Script for the hoax documentary
Waco: The Rules of Engagement
The Museum holds that this video is a hoax designed to mislead the public, and that the public has an overriding interest in having the full text available for examination and review, outside the bewildering soup pot of imagery presented in the video.
David Koresh: I'm bleedin' again? Well, you can see it anyway. It's kinda painful. Oh, it ain't nothin' to a tough guy like me. It's just flesh. It heals.
Narrator: Some Davidian mothers sent their children out of Mt. Carmel. As they were delivered to a rendezvous point, news reports said three Davidians tried to escape by shooting their way past ATF agents. The story was false.
Kathy Schroeder, Branch Davidian Survivor: Sunday, my husband was killed by ATF agents. I want everyone to know that that was totally, against, he was just corning home to his family. He didn't kill anybody. That's all.
Narrator: On the phone front, Jim Cavanaugh was trying to get David Koresh to trust him.
Cavanaugh: Well, I think we need to set the record straight, and that is that there was no guns on those helicopters. There was National Guard officers on those helicopters . . .
Koresh: Now Jim, you're a damn liar. Now let's get real.
Cavanaugh: David, I . . .
Koresh: No! You listen to me! You're sittin' there and tellin' me that there were no guns on that helicopter!?
Cavanaugh: I said they didn't shoot. There's no guns on . . .
Koresh: You are a damn liar!
Cavanaugh: Well, you're wrong, David.
Koresh: You are a liar!
Cavanaugh: OK. Well, just calm down . . .
Koresh: No! Let me tell you something. That night be what you want the media to believe, but there's other people that saw too! Now, tell me Jim again. You're honestly going to say those helicopters didn't fire on any of us?
Koresh: I'm here.
Cavanaugh: What I'm sayin' is . . . now I listened to you, now you listen to me, OK?
Koresh: I'm listening.
Cavanaugh: What I'm sayin' is that those helicopters didn't have mounted guns. OK? I'm not disputing the fact that there might have been fire from the helicopters. If you say there was fire from the helicopters and you were there that's OK with me. What I'm tellin' you is there was no mounted guns, ya know, outside mounted guns on those helicopters.
Koresh: I agree with you on that.
Cavanaugh: Alright. Now, that's the only thing I'm sayin'. Now, the agents on the helicopters had guns.
Koresh: I agree with you on that!
Cavanaugh: You understand what I'm sayin'?
Koresh: I agree with you.
Cavanaugh: OK, OK. So see, we're not even in dispute and Steven's getting all worked up over it.
Koresh: Well, no. What the dispute was over, I believe Jim, is that you said they didn't fire on us from the helicopters.
Cavanaugh: Well, what I mean is a mounted gun . . . like a, you know, like a mounted machine gun.
Koresh: Yeah. But like that's beside the point. What they did have was machine guns.
Cavanaugh: OK. I don't know what they had. They were armed. The people inside had pistols or rifles . . .
Koresh: We agree.
Cavanaugh: OK, alright, that's good, that's good, we agree. So how ya doin' otherwise?
Bernadette, a Davidian: I'm here of my own free will. I'm not being held hostage. And we are a big family here. We're very happy. This is my family. Those who do the will of God, my father, are my family. I love those who are my family of the flesh, but until they know the truth about this message then I have to put this family first,
Narrator: On March 1, the BATF handed control to the FBI.
Dan Hartnett, Deputy Director, BATF: My name is Dan Hartnett. I'm the Deputy Director of the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco and Firearms . . . We're both going to make a brief statement, then we'll open it up for questions.
Jeffrey Jamar, FBI Special Agent: My name is Jeff Jamar, I'm the Special Agent in charge in the FBI San Antonio division. And I'm the Special Agent in charge of FBI operations here in Waco.
Reporter: Could you spell your name?
Jeffrey Jamar, FBI Special Agent: It's J-a-m-a-r, first name's Jeff.
We're here because David Koresh and his followers killed four ATF agents . . . We've responded with necessary personnel and equipment. The area is a crime scene. The goal is to resolve this situation ultimately in federal court with no further bloodshed.
