On February 28, 1993, agents of the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, and Firearms (BATF) began their illegal assault on the home of the Branch Davidians outside Waco, Texas. An unarmed David Koresh was shot by BATF agents as he stepped onto his front porch. A shootout resulted with several deaths on both sides.
Shortly afterward, the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) took charge of the situation, and on April 19, 1993, agents from both departments (utilizing military hardware and both U.S. and foreign military advisers) laid siege to the dwellings which resulted in the deaths of 87 American citizens. Most of the victims were old men, women, and small children.
The events at Waco have contributed to the disdain of federal abuse of power like nothing since the Boston Massacre back in 1770. (By comparison, the British killed 5 Americans in that assault.) Moved by grassroots pressure, the Congress of the United States convened special hearings into the conduct of those federal agencies responsible. The result was less than satisfactory to many Americans.
Federal agents lied under oath with impunity. Evidence was conveniently lost. Videotapes of the events revealed duplicity, arrogance, and blood-lust on behalf of the federal agencies involved.
At the end of the hearings, the questions remained unanswered, and no one within the government was held accountable. Those Davidians who survived the raid were tried for murder. A jury found them innocent, but no charges were ever brought against any federal agents.
Whatever one thinks of David Koresh and the Branch Davidians, they had committed no capital crimes. Neither could the charges of child abuse, illegal weapons, or illegal drug activity (charges that were used by the feds to justify their ghastly attack) be substantiated.
Furthermore, it is unconscionable (not to mention a violation of U.S. law as prescribed in the Posse Comitatus Act) that tanks and other military equipment would be used against mostly women and children within our own country. The bizarre tactics employed by the BATF and FBI at Waco are unfathomable and unforgivable! Our government has been more lenient and patient when dealing with many of America's deadliest enemies than it was in dealing with those poor Davidians.
There must never be another Waco! God-given, constitutional liberties apply to every American, even those who are considered strange or unconventional. Under no circumstances must we allow federal agencies to circumvent the laws of our nation!
The demands of liberty and justice rest upon us all. Certainly, Congress plays a part. Their investigation into Waco was inept, to say the least. The media also plays an important role. They have the power to inform; they also have the power to sedate. Absent a love for truth and justice by a lackadaisical media and a cowardly Congress, the fires of Waco still burn in the heart of the American conscience.
Beyond that, under the Bush administration, we have watched the size and scope of the federal government burgeon to proportions not seen since Lincoln invaded the South. It seems clear that we are entering an era of unlimited and unbridled federal power and authority. Can we assume, therefore, that more Wacos are on America's horizon?
It is incumbent upon each of us to seriously ponder our future. Furthermore, it is imperative that each of us is willing to study again the great principles upon which this nation was built. Those principles made us; those principles keep us. Without them, our future is about as permanent as the wooden buildings at Mt. Carmel. Without them, the fire of tyranny will reduce us to the cinders of obscurity.
© Chuck Baldwin
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