If you want to know the truth about what really happened in Waco, TX between February 28th, 1993 and April 19th, 1993, this IS NOT the film to see. The writers claimed at the movie's beginning that this film was a result of "extensive research" concerning what happened, yet there is hardly any truth in nearly every scene in this film. It not only is a villification of David Koresh and the Branch Davidians but also a portrayal of the AFT as "brave heroes" who risked their lives so as to protect society from these dangerous lunatics. It fails to mention the point that the only reason that the AFT made the raid in the first place was because they had budget hearings pending and they needed a good publicity coup for those hearings.
The only error this film makes concerning the February 28th raid that is worth mentioning here is the fact that it omits the role of the helicopters in the raid. Anyone who has studied the facts of the raid knows that it was the helicopters who fired the first shots when they straffed the building. It was also one of the helicopters that, when making a straffing pass over the building, fired the shots the killed Peter Gent as he was climbing from out of the water tower. In this film, the Davidians (including some late-middle aged women) are shown to ambush the AFT as they approached the front door. It was too bad that millions of people formed their opinion concerning Koresh, his followers and the entire Waco incident from this piece of trash.
If someone really wants to know the truth of both Koresh and his followers and the entire incident from beginning to end, the best references are the books "The Ashes of Waco: An Investigation" by Dick J. Reavis and "A Place Called Waco" by David Thibodeau. Also, the video "Waco: The Rules of Engagement" is a excellent piece of documentary film making.
Reviewed by TheAnimalMother1 / 10
An Ambush On Truth
I certainly don't support a lunatic like David Koresh at all. However this film is about an important true event in American history, in terms of law enforcement and human rights. This film is a totally biased propaganda film that entirely ignores the errors of every American government agency involved. This was obviously funded to some degree for the very purpose of their public image. It is an insult to truth. It is an insult to the viewer. It is an insult to the American public. It is an insult to the foreign public. It is an insult to humankind. Is there anyone else I can say it's an insult to? This is bottom of the barrel stuff. Whatever happened to admitting your mistakes and learning from them? Would it be so bad if they admitted their errors? If children covered up their mistakes with pure lies like this film does. Most parents would certainly have a big talk with, or even punish them for such things. And this is the behaviour of the most powerful government in the world. Absolutely ridiculous! Anyone who researches this event, or watched it unfold knows that this film is a biased load. This is the exact kind of ammunition that crazed idiots like Koresh use to trick vulnerable people into believing that their government is not to be trusted. With such ignorant public propaganda. It really makes you wonder how corrupt some American government agencies are. With this kind of stuff out there, it is also not much of a wonder that the U.S. has become such a distrusted country around the world. This film makes me mad, and it makes me sick. It also makes me wonder if the government could possibly hire any dumber public relations gurus than the ones who came up with the idea to fund this garbage.
Reviewed by CarlNaamanBrown1 / 10
Fact or Fiction?
Saying that In the Line of Duty: Ambush at Waco tells the facts about David Koresh and the Branch Davidian is like saying It Conquered the World tells the truth about NASA scientists: the Lee Van Cleef character brought an evil alien conqueror to earth, those NASA guys must be whacked out loonies.
The screen writer, Phil Penningroth, has disowned this screenplay. He has pointed out that in the other "In the Line of Duty" series, the agencies were eager to tell their side of the story. The ATF stonewalled him and he had to rely on what proved to be falsified press releases from Washington.
From my own research, follow this time-line:
1992 July 30 Koresh knows he is being investigated. Koresh tries to get the ATF to come out and inspect his guns and paperwork. ATF agent David Aguillera refuses to take the phone.
1992 August 21-31 The infamous Ruby Ridge Siege against the Weaver family in Idaho convinces Koresh the ATF plans to do the same to him and his group.
ATF continues to build plans for a raid and Koresh becomes more paranoid. He and his lawyer go to the county sheriff and demonstrate that their guns are legal and they have followed all laws. The sheriff believes all ATF has to do was call Koresh and Koresh would have met them with his lawyer at the courthouse.
1992 Dec 4 - At the BATF Special Operations Division HQ BATF conferred with a military liaison officer about the availability of military assistance. The military officer informed the BATF that free military assistance would require a "drug connection" to the Waco investigation.
1992 Dec 11 - In Texas, BATF contacted the Texas National Guard (TexNG) for the use of helicopters. The TexNG responded that the BATF would have to show a war-on-drugs connection to get TexNG helicopters.
1992 Dec 16 - The BATF tells the TexNG that a disgruntled exDavidian told them there was a methamphetamine lab at Mt. Carmel. TexNG supplies three helicopters for use in the raid.
Later BATF named Marc Breault as the source of their drug information on Koresh. Breault had left the group in Sept 1989. Breault stated in 1993: "There were no drugs of any kind used during my time in the group.... Never at any time did I accuse Vernon (Koresh) of drug dealing or usage." In Nov 1992 Breault had told the BATF a meth lab had been run by 3rd party tenants in 1987 under previous prophet George Roden. Koresh had evicted them and demolished the cabin in 1988.
Not only was the raid on the Davidian's Mt. Carmel Center justified by a non-existent meth lab, the ATF raid plan was based on daily routine reported by members who had left in 1989 while Mt. Carmel Center was being re-constructed. The ATF plan was based on the idea the men would be outside working on new construction, the children would be in school, other men and women would be in town at their jobs, and the guns would be locked up in the main building. On 28 Feb 1993 all the men, women and children were in the main building for Sunday School (with the guns nearby).
Koresh may have been a whacked-out loony, but if you did not agree with him, you could pack your bags and catch the bus at the county road and leave his jurisdiction and a lot of members did just that with no bad consequences.
What scares me are the reviewers that seem delighted that the ATF attacked the Branch Davidians over their unpopular beliefs and lifestyle. ATF could have enforced the gun laws by accepting his phone offer to just look at the guns and paperwork on 30 July 1992. ATF has no legal jurisdiction to execute people over their religion or lifestyle.
"In the Line of Duty: Ambush at Waco" is a blemish on the record of the "In the Line of Duty" series: most other entries in the series are much more factual. ATF had too much to hide from the screenwriter.