David Koresh, Killed April 19, 1993: The FBI gettin' involved now is kinda like gettin' into a fight with a couple of next door neighbors where, you know, the little brother comes over and whips you and then the big brother comes over to investigate. We'll try and work this out.
Narrator: The Davidians were completely surrounded. FBI snipers were placed in sandbagged positions here and here. Their clear field of fire meant anyone trying to leave would easily be gunned down. Sierra One was the code name for the front half of Mt. Carmel Center, it was the side news cameras saw through telescopic lenses a mile or two away. Sierra two was the back of half of Mt. Carmel, it was completely hidden from public view.
Jeffrey Jamar, FBI Special Agent in Charge: We're prepared to do whatever it takes and stay here as long as it takes to settle this matter without any further bloodshed.
Dan Hartnett, ATF Deputy Director: We're a law enforcement agency. We don't fire through walls indiscriminately at people. We have to have a target.
Reporter: It appears there was a television crew on the scene, when were they alerted and how many other local media people knew you were going in?
Dan Hartnett, ATF Deputy Director: We did not notify the media in advance.
Alan A. Stone, Harvard University: It was the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco and Firearms that caused this first disaster. OK, so the FBI takes over. They're very sensible, reasonable. They decide we'll negotiate.
Dick J. Reavis, Author, The Ashes of Waco: They quickly realized that the negotiators were not in charge and Koresh at one point says look:
All you guys are anyway are waitresses. You carry my request back to the kitchen where the boss is.
They say look . . . I can't make the decisions. If I could, things would go better. But the decisions are being made 15 hundred miles away in Washington, DC.
[11:00 AM on March 2, 1993, Christian Broadcasting Radio Network]
Koresh Audio Tape Clip: We've made an agreement, the ATF agents said they would allow me to have national coverage with this tape that I might give to the world a small minute—small minute—bit of the information I've tried so hard to share with people.
Reporter: Can you say what God said to him? Can you give a little more details? After 1:30 you're waitin' for him, you finally make contact. What does he say?
Jeffrey Jamar, FBI Special Agent in Charge: The question was "What did God say to Koresh?" He says that he did not fulfill his promise to leave immediately with his followers, because God told him to wait.
Dick J. Reavis, Author, The Ashes of Waco: . . . And Schneider says, and Koresh later afterwards says, look, we didn't lie. This is like you guys telling us you're not going to turn off the lights or one thing or another and getting overruled from above. We have our chain of command, you have your chain of command . . .
Jim Cavanaugh: He gave us his word, that after the message was played . . .
Steve Schneider: Uh . . . yes, but what if there is a higher power than you and I that speaks to an individual? If there is a God in this universe, and there are the laws of man, and there's the laws of God, and this God that has led him all his life says to him "wait", what do you do?
Jim Cavanaugh: But, Steve . . . is David . . . Is David a man of his word?
Steve Schneider: He always has been.
Jim Cavanaugh: What does trust mean to you?
Steve Schneider: Exactly what it means to you. I mean, he was told to wait, and he says the same God that showed him the Seals is the same one that said "wait".
Jim Cavanaugh: That could change. That could change in a minute, right?
Steve Schneider: Exactly.
James Cavanaugh, ATF Special Agent: He tricked us, he fooled us, he played with us, He couldn't leave this place where he was god with unlimited sexual favors, unlimited being the messiah and walk out to a cold jail cell. He couldn't do it at the last minute.
Graeme Craddock, Branch Davidian Survivor: . . . I've no doubt that among the negotiation team and yourselves believe that David Koresh was pulling some sort of a scam, or he was lying or was stalling, but you've got to understand the mind of the Branch Davidians inside, we genuinely believed him.
Dick J. Reavis, Author, The Ashes of Waco: When the FBI said that five times Koresh promised to come out and didn't. Dr. Arnold, Dr. Tabor and I sent a message to them. We said, show us the five times. We can't find them in the negotiation transcripts. We think they're making that up.
Dick J. Reavis: We find no incidences, those of us who've listened to the negotiation tapes and studied the transcripts, of Koresh lying. On March the second, he said he was corning out and then said God told him not to. If any lies were told, it was that. And we would have to know what God said to Koresh in order to call that a lie.
Reporter: Do you people believe that Koresh is actually talking to God?
