At the end of the speech, I did my best to bring home the magnitude of the deficit problem, pointing out that if present trends continued, within a decade the annual deficit would increase to at least $635 billion a year from this years $290 billion, and that interest payments on our accumulated debt would become Americas largest budget item, taking more than twenty cents of every tax dollar. To show I was serious about deficit reduction, I invited Alan Greenspan to sit with Hillary in the First Ladys box in the House gallery. To show he was serious about it, Greenspan came, overcoming his understandable reluctance to make what could be seen as a political appearance. After the speech, which was generally well received, nike air jordan heels all the commentators noted that I had abandoned the middle-class tax cut. So I had, but a lot of my other promises were fulfilled in the economic plan. Over the next few days, Al Gore, the cabinet members, and I fanned out across the country to sell it. Alan Greenspan praised it. So did Paul Tsongas, who said the Clinton who spoke to Congress was not the Clinton he ran against, which, of course, is what my political advisors and some congressional Democrats were worried about. There were enough important and controversial proposals in the speech to keep Congress busy for the rest of the year, not to mention the other legislation that already was, or soon would be, on their calendar. I knew that there would be a lot of ups and downs before the economic program passed, and that I wouldnt be able to spend all of my time pushing it. Foreign problems and domestic developments wouldnt permit it. On the home front, February ended in violence. On the twenty-sixth, a bomb exploded at Manhattans World Trade Center, killing six people and injuring more than one thousand. The investigation quickly revealed it to be the work of terrorists from the Middle East, who hadnt covered their tracks very well. The first arrests were made March 4; eventually, six of the conspirators were convicted in federal court in New York and each sentenced to 240 years in prison. I was pleased with the effectiveness of our law-enforcement work, but troubled by the evident vulnerability of our open society to terror. My national security team began to devote more attention to terror networks and what we could do to protect ourselves and free societies around the world against them. On February 28, four agents from the Bureau nike high heels for sale of Alcohol, Tobacco, and Firearms were killed and sixteen others wounded at the onset of a confrontation with a religious cult, the Branch Davidians, at their compound outside Waco, Texas. The Davidians were suspected of illegal firearms violations. The sects messianic leader, David Koresh, believed he was Christ reincarnate, the only person who knew the secret of the seven seals referred to in the book of Revelation. Koresh had almost hypnotic mind control over the men, women, and children who followed him; a large arsenal of weapons, which he was obviously prepared to use; and enough food to hold out for a long time. The standoff between the Davidians and the FBI dragged out for almost two months. During that time, several adults and children left, but most of them stayed, with Koresh promising to surrender but always finding an excuse to delay doing so. On Sunday night, April 18, Janet Reno came to the White House to tell me that the FBI wanted to storm the compound, apprehend Koresh and any of his followers who had taken part in killing the agents or some other crime, and free the rest of them. Janet said she was concerned by FBI reports that Koresh was sexually abusing children, most of them pre-teens, and that he might be planning a mass suicide. The FBI had also told her that it couldnt keep so many of its resources tied down in one place forever. They wanted to raid the compound the next day, using armored vehicles to break holes in the buildings, then blast tear gas into them, nike heels low a maneuver they estimated would force all the members to surrender within two hours. Reno had to approve the assault and wanted my okay first. Several years earlier, I had faced a similar situation as governor. A right-wing extremist group had established a compound in the mountains of north Arkansas. Among the men, women, and children who lived there were two suspects wanted for murder. The people lived in several cabins, each of which had a trapdoor that led to a dugout from which they could fire on approaching authorities. And they had a lot of weapons to fire. The FBI wanted to storm them, too. At a meeting I convened with the FBI, our state police, and cooperating law-enforcement people from Missouri and Oklahoma, I listened to the FBIs case, then said that before I could approve the action, I wanted someone whod fought in the jungles of Vietnam to fly over the place in a helicopter and make an assessment. The battlewise veteran who made the inspection for me returned to say, If those people can shoot at all, youll lose fifty men in the assault. I called off the raid, put a blockade around the camp, cut off food-stamp aid to the several families who had been receiving it, and prevented anyone who left the premises to get supplies from going back. Eventually the holdouts gave in, and the suspects were apprehended with no loss of life. When Janet made her case to me, I thought we should try what had worked in Arkansas before we approved the FBI raid. She countered that the FBI was tired of waiting; that the standoff was costing the government a million dollars a week and tying up law-enforcement resources needed elsewhere; that the Branch Davidians could hold out longer than the Arkansas people had; and that the possibilities of child sexual abuse nike high heels uk and mass suicide were real, because Koresh was crazy and so were many of his followers. Finally, I told her that if she thought it was the right thing to do, she could go ahead. The next day, as I watched CNN on a television just outside the Oval Office, I saw Koreshs compound in flames. The raid had gone terribly wrong. After the FBI fired the tear gas into the buildings where the people were holed up, the Davidians started a fire. It got worse when they opened the windows to let the tear gas out and also let in a hard wind off the Texas plains, which stoked the flames. When it ended, more than eighty people had died, including twenty-five children; only nine survived. I knew I needed to speak to the press and take responsibility for the fiasco. So did Dee Dee Myers and Bruce Lindsey. But several times during the day, when I wanted to go ahead, George Stephanopoulos urged me to wait, saying we didnt know whether anyone was still alive or whether, if Koresh heard my words, he might snap and kill them, too. Janet Reno did appear before the cameras, explained what happened, and took full responsibility for the raid. As the first woman to hold the attorney generals post, she thought it was important not to pass the buck. By the time I finally talked to the press about Waco, Reno was being praised and I was being criticized for letting her take the fall  
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