matt | October 28, 2006
I highly recommend that folks watch this movie.
The most telling part of this documentary was much much of it is merely footage from the depositions in front of a congressional committee. If this is what was said publicly, then who knows what was covered up (and there were a great many things for which the committee asked and were never produced because they were “lost”).
The other thing which this documentary makes one realized is just how much of an enemy of freedom Sen Chuck Schumer is. He strongly supports the inviolate authority of the federal government, and balks at the idea that, under American case law, citizens have the right to shoot at law enforcement officers engaged in unlawful activites, such as the use of excessive force. The example given is that if the officers are serving a warrant and come in shooting, you have the right to shoot back.
Now, one can argue that this is just a bit of creative editing trying to make a point, and perhaps that is the case. However, I am fairly convinced that the sequence of events was as follows:
(1) The ATF stages what was supposed to be a simple “serve a warrant” arrest raid a week before their budget review comes up. (2) It all goes horribly wrong when they take fire from a group of armed citizens. (3) The ATF retreats only when they have expended almost all of their ammunition. (4) The armed citizens let them leave (5) The FBI comes in to try and clean up the mess. (6) The FBI negotiates to try and end the standoff. (7) It takes too long, and everyone is getting angry, so the FBI decides to end it. They light the compound on fire, and shoot people as they try and escape.
Now, don't get me wrong – I don't think that the whole FBI and ATF, or even everyone there onsite, actually even knew what was going on. That's what's so great about beaurocracy – it allows some folks there to be told one thing and be hanging out in front for the cameras, and then another select group around the back doing the dirty work.
Another interesting quote is from law enforcement agent, where he says (and I paraphrase here):
“The days of showing up in a 3 piece suit and serving a warrant are over, and it's people like me, (some other guy) and (some third guy) who stand between folks like you (meaning the members of the panel) and the David Koresh's of the world… it's law enforcement.”
Sorry buddy, but the David Koresh's of the world don't scare me. Jackbooted government thugs however, do.
A final interesting point is that Koresh worked with a gun dealer and worked a lot of gun shows, making money. His “arsenal” of weapons could also be known as “inventory” and (while not stated in the documentary), the fact that they estimate that he had something like 50,000 once fired pieces of brass in the basement make perfect sense – that stuff is like GOLD. Hell, I have a few thousand pieces of .45 ACP brass. Additionally, none of this is illegal.
I repeat my position that the ATF should be immediately dissolved, on the grounds that it is not necessary. The items which it regulates either do not need to be regulated (firearms, explosives) or do not need to be regulated any more than other food products need to be regulated (after all, the USDA doesn't need police powers; why do we need that when dealing with alcohol and tobacco?).
I don't think that the FBI necessarily needs to be disbanded, but should definitely be reexamined.