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.
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Steven Schiff, US Congress, New Mexico (R): What would it have taken for you to wait further. What would you have expected?
Jeffrey Jamar, FBI Special Agent: That we're preparing to finish. We're gonna send the disk out in two hours.
Jack Zimmermann, Attorney for Steve Schneider: And they're talkin' about well, we don't have any power, and we're out of batteries and we're out of ribbons. And they give 'em the model numbers of all the typewriting equipment they have, all the word processors inside, so that they can get typewriter ribbons to send them in so they can type 'em up. And they send it in, on the 18', on Sunday night, they send in typewriter ribbons. So here they were, believing that as soon as they got this first one which was finished typed, they were gonna send it out and then they were gonna let 'em have time to finish the rest of 'em. He would by that time, he would be working on the Third Seal, he was already working on the second one at this time. And the FBI testified before the House hearings that the negotiations had reached an impasse? They told the Attorney General they weren't coming out. And that that was a stalling tactic and that they weren't working on the Seven Seals. Their own negotiators had reached an agreement knowing that the First Seal was finished, and in order to get proof of it had sent in typewriter ribbons so they could get that proof in their hands. And yet the very next morning, they launched the gas and tank attack.
[Graphic- April 19, 1993 Day 53]
[Mt. Carmel at night various shots of Mt. Carmel at night throughout.]
Sage: Hello. Can you hear me now? This is Byron Sage, we are in the process of placing tear gas into the building.. This is not an assault. We are not entering the building. Do you understand that?
Sage: . . . in the building. We are not entering the building. This is not an assault. Do not fire your weapons. If you fire, fire will be returned.
[Bug tape] Schneider: Grab your mask! Everybody grab your mask!
Sage: If you come out now, you will not be harmed. Come out of the compound . . . (muffled)
[Various shots of destroyed Mt. Carmel]
Bob Ricks, FBI Spokesman: . . . The gas supplies a number of irritants to the nostril, to the eyes, to the skin, just touching to the skin can be extremely painful. You can have certain systems of nausea, certain systems of inflammation with regard to membranes so it is extremely uncomfortable.
Narrator: Boot camp trainees are briefly exposed to a mild amount of CS for a few seconds. The Davidians received more than ten times that dosage—more than twice the amount known to be fatal—for more than six hours.
Jack Zimmerman, Attorney for Steve Schneider: When you come out of that gas chamber and only having been exposed for a matter of seconds your eyes burns, your nose burns, all mucous membranes are affected. Grown healthy cream of the crop of the United States youth. Marine lieutenants are hurting when they come out of that gas chamber the point I'm getting at is that it is terribly debilitating CS gas is terrible.
Narrator: CS isn't a gas, it's a chemical powder. At Waco, the CS powder was dissolved in methylene chloride, a volatile chemical used for stripping paint. Together, they formed an aerosol n-fist when sprayed through huge steel injectors fitted onto the tanks. In closed spaces, CS alone can cause unconsciousness, death, and can be ignited by a spark into a fireball. When CS burns, it produces hydrogen cyanide, the same gas used in prison gas chambers.
John Mica, US Congress, Florida (R): Did you tell the Attorney General that infants would not die or be harmed?
Jack Zimmerman, Attorney for Steve Schneider: I believe that using CS gas against infants, against old people with respiratory problems, there were sixty, seventy year old men in there and there were young children that's torture. And I can just see those kids barfing, vomiting, screaming because you can't possibly have a gas mask that will fit a little kid.
John Mica, US Congress, Florida (R): Didn't their reports say that gas masks wouldn't fit on these babies?
Jack Zimmermann: That's correct.
John Mica, US Congress, Florida (R): And didn't they know that?
Jack Zimmerman, Attorney for Steve Schneider: They should have known that.
Bob Ricks, FBI Spokesman: The first place we entered was here on this side of the building. Which is basically on the Westerly side of the building, We turned around, and we came back, and we also punched a hole in here. And made also an insertion.
Sage (Loudspeaker): Steve, David, individuals inside the Branch Davidian compound. We are in the process of placing tear gas into the building. This is not an assault. This is not an assault. If you fire your fire will be returned. Do not shoot. This is not an assault.
FBI Bug Tape, Branch Davidian: So we only light 'em at first if they come in with that tank, right?
Dick DeGeurin, Attorney for David Koresh: They explained to me that they were quote pouring fuel and that they were making Molotov cocktails to throw at the tanks.
FBI Bug Tape, Branch Davidian: Pouring? Right here . . . you want it poured?
Branch Davidian: We should've got more hay in here.
Branch Davidian: I already poured it . . . it's already poured! Don't pour it all out, we might need some later.
Dick DeGeurin, Attorney for David Koresh: The conversation about that, takes place in the early morning hours, 6 and 7 o'clock in the morning. The fire didn't start until right around noon.
