Bill Clinton, Waco, Oklahoma City

Bill Clinton wrote an op-ed piece in the New York Times that served to remind me of just what a skillful liar he is. Blaming inflammatory political speech on the right for the Oklahoma City bombing, Mr. Clinton said this in his Op-Ed:

Finally, we should never forget what drove the bombers, and how they justified their actions to themselves.

Mr. Clinton, whatever twisted decision making lead to the bombing of the Federal Building in Oklahoma City, it was related not to political speech, but to the actions of your administration that lead to the siege and death of approximately 80 people in Waco, Texas. Decisions to use tanks, CS gas, and very likely to shoot people to prevent their escape. You ordered things that do not bear close scrutiny, and looking back, even public television’s Frontline program on the massacre leaves people wondering what the U.S. government did to it’s own citizens. Just as Waco does not justify Oklahoma City, telling me that children might have been abused in that compound does not justify killing them all. Both you and Timothy McVeigh used terrible violence to make a political statement, the only difference is you had the power of government behind you. America had mostly forgotten about your use of the military and law enforcement in what you yourself called the “assault of the Branch Davidian compound near Waco”, and your writing only ripped the scar open.
It was hard to go back and read about those events, both in Waco and Oklahoma City. To remember those days, and to condemn Mr. Clinton’s rewriting of it in his editorial, is to remember a dark time in American history. I want to close by saying that I do not in any way condone either Mr. Clinton’s or Timothy McVeigh’s use of violence, in both cases it just lead to the death of innocents and did not serve any meaningful purpose at all.

We had to destroy the village to save it.
–Unidentified U.S. Army Major, Bến Tre, Vietnam, 1968

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