THE EVENTS AT WACO: AN INTERPRETIVE LOG

by James D. Tabor

A careful reading of this chronology makes clear some rather significant and startling conclusions. Notice the various periods in which there were people being let out of the Mt. Carmel Center--once this seemed to stop, and David Koresh's position became firm about not coming out until he heard from God, the FBI began to significantly toughen its stance. You can see this in particular from March 15th on, and even though significant numbers of people exited (7 on March 21st alone), the tactical side of the FBI kept stepping up the pressure, harassment, threats, and so forth. Note also they totally gave up on David's ``Bible Babble,'' early on, and never understood that such was actually the only substantive channel of negotiation. Also, note how absolutely consistent David Koresh is, utterly to the end. He holds out, against all pressures, for his ``word from God.'' Yet when he finally gets it, it is not even given a moment's attention. Even when things began to move very positively with the visits of the lawyers on March 29-April 4th, the FBI became only deafened to what was going on and hardened its positions and actions. Their independent plans for the CS GAS attack, which were begun as early as March 22nd, the very day they had their ``get tough'' strategy meeting, had moved to a fast pace by April 9th, and it became clear that this was going to be the outcome--regardless of what else was going on. The ``experts'' who evaluated the letters which were sent out on April 9, 10, 11, and 14th are much to blame for this whole matter, and are obviously unqualified when it comes to Biblical materials. They reinforced completely the FBI's impression that David's Biblical ideas were crazy, incoherent, and psychotic, that he was not coming out. What Dr. Phillip Arnold and Dr. James Tabor had done with their tapes, and through consultations with Dick DeGuerin, the very strategy that was working and getting a positive, coherent, and totally rational response from Koresh, was lost somehow in the background. It was actually the only ``coherent negotiation strategy'' pursued in the whole episode, and it was working.

Coding Key:

  • [D] indicates dates
  • italics indicates emphasis.
  • ALL CAPS indicates Policy Blunder by FBI
  • [F] indicates significant FBI strategy shift or activity
  • [F] ALL CAPS indicates both of above combined
  • [K] indicates Koresh positions and other matters related to dealing with his own religious understanding.
  • [M] indicates Koresh's preaching and attempts to put across his message.
  • [P] indicates persons exiting or entering the Mt. Carmel Center
  • [R] indicates official report (source).
  • [D]Sunday, February 28
    
    9:30am  BATF assault on Mt. Carmel Center (MtCC).
    
    9:48am  911 call made by BD Wayne Martin pleading that they call
    them back, stop firing.  [R]Justice Department Report does not
    mention time of call, later classifies the whole affair an ambush
    by the BD.
    
    11:00am FBI Agent Jeff Jamar notified in San Antonio, negotiators
    requested. Agent Byron Sage sent, gets on 911 line by 2:00 p.m.
    
    Texas Rangers arrive (32 within few days), to lead criminal
    investigation. FBI role to be limited to ending standoff.  US
    Attorneys also arrive, two of which (Johnston & Phinizy) had
    assisted with initial warrants, to immediately work on case
    against BD, with homicide and assault charges formulated
    immediately.
    
    4:00pm Koresh message broadcast over KRLD.  Repeated twice.
    
    4:55pm Gun fight: Mike Schroeder shot, Delroy Nash arrested,
    Robert Kendrick escaped, but later caught.  They had been at Mag
    Bag at time of raid.
    
    8:00pm CNN carried live telephone interview with Koresh.  FBI
    told them not to conduct any more.
    
    By 10pm [P]Four children exit (2 Sonobe; 2 Fagan)
    
    
    [D]Monday, March 1
    
    Clinton informed by Acting AG Stuart Gerson, told strategy was
    negotiation, not tactical--[F]he was to be informed of any change
    to tactical resolution.  Gerson states the FBI policy is to
    ``talk them out, no matter how long it takes.''
    
    FBI HRT begins arriving.
    
    Two phone lines left open--calls out to FBI only.
    
    6:00pm Armored vehicles moved into inner perimeter.  Koresh very
    upset over phone lines being cut and restricted and armored
    vehicles coming in.
    
    [P]Ten children exit by 11:00pm (4 Wendel; 3 Mabb; 1
    Schroeder; 1 Martin; 1 Silvia).
    
    Koresh promised to come out after a taped message played
    nationwide.
    
    
    [D]Tuesday, March 2
    
    1:20am [P]Two children exit (Nobrega; Vaega)
    
    8:10am [P]Two adults; two children exit (Margaret Lawson, 75;
    Catherine Matteson, 77; 2 Martins).
    
