Branch Davidians Burned To Death By F.B.I. & ATF In Waco Texas
A review of government tyranny and a call to the people and elected representatives to stop the nomination of a potentially dangerous contender for oversight over a government agency by Jack Kettler
“Those who cannot remember the past are condemned to repeat it.” – George Santayana, The Life of Reason, 1905.
The globalist criminal syndicate figurehead’s Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms, and Explosives (BATF) nominee, David Chipman, raises grave concerns among gun owners and everyday Americans. Why?
Sen. Mike Lee from Utah challenges the (BATF) nominee’s disdain for gun owners in a recent hearing and his inability to define an assault weapon. Chipman is on record for wanting to ban the AR-15 rifle, one of America’s most popular guns.
What can a crazed bureaucrat like Chipman, who disrespects an individual’s God-given rights, do?
Consider the leading cause of death in the Twentieth Century:
Democide is a term defined by the political scientist R. J. Rummel as “the murder of any person or people by their government, including genocide, politicide and mass murder.” According to Rummel, democide passed war as the leading cause of non-natural death in the 20th Century. Moving into the 21st Century, and it shows no signs of stopping.
See Death by Government, by R.J. Rummel, (New Brunswick, New Jersey, Transaction Publishers, 1994).
From this book, it is earned:
· The Definition of Democide
· Over 133,147,000 Murdered: Pre-Twentieth Century Democide
· 128,168,000 VICTIMS: THE DEKA-MEGAMURDERERS
· 61,911,000 Murdered: The Soviet Gulag State
· 35,236,000 Murdered: The Communist Chinese Ant Hill
· 20,946,000 Murdered: The Nazi Genocide State
· 10,214,000 Murdered: Depraved Nationalist Regimes such as the Khmer Rouge Hell State
· 19,178,000 VICTIMS: THE LESSER MEGA-MURDERERS
After reading this book, the conclusion is that government is the leading cause of death.
With a maniacal nominee such as Chipman, it would be prudent to review a real example of what happens when the evil intent of a government is turned on its citizens. Many readers of this blog were not even born when an unorthodox religious sect in 1993 fell into bad favor with the government. The Branch Davidians, a Seventh Day Adventist sect, were victims of democide. This democide happened as the result of the BATF carrying out a military-styled attack on the members of a religious sect.
What follows is an article about the tragic event in 1993, and a documentary film and an investigative film, along with reviews of these films that exposed the government democide.
Thoughts on Waco: A Remembrance © 1998 by Jack Kettler
As a Reformed believer, I praise God for the gospel and his saving grace. The main reason I have always been against the forced deprogramming of individuals in aberrational religious groups is that deprogramming removes God from the equation. What happened at Waco was far worse than forced deprogramming. The preaching of the gospel and God’s effectual calling are sufficient reasons to leave the conversion of souls in God’s control. It has been challenging to sort out all the issues involved in the Waco case because of my substantial theological disagreements with Branch Davidian theology. The teachings of the Bible give us the basis for many of our present-day civil laws. One law, in particular, is relevant and is found in Deuteronomy 17:6. Two witnesses are required to convict someone of a crime that results in the death penalty. If the state acts, it must be governed by a Biblically-based judicial process. The process of Biblical justice was completely subverted at Waco.
The violations of the law by agents of our government at Waco, Texas, are almost beyond comprehension. The present cover-up by high officials in the Treasury and Justice Departments and numerous agents within the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) and the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco and Firearms (BATF) has come very close to succeeding. In my opinion, the actions of the federal government agents at Waco constitute the worst abuse of law enforcement power in our nation’s history. Americans witnessed death and the destruction of the Constitution at Waco.
The following items stand out in my mind as unconscionable criminal violations of American civil liberties:
The Branch Davidians have civil and constitutional protections enjoyed by all Americans, yet those rights were trampled on and destroyed by agents of our government. Women and young children were fired upon through the roof of their house by government agents from helicopters on Feb. 28th, 1993. Attorneys (Dick DeGuerin and Jack Zimmermann) for David Koresh and Steve Schneider (Davidian leaders) had been inside Mt. Carmel during the siege. Both men provided eyewitness testimony to the five hundred rounds fired through the roof by agents in the helicopters.
Many people have heard portions of what are known as the “911” tapes. These tapes are truly bone-chilling: You listen to the terror in the voice of African American, Harvard University- educated attorney and Branch Davidian Wayne Martin, as he calls for help and pleads for the attack to be called off. A significant fact is that while listening to the recording, you hear Wayne Martin say, “I have a right to defend myself.” Why was the jury in the San Antonio trial of the Davidians not allowed to hear this portion of the tape?
