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Framing Problems in Crisis Negotiation: Reframing in the Case of Waco
Unformatted Document Text:  Reframing in the Waco Negotiations 13 bosses here why you’re not coming out. They didn’t they you know Jim (.) 569 had to (.) try do some explaining? He’s lost a lot of his credibility and they 570 feel I feel that you know [based on what I’m hearing on 571 DK: [Well, my Father exonerates Jim. 572 HG: Fr- from from from TV and radio that your credibility is being questioned. 573 We need to get you out. Can you come out. Yes or no. 574 First, between lines 561 and 565, Koresh reframes what the negotiator considers an “opportunity.” To the negotiator, Koresh’s opportunity is in his coming out and sharing his message with the public; but in lines 564-565 Koresh says, “For six thousand years I've waited for this opportunity… It is written aforetime when.” “Six thousand years” and “written aforetime” reframe the “opportunity” in biblical terms. According to the Davidians, six thousand years is the approximate time-frame of the Bible from Genesis to Revelation (Houteff, 1946). 4 In essence, Koresh is saying his opportunity to open the Seals is here and now, thus ending time as the Bible predicts. “I’ve” in “For six thousand years I’ve waited” (line 564) and “I’m” in “Here’s what I’m trying to say” (line 565) also seem to have different referents which help reframe the notion of opportunity. “I’ve” in “I’ve waited six thousand years” seems to be more ambiguous than “I’m” in “Here’s what I’m trying to say.” “I’ve” is unclear because it refers to Koresh himself as waiting for six-thousand years, which is impossible for anyone. It may be a form of reported speech referring to God’s own anticipation of finishing his plan. “Written aforetime” relates it to his waiting six thousand years as he explains, “Now here’s what I’m trying to say. It is written aforetime” (lines 565). Koresh reframes the situation again when he says, “well my father exonerates Jim” (line 572). Garcia explains that he has to account to his bosses for Koresh’s not coming out just as Jim (Cavanaugh, another negotiator) had to do and that Jim lost credibility despite his accounting to his bosses (see lines 569-571). Regardless of any career trouble Jim may be in, Koresh

Authors: Agne, Robert.
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Reframing in the Waco Negotiations 13
bosses here why you’re not coming out. They didn’t they you know Jim (.)
569
had to (.) try do some explaining? He’s lost a lot of his credibility and they
570
feel I feel that you know [based on what I’m hearing on
571
DK:
[Well, my Father exonerates Jim.
572
HG:
Fr- from from from TV and radio that your credibility is being questioned.
573
We need to get you out. Can you come out. Yes or no.
574
First, between lines 561 and 565, Koresh reframes what the negotiator considers an
“opportunity.” To the negotiator, Koresh’s opportunity is in his coming out and sharing his
message with the public; but in lines 564-565 Koresh says, “For six thousand years I've waited
for this opportunity… It is written aforetime when.” “Six thousand years” and “written
aforetime” reframe the “opportunity” in biblical terms. According to the Davidians, six thousand
years is the approximate time-frame of the Bible from Genesis to Revelation (Houteff, 1946).
4
In essence, Koresh is saying his opportunity to open the Seals is here and now, thus ending time
as the Bible predicts. “I’ve” in “For six thousand years I’ve waited” (line 564) and “I’m” in
“Here’s what I’m trying to say” (line 565) also seem to have different referents which help
reframe the notion of opportunity. “I’ve” in “I’ve waited six thousand years” seems to be more
ambiguous than “I’m” in “Here’s what I’m trying to say.” “I’ve” is unclear because it refers to
Koresh himself as waiting for six-thousand years, which is impossible for anyone. It may be a
form of reported speech referring to God’s own anticipation of finishing his plan. “Written
aforetime” relates it to his waiting six thousand years as he explains, “Now here’s what I’m
trying to say. It is written aforetime” (lines 565).
Koresh reframes the situation again when he says, “well my father exonerates Jim” (line
572). Garcia explains that he has to account to his bosses for Koresh’s not coming out just as
Jim (Cavanaugh, another negotiator) had to do and that Jim lost credibility despite his accounting
to his bosses (see lines 569-571). Regardless of any career trouble Jim may be in, Koresh


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