Branch Davidians Freed


On the 13th anniversary, yesterday, of one of the most vivid public government atrocities in our lifetime, the federal assault on and destruction of the Branch Davidians' home in Waco, the good (though inadequate) news comes that six imprisoned Davidians will be set free soon.

One of them, Paul Gordon Fatta, is understatedly said by AP to be "angry about the government's actions." Fatta wasn't even present during the raid or its horrific end; he was jugged on charges of helping Koresh possess illegal machine guns. Also worth remembering, which I find many don't in casual conversations, is that all of them were acquitted of the murder and conspiracy to commit murder charges.

A church was rebuilt on the site; I attended its dedication, on the 7th anniversary of the massacre. While I am not a religious man, being there, despite the haunting sense of loss, and inescapable awareness of unspeakable crime, was a moving evocation of an indestructible and admirable element in the human spirit. That no federal official or law enforcement officer was ever indicted for their actions in the raid says something far less admirable, stinking of the raw prerogatives of unchecked and reckless police power.

A roundup of Reason coverage, and some outside links, on Waco and Waco-related issues here.