[From an interview with Linda Thompson on the *For the People* 
radio show, Feb. 11, 1994. Host is Chuck Harder.]


CHUCK HARDER: We are back. We're talking to Linda Thompson. She 
is an attorney. And she has been studying the Waco matter. She 
has produced a masterful videotape. (I saw the first one. The 
second one, I understand, is just a real, real eye-popper.)

Now Linda, you're telling me that the government is throwing the 
trial. What do you mean by "throwing" the trial? What will the 
outcome be?

LINDA THOMPSON: The outcome will be... The only damaging 
testimony has been against 2 people, Brad Branch and Livingstone 
Fagan, thus far. There has not been any damaging testimony 
against most of the other Branch Davidians. I think we're going 
to see acquittals of the majority of the Branch Davidians. And 
that is because the government is putting on witnesses that 
*hurt* the government, at least in the eyes of the jury.

HARDER: Uh-huh. [Indicates he understands]

THOMPSON: Because the government has been able to completely 
control the evidence available to the defense attorneys, for 
instance. There's nobody that's going to challenge, effectively, 
what is being presented. For instance, one glaring example of 
this, at the trial the other day... One of the ATF agents 
testified that they had moved the day of the raid up a day 
because the *Waco Herald-Tribune* was gonna come out with their 
articles on Saturday. And they moved the raid up to Sunday. And 
that they had planned to do the raid, originally, on Monday.

That's not true. The [search] warrant was applied for on the 
24th. It expired on the 28th, which was Sunday. And that is the 
day the raid was done, was the 28th. They could not have had any 
other plan to do it on Monday because the warrant would have 
already been expired on Monday.

Now this is an example of a little bit of nonsense that they have 
come up with to help bolster their story. You know, that they 
"lost the element of surprise." The claim of losing the element 
of surprise is in itself a lie. But it's being told, not for the 
purpose of admitting that the government is a bunch of bumbling 
boobs, but to reinforce the idea that the Branch Davidians were 
*waiting* for them. When you say you "lost the element of 
surprise," what are you essentially saying -- the Branch 
Davidians had an opportunity to prepare. And that's what they're 
claiming. That is their story: "The Branch Davidians were waiting 
on us. Yes, our guys screwed up. They lost the element of 
surprise." That's the government's official story. And this is 
the kind of evidence that they're putting on, with a series of 
these little "admissions": "Yes, we probably shot our own guys," 
"Yes, we lost the element of surprise," and so forth.

And that is what they're doing at trial, is presenting this 
preconceived story, all of which *is*  *a*  *lie*. But they're 
making sure that just that version comes out. There's nobody 
there to effectively challenge it. It's going to go straight down 
the way they've told it in the ATF final report. And at the same 
time, the government is making sure that they release just enough 
bad information against themselves that there will be acquittals. 
And you would not do that... I mean, the prosecution does not put 
on witnesses that *hurt* their case, unless they're throwing the 
trial -- and that's what they're doing.

HARDER: All right. Why would they want acquittals?

THOMPSON: Because some of these people on trial are government 
agents. They're not Branch Davidians.

And they're caught in a crack. They cannot reveal to the American 
public that they've got government agents that are on trial. 
Because those were undercover agents. They were plants. They were 
people that you're not supposed to know are not Branch Davidians.

HARDER: So they're in a "catch-22".

THOMPSON: Well it's not really a "catch-22". It's really pretty 
clever because they can use these same people to convict the ones 
they need to convict, and yet use their own testimony of agents 
that get up on the stand to give away just enough information to 
*acquit* the ones they want acquitted. For instance, if you've 
got somebody on the stand says, "Well I didn't see this guy with 
a gun," and "He didn't do anything," while you've got another one 
getting on the stand pointing a finger at a specific one, you can 
tell who they're targeting. They're intending to get convictions 
of a few of them and acquittals of others by the direct 
testimony. They're manipulating this trial very effectively.

HARDER: I'm surprised that nobody moved to sever any of these 
people. [CN -- By this, "sever", I think is meant to move for a 
separate trial for a particular defendant.]

THOMPSON: Well I think they did, actually. There was one attorney 
(that is not appointed) and he did move to sever. And the motion 
was denied. That would be the basis for an appeal.

But there's a lot of things that I would have expected to see 
from the defense attorneys that has not occurred. Such as 
*endless* fights over the evidence. For instance, they should 
have been entitled to all... All this stuff is filmed; every bit 
of it was filmed...

HARDER: Right.

THOMPSON: ...top to bottom, inside-out. They should have been 
entitled to those videos. They haven't been able to get 'em. And 
rather than allow it to proceed to trial without that evidence, 
my personal preference would have been to go on and appeal it 
right then. You can get what's called an "interlocutory appeal," 
*demand* that you get this evidence. Because you're entitled to 
it. By law you are entitled to anything that tends to prove that 
your client is not guilty. We know from one of the pictures that 
*is* available and has been shown at trial -- in fact it's in our 
video... It's a picture of the front door. That is absolutely 
good for the Branch Davidians because it shows that the ATF is 
standing there shooting at the front door. There's no one at any 
of the front windows. This is a dead-on picture. You'll see it in 
"Waco II". It's not in "Waco I". But it's a picture of the front 
door; no one at any of the windows. The front door is cracked 
open; it opens inward. And the ATF has said, "The Branch 
Davidians were at all the windows. They shot out through the 
front door with such force that it bowed the door." You can't bow 
a door that's open. You know, if it opens inward, the force of 
bullets coming from inside would have slammed the door shut...

