More Waco

Now I’m watching a documentary on Waco, and in it there’s this disgusting politician who is going out of his way to prove that what the FBI did to the victims was justified.

And he’s really giving me the creeps because there’s something oddly familiar about him and his dishonest screeching. And guess what? It’s Chuck Schumer. Unbelievable! The guy’s been justifying evil actions by the FBI for decades.

For some reason, I kept thinking that Democrats were more countercultural and anti-militaristic in the 1990s. I was clearly wrong.

7 thoughts on “More Waco”

  1. I remember this happening, at the time the heavy handedness of the feds was a big controversy. I am pretty sure the reason the feds did this had everything to do with how they mishandled Jonestown in the 70s when 900 people in the 90se died. The government overreacted because it underreacted before. There were also other crazy things that happened at the same time in the 90s; the cult in san diego that committed suicide because of the comet, and the Sarin gas attack by the crazy cult in Japan . It felt like the cults were really multiplying at the time, maybe it was the buildup to the new millenium. BTW, back in the 80s, the government bombed a city block in Philadelphia from a helicopter when they took out the Move compound.


    1. Very good point about Jonestown and all the other crazy cults at that time. If I remember correctly, in the show they even mention it as something they need to prevent from happening again.

      Different times back then. A part of me would like to believe today something like that would be more difficult to happen due to better negotiation tactics and a somewhat less gung-ho approach to hostage negotiation. Highly recommend “Never Split the Difference.” A book by a former FBI negotiation detailing what went wrong and how current approaches are much better at de-escalating.


  2. 1990s? You were not reading the news or not in US yet. Those were the Clinton years! The beginning of the most recent conservative turn of the Democratic Party! Early beginnings of NCLB, charter schools and stuff are, unless I really remember wrong, things Clinton ran on, that he had done in Arkansas as governor. Expansion of the federal death penalty — 3 strikes you’re out, war on “drugs” (i.e. the poor) — the end of welfare — and much, much more. When they practically became part of the Reagan Revolution, etc.


  3. “For some reason, I kept thinking that Democrats were more countercultural and anti-militaristic in the 1990s.”

    To the extent that countercultural and anti-militaristic folks were involved in party politics in the 90s you would have found them among the Democrats. But I don’t think those types ever had much power in the party.


  4. I remember the Waco situation very well. I was stationed in Saudi Arabia at the time and followed the prolonged standoff between cult leader David Koresh and the federal government on the U.S. news television channels that were beamed into U.S. military housing via satellite. The dramatic siege scene when Reno sent in the tanks and the Waco compound caught fire was shown live on television, and I watched it all play out.

    Here’s my opinion (which I felt at the time and hasn’t changed):

    Koresh was a demented psychopath who sexually abused and otherwise mistreated numerous children who were effectively prisoners in his compound. Government intervention was definitely indicated to remove the children from that environment.

    By the time Attorney General Janet Reno finally ordered the ATF team to act after 51 days of “negotiations” with Koresh, it was OBVIOUS that Koresh was playing the FBI for suckers and was never going to voluntarily surrender his megalomaniac empire. The government had no choice but to try to end the standoff with force. (In my opinion the government waited longer than it should have before acting.)

    It’s a tragedy that the rescue effort ended badly with the fire and all the deaths — but the villain here was David Koresh, not Janet Reno and not the U.S. government.


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