Patterico's Pontifications


Constitutional Vanguard: The Branch Davidian Debate

Filed under: General — Patterico @ 12:45 pm

What if there had been a debate for leadership of the Branch Davidians? I think it might have gone a little something like this.

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P.S. This is a short one. The endless tomes will resume soon.

P.P.S. I know, I know: don’t quit my day job.

6 Responses to “Constitutional Vanguard: The Branch Davidian Debate”

  1. Hello.

    Patterico (fb4f7c)

  2. Well done, Patterico! Humor can be more powerful than straight-up commentary.

    I loved “Koresh but Kompetent”.

    And I’m sure a shiver would run up the leg of DCSCA (if he still reads the blog, which I highly doubt) when he saw “Hikki Naley”.

    norcal (6bed19)

  3. There actually was a contest (not exactly decided by an election) for the leadership of the Branch Davidians, and the loser apparently sicced the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco and Firearms on David Koresh (who changed his name from Vernon Wayne Howell to David Koresh in order to make some Biblical prophecies, concerning King David and concerning Cyrus the Great of Persia, apply to him.(Note: This doesn’t work)

    This turned out to be something that Friend of Bill, Bill Buford, head of the BATF in Little Rock, Arkansas, could use to his advantage. He’d tried to play the hero once before in 1985.

    To make David Koresh look really bad he shot three of his own men. The idea was to “prove” that the Branch Davidians were dangerous and so put aside all questions about the affidavit for the warrant (for one thing, something he probably did not notice, it had David Koresh predicting the LA riot but there were other problems with it.. Buford probably made a mistake about the date – that was a bit anachronistic and this was before the Internet and so he couldn’t check. Even a reference librarian would have had trouble finding out the exact date of the LA riot so soon, before almanacs were published.)

    But Buford had not thought of this newfangled thing called a cell phone, which one person in Mount Carmel had, and so Koresh was able to communicate with the outside world after the phone connections had been off, and Koresh was able to get a ceasefire.

    He had to get the help of hid friend Bill Clinton to murder most of the Branch Davidians to cover up his own murders. It took Clinton seven weeks.

    I think Clinton helped him because Buford had covered up the first murder attempt on Alice McArthur, which was by bomb and failed..also Clinton may have intended to merge the BATF with the FBI and appoint Bill Buford to a high ranking position in the FBI.

    Most people don’t have any idea, or didn’t, that the Little Rock BATF head was one of the planners of the raid and his name is in the Waco warrant. (He added some irrelevant sex charges at the beginning of 1993)

    There is circumstantial detective Colombo like evidence for all of this. The dates in the affidavit track show the investigation stopped when Perot got a lead in the polls in June and didn’t resume until after the election.

    Sammy Finkelman (1d215a)

  4. SF> the loser apparently sicced the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco and Firearms on David Koresh

    Actually probably first, the Texas Department of Human Services.

    SF> [The Waco warrant] had David Koresh predicting the LA riot

    On December 7,1992, I spoke with Special Agent Carlos Torres, Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco and Firearms, Houston, Texas, who had been assisting me in a portion of this investigation. He related to me the results of his interview on December 4,1992, with Joyce Sparks, Texas Department of Human Service, Waco, Texas. Special Agent Torres told me that Ms. Sparks received a complaint from outside the State of Texas, that David Doresh was operating a commune type compound, and that he was sexually abusing young girls. Ms. Sparks stated that on February 27,1992, she along with two other employees of the Texas Department of Human Services and Two McLennan County Sheriff’s Deputies responded to the complaint….

    …. Ms. Sparks also said that on April 6,1992, she visited the compound again. On this occasion she talked with David Koresh. She asked Koresh about the firearms which she had been told by the small child. Koresh admitted that there were a few firearms there, but said that most of the adults did not know of them, and that there were too few to be of any significance. Ms. Sparks said that when she pressed Koresh about the firearms and their location at the compound, he offered to show her around. He requested that she wait about 30 minutes until he could get the other residents out of the building so they would not see where he had the firearms stored. After a period of time, Ms. Sparks was escorted through part of the building by Koresh. She noted that there was more construction activityy and that the inside of the structure looked quite differant from her previous visit. Each time Ms. Sparks asked Koresh about the location of the firearms, he would tell her that they were in a safe place where the children could not get to them. Then he would change the subject.

