Thursday, September 25, 2008

The Economic Hurricane and the Looting
of the U.S. Treasury.

Remember in July, when someone surrepetitiously videoed President Bush’s telling a small group of Houston supporters that Wall Street had a little drinking problem? “There’s no quesion about it,” he said, “Wall Street got drunk...and now it’s got a hangover. The question is, how long will it sober up?” (See clip below.) Did he mean how long will it take to sober up, or was he speaking as an experienced binge drinker? Alcoholics and druggies have a bad habit of “projection,” as psychologists call it, which is pointing out the flaws and crimes of others of which the acuser is actually guilty. Sometimes both are guilty. Not long after Bush referred to Wall Street’s intemperance, the government took over Fannie Mae (Federal National Mortgage Association) and Freddie Mac (Federal Home Loan Mortgage Company), which sound more like moonshiners than titan housing lenders, but Bush, at least in front of TV cameras, insisted that the economy was sound.

Last night George W. looked more sober than usual. But as far as Wall Street goes, it won’t have to sober up if Secretary Paulson gets $700 billion for his bailout plan for those naughty financial drunkards who had a habit of power drinking. Bush told us what might be the understatement of the decade: “This is an extraordinary period for America’s economy.” Most of us knew he had been lying every time he claimed the economy is sound. How could it be when he, Congress, and the Pentagon have been throwing money into the winds of war and war profiteers, and Wall Street execs behaved like mice who play when the cat’s away. Mice with drinking problems given the keys to the liquor cabinet (and cocaine bin), partying like it’s the 1980s. People on Wall Street took umbrage over Bush’s remark, blaming the shady lenders who made bad loans, and said to blame Wall Street for the subprime mortgage crisis was “unconscionable.” Political analyst David Gergen’s response was, “For a lot of people, the question is, ‘Where was the government? Why didn’t the government take the bottles away?’” Since Bush’s gaff in Houston the securities firm Lehman Brothers filed for bankruptcy protection, Merrill Lynch sold itself to Bank of America, and the Federal Reserve agreed to bail out the insurance sprawling insurance company A.I.G. (American International Group), while Wall Street bankers were, as the NY Times reported, “huddled in meetings at the behest of Bush administration officials to try to avoid a downward spiral in the markets stemming from a crisis of confidence.”

President Bush’s Address to the Nation on the Financial Crisis
September 24, 2008

But it’s the American taxpayers who are supposed to suffer the hangover, while Wall Street execs get to wake up to drink the hair of the dog and brag about what a wild ride they had had the night before, knowing that their ole bud Hank is there to pour the drinks. Secretary Henry Paulson announced last week that it was imperative that $700 billion be paid to bail out Wall Street in order to save the economy from a full meltdown. This administration, the Pentagon, Congress, and Wall Street have spent down the treasury like drunken sailors, the sort who are bona fide alcoholics, with the accompanying pathological symptoms that go with alcoholism—lying and codependancy. Wall Street and members of Congress, some more than others, have been codependent. Congress is talking tough love now, but will it ultimately stand down and allow the massive looting of the treasury, that is, the taxpayers’ money? Last night Bush said the bailout plan Congress hammers out “should make certain that failed executives do not receive a windfall from your tax dollars,” leaving us to wonder why they should receive anything at all, and why the plan wouldn’t include provisions that penalize the executives who are responsible for precipitating what is potentially the gravest financial disaster in our lifetime.

Rep. Marcy Kaptur of Ohio (see below), says they should be penalized, and that the plan will include assistance, if not a bailout, to those whose homes are being foreclosed at a rate of 10,000 per day so they can avoid losing them. Short of the necessary reforms, which will take months to years to implement, depending on the political and personal financial will of members of Congress and who holds the veto pen come January, those Wall Street executives should not be able to walk away with their wealth intact.

If there’s anything good about all this it’s that it’s happening just two months before the presidential and congressional elections. Quite a few senators and representatives have some serious explaining to do about how they’ve been enablers of Wall Street’s chronic debauchery, and taxpayers now have the chance to hold their feet to the fire. Who could blame some if they want to do that quite literally?
Yesterday Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid held a press conference alongside Sen. Chris Dodd, Chairman of the Banking Committee. He first expressed his appreciation to Treasury Secretary Henry Paulson and Federal Reserve Chairman Ben Bernanke for their patience and stamina: “They just spent many many hours before the House Banking Committee. They came right over here. Frankly, there was one break so Paulson could go to the bathroom, and that was about it.” Dodd grimaced and looked a little embarrassed. I thought it an oddly impolite and inappropriate thing to say. But then I realized that Sen. Reid, the consummate politician, had referred to Paulson’s bodily functions to put him in his place, so to speak. There had been a terse message published on Steve Clemons’ blog, “The Washington Note,” that has been circulating in internet forums, which he had likely seen: “Treasury Secretary Absolute Monarch?” said the heading, with the image of a monarchal throne below it and a quote from Section 8 of Paulson’s bailout plan:

“Review. Decisions by the Secretary pursuant to the authority of this Act are non-reviewable and committed to agency discretion, and may not be reviewed by any court of law or any administrative agency.”

Perhaps Sen. Reid had seen it and was slyly meta-messaging to the blogosphere that, no, Paulson wasn’t a monarch. In fact he had to have Reid’s permission to go to the only sort of throne he would be visiting during the rest of his tenure as Secretary of the Treasury.

But the Devil’s in the details, as they say, and we have very few of those yet. Paulson and his Wall Street chums won’t be getting the entire $700 billion all at once, but rather in installments. Let’s hope the public stays in persuit of those in Congress who have enabled the Wall Street’s debauchery which has led to the current looting of the treasury.

It’s as amazing to me as it must be to others that we keep hearing from the administraiton, Congress, economists, and market analysts, that they just didn’t see this coming, but for the most part they end up being the very ones who were cheering the process on for decades. But some people did see it coming. Watch Bill Moyers’ interview with Kevin Philips.

After the levees failed during Hurricane Katrina and many of the unevacuated began breaking into looting all the stores for everything they could carry away, Louisiana Governor Kathleen Babineaux Blanco expressed shock and dismay that people were taking advantage of a disaster in that way. What did she expect? I wondered. Was she so naive to think there would not be some New Orleanians who would behave in the same way some people in Baghdad did when the U.S. military invaded? Looting is a crime of opportunity, and white-collar looters are no different than the common street looter. If there’s no one to tell them they can’t do it, no one to stop them, they’re going to carry off everything they can, regardless of who might suffer and how much.

