Wednesday, March 10, 2010
Glencoe, Waco, and Dealey Plaza
Feb. 12, 1692
Sir: You are hereby ordered to fall upon the Rebels, the MacDonalds of Glencoe, and put all to the sword under 70. You are to have especial care, that the Old Fox and his Sons do upon no account escape your Hands, you are to secure all the avenues that no man can escape: this you are to put in Execution at five a Clock in the Morning precisely, and by that time or very shortly after it, I’ll strive to be at you with a stronger party. If I do not come at five, you are not to tarry for me but fall on. This is by the King’s Special command, for the good and safety of the country, that these miscreants may be cut off root and branch. See that this be put in execution without Feud or Favor, else you may expect to be treated as not true to the King or Government nor a man fit to carry Commission in the King’s Service. Expecting you will not fail in the fulfilling hereof as you love yourself, I subscribed these with my hand.
Signed Robert Duncanson
For Their Majesties Service
To Captain Robert Campbell of Glenlyon
A few nights ago the Documentary Channel played the film, Waco: The Rules of Engagement. (Can be seen on You Tube.) After watching this sordid affair live in 1993 and again with fresh details, it did not take long to remind me of the massacre at Glencoe Scotland in 1692. The parallels between the Branch Davidians and The MacDonald Clan of the Scottish Highlands is remarkable. It also reminded me of elements of the JFK assassination as well and I’ll bring that in line in a moment. The general end result of these undertakings was to add additional mistrust of the government and show how little things change in how we are systematically governed.
Basically, after the last Jacobite Uprising was put down the British Crown sought oaths of allegiance from the various Scottish clans. For various reasons, some partly because of severe winter conditions and other errors great and small, Alastair MacIain, chief of the MacDonald clan, didn’t oblige under the deadline. This was taken as a bad sign and the wheels were rapidly set in motion to resolve issue, viewed as an act of rebellion.
See the letter above of the written order from the King’s representative Robert Duncanson to Capt. Robert Campbell to take action against the “miscreants” and to “secure all the avenues that no man can escape...” Campbell’s troops had been billeted for weeks on MacDonald clan property and given full hospitality due at that time from ancient Highland tradition. The end result was deaths of 38 MacDonald men (Alastair MacIain being the first) and around 40 women and children from exposure after their homes were destroyed. This tragedy is enshrined in Scottish history and lore in song and verse.
The inquiry that ensued played out like they do now. A commission was set up to investigate the crime. The commission report issued to the Scottish Parliament who declared the execution of the MacDonald men to be acts of murder and petitioned the King with recommendations for punishment and be handed out to the perpetrators and reparations to be paid the MacDonald clan. Nothing was ever acted upon.
While the local Sheriff had no problems with David Koresh (Vernon Howell) and the Branch Davidians (a break-off group from the 7th Day Adventists) apparently someone in the halls of the Clinton Justice Department did. Basically, get too far out of mainstream society, have multiple wives and children from them, blur the line between Messiah and Prophet, own a large supply of guns, preach the “end is nigh” and you’ll get their attention. By comparison, Alastair MacIain and the MacDonald clan were the Highlander version of June and Ward Cleaver.
The Waco Siege started on February 28, 1993 with the BATF attempted a search warrant of the Branch Davidian ranch at Mount Carmel for illegal firearms. It is still a confusion to this day who fired first. Naturally, both sides blame each other. Whatever, the ATF took a beating with four killed and 16 wounded. They had to retreat. Five Davidians were killed and many wounded including Koresh. Shortly thereafter the FBI took charge of a 51-day standoff that ending on April 19 when flames engulfed the compound. The FBI maintains the Davidians started the fire but additional infrared footage that can be seen online (link below) clearly showing the effects of a flash fire as described by the survivors. The end result: Seventy-six men, women and children died in the fire, including Koresh.
The remarkable thing about the documentary Waco: The Rules of Engagement is you can tell the various ATF and FBI agents are lying and covering up the massacre. You can see it in their eyes. But even more remarkable is infrared overhead video shot of as the compound is attacked by tanks and eventually burned to the ground. On segment shows the footage being analyzed by none other than the inventor of FLIR himself, Dr. Edward Allard, formerly with the Army's NVL (Night Vision Laboratory). In his expert opinion the flashes seen near the compound buildings as the fires start are gunfire. The FBI has always stated they never did fire a single shot into the compound. I guess the bullet wounds in the dead bodies don’t count as evidence? Interestingly enough, Dr. Allard’s expert testimony was never called upon just as Dr. Joseph Dolce was never asked for testimony when he proved through a controlled test with Oswald’s rifle shooting at cadavers that CE399 could not produce the damage it allegedly did.
