Waco "Documentary" Is A Hoax!

Part 2

Focus on Davidians' Belief System

The name "Waco: The Rules of Engagement" suggests the subject of the video will be an accounting of the Davidians' struggle with the armed forces that confronted them, but then spends much of its time examining the Branch Davidian religion. While perhaps the religion of the victims provides background, the details of that religious belief system should surely be treated as no more than a footnote, compared to the hard evidence of deliberate murder which should get intense focus.

But not so with WTROE. Much time is devoted to exploring the religion of the victims. The theme dominates the opening section and is repeated throughout. This skewed emphasis results in a clear message: the victims' beliefs were partially responsible for the murderers' actions. The effect of this presentation is to soften outrage over the murders. Let's illustrate why with a hypothetical parallel:

A member of a minority orthodox Jewish sect believes it is sinful to work on the Sabbath. Unfortunately, one Friday afternoon a business appointment runs late. In his hurry to get home before sundown, the victim does not walk his regular route home, but takes a short cut through a neighborhood known to be controlled by gangs that hate Jews. Indeed, gang members see this man, and surround him. They taunt him about his religion, they physically torture him and beat him. Neighbors in the surrounding tenement houses see the incident, record it on their camcorders, and call the police asking them to come immediately. The police never do show up, and the neighbors watch in horror as the gang stomps the victim to death, dismembers his body, and then pours gasoline on the remains and burns them.

A documentary film company decides to make a film about the murder. But the documentary ignores or misrepresents much of the solid physical evidence and eyewitness accounts. Instead much of the audience's attention is directed to the religious belief system of the victim.

The documentary starts out by telling its audience that the victim was a Jew, and that Jews have always believed they would be persecuted. Passages from the Old Testament and other Jewish religious documents are quoted to prove the point. Religious scholars are interviewed, who say that this murder should be seen in the context of victim's belief system. An accounting is given of the general history of the Jews, and the specific history of the sect. We see pictures of the sect founder and learn about the history of internal power struggles. We learn that the victim believed the Messiah was coming, and carried a walkie-talkie with him to alert other sect members to His arrival. Other sect members confirm that those, indeed, are their beliefs, and they, too, carry walkie-talkies. A psychiatrist who never met the victim agrees to be interviewed and tells the audience that the victim was not a lunatic, he just took his religion seriously.

Then the documentary covers the victim's sex life, pointing out that the victim would not have sexual relations or indeed even touch his wife when she was menstruating. Film clips of a young girl are presented, in which the girl, a member of the gang that murdered the Jew, comes forward and says the victim had tried to rape her. The girl gives graphic details, using the vernacular as she describes her alleged assault.

Other sect members come forward and confirm that the victim had a roving eye for women. The religious scholar reappears; he says the victim's sexual proclivities are based on religious texts. He again reminds us about the fatalistic attitude of the Jews that belong to this sect. The scholar concludes the victim's life ended the way the victim himself predicted, but grants this: Had the victim not taken the short cut home, he might be alive today.

Can you imagine the howls of outrage if such a documentary were to surface and be shown in public theaters? Yet this is how WTROE treats the Branch Davidians. Read the script, but let's look at some of the highlights now:

Religion scholar James D. Tabor of the University of North Carolina, who is portrayed as "sympathetic" to the Davidians, sets the tone as his words ring out during the opening credits:

"What is God intending to bring out of this situation? If we do our part as His servants, the government does their part as whoever they are in the plan of God . . . What is it that God plans to bring out of it? That's the way they thought," Tabor tells us (Script, pg. 2)

The same theme is echoed by Rep. Tom Lantos, who his portrayed as "antagonistic" towards the Davidians: "What I am telling you is, that the most plausible single explanation for this nightmare, namely the apocalyptic vision of the criminally insane, charismatic cult leader who was hell bent on bringing about his infernal nightmare in flames and the extermination of the children, and the women and other innocents is not an explanation that should be cast aside."