Sage (Loud Speaker): Steve, David, individuals inside the Branch Davidian compound. We are in the process of placing tear gas into the building. This is not an assault. This is not an assault. If you fire your fire will be returned. Do not shoot. This is not an assault.
David Thibideau, Branch Davidian Survivor: I did not hear any shots that morning fired . . . So I remember being overwhelmed that my friends were not stupid enough to fire at a tank.
Clive Doyle, Branch Davidian Survivor: Shortly after they started, they began also not only spraying it from the CEVs off the booms but they started firing ferret rounds on the excuse of course we learned later that we were supposed to be firing at them.
William H. Zeliff, Jr., US Congress, New Hampshire (R): What did you feel? What were your emotions?
Clive Doyle, Branch Davidian Survivor: Well, we definitely weren't believing what we were hearing over the loud speakers that they were not entering the building and that this was not an attack. We were told they weren't going to be shooting and yet they're firing what amounted to mortars that were rockets at us these ferret rounds which sounded like mortars.
Zeliff (off camera): Were you afraid?
Clive Doyle, Branch Davidian Survivor: Yes.
Janet Reno, US Attorney General: With respect to the use of military weapons. These . . . pieces of equipment were unarmed as I understand it, and were contracted I mean, it was like a good rent-a-car. Ah, they were . . .
William H. Zeliff, Jr., US Congress, New Hampshire (R): A good rent-a-car? A tank going into a building?
Narrator: At 9:00, Attorney General Reno left the command center at FBI headquarters to give a speech in nearby Baltimore. From then on, Waco decisions were made by top officials of the FBI and the Clinton Administration.
John B. Shadegg, US Congress, Arizona (R): Four minutes into the raid, it escalates. The 48 hour plan according to testimony is gone, we're now going to do a massive insertion of gas into every window. Did you consider staying in Washington, DC given that escalation four minutes into the plan?
Janet Reno, US Attorney General: During the course of the morning, the question arose whether I should cancel the speech and the FBI did not want me to do so because they thought it would attract attention if I suddenly canceled the speech it looked like there would be an emergency.
Alan A. Stone, Harvard University: One of the most inadequate parts of the justice department's report is their failure to describe the decision making process at the command post. I think that that is unpardonable . . . What were the communications that went on what were the decisions made? And that we've never heard.
Bob Ricks, FBI Spokesman: Dozens and dozens of rounds have been fired at FBI agents. The FBI, in an effort to demonstrate its extraordinary restraint, has not returned fire thus far.
Narrator: Almost two miles above Mt. Carmel, a surveillance plane was photographing events on the ground with a Forward Looking Infra Red camera, commonly called by its acronym FLIR.
Narrator: Edward Allard helped develop the FLIR. He is a former manager of the Defense Department's Night Vision Laboratory and holds several patents on FLIR and night vision technology. Allard explains what happens as a tank approaches the rear of Mt. Carmel around 11: 16 AM. That's the side the news cameras couldn't see.
Edward Allard, Night Vision Physicist: Thermal imagery is not the same as black and white imagery. Even though we are going to see images that look like it's black and white television cameras, it is not. This type of imagery is the same type of imagery that was used by our armed forces in Desert Storm. The bright spots in this particular, in this particular film are spots that are hot. The grey areas are warm we'd say and the black areas are cool—relatively cool. They're still pretty warm for a Texas n-midday but they are a lot cooler than the rest of the surrounding area.
If you look carefully what you will see is the exhaust plume of the tank you'll see the plume twice, when the operator steps on the gas, there it is again and now what you will see is a short burst, there. That short burst we, we feel is a, is a gun shot . . .
. . . The next view is a view in slow motion as the vehicle approaches we see the plume from the engine and we have the gun shot — now. Freeze it there, please. You can see now the outline of the tank, you can clearly see the outline of a tank. There is the blade, there is the blade in front of the tank, there is the opposite side of the tank, this hot area back here is the engine the deck area and it appears that the shot that we're looking at is coming off the rear area of the tank . . .
. . . This particular one the burst lasted about one second. And we will see shots similar to this throughout the tape and nothing else appears with the type of thermal signature that we get of that we get of gunshots.
Gene Taylor, US Congress, Mississippi (D): Did the FBI fire one shot, even one shot at the Davidian compound?
Larry Potts, FBI Assistant Director: No sir, we did not, not throughout the entire stand off.
Edward Allard, Night Vision Physicist: What we are going to see here is a what could be called an infantry tank maneuver we notice the tank, this is the tank smashing into the building . . .
. . . and we'll also see gun fire multiple gun fire on the outside of the tank to the rear of the tank. Right now we're seeing a close up of exactly the same thing. The important thing to notice is the gun fire multiple rounds being fired from at least two different positions . . .
. . . and it's about ten bursts in approximately two to three seconds and according to our calculations it indicates that both positions are firing automatic weapons. There is nothing in nature that would duplicate these type of thermal signatures primarily because of the short duration of the burst themselves. Nothing in nature could do this.
