Scientology Crime Syndicate

29 Sep 2000

David Koresh still at fault
Bill Thompson
Syndicated Column
28 Sep 2000

Step right up. Read all about it.

"David Koresh still dead."

"Federal government still didn't kill him."

"Conspiracy nuts still nuts."

No, those aren't real headlines. But they could be. Come to think of it, they ought to be.

How many times must the facts lead to the same conclusion before reality takes hold among the believers of fiction, fantasy, outrageous misrepresentations and flat-out lies?

This is a rhetorical question, of course, because we know that those who blame the government for the Branch Davidian tragedy will never accept the truth.

Investigation after investigation has rendered the truth about that awful day when Koresh fulfilled his prophecy of a spectacular and fiery apocalypse for himself and his Davidian cult.

The truth was reiterated Wednesday by U.S. District Judge Walter Smith, who ruled in connection with a wrongful death suit that Koresh and his cohorts--not the U.S. government or its agents--were to blame for the events that culminated in the fire that destroyed the Davidians' Mount Carmel compound and killed about 80 of its occupants near Waco in 1993.

There is no doubt who caused the tragedy, which ended a 51-day standoff that began when agents of the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco and Firearms were greeted with massive armed resistance as they attempted to serve search and arrest warrants on Koresh. An extensive investigation had revealed that the Davidians were stockpiling illegal weapons.

Davidians claimed in their lawsuit--and conspiracy theorists have claimed in virtually every forum available to them--that federal agents fired at the Davidians on the final day of the standoff and that the government was responsible for the lethal fire.

"The only gunfire on April 19, 1993, was generated by certain Davidians inside the compound," Smith said in his ruling. "The entire tragedy at Mount Carmel can be laid at the feet of this one individual," the judge stated.

If all this sounds familiar, there's good reason: Every investigation of the Davidian fiasco has produced the same result.

Even hearings conducted by Republican-dominated committees in Congress--committees that desperately wanted to blame the tragedy on the Clinton administration--concluded that Koresh was responsible for the fire and for the deaths of his fellow Davidians. Not President Clinton. Not Attorney General Janet Reno. Not the FBI. Not the ATF. Not the New World Order.

* * *

The Davidians' lawyers have accused Smith of being biased against their clients. But the jury in the wrongful death suit was made up of just-plain Americans who heard the evidence and reached the same conclusion that any sensible, objective citizen would reach.

And let's not forget about special counsel John Danforth, the former Missouri senator who conducted the most painstaking investigation of all and who determined that the evidence--"evidence," mind you, not crackpot presumptions and wild-eyed hypotheses--proved that the government did nothing wrong.

"In fact," Danforth wrote in an interim report on his investigation, "what is remarkable is the overwhelming evidence exonerating the government from the charges made against it, and the lack of any real evidence to support the charges of bad acts."

Some of us have been sure from the start that Koresh and Koresh alone was the culprit--and our certainty has been ratified again and again.

The conspiracy nuts, sad to say, are equally sure.

But then, they are conspiracy nuts.

Bill Thompson is a columnist for the Fort-Worth Star-Telegram.


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