Tabor talks about the FBI's use of psychological warfare tactics: " . . . that lead to the Davidians thinking, perhaps this is the final confrontation. Perhaps we are to die courageously like martyrs. Perhaps we're not going to come out of this OK." (Script, pg. 26)

Was David Koresh a messiah? ". . . all he is is a cheap thug who interprets the Bible through the barrel of a gun, ATF agent David Troy tells us (Script, pg. 3). "I think he was a messiah," says Davidian Graeme Craddock (Script, pg 9).

Alan A. Stone, Harvard University, a psychiatrist who never met David Koresh: "I think that Koresh was not a criminal psychopathic. He had as a youngster spent months memorizing the Bible. And particularly these passages about the seventh seal and that sort of repetitive study, memorization, throwing yourself into that kind of disciplined project is not what sociopaths do . . . " (Script, pg. 6)

Tabor again: ". . . And I kept saying, well, we don't know who started the fire. But we do know that the FBI delivered to David Koresh the Armageddon that he thought would someday come. But it didn't have to be April 19, 1993. " (Script, pg. 41).

Just as we would be howling over the hypothetical example of the documentary on the murder of the Jew, so also should we be howling at this deplorable treatment of the murders of the Branch Davidians. After all, Branch Davidian beliefs are but a detail--our secular law does not rest on Branch Davidian religious beliefs. And it is our secular law that the murderers broke.

Davidian Beliefs Caused Death of Children

Most newspaper accounts cite the number of children who died in the April 19 inferno as "twenty-four." WTROE features religious scholar Tabor talking about twenty-four children, too:

"Now, how does that [i.e., their beliefs] translate into communal living, even the sexual arrangements of the group?" he asks. (Script, pg. 5.)

Tabor continues: ". . . this final figure [i.e., David Koresh] has the obligation to beget twenty four children and he has multiple wives. It's in prophecy, in other words. Might have been convenient, but this is what they found." (Script, pg. 6).

"And these twenty-four children are to become the twenty-four elders that are to rule the Earth . . . (Script, pg. 6).

Are the twenty-four child victims of April 19 the same twenty-four children that Tabor is referring to? Because Tabor gives no referent, it is easy to assume the "twenty-four" refers to the same set of people.

Once again we see the function of the collage format. Premises and conclusions are not clearly stated. Images and impressions are presented on the screen as pieces of glass in a kaleidoscope. What you see depends on your point of view. Tabor's open-ended "twenty-four" children allusion has an important effect.

For members of the audience familiar only with the newspaper accounts, the equation is easy. The twenty-four children found in the concrete room were David Koresh's. The mothers were his wives.

Unless one is intimately familiar with the details, it "explains" why so many children's bodies were in the concrete room. It blames those deaths on the Davidian's beliefs--David would not let his children leave--they were the "twenty-four" elders, so they died. And it subhumanizes the massacre victims. The children, babies, and mothers were a lower life form--concubines and offspring of a maniac and pervert.

However, four of the children of Wayne and Sheila Martin are also numbered among those whose bodies were found in the concrete room. Those victims were: Anita Marie (18), Lisa Marie (13), Sheila Renee (15), and Wayne (20). David Koresh first arrived at the Mt. Carmel Center in 1981, so the Martin children are too old to be his Branch Davidian offspring.

WTROE relies heavily on the "Davidian home video" taken during the siege by the Davidians at the request of the FBI (Script, pg. 3). This video has circulated among Waco buffs for years, and certain excerpts are shown throughout the film. In it, Steve Schneider interviews various Davidians, including the five Martinez children. Audrey (13 years old) and Abigail (11 years old) say their grandmother brought them to Mt. Carmel when they were 7 and 5 years old. Then we meet Joseph (8 years old), Isaiah (4 years old) and Crystal (3 years old). David Koresh talks with them and calls them his "adopted" children.

The dates the Martinez children arrived and the racial contrast with Koresh indicate clearly that the Martinez children were not Koresh's biological offspring. But the audience does not learn about this--no interviews with the Martinez children are included in WTROE. Yet the bodies of all five were found in the concrete room. The five Martinez children are presumably counted among Tabor's "twenty-four elders," and the audience is none the wiser.

