The Waco Siege Feb. 28: Sent into a Deathtrap?

THE WACO SIEGE WILL BE REMEMBERED FOR TWO TRAGIC miscalculations, 51 days apart. The cause of the first one, in which four federal agents were killed and 16 wounded, is even murkier than last week's debacle and more likely to bring a massive upheaval at the agency responsible: the 21-year-old Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco and Firearms.

In the months leading up to the Feb. 28 raid, federal agents had amassed plenty of justification for entering the Waco compound. A neighbor had complained of hearing machine-gun fire. A United Parcel Service deliveryman spoke of dropping off two cases of "pineapple-type" hand grenades...

Want the full story?

Subscribe Now

Subscribe
Subscribe

Get TIME the way you want it

  • One Week Digital Pass — $4.99
  • Monthly Pay-As-You-Go DIGITAL ACCESS$2.99
  • One Year ALL ACCESSJust $30!   Best Deal!
    Print Magazine + Digital Edition + Subscriber-only Content on TIME.com

Learn more about the benefits of being a TIME subscriber

If you are already a subscriber sign up — registration is free!