[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 

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 

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 

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 

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 

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 

                        (to be continued)