James L. Pate, a reporter who has written for several publications such as the New York Daily News and Soldier of Fortune, has hard evidence that United States special military forces helped train BATF agents for the raid on the Branch Davidians before a search warrant was issued. Members of the special forces accompanied BATF agents the day of their assault on the Branch Davidians. Most Americans watched on television as tanks and Bradley fighting vehicles surrounded and terrorized United State citizens. The strict rules forbidding the United States military from engaging in police action against American citizens were violated because of the fabrication by BATF agents that the Branch Davidians were manufacturing illegal drugs. The use of military force is a violation of the Posse Comitatus Act. A Congressional inquiry should be in order.
Another shocking violation of civil liberties is that of the alleged attempt by BATF to serve a warrant. The BATF has never gotten their story straight on what type of warrant they obtained. Was it a search or arrest warrant? The way this warrant was issued is highly irregular and deserves a special investigation in itself. Ken Maynard, FBI special agent (Ret.), has analyzed BATF agent Davy Aguilera’s probable cause affidavit and says this: “There was not even one fact in the probable cause affidavit by the BATF stating that a violation had or was taking place at Mt. Carmel. There was insufficient evidence to issue a warrant.” Why did BATF agents refuse Koresh’s offer for them to come on out and look around? Henry McMahon, the owner of Hewitt Arms, confirms this. BATF agents were in his store at the time of the offer.
Why was Sunday chosen for this raid? It was well known that this is when the highest number of people would be at Mt. Carmel. If the BATF had an arrest warrant, why not pick Koresh up when he was in town or out jogging? If the BATF had a search warrant, why not go to the complex in the daytime during the week? A number of children would be off the property at school. A number of adults would also have been in town at work. If a problem did develop, the risk of injury to innocent parties would also have been greatly minimized. Where was the concern for the children in the planning for such a raid? KPOC-TV of Ponca City, Oklahoma, had discovered that the BATF did not even have a warrant with them when they attacked Mt. Carmel.
Who fired first? BATF Agent Roland Ballesteros made two statements ten days after the raid to the Texas Rangers, saying that the BATF shot first, with no warning. The bullet holes in the front door of the Mt. Carmel center prove who fired first. The BATF said they arrived at the front door, and David Koresh came out. The BATF said they announced who they were and that they had a search warrant. At this point, Koresh allegedly slammed the door, and the Davidians began shooting at the agents through the front door. Unfortunately, the BATF lost (or destroyed) this crucial piece of evidence. It is clear from photographic evidence that the bullet holes in the door were all entry holes fired by the BATF agents into Mt. Carmel. This door was not destroyed in the fire: It mysteriously disappeared and was not available to the Branch Davidian defense team in San Antonio.
Many have blamed those inside Mt. Carmel for not leaving. Could the Branch Davidians have left if they wanted to? According to special correspondent Ken Fawcett, who covered the San Antonio trial, He [Mike Tolouse, member of the misnamed FBI hostage rescue team] was asked if flash grenades were used to keep people from coming out of Mt. Carmel. His reply was, “Yes, many times, including March 10th and April 19th [day of the fire].” It is a well-known fact that the FBI had sniper nests set up around the Mt. Carmel center, which created tremendous fear for those inside. In the Department of Justice report on page twenty, we learn: On March 25th, 1993, Steve Schneider was told by the FBI negotiators that no one would be allowed to come outside the compound.
There is strong evidence that members of the church were shot by FBI snipers on the eastside of the building (away from the cameras) as they tried to escape the lethal amounts of Orthocholorbenzylidene Malononitrile (CS) gas sprayed in and the ferret rounds fired into the building. The FBI agents responsible for this murderous act were stationed in the “Sierra Two” sniper’s nest. Mike McNulty, chairman of Citizens Organization for Public Safety, has a “Forward Looking Infra-Red” (FLIR) film taken from an airplane flying above Mt. Carmel to support this allegation. This shooting happened around 10:30 in the morning.
The death of Jimmy Riddle confirms this. Riddle was killed with a high-powered rifle bullet to the head. His body was found a few feet from Koresh’s body. Koresh’s body was burned so badly that it was almost impossible to determine who it was. Jimmy Riddle’s body was not burned because of the dirt that covered his body. Mr. McNulty believes he can substantiate the theory that the tanks, equipped with scoop blades, pushed dirt and some of the Davidians who were gunned down back into the building, thus explaining Riddle’s body being covered with dirt and not burning.
