Designed to Fail 

The deaths of the ATF agents were necessary to justify a military siege and testing of the National Response Plan. Armed with headlines (like this one in the Waco Tribune-Herald, March 4, 1993), the US military had all the public approval they needed to escalate their war against the Branch Davidians. Compare tactics used in Waco to those used in the Gulf of Tonkin, described below. 

Few military operations are designed for failure. But the February 28, 1993 assault on the Mt. Carmel Center seems to have been one such operation.

Given the desire of the new military to establish new paradigms, there is reason for the failure of the raid. Without the death of the four ATF agents in the failed raid, it is doubtful that the American public would have supported moving in massive war equipment and escalating the war against the Davidians during the next 51 days. Without the deaths of the four ATF agents in the failed raid, the new paradigm of the military annihilation of citizens under the color of law would not have been established.

The Commander-in-Chief himself validated this observation: "The first thing I did after the ATF agents were killed, once we knew that the FBI was going to go in, was to ask that the military be consulted because of the quasi-military nature of the conflict, given the resources that Koresh had in his compound and their obvious willingness to use them," President Clinton said (Washington Times, April 24, 1993).

Gulf of Tonkin Incident

Modern history furnishes other examples of incidents deliberately set up to achieve a political result. The Pentagon Papers disclose that for six months before the Tonkin Gulf incident in August, 1964, the US had been mounting clandestine military attacks against North Vietnam, including kidnapping North Vietnam citizens for intelligence information, commando raids to blow up rail and highway bridges, and bombardment of North Vietnamese coastal installations by PT boats. (Pentagon Papers, pg. 238). This was done while planning to obtain a Congressional resolution that the Administration regarded as an equivalent to a declaration of war. (Pentagon Papers, pg. 234.)

On August 5, 1964, President Johnson called congressional leaders to the White House and told them that North Vietnamese naval vessels had flagrantly and without provocation attacked two US destroyers in the Gulf of Tonkin. President Johnson had the Gulf of Tonkin Resolution drawn up, and it flew through both the House of Representatives and the Senate with virtually no debate. On August 7, the Gulf of Tonkin Resolution had been passed, continuation and escalation of military reprisals against the North were given congressional blessing. "In the heat of the Tonkin clash, the Administration had accomplished . . . preparing the American public for escalation" (Pentagon Papers, pg. 269).

"The Tonkin Gulf reprisal constituted an important firebreak and the Tonkin Gulf resolution set US public support for virtually any action" (study quoted in Pentagon Papers, pg. 269).

Several years later the Senate Foreign Relations Committee conducted an inquiry into the events of August, 1964. Senator Fulbright would later write that the Pentagon had misrepresented the actual event, and that the US had provoked the attack.

"Only when we began those later hearings on the Tonkin Gulf did it really begin to dawn on me that we had been deceived. In the beginning--before Vietnam, that is--it never occurred to me that presidents and their secretaries of state and defense would deceive a Senate committee.

"I thought you could trust them to tell you the truth, even if they did not tell you everything. But I was naive, and the misrepresentation of the Tonkin Golf affair was very effective in deceiving the Foreign Relations Committee and the country, and me, because we didn't believe it possible that we could be so completely misled." (J. William Fulbright, The Price of Empire, pg. 107.)

The Secret Raid that Lacked a Marching Band

With the historical perspective of the phony Gulf of Tonkin incident, let's have another look at the inept, suicidal raid plan allegedly designed by the ATF and supported by the Special Forces with "training."

According to the Treasury Report, the ATF had gathered evidence that:

In order for the raid to fail in a convincing manner, at least two sets of people had to be fooled in different ways. The Davidians had to be fooled into thinking they were fighting off a genuine attack, and the US public, in front of their televisions, had to be fooled into thinking the raid was planned with sincere intent.

Therefore, the Davidians had to be covertly tipped off about the impending "raid," so they could make full preparations. Every effort, short of a certified letter, was made to alert the Davidians to the impending attack, and each tip was made to look like a little snafu that could happen by the operation of Murphy's law.