24 Years Ago Today, US Govt Used Chemical Weapons On Its Own People, Killing Women & Children
24 Years Ago Today, US Govt Used Chemical Weapons On Its Own People, Killing Women & Children By Jack Burns – The Free Thought Project
Americans are up in arms over the alleged gas attack in Syria. Although there was no investigation, and many high-profile individuals have called it a sham, the US has pinned the blame on Syrian president Bashar Al Assad. So, we thought it would be a good idea to remind our fellow Americans of an occasion where the federal government got away with gassing its own people, an action which, consequently, led to the deaths of 86 men, women, and children. It all came to a violent end 24 years ago today, in Texas.
Our source material comes from the FBI’s own vault, which contains two files on the case against Vernon Howell, also known as David Koresh. Koresh was the leader of the “Branch Davidians Seventh Day Adventists.” According to the FBI case file, Koresh was believed to have been holding people against their will at his compound in Waco, Texas, potentially guilty of “involuntary servitude and slavery” charges.
In 1992, Child Protective Services (CPS) was called in to investigate the accusations. After a thorough investigation, CPS concluded no one was being held at the compound against their will, nor any child abuse, and the federal prosecutor, who reviewed the report, saw no reason to prosecute Koresh. On October 16th, 1992, the FBI closed the case against Koresh and the allegations he was abusing children and holding his followers against their will.
Still, however, the FBI proceeded with investigating other allegations the Branch Davidians had converted semi-automatic AR-15 (assault) rifles into fully automatic ones, a violation of federal law. Also alleged was that the group was planning a mass suicide. The FBI concluded, “no information has been developed to verify the accuracy of the allegations.” Still, the FBI put local law enforcement on notice.
Despite having no concrete evidence Koresh, who some have said was delusional, had violated anyone’s civil rights, or abused any children, the investigation into the weapons violations continued. The Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives pursued the allegations the group was stockpiling weapons and explosives. According to the ATF, the bureau found:
136 FIREARMS, INCLUDING ASSAULT RIFLES AND HANDGUNS
700+ MAGAZINES FOR THOSE FIREARMS
200,000+ ROUNDS OF VARIOUS AMMUNITION
110 UPPER AND LOWER RECEIVERS FOR AR15/M16 RIFLES
GRENADE-LAUNCHER ATTACHMENTS FOR AR15/M16 RIFLES
400+ EMPTY M31 RIFLE GRENADES, ALONG WITH BLACK POWDER AND OTHER
Wishing to further investigate the compound’s armory, the ATF secured a search warrant and attempted to raid the compound on February 28th, 1993. The Davidians, possibly feeling they must protect their home, property, and persons from the intruders, opened fire on the federal agents, an action which led to the deaths of several ATF agents and compound members.
FOUR ATF AGENTS (SA TODD MCKEEHAN, SA CONWAY LEBLEU, SA ROBERT WILLIAMS AND SA STEVEN WILLIS) WERE KILLED; 20 ATF AGENTS WOUNDED FROM GUNSHOTS OR SHRAPNEL AND 8 SUFFERED OTHER INJURIES. SIX DAVIDIANS WERE ALSO REPORTEDLY KILLED AND FOUR WOUNDED FROM GUNSHOTS, ALTHOUGH THIS COULD NOT BE FORENSICALLY PROVEN BECAUSE OF THE LATER DESTRUCTION (BY FIRE) OF THE COMPOUND.
The raid initiated a 51-day standoff with the ATF as well as the FBI. Koresh released 24 members from the compound, who were mostly children, and continued the stand-off with authorities which was broadcast daily across the country until day 51 arrived. On that day, the government brought in heavy equipment and penetrated the compound with a tank-like machine which pumped the compound full of CS Gas. What happened next, in the minds of many who saw it, can only be likened to a horror film.