Beast of the Month - October 1999
Richard Rogers, FBI "Hostage Rescue" Team Head
John Lydon (aka Johnny Rotten) of The Sex Pistols, "Anarchy in the UK"
Sometimes, old news is new news, and vice versa. Consider last month, when the three biggest stories were:
A) The Indonesian military is committing atrocities against the people of East Timor;
B) The LAPD beats minorities and plants evidence; and
Ho hum, been there, done that.
Then again, perhaps it is a good thing that these stories are finally being reported to the public, even if there are ulterior motives for certain elites behind their revelation. Certainly that is the case with Waco, where Texas Governor George W. Bush is likely pushing the Waco "news" to advance his already well-financed presidential campaign ("news" already mostly revealed in the 1997 documentary Waco: The Rules of Engagement.)
And yet, despite these dubious motives, there's been some important revelations in the past month. Among the more important is from Gene Cullen, a former CIA officer, that Delta Force commandos were "present, up front and close" with the FBI in the final tear-gas assault on the Branch Davidian compound. According to Cullen, the unit "had 10 operators down there, that they were involved in the advanced forward stages of [the FBI's April 19] operations... When they explained to me the depth to which they were involved down in Waco, I was quite surprised. They said basically they were out there in the vehicles, the Bradley [fighting vehicles], the CEV [tanks]. They were active." This information was repeatedly confirmed all month, except by the US Army itself, the one group that would have the reports confirming this. Use of active-duty military personnel against civilians without a specific presidential decree is a violation of federal law, which likely means Klinton authorized it.
Even more powerful is the FBI transcript confirmation that the FBI approved use of flammable munitions against the Branch Davidian, in complete contrast to what had been the official record. The official coverup of this fact went on for six years, then went up in a puff of smoke in September. The special agent who okayed the use was Richard Rogers, head of the FBI "Hostage Rescue" Team and our Beast of the Month.
Rogers later sat behind William S. Sessions, then director of the FBI, as he testified before Congress that no flammable munitions had been used. There is reasonable speculation that Sessions himself soon had serious questions about what transpired at Waco. He didn't get much of a chance to investigate: he was removed on July 20, 1993, the same day (perhaps not so coincidentally) that Vince Foster supposedly committed suicide.
This is hardly the first controversy that Rogers has had his hands dirty over. In 1992, Rogers also authorized a change in the FBI's standard policy of not shooting to kill unless fired upon at Ruby Ridge, Idaho, where the hostage team was involved in a siege of the home of white separatist Randy Weaver and his family. Three people were killed in the siege: one was Weaver's wife, who was unarmed at the time.
The man who fired the shots at Ruby Ridge was Lon Horiuchi, an expert FBI sniper. Coincidentally, Horiuchi was also at Waco. A report released by the Texas Rangers states that a dozen .308-caliber shell casings, two dozen .223 casings, three .45 casings and a .22-250 casing were found at the Waco post manned by Mr. Horiuchi and at another sniper site. The .308 casings are similar to those often used by snipers and are consistent with the round used by Mr. Horiuchi in the death of Mrs. Weaver.
Previously, Mr. Horiuchi had stated that "none of the snipers under his control at Sierra-1 (Waco) fired any rounds from their weapons." This contradicts the evidence of expended shell casings and a two-page statement by FBI Agent Charles Riley, who said he heard shots fired from a sniper post occupied by Mr. Horiuchi. Later Mr. Riley supposedly retracted his statement, saying he heard no gunshots from the sniper post.
Considering the likelihood Riley was pressured into making it, the retraction should not be believed. Neither should the FBI's continued insistence that the flammable tear gas didn't cause the fire, that the Davidians set it themselves. In fact, considering the pathological level of deceit shown by authorities in the tragedy, they shouldn't be taken at their word in any of their denials.
Perhaps it is fitting that Rogers (and Horiuchi underneath him) were so deeply involved with both Waco and Ruby Ridge. These two events are considered the flash points for the Patriot movement, the wakeup call that the greatest threat to American freedom is the federal government which is supposed to defend it. In this way, Rogers has unwittingly aided a cause he has opposed by leading an Orwellian-named Hostage Rescue Team that is best know for killing people rather than rescuing them.
Of course, Rogers and Horiuchi are mere pawns: the deception and attacks on civil liberties lies much higher than them. In fact, it lies much higher than even Janet Reno, Bill Klinton or even Hillary: Ruby Ridge, after all, happened during the Bush administration, which proves the attacks on civil liberties is systematic rather than the work of a lone nut president.
Scapegoat he may be, but Rogers (like Reno and Slick Willie) deserves no sympathy: he is reaping what he sowed. His hands are bloodied in two operations he had a direct hand in. The only tragedy is if the focus on him and other scapegoats succeeds in evading the deeper questions: just why were the Delta Force there in the first place? Why did the Feds use flammable tear gas? Even more disturbing, was the ensuing explosion an accident, or intentional? Waco: The Rules of Engagement included powerful film evidence that the FBI fired shots at exits to stop Davidians from escaping the inferno. Were the deaths at Waco mass murder to cover up something deeper? The questions all remain, and Rogers, along with many others, has a lot of explaining to do.
In any case, we salute Richard Rogers as Beast of the Month. Congratulations, and keep up the great work, Dick!!!
FBI Tape Contradicts Testimony on Cult Siege
Ruby Ridge FBI Sharpshooter Was at Waco
Jerry Seper, The Washington Times (September 14, 1999)
Agent Told of Hearing FBI Shots
Gabrielle Crist, Fort Worth Star-Telegram (September 13, 1999)
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