T Nation

Remembering Waco

Tomorrow marks the 10th anniversary of the deadly culmination of the 51 day standoff between federal officals and the Branch Davidian religious sect in Waco, texas. Although 70 civilians including more than a dozen children died in the shootout and fire, not one government employee was censured, let alone fired or put on trial.

Most people agree that[the federal siege] was a disaster. Howerver, there is still some controversary as who was to blame for this.

Some,like me, consider this to be out and out murder on the part of our government agencies like the ATF and FBI. Some people will concede that there were mistakes made but that we should just forget about it seeing that it was 10 years ago. Either case should leave us with fear in our hearts that is profoundly unsettling.

Aprli 19th should be remembered by all decent Americans who love this country and the principles it was founded on. We must resolve to never forget what happened. Maybe it will never happen again. But if we discount such atrocities as “mistakes” and continue to allow the guilty to go unpunished we may see many more Wacos to come.

How could I have ever guessed that you’d believe it was “murder” by our government?

Yes, attempting to apprehend a madman with an illegal cache of weapons is horrible as is shooting back at them when fired upon. Even worse is allowing them to set fire to their own complex.

It was handled horribly. That’s not the question. That doesn’t make the leap from being handled badly to murder no matter what conspiracy theories you’re going to throw out at me.

Waco was a tregady but the only to “Blame” is David Koresh (however you spell his last name. The waco who created the cult.

The situation could have been handled better, and it’s a tragedy that people ended up dead. But, ultimately the fault lies with David Koresh and the Branch Davidians. They should have just given up peacefully as they were asked to do. So Zep, I don’t understand why you would have “fear in your heart,” unless you’re forming your own cult, amassing an arsenal of illegal weapons, and raping minors. If I was doing those things, I’d be fearful of the ATF and the FBI as well.

and remember what administration was running the ship!!!..clinton/albore…and that He man Reno…

At least Koresh didn’t look as freaky as Applewhite. Does this look like the face of a nut? Now the real question is, who wouldn’t follow this face to hell?

I preface this by saying I’m a little intoxicated right now. In 1994 for spring break, my roommates and I embarked on what we called the conspiracy tour. We drove from San Antonio to Dallas to tour the JFK museum (and Six Flags), and then swung by the Branch Davidian compound on the way home.
Back then there were still tons of conspiracy theory people hanging out and we spent about 5 hours at the compound discussing things we them. Among these people was Amo Paul Bishop Roden who you can look up on your own. After a while we decided to walk the perimeter of the compound (which was fenced off and patrolled by armed guards).
At one point, one of my roommates started to climb a utility pole to shoot a picture down into the tunnel (and buried bus) were the kids had burned to death. It had not yet been filled in with concrete, but had been bulldozed by government bulldozers. All of a sudden the rent-a-cops guarding the place came running over, screaming “Get down, Get down” with their pistols drawn. He jumped down and we talked to the guards through the fence. They said that if he got up there and took pictures he would be arrested. We thought, “Hell, we could make bail”, so we decided one of us would climb the pole, take the picture and pass the camera to someone else before the arrest was made. The sheriff showed up (and tonight, in my drunken state I can’t remember his name) and told us that they were authorized to use deadly force to retrieve the film if that happened. I don’t know if that was true or not, but we didn’t test him.
We kept walking along the perimeter of the compound, and eventually came to an old wooden shack. We went in and found what we decided was the smashed remains of a meth lab and tons of papers. The papers were mostly letters from inmates to some guy (whose name I can’t remember now) who had been a jailhouse lawyer, and who moved to the compound when he was released from prison. The letters were fascinating, and among them we actually found a recipe for crystal meth.
Eventually the rent-a-cops worked their way over to the shed and pulled their guns on us. They were on the other side of the fence from us (the shed was outside the fenced area) yelling “GET OUT! PUT YOUR HANDS UP!” We ducked into a corner and shoved all the papers we could (and also 5 bottles of freon) down our pants and exited the shed with our hands up. The security guards were pretty much pinned in so we hustled over to our car and drove off.
The next day we drove over to the Shriner’s Burn hospital and talked to some of the survivors. They all swore up and down that Koresh was not having sex with any kids. They also said that the Sheriff had been out to the compound less than a week before the raid to see if they had any illegal weapons. They also claimed that there was a guy staying at the house who was a CIA agent or CIA informant that they were hiding.
I love America. I joined the Army Reserves in 95. I’m still not sure why all those people died in Waco.

