What Really Happened At Waco - CBS News


But his refusal to do so cannot absolve federal officials
from what they did at Waco.

Danforth hoped his report would help to restore the
American people's "faith in government." After everything
that has come to light in the years since the agents and the
Davidians perished, it is difficult to follow Danforth's
logic. The ATF, the FBI, and Attorney General Reno exploit-
ed the public's faith in government when they tried to
deceive everyone about what happened in Waco. Recall, for
example, that Reno had to recant her statement that "babies
were being beaten" during the standoff.

Because numerous crimes at Waco have gone unpunished,
the people serving in our federal police agencies may well
come to the conclusion that it is permissible to recklessly
endanger the lives of innocent people, lie to newspapers,
obstruct congressional subpeonas, and give misleading testi-
mony in our courtrooms.113 If such activity becomes more
common that it is today, those agencies will surely become
lawless and unaccountable. The only way to counter that
danger is for the American people to distrust government
officials, limit their powers, and demand accountability.
In 1997 FBI director Louis Freeh told Congress, "We are
potentially the most dangerous agency in the country if we
are not scrutinized carefully."114 The carnage at Waco is
grisly testament to that.


Notes

1. Harvard law professor Alan Stone was retained by the
U.S. Department of Justice to review and critique the
government's handling of the Waco incident. Despite
the government's protestations of concern for the
children, Stone found that the FBI's ultimate strategy
was to try to force the Davidians out of their resi-
dence by threatening the lives of their children.
According to Stone, one federal agent told him that
they were trying to stir up the maternal instinct of
the Branch Davidian mothers--that when they saw their
children suffering, they would come to their senses and
leave the Mt.

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Trump has left little doubt about his intentions to seek re-election

The Rangers
were deputized as U.S. marshals and were asked to look for
possible federal criminal violations. In sworn testimony
before Congress, one of the investigating Rangers said that
the two ATF commanders, Phil Chojnacki and Chuck Sarabyn,
lied to him about what had happened on February 28, 1993.
Because ordinary citizens are sent to jail for lying to
federal investigators, the Ranger recommended that Chojnacki
and Sarabyn be indicted and prosecuted.79 The Ranger gave
his recommendation to federal prosecutor Bill Johnston.
Johnston, in turn, referred the matter to the Department of
Justice in Washington, which took no action.80

In October 1994 the Treasury Department did suspend
Chojnacki and Sarabyn from active duty for making false
statements, but they were subsequently reinstated with full
back pay and had the entire Waco incident expunged from
their personnel records.81

FBI Agents Fired More Than 350 Ferret Rounds into Mt.
Carmel

The FBI has always admitted firing more that 350 ferret
rounds at the Davidians on April 19, 1993. The ferrets were
fired into the residence from hand-held grenade launchers.
Ferret rounds are fired at such a speed that they are cap-
able of causing serious injury or death. Government docu-
ments and testimony euphemistically refer to the "delivery"
of tear gas into the residence--as if the the ferrets were
delivered by United Parcel Service. Firing ferret rounds
into a building without knowing which adults are threatening
and which are not--and without knowing where children are
located--manifests an extreme indifference to human life.
Such indifference is not only unconscionable but criminal.

Department of Treasury Report on Waco - Appendix A …



Special Prosecutor Danforth's investigation of the Waco
incident tried to draw a distinction between "bad judgement"
and "bad acts." When he was appointed special prosecutor,
Danforth promised that he would not file charges against any
government employee for exercising bad judgement. But the
firing of ferret rounds on April 19th cannot be brushed
aside as simply bad judgement. A police officer exercises
bad judgement if he uses the siren on his car to speed
through traffic to a dental appointment. What happened at
Waco was far more serious.

