- DALLAS (UPI) - Two U.S.
Army Delta Force technicians say they were at the 1993 Branch Davidian
siege only to assist with surveillance equipment and did not get involved
in the deadly final assault, the Dallas Morning News reported Friday.
- The two, unidentified special forces members made the
statements in depositions taken last month in Washington by lawyers for
surviving Branch Davidians who have filed a wrongful death lawsuit against
the U.S. government.
- The lawyers and other critics of the FBI's handling of
the situation have suggested that members of the Delta Force team might
have been involved in the final assault. Fires broke out as tear gas was
being injected into the compound by the FBI, and more than 80 Davidians
died. "To the best of my knowledge...nobody that I was there with
ever entered nor ever even came very close to the compound," said
one Delta Force sergeant.
- The Delta Force soldiers said they were at Waco primarily
to assist the FBI in the use of some special surveillance hardware. They
said there were only three members of their unit on the site during the
final five days of the 51-day siege.
- The two soldiers testified behind screens and said their
Delta Force unit was so secretive that they could not divulge its name
or its commanders, the paper said.
- Lawyers for the Davidians contend that actions by the
FBI and other government agencies contributed to the deaths during the
final assault. They allege government agents fired shots into the compound
during the final hours, but the FBI has contended for years that its agents
fired no gunshots during the siege.
- The siege began Feb. 28, 1993, when four agents of the
Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco and Firearms were killed, along with several
members of the sect. The ATF was attempting to serve search warrants for
illegal firearms at the compound. -- Copyright 2000 by United Press International.
All rights reserved.