HARDER: Right.

THOMPSON: ...before it bowed the door.

Well the door's open, there's a lot of bullet holes in it. 
They're all from the outside. There's not a single Branch 
Davidian at any of the windows. And there's only *one* window 
that's even broken -- and that's the window that ATF is shooting 

But the most *damning* pieces of evidence is that there's a 
little child out front, as all this is going on, and then we've 
got video footage that shows them taking another child, in a 
little black body bag, to an ambulance. So they killed kids that 
first day.

Now we've got proof that the first shots were fired by the 
overhead helicopter; not by the Branch Davidians and not by ATF, 
but by the helicopter that flew over and fired into the roof 
where the women and children were. And they killed kids in there 

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    [CN Editor -- Now seems like a good time to insert the 
    following section from the Report of the Committee for 
    Waco Justice. Excerpts only.]

(Section 13, BATF-Treasury section of report)

The Treasury report states that BATF agents "returned fire when 
possible, but conserved their ammunition. They also fired only 
when they saw an individual engage in a threatening action, such 
as pointing a weapon." (TDR:101)  However, Branch Davidians claim 
BATF agents fired indiscriminately, including through walls, and 
that helicopters sprayed the building with bullets. News video 
tapes clearly show agents exercising little control over their 
firing as they fire over vehicles with little or no view of what 
they were shooting at. Both BATF Director Higgins at an April 2nd 
Congressional hearing and Treasury Secretary Bentsen during the 
September 1993 Treasury Department press conference denied 
allegations that agents fired indiscriminately. {1}.

(a) Bullet Evidence in Doors, Walls and Roof
Branch Davidians, and attorneys Dick DeGuerin and Jack Zimmerman 
who visited Mount Carmel during the siege, insist that there was 
extensive evidence that BATF agents shot indiscriminately through 
Mount Carmel Center's front door, walls and roof. They were very 
concerned with preserving this evidence of an out-of-control 

The *New York Times* reported, "both lawyers clearly believed 
that helicopters flying over the compound during the raid had 
fired into upper floors of the main building from above." {2}. 
Except for half the front door, all this evidence was destroyed 
by the April 19 tank rammings, the fire, and the bulldozing of 
still burning walls into the rubble.

(b) Wayne Martin Allegations on 911 Tape
Wayne Martin and an unidentified Branch Davidian complain 
frantically to Lieutenant Lynch 15 minutes after the start of the 
raid about the continuing gun fire from BATF agents, even as they 
themselves withhold fire. Nearly continuous gunfire can be heard 
in the background of the tape.

    MARTIN: Another chopper with more people; more guns 
    going off. They're firing. That's them, not us.
    UNIDENTIFIED DAVIDIAN: There's a chopper with more of 
    LYNCH: What!?
    DAVIDIAN: Another chopper with more people and more guns 
    going off. Here they come!

(d) Catherine Matteson Allegation
"I seen (sic) those trailers drive up. I was downstairs. I 
thought it strange, but I figured they were delivering firewood 
or something. I picked up the Sunday paper and went upstairs to 
my room, and started reading. When next, bullets came through the 
roof. I could hear the helicopters overhead, I got under my bed." 

(e) Children's Pictures of Bullets Through Roof
A story about psychologist Bruce D. Perry's interviews with 
Branch Davidian children who left Mount Carmel after the raid 
mentions, "Still another child created a picture of a house 
beneath a rainbow. When Perry asked, 'Is there anything else?' 
the child calmly added bullet holes in the roof. That was an 
allusion to the Feb. 28 shootout with federal agents that marked 
the beginning of a 51-day standoff and left the compound near 
Waco scarred with bullet holes." {4}. A May 19, 1993 *Newsweek* 
story shows this picture with the caption, "A girl drew her 
home's dotted roof. 'Bullets,' she said."

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HARDER: We're talking about helicopter gunships firing against 
American citizens. [CN Editor -- Yes, *and* indiscriminately 
*and* at children.]

THOMPSON: Yeah, absolutely. And the thing is, in the ATF report, 
they do very deceitful things. They say that... [music signalling a 
break begins to be audible]... oh, sorry.

HARDER: All right. Let's do a short break here. This almost 
sounds like George Orwell stuff. We'll be right back.

                        (to be continued)

--------------------------<< Notes >>----------------------------
{1} "Sect's Lawyers Dispute Gunfight Details," *New York Times*, 
April 5, 1993, A10 and transcript of September 30, 1993 Treasury 
Department press conference.
{2} *New York Times*, April 5, 1993, A10.
{3} Interview with Catherine Matteson, August 30, 1993, on file 
at Gun Owners of America.
{4} Sue Anne Pressley, May 5, 1993, A17. [*New York Times*(??)]

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*The Massacre of the Branch Davidians*. Report of the Committee 
for Waco Justice. Committee for Waco Justice, PO Box 33037, 
Washington, DC  20033. Phone: 202/986-1847 & 202/797-9877