Likewise the Davidian home video shows an interview with Rachel Sylvia (13 years old). She says she first came to Mt. Carmel when she was 5 years old. Her mother, Lorraine Sylvia, says she (Lorraine) first met David Koresh "eight years ago." Simple arithmetic shows that Rachael was not David Koresh's offspring, yet her body was found in the concrete room.

Thirty-two year old John McBean, whose body was also found in the concrete room, could not be David Koresh's offspring or wife, either.

Nor does Tabor's implication (twenty-four dead children = twenty-four offspring of David Koresh) comport with the physical evidence found in the concrete room. It does not indicate that "twenty-four" were alive on April 19 and went there to seek shelter from the CS. The evidence indicates the mothers and children died at different times, under different circumstances, and that the bodies were brought to the concrete room after death.

Would it be too cynical to ask aloud what Biblical references Mr. Tabor would come up with had the number of children found in the concrete room been closer to twelve? Perhaps we would be treated to references to the twelve Apostles . . .

One wonders: If the makers of WTROE were doing a documentary about the Oklahoma City bombing, would they spend the audience's time on exploring the parental lineage of those victims, too?

Showcasing A Repulsive Charge

Any movement to prosecute the murderers of the Branch Davidians is fueled by public outrage at the crime. Cool the outrage and you neutralize the movement for legal prosecution. And there is no better way to cool the outrage than by presenting the Davidians as repulsive people who were all complicit in the sexual abuse of children.

During the 1995 House of Representatives hearings on Waco, 14-year old Kiri Jewell told the impaneled congressmen that David Koresh sexually assaulted her when she was just ten years old. WTROE showcases her accusation. (Script, pg. 8)

Kiri Jewell says: "I was brushing my hair, sitting in a chair and David took me, told me to come sit by him on the bed. I was wearing a long white tee shirt and panties. He kissed me and sat there, but then he laid me down. Then he took his penis . . . " The scene fades out, but not before the last line delivers its wallop: "Then he took his penis . . . "

Remember that Kiri Jewell was 10-years old at the time of the alleged incident. Ugh--this stuff is enough to turn anyone's stomach, and the WTROE producers had to know it. The sexual misconduct charges could have been covered without this emotional wallop, and the WTROE producers had to know that, too.

WTROE then shows the Davidian "defense" attorneys disputing Kiri's claim. How do they do that? Jack Zimmermann says they had not heard the charge before it was made that day in Congress. He also says: "There's been doubts about contradictory statements that she's made in the past. Now, it may be 100 percent true." (Script, pg. 9.)

Wow! What a defense. Notice how WTROE juxtaposed so powerful an accusation against so weak a defense. The effect gives the Davidians a black eye: David Koresh was a criminal pervert, and the Branch Davidians complicit in his crimes.

The showcasing of sexual misconduct allegations provided a public opinion climate that allowed the murderers to commit their deeds, and allow them to get away with their crimes even now. Thus those charges are part of the story. But again: the movie focuses undue time and attention on the charges, goes to great pains to assure the audience those charges are valid, and presents the charges in a manner that ensures the audience will feel revulsion for the Davidians.

To reinforce the picture of the Davidians as a child-molesting community, clips of Sheriff Harwell are presented:

"To this day, we don't have a case against Vernon Howell or anyone else for child abuse . . . " (Script, pg. 9). But then Harwell admits: "Keep in mind, too, that most of the girls who were involved were at least 14 years old and that 14 year olds get married with parental consent. So if their parents were there and letting things happen in the way of sexual activities and what have you . . . I don't say that I agree with that and that I approve it. But at the same time, if parents are there and they're giving parental consent . . . " (Script, pg. 21).

Note the sheriffs words: ". . . most of the girls who were involved were at least 14 years old . . . " Things seem to be going from bad to worse. Now there are other Kiri Jewells? Too bad we can't hear from David Koresh, but remember, he is conveniently dead, and mute.

Dick Reavis, who is pictured throughout the WTROE as reasonable and "sympathetic" to the Davidians, delivers the coup de grace: "My investigations convinced me that David Koresh was guilty of statutory rape . . . " (Script, pg. 9).

