Waco Questions

Not really. It was LordVor who misspelled your handle; all I did was use the built-in “reply” button which automatically copied his post verbatim, misspelling and all.

ambushed: LordVor spelled my name correctly in his post. Scroll up and take a look. Did you hose it with a spellcheck or something?

You’re right, and I sincerely apologize. I feel especially dumb after disputing it. I have no idea what I did wrong, and I certainly didn’t do it intentionally, but that I erred is undeniable. Again, I apologize. I’ll see to it that I get it right in the future.

ambushed: Apology accepted, to err is human.

Hmmm… Upon further reflection and reading, it seems you may have been trying to say something very different than what your words actually say. Your actual words, interpreted literally and in the context of the discussion, represent several falsehoods (as I’ve indicated above), but you may have meant to say something significantly different; i.e., that the early arson report erroneously reported and analyzed the flammability of CN gas (which was not used at Waco) instead of CS gas, which is what was actually used.

But the fact that that team mistakenly thought that CN gas was used was accidental; it was not part of any deliberate effort to mislead anyone. It was a bureaucratic foul-up. Furthermore, the error was eventually – if belatedly – corrected. The later and final analyses and reports analyzed the potential and actual effects of the chemical actually used at Waco, CS gas, including the question of whether it might have started the fires. But it is clear that the CS gas was not responsible for starting any fire (although there’s some evidence to suggest it may have marginally prolonged the fire).

Here are excerpts from the official Congressional testimony. Note that, contrary to Stephe96’s allegations, it does not come from Gray…

I urge those interested in these matters to read the final Special Counsel report on Waco, dated November 8, 2000. The conclusions are sound, well-evidenced, and compelling: the Davidians deliberately started the fire. Here are some excerpts from that report:

For those who believe the government deliberately lied and covered-up, see the report’s lengthy and detailed investigation and analysis of the question: “Did any employee of the United States make or allow others to make false or misleading statements, or withhold evidence or information from any individual or entity entitled to receive it, or destroy, alter, or suppress evidence or information relative to the events occurring at the Branch Davidian complex on April 19, 1993?”

The evidence of serious government errors is inarguable, but there’s little reason to believe that the government lied and covered-up.

ambushed, let me just say that I’m in awe of your well-written, well-supported refutation of Stephe96’s claims. Truly, this is what the Straight Dope is all about.

/tearing up
If you haven’t changed his mind (conspiracy theorists are rarely convinced), know that at least you’ve changed mine. I’d heard a lot about this before, but I’d never been presented with the facts.

Thank you.

He speaks with straight dope tongue. An exceptional post.

Was an arrest warrant served? I could only find a search warrant:


I will not attempt to argue any of the facts of what happened that day … but I have a different problem with the whole affair.

From my limited reading on it (mainly an article in a book called “Everything You Know Is Wrong”) the whole standoff was arranged by the ATF. There was a congressional appropriations hearing coming up the week after they started the fight (they thought it would be over in time, but the ordeal ran through the hearing date I think). Basically they wanted to create a show so that they could go to congress and show what great work they were doing, now can we please have more money?

Weeks before, agents had met with Koresh, handled the weapons he was going to be arrrested for, and let him go… They were making plans for a big raid, not trying to arrest the guy. Also, the county sheriff has said that he was always on friendly terms with the Davidians. He said that if he ever needed anything of them, he would just call David and ask him to come to the sheriff’s office and he would come. (Add to it the lost door, conflicting reports, recordings of agents saying some really inappropriate things over their radios…)

Forgive my lack of hard evidence, but my gut tells me it was unneccesarily set up by the ATF for attention. If they had done their job in a more prudent way, the whole fiasco never would have occured, while Koresh and his guns could have been taken into custody.