and their 14 year old only son, Samuel, US Marshal William F. Degan and the Weaver family dog, Striker.

The reasoning and motives of the government under Pres. George H. W. Bush at Ruby Ridge are more difficult to discern than at Waco. Even though true libertarians view the Republican Party as a sellout, Bush was always a strong advocate of gun rights. One of the main charges against Randy Weaver was that he sold two sawed off shotguns to an informant. 

There are several problems with that. There was evidence that the informant had asked Weaver to alter the shotguns. That used to be called entrapment and charges based upon entrapment were often dismissed by the courts, but due to the relentless efforts of various law enforcement agencies, most notably the power hungry FBI, the judicial version of fairness has altered considerably in recent decades, all to the favor of prosecutors. 

Further, one ATF agent wanted to use the threat of the weapons charge to turn Weaver into an informant against the Aryan Nations with whom he’d had contacts. Between private citizens, that’s called blackmail. Finally, our Constitution makes no allowances for such regulations, only saying "..., the right of the people to keep and bear arms shall not be infringed." Even if the weapon was illegal, an administration ostensibly committed to gun rights, should have hesitated to pursue that charge. It didn’t. 

The ideologic motives of the Clinton Administration at Waco are much easier to understand. The Clinton Administration was the most radical administration till that time. Although William J. Clinton himself had some basic faith in the free market and, in some ways more than some Republican predecessors, nevertheless, from top to bottom, his administration was shot through with ultra-Leftists from academe who all regarded themselves as better than the people, a characteristic of progressives. 

Koresh and his followers were a religious faction and every leftist, socialist or progressive always despises religion. There are many reasons.

Religion offers people solace and hope. Socialists and progressives want the people to look to government for solace and hope. Religion is government’s competetitor and thus socialist governments want to destroy religion and it is why so many. developed personality cults such as what emerged around Hitler, Mao and Stalin; they were their gods. It is also why so many of our Democratic presidents, FDR, Kennedy and now Obama developed them. Only Clinton’s inability to keep his fly zipped stopped the incipient one that was developing around him. 

Socialists and progressives are hostile to religion because they view it as their competition. Health care, education and welfare were originally the province of our churches and religious bodies are often reservoirs of resistance to socialist government. Religion must be destroyed if socialism is to proceed to its goal of social domination and its replacement of religion! 

Koresh and his Branch Davidians were an irresistible target for the Clinton Administration on at least two levels; they were a religious group that might be harboring illegal weapons. The order for the final assault came right from the Oval Office. 

The most disturbing aspect of the entire matter was the length of the stand off - 51 days, more than 6,000 hours. During that time, did none of those agents ever discuss among themselves the possible horror of incinerating 25 children; did it not give them pause? Did it not cross their minds that they might be perpetrating a moral abomination? Did they not discuss among themselves why they might bringing this action against an otherwise peaceful group of people that the Branch Davidians were known to be? 

I have no doubt that some of them did worry about what they were about to do but they went forward with it anyway. How much self-deception was necessary for them to partake in it? And as it proceeded, did the screams of those victims rise above the roar of that fire and the explosion as the flames obviously hit some accelerant? 

There were so many resources the G-men could have used. Baylor University had a division right in Waco with Dr. Daniel McGee, a professor of religious history, who had studied the Branch Davidians. See 

The same source cites Dr. James Tabor of the University of North Carolina, and Dr. Philip Arnold of the Union Institute in Houston as having ‘communicated indirectly with Koresh.’ These people knew Koresh’s motives and could have helped. 

It also compares the Tailhook Scandal that emerged during the administration of George H. W. Bush. The fallout continued into the Clinton years and although no one was killed at that Tailhook party, it damaged the careers of 14 admirals, nearly 300 naval aviators and Secretary of the Navy, H. Lawrence Garrett, III resigned. Some of those admirals and aviators found their careers ended. No careers ended as a result of Waco. We can conclude that violations of political correctness count for more than human lives but then Karl Marx never cared much about human lives anyway and neither do progressives. 

The military was involved at Waco, in obvious violation of Posse Comitatus. Janet Reno, et al, tried to justify it on the grounds that they were National Guardsmen to which I say, "Poppycock." Over the years, various defense acts have brought the state Guards increasingly under the control of the federal government. In 1956, Pres. Dwight D. Eisenhower federalized the Arkansas National Guard to quell the riots in Little Rock over school desegregation, taking command of it from segregationist Gov. Orval Faubus. Those Guardsmen at Waco were, ultimately, under the command of the President.

Military involvement at Waco was undoubtedly illegal; there should have been other concerns, as well. Many libertarians and constitutionalists have challenged the very existence of the FBI on the grounds that there is no provision for a federal police force but there is a valid argument for one to enforce federal laws and investigate their violation. No such argument exists for the ATF, now the ATFE. Alcohol and tobacco are natural substances and none of the federal government’s business and, by a strict interpretation of The Constitution, firearms aren’t either. 

Did any of this deter those personnel who were present? Not that you can tell. Congressman John Dingell of Michigan called them, in one of the few moments of lucidity in his career, "Jack booted fascists," and they should have been tried for conspiracy for mass murder. Other Democratic congressmen of the time, among them Chuckles (I wish I could take credit for that one but I can’t & don’t remember where I first saw it) Schumer and Tom Lantos did their lapdog best to protect their fledgling, darling president, William J. Clinton. 

So, the Branch Davidians were a religious group and one that might be harboring illegal weapons. The Clinton Administration needed to show who was in charge - the people, God or the government and that’s what they did.

This is the second in an, as yet, undetermined number of installments on the subject of the death of The United States of America. Additional installments will pend, partly, the author’s assessment of when others might be bored enough to welcome another one.


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Dr. Roderick T. Beaman is an osteopathic family physician practicing in Jacksonville, Florida. Born in New York City, he attended New York University as an undergraduate. A recipient of a 2003 Ron Paul Liberty in Media Award, he has had dreams (delusions?) of becoming a writer. He has written a novel that he has given up hope of ever getting published and so has made it available for the asking through  He is a regular columnist for Ether Zone.

He can be reached at:

in the August 23, 2012 issue of  Ether Zone.
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