“The F.L.I.R. Project”                                          

2001, COPS Productions L.L.C.

Produced and Directed by Michael McNulty

© 2001 A film review and commentary by Jack Kettler

Recently, former Senator John C. Danforth spent millions of taxpayer dollars investigating on behalf of Janet Reno’s Justice Department into a number of serious allegations against the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI). Allegations included such questions as: did the FBI fire on the Davidians trying to escape their burning church home? After his investigation, Danforth pronounced that he was 100% certain that the FBI did not fire any rounds into the building that fateful day on April 19, 1993.

It should be noted that the FBI has come under heavy criticism for its mishandling of evidence in the Timothy McVeigh case. Significantly, the only conviction ensuing from the Danforth investigation was against former U.S. Attorney Bill Johnston, who legally cleared the way, thus allowing Michael McNulty, leading independent investigator into events surrounding the Waco controversy, to examine evidence leading to serious questions of government corruption. Does this lone conviction of Johnston send a message to civil servants that are willing to come forward and reveal information of government wrongdoing? Danforth’s investigation has in effect exonerated the FBI of any wrongdoing in regards to violating rules of engagement designed to safeguard the constitutional liberty of American citizens. 

Unfortunately for Danforth and the FBI, Michael McNulty, the producer of two previous award-winning documentary films, “Waco: The Rules of Engagement” and “Waco: A New Revelation,” released his third film, “The F.L.I.R. Project.” In this new film, McNulty calls into question the credibility of Danforth’s Ft. Hood re-enactment, which allegedly attempted to duplicate events surrounding April 19, 1993, which involved government agents and alleged gunfire directed into Mt. Carmel, the Branch Davidian church home. The government’s actions ultimately climaxed in 80 men, women, and children perishing in a fiery holocaust.

In this new film of thirty-five minutes duration, McNulty raises pertinent questions concerning the accuracy of Danforth’s re-enactment tests. McNulty’s film highlights several examples of differences between the Ft. Hood re-enactment test and April 19, 1993. These are:

1.      A significant difference would be the twenty-inch barrels on the M-16A2 rifles used in the re-enactment at Ft. Hood, whereas the FBI used CAR-16s (M-4s) with 14-inch barrels at Mt. Carmel.

2.      Another significant difference would be that the ammunition used in the re-enactment was standard military ball ammunition with gunpowder that is chemically treated, which suppresses mussel flashes, whereas the FBI, on April 19, 1993, used commercial ammunition produced by the “Federal Cartridge Company.”

3.      Interestingly, the military clothing that used at Mt. Carmel on April 19, 1993, by various agents was treated with a standard heat suppressing substance. The clothing accounts for the difficulty in seeing men on the ground in 1993 “Forward Looking Infra-Red” (FLIR) tape. Danforth makes this apparent invisibility of men a big part of his conclusion. Interestingly, he does not bother to elaborate or explain that this heat suppressing substance is a significant factor, undermining one of his conclusions.

4.      The test debris field at Ft. Hood was watered down the day before and covered with a tarp keeping the ground cool until right before the test took place. The water created a contrast that did not correspond to anything similar or present on April 19, 1993.

5.      There was also a twenty-degree temperature difference between the Ft. Hood tests on April 19, 1993.

6.      The Danforth tests did not bother to create the circulating dust agitated up by the tanks on April 19, 1993. However, agitated circulating dust can make an important difference in flash signatures on FLIR tape.

There are other serious questions, which McNulty raises in his new film, one example being about the FLIR camera used at the re-enactment test and if it was working correctly. The viewer of this film is left with the distinct impression that something is seriously wrong with Danforth’s conclusions. Danforth based his conclusions that the gunfire FLIR tape signatures at the Ft. Hood re-enactment were of shorter duration and nearly invisible on this FLIR tape. Also, Danforth concluded that one could not see men on the ground in the 1993 FLIR tape. McNulty, as outlined above, questions both conclusions by Danforth. McNulty demonstrates that men are visible on the ground in the 1993 FLIR (although difficult to see) and from FBI still photos. In the FBI still photos, men appear to be seen right outside the cafeteria doors, where many Davidians were trapped, unable to exit because of the alleged gunfire. 

In addition, where Danforth failed, McNulty’s “F.L.I.R. Project” team re-created at two locations tests that duplicated gunfire signatures very similar to those flashes seen on the original Waco FLIR tapes. Therefore, in light of the questions raised in this film, this writer believes that it is still an open question regarding the FBI and the use of gunfire directed into Mt. Carmel on April 19, 1993. Also, the interested reader should consult attorney Dave Hardy’s website for pictures and analysis of many issues surrounding the FLIR/gunfire controversy at: http://www.indirect.com/www/dhardy/flir.html

At this point, it would be beneficial to highlight longstanding serious legal and procedural violations still unresolved at Waco. The Justice Department and Danforth are not interested in these violations. Many Americans who are fearful of the loss of religious and civil liberties are very concerned with these issues. The Branch Davidians have civil and constitutional protections enjoyed by all Americans, yet those rights were trampled on and destroyed by agents of our government. Maurice Cox is a mathematician/imagery analyst who summarizes these violations in his OPEN LETTER TO SPECIAL COUNSEL DANFORTH (20 Nov 2000). See the entire letter to Danforth that primarily deals with flaws in the Ft. Hood re-enactment. To date, Danforth has ignored this letter. According to Cox, these unresolved issues are:

  • Using publicity as one motivation for the initial raid
  • Deciding not to arrest Koresh away from Mt. Carmel
  • Acquiring a warrant using false, misleading, and inflammatory information
  • Ignoring the requirement to “knock and announce”
  • Conducting an armed assault for an alleged gun registration/tax crime
  • Conducting an armed assault on a large group to arrest one individual
  • Conducting an armed assault on uncharged women and children
  • Conducting an armed assault on individuals with apocalyptic beliefs
  • Conducting an armed assault on individuals known to be forewarned
  • Indiscriminate firing into a building in violation of policy
  • Assigning a para-military group (HRT) to a non-hostage situation
  • Limiting press access (news management)
  • Using flawed crisis management procedures (shooters negate negotiators)
  • Applying physiological warfare tools against a group with apocalyptic beliefs
  • Imposing an arbitrary negotiation deadline
  • Selective use of “bug” information (requires “enhancement” when unfavorable)
  • Adopting a plan to gas women, children and elderly individuals
  • Executing the gas plan in a manner that intentionally blocked a protected area
  • Destroying the residence beyond anything required by the gas plan
  • Executing the gas plan without adequate fire control means

It is about time that the U.S. Congress hire McNulty and the team of his choosing with full subpoena powers to finally get to the truth of what happened at Waco. A new investigation should start with the botched unconstitutional raid on Feb. 28, 1993, which culminated in the unnecessary deaths of the Davidians on April 19, 1993, and subsequent cover-up.

Mr. Kettler is an elder in the Orthodox Presbyterian Church and Chairman of the Waco Committee with Citizens for the Constitution.  Mr. Kettler is also a member of the John Birch Society.  He can be reached through his website at http://www.undergroundnotes.com/

Mr. Kettler has previously published articles in the Chalcedon Report and Contra Mundum. He and his wife Marea attend the Westminster, CO, RPCNA Church. Mr. Kettler is the author of the book defending the Reformed Faith against attacks, titled: The Religion That Started in a Hat. Available at: http://www.TheReligionThatStartedInAHat.com