The Waco Tragedy : 25 Years Later.
From the print edition of The New American –
The government moved before dawn to launch the raid. Persistent reports indicated that the rebels had stockpiled weapons, which the government had declared illegal. Although intended as a surprise attack, the rebels were forewarned. It is still shrouded in mystery as to who fired the first shot. When the brief shoot-out was over, several Americans were dead.
It was April 19.
On that April 19, 1775, the “embattled farmers” stood and fired the shot heard ’round the world. The British military dictator of Massachusetts, General Thomas Gage, was determined to “nip rebellion in the bud.” He intended to do this by stripping away the guns of the American patriots who had resisted the British attempts to abridge their rights.
Since that day, two more significant April 19ths have taken their place in American history. One is the day that Branch Davidians died in a blazing inferno outside Waco, Texas, in 1993. The second was in 1995, when Timothy McVeigh and “others unknown” (in the words of the federal grand jury that indicted McVeigh) took revenge by bombing the Alfred P. Murrah federal building in downtown Oklahoma City.
The tragic events at the Branch Davidian complex were precipitated by the decision of the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, and Firearms (ATF) to launch a raid on a religious compound known as Mt. Carmel outside Waco, Texas, because the bureau alleged that David Koresh and other leaders of the Branch Davidians (a splinter group of the Seventh-Day Adventists) were stockpiling illegal weapons. The initial February 28 raid was a disaster, leading to the unfortunate deaths of several ATF agents and Branch Davidians.
Then, on April 19, following a 51-day siege by agents of the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI), the compound caught fire and 75 Davidians died a horrible death. The FBI argued that the Bureau was a case of mass suicide, and that it had nothing to do with the fire. President Bill Clinton even callously dismissed their deaths: “Some religious fanatics murdered themselves.” But these may
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