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(Note: The Committee was created in September of 1993. This is our first leaflet which describes our 1993 activities. We did not begin issuing actual updates until 1995.)
The Committee for
Waco Justice is a group of individuals active in the Washington, D.C. area.
We are committed to ensuring the public knows the truth about violations
of rights, excessive force and governmental coverup in the Bureau of Tobacco,
Firearms, and Alcohol's (BATF) initial raid upon, and the Federal Bureau
of Investigation's (FBI) siege and destruction of, the Branch Davidian
religious group in Waco, Texas.
Our efforts have included presenting a videotape about the Waco massacre to over 100 people; informing members of Congress and the press of crucial issues regarding the Waco massacre; networking with other groups involved in the issue; attending both the Treasury and Justice Departments' press conferences where they issued official reports on Waco; reading these reports and doing extensive research. We intend to organize February 28 and April 19, 1994 vigils in front of the White House to commemorate these two significant dates in the government's destruction of the Branch Davidians.
We are working on a full scale report which we intend to deliver to members of Congress and the press and to civil liberty, gun rights, informed jury, drug legalization, libertarian, religious and other groups. It will explore serious questions raised by both hard and by suggestive evidence, such as: evidence Branch Davidians attempted to cooperate with BATF and local police before the raid; evidence BATF and FBI were fed questionable information by professional "cult busters" committed to destroying the religious group; evidence of false and misleading information in the affidavit for warrant to excuse a full, paramilitary raid; evidence that frightened BATF agents shot first; evidence of indiscriminate fire during the raid, including shooting from helicopters; evidence that "friendly fire" wounded and even killed BATF agents; evidence FBI agents sabotaged negotiations with the Branch Davidians; evidence of gross negligence in the plan to gas and "disassemble" the Mt. Carmel Center: evidence the FBI misled and bullied Janet Reno into approving their plan; evidence FBI agents went beyond their authority in beginning demolition of the building; evidence of suspicious activity by agents during the tank attack; evidence FBI agents are fully responsible for the fire which killed 75 or more people; evidence government agents deliberately destroyed a crime scene; evidence of conflicts of interest, collusion, whitewash and coverup in the Treasury and Justice Department reports.
The January trial of 11 Branch Davidians inevitably will bring more revelations about governmental misconduct. We will continue to persuade individuals and organizations to join with us in urging Congress to demand prosecutions of the government agents and federal officials responsible for the brutal February 28 and April 19th attacks on the Branch Davidians. We also call for Congress to pursue an independent investigation of government wrongdoing in this matter and to require that federal agencies overhaul their investigatory and enforcement procedures. Americans should never again be raided, assaulted and massacred as was the Branch Davidian religious group.
The Committee for Waco Justice will sponsor a candle light vigil in Lafayette
Park across from the White House on February 28, 1994 from 6:00-7:30 pm.
The vigil will mark the February 28, 1993 Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco and
Firearm's (ATF) paramilitary raid on the Branch Davidian religious group
which resulted in the deaths of six Branch Davidians and four ATF agents.
Vigil participants will carry signs reading: "Is Your Church ATF-Approved," "Abolish ATF," "Search Warrant = Death Warrant," "Waco Massacre, Never Again," and "Appoint an Independent Counsel."
The Committee for Waco Justice will sponsor a second White House vigil April 19, 1994 to mark the 1993 Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) tank assault which resulted in a fire that killed 80 or more Branch Davidians.
Evidence presented during the Branch Davidian trial proves that ATF went ahead with the raid on the Branch Davidians despite the facts that: ATF had no evidence that weapons were purchased illegally; in 1992 David Koresh invited ATF agents to inspect his guns; ATF agents had no plan to serve search and arrest warrants peacefully; ATF agents probably shot first and did fire indiscriminately, even injuring their own agents; ATF decided to conduct a paramilitary raid because of the overly-aggressive mentality of raid planners, shoddy intelligence, and a need to bolster ATF's image.
