David Kopel sets out to demonstrate what the federal government did wrong regarding the Waco raid, siege, and final assault. He is clearly not altogether interested in what David Koresh did wrong (and points out that law enforcement should be held to a higher standard than the criminals they wish to apprehend). Rather his inquiry is in what went wrong and what to do to prevent it from happening again.
This book is meticulously documented, and provides concrete, actionable reforms that can, and indeed must, be enacted. Unfortunately our government has been going the wrong direction since the early 1980's in this regard and the trends have not been abated by the Waco tragedy. We see federal law enforcement staffed with the wrong people, making the wrong decisions, and providing inadequate information to those who are supposed to oversee them.
This is not a book that says that the government is the enemy. Rather it shows systemic problems with federal law enforcement in particular by the FBI and BATF. In the end the book recommends localizing and demilitarizing law enforcement and returning our police officers to the role of peace officers rather than soldiers in a war against crime.
This is one of the books which has greatly changed the way I look at our nation. Three Felonies a Day: How the Feds Target the Innocent is another. Yet both parties seem to be determined to undermine the basic Constitutional protections all of us are supposed to enjoy. Heck, the current president is arguing in court that he has the right to determine where and when the US military can be ordered to kill an American without trial. This is the wrong direction, and yet it is not and should not be a partisan issue. As Kopel and Blackman demonstrate, this is a trend which has been building for decades under the administration of both parties. Yet as long as it's the bad guys (Koresh, Weaver, etc) who get targeted, most Americans don't care or may even applaud the erosion of our liberties.
This is a book that will change your perspective. It's worth reading and pondering. Highly recommended.