April 19: A Day to Write Lazy Certainties About Waco and Oklahoma City

April 19 is one of those days known for a whole string of notable events, mostly bloody, which include the 1775 battle of Lexington and Concord which began the American Revolution, the first day of the Warsaw Ghetto Uprising in 1943, and of course, in 1993, (AKA cable news-recent memory) the final day of the FBI's siege of the Branch Davidian sect's home outside Waco which ended in the deaths of 76 people there, including 20 children. And that injustice in turn led to another one two years later, namely Timothy McVeigh seeking revenge for Waco by punishing the people of Oklahoma City.

What lingers today, though, with Waco and general knowledge, is that the incident has become less about its self and more about it being a sign for what kind of supposed right-wing, anti-government extremist we are discussing. When talking about Timothy McVeigh, as writer Michael Isikoff does in The Daily Beast, it is seemingly uninteresting to people to delve into just why McVeigh was so angry, and barring personal sympathy and interest in Waco, in general, when people blow up a building, I am curious as to why they did so. But McVeigh, according to Isikoff:

Timothy McVeigh was a product of this far-right subculture, a brooding sociopath who, as an army gunner, relished mowing down surrendering Iraqi soldiers during Operation Desert Storm.

Brooding sociopath sounds more detailed than , say "thug," but it's impressively meaningless and a descriptor. Isikoff goes on to mention that McVeigh was very keen on that ridiculously racist novel The Turner Diaries and used to sell it at gun shows. Though there's plenty of evidence that McVeigh was a fan of the book, it's also much less convenient to the narrative that McVeigh always claimed he was helped on his bloody path towards terrorism by being a soldier and by realizing that he was killing men who were very similar to himself during Desert Storm. And of course, the undeniable wrongness of Waco and Ruby Ridge. Most of this can be found in the excellent and disturbing authorized biography of McVeigh, American Terrorist. The Daily Beast article focuses on a new book which once again trots out that old conspiracy theory about "John Doe Number 2" and McVeigh not having acted alone. Which is all fine (McVeigh's old defense attorney even believes this theory as well.) But the predictability of Isikoff's description of the meaning of anti-government extremism is exhausting. After all, history isn't enough, you have to tie the threat to the present and so:

In the years since Oklahoma City and especially after Barack Obama's election, the radical race hatred and anti-government paranoia that infused McVeigh continues to thrive—on Internet chat rooms, in militia hideouts, and at obscure rural compounds like the one that was at Elohim City. Three years ago, a Homeland Security intelligence analyst wrote a scary report warning that right-wing extremist groups were making a comeback and needed to be more closely tracked.

Conservative critics in Congress were outraged, accusing Homeland Security of preparing to monitor American citizens exercising their constitutional rights. Homeland Security scrapped the report and the analyst, Daryl Johnson, soon left his job, only to pop up in the news again last year when a demented anti-Muslim fanatic in Norway blew up government buildings and shot scores of children at a Labor Party youth camp. It was the worst act of terrorism in a Western country in recent years. Such killings "could easily happen here," Johnson told reporters.

Read a few of the casual "years ago" mentions popping about the Internet today and it gets worse. The Anniston Star manages to tritely and inanely memorialize the victims of Oklahoma City, Waco, and Columbine (which is tomorrow, it doesn't even fit the pattern!) and make clunky, politicized parallels to today. At Waco:

more than 80 members of the Branch Davidian cult under the sway of messianic madman David Koresh lost their lives in a fire that ended an 81-day [sic] siege at the hands of law enforcement.

And:

The Branch Davidian tragedy was brought on by a cult leader stubbornly refusing to peaceably comply with legal authorities, who — it must be acknowledged — botched the initial raid on the central Texas compound. The extremists who plotted the OKC bombing sought to wound what they saw as a tyrannical federal government, language that can still be heard today on conservative hate radio and the Internet. The high school students at Columbine showed how easy it is for disturbed teens to get their hands on deadly firearms.

Sadly, this pattern of school shootings has not slowed since 1999, as victims at Virginia Tech, suburban Cleveland and Oakland, to cite three other high-profile examples, can attest.

Today we pause and recall the lives of the innocents cut short in these events: the Branch Davidians who were powerless to exit the clutches of a cult leader (as well as the four ATF agents who died in the late-February 1993 raid), the scores of people in a federal building going about their business on a Wednesday morning, and the high school students attending classes in a supposedly safe Colorado suburb.

And the Emporia Gazette is very certain about how still-questioned incidents went down 19 years ago. Emphasis added so that the complete lack of uncertain qualifiers is extra clear:

After the 51-day standoff, the FBI raided the facility using gas on the inhabitants. Nine fled the building and were arrested, others either perished from self-inflicted gun shot wounds or from fires the cult members set inside the facility. The day ended with the facility of the Branch Davidians in flames and destroyed.

The standoff began Feb. 28, 1993, when Alcohol, Tobacco and Firearms agents attempted to execute arrest warrants on Koresh and the Branch Davidians when they were met by gunfire. Four agents were killed and 16 others injured.

This evasive certainty over events which occurred less than 20 year ago but are still up for debate is bizarre. Why is so difficult to say Ruby Ridge was wrong, Waco was wrong, and we just don't know how that fire began, nor do we know who fired first, the Davidians or the ATF agents? It's just so much easier to make these politically-loaded deaths into something more akin to sign points that say yes, we're talking about anti-government extremists now; anti-government paranoia, militia-types.