On April 19th, 1993, the Branch Davidians, women and children included, had lethal levels of CS gas along with the combustible dispersal agent methylene chloride pumped into their church-home for six straight hours. Branch Davidian church members were crushed by tanks driving into the building. Women and children were crushed and buried alive (Judy Schneider, 41* and Audrey Martinez, 13) as a result of the tanks collapsing the building down upon them. Did one of the tanks collapse part of the building down upon the entrance to the concrete walk-in cooler, trapping thirty-eight women and children from any hope of escape? Did this same tank collapse a section of the walk-in cooler’s ceiling, crushing to death a number of women and children? Why did the tanks collapse the stairways? This trapped people on the second floor from being able to escape the building once the fire started. The entrance to the underground shelter was also destroyed, thus eliminating another avenue of escape.
Who started the fire? The fire started as the result of the criminally negligent methods of dispersing the deadly CS gas (pyrotechnic ferret rounds). Mike McNulty has a “Forward Looking Infra-Red” (FLIR) film that proves the fire started in the section of the building called the “dog run” due directly to a pyrotechnic device. The shell casing to this device has been recovered and identified. Another fire started after a tank knocked over a lantern. Pyrotechnic devices have started fires on numerous occasions. Page sixty-three of the S.W.A.T. team manual says that some pyrotechnic devices will start fires. FBI agent Mike Tolouse admitted that “flash grenades” were used at Mt. Carmel. According to James Bovard, a nationally known writer, “the FBI’s plan was to immediately and totally immerse the place in gas, and throw in flash-bangs.” Col. Rex Applegate, who invented the ferret round, said, “Any flash-bang [grenade] will start fires.” Col. Applegate is not sure how the fire started. He says: “It could have been a flash-bang, or a pyrotechnic device that was shot in there.” Most disturbing of all is that the (FLIR) tape or film gives strong evidence that after the fire started, government agents from two locations outside the cafeteria fired automatic gunfire into the building, thus preventing the Davidians from escaping the conflagration. Approximately forty Davidians died in the cafeteria area.
According to Aldrich Chemical Company, in their Manufacturing Safety Data Sheet (MSDS), it is clear how dangerous CS can be. CS is highly flammable and explosive when concentrated within closed quarters. There are strict warnings not to use CS indoors because of the danger of a fire caused by something as small as an electrical spark. When CS burns, it emits carbon monoxide, hydrogen cyanide, and hydrogen chloride gases. A number of the Davidian autopsies reveal lethal levels of cyanide poisoning in their bodies.
It is a well-known fact that the government knew the Davidians were using kerosene lanterns twenty-four hours a day. The FBI had shut off the water. Pumping flammable substances in upon women and children with these types of conditions is an unforgivable atrocity. KPOC-TV has provided valuable information concerning the misuse of CS, and the terrible consequences this caused inside the Mt. Carmel center. It is also a fact that when you put water on burning CS, you will create a deadly hydrogen cyanide cloud that may travel for some distance. Can this explain why federal agents kept the fire trucks away until after the entire structure had completely burned down? If so, then it is an inescapable conclusion that the FBI and BATF were familiar with the Aldrich Chemical company’s MSDS report and knew what the results would be.
At 6:30 a.m. April 19th, the morning of the gas and tank attack, the Davidians put a white flag out a window and began waving it. The attack continued. At 9:07 the Davidians displayed a banner that read, “we want our phone fixed.” Eight minutes later, a government tank rammed through the front door.
These two facts were reported in Dirk Johnson’s “Death in Waco” in The New York Times April 22nd, 1993. American citizens used a universally understood sign pleading for the attack to stop. They asked for communications to be restored. What would happen to an American military commander who refused to recognize this sign of surrender on the part of an enemy in battle? Second, numerous times during the siege, the Davidians plead with the press to intervene on their behalf. The lack of concern on the part of the press for these requests is shameful.
Government agents destroyed and tampered with evidence at Mt. Carmel. Tanks crushed the Davidian vehicles. These vehicles were crucial for the Davidian defense. The lack of bullet holes in the vehicles would have provided important proof that BATF agents were not receiving heavy fire from the Davidians. Tanks pushed sections of the building into the fire. An FBI agent admitted that some of the weapons submitted into evidence against the Davidians were left at Mt. Carmel by the BATF. The company “Failure Analysis” was not allowed to inspect the Davidian weapons recovered after the fire. Why? Were some of these guns converted to full-auto after the fire?
