March 3, 1994
A message from WACO
negotiate with tanks, you donít assault a house where you have
people that donít need to be assaulted, and you donít bring
a case you canít prove.Ē So said defense attorney Dan
Cogdell of Houston, Texas following the acquittal of all government
charges against his client Clive Doyle who survived the Branch Davidian
inferno last April.
Doyle was one of eleven
members of the ill-fated Branch Davidian group who were charged with
murder and conspiracy to murder following the death of four ATF agents.
The agents were part of a Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco and Firearms
invasion force that stormed the Davidianís compound on February
28, 1993. The raid was conducted to serve a search warrant on Davidian
leader David Koresh. Six Branch Davidians were also killed in firefight
Fifty-one days later, on
April 19, the compound was destroyed in an incredible fireball that
killed Koresh and eighty of his followers. The fire, deaths and
destruction were the result of the governmentís decision to use
tanks to allegedly insert tear gas into the compound.
Doyle was one of four
defendants who were found innocent of all charges. Five others were
found guilty of voluntary manslaughter and two others were found guilty
of lesser charges. Defense attorneys said that the voluntary
manslaughter verdicts showed that jurors believed ATF agents had
provoked the Davidianís actions.
Federal agents including
Attorney General Janet Reno have publicly said they think the verdicts
demonstrated a government victory, but we all know the government lost.
Now, if only the government would admit their mistake. Donít hold
Following the raid a number
of top ATF agents were forced to resign including Director Stephen
Higgins. A Treasury Department report accused the ATF of faulty
planning, poor judgment and making false and misleading statements
about the raid that was doomed before it began. This raid was to be
staged as a major media event to show how good ATF was. It showed just
the opposite. As the agents who killed Sam and Vicky Weaver in Idaho
should be brought to trial for murder, so should the ATF and FBI agents
who directed the raid against the Davidians. Furthermore Janet Reno
should be removed from office for authorizing the tank attack that led
to the deaths of so many people.
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