    1:30pm Koresh Message played over KRLD and CBN Network
    
    6:00pm Koresh reports [K]God had told him to WAIT, he was not
    coming out until he received additional order from God.
    
    
    [D]Wednesday, March 3
    
    Two elderly women released the previous day are charged
     with attempted murder; BD very upset;
    FBI got charges dropped.
    
    12:40pm [M]Koresh preaching (1 hour).  [K]All is up to his
    Father now, he must wait.  He would still keep his word and
    surrender when God told him it was time.
    
    Request to speak with Robert Rodriguez denied
    
    Body of Michael Schroeder recovered by agents
    
    2:49pm [M]Koresh preaching (1 hour).  FBI REPORTS IT RAMBLED,
    MADE LITTLE SENSE, WAS ALL ABOUT UNLOCKING THE SEVEN SEALS AND
    THE END OF THE WORLD.
    
    4:26pm [P]One child exits with puppies (Jones)
    
    9:40pm [M]Koresh preaching (4 hours!). CHARACTERIZED AS A
    MONOLOGUE, warnings that FBI would be responsible for disaster to
    unfold.
    
    
    [D]Thursday, March 4
    
    7:25am [P]One child exits (Jones)
    
    [M]Koresh preaching (7 hours!).  Tells of his miraculous
    meeting with God in 1985.  FBI gives pages of quotes trying to
    show how Koresh made no sense HIGHLIGHTING THE DIFFICULTIES
    NEGOTIATORS FACED WHEN DEALING WITH KORESH.  Among other things,
    he reveals what he wanted most, ``[K]one honest Bible study in
    this great nation of America...America does not have to be
    humiliated or destroyed.''
    
    
    [D]Friday, March 5
    
    8:39am [P]One child exits (Jones)
    
    [M]Koresh preaching, much of day.  Said he knew of this battle
    since 1985, threatened violence, [K]firmly maintained he could
    not come out until ordered to do so by God. When questioned
    about additional children coming out he said, [K]We're dealing
    with MY children, these are different than the other children.
    
    Gent's body found, request to bury.
    
    
    [D]Sabbath, March 6
    
    [K]Schneider mentions that he thinks FBI will try to burn the
    building to destroy the evidence of what happened Feb 28th.
    Schneider objects mostly to media communication blackout and
    armed vehicles on their property. FBI offers to pull back
    vehicles if four people come out immediately and Koresh agrees to
    surrender.  Koresh agrees to send out Melissa Morrison if he can
    talk to Rodriguez.  Refused.  General sense of breakdown.
    
    8:25pm Call to Koresh, [M]Koresh preaches (2 hours).  KORESH
    PREACHED BUT REFUSED TO DISCUSS ANY MATTERS OF SUBSTANCE.
    Claimed for the first time that he was the Christ.  FBI quotes
    long portion of Koresh preaching to DEMONSTRATE THE FBI'S
    FRUSTRATION IN ATTEMPTING TO NEGOTIATE WITH KORESH (actually, it
    is a long quote from Nahum, and makes sense within the BD
    apocalyptic system).
    
    
    [D]Sunday, March 7
    
    Dr. Phillip Arnold attends FBI Press Conference, speaks with
    Agent Ricks, offering his expertise (not much interest shown);
    later goes to FBI Command Center and offers services there.
    
    12:11am [M]Koresh preaches (3 hours), early morning.  FBI
    NOTES THAT KORESH'S DELIVERY OF RELIGIOUS RHETORIC WAS SO STRONG
    THAT THEY COULD HARDLY INTERRUPT HIM TO DISCUSS POSSIBLE
    SURRENDER.
    
    Many conversations (42 over 12 hours!) and all inside expressed
    their anger and frustration at negotiators.  FBI offered milk in
    exchange for release of more children.
    
    Koresh speaks of his children again: [K]You're dealing with my
    biological children now...that's what we've come down to.
    
    
    [D]Monday, March 8
    
    Body of Peter Gent buried.
    
    Milk delivered (bugged according to Rita Riddle).
    
    1st. Videotape sent out, showing Koresh's wounds, several children.
    The tape was not released to the public.
    
    Tapes from family members played over telephone to BD.
    
    
    [D]Tuesday, March 9
    
    Negotiators try to drive a wedge between Schneider and Koresh--
    fail.
    
    [F]ELECTRICITY CUT OFF; restored at 10:30am so BD can watch
    staged new conference (used as means of communicating).
    
    Videotape of released children sent in.
    
