David Koresh - Murderer or Assassinated?
It is no secret that what happened on the out skirts of WACO Texas between February 28 and April 19 1993 at the Mount Carmel religious commune belonging to the Branch Davidians was nothing short of tragic.
The fifty-one day stand off between the Branch Davidian members and the United States Government, which included the Alcohol Tabacco and Firearms and Federal Bureau of Investigation agents, resulted in the deaths of four ATF agents, forty-nine Brand Davidian members and twenty-seven innocent children.
The global public may never know what truly happened during the fifty-one day siege at Mount Carmel, and they will never know what happened on the fateful morning of April 19 1993 that led to the compound catching alight to dramatically end the stand off.
However, with the assistance of evidence available from both sides of the story, we (The Unexplainable) are able to investigate whether Vernan Howell a.k.a David Koresh was a cold blooded murderer or whether he was another Cult leader assassinated by the United States Government.
It has been eighteen (18) years since the stand off at WACO, and it still remains the topic of much debate as to whether cult leader David Koresh led his followers to their death, or whether the United States Government abused their power and murdered people who stood up and challenged them, before going on to use the same power to cover up their misdeeds.
The fact remains that no matter what is investigated or what is said in regards to the Branch Davidians and the siege at WACO - Texas - the event has become the most controversial law enforcement operation in modern American History.
Before we get into too much detail it is important to learn the chronology of events that led up to the siege at Mount Carmel, during the siege at Mount Carmel and after the world watched as seventy-six peoples lives came to a burning and heart breaking end.
With the time line from the events so far (eighteen years) it will be near impossible to list every aspect of what has happened however the chronology that follows should suffice as a frame of reference for the findings that follow.
June 4, 1992: After receiving a tip about the possible manufacture of illegal firearms, the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco and Firearms opens an investigation of a religious sect, known as Branch Davidians, located at the Mt. Carmel complex near Waco, Texas. Mt Carmel is a 77-acre ranch with several buildings. The main residence houses approximately 100 men, women and children.
July 30, 1992: ATF agents interview Texas firearms dealer Henry McMahon about his business dealings with Branch Davidian leader David Koresh. During the interview, McMahon telephones Koresh. Koresh tells McMahon that if the ATF agents perceive any legal problem, they can come to Mt. Carmel and check his inventory and paperwork. ATF agents decline the invitation.
November 1992: Producers of CBS’s 60 Minutes contact ATF officials about sexual harassment in the agency, requesting an interview with the director, Stephen Higgins. ATF officials brace themselves for an unflattering report on national television.
December 1992: On the basis of information
developed through its investigation, ATF concludes that there is probable cause to believe that David Koresh is in violation of federal firearms regulations. ATF begins to develop a plan to search Mt. Carmel and arrest Koresh.
January 10, 1993: 60 Minutesairs a story titled “Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms andHarassment,” a devastating report on sexual harassment within the ATF. Several female agents describe how they were sexually harassed by fellow agents and further describe the retaliation they received after they lodged complaints with their supervisors.
Agent Bob Hoffman, who corroborated one of the female agent’s complaints, tells Mike Wallace: “In my career with ATF, the people that I put in jail have more honor than the top administration in this organization. I know it’s a sad commentary, but that’s my experience with the ATF.
January 21, 1993: ATF solicits military assistance for its planned raid. Among other things, the ATF requests use of the Military Operations in Urban Terrain facility at Fort Hood, Texas.
February 25, 1993: ATF agents seek and obtain an arrest warrant for David Koresh and a search warrant for the Mt. Carmel complex.
February 26–27, 1993: U.S. Army Special Forces at Fort Hood assist ATF agents in rehearsing a raid on the Branch Davidian residence.
February 28, 1993: The ATF tries to storm the Mt. Carmel Complex. At about 9a.m., National Guard helicopters carrying ATF agents arrive and circle Mt. Carmel in an attempt to divert the attention of the Branch Davidians. Moments later, two pickup trucks hauling covered cattle trailers pull into the Mt. Carmel driveway. The trucks and trailers contain 76 heavily armed ATF agents.