The government lied about the type of gas used on the Davidians, and the toxicology reports were falsified to hide the cyanide poisoning. The FBI’s five-hundred-page plan for inserting gas into the Davidian home, which they provided to Attorney General Janet Reno, did not mention the possibility of a fire. Why? Is this criminal negligence? Why did Attorney General Janet Reno approve this plan with no contingency for putting out a fire? Why has the government refused the Davidian defense attorney’s request to allow “Failure Analysis” to examine the tape recordings on the day of the fire? Have these recordings been altered? It is a fact that government agents cut out crucial portions of film taken on April 19th, 1993. The missing film footage, in all probability, proves McNulty’s thesis that Davidians were shot while trying to escape.
The trial of the Branch Davidians in San Antonio is another travesty of justice. Jack Devault, Major USAF (Ret.), has written The Waco Whitewash. This book deals primarily with events at the trial of the Davidians charged with conspiring to murder federal agents. Devault argues that federal judge Walter Smith rigged the trial in order to obtain convictions. It is time for the Branch Davidians suffering unjustly in prison to be set free. Jury foreman Sarah Bain has fought tirelessly for the release of the Davidian prisoners. She pleaded for leniency for the Davidians at their sentencing. She collapsed when the judge, contrary to the wishes of the jury, issued forty-year sentences in most cases.
It is easy to recall the many press conferences in which the Branch Davidians were called cultists by the FBI and BATF spokesmen. Have FBI and BATF agents taken special theological training to make this determination? Is this the role of either of these agencies? Articles One, Two, Four, Five, Six, Nine, and Ten of the Bill of Rights were violated by agents of the federal government. Who will answer for these crimes? Who will answer from the military for their involvement in this terrible crime? Can the U.S. Congress escape blame for the inept Waco hearings in 1995? The five-minute questioning rule ensured that no meaningful line of questions would develop. When will Congress appoint a special prosecutor with full subpoena powers?
The new riveting documentary film Waco: The Rules of Engagement addresses many of the questions that Americans have been asking. The film is unique in that it lets the viewers draw their own conclusions. “Waco” has been screening at film festivals since it’s opening this year in January at Robert Redford’s 1997 Sundance Film Festival.The San Francisco Chronicle called “Waco” “one of the most disturbing films you’ll ever see.” Siskel and Ebert have given the film “two thumbs up.” The film is also up for best documentary of the year. It is common during screenings of “Waco” for people in the audience to be openly sobbing as they witness the brutal government assault and the close-up shots of mutilated burned bodies and the terribly contorted (the result of cyanide poisoning) body of a young girl. Sarah Thompson, M.D., after seeing “Waco” at the Sundance Festival, felt compelled to review the film.
In her review, she cites film director William Gazecki’s words, “This movie is about looking under rocks and finding what we never wanted to know.” “The result is an extremely disturbing film that should be required viewing for all Americans.” She closes her review of the film with these insightful thoughts: “Remember that this is NOT about partisan politics, Right vs. Left, gun rights, or other divisive issues. It is about our unalienable Constitutional rights to religious freedom, freedom from unreasonable search and seizure, and above all the freedom not to be murdered by our own government. As the Talmud commands: ‘Thou shalt not stand idly by the blood of thy brother.’” Religious and civil liberties stand or fall together. Let us pray that God may once again give us rulers who govern in the fear of the Almighty.
*All of the Davidian’s bodies recovered after the fire. Judy Schneider’s body was recovered missing the head. At the time, PA coroner Cyril Weck had written a book with a chapter on the events at Waco and questions he had about the FBI’s autopsy analysis. Also, at the time, Cyril Weck was a guest on KOA’s Rick Barber’s overnight show, and this writer as a caller asked him if someone in the FBI had taken Judy Schneider’s skull as a trophy, to which he replied “that would be frightening to contemplate.”
Mr. Kettler is the Chairman of the Waco Committee with Citizens for the Constitution and a Ruling Elder in the Orthodox Presbyterian Church. Mr. Kettler is also vice-chairman of Leaders for Liberty and a member of the John Birch Society. He can be reached through his web site at http://www.undergroundnotes.com/
1. Carol Moore, The Davidian Massacre, (Springfield: Legacy Communications & Gun Owners of America, 1995).
2. Jack DeVault, The Waco Whitewash, (San Antonio: Rescue Press, 1994).
3. Dick J. Reavis, The Ashes of Waco, (New York: Simon & Schuster, 1995).
4. James D. Tabor, and Eugene V. Gallagher, Why Waco? Cults and the Battle for Religious Freedom in America, (Berkeley: University of California Press, 1995).
5. David Koresh, The Decoded Message of the Seven Seals of the Book of Revelation, (Texas: publisher unknown, 1993). This copy was given to me by Branch Davidian fire survivor David Thibodeau.