    2nd Videotape sent out; showed 29 individuals, all said they
    wanted to remain inside.
    
    Dr. Phillip Arnold gets call from FBI Agent Tom Murphy, some
    beginning discussion of Revelation, the ``Seals,'' and so forth.
    
    [F][Around this period the FBI clearly begins to see things as
    stalemated: no more children are coming out; all those inside say
    they want to stay; David says he must wait to hear from God; when
    the FBI gets David on the phone he only talks his ``Bible
    Babble,'' as they have begun to call it.]
    
    
    [D]Wednesday, March 10
    
    2:28am [F]ELECTRICITY CUT OFF, BECAUSE OF SENSE OF STALEMATE.
    Power restored at 10:15am for news conference.
    
    Videotape of FBI negotiators sent in, pleading for peaceful
    resolution.
    
    FBI reports 4 1/2 hours of attempted negotiations, no progress
    end of day--but apparently Koresh has been silent--[K]doesn't
    talk to them until 7pm next evening.
    
    
    [D]Thursday, March 11
    
    Schneider tells FBI Koresh quite excited about ``Guitar Nebula''
    mentioned by Paul Harvey on radio.  Koresh later denies this is
    his ``sign'' [K]but he clearly sees this comet as very
    significant.
    
    
    [JANET RENO SWORN IN AS NEW ATTORNEY GENERAL MARCH 12]
    
    
    [D]Friday, March 12
    
    Dr. Phillip Arnold talks with FBI Agent Murphy several times by
    phone on his Waco visit, discusses Revelation, Seven Seals, and
    related matters.  Requests to speak with Koresh and review negotiation
    tapes.
    
    10:41am [P]Kathy Schroeder exits
    
    6:00pm  [P]Oliver Gyarfas exits, three more to come out next
    day.
    
    11:07pm [F]JEFF JAMAR ORDERS ELECTRICITY TO BE CUT
    PERMANENTLY. Schneider and Koresh are outraged, threaten to
    break off all contact.  FBI negotiation team did not all agree
    with this action, said it might be counterproductive.
    
    
    [D]Sabbath, March 13
    
    Dr. Phillip Arnold back in Waco, attends FBI News Conference,
    asks questions about Passover, the 5th. Seal, points out
    significance of David's wounds to the BD.
    
    BD very angry about electricity, cold at night.  Schneider said
    the three planning to come out would not come now, [K]charged
    that Government wanted to kill all of them and burn down the
    building.
    
    Letters from attorneys DeGuerin and Zimmerman discussed by FBI,
    decided not to allow them to speak to Koresh and Schneider as
    they requested at that time.
    
    
    [D]Sunday, March 14
    
    FBI not wanting to call in so much, did allow Gyarfas and
    Schroeder to call in and say they were being treated well.
    Koresh and Schneider rebuked Kathy for not being a spokesperson
    for them outside.
    
    [F]FBI BEGAN TO SHINE BRIGHT LIGHTS INTO MtCC TO DISRUPT SLEEP
    
    
    [D]Monday, March 15
    
    [F]FBI FORMULATES MODIFIED NEGOTIATION STRATEGY: NEGOTIATORS WILL
    BE FIRM, INSIST ON PEACEFUL RESOLUTION, BUT WILL REFUSE TO LISTEN
    ANY LONGER TO ``BIBLE BABBLE.''
    
    Schneider and Martin meet outside for one hour with Byron Sage
    and Sheriff Jack Harwell
    
    
    [D]Tuesday, March 16
    
    Some general conversations.  [K]Schneider requests that Phillip
    Arnold, who had done a short interview on KRLD on the ``Seals''
    be allowed to discuss the Seals with Koresh--PERMISSION
    DENIED. Arnold later does short interview with Ron Engelman
    over KGBS, also on Revelation and the ``Seals.''
    
    Five Audio Tapes dropped off at MtCC from relatives of those
    inside.
    
    FBI Agent Richard Lynn calls Dr. Arnold, asks about getting tapes
    of the radio programs to send in to MtCC.  [F]Last direct contact
    between Dr. Arnold and the FBI.
    
    
    [D]Wednesday, March 17
    
    [F]FBI begins to broadcast Audio Tapes over PA system;
    messages from those who had exited about how they had been well
    treated.  Later broadcasts tapes from relatives over PA system.
    
    [F]Sage talks firmly with Koresh, demands surrender, questions
    Koresh' sincerity.  Koresh totally refuses, Schneider claims that
    no one wants to come out, all want to wait.
    