As the agents exit the trailers and approach the front door of the complex,shots are fired and a fierce gun battle ensues.
The ATF and the Davidians accuse one another of firing the first shot. After an hour long fire fight, a ceasefire is arranged. The Davidians agree to hold their fire in return for the ATF’s promise to leave the property.
During the raid, ATF agents shoot and kill two Davidians and wound five others. The Davidians shoot and kill four ATF agents and wound 20 others. Measured in casualties, it is not only the worst day in the history of the ATF but the worst day in the history of federal law enforcement.
That afternoon, ATF agents and Texas police surround Mt. Carmel, and telephone negotiations begin. The standoff will last another 51 days.
March 1, 1993: ATF relinquishes jurisdiction to the Department of Justice and, in particular, to the FBI. (The ATF is a component of the Department of the Treasury; the FBI is a component of the Department of Justice.)
March 2, 1993: David Koresh promises to surrender to the authorities if they agree to facilitate a national radio broadcast for him. A cassette tape is recorded and played on the Christian Broadcasting Network, but Koresh does not surrender. Koresh tells the FBI and his followers that God has told him to “wait.”
Within a week, however, 23 Davidians leave Mt. Carmel. The adults are immediately arrested and jailed; the children are turned over to Texas authorities or relatives.
March 8, 1993: ATF agents execute another search warrant for a property approximately five miles from Mt. Carmel. They break into a garage rented by one of the Davidians in the hope of discovering incriminating evidence. The owner of the garage, who is not a Branch Davidian, is outraged by the property damage and tells reporters: “The
feds have torn the building to pieces. . . . I don’t understand why they had to do that. I offered yesterday to give them a key.”
That evening, the Davidians send out videotapes of the children within Mt. Carmel. The FBI had video camera equipment sent in and asked the Davidians to film the children to reassure the bureau that they were all right. After reviewing the videotapes, FBI agents conclude that it would not be in their interest to release the tapes to the
media. A notation in an FBI logbook cautions that, because Koresh shows his bullet wounds and explains the circumstances in which he was shot on February 28, he would gain much “sympathy” if the tapes were ever disclosed.
March 15, 1993: ATF headquarters in Washington, D.C., orders its agents in Texas not to discuss the February 28th raid publicly.
The message implies that anyone who violates the order will be disciplined, dismissed, and possibly prosecuted.
March 26, 1993: David Troy, chief of intelligence for the ATF, defends his agency’s February 28th raid. Troy tells reporters, “We feel confident that there were no mistakes made on our part.” Troy dismisses critics of raid as “second guessers and Monday morning
quarterbacks who do not have access to the facts.”
March 28, 1993: ATF field agents begin speaking to reporters—on the condition that their identities not be revealed. The New York Times reports that the ATF agents involved in the February 28th raid
have likened it “to the Charge of the Light Brigade, laden with missteps, miscalculations and unheeded warnings that could have averted bloodshed.” One of the unexplained issues raised by the New York Times report is why the ATF did not try to arrest Koresh when he was away from Mt. Carmel:
“At first, [ATF officials] said they believed Mr. Koresh remained in the compound for months at a time and could be captured only there, but many people in Waco insisted that they had seen him at bars and jogging in the weeks before the raid. Then in response to the apparent discrepancy, the [ATF] conceded that it never conducted round-the-clock surveillance of Mr. Koresh, so that it did not know whether or how often he left the compound.”
Another issue is whether the ATF had given the news media advance notice of the raid. According to the New York Times, ATF officials “initially insisted that the raid had been conducted under the strictest secrecy and that no members of the news media had been given any information that could have been construed as a tip-off. But later, when questions arose, they conceded that some news organizations had been called.”
March 30, 1993: The FBI allows criminal defense attorney Dick DeGuerin to enter Mt. Carmel, unescorted, to meet with David Koresh to discuss his legal defense and to negotiate a peaceful settlement.
