The Waco Massacre

Note regarding links: Much of the Waco information once available on the web has "disappeared" and many of the links on this page have expired (a few are marked as such) or no longer lead to the original page. An expired link at least shows that the page once existed. Some pages which no longer exist on the web can still be recovered by entering the URL (right mouse click on the link to get the URL) into the Wayback Machine.

This page censored at Wikipedia And as an amusing exercise in provoking censorship try adding a link to this page from Wikipedia's Waco Siege page and see how long it takes to be deleted.

Many people believe that David Koresh (or the Branch Davidians) were responsible for the deaths of the 74 men, women and children who died in the inferno at Waco on April 19, 1993. This is the story that the FBI put out. It is a lie. The guns they had were legal. The local sheriff investigated and found no basis for complaints against them. These were law-abiding American citizens, even if they thought differently to most other folks. They trusted the U.S. Constitution to ensure their political rights, but they were murdered by agents acting under the authority of the U.S. government. Read this page if you believe otherwise. If you still have doubts, get the video Rules of Engagement for visual evidence. Or read the book Armageddon in Waco. Or see the film Waco: A New Revelation.

Waco occurred under the presidency of Bill Clinton, with Janet Reno and Wesley Clark in supporting roles. Already back in 1993 the US government demonstrated its contempt for the American people by carrying out a massacre in order to "demonstrate" (on prime time TV) its supposed "authority" (a tactic favored by fascist governments). Following the usurpation of the presidency in 2000 by the psychopath George W. Bush, and the subsequent installation of the insane John Ashcroft as Bush's Himmler, things became much worse. On 9/11 about forty times as many people were murdered as at Waco. In both cases the murderers have so far gone unpunished.

Few Americans realize that on February 28, 1993 when BATF agents in National Guard helicopters zoomed in on the Branch Davidians' church and home, Mount Carmel Center, they did so with guns blazing, like Americans raiding a Vietnamese village in that far off war. ... It is likely FBI agents deliberately sabotaged negotiations with Davidians to prevent their exiting Mount Carmel. Their goal was to destroy the building and its damaging evidence, even if that meant the massacre of dozens of men, women and children, all witnesses to the brutal attack. — Carol Moore: Overview of Davidian Massacre

After the February raid by the U.S. Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco and Firearms (BATF) of David Koresh's dissident religious community at Waco, Texas, the FBI and the U.S. Army took over, mounting a 51-day siege. This included such psy-war tactics as sleep deprivation of the inhabitants of the community by means of all-night broadcasts of recordings of the screams of rabbits being slaughtered.

Finally, despite David Koresh's pledge to surrender upon completion of his written explanation of the meaning of the Seven Seals, the FBI and the Army attacked. At dawn on April 19, 1993, and throughout the morning, tanks rammed holes in the main building and pumped (in the FBI's words) "massive amounts" of CS gas into the building, despite knowing that inside were more than a dozen children. The tanks demolished parts of the compound and created tunnels for the wind to blow through. The buildings at this point were saturated with inflammable CS gas and spilled kerosene.

Around midday two U.S. military pyrotechnic devices were fired into the main building, igniting a fire which (because of the holes in the walls allowing the wind to gust through) spread rapidly through the complex of buildings and became an inferno. 74 men, women and children died — including twelve children younger than five years of age. Fire trucks were prevented by the FBI from approaching the inferno. After the compound had burned down the BATF flag was hoisted aloft to signify 'victory'. Subsequently the burned-out ruin was razed in an attempt to remove all evidence of this premeditated murder of innocent civilians by agents of the U.S. government. Thus occured an atrocity which many Americans believe could never happen in their country. A look at the evidence presented in the film Waco: Rules of Engagement (and in the BBC documentary broadcast in the U.K. on November 28, 1998) shows that it did happen.

The lawyer for one of the survivors said at one of the U.S. government 'investigations' (or rather, whitewashes): In this country when people are accused of a crime they are arrested and given a trial — that's 'due process'. If found guilty of murder then maybe they are killed. We don't just kill them first — which is what happened at Waco.

Here are links to documents on this website concerning this tragedy.

Armageddon in Waco
Critical Perspectives on the Branch Davidian Conflict
Edited by Stuart A. Wright
The University of Chicago Press, 1995

On February 28, 1993, the United States Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco and Firearms (BATF) launched the largest assault in its history against a small religious community in central Texas. Approximately eighty armed agents invaded the compound, purportedly to execute a single search and arrest warrant. The raid went badly; six Branch Davidians and four agents were killed, and after a fifty-one-day standoff, the United States Justice Department approved a plan to use CS gas against those barricaded inside. Tanks carrying the CS gas entered the compound. Later that day, fire broke out, and all seventy-four men, women and children inside perished.

