Additional comments by Jon Roland on the review of the film Waco: The Rules of Engagement, in the San Francisco Chronicle, incorporating information provided by Mike McNulty ( in brackets [], a radio talk show host in Colorado who was involved in the production of the film:

(1) The film does not indicate that "the FBI accidentally started the fire". It strongly indicates that they started it intentionally. [Future cuts of the film will show this more clearly.] It shows that two unexploded 40mm incendiary grenades of the kind only used by the government were found. [One was found outside, and one inside the dining area. The one found outside was better preserved, and had a fuse failure. It was lying in a pool of melted metal. Both were of the same design, with no identifying markings, but identified by weapons experts as "contract" devices of the kind used by U.S. government black ops teams when they don't want there to be evidence that can be traced back to them. These devices were too sophisticated to have been made by the Davidians.] It did not mention the fact that CS mist [or dust] could have been ignited by any spark, including those caused by bullets striking hard targets, or by a tracer or incendiary round. The infrared surveillance video clearly showed two persons firing automatic weapons into the building, from a position behind the tanks inserting the CS mist, [about 6-8 minutes] before the first bursts of flame inside at the points of insertion.

(2) Contrary to the statement "The film leaves that question (which side started firing first) open", it indicates that the first shots were fired by ATF agents.

[There are 5 possibilities:

  1. ATF agents shot the dogs.
  2. ATF agents fired through the door at Koresh.
  3. Agents (not necessarily ATF) fired from the helicopters.
  4. An ATF agent accidentally discharged a weapon as he was getting out of the trailer.
  5. The Davidians fired first.]

But the possibility that the Davidians fired first seems unlikely based on the testimony of attorney Dick DeGuerin, who visited the site during the standoff, and stated that the bulletholes through the missing front door were all inward.

(3) The film has a statement by the attorney for Koresh's grandmother that, as he was leaving the area, he heard a government agent say that the grandmother should "say good-bye" to her grandson, clearly indicating a consensus intention on the part of the agents that all the Davidians would be killed.

(4) The photos of some of the Davidians' remains clearly showed that they were run over by tanks before they burned. The photo of the twisted body of the burned child clearly indicated death from the cyanide gas produced by the burning of the CS mist or dust.

(5) The film leaves open the question of how decisions were made by government agents during the standoff, indicating that the outcome may not have been the result of a high-level decision so much as the result of a kind of a callous and vindictive mob psychology on the part of the agents. Their behavior showed clear signs of people who were not part of a disciplined force, but largely out of control, at all levels of the chain of command. However, FBI agent-in-charge Jeff Jamar could not have been unaware of how his agents were starting the fires, and his statement on tape how he decided not to allow fire trucks in to fight the fires and rescue the people inside indicates that the decision to burn the Davidians out was made on at least his level of command, if not higher.

[It is not certain that the personnel doing most of the firing were FBI agents. An article by Jim Pate in the July, 1996, issue of Soldier of Fortune magazine argued that they may have been a black ops team, perhaps contract. The FBI would be legally responsible, but Jamar and Rogers (the agent below him in the chain of command at the scene) may not have been in control of that black ops team.]

(6) The film provided convincing evidence that there was indeed automatic weapons fire directed at the compound from helicopters, and, at one point in the audio tape, an FBI negotiator admitted it. [A future cut of the film footage will show this even more convincingly.]

(7) Although people might like to deny the possibility that agents of their own government could be guilty of mass murder, if one takes away the fact of who pays them and looks on them as unaffiliated, the evidence of the film makes a case for mass murder that would convict them in almost any honest court.

[The best way to get public exposure for this film is to contact your local theater managers and ask them to contact Somford to arrange to show the film.]

For information on the film, Waco: The Rules of Engagement, contact Somford Entertainment, 8721 Sunset Blvd. #105, Los Angeles, CA 90069, 310/289-3900, 289-3909 Fax, Dan Gifford, President.

Text version of the above document.

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