Dick Rogers, FBI Hostage Rescue Team Commander: I will remind the American people one more time, that during that entire time, those six hours, and indeed those fifty one days, the FBI never fired one shot at the Davidians.
Edward Allard, Night Vision Physicist: What we are going to see now is rapid fire in the courtyard right behind the dining room area and you can see the fire going on but it's difficult to see in real time . . .
. . . Now the slow motion shows things much more clearly.
. . . there's eight rounds, eight bursts of gun fire that are being fired in about two and a half to three seconds this again indicates that it is an automatic weapon. There are two positions, look at the tape carefully, there are two positions, and apparently by the signature itself of the burst, apparently is going from this area here into the dining room area.
Narrator: What Allard saw was verified in an expert independent FLIR analysis done by Infraspection Institute for CBS 60 Minutes:
Quote: "It was obvious to me on several occasions that there was gunfire or automatic weapon discharge, seemingly fired toward the building from the outer perimeter", end quote. A second letter from Infraspection Institute states the fear that kept 60 Minutes from informing the American people. Quote: . . . due to the potentially sensitive nature of this material and the resulting negative repercussions to Infraspection, we are choosing to decline any further comment surrounding this taped incident and our subsequent professional opinions regarding it's viewing", end quote. In addition to noticing the gunfire, Infraspection saw something else, Quote: "There were occasions on the video that seemed to appear as though people were entering, exiting or being run over by an armored vehicle", end quote.
John B. Shadegg: (condensed)US Congress, Arizona (R): Okay I want to focus on that bldg. right there and on that corner you see it's now structurally sound, would you have the next photo in the next photo. Now can we see the next photo unfortunately we don't have these very well.
Now we are looking at the front comer these are taken from the airplanes you will see that section of the building is gone indeed a great portion of the building is gone, this tank, can you show the tank, that tank right there goes into that portion of the building . . .
. . . it goes so far into the building that the back of the tank disappears you can't see it to go into the opposite wall, it goes in and out, and in and out, and in and out, and in and out I couldn't count the number of times. And now we can see from that side that that part of the building is completely crushed.
Larry Potts, FBI Assistant Director: There was a discussion that there may come a point in this where we would try to poke holes in the building. My understanding is . . .
John B. Shadegg, US Congress, Arizona (R): I understood that. This, I don't see as a hole.
Larry Potts, FBI Assistant Director: No, I understand that yes, sir. [cut] And I do not believe that there were any bodies found in that area.
John B. Shadegg, US Congress, Arizona (R): The closest bodies were found a little further in. Each one of those five bodies, it's reported, had extensive, according to the autopsy report, had extensive body mutilation.
Narrator: Davidian Steven Henry had a gun shot wound through the head. his leg was sheared off at the hip. James Riddle had been shot too, But a large circular portion of the right side of his chest had also been ripped out of his body. Riddle's red shirt was dangling from his wrist. Ms nearby coat had a red lining. This gunfire occurred at 11:24 AM. About ten minutes later, something got jammed near the tank's front wheel that caused the tread to come off —- something that was mostly red. The available evidence indicates that could be James Riddle's body.
To attach the disabled tank to a retriever and away, men had to expose themselves to the gunfire FBI officials said was coming from the Davidians.
Howard Coble, US Congress, North Carolina (R): This is one of these things, Mr. Chairman, that nags at you . . . any damage sustained to the tanks . . . common sense tells me, would be reflected in the damage report. Almost two months ago we requested it, over two years has elapsed since this occurred, surely the damage report has been compiled I realize that the wheels of bureaucracy turn awfully slowly in this town but after two years?
Allen Holmes, Assistant Secretary of Defense: I'll be glad to took into it and see, see what we can produce.
Bob Ricks, FBI Spokesman: When the humidity starts to rise, when the heat starts to rise, the complex will become more and more uncomfortable.
Clive Doyle, Branch Davidian Survivor: We would move the opposite way to get away, as far away from direct contact with it as possible, if you got it on your skin, any exposed skin it would just burn the heck out of you. Felt kind of like battery acid or something like that. Very irritating, very painful.
Narrator: As the gassing continued, the women and children went to the safest place left inside Mt. Carmel the kitchen storage room . . . a first floor steel reinforced concrete room —- a former vault —at the bottom of the square wooden tower.
Bob Ricks, FBI Spokesman: We knew that that protection was in there we believe we finally were able to make entry into that compound and were able to insert gas inside that protective area.
Clive Doyle, Branch Davidian Survivor: They actually drove right through the middle of the building into the kitchen area basically at point blank range fired gas into the concrete, what they called the bunker, the concrete room where the women and children were.
Bob Ricks, FBI Spokesman: We put massive gas in there—their gas masks by that time had to be failing.
