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VII. The Attorney General's decision to end the standoff-Continued
G. Analysis of the Attorney General's decision to end the standoff
1. The decision not to storm the residence
2. The reasons asserted for ending the standoff on day 51
H. Presidential involvement in the events at Waco, TX
VIII. The fire
A. Summary of the development of the fire
B. Other theories concerning the development of the fire
1. Whether the methylene chloride in the CS riot control agent
2. Whether the irritant chemical in the CS riot control agent
3. Whether the combat engineering vehicles used by the FBI
D. The FBI's planning for the fire
Additional views of Hon. Ileana Ros-Lehtinen
Additional views of Hon. Tom Lantos
Part 2.-Appendix to House Report 104-749
Part 3.-Minority views of the members of the Subcommittee on Crime of the Committee on the Judiciary together with selected documents submitted by the Departments of Justice, Defense, and the Treasury
Part 4.-Statements omitted from the transcript of the joint hearings held before the Subcommittee on Crime of the Committee on the Judiciary and the Subcommittee on National Security, International Affairs, and Criminal Justice of the Committee on Government Reform and Oversight ... Part 5.-Other materials received from the agencies involved in the investigation
INVESTIGATION INTO THE ACTIVITIES OF FEDERAL LAW
AUGUST 2, 1996.-Committed to the Committee of the Whole House on the State of the Union and ordered to be printed
Mr. CLINGER, from the Committee on Government Reform and Oversight, submitted the following
ADDITIONAL AND DISSENTING VIEWS
BASED ON A JOINT INVESTIGATION BY THE SUBCOMMITTEE ON NATIONAL SECURITY, INTERNATIONAL AFFAIRS, AND CRIMINAL JUSTICE OF THE COMMITTEE ON GOVERNMENT REFORM AND OVERSIGHT, AND THE SUBCOMMITTEE ON CRIME OF THE COMMITTEE ON THE JUDICIARY
On July 25, 1996, the Committee on Government Reform and Oversight approved and adopted a report entitled "Investigation Into the Activities of Federal Law Enforcement Agencies Toward the Branch Davidians." The report was prepared jointly with the Committee on the Judiciary. The chairman was directed to trans
From April 1995 to May 1996, the Subcommittee on Crime of the House Committee on the Judiciary and the Subcommittee on National Security, International Affairs, and Criminal Justice of the House Committee on Government Reform and Oversight jointly conducted an investigation into the actions of the Federal agencies involved in law enforcement activities near Waco, TX, in late 1992 and early 1993 toward a group known as the Branch Davidians. As part of that investigation, the subcommittees held 10 days of public hearings. During the course of those hearings, more than 100 witnesses appeared and gave testimony concerning all aspects of the Government's actions. The subcommittees also reviewed thousands of documents requested from and provided by the agencies involved in these actions. Additionally, the subcommittees met with others who were involved in these actions or who offered additional information or opinions concerning them.
This report is the final product of that investigation. It summarizes the most important facts about the key issues of these activities considered by the subcommittees. The report also sets forth the subcommittees' findings with respect to many disputed issues and to new facts uncovered during the investigation. Finally, the report makes recommendations in order to prevent the mistakes that occurred at Waco from reoccurring in future law enforcement operations.
A. A BRIEF SUMMARY OF THE GOVERNMENT'S ACTIONS TOWARD THE BRANCH DAVIDIANS
In June 1992, the Austin, TX, Office of the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco and Firearms (ATF) opened a formal investigation into allegations that members of a Waco, TX, religious group, known as the Branch Davidians, and in particular their leader, Vernon Howell, also known as David Koresh, were in possession of illegal firearms and explosive devices. In January 1993, ATF agents commenced an undercover operation in a small house directly across from the property on which the Branch Davidians lived. The ATF agents posed as students attending classes at a local technical college to monitor the activities of the Davidians. Part of the undercover operation involved one of the agents meeting with Koresh and other Davidians several times by expressing an interest in their religious beliefs. As a result of the evidence gathered by the ATF, and in particular during the undercover operation, the ATF sought and received from a Federal judge an arrest warrant for Koresh and a warrant to search the Branch Davidian residence.
Shortly before the ATF planned to serve the search and arrest warrants, it contacted Operation Alliance, a Government office which coordinated military counterdrug operations along the southwest border. Through that office, the ATF requested that military
personnel provide training to the ATF agents who would be involved in the raid to serve the warrants. The ATF's request for military assistance also would have involved the military personnel as participants in the raid itself. After military legal advisors cautioned that such activity might violate Federal law, the ATF's request was modified so that military personnel only provided training to the ATF agents and did not participate in the raid. Because the ATF alleged that the Davidians were also involved in illegal drug manufacturing, the assistance provided by these counterdrug military forces was provided to the ATF without reimbursement.
On February 28, 1993, a force of 76 ATF agents stormed the Davidian residence to serve the arrest and search warrants. Prior to the commencement of the raid, however, the Davidians had learned of the ATF's plans. As the agents arrived at the Davidians' residence, the Davidians engaged the ATF agents in a gun battle which continued for almost 90 minutes. Four ATF agents were killed in the battle and more than 20 agents wounded. At least two Davidians were killed by ATF agents and several others, including Koresh, were wounded.
After a cease-fire was arranged, the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) dispatched members of its Hostage Rescue Team (HRT) to Waco to take control of the situation at the request of the ATF. At 6 a.m. the next morning, the FBI formally took control of the situation and commenced a 51-day standoff with the Davidians. During this time, FBI officials engaged in daily negotiations with the Davidians in an effort to end the standoff peaceably. Between February 18 and March 23, 35 persons, including 21 children, left the residence and surrendered to the FBI. From March 23 to April 18, however, none of the remaining Branch Davidians left the residence.
In addition to the continual negotiations with the Davidians, FBI officials took other steps to induce the Davidians to surrender. These tactics included tightening the perimeter around the Davidian residence, cutting off electricity to the residence, and at one point, shining bright lights at the residence and playing loud music and irritating sounds over loudspeakers. During the course of the standoff, FBI negotiators consulted with several experts routinely retained by the FBI. In some cases, the advice of these experts was followed while in other cases it was not. Many other persons offered advice to the FBI. While a few of these individuals offered, credible assistance, the FBI chose to ignore the offers of assistance from all of these persons.
During the week of April 12, senior Justice Department officials began considering a plan developed by the FBI to end the standoff. Attorney General Janet Reno, other senior Justice Department officials, and FBI officials held several meetings concerning the plan. The FBI also requested the input of Department of Defense employees and military personnel concerning the plan to end the standoff. During these deliberations Associate Attorney General Webster Hubbell personally discussed the status of the negotiations with the FBI's chief day-to-day negotiator in Waco. The proposed plan centered around the use of a chemical riot control agent which would be injected through the walls of the Davidian residence in order to induce the residents to leave the structure. It provided for