The Waco Holocaust
March 1, 2023 | View PDF
This Month (March, 2023) marks the 30th anniversary of one of America's most hideous examples of terrorism and mass murder. Although there have been some others with greater death tolls, this one entailed unconscionable cruelty.
The raid on David Koresh and the Branch Davidians by the ATF and FBI at Waco, Texas was a perfect example of something our government should never do under any circumstances. Besides constitutional and ethics violations, these people, under the authority and direction of President Bill Clinton and Attorney General Janet Reno, committed one of the most atrocious acts of barbarism and torture in American history.
David Koresh was not a nice man. He had the mentality of a dictator and ruled his followers with an iron fist. Several witnesses have reported that he was a child molester. But did this justify "a paramilitary raid by a heavily armed force nearly the size of an army company" and the brutal murder of about 76 innocent people, including many women and children?
The organization of Branch Davidians at Mount Carmel was founded in 1935. Although it was a cult and adhered to some unorthodox religious practices, it had maintained an almost unblemished record of peace with its neighbors for nearly 60 years.
The raid on the Davidians was sparked by accusations from people who claimed they were stockpiling illegal weapons. The ATF and FBI had been listening to them and various others who disliked guns, including one who reported that they had a 50 caliber machine gun. Consequently, over several months, they planned a raid. Records later proved that all of the Davidians' guns and ammunition were perfectly legal and that they had receipts for them from licensed gun dealers. The reported machine gun was actually a perfectly legal bolt action.
In 1992, Koresh had actually invited ATF agents to look at the compound and see what they had for themselves. But they reneged. He asked, "Why do you all have to be so big all the time?" During the standoff, he asked, "Why didn't you just talk to me?"
In 1993, Texas civilians had about 60 million firearms-3.5 per person. The Davidians had only two per person, and most of those were locked up.
Bill Clinton and Janet Reno ordered an "all-out military assault" on the Davidians, despite only a single warrant for David Koresh on unproven charges. The safety of innocent people within the compound was completely disregarded.
On February 28, 1993, Seventy seven heavily armed ATF and FBI agents arrived in two cattle trailers and rushed up to the Mount Carmel compound, screaming, "Show Time," like kids about to take their parts in a new video game. Several smashed the front door and ran inside. Nine others scrambled up two ladders to get onto the roof. Three smashed a second floor window, struggled with a curtain, and ran inside. A fourth stood guard outside until he heard shots from inside. Then he threw in a flash-bang grenade, fired two bursts from his M-16, and fled down the ladder. Meanwhile, gunmen on helicopters strafed the compound from above. Four agents died that day, including the three who entered the window. Several others later admitted they shot first.
The agents shut down all of the Davidians' utilities-electricity, water, natural gas, and telephones. They also shot out the windows, leaving the residents with only sheets for protection against the weather.
They brought in "massive floodlights" to light up the compound at night to prevent the Davidians from getting any sleep. With loudspeakers, they broadcast all kinds of distracting noises, including everything from screaming to rabbits being slaughtered to Nancy Sinatra's song, "These Boots Are Made for Walkin'." The harassment lasted continuously until the final day-April 19.
Then from nearby Fort Hood, agents brought in M113 armored personnel carriers, M2 Bradley fighting vehicles, Sikorsky UH-60 Blackhawk, McDonnell Douglas AH-64 Apache and Bell UH-1 "Huey" helicopters, Abrams M1 tanks, 7.62 mm machine guns, grenades, and FBI psychological warfare experts and SWAT snipers. One of the tanks bore the Alabama state flag.
They forced news reporters and TV crews to retreat five miles away (hence the poor quality of the photos and videos) and cleared a perimeter around the compound to prevent wildfires from spreading out into the countryside. Outbuildings, children's playground equipment, and go-carts were smashed in the process. The women and children fled into the compound's second floor for safety.
The tanks surrounded the complex. Some had booms that punched holes into the buildings and destroyed the stairways inside. Then they sprayed potent, flammable CS gas inside-a gas that is so toxic, it is banned even in warfare by an international treaty. Had this action occurred on foreign soil, it would have been an outright war crime.
The Davidians were gasping and choking. Some fled into an underground bunker next to the compound. The tanks punched holes and inserted the gas into that also. Then one drove over its entrance to prevent escape.
After more than four hours, the FBI had exhausted nearly all of its gas. Then the tanks came eight times over the next hour and demolished over a quarter of the structure with the women and children trapped inside.
A couple of vehicles came equipped with booms that contained flaming gas jets that they fired into the holes in the building. Soon the entire compound was ablaze. It burned completely down in about an hour.
Helicopter gunships buzzed over the area and sprayed thousands of rounds onto the burning building (FBI FLIR footage proved it). Davidians fleeing the inferno were shot like stray dogs. FBI agents fired hundreds of flash-bang grenades and lethal "ferret" rounds at them. The women and children in the building died from asphyxiation and burns from the CS gas and / or the fire itself and the gunships' bullets. The agents turned away local firefighters responding to the blaze.
As soon as the heat from the fire had diminished the next day, investigators looked over the remains and discovered that nearly all of the bullet holes had come from the outside-from the helicopters above and the troops on the ground.
Soon the tanks and bulldozers destroyed and buried all of the evidence, thus ending "a military assault on a church."
A few days later, government officials erected a security fence around the site to keep out relic hunters and private investigators.
Almost nobody in Washington seemed to care about the carnage and constitutional violations. Instead of holding the perpetrators accountable for a vicious war crime and much more, the news media praised them and placed the blame onto the surviving Davidians, who consequently suffered public humiliation and falsified criminal charges.
The Los Angeles Times honored Janet Reno as a "folk hero," and the Washington Post wrote that she had "superstar status." The U. S. Senate delayed its appropriations committee hearing so its members could have their pictures taken with her.
Knowledgeable people gave Reno a more appropriate name-"The Butcher of Waco." She had become the most wicked woman in American history.
In subsequent investigations, government officials whitewashed the incident and stated that it was more important to "put the incident behind us."
Federal prosecuters tried eleven Branch Davidian survivors. The jury ruled all of them not guilty of conspiracy to commit murder. It did rule some of them guilty of aiding and abetting manslaughter and using weapons during the commission of a crime. U.S. District Judge Walter Smith set aside these convictions on the firearms violation since the defendants could not logically be guilty of using weapons in the commission of a crime where they had been acquitted. However, pressure from the prosecutors forced Judge Smith to reverse his decision, which allowed the inconsistent verdict to stand-"a shameful act."
Yes, it happened, in the late 20th century, right here in America: About 76 innocent men, women and children were TORTURED for 51 DAYS, GASSED, and then BURNED ALIVE by OUR OWN GOVERNMENT. Is this the "civilized society" our taxes are paying for?
Don't ever forget it.
1. Thompson, Linda D., Waco,the Big Lie, YouTube Video, 1993. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ktubTy_6SVU
2. Jacobs, Glenn, The Real Tragedy of Waco, April 25, 2007. https://www.lewrockwell.com/2007/04/glenn-jacobs/the-federal-massacre-at-waco/
3. Bovard, James, The Deadly Precedent of the Waco Whitewash, March 23, 2021.
4. LaRosa, Benedict D., Waco Revisited, June 12, 2006.
5. Paul, Ron, The Moral Promise of Freedom.
6. Bovard, James, The Deadly Precedent of the Waco Whitewash, March 23, 2021.