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The Lessons of Waco
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April 19 was the 28th anniversary of one of the most shameful episodes in modern American history: the massacre of 76 innocent men, women, and children by agents of the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, and Firearms (ATF) in a military-style assault on the Branch Davidian compound in Waco, Texas.

The assault followed a botched raid on the Davidian compound (staged at a time that it would distract attention from an ATF sexual harassment scandal) and a two-month standoff between the Davidians and the agency. The ATF used CS tear gas against the Dravidians, even though the gas was banned by an international treaty the US agreed to just months before the assault. So, if the assault had occurred on foreign soil as part of a military operation, it would have been a war crime.

Waco illustrates the dangers to our lives and liberties posed by a hyper-interventionist foreign policy. Eventually the deadly tools of the military-industrial complex will be brought home and used against US citizens.

In the 28 years since Waco, the military-industrial complex’s role in domestic law enforcement has grown. This is largely thanks to the Section 1033 program that provides military-grade equipment to local law enforcement. The people will not be safe from militarized law enforcement until Section 1033 is repealed and the military-industrial complex is dismantled.

The initial raid on the Branch Davidian compound was justified by claims the Davidians were violating unconstitutional gun laws. Infringements on the Second Amendment empower the federal police state. This is one reason why all those who value liberty must oppose all gun control laws, such as those currently being advocated by President Joe Biden and his congressional allies.

Last week, the ATF helped further Biden’s anti-Second Amendment agenda by issuing a proposed regulation regarding pistols fitted with stabilizers, thus allowing the agency to harass more gun owners.

Also last week, the Department of Justice unveiled model red flag legislation to encourage more states to adopt these laws. Red flag laws allow law enforcement to seize an individual’s firearms based on an allegation the individual may turn violent. Not surprisingly, allowing police to show up at a person’s home and demand he surrender his firearms can lead to violence. Expanding red flag laws will violate Americans’ Second Amendment rights, disregard due process, and lead to police being in more violent encounters.

David Chipman, President Biden’s nominee to head the ATF, is a former ATF agent turned gun control lobbyist. Mr. Chipman is an outspoken defender of the ATF’s actions at Waco. In addition to supporting red flag laws, he wants the ATF to arrest Americans who cannot buy a firearm because they failed a federal background check. The background check produces many false positives. Chipman’s proposal would lead to the arresting of many innocent Americans. This would not bother Chipman since he told the Senate Judiciary Committee that law-abiding gun owners are potential criminals.

The Waco massacre is proof that, as the late libertarian Karl Hess put it, “whenever you put your faith in big government for any reason, sooner or later you end up an apologist for mass murder.” Those of us who understand this must continue to spread the truth about the true nature of the welfare-warfare-regulatory state. Key to regaining our liberty is making government officials abide by the same rules against the initiation of violence that apply to private citizens.

(Republished from The Ron Paul Institute by permission of author or representative)
 
• Category: History • Tags: Civil Liberties, Police State 
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  1. There was not one untrue sentence here by a true Libertarian and Constitutionalist. Thank you again, Dr. Paul. As for the Waco Massacre, it was one of the earlier times for me in detecting the subtle lies from the mass media (no, the lies are no longer subtle). I watched a reporter on the national TV news going on about the situation in Waco, and he handed back the sound to the anchor with the words “they are SURVIVALISTS, Dan!”

    See, we, the viewers, were supposed to be scared of these people, because they were (emphasis on WERE) SURVIVALISTS. OMG! They don’t want to succumb to US Gov’t bullshit and tyranny. They wanted to be left alone. We are supposed to be scared of people like this, so shooting up and burning their ranch house with the men women and children inside was A-OK, because they were SURVIVALISTS!

    BTW, a great Libertarian* named Vin Suprynowicz, whose name I have to copy/paste EVERY! SINGLE! TIME! gave me a copy of his book Send in the Waco Killers about 10 years ago. He used to write a great column for the Las Vegas Review Journal. More about the man and his writing on Peak Stupidity is here – “Papiere bitte!” – “Your papers, please!” and memories of Mr. Vin Suprynowicz along with “Papiere bitte!” – “Your papers, please!” – Part 2 and “Papiere bitte!” – “Your papers, please!” – Stories from the real deal.

    (He’s still around, writing on the site I linked to with his name.)

    .

    * Who, for all those deriding Libertarianism (you know who you are), has been completely against the immigration invasion since way back. Living in Las Vegas, Mr. Suprynowicz has seen enough.

    • Thanks: Adam Smith, Richard B, tyrone
  2. China has bigger government than America and in general its police are unarmed.