Clive Doyle, Branch Davidian Survivor: In a cul-de-sac like that where there was no ventilation, they must have been going through, (there was only one door?) The front, yeah, there's no windows, no back door or anything like that.
Eric R. Larsen: They would be coughing, choking, they would probably be unconscious some of them would probably by dead. Some would be basically inert, they may still be alive, they may still be breathing, but they're not going to be doing anything.
Bob Ricks, FBI Spokesman: We will continue to gas, probably all day. We will continue to gas them and make their environment as uncomfortable as possible until they do exit the compound.
Clive Doyle (condensed), Branch Davidian Survivor: They continued to push on the front of the building until eventually all of the dividing walls were pushed back out into the hall. We were pretty well cut off in the chapel, we couldn't get upstairs, the back stairs. You couldn't go down the hall to the cafeteria end, or any of that . . .
[FBI bug tape]
"Go the other way"
"Too many people"
"There's too many people."
"Go other way!"
"There's too many people the other way."
Steve Chabot, US Congress, Ohio (R): Now, didn't you consider or did you consider that fire might well occur in this instance and if it does we do this?
Larry Potts, FBI Assistant Director: Yes, sir we did.
Steven Schiff, US Congress, New Mexico (R): What was the FBI's fire plan in case there was a fire during their plan to end the siege?
Larry Potts, FBI Assistant Director: I have no knowledge of that
Steven Schiff, US Congress, New Mexico (R): Did you ever ask them what their fire plan was?
Steven Schiff, US Congress, New Mexico (R): Mr. Gray, did you ever ask the FBI what its fire plan was or did you know what it was?
(answer): I did not.
Steven Schiff, US Congress, New Mexico (R): Mr. Sherrow, are you aware of what the fire plan was as a contingency plan in case a fire started from any cause in this attempt to end the siege?
Sherrow: No sir, not at all.
Steven Schiff, US Congress, New Mexico (R): Does anybody know if the FBI had a fire plan?
(answer): I don't believe so.
Narrator: By noon Mt. Carmel was a tinderbox. A heavy layer of dried CS dust coated everything inside. Large amounts of kerosene and Coleman fuel from containers crushed by armored vehicles saturated the floor. Vapors from methylene chloride, kerosene and Coleman gas filled the air.
Narrator: Huge holes ripped open by the tanks let the 25 mile per hour Waco wind blow completely through Mt. Carmel.
Joe Perino, Former Houston Fire Chief: When the governmental agency made a decision to breach holes into the building, they set a configuration of a pot bellied stove. You want it to burn slow, you close off the vents. If want it to burn fast, you open it up. Well they made a configuration in that building that was consistent to a pot bellied stove. Any type of fire that would start, even if there was no CS gas, if there was no flammable liquids, if there was nothing, just ordinary combustible materials. Once you have a fire sitting in a building like that, it's going to grow to a fast rapid propagation because of the system that was set up . . . the venting,
Narrator: At this front comer, a combat engineering vehicle has just made its last injection of CS. That small black dot is the nozzle tip, ice cold from the carbon dioxide propellant used to force the methylene chloride-CS mixture into the building. Less than a minute later, the first of three separate fires that started in three separate locations within a three minute period began here on the second floor while the fresh mixture as at its most volatile as a fine mist.
Eric R. Larsen: Once ignited, both the CS and the methylene chloride will both become involved in the fire and add to the fire those sources will tend to produce a fire ball or a flash fire."
Narration: Two Branch Davidian survivors say they saw fireballs. Shortly after fresh CS was injected at this comer, the FLIR shows a second tank that's pulling away. As the comer comes into view, a fire is burning there. David Thibideau says he was here and saw a fireball that ran the front length of Mt. Carmel . . . possibly igniting another fire here in the kitchen-dining room area . . . right next to the concrete room where the women and children had been gassed earlier.
Narrator: About a minute after the front fireball Thibideau saw, another armored vehicle drives up to the rear of the crushed gymnasium and also pulls away. A few seconds later, survivor Derek Lovelock says a fireball raced from the rear of Mt. Carmel to the front igniting everything in its path.
Branch Davidian Survivor: "At 12:00 someone yelled from the upstairs that there was a fire. The front I could not get to the front because of what the tanks had come in so I went to the stairwell in the back because I'm thinking the kids, I'm thinking Serenity Sea Jones, I was thinking of Isaiah and Joseph and some of these kids that I've come to know and love. There was a cat walk that was leading over the rafters of the church area I got to a blanket I opened the blanket up and a wall of flame shoots down the hallway in front of my face down to the other end of the building it was the loudest sound I've ever heard in my life I'm a drummer and it was incredibly loud and I could not hear anything else other than this flame."
Bill McCollum, US Congress, Florida (R): Was there any plan for the fire to be started?
David Thibodeau, Branch Davidian Survivor: No.