And you don't have to open the can of worms of asking or answering how tyrannical the government is, but in those moments, with one family at Ruby Ridge, and one cult or church or whatever it was at Waco, and what happened to them, what else to call it but tyrannical?

For a more decisively pessimistic look at the meaning of Waco, check out the excellent Anthony Gregory on "We're All Branch Davidians Now." A sampling:

Dozens of people of color died at the hands of the federal government, and the official Civil Rights movement hardly spoke up. Dozens of people were targeted for their religion, and it hardly bothered many of the very conservatives who allege a war on religion waged by DC. The largest federal-military killing of civilians on U.S. soil in a century has now become one more notch on the progressive left’s timeline of major events in anti-government extremism, as opposed to a principal example of government extremism where a tiny minority community was virtually exterminated.

(Please do) read the rest here.

Reason on Waco, Oklahoma City, and Ruby Ridge. And Jesse Walker, our resident expert on paranoia over the paranoid.

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  • Formerly Almanian||

    As I noted elsewhere, clearly what we need to do is delete April 19 from that calendar, as apparently a lot of bad things happen on that day, mmm'kay?

    Problem solved!

    Also, fuck Time magazine.

    That is all.

  • General Butt Naked||

    I'm having a good day. Got a lot done.

    Right now I'm drinking a spicy bloody mary with a pinch of my homemade ghost pepper flakes and it's fan-fucking-tastic.

  • Joe R.||

    Liberty Ale debuted on April 18. We should celebrate that instead. The (new) beginning of American Ales.

  • Formerly Almanian||

    I can't let Ruby Ridge go by, either.

    Waste a guy standing on his own doorstep next to his wife - thanks, US gummint! That event was what put me over the edge from ostensibly "conservative" on the quick road to "rabid, foaming-at-the-mouth, intense, committed libertarian-ish type."

    Fuck you, governments at all levels.

  • General Butt Naked||

    I remember someone on the radio saying after waco that we hadn't seen the last of Janet Reno and her squad of jack-booted baby burners. I always liked the end of that quote and use it as much as possible.

    If anyone knows who said that...1 internet to you sir/madam.

  • AlmightyJB||

    I remember the non-bootlickers being chastised by the MSM for using the term jack-booted thugs throughout the Clinton years. I think that symantics argument came to a head during the whole Elian Gonzalaz thing.

  • TELLMOFF||

    I am outraged by the murders that the U.S. government has committed. I don't have access to government goons but I can let people that I know how much I hate them for their cavalier notion: "let the system work".

  • AlmightyJB||

    We have to kill the children in order to save the children. They could have arrested Koresh without incident on one of his many trips into town. But then they wouldn't have been able to break out their paramilitary toys.

  • Lucy Steigerwald||

    Actually, they shot the wife while she was holding her baby while standing near her various family members. which is, ya know, worse even. Ugh.

  • General Butt Naked||

    And the dog, they shot the fucking dog.

    Why do they always shoot the dog? Why, Lucy, why?

    Bastards.

  • juris imprudent||

    That actually may have been the ur-incident of dog-killing, as honestly I can't recall that being common before that.

  • AlmightyJB||

    Not only that, the FBI were given "shoot on site" orders going into Ruby Ridge. Basically an ordered assasination of a US citizen without due process. Not to mention he was set up to begin with.

  • hotsy totsy||

    Was it "shoot on sight" or "shoot on site", meaning if they were going to shoot him it better be on the "site". Just kinda curious.

  • Ramjet||

    Exactly why I call myself a libertarian standing on the edge of anarchy.

  • Paul.||

    Dear Reason:

    I had the finest, pithiest, most brilliant and thoughtful comment of the decade, but I couldn't post it because it claimed I had a word longer than 50 characters.

    I typed it, retyped it, cut it, pasted it, changed it, took out the quotes, took out the tags, reinserted the quotes, took out the links.

    I just gave up.

  • General Butt Naked||

    Oh they got you again, the bastids.

    I tried your fixes earlier, but unfortunately they didn't work. I was only trying to refute something that orrin said with a quote; which doesn't need to be done because he wouldn't read it anyways.

    I think they'll get it figured out. The trolls actually fucked it up around here pretty good.

  • ||

    Paul, send it to me. Let me see if I can post it. I have yet to get an "invalid comment".

  • Joe R.||

  • ||

    Or, post it on your blog.

  • Paul.||

    My blog is a grave marker for my attempt at consistent, continuous writing.

  • SIV||

    You fuckers just kept whining "give us threaded comments" and "registration will keep out the undesirables" and you get everything you asked for, skwerls 'n all.

  • Amakudari||

    Registration definitely kept out the undesirables. I don't think that's really arguable.

  • califernian||

    There are many crazy dangerous people who love big government.

    There are many crazy dangerous people who hate big government.

    So?

  • TELLMOFF||

    So now you have an excuse to sit on your cowardly ass and do nothing.

  • Bingo||

    Brilliant fucking argument.

  • Brandon||

    And the fact that the ones who love big government have caused infinitely more damage than the ones who hate it is irrelevant, right? Because moral equivalence, or something.

  • shrike||

    Much as in AM radio, the right-wing terrorist/militia/OathKeeper types are "successful" because they never let up and proselytize 24/7 in their bubble.

    The feeble few left-wing eco-terrorists have no real commitment in comparison and are pretty much defunct today.