Zepplin & Say
I try to tell myself that the things you post here are merely for shit’s and giggles. You know, to get a rise out of everyone because you have nothing else better to do (like train). As much as we here at t-mag welcome differing viewpoints, I think it’s clear that your views are unwelcome. Nobody likes you. And your probably not attractive to whatever gender you solicit. How about an original, non-media-induced, discussion? Anyone? Can I get an Amen? Try the Columbia University forum for Liberal Media Groupies.
THE END

Unfortunately, I can’t entirely agree. there are many things that went on at Waco that weren’t reported in the main stream press.
First Koresh could have been taken prisoner in his many downtown excursions. Why not? Some feel the BATF wanted a lets call the press good publicity raid. At the time they were under fire in congress for charges of sexual harrassment and mistreatment of minorities. Some reliable people feel they wanted to turn attention away from them, to why they’re needed.
There were unsubtantiated rumors of meth manufacture at the Koresh compound. Why did the feds accuse Koresh of drug dealing? Under Joit Task Force 6 they could then get military assistance and planning for the raid. Charlie Beckwith, the founder of Delta Force, felt the raid was to risky with the layout of the compound. At best case scenario, it should occur at the dead of night, not at dawn as it did. Tv cameras work better during the daylight though.
I don’t like Koresh, but if you have post apocalyptic wacko types, should you come at them in the way that it looks like the apocalypse is happening?
As for the charges of child abuse, social services did check them out. They did seem fine at the time.
Now for the illegal weapons. I shoot and hunt. I also have a few personal protection weapons. The amount? Well in some cases normal all around guys might have 20 -30 guns. Why? different guns for different kind of shooting, just like we have different anythings for any sport. Koresh and his followers had a normal amount of guns for the adult population of the compound. Hell., I have a lot more per person than they have. For example, I’ve fired over a thousand rounds in one afternoon of target practice. Is that an arsenal? What about the reloading supplies?Is that an arsenal.
Suposedly Koresh had some l;egal devices that alow you to fire your gun like a machine gun. these are legal, but kind of dumb. They don’t make a gun any more lethal. The local sheriff had investigated the guns and found no problem.
As for the tear gas. We’re all worried about women and children right? Then why pour in tear gas that is know to be flammable and can be lethal? Well we want to save the kids! There’s a lot of cya going on in this case.
I 'm respectful of law enforcement, but very leery of the federal govt. Yes this situation could have been averted if Koresh surrendered. The feds did wrong though. They could have averted this also with better planning than a lets look god for the cameras raid. Shouldn’t this really about safety, not pres clippings. Koresh jogged into town. He was also very compliant with request to see the guns etc.
Dean Koontz, the fiction writer wrote great book called Dark Rivers of the Heart. At the end of the book, he wrote a litle about Koresh, and said that some people felt this raid had to due with asset forfeture and religous groups.
You can dislike Koresh, but even weirdos should have some protection under the constitution.

Irondoc - Thank you for the information. I am willing to hear other points of view and change my opinions. I am in full support of your right to own guns. While I do not own any myself, several members of my family are gun owners and I’ve spent considerable amounts of time shooting clay pigeons and the like. My “arsenal” comment was probably not the best choice of words. However, several surviving members of the Branch Davidians were later charged with weapons violations. I do not know the details of the charges though, but I assume that there was some problem with what they owned. In regard to the child abuse allegations, I am willing to concede that we will never know for sure what was going on. One thing to consider though is that at about the age of 20, Koresh had an affair with Lois Roden (a cult member) who was in her late 60’s at the time. Since Koresh was an adult at this time, no crime was involved. But this kind of relationship could have seriously damaged Koresh’s ability to distinguish wrong from right in regard to sexual relationships.

After conceding the points of weapons violations and sexual abuse of children. I still think David Koresh and the rest of the cult were at fault. Why? They shot 28 federal agents (4 killed, 24 wounded) who came to arrest Koresh. That is why the standoff began in the first place. He then had 51 days to surrender in which he refused. He at one point agreed to give up if his sermon was broadcast. The FBI agreed, broadcast the sermon, and then Koresh changed his mind. The raid should not have taken place as it did. But the blame still lies with David Koresh. When a federal agent comes to your door and tries to arrest you or your friend, the correct response is to give up peacefully and go to court. It is not the right decision to shoot 28 agents.

I was on the beach in Cancun.

A couple less religious psychos to pollute the world with their ignorance.

Gee, darn.