L. Neil Smith's
Number 54, August 31, 1999
"We didn't start the fire ..."

Darn These Inconvenient Revelations

by Vin Suprynowicz

Special to TLE

           So now the FBI, whose agents and poobahs have sworn for years -- under oath, in front of Congress -- that none of them fired any incendiary devices into the Branch Davidian Church in Waco on that fiery day in April of 1993, seems ready to admit (faced with hard evidence in the possession of George W. Bush's Texas Rangers) that they did, well, you know, lob in a round or two.
           It should hardly matter. Knocking down the walls and staircases of a wooden building to which one has illegally shut off the electricity -- being well aware you have left the residents (including women and children, none wanted for any crime) to heat and light the place with kerosene, using tanks (sorry, "armored personnel carriers") to spray flammable CS nerve gas (banned under the Geneva convention) into a building whose residents have found cause to pile bales of flammable hay against the walls to block federal machine-gun bullets, and then purposely keeping fire engines miles away, would constitute grossly negligent homicide in most jurisdictions, anyway.
           But just out of curiosity: When do you think we'll now see a goodly number of arrogant, lying FBI agents, up to and including their boss, Janet Reno (who has already "accepted full responsibility"), indicted, tried, and jailed for perjury before Congress?
           If you named a date, could I interest you in a turn-key franchise, selling ice-fishing rigs in Hades?
           In the meantime, concerned observers may want to consider the very Clintonesque political use of the word "inoculation."
           When it became obvious to his 1992 campaign staff that candidate Clinton was likely to suffer a nearly endless parade of "bimbos" coming forth to declare they have suffered the unwanted sexual attentions of Little Rock's Rooster-in-Chief, what strategy did they adopt?
           The candidate went on television, biting his lip and blinking away a tear as he admitted he had once "caused pain in mah marriage." The first little-lady-to-be bit her own tongue and sat next to him, dressed in Jackie Kennedy pink, implicitly promising to "stand by her man" ... at least until an appropriate northeastern Senate seat opened up.
           And it worked. Thereafter, whenever the next "trailer tramp" shuffled forward to proclaim Bill Clinton had exposed something that needed kissing, or committed forcible rape during a real estate tour, his loyal network toadies would snarl with exasperation on the talking head shows: "The Clintons dealt with all this during the campaign. Don't we have any fresh news to discuss?"
           Today, it's Mike McNulty, co-producer of the Academy Award-nominated documentary "Waco: The Rules of Engagement" who promises to come out with a sequel this fall, titled "Waco: A New Revelation." Mr. McNulty has been asserting all summer he has evidence there were officers of the Army's Delta Force at Waco the day the Branch Davidian children were incinerated, and hard evidence that someone -- whether FBI or U.S. Army -- fired incendiary rounds as well as machine guns into that building that day.
           Meantime, against all expectations, a federal judge is allowing the civil suit of the Branch Davidian survivors against their government attackers to move forward in federal court in Texas, virtually guaranteeing there will be an ongoing series of new revelations about the brutish behavior of the ATF and FBI in Texas in 1993.
           So, what better way to "inoculate" the Clinton administration than to hold some cursory investigation now, pin the blame on a couple of low-ranking dweebs (assuming they can't figure out a way to blame Vince Foster or Ron Brown), and then redeploy Eleanor Clift and company to shriek: "This was all dealt with back in September of '99. It's ancient history! Don't we have some news to discuss that's less than seven years old?"

