WACO: 14 yr Anniversary: Remember 2/28/93
Wed Feb 28, 2007 20:52

------- Original Message --------
Subject: 14 yr Anniversary
Date: Wed, 28 Feb 2007 21:30:04 EST
From: WacoTragedyNews@aol.com
To: undisclosed-recipients:;

Another year has gone by without justice. All of the survivors are living in other parts of the state and Mt. Carmel is now overrun by squatters and outsiders. This whole case has been very heartbreaking to say the least. Each year that goes by another generation of children is born not knowing this even happened.

I need to call Clive Doyle so I can see if there is going to be a memorial this year. Obviously due to the squatters, there will be no services at Mt. Carmel, but perhaps they are still having a get-to-gether anyway
elsewhere. I'll keep you posted.

After April 19th I will no longer be able to run this news service. Circumstances in my life are as such that I have to dedicated 100% of my time to my family and our struggles. If there is someone out there who would like to take over the care of the list, please let me know. While there is very little to do, it's just not something I'm able to focus on right now. A lot of letters and subscriptions have gone unanswered and I really should turn this over to someone that will take care of it properly.

Here is what the mainstream came up with for todays anniversary... for what its worth anyway.

02/28/07 - Waco
In Waco, Always a Dark Day

by Justin Sturken and Mary Dore, ABC News

Fourteen years after the 51-day face-off between government agents and the Branch Davidian religious sect began near Waco, Texas, retired FBI negotiator Byron Sage remains tormented by the disastrous outcome of the siege.

At least 74 people -- including 25 children -- perished when fire consumed the complex on April 19, 1993, after weeks of fruitless talks between Sage and Branch Davidian leader David Koresh. "When the fire started," Sage remembers, "I looked at that building just hoping and praying that I'd see those kids coming out. And there were no kids."

The siege began on February 28, 1993, when agents from the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms, and Explosives (ATF) raided the Branch Davidian ranch at Mount Carmel. There had long been allegations of child abuse and illegal weaponry within the compound, but the arrival of the ATF that day precipitated a shootout that killed four agents and six Branch Davidians.

Sage quickly became part of the FBI team surrounding the ranch and was one of several negotiators who worked without rest for weeks on end, hoping to bring about a peaceful an end to the standoff.

A Chilling Prophesy

"I will never forget the first time I talked to David Koresh," he says. "Shots were still being fired, so it had to be somewhere around midday. And I said, 'Do I call you David? Koresh? How do you pronounce that last name?' And with shots being fired in the background and people screaming and all this chaos, he said, just as calmly as could be, 'Mr. Sage, have you ever heard a person die?' I said, 'Yes, I have.' And he said, 'Then you know how to pronounce my name.' I said, 'What do you mean by that?' He said, 'It's like that last exhalation of breath. It's Koresh.' And hair went up on the back of my neck and -- I just knew we were in for one heck of a time."

Still, government negotiators did have some early success.

"In the afternoon of the first day, we started getting children out. And that was an extremely good sign. We tried to get them all out. David's response was he wasn't gonna send them (all) out. He would send them out two by two. Everything was biblical. Everything was two by two as if they were coming off of Noah's Ark," said Sage.

Almost two dozen children were released in the early days of the siege. But many more -- some the biological children of Koresh, whom he'd fathered with a number of different women -- remained inside the compound.

"Finally, on the 7th of March, I can remember vividly that David, he got upset and he said, 'Wait a minute. You don't understand. The rest of these kids are my kids. They're not coming out.' And there was just absolute silence in the negotiation room because everybody recognized the magnitude of that statement."

Breaching an Impasse

As the days stretched into weeks, negotiations reached an impasse and the government gradually increased the pressure on David Koresh.

Although Sage steadfastly defends the FBI's actions during the siege, Clive Doyle, one of the few Branch Davidians to emerge alive from the inferno that ultimately consumed the compound, says the US government's tactics -- like bombarding the compound with noise and crushing cars and motorcycles parked outside -- were often provocative.

"There were times throughout the siege when the negotiators would be promising one thing and the tactical team as they called the guys in the tanks would be doing something totally opposite and going against all the promises of the deals that were made. When we saw our vehicles being smashed up, you get an attitude," Doyle said.

For the entire 51-day length of the siege, Sage kept up his efforts to convince Koresh to emerge from the compound, or at the very least release more of the children. But those efforts seemed to achieve less and less.