    Ms. Sparks said that she noticed a trap door in the floor at one end of the building. Whe she inquired about it, Koresh allowed her to look into the trap door. She could see a ladder leading down into a buried school bus from which all the seats had been removed. At one end of the bus she could see a very large refrigerator with numerous bullet holes. She also saw three long guns lying on the floor of the bus, however, she did not know the make or caliber of them. Whe stated that there was no electricity in the bus. Everything she saw was with the aid of a pen light. When questioned by Ms. Sparks, Koresh said that the bus was where he practiced his target shooting in order not to distrub his neighbors.

    Ms. Sparks felt the entire walk through the compound was staged for her by Koresh. When she asked to speak with some of the children and other residents, Koresh refused, stating they were not available. She said that during her conversation with Koresh, he told her that he was the “Messenger” from God, that the world was coming to an end, and that when he “reveals” himself the riots in Los Angeles would pale in comparison to what was going to happen in Waco, Texas. Koresh stated that it would be a “military type operation” and that all the “non-believers” would have to suffer.

    April 6, 1992wasweeksbefore the LA riots! And no, Koresh was not referring to the Watts riot of 1965, 27 years before.

    Sammy Finkelman (1d215a)

  5. Here is something indicating Bill Clintons personal connection to the planners of the Waco raid of February 28, 1993: (I discovered this in aback issue of the Wall Street Journal sometime after the fire. At the time it wass published, it would have meant oractically nothing to mmost people)

    There was an article about a week in the life of President Clinton in
    the Tuesday, March 9, 1993 Wall Street Journal. You can read. . .

    For March 1:

    ” He also wants to know the condition of one particular ATF agent who
    was wounded at Waco: Jay William Buford, an acquaintance of his from
    Arkansas. ”


    ” And Deputy Treasury Secretary Altman is dispatched to Waco to visit
    Mr. Buford and the other wounded agents. ”

    And, under Wednesday, March 3:

    ” Mr. Altman reports on his trip to Waco and his visit with the
    President’s friend, Mr. Buford, who was nicked in the nose by a bullet.
    The president wants to know if there will be any permanent scarring. Mr. Altman says he doesn’t think so. ”
    This was overheard by the reporter. At the time the say was scheduled, the Waco raid was not expected to be failure.

    Now go back to the last sentence I quoted. This indicates that SOMEBODY went to a great deal of trouble to lie. You may know of Roger Altman from Whitewater.

    If this is behind a paywall, try this link:

    My point here is only that Roger Altman was dishonest.

    If he and Clinton didn’t stage a phony conversation, the paper lied.

    In the book Massacre at Waco, Buford’s wounds are described as much more serious and he is said to have rolled off the roof. In the Treasury Department report he is said to have had two wounds in the legs, which is probably the truth. Or closer.

    ? Well, he’s not just any old ATF agent, but
    the special agent in charge for the ATF in Little Rock, Arkansas and
    one of the leaders of the raid.

    Now, there is some video footage of the raid, shot by TV station KWTX,
    Channel 10 in Waco, included in Linda Thompson’s famous Waco video. Bits
    of it were rebroadcast for a few seconds during the CBS Evening News of
    Wednesday, May 5, 1995 although not the segment showing Buford killing
    the other agents under his command, and I’m not sure if the network
    has the crucial frames. But the quality of the tape is very good.

    It shows two groups of four agents climbing ladders to reach a
    second floor roof. Once there, one group of agents break a
    second-floor window. Three go in, and the fourth apparently throws
    some kind of smoke grenade into the house after them. There then is
    a short cut in the tape, in Linda Thompson’s version at least, and the
    fourth man then fires a MP-5 machine-gun into the room.

    Originally, the BATF claimed that three men died in that room, and that
    is what the caption in the March 15, 1993 issue of Newsweek indicates.