After New Orleans was evacuated in anticipation of Hurricane Gustav, I noticed a sign the door of a Walgreens that said there were no pharmaceuticals on the premises. Live and learn. The mayor and and the sheriff of St. Bernard Parish announced reapeatedly that anyone caught looting would go “straight to the Big House,” Angola, into the general population. Many would-be looters probably believed them. Congresses and presidents from Reagan through the current Bush (and hopefully the last) have not just been reluctant to discipline Wall Street, they’ve been its main enablers who refused to take the bottles away, as Gergen suggested. If it’s time for the Wall Street reckoning, as Rep. Kaptur says, it’s also time for reckoning of Congress, the presidency, the treasury secretary, and the Federal Reserve chairmen, past and present.

“It’s been a bipartisan phenomenon. You can go back to the 1980s and say Reagan and George Bush, Sr. got a bubble started. Clinton got in and got an even bigger bubble going. And then George W. Bush with the biggest bubble of all.”
Kevin Phillips, “Bill Moyers Journal” interview
A week ago, Bill Moyers interviewed political and economic critic Kevin Phillips, who was a former strategist in President Nixon’s administration. “If you read only one book on the route to this financial meltdown,” Moyers says in his introduction to Phillips, “I recommend this one: Bad Money: Reckless Finance, Failed Politics, and the Global Crisis of American Capitalism. The author, Kevin Phillips, has a history of being way ahead of the curve. As a young man working for Richard Nixon, he wrote The Emerging Republican Majority, a book that uncannily predicted how the GOP would regain power in Washington. Kevin Phillips saw our current crisis coming a long time ago. And in one book of historical insight after another, laid out the clues he was tracking. As recently as last spring in the American Prospect magazine, Phillips wrote that what he thought was about to happen would be ‘unusual and potentially tragic.’ In the preface of his book, he has written that these things usually come to fruition in August and September. And sure enough, here we are coping in September with the effects of bad money.”

“...I think what we’re seeing with the actions of the Federal Reserve Board is the people who are the arsonists, the people who pumped it all up, who blew up the bubble are now racing to show up in firemen’s hats and say, ‘We’re gonna solve it. We’re gonna take care of all this. Oh, and by the way, we’re gonna keep pumping in the gasoline that we pumped in before that made a good flame.’ But, you know, nobody knows that.”Kevin Phillips, "Bill Moyers Journal" interview

“Let’s play Wall Street Bailout!”
Game Rules by Ohio Rep. Marcy Kaptur (Dem.)

Mr. Speaker, here’s the latest reality game. Let’s play Wall Street Bailout!

Rule One: Rush the decision. Time the game in the week before Congress is set to adjourn and just six weeks before a historic election, so your opponents will be preoccupied, pressured, distracted, and in a hurry.

Rule Two: Disarm the public through fear. Warn that the entire global financial system will collapse and the world will fall into another Great Depression. Control the media enough to ensure that the public will not notice that this bailout will indebt them for generations, taking from them from trillions of dollars they earned and they deserve to keep.

Rule Three: Control the playing field and set the rules. Hide from the public, and most of the Congress, just who is arranging this deal. Communicate with the public through leaks to media insiders. Limit any open congressional hearings. Communicate with Congress via private teleconferencing calls. Heighten political anxiety by contacting each political party separately. Treat members of Congress condescendingly, telling them that the matter is so complex that they must rely on those few insiders who really do know what’s going on.

Rule Four: Divert attention, and keep people confused. Manage the news cycle so Congress and the public have no time to examine who destroyed the prudent banking system that served America so well for 60 years after the financial meltdown of the 1920s.

Rule Five: Always keep in mind the goal is to privatize gains to a few and socialize losses to the many. In thirty years, in one financial scandal after another, Wall Street game masters have kept billions of dollars of their gains, and shifted their losses to the American taxpayers. Once this bailout is in place, the Greed Game will begin, again.

But I have a counter game. It’s called Wall Street Reckoning. Congress shouldn’t go home to campaign. It should put America’s accounts in order. To Wall Street insiders, it says: “No, on behalf of the American. You have perpetrated the greatest financial crimes ever on this American republic. You think you can get by with it because you are extraordinarily wealthy and the largest contributors to both presidential and congressional campaigns in both major parties. But you are about to be brought under firm control.

“First, America doesn’t need to bail you out. It needs to secure the real assets and property, not your paper. That means the homes and properties of hard-working Americans who are about to lose their homes because of your mortgage greed. There should be a new job for regional Federal Reserve banks. We want no home foreclosed if a serious work-out agreement can be put into place. And, if you don’t do it, we want a notarized statement by a Federal Reserve official that they tried and failed.

“Second, taxpayers should directly gain any equity benefits that may flow from this historic bailout. We want the American people to get first priority in taking ownership of the institutions that want to pass their toxic paper on to the taxpayers.

“Third, before any bailout for Wall Street, America needs major job creation to rebuild our national infrastructure. America needs assets, not paper. We need working assets.

“Fourth, the time for real regulatory financial change is now, not next year. A modernized Glass-Steagall Act must be put in place. We need to reestablish locally-owned community savings banks across this country and create within the Justice Department a fully funded unit to prosecute every single high-flying thief whose fraud and criminal acts created this debacle and then forced their disgorgement of assets going back 15 years.

“Fifth, any refinancing must return a major share of profits to a new Social Security and Medicare lockbox, where the monies can go to pay for a dignified and assured retirement for every American. This Member isn’t voting for a penny of it. Those who created and profited from this game of games must be brought to justice. The assets they stole must be returned to the American taxpayers, right down to the tires on their Mercedes.”

Mr. Speaker, I ask my colleagues to join me in cosponsoring my bill to create an independent commission to investigate these well-heeled wrongdoers. Real reform now, or nothing.