The Congressional investigation and report reads no differently than it would if it were written in 1692. As Senator Warren Hatch said the investigation showed no sign of “government corruption”; in other words, conspiracy to commit murder on women and children. Any and all testimony of the survivors that contradicted the FBI was dismissed. Amazingly, their analysis of the FLIR video conclude that the Branch Davidians set the fires in the buildings themselves. How is that for lying eyes? The Warren Commission did the same thing with the Zapruder film, acting like it proved the rear kill-shot. Dan Rather breathlessly reported seeing an advance copy of the Zapruder film and described how you could see Kennedy’s body violently thrown forward from a shot from behind. I guess Danny Boy thought we’d never see the film so he could get away with this. That almost came true till Jim Garrison fought Time to the Supreme Court. And we still had to wait till 1975 before it was shown nationwide.
All this proves is, once again, the government cannot be trusted to investigate itself. The foxes burned down the henhouse and their fellow foxes showed up to exonerate their pals of the crime. The chickens after all, have no standing.
Oh, if we just had this overhead FLIR video of Dealey Plaza! Of course, even if we did, the Warren Commissioners would only see three muzzle flashes from the sixth floor window. It would take years for the public to see the film. Vince Bugliosi would write a book explaining the heat signatures from the grassy knoll were reflections and to hell with the fifty witnesses. The mainstream press would laud the great technology and but ultimately side with the government.
The events of John Kennedy’s assassination lie perched between Glencoe and Waco like a movie seen way too many times. They are all tied together by government investigations, commission reports, denial of conspiracy, and nothing much resolved. (I probably could have laced in the 9/11 attacks too but we do not know enough about it yet to find a place, despite how it simmers on.) The same players are all here only with different names and faces. It is as if they came back from the past to reprise their roles. Only this time the King has no allies and is left exposed to his enemies. Apparently, many of the kings and queens of old England had a more secure power base to rule from.
That phrase from Robert Duncanson’s order to Captain Campbell that went, “See that this be put in execution without Feud or Favor, else you may expect to be treated as not true to the King or Government nor a man fit to carry Commission in the King’s Service,” reads like an order given to conspirators in this case. Or even the Warren Commission members. Maybe Lee Oswald was given such a command. The threat is clearly implied; do the dirty deed or else suffer the consequences. Unlike Waco or the Kennedy murder, at last two lieutenants refused to follow along, breaking their swords in protest. They were arrested but exonerated, suffering no ill consequences for their brave stand of conscience. Their names were Francis Farquhar and Gilbert Kennedy (no, the irony is not lost on me). A pity such fine men were not active in the Waco or Dealey Plaza investigations. What man said, “No, I shall not spray CS gas on women and children.” There was not one. What man on the Warren Commission said, “No, I shall not go along with this charade.” There was not one to be had. (Though I must give credit to Sen. Richard Russell who believed the commission was was nothing but political theater and never bought the lone bullet theory, and at one point even wrote a letter of resignation. He was a conspiratorialist and critic in the years that followed and as early as 1964 believed it was rogue elements of the CIA and anti-Castro Cubans that were behind the assassination.)
The Wrap Up
A few hours after John Kennedy’s death the lone gunman theory is in play. A few hours after all the people die in the Branch Davidian compound the government concludes it is all the fault of the victims. A few hours after 9/11 Osama bin Laden is pegged with the crime long before the smoke clears. The tie that binds all of these tragedies is the initial explanations never change. They are quick to put a story out, they spend millions investigating, and issue a report that verifies what they originally disclosed when they supposedly knew little. And it happens every time with everything like this.
The conclusion of the Scottish Parliament's commission investigation into Glencoe was to exonerate King William and to place the blame for the massacre upon Lord Advocate and joint Secretary of State over Scotland, John Dalrymple. The conclusion of the Warren Commission was to exonerate all government agencies and anyone outside of government that had a grudge against John Kennedy, lying all blame on a man with no motive. The Congressional investigation and report on Waco exonerated the BATF and the FBI of any wrong doing no matter how many lies they told. The 9-11 Commission Report did the same thing for all government and military agencies; nobody was fired and indeed, many saw their careers advanced. Only the House Select Committee on Assassinations put forth there maybe was a conspiracy in the death of JFK but sought no ultimate resolution of the case.
In the end, the people of Glencoe never got justice. Nobody of high standing went to prison. The Scots were left remembering the event in stone monuments, verse, and novels. The massacre was a conspiracy formed in the highest levels of government, the crime committed by them, and the investigation conducted by them. And it never changes as human nature remains the same whether it is in the green hills of Glencoe, the dusty plains of Texas, or the streets of Dealey Plaza.
Additional IR footage not shown in Waco documentary. Shows progression of fire in the compound. Clearly shows flash fire.
Standard footage of agent in firing position.
Everything you ever wanted to know about Waco here: