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First some background. The media is putting forth a lot of info that is
just plain false. I suspect some of it is from their own ignorance, the
rest is from repeating the propaganda of the BATF.
As you might expect, the BATF is spinning this story as much as possible to
make it look like the Religious members are more dangerous than terrorists.
The fact is, prior to this shootout, they were not wanted for any crimes.
This shootout is another "Lawmaster" incident, escalated into something out
of the movie First Blood.
So here is how it started. There is this religious group called the Branch
Davidian, that has a large compound just East of Waco, Texas. Their leader
claims to be Jesus Christ. They are awaiting judgement day or whatever it
is these types of groups do.
The BATF had 'tips' that the group had illegally converted AR-15's to
full-auto (naughty, naughty), and were in possession of some explosives.
They had no hard evidence (like a previously seized weapon, etc.).
Therefore, their search warrant was to search the home for violations of
GCA/68 and make appropriate arrests, including the leader of the BD. This
was a no-knock warrant.
The compound is in a rural area, and it is very difficult to sneak up on.
So, about 75 heavily armed (M-16, MP5, stun grenades, Glocks, Berettas) and
armored (Helmets, Vests, Goggles) BATF agents, along with 3 choppers, and
some local reporters showed up around 930 Sunday morning.
It is not clear why, but it appears the BD folks were waiting for them.
Maybe they were tipped off, maybe they are just vigilant. This is not much
of a surprise, since the group thinks their leader is Jesus Christ and the
bad guys are going to come and crucify Jesus Christ again.
The BATF entered the premises with the agents hiding in two horse trailers.
When they got close to the building, they jumped out and stormed the
compound. Shooting erupted. It lasted about 60 minutes. When it was over, 4
BATF agents were dead, another 14 or so injured. Some of the BD members
were shot, but the only one killed was a 2 year old baby (nice job BATF).
(None of the choppers were shot down, but they did take hits which caused
them to be grounded for safety reasons.) The BATF then called for a cease
fire to retrieve their wounded, and make a safe retreat, as they were all
As you might expect, the BATF members were now heavily stressed. It is not
often they are defeated, as they clearly were in this battle. I could
hardly contain myself when I saw many of the BATF members running around
the outside of the compound with their hands over their head to show they
were unarmed as they retrieved their wounded.
It was at this time that the BATF started to blame the media for the
failure. The media is taking a tremendous amount of blame for the failure
of the raid from BATF. The local Waco paper published some story about BD
the day before, and BATF is claiming this tipped them off that something
That didn't stop the BATF from bringing reporters with them on the raid. I
mean, it doesn't take a lot of intelligence to figure out why the media
decided to show up there at 930 on a Sunday morning. Typical scapegoating.
And never mind the fact the BATF needed the media vehicles to evacuate
their own wounded.
Early Sunday afternoon, the local media started replaying all of the
footage that was shot locally with camcorders, along with live chopper
footage. You could clearly see a dead BATF agent on the roof, and the BATF
extracting their wounded and retreating. They were all crying, screaming,
yelling, etc. It was an INTENSE sight. On the cover of today's Dallas
Morning News is a full color shot of several BATF members mourning one of
their dead colleagues as they retreat.
One scene that was replayed often on TV showed 4 agents storm a second
story window. After 3 of them were inside, shooting erupted. It looked to
me like shotgun blasts with buckshot, based on the holes coming through the
walls. It was definitely NOT automatic weapons fire. Anyway, those agents
never came out, and the 4th agent slid down a ladder in one step to escape
being shot. It is reported he broke his leg in the fall.
It is IMPORTANT to note that this raid was conducted by the BATF. As far as
I could tell, there were no Texas Rangers, State Troopers, Sheriffs, FBI,
etc. This should come as no surprise, since this group had not violated any
laws. In fact, the Sheriff had visited them several times, and reported all
A second shootout erupted around 1800 Sunday, when 3 BD members came
running out. 1 was killed, another captured, and the third retreated back
into the compound.
Things have been at a standstill since.
Now of course, any law enforcement agency within 1000 miles has showed up.