Reading Room:

Charles R. Morris
Public Affairs (2008)

“Few writers are as good as Morris at making financial
arcana understandable and even fascinating.”
Floyd Norris, Anatomy of a Collapse,” New York Times Book Review

"Think of Paulson as Mr. Risk. He's one of the key architects of a more daring Wall Street, where securities firms are taking greater and greater chances in their pursuit of profits. By some key measures, the securities industry is more leveraged now than it was at the height of the 1990s boom. It has also extended its global supremacy since then.Goldman, under Paulson's leadership, became one of the greatest and most profitable risk-taking machines ever built."
Michael Mandel
"Mr. Risk Goes to Washington"
Business Week, June 12, 2006

"[B]anks are jumping into the realm of private equity, spending billions to buy struggling businesses as far afield as China that they hope to turn around and sell at a profit. With $25 billion of capital under management, Goldman's private equity arm itself is one of the largest buyout firms in the world, according to Thomson Venture Economics. The moves are not unrelated to trading. In both cases, banks are flocking to exotic and inaccessible markets where there aren't many others to fight for profit. Counterintuitively, they're seeking out the investments that would be the hardest to get rid of in the event of a disaster. They're betting, in other words, that handsome returns when times are good will make up for losses when things turn ugly."

Emily Thornton, with David Henry and Adrienne Carter
"Inside Wall Street's Culture of Risk"
Business Week, June 12, 2006

“The Bush family, in the form of Prescott Bush, has tried a more aggressive coup before in order to install fascism in this country. This treasonous plot was called the ‘Business Plot,’ because the high-level plotters—including Prescott Bush—were Wall Street men who openly supported fascism. It seems this time around, the Bush family is trying the more subtle approach to open bloodshed: first create a crisis, then under the guise of addressing that crisis, overthrow democracy. Yes, it does sound terribly conspiracy-theory-esque when explained just this way. But what else does one call a criminal conspiracy to destroy Congressional powers permanently, alter Judicial powers permanently, and steal public funds?”
Larisa Alexandrova
Huffington Post, September 20, 2008

"This is a once in a century rip-off, and you can only do this kind of thing under emergency conditions, usually with the kind of blood-shed you saw when Pinochet introduced free markets at gunpoint in Chile." —Michael Hudson
Carlo Basilone
Once-in-a-Century Rip-Off"
The Real News, September 26, 2008

"The Wall Street meltdown is not only due to greed and to the lack of government regulation of a hyperactive sector. This collapse stems ultimately from the crisis of overproduction that has plagued global capitalism since the mid-1970s."
Walden Bello
Foreign Policy in Focus, September 26, 2008

"Admittedly, there were times in August, particularly during the Olympic Games, when the public's interest in the economy waned, and also when Hurricanes Gustav and Ike came ashore in early September. But for months leading up to the Wall Street collapse, there were clear signs that Americans were starved for news about the economy, news that the press simply refused to provide because it just wasn't a story the press wanted to chew on, to chatter about, and to pontificate over. (It wasn't fun like the campaign.)"
Eric Boehlhart
Media Matters, September 23, 2008

"But, despite his political near-death experience as a member of the Keating Five, McCain continued to champion deregulation, voting in 2000, for instance, against federal regulation of the kind of financial derivatives at the heart of today's crisis."
Rosa Brooks
Los Angeles Times, September 25, 2008

“‘Government is not the solution to our problem; government is the problem...It is my intention to curb the size and influence of the federal establishment.’ That statement, in Ronald Reagan's inaugural address on January 20, 1981, was the opening shot in what became known as the Reagan Revolution: small government, low taxes, deregulation, a belief that the markets know best.”
Bernd Debusmann
Reuters, September 22, 2008

"Franklin D. Roosevelt, as part of the New Deal, put into place a series of rules to discourage speculation and promote investment, including maintaining—and doubling—the Securities Transaction Excise Tax. Other countries followed our lead, and the UK, France, Japan, Germany, Italy, Greece, Australia, France, China, Chile, Malaysia, India, Austria, and Belgium have all had or have STETs."
Thom Hartmann
How Wall Street Can Bail Itself Out Without Destroying The Dollar"
Common Dreams, September 26, 2008

"The lobbyists and corporate lawyers, the heads of financial firms and the crooks who control Wall Street, all those who spent the last three decades assuring us that government was part of the problem and should get out of the way, are now busy looting the U.S. treasury. They are also working feverishly inside the Democratic and Republican parties to blunt any effective regulatory reform as they pass on their distressed assets to us. The process is stunning in its hubris and mendacity, and two of the most potent enablers of this unprecedented act of corporate welfare are John McCain and Barack Obama."
Chris Hedges
Truth Dig, September 21, 2008

"I wrote The Shock Doctrine in the hopes that it would make us all better prepared for the next big shock. Well, that shock has certainly arrived, along with gloves-off attempts to use it to push through radical pro-corporate policies (which of course will further enrich the very players who created the market crisis in the first place...)."
Naomi Klein
Huffington Post, September 22, 2008

"How did we get to this point? It’s the culmination of many past betrayals."
Paul Krugman
New York Times, September 26, 2008

"To understand whether the U.S. Treasury proposals make sense one should first analyze what are the problems that an increasingly complex and globalized financial system faces and what are the shortcomings of the current system of financial regulation and supervision, in the U.S. and around the world. Only a detailed consideration of such problems and shortcomings can lead to the recognition of the appropriate reforms of the system."
Nouriel Roubini
RGE Monitor, March 31, 2008

"Finally, we need to protect ourselves from being at the mercy of giant companies that are 'too big to fail,' that is, companies who are so large that their failure would cause systemic harm to the economy. We need to assess which companies fall into this category and insist they are broken up. Otherwise, the American taxpayer will continue to be on the financial hook for the risky behavior, the mismanagement, and even the illegal conduct of these companies' executives."
Senator Bernie Sanders
"The Middle Class Must Not Be Forced to Bail Out Wall Street Greed"
Common Dreams, September 21, 2008

"We were in this huge credit crisis, out of money. Then the Fed goes, We'll give you a trillion dollars, and all of a sudden Wall Street is like, 'I can't believe we got away with it!' Can you imagine if someone said, 'I shouldn't have bought that sports car because it means I can't have my house,' and the bank just said, 'All right, you can have your house. And you know what? Keep the car.' [He throws up his arms joyfully and shouts] 'Yeaaaaah, I get to keep the car! Wait, do I have to give the money back?' 'No, it doesn't matter.' 'Yeah, I'm gonna get another car! I'm gonna do the same thing the same way, except twice as f---ed up!'"Jon Stewart
Josh Wolk interview, September 25, 2008

"We should be looking at the Franklin Delano Roosevelt blueprint. People were in despair after the stock market crashed in 1929 and the Great Depression slowly settled in. They lost hope until FDR took office in 1933 and told Americans in his first inaugural address that we had nothing 'to fear but fear itself.'"
Helen Thomas
Hearst Papers, September 24, 2008

"We thirst for leadership, vision, someone who can speak to us in a way that refuses to avert its eyes from the crisis but shines a light of truth upon the problem, then offers hope and possible solution."
Michael Winship
Consortium News, September 26, 2008

Saturday, September 13, 2008

Plus ça change, plus c’est la même chose.
Part I: Waco.

