Conspiracy Nation -- Vol. 1 Num. 8

("Quid coniuratio est?")

[From an interview with Linda Thompson on the For the People radio show, Feb. 11, 1994. Host is Chuck Harder.]


CHUCK HARDER: We're back. We're talking to Linda Thompson. She's an attorney. She is the producer of what we call "Waco II", "Waco, the Big Lie Continues".

Uh, now, what has the government admitted, Linda? What have they admitted in trial that you have solid evidence of that has not been out in the press?

LINDA THOMPSON: Well, we need to cover some of the background on the trial first to understand what's going on.

HARDER: O.K. Sure.

THOMPSON: Walter Smith is the judge. And this is going on in federal district court, which means it's a federal court as distinguished from Randy Weaver's situation.

Walter Smith was the judge in Waco. Now Dennis Greene is his magistrate. Now magistrates do not have the full power of a judge. They're usually picked by a judge; the judge picks his own magistrate.

Dennis Greene is the man who signed the search warrant originally, and has been working hand in hand with Bill Johnstone, who is the U.S. attorney there. Between them, they have a long record of having some of the highest rates of gun prosecutions of anyplace in the country, right in Waco, between Dennis Greene and Bill Johnstone.

Now Walter Smith, then, is the judge that sealed the search warrant originally. He is the man who had secret arraignments of the Branch Davidians (which is illegal. That's like the "star chamber" back in England.) When these people were brought in and arraigned, he held it in secret.

Walter Smith, in his first 7 orders about the Branch Davidians, back in March last year [i.e. in March 1993], called them criminals! Himself, in his order, he referred to these people as criminals. Now that is, by itself (as a defense attorney), was basis to get rid of Walter Smith as the judge in this case. So it's very, very odd that no one got him off this case with motions and arguments and so forth.

HARDER: Hang on a minute. Could it be that he put that in there so that if this thing goes one way or another, somebody can call for a mistrial or what have you?

THOMPSON: Possibly. But you've got a problem when the defense doesn't challenge it, it's not the basis for an appeal. Unless another attorney comes in and tries to use the fact that the attorneys themselves didn't challenge it. But anyway, it would [unclear] if somebody would have challenged it and lost, they could appeal it. But secondly, what else he did, he is the man... most of these Davidians have appointed attorneys... court- appointed attorneys that are paid by the government.


THOMPSON: Yeah. And Walter Smith hand picked every one of those attorneys. So all of the attorneys have been picked by the judge. Then he cut their salaries in half. Now I can tell you: The appointed jobs do not pay very well. Very few successful attorneys, anymore, take appointed cases -- for no reason other than the fact that you lose money taking those cases because you've got to keep your office open while you're being paid this pittance of money to do a very complex case. So, by cutting the salaries in half, any of the attorneys that were inclined to be good and do their job couldn't.

Now then he transferred the case to San Antonio. That happens to be where the government's special prosecutor is from. And it also happens to be where the government's chief witness for the FBI, Jeff Jamar, is from. So that makes it very convenient for the government, less expensive, less hassle. And it causes a lot of trouble for the defense attorneys, who have to commute and essentially set up an office in San Antonio. Now they're going to have to fund their own expenses for all of that at the time that they're being paid virtually nothing!

Now doing any kind of defense on a case this complex is going to be extremely expensive because you've gotta pay a lot of people. You've gotta take depositions of a lot of witnesses. That costs about $400 to $1,000 apiece. There's a lot of time involved. You need a lot of assistants to do it. They don't have that available to 'em. They can't do a good job. Even if they want to, they can't.

HARDER: Well where's the American Civil Liberties Union in this?

THOMPSON: Well... That's another story. We'll get to them in a minute...

HARDER: All right.

THOMPSON: ...get down to San Antonio to do this trial and you've got seven... You've got the attorneys that were all picked by Walter Smith. Walter Smith is still on the case, even though he's transferred it to San Antonio, he is still the judge.

