Waco, 15 years after
Here's a link to my Waco page, established years ago (and never had time to update, so some audio files are out of order). It took 3-4 years of Freedom of Information Act litigation to get the data. I'll give you one teaser....
For months before the first raid, they had agents watching from a house across the street. Watching for the David Koresh that they'd later claim couldn't be arrested peacefully because he was a paranoid recluse.
Guess what the agents did, nine days before the shootout?
They went shooting.
With David Koresh. He brought the ammo, and was unarmed except when one agent loaned him a. 38 Super. It's all in the agents' report for that day. Oh, and it later develops that Koresh *knew* they were undercover agents. In a 911 call, even as the shootout was going on, Koresh refers to one of them by his first name as "your agent" and "the guy you sent out here."
Here's a link to my book on Waco, "This Is Not An Assault."
UPDATE: a comment asks "why?" Let's just say that as a former bureaucrat, when I heard of the first day's raid, my first question was "when does their House appropriation cycle start?" I found that was something like ten days after the raid and shootout.
Small, struggling law enforcement agencies (and ATF surely was that, faced esp. with the "Reinventing Governement" initiative) often stage big, flashy raids just before their first appropriations hearings. In this case, it was apparent that the raiders did NOT expect a shootout. No one brought spare ammo. Some carried AR-15s with only one magazine. It was supposed to be a big flashy raid, with three helos swooping, easy job, nobody hurt, lots of headlines. If the video on the website still runs, you can see agents joking around, reading the morning paper. No tension. This is a big show.
Later heard, second hand hearsay, that someone in the second level of command privately said that when they got word that secrecy was blown, the guy in charge knew that this was to be the agency's big push, and the deputy director, I think it was, was a throat-cutter. If he cancelled the raid, as was only logical, the guy would ruin him. So he chose to run the risk and just hope that the Davidians would submit. Which almost happened, BTW. Koresh ran out front, shouting there were women and children inside -- putting himself as the best target if shooting broke out, which he obviously didn't expect. Then shots erupted, not from the front, but to the rear. A bunch of people, fingers on triggers, scared out of their minds (on both sides), and shots break out, guess what happens.
It's a measure of the agency that the agent who did best that day, Robert Rodriguez, who was the only guy with guts enough to go into the building as the raid was on its way (and who Koresh had some to like a lot), and who came out and had the guts to try to stop it -- was hounded out of the agency, and wound up suing it and winning for, if I recall, betraying his psychiatric records of counseling after the event.