    
    [D]Thursday, March 18
    
    Schneider makes it clear again, no more individuals would be
    coming out, all want to stay.  Sage begins to speak to those
    inside over PA system, urging them to exit, promising fair
    treatment, etc.
    
    [F]ARMORED VEHICLES REMOVE DIESEL AND GASOLINE STORAGE TANKS.
    
    
    [D]Friday, March 19
    
    9:45am Package of Materials delivered to MtCC: letters from
    Attorneys; [K]audio tape from Phillip Arnold (FBI report does
    not note in their daily ``Chronology'' ([R]Justice Dept.
    Report) that the tape was from Dr. Arnold, or that Schneider
    demanded to talk to Arnold on March 16), several magazine
    articles, etc.  These created a positive effect.
    
    10:59am [K]Koresh says some people are coming out and eventually
    everyone will.  He is extremely astounded by the ``Guitar
    Comet,'' and considers it related to the whole situation.
    [K]He clearly thinks it is a sign from God regarding his
    validity.
    
    [P]Brad Branch and Kevin Whitecliff exit.  Held in jail as
    material witnesses.
    
    Conversations that evening: [K]Koresh says he and the others were
    not going to stay in that much longer.
    
    
    [D]Sabbath, March 20
    
    Koresh talked with Branch and Whitecliff.  Schneider said two
    others would come out next day.
    
    
    [D]Sunday, March 21
    
    12:15am [P]Victorine Hollingsworth and Annetta Richards exit.
    [M]Koresh preaches (3 hours), FBI calls RAMBLING RELIGIOUS
    DISCUSSIONS at one point he says, [K]I told you that my God says
    wait, actually I asked for it.  He then explains: because I
    didn't want Him to destroy you.
    
    11am [P]Rita Riddle and Gladys Ottman exit
    
    2:15pm [P]Sheila Martin, James Lawton (70), Ofelia Santoya (62)
    exit.
    
    [F]FBI BULLDOZES ``OBSTRUCTIONS'' FROM ONE SIDE OF THE MtCC
    
    [F]FBI BEGINS PLAYING LOUD MUSIC OVER THE PA SYSTEM.
    Schneider and Koresh very angry, say because of this, no one is
    coming out.
    
    
    [D]Monday, March 22
    
    9:03  FBI calls Schneider, he is still very angry about the
    music, which had included Tibetan chants.  Negotiators blamed the
    tactical agents. [F]FBI STRATEGY SESSION CALLED BY JAMAR: NO HOPE
    FOR MANY MORE COMING OUT; ``STRESS ESCALATION'' MEASURES
    DISCUSSED; *TEAR GAS OPTION DISCUSSED* FOR FIRST TIME, IF NO
    PROGRESS.
    
    Jamar sends in letter: Koresh can have freedom to preach in jail,
    also make a worldwide broadcast--if everyone will come out by
    noon 23rd.  Live media coverage of their exit promised.
    
    
    [D]Tuesday, March 23
    
    Koresh says he threw letter away.
    
    10:05 [P]Livingston Fagan exits.
    
    Conversations are combative and argumentative.
    
    [F]FBI CONTINUES FLOOD LIGHTS ALL NIGHT; PLAYS TAPES OF PREVIOUS
    NEGOTIATION AND MESSAGES FROM THOSE WHO EXITED--ALL NIGHT
    
    
    [D]Wednesday, March 24
    
    [F]TIBETAN CHANTS, CHRISTMAS MUSIC, AND TAPES OF PREVIOUS
    NEGOTIATIONS PLAYED IN PRE-DAWN
    
    Schneider angry over noise, refuses to talk that day.
    
    [F]FBI INCREASES VERBAL ASSAULT ON KORESH AT NEWS CONFERENCE:
    CALLS HIM LIAR COWARD, ONE WHO HIDES BEHIND CHILDREN
    
    6:30pm [P]Louis Alaniz sneaks into MtCC
    
    
    [D]Thursday, March 25
    
    General conversations with eight different people over 5 1/2
    hours.
    
    [F]FBI DEMANDS 10-20 PEOPLE OUT BY 4:00PM OR THREATENS ACTIONS
    
    4:00PM ARMORED VEHICLES REMOVED MOTORCYCLES AND GO CARTS
    
    
    [D]Friday, March 26
    
    [F]FBI GIVES NOON DEADLINE FOR SENDING OUT TEN OR MORE
    
    12:10PM [F]ARMORED VEHICLES REMOVED EIGHT VEHICLES
    
    No one would answer the phone that night in the MtCC--FBI called
    six times letting it ring twenty times (it was Sabbath!)
    