In the post-Katrina world of New Orleans, New Orleanians are accutely aware of how deadly the failures of a government at any level can be. It is still of concern to New Orleans residents, as it should be to everyone in the U.S., how future catastrophes are handled and how seriously the government takes its responsibility for maintaining the country's infrastructures, including the waterway levees, which is the purview of the Corps of Engineers. One of the major issues that arose in the early days after the 2005 flood (due to the failure of the Corps' canal levees and walls) was the Posse Commitatus Act, words which had not been on so many since early discussions on the Waco tragedy. During her successful campaign for Councilman-at-Large of New Orleans, Jackie Clarkson said she was writing her memoirs of the early aftermath of the city's flooding—its title: Send in the Military! While it's an understandable position, there were very good reasons for the existence of that law. We need only look back to 1993 for an example of why it should never be waived again under any circumstances, and why any U.S. president who does so, or even tries to, should be held accountable.

Brasscheck TV recently circulated the film "Waco: The Rules of Engagement" (1997) by director William Gazecki. Perhaps the timing of presenting again now this brilliant Oscar-nominated and award-winning film is to disabuse us of illusions we may be entertaining that any of the war crimes, the crimes against humanity, or the multitude of other crimes committed by the current administration might be investigated or prosecuted by the next administration, even if it be Democratic. No administration in my lifetime, which goes back to Eisenhower, has been without its grave crimes, but not one has been held responsible for the most serious ones, the war crimes and other crimes against humanity. As the French proverb goes, plus ça change, plus c’est la même chose (the more things change, the more they stay the same).

"Waco: The Rules of Engagement" is an excellent documentary, even if it leaves one at the end with a sore bitterness that Clinton wasn't impeached for his real crimes and that now, 15 years later, the cover-up of the Waco murders continues to succeed. Actually, that's one of the reasons it's so good. We should be bitter, and we should remind each other over and over again about those crimes committed in 1993 against David Koresh and the Branch Davidians, remind each other repeatedly about what happened―more to the point, what didn't happen―afterwards in Washington, because surely we can't allow cover-ups to succeed in the courts of public opinion, even if the politicians and their appointees and all the bureaucrats manage to elude even poetic justice.

Toggling between the events of February 28 through April 19, 1993 and the congressional Joint Hearings of the Oversight Subcommittee on Crime (JHOSC) of July to August of 1995, Gazecki tells the story of the U.S. government's murder―it's impossible to weigh the evidence presented without seeing it as anything but mass murder and a subsequent cover-up―of 82 Branch Davidians, presenting numerous viewpoints, including taped interviews of victims just before they died in that final holocaust, and footage from the hearings. The hearings came about after two years of unrelenting criticism by the public, albeit a minority of the public, who saw the tragedy as a case of savage brutality by personnel of several government agencies, as well as the military, against U.S. citizens. But U.S. Rep. Tom Lantos of California, a Democrat, put on a show for the greater public, those of us who knew nothing more than what the media reported to us, which was for the most part propaganda, such as Time's cover story demonizing David Koresh (see "Oh, My God, They're Killing Themselves—FBI agent Bob Ricks," May 3, 1993).

Apparently, it was the mission of Congressman Lantos, and those of like mind, to reinforce the false impressions about the Branch Davidians that had been touted by the government and the media during that 51-day siege in central Texas during 1993's final winter weeks. Lantos was no stranger to the power of propaganda. He had been a victim of it fifty years earlier in Europe; however, after surviving the Holocaust he was able to use propaganda techniques to his own advantage during his subsequent political life in the United States.

"This is the approach of what I call ‘the lunatic fringe,'" he said in his trademark Hungarian accent, "[who] still clings to the notion that there was a gigantic governmental conspiracy that brought about this nightmare. It’s difficult to see how any rational human being subscribes to such a notion, but obviously many do." Similar words had been spoken half a century earlier, even by Jews, when refuting reports that unthinkable things were occurring in nearby villages, and we've heard them these past seven years to discount the evidence and theories challenging the official conspiracy theory of what happened on September 11, 2001. Plus ça change. . .

"What I am telling you," the film captures Lantos' saying, "is that the most plausible single explanation for this nightmare, namely the apocalyptic vision of a criminally insane, charismatic cult leader who was hell-bent on bringing about this infernal nightmare in flames and the extermination of the children and the women and the other innocents is not an explanation that should be cast aside." What Lantos meant was not the most plausible explanation, but the merely the simplest. However, when departments and agencies such as the Department of Justice, the Federal Bureau of Investigations, the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, and Firearms, and the Department of the Treasure, plus the military, hatch and carry out cooperative plans, the results are bound to be anything but simple. Therefore, the simplest of explanation, which Rep. Lantos thought should not be cast aside and which the JHOSC ultimately adopted, and was not, to say the least, plausible by any stretch of the imagination.

"And I find it very offending to me, and offensive to the memory of the Davidians and everyone else involvedin this tragedy, to wrap it up in a nice clean, 'Well, it was just a mass suicide, end of story,' because it was far from that."

Despite all the evidence to the contrary, the JHOSC not only decided to not cast aside what Lantos claimed was the most plausible explanation, David Koresh was a criminally insane, charismatic cult leader who was, as Time put it, likely a "devil who had deceived" his followers and deservedly "was thrown into the lake of fire and sulfur." No, it embraced it as the only explanation. After all, what Congress is best at is making deals: "You help us cover up the crimes of our party's administration, and when the time rolls around again for you, we'll do the same for yours." That 1995 Oversight Subcommittee on Crime was not without dissenters. Rep. Adam Schiff appears in the film during the hearings as one of the more skeptical members of the Subcommittee.