What does all this have to do with the February 28 raid by the ATF? Again, here is where the disjointed collage technique is used to great effect. One of the "independent" reviewers of the Treasury Report, Henry S. Ruth, Jr., says this:

"At least part of the ATF motivation, even if it never rose to the surface of discussion, was to enforce the morals of our society. To enforce the psyche of right thinking by retaliating against these odd people." (Script, pg. 13).

Thus we come full circle. The Branch Davidian community endorsed and was complicit in the sexual abuse of young girls. The ATF stood tall for truth, justice, apple pie, and the virginity of young girls. The ATF was only trying to make the Davidians go straight . . .

Who comes out stinking, and who comes out smelling like roses? Thus is protest neutralized by psychological warfare.

Takes Attention Off US Military

Now we get down to the heart of the matter: The rock bottom purpose of "Waco: The Rules of Engagement" is to take the heat off the US military.

If it looks like a duck, if it talks like a duck, if it quacks like a duck--its a duck. The Waco operation was planned and executed from the beginning to the end as a military action, not a civilian law enforcement action. It was planned by military men, trained by military men, and used military techniques. Military equipment was on the scene from Day One. Yet WTROE presents the raid as a law enforcement action.

Again, evidence of the military nature of the attack was known to WTROE director of research Mike McNulty when the video was being researched and produced in the Fall of 1996.

The Waco Holocaust Electronic Museum has publicly available documentation of this phenomenon and McNulty told me he was familiar with the Museum. Because the documentation came from official and quasi-official sources, WTROE could have included the facts without even acknowledging the Museum for its research. But instead, the documentation was ignored.

WTROE blames the ATF alone for the February 28 raid, while the US military is presented as benign fools who were sucked into lending their equipment and expertise to the disreputable ATF. WTROE presents the ATF as follows:

* The ATF is deceitful: The tricked the US military into providing help. (Script, pg. 13, Rep. Schiff).

* The ATF lied to the US military because they wanted to freeload at "US Army expense." (Script, pg. 13, Narrator).

* The ATF pulled off the raid for publicity. (Script, pg. 12, Sanders)

* ATF wanted to look good for upcoming appropriations hearings (Script, pg. 12, Narrator).

The raid was a law enforcement action, although heavy-handed and inept:

* The ATF thought the Davidians were manufacturing machine guns and explosive devices. They went in to obtain those weapons (Script, pg. 9, Sarabyn).

* It was an unreasonable search done in an unreasonable manner with excessive force (Script, pg. 15, DeGuerin).

* It was a sad day for United States law enforcement (Script, pg. 41, Zimmermann).

* The Davidians found out the ATF was coming, and the element of surprise was lost (Script, pg. 14, Ehrlich, Rodriguez).

* The ATF was so dumb it didn't even have a real contingency plan, only an "Oh, shit!" plan, as in "run from the building, take cover, oh shit, it's coming." (Script, pg. 18, Buyers).

* ATF ran out of ammunition (Script, pg.18, Narrator).

* The ATF caused the disaster of February 28 (Script, pg. 23, Stone).

WTROE utterly ignores contemporaneous history which shows the US military is quite capable of setting up phoney incidents to advance its own program. This happened during the Vietnam War, where for six months the US military conducted a secret terror campaign against the North Vietnamese, provoked an incident in the Gulf of Tonkin, and claimed the US had been victimized.

Consider these factors.

* Special Forces is the creme de la creme of the US Army. Its personnel often take part in Special Operations Command junkets, conducting secret assassinations and other illegal acts of war overseas. Special Forces are experts in conducting surprise (secret) raids.

* Special Forces trained the ATF for the raid at Ft. Hood.

* Special Forces practiced the raid plan with the ATF on mock-ups of the Mt. Carmel Center, so they were intimately familiar with the strategy and tactics to be used.

* The ATF claimed to have gathered "evidence" that Mt. Carmel Center was (1) a fortress, (2) had a lookout tower, (3) had guard armed with machine guns, and (4) the Branch Davidians were looking forward to an armed confrontation with authorities. This "information" should have been incorporated into any raid plan.

