Schneider, Mount Carmel, FBI discussed on American Scandal

American Scandal


It's just before dawn on March 25th, 1993. Outside Waco, Texas, the early morning sky, is still full of stars. A gentle wind drives through the Prairie grasses, and at mount Carmel center, everything and everyone is still quiet. But suddenly a screeching noise fills the morning air. It's the high pitched wine of a dentist drill, and it's coming from loudspeakers, which play the terrible sounds at ear piercing levels. Inside the men's dorm at mount Carmel, Steve Schneider grimaces from his bottom bunk. He hears groans and muttering all around him. People are stirring in the darkness miserable. It's become impossible for anyone to sleep. Now that the FBI's blasting torturous sounds through giant speakers all night. And that's not the only problem inside mount Carmel, the fresh food is now gone, and so members of the community are living off their stockpiles of rations. It's bland, barely animal, and even their drinking water is running low. Their water well runs on electricity, and the FBI shut the power off long ago. Schneider forces himself out of bed, slips on his jeans. July's a kerosene lantern and steps into the hallway. The orange glow flickers against the wall, which is now lined with bales of straw. This is how they'll protect themselves against bullets if the FBI launches an all out attack. As Schneider heads down the hallway, he hears a rumble at the back of the building. He pauses, his heart racing. That's the sound of government tanks advancing. Schneider races up the stairs to get a look from the second story window. In the hallway, he sees David koresh, who still seated on the floor. Crash grits his teeth and strains to sit up, two men lock eyes briefly. Schneider can see that just like him, koresh is livid. The two have an anger at the government that feels electric. Schneider reaches the window and Peters out, he can see the army tank, silhouetted by the FBI's spotlights. They're heading straight toward the rear wall of mount Carmel. This is it think Schneider is pulse quickening. The final battle. Schneider is about to sound the alarm when the tank suddenly grinds to a stop. He hears metallic crunch, the tanks begin moving a pile of debris with their bulldozer blades, and now he can see what's buried under the rubble. It's metal and glass. What used to be a red Chevy ranchero, which the tanks crushed last week. Schneider exhales audibly, his shoulders slumping in relief. No, not an attack he yells to koresh. No Schneider thinks. It's just the FBI continuing to terrify the people inside mount Carmel. Snyder leaves the window and sits down across from koresh. He feels all the adrenaline drain out of him. He's left with nothing but deep exhaustion. David, I can't take any more of this. How do we make this end? Koresh clenches his jaw and scowls. This ends when God says it ends, we'll wait until he speaks to me. David wasting away here is no victory. We're going to run out of food and water. We need to do something. And we need to do it now. Crash looks into Schneider's eyes, and right then Snyder recognizes the flash of insight that sometimes comes to the prophet. Or we'll have our victory, Steve. God will show me the path to deliverance during Passover. I know he will. Schneider shakes his head. The government agents are already impatient. They've been pressing him harder and harder to send more people out. But David Passover is two weeks away, even if we could hold out that long, the FBI wouldn't let us. They don't care what we believe. I'm not talking about beliefs. What I'm telling you is come Passover, God will show me the way. Schneider nods, feeling a strange mix of anger, love, and dread. He reminds himself for what seems like the millionth time. Only David koresh holds the key to the community Salvation. But he wonders if the prophet will ever turn Nike. Schneider stands up and returns to the window. Down below the tank drivers continue their senseless destruction. They'll come for us soon, Schneider thinks. They'll come and we'll be powerless to stop them. Koresh is sentencing them to die, Judy, his former wife, all the people in mount Carmel. He lives with and loves. Schneider stares out the window into the horizon. He catches the exact moment that dawn breaks and turns the Prairie gold in red. And for Steve Schneider, it looks like the light from a distant fire. American scandal is sponsored by the wire on HBO Max, and the new podcast the wire at 20. It's been 20 years since the wire premiered on HBO and upended what we thought we knew about cop shows and what television could be. Join musician and actor method man, also known as cheese wagstaff as he hosts the wire at 20 podcast. Over 8 episodes, this podcast looks back at David Simon's sprawling 5 season drama. And unpacks its complex themes, cultural influence and ongoing legacy. 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