Activities of Federal Law Enforcement Agencies Toward the Branch Davidians/Front Matter

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                                                  Union Calendar No. 395

104th Congress                                                    REPORT
                        HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES   

 2nd Session                                                     104-749
------------------------------------------------------------------------


 INVESTIGATION INTO THE ACTIVITIES OF FEDERAL LAW ENFORCEMENT AGENCIES
                      TOWARD THE BRANCH DAVIDIANS

                          --------------------

                              THIRTEENTH REPORT

                                   by the

                COMMITTEE ON GOVERNMENT REFORM AND OVERSIGHT

                      prepared in conjunction with the

                         COMMITTEE ON THE JUDICIARY

                                together with

                       additional and dissenting views



  August 2, 1996.--Committed to the Committee of the Whole House on the
             State of the Union and ordered to be printed

                               ----------

                     U.S. GOVERNMENT PRINTING OFFICE

                            WASHINGTON : 1996
    26-167 CC



              COMMITTEE ON GOVERNMENT REFORM AND OVERSIGHT

             WILLIAM F. CLINGER, Jr., Pennsylvania, Chairman
BENJAMIN A. GILMAN, New York        CARDISS COLLINS, Illinois
DAN BURTON, Indiana                 HENRY A. WAXMAN, California
J. DENNIS HASTERT, Illinois         TOM LANTOS, California
CONSTANCE A. MORELLA, Maryland      ROBERT E. WISE, Jr., West Virginia
CHRISTOPHER SHAYS, Connecticut      MAJOR R. OWENS, New York
STEVEN SCHIFF, New Mexico           EDOLPHUS TOWNS, New York
ILEANA ROS-LEHTINEN, Florida        JOHN M. SPRATT, Jr., South Carolina
WILLIAM H. ZELIFF, Jr., New         LOUISE McINTOSH SLAUGHTER, New York
    Hampshire                       PAUL E. KANJORSKI, Pennsylvania
JOHN M. McHUGH, New York            GARY A. CONDIT, California
STEPHEN HORN, California            COLLIN C. PETERSON, Minnesota
JOHN L. MICA, Florida               KAREN L. THURMAN, Florida
PETER BLUTE, Massachusetts          CAROLYN B. MALONEY, New York
THOMAS M. DAVIS, Virginia           THOMAS M. BARRETT, Wisconsin
DAVID M. McINTOSH, Indiana          BARBARA-ROSE COLLINS, Michigan
RANDY TATE, Washington              ELEANOR HOLMES NORTON, District of 
DICK CHRYSLER, Michigan             Columbia
GIL GUTKNECHT, Minnesota            JAMES P. MORAN, Virginia
MARK E. SOUDER, Indiana             GENE GREEN, Texas
WILLIAM J. MARTINI, New Jersey      CARRIE P. MEEK, Florida
JOE SCARBOROUGH, Florida            CHAKA FATTAH, Pennsylvania
JOHN B. SHADEGG, Arizona            BILL BREWSTER, Oklahoma
MICHAEL PATRICK FLANAGAN, Illinois  TIM HOLDEN, Pennsylvania
CHARLES F. BASS, New Hampshire      ELIJAH CUMMINGS, Maryland
STEVEN C. LaTOURETTE, Ohio                      ------
MARSHALL ``MARK'' SANFORD, South    BERNARD SANDERS, Vermont 
    Carolina                        (Independent)
ROBERT L. EHRLICH, Jr., Maryland
SCOTT L. KLUG, Wisconsin
                     James L. Clarke, Staff Director
                       Kevin Sabo, General Counsel
                 Robert Shea, Professional Staff Member
                 Jeff Wilmot, Professional Staff Member
                        Judith McCoy, Chief Clerk
                   Bud Myers, Minority Staff Director
                               ----------

 Subcommittee on National Security, International Affairs, and Criminal 
                                 Justice

             WILLIAM H. ZELIFF, Jr., New Hampshire, Chairman
ROBERT L. EHRLICH, Jr., Maryland    KAREN L. THURMAN, Florida
STEVEN SCHIFF, New Mexico           ROBERT E. WISE, Jr., West Virginia
ILEANA ROS-LEHTINEN, Florida        TOM LANTOS, California
JOHN L. MICA, Florida               LOUISE McINTOSH SLAUGHTER, New York
PETER BLUTE, Massachusetts          GARY A. CONDIT, California
MARK E. SOUDER, Indiana             BILL BREWSTER, Oklahoma
JOHN B. SHADEGG, Arizona            ELIJAH CUMMINGS, Maryland

