Attorney General Janet Reno appointed the Missouri Republican to investigate the April 19, 1993, government assault on the Branch Davidian compound after years of charges that the FBI fired on the Davidians, igniting tear gas. The raid has become a rallying point for militia groups and the alleged impetus for the bombing of the Oklahoma City federal building by Timothy McVeigh."Government agents did not start the fire at Waco," Danforth said in releasing his preliminary findings. He also concluded there was no misuse of the military and no cover-up."There was no evidence of any wrongdoing on the part of Attorney General Reno, the present and former director of the FBI, other high officials of the United States," Danforth said."The Davidians set their place on fire. They spread fuel. They set it on fire," he said. "The other thing that happened was that they began shooting their own, including children. Five children were shot to death in the head, execution. One child under the age of four was stabbed to death."In answer to a question, Danforth said his investigation placed the blame for the Waco tragedy "squarely" on the shoulders of Koresh and his followers, who refused to surrender.He said the Davidians resisted a legitimate arrest warrant with gunfire and refused for 51 days to surrender to the FBI, setting the stage for the tear gas assault by federal agents.Deputy Assistant Attorney General Eric Holder issued a statement praising the report on behalf of the Justice Department. Holder directly supervises the FBI as part of his duties."We are pleased that Senator Danforth has determined that the responsibility for the tragedy at Waco rests with the Branch Davidians, not the government. It is a finding entirely consistent with the decision rendered by a jury in Waco just last week," Holder said."Today's independent review sheds further light on the truth, and discredits many of the unsubstantiated allegations that have skewed the public's perception of the events of April 19, 1993. The events at Waco led to the deaths of at least 80 Davidians and four ATF agents. We join Senator Danforth in wishing that this report begins the process of restoring the faith of the people in their government."
Dave Workman writes: "Issa spokesperson denies Fast & Furious ‘sell-out’ rumor."
Allegations floating around the Internet that a “sell-out” on Operation Fast and Furious is being engineered were flatly denied Monday exclusively to this column by a spokesperson for the House Committee on Oversight and Government Reform.The allegation, which appears to have been repeated by at least two different internet blogs, is that House Speaker John Boehner has hampered the congressional Fast and Furious probe, and that some kind of deal has been cut to derail or at least slow down the investigation.Becca Watkins, press secretary to the House Committee, chaired by Congressman Darrell Issa, told this column via e-mail:The Republican leadership has been supportive of the Operation Fast and Furious investigation since its inception. There is no truth to these rumors that the speaker or anyone in leadership is hampering Oversight or (Sen. Charles) Grassley’s investigation. . .
This morning’s Outdoor Wire by Jim Shepherd even carried a reference to the controversy, which apparently started with a column at Sipsey Street Irregulars by Mike Vanderboegh, one of the two people responsible for unearthing the Fast and Furious controversy more than a year ago. However, apparently without contacting Vanderboegh, the Western Center for Journalism and Coach Is Right picked up the story and added their spin.For his part, Vanderboegh contacted this column late Monday afternoon and stated simply, "I stand by my sources."
Workman spends the rest of the article arguing that: "It's a little late in the game for Boehner or anyone else to effectively side-track the Fast and Furious locomotive. That train has left the station. Do the math. Boehner and Issa would have everything to lose and nothing to gain by selling out the investigation of a scandal against which Watergate pales in comparison, and not just for the fact that nobody was killed as a result of Watergate."
As I emailed Workman last night: "(W)hether it is, or is not, worth the risk depends entirely upon what they get for it in return. This has happened before you know. Cf. Danforth and the Waco cover-up. Just ask David Hardy."
The history of GOP handmaidens to the cover-up of Democrat administration crimes is lengthy and indisputable and no one -- NO ONE -- has ever paid a political price for such craven and cowardly log-rolling. From Ruby Ridge to Waco to Oklahoma City, so-called "Republicans" have assisted in deflecting the search for the truth, with Danforth merely being the most stellar example. I am not responsible for others who take my stories and rewrite them with their own spin. I am responsible for what I write. As I told Workman, I stand by my sources. I still do.