  • General Butt Naked||

    Why lump the oath keepers in that mix?

    Are you one of those dumbasses that believes everything they read in the SPLC fundraising pamphlet?

    Those fuckers couldn't tell the difference between Radley Balko and Tim McVeigh.

  • shrike||

    If you claim to be an armed resistance group who will combat any action by the government you deem unconstitutional that makes you an unlawful combatant - when and if it happens.

    Granted, an organized group is more than likely just a PR scheme and the Oath Keepers probably are just that and are not dangerous at all.

    But we settle Constitutional matters in court here - not with guns.

  • Sevo||

    shrike|4.19.12 @ 8:38PM|#
    ..."But we settle Constitutional matters in court here - not with guns."

    Hypothetical, followed by walk-back, ending with stating the obvious!
    Hey, your bullshit is peaking this evening!

  • General Butt Naked||

    It took a long time for you to squeeze that turd out, shrikey.

    Your first sentence is sort of circular and by its own internal logic Nazi resistors would have been unlawful combatants. I guess they technically were, but c'mon man, at least be honest. Maybe admit that all governments aren't all good all of the time and that perhaps that having the guys with guns saying they won't do horrible shit for the state isn't all bad.

  • shrike||

    Most governments are bad most of the time. So what? Who doesn't know that?

    But most governments are better than they were 50-200 years ago too. I know ours is. So is Russia, China, Germany, Japan, etc.

  • General Butt Naked||

    You still haven't shown that the oath keepers are "terrorists".

    You're a stupid little bird and I don't expect much from you, but if you could peck out something other than a deflection that'd be nice.

  • shrike||

    I don't need to. They admit they would be but are not yet.

    We've got plenty of other examples of the unhinged conservative element in the USA committing terrorist acts.

  • General Butt Naked||

    So you would retract this statement:

    Much as in AM radio, the right-wing terrorist/militia/OathKeeper types are "successful" because they never let up and proselytize 24/7 in their bubble.

    then?

  • shrike||

    No, because Oath Keepers, while not an actual terror group as of yet, are threatening violence.

  • Heroic Mulatto||

    No, because Oath Keepers, while not an actual terror group as of yet, are threatening violence.

    Do you have evidence for that, or are you just slandering the Oath Keepers in hopes that no one will call you on your unsupported assumptions?

  • ||

    It's my impression that the "oath" the Oath Keepers have made is that they will refuse to carry out unlawful orders. I have not heard any of them make any threats to commit violent acts.

  • ||

    It is, furthermore, my impression that it is the duty of military personnel to refuse to carry out unlawful orders.

    So it seems to me that all the Oath Keepers are doing is spelling out their intention to obey the law.

    It's also interesting that the reporter cited in the parent post claims that McVeigh "relished mowing down surrendering Iraqi soldiers during Operation Desert Storm", when in fact there are several statements from people who actually spoke to him that, in fact, he was extremely disturbed about having done it (both at the time and afterwards) and was disturbed by the callousness of his superior officers who did in fact seem to relish the mowing down of surrendering Iraqi soldiers.

  • shrike||

    What good are they then? I also refuse to carry out unlawful orders.

  • General Butt Naked||

    If you break into my home in the middle of the night I'll slice your fucking face off.

    I have threatened violence, am I now a terrorist?

  • shrike||

    And the New Black Panthers only threatened violence at the polls according to the right-wing whackjobs at Fox News.

    Hey, its not violence! We are just threatening to kill you!

  • General Butt Naked||

    Deflection noted.

    I'd equate the NBP danger level to that of Reason commenters. Lots of rhetoric but not terrorists.

    Let the record show that shrike here has the attention span of a yorkie on cough medicine.

  • ||

    Epic FAIL Shriek.

    Nowhere have I seen the NBPP labelled as terrorists. Did they intimidate voters to "encourage" them to perhaps rethink their voting plans, and pretty much based on race? Yup. Does that make them terrorists? No. Does it make them criminals and impeding on the rights of others? You betcha. Are the NBP's ChristFags now?

    When I think of the word "terrorist", images of people bombing the shit out buildings comes to mind first. I think of jackbooted government thugs. The Weather Underground suddenly appears. And none of these can be attributed solely to rightwingers, Shriek, you vacuous, contemptable misanthrope.

  • Heroic Mulatto||

    I think your definition of terrorism is too narrow, O Groove. (I'm using the vocative case of your praenomen). I would define terrorism as the attempt to coerce politics and/or public or private policy through the use of force, real or implied. Intimidation is implying that one would use force. The "New" Wannabe Black Panther Party would be classified as terrorists under this definition.

  • General Butt Naked||

    If you don't vote libertarian HM, I'll do something you don't like *wink*!

    Call homeland security, because I am now a terrorist under the expanded definition.

    *not trying to sound as dickish as this comes of HM sorry.

  • Heroic Mulatto||

    No worries, General.

    I wouldn't say my definition is "expanded," after all, depending on the context of the situation, if your statement would be the crime of "assault," i.e. you've stated your intention to cause physical harm to me if I don't do as you say.

    I would be leery of defining terrorism through use of a spectrum of force. Is threatening to punch me in the nose morally different than threatening to blow up a building? Both are use of force, the only difference is scale.