The Committee for Waco Justice is calling for President Bill Clinton to direct Attorney General Janet Reno to appoint an Independent Counsel to investigate evidence of official misconduct, violations of rights, and excessive use of force culminating in negligent--and possibly intentional--homicide in the ATF and FBI assaults on the Branch Davidians. The Committee also is calling for an investigation into whether Treasury and Justice Department officials were involved in coverups of any such crimes. The Committee has released a 134 page in-depth report, "The Massacre of the Branch Davidians," which supports the contention that crimes were committed.
(Note: Over 50 people attended our vigil. Also, this was two days after six members of the Committee attended an small demonstration at the opening of an over-priced court and jail in Virginia the same afternoon that eleven Davidians were acquitted of conspiracy to murder and murder of federal agents. However, eight were found guilty of lesser charges. On March 19, 1994 several members of the Committee joined with civil rights, gunowner rights and drug legalization groups and activists on Saturday, March 19, 1993, at 10:00 a.m. to protest Attorney General Janet Reno's appearance at a "Crime Summit" held in Alexandria, VA.)
PRESS RELEASE: COMMITTEE FOR WACO JUSTICE TO DISTRIBUTE DAVID KORESH "PROMISE TO SURRENDER" LETTER IN FRONT OF JANET RENO'S OFFICE AND FBI
On Thursday, April 14 between 12:30 and 1:30 p.m. members of the Committee
for Waco Justice will distribute copies of David Koresh's April 14, 1993
"promise to surrender letter" outside of Attorney General Janet Reno's
office at the Justice Department, Pennsylvania Avenue and 10th Streets,
N.W., and outside the FBI building across the street from it. (A
typed copy of that letter is below.)
The Committee for Waco Justice's report "The Massacre of the Branch Davidians," reveals that either FBI agents in Waco or FBI or Justice officials withheld this letter from top FBI officials and from Attorney General Janet Reno. We know that Koresh's April 14 promise to surrender letter was withheld because:
* The Justice Department report states that Reno received only Koresh's early, defiant letters: "The FBI provided the Attorney General with copies of the memoranda prepared by Dr. Miron and Dr. Krofcheck and SSA Van Zandt analyzing Koresh's April 9th letter." (p. 274) It does not mention if FBI negotiator Byron Sage discussed the April 14th letter to then assistant to the Attorney General Webster Hubbell during their April 15th conversation about the status of negotiations or if Hubbell passed this information on to Reno. (pgs. 270-271)
* At the April 28, 1993, House Judiciary Committee hearing, both FBI Director Sessions and FBI Deputy Director Clarke mention only Koresh earlier defiant letters. Clarke stated that Koresh had "his own game plan" and the "snare had been set."
* During FBI officials' briefings of both reporters and outside experts asked to review the governments actions, only Koresh's April 9th and 10th letters were displayed. (Washington Post, April 22, 1993; analysis of Justice Report; correspondence from one outside expert.)
Whoever withheld Koresh's April 14th letter from top FBI and Justice Department officials--while promoting the earlier defiant letters--wanted to make sure that Janet Reno would not cancel the plan to gas the Branch Davidians. Those individuals are guilty of a grave crime and should be prosecuted.
We are asking any Justice Department or Federal Bureau of Investigation employees who have information on who is guilty of this and other crimes against the Branch Davidians to report that information to Representatives Jack Brooks and Don Edwards of the House Judiciary Committee and their committee counsels, and to attorneys conducting civil suits for Branch Davidians, including Kirk Lyons, the Cause Foundation, Black Mountain, N.C. and John P. Coale, Washington, D.C.
The Committee for Waco Justice is calling for Congress to hold in-depth Congressional hearings into crimes against the Branch Davidians.