* For months before the raid, the house across the street from the Mt. Carmel Center was filled with ATF undercover agents. The Davidians knew they were undercover agents. David Koresh watched them with binoculars, and told them so. This information should have been incorporated into any raid plan.

Yet this is the plan the Special Forces helped execute:

* The "secret" raid was to be conducted in broad daylight, at 10:00 am, when the Davidians would be alert and active.

* The press was tipped off to the "secret" 10 am raid. Such a furor was caused that on the morning of the raid, five media vans were either stationed or driving around the Mt. Carmel Center.

* The ATF booked 153 rooms at three local hotels for the evening February 28, an action ensured to draw attention.

* The ATF traveled from Ft. Hood to their staging area in a caravan one mile long, an action certain to draw public attention.

* The ATF arrived in noisy cattle cars over gravel roads marred by potholes, an action that would surely alert the "machine-gun armed guards in the look-out towers."

* The terrain was flat and treeless. Given the structure of the building--two to four stories tall--the Special Forces/ATF had to know the Davidians could see for miles.

* The ATF agents were delivered by canvas covered cattle cars which pulled up broadside to the Mt. Carmel Center. The ATF agents inside were sitting ducks, set up for slaughter--the treeless terrain provided no cover.

But the piece de resistance:

* On the day of the raid a local Waco "cameraman" became "lost" on the backroads and had to ask directions to the Mt. Carmel Center (a local landmark). The spot where the "cameraman" became lost was within sight of the Mt. Carmel Center. While asking directions of a passer-by, he mentioned the raid. Coincidentally the passer-by happened to be a Davidian. The Davidian went to the Mt. Carmel Center and told David Koresh.

In short, every means short of sending them a certified letter was used to warn the Davidians of the impending raid, and these measures ensured the greatest possible harm would come to the ATF agents.

And what happened after four ATF agents were killed? Their deaths were used as an excuse for military escalation. "The first thing I did after the ATF agents were killed, once we knew the FBI was going to go in, was to ask that the military be consulted because of the quasi-military nature of the conflict . . . " said President Clinton (Washington Times, April 24, 1993.)

The result of the ensuing siege was an implantation in the American psyche that armed helicopters, tanks, and sieges play a legitimate part in US civilian affairs. The military is needed to keep order at home.

Yet, curiously, the US military shares no blame in WTROE. Who is responsible for the siege and the resulting April 19 inferno? Why, the FBI is entirely responsible. The FBI handled the "negotiations" ineptly. They used the wrong tactics--they used psychological warfare, they mooned the women--it only made the Davidians more resistive. The FBI's decision-making process was flawed and cumbersome. Janet Reno went to Baltimore on the day of the fire. Her remark about the rent-a-tank was inept. The FBI should have waited for Koresh to finish writing his treatise on the Seven Seals, but they got impatient. They abandoned the negotiation strategy. When the FBI used tanks to deploy CS to drive the Davidians out . . . well, that was ineptly done, too. They didn't have a fire plan. The building turned into a fire trap and the CS turned into cyanide, the children died of cyanide poisoning, oops! . . . What a tragedy.

Rewriting History

Attempts to rewrite history are often made through the creation of manufactured evidence. Creative cover stories, designed to buttress manufactured evidence, often fall apart and have to be recreated.

Perhaps the best known example of manufactured evidence and companion cover story concerns Lee Harvey Oswald. Shortly after his arrest for the assassination of President Kennedy, Oswald was shown a picture of himself, holding a rifle. Upon seeing the photo, Oswald said it was not him, that a picture of his face and head had been superimposed upon another body.

The picture was reproduced in a number of publications in the US, adding to the public perception of Oswald as a dangerous man. After Oswald's murder, his widow Marina, anxious not to be deported back to the Soviet Union, said she had taken the photo. Over time, however, Marina gave conflicting stories of the circumstances under which she took the photo.