  • Heroic Mulatto||

    * ignore the "if" in "if your statement would be the crime of "assault,"

  • ||

    Probably so HM. I think, though, that the definition is subject to a blurring dilution when the inclusion of implied use of force in included. One of the things I can't stand in discourse is when a word is used over and over and dilutes the original meaning of the term. Like "racism", "addiction", and "greed". Hell, even "access". They become diluted, all purpose buzzwords and lose both the emotional and intellectual integrity of the original application. By limiting the definition to actual, demonstrable violent acts, then the integrity of the definition of the term "terrorism" is left largely intact, thus preserving the accuracy of the definition. Even cyber-terrorism can fall under this definition, such as all that gamboling that went on for a period of time on these boards, a DOS attack, or unauthorized data mining.

  • Heroic Mulatto||

    Sure, I'll bite the bullet and concede that point.

  • General Butt Naked||

    I'd add that we have an enormous state apparatus that takes things all things "terrorist" very seriously and makes no bones about using extra-constitutional violence, even murder, when it comes to dealing with "terrorists". As things stand I'd rather be semantically wrong and use a very, very narrow definition of terrorism and terrorist.

    I mean, if implied* violence in the name of ideology is terrorism then we're all on our way to Guantanamo Bay.

    *implied: as in I explicitly made an implicit threat or you felt that I made a threat. a difference in kind, I'd argue

  • Heroic Mulatto||

    I don't know; I remember a man who once said something to the effect of, "If this be treason, make the most of it!"

  • juris imprudent||

    Bravo shreek - that was some fine, fine trolling.

  • General Butt Naked||

    Were dat Eff Dee Are or sumptin'...

    Real gyro that gai, a troo amerkin gyro!

    Gave my pappie werk in da derprezin!

  • Heroic Mulatto||

  • General Butt Naked||

    The juice is good!

  • hotsy totsy||

    I also think of Fidel Castro and Che Guevara. Che's mug is on posters, t-shirts and coffee cups. Has anyone seen McVeigh's photo on a t-shirt>

  • Anacreon||

    Didn't they actually have the NBPP threatening violence on video tape? It was only Fox who showed it; I don't think they made it up.

  • ||

    $

  • VG Zaytsev||

    No, because Oath Keepers, while not an actual terror group as of yet, are threatening violence.

    Are they threatening violence?

    Or are they promising to ignore / disobey orders to assault non violent criminals?

  • Eduard van Haalen||

    "But we settle Constitutional matters in court here - not with guns."

    Yes, we recall how useful the courts were in protecting civil liberties against the armed forces in times of war and national emergency. Lincoln in particular was really deferential to the courts.

    So there's no need for soldiers to promise to obey the constitution - they need only defer to the President's interpretation and hope everything turns out all right.

  • Raven Nation||

    Are you limiting yourself to more recent history here? I ask this thinking of the isolated incidents of armed resistance to the Fugitive Slave Act in the antebellum period.

    By your criteria the resistors would have been unlawful combatants (& I think you're right there). And it was a Constitutional matter, but it's hard to fault communities using force to prevent people being returned to slavery.

    Again, if you're limiting yourself to more recent history then I withdraw the comment.

  • shrike||

    Yes. Leftist anti-war terrorism in 1968-1972, for another example.

  • ||

    $

  • Night Elf Mohawk||

    But we settle Constitutional matters in court here - not with guns.

    A. If they are ordered to disarm citizens, are the ones giving the order going to wait for a court hearing before moving forward?

    B. They swore an oath to defend the Constitution, not the federal government.

  • Sevo||

    shrike|4.19.12 @ 8:05PM|#
    "Much as in AM radio, the right-wing terrorist/militia/OathKeeper types are "successful" because they never let up and proselytize 24/7 in their bubble."
    See NYT, LAT, SFC, MSNBC, CBS, ABC, Time Mag, etc, etc, etc.
    Yep, those lefties never stop pitching your fave socialists.

    "The feeble few left-wing eco-terrorists have no real commitment in comparison and are pretty much defunct today."
    Occasionally, reason does have an effect, but "The [...] left-wing eco-terrorists" still seem to be in charge of the IPCC, in case you haven't noticed. And I'm sure your idiocy ensures that.

  • shrike||

    Mainstream media are not "lefties" at all. They are just not redneck.

    I recall the NYT let Judith Miller pump the Bushpig's lies repeatedly in 2002-2003 so they could gin up a big ground war and nation-building tour in Iraq. How was that lefty?

  • Hogar the Mighty||

    Well, if you consider Obama to be a lefty President...

  • Sevo||

    shrike|4.19.12 @ 8:49PM|#
    "Mainstream media are not "lefties" at all...."
    Yeah, dipshit, they're slightly right of, oh, Castro.
    As a fish, I'm sure you have no knowledge of anything other than water.

  • ||

    Why is so difficult to say Ruby Ridge was wrong, Waco was wrong, and we just don't know how that fire began, nor do we know who fired first, the Davidians or the ATF agents?

    Because the state-fellators cannot question the rightness of the government's actions. To do so would force them to question all their beliefs. Because if the government can do this so wrong, it can do health care wrong. It can do welfare wrong. It can do regulation wrong.

    They can't go down that road, because it ends up in a place that they don't want to be, that doesn't foster the identity they've decided for themselves. So they must twist and spin everything the government does to excuse it. They have to, for their own peace of mind.

    Welcome to the repulsive mind of a statist.

  • shrike||

    Which "state" acted wrongly in the prelude to the Civil War? The North or the South?

  • ||

    Why not both, fuckface?

  • Hell's Librarian||

    The North or the South?

    Yes.