    11:00pm [P]Jesse Amen sneaks into MtCC
    
    [F]LIGHTS, MUSIC, AND HELICOPTERS FLYING OVER ALL NIGHT
    
    
    [D]Sabbath, March 27
    
    [F]FBI GIVES UNTIL 1:45PM TO SEND OUT AT LEAST TEN PEOPLE.
    Schneider reacts: [K]You can kill us, burn us, whatever.
    
    [F]1:45PM ARMORED VEHICLES BEGIN CLEARING FRONT OF MtCC
    Schneider says no one is coming out, no suicide, [K]denied Koresh
    was Christ, said FBI should set the building on fire (?).
    
    
    [D]Sunday, March 28
    
    [F]FBI DEMANDS AT LEAST 10 PEOPLE COME OUT BY 12:50PM
    
    2:56pm [M]Koresh preaches (2 hours).  [K]Koresh says he has no
    intentions of dying, that he was still waiting for word from God.
    Koresh asked to speak with Dick DeGuerin, his lawyer.
    
    [F]FBI CLEARED AWAY CARS, FENCES, TREES, AND ALL OBSTRUCTIONS
    FROM AROUND COMPLEX ALL AFTERNOON
    
    6:10pm  Call from DeGuerin put through to Koresh.  Koresh talks
    with FBI later, is upbeat, discusses surrender, promises to do
    something definite soon. 3rd. Videotape from BD sent out, showed
    19 children being interviewed by Koresh.
    
    
    [D]Monday, March 29
    
    Dr. Phillip Arnold hears about Gas Attack Plan, decides to move
    immediately to formulate plan--contacts Dr. James Tabor with
    radio program idea, sets it up with Ron Engleman, KGBS.
    
    4:12pm 1st Meeting with between Koresh and DeGuerin (2 hours),
    through front door of Complex.
    
    
    [D]Tuesday, March 30
    
    10:00am 2nd Meeting between Koresh and DeGuerin (inside? 2 hours)
    
    2:00pm  3rd Meeting with DeGuerin.
    
    Schneider spoke with his attorney, Jack Zimmerman, by phone.
    
    
    [D]Wednesday, March 31
    
    9:35am 4th Meeting with DeGuerin (2 1/2 hours)
    
    3:07pm 5th Meeting with DeGuerin (3 hours)
    
    Arnold phones FBI agent Tom Murphy, leaves message, urging FBI to
    forestall any violent move, emphasizing the importance of the upcoming
    radio broadcast
    
    
    [D]Thursday, April 1
    
    Ray Jahn appointed as senior prosecutor by Attorney General.
    
    [K]11:30am Radio Broadcast to Koresh and BD via KGBS by Dr.
    Phillip Arnold and Dr. James Tabor regarding Book of Revelation,
    entire situation. Lawyers fully alerted to broadcast, worked
    with Arnold and Tabor to arrange and encourage BD to listen, FBI
    also informed and aware of this attempt, although it is noted
    nowhere in the [R]Justice Dept. Report.
    
    9:53am 6th Meeting: DeGuerin goes back in, but this time with
    Jack Zimmerman.
    
    At 12:55pm DeGuerin calls FBI and asks for more time, reports
    positive results. They come out at 6:00pm (8 hours!!)
    
    Lawyers report Koresh will come out in connection with Passover,
    not clear on dates. Not planning to go back in again.  Mention
    Sabbath and Passover coming up.
    
    
    [D]Friday, April 2
    
    Koresh reported by Schneider to be [K]asking God to tell him when
    he should come out.  That evening they report they will come out
    ``after Passover,'' but do not give a date, telling FBI to
    ``figure it out.'' (This has to do with the fact that they had
    to count it from the New Moon)
    
    
    [D]Sabbath, April 3
    
    Attorneys ask to go back in, are told it is the Sabbath.
    
    10:00pm to 2a.m.: Dr. Phillip Arnold has long meeting with DeGuerin, discusses
    Revelation, the importance of the Radio interview, plan
    formulated to take tape in the following day.
    
    
    [D]Sunday, April 4
    
    10:35am  [K]Attorneys go back in with ``important religious
    information,'' (Tape from Arnold and Tabor from April 1st.
    broadcast). FBI knows of this, although it is not mentioned
    in the [R]Justice Department Report. [K]Stay almost 6 hours.
    
    [K]Everyone to come out after Passover, though date was not
    clear to lawyers or FBI.
    
