ABSTRACT: In 1999 former Senator John Danforth was appointed by Attorney General Janet Reno as Special Counsel to investigate alleged illegal or improper behavior by government agencies before and during the Waco critical incident in 1993. His final report to the Deputy Attorney General exculpated the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, and Firearms (BATF), the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) and the armed forces regarding possible violations of posse comitatus law and related statutes. However, examination of the Danforth interim and final reports in context with three other government sources reveals that Danforth engaged in a hermeneutical defense of the government. Comparison of these major documents reveals inconsistencies, errors, omissions, terminology, and interpretations that raise questions about violations of the laws separating the armed forces from civilian police operations against United States citizens on U.S. soil. Danforth called for government openness and candor regarding Waco, but delivered an unequivocal defense of government forces instead.

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