    However, in the final Treasury Department report, the group that went
    to the “weapons” room (which wasn’t actually a weapons room, but that
    was the excuse for sending them there) consisted of only three men, and
    all three survived, and one of them is Buford!! While Robert J. Williams
    is said to have died outside the room on the roof, Todd McKeehan and
    Conway LaBleu are totally bereft of any place or cause of death.

    I believe that that man with the MP-5 machine-gun is Jay William Buford,
    the head of the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco and Firearms in Little Rock.
    He was the leader of one of three groups the raiders were broken into –
    the one called “New Orleans” (Of course his connection to Little Rock
    did not get into most of the press when he testified at the trial of
    Branch Davidians in 1994, but can be found in books etc. The New York
    Times did not cover his testimony, and two stories I saw electronically
    posted, from the Austin American Statesman and from the Houston
    Chronicle, associated him with New Orleans rather than Little Rock.
    President Bill Clinton was very successful in keeping the Little Rock
    connection out of public consciousness.)

    Without that knowledge of the Little Rock connection, you can’t even begin to suspect Bill Clinton of involvement in the planning of the raid.

    You can look at a still frame of that KWTX-TV videotape on page 52-53 of
    the March 15, 1993 Newsweek. There’s Buford (I think that man is Buford)
    holding a MP-5 machine gun, keeping himself to the left of and just
    below the level of that window. That must be just before or just after
    he shot Robert J. Williams, Todd McKeehan, and Conway LeBleu. It’s
    available in almost any public library. The picture is in black and
    white, although the original videotape was shot in color and NEWSWEEK
    printed other color photographs on the same page, and is extremely
    blurry, although you could probably not recognize a face anyway in
    that shot, since he’s not looking right at the camera. He is also
    evidently wearing the sort of a helmet made of cloth and goggles
    that another ATF agent is seen wearing in another picture on page 54-55.

    The picture is actually captioned as being that of an ATF agent being
    hit. And perhaps Buford was hit around then. . .by his own men firing
    back at him before they died. That may have been the reason that was
    there in the first place as sort of a pre-emptive defense. The quality
    of the picture was deliberately degraded because although shot in color, it was printed in black and white.

    Newsweek (and the Washington Post company) were very closely allied to Clinton (although the Washington Post sometimes broke anti-Clinton stories to cushion the impact)

    Newsweek ran a cover story entitled “Children of the Cult” for the May
    17, 1993 – only six weeks after they had run ANOTHER cover story
    debunking the child sexual abuse network of psychiatrists and social
    workers. But when it came to Waco, and covering up for Clinton, suddenly all that had merit.

    Somehow this clever covering up style of Newsweek continues to this day through different ownerships.

    By the way, I think the cut in the Waco big lie videotape was made by none other
    than. . .

    . . .Linda Thompson, who is actually secretly working for Clinton and
    leads people to believe that the evidence is less solid than it is,
    and throws in false evidence and started this whole militia movement, which attempts to portray Waco as a case in point of some imaginary conspiracy by the U.N. to take over the United States rather than the prime case in point of Bill Clinton’s abuse of power.

    The KWTX-TV videotape showing Buford murdering three of his own
    agents was also introduced and played in the trial, where Buford
    testified that he was one of the three men who went into that
    room, and that all three survived. (BTW, Buford portrayed himself a s
    the most innocent BATF agent of all. He claimed that he was opposed
    to a raid – although he claimed there was no way that Koresh would have
    let them peacefully onto the premises apparently, and he even later
    declared that one ATF agent was killed by friendly fire – see April 4,
    1994 National Review magazine)

    I think that is the videotape that was used in the trial because the
    video that was used in the trial was was shot by KWTX-TV and the
    newspaper article seems to be describing about the same thing. A New
    York Times article on Friday, January 28, 1994, reveals that a videotape
    that sounds very much like the video tape included into in Linda
    Thompson’s “Waco, the Big Lie” – except that maybe it might include
    the missing frames – was played during the trial of 11 Branch Davidians.

    ” In a darkened courtroom, jurors saw raw video footage of the gun
    fight. The steady crackle of gunfire could be heard in footage of
    agents firing into the compound, storming an upper-floor window,
    and retreating from the scene with their dead and wounded. ”

    There was gunfire of course (mostly coming from the BATF) going on
    all during the time that the group of 8, I think it was, went up onto the roof, but no gunfire was obviously coming at them. They didn’t try to shield themselves or anything.