    5:38pm [P]Jesse Amen exits
    
    
    [D]Monday, April 5
    
    No relevant activity according to FBI report
    
    
    [D]Tuesday, April 6
    
    Little activity,
    
    8pm Schneider calls to [F]COMPLAIN ABOUT MUSIC AND NOISE
    DISTURBING THEIR PASSOVER, asks that it be turned off in honor
    of the religious holiday--threatens never to speak to them again
    otherwise.  [F]FBI CONTINUED BROADCASTING THROUGH THE NIGHT.
    
    
    [D]Wednesday, April 7
    
    FBI told that Passover would last Seven Days
    
    
    [D]Thursday, April 8
    
    [K]Schneider confirmed that everyone would come out after
    Passover, also predicted a chain of events which would surprise
    everyone. (Probably means the earthquake)
    
    
    [D]Friday, April 9
    
    [K]Schneider tells FBI again that Koresh will not come out until
    told to do so by God.
    
    3:35pm Schneider send out a [K]LETTER (#1) which he says
    Koresh dictated to Judy Schneider.  Says the message at the end
    is particularly important.  Had to do with earthquake.  FBI
    REPORTS THAT THEIR ``EXPERTS'' LOOKED AT THIS AND SUBSEQUENT
    LETTERS TELLING THEM KORESH WAS A FUNCTIONING PARANOID-TYPE
    PSYCHOTIC, HE HAD NO INTENTION OF SURRENDERING.  Vital content of
    letter, from the standpoint of understanding Koresh's religious
    message, was completely missed.
    
    [F]FBI FINISHED PLANS FOR INSERTING CS GAS INTO CENTER.
    Discussion began in DC with Attorney General.  ``If'' and
    ``when'' discussion.
    
    
    [D]Sabbath, April 10
    
    3:30pm [K]2nd LETTER was sent out, contains many Scripture
    quotations, especially two attachments A & B quoting out Psalm 45
    and Revelation 19--the center of the group's theology and self-
    understanding.  FBI SAYS IT HAS NO CLEAR SIGNIFICANCE TO THE
    SITUATION AT HAND.  [K]FBI misses this entirely, fails to see the
    importance of the content of these letters. FBI ``EXPERT''
    SAYS LETTER HAD LITTLE SIGNIFICANT, CONSISTING ONLY OF BIBLICAL
    QUOTATIONS. [K]Actually, the quotations were very systematically
    and carefully chosen an outlined the BD understanding of the
    entire situation.
    
    Later (when?) [K]3rd LETTER sent out, identical in content to
    1st. So-called ``EXPERTS'' (WHO KNOW NOTHING OF SCRIPTURE OR
    RELIGIOUS STUDIES, AND WHO OBVIOUSLY WOULD HAVE CLASSED ISAIAH OR
    JEREMIAH AS PSYCHOTIC, NOT TO MENTION JESUS), CLASSIFY ALL THREE
    AS PSYCHOTIC PRODUCTS, STRESSED KORESH WOULD NOT SURRENDER, ALSO
    SAID KORESH WANTS TO FIGHT, WILL NOT KILL HIMSELF OR GO FOR
    SUICIDE.
    
    
    [D]Sunday, April 11
    
    [F]LIGHTS, NOISE, MUSIC CONTINUE NIGHT AND EARLY MORNING
    
    [K]4th LETTER sent out, nearly identical to 2nd letter, with
    attachments from Psalm 45 and Revelation 19. [K]Note: four
    letters, alternately repeating each other, as final warnings to
    the Outside.  This was intentional, in both sequence and
    content.
    
    
    [D]Monday, April 12
    
    [F]Attorney General briefed on CS Gas Plan
    
    
    [D]Tuesday, April 13
    
    [M]Koresh preaches (5 hours!--until nearly 6 in the morning).
    [F]FBI CALLS IT RAMBLING, DISJOINTED, SAY ``EACH TIME THE
    NEGOTIATORS WOULD TRY TO STEER THE CONVERSATION TO SUBSTANTIVE
    MATTERS, KORESH WOULD SIMPLY KEEP PREACHING HIS BIBLE BABBLE.''
    [K]Koresh repeats his position that God told him to wait, and he
    was not coming out until he heard from God.
    
