April 20, 1993 – A Waco Postmortem – A Bill Clinton Press Conference – A Day In L.A.
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April 20, 1993 – As the smoke settled over the ruins of the Branch Davidians compound in Waco Texas, questions and finger pointing set the tone at President Clinton’s Press conference the day after. The President spoke to reporters in the Rose Garden on the administration’s role in the events of the previous day, when the members of an armed religious sect in Waco, Texas, perished in a fire in their compound. The religious cult had been holed up in their compound since February, when Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco and Firearms officials tried unsuccessfully to assault the cult’s complex, where the cult had been accused of stockpiling illegal weapons. President Clinton said he was responsible for the decision to begin pressuring cult members to leave the compound by using tear gas and battering rams against their buildings, and expressed his sorrow at the tragic loss of life in the fire, apparently set by the cult members.
President Clinton: “On February 28th, four federal agents were killed in the line of duty trying to enforce the law against the Branch Davidian compound which had illegally stockpiled weaponry and ammunition and placed innocent children at risk. Because the BATF operation had failed to meet its objective, a 51-day standoff ensued.
The Federal Bureau of Investigation then made every reasonable effort to bring the perilous situation to an end without bloodshed and further loss of life. The Bureau’s efforts were ultimately unavailing because the individual with whom they were dealing, David Koresh, was dangerous, irrational and probably insane. He engaged in numerous activities which violated both federal law and common standards of decency. He was, moreover, responsible for the deaths and injuries which occurred during the action against the compound in February. Given his inclination toward violence and in an effort to protect his young hostages, no provocative actions were taken for more than seven weeks by federal agents against the compound. This weekend I was briefed by Attorney General Reno on an operation prepared by the FBI, designed to increase pressure on Koresh and persuade those in the compound to surrender peacefully. The plan included a decision to withhold the use of ammunition, even in the face of fire, and instead to use tear gas that would not cause permanent harm to health, but would, it was hoped, force the people in the compound to come outside and to surrender.”
In addition to the Press conference (which is caught five minutes in) there is also local Los Angeles news of a mass shooting taking place locally, where the shooter had been taken into custody.
All that, and the ABC Radio Network News for April 20, 1993 via KABC during the Michael Jackson program.
Another day in L.A.