The Children of Waco

What happened at Waco?

The story of Waco is one that raises more questions than it answers. What happened there will undoubtedly remain one of the unresolved mysteries of our times. In fact, nothing much of anything has ever been resolved about Waco in the ensuing years. When I ask people about Waco, I run into an unvaryingly strange reaction. Nobody cares. When I mention that 21 children who never committed any crimes died there, they still don’t care. They vehemently defend the government and blame the Davidians themselves. They take at face value the Official Government Story, that the Davidians had committed mass suicide, thank you very much. There was an investigation, of course, and nothing came of it, of course. Now, more than 15 years later, people remember no more than what they were told to remember.

Much controversy surrounds the events leading up to the stand-off at the Waco compound. The original reasons for an ATF investigation of the Davidians, the misleading and untrue statements in the affidavit used the secure the search warrant. Who shot first, and what happened to the crucial piece of evidence, the front door? Were the allegations that the Davidians were manufacturing automatic weapons and methamphetamine true (they remain still unproven)? Did the Davidians really incinerate themselves and their children in an horrific mass suicide?

If it comes down to placing blame on the government versus the men and women of Waco, we will probably never agree. But the fact seems to escape us, there were kids in there. So first we have to agree on this: the issue really has nothing to do with anything but those kids and the government’s responsibility to protect them. So for now forget about Koresh, forget about automatic weapons, forget about everything except those kids. Kids never shot at ATF agents, or manufactured automatic weapons or methamphetamine, or any of the Davidian’s other alleged crimes. Didn’t they have a right to “Life, Liberty, and the Pursuit of Happiness”  like the rest of us? Agreed?

So here is the situation. It is day 51 of the stand-off. You are the U.S. government. You have hundreds of FBI agents surrounding the Waco compound. There are 21 children inside, ranging in age from infants to teenagers. The Davidians may or may not be holding them against their will. You have to get them out. That is unquestionably your main priority. What is your plan?

The Government’s plan was this: Use military tanks equipped with special nozzles and grenade canisters to inject CS gas, a chemical nerve agent, into the compound in an attempt to drive the Davidians out. Lets recap: kids, tanks, chemical nerve agent. Brilliant! Who thought of this little gem?

That credit goes to then Attorney General and head of the Justice Department Janet Reno. In a cruel twist of irony, Reno had based her career as Attorney General of the state of Florida on the protection of children. President Bill Clinton examined (did he?) and signed (he did!) Reno’s plan. And so they proceeded.

So let’s start with the tanks. The first question is: Is it legal for the President of the United states to use the military to attack civilians? The answer is, of course, no. (If you answered yes, please go back to your homework.) The Posse Comitatus Act of 1878 prevents the use of the military to execute the duties of police and law enforcement. Does it matter that ineptly trained FBI agents were driving the tanks instead of the Texas National Guard? No,that is obviously more irresponsible and dangerous. Tanks…kids.

Now let’s examine the chemical agent used. Reno’s weapon of choice was type CS nerve agent. It is not really a gas at all, but a solid that is dispersed as an aerosol in a liquid droplet form. After dispersal, the aerosol turns into a particulate residue (like dust) after the temperature and pressure of the liquid form have stabilized. CS agent is designed for outdoor use. The proper chemical agent usually chosen by law-enforcement to evacuate a building is type CN nerve agent. There are several reasons for this:

1)The particulate residue of CS is flammable.

2)CS nerve agent incapacitates those exposed to it.

3) If exposed to open flame, the liquid form of CS emits cyanide gas as a by-product.

CS is internationally banned for military use, including the U.S. armed forces.

How were they supposed to evacuate the building if they were incapacitated by blindness, vomiting, convulsions, and the torturous burning of every mucous membrane and inch of exposed skin? Also keep in mind that the Feds had cut the power to the Davidian compound and knew that the members were using candles and kerosene lamps for light. Now the question you have to ask yourself is this:

When the kids didn’t emerge after the first or second hour, why didn’t they stop the gas attack?

How about the third, fourth, or fifth hour? The attack lasted for 8 hours.

This is the question that I cannot get past. Why didn’t they stop when the kids didn’t come out? Did the Feds forget that they were in there? Were they having too much fun driving the tanks?

Even forgetting momentarily the implications of the flammability of CS particulate, in what context is it acceptable for the Government to use military tanks to inject a chemical weapon banned by our own military into a building where 21 children are being held hostage, especially knowing that there is open flame present in the building? Is that not completely and utterly irresponsible and against the best interest of those children?

The plan stunk, they used the wrong gas, and when it all blew up in their faces, they lied about it.

I just don’t see where I am wrong about this.