                               Ex Officio

WILLIAM F. CLINGER, Jr.,            CARDISS COLLINS, Illinois
    Pennsylvania
            Robert Charles, Staff Director and Chief Counsel
                      Michele Lang, Special Counsel
               Sean Littlefield, Professional Staff Member
           Cherri Branson, Minority Professional Staff Member

                                  (ii)

                                     

                       COMMITTEE ON THE JUDICIARY

                    HENRY J. HYDE, Illinois, Chairman
CARLOS J. MOORHEAD, California      JOHN CONYERS, Jr., Michigan
F. JAMES SENSENBRENNER, Jr.,        PATRICIA SCHROEDER, Colorado
    Wisconsin                       BARNEY FRANK, Massachusetts
BILL McCOLLUM, Florida              CHARLES E. SCHUMER, New York
GEORGE W. GEKAS, Pennsylvania       HOWARD L. BERMAN, California
HOWARD COBLE, North Carolina        RICK BOUCHER, Virginia
LAMAR S. SMITH, Texas               JOHN BRYANT, Texas
STEVEN SCHIFF, New Mexico           JACK REED, Rhode Island
ELTON GALLEGLY, California          JERROLD NADLER, New York
CHARLES T. CANADY, Florida          ROBERT C. SCOTT, Virginia
BOB INGLIS, South Carolina          MELVIN L. WATT, North Carolina
BOB GOODLATTE, Virginia             XAVIER BECERRA, California
STEPHEN E. BUYER, Indiana           ZOE LOFGREN, California
MARTIN R. HOKE, Ohio                SHEILA JACKSON LEE, Texas
SONNY BONO, California              MAXINE WATERS, California
FRED HEINEMAN, North Carolina
ED BRYANT, Tennessee
STEVE CHABOT, Ohio
MICHAEL PATRICK FLANAGAN, Illinois
BOB BARR, Georgia

           Alan F. Coffey, Jr., General Counsel/Staff Director
                 Julian Epstein, Minority Staff Director
                               ----------

                          Subcommittee on Crime

                    BILL McCOLLUM, Florida, Chairman
STEVEN SCHIFF, New Mexico           CHARLES E. SCHUMER, New York
STEPHEN E. BUYER, Indiana           ROBERT C. SCOTT, Virginia
HOWARD COBLE, North Carolina        ZOE LOFGREN, California
FRED HEINEMAN, North Carolina       SHEILA JACKSON LEE, Texas
ED BRYANT, Tennessee                MELVIN L. WATT, North Carolina
STEVE CHABOT, Ohio
BOB BARR, Georgia


                     Paul J. McNulty, Chief Counsel
                        Glenn R. Schmitt, Counsel
                   Daniel J. Bryant, Assistant Counsel
                       Tom Diaz, Minority Counsel

                                  (iii)

                                     
                          LETTER OF TRANSMITTAL

                               ----------

                                 House of Representatives,      
                               Washington, DC, August 2, 1996.  

        Hon. Newt Gingrich,
        Speaker of the House of Representatives,
        Washington, DC.

            Dear Mr. Speaker: By direction of the Committee on 
        Government Reform and Oversight and on behalf of Mr. 
        Hyde and Mr. McCollum of the Committee on the Judiciary, 
        I herewith submit the committee's thirteenth report to 
        the 104th Congress. The report is based on a joint 
        investigation conducted by the Judiciary's Subcommittee 
        on Crime, and the Government Reform and Oversight 
        Committee's Subcommittee on National Security, 
        International Affairs, and Criminal Justice.
                    Sincerely,

                                  William F. Clinger, Jr.,      
                                                     Chairman.  