Bill Hartnett, Deputy Director, BATF: Koresh believes he's talking to God. ( big press laughter)
Dick J. Reavis, Author, The Ashes of Waco: . . . the FBI wasn't prepared to share David Koresh's contention that we should wait on God to resolve this. The FBI is God. It's gonna decide how this is gonna be resolved.
David Koresh, Killed April 19, 1993: . . . bringin' these tanks and stuff around here, I'll tell you what, bein' an American first, I'm the kind of guy that I'll stand in front of a tank, you can run over me, but I'll be bitin' one of the tracks. No one's gonna hurt me or my family. That's American policy here.
Stuart H. Wright, Editor, Armageddon at Waco: -Agent Pete Smerick, who was in charge of drawing up the psychological profile on Koresh counseled a cautious, non confrontational approach with Koresh in four memos written to senior FBI officials between March 3rd and March 8th. According to W. Smerick, FBI superiors pressured him to change his assessment to justify a more confrontational approach.
Jack Zimmermann, Attorney for Steve Schneider: They would do things like play sound tapes of rabbits being slaughtered or Nancy Sinatra And then they would bring out lights at night and not that Nancy Sinatra was always that bad, . . . the point was this: They were trying to have sleep disturbance and they were trying to take somebody they viewed to be unstable to start with and then they were trying to drive him crazy. And then they get mad when he does something they think is irrational.
[Mt. Carmel Night]
Nancy Sinatra recording (These Boots Were Made for Walkin'): You've been playin' somewhere you shouldn't a been playin'. And I know you think you'll never get burned. I just got me a brand new box matches, yeah. And what he knows you ain't had time to learn. These boots are made for walking. And that's just what they'll do. One of these days these boots Are gonna walk all over you!
[FBI Home Video]
FBI Agent Camera Man: This one here is quite a specimen I tell ya. In all my years involved with SWAT I've never seen a gentleman like this that I've learned so much from in just the short time It is just . . . awesome is the only word to describe him.
FBI HRT man lying in truck: "Honed! Honed to a fine edge . . . Honed to kill!"
FBI Agent Camera Man: Yes, that's right he's just like Rambo out here himself
Alan A. Stone, Harvard University: This was an abandonment of negotiation strategy, an abandonment of the opportunity to get more people out, of the opportunity to bring in a third party negotiator who would speak the same language. When the FBI finally could've realized that rather than being in a negotiating position, they had become the enemy.
Bob Ricks, FBI Spokesman: Yes, right here.
Reporter: Is there a consideration to use psychological warfare? Have you discussed it at all?
Ricks: I don't know what psychological warfare is.
Reporter: It was reported in the paper that you would play loud music.
Reporters: Keep bright lights on the compound all night, too.
Reporter: Is that a possibility?
Ricks: We will not discuss tactics of that sort, but I would say that chances are minimal of doing that kind of activity.
Alan A. Stone, Harvard University: When I first was asked to be involved as a member of the panel, I thought the main problem was going to be understanding the psychology of the people inside the compound. But as I got into it I quickly became aware that the psychology of the people outside the compound was more important to an understanding. They needed to take control and the tactical people in particular needed to show them who's boss.
Bob Ricks, FBI Spokesman: We are trying to reinforce to them that we are in charge of the situation. Ah, that the compound is under the complete control of the government. It is, in fact, no longer their compound. That we have the ability to exercise whatever control we want over that compound, and we will do that at various times to demonstrate to them the fact that they are impotent in their ability to control their everyday lives.
Clive Doyle, Branch Davidian Survivor: They cut off the electricity which meant that most of the fresh or frozen foods that we had either had to be eaten real quick or were wasted because they spoiled. As the 51 days got well under way, of course, we had no water. The only water we ended up having toward the end was Rain water which we would have to collect in buckets by putting them out a window or something on the backside.
James D. Tabor, University of North Carolina, Charlotte: In the Davidians' theology, the thing that could prevent a peaceful resolution would be for the outside to play the part of Babylon as they called it- Babylon representing in the Bible the fortunes of evil against good. The more they followed psy ops tactics—psychological warfare —- and their pressure tactics, and demonizing the group and tantalizing the group and pressuring the group, that led to the Davidians thinking, perhaps this is the final confrontation. Perhaps we are to die courageously like martyrs. Perhaps we're not going to come out of this OK.
