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Waco: The Rules of Engagement [VHS] (1997)

Dan Gifford , Clive Doyle , William Gazecki  |  NR |  VHS Tape
4.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (149 customer reviews)

Price: $15.94
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Product Details

  • Actors: Dan Gifford, Clive Doyle, Jack Harwell, Dick J. Reavis, James D. Tabor
  • Directors: William Gazecki
  • Writers: Dan Gifford, William Gazecki, Michael McNulty
  • Producers: Dan Gifford, William Gazecki, Amy Sommer, Michael McNulty
  • Format: Color, NTSC
  • Language: English
  • Rated: NR (Not Rated)
  • Number of tapes: 1
  • Studio: New Yorker Video
  • VHS Release Date: October 15, 2002
  • Run Time: 165 minutes
  • Average Customer Review: 4.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (149 customer reviews)
  • ASIN: 1567301738
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #419,729 in Movies & TV (See Top 100 in Movies & TV)

Editorial Reviews


What happened at the Branch Davidian compound in Mt. Carmel, Texas, in 1993? Why did 4 federal agents and 86 civilians lose their lives? The powerful documentary Waco: The Rules of Engagement asks these and many other difficult questions, and the answers are deeply disturbing, even for the most cynical. Using interviews, news footage, testimony before Congress, and infrared photographic analysis, the film relentlessly chips away at the government's story that David Koresh and his followers were a dangerous cult involved in strange sex and drug practices who were preparing to slaughter their neighbors and that they immolated themselves à la Jonestown, rather than give themselves up peacefully. Nearly every element of the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, and Firearms' and the FBI's cover-up is exposed as fraudulent and the viewer is left wondering when, if ever, justice will finally be served. Warning: There are a few minutes of extremely graphic footage of the burnt bodies of the Davidians; though this is sickening, it seems less so than the tragic mistakes made by law enforcement officials. --Rob Lightner

Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
58 of 60 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars The scariest movie I have ever seen November 20, 2001
Format:VHS Tape
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.
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51 of 56 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Should be required viewing February 23, 1999
By A Customer
Format:VHS Tape
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.
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20 of 20 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars I felt like a child finding out there's no Santa Claus January 12, 2000
By A Customer
Format:VHS Tape
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.
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27 of 29 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Very, Very Disturbing February 26, 2008
Format:VHS Tape
Please allow me to share my frank reaction and some random thoughts after viewing this film.

The Waco/Branch Davidian matter has already became old news. I went into a viewing of this with entertainment in mind, expecting a revelation on the order of "there are Martian corpses at Area 51", or "9-11 was planned by George W Bush". What I came away with is the disgusting feeling that the federal government has committed a big crime, covered it up, and corporate media are a willing accomplice. BTW - the "Davidian" aspect of this group's name takes root in the King David of the Old Testament, NOT in personality David Koresh.

I have heretofore always believed, as I had been taught via TV, that the Branch Davidians were an anti-government, religious cultic sect, and that David Koresh was insane and held himself out as their "messiah" and/or the reincarnation of the Biblical Jesus.

What I found in this film was that the Branch Davidians were a group of Christian Bible-scholars - of mixed race, gender, age, marital status - that possessed an above average dedication to wringing truth from the scriptures, and courage to NOT be lead by a mainstream religion ring through their nose. What I saw in the film strongly indicates that this was NOT a Jim Jones Guyana situation (which did indeed have all the attributes of being a genuine wacky cult). I disagree with some of Koresh's interpretations, but that is irrelevant.

If I may speak plainly: When the Branch Davidians resisted government interference in the practice of their non-mainstream but definitely Biblical Christian religion . . . then U.S.
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
4.0 out of 5 stars Four Stars
Published 9 days ago by Michael W.
5.0 out of 5 stars Our "government" is so criminal it's astounding
It's amazing that people like Clinton, Bush and their cronies like Schumer, who proposed once a 5 year prison term for disagreeing with the government on anything, accused the... Read more
Published 4 months ago by AeroEngineer
3.0 out of 5 stars Poor decisions law enforcement, but not a conspiracy
While the Waco siege clearly involves poor decisions and tactics (particularly in the initial raid by the ATF), the problem was that law enforcement was faced with the problem of... Read more
Published 5 months ago by Moom
5.0 out of 5 stars It seems that the trigger happy folks won
The only thing I would add to this movie is the correction at the end. It seems that after I Google the subject that there was no evidence found of any wrong doing in the... Read more
Published 8 months ago by Donald D. Farra
5.0 out of 5 stars This was nominated for an Academy Award for best documentary.
This was nominated for an Academy Award for best documentary.

This takes interviews, video footage, and show the data and shows details that will scare anyone that has... Read more
Published 9 months ago by Eugene R. Cole
5.0 out of 5 stars Every United States citizen needs to watch this--WAKE UP!!!
This is the best documentary I have ever watched. If this doesn't open your eyes to government corruption, then you are choosing to be ignorant and you're fighting for the wrong... Read more
Published 10 months ago by AccioFirebolt
4.0 out of 5 stars Very informative
Every American should watch this very disturbing and informative presentation of the events at Waco. It was an unnecessary and very tragic loss of life.
Published 12 months ago by G. Guest
5.0 out of 5 stars Most excellent DVD.
Completely exceeded my expectations. Totally shreds the government's version of events, as always. People, or should I say sheeple, DO NOT believe anything the U.S. Read more
Published 12 months ago by RoadChili
5.0 out of 5 stars All Americans should see this
I remember in 1993 being one of those Americans who bought into the official line that, "Well, I guess they had to do it. Read more
Published 12 months ago by TLR
5.0 out of 5 stars it has information that i did not even know about
it has both the ATF and the FBI in it they both did not follow there own rules but the ATF should of never turned that job over to the FBI the FBI had weapons they were not suposed... Read more
Published 14 months ago by randy knapp
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