  • Marshall Gill||

    Which "state" acted wrongly in the prelude to the Civil War? The North or the South?

    Why the fuck can't it be both? Oh, yeah, because then imbecilic Leftards such as yourself wouldn't be able to scream "slavery" any time Federalism were mentioned.

  • ||

    For someone who claims to see the shade of grey in everything Shriek, you sure do display black and white thinking, in every sense of the phrase.

  • shrike||

    A question is black or white thinking? Do you know how stupid that is?

  • ||

    The North or the South?

    Assumes the conclusion that exactly one party was at fault, Shrieky. And go fuck yourself with a red hot poker while you Intrade your next Roofy conquest.

  • TELLMOFF||

    The repulsive mind of the statist is dominant in theU.S.A. Close your eyes to government murders and never have to fight for freedom is the American mentality.

  • Bingo||

    I think most Americans are more in love with the idea of freedom than the actuality of it.

  • CatoTheElder||

    I'm proud to be an American
    where at least I know I'm free
    to go through a pornoscanner or
    submit to a search on a Houston bus
    or to file a comprehensive record of my financial records every year or
    to have my medical records collected in a national database.

    Land of the free and home of the brave, indeed. Americans are in love with their delusion of freedom.

  • plu1959||

    the excellent and disturbing authorized biography of McVeigh, American Terrorist.

    "Authorized"? Does the McVeigh estate limit access to his papers or something?

  • plu1959||

    I mean that only in the most constructive way.

  • ||

    IANAL, but maybe it had to be authorized by Steven Jones, McVeigh's atty, so Jones could discuss the case particulars without breaching confidentiality. Also, McVeigh's family may have had to been consulted for other particulars and legal releases. I don't know, this would be more of RC Dean's or any of the other house barristers realm of knowledge.

    Any Reason house solicitors care to comment?

  • Lucy Steigerwald||

    Authorized not the best word choice. It's been about a year since I read the book, so memory is fuzzy on particulars there. But it's heavily based on hours of interviews with McVeigh and far as I know he gave the project his blessing. He wanted to able to tell the side of the story that he (bizarrely) assumed he would be asked to tell once he was hailed as a brave hero by the people.

  • ||

    There is no denying McVeigh was delusional, to say the least. I was in OKC when the Murrah Building was bombed (no, Dr. Groove is not John Doe #2). It was awful. I remember my first thought when I saw the teevee footage was "Wow, where is that, downtown Beirut?", then what happened was explained and then it was buckets full of "Holy Shit! Here?! Why?"

    I'm not in favor of the death penalty, but I was not sad when McVeigh was executed.

  • Lucy Steigerwald||

    Damn. I am glad you came out of that okay.

    McVeigh kind of fascinates me, which of course makes me feel like a creep. But he correctly identified something wrong and then decided to do...something at least as wrong.

  • Coeus||

    As much as the media tries to falsely pin every hint of violence on "small government types", McVeigh is the only one where it's really true. We have to own that one. Still, though, it pales in comparison to the sins of the "safety at any cost" folks, or the "save them from themselves" folks.

  • Ted S.||

    If we say Lucy Steigerwald fascinates us, does that makes us creeps? ;-)

  • nipplemancer||

    Ted, Your restraining order is in the mail.

  • Ted S.||

    I was only asking a hypothetical. I didn't say I find her fascintating. The rest of you creeps, however.... ;-)

    More interesting than Doherty? Absolutely, especially since she isn't hawking a book in every post. Fascinating? I don't normally find people fascinating.

  • Lucy Steigerwald||

    To be fair, I have yet to write a book. So, uh, we'll see how often I hawk it when I do.

  • ant1sthenes||

    I wonder if people would have given nearly as much of a crap if there weren't so many kids that were killed there. I mean, if someone who had gotten fingerbanged one too many times blew up a bunch of TSA agents, I would probably not be all saddened. If they accidentally took out a visiting toddler, though, it would be a different story.

  • ||

    He wanted to able to tell the side of the story that he (bizarrely) assumed he would be asked to tell once he was hailed as a brave hero by the people.

    Can't we assume McVeigh was an idiot?

    For the five months following the Waco inferno, Timothy McVeigh worked at gun shows and handed out free cards printed up with Horiuchi's name and address, "in the hope that somebody in the Patriot movement would assassinate the sharpshooter". He wrote hate mail to the sniper, suggesting that "what goes around, comes around". McVeigh considered targeting Horiuchi, or a member of his family, before settling on a bombing attack on a federal building- choosing to target the Murrah Building.[9]

  • Cyto||

    I didn't realize that the Waco fire was actually in question among reasonable folk. In addition to video evidence of the start of the fire in multiple locations, weren't there were survivors who detailed the plan to set fires and its execution?

    Also, wasn't the primary lesson of Waco "Don't raid an armed compound with tanks and M-16 rifles in order to save children from their parents when they are in no immediate danger from said parents."? Alternately the lesson could have been "don't assault a cult leader in his heavily defended compound full of women and children, arrest him quietly when he comes in to town."

    Heck, there's probably 20 other stupid, reckless and possibly criminally negligent things the government did during that incident. But I didn't think burning the building down with the people inside was on the list.

  • shamalam||

    I thought the fire at the Waco compound was the result of the gas grenades launched into the structure, i.e. the feds didn't intend to set fire to the compound but that was the result.

  • Trespassers W||

    I didn't realize that the Waco fire was actually in question among reasonable folk.

