David Koresh’s Revenge: Waco and 20 Years of State Terror
by Anthony Gregory
There is something about April. From Columbine to Virginia Tech, from Oklahoma City to Boston, mid-to-late April occasions some of the most infamous massacres on U.S. soil. At least, these are the ones we are told to focus on. The killers are called terrorists. Unless they wear uniforms, as they did on April 19, 1993, just outside Waco, Texas. That time, as we are urged to believe, the terrorists were the ones who died. In all these massacres, regardless of specifics, the government portrays itself as all that keeps chaos at bay.
The state claims to stand against terrorism, but killing people is its stock in trade. Slaughters come in various forms, almost all of which feed the health of the state. The state conducts much killing outright. The state officially poses against other killing, while nevertheless encouraging it through its own violence. Even the killing that the state has no hand in serves as a pretext for the state to grow.
In Boston this Monday, someone left bombs that murdered three people, including an eight-year-old boy, and injured 176 others. President Obama called the crime an “act of terrorism.” The establishment definition of “terrorism” was always flawed, in that it categorically absolved the government, but at least it specified the targeting of civilians for political goals. Yet these days, even before the motive is known, such as at Boston, or when the targets are not civilians, such as American soldiers abroad, the U.S. government calls any dramatic acts of violence of which it disapproves “terrorism.”
This February, they called ex-cop Chris Dorner a terrorist. Then the police surrounded him in a cabin to burn him alive, asking the media to cover its eyes like at Waco. Everyone who knew how the state operates had no reason to expect he would get due process. They were going to hunt him down and kill him no matter what. The media dropped the formality of calling him an “alleged” murderer. The LAPD tried and convicted and executed him all on the same day and no one batted an eye. Meanwhile, liberals say all talk of American tyranny is irresponsible and conservatives continue to worship law enforcement.
Today, violent resistance to the state is called terrorism. Many of the “terrorists” rounded up and imprisoned at Guantánamo Bay were at most guilty of defending their country against an invading army. Some of these people continue to languish in that dungeon, seeing their desperate hunger strike in protest of declining conditions go unanswered, except by an administration willing to cut off their water.
From February 28 to April 19, 1993, the Branch Davidians resisted. On the morning of February 28, about one hundred ATF agents, concealed in livestock trailers, descended upon their property. The agents had planned and trained for eight months, having practiced their histrionic assault on model buildings. There was no reason for all this other than publicity. The agents could have easily arrested Koresh, whom they had befriended. The agents had conducted an investigation of weapons violations and found nothing. Koresh had cooperated with them. 60 Minutes had recently focused on an ATF sexual harassment scandal, and the agency was accused of racial discrimination during a House subcommittee meeting. The bureau wanted to improve its public image. Officials reached out to the press to make sure reporters could witness their heroics on the last February morning of 1993.
Unlike the vast majority of the hundreds of daily domestic militarized raids in America, the ATF’s surprise raid “Operation Showtime” faced resistance. When the agents ran out of ammo, the Davidians ceased fire. There were casualties on both sides, although one anonymous agent told the Dallas Morning News that he suspected some agents had fallen from friendly fire. Once the raid became a clear disaster, the ATF forced the press away.
Read the rest: David Koresh’s Revenge: Waco and 20 Years of State Terror by Anthony Gregory.