Bob Barr on Waco

by | Jun 11, 2008 | Stress Blog | 1 comment

One of Bob Barr’s most heroic moments was when he, more than most in his party, stood up to the Clinton administration during the hearings on the 1993 Waco tragedy. It was one of those things that, despite an otherwise mostly statist congressional record, separated him from others and revealed a libertarian streak which, as the story goes, has only expanded and deepened since 9/11.

Well, toward the end of a recent interview of Barr by Glenn Beck, Waco came up — his first public mention of it, as far as I know, since the LP campaign began. He wasn’t asked about Waco, but rather 9/11 conspiracy theories. Starting at about 37:20 in Glen Beck’s interview, he and Barr have this exchange:

Glenn Beck:When Ron Paul was running I had several run-ins with these people called the 9-11 Truthers. They say we blew up the World Trade Center. You?

Bob Barr:I don’t pay any attention to that. None at all. I’ve heard the same thing. We heard it when we did some investigations of Waco, the same sort of stuff. We gotta move beyond that. I mean there are real problems facing us and the world that we can actually do something about without worrying about conspira[cies] of times past.

Well. This is interesting. What “same sort of stuff” were people saying about Waco? That the government killed those dozens of men, women and children? That it planned an unconstitutional PR siege on the Branch Davidians instead of just arresting David Koresh, waged a propaganda campaign based on lies regarding meth labs, guns, and a hundred other things, conducted psychological warfare on them, cut off their water and access to lawyers, the media and family, threw flash bang grenades at those who tried to leave, got fed up after 51 days and so ran a tank through the home, pumping the building with poisonous and flammable CS gas and fired incendiary devices? Because, so far as I see it, government aggression against the Davidians was severe and homicidal even if we believe the Clintonistas that it was an “inside job” — that the Davidians set the fires — for surely at least some of them were killed, and all of them aggressed against, before the home went aflame.

Barr’s comparison of condemnations of government conduct at Waco and 9/11 is most disturbing, for one does not have to believe some of the more controversial claims about the ATF, FBI and military’s behavior at Waco to consider it essentially governmental mass murder. Not so with 9/11 — though of course that was at least blowback and a massive intelligence failure resulting from criminal negligence, no matter how you look at it.

Another irony: This interview exchange happens right after Barr takes the marginalized “conspiratorial” view of the North American Union, one that I personally thinks puts far too much stock in shadowy internationalist and foreign interests and not nearly enough attention on the nationalist expansionists in DC who have wanted to conquer much of the Western hemisphere since the founding of America.

Whatever he thinks of NAU, I am saddened by his comments on Waco, for he had no need even to bring it up, and in the 90s I loved how he stuck up for truth there, despite respectability and popular opinion.

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