James D. Tabor, University of North Carolina, Charlotte: So they're inside, seeing themselves as the persecuted, oppressed, martyred people of God. Outside are forces that are, from their viewpoint, pressuring, lying, conniving, using all kind of tactics to try to manipulate them. Babylon! In other words, as they saw it, the forces of the world.
Dick J. Reavis, Author, The Ashes of Waco: . . . at one point, the FBI asked them do they have fire extinguishers and Schneider sends someone to check and comes back with the report that there's only one fire extinguisher in the building. The FBI negotiators response is: Somebody ought to buy some fire insurance.
Steve Schneider: We realize that you have the ability, and it's not below you people, to do something like to erase all evidences. Why do you have the press so far back? You can give me any kind of crap you want, I know, you know, the reason we're not talking to the press is you people have gotta cover your butts from what you did and that's what's goin' on here. First of all you've got 'em so far away, that scares the heck out of these people, and you know why, of course. Because if any . . . if anybody wanted to you could come in here and burn the place down, kill all the people, what evidences would be left?
Jeffrey Jamar, FBI Special Agent in Charge: The question was, "Will we let the pool camera up close?" Any closer than you are. We did, we went down the road. We stopped at a place where you could still see the compound. That was not accidental. We made sure that you could still see the compound. We could've put you where you didn't have any sight. We didn't do that. The reason we don't want a camera there is they watch television and they watch us approach if we do anything. We're not going to assault the place. But anything we do around there to get control. That is precisely why you can't have a camera there. OK?
Steve Schneider: Who's controlling these guys?
FBI negotiator: Give . . . give me a moment.
Steve Schneider: Alright.
FBI negotiator: You know, sometimes people are in that have different interests. The guys that gravitate toward, you know, riding in tanks, jumping out of airplanes, and stuff like that are a little different mind set than you and 1, right?
Steve Schneider: I agree with you, I agree.
FBI negotiator: So when they get a chance to use a Bradley, probably half of them have never been in a Bradley before . . .
Steve Schneider: Reminded me of a lotta kids in there . . .
FBI negotiator: Absolutely.
Steve Schneider: . . . have an opportunity . . .
FBI negotiator: Hey, let's drive this baby and see how it works.
Steve Schneider: Sure, but somebody's gotta be above these guys. Those vehicles, and what doing, do not show what is coming out of the mouths of some of you guys.
Clive Doyle, Branch Davidian Survivor: They were mooning the women for instance- they would drop their pants and bend over and bare their rear end to people that were looking out the windows, which was, you know, not a situation that some of the women or even some of the men took too lightly in the sense that do we want to send our children out to these kind of people or do we trust this kind of an attitude, you know.
Steve Schneider: I mean, if you got guys out there right now pulling their pants down, men that are mature, that are sticking their butts out in the air and flipping the finger.
FBI negotiator: I have no . . . I have no idea who that is. And, whoever that is should be fired. And if we can find out we will fire them.
Steve Schneider: But the spirit and the attitude of these men of yours.
David Thibodeau, Branch Davidian Survivor: What the commanders did, what the people in the tanks did just totally showed there was no respect. Let me give you an example now that we brought this up. We had a burial for one of the people out front. Peter Gent was buried out front and the tanks ran over his grave. Over and over and over again, just totally like it wasn't even there. They knew that's where we would bury him. They just kept running over it and over it. And we were disgusted with that. We talked about that quite a bit.
Nicole Gent, Killed April 19, 1993: The ATF came in and they shot my brother. They left his body, they wouldn't take his body out and bury it. He'd been buried out in front of the property, you know. I mean, I thought this was the country of, you know, freedom of speech, freedom of religion, whatever. And just human decency, it just doesn't seem to exist.
Steve Schneider: In the last five days, your people have run that grave over and . . . definitely the tracks have sunk a couple feet. The body's probably crushed, I know it's going to have to be exhumed.
Byron Sage: But Steve, I mentioned to you yesterday that that wasn't intentional.