Newspaper and Magazine Articles:
James Bovard, “Convoluted trail of Waco explanations.” The Washington Times (April 1995)
James Pate, “Waco Must Get a Hearing.” The Wall Street Journal (May 1995).
James Pate, “Judgment Day.” Soldier of Fortune (June 1994).
Peter Maas, “What Might Have Been.” Parade Magazine (February 1994).
David Chilton, “That dangerous cult in Waco.” World (May 1993).
Video and Television:
KPOC-TV, The Waco Incident, (Ponca City, Oklahoma) 1994.
PBS “Frontline” Waco: The Inside Story. Scott Malone, investigator, 1995.
“Mt. Carmel 911 tapes” Mt. Carmel Survivors Memorial Fund Inc. (Axtell, Texas) 1993.
“The Last Recorded Words of David Koresh” April 16 & 18, 1993. Supplied by David Thibodeau.
Volumes 1- 4 Autopsies of Branch Davidians At New Mt. Carmel Waco, Texas.
Chemical Report On “CS” Agent.
Overview and General Information of Criminal Negligence by Agents of federal government.
These reports were prepared by KPOC TV of Ponca City, Oklahoma and graciously given to me by the owner and general manager, David Hall.
Mike McNulty, the producer of the documentary film “Waco: The Rules of Engagement” has provided numerous details concerning the Waco investigation. David Thibodeau provided important details concerning the events surrounding April 19, 1993 at one of his speaking engagements.
First Film Review
“Waco: A New Revelation”
A film review and commentary ©2000 by Jack Kettler
1999, MGA Films, Inc.
Produced by Rick Van Vleet, Stephen M. Novak, Jason Van Vleet
and Michael McNulty
Directed by Jason Van Vleet
Original Music Score by Daniel D. Hoeye and Aric R. Johnson
This film is based upon the research of Mike McNulty. After his first film, which won an Emmy for best investigative journalism and was nominated for best documentary of the year, Mr. McNulty was not content to revel in his success. His continued investigation has culminated in this new production, “Waco: A New Revelation,” which is best described as a damning indictment of the federal government’s murderous corruption and cover-ups extending into several agencies and reaching into the executive branch itself.
The film reviews numerous important events surrounding this story and then builds a case based upon solid physical evidence and testimony, which should eventually culminate in lengthy prison sentences for many active and retired federal employees. What is especially heartening about this film is that some current and past federal employees and other law enforcement personnel are lending their credibility to the ongoing investigation by appearing in the movie and even participating in the production of this work about the insidious events at Waco in 1993.
One example is former Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) Special Agent Dr. Frederic Whitehurst, formerly of the FBI crime lab, who narrates the film. Many informed citizens will remember that Dr. Whitehurst became a whistleblower when FBI officials refused to clean up shoddy, unprofessional, and even unethical practices within the reputed celebrated crime lab. In this reviewer’s opinion, the law enforcement and the government employees, both active and retired, who give testimony in the film are heroic and patriotic Americans putting the truth ahead of personal gain. Hopefully, their courage will inspire others in law enforcement and the government to come forward with additional information. Moreover, their testimony makes this new production impossible to dismiss.
In addition to exposing outright federal government lies and suppression of evidence, the film has already resulted in at least one new congressional investigation and even an inquiry from the Justice Department. McNulty’s previous work, “Waco: The Rules of Engagement,” was responsible for a massive shift in public opinion. This new film provides hard physical evidence that the fires, which started in three locations, were the result of flash-bang devices, which are pyrotechnic and were recovered from each place where the fires originated. Interestingly, these devices were all misidentified as silencers or gun parts and buried in an evidence locker for over six years. It is this reviewer’s opinion that this misidentification was intentional and criminal. Trained FBI post-fire investigators knew what flash-bang devices were since the FBI itself had issued and used these same devices to prevent the Branch Davidians from leaving the building during the siege. These devices were also used on April 19th. It should not be forgotten that the FBI had a motive to see the building burned. This destroyed valuable trajectory and ballistic evidence that can be used in both criminal and civil litigation against the government.
This new film provides compelling evidence of federal responsibility for the fires. It also convincingly argues that military operatives placed a “shape” charge on the top of the concrete walk-in-cooler or “bunker” where the women and children had fled for safety from the deadly concentrations of CS gas. This “shape” charge blew a hole in the concrete roof of this structure, killing everyone and obliterating the bodies of many of the women and children. Former military explosives expert General Benton Partin provides compelling testimony that supports this allegation. This explosion caused the partial disintegration and fusing together of a number of bodies of the women and children on the inside of the “bunker” due to the pressure and heat from this blast. The film reports that investigators were finally given permission to check the remains of the concrete roof of this structure for explosive residue only to find that the roof had disappeared.
