“Waco: A New Revelation”

A film review and commentary ©2000 by Jack Kettler

1999, MGA Films, Inc.

Produced by Rick Van Vleet, Stephen M. Novak, Jason Van Vleet

and Michael McNulty

Directed by Jason Van Vleet

Original Music Score by Daniel D. Hoeye and Aric R. Johnson

This film is based upon the research of Mike McNulty. After his first film, which won an Emmy for best investigative journalism and was nominated for best documentary of the year, Mr. McNulty was not content to revel in his success. His continued investigation has culminated in this new production, “Waco: A New Revelation,” which is best described as a damning indictment of the federal government’s murderous corruption and cover-ups extending into several agencies and reaching into the executive branch itself.

The film reviews numerous important events surrounding this story and then builds a case based upon solid physical evidence and testimony, which should eventually culminate in lengthy prison sentences for many active and retired federal employees.  What is especially heartening about this film is that some current and past federal employees and other law enforcement personnel are lending their credibility to the ongoing investigation by appearing in the movie and even participating in the production of this work about the insidious events at Waco in 1993.

One example is former Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) Special Agent Dr. Frederic Whitehurst, formerly of the FBI crime lab, who narrates the film. Many informed citizens will remember that Dr. Whitehurst became a whistleblower when FBI officials refused to clean up shoddy, unprofessional, and even unethical practices within the reputed celebrated crime lab. In this reviewer’s opinion, the law enforcement and the government employees, both active and retired, who give testimony in the film are heroic and patriotic Americans putting the truth ahead of personal gain. Hopefully, their courage will inspire others in law enforcement and the government to come forward with additional information. Moreover, their testimony makes this new production impossible to dismiss.

In addition to exposing outright federal government lies and suppression of evidence, the film has already resulted in at least one new congressional investigation and even an inquiry from the Justice Department. McNulty’s previous work, “Waco: The Rules of Engagement,” was responsible for a massive shift in public opinion. This new film provides hard physical evidence that the fires, which started in three locations, were the result of flash-bang devices, which are pyrotechnic and were recovered from each place where the fires originated. Interestingly, these devices were all misidentified as silencers or gun parts and buried in an evidence locker for over six years. It is this reviewer’s opinion that this misidentification was intentional and criminal. Trained FBI post-fire investigators knew what flash-bang devices were since the FBI itself had issued and used these same devices to prevent the Branch Davidians from leaving the building during the siege. These devices were also used on April 19th. It should not be forgotten that the FBI had a motive to see the building burned. This destroyed valuable trajectory and ballistic evidence that can be used in both criminal and civil litigation against the government. 

This new film provides compelling evidence of federal responsibility for the fires. It also convincingly argues that military operatives placed a “shape” charge on the top of the concrete walk-in-cooler or “bunker” where the women and children had fled for safety from the deadly concentrations of CS gas. This “shape” charge blew a hole in the concrete roof of this structure, killing everyone and obliterating the bodies of many of the women and children. Former military explosives expert General Benton Partin provides compelling testimony that supports this allegation. This explosion caused the partial disintegration and fusing together of a number of bodies of the women and children on the inside of the “bunker” due to the pressure and heat from this blast. The film reports that investigators were finally given permission to check the remains of the concrete roof of this structure for explosive residue only to find that the roof had disappeared. 

The film deals with how the Davidians were trapped in their crumbled building, the result of tank demolition on April 19th. Because of this demolition, there was only one viable escape route on the side of the complex out of camera view. This avenue of escape would have been through doors in the cafeteria area. In the film, Gene Cullen, Central Intelligence Agency (CIA) service officer, among other sources, confirms that Delta operatives, commonly referred to as Delta Force, were forward-deployed and active on April 19th. A number of Davidians were met with automatic gunfire from these Delta operatives as they sought escape through the cafeteria doors. The evidence of this atrocious murderous act is well documented in the film with the government’s own forward-looking infrared (FLIR) film and testimony from one of the country’s leading experts in FLIR technology, Dr. Edward F. Allard, Ph.D. The FLIR expert retained by the congressional committee looking into events at Waco has agreed with Dr. Allard’s analysis of the FLIR tape.

The FBI has long used tape recordings made by their listening devices on April 19th to mislead Congress concerning who was responsible for the fires. Because the film deals with the tapes recorded by FBI listening devices the day of the fire, some comments need to be made regarding these recordings about alleged Davidian plans to pour fuel and start fires. First of all, the FBI is under investigation and cannot be considered trustworthy to tell the truth about the validity of these recordings. Along with the Bureau of Alcohol Tobacco and Firearms (BATF), they have been discovered suppressing the truth and are responsible for missing evidence and the destruction of evidence. The film deals with a number of shocking examples of missing and destroyed evidence. Both agencies must be held accountable.

