Jamar, David Koresh, Mount Carmel discussed on American Scandal
Always have unfinished business in Waco. It's early April, week 5 of the standoff. At the FBI command post Byron sage sits at a desk, waiting for an important meeting, a meeting that could set the standoff on a new course. After Gary nesse was removed as chief negotiator, sage stepped in as the de facto leader of the negotiating team. He was sorry to see Nestor go, but he's continued to push hard for a peaceful solution, even if progress has been slow coming. Sage has spoken on the phone with David koresh and Steve Schneider almost every day for 5 weeks straight, but it's been two weeks since any adult has walked through the doors of mount Carmel. Koresh hasn't released any children in more than a month. Sage stands up. It's time for his meeting with the FBI's commander Jeff Jamar. Sage walks past rows of agents all huddled over computer monitors. They have dark rings under their eyes, and they look worn fin, just like sage. Everyone is sick of living off cold pizza and they're tired of David koresh and having to organize their lives around the whims of a madman. Sage enters to Mars office, the commander is hunched over his desk, his expression stern. He gestures for sage to sit and asks if there's been any progress in getting people out of mount Carmel. Sage size and shakes his head. Jamar leans in. He wants to know the truth. Can they get David koresh to surrender? Sage takes a moment, swallows hard. It's difficult to admit after weeks of effort, but he tells Jamar what he believes. The negotiator seemed to have exhausted their options. At this point, sage is convinced that David koresh doesn't care about anyone inside. All he sees are ways to fulfill his own grandiose vision. Sage bites his left before offering his final assessment. He's not sure what koresh will do if they don't act soon. Jamar nods, he says he's glad sage has come around on the point because the agency has a new solution in mind. It's a plan codenamed Jericho. Sage recognizes the name Jericho from the famous siege in the Bible. Jamar picks up an aerial photograph of mount Carmel. He points to the compound and explains that according to the plan, tanks will approach mount Carmel with specialized equipment, outfitted with 30 foot arms. These arms will act like pipes that can penetrate the compound. Through these pipes, the tanks will then inject tear gas going room by room. They'll release the gas over a 48 hour period. They're not looking to force the Davidians out immediately. Instead, they'll gradually shrink the living space inside the compound until the entire building is saturated with tear gas. At that point, the Davidians will have no choice but to come out. Jamar looks up from the aerial photograph. He says that once they put Jericho into action, they'll need someone to tell the Davidians about the tear gas and to help talk them out of the building. He wants sage to fill that role. Jamar also explains that the highest levels of the FBI are on board. Soon, the FBI director will help present the plan to Janet Reno. President Clinton's new attorney general. And if Reno gives the okay, the tactical team will immediately put the plan into action. But right now, Jamar wants to know if sage is on board with the plan. Sage lets his mind imagine what will surely be a frightening scene inside mount Carmel. He can picture the thundering tanks, the white clouds of tear gas filling room after room. It's a risky plan, but keeping koresh in place feels even riskier. This has to end on the FBI's terms. So Byron sage tells Jamar, he's in. It's April 14th, 1993, and now day 46 of the standoff. David thibodeau smiles as he bounds up the stairs to the second floor of mount Carmel. He feels light on his feet, his former balk has wasted away after 6 weeks of combat rations, and the hardships of the long siege have purged his last spiritual doubts. For the first time in his life, thibodeau feels like he understands what faith truly means. At the top of the stairs, thibodeau stops and grins. Here, David koresh sits up against the wall, surrounded by a large group of followers, thibodeau sees his own hope reflected on their faces. Earlier today, koresh announced that he will end the standoff once and for all. God spoke to the prophet at the end of Passover. He instructed koresh to write down his interpretation of the 7 seals. Koresh said it will take two weeks, three tops, so he called the FBI and said as soon as he finishes writing the seals, he'll surrender. There will be no change of plans. Thibodeau scans the crowd and spots his wife, Michelle. She sits with serenity, her four year old daughter, who she had with koresh. Thibodeau goes and sits down beside them and serenity crawls into his lap. He smiles at her as she settles in. Settling on koresh is a look of calm and clarity, and then he begins to speak, exalted and proud as if God is flowing through him. He begins dictating the first of the 7 seals next to him, Judy Schneider types furiously on a typewriter. She takes down every one of his words, even though for the last 6 weeks, she's had a wound in her hand where she was shot. Crash's voice rises, he says that he who has chosen to open the seals will be persecuted exactly as he and his followers have been persecuted these long weeks..