||02-28-2013 02:27 PM
Lest We Forget – Lessons From The 1993 Waco Massacre
When the moonbats ask if you really think the federal government would
try to use force to take your guns, or to usurp your constitutional rights just
remind them that Janet Reno & William Jefferson Clinton killed more children
at Waco than Adam Lanza killed at Sandy Hook Elementary.
They still call it a "tragedy"; it was an atrocity. It was a massacre, nothing
Lest We Forget – Lessons From The 1993 Waco Tragedy
Feb 27, 2013
Twenty years ago, on February 28th 1993, the federal Bureau of Alcohol,
Tobacco and Firearms (ATF) launched an assault on the Branch Davidian
religious compound just outside Waco, Texas. The resulting siege ended
more than seven weeks later, on April 19, but not before claiming the lives
of 80 men, women and children -- many burned to death in the final inferno
that destroyed the compound.
Even today, videos of the burning buildings remain vivid reminders of an
assault gone horribly wrong, from start to finish; and, lessons from what has
become known as the “Waco Tragedy” should be borne in mind by all
Americans lest a similar tragedy occur in the future.
Although I was not yet a formal candidate for the United States House of
Representatives in February 1993, two years later in early 1995, I was a
member of the House Judiciary subcommittee that led a series of lengthy
hearings into the Waco tragedy. In the immediate aftermath of the 1993
Waco siege, then-President Bill Clinton, through Attorney General Janet
Reno, accepted “responsibility” for the results of the raid on the Branch
Davidian compound. Unfortunately, the difficulty we in the Congress
encountered in obtaining answers from Administration witnesses to our
many questions regarding its execution of the operation showed the true
hollowness of this acceptance of “responsibility.”
Evidence clearly established that Branch Davidian leader David Koresh (who
died in the final conflagration) was a charismatic figure who took advantage
of the many devoted followers at the Waco compound for his personal
gratification. However, of primary concern to many of us in the Congress
was the justification for, and actual conduct of, the government’s assault
and lengthy siege of the religious compound.
The government claimed it possessed pre-raid evidence that Koresh and his
followers were stockpiling illegal, automatic firearms, and was
manufacturing illicit drugs within the compound’s several buildings.
Ultimately, no evidence was ever revealed establishing that any automatic
firearms were located, or being produced, at the Waco compound although
this provided the legal basis for the ATF investigation and initial raid.
Similarly, despite government assertions that Koresh and his followers were
manufacturing illicit drugs within the compound, no evidence was ever found
to support such allegations. As was revealed during the 1995 congressional
hearings, assertions that the Branch Davidians were engaged in the
manufacture of methamphetamine and possibly other controlled substances
provided justification for the FBI to request and obtain assistance from the
U.S. military; assistance that would have been prohibited under the Posse
Comitatus law without such evidence.
The manner in which the government used the flimsiest of evidence to
justify, and then broaden, the assault on the Davidian compound, and the
overall manner in which a massive assault was carried out against a
religious group -- albeit not a mainstream one -- led many Americans to lose
faith in, or at least question, their confidence in federal government power.
This always should be of concern to citizens and government officials alike.
Actions tending to undermine that relationship should be addressed openly
and vigorously by both groups, but especially by the government, which
depends on the confidence of the People for its proper functioning, and
ultimately for the success of its programs.
The lack of concern for the human cost of the Waco Siege reflected in the
refusal by the Clinton Administration ultimately to account for the conduct of
the operation, however, is perhaps the darkest and most tragic aftermath of
the siege. The government used armored tank-like vehicles to break down
walls of the building in which dozens of men, women, children and infants
were known to be huddling, then injected massive quantities of tear gas
(known to be highly flammable) into that structure. Witnessing the not-
unexpected resulting deadly fire seared in the minds of many good, law-
abiding Americans the true human cost of unfettered and unaccountable
On this 20th anniversary of the Waco Siege, and in memory of all who died
in the tragedy, including four ATF agents, we all should pause and pray that
never again might we witness power run so tragically amuck.