By the middle of April, conditions within the compound were deteriorating and the government concluded the Branch Davidian leader had no intention of coming out voluntarily. "We had not had a single person out since the middle of March," Sage remembers. "No one had come out for nearly a month. Nearly a month."

Frustrated by the ongoing saga at Waco, US Attorney General Janet Reno approved a plan to fire CS gas -- a form of tear gas -- into the compound to force the Branch Davidians out. The FBI knew that Koresh had gas masks -- masks that probably wouldn't fit children.

"Abusive as it sounds, and I admit it does," says Sage, "we were banking on that discomfort to convince the parents to bring those kids out. The biggest mistake we made was that we did not accurately estimate the extent of control that David Koresh had over those parents. So we were depending on the parental instinct."

Were Mistakes Made?

But the plan ended in disaster. Even under assault by CS gas, the Branch Davidians refused to emerge. There were reports that some feared being shot if they ventured outside.

Then, around noon on April 19, several fires started almost simultaneously around the large compound, and an inferno quickly engulfed almost everyone inside, including Koresh and the remaining children.

Dick Reavis, author of "Ashes of Waco" and a critic of the government's actions, says: "The FBI said that the reason it went in on April the 19th and the reason it used CS gas in a building, knowing that there are no gas masks for children, was that it wanted to protect those children. In its misguided effort and its arrogance, it killed the children it wanted to save."

Sage insists the FBI made every effort to negotiate a peaceful end to the siege, placing the blame for the tragedy squarely on David Koresh.

The FBI learned some lessons in Waco, he admits, lessons that have resulted in changes in strategy in the years since. But that doesn't ease the pain of knowing that 74 people -- 25 of them children -- died after he spent nearly two months trying to save them.

"Every one of those precious kids -- to this day, when you think back about that -- that fact, it tears your heart out," he said. "How in the world could something with so much effort have ended so tragically? And the lost of any life is -- is incredibly shocking and difficult to process. But, the life of a child is beyond measure. It's a difficult thing to cope with."

Copyright © 2007 ABC News Internet Ventures

Posted by R. Smith, KTRE-TV


WACO: 911 Tapes 02/28/93
Waco Police Dept Recordings (Wayne Martin to LT. Lynch W.S.D., Koresh to LT. Lynch (cellular)
The following tapes have not been edited. They are the original tapes and have some 'static only' blank spots. Please stand by.........
Tape 1 http://tinyurl.com/2rppul  (7.01MB) 30 Min 32Sec
Tape 2 http://tinyurl.com/2w6maq (6.92MB) 30 Min 12 Sec
Tape 3 http://tinyurl.com/3ydkhc (7.2MB) 30 Min 29 Sec
Tape 4 http://tinyurl.com/2vhq5h (7MB) 30 Min 34 Sec
Tape 5 http://tinyurl.com/2v36ox  ( 3.52MB) 15Min 24Sec
Tape 6 http://tinyurl.com/2oqa6u  (7.21MB) 31Min 30Sec
Tape 7 http://tinyurl.com/35nszl  (6.35MB) 27Min 44Sec
Tape 8 http://tinyurl.com/37ykt6  (6.91MB) 30Min 13Sec
Transcription from 911 calls during Waco raids
David Koresh Tape:
http://tinyurl.com/38xzy4  (3.85MB) 16Min 50Sec
Ken Fawcett, Starleen Riddle
#1  http://tinyurl.com/35qjrz  (4.32MB) 18Min 53 Sec
Starleen Riddle & Lt. Lynch
#2 http://tinyurl.com/32upfn (6.30MB) 27Min 30 Sec
**Tape recordings of conversations between the police department
and the surveillance house across the street indicate someone named
Starleen Riddle was acting in the role of surveillance at the house
across the street. Two women and one man who had lived at Mt. Carmel
were all named Riddle. What are these connections?
The report lied again when they said the police department
recorded the call when it came in on 911. The recording clearly contains
the sounds of the Branch Davidian punching in the phone number 911 while
they were initiating the call before there was any connection. This
could have only come from a phone tap. But, they had no warrant to do
so, a violation of law.
Starleen Riddle was acting in the role of surveillance

When verdicts in the criminal trial of 11 Branch Davidians were handed down
on Feb. 26, 1994, Ruth Riddle was one of four found not guilty of manslaughter.
The worst she faced was deportation to her home in Canada.

Congressional Hearings on Waco Tragedy:

Main Page - Friday, 03/09/07

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