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Branch Davidian anniversary

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POSTED: Tuesday, February 28, 2012 - 6:43pm

UPDATED: Tuesday, July 31, 2012 - 12:12pm

It began on this day in 1993.
The raid on the so-called Branch Davidian compound in Waco remains controversial to this day.
David Koresh is buried in Tyler.
His religious cult, the Branch Davidians were the targets of one of the most controversial law enforcement operations in US history.
The operation was flawed.
And one local man knows the inside story.
Larry Smith is a former agent with the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco and Firearms.
He is also running for Smith County Sheriff.
And he remembers exactly what he was doing when the Waco siege began.
“I was in church that morning in Green Acres,” Smith told KETK. ”I got home from Sunday school and turned on the television and what was on the TV at that time was one of our guys, a guy I know very well from New Orleans, that was getting shot at on the roof. And about the same time I turned the TV on my phone rang, and I had to go down there. And I was there from that day for 52 days.”
Larry says there is no doubt that Vernon Howell, who called himself David Koresh, was engaging in illegal activity involving not only guns but underage girls.
“The sheriff, Sheriff Jack down in McClendon County,” Smith says, “that whole thing first came to him.  There were state laws that could have been enforced on that, but he defers it to ATF because of the machine guns and hand grenades and things out there. They knew the first complaint was with child protective services of underage children being impregnated by Vernon Howell.”
The ATF also had a spy in the compound. They also had surveillance microphones in the house.
“There were things being talked about that we knew, when the building was about to go up in flames and things of that nature,” Smith says.
But he says when the element of surprise was lost, the raid should have been called off.
But he also says, there are things people forget.
“There’s a lot of things that people don’t understand,” he told us. “The positive parts don’t ever come out about how many children we were able to get out of there at that time.”
The incident has become a touchstone for militia and anti-government activists including Oklahoma City bomber Timothy McVeigh.
And for the ATF, it leaves a scar that hasn’t healed to this day.

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I wonder if Julliete Martinez, who died of smoke inhalation and carbon monoxide poisoning thought it was a good thing that happened at Waco? Or maybe Audrey Martinez who died in the structural collapse of the building as it burned thought it was a good thing? How about Abigail Martinez who died of a gunshot wound to the head? Or maybe her husband who suffocated in the building collapse under all the rubble and smoke? Do you really want Larry Smith who had a hand in this massacre to be Sheriff??

He disregards the fact that the ATF could have saved EVERY ONE of those women and children, not just a few. And he is accountable for that tragedy along with his ATF buddies. Smith County does not need a sheriff with that kind of baggage.

I agree . . . all could have been saved. If the Sheriff had taken his oath of office seriously and done his job to 'protect and defend' the citizens of his county, he could have taken the leader into custody and allowed a fair trial under the Constitution. But, he did not and called the ATF who did not administer justice under the Constitution.

I think we need to pay close attention to everything he said about this. Do we want a sheriff with a federal govt. mindset? I think not. That Waco debacle was caused by the heavy handed way the feds handled that situation and the only hope we have of being safe from federal interference in our lives is the sheriff of each county.

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