Research has since shown the photo was forged, as Oswald claimed. The angle of the shadows falling from Oswald's nose and "Oswald's" body showed they had been photographed at different times of the day. The head had indeed been superimposed on the body, as Oswald charged. (See "High Treason," by Robert J. Groden & Harrison Edward Livingstone, 1989, Chapter 10).

Since Oswald's day, there has been a quantum leap forward in the technology of simulation and forgery. The movie "Forrest Gump" made a big stir several years ago by creating synthesized images using advanced computerized techniques. Hollywood technicians were able to craft illusions that made one actor appear as though his legs were amputated at the knees. Gump also "met" several US presidents, including President Kennedy.

To achieve this effect, old footage of President Kennedy was digitized and the image of Gump superimposed in the frame. We even see and hear President Kennedy making a comment on what Gump has said to him. To achieve this startling effect, President Kennedy's mouth was morphed to match the words in the script. An impressionist provided the "President's" voice. (See "Through the Eyes of Forrest Gump," by Paramount, 1994.)

Voice simulation has been a reality for years. Sound technicians can cut and splice audio tapes of a subject's voice and create words and sentences the subject never mouthed. In one instance known to this writer, a businessman was making an industrial training film and wanted a high-priced actor to do the narration. The budget was limited, and the actor agreed to read the narration once with no retakes, for a flat fee. After the recording was made, the businessman listened to the tape and was horrified. The script contained a critical typographical error. The actor had read the script correctly, but the script contained the wrong word. The sound technicians quickly solved the problem for the cash-strapped producer. They "engineered" the correct word from recordings of the actor's voice, cut and spliced to form the desired word.

While this simulation was possible years ago, today's software technology will even allow pitch mapping so that voice inflections can be blended. Coincidentally, WTROE co-producer William Gazeki is a Hollywood sound mixer. He should be familiar with this technology. Given a little time and a generous budget, an organization such as the FBI would have a number of ways to fake audio tapes. Certainly WTROE hints that the feds "disappeared" a key piece of evidence on who shot first (Script, pg. 14, DeGuerin); but then Gazeki and his colleagues accept the FBI audio tapes without question.

The FBI is known to have faked evidence in the New York City World Trade Center bombing case. With over 80 dead in Waco, the stakes are even higher. Would the killers not fake Waco evidence too? With this question in mind, let's look at some excerpts from "negotiation" tapes made during the siege by the FBI:

The conversation between ATF's Jim Cavanaugh and David Koresh (Script, pgs. 21, 22, 23) over gunfire from the helicopters on February 28 goes this way: Cavanaugh says ". . . there was no guns on those helicopters. There was National Guard officers on those helicopters . . . " After arguing, Cavanaugh concedes: "What' I'm telling you is there was no mounted guns, ya know, outside mounted guns on those helicopters . . . After more arguing, Koresh agrees the guns were not mounted. How believable is this conversation? Let's look at it from two perspectives.

You are a Davidian, it is Sunday morning, February 28, 1993, when all of a sudden three helicopters fly over your home and strafe it with machine gun fire. So instead of diving for cover you gaze up at the helicopters to see if the guns are mounted or hand held.

Now let's change perspective. You are one of the agents (or "National Guardsmen") and you intend to strafe the Mt. Carmel Center from the air. You are going to fly in Army helicopters (two Black Hawks and a Little Bird, unmarked and black in color, in the fashion of the 160th Special Operations Airborne Regiment). So you unmount the fixed guns that are customarily on such combat aircraft--because on this mission you prefer to strafe using hand-held guns.

Neither scenario rings true. But Rules of Engagement asks us to buy both. Who gains and who loses from this presentation? The audience blames the ATF agents and the "National Guardsmen" with their hand-held guns. The US military, with its combat helicopters and strafing guns, gets no share of the blame. Once again the reputation of the US military is protected.

Likewise the "bug" tapes allegedly taken by FBI surveillance equipment on April 19, 1993 should be viewed skeptically. They come from the same tarnished single source, and function to buttress the same tired story about events on April 19--that the majority of the Davidians were alive during the CS attack, the fire was an accident, and the Branch Davidians died as a result of the CS attack and the fire. See, for example:

Page 31: "Steve Schneider" tells the Branch Davidians to put on their gas masks (but does not address the lack of gas masks for children.) What a lucky break for the FBI that their bug happened to be just at the right spot to pick up "Steve Schneider's" voice! Message: Davidians were alive when CS attack started.