But the bipartisanship of the conclusions was made clear. Utah Sen. Orrin G. Hatch, a Republican, was unequivocal: "Let me be clear. This investigation has not uncovered any evidence of political corruption or influences. We have not found any of that. There was no conspiracy to kill Branch Davidians." Delaware Sen. Joe Biden, a Democrat, should have been given an award for the most emphatic liar of the congressional investigation: "The record of the Waco incident documents mistakes. But what the record from Waco does not evidence, however, is any improper motive or intent on the part of law enforcement. David Koresh and the Davidians set fire to themselves and committed suicide. The government did not do that." Psychologists have said that some amount of lying is healthy. However, the lies told by members of the Department of Justice, including Janet Reno, and by those of the FBI and Department of Treasury, etc. were of the same sort told by a sociopath, whether it be beating his wife or murdering her and dismembering her body. "I could never do that," he is often heard saying, which is to say not that he didn't do it but that he neither wants you to believe he has committed the crime of which he is accused, nor does he even want to believe he is capable of it. The public does not want to contemplate that we are a nation whose government would conspire to kill its citizens, even its women and children, in the way that it obviously did. It's too monstrous and therefore unthinkable.

Therefore, however much the statements by Hatch and Biden fly in the face of the evidence presented in the film, evidence which is but a fraction of what was presented to the committee in testimonies, graphics, and documents, many U.S. citizens, albeit a shrinking minority, are still comforted by those lies which are known as the pathological state of denial. "Waco: The Rules of Engagement" is an antidote to that denial of which the lies told during those congressional hearings played a key part. It's also an antidote to the government lies told regarding the Oklahoma City bombing and the 9/11 2001 attacks of 2001. The victor of all these acts of state terrorism is of course the government and its various agencies, but the history recorded in this film is told by the victims and those who spoke on their behalf. Some of the last words were given to former FBI forensic photographer Farris Rookstool, who was part of the evidence response team, and is no doubt as haunted today by the memories of what he witnessed as he was during those interviews.

Criticizing the conclusion of the congressional Oversight Subcommittee on Crime, which the media accepted as the truth (just as it has accepted the reports of the 9/11 Commission and NIST), he said, "That assertion to me, that the media and that the government has made a blanket declaration that the Branch Davidians committed quote 'mass suicide,' to equate it to a Jonestown, Guyana suicide, is the most irresponsible statement that can be attributed to anything having to do with the Waco incident…And I find it very offending to me, and offensive to the memory of the Davidians and everyone else involved in this tragedy, to wrap it up in a nice clean, 'Well, it was just a mass suicide, end of story'; because it was far from that." Rookstool had photographed the mutilated, charred remains of the Branch Davidian victims, including 25 children.

It's hard to get around the mountain of evidence supporting the argument that our government, through the cooperation of various departments and bureaus, and the military, deliberately killed David Koresh and the 82 Branch Davidians who remained in the Mount Carmel Center, and that they killed them with bullets, with lethal gases, by running over them with tanks, and by burning alive any survivors who could not escape, and that afterwards they destroyed much of the crime scene evidence, seized and "lost" other collected evidence, and committed perjury during the congress hearings. The BATF, FBI, and DoJ agents, and all the others responsible for these crimes, had to lie. They had to lie to each other and to their families, and us, but most of all to themselves. The rules of engagement were that they were only to fire their weapons if they were fired upon, and had to do so to protect their own lives―not the lives of their wives and children, mind you, as the Davidians were forced to do, but themselves. The Davidians never fired until their lives and those of the women and children were in danger, and only after they begged for them to stop shooting at them, as evidence by desperate 9-11 calls made to try to get them to stop and to ask again for negotiations.

Rep. Lantos and Sens. Hatch and Biden, as well as most of the other committee members, such as Senator Chuck Schumer, insisted that there were only "mistakes" made, but no crimes committed, by the federal government during the Waco holocaust, which they euphemistically referred to as an "incident," are just as guilty of the murders of the Davidians as anyone who is who is an accessory to a crime after the fact. But their constituents have judged them time and time again as guiltless. Orrin Hatch and Chuck Schumer are still U.S. senators, and, as everybody knows, so is Joe Biden, who could be our next Vice President. Being complicit in crimes against humanity has apparently not troubled Biden. Murder, they say, is easy after a while, especially when it's committed wholesale and remotely from the grand halls of the Capitol, where senators' and representatives' own opinions are far more important than those of victims of government crimes or their advocates, even when the victims number in the millions. In October 2002, Sen. Biden voted in favor of the Resolution to Authorize Military Force Against Iraq, which means that he authorized the supreme war crime: waging an aggressive war against a sovereign nation.

Were one to know nothing more about Rep. Tom Lantos than that he was a Holocaust survivor, it would be shocking to hear what he had to say during those 1995 hearings. However, this was the same congressman who was a leading champion of the First Gulf War, and the one who gave the official stamp of approval to the sensational propaganda that Iraqi soldiers were removing Kuwaiti babies from incubators. As an apologist for the real perpetrators of the crimes against the Davidians, Lantos, along with Schumer and others, repeated the venomous mantras that had demonized David Koresh during the siege two years earlier. It wasn't that Rep. Lantos didn't wish it to be cast aside that David Koresh was a "criminally insane, charismatic cult leader" who was stockpiling illegal guns to use against the U.S. government; he would have it no other way.

The psychiatrist who appears in "Waco: Rules of Engagement" said that when he went to Mount Carmel during the days of the standoff he thought that he would be studying the pathologies of the Branch Davidians, but he found them to be the sane ones, but learned that pathologies were rampant among the people lurking about outside waiting for the command that would bring the end. It was in the end the government agents, the press, and the public at the scene who had the insane apocalyptic vision. And it seemed that it was also Rep. Lantos and many of his colleagues on that committee who projected their own apocalyptic fears (and memories, in the case of Lantos) onto David Koresh. However, whatever psychological pathologies that may have afflicted Lantos, they were not the direct cause of his mortality. He would still be a US congressman today and long enough to vote us into several more wars, had he not contracted cancer of the esophagus (he wasn't a smoker). He died in February 2008.