                                   (v)

                                     
                             C O N T E N T S

                               ----------
                                                                    Page
Executive summary.................................................     1
                A. A brief summary of the Government's actions 
                        toward the Branch Davidians...............     1
                B. Findings of the subcommittees..................     3
                C. Recommendations................................     5
    I.     Introduction...........................................     6
                A. The need for the Waco inquiry..................     6
                B. Opposition to the inquiry......................     7
                C. The nature of the inquiry......................     8
                            1. Document requests and review.......     8
                            2. Investigation and interviews.......     8
                            3. Hearings...........................     9
                            4. Post-hearing investigation.........     9
                D. The structure and scope of the report..........     9
                E. Additional comments............................    10
   II.     The ATF investigation..................................    10
                A. The McMahon compliance visit...................    10
                B. The investigation continued....................    10
                C. Undercover operation...........................    11
                D. Failure to comply with ``sensitive-
                        significant'' procedures..................    12
                E. The affidavit in support of the warrants.......    12
                F. Findings concerning the ATF investigation......    13
                G. Recommendations................................    14
  III.     Planning and approval of the raid......................    14
                A. Was ``show time'' even necessary?..............    14
                B. Was the violent outburst predictable?..........    15
                C. The predisposition to dynamic entry............    15
                            1. The source of the predisposition...    15
                            2. Raid approval and lack of Treasury 
                                    Department oversight of ATF...    16
                D. Failure to comply with ``sensitive-
                        significant'' procedures..................    17
                E. Findings concerning the planning and approval 
                        of the raid...............................    17
   IV.     Raid execution.........................................    17
                A. Rodriguez and the ``element of surprise''......    18
                            1. How the Davidians knew the ATF was 
                                    coming........................    18
                            2. The undercover agent...............    18
                B. Who bears the responsibility for the failure of 
                        the raid?.................................    21
                C. Other ways in which the plan selected was 
                        bungled...................................    23
                            1. Command and control issues.........    23
                            2. The lack of a written raid plan....    24
                            3. Lack of depth in the raid plan.....    24
                            4. Tactical teams trained together for 
                                    only 3 days before the raid...    25
                            5. True National Guard role only made 
                                    clear 24 hours prior to 
                                    theraid.......................    25
                D. Service of the warrant.........................    26
                E. Unresolved allegations.........................    26
                            1. Who shot first?....................    26
                            2. Were shots fired from the 
                                    helicopters?..................    27
                F. The firing and rehiring of Chojnacki and 
                        Sarabyn...................................    28
                G. Findings concerning the raid execution.........    28
                H. Recommendations................................    29

                                  (vii)

    V.     Military involvement in the Government operations at 
            WACO..................................................    30
                A. The expansion of military assistance to law 
                        enforcement...............................    30
                            1. The Posse Comitatus Act............    30
                            2. Interstate use of National Guard by 
                                    Governors.....................    33
                B. The Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, and Firearms' 
                        request for military assistance and the 
                        military assistance actually provided.....    35
                            1. Overview...........................    35
                            2. Concerns of military legal advisors    39
                            3. Evidence indicating problems in the 
                                    approval process..............    40
                C. The alleged drug nexus.........................    43
                            1. Methamphetamine laboratories.......    43
                            2. Evidence purporting to show the 
                                    alleged drug nexus............    45
                            3. Evidence refuting ATF's claim of a 
                                    drug nexus....................    48
                D. Post-raid military assistance to the Federal 
                        Bureau of Investigation...................    50
                            1. Military equipment and personnel 
                                    provided......................    50
                            2. Advice/consultation provided by 
                                    military officers.............    51
                            3. Foreign military personnel.........    51
                E. Findings concerning military involvement in the 
                        Government operations at Waco.............    52
                            1. The Posse Comitatus Act was not 
                                    violated......................    52
                F. Recommendations................................    53
   VI.     Negotiations to end the standoff with the Davidians....    55
                A. The conflict between tactical commanders and 
                        negotiators...............................    56
                            1. The problem with two teams: one 
                                    negotiating team and a 
                                    tactical team.................    56
                B. Negotiation opportunities lost.................    58
                            1. Why the FBI changed negotiators....    58
                            2. Why the FBI didn't allow others to 
                                    participate in the 
                                    negotiations..................    59
                C. Lack of appreciation of outside information....    60
                            1. Why the FBI did not rely more on 
                                    religious advisors to 
                                    understand Koresh.............    60
                            2. Others who contributed information.    62
                D. The FBI's failure to follow its own expert's 
                        recommendations...........................    64
                            1. What the FBI's own experts 
                                    recommended...................    64
                E. The decision to dismiss the surrender plan.....    64
                            1. ``Kids lined up with their jackets 
                                    on''..........................    64
                            2. Breakthrough with Koresh's letter..    65
                            3. The breakthrough communicated to 
                                    Jamar.........................    65
                            4. The failure to communicate this 
                                    breakthrough up the chain of 
                                    command.......................    65
                            5. Evidence that Koresh was writing 
                                    his interpretation of the 
                                    Seven Seals...................    66
                            6. Why the FBI disregarded the 
                                    evidence that the Seven Seals 
                                    were being written............    66
                F. Findings concerning the negotiations to end the 
                        standoff with the Davidians...............    66
                G. Recommendations................................    66
      VII.   The Attorney General's decision to end the stand-off.    67
                A. Overview of the plan to end the standoff.......    67
                B. The operation plan for April 19, 1993..........    67
                            1. Overview of the written operation 
                                    plan to end the standoff......    67
                            2. Acceleration provisions of the 
                                    operations plan...............    68
                C. The way the plan actually unfolded.............    68
                D. Overview of the use of CS chemical agent.......    69
                            1. Introduction.......................    69
                            2. Concerns over use of CS............    70
                E. Clinical effects and toxicity of CS............    70
                            1. Common effects of exposure to CS...    70
                            2. Toxicity of CS.....................    71
                F. Effect of the CS and methylene chloride in the 
                        quantities used on April 19th.............    71
                            1. Lethality of CS as used at Waco....    71
                            2. Lethality of methylene chloride 
                                    used with CS at Waco..........    73
                            3. Other possible effects of methylene 
                                    chloride used with CS at Waco.    74