Page 32: Three excerpts tell us the "Branch Davidians" were pouring fuel on the day of the fire, wanted to save more fuel for later, and lamented not having gotten more "hay." Message: The Davidians helped create a tinder-box which later accidentally caught fire.

Page 36: We hear Davidians discussing the best way to get out: "Go the other way" and "Too many people," etc. Message: Davidians were alive at the time of the fire.

WTROE makers rely heavily upon the "Davidian home video" throughout WTROE, without pointing out that it, too, came from the same single discredited source--the FBI (Script, pg. 3). When executive producers Dan Gifford and Amy Sommers Gifford do promotional interviews they often say only evidence that can be verified from two sources has been included in the video. This is an unadorned lie. When single-source evidence comes from the FBI, WTROE swallows it without question.

The Products of Michael McNulty

Let's look at the track record of WTROE research director Mike McNulty. Again and again through this review, we have seen his blind faith in the veracity of FBI video and audio evidence--but he was not always as trusting.

Several years ago he objected vigorously when another Waco researcher presented TV clips showing what appeared to be flame coming out of a tank's cannon as it exited the Mt. Carmel Center on the day of the fire. In addition, this researcher also presented clips of footage showing uniformed soldiers at the Mt. Carmel Center on April 19, soldiers getting out of tanks and walking around before, during and after the April 19 fire, a soldier getting out of a tank with a portable fame thrower, soldiers apparently burning bodies with portable flame throwers, and soldiers shooting explosive devices into the concrete room where the mothers and children were found.

Of all this footage, Mr. McNulty singled out the flame-throwing tank for comment. There was no flame, he said, just pieces of wallboard stuck on the boom, reflecting the sun. McNulty produced footage said to show definitively that the "flame" was really wallboard and took part in a national campaign to discredit the flame-throwing tank footage.

In the fall of 1996 when discussing the contents of the Waco Holocaust Electronic Museum with Mr. McNulty, I asked him to send me the tape upon which he rested his "reflecting wallboard" case. The tape arrived, and I have studied it. It shows a tank exiting Mt. Carmel with what appears to be flame coming from the cannon.

As it continues its journey, the tank rolls behind a white van which is in the foreground (that is, the van is closer to the camera than the tank.) Had the flame really been wallboard, the wallboard would have had about the same brightness as the white van, but that is not the case. The matter on the end of the cannon is brilliantly incandescent. The van is a dull white.

The matter on the tank cannon could not have been the wallboard that McNulty claims. As the footage rolls on, the incandescent matter at the end of the cannon changes shape, eventually growing dull and flat, then broadening and becoming affixed like wallpaper to the entire front section of the tank. Unfortunately for Mr. McNulty, the footage looks as if it was computer enhanced.

Soldier of Fortune magazine reported McNulty's wallboard findings in its February, 1994 edition (pg. 59). In that edition, Soldier of Fortune also reported that he had digitized the footage he used in his study and then had it computer enhanced.

Two months later, Soldier of Fortune published a letter from Mr. McNulty saying a "small amount of clarification" was needed--yes, he digitized the footage but did not enhance it.

Some time after that, Linda Thompson, the Waco researcher who had circulated the TV footage of the flame-throwing tank, was the guest on a Las Vegas radio talk show hosted by Anthony Hilder. When Mr. McNulty called in with a question, he admitted that his research efforts on the flame throwing tank had been sponsored by Soldier of Fortune magazine.

It would seem, then, that the Soldier of Fortune February 1994 report revealing that Mr. McNulty had digitized and enhanced his footage was not mere speculation. They had paid him to do the work. The admission, it seems, was made inadvertently by a writer unfamiliar with computer graphics who did not realize the significance of what was being reported.