    America has a huge number of homeless camping in the streets when China does not, has lower life expectancy than any European country or even Cuba, which despite decades of cruel sanctions by the huge monster across the water has a healthier population.

    Americans are relatively poorly educated because of the costs America’s economic hit men impose on students.

    America is unique in the world in the high cost of it medical care and what Americans have to pay for medicines.

    America is unique in the world in its number of street killings. And unique in the relative numbers incarcerated in its disgustingly privately-owned prisons, where numbers of prisoners have to be maximized for profit.

    You are missing an important credential, Ron Paul. You didn’t announce at the start that you are Keynesian. You didn’t talk about what Michael Hudson has taught you.

    • Troll: R.G. Camara
    • Replies: @Biff
    , @Reg Cæsar
  3. Waco is the standard by which our rogue DOJ/FBI/ATF police state and MIC carry out barbaric assaults against its own citizens and those abroad unable to defend themselves. America is the bully of the world, just like the thugs it defends and protects, from BLM/Antifa to MS-13, corrupt politicians and Wall Street robber barons to tyrannical technopolies, the citizens of America are now under attacked by their own government.
    You don’t declare 75 million plus Trump supporters white Supremacists and domestic terrorists and expect them to stand down while rounding up hundreds of patriots for exercising their constitutional rights to address grievances. The only person killed January 6th was a unarmed female veteran shot dead point blank by a black BLM supporting Capitol cop they refused to publicly name. Yet they call that rally an armed insurrection where no patriots had none.

  4. Biff says:
    @Ann Nonny Mouse

    China has bigger government than America

    Wrong!
    The U.S. government is the biggest(and most expensive) ever; all of which is privately owned. And they said fascism wouldn’t happen here.
    Wrong!

  5. @Ann Nonny Mouse

    America has a huge number of homeless camping in the streets when China does not…

    Because it is against the law, which they enforce. As do most countries.

    America is unique in the world in its number of street killings.

    Someone is apparently unfamiliar with South Africa and Brazil. And, a few years back, Russia. As for cities, Tegulcigalpa is comparable in size to San Antonio, Dallas, Phoenix, and San José, but sees more homicides than those cities do combined.

    (Tegucigalpa has a Palestinian mayor. He must feel right at home.)

    has lower life expectancy than any European country

    Lower life expectancy than any white country. Which we are not.

    • Replies: @Biff
  6. UNIT472 says:

    I was a bit confused at to which WACO incident Paul was referring to. The 1993 attack on the Branch Davidians or the 2015 police attack on the motorcyclists at the Twin Peaks restaurant. Both were disgraceful abuses by the authorities.

  7. Biff says:
    @Reg Cæsar

    America has a huge number of homeless camping in the streets when China does not…

    Because it is against the law, which they enforce. As do most countries.

    Wrong!

    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Homelessness_in_China

    • Replies: @Reg Cæsar
  8. I hate to correct Dr. Paul, but the ATF were only in command on Feb 28 1993. Very soon after the failed ATF raid, the FeeBI took over. The FBI was the agency that committed the massacre on April 19 1993.

    • Replies: @Mark Hunter
  9. Nothing was learned from the Waco firebombing. Not a single federal stormtrooper was fired or charged with a crime.

    • Replies: @anarchyst
  10. China has bigger government than America and in general its police are unarmed.

    “Chinese law enforcement, military, paramilitary, and important security personnel are allowed to use firearms. Police are to use issued pistols only to stop serious or dangerous crimes.”

    The average Red Chinese citizen has no rights. If the State wants someone gone they end up gone.

    • Replies: @Biff
  11. they love dead babies

  12. onebornfree says: • Website

    “The Key to regaining our liberty is making government officials abide by the same rules against the initiation of violence that apply to private citizens.”

    More accurately, the key is to, at the very least, cut the federal government down to its original constitutional size/limits, thus eliminating ALL of the entirely unconstitutional federal agenices, including, but not limited to, the ATF and the FBI.

    Nothing less will suffice. The only presidential candidate I’m aware of to propose such a “radical” goal was the late, great Harry Browne.

    “Why Government Doesn’t Work” : https://wiki.mises.org/wiki/Why_Government_Doesn%27t_Work

    Regards, onebornfree

  13. botazefa says:

    I hate to correct Dr. Paul, but the ATF were only in command on Feb 28 1993. Very soon after the failed ATF raid, the FeeBI took over. The FBI was the agency that committed the massacre on April 19 1993.

    Aren’t both in the department of justice? Reno was always in charge. It occurs to me that having the lead prosecutor (US Attorney General) lead national police agency(ies) is a really obviously stupid idea. Prosecutors shouldn’t be able to fire the police.