The film deals with how the Davidians were trapped in their crumbled building, the result of tank demolition on April 19th. Because of this demolition, there was only one viable escape route on the side of the complex out of camera view. This avenue of escape would have been through doors in the cafeteria area. In the film, Gene Cullen, Central Intelligence Agency (CIA) service officer, among other sources, confirms that Delta operatives, commonly referred to as Delta Force, were forward-deployed and active on April 19th. A number of Davidians were met with automatic gunfire from these Delta operatives as they sought escape through the cafeteria doors. The evidence of this atrocious murderous act is well documented in the film with the government’s own forward-looking infrared (FLIR) film and testimony from one of the country’s leading experts in FLIR technology, Dr. Edward F. Allard, Ph.D. The FLIR expert retained by the congressional committee looking into events at Waco has agreed with Dr. Allard’s analysis of the FLIR tape.
The FBI has long used tape recordings made by their listening devices on April 19th to mislead Congress concerning who was responsible for the fires. Because the film deals with the tapes recorded by FBI listening devices the day of the fire, some comments need to be made regarding these recordings about alleged Davidian plans to pour fuel and start fires. First of all, the FBI is under investigation and cannot be considered trustworthy to tell the truth about the validity of these recordings. Along with the Bureau of Alcohol Tobacco and Firearms (BATF), they have been discovered suppressing the truth and are responsible for missing evidence and the destruction of evidence. The film deals with a number of shocking examples of missing and destroyed evidence. Both agencies must be held accountable.
Therefore, it is fair to question the FBI in particular at every point in this investigation. It should be noted that they have refused to allow independent investigators access to the tape recordings to examine their authenticity. These recordings may have been edited in such a way as to distort the actual audio and context of these tapes. Since these recordings are in existence, this reviewer is glad that the film deals with them. Attorneys for the Davidians will use these recordings in the upcoming civil litigation against the government, as they well should. Also, it is imperative that these tapes be dealt with in order to refute the government’s interpretation of them.
With that said, let’s assume that these recordings are substantially correct. Some if not all of these recordings were made early in the morning hours before any fire started and had to do with the making of Molotov cocktails to throw at the tanks. There is no evidence that the Davidians were able to carry out these plans. In addition, it appears that according to the recordings, there may have been plans to ignite a fire if federal agents began a physical attack inside the building. It should be remembered that Davidian theology taught that God’s faithful remnant would be attacked by the forces of Babylon (the U.S. Government) and would be killed, thus proving to the world the depravity of this Babylon government. In this writer’s opinion, the depravity of the present government was most certainly proved.
If there were in reality plans of this nature, given Davidian theology against suicide, these plans would have been essentially a last-ditch action to bring the roof down upon Babylon’s murderous forces. These alleged Davidian plans, if true, could easily be understood in essence as a “Samson complex.” When the enemy forces came into their home for the final murderous assault, they would attempt to take out as many of Babylon’s agents as possible before being killed. The Davidians believed that biblical teaching concerning the “fifth seal” spoken of the book of Revelation made it clear that the forces of Babylon would kill God’s faithful remnant. Experientially, they knew these forces had no reservations about shooting women. For example, Jaydean Wendell from Hawaii was killed on February 28th, the day of the initial raid, after she finished nursing her baby. Knowing full well the apocalyptic views of the Davidians, the FBI created a situation in which the Davidians were pushed right to the edge in desperation.
There is no convincing evidence that a plan like this was actually carried out. However, once the FBI had them on tape in desperation discussing last-ditch plans, then the FBI continued its criminally negligent use of pyrotechnic devices along with the injection of deadly amounts of combustible CS gas, knowing that it would only be a matter of time before the fire would erupt. By the time the fires did begin, Mt. Carmel was structurally ruined, and its hallways were virtually impassable. Most of the Davidians were utterly disoriented and overcome by the CS gas. Towards the end, organized communication among the Davidians was seriously impaired, making any alleged plans impossible to carry out.
It should be noted that if a plan like this was carried out or contemplated, it is not suicide (remember the Alamo). It is simply a refusal to surrender to unjust attackers and resisting to the last man. It is interesting to note that the Davidian understanding of theology may have given them a reason to believe that had these events took place that God would possibly protect them like He had protected Daniel’s friends long ago in the fiery furnace while the emissaries of Babylon perished. Since the FBI commanders heard these recordings while the tank and gas attack was in progress, which suggested something of this nature, and continued with their assault, they should be found guilty of criminal misconduct among numerous other felonies.