(Note: In the 1995 House Waco hearings FBI chief negotiator Byron Sage admitted he provided little information to his superiors about what even representatives began to call "Koresh's promise-to-surrender." He sent a copy of David Koresh's April 14 surrender letter solely to FBI analysts in Washington who sent it to FBI consultant Murray Miron. Only this analysis was forwarded to FBI officials and Attorney General Janet Reno. )
PRESS RELEASE: COMMITTEE FOR WACO JUSTICE TO SPONSOR FBI DEMONSTRATION, CROSS ERECTION AT ELLIPSE AND WHITE HOUSE VIGIL TO MARK 1993 FBI MASSACRE OF BRANCH DAVIDIANS
The Committee for Waco Justice will sponsor three events to mark the 1993
Federal Bureau of Investigation tank assault on Mount Carmel Center in
Waco, Texas which resulted in a fire that killed 80 or more Branch Davidians.
* 12:00-2:30 pm. Protest in front of FBI building, Pennsylvania Avenue, N.W., between 9th and 10th Street.
* 3:00-8:00 pm. Erection of 82 crosses on the Ellipse directly south of the White House. (Note: This was the fifth day in a row that we set up this memorial.)
* 6:30-8:00 pm. Candlelight vigil and reading of names of Branch Davidians massacred by the government, in Lafayette Park, across from White House.
Demonstration and vigil participants will carry signs, including: "Waco Massacre, Never Again," "Don't Gas Children," "Janet Reno, You're No Hero," "Free the Branch Davidians," "Remember Warsaw, Remember Waco." Fifty people participated in the Committee's February 28 White House vigil marking the ATF assault on the Davidians.
Evidence presented during the Branch Davidian trial included that: the FBI smashed over 300 tear gas grenades into the building; three tanks attacked the building simultaneously minutes before the fires broke out--Branch Davidians claim one or more tanks knocked over kerosene lamps and started the fires; FBI tank drivers had orders to drive the tanks deep into the building; half the large gymnasium roof was collapsed by a rampaging tank and the FBI covered up the fact that a fire flash was seen in this area immediately afterwards; surveillance tapes which the government claims prove the Branch Davidians started the fire are audibly indistinct and their contents easily could have innocent meanings; the government admits several people died from blunt trauma--defense attorneys alleged from being struck by grenades or by debris from the tank attacks.
On February 26, 1994 all eleven Branch Davidian were acquitted of conspiracy to murder. Five were found guilty of aiding and abetting manslaughter and two on weapons charges. On March 3 Judge Walter Smith, under pressure from prosecutors, reinstated weapons conspiracy convictions, thereby imprisoning one woman about to be freed. Smith originally refused to let the Jury finish their deliberations on the weapons charges because Smith promised defense attorneys he would dismiss the charges.
The Committee for Waco Justice is calling for Congress to hold in-depth Congressional hearings and to see to the appointment of an Independent Counsel to investigate evidence of official misconduct, violations of rights, excessive use of force, and coverup of these crimes against the Branch Davidians.
(Note: While just a few people attended the noon event, around sixty people showed up for the White House event that evening.)
PRESS RELEASE: DEMONSTRATION OUTSIDE CONGRESS TO SUPPORT CREATION OF "WACO INVESTIGATION COMMISSION"
On Thursday, May 5th, between 12:30 and 1:30 p.m. members of the Committee
for Waco Justice will demonstrate in front of the Rayburn House Office
Building, Independence Avenue and South Capitol Street, to urge Congress
to create a "Waco Investigation Commission" to look into the Alcohol, Tobacco
and Firearms and Federal Bureau of Investigation's assaults on the Branch
Davidian religious group in Waco, Texas which resulted in the deaths of
over 87 members. We will be joined by members of the Waco Remembrance
Committee members will distribute a leaflet challenging Congress to end the ATF, Treasury Department, FBI and Justice Department coverups of violations of rights and excessive force culminating in negligent or even intentional homicide. A copy of the leaflet is enclosed.
The American Civil Liberties Union, the consulting firm of Ross & Green, the Gun Owners of America, and other organizations are promoting a bill to create a fully independent "Waco Investigation Commission" empowered to hold hearings, subpoena witnesses, take testimony under oath, and grant immunity from prosecutions. After one year it would report to Congress and make recommendations for appropriate actions, including possible prosecution of individuals responsible for crimes against the Branch Davidians.