dents (including the children) of sleep, running Bradley FightingrnVehicles at the compound, and bombarding it with hellaeiousrnnoises such as dentists’ drills and rabbits being slaughtered.rnThis had an immediate effect of consolidating thernBranch Davidians and confirming to them Koresh’s prophecyrnthat the government would ultimately kill them all. After thernFBI began the noise bombardment, the exodus of adults andrnchildren from their home came to an abrupt end.rnAmid these deteriorating conditions, the children had tornadapt to the constant sound of tanks and helicopters. Still, thernchildren continued with their homeschooling, worked at theirrnchores, and attended religious services. Children would oftenrnpeek out a window or doorway, darting back to the interior ofrnthe home when a tank or other armored ‘ehicle approached.rnBranch Davidian Sheila Martin described life at MountrnCarmel during the siege: “Wc stayed close to our rooms andrndidn’t venture down hallways as much. We tried to avoid walkingrnpast windows. . . . We were glad when the morning camernbecause we felt they weren’t going to get us then. We stayed asrnclose as possible to each other for encouragement. We prayed arnlot and read our Bibles.”rnThe children’s environment was hardly ideal, and AttorneyrnGeneral Reno was right to be concerned. Yet the deteriorationrnwas caused entirely by the FBI’s “Hostage Rescue Team,” whichrnin this case was holding hostages, rather than rescuing them.rnMoreover, whatever long-term psychological harm the childrenrnwere suffering as a result of their imprisonment was probablyrnrelatively small compared to the harm inflicted on the childrenrnwhen the BATF attacked their home on February 28, 1993.rnThe pretext for the BATF’s Sunday morning machine gun,rnhelicopter, and grenade attack was the service of a searchrnwarrant and an arrest warrant, although the warrants themselvesrnwere not even brought to Mount Carmel, but left behindrnat BATF offices. The warrants had been procured on the basisrnof an affidavit riddled with falsehoods. For example, the BATFrnclaimed that Koresh possessed “upper and lower receivers” forrn”semi-automatic AK-47 rifles,” although in fact such rifles haverna solid block receicr, not separate upper and lower receivers.rnAlthough the BATF has the authority only to enforce federalrnalcohol, tobacco, and firearm laws, the warrant applicationrnrepeated lurid allegations of child abuse (especially sexualrnabuse) by Koresh. Whether the allegations were valid or not,rnthey do not involve the federal government. A child abuse investigationrnby the state of Texas was featured prominently; butrnthe BATF failed to inform the federal magistrate that the investigationrnhad been closed for lack of evidence on April 30,rn1992, nearly ten months before the assault on Mount CarmelrnCenter.rnThe September 1995 Treasury Department review offers arnjustification for why the BATF—which is not a child welfarernagenc)’—kept bringing up stale charges from a defunct investigation:rn”While reports that Koresh was permitted to sexuallyrnand physically abuse children were not evidence that firearmsrnor explosives violations were occurring, they showed Koresh tornhave set up a worid of his own, where legal prohibitions wererndisregarded freely.” By Treasury’s theory, then, allegations ofrnany serious criminal activity can establish probable cause thatrnany other crime is also being committed.rnThe major purpose of the BATF attack, initiated with therncode word “Showtime,” was to pull off what BATF agents callrn”Zee Big One”—a massive media stunt leading to the seizurernof hundreds of firearms, just a few weeks before congressionalrnbudget hearings were expected to consider whether the BATFrnshould be abolished. Thus, although the BATF had a warrantrnto arrest just one man who happened to live in a building withrn126 other people, the agency chose to serve the arrest warrantrnwith a machine gun, helicopter, and grenade attack.rnAs a mountain of evidence has shown, the BATF had numerousrnopportunities to arrest Koresh peacefully outside hisrnhome. Koresh had always cooperated with law enforcementrninvestigators in the past, including child abuse investigators.rnIndeed, when the BATF had visited Koresh’s gun dealer to examinernrecords relating to Koresh, Koresh had invited the BATFrnto come to Mount Carmel and look around.rnThe BATF “service” of the search warrants was a plan for arnsurprise attack. There was no contingency for loss of surprise,rnnor any plans for anyone to announce that a search warrant wasrnbeing served, nor any plans for nonviolent action in case thernBranch Davidians submitted to the search.rnIf the Branch Davidians had planned to “ambush” the BATFrnagents and murder them, then the agents could have been massacredrnas they poured out of the cattle cars. It will probablyrnnever be known who fired first. The one piece of physical evidencernthat could have settled the issue, the bullet-ridden frontrndoor, survived the fire, but has mysteriously disappeared. ArnBATF camera videotaped the raid, but the bureau claims thatrnthe film came out blank.rnIn any case, a firefight broke out, with at least some BATFrnagents directly violating official procedures bv firing wildly atrnunseen targets. One of the first shots entered the skull ofrnBranch Davidian Jaydean Wendell, who had fallen asleep afterrnnursing her bab’. As her last act, she handed her baby to anotherrnwoman. (The coroner’s report listed the cause of death asrna hydrashok bullet, an especially lethal round used by the BAFFrnbut not the Branch Davidians.)rnPsychologist Bruce Perry examined the children who leftrnthe compound in the weeks following the raid. One child drewrna picture of a house beneath a rainbow. Perry asked, “Is therernanything else?” and the child then drew bullet holes in the roof.rnNewsweek magazine reprinted the Davidian girl’s picture of herrnhome with a dotted roof. “Bullets,” the gid explained. Suchrnpictures support the Branch Davidians’ claim that BATF helicoptersrnstrafed the second story (known to be the quarters ofrnthe women and children), and that Jaydean Wendell was killedrnby a shot that cirtered the building from the roof.rnA minute after the shooting started, Koresh and his aidernWayne Martin (a well-respected attorney who had graduatedrnfrom Harvard Law School) made a 911 call. The normally reservedrnMartin frantically screamed, “There’s 75 men aroundrnour building and they’re shooting at us! Tell ’em there’s womenrnand children in here and to call it off.” The BATF finallyrnagreed to a cease-fire hours later, after firing all but 40 rounds ofrnammunition.rnWhy had the BATF “served” the warrants so violently? Onlyrnbecause of concern for the well-being of the Branch Davidians,rnBATF spokesman Jack Killorin explained: “The warrant isrnfor an imminent threat to the life and safety of everybody inrnthat compound. The warrant is for the illicit manufacture ofrnexplosives and explosive devices which right away is an immediaternthreat to the life and safety of every person in there.” Inrnother words, whatever threat the possible illegal manufacture ofrnautomatic weapons and grenades posed to the children outweighedrnthe threat created by the actual use of automaticrnDECEMBER 1995/17rnrnrn