Could the ATF Have Prevented the Waco Massacre?

Discussion in 'The War Room' started by WaylonMercy5150, Aug 26, 2018.

  1. WaylonMercy5150

    WaylonMercy5150 Silver Belt

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    I've been reading about this event again for the last few days and am wondering if there is anything they could have done during the very first encounter that could have prevented the ensuing massacre? Maybe had they shown up unarmed or called first? Once the FBI was involved they seemed to know Koresh was hell-bent on creating Armageddon so why did they antagonize him by blasting Nancy Sinatra all night with a loud speaker? It seems like they knew what he wanted to happen and they didn't take it serious even after he/ his followers killed 4 federal agents. Your thoughts?
     
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  2. DIDM

    DIDM Honk Honk

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    Have you see the footage?

    It’s sickening. Launched gas grenades into the house, and sat at the exits shooting everyone who ran out
     
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  3. WaylonMercy5150

    WaylonMercy5150 Silver Belt

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    Koresh also ordered his followers to pour gas on the ground.
     
  4. Don Quixote

    Don Quixote Heart of a Lion

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    If the branch davidians weren’t alerted, I think their plan would have worked.
     
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  5. WaylonMercy5150

    WaylonMercy5150 Silver Belt

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    You don't think they would have had it out with them even if they were surprised? Or do you think they needed the 10 min to prepare themselves.
     
  6. jonharrison

    jonharrison Blue Belt

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    Here’s the problem, you’re thinking of this from a position with 20/20 hindsight. Prior to Waco, neither the FBI nor ATF had experienced anything like the Branch Davidians before. They were writing the tactical playlist as they went, because they were more used to criminals who tended to prefer prison over death. The Waco siege was the first big shootout with entrenched religious fanatics. The Waco siege was the impetus for increased focus on SWAT teams and tactics at the federal level, and recognizing the need for better strategies regarding barricaded suspects. It’s like comparing the pre to post 9/11 strategies concerning hijackers and trying to determine if the pilots and passengers did the right thing. They didn’t, but it’s because they didn’t know what was going to happen, having no prior reference point.
     
  7. Don Quixote

    Don Quixote Heart of a Lion

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    Probably. I think if they werent surprised the ATF could have at least nullified the branch davidians and cut them off significantly before they really had a chance to get armed.

    When the branch davidians were alerted they were armed to the teeth and had established armed positions. They also had the element of surprise on their side.
     
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  8. WaylonMercy5150

    WaylonMercy5150 Silver Belt

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    Very true. But they did know that Koresh wanted and "end of days" type of scenario, they poked the bear a lot in the weeks before the massacre occurred.
     
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  9. jonharrison

    jonharrison Blue Belt

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    If you read accounts by agents on the ground, though, they didn’t realize that was anything more than hollow rhetoric. They thought they were a group of hippies who would scatter at a massive show of force. That’s why the ATF rolled up in unarmored cars and gave the Branch Davidians warning they were coming. Now those types of threats are taken extremely seriously, and if a raid is justified no warning is given. You come in at night, not broad daylight, you insert in helos, not cars, and you end it quick, you don’t constantly provoke in a siege. These were lessons that needed learning, and unfortunately those lessons come from real world experiences that tend to not go well.

    Edit: but the biggest lesson was that raids ultimately lead to bodies, so it’s often just not worth it. Just wait things out, the people inside will get tired and leave, just look at the Bundy ranchers and that siege. No provocation, no raid, just waiting them out as they get bored and run out of food. Then they voluntarily left.
     
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  10. WaylonMercy5150

    WaylonMercy5150 Silver Belt

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    I heard they heard the warning by chance and that the ATF planned to go without warning but someone tipped them off.
     
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  11. IndyCovaHart

    IndyCovaHart Gold Belt

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    The Ruby Ridge incident literally happened the previous year so they had experience and recent experience to boot.
     
  12. jonharrison

    jonharrison Blue Belt

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    Yes and no. The ATF has staked our the compound from a house across the street, but unbeknownst to the ATF, that cover was blown months in advance, so the Branch Davidians had plenty of prior warning. They were also tipped off the day of, but once again the ATF didn’t know that until after the fact. The plan still remained that they’d just show up in force and the Davidians would just scatter.
     
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  13. jonharrison

    jonharrison Blue Belt

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    Ruby Ridge was seen as a failure for different reasons, though. Ruby Ridge was seen as a failure due to inappropriate trigger discipline by the agents, not a failed tactical plan. Shooting at movement and through walls without verifying targets, which lead to unfortunate civilian deaths. Waco was a failure of tactics because it put too much time in the defenders hands to arm up and get hyped about fighting to the death, while exposing agents out in the open to gunfire. Different lessons were learned from each incident, although they both contributed to changes in the feds’ tactical planning and execution.
     
  14. IndyCovaHart

    IndyCovaHart Gold Belt

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    Fair enough. The religious component was pretty critical.

    There’s a different element there than mere right-wing militia fanaticism.

    Actually, I take that back. According to Wikipedia, the Weavers did adopt a fundamentalist apocalyptic view, as well.
     
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  15. WaylonMercy5150

    WaylonMercy5150 Silver Belt

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    This event did inspire right-wing militant acts tho.
     
  16. jonharrison

    jonharrison Blue Belt

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    That was the primary experience going into Waco, dealing with militias. If they rolled up to a militia compound, usually they could scare the defenders out with a show of force. It took Waco to realize that well armed defenders, who didn’t care about death, couldn’t be counted on to just surrender.
     
  17. WaylonMercy5150

    WaylonMercy5150 Silver Belt

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    A member of the white supremacist group "the order" died in a shootout and eventual fire with police in 1984. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_Order_(white_supremacist_group) Not trying to prove a point just passing along info.
     
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  18. lifelessheap

    lifelessheap Silver Belt

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    Didn't some FBI prick shoot a 14 year old's dog to kick that off? So stupid. And then an FBI sniper just started offing people? Including a mom holding an infant? Fucked.
     
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  19. jonharrison

    jonharrison Blue Belt

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    The Order one is also interesting because it was seen as a success, rather than a precursor of what was to come. While yes, Matthews died, he was the only one out of something like a hundred other members who were arrested without incident. In the eyes of the FBI at the time, it was seen as a successful operation. Should it have been taken as a lesson that other members of the far right religious movements might have engaged in shootouts? Maybe? But one guy out of an entire criminal organization shooting it out isn’t unusual, and to the FBIs credit the grenades used were changed so they could no longer ignite like they did in Matthews cabin.
     
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  20. WaylonMercy5150

    WaylonMercy5150 Silver Belt

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    The Order was from guys that attended the same white supremacist get together's in Idaho as Randy Weaver who would go on to be the center of the Ruby Ridge incident.
     
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