Jeffrey Jamar, FBI Special Agent in Charge: . . . It was just part of life for them. Sometimes they would complain just because it gave them something to complain about. But at the end, the sounds, the activities of the tanks meant nothing to them,
Theresa Nobrega, Killed April 19, 1993: To my family and friends I'd just like to say I'm fine. I know you're all worried about us. But I'd just like you to know we're fine right now. And, everything is in the hands of God right now and we're just waiting on God. Whatever happens, you know, it's the way God wants it to be.
Alan A. Stone, Harvard University: They saw all this as working from a military point of view because the people inside the compound, the Branch Davidians, weren't shooting back. So they saw themselves as winning the battle as they tightened the noose. But what they didn't realize was, we're driving them to the point of desperation, just like our negotiating behavioral science people warned us early on.
Bob Ricks, FBI Special Agent: One person was recommending we play achy-breaky heart continuously.
TV News: Tonight's painting is brought to you by . . .
TV News: We're the press.
Clive Doyle, Branch Davidian Survivor: If they thought we were all brainwashed and such a bunch of crazies, why would the FBI push David or the rest of us to the limit? Why would you bombard the building day and night with lights and music and noises and wear these people out, not knowing how they'd react? Did they want to create an incident? Did they want us to come out crazy and begin shooting so they'd have an excuse to gun us down? We didn't know.
Reporter: What about reports David Koresh was holding people inside and against their will?
Bob Ricks, FBI Spokesman: We're trying to appeal to Mr. Koresh to let those people go who want to go.
Dick J. Reavis, Author, The Ashes of Waco: Everyone in Mt. Carmel was free to leave. Though theologically, the situation is complex. Yes, you're free to jump out of Noah's Ark and onto the land that's fixin' to be flooded. People in Mt. Carmel point out that Noah and his family got into the Ark seven days before the rains began. They were expecting God to use fire this time. And they thought they were in the Ark. But everyone was free to leave. Some did . . . Anyone could have left. But theologically it was not a good idea. You were risking your soul if you left.
Clive Doyle, Branch Davidian Survivor: . . . what we saw of those that did come out, where they were being sent to jail, the adults, even elderly women in their seventies were actually being indicted for murder or charged . . .
Slaughter: This was what you were told when people came out?
Doyle: We saw it and hear it on the news.
Slaughter: I see.
[BD sign: FBI BROKE NEGOTIATIONS . . . WE WANT PRESS (: 10)]
Steve Schneider: Dick, over the radio there's been a number of people that have wanted to come in and be a negotiator between ourselves and you. I do believe it would be in the best interests of all if there was a new person in between yourselves and ourselves. We'd about take anybody.
FBI negotiator (Dick): OK.
Steve Schneider: But right now it . . . it seems like we're coming to a stalemate, you know and we're not getting anywhere . . .
Dick: Who would you like to have here, when you guys come out who would you like to invite here?
Steve Schneider: No no no no, you're . . . you've . . . boy you've got rocks in your ears, Dick.
Dick: OK, explain it to me. I'm sorry.
Steve Schneider: You're saying when we come out. I'm talking' about right now. Let's get somebody in between us right now to do some negotiating.
James H. Brannon, Attorney: We have a woman who believes in her heart and soul that she can get her grandson to lay down his arms and come out.
David Koresh's Grandmother: Well I'm his grandmother and he's my grandson. All my grandchildren are good kids because I've taught them well.
James H. Brannon, Attorney for David Koresh's Grandmother: And so I approached and told them I was there and I'd like to speak to the agent in charge and I was a lawyer and I had David Koresh's grandmother with me and I wanted to see about talking to them. And after a few minutes another one came up to me and he was obviously the one in charge and he was very surly. Declined to give me any information at all. So I started to leave and just as I left and turned my back and started walking toward my van. I heard a voice say, coming from one of those people, I don't know which one. But one of them said, "I hope she has told him good-bye." That was the mentality of the people who were guarding the gates. Those were federal law enforcement authorities. And their attitude was, we are going to get revenge against David Koresh. And if that means we have to eliminate all of them in there, that's just fine too. That was the attitude they had.