    Did you see Waco: The Rules of Engagement? That offered a pretty compelling argument to the contrary. I don't remember anything about "survivors who detailed the plan to set fires and its execution". If there's a good debunking of that documentary, I'd like to know about it.

  • Swamp Think||

    IIRC, survivors testified in court that fires were planned and ready to go. I think this is covered in W:TRE.

  • devan||

    They want it erased from history but this memorial site will remain forever: www . wizardsofaz . com/ waco/waco2 . html
    And if that weren't bad enough, Clinton's thugs then stuck a machine gun in the face of a 5 year old boy and sent him to the communist gulag known as Cuba: www . therealcuba . com/ elian_gonzalez . htm
    Let's hope Clinton isn't teaching President Prompter too many of his old tricks!

  • Cyto||

    Also, for Anthony Gregory: The tiny minority community wasn't "virtually exterminated". They were actually exterminated. Literally exterminated. Nothing "virtual" about it when they are almost all dead.

  • Lucy Steigerwald||

    Perhaps he meant because there were a handful of survivors? I know him a bit, and he's written a lot about the subject. I just think today's writing was particularly withering and dreadful.

  • Anthony Gregory||

    Well, Koresh had about 140 followers. About sixty of them survived the standoff and fire. Many had left the home before April 19 and there were other survivors.

  • Cyto||

    I suppose that's fair enough. And if they continue to be followers today, I suppose they failed in their extermination - literally, figuratively and virtually.

    Please, please let there be a happy ending there... the last thing the world needs is an apocalyptic-cult-leader-martyr group. I mean, there's no way a small band of followers of a martyred religious figure could gain traction, is there?

  • Swamp Think||

    Why not? If Haile Selassie can do it...

  • devan||

    Bill and Hillary Clinton should be in prison for crimes against humanity for what they did to their fellow citizens at Waco, TX, on April 19, 1993. The Waco Massacre and church burning was the most brutal, heinous violation of civil, human and Constitutional rights in this nation's history. Innocent men, women and children were attacked with tanks, poison gas (CS gas turns to cyanide when heated) and burned alive. Those who ran from the church were machine-gunned as documented in the movie "Waco, The Rules of Engagement." If you doubt how bad this was consider that you never hear the left stream media talk about it.

  • Abersouth||

    Most brutal violation of civil rights in this nations history? Waco was a violation, but not the worst. I think that was state sanctioned slavery. Millions of people in forced inter-generational servitude with families systematically destroyed vs just under eighty people murdered. Careful about those lazy certainties.

  • ant1sthenes||

    Not to mention the Native Americans, who got the same treatment on a much larger scale.

  • Hugh Akston||

    Timothy McVeigh was a product of this far-right subculture, a brooding sociopath who, as an army gunner, relished mowing down surrendering Iraqi soldiers during Operation Desert Storm.

    Clearly McVeigh hated America because of its freedoms.

  • ||

    McVeigh was part of the rebel alliance, and a traitor!

  • ||

    Dantooine. The rebel base is on Dantooine.

  • shrike||

    Actually, you and McVeigh are simpatico.

  • ||

    I have to agree about ruby ridge.

    there MAY have been murder/manslaughter committed by govt. agents at waco

    but there certainly was murder imnsho committed by that fuckstick sniper (horiuchi?) at ruby ridge

  • Heroic Mulatto||

    Horiuchi was at Waco as well.

  • ||

    mebbeso, bu im not aware that he murdered anybody at waco. he MAY have, but i KNOW he committed murder imnsho at ruby ridge.

    waco is massive govt. fuckupedness and quite possibly govt. manslaughter and govt. murder

    ruby ridge is massive govt. fuckupedness AND blatant murder, not to mention an unconstitutional rules of engagement by horiuchi's supervisor.

  • Bingo||

    Wow, this guy is an unbelievable piece of excrement.

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Lon_Horiuchi

    And a pre-emptive "fuck you" to dunphy -

    In 1997, Boundary County, Idaho Prosecutor Denise Woodbury, with the help of special prosecutor Stephen Yagman, charged Horiuchi in state court with involuntary manslaughter over his killing of Vicki Weaver. The U.S. Attorney filed a notice of removal of the case to federal court, which automatically took effect under the statute for removal jurisdiction[10] where the case was dismissed by U.S. District Judge Edward Lodge on May 14, 1998, who cited the supremacy clause of the Constitution which grants immunity to federal officers acting in the scope of their employment.[2]
  • ||

    a pre-emptive fuck you, pussyface.

    horiuchi should be in prison for murder.

    full stop

    but leave it to an ignoranus like you to try to disagree on something we clearly AGREE ON

    horiuchi committed murder

    and his supervisor, who authorized his 'shoot on sight' order was an accomplice

    hth moron

  • Bingo||

    Right, we agree on it. I'm drawing your attention to it because of the thousand other times you've disagreed when I've pointed out that law enforcement officers are judged by a completely different set of rules than the rest of humanity. And that set of rules demonstrably allows them to brutalize and murder people almost at whim.