An ordinary citizen would not be accused of mere "bad
judgement" if he used a grenade launcher to fire ferret
rounds into a nursery school. If a child were struck and
killed by one of the ferrets, the citizen could face murder
charges. Even if the citizen intended only to scare people,
he could be held liable for second degree murder because his
actions consciously disregarded a substantial and unjustifi-
able risk of harm to others.82

FBI agents might have been justified in firing ferret
rounds into all of the windows of the Mt. Carmel complex if
they had reasonably believed the children were going to be
killed in a mass suicide. Attorney General Janet Reno has
already admitted, however, that no such exigency existed on
the day of the assault.

Government officials cannot use color of their office
to commit crimes against citizens.83 Since at least one
child was struck by a ferret round, second degree murder
charges may be appropriate.84 Note that such charges have
been leveled against law enforcement officers after other
controversial incidents. In 1999, for example, prosecutors
in New York charged the police officers involved in the
Amadou Diallo killing with "depraved indifference to human
life," a second degree murder charge that carried a sentence
of 25 years to life.85

Whether or not sufficient proof can be mustered to
sustain a second degree murder charge, charges relating to
the reckless endangerment of human life are certainly in
order.

FBI Agents Used Tanks to Demolish Sections of Mt.
Carmel

The FBI has always admitted that its tear gas "inser-
tion" plan called for tanks to smash holes in the walls of
the Mt. Carmel complex. Government documents and testimony
employ euphemisms to describe what happened.

talked to reporters about the new investigation of the government assault on a Branch Davidian compound in Waco, Texas. He…
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The Branch Davidians, Waco, and the FBI - Apologetics …

talked to reporters about the new investigation of the government assault on a Branch Davidian compound in Waco, Texas. He said that the committee which had originally investigated the incident had known for four years that the FBI had used potentially flammable tear-gas canisters in the raid and released the records in the committee’s possession. After his remarks he answered questions from the reporters.

The Ashes of Waco: An Investigation book by Dick J. …



* November 1, 1999: Justice Department lawyers acknowl-
edge that about 10 individuals from the U.S. Army's
Special Forces were at Waco during the siege but insist
that they were only providing technical assistance to
FBI agents. Lawyers for the Branch Davidians are told
that they cannot question those soldiers face to face
and cannot have their names. The Branch Davidian
lawyers are told that, if they want to persist in their
claim that the soldiers had a more active role at Waco,
they should sumbit written questions and they will
receive anonymous answers.62

* November 2, 1999: Judge Smith warns Justice Department
officials that he will hold them in contempt of court
if they do not surrender all of the Waco evidence in
their possession. The judge's order complains that the
Justice Department has unnecessarily delayed and possi-
bly even deliberately stalled making arrangements for
the transfer of classified documents.63

* November 3, 1999: A new documentary film, Waco: A New
Revelation, is shown in Washington, D.C., to reporters
and researchers. Among other things, the film shows
several ATF agents kicking and punching a cameraman
from a local TV station on February 28, 1993. The ATF
agents were angry because the cameraman was filming
their humiliating retreat from the Mt. Carmel ranch.

* January 24, 2000: Federal prosecutor Bill Johnston an-
nounces that he is leaving the Department of Justice.
Johnston tells the Dallas Morning News that he has been
ostracized by the Department of Justice since he wrote
Attorney General Janet Reno about the possibility of a
cover-up.64

* January 25, 2000: 60 Minutes airs a story titled, "What
Really Happened at Waco?" Dan Rather reports that 60
Minutes has hired an expert in infrared imagery to
examine the controversial FBI FLIR tape. The only
thing plainly visible to the naked eye on the FLIR tape
is a series of flashes.

at Waco CS gas was banned for use

The editors of the New York
Times respond with the following observation: "Just
about the only person who does not view the verdict as
a rebuke to the massive and unnecessary police action
is Attorney General Janet Reno." Ibid.

38. Danforth Report, p. 189.

39. "5 Each Get 40 Years in Waco Case," New York Times,
June 18, 1994. Although the jury acquitted all of the
Davidians of the murder charges, the jury did return a
guilty verdict on the charge of "carrying a firearm
during the course of a crime." That charge was, in
turn, tied to the murder counts.