    A suggestion, Ron Paul: Audit the Fed *and* break up the US Justice Department, put it under SCOTUS, and raise policing components to the Department level, and let that affirmative action hero leading the capital police run it. That should hobble the FBI for a generation.

    • Replies: @anon
    , @Chris Mallory
  14. Mark Hunter says: • Website
    @Chris Mallory

    … the ATF were only in command on Feb 28 1993. Very soon after the failed ATF raid, the FBI took over. The FBI was the agency that committed the massacre on April 19 1993.

    In command included starting the shooting. The ATF began by shooting five of the Branch Davidians’ dogs, mostly Alaskan malamutes.

    For those who don’t know about the Waco massacre there’s a good capsule summary here.

    • Replies: @Chris Mallory
  15. @Biff

    Well, that’s a case of hard-heartedness, rather than the soft-heartedness we see here. Anyway, these people are poor and desperate, not clinically insane. More of a favela thing.

    I was merely replying to Ann’s claim, so take it up with her.

  16. anon[362] • Disclaimer says:
    @botazefa

    Aren’t both in the department of justice?

    In 1993 the BATF was still part of the Department of the Treasury. You have to go back to the National Firearms Act of 1934 to puzzle out why.

    Reno was always in charge.

    No, Janet Reno only “took charge” after the Davidians had repelled the BATF assault and the FBI arrived.

    She approved the final plan for the FBI and then, like her boss BJ Clinton, she left town.

    The press has covered for the Waco murders since 1993. Never expect any honesty from a presstitute, they are not capable of it.

    • Replies: @botazefa
  17. Cowboy says:

    Waco and Ruby Ridge was when it became explicit that TPB decided rural folk needed to be slapped down for their freedom loving ways which also coincided with the shipping of their livelihoods overseas. Then came the dissimulation of Oklahoma City for further pretense. Later the rural youth are used as cannon fodder for overseas wars for Israel. Then Trump gets elected and all hell breaks loose. Now TPB is barely even able to restrain their antipathy for rural folk. The hubris of their successes in the false flag operations of the Whitmer kidnapping and Jan 6 event along with the stolen election is almost maniacal.

    • Agree: Achmed E. Newman
  18. botazefa says:
    @anon

    No, Janet Reno only “took charge” after the Davidians had repelled the BATF assault and the FBI arrived.

    Thanks!

  19. Canada could have had it’s own Waco massacre three years earlier, but didn’t.

    In July 1990, Mohawk Indians began a standoff with provincial police over disputed land titles. Like the Waco incident, it began with a wild firefight, with one policeman killed.

    Following the botched police assault, the Canadian military took over the siege of the native encampment. The Canadian government did not want a massacre on their watch, so they whittled the aboriginals down in a strategy of attrition. It took 78 days and the approaching cold weather to sap the will of the last Indian warriors. Not wanting to continue, the natives burned their AK-47’s and marched out to be arrested by military police.

    The operation is regarded as a textbook example of successful de-escalation.

  20. @Mark Hunter

    Yes, the ATF started the shooting on Feb 28. But it was rather peaceful for 50 odd days until the FeeBI decided it’s agents were too tired to continue the siege. That is when the FeeBI burned down the building and murdered those still inside.

  21. @botazefa

    Aren’t both in the department of justice? Reno was always in charge.

    ATF had been investigating Koresh since June of 1992. The raid took place five weeks after Clinton took power. Do you really believe this raid was planned and OK’d by higher ups in 5 weeks? Daddy Bush is as much to blame for these murders as Clinton was.

    At the time ATF was still a Treasury Department agency. Reno did not take command until the FeeBI became involved. ATF was transferred to Justice when Baby Bush signed the Homeland Security Act into law in 2002.

    • Replies: @anon
  22. anon[186] • Disclaimer says:
    @Chris Mallory

    ATF had been investigating Koresh since June of 1992. The raid took place five weeks after Clinton took power. Do you really believe this raid was planned and OK’d by higher ups in 5 weeks?

    BATF was going to be in a lot of hot water in the spring of 1993 due to sexual harassment of female agents by male agents in the Oklahoma City office. They needed a big, dramatic bust to steal all the headlines. BATF supervisors sent their agents to military training sites in order to get them ready for the raid, however BATF has never had exactly the brightest bulbs. This can be seen in vid of the raid, where it appears that at least one BATF agent may have shot other agents with his MP-5 submachine gun.

    The raid did not require any approval at the Presidential or Secretary level. It was going to be just another raid, like many others. It was supposed to be a cakewalk where BATF would roar out of their transport yelling and waving guns, then all the Branch Davidians would just fall down like dead bugs.