While we would hope that the only survivor of the Holocaust to serve in Congress would have been a leading champion of human rights, this could hardly be further from the case. Yes, it's true that during a hearing before the House Committee on Foreign Relations last November, three months before his death, he raked over the coals the CEO of Yahoo, Jerry Yang, and its General Counsel, Michael Callahan, calling them "moral pygmies" for providing the Chinese government information with the identifying data on a Chinese dissident named Shi Tao that resulted in his receiving a ten-year prison sentence. But, Lantos was hardly a moral giant. Even during the same hearing he proved yet again what a master he was at exploiting the media to his advantage. Playing for the cameras, he had Tao's weeping mother sit directly behind Yang and Callahan, and at the end of his sermon he said, "Mr. Yang, Mr. Callahan, Shi Tao’s mother is sitting in the first row right behind you. I would urge you to beg the forgiveness of the mother whose son is languishing behind bars due to Yahoo’s actions." It was good theater, and seemed calculated more to cap his legacy as a congressman who protected human rights as to help Shi Tao or his mother. Lantos' previous years as a congressman, belies such a legacy, however. Besides being party to the denial of justice for the mass murder of the Branch Davidians and being a leading proponent of the First Gulf War against Iraq, Lantos was also gung-ho, at least at first, about the invasion and occupation of Iraq, voting in 2002, as most members of Congress did, to authorize military force, even though it was illegal. Obviously he never had as much sympathy for U.S. dissidents or real dying Texan and Iraqi mothers and babies as he did for fictional Kuwaiti babies. Plus ça change—others will take the place of Rep. Lantos, others who will express as much caring in their legislation toward some populations as callousness toward others—plus c’est la même chose.

This is all the more reason that U.S. citizens should watch "Waco: The Rules of Engagement," and William Gazecki should be encouraged to create a sequel—one which traces the aftermath of the murders of the Branch Davidians through the growth of the Patriot Movement and its demise at the hands of the FBI, ADL, SPC, CIA, and Mossad, and their fellow travelers, who have framed the Patriots over the years. By now we know, or should know, just how brutal our own government has been not just to civilians throughout the world, but against its own citizens. By now we know, or should know, just how capable it is of being even more savage. By now we should have realized that it doesn't matter if it's Republicans or Democrats who are in control of the White House or Congress.

Madeleine Albright, President Clinton's infamous Secretary of State who said that punishing Iraq through sanctions was worth the price of the 600,000 children who had starved to death (by the invasion it was over a million), was a foreign policy advisor to presidential candidate Hillary Clinton. Barack Obama invited her into his camp after he became the presumptive Democratic candidate.

Will we also see a recycling of other advisers and cabinet members from past administrations in the new ones? Well, yes. There's Zbigniew Brzezinski, a wiz at Russia and the former Soviet Republics of the Caucasus and Central Asia, is also on Obama's foreign relations advisory committee. Why not Janet Reno, a.k.a. "Waco Angel of Death"? Plus ça change... We already know the corporatist, anti-humanity oil-war themes of the Republican candidate, John McCain, and his censorious running mate, Alaska's governor Sarah Palin. Henry Kissinger, one of the worst war criminals alive today, is never far away. The most lethal foreign policy advisers seem to be as immortal as Beelzebub. Therefore, plus c’est la même chose, policies, domestic and foreign, are recycled and refined to become even more formidable enemies of the Constitution and international law.

"Waco: The Rules of Engagement" does offer the public one of the greatest hopes for change: when government lies to its citizens, there are always artists and writers among them who are as compelled to seek out and tell the truth as the government is to perpetuate lies. But the hope is not in those expressions alone, but in heeding the warning which lie within them. Gazecki wisely allows the Davidians to ask from their ashen graves the questions we are now asking ourselves and each other ever more frequently. Are we a people who believe in the principles set forth in the Constitution and the rights spelled out in the Bill of Rights? If we take that question alone to heart, we can't help but see that David Koresh was indeed a prophet, as were all those Davidians who were sacrified even while they proved with their burning bodies that that holocaust on April 19, 1993 would be the point of no return on the path of a government on its way to becoming worse than any of the foreign regimes we were brought up being warned about. Unless, they tell us through their medium William Gazecki, unless we demand that our elected officials, the military, and everyone who takes the oath to defend and uphold the Constitution against enemies domestic and foreign.

During the recent House Judiciary Committee Hearings on the Constitutional Limits of Executive Power, California Congressman Adam Schiff, stated his intention to establish a new "Church Committee" to once again investigate abuses of deep state operations, reaching back to past administrations to even those before 1977. The list of the abuses of power by the executive branch of government grows increasingly by the day, so that it will take generations to get through it all. The mass murder of the Davidians should nonetheless be give high priority. By demanding that the government take responsibility for its crimes against humanity, including those against the Davidians, which was a crime against us all, we will also be taking responsibility for our nation's destiny, for ours is one that cannot afford to remain the same despite the changes.

Waco: The Rules of Engagement

"Waco: The Rules of Engagement" official website and DVD sales

Waco: The Rules of Engagement (134 min.)

Also view (below) "Waco: A New Revelation" (1999). Released four years after "Waco: The Rules of Engagement," this documentary reveals even more disturbing evidence destroyed, lost, or otherwise covered up by the federal government. It also provides information that the military was involved in the operation of April 19, 1993 in capacities greater than merely consulting or supplying equipment and that the participation of Delta Force there could only have occurred by order of President Clinton. As a result of this film, Attorney General Janet Reno appointed the former senator John Danforth to conduct an "independent" investigation. Unsurprisingly, despite the overwhelming evidence to the contrary, his report (see below) merely echoed what was stated before: the Branch Davidians committed suicide.

Waco: A New Revelation (1999)
Jason van Vleet, director; Michael McNulty, researcher
part I (54 min.)

Waco: A New Revelation
part II (58 min.)

Holocaust—in Waco, Texas

Appearing in the same May 3, 1993 issue of Time magazine as an extensive cover story on the tragedy of David Koresh and the Branch Davidians was a column by Charles Krauhthammer called "Holocaust." No, ostensibly it had nothing to do with that final conflagration of the Mt. Carmel Center ("the logical conclusion," as Bob Ricks, the FBI spokesman called it), in which 76 souls died or their bodies burned, in addition to the six killed during the previous weeks of the siege by federal agents. Krauthammer was not speaking of that holocaust. He was criticizing what he claimed were inaccurate comparisons being made between the Jewish Holocaust and what he preferred to call the "ethnic conflict" in Bosnia. He complained about the inappropriate use of "borrowed terms" such as "death camps and genocide," whose applications to anything short of the scale and methods of Nazi Germany's genocide of European Jews "betrays a poverty of language." At that time a controversy was raging between advocates for Bosnians and apologists of Serbian aggressions against them as to whether or not what was occurring was indeed genocide.