Derek Lovelock, Branch Davidian Survivor: The place was beginning to fill up with black smoke and I stood there by the stairs and there was a kind of ball of fire that, it had tremendous heat which caused us to jump back out of the way. It came from the gym area across this way, like it came from the gym this way across our path,
Narrator: It's believed the fireball Derek Lovelock said he saw started here with this flash.
Edward F. Allard, Night Vision Physicist: That flash was so bright that the operator of the FLIR thought it was so significant that he decided to fix his cursor in that area to remind him or other people looking at the tape that there was a very significant flash in the window. When we see it in the slow motion and we see the flash it appears to be single but it is not a single flash. It's actually Two flashes we get a primary flash and a secondary flash and both of these flashes last about 1/2 second each. They are most likely detonations inside the building itself.
James G. Quintiere, University of Maryland: Now, if some of you saw this flash here, that is a momentary event. In my opinion, that's a reflection due to sunlight reflecting off of some object in that debris.
Narrator: Sunlight reflections would show-up as a flash on regular film which records light. But reflections don't generate enough heat, say specialists like Allard, to create a flash on infra red. Infraspection analysts noticed the same flash. Quote: "A portion of the video . . . showed a "flash", or pyrotechnic explosion in one portion of one of the buildings", end quote. Pyrotechnic devices are military munitions like flares and incendiaries that burn at extreme temperatures.
Bob Ricks, FBI Spokesman: Non pyrotechnic delivery systems were used to insert CS gas.
Narrator: This pyrotechnic projectile is one of two found in the rubble of Mt. Carmel. It is a 40 mm military device that is fired from a hand held grenade launcher. On impact, it burns at an extremely high temperature. This one was found here, near the comer of Mt. Carmel where the first fire started. The other was found here, in the kitchen/dining room area.
Narrator: Twenty seconds after the two gymnasium flashes, a single flash appears here in the courtyard across from the kitchen/dining room area where automatic weapons fire was seen earlier. But this flash is longer and larger than the gun fire flashes. Its thermal signature is consistent with a grenade launcher. At the same time, still more automatic gun fire can be seen coming from the field to the left of the demolition tank.
Edward F. Allard, Night Vision Physicist: We counted the number of gun flashes and in this particular case we got six flashes in one second which indicates it's a rapid fire weapon of some kind and we also can see from the tapes that the fire is going in this direction towards the gymnasium where we saw the flash in the window.
Jeffrey Jamar, FBI Special Agent: When the fire did start and the fire trucks did arrive I didn't let them in. I held them at the checkpoint because I didn't want the firemen to drive into gunfire. I just wasn't going to permit it. It's a terrible thing it's a very terrible decision to have to make. But I didn't hesitate it took me about two seconds to make it we held the fire trucks.
Narrator: Most of the remaining Davidians were concentrated here in the kitchen-dining room area. It was their only way out except for one thing: Two men outside were firing machine guns at them.
Edward F. Allard, Night Vision Physicist: What we're seeing here is the FLIR operator is looking at the burning building. As the building start getting brighter and brighter, he adjusts his FLIR—he's turning town the brightness on his FLIR—so that he can really concentrate on the burning areas of the building. And what we're going to see in this scene is continues, uh, rapid gunfire right down in here.
Edward F. Allard, Night Vision Physicist: These are embers that are flying off the building, but you can see up in here that this is rapid gunfire. When we analyze the tape, we found out that there's two people there in this area here. And they're firing for about thirty seconds in this area where we have the burning dining room area. And it's almost continuous gunfire. And toward the end of this particular section, we find out that the people doing the shooting are actually retreating away from the fire and shooting as they're retreating.
Narrator: The machine gunning of the Davidians trapped in the burning kitchen-dining room was not only visible to congressional investigators, it was even visible to home viewers. So was the gunfire behind the tank smashing into the rear of the gymnasium. Neither was mentioned despite the fact the FLIR presentation to the Joint Committee had far better clarity.
Charles E. Schumer, US Congress, New York (D): We've heard that in the fifty one days the FBI was involved, they did not fire a single shot . . . First, That would mean quite certainly that twenty seven of the people who died in the compound, I think the autopsy report showed twenty seven, I may be off by one or two, who died of bullet wounds, those were self inflicted or inflicted by other members within the compound . . .
Edward Dennis, Former Assistant Attorney General, Clinton Administration: I think that's a key issue. The fact that Koresh was capable of setting the fire of killing his own followers that parents were capable of killing children, or adults were capable of killing children, really says more about the mentality of the individual that you were dealing with and the difficulty in trying to figure out the best way to talk he and his followers out of that compound.
