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ATF Agents Discuss Waco Raid

January 10, 2013  | 

ATF agents fire guns and break into windows at the Mount Carmel Ranch compound on Feb. 28, 1993. This screenshot is from footage that appears in Linda Thompson's "Waco: The Big Lie."
ATF agents fire guns and break into windows at the Mount Carmel Ranch compound on Feb. 28, 1993. This screenshot is from footage that appears in Linda Thompson's "Waco: The Big Lie."

Three agents involved in the ATF's disastrous Waco raid will discuss the event at a panel discussion in Washington D.C. hosted by the National Law Enforcement Officers Memorial Fund.

The discussion, part of the "Witness to History" lecture series, is being billed as the first time agents involved in the raid have discussed it publicly.

On Feb. 28, 1993, the ATF raided a Branch Davidian compound to serve arrest and search warrants as part of an investigation into illegal possession of firearms and explosives. Following the failed raid, the FBI initiated a siege of the Mount Carmel Ranch compound. On April 19, the compound was destroyed in a fire after a second assault was launched.

The violent events that unfolded took the lives of four agents and 82 men, women, and children affiliated with the Branch Davidian religious sect.

The panel discussion will include expert analysis and firsthand accounts from those closely tied to the investigation, and will be moderated by Craig W. Floyd, chairman and CEO of the Memorial Fund. A Q&A session will allow audience members to interact with the panelists at the end of the discussion.

Panelists include retired ATF agents Bill Buford, Pete Mastin, and Jerry Petrilli. Dick Reavis, author of "The Ashes of Waco: An Investigation," will also join the panel.

The Feb. 7 event begins at 6 p.m. and will take place at the Pew Charitable Trusts Building, 901 E. Street NW. Admission is free and this event is open to the public. Register by Jan. 31.

Comments (5)

Displaying 1 - 5 of 5

Kathy @ 1/10/2013 10:59 PM

These retired gentlemen are, no doubt, coming together to publicly atone for their deadly participation in the Branch Davidian 1993 raid. Otherwise - no atonement equals - dishonesty. They need and want strong public support for their soon-to-be-made disclosures. I wish for them to attain lasting peace in their hearts/minds and souls.

Greg @ 1/15/2013 11:37 AM

SEVERAL AGENTS & CIVILIANS!? 82 civilians, most women & children are a few? Of the 4 agents killed, friendly fire contributed to this (.Some of this confusion was clarified on February 25, 1994 when Agent Constantino testified at the Branch Davidian trial. He said that aportion of the bullet removed from Agent Jordan was 9mm "hydroshock" bullet like his own and acknowledged "it's possible" he may haveshot Jordan. He did not know if a ballistics test had been done to determine if the bullet was from his gun.[170]More investigation of thisincident and a careful study of the full KWTX videotape of this incident remain necessary"..what an obscene discussion and a real black eye for honest law enforcement.

Oh well, things to come when obama makes all gun owners criminals.

Really?? @ 1/21/2013 8:01 PM

The Agents in charge of the four teams have debriefed this incident several times at the TTPOA conference. The other two posters are caught up in the torrent of lies and tin foil BS surrounding the ill-fated raid.

The bottom line was that agents were serving a lawful search warrant. Their raid plan was admittedly flawed and the raid was compromised from a security standpoint. Political pressures led them to exercise the plan regardless, and agents died at the hands of the Davidians and the Davidians died by their own hand in an almost inevitable conflagration.

What those agents have to live with is that their failure to stand up to their own brass and cancel the raid was a leadership failure. THAT is what they have to live with and atone for, by their own words. They atone for it every year by telling a new generation of cops. Now they are sharing their lesson with a wider audience.

FSU Grad @ 1/21/2013 8:19 PM

If my memory is correct the first agent who was shot was an FSU Grad

Richard Hightower @ 1/22/2013 9:21 AM

The comment of the ATF raid on the Branch Dividian mission -- yes, it was an outreach mission to people with broken families -- was a "lawful search warrant" is disengenous.

It was a publicity stunt gone wrong. The BATFE was starting their annual funding review by Congress and wanted a high-profile "bust" to puncuate their request for more funding. They choose what they thought would be a soft target. They were wrong.

They were wrong on many counts. Operationally, target selection, and especially as Law Enforcement Offciers. They were not on a "lawful search warrant" but a raid for public attention. The Dividians had not broken any laws that warrented such treatment.

Until the BATFE is forced to bear the full responsibility for the deaths of helpless civilians (and do dare to call what the BATFE in colusion with the then Administration and Justice Department -- MURDER) then they are a lawless band of brigands akin to Banastre Tarleton and his troops during the American War of Independance.)

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