Sometime in the morning — we are lead to believe that the time was a few minutes earlier than 9:48 a.m. — three black helicopters and 100 "federal agents" in cattle trucks arrived at the Mt. Carmel Center.
Video footage broadcast by KWTX-TV shows three black helicopters low over the horizon while ATF troops fire blindly into the Mt. Carmel Center. These were the helicopters the Davidians say fired down into the second floor women's and children's quarters.
The National Guard did not possess black helicopters — they would have no reason to do so. Black US Army helicopters are characteristically flown by the 160th Special Operations Aviation Regiment (the "Nightstalkers"), headquartered in Ft. Campbell, Kentucky, a secret unit that delivers and picks up commandos working CIA and illegal Pentagon junkets (see A Death Cult Wears Black and The Black Army). Typically the 160th's flights are made at night, perhaps prompting the commanders of the 160th to paint the helicopters black.
The US government denies that the helicopters were armed, and denies that they strafed the building, but the evidence leaves little room for doubt.
They're still attacking.
There's a chopper with more of 'em.
Another chopper with more people — More guns goin' off. Here they come!"
Awright. Wayne Cah (unintelligible)
That's not us. That's them!
Jaydean Wendel, a nursing mother, was killed instantly when a bullet from one of the strafing helicopters smashed through the top of her skull (Autopsy Report, Mt. Carmel Doe 78, pg. 6). Months later, the DoJ Report attempted to cover this up by stating that Jaydean Wendel died from a gunshot wound to the chest (DoJ Report, pg. 313).
Attorneys who were at the Mt. Carmel Center during the siege attempting to negotiate between the FBI and the Davidians say that they saw the roof bearing bullet holes, and that these holes were clearly made from the sky downward. Jack B. Zimmerman, attorney for Branch Davidian Steve Schneider, testified on this point at the 1994 San Antonio trial of the Branch Davidians. Mr. Zimmerman is a graduate of the Naval Academy in Annapolis, spent 14 years on active duty in the Marines, is a Vietnam War veteran, and, at the time of his testimony, had been in the Marine Reserves for 15 years. His rank in the Marines is Colonel. His two grown children are also in the Marine Corps.
Mr. Zimmerman testified that when he visited Mt. Carmel during the siege and inspected the premises, he found holes in the plywood roof. All the splinters were facing down, indicating the shots had come from the sky into the rooms below (1994 San Antonio Trial of the Branch Davidians, Transcript, pgs. 6610-11).
At the 1994 San Antonio trial of the Branch Davidians, Capt. Bryan Dickens, one of the "National Guard" pilots said to have been flying one of the helicopters, was questioned about markings on the side of the helicopters. He inadvertently made an interesting admission.
Attorney Carroll: And they didn't have any distinct markings on them identifying them as Texas National Guard or US Army or anything like that, did they?
Capt. Dickens: No, sir.
Attorney Carroll: You just couldn't tell whose helicopters they were by looking at them, unless you knew something specific about your helicopter, right?
I wouldn't have known, would I?
Your honor, I object to what Mr. Carroll would know. I have no idea —
Sustain the objection.
The man on — a man on the street without any special experience wouldn't have known, would he?
All Army helicopters are marked the same.
But this helicopter didn't have anything in white paint that said "U.S. Army," did it?
No, sir, not … (Questioning continues on different subject.)
(Transcript, pg. 3296)
Note that the "National Guard" pilot has inadvertently admitted that the helicopter he was flying was an unmarked US Army helicopter.
As noted before, National Guardsmen can be selected to go on Special Operations missions, as can Army Reservists (Army Times, January 2, 1996, "Special Ops: Bosnia's Best Hope," pg. 51). And Special Operations can form ad hoc teams for special missions — including commandos from ATF or FBI.
Whether the helicopters used in the February 28 assault were "National Guard" helicopters is an empty issue. Even if the helicopters that strafed the Mt. Carmel Center were owned by the State of Texas, when National Guard equipment and personnel are used in federal service, they operate on federal (Pentagon) command lines.
Now, there is an exercise in Constitutional absurdity: to cast as a "states rights" issue the use of some military helicopters, when that use consisted of strafing women and children with machine gun fire!
Surreptitious use of military aircraft by the Pentagon and CIA is not unusual. Falsely marked US war equipment was used in the Vietnam War. For example, in Laos, dozens of US bombers were painted with Laotian Air Force markings. They were manned by pilots of Air America, a CIA front operation. The CIA operatives flew reconnaissance flights over North Vietnam in the falsely marked planes to gather intelligence for upcoming bombing raids. (Pentagon Papers, pg. 239.) Using unmarked Army helicopters during the Waco operation and calling them National Guard helicopters is in keeping with established practices.
Next: First Death Count
Back: Directory of Exhibits
Back: Introduction to the War Gallery
Home: Museum Entrance
Search: Museum Text