The lives of several million Bosnians depended on winning on the politics-of-language front, where Col. Krauthammer commanded his columns. Means of "ethnic cleansing," which is but a sanitized term for genocide—savage atrocities and most brutal cruelties—were being perpetrated against Bosnians, albeit not yet on a scale of the Holocaust, nor executed with the bureaucratic exactitude of the Holocaust—the perpetrators were, after all, Serbians, not Germans. Despite Krauthammer's objections, in 2007 the World Court ruled: that Serbians were guilty of genocide, not for participating in Krauthammer's preferred "ethnic conflict," in the case of the 1995 massacre at Srebrenica, considered to be the worst massacre in Europe since World War II; and that Serbia had violated the United Nations Convention on Genocide by doing nothing to avert the atrocities committed, genocidal killings. The International Criminal Tribunal subsequently indicted former president Slobodan Milosevic, and four other Serbian leaders, for crimes against humanity, including, yes, genocide, and war crimes. Just recently, in July 2008, Radovan Karadzic was apprehended. Perhaps he will use Krauthammer's objections to theexaggerated uses of the term "genocide" in his defense.

Krauthammer's complaint about terms "borrowed" from the Holocaust, seem to also indirectly warn against using the word holocaust to describe the con-flagration near Waco two weeks earlier in which the survivors of the siege of the Mt. Carmel Center perished. Altogether, 82 Branch Davidians, including 25 children, died between February 28 and April 19. Whether one agrees with the official explanaton-it was a mass suicide-or that it was a mass murder, at the hands of the federal government, doesn't alter the fact that 82 souls were unnecessarily sacrificed. To call those deaths a holocaust in no way reflects a poverty of language or meaning. The etymology of the word holocaust is Greek, from the word holokaustos; OED's first definition is "a sacrifice wholly consumed by fire." There is no more appropriate term which can be used to describe what happened at the conclusion of the federal government's siege of the Branch Davidians. It was a tragedy in the Greek sense: the events pivoted daily and ultimately onthe moral (as well as immoral and amoral) decisions of men and women.

To those who have objectively reviewed the extant evidence and the congressional testimonies, the Branch Davidians were, for reasons not yet
entirely clear, sacrificed by members of the Clinton administration and subsequently covered up with the complicity of Congress. But those 82 souls who died at Mt. Carmel has moved many people throughout the world from various religious, social, and political affinities to believe those deaths should not be in vain and led many to see the U.S. government with new eyes, to wit: the Branch Davidians did not die due to their lack of will to live, but, rather, due to the government's will to tyrannize.

There is no shortage of details about April 19, 1993 that continue to shock us fifteen years after that holocaust. No less stunning than the savagery eradication of the Branch Davidians in their home is that on the evening of that same day President Clinton addressed foreign and national dignitaries during the dedication in Washington D.C. of the United States Holocaust Memorial Museum:

"The Holocaust began when the most civilized country of its day unleashed unpredented acts of cruelty and hatred abetted by perversions of science, philosophy, and law—a culture which producecd Goethe, Schiller, and Beethoven, and then brought forth Hitler and then Himler, the merciless hordes who were themselves educated as others who were educated stood by and did nothing. Millions died for who they were, how they worshipped, what they believed, and who they loved."

The dedication of the Holocaust memorial and the final conflagration at Mt. Carmel were on Passover, also the fiftieth anniversary of the beginning of the final battle when the Nazi storm troopers moved in, burning the buildings and killing all the survivors. Mt. Carmel and the Branch Davidians were surely on the minds of more than a few of the attendees. Clinton had proved with his own actions that even the most highly educated people of what is supposedly the most civilized nations are capable of unspeakable cruelties.

The Colombian author Gabriel García Márquez, the author of the book Clinton once claimed was his favorite, One Hundred Years of Solitude, often wrote tales of a village which are a microcosm of the world. The siege of Mt. Carmel can and should also be viewed not only as a microcosm but as a sign of things to come.

The Danforth Report

Following is an excerpt from "The Final Report to the Deputy Attorney General Concerning the 1993 Confrontation at the Mt. Carmel Center, Waco, Texas," submitted November 8, 2000 by John C. Danforth, Special Counsel.

....The experts further concluded that the CS and methylene chloride inserted into the complex as part of the plan did not start or contribute to the spread of the fire. In addition to the allegtions that CS gas could have started the fire in the Davidian complex, some have claimed that tear gas is lethal and should not have been used by the FBI at Waco. Indeed, although concluding, "[I]t is highly unlikely that the CS riot control agent, in the quanities used by the FBI, reached lethal toxic levels," the United States House of Representatives Judiciary Committee and the Committee on Government Reform and Oversight issued a report on August 2, 1996, stating:

The presented evidence does indicate that CS insertion into the enclosed bunker, at a time when women and children were assembled inside that enclosed space, could have been a proximate cause of or directly resulted in some or all of the deaths attributed to asphysiation in the autopsy reports.Therefore, the Office of Special Counsel believed that it was necessary to investigate thoroughly whether the CS gas used at Waco could have killed any of the Davidians. As stated in the Introduction, the evidence clearly establishes that the Davidians killed themselves. There is no doubt that they set the complex on fire; they refused to come out of the complex after they started the fire; and they shot themselves. No forensic pathologist who has examined the evidence has found any indication that the tear gas killed any Davidian. Notwithstanding the overwhelming evidence that the Davidians killed themselves, the Office of Special Counsel notes that one of the toxicologists it retained, Dr. Uwe Heinrich, has concluded that, if people exposed to high levels of CS are not able to leave a room, "there is a distinct possibility that this kind of CS exposure can significantly contribute to or even cause lethal effects. "Based upon the report of the Office of Special Counsel expert Dr. George Lucier, the Office of Special Counsel concludes that the amount of methylene chloride in the complex did not reach lethal levels and did not cause the deaths of any Davidians. Some of the Davidians, however, could have experienced mild irritation, dizziness, and decreased responsiveness to visual and auditory signals from the methylene chloride.

This opinion is contrary to the expert advice given to Attorney General Reno before she approved the FBI's plan to insert tear gas into the complex. She has consistently stated that her primary concern was whether the tear gas could permanently harm the occupants of the complex, particularly the children. She has stated that had she been told the tear gas could be lethal, she would never have approved the tear gas plan. The expert who advised Attorney General Reno and the FBI on the potential effects of CS gas in April of 1993 told them that the tear gas could not cause death or permanent injury. Based on the then-available literature regarding the effects of CS gas on humans, the expert's advise to Attorney General Reno may have been well founded at that time. Indeed, no human death resulting from CS has ever been reported in the scientific literature.The tear gas inserted by the FBI on April 19, 1993, was a liquid aerosol of CS powder dissolved in methylene chloride.