It should not be forgotten that the Davidians were under siege and subjected to military warfare tactics for fifty-one days. Any comments that are found on the tape recordings during this time must be understood as coming from people under extreme duress, fearing that they were about to perish. People believing that they may be about to die may say things in desperation. Therefore, the content of the tapes must be understood in terms favorable to the Davidians. McNulty has done a great job putting this information on the table so objective analysts can determine the proper context of the recordings in light of the attack that was carried out against the Davidians.
As in “Rules of Engagement,” Davidian survivors give compelling testimony. Their humanness is plainly seen. Rita Riddle, a Davidian, left Mt. Carmel during the siege. She appears in the film and talks about her brother Jimmy who was shot and killed on April 19th. Unfortunately, critical autopsy evidence relevant to his death is now missing. This reviewer’s wish is that Rita Riddle’s daughter Misty, who survived the fire, will eventually testify in front of Congress. Misty Ferguson was seventeen at the time and terribly burned in the fire. The American people are still compassionate, and when they see what agents of the federal government did to her, there will be an outpouring of compassion and an outcry for justice.
This film was first screened in Washington, D.C., early in November 1999, to a select group of journalists and government officials. This film deserves a wide audience. Hopefully, the producers can negotiate a deal to have this film aired on cable television, as was the case with Mr. McNulty’s previous release.
Mr. Kettler is an elder in the Orthodox Presbyterian Church and Chairman of the Waco Committee with Citizens for the Constitution. Mr. Kettler is also a member of the John Birch Society. He can be reached through his website at http://www.undergroundnotes.com/
Second Film Review
“The F.L.I.R. Project”
2001, COPS Productions L.L.C.
Produced and Directed by Michael McNulty
© 2001 A film review and commentary by Jack Kettler
Recently, former Senator John C. Danforth spent millions of taxpayer dollars investigating on behalf of Janet Reno’s Justice Department into a number of serious allegations against the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI). Allegations included such questions as: did the FBI fire on the Davidians trying to escape their burning church home? After his investigation, Danforth pronounced that he was 100% certain that the FBI did not fire any rounds into the building that fateful day on April 19, 1993.
It should be noted that the FBI has come under heavy criticism for its mishandling of evidence in the Timothy McVeigh case. Significantly, the only conviction ensuing from the Danforth investigation was against former U.S. Attorney Bill Johnston, who legally cleared the way, thus allowing Michael McNulty, leading independent investigator into events surrounding the Waco controversy, to examine evidence leading to serious questions of government corruption. Does this lone conviction of Johnston send a message to civil servants that are willing to come forward and reveal information of government wrongdoing? Danforth’s investigation has in effect exonerated the FBI of any wrongdoing in regards to violating rules of engagement designed to safeguard the constitutional liberty of American citizens.
Unfortunately for Danforth and the FBI, Michael McNulty, the producer of two previous award-winning documentary films, “Waco: The Rules of Engagement” and “Waco: A New Revelation,” released his third film, “The F.L.I.R. Project.” In this new film, McNulty calls into question the credibility of Danforth’s Ft. Hood re-enactment, which allegedly attempted to duplicate events surrounding April 19, 1993, which involved government agents and alleged gunfire directed into Mt. Carmel, the Branch Davidian church home. The government’s actions ultimately climaxed in 80 men, women, and children perishing in a fiery holocaust.
In this new film of thirty-five minutes duration, McNulty raises pertinent questions concerning the accuracy of Danforth’s re-enactment tests. McNulty’s film highlights several examples of differences between the Ft. Hood re-enactment test and April 19, 1993. These are:
1. A significant difference would be the twenty-inch barrels on the M-16A2 rifles used in the re-enactment at Ft. Hood, whereas the FBI used CAR-16s (M-4s) with 14-inch barrels at Mt. Carmel.
2. Another significant difference would be that the ammunition used in the re-enactment was standard military ball ammunition with gunpowder that is chemically treated, which suppresses mussel flashes, whereas the FBI, on April 19, 1993, used commercial ammunition produced by the “Federal Cartridge Company.”
3. Interestingly, the military clothing that used at Mt. Carmel on April 19, 1993, by various agents was treated with a standard heat suppressing substance. The clothing accounts for the difficulty in seeing men on the ground in 1993 “Forward Looking Infra-Red” (FLIR) tape. Danforth makes this apparent invisibility of men a big part of his conclusion. Interestingly, he does not bother to elaborate or explain that this heat suppressing substance is a significant factor, undermining one of his conclusions.