    
    [K][EVENTS ON APRIL 14TH ARE VITAL TO NOTE CAREFULLY.  JUSTICE
    DEPARTMENT REPORT DOES NOT EVEN MENTION A LETTER (they
    previously mention it on p. 100, with the first three letters,
    thus marginalizing it and putting it off as psychotic!). FBI
    APPOINTED ``EXPERT'' WHO ANALYZED ALL THE LETTERS TOTALLY
    MISUNDERSTOOD THIS LETTER AND ITS VITAL SIGNIFICANCE--MISTAKES
    DR. ARNOLD AND TABOR FOR BOOK PUBLISHING AGENTS!!  [F]THAT VERY
    DAY THEY ARE FINALIZING PLANS IN DC FOR THE CS GAS ATTACK--
    CLEARLY ARE IN NO MOOD TO BACK OFF.  THEY UTTERLY FAIL TO SEE
    APRIL 14 AS A BREAKTHROUGH--ALTHOUGH FOR THE FIRST TIME IN ALL
    THESE WEEKS DAVID FINALLY SAYS HE HAS WHAT HE HAS BEEN WAITING
    FOR: HIS WORD FROM GOD!!!]
    
    [D]Wednesday, April 14
    
    10:21am  Koresh and Schneider give their [K]BREAKTHROUGH MESSAGE
    TO LAWYERS: [K]WAITING PERIOD IS OVER, WRITING MANUSCRIPT OF
    THE SEVEN SEALS, TO BE GIVEN TO DICK DEGUERIN, THEN JAMES TABOR
    AND PHILLIP ARNOLD--THEN WILL EXIT.  THIS IS THE WORD FROM GOD
    THEY HAD BEEN TALKING OF FOR WEEKS. (It is not clear from
    [R]Justice Report how the letter was delivered--dictated to
    DeGuerin, or what--since a signed copy appears in Appendix of
    [R]Justice Dept Report.)  [F]FBI BLOWS IT TOTALLY BY
    CHARACTERIZING THIS AS A ``NEW PRECONDITION'' FOR COMING OUT,
    WHEN IN FACT IT IS THE ONE AND ONLY PRECONDITION--GOD'S WORD TO
    KORESH.
    
    [K]Schneider asks for typewriter and/or typewriter ribbon to be
    sent in.
    
    
    [D]Thursday, April 15
    
    FBI records no relevant activity, interested mainly in water
    supply, how long it would last, since AG Reno had asked about
    that, before approving CS GAS attack.
    
    
    [D]Friday, April 16
    
    [K]KORESH TELLS FBI HE HAS COMPLETED WORK ON THE FIRST SEAL--ON
    HIS MANUSCRIPT.  [R]Justice Dept Report strangely silent on
    all this.
    
    [F]IN WASHINGTON FINAL PLANS ARE MADE FOR THE CS GAS ATTACK,
    ATTORNEY GENERA REQUESTS DOCUMENTATION ON OPERATION AND ALL ITS
    ASPECTS IN WRITING, TO BE DELIVERED THE NEXT DAY
    
    [K]Judy Schneider requests Sharp Word Processor ribbon cassettes,
    print wheel, lift-off tape, battery typewriter, ribbon cartridge,
    12 D-size batteries, battery operated lamp (presumably for
    David's Manuscript production)
    
    
    [D]Sabbath, April 17
    
    3:50pm  [P]Louis Alaniz exits.
    
    [F]ATTORNEY GENERAL APPROVES CS GAS ATTACK PLAN FOR MONDAY; WACO
    NOTIFIED, BEGINS PREPARATIONS
    
    Requests for typewriter and ribbons, batteries repeated.  Also
    they ask for Laptop computer.  [K]Steve Schneider promises to
    send out the First Seal in exchange for the materials they
    need to have it properly typed.
    
    [D]Sunday, April 18
    
    [F]ATTORNEY GENERAL NOTIFIES PRESIDENT CLINTON OF PLAN, HE
    CONCURS. ARREST WARRANTS OBTAINED FOR ALL INSIDE
    
    1:53pm  Armored vehicles began removing all remaining vehicles
    from area, crushing some, in preparation for
    raid.  Koresh calls them, is very angry.
    
    5:32pm Typewriter materials, batteries, and other requested
    materials sent in (except for Laptop computer).
    
    
    [D]Monday, April 19th
    
    5:59am Call to MtCC informing them of CS GAS attack; Phone thrown
    out the window
    
    6:24am Banner hung by BD asking for phone communications
    
    9:10am Request to fix phone
    
    Noon: Tank breaks into kitchen storage area where most of the women
    and children are huddled, knocks down concrete blocks, crushing several inside
    the room.
    
    12:07pm  Fire noticed; Ruth Riddle exits from MtCC with Computer
    Disk in her jacket containing the Manuscript on the Seven Seals.
    
