Waco Unraveling No. 2
Outpost of Freedom
September 7, 1999
There has been a lot of speculation, recently, regarding the pyrotechnic devices that were used in violation of the Justice Department (Janet Reno’s) Order for the assault on Mt. Carmel Church. In the past week, these devices have been called many things, including ‘incendiary’, ‘explosive’, ‘flammable’, etc., so, what are they?
The type of CS round which has been admitted to is known as an M-651 round. It contains the mild nerve agent known as CS gas and is fired from an M-79 grenade launcher – a hand held rifle. The round is 40 mm (approximately 1 ½ inch) in diameter. The projectile is designed to ignite, upon firing, and spew CS gases out of a number of holes in the side of the projectile. It is designed to tumble so as to make it more difficult for the ‘victim’ to be able to pick it up and throw it back. The source of ignition is quite capable of starting a fire – if the conditions are right. Now, on to the admitted use of the CS gas M-651 projectiles- Understand that what is being discussed, at this time, is limited only to the admitted use.
According to the transcripts thus far provided, the concern, when the projectiles were used in violation of the "Order", the target was the area between the tornado shelter (underground bunker to the FBI and press) and the school bus. The shelter was located some distance from the building. It is rectangular and its long side was toward the Church. Near one end of the long side was a hallway, which led to the water tower. Near the center of that same wall was a passageway which led to the bus. The bus was the original, makeshift, shelter and was also the location in which the bodies of those killed inside on February 28, except Peter Gent, were kept until the fire. The hallway then led under the Church and had access through the floor into the building.
When queried by the press, on the morning of April 19, after the injection of gas had begun, Bob Rocks, FBI special agent, claimed that the children would be okay. He said that they could seek refuge from the gas in the underground shelter. The transcripts of the use of the pyrotechnic CS, however, indicate that the underground hallway to the bus, and the bus, itself, were the object of the use of the projectiles.
The two released transcripts of the tape will demonstrate the target of the efforts to use ‘military gas’ (M-651 rounds). The Green side is the left (North) side of Mt Carmel, the White side is the front and the Black side is the rear. Significantly, the Black side was totally out of press camera view.
7:48:55 a.m., Central Time (4/19/93)
HR 1 = Richard M. Rogers, Assistant Special Agent in Charge, Hostage Rescue Team
HR 2 = Stephen P. McGavin, Supervisory Special Agent, Hostage Rescue Team
HR 2: HR 2 to HR 1.
HR 1: Go ahead, it"s HR 1.
HR 2: [unintelligible] supplying Charlie 1 [unintelligible] with relative safety utilizing the vehicle for cover and attempt to get [unintelligible] penetrate the construction project.
HR 1: You"re talking about the block over top the construction?
HR 2: Say again, HR 1.
HR 1: Are you saying he can penetrate the block covering over the construction on the green side?
HR 2: Ten-four. He thinks he can get into position with relative safety utilizing the track for cover and attempt to penetrate it with military rounds.
HR 1: Roger. Of course, if there"s water underneath that"s just going to extinguish them but you can try it.
HR 2: Ten-four. Copy. He can try it?
HR 1: Yeah, that"s affirmative.
8:08 a.m., Central Time (4/19/93)
CHARLIE 1 - Bradley Vehicle #3, Green (left) Side
HR 1 - Richard M. Rogers, Assistant Special Agent in Charge, Hostage Rescue Team
HR 2 - Bradley Vehicle #4, Black (back) Side
[Note: there is no description of who ECHO-1 is, nor are HR-1 and HR-2 included in this second transcript. It makes one wonder what was excluded from the tape, or if the pauses are actually edits. Opf]
CHARLIE 1: Charlie TOC to HR1.
CHARLIE 1: Yeah, the military gas did not penetrate that, uh, bunker where the bus was. Copy.
CHARLIE 1: It bounced off.
CHARLIE 1: That"s a possibility. If [unintelligible] CEVs to push this fence back here, we can get in there and get a good angle.
CHARLIE 1: I don"t think so but if you took it slow.
CHARLIE 1: The walls to this thing are, uh, concrete poured.
CHARLIE 1: Yeah, the walls to the, uh, around the bus are poured concrete.
ECHO 1: Echo 1 to Charlie 1.
CHARLIE 1: Go ahead Echo 1.
ECHO 1: Yeah, if you come to the, uh, green/black side of that structure, I think there"s an opening there that you may be able to shoot through - a doorway.
CHARLIE 1: Is it an underground bus?
ECHO 1: Uh, it"s just the green side of the, uh, big water tower.
CHARLIE 1: Ten-nine, HR 1.
ECHO 1: If you come just to the green side of the big, tall water tower and look toward the white side from there, you should be able to see a --
CHARLIE 1: Ten-four.
ECHO 1: -- a doorway in the unconstructed part.
Pictures of portions of the Tornado Shelter can be found at Vandalism
The Bus, obviously, was the target. This is the same bus that Ricks said the children could take refuge in.
The timing of this ‘admitted’ use is inconsistent with the projectiles having anything, at all, to do with the fire. This is all, however, that the government is willing to tell us – at this time.
What is even more interesting, however, is that the FBI also requested other similar M-79 (grenade launcher) type projectiles. A General Accounting Office report on military assistance at the siege found that FBI agents had obtained 50 40-mm "illumination rounds," or flares, and 250 40 mm "high explosive" rounds from the U.S. Army for use during the standoff. The illumination rounds are the same type that was used to burn Bob Matthews ‘out’ in 1984.
The FBI, when queried on the need for these rounds, indicated that the illumination rounds (White Phosphorus) were to illuminate the sky if anyone tried to sneak in. The glow from the electrical lighting the FBI placed around Mt. Carmel Church in early March lit the sky and was visible from over ten miles away. A rather flimsy excuse!
Regarding the HE rounds, the FBI could give no reason for that request. The reports do not indicate how many M-651 rounds were requested, nor is there any indication that the normal procedure of "bullet count" was conducted to determine how many rounds of anything were fired during the initial assault, the siege or the conflagration.
In Mike McNulty’s "Waco – Rules of Engagement", there is video evidence that at least one illuminating round was found in the debris IN the Church – not in the underground shelter. So, though the picture is not yet complete, it is a certainty that there is more to come.
It would probably be in our best interest to sit, quietly, and wait. The forces at work will soon expose these discrepancies, and more answers will have to be made. Speculation, assumption and sensationalism will only cloud the truth – and, surely, the truth will soon be made apparent.
Return to Waco Unraveling