Lessons and Blame from and at Waco and the Branch Davidians

There is still so much many people don't know and/or realize about the events surrounding Waco, TX and the takeover of the Branch Davidians compound and eventual battle with David Koresh.  

For one the ATF was still reeling with bruised egos from the Ruby Ridge disaster/Fiasco of August 22, 1992 which in itself set up a colossal chance of failure in and at Waco, TX beginning with the siege on February 28th, 1993.  Although the ATF and the FBI had recording and surveillance capabilities inside the Koresh compound and have recordings which support that the Branch Davidians, Koresh, and his followers, actually started and spread the actual Fires it is still uncertain whether they started the initial Fire or just spread a fire started with breach tactics that the Government used.  

For certain mistakes were made by the Government, in this case, Clinton's Justice Dept under Janet Reno.  For one they had, before the siege, a person/agent on the inside providing them data and info.  That person wasn't listened to by his superiors when he told them to cancel the siege due to information that he knew about.  Koresh could have possibly even been arrested without the raid and with the help of the inside person but that wasn't the way they chose to go about it.   They also could have used the cover of darkness and surprise to make the raid but chose to do things in broad daylight where Koresh had more advantages.  

The biggest blunder was the Government's ambition itself and possibly with the failings of Ruby Ridge still on their minds, notifying media prior to the raid in order to hopefully achieve positive press coverage.  It was one of the media/reporters that got lost who unknowingly tipped off one of Koresh's followers as they ask directions to the Waco compound account they wanted to get there for the ATF raid.  The very person the reporter ask was one of the Branch Davidians who then beat a path to notify David Koresh that the raid was on and happening.   Even with knowledge that the ATF had lost the element of surprise and even with the discouragement of their inside agent the superiors chose to go ahead with the initial raid which was a disaster in the making with four ATF agents getting killed in the process.  From there it was the ambition of inept Government superiors that would lead to the eventual total breakdown of any chance that a peaceful and successful ending would be found.   

Even today, with all the additional information we have including the recordings indicating that the Branch Davidians surely assisted in spreading the fire(s) the major failings of the Government officials and leadership overshadow most everything else.  Ultimately Waco, TX and the errors there would overshadow the failure and disaster that was Ruby Ridge and give those who distrusted the Government, in the first place, much more ammo and reason to continue to distrust the Government and had a culmination in, as well as playing a major role, in Tim McVey's plans to attack the Federal building at Oklahoma City on April 19, 1995 just two years after the April 19th, 1993 culmination of the disaster that was WACO.  Also, still today, there are rouge cowboys in leadership positions of the Justice Department that would most likely make similar or the same mistakes as happened all those years ago.  The same people are no longer there but same atmosphere and climate exist, unfortunately.  

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Be as the Bereans ( Acts 17:11 )

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Koresh was a cuckoo bird.  However, that didn't give ATF license to act as they did.  Koresh had given the local sheriff permission to look at his firearms to determine if anything illegal was going on.  The excuse that ATF gave for a SWAT team raid was it was the only way to arrest Koresh.  Never mind that they knew that Koresh regularly ran thru an area where he could easily be arrested.  

Two wrongs don't make a right. People ended up dead and the government ended up with a bad reputation. 

I think the atmosphere, with the Government type jobs such at ATF and the many other Governmental jobs, where there is no accountability for someone inept at their job but rather reward and promotion rather than punishment and advancements based upon merit and performance, can also be blamed.  

Never mind the ill fated decisions made after the siege began I keep going back to the initial warning, to Koresh, coming from a lost reporter, media person, inquiring about it to one of his Branch Davidians who then warned Koresh. That and the inside person warning that the raid should be cancelled or postphoned given the inside knowledge he had about their weapons and their intent to fight any raid.  It was failure to listen to their own, most/best informed, employee.

one of bits of advice I gave my kids, get a government job.  it is harder than union jobs to get fired working for government. Unless you really anger someone they just move you to another position.   government has 10 people doing the job 4 do in private sector.   government employees pay 7% to retirement and get 110% of their avg. of 3 highest years of pay. Where we pay 6% into social security and companies match it, while only receiving maybe avg. of 20% of 3 highest years of pay.   which is why in retirement so many private sectors have part time jobs and government retirees are traveling.    we screwed ourselfs

1130 posted:

one of bits of advice I gave my kids, get a government job.  it is harder than union jobs to get fired working for government. Unless you really anger someone they just move you to another position.   government has 10 people doing the job 4 do in private sector.   government employees pay 7% to retirement and get 110% of their avg. of 3 highest years of pay. Where we pay 6% into social security and companies match it, while only receiving maybe avg. of 20% of 3 highest years of pay.   which is why in retirement so many private sectors have part time jobs and government retirees are traveling.    we screwed ourselfs

Don't know what government you're referring to, but its not the federal government.  

I don't know how much things have changed over the years but I used to work for the Federal Government, at TVA, and after 4 1/2 years went to the private sector for the remainder of 42 + years and while I have a few regrets about that I do believe the benefits and advantages lie with the Federal Government jobs especially if you have military service in your background.  

If there is accountability in the Federal Government then it's basically when you are politically active and happen to be active against the political party that happens to be within power at the time.  Other than that failure to do your job accurately or efficiently has no penalties to it.  There is very little incentive or wasn't many years ago.   It has been a long time and granted things may have changed in some areas of Government work but I don't know those areas if they exist.  I tend to agree with 1130 about the advice but also realize others have far more intimate knowledge than I do, about the Government, given the time I've been away and in private industry.

gbrk posted:

I think the atmosphere, with the Government type jobs such at ATF and the many other Governmental jobs, where there is no accountability for someone inept at their job but rather reward and promotion rather than punishment and advancements based upon merit and performance, can also be blamed.  

Never mind the ill fated decisions made after the siege began I keep going back to the initial warning, to Koresh, coming from a lost reporter, media person, inquiring about it to one of his Branch Davidians who then warned Koresh. That and the inside person warning that the raid should be cancelled or postphoned given the inside knowledge he had about their weapons and their intent to fight any raid.  It was failure to listen to their own, most/best informed, employee.

Kinda like police brutality

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