# # #

           It all started in February 1998, the Denver Post reports, when teacher Barb Vogel read her 50 fifth-graders at the Highline Community School in Aurora, Colo., a newspaper story about contemporary slavery in the Sudan.
           Sitting in their carpeted classroom "family" area, the children listened raptly as Ms. Vogel spoke about boys and girls snatched away from their mothers and fathers.
           Some of the 10-year-old began sobbing as they heard about slave raiders "marching captive children across deserts, forcing them into almost inconceivable drudgery, mutilation and rape," recalled Bruce Finley of the Post last week.
           But then the children heard that some folks were trying to redeem slaves with money. The children decided to help. Encouraged by their teacher, the children set up lemonade stands, babysat, and sold old toys to raise money.
           Their effort -- and the attention it drew -- raised more than $50,000 for Swiss-based Christian Solidarity International, a humanitarian group the students heard was buying captive Africans their freedom.
           Each time Christian Solidarity staffer John Eibner secretly flew into the Sudan to buy and free slaves, he notified the students and sent them photos. Each time news of a buyback reached Colorado, the young students eagerly cut out another paper figure and pasted it on their classroom's "freedom wall" -- eventually taking credit for helping to free more than 1,000 slaves and pushing Christian Solidarity's total to 11,147 buybacks.
           The end result? The ironclad laws of the market eventually came into play, of course. With demand for slaves increasing due to the influx of such vast sums of capital (the average annual income in the Sudan is only $500), slave raids increased to fill the new demand.
           "Leaders of major human-rights organizations contend slave trading not only is increasing but that the increases almost certainly are related to sudden availability of Western money for buybacks," Mr. Finley of the Post reported Monday.
           "If you can pay for more slaves, undoubtedly more slaves will be provided for you to pay for," agrees Stephen Lewis, deputy executive director of the United Nations Children's Fund (UNICEF).
           The buyback approach "is not eradicating slavery, it is enhancing it," agrees Manase Lomole Waya, director of Humanitarian Assistance for South Sudan, speaking from his base in Nairobi, Kenya.
           The growing debate about the merits of buybacks has left teacher Vogel "deeply perplexed," the Post reports.
           "Did the children and I ever think there would be this controversy? No. We saw human beings suffering. We wanted to help. It's so simple for us."
           But for now, the children plan to continue their buyback campaign -- regardless of the real-world results -- because it makes them feel good about themselves.
           The world of the "compassionate" liberals so often turns out thus, "so simple" until they're confronted with the unintended, real-world results of their childlike interventions into complex systems they don't bother to fully understand.
           Here's another idea: perhaps the Highline Community School would like to replace Ms. Vogel with a teacher willing to do something other than turn the community's children into slave-traders -- perhaps even something as radical as studying the real world effects of people's individual buying and selling decisions. That well-established science, Ms. Vogel, is called "economics."

Vin Suprynowicz, assistant editorial page editor of the Las Vegas Review-Journal, is author of the book, "Send in the Waco Killers: Essays on the Freedom Movement, 1993-1998," available at $21.95 plus $3 shipping through Mountain Media, P.O. Box 271122, Las Vegas, Nev. 89127; by dialing 1-800-244-2224; or via web site http://www.thespiritof76.com/wacokillers.html.

Source: http://www.phillynews.com/inquirer/99/Aug/27/city/JGUNS27.htm

In "Lautenberg urges expanding new-gun registration nationwide" (Philadelphia Inquirer, Metro section, 8/27), the senator is quoted as saying, "The Constitution doesn't say you have the right to buy a gun without a license or without a permit ..."

Quite so.

However, what constitutional scholar Lautenberg seemingly fails to realize is that what matters is that the US Constitution:

  • does not say that you do not have the right to do so;

  • does say that "The enumeration in the Constitution of certain rights shall not be construed to deny or disparage others retained by the people." (Amendment IX); and

  • does say that "The powers not delegated to the United States by the Constitution, nor prohibited by it to the States, are reserved to the States respectively, or to the people." (Amendment X)

But it should surprise no one that Lautenberg does not know (or perhaps care about) the Constitution, or that he would dishonor his solemn oath of office through actions that work against that sacred document.

He has done so before.

Remember the "Lautenberg Amendment" that prohibited gun ownership to persons convicted of misdemeanor "domestic violence"?

Remember that it applied to anyone ever convicted of such a charge, past present or future?

Remember Article I, Section 9 of that same United States Constitution?

Clearly Lautenberg does not.

Quoting Frank Lautenberg on the Constitution is an affront bordering on the obscene.

-- TLE (a Letter to the Editor of the Philadelphia Inquirer)

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