Clive Doyle, Branch Davidian Survivor: There came a point in my rolling on the floor and trying to protect myself from the heat and being in the pitch black not able to see, that the voices of those behind me screaming kinda got through to me. I recognized who they were. Could identify the voices. (:27) That kinda galvanized me to just leap to my feet and jump or dive headfirst in the general direction where I figured the hole was. And I landed on the sheet rock face down and kinda slithered out onto the ground. (:45) When I stood up, skin was rolling off my hands. My coat was all melted on my back and smoking. I looked back over my shoulder and the hole I'd just come out of was a mass of flames, And the first thought that came to me was, I'm the only one I'm the only one to get out. (1:20) . . . I tried to look, you know, what do I do now, where do I go and I looked to my left and I looked to my right and as I did I saw David Thibideau and some others walking up to the front gate with their hands in the air and it was the first time I realized that others had got out besides myself (1:35)
Sheila Martin, Branch Davidian Survivor: I kept thinking my husband didn't get out, but maybe my children got out . . . Horrible, horrible way to die. I try not to think about it. Because I keep thinking at some point they felt all that heat. I kept thinking of the people in the square, they were the ones who maybe they probably cooked to death.
Narrator: Besides gun shot wounds, the majority of bodies had high levels of hydrogen cyanide— the deadly poison produced when CS burns. The backward bowed corpse of this eight year old girl shows what cyanide does to the human body. It makes the muscles contract so violently that they can actually break bones.
Stanley Marcus, Environmental Protection Agency: If one reviews the various use of cyanide as a method of putting prisoners to death you note that these people are strapped in their chairs very heavily and that is not to prevent them from escaping the gas that's to prevent the individuals watching the execution from observing the effects of cyanide has on the muscles of the individual.
Farris L. Rookstool III, FBI Special Agent: As part of the evidence response team, I was one of the primary photographers that had to photograph the evidence before it was recovered, and as it was being recovered and placed into the appropriate bags. I photographed and processed David Koresh's living quarters and I also photographed all of the bodies from the what is termed the bunker. Having been in the position to watch, touch, feel, hold, photograph, observe a great majority of the bodies in Waco, I am left with an overall disturbing, kind of haunting opinion that many of the people in the residence were homicide victims.
Narrator: The actual cause of each Davidian death remains officially unknown because the FBI interfered with the coroner's investigation.
Don Petty, Photographer, Tarrant County Coroner: They told us that they did not want us there. One of the FBI officials told Dr. Peerwani they did not want us there because they wanted to do it themselves.
Nizam Peerwani, Coroner, Tarrant County: The FBI was extremely in a hurry to get the evidence from us and it took us several weeks to go through literally thousands of rounds, all the bullets, bullet cartridges, fragments of grenades. They were all turned into the FBI lab.
Charles E. Schumer: Is that weapon illegal that you found at the compound?
FBI Firearms Expert Owen: This is an AK-47 type rifle that has been converted to permit full automatic fire.
Charles E. Schumer: Making it illegal.
FBI Firearms Expert Owen: Yes, sir.
Don Petty, Photographer, Tarrant County Coroner: . . . we would find bodies that were burned a lot more than other bodies in very close proximity. There were bodies that were burned to a crisp, and then very nearby there was paper that wasn't burned, there was clothing that wasn't burned. I was panning the whole side and one of the Rangers came up behind me while I was still taping and hit me on the shoulder and said, you can't be doing that. So I said, okay, that's fine, no problem. And then he asked for the tape and I said well, I'm shooting for Dr. Peerwani and I'm not going to give you the tape until he says it's okay. Finally we found Dr. Peerwani, talked to him and he agreed that it was okay for me to give him the tape and so I did. They promised us that all they wanted to do was review it and they'd give it back to us the next day. And they didn't.
Nizam Peerwani, Coroner, Tarrant County: They told us that they had misplaced it. At one time they told us that I have it in my briefcase and I'll give it to you. In fact, we said we're going to delay giving you your reports until you give out tape back. And of course they said sure, we'll give your tape back the next time we visit your office. We, in fact, suggested we'll go to Waco and collect the tape from them. And they said no, it's in the San Antonio office. And at a certain point along this discussion they finally said, the tape is lost. We can't give it to you.
Jack Zimmermann, Attorney for Steve Schneider: The Branch Davidians had families. They had people that loved them. One of the worst things that I can remember about this was a phone call from Israel from Shula Met Cohen, the mother of Pablo Cohen. An Israeli Jew, talking to an American Jewish lawyer, watching that gas be inserted into that building. Watching an American tank, knock down an American house, and then it burst into flames. Can you imagine the images in an Israeli's mind with the Holocaust survivors in Israel? I couldn't answer. I think you can tell from today it's not often that I'm without words. I could not explain to her how that happened. And her question was: I thought he would be safe in America.