    
    
    
    RANDOM OBSERVATIONS ON [R]JUSTICE DEPT REPORT Report claims negotiations began almost immediately (after 9:30 assault) to effect a cease fire (p. 21). Two phone channels mentioned: ATF Agent James Cavanaugh with Koresh; 911 line between Lt. Lynch and Schneider and Martin. Koresh also speaks with Lynch. The report does not clarify that it was the BD who initiated these calls--tends to leave the implication that ATF immediately tried to call it off, also does not note early time of the 911 call. The 911 tapes make it clear that quite the opposite was the case, that Wayne Martin called just minutes after the shooting (9:48am), and that Lt. Lunch had great trouble even getting hold of the ATF command. Shooting continued for some time. Constant emphasis throughout report of all the many times that Koresh or the BD said there would be no suicide. Obviously intended to absolve guilt for what transpired on April 19th: pp. 30 (two times); p.50; p. 60; p. 65 (Kathy Schroeder); p.88, et al. [K]FBI Reactions to Koresh Preaching/Religious Perspective of Branch Davidians ``long and rambling sermon'' (p. 38) ``This "Bible Study," as with Koresh's other preaching and sermonizing, rambled and made little sense, except perhaps to his followers. As always, the focus was on "unlocking" the Seven Seals and interpreting God's intentions about the end of the world.'' (pp. 39-40) After 71/2 hours with Koresh on March 4, ``Excerpts from these conversations serve to highlight the difficulty faced by the negotiators when dealing with Koresh.'' Following are 6 pages of quotes designed to show how off the wall and hard to follow Koresh was (pp. 43-49). In fact, if one knows the Bible and has some clue as to what Koresh was all about, the quotes are highly informative and could have offered many fruitful avenues for negotiators, who simply answered with bored "um-hum's" and "yes" every few paragraphs. FBI note that they compliment David on his understanding of the Bible, but urge him to come out and preach to the world. March 6, FBI report quotes Koresh claiming to be Christ, also long section they pick to ``demonstrate the FBI's frustration in attempting to negotiate with Koresh.'' It turns out to be a quotation from Nahum, quite relevant and understandable to anyone who knows Koresh, and the Bible (pp.55-57). March 7, FBI says Koresh's religious rhetoric was ``so strong that they could hardly interrupt him to discuss possible surrender'' (p.57). Letters: one on April 9, two on April 10, one on April 11, and one on April 14th--all dismissed by FBI on the advise of ``experts'' as product of a psychotic mind, also that he had no intention of surrender. All four letters were lumped together, despite the decidedly different tone and manner of the April 14th letter. The Justice report either groups them like this consciously, to downplay attention to the April 14th letter, or this treatment actually reflects their utter inability to see the absolute BREAKTHROUGH on April 14th. NB: at this very time they were moving ahead with full plans for their CS GAS attack!! Perhaps there was no mind or will at this time to think of other alternatives, if they involved more ``waiting.'' The Justice Department chronology becomes strangely silent on April 14th and following about any activity regarding the writing of David's manuscript--the requests for typewriter materials, batteries, etc. made on the 14th, 16th, and 17th are not mentioned--nor their delivery on April 18th--Sunday night, the evening BEFORE THE ATTACK. It seems they definitely want to downplay any reference to the MANUSCRIPT or the April 14th Letter! It is clear that in meeting in Washington D.C. April 12-16th AG Reno kept asking about the arguments for waiting, taking more time. She was never told about the April 14th ``Breakthrough'' as expressed in the Letter, that David now said he had his ``Word from God,'' after waiting since March 2nd, that he had responded directly to the Arnold-Tabor tape message, and that he had completed the First Seal and the group was asking diligently for writing materials. Instead she was told about the likelihood of child abuse and that all indications were that negotiations were at a standstill and Koresh would never be coming out.

    WACOCULT Note: Although Dr. Tabor's analysis is critical of government blundering, this Log still relies on the Justice Report for its basic chronology. Subsequent revelations show it to be false in some of its claims. For instance, David Koresh was not so impressed with the Guitar Nebula, rather, FBI negotiators tried to convince him to see it as his sign; the FBI exaggerated how upset he was about the tanks crushing cars; and the phone wasn't thrown out the window on the last day, a tank in the assault ran over the line and cut it.

    Also, my version of the Log is not based solely on the text from Waco Never Again, but blends it with an earlier version and my own corrections. If you want to know more, I have drawn up a list of the version changes.

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