The FBI/BATF raid on the David Koresh home (not compound) has been the subject of controversy since the first day the BATF zealots tried to storm the house. All along, the FBI and the Justice Department have fabricated stories and information with an effrontery that would astonish even the Clintons: Koresh was stockpiling illegal arms, they said (he was a legal dealer accused of a minor licensing infraction); he was abusing the children, said Reno (no, claimed the FBI, they never made such a charge); the Branch Davidians committed suicide rather than submit to arrest (there is good evidence not only that the FBI used incendiary devices but also that their tanks fired into the house in the final firestorm).

Now Miss Reno wants us to trust a career Republican politician whom she selected to lead the investigation. Anyone who has watched the tapes of the congressional hearings (captured well in the documentary, Waco: The Rules of Engagement) knows that the Republicans let the Democrats get away (perhaps literally) with murder. Tom Lantos and Chuck Schumer—the two most sinister figures ever to sit in Congress —bullied and abused decent and patriotic witnesses, ignored the evidence, and misrepresented facts that were on the record, while the Republican members were contented with whining or making, from time to time, fine-sounding patriotic statements. They never stood up to the lying and hate-mongering of their opposition. The Republicans had their chance.

The most likely explanation for the impending investigation is simple: There is too much information out there in books and films and on the Internet. Independent-minded people on the left and right do not hesitate to accuse Reno and company of murder. What to do? Why not leak some damaging hints, set up a mock investigation that ends up in the disgrace of one or two agents who only followed orders, and proclaim to the world that “the system works”? It is a technique that got Bill Clinton off the hook, and it will certainly work for his attorney general.

We may never know what really happened at Waco. One thing is certain: No representative of either party can be trusted to head the investigation. Why not set up a blue-ribbon commission with Gerry Spence, Ross Perot, Alex Cockburn, Jesse Ventura, Noam Chomsky, and Pat Buchanan? They are all mavericks with a taste for plain talk. They agree on very few things and might just have the courage to find out the truth and tell it to the American people. Which is why none of them will ever be trusted by the attorney general of the United States.