John Morrison, FBI Special Agent: I know I'm a Christian and I like practicing my Christian beliefs. I know I'm going to heaven when I die with my kids. I teach—in charge of the nursery—used to do Sunday school, youth group leader. If someone tries to stop me from doing that, obviously I'm going to be upset. We have plenty of freedoms in this country which I love. But that does not give me the right to go kill someone, go to my house, using my children as shields and say I'm not coming out, I've broken the law, I'm not coming out until God tells me to. That is wrong . . . Byron, Floyd Clark, Jeff Jamar, Dick Rodgers, like 'em or not or like what we do for a living or not, they've been law enforcement officers, some of 'em, longer than I've been alive. And with that comes a lot of experience. What I'm saying is, you have to trust the people in charge at the time. I'm low on the food chain. So I'm standing by what they did 'cause I do what I'm told as long as it's legal and moral.
James H. Brannon, Attorney for David Koresh's Grandmother: My God, torturing babies and saying it's part of their job? And saying that it is OK because their parents were bad? Our whole society is structured around the notion that if parents are bad we protect the children even against the parents. In this case the FBI and the government took the position why not only do we not protect the children, we'll use them as an instrument to try get their parents to do something. We'll torture them so their parents will do right. Oh, my God, where did they think that up?
Bob Ricks, FBI Spokesman: . . . we thought that their instincts, uh, the motherly instincts would take place and that they would want their children out of that environment. It appears they don't care that much about their children which is unfortunate.
Reporter: At this point is there any doubt in your mind or the Justice Department's mind that the fire was set by the cult members?
Janet Reno, US Attorney General: I have absolutely no doubt at all that the cult members set it based on all the information that has been furnished to me.
Ray Jahn, Assistant US Attorney: . . . survivors who came out their clothes smelled of accelerants, they smelled of diesel fuel and they smelled of lantern fuel, they smelled of lighter fluid and the laboratory later came back and confirmed that they had done it.
Rick Sherrow, Retired ATF Arson Expert: I would like to know why key information as to how some of this contamination occurred was omitted from the reports. Specifically, those survivors who had exited the south side of the bldg. They had to walk through an area that was contaminated by fuel from large tanks spilled by the government tank operations . . . The thing that really concerns me is why the building was so totally destroyed afterwards. After the fire was out—there was no fire fighting whatsoever attempted—and in the crime scene—and it was a crime scene—it was totally, absolutely destroyed. I've seen this happen before.
Bill H. Zeliff, US Congress, New Hampshire (R): Did you see the FBI changing the crime scene in any way? Moving things around, things that were not normal according to your procedures?
David Byrne, Captain, Texas Rangers: Yes sir. As I said earlier and didn't get to finish the answer, they were moving the vehicles which destroyed valuable trajectory evidence . . . in the end, it turned out it didn't matter.
Bill H. Zeliff, US Congress, New Hampshire (R): When you see that happening, you don't consider that standard operating procedure do you?
David Byme, Captain, Texas Rangers: Certainly not on any crime scene I've ever been on, no.
Charles E. Schumer, US Congress, New York (D): I'm getting sick and tired of all the attacks on the ATF and the FBI. Sure you guys may have fouled up and done a few things wrong. But you acted in good faith, you were trying to enforce the law, and we should give you the benefit of the doubt because of the person, David Koresh, you had to deal with.
Orrin Hatch, US Senate, Utah (R): Let me be clear, this investigation has not uncovered any evidence of political corruption or influences. We have not found any of that. There was no conspiracy to kill Branch Davidians.
Joseph Biden, US Senate, Delaware (D): The record of the Waco incident documents mistakes. What the record from Waco does not evidence, however, is any improper motive or intent on the part of law enforcement.
Joseph Biden, US Senate, Delaware (D): David Koresh and the Davidians set fire to themselves they committed suicide the Government did not do that.
Farris L. Rookstool III, Former FBI Special Agent: That assertion to me, that the media and the government has made a blanket declaration that the Branch Davidians committed quote mass suicide to equate it to a Jonestown, Guyana suicide is the most irresponsible statement that can be attributed to anything having to do with the Waco incident.
Farris L. Rookstool III: I find it, as I say, very offending to me, and offensive to the memory of the Davidians and everyone else involved in this tragedy to wrap it up in a nice clean "well, it was just a mass suicide end of story", because it was far from it.
James D. Tabor, University of North Carolina, Charlotte: Suicide per se was absolutely unacceptable to the Davidian theology. They held the standard Christian view that you take your life that's murder and obviously nobody wants to die with the final sin on their hands of having committed murder.
Clive Doyle, Branch Davidian Survivor: We didn't believe in suicide. The best way for me to explain suicide is it's an unpardonable sin because you can't ask forgiveness for it after you are dead you know what I'm saying.
Dick J. Reavis, Author, The Ashes of Waco: What the people believed would happen was that God was going to judge either the world or them. If it judged the world, they would survive. If it judged them, they would promptly be in heaven. As one of them afterwards said, Livingston Fagen who lost a wife in the fire and his mother in the fire, he said, those of our people who died are highly honored in heaven. And so we should not worry about them. The thought was that the army of Babylon would kill them. As perhaps it ultimately did.