    How stupid were the BATF supervisors? Here’s one example. The raid took place on a Sunday morning, because BATF leadership figured all the Davidians would be in church, thus in one place, and easy to control. Makes sense? Except for the fact that the 7th Day Adventist Church holds its worship services on Saturday, and has done so for over 120 years.

    A little bit of Sun Tzu, or a little bit of humility, and BATF would have raided on the previous day, although how that would have turned out is anyone’s guess. But the point is, after nearly a year of “intelligence work”, BATF did not know what day of the week the Davidians went to church, that is the depth of BATF stupidity.

    It wasn’t about Vernon Howell per se, it was about optics and being able to shift attention away from Congressional hearings about female BATF agents getting nearly raped in Federal parking lots by male BATF agents. BATF agents used to meet Vernon Howell aka David Koresh at night spots in Waco. They even went shooting with him not long before the raid. They could have arrested him any time. This came out due to FOIA requests back in 1994.

    All the crimes committed by BATF and FBI have run past the statute of limitations. No one will go to prison for commission of perjury to a Federal judge, perjury to the Governor of Texas, tampering with evidence, destruction of evidence, conspiracy to tamper / destroy evidence, and so forth.

    But…there is one crime that has no statute of limitations, and that is murder. There are still retired and maybe even active BATF / FBI agents who could be indicted for murder, if any Texas prosecutor was brave enough. The Texas Rangers probably still have that whole warehouse of evidence, too. If convicted, those Federal agents could be sent to Huntsville, Texas for permanent residency. That would be justice.

    • Thanks: Achmed E. Newman
  23. Biff says:
    @Sick of Orcs

    The average Red Chinese citizen has no rights. If the State wants someone gone they end up gone.

    “The average American citizen has no rights. If the State wants someone gone they end up gone.” Hence the whole premise of the article. What you have are temporary privileges at the States disposal when deemed prudent. How many examples do you need?

    • Replies: @Sick of Orcs
  24. Anonymous[102] • Disclaimer says:

    Around this time a liberal friend of mine said “If you’ve got a ‘compound‘ you’re a psycho and need to be arrested!”

    And I replied “You mean like the Bushes and the Kennedys”?

    “the natives burned their AK-47’s” Where these natives “challenged”? There’s not much wood in an AK-47, the important stuff is made of metal.

    Some of us there are who still remember the murder of Vicki Weaver by FBI sniper Lon Horiuchi, who is still contributing to global warming.

    • Replies: @Achmed E. Newman
  25. Anastasia says:

    Waco was a hoax. I did thousands of hours of research over 20 years ago.

    • Replies: @Sollipsist
    , @anon
  26. @Biff

    What you have are temporary privileges at the States disposal when deemed prudent. How many examples do you need?

    However “oppressed” and bad American shitlibs think they have it, elsewhere it’s far worse. Pick a better country. I’ll believe you’re sincere if you’re already typing from there or planning to move there.

  27. @Anastasia

    I sometimes find myself dissatisfied with the proofs that people provide for their strong assertions. Thank you for not putting me in that position.

  28. anon[632] • Disclaimer says:
    @Anastasia

    Waco was a hoax

    In what sense?

    I did thousands of hours of research over 20 years ago.

    Did you publish it in any way? Is there a website where your research results can be viewed?

    Were you aware of the facts James Bovard included in this article?

    https://thehill.com/opinion/civil-rights/377189-gun-crackdowns-have-already-led-to-too-many-federal-abuses

  29. anarchyst says:
    @Sick of Orcs

    In fact, the perpetrators of both Ruby Ridge and Waco received awards and promotions.

  30. @Anonymous

    Bill Gates lives on a RANCH. Steve Sailer, if he could afford it, would live in a COMPOUND.

    VDare has an actual castle, call it whatever the hell you want, there’s no place like home. Wait, I got it: “An Immigration Patriot’s home is his castle.” ;-}

    .

    PS: Great comment. Thank you.

  31. If you look at https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_countries_by_intentional_homicide_rate you get some surprising numbers. The main stream media are keen on their version of truth and official statistics from disorganized countries are less reliable. If someone disappears they might have been eaten by a crocodile or just run away from home.

    The most successful(?) country is El Salvador at 52.2 murders per 100,00. The US Virgin Islands rate highly too at 49.6. Canada at a mere 1.76 is, quite frankly boring. England scores even less with 1.2.
    The United States with 4.96is quite low. This gives some perspective to the media’s horror stories? South America and Africa are the real hot spots.

  32. Jokem says:

    The problem as I see it is the criminal element will not be opposed to using military weapons against the police. So the police will need those types of weapons in order to balance the scales. Use of military weapons against ordinary citizens is improper, but how is that determined?

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