  • ||

    first of all, federal officers and local officers operate under completely different legal structures on immunity and all sorts of other factors

    that aside, i can point out (and have) numerous examples where LEO's are judged on a more harsh set of rules, and some examples where they have a more lenient set of rules.

    the idea that cops can brutalize and murder people almost at whim is laughably absurd.

    again, i can point to examples where cops 'get away' with more, and i can point to examples where they are judged more strictly

    furthermore, as is oft-ignored, there are somewhat different 'rules' for ANYBODY cop OR noncop when acting IN AN ARREST capacity, that explains part of the difference

    i've seen security guard cases and private citizen cases where a guy got the piss beaten out of them, and the citizen didn't get charged either

    so, you must compare arrest to arrest not non-arrest to arrest situations

    i have already pointed out one example in kelso oregon where a citizen used deadly force in a situation where he was not charged, and it clearly would have been unlawful for a cop to do so - because the standard in that circ is harsher

    you see ONE SIDE of the picture which is typical for a mindless ideologue. iow, you are exactly like the libs you chastise, just on the opposite side of the argument

  • ||

    also, if cops could brutalize people at whim, you wouldn't see the COMMON OCCURRENCE of cops being criminally charged, which happens very frequently. heck, just in the seattle area, there have been a bunch of cases

    there was one just a couple of week agos with that seattle cop, there was the griffee case, the bonair (sp?) case, the schene case, etc. etc. that's JUST LOCALLY.

  • Bingo||

    Oh give me a break. You cannot seriously believe that the number of cops being arrested is greater than or equal to the number of immoral and unethical actions that cops get away with on a daily basis.

  • Bingo||

    first of all, federal officers and local officers operate under completely different legal structures on immunity and all sorts of other factors


    And you are okay with this? To me, murder is murder whether or not someone is acting under the auspices of the state.

    And as far as the "in arrest capacity" goes, it's okay to brutalize an incapacitated individual? It's okay to gang up and beat people down? If any other person did it, it would be assault. But you wrap it in the words "in arrest capacity" and suddenly it's a legitimate and moral action.

    Your cognitive dissonance on these issues is astounding.

  • Coeus||

    that aside, i can point out (and have) numerous examples where LEO's are judged on a more harsh set of rules,

    No, you have that one defenestration case where the guy got a 20% longer sentence than average.

    But please keep lying about it, because I like the opportunity to use the word "defenestration".

  • R||

    Speaking of Horiuchi...

    Don't buy anything buy HS Precision. Those fucktards used Horiuchi as a spokesperson, then when informed as to why this was a very bad idea DOUBLED DOWN, and then when their bottom line started to being affected (Remington, among others, dropped them in favor of McMillan) issued a mind-blowingly insulting non-apology. Apparently, the president or CEO or something of HS precision is friends with the murdering bastard.

    Some background: http://www.atomicnerds.com/?p=1446

  • R||

    *Don't buy anything by

    We really need an edit feature.

    Also, some more background:

    http://www.atomicnerds.com/?p=2268

  • Heroic Mulatto||

  • Heroic Mulatto||

  • Heroic Mulatto||

  • Killazontherun||

    Happy Arbor Day, faggot!

  • Killazontherun||

    Best to ignore shrike. He can only talk out of his ass 'cause gash is all he's got.

  • shamalam||

    I watched a documentary about the congressional hearings about the Waco fiasco. I could never look at Chuck Schumer without revulsion after watching that.

    If you want to get your rage on, I recommend it. I am not sure of the title anymore but this might be it: "Waco: The Rules of Engagement"

  • Lucy Steigerwald||

    That'd be it. Around Reason Schumer is not well-loved, but the smugness of Schumer in those hearings. Yeah, that's the origin of my loathing for the guy as well.

  • Trespassers W||

    Me too. He's in my top three of people I would like to punch in the face. I'm not sure who the other two are.

  • Swamp Think||

    ^^This^^
    Watching Schumer in those hearings is like watching him plow Janet Reno while tossing Clinton's salad(Bill not Hillary). Simply nauseating.

  • General Butt Naked||

    Good Song about Doc Ellis's acid fueled no-hitter.

  • Coeus||

    I could never look at Chuck Schumer without revulsion after watching that.

    What amazes me is that you could before.

  • ||

    It's been pointed out on these boards that Schmuck Schumer is an effective communicator. Total scumbag but I admit he does have skill shooting perfectly aimed loaded questions with the precision of an F-22. The most dangerous place one can be is b'twixt a teevee camera and the Moobed One.

  • Cyto||

    He's a real pro. There are very few who are able to work up real indignation and outrage when they are fully aware that they are full of shit. Schumer can do it, Al Sharpton does it with the best of them, Rangel... I suppose it is a New York thing.

    Most of the blowhards up there actually believe their own crap, which makes them dangerous enough. These rare birds from NY are able to spin out a line of crap with complete awareness of what they are doing, and still manage full outrage. It makes them very formidable in a debate.

    I had dinner with Congressman Rangel a few years ago and he was pretty up-front about the dog and pony show he puts on for the cameras and constituents. He's an absolutely hilarious, bright and engaging guy (at least he was the one time I met him) and I definitely got the impression that he doesn't even agree with himself half the time. But he knows how to play the political power game.

    I'm not sure which is worse, knowing you are full of crap or being completely unaware, but I can respect the capability. Like they say, don't hate the player, hate the game. Unfortunately I don't have that capability - so I reserve my hate for the player.

  • Coeus||

    I'm not sure which is worse, knowing you are full of crap or being completely unaware,

    I'm gonna go with the knowing. Especially when you are doing it to further your own interests at the expense of others. There is absolutely no excuse for that. Those people make me wish I believed in hell.

  • R C Dean||

    I reserve my hate for the player.

