WASHINGTON - The FBI, a congressional committee and the Department of Justice will soon be asked to reopen the Waco tragedy. Evidence of four "misrepresentations" will be placed before authorities, perhaps within hours. The flawed reports in a previous special investigation shielded the fact that the FBI did fire on the Branch Davidian compound near Waco, Texas, in April 1993, contrary to denials. That information is in the hands of an Emmy-winning filmmaker.
Michael McNulty, whose latest documentary is "The F.L.I.R. Project," told NewsMax.com Wednesday night that what happens next will depend on the integrity and the willingness of the investigating authorities to upset some volatile apple carts.
The "misrepresentations" concern weapons and ammunition used in a March 2000 "re-creation" in Fort Hood, Texas. He says they were not the same as those used at the Davidian compound in Mount Carmel on April 19, 1993.
Special Counsel John Danforth issued his report last year based on "the wrong weapons and the wrong ammunition at the Fort Hood re-creation," according to McNulty.
The filmmaker expressed frustration that "the engines of integrity" in government "were in reverse the last eight [Clinton] years" and that President Bush just "wants to move on."
"When Bush jumped into that shiny new hot rod known as the federal government, he forgot that it had been put in reverse" by Clinton.
"Hes put his pedal to the metal" on a badly misused "engine of integrity," McNulty believes.
It was on the Clinton administrations watch that the lengthy standoff near Waco ended with the Branch Davidian compound burning to the ground.
Danforths report was issued last year to Janet Reno, then attorney general.
The four "misrepresentations," McNulty said, clearly show that the story at Mount Carmel has not been told.
"I dont want to leave these people [the authorities] without some wiggle room," McNulty added, indicating he was holding back on making accusations of any deliberate cover-up in the belief that people are more likely to correct their mistakes if you give them the chance to do so without finger pointing.
He has confidence that Chairman Mark Souder, R-Ind., of the House Subcommittee on Criminal Justice, Drug Policy and Human Resources, wants to get to the bottom of the charges.
The Justice Department and Danforth, a former Republican senator from Missouri, deserve some "wiggle room," he declared. It may be difficult for Attorney General John Ashcroft, who is an old and close friend of Danforth, his political mentor and immediate predecessor in the Senate. Ashcroft replaced Danforth in 1995. He served one term.
"Perhaps a little less wiggle room for the FBI," McNulty added, indicating that agency has more tough questions to answer. But he quickly added even the bureau should have a chance to right the wrongs in the case.
If the authorities follow the evidence, the whole Waco investigation will be right back on the front burner, McNulty told NewsMax.com.
The entire Waco case is one of many missteps by the FBI that are causing the Bush administration to take its time in picking an FBI director to replace Louis Freeh, who retires next month.
A source close to the selection process told NewsMax.com with some frustration, "We are absolutely determined to see to it that things that have happened that we dont want to have happen dont happen again.
"We will make this a catalytic time for the bureau," he added.
The producer of a series of video documentaries on the Waco tragedy is challenging the Waco Office of Special Counsel's assertion that flashes of light seen on FBI infrared film were caused by sunlight reflections off ground debris, and not by automatic weapons fire of government agents shooting at fleeing Davidians.
Mike McNulty, an Emmy Award-winning investigative journalist and producer, told WND that the flashes depicted in his latest video, entitled The F.L.I.R. Project, could not be sunlight "glint" because -- among other reasons -- the "cyclic rate" of reflection is too rapid.
Glint evidence 'absolutely conclusive'
John Danforth, former Waco special counsel and Republican senator from Missouri, concluded last year after a lengthy investigation of all evidence related to the FBI's April 19, 1993, raid on the Branch Davidian complex in Waco, Texas, that flashes of light seen on FBI infrared video shot by an aircraft overhead were caused by sunlight.
Tom Schweich, former chief of staff for Danforth while he headed up the office of special counsel, told WND last week that tests conducted at Fort Hood, Texas March 19, 2000, "left no doubt" that FBI agents did not fire at Davidians who fled the complex as it burned to the ground shortly after the FBI began its final assault.
In his report, released Nov. 8, 2000, Danforth concluded that the flashes seen on infrared amounted to "glint" caused by sunlight reflecting off debris on the ground, including metal, glass shards and other objects.
"That was something that all of the Davidian experts and Mr. McNulty were saying was physically impossible," Schweich said.
"Particularly the glass" created the glint, he said, "but metal did too in some circumstances. Glass was the principal cause of the reflections of the same shape and duration that you found at Waco."
Schweich said personnel from the government's expert, Vector Data Systems, "sat down with thousands of photographs and they matched the piece of debris that was causing each reflection."
One of the analysts, he said, even performed a mathematical study that could predict precisely where and when the flash would occur, "based on the angle of the sun, the angle of the helicopter and the location of the debris." "That evidence is absolutely conclusive," Schweich said. "They identified which piece of debris caused which flash. They completely disproved the notion that debris could not cause flashes, which was the position that Mr. McNulty and others were taking."