We get to trial. He picked the jury pool and he hand picked all the jurors. And then he kept the jurors anonymous. You can't know the identities of each of the jurors. No one can.

Then he put a gag order on all of the attorneys and he hand picked the press that would be allowed in to cover the story. He's only allowed 5 members of the press into the trial to cover the story. We know that 2 of those 5 are government. Three of them we don't know anything about, but we're not hearing anything so we can presume that they were picked for that reason -- you know, that they would not provide good [press] coverage, they would not talk this up, and they wouldn't reveal what's going on in the trial.

So before we even get to trial, what people should understand is this: This thing is fixed. It's rigged.

Now looking at it you could reasonably think, "Well it's rigged so they're sure to get a conviction." But that's not true either. Some of the people who are on trial are not Branch Davidians. They are government plants; they're agents that were already in Mount Carmel before the raid. You might remember some of the comments that were made afterwards by Ann Richards and Janet Reno, uh, that we should have agencies working together so we don't have a problem with one agency running up on another agency's undercover operation. This is what happened in Waco. You had agencies attacking Mount Carmel that didn't know the other agencies were already working undercover there.

HARDER: Um-hum. [Indicates he understands]

THOMPSON: So some of the people that were brought out, for instance, the day of the fire, were not Branch Davidians. They were, in fact, one agency's undercover operatives. That... Those people are on trial anyway because they can't afford to tell you, tell the American public, "These are agents." All right? They don't want their identity revealed.

Now what happens if you have a government agent and you put 'em on -- you know, an undercover agent like that -- you put 'em on trial. They're charged with a crime. They have the same protection as any defendant. They've got the 5th amendment right not to testify. They never have to admit they're agents. They never have to testify. And they're fine, as long as they're acquitted, right?

HARDER: Right.

THOMPSON: Now what we're seeing in this trial, that I think is very, very interesting, is the government is throwing the trial. For now, the only side of the story that has been presented has been the prosecution's case. You will not see a... Realize: The U.S. attorney has no surprises. There are... He does not put a witness on the stand he has not interviewed. He's going to know exactly what that witnesses testimony is going to be.

HARDER: Um-hum. [Indicates he understands]

THOMPSON: Now if you have one brain [cell] in your head, you do not put a witness on the stand that's gonna hurt your side. That's the other side's job. All right? You don't go lining up witnesses that get on the stand and tell things that are bad for you. And you certainly don't elicit that testimony yourself. And yet that's exactly what the government has done. They have put up witness after witness, of their own, that has said things like, "Well, yeah, we did shoot our own agents," "Yeah, well, we were gonna make this dynamic entry," "Yeah, we did lose the element of surprise."

Now. There's 2 reasons this is happening: (1) The government is throwing the trial. But (2) the only story that comes out that way is exactly the same story that we've got in the ATF final report and what we've heard in the media all along. It is damage control. Even though they appear to be making all these great admissions, they're not admitting anything more than they've already admitted. And they're making sure that the story stays the same in the process of the trial. And they're throwing the trial.

They're probably going to get convictions of the real Branch Davidians. The people that are acquitted are suspect. But I don't believe we're going to see convictions of the government agents in this trial. And I think that's the purpose of what's going on here and why there has been such extreme control.

HARDER: [Pause.... ] Wow!

Linda Thompson is a lawyer. She is with us. She's talking to us about what she knows about the Waco trial. She has provided... She has produced, I should say, a new videotape which is now [Feb. 11, 1994] just in the duplication stage, called "Waco, the Big Lie Continues," or "Waco II," if you please. It's available through us, if you want to call up 1-800-888-9999. We'll be right back.

(to be continued)

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Aperi os tuum muto, et causis omnium filiorum qui pertranseunt. Aperi os tuum, decerne quod justum est, et judica inopem et pauperem. -- Liber Proverbiorum XXXI: 8-9