The liberty principle for this Freedom Friday is the simple fact that United States troops fire on American citizens when ordered to do by the politicians in Washington, D.C. There have been several instances when the soldiers, etc. have fired on Americans; some of those examples took place at Wounded Knee Creek (South Dakota), Waco (Texas), Ruby Ridge (Idaho), and outside Washington, D.C. Today we will discuss the siege/massacre at Waco.
The siege at Waco began on February 28, 1993, when agents from the U.S. Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco and Firearms (ATF) tried to execute a search warrant at the Mount Carmel Center ranch. A religious group known as the Branch Davidians owned the ranch, which was located in the community of Elk, Texas, about nine miles east-northeast of Waco. The siege ended violently 50 days later on April 19.
An intense gun battle erupted when the ATF agents attempted to serve the warrant on February 28, and four agents and six Branch Davidians were killed. Upon the failure of the ATF agents to execute the search warrant, Attorney General Janet Reno ordered the FBI to lay a siege of the compound. After 50 days, a second assault was launched, and the siege ended in a fire that destroyed the compound. Sect leader David Koresh and seventy-six men, women and children died in the fire. Numerous government agents were also killed. This event took place while Bill Clinton was President and Janet Reno was Attorney General.
No one knows which side fired the first shots. I do not even know why the ATF wanted to serve the warrants in the first place. I remember hearing charges of child abuse and drug use, but I did not see either of these charges listed in the court cases of the surviving members of the sect. Trials, jail sentences, and reports took place, but I agree with Ramsey Clark, former U.S. Attorney General, who represented several Branch Davidian survivors and relatives in a civil lawsuit. He said the Danforth Report “failed to address the obvious. History will clearly record, I believe, that these assaults on the Mt. Carmel church center remain the greatest domestic law enforcement tragedy in the history of the United States.”