For the last four months Waco has been muffled by an impenetrable fog. Like Brigadoon.
Only this Brigadoon isn’t nice like the one in Scotland. It refuses to just disappear for a century at a time and, as The Associated Press put it the other day, Waco is a Brigadoon “perpetually recovering from its last disaster.”
The last disaster, depending on your point of view, was either the recent exposure of the morally bankrupt athletic program at self-righteous Baylor University or the Twin Peaks Massacre last May 17. Waco has dealt with the Twins Peaks Massacre by shrouding the incident in smoke, ordering everyone who might knows something that might embarrass the local tyrants to remain silent and either arresting or legally restraining everyone who dares to disobey.
Waco is a lawless town rum by a cabal of small town bullies. The members include cops, prosecutors, judges, union officials and defense attorneys and together they perfectly illustrate what G. Robert Blakely meant when he coined the term “racketeering enterprise.” Short term, there is no way to remedy the Waco Criminal Organization. That’s the sort of thing federal law enforcement officials are supposed to do and, unfortunately, the feds are coconspirators in the premeditated murders of between six and nine innocent people, the wounding of a score more and the false imprisonment of something near 150.
The only remedies would seem to be through the federal courts and through the press. The Waco Criminal Organization knows that as well as anybody which is why there has been so little news from the anti-Brigadoon.
Since shortly after the Twin Peaks murders, the loudest voice coming out of the mists has belonged to a Dallas lawyer named Clint Broden. Broden is not from Waco. Even Patrick Swanton knows “that for a fact!”
Early in the case, McLennan County District Attorney Abelino “Abel” Reyna threatened every defense attorney with a gag order if they talked out loud and on the record. When Broden refused to sit down and shut up, Reyna’s former law partner, Judge and coconspirator Matt Johnson, slapped Broden with a court order to remain silent. Broden fought back by filing numerous, argumentative and quotable legal motions. Eventually he, the Reporters Committee for Freedom of the Press and 15 additional organizations filed briefs with the Court of Appeals for the Tenth District of Texas on behalf of a motion to lift the gag order. Eventually Broden won. So Reyna immediately appealed freedom of speech to the Texas Court of Criminal Appeals which agreed that Waco was a Constitution free zone.
That appeals court told Reyna, Broden and other interested parties to stay completely silent for another month and then submit briefs on the matter. Now the month is up. Yesterday Broden submitted his brief in defense of freedom of speech. So did the Texas Criminal Defense Lawyers Association and the 25 other organizations including the Committee for Freedom of the Press.
There will be more inevitable stalling. It might take the Court of Criminal Appeals another month to read all those words. But sooner or later, Broden and his rude pen and his incorrect opinions will be once again unleashed. And the mists will begin to clear.