In his latest video, McNulty relied upon Ed Allard, an infrared expert who helped develop the technology. Allard is quoted as saying the flashes of light are gunfire.
Schweich, in statements last week, said Danforth had also met with Allard early during the OSC's investigation.
"The first week that we were appointed [by the Justice Department], I arranged for Sen. Danforth and others to go down to" Davidian attorney Mike Caddell's office "to view that FLIR [forward-looking infrared] tape with" infrared expert Ed Allard, "and to tell us what was causing it."
"We sat there and we listened to Ed explain to us that it was gunfire, and we took it very seriously," Schweich said. "He was the first expert we talked to, and we sat there for hours watching him point out which flashes were gunfire, and how debris cannot physically cause a flash on a FLIR tape."
But after the tests, Schweich said, Danforth and the 74-member special counsel team were convinced Allard was mistaken and that the glints seen on the FBI video were not caused by gunfire.
Light plus speed equals gunfire
"We did include, in the film, Ed Allard's statement that the camera, in his opinion, would not pick up reflections or emissions off of the debris in the rubble," McNulty told WND on Friday. "The reason he said that was because the camera was supposed to be tuned to the 8-12 micron range, which technically meant it would filter out that kind of reflectivity because it was a nuisance and distraction when you're using the device for surveillance."
Also, McNulty said, "it appears that Edward may have overstated his position and that indeed, these cameras -- depending on how they're tuned -- can pick up glint, which we obviously show a great deal of glint in our film, off of different kinds of objects.
"The one object we could not generate glint off of was glass," he said -- the very material Danforth's office concluded caused the most glint at Waco.
"So we noted [that] we could not generate glint off the glass," McNulty said. "That doesn't mean that glass cannot generate glint -- it simply meant that we could not generate it" in the independent tests McNulty held during the making of his film.
McNulty also questioned Schweich's assertion that the OSC looked at "thousands" of photographs during the Danforth investigation to "find the objects doing the reflections or 'glints.'"
"He uses the word 'thousands,' but there weren't 'thousands' of photographs taken from the air," McNulty said. "There was something less than two hundred, and not all of them were taken during the time the building was being demolished," shortly after the raid began.
"Our photo analysts have looked at these [photographs] and not found objects that could generate what these guys are talking about," he said.
Also, McNulty added that the gym structure closest to the rear of the complex -- where he asserts weapons fire from agents came from -- "contained no glass in them. If you look at closeups of those windows, you'll find they're covered with black plastic," which, he said, "is seen blowing around in the rubble" in later, post-assault photos.
"So where did all this glass come from?" he asked. "And if it was glass, why didn't we see similar 'glint' at other locations around the building, where the tanks had destroyed windows and walls during the course of the morning?"
He said there was some glint seen at the front of the building, "on the second story but the point is, you don't see it out on the ground out in front of the building where all the rubble from the torn-up center of the building and the front door section was dragged out."
McNulty added that there were other "questions" surrounding technical aspects "relative to the pulsating effect of these flashes."
"The reality is, that if the airplane's rotation -- as Mr. Schweich has inferred -- is responsible for" the pulsating effect of the alleged glint seen on the infrared tape, "the flashes would be pulsating at a much slower rate because the forward movement of aircraft would be the controlling factor of the pulsations."
"The aircraft was moving at something less than 100 miles per hour," McNulty said. "But the pulsations indicate something like a frequency of 600 times per minute, which is much more consistent with the cyclic rate of a weapon. So there's a number of technical things that Mr. Schweich can't explain."
Infrared used to spot gunfire?
Other experts have suggested that the type of infrared camera used by the FBI that day -- a British-made GEC-Marconi system -- may have been employed by the agency specifically to spot gunfire, but from the Davidians.
Since the incident that started the Waco siege began with Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco and Firearms agents exchanging gunfire with Davidians, it could be that the FBI -- which first insisted that its infrared camera was one-of-a-kind, but was later revealed to have been mass-produced -- was concerned about its agents on the ground receiving more fire.
Paul Beaver, a former military pilot who is now an analyst and spokesman for Jane's Information Group, told the Dallas Morning News in January of last year that he has participated in British military operations in which such airborne forward looking infrared or FLIR cameras detected and recorded distinctive flashes or thermal signatures of gunfire.
"We were doing similar operations in Northern Ireland. You're looking for just that," Beaver told the paper.
Beaver has worked extensively with infrared technology during a 10-year military career and two decades as a defense analyst and writer for Jane's, which is among the world's leading authorities on military technology, the paper said.
"I have personally been in a situation where I've seen gunfire, using the GEC-Marconi system," Beaver said. "In a firefight situation, it's very, very useful to detect where the enemy is."
Besides Allard, another FLIR expert, Fred Zegel, also believes the flashes on the FBI's infrared tapes are indeed gunfire.
Zegel, who may have examined more battlefield FLIR tapes than anyone, had his doubts about Allard's analysis at first.
