David Koresh said he was NOT God, he was NOT Jesus Christ, and my Dad heard a lying edited clip more heinous than the one NBC did on Zimmerman that he was God. I heard the context: “They say I’m God, but I’m not“.
They denied starting fire, but then NBC a year later did a documentary showing the fire belching from the tanks.
Reno said they did it for the children, but they already had the infrared “see-through-walls” technology so that they very much sent the tanks at the rooms where they had to know the kids were housed.
The local sheriff had done an arms raid three times and declared them clean. After the raid, he said that the feds would now have to burn the community down to the ground to cover the evidence, and called them names like “idiots”.
They rolled the tanks over and over again where they had seen the families bury the ones that the ATF had killed.
At one point the FBI negotiator asked them if they had any fire extinguishers in the building, and the response came back there was just one. (Why would they ask that?)
The ones inside asked for someone like from the press to come between the siege commandos and the ones inside to negotiate.
When the grandmother came to try to see Koresh with a lawyer, one of the agents said “I hope she told him goodbye”.
The lawyer that went in and out of the camp reported that Koresh had said that the residents were relieved that they would not have to die and that the situation would be resolved.
The negotiators reached an agreement with Korresh that held promise that they would come out on April 19, and they received proof of good faith of the agreement on the day before from inside. The raid was launched on April 19.
CS CHEMICAL WARFARE GAS
This is classified as a chemical warfare in treaties, banned in war. It’s a powder and they mixed it into an aerosol and it’s volatile, very flammable. Special forces used it in Vietnam to incapacitate Vietcong in their tunnels, knock them out.
Since this web site is all about police misconduct, we cannot let the twentieth anniversary of the Waco incident pass without comment.
April 19, 1993 marks the worst police action in modern American history. Here are the main things to know:
- 76 people, including 27 children, died that day. That loss of life is a sufficient explanation as to why this incident is important and worth remembering.
- The federal police operation did not involve a handful of “rogue” agents. The incident is disturbing because it supposedly involved the best units of the ATF and the FBI. And much of the decision-making was done by the top people at headquarters facilities in Washington, DC.
- Make no mistake, crimes were committed by federal agents at Waco. And those crimes were covered-up.
- If the feds can successfully cover-up the worst police action in modern American history–an event that was highly publicized and that eventually brought extensive congressional hearings and the appointment of a special prosecutor– it is frightening to consider what police agencies would be able to get away in instances where there is no media scrutiny or legislative oversight.
For those interested in the details, read this, which was nominated for an Academy Award in 1997). For today, let me just highlight some facts for all the people who do not have the time or inclination to study the details.
- When the Branch Davidian residence burned to the ground and it became apparent that the FBI tank assault on April 19 backfired–resulting in almost everyone losing their lives, Attorney General Janet Reno told the media that the reason she ordered the assault was because “babies were being beaten” – so the feds had no choice–they just had to move in. About a week later, Reno testified before Congress. Under oath, she admitted she had no evidence that babies were being beaten! What!?
- The FBI’s Hostage Rescue Team kept saying they were there to save lives and that they were especially concerned about the safety of the children in the residence. But their tanks drove into the side of buildings even as the agents admitted they did not know the whereabouts of the children.
- Some of the Branch Davidians survived the inferno of April 19. They were arrested and charged with “murdering ATF agents.” In a stinging rebuke to the federal prosectors, the jury acquitted the Davidians of those very serious charges.
- One of the primary reasons the cover-up was successful was that government officials kept deflecting attention away from their actions to the Branch Davidian leader, David Koresh. And, later, the feds would deflect attention by pointing out the crimes of the Oklahoma City bombers. The feds seemed to taunt everyone with the question, “Who are you going to side with? Koresh? McVeigh and Nicols?” That was always a false choice. One can, for example, condemn excessive force against a shoplifter without “siding with” shoplifting.
- There are, to be sure, some wild conspiracy theories out there about the feds and Waco. But the existence of a conspiracy theorist(s) does not make all government conduct lawful and ethical, at least in logic.
What’s the takeaway from all this? First, recognize that this awful incident really did happen. Crimes were committed and then the government tried to deceive everyone about what actually happened there. Second, when it comes to government power, especially police power and the use of deadly force, be impartial, ask questions, and follow the evidence. We must remember that, in a free society, police agents may not use the “color of their office” to commit crimes.
Update: Podcast interview here.
- 10 Things You May Not Know About Waco (pbs.org)
- Photos: ATF Raided Koresh’s Davidians 20 Years Ago (abcnews.go.com)
- February 28 Marks The 20th Anniversary Of The Waco Siege (youviewed.com)
- The Branch Davidian seige, 20 years later (mysanantonio.com)
- Using Military Weapons on Americans: 20th Anniversary of Federal Attack at Waco (antiwar.com)
- Rand Paul’s question about military drones and the limits of executive power recall the Branch Davidian siege of 20 years ago (thescoopblog.dallasnews.com)
- 20 Years Ago Today: Operation Showtime (independent.org)
- ATF honors 4 agents killed in botched 1993 raid (kansascity.com)
- ATF honors 4 agents killed in botched 1993 raid (seattletimes.com)