Waco Unraveling No. 4
Were Janet Reno and Judge Smith lied to and deceived by the FBI?

Gary Hunt,
Outpost of Freedom
September 14, 1999

On February 28, 1993, forces of the BATF attacked a little Church in Waco, Texas. Within minutes, Wayne Martin, attorney and Branch Davidian, had called 911. His first request was to ‘call it off". He repeated his call for a cease-fire, continually, for nearly an hour. Meanwhile, the BATF forces continued their assault, climbing onto the rooftop, entering windows, breaking the windows into the chapel and firing from behind cars, from standing positions in full view of the building and from the undercover house several hundred feet away. Video footage, although without time stamp, clearly indicates that this practice went on for many, many minutes, easily well beyond the first few minutes of Wayne’s frantic phone call.

We have credible evidence indicating that the Davidians chose to: 1) fire only in self defense (otherwise, many BATF agents would have been killed due to the lack of cover) [Read What .50 caliber machine gun?]; 2) a desire for a cease fire that took nearly an hour to be accomplished; and, 3) Knowledge that the Davidians were more than willing to allow the BATF to recover their dead and wounded, although the same courtesy was not extended to the Davidians (who were able to recover Peter Gent’s body from the water tower six days later) [Read Who are the good guys and who are the bad guys?].

Then, there is the perpetual question of "who shot first?" On March 14, 1993, OPF wrote, "Who fired the first shot?", which addressed this subject with the information available then.

Now, we have an even more descriptive picture of those first few moments. On April 13, 1993, in a conversation between David Koresh and an agent named John, John asks, "How come, if you knew they were coming, you didn’t just come out an meet them?" "I did! I did! It’s on the tape, Look on the tape." replies Koresh. John asks, "How come they got their asses shot off like that?.. Where did all of the friggen gunfire come from?" Koresh replies, "John, you’ve seen the tapes. Look at the tapes." He goes on to explain the circumstances. That he had gone outside and had the door in his hand and that the door kicked when it was shot, and he repeated that John could look at the tapes. Koresh then explains that he "saw the guy over on the front porch taping it." Presumably, Koresh meant the undercover house and videotape. [Listen to the audio of this conversation provided by Dick Reavis] But, where is that tape today?

Then, on March 1, the FBI came to Waco to take charge of the situation. Along with them came the first elements of military equipment. At least one M115 personnel carrier was videotaped early Monday (March 1) morning in the vicinity of the undercover house.

When the FBI arrived, they interviewed the raid leaders to ascertain what had occurred. The story that they were given was that the Davidians, having knowledge of the attack, opened fire as soon as the BATF arrived on the scene. As the story was told, the poor BATF was outnumbered and outgunned. Big Brother FBI, aware of the scorn that had often been directed at government agents, was more than willing to defend the little brother against anticipated attacks by the press, the Davidians, their supporters and any other source that might want to allege abuse by government. After all, the FBI had been assured that the BATF had done everything right and, by the book.

By this time, accusations that the helicopters were used as gun platforms had arisen. Knowing the illegality of shooting from helicopters, the FBI, once again, believed the angelic leadership of the BATF who had, just a few days before, been set upon by the merciless minions of David Koresh. The FBI took the position that little brother had proclaimed, and denounced any allegation of illegal gunfire from helicopters.

On March 4, 1993, in a taped conversation between David Koresh, Steve Schneider and Jim Cavanaugh of the BATF, a conversation which was recorded by the FBI, Cavanaugh makes the statement, "There was no guns on those helicopters..." Koresh responds that "Jim" is "a damned liar". Cavanaugh then says, "I said they didn’t shoot." Koresh continues calling Cavanaugh a dammed liar, and begins giving a discussion of truth and the obligation we all have to truth, especially government, in a country that claims to trust in God. Cavanaugh, a little later, concedes that, "What I’m saying is that those helicopters didn’t have mounted guns, okay?" He continues, "Now, what I’m saying is that I’m not disputing the fact that there might have been fire from the helicopters... Now, the agents on the helicopters had guns." Koresh says, "Well, Jim, you said that they didn’t fire on us from the helicopters. Cavanaugh responds, " Now, what I mean is a mounted gun,.. you know, like a mounted machine gun... Now we agree. Let’s just leave it at that." [Listen to the audio of this conversation provided by Dick Reavis].

There were other instances which were apparent, then, such as the ‘outgunned’ statement of the BATF’s Sharon Wheeler, the lies which were told to the FBI and the Texas Rangers by the BATF’s Chuck Sarabyn and Phil Chojnacki, who were fired for lying, and later reinstated to their jobs.

Slowly, after the FBI made commitments, the truth began to unravel. The FBI, however, had taken a position and had, publicly, defended the actions of little brother BATF. They were, within about a week, unable to extricate themselves from the position they had taken. They had, unintentionally, become a part of the problem they had come to resolve.