I even saw an M113 APC on the site, and a Bradley Fighting Vehicle, and
news reports indicate that tank(s) from Fort Hood are also on-site,
although I haven't seen them (they were probably referring to the BFV).
They were brought in at night, and I saw them through the lens of the TV
station's Night Vision Scope (via TV).
I saw this morning that the local director of BATF said they had
successfully negotiated the release of several children. Hah. They were not
hostages, as he and the media would have you believe. It appears the group
just wanted them out of their before the BATF baby-killing sharpshooters
killed anymore of them.
The media is claiming, with BATF spin, that the BD group has all sorts of
automatic weapons, etc. They even said the leader always carries a Glock
9mm semi-automatic handgun wherever he goes, and said this is a weapon
nobody would ever use for 'defense'. Well, if this was true then the
sheriff would have arrested him months ago, since it is illegal to carry a
handgun in Texas, concealed or otherwise. And we all know Glocks are
standard issue for many PD's, as well as Federal Agencies including BATF.
I think the stuff about all of the automatic weapons is exaggeration. The
BATF has a very vested interest to paint these people as evil, and they
will use the media to do it. The media is also taking a lot of heat, and
will probably oblige to get back on the good side.
The BD group states they have no automatic weapons, and even the local
sheriff went out and talked to them about it long before the BATF raid.
The BD group does say that they have semi-automatic weapons, all of which
are legal. They also said they did have some Hell-Fire devices at one time,
but these are legal too. BTW, Class III is legal in Texas, so even of they
did have automatic weapons you cannot jump to the conclusion that they are
All of the shooting I have scene/heard from the TV footage is
semi-automatic. It appears to me that the BATF agents were killed from
shotgun blasts. Keep in mind that the BATF has automatic weapons. So even
if you hear automatic weapons in the TV footage, that does not mean that it
is the BD group that is firing them.
So now things are at a standstill. The leader of the group is wounded, and
has done an interview (voice), with CNN. At the press conference this
morning, the BATF spokesperson said the raid was a failure because they
were outgunned. BATF is still claiming they have machine guns, including a
.50 caliber MG, and explosives (nitroglycerin hidden at the bottom of
ponds), etc. BATF is also stating they had trained for months for this raid
(your tax dollars at work). They also state that the heavy armor (APC, BFV)
are for protection against the .50 MG.
There are a lot of inconsistencies in what is going on here. I am sure what
I have reported here only causes you to ask more questions. For example,
(1) Why not arrest the leader when he leaves the compound? It is reported
he jogs 2-3 times a week as far away as 2-3 miles from the compound. (2) If
they really had a .50 caliber MG, why didn't the BATF know ahead of time,
if they were training for months before this raid? (3) Why not use snipers
to pick off the people in the tower? (4) Why raid in the daylight? (5) Why
raid at all? This reminds me a lot of the MOVE confrontation in
Philadelphia 10+ years ago.
As for the BATF claim that the BD group has a .50 caliber heavy machine gun
in their lookout tower, I have not seen or heard it from the TV footage. I
would think if they fired a .50 caliber machine gun from that tower, it
would be obvious. I would also think the news helicopter would get footage
of it. An M2 .50 caliber MG is big and usually fixed. And when it fires, it
is loud and distinctive. BATF has not been able to provide any vehicles hit
by .50 caliber fire, nor any .50 caliber bullets from the dead or wounded.
I saw hours of footage and didn't see any signs of it being fired, or of
objects getting hit by it. Also, if they had a .50, they would have opened
up on the horse trailers, and it would have been a massacre. So I doubt
they had a .50, and I think BATF fired first. So I tend to doubt what BATF
says. But who knows. It wouldn't surprise me if after all this is over,
the BATF shows one to the media. We may never know the truth.
It is obvious a cover-up is starting. The media is being kept over 1.5
miles away. The court records ordering the search have been sealed. Some of
the media, (give them credit), are starting to ask questions.
This is a MAJOR defeat for the BATF. As most know, and as 60 Minutes
reported a few weeks ago, this agency has severe moral problems, and
commits plenty of crimes. I still remember that former BATF agent saying he
had more respect for the criminals that run guns and sell drugs, than for
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