Why the Danforth investigation
will be a whitewash



The Empire has named John Danforth, a Republican ex-senator from Missouri, to investigate its conduct during its assault on the Mt. Carmel church camp in April 1993. Assembled here are 10 theses showing why his much-ballyhooed investigation will be a whitewash and showing how that whitewash will develop.

1. Cover-up, or at least a failure to uncover anything significant, has been the mode for federal investigations of scandals in recent years. As Larry Klayman of Judicial Watch observes: "Over the last six and one half years, we have seen what is effectively a giant cover-up of 'bipartisan scandals' by the Washington establishment." Why should anything different be expected of the Danforth investigation?

2. The raison d'etre of the Danforth investigation is to rebuild confidence in the federal government by demonstrating the government's ability to police itself. Given the new revelations, the government has to take some action if it wants to prevent a loss of credibility. Danforth has openly said that he is concerned about preserving the "integrity" of the government. That purpose should be contrasted with a determination to search for truth wherever it might lead, no matter the consequences. A real unbounded search for truth could have the effect of destroying the government's "integrity." Instead, Danforth will sanitize his findings, fitting them into the prevailing "government is good" paradigm, so as to restore the government's credibility. The established media will trumpet the conduct and findings of the Danforth investigation to demonstrate the federal government's basic integrity. If the government were really evil, the media will contend, it would not allow for such an honest investigation of its actions.

3. Danforth, himself, was not a random choice. Janet Reno selected him, and she undoubtedly selected someone that Bill Clinton wanted. If you believe that Clinton is out to uncover the truth, well, you've probably already made an eBay bid on that antique bridge that spans the East River.

4. Danforth is an Establishment insider. The lavish praise heaped on him by the Establishment media and politicos underscores his Establishment credentials. Over and above all partisanship, Establishment folk identify with the government — after all, they run it. They therefore are indisposed to criticize it — really  criticize it, in possibly threatening ways. Undoubtedly, Danforth will be able to fit most of the evidence he unearths into the Establishment's government-is-good paradigm. Evidence that simply cannot fit that paradigm will be rejected as unproven. Now, things were different in the '60s and '70s when there was a major conflict among elites. But today there is unanimity among the ruling elite about protecting the government from what they regard as right-wing, anti-government forces.

5. The Establishment wants to make sure that folks they have long berated as "conspiracy nuts" are not vindicated by whatever evidence emerges from the Waco investigation. After all, if those "right wing lunatics" were right about Waco, what about Filegate, Travelgate, and Chinagate? — not to mention the mysterious deaths of Vince Foster and Ron Brown, and a host of other scandals that the established media has managed to ignore. If the Establishment's Waco position were shown to be filled with falsehoods, the credibility of the Establishment would be gravely weakened on all other issues. The Establishment would never allow an investigation that they controlled to bring about those threatening consequences.

6. The Danforth inquiry will serve to push Waco revelations out of the public limelight, especially since Danforth emphasizes that there will be no leaks. All information will go to the Danforth committee, not to the media. It will be kept secret until the final report, which, once properly massaged, will be released to the public. In essence, the investigation will serve to keep raw material on Waco from the public until it is given the proper spin.

7. The Danforth investigation will provide a perfect excuse for the major media to lose interest in the Waco holocaust. The watchword will be patience — "If there's anything wrong with Waco, Danforth will uncover it." Mediacrats will begin to urge that it is time to move on to other issues. And the public's limited attention span will facilitate that move.

8. By limiting the investigation to the final April 19 raid, the Danforth investigation greatly restricts what can be found. There will be no reinvestigation of BATF/FBI/military actions prior  to the siege and fire. The investigation of that background is not only of great value per se but is also necessary to understand the feds' actions in the April 19 raid and ensuing cover-up. The discovery of a host of criminally aggressive actions, lies, and cover-ups before April 19 would help lead to the conclusion that the feds acted in that manner on  April 19. On the other hand, limited forensic and even documentary evidence, standing alone, can be interpreted in almost any manner — and certainly allows for an interpretation that will protect the interests of the federal government.

9. Expect the Establishment media to shortly go into an attack mode against Waco critics. One tried-and-true approach is to tear into some of the witnesses and conspiracists. Filmmaker Mike McNulty ("Waco: The Rules of Engagement") would be a key figure to smear. Certainly, the media should be able to find flaws in his films. Given deft media spin, one flaw should be enough to discredit the whole idea of a government conspiracy. If all goes well, the Establishment media should be able to return the Waco critics and their ideas to the "fever swamps of the far right." Holding such views would once again be equated with "hate," "extremism," and "ignorance," and such views would be unmentionable in respectable circles.

10. The final report will make some tepid criticisms of the FBI and even of the Clinton administration. While the major media will probably praise the report, there will be some criticism of it as too harsh toward the government and the Clinton administration. James Carville could go apoplectic in condemning the "partisan Republican" report. By making Danforth appear as a critic of government actions at Waco, bona fide exposes would be effectively placed beyond the pale. In that manner, the media portrayal of Kenneth Starr as a rabid Clinton hater gave credibility to Starr's whitewash of Foster's mysterious death — if the maniac Rottweiler Starr  couldn't find anything sinister in the Foster death, there must not have been anything to find!

Danforth's report might even contain some PC implications to enhance the Establishment agenda. For example, arguments that the FBI acted overly aggressively could be addressed by putting more women in the Bureau. If the report claims that the FBI did not understand the Davidian lifestyle, that could be interpreted as a need for more mandatory multicultural and sensitivity training in law enforcement. Criticism of the FBI's supposed independence might allow for reforms that would make it even more of a tool of the administration, meaning that it would become more involved in partisan politics in the future.

September 15, 1999

This version © 1999 by WTM Enterprises. All rights reserved.

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