April 19, 1993: After 51 days of negotiations, Attorney General Janet Reno and the FBI decide to flush the Davidians out of Mt. Carmel.
At approximately 6:00 a.m., FBI agents approach the residence in tanks that are specially equipped with giant booms, which can insert a chemical agent called CS gas. As the booms on the tanks smash through the walls of the Mt. Carmel residence and CS gas is sprayed inside, the FBI repeatedly broadcasts a message over loudspeakers.
Among other things, the message says, “This is not an assault” and “This standoff is over.”
Some Davidians shoot at the tanks, but no Davidians exit Mt. Carmel.
At 6:47 a.m., the FBI tactical commander orders his field agents to use their grenade launchers to fire “ferret” rounds through the windows (a ferret is a 40-mm canister that discharges tear gas on impact). At 7:10 a.m., field agents report that ferret rounds have
been fired into all of the windows of Mt. Carmel. Some 389 ferret rounds are fired into the residence throughout the morning.
At approximately 12:00 p.m., a fire breaks out and the Mt. Carmel complex is soon engulfed in flames. FBI officials do not let fire trucks approach the residence because of the risk of hostile gunfire. Nine Davidians survive the fire; seven of them manage to get out of the complex on their own, and two are aided by FBI field agents. The survivors are immediately arrested and turned over to ATF for booking.
One ATF agent sees to it that his agency’s flag is hoisted to the top of the Davidians’ flagpole. Seventy-six Davidians die, including 27
children. Most die from smoke inhalation, but at least 20 Davidians have gunshot wounds.
In Washington, D.C., Reno holds a news conference, telling reporters that the tear gas operation was necessary because she had received reports that “babies were being beaten.” Reno nonetheless recognizes that the FBI operation was an abject failure and offers her resignation to President Bill Clinton.
President Clinton tells reporters that he has no intention of asking for or accepting Reno’s resignation just “because some religious
fanatics murdered themselves.”
April 28, 1993: The Judiciary Committee of the House of Representatives holds a one day hearing on the Waco incident. Reno admits that she had no evidence that any child was being beaten at any time during the standoff.
Reno and FBI officials testify that they did not use any pyrotechnic devices, that they were surprised and saddened that the Davidians started a fire, and that their field agents did not fire their guns at the
Davidians on April 19th.
May 23, 1993: 60 Minutes rebroadcasts its January report about sexual harassment within the ATF. After the rebroadcast, Mike Wallace reports that almost all of the ATF agents that he talked to said that they believed the initial raid on the Branch Davidians in Waco “was a publicity stunt, the main goal of which was to improve the ATF’s tarnished image.”
January 18, 1997: A new film, Waco: The Rules of Engagement, is released at Robert Redford’s Sundance Film Festival in Park City, Utah. The most dramatic contention in the film comes from a technical expert who examines the FBI’s aerial Forward Looking Infrared (FLIR) film from April 19, 1993. The FBI used the FLIR film at the Davidians’
criminal trial in 1994 in an attempt to show that the Davidians started the fatal fire. The technical expert in The Rules of Engagement claims the FLIR film shows numerous gunshots directed at the Mt. Carmel complex.
This documentary film is subsequently nominated for an Academy Award and wins an Emmy for investigative reporting.
The United States Government story has already began to unravel, with Attorney General Janet Reno first claiming that there was evidence of babies being beaten before later retracting her statement.
This was the first in a long line of government officials changing their stories, to the point two former directors of the ATF were removed from their position after it was found that they lied to the senate, and lied about what evidence was available.
David Koresh loved two things in life, the bible and music, and putting the two together recorded many unsuccessful albums praising the lords work.
However with the events leading up to the siege at WACO, the question has to be asked did David Koresh lead his followers to their firey death, or was he assassinated by the United States Government because he stood up to them and kept them in check with the legal rights of all-americans, thus turning them against him.
There are a number of reports out that show the bullets that killed the ATF agents who entered the second story bedroom were infact shot by their sniper in the helicopter that was flying overhead, so Koresh didn't murder anyone - what was the reason for his death.
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