    It would also be worth looking into the ownership and management
    structure of KWTX-TV or what it was in 1993. That station used to be
    partially owned by Lady Bird Johnson many years before and may still have had some sort of political connections, which could account for their covering up 3 murders and not making a big story out of it.

    Sammy Finkelman (1d215a)

  6. Here are some details about Buford’s role in planning the raid:

    The Waco warrant states (Linda Thompson’s copy)

    ” On January 1, and January 3, 1992, Mrs. Poia Vaega of Mangers,
    Auckland, New Zealand, was interviewed telephonically by Resident
    Agent in Charge Bill Buford, Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco and
    Firearms, Little Rock, Arkansas, who also is assisting me in this
    investigation. The results of Special Agent Buford’s interview on
    January 1, 1993, was reduced to writing and furnished to me.
    Special Agent Buford’s interview on January 3, 1993, was tape
    recorded with the permission of Poia Vaega and has since been
    transcribed and typewritten. Both the tape recording and the
    transcription was furnished to me by Special Agent Buford. Both
    interviews with Poia Vaega revealed a false imprisonment for a term
    of three and one half (3 1/2) months which began in June of 1991 and
    physical and sexual abuse of one of Mrs. Vaega’s sisters, Doreen
    Saipaia. This was while she was a member of the “Branch Davidian”
    at the Mount Carmel Center, Waco, Texas. The physical and sexual
    abuse was done by Vernon Wayne Howell and Stanley Sylvia, a close
    follower of Howell, on several occasions.

    It was learned from Mrs. Vaega that she and her husband, Leslie,
    were also members of Howell’s group in Waco for a short period of
    time in March 1990. Upon their arrival at Mount Carmel Center, she
    and her husband were separated and not allowed to sleep together or
    have any sexual contact.

    According to Mrs. Vaega, all the girls and women at the compound
    were exclusively reserved for Howell. She stated that Howell would
    preach his philosophy, which did not always coincide with the Bible,
    for hours at a time. She and her husband left the compound for ten
    (10) days because her husband did not agree with Howell’s doctrine,
    but that her two sisters stayed behind.

    Mrs. Vaega also related that she was present at one of the study
    periods held by Howell when Howell passed his personal AK-47
    machinegun around for the group to handle and look over. “

    Note here that Buford first called her and only later made notes and
    only recorded his *second* conversation, which wasn’t needed.

    This was at a period of time when the warrant was being “improved.” And President-elect Clinton was still in Little Rock at the time.

    In April, 1993, after the warrant was made public, Poia Vaega refused to tell the New York Times specifically what she had said. (April 22, 1993 newspaper article)

    ” Mrs. Poia Vaega of New Zealand also told agents, according to the affidavit, that her sister had been subjected to physical and sexual abuse by Mr. Koresh and another cult member. Among those presumed dead in the compound were Doris, Margarida and Neal Vaega. Mrs Vaega, when contacted today in New Zealand, confirmed that she had spoken with Federal agents but would not go into detail about what she had told them. “

    – article by Dirk Johnson on page B12 of the Thursday, April 22, 1993
    New York Times.

    I think Buford got her to back up a lie (claiming she had told him
    things. That is, on January 1, 1993 he told her how to go through the January 3 call he would make, perhaps telling her that that way her in-laws could be detached from David Koresh and go home.

    Carol Moore, a member of the Libertarian Party in Washington D.C. who
    wrote a book about the massacre of the Branch Davidians at Waco, whose
    publication or distribution may have been sabotaged, wrote in her
    earlier January 28, 1994 report about this event as follows:

    ” Similarly, the affidavit states that a relative of an ex-member alleges a “false imprisonment for a term of three and one half (3 1/2) months” but does not mention that the FBI opened a (probably-related) case for “involuntary servitude” in April, 1992, and closed it in June 1992.”

    So this was an old case, that had been dismissed. That could be how Buford knew about this allegation of false imprisonment it (he got from someone in the FBI or someone else involved in concocting this warrant)

    Sammy Finkelman (1d215a)

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