The various criminal and civil cases associated with the Waco Twin Peaks bloodbath 639 days ago remain fossilized and nobody – certainly not the American Civil Liberties Union of Texas – gives a damn.
It has been a year, eight months and 28 days since the illegal, mass arrests. The ACLU’s stated mission is “to defend and preserve the individual rights and liberties guaranteed to every person in this country by the Constitution and laws of the United States.” But the disillusioning truth is that the ACLU is just another meetup group for sanctimonious law school grads. And, for the last week, they have all been busy filing Freedom of Information Act Requests “to expose how Trump administration officials are interpreting and executing the president’s Muslim ban.”
As Terri Burke, Executive Director of the ACLU of Texas wrote two weeks ago: “Over the past 48 hours, our legal team, along with dedicated volunteers from all across the state, has worked day and night to free those illegally detained by the President’s executive order. Thanks to their tireless efforts, we have prevailed, for now. But ours was only an early tactical victory in what will be a long, hard fight for our nation’s soul. There is still much to do.”
Burke and the rest of her dedicated gang of bourgeoisie bohemians see nothing to champion in Waco. They never have. Maybe the problem is that the victims of the illegal arrests that followed the “Battle of Twin Peaks” were actually Americans.
What happened, in case someone somehow connected to the ACLU sometime, somewhere stumbles across these few words, was that about ten score citizens who care about issues that are mostly, only important to bikers – issues like mass detectors at controlled intersections that don’t detect motorcycles, and how license plates may be legally displayed on motorcycles, and how high handlebars should be allowed to be and that sort of thing – went to a political meeting sponsored by a wholly legal group called the Texas Confederation of Clubs and Independents and found themselves charged with criminal conspiracy to commit murder. Many of the accused had well deserved reputations for their civic mindedness and for their charitable works on behalf of animals, abused children and veterans and so on. Virtually all of the accused were simply trying to not get shot by police.
Among the attendees were two score members of the Bandidos Motorcycle Club; which is regularly smeared as a “criminal organization” by sensationalist television journalists, lazy prosecutors and the sorts of postmodern cops who think they are storming Iwo Jima every time they drive their Lenco BearCats down to the donut shop. The Bandidos were, at the time of the bloodbath, proud sponsors of the Confederation. They are also actually about as criminal as most labor unions and a lot less criminal than the Baylor football team but the police, particularly the federal police, are always trying, without much success, to catch them at something. Which may explain why more than a score of police were waiting for Bandidos to pull into the Twin Peaks parking lot that day.
About four score members of the Cossacks Motorcycle Club – which is not a member of the Confederation and so had no particular reason to be there – arrived early and while more than a score of police watched, claimed all the seats that had been reserved by the Confederation and most of the parking spaces. There is significant, anecdotal evidence that the police invited the Cossacks there in hopes of getting the Bandidos to react. There is documentary evidence that the police expected violence to result. There is video evidence that the police did nothing to prevent the violence. Nine people died and another score were injured seriously enough to be taken to a hospital.
The local prosecutor, a bald, America Ferrera look-alike named Abelino Reyna, interjected himself into the subsequent investigation and ordered that everybody who literally or symbolically stated “I think the Bandidos are nice” or “I love me some Cossacks” should be arrested, incarcerated and held on million dollar bails. Local officials immediately portrayed the bloodbath as a real life episode of a ridiculous television show called Sons of Anarchy. The great, restless herd of the world’s migrating press stampeded toward that angle. This all ruined many lives and many Texas lawyers have been trying to straighten out the mess Reyna created ever since.
Because of this official obstruction all the criminal and all the civil cases that resulted from the Twin Peaks bloodbath are officially on hold. So far there have been five evidence dumps in the case. An evidence dump is the release of massive amounts of putative evidence from prosecutors and police to defense attorneys with the intention of concealing a few relevant leaves in a deep, dark forest. The last evidence dump, Evidence Packet Five, was released in August. Evidence dump six, which contains cell phone records and information collected from social media, was released and almost immediately recalled in September because, officials announced, it contained child pornography. After evidence six there will also be an evidence dump seven and an evidence dump eight.
The first trial in the case, against an as yet unnamed defendant, is scheduled to begin on April 17 but that now seems unlikely because of the mass of evidence that prosecutors continue to hide under their skirts.
There will be an appeals court healing on March 1 in which a couple of defenders named Clint Broden and Abigail Anastasio will argue that Reyna and his assistants should be disqualified from the criminal cases because they will be “necessary witnesses” at the criminal trials: Necessary because it will be legally necessary to ask them why they ordered police to accuse and incarcerate so many people they knew to be innocent.
If the appeals court eventually rules against Reyna, he will be replaced by a special prosecutor who may act legally and fairly. Or maybe he won’t. Over the weekend, a source familiar with the criminal cases said he expects a special prosecutor to dismiss the criminal charges against all but “eight” of the defendants.
In the meantime, since prosecutors have obviously been concealing something for almost two years, it might seem reasonable for the ACLU to ask its scores of “dedicated volunteers from all across the state” to work “day and night” to demand access to and evaluate the evidence Reyna claims to have that implicates 190 indicted and unindicted coconspirators in the murders of nine men and the felonious assaults of a score more.
Isn’t that what the ACLU is supposed to do? Obviously not.
Think about that the next time the ACLU asks you to write them a check.