Could tragedy have been prevented? Was it necessary for the BATF agents to do what they did? What could have been done differently? Armageddon in Waco offers the most detailed, wide-ranging analysis of events surrounding Waco. Leading scholars explore all facets of the confrontation in an attempt to understand one of the most confusing government actions in American history.

The book begins with the history of the Branch Davidians and the story of its leader, David Koresh. Chapters show how the the Davidians came to trouble authorities, why the group was labeled a "cult," and how authorities used unsubstantiated allegations of child abuse to strengthen their case against the sect.

The media's role is examined next in essays that consider the effect on coverage of lack of time and resources, the orchestration of public relations by government officials, the restricted access to the site or to countervailing evidence, and the ideologies of the journalists themselves.

— From the back cover of the book.

Here is the Summary at the end of the chapter "Self-Fulfilling Prophecies" by James R. Lewis:

The implications of these studies and supporting arguments for the Waco situation should be clear. The Branch Davidians' chances for a fair hearing were severely damaged as soon as the label "cult" was applied. After that, the mass media selectively sought out and presented information about Koresh and his community that conveniently fit the stereotype. It was only a matter of time before law enforcement and the media had completely demonized Koresh and his followers. Anticult organizations provided ample fodder for the ritual and symbolic castigation of this little-known religious sect, simplistically reducing the beliefs and practices of the community to vapid, inane categories of brainwashing rhetoric. After this demonization had been successfuly accomplished, the entire community — men, women, and children — could be consigned to their tragic fate with little more than a peep of protest from the American public, a public which overwhelmingly approved of the FBI's tragic final assault on Mt. Carmel.

Or more exactly, a public which would appear to consist mostly of gullible idiots, with no sense of injustice (except when it affects themselves), believing what they were told (with the help of a willing media) by their ill-informed, ill-advised and violence-obsessed (and, as it turned out, murderous) government, a public which overwhelming approved of a shameful instance of government-sanctioned slaughter of people who had broken no law (it is legal to protect oneself against attack), including twenty-one children under the age of 16:

 Lisa Martin  13    Sheila Martin, Jr.  15 
 Rachel Sylvia  12    Hollywood Sylvia  1 
 Joseph Martinez  8    Abigail Martinez  11 
 Crystal Martinez  3    Isaiah Martinez  4 
 Audrey Martinez  13    Melissa Morrison  6 
 Chanel Andrade  1    Cyrus Koresh  8 
 Star Koresh  6    Bobbie Lane Koresh  2 
 Dayland Gent  3    Page Gent  1 
 Mayanah Schneider  2    Startle Summers  1 
 Serenity Jones  4    Chica Jones  2 
 Little One Jones  2     

Click here for the complete list of Branch Davidian victims.

Waco, The Rules of Engagement
For those who more or less know what happened at Waco this film supplies impressive visual corroboration, from footage of David Koresh (not a wild-eyed madman) explaining the Book of Revelation to his followers to pictures of the charred and contorted corpses of the Branch Davidians who died in the inferno. For those who don't know what happened — those who still believe the stories put out by various U.S. federal government agencies — this film will at the very least induce a re-evaluation of those stories, perhaps even a realization that the U.S. government lied in its account of its role in this matter. Here are some reviews of this film:

Waco, The Rules of Engagement has, however, been severely criticised for ignoring available evidence and for promoting the view that the deaths of the women and children at Waco were the result of government negligence and incompetence rather than deliberate murder by government agents. For further details see:

Further commentary:

The late Linda Thompson's video (on YouTube) The Big Lie, Part 1, Part 2 and Part 3.

In April 2003, marking the tenth anniversary of the Waco Massacre, a new film was released. According to the producer:

Waco: A New Revelation is a film so disturbing that before it was even released, it triggered new investigations in both houses of Congress and prompted the United States Department of Justice to reopen its own investigation into the events at Waco.

Here are links to documents on other websites.

New developments since July 1999 are given below. Note which news sources describe David Koresh, not as a "sect leader", which he was (America has had many respectable religious sects, e.g., the Baptists), but rather as a "cult leader", thereby demonizing him.

Branch Davidian Victims

Free the Branch Davidians!

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