4. The test debris field at Ft. Hood was watered down the day before and covered with a tarp keeping the ground cool until right before the test took place. The water created a contrast that did not correspond to anything similar or present on April 19, 1993.
5. There was also a twenty-degree temperature difference between the Ft. Hood tests on April 19, 1993.
6. The Danforth tests did not bother to create the circulating dust agitated up by the tanks on April 19, 1993. However, agitated circulating dust can make an important difference in flash signatures on FLIR tape.
There are other serious questions, which McNulty raises in his new film, one example being about the FLIR camera used at the re-enactment test and if it was working correctly. The viewer of this film is left with the distinct impression that something is seriously wrong with Danforth’s conclusions. Danforth based his conclusions that the gunfire FLIR tape signatures at the Ft. Hood re-enactment were of shorter duration and nearly invisible on this FLIR tape. Also, Danforth concluded that one could not see men on the ground in the 1993 FLIR tape. McNulty, as outlined above, questions both conclusions by Danforth. McNulty demonstrates that men are visible on the ground in the 1993 FLIR (although difficult to see) and from FBI still photos. In the FBI still photos, men appear to be seen right outside the cafeteria doors, where many Davidians were trapped, unable to exit because of the alleged gunfire.
In addition, where Danforth failed, McNulty’s “F.L.I.R. Project” team re-created at two locations tests that duplicated gunfire signatures very similar to those flashes seen on the original Waco FLIR tapes. Therefore, in light of the questions raised in this film, this writer believes that it is still an open question regarding the FBI and the use of gunfire directed into Mt. Carmel on April 19, 1993. Also, the interested reader should consult attorney Dave Hardy’s website for pictures and analysis of many issues surrounding the FLIR/gunfire controversy at: http://www.indirect.com/www/dhardy/flir.html
At this point, it would be beneficial to highlight longstanding serious legal and procedural violations still unresolved at Waco. The Justice Department and Danforth are not interested in these violations. Many Americans who are fearful of the loss of religious and civil liberties are very concerned with these issues. The Branch Davidians have civil and constitutional protections enjoyed by all Americans, yet those rights were trampled on and destroyed by agents of our government.Maurice Cox is a mathematician/imagery analyst who summarizes these violations in his OPEN LETTER TO SPECIAL COUNSEL DANFORTH (20 Nov 2000). See the entire letter to Danforth that primarily deals with flaws in the Ft. Hood re-enactment. To date, Danforth has ignored this letter. According to Cox, these unresolved issues are:
- Using publicity as one motivation for the initial raid
- Deciding not to arrest Koresh away from Mt. Carmel
- Acquiring a warrant using false, misleading, and inflammatory information
- Ignoring the requirement to “knock and announce”
- Conducting an armed assault for an alleged gun registration/tax crime
- Conducting an armed assault on a large group to arrest one individual
- Conducting an armed assault on uncharged women and children
- Conducting an armed assault on individuals with apocalyptic beliefs
- Conducting an armed assault on individuals known to be forewarned
- Indiscriminate firing into a building in violation of policy
- Assigning a para-military group (HRT) to a non-hostage situation
- Limiting press access (news management)
- Using flawed crisis management procedures (shooters negate negotiators)
- Applying physiological warfare tools against a group with apocalyptic beliefs
- Imposing an arbitrary negotiation deadline
- Selective use of “bug” information (requires “enhancement” when unfavorable)
- Adopting a plan to gas women, children and elderly individuals
- Executing the gas plan in a manner that intentionally blocked a protected area
- Destroying the residence beyond anything required by the gas plan
- Executing the gas plan without adequate fire control means
It is about time that the U.S. Congress hire McNulty and the team of his choosing with full subpoena powers to finally get to the truth of what happened at Waco. A new investigation should start with the botched unconstitutional raid on Feb. 28, 1993, which culminated in the unnecessary deaths of the Davidians on April 19, 1993, and subsequent cover-up
Mr. Kettler is an elder in the Orthodox Presbyterian Church and Chairman of the Waco Committee with Citizens for the Constitution. Mr. Kettler is also a member of the John Birch Society. He can be reached through his website at http://www.undergroundnotes.com/
“The only good bureaucrat is one with a pistol at his head. Put it in his hand and it’s good-bye to the Bill of Rights.” – H. L. MenckenMr. Kettler has previously published articles in the Chalcedon Report and Contra Mundum. He and his wife Marea attend the Westminster, CO, RPCNA Church. Mr. Kettler is the author of the book defending the Reformed Faith against attacks, titled: The Religion That Started in a Hat. Available at: www.TheReligionThatStartedInAHat.com