Soldier of Fortune magazine was founded by Robert K. Brown, a member of the Delta Force. Delta Force was the name given to a group of commandos who specialized in covert hit and run missions. Delta Force relied heavily on its skilled helicopter pilots to insert and extract troops from enemy terrain. It was the precursor of the 160th Special Operations Airborne Regiment, headquartered in Ft. Campbell, Kentucky. The 160th Task Force, as it is sometimes called, was the helicopter unit that almost certainly strafed the Mt. Carmel Center on February 28, 1993.

The founder of the Delta Force, Col. Charlie Beckwith, was closely affiliated with Soldier of Fortune for many years. He was featured on the masthead of the magazine, and wrote the magazine's first story covering Waco. It was Col. Beckwith who proclaimed the February 28, 1993 raid was a "bungled law enforcement effort." He also wrote he shed tears for the dead ATF agents but made no mention of shedding tears for the dead Davidians. (See July, 1993 edition.)

So, then, it seems the McNulty research effort on the flame-throwing tank was sponsored by the same crowd intimately connected with the execution and cover-up of the Waco Holocaust. Is this thesis borne out by an examination of Mr. McNulty's work product over the years?

Certainly. The presence of a flame-throwing tank on the grounds of Mt. Carmel would destroy the argument that the tanks were there to spray CS only. The presence of a flame-throwing tank is evidence of murderous intent on the part of the Pentagon that supplied it. Grant the presence of a flame-throwing tank, and the "negligence" excuse used to explain the April 19 deaths falls apart. So we see Mr. McNulty attempted to destroy the credibility of the incriminating footage.

And the beat goes on. McNulty is still covering up for the US military in WTROE. Consider: Despite copious use of video clips in WTROE, somehow or other the footage showing uniformed soldiers at Mt. Carmel Center on April 19, footage showing soldiers getting out of tanks and walking around before, during, and after the April 19 fire, footage showing a soldier getting out of a tank with a portable fame thrower, footage showing soldiers apparently burning bodies with portable flame throwers, and footage showing soldiers shooting explosive devices into the concrete room where the mothers and children were found--none of this footage made its way into WTROE.

And despite the copious evidence that the US military was the prime mover in Waco, McNulty and the other WTROE principals saw fit to exclude the information from their production (see "Takes Attention Off US Military"). WTROE's portrayal of the US military as benign good guys tricked into lending the ATF military equipment never falters.

The information warriors are riding high in the saddle. The role of Special Operations in Waco has been successfully buried. As we go to press, Gen. Henry H. ("Hugh") Shelton, the commander of the Special Operations Command and its 160th Task Force, is about to be confirmed as Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff. There is a lot riding on the continued cover-up of the Waco Holocaust.

Using false information to hide the real truth and get people upset about the wrong things IS the job of the counterinsurgency squad. And "Waco: The Rules of Engagement" is a primer on the subject.

-- END --

[Thanks to Industrial Light & Magic (San Rafael, California) and sound engineer Michael Rivero at http://www.accessone.com/~rivero for assisting with research on special effects.]

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Many people who distrust the mainstream media have turned to alternate news sources, some of which are Internet based.  Unfortunately, many of these alternate sources of news simply promote an alternate series of lies.  These alternate lies are of course dressed up as "exposés."  But you can easily tell the phonies from the real thing.  The information in the Waco Holocaust Electronic Museum is an acid test.

Does your news source promote Mike McNulty's video, Waco: The Rules of Engagement or wring its hands because the Davidian law suit against the government failed?  (See Waco Documentary Is A Hoax! and Waco Suits for Waco Suckers.) Does your alternate news source carry promotional pieces about rebuilding the Davidian church in Waco and mouth nice words about "healing"?  (See The Cover-up Church.)

Remember, since ancient times, inquiries into questionable deaths have started with the bodies of the victims.  If your news source won't give you an honest and full account of the forensic information on Waco, or if it does not have a link to the Waco Holocaust Electronic Museum ... your alternate news has failed a fundamental acid test.   


Copyright, July, 1997 by Carol A. Valentine, on loan to Public Action, Inc.
This page last updated February 28, 2001