Determining the lethality of CS for humans is only based on an extrapolation from the animal studies. Based upon these animal studies, the Office of Special Counsel's toxicologist concluded that extended exposure to high volumes of CS could potentially be lethal.The following analysis explains why the Office of Special Counsel has concluded that CS, although potentially lethal, was not responsible for the deaths of any Davidians. At some time in the late morning of April 19, 1993, many of the Davidians, including all the children, moved to the concrete bunker in the back of the complex. The bunker was a 20' by 21' room with concrete walls and no windows, located next to the cafeteria. Its only opening was a doorway approximately 4 feet wide. At 11:49 a.m., one of the CEV's penetrated the front of the complex, moving in the general direction of the bunker, and inserted one canister of tear gas into the complex. The CEV was approximately 17 feet away from the bunker when it inserted this tear gas. At 11:50 a.m., the CEV, then approximately 28 feet from the front of the bunker, inserted a second canister of tear gas.Whether potentially lethal levels of CS were reached in the Davidian complex is not known for sure. Some of that tear gas, although no one knows exactly how much, probably entered the bunker.

Dr. Heinrich has stated that the lethal effects of CS depend upon the exposed person being prevented from leaving the area of exposure. The evidence indicates that, through the gassing operation, many Davidians moved away from exposed rooms, moved and walked freely, and protected themselves with gas masks and wet towels around their faces. There was a doorway to exit the bunker, and people could have left the room. According to the Office of Special Counsel toxicologist, because of the significant discomfort caused by CS, he would fully expect that, unless individuals were forced to stay in the room, any potentially lethal amount of CS would have forced the occupants out of the room long before they could inhale the amount needed to kill them. Additionally, although there are no human studies, the studies done on laboratory animals indicate that humans would not die immediately following short-term inhalation exposure to high concentrations of CS. Therefore, even if potentially lethal levels of CS had entered the bunker, and Davidians were holding some of the members in the bunker against their will, there was insufficient time for the CS to kill anyone. The tear gas insertions near the bunker were at 11:49 a.m. and 11:50 a.m. The Davidians started one or more fires in the cafeteria at approximately 12:05 p.m., quickly filling that space with smoke. By 12:14 p.m., the roof of the cafeteria had burned through and the forensic pathologist believes that by this time, everyone in the bunker was dead from either the gunshot wounds or smoke inhalation.

* * * *

The Office of Special Counsel also reviewed the decision of the FBI delay allowing firefighting equipment to arrive at the scene. The Office of Special Counsel has concluded that the Davidians were shooting at outsiders, which would have endangered the lives of any firefighters who approached. In fact, a Title III intercept from April 17, 1993, records Davidians indicating that they intended to prevent firefighters from approaching the complex: "You're defintely right...I think all the time he knows it...nobody comes in here..."; "Catch fire and they couldn't bring the fire trucks and they couldn't even get near us"; "Exactly." Because firefighters could not immediately approach the complex and fight the fire, it was impossible to control or suppress it. Furthermore, the evidence indicates that many of the Davidians did not want to leave the burning building.

Died February 28, 1993

Winston Black, 28
black, British

Peter Gent, 24
white, Australian

Peter Hipsman, 28
white, American

Perry Jones, 64
white, American

Michael Schroeder, 29
white, American

Jaydean Wendell, 34
Hawaiian, American

Died April 19, 1993

Katherine Andrade, 24
white, American

Chanel Andrade, 1
white, American

Jennifer Andrade, 19
white, American

George Bennett, 35
black, British

Susan Benta , 31
black, British

Mary Jean Borst, 49
white, American

Pablo Cohen, 38
white, Israeli

Abedowalo Davies, 30
black, British

Shari Doyle, 18
white, American

Beverly Elliot, 30
black, British

Yvette Fagan, 32
black, British

Doris Fagan, 51
black, British

Lisa Marie Farris, 24
white, American

Raymond Friesen, 76
white, Canadian

Sandra Hardial, 27
black, British

Zilla Henry, 55
black, British

Vanessa Henry, 19
black, British

Phillip Henry, 22
black, British

Paulina Henry, 24
black, British

Stephen Henry, 26
black, British

Diana Henry, 28
black, British

Novellette Hipsman, 36
black, Canadian

Floyd Houtman, 61
black, American

Sherri Jewell, 43
Asian, American

David M. Jones, 38
white, American

David Koresh, 33
white, American

Rachel Koresh, 24
white, American

Cyrus Koresh, 8
white, American

Star Koresh, 6
white, American

Bobbie Lane Koresh, 2
white, American

Jeffery Little, 32
white, American

Nicole Gent Little, 24
white, Australian

and trauma-born infant

Dayland Gent, 3
white, American

Page Gent, 1
white, American

Livingston Malcolm, 26
black, British

Diane Martin, 41
black, British

Wayne Martin, 42
black, American

Lisa Martin, 13
black, American

Sheila Martin, Jr., 15
black, American

Anita Martin, 18
black, American

Wayne Martin, Jr., 20
black, American

Julliete Martinez, 30
Mexican American

Crystal Martinez, 3
Mexican American

Isaiah Martinez, 4
Mexican American

Joseph Martinez, 8
Mexican American

Abigail Martinez, 11
Mexican American

Audrey Martinez, 13
Mexican American

John-Mark McBean, 27
black, British

Bernadette Monbelly, 31
black, British

Rosemary Morrison, 29
black, British

Melissa Morrison, 6
black, British

Sonia Murray, 29
black, American

Theresa Nobrega, 48
black, British

James Riddle, 32
white, American

Rebecca Saipaia, 24
Asian, Phillipino

Steve Schneider, 43
white, American

Judy Schneider, 41
white, American

Mayanah Schneider, 2
white, American

Clifford Sellors, 33
white, British

Scott Kojiro Sonobe, 35
Asian, American

Floracita Sonobe, 34
Asian, Phillipino

Gregory Summers, 28
white, American

Aisha Gyrfas Summers, 17
white, Australian

and trauma-born infant

Startle Summers, 1
white, American

Lorraine Sylvia, 40
white, American

Rachel Sylvia, 12
white, American

Hollywood Sylvia, 1
white, American

Michelle Jones Thibodeau, 18
white, American

Serenity Jones, 4
white, American

Chica Jones, 2
white, American

Little One Jones, 2
white, American

Neal Vaega, 38
Somoan, New Zealander

Margarida Vaega , 47
Asian, New Zealander

Mark H. Wendell, 40
Asian, American

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