Attribution Essay, Research Paper
The Waco incident, was the government in the wrong, or did the Davidians provoke the situation. Many people have different opinions, although they are based on what the government has let us know, only the agents there really know the truth at this point. Brad Knickerbocker, author of The Explosive Force of Domestic Terrorism in the magazine The Christian Science Monitor, believes the attack on the Alfred P. Murrah federal building was a retaliation for the attack on the Davidians. Militia members cite this and the federal raid on white supremacists at Ruby Ridge, Idaho as reasons to fight the federal government, violently if necessary.
Another article on the subject is Some Key Questions for the Waco Hearings in the magazine Human Events, written by James Bovard. He cites documents from a fellow journalist, James Pate, exposing U.S. Military involvement in the attack on Waco. He also shows that the reason given by government officials for gassing the Davidians was inaccurate. They said it was to persuade them to come out, the U.S. Army Field Manual states Generally persons reacting to CS(type of gas used) are incapable of executing organized and concerted actions, excessive exposure may make them incapable of vacating the area. Also stated in the Army Field Manual Warning, when using the dry agent CS, do not discharge indoors, accumulating dust may explode when exposed to spark or open flame. The author concludes that Waco will haunt the government until the truth comes out.
Brad Knickerbocker s main perspective was that there is a pattern evolving between governmental action and domestic terrorism. James Bovard s main perspective was the inconsistent government testimony made them unbelievable and trying to cover it up was only going to allow it to happen again. I can think of many reasons the government would lie but not a single one for the authors to lie.
The two articles were the same in the sense that they stated the government had something’s to answer for in the Waco incident. The difference was that Mr. Knickerbocker took a more factual look at the Waco incident than did Mr. Bovard. Mr. Knickerbocker didn t pronounce the government as liars, he just stated the known facts of what the government did and how it affected militia groups in the U.S. Mr. Bovard on the other hand cited many statements that the government made and challenged them with his own evidence.
The difference in opinion or attitude of the authors was do to the level of information. Mr. Bovard evidently has better contacts that provided him with information to discredit the government s explanation. Where Mr. Knickerbocker used statements released to form his opinion. This is a perfect example of the government using its power not only to manipulate the facts but also to manipulate public opinion by keeping them in the dark about certain facts and shoving others in there face.
Knickerbocker, Brad The Explosive Force of Domestic Terrorism Christian Science Monitor, 1/2/96, Vol. 88 Issue 25, p.8
Bovard, James Some Key Questions for the Waco Hearings Human Events, 7/21/95, Vol. 51 Issue 28, p.1