Never wrong

Come on, now. Aren’t you a little hard on the ATF? Don’t you know by now that government bureaucrats are never wrong? Any problem is always someone else’s mistake.

They will tell you that every day. Don’t you realize that this raid was planned by some bureaucrats wanting to play soldier?

I will predict that the director of ATF and other high-ranking ATF officials involved in this fiasco will not only be allowed to resign with full pay and benefits but will be honored for their achievements.

I wish I were Secretary of Treasury Lloyd Bentsen. Where it concerns this matter, there would be a whole bunch of ATF bigwigs dangling in the breeze.

Keep up the pressure. Don’t let any bureaucrat intimidate you. I’m proud of the paper.

Alfred O. Pahmeyer


Gestapo tactics

I have just finished reading Rowland Nethaway in the March 17 San Francisco Chronicle.

He expressed concern about the public response to his previous articles as being anti-government.

I do not own a gun. I am not a member of any religious or extremist groups (although I have, on occasion, voted Republican in the past). And, finally, I do not contemplate the end of the world or armed resistance to the federal government.

However, I am profoundly disturbed by the spectacle of armed federal agents assaulting private citizens in the course of “doing their job.”

There is some concern in my own mind as to whether good, upstanding middle-class citizens like myself might be behaving in a manner similar to middle-class Germans in the 1930s (i.e. ignoring governmental actions against people claimed by the government to be dangerous and-or undesirable).

Child abuse, unfortunately, goes on through the country. Ditto illegal weapons possession. Why were these people chosen for special attention and a Rambo-like assault?

Wade Hufford

Oakland, Calif.


I read Rowland Nethaway’s March 17 column [about the comments the Tribune-Herald has received] and feel compelled to reply.

He says he is amazed to find that some of us are educated, articulate and reasonable. It is typical of the arrogance of the media to assume that everyone “educated, articulate and reasonable” would agree with them.

I am staggered that on the grounds of “suspicion” of something or other, a bunch of weirdos was attacked by a band of 100 heavily armed, bulletproof-vest clad Gestapo troopers. What was wrong with sending a single unarmed officer to this so-called compound with the warrants? Is this the United States or Nazi Germany?

Who is the next group to be labeled a “religious cult” and subjected to an armed assault?

I’m a WWII infantry veteran, I started a successful business of my own 35 years ago, served 11 years on my local school board, three of them as president, and hold one U.S. patent. And, my friend, this matter has me scared for my country.

Lawrence E. Flora

Stuart, Fla.

Fed’s methods

I read with interest Rowland Nethaway’s March 17 column in the editorial section of the Fort Worth Star Telegram.

Frankly, it amazes me that Nethaway and the media in general are surprised about anti-government sentiment. It is also surprising to me that the media haven’t questioned some of the government’s actions in this affair.

Actually, I wonder how Nethaway and the Tribune-Herald will regard the U.S. government’s methods in coming months if you become the object of an ATF-FBI investigation.

Ray Thomas


Read the Tribune-Herald's 7-part investigative series on the inner workings of the Branch Davidians. Hours after Part Two appeared in print, the ATF raided the group's compound.

Read the Tribune-Herald’s account of the ATF raid on the Branch Davidian compound on Feb. 28, 1993. Four ATF agents and six in the compound were killed in the gunfight.

Read the daily news accounts of the 51-day siege at the Branch Davidian compound near Elk, which began Feb. 28 and lasted until April.

Read the accounts of April 19 and beyond: FBI agents began inserting canisters of tear gas into the Branch Davidian compound in the early morning hours. By noon, it was on fire.