Therefore, it is fair to question the FBI in particular at every point in this investigation. It should be noted that they have refused to allow independent investigators access to the tape recordings to examine their authenticity. These recordings may have been edited in such a way as to distort the actual audio and context of these tapes. Since these recordings are in existence, this reviewer is glad that the film deals with them. Attorneys for the Davidians will use these recordings in the upcoming civil litigation against the government, as they well should. Also, it is imperative that these tapes be dealt with in order to refute the government’s interpretation of them.    

With that said, let’s assume that these recordings are substantially correct. Some if not all of these recordings were made early in the morning hours before any fire started and had to do with the making of Molotov cocktails to throw at the tanks. There is no evidence that the Davidians were able to carry out these plans. In addition, it appears that according to the recordings, there may have been plans to ignite a fire if federal agents began a physical attack inside the building. It should be remembered that Davidian theology taught that God’s faithful remnant would be attacked by the forces of Babylon (the U.S. Government) and would be killed, thus proving to the world the depravity of this Babylon government. In this writer’s opinion, the depravity of the present government was most certainly proved.

If there were in reality plans of this nature, given Davidian theology against suicide, these plans would have been essentially a last-ditch action to bring the roof down upon Babylon’s murderous forces. These alleged Davidian plans, if true, could easily be understood in essence as a “Samson complex.” When the enemy forces came into their home for the final murderous assault, they would attempt to take out as many of Babylon’s agents as possible before being killed. The Davidians believed that biblical teaching concerning the “fifth seal” spoken of the book of Revelation made it clear that the forces of Babylon would kill God’s faithful remnant. Experientially, they knew these forces had no reservations about shooting women. For example, Jaydean Wendell from Hawaii was killed on February 28th, the day of the initial raid, after she finished nursing her baby. Knowing full well the apocalyptic views of the Davidians, the FBI created a situation in which the Davidians were pushed right to the edge in desperation. 

There is no convincing evidence that a plan like this was actually carried out. However, once the FBI had them on tape in desperation discussing last-ditch plans, then the FBI continued its criminally negligent use of pyrotechnic devices along with the injection of deadly amounts of combustible CS gas, knowing that it would only be a matter of time before the fire would erupt. By the time the fires did begin, Mt. Carmel was structurally ruined, and its hallways were virtually impassable. Most of the Davidians were utterly disoriented and overcome by the CS gas. Towards the end, organized communication among the Davidians was seriously impaired, making any alleged plans impossible to carry out.   

It should be noted that if a plan like this was carried out or contemplated, it is not suicide (remember the Alamo). It is simply a refusal to surrender to unjust attackers and resisting to the last man. It is interesting to note that the Davidian understanding of theology may have given them a reason to believe that had these events took place that God would possibly protect them like He had protected Daniel’s friends long ago in the fiery furnace while the emissaries of Babylon perished. Since the FBI commanders heard these recordings while the tank and gas attack was in progress, which suggested something of this nature, and continued with their assault, they should be found guilty of criminal misconduct among numerous other felonies.   

It should not be forgotten that the Davidians were under siege and subjected to military warfare tactics for fifty-one days. Any comments that are found on the tape recordings during this time must be understood as coming from people under extreme duress, fearing that they were about to perish. People believing that they may be about to die may say things in desperation. Therefore, the content of the tapes must be understood in terms favorable to the Davidians. McNulty has done a great job putting this information on the table so objective analysts can determine the proper context of the recordings in light of the attack that was carried out against the Davidians. 

As in “Rules of Engagement,” Davidian survivors give compelling testimony. Their humanness is plainly seen. Rita Riddle, a Davidian, left Mt. Carmel during the siege. She appears in the film and talks about her brother Jimmy who was shot and killed on April 19th. Unfortunately, critical autopsy evidence relevant to his death is now missing. This reviewer’s wish is that Rita Riddle’s daughter Misty, who survived the fire, will eventually testify in front of Congress. Misty Ferguson was seventeen at the time and terribly burned in the fire. The American people are still compassionate, and when they see what agents of the federal government did to her, there will be an outpouring of compassion and an outcry for justice.

This film was first screened in Washington, D.C., early in November 1999, to a select group of journalists and government officials. This film deserves a wide audience.   Hopefully, the producers can negotiate a deal to have this film aired on cable television, as was the case with Mr. McNulty’s previous release. This film can be obtained directly from MGA films at 1-877-GET-WACO or on the web atwww.waco-anewrevelation.com.

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