Robert L. Ehrlich, Jr., US Congress, Maryland ( R ): What could have been done to get the Davidians out of that compound without blood shed?
Dick DeGuerin, Attorney for David Koresh: We were on the way to doing that. On April 14' there was a major breakthrough. And that breakthrough was David Koresh's letter to me which I promptly gave to the FBI that said that he had received his mission, that he was working on writing his interpretation of the Seven Seals and that everyone inside was relieved that they didn't have to die now. That the prophecies were not being fulfilled now and that this would be resolved.
Dick J. Reavis, Author, The Ashes of Waco: . . . People don't understand how important that was. David Koresh and his people believed that God's message for our generation could not be written and should not be written. And David Koresh had never before written down his ideas. He believed he had received a message from God saying, now David, write. Before I told you not to, now I'm tellin' you you can.
Philip Arnold, Reunion Institute, Houston: He waited 51 days and then he said the word came to him and said write. And he wrote. This was brought out the day of the fire by one of the survivors. He was keeping his promise of April 14th. We believe they all would have come out safely.
William H. Zeliff, Jr., US Congress, New Hampshire (R): This (Zeliff holds Seven Seals writing) was pulled out of the fire, the tapes were, and then this then was written up as evidence that he was working on that message on the seven seals.
Jeffrey Jamar, FBI Special Agent: All they had to do was say that we have a disk and we are going to be sending it out.
Steve Chabot: US Congress, Ohio (R) Last week, Treasury Secretary Rubin called a Democrat member of this Committee and asked him not to ask any questions that might be embarrassing to the Clinton Administration. Now, I think that is truly politicizing these particular hearings and was uncalled for.
Janet Reno, US Attorney General, Clinton Administration: What I was faced with was a situation where the negotiators said we think we have reached an impasse, nobody else is coming out voluntarily. We looked at the entire situation and we made the best judgement we could. I am very satisfied that in the information furnished to me by the FBI I was informed.
Webster Hubbell, Former Associate Attorney General, Clinton Administration: When the FBI advised me of their plan and the possibility and the possibility of the insertion of gas, I did notify the White House Counsel. And I kept in contact through the White House Counsel. And I'm sure the White House Counsel advised the President . . . It wasn't until, I believe, Friday or Saturday that the decision was made to go ahead. And at that point, the Attorney General did call the President of the United States and I was in the room when she made that call.
William H. Zeliff, Jr., US Congress, New Hampshire (R): We're missing some of your telephone logs, particularly April 17th, 18th and 19th and our problem is that they've all been redacted. Is there any chance that we could get those?
Webster Hubbell: Nobody's ever asked me. But I have a copy of these same logs and you are welcome to them as ' far as I am concerned. Except, I have to tell you, the 17th and 18th were Saturday and Sunday and so therefore, there wouldn't be any.
Female Reporter: It's gonna take three or four days for each one of these. And we have six more Seals to go. Are you all prepared, maybe 18, twenty more days than that to stay out here?
Bob Ricks, FBI Spokesman: The question is, how long are we prepared. And, the, the first seal is not done yet. Mr. Schneider says that he is going to have to edit every one. Mr. Koresh does not have anymore than a ninth grade education so he does not write very well. So everything will have to be rewritten. So I figure maybe four or five months, tops.
[press corps laughter]
Steven Schiff, US Congress, New Mexico (R): If you had believed, that when he finished the manuscripts he would have come out, would you have waited and not recommended the attack?
Jeffrey Jamar, FBI Special Agent: Absolutely.
Jack Zimmermann, Attorney for Steve Schneider: They're talking to Schneider on the phone about the progress that Mr. Koresh is making and he tells 'em, I've seen 28 to 30 pages of the draft. I have not seen the smooth yet. My job is to edit it. And they ask him, how long is your part gonna take, and he says, my part will be real quick. And then the next day they ask him, how's it going? Where are you? And he says, he's finished the First Seal and he's working on the Second Seal. And they go into trying to get him to agree to let the negotiators give something to their boss to show good faith. Will you send out the First Seal as soon as it's typed and smooth? And they go into this lengthy discussion about well, I want to send it out all as a whole, but if it will make you feel better, I'll agree to do that. And Koresh personally agrees.
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