Unable to back out, the FBI continued to support the BATF. Each day implicated them, even more, in the wrongdoings of the BATF. Each day added to the FBI"s own guilt. The lie was beginning to overwhelm them. Finally, they realized that only when the destruction of whatever evidence that could be destroyed was completed, and whatever evidence remained was controlled, would they absolve themselves of any guilt, complicity or cover-up – or so they thought.

In the mean time, Janet Reno, with what had become the most difficult task of her career, relied, implicitly, on the reports that she was receiving from Waco. Assuming that the information forward from Waco and the advice of the FBI, and other members of the Justice Department was complete, honest and legitimate, Reno took the course recommended by those advisors. After all, she was just an attorney, and the world was watching. She had to act knowledgeable and to have a near blind faith in the advice and information.

In Waco, the Negotiating Team and the Hostage Rescue Team were at odds. The Negotiators believed that they could, in time, persuade the Davidians to come out. Surprisingly, they achieved this goal and an agreement was reached about the middle of April. It was agreed that David would finish the manuscripts on the Seven Seals, and, then, would lead his people out of Mt. Carmel to the waiting jail. [Listen to the audio of this conversation provided by Dick Reavis]

As the Davidians had in the past, they, once again, believed the Negotiators. Earlier, however, when they were promised that David’s Camero would be protected and that their sacred tree would be undisturbed. The Hostage Rescue people chose, however, to trash both the car and the tree. But, their faith in their fellow man allowed them, this one last time, to have faith that, since a resolution was forthcoming, the FBI would stick to its word.

Perhaps the Negotiators were naive, or, perhaps, they believed that it would be all right to let the entire truth come out. Many tapes are missing, so we don’t really know what their position was. Perhaps they were as evil as their counterpart, the macho Hostage Rescue Team. Regardless, the Hostage Rescue Team knew that to protect their little brother and to retain the image of integrity that they had displayed to the world, through their talking head, Bob Ricks, they had to destroy the evidence, and, probably, would be better off if they killed as many as the Davidians as possible.

Janet Reno was probably deceived as much as the rest of us. These macho men surely would not let their better judgment be affected by a woman, no matter who she was. So, the plan proceeded. Using tactics of terror, the FBI attempted, as best they could, to keep any of the Davidians from coming out the front of the building. They had destroyed the front door, and managed to jamb nearly every doorway in that part of the Church. The only escape, they hoped, would be out the back, through the kitchen door – and snipers, ready to kill anyone who sought escape covered that escape route. But, plans did not go as expected. Nine Davidians managed to come out, in camera view, of the fire. Every effort was made to intimidate and create fear in these survivors. Little did the FBI have to worry, however, since the defendants chose not to testify -- as Christ had refused -- only to allow the truth to prevail, or the sins of man to be known.

Janet Reno and Judge Walter Smith were assured that the FBI had given them the complete story. Moving ahead in prosecuting these ‘evil people’, they allowed the FBI and the BATF to prepare the case, investigate the evidence and assure that justice was done. The jury, however, did not see the facts the same as the government tried to present them. As large as the lie was, it was impossible to convince the jury that the evidence supported the contentions of the government case. The jury, assuming, based upon instruction – and belief in the honesty and integrity of government – found the Davidians, for the most part, guilty of what was perceived as the ‘lessor charges’. [Read "(In)Justice in America" and the Jury foreperson, Sarah Bain’s letter to Judge Walter Smith]

Smith, at first, set aside portions of the jury’s verdict. The use of a firearm in the commission of a crime, when no crimes was determined to have been committed, seemed to make no sense. The United States Attorney, however, filed a motion to reinstate the jury’s verdict, and Smith complied. Smith, you see, after many years on the bench, had learned to believe that government was honest. He had little choice but to convict, and sentence, as the government wanted. There was no evidence, after all, that would lead to any other conclusion.

Now, we stand at the beginning of a very great battle. Reno has come to conclude that she was misled. Her pride will not allow her to make this admission, however, she will acknowledge it if and when proper charges are brought and convictions had.

Likewise, Judge Walter Smith, who has now removed the government from access to the information and evidence that they were able to control for so long, is desirous of letting the chips fall where they may. And, I would suppose, would probably have very mixed emotions if government agents are tried and convicted of very serious crimes. He might even enjoy sentencing the agents -–after all, he was deceived into sentencing the Davidians.

For those of us who wish to see justice finally done in the matter of government against both Church and the Second Amendment, perhaps our best course is to offer all of the support and encouragement that we can muster to both Attorney General Janet Reno and Federal Judge Walter Smith. By removing any criticism of these two, at this time, we make their job much easier – and, allow them to make amends for their previous errors in the matter. We need not condemn Reno or Smith unless we find evidence of their crimes, and until they have been given the opportunity to make things right. If they should fail at either of these tasks, then, and only then, should our wrath be directed at them.

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