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Waco - The Rules of Engagement
Waco - The Rules of Engagement
Actors: Dan Gifford, Clive Doyle, Jack Harwell, Dick J. Reavis, James D. Tabor
Director: William Gazecki
Genres: Action & Adventure, Documentary
NR     2003     2hr 45min

Shaking the foundation of democracy, the shocking revelations behind the tragic series of events outside Waco, Texas that killed four federal agents and 76 men, women and children of the Branch Davidian religious sect has ...  more »


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Movie Details

Actors: Dan Gifford, Clive Doyle, Jack Harwell, Dick J. Reavis, James D. Tabor
Director: William Gazecki
Creators: Dan Gifford, William Gazecki, Amy Sommer, Michael McNulty
Genres: Action & Adventure, Documentary
Sub-Genres: Action & Adventure, Biography, History
Studio: New Yorker Video
Format: DVD - Color
DVD Release Date: 12/09/2003
Original Release Date: 09/19/1997
Theatrical Release Date: 09/19/1997
Release Year: 2003
Run Time: 2hr 45min
Screens: Color
Number of Discs: 1
SwapaDVD Credits: 1
Total Copies: 0
Members Wishing: 10
MPAA Rating: NR (Not Rated)
Languages: English

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Movie Reviews

Should be required viewing
(5 out of 5 stars)

"Waco: The Rules of Engagement should be required viewing by all seniors in every public high school in the land. This documentary may be the single most shocking evidence of the actual impact of a rougue government, bent on murdering it's own citizens. Using an impressive combination of video from the Waco site, congressional hearings, night vision, news camera film clips and actual testimony, this video leaves no doubt that the U.S. Government, under Janet Reno and William Jefferson Clinton murdered innocent civilians. One of the hidden stars in this movie is the arrogant, obnoxious, and totally disrepectful Charles Schummer, then a congressman. Of special interest is the infra-red film of the night sieges by the BATF and FBI where any compound resident attempting to stray outside of the buildings is summarily executed by agents equipped with night vision. The IR film conclusively shows this outright murder while the agents are shown recounting one falsehood after another. Lying, subterfuge, confusion, murder, violence against innocent citizens, all condoned by the Attorney General of the United States. It almost sounds like a made for TV movie that is too far-fetched to be true. Sadly, it is all documented, believable, and excessively frightening."
The scariest movie I have ever seen
Richard Cody | Oakland, The Golden State | 11/21/2001
(5 out of 5 stars)

"As one who has long been dubious of the morals and motivations of our elected leaders (regardless of party) and - even more so -the agencies (ATF, CIA, FBI, etc.) which supposedly answer to them, I was none too surprised by the revelations of the riveting 1997 documentary/expose, "Waco, The Rules of Engagement". Those revelations, in a nutshell, are as follows: that the ATF and FBI under the leadership of Janet Reno and the Clinton Administration murdered some 86 men, women and children after a 51 day siege. Now, that these allegations do not surprise me may say more about me than it does about the state of political reality in this country - I am willing to concede that - but this is a powerful piece of film making which goes a long way toward confirming any suspicions of corruption and "Big Brotherism" myself and like minded people may have entertained.

I know nothing about the filmmakers - their political leanings, religious beliefs and favorite colors are a mystery to me - but it seems a fair bet they lean to the left. I make this observation because this film is thus far my only source of information regarding the Waco tragedy and I have no idea how objective it is or is not. It seems that there is a definite bias in favor of the Branch Davidians but, in light of the more than compelling evidence presented here against the ATF/FBI, the objectivity of the filmmakers almost seems a moot point. One of the more powerful pieces of this evidence is the testimony from the inventor of the FLIR infrared filming technology and the report of an independent lab, both stating that the film shot from an airplane during the raid of April 19, 1993 indicates automatic gunfire directed against the burning Branch Davidian "compound" - contrary to the FBI claim that their personnel fired no shots.

Much contested also was the issue of who fired the first shots at the beginning of this whole sorry situation - the ATF or the Branch Davidians? This also is rendered a moot point, for me at least, by the fact that the government chose to issue a supposed search warrant (for illegal weapons) to David Koresh via a veritable army of ATF personnel in full combat gear. I don?t claim to be familiar with police procedure, much less the arcane workings of agencies like the ATF, but this seems to me like a show of force that is meant to be intimidating and confrontational. It seems perfectly clear that the authorities had no intention of resolving their issues with David Koresh (and these are issues that touch all of us profoundly ? freedom of religion and the right to bear arms, for instance) in a peaceful manner.I have no sympathy with the teachings and lifestyle of the Branch Davidians. They may have broken some laws (and let us please consider that just because legislation is passed does not mean it is right) regarding weapons and, perhaps, underage sex. Whatever they did or did not do, the treatment they received at the hands of the FBI and ATF was inexcusable, shameful, and inhumane. Did the United States government willfully murder its own citizens with not even a semblance of due process in Waco in 1993? Until I find more compelling evidence to the contrary, I must, unfortunately, say yes. Please watch this film and decide for yourself."
An aside, on last year's election
Jonathan S. Haas | Redmond, WA United States | 12/10/1999
(5 out of 5 stars)

"There are enough rave comments about this raveworthy film that I don't need to add my own adulation, I just want to make a side comment. I'm quite surprised that Al D'Amato didn't show excerpts from then-Rep. Charles Schumer's performance at the Waco hearings during his Senate race in 1998. Schumer is such an arrogant putzhead (to use D'Amato's own turn of expression) and it comes through so clearly here that, had D'Amato aired some of this footage, he might still be a Senator."
I felt like a child finding out there's no Santa Claus
Jonathan S. Haas | 01/12/2000
(5 out of 5 stars)

"This movie shook me to the core. Never before have I had my assumptions and prejudices thrown back in my face with such force. While there may have been some bias in the way the material is presented, there didn't seem to be. I felt like I was being given the facts and then allowed to process them as I saw fit. The end result in my case is a complete overhaul of my long-held beliefs about "freedom" in America."