Today Marks The 20th Anniversary of the Waco FiascoSubmitted by Jefferson on Fri, 04/19/2013 - 18:46
J.D. Tuccille | Apr. 19, 2013
Today marks the twentieth anniversary of the bloody mess in Waco, Texas, when federal agents staged a raid on the Branch Davidian settlement over non-violent weapons violations, and managed to botch the operation in spectacular and lethal form. The anniversary is especially worth noting since some of the usual suspects speculated early on that the Boston Marathon bombing was somehow connected to that incident, and because some of the agencies called upon in the wake of terrorist attacks also bear responsibility for the deaths in Waco.
Over at the Cato Institute's National Police Misconduct Reporting Project, Timo Lynch tells us why Waco matters.
April 19, 1993 marks the worst police action in modern American history.
Here are the main things to know:
76 people, including 27 children, died that day. That loss of life is a sufficient explanation as to why this incident is important and worth remembering.
The federal police operation did not involve a handful of “rogue” agents. The incident is disturbing because it supposedly involved the best units of the ATF and the FBI. And much of the decision-making was done by the top people at headquarters facilities in Washington, DC.
Make no mistake, crimes were committed by federal agents at Waco. And those crimes were covered-up.
If the feds can successfully cover-up the worst police action in modern American history–an event that was highly publicized and that eventually brought extensive congressional hearings and the appointment of a special prosecutor– it is frightening to consider what police agencies would be able to get away in instances where there is no media scrutiny or legislative oversight.