Jack Zimmerman, Attorney for Steve Schneider: The way things are supposed to happen in this country is when someone is suspected of a crime even if it's child abuse even if it is capitol murder we give them a trial, a jury finds them guilty beyond a reasonable doubt before they go to sentencing then a jury or a judge sentences them and an Appeals court makes sure that the trial was conducted with due process. And then and only then do we kill them. We don't kill them first like happened in Waco on April the 19th.
James Tabor, University of North Carolina, Charlotte: I kept saying all that day, I said well, they're saying immediately the Davidians started it and I was very suspicious of that. And I kept saying well, we don't know who started the fire. But we do know that the FBI delivered to David Koresh the Armageddon that he thought would someday come. But it didn't have to be April 19, 1993.
Jack Zimmerman, Attorney for Steve Schneider: As soon as they knew everybody was dead inside and the ATF had a chance to get close to it, they ran the ATF flag up on that flag pole after the Branch Davidian Star of David flag had fluttered to the ground. They ran that ATF flag up on that flag pole as a symbol of a military conquest . . . because the whole world saw this as a symbol that the battle was over between the ATF and the Branch Davidians and that they had conquered them militarily. That's a sad state of affairs in United States Federal law enforcement.
Bob Ricks, FBI Spokesman: I have time for one more question. Ah, yes, ma'am
Reporter: The attorneys say that they were going to come out after they finished the manuscript. So why didn't you wait?
Bob Ricks, FBI Spokesman: The question is why did we not wait. We had information from several sources some of it I cannot reveal today some I will, eventually it will come out but I can say we have other sources that I can talk about that said that David Koresh said he played the game. He lied continually to the attorneys he never intended to come out. It was all a game Thank you.
Scott Sonobe, Killed April 19, 1993: I'm Scott Sonobe. And I'm not being held here against my will. I want my father, Ken Sonobe, in Honolulu to get my kids. If you're watching, I want you to have my two daughters Angelica and Chris Sonobe. (Anything else you might want to say?) Don't worry about me, we're gonna be just fine. God's in control.
Schneider: Were you able to see a video that the agency sent to us showing some of the children that were at their facility?
Judy Schneider: The video we saw of them running around crazy, eating candy, drinking soda pop, jumping around like well trained pets, watching videos—yeah, we were all quite upset to see our children behave like that because they've always been well mannered and disciplined and they don't eat candy in between meals and only on rare occasions. It's not good for their teeth or health or anything.
Bernadette, a Davidian: I don't want to insult them, but it's really insulting to see such a big armored equipment with people inside who are trying to frighten women and children. What, what are they trying to prove?
Lorraine Sylvia: To my family, I love them. Please take Joshua.
Floracita Sonobe: (You don't want to leave then?) No, but I want my kids back here. What I saw on that film, I wasn't very happy about it. (So you weren't either. I would imagine it's the same thing we've been hearing about the response to the children?) Yes. They weren't being supervised. They weren't supervised or anything. I really appreciated, really, the effort to take their pictures and video them, but what I saw, I was more upset than before.
I love them. They're beautiful kids. (In fact for those who are listening who have children, we've learned, especially from the Book of Proverbs, in the Bible is right, how one should be with their children and how there should be a consistency, a constant love and caring shown to the child . . .)
All I want to say to the children, I love you all. I miss you. And remember what I taught you and how you _ you eating habits and eating.
Evette, a Davidian: My children are out there (Where?) Babylon. (Where are they?) Babylon (OK) Out there in the world. Because of the events of Sunday the 28h.
Evette, a Davidian: (Do you miss your children?) Hey, I'm a mother. (OK) I miss my children and I love them very much. (They were nice enough to video some of the children. Did you get to see yours?) Yeah. They were absolutely (indecipherable). I was furious when I saw them. The treatment of the children on the video was very bad. They were given food that they don't normally eat that made them very hyperactive. They were eating whatever they wanted when they wanted. They were stuck in front of the television. There was no constructive supervision of the children.
Evette, a Davidian: I'd like to remind the children of the story in Daniel, and the three—Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego. Those three were taken into Babylon against their will. They wouldn't eat at the king's table and they wouldn't touch the king's wine, they ate what they knew God wanted them to eat. God worked through those three children. And so remember, don't forget Revelations four and five are . . .
Branch Davidian Girl: Well, he teaches the Bible and he seems to know what he's talking about, so I listen to him.
Question: What's he like as a person?
Branch Davidian Girl: He's pretty nice.
Question: He's nice?
Koresh: I'm mean.
Branch Davidian Girl: Don't listen to him.
Koresh: I'm the boss. They call me the boss.
Charles E. Schumer, US Congress, New York (D): We're hearing a lot about faulty search warrants . . . If I'm not mistaken, these are the same folks, my colleagues to the right here, who voted to eliminate the need for search warrants with the good faith exception to the exclusionary rule.
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