    As you should, when the players write the rulebook.

  • Death Rock and Skull||

    "Three years ago, a Homeland Security intelligence analyst wrote a scary report warning that right-wing extremist groups were making a comeback and needed to be more closely tracked."

    They said the same thing about Occupy Wall Street. They pay private sector "consultants" to click around MSNBC and profile as many people as possible, while not actually uncovering any new "intelligence". There is probably no qualification for being an "intelligence analyst" other than something like a literary critiquing degree. Jobs program!

  • Coeus||

    Read the comments to see how some cops really feel about randomly shooting dogs.

  • Coeus||

    Although maybe they're afraid because they think all dogs act the way they've trained their own. Like eating a sleeping woman's head.

  • Bingo||

    Jesus christ

    Why don't they consider holding the caller accountable for giving a false address?


    Seriously, an entire group of adults that is completely unable to hold one of their own accountable. That is some heavy-duty brainwashing at work.

  • Sevo||

    califernian|4.19.12 @ 8:03PM|#
    "There are many crazy dangerous people who love big government.
    There are many crazy dangerous people who hate big government."

    Yes, and the first are 'way more dangerous. Ever hear of, oh, Stalin?

  • R C Dean||

    The body count for the jackboots is a little higher, isn't it?

  • PantsFan||

  • AlmightyJB||

    Yeah, I wasn't molesting that little kid, I was collecting their DNA. It was consensual. Let's see, kids are not old enough to consent to anything including contracts but they can consent to this? I don't see how that holds up in court. And also, f*cking pigs.

  • AlmightyJB||

    That reply was supposed to be to Cyto below.

  • Cyto||

  • BoscoH||

    Let me be the first to wish you all a Merry Koreshmas.

  • ||

    not even read the comments, but glad to see this date rememberated

  • ||

    also, turner diaries ftwtf! who rules bartertown!

  • RyanXXX||

    ^I agree, Lucy, that McVeigh is a fascinating character.

    In a different time, he could have been a hero. Even in this time, if he had picked a better target he could have been a hero. But the presence of a day care center in that building wiped out any moral argument he had. I believe him that he didn't know it was there, but he still deserved to fry for that.

    But still, we might be living in a freer country if more people put their money where their mouth was like he did

  • Invisible Finger||

    This is essentially why i am anti-large organization in the first place - its nothing but putting someone else's where your mouth is. When an orgs objective is narrow, that is less likely to be the case. Orgs with broader objectives always operate on false pretenses because you'll never find a paying member that agrees 100% with what the org is doing.

  • AlmightyJB||

    Yeah, 10 years from now the media will still be using this anniversary to remind us of how we're in imminant danger from the small government types even though there will still be no more examples than this one. KInd of like how every anniversary of Matthew Shepards death is a reminder of how in danger gay people are of being murdered just because of who they are because we're all full of hate.

  • AlmightyJB||

    I have always been interested in current events but I think the paramilitarization of the federal police during the Clinton years is when I first started following politics closely. The DEA, ATF, and FBI were all completely out of control under Reno. It then of course infected local cops and now every mall cop in America thinks he's a Navy Seal.

  • Spoonman.||

    If that McVeigh book is available on Kindle I might have to get it.

    I just don't get what snapped in him to switch from anger at Reno and Horiuchi, who should be in jail, to blowing up a bunch of bureaucrats (assuming he wasn't lying that he didn't know about the daycare center). Just lazy?

  • AlmightyJB||

    As I recall he was taking a page out of The Turner Diarys and trying to start a revolution. He was trying to start a larger war not necessarily seeking revenge.

  • AlmightyJB||

    As far as the daycare goes, when he was interviewed, he had no remorse. He only regretted it to the extent it distracted from the cause. He truly was a sociopath.

  • The Fatman||

    I have to say, I don't care about the daycare center. If you don't want your kids killed don't take them to a legitimate military target. How many kids has the U.S. Govt killed with drones and such. Fuck the kids of the organs of the state.

  • Lucy Steigerwald||

    How exactly is it the fault of said kids if their parents are DEA agents and such?

    Punishing kids for the evil of their parents is for states to do.

  • Gladstone||

    Never been very found of libertarians when they try to do their best Robespierre impersonation.

  • The Fatman||

    If you don't want your kids killed...don't take them to a military target. It is called "Collateral Damage" the U.S. does it all the time. If your intention is the overthrow of the government that building is a legitimate military target. And if you are successful than you are the state right? Do you think our military would not bomb an enemy building because they had their kids there? Fat chance. Goose, gander, etc.

  • RyanXXX||

    That's the problem, though, Fatman.

    By using terms like "collateral damage" to minimize the death of innocent children, McVeigh became no better than the State he was at war with.

    What was he fighting for, if not to protect innocent children (like the ones at Waco, Ruby Ridge, Iraq, etc.)?

  • RPR2||

    The Branch Davidian tragedy was brought on by a cult leader stubbornly refusing to peaceably comply with legal authorities

    It was their annual, pre-budget, made for the nightly network TV news, publicity stunt, lets get more funding from Congress, raid. My brother was an agent and I watched these yearly. Always at budget time. Someone finally shot back.

  • Mr. FIFY||

    shrike|4.19.12 @ 10:31PM|#

    What good are they then? I also refuse to carry out unlawful orders.

    So... that would make *you*, basically, an Oath Keeper, in spirit if not in total agreement.

    Keep digging, cunt.

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