Bloomington Herald-Times, April 11, 2008
To the Editor:
April 19, 2008 will be fifteen years since the disaster at Waco, Texas that took the lives of 76 people, including 21 children and two pregnant women. Fifteen years later, in the midst of an election to decide this nation's next leader, we need to say "never again".
The original raid on the Branch Davidian compound was both a lesson in incompetence and excessive force. When men armed with assault weapons fire into the windows of someone's home and invade through the window, how do you expect they will react? The federal government needlessly provoked an armed confrontation that never should have happened.
Worst of all, though, was the use of military force to subdue the Branch Davidian cultists. The Branch Davidians may have started the fire, but would those 76 people have died if not for the recklessly aggressive actions of our own government? Wouldn't it have been prudent to wait as long as it took for a peaceful resolution?
David Koresh was evil and needed to be brought to justice. But the way our government attacked its own citizens should be frightening to all Americans, especially in the era of the "Patriot Act" and increased government surveillance.