February 28, 1993 through March 7, 1993

March 8, 1993 through March 18, 1993

March 19, 1993 through March 31, 1993

April 1, 1993 through April 15, 1993

April 16, 1993 through April 19, 1993

  • FRIDAY, APRIL 16:

    KORESH tells negotiators that he has completed the manuscript on the First Seal. RENO rejects the tear gas plan, according to what RICHARD says HUBBELL told him. SESSIONS, CLARKE, and POTTS hurry to HUBBELL's office, and SESSIONS asks to speak with RENO. Ten minutes later HUBBELL returns with RENO, who orders a written statement "describing the situation inside the compound, the progress of negotiations, and the merits" of the plan, plus supporting documentation for all factual assertions. [Scruggs 107, 271]


  • SATURDAY, APRIL 17:

    Louis ALANIZ, who is not a Branch Davidian, but who sneaked into the compound early during the siege, leaves. RENO meets with HUBBELL, SESSIONS, CLARKE and POTTS and other Justice Department officials and reviews the statement covering rules of engagement and supporting documents. RENO approves the FBI's tear gas plan but gives the prepared material "only a cursory review, leaving tactical decisions to those at Waco." [Scruggs 5, 107, 108, 272, 273]


  • SUNDAY, APRIL 18:

    RENO briefs CLINTON on the CS gas plan, and the President "concurs," but asks questions about assuring the children's safety and adds, "It is your decision."...HUBBELL and LINDSEY are also in the loop...Armored vehicles clear KORESH's Chevrolet Camaro and other vehicles away from the front of the compound...Although the FBI warns the Davidians to stay out of the tower, they hold children up in windows and, in one window, hold a sign saying, "Flames Await." [Scruggs 108, 109, 244, 245, 273]


  • MONDAY, APRIL 19:

    At 5:59 a.m., SAGE telephones the Davidians, notifying them of an imminent tear-gas assault. SAGE reads a message over the loudspeaker, advising the Davidians that they are under arrest and should come out. At 6:02 a.m., two FBI combat engineering vehicles, or CEVs, begin inserting gas into the compound through spray nozzles attached to a boom. At 6:04 a.m., the Davidians start shooting, and the FBI begin deploying Bradley vehicles to insert ferret rounds through the windows. At 6:31, the HRT reports that the entire building is being gassed. At about 7 a.m., RENO and senior advisors go to the FBI situation room. At 7:30, a CEV breaches the front side of the building on the first floor as it injects gas, and at 7:58 a.m., gas is inserted in the second floor of the back-right corner of the building. The FBI calls for more gas from outside Waco, and at 9:20 a.m., 48 more ferret rounds arrive from Houston. At about 9:30 a.m., with the supply of ferret rounds dwindling, one CEV is having mechanical troubles, and high winds are blowing the gas away. Another CEV begins enlarging the opening in the middle-front of the building "from which the Davidians could escape" and a third CEV with a boom but lacking a gas delivery system breaches the rear side of the building "to create openings near the gymnasium." At about 11 a.m., (Washington time) RENO talks to CLINTON, saying everything seems to be going well, and she leaves for a judicial conference in Baltimore at 11:30 a.m.. The CEV without a gas delivery system breaches the back side of the compound, concentrating on the back right corner near the warehouse-gymnasium. At 11:40 a.m., the last ferret rounds are delivered. At 11:45 a.m., a wall on the right-rear side of the building collapses. At 12:07 p.m., the Davidians start "simultaneous fires at three or more different locations within the compound." An HRT observer reports seeing "a male starting a fire" in the front of the building. At 12:12 p.m., SAGE calls on KORESH to lead the Davidians out to safety. Nine Davidians flee the compound and are arrested. At about 12:25 p.m., the FBI hears "systematic gunfire" coming from the compound, leaving several agents the impression that the Davidians are either killing themselves or each other. At 12:41, fire-fighting efforts begin. HRT agents enter tunnels to search for survivors, especially children. In the afternoon at an unspecified time HUBBELL speaks to McLARTY. After her appearance on ABC's television program "Nightline," RENO talks again to CLINTON. [ Scruggs 6, 110-113, 245, 285-292]

    Sometime in mid-morning an apparent deviation from the approved plan begins. The plan contemplated that the building would not be dismantled if after 48 hours not all the people had come out. However, the CEV's begin knocking holes into the compound the morning of the assault. The CEV not equipped with tear gas knocks down a corner of the building, and a portion of the roof collapsed, in order to clear a path to the main tower so that the other CEV could insert gas in the area. [Dennis 59]


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