                                 (viii)

                G. Analysis of the Attorney General's decision to 
                        end the standoff on April 19, 1993........    75
                            1. The decision not to storm the 
                                    residence.....................    75
                            2. The reasons asserted for ending the 
                                    standoff on day 51............    75
                            3. The decision as to how to implement 
                                    the plan......................    79
                H. Presidential involvement in the events at Waco, 
                        TX........................................    81
                I. Findings concerning the plan to end the 
                        standoff..................................    81
                J. Recommendations................................    83
     VIII.   The fire.............................................    84
                A. Summary of the development of the fire.........    84
                B. Other theories concerning the development of 
                        the fire..................................    85
                            1. Whether the methylene chloride in 
                                    the CS riot control agent used 
                                    by the FBI caused the fire....    85
                            2. Whether the irritant chemical in 
                                    the CS riot control agent used 
                                    by the FBI caused or 
                                    contributed to the spread of 
                                    the fire......................    86
                            3. Whether the combat engineering 
                                    vehicles used by the FBI on 
                                    April 19 started the fire.....    86
                C. Whether the Davidians could have left their 
                        residence after the fire began............    87
                D. The FBI's planning for the fire................    87
                E. Findings concerning the fire...................    88

                                  VIEWS

Additional views of Hon. Ileana Ros-Lehtinen......................    91
Additional views of Hon. William H. Zeliff, Jr....................    92
The submission by Hon. Steven Schiff, of the Subcommittee on 
    National Security, International Affairs, and Criminal Justice 
    of the Committee on Government Reform and Oversight, of 
    extraneous material provided to him by Hon. Bob Barr, of the 
    Subcommittee on Crime of the Committee on the Judiciary.......    93
Additional views of Hon. Tom Lantos...............................    97
Dissenting views of Hon. Cardiss Collins, Hon. Karen L. Thurman, 
    Hon. Henry A. Waxman, Hon. Tom Lantos, Hon. Robert E. Wise, 
    Jr., Hon. Major R. Owens, Hon. Edolphus Towns, Hon. Louise M. 
    Slaughter, Hon. Paul E. Kanjorski, Hon. Carolyn B. Maloney, 
    Hon. Thomas M. Barrett, Hon. Barbara-Rose Collins, Hon. 
    Eleanor Holmes Norton, Hon. James P. Moran, Hon. Carrie P. 
    Meek, Hon. Chaka Fattah, and Hon. Elijah E. Cummings..........    98

                                  (ix)