"But he now agrees that gunfire is the most likely explanation of flashes," the St. Louis Post-Dispatch said in an Oct. 17, 1999 article.
Both Allard and Zegel are former infrared experts at Fort Belvoir, Va., home of the Pentagon's night-vision laboratory. They are among the nation's experts on the FLIR technology used on the tape, the Post-Dispatch said.
Also, the paper reported Feb. 13, 2000 that an Air Force expert told the Justice Department in 1997 that he could not rule out the possibility that the FBI's infrared camera had recorded flashes of gunfire during the 1993 siege.
"At the Justice Department's request, the expert, Capt. John Perry, used an infrared camera like the one used by the FBI at Waco, to see if it would record M-16 rifle fire as flashes," the paper reported.
"Sources said he concluded that he could not rule out the possibility that flashes on the tape were from gunfire without performing field tests. But the Justice Department did not ask him to go forward with those tests," said the Post-Dispatch.
McNulty has also questioned the OSC's selection of weapons for the Fort Hood test.
In earlier interviews, the Waco producer said the OSC used infrared cameras to film the firing of M-16 A2 rifles during its test, rather than CAR-15 or M-4 carbines, which FBI agents at Waco were carrying, according to Texas Department of Public Safety video and photographic evidence.
Two versions of standard M-16 type weapons. Top: Full size M-16A2; Bottom: M-4 Carbine, similar to CAR-15 carbine.
That's important, McNulty said, because the barrel length of a carbine version of the standard-sized M-16 A2 rifle is much shorter and, hence, would produce a larger muzzle flash when fired.
McNulty, who is also a small-arms expert, told WND that even though the OSC's weapons expert -- Vector Data Systems -- claimed it tested carbines as well as standard M-16 rifles at Fort Hood, photographs accompanying those tests clearly indicate that weapons marked as "CAR-15s" are instead full-sized M-16 rifles, which have 20-inch barrels instead of the 14-inch barrel on the carbine model.
And, McNulty said, the OSC used military-grade .223 caliber ammunition for its test, which contains flash-suppression ingredients. The FBI at Waco, meanwhile, was using commercial .223 ammunition, which does not contain flash suppression ingredients.
Ex-Attorney General Janet Reno said Sunday that former special prosecutor John Danforth told her in a recent letter that she handled Waco perfectly.
"I was gratified when I returned home to receive a two page handwritten note from John Danforth," Reno told CNN "Late Edition" host Wolf Blitzer.
The former attorney general quoted Danforth as saying:
"I've heard you talk about the decision you made in Waco. I have had the chance as your special counsel to review that decision. I did not pass judgement on it in my report but I want you to know that I think you did exactly the right thing."
Danforth continued, according to Reno:
"You could not have walked away from that compound leaving four dead agents and 16 wounded. You could not have stayed there forever. And further delay would have made no difference because David Koresh was seeking his own Armageddon."
On April 19, 1993, after a 51-day standoff, Reno gave the order to send tanks loaded with flammable tear gas crashing into the Branch Davidian compound in Waco, Texas, where Mr. Koresh and his followers lived. The ensuing conflagration killed at least 80 persons, including approximately 25 children.
An exact number of the dead has never been determined because the bodies of the Branch Davidians were so badly burned.
Reno invoked Danforth's endorsement of her Waco decision when Blitzer's asked how she would handle questions about some of the controversies that occured on her watch at the Justice Department if she decided to run for governor of Florida.
Former Sen. Danforth was unavailable to confirm Reno's account of his letter.
The producer of three documentaries critical of the FBI's actions during the April 19, 1993, raid on the Branch Davidian community in Waco, Texas, has repeated his earlier claim that key weapons were not involved in testing by an independent counsel but were instead misidentified in a final reportst.
Mike McNulty, whose late Waco-related documentary is entitled, "The F.L.I.R. Project," told WND that a special counsel's report, released last November, appears to refute his earlier claims that M-16 carbine-type weapons were not test-fired in an exercise to determine if FBI agents fired at Davidians as they fled buildings during the fire that engulfed the complex.
McNulty, a small-arms expert, said photos identifying shooters as firing CAR-15 carbines during a test set up by then-Special Counsel John Danforth's office were misidentified, since the weapons actually being fired were standard-sized M-16 A2 rifles, not the shorter-barreled carbine model FBI agents carried on the day of the raid.
Not only were those key weapons misidentified, he said, but that incorrect data was then forwarded to a federal court that relied exclusively upon it to determine -- as Danforth's office had -- that FBI agents did not fire at fleeing Davidians.
Tom Schweich, then-chief of staff for Danforth's Office of the Special Counsel, or OSC, told WND last week that weapons tests conducted by the OSC's office proved "conclusively" that "glint" which appeared on infrared video shot by the FBI from an aircraft during the raid was not gunfire, as McNulty contends, but reflections of sunlight off of ground debris, primarily glass.
McNulty contends the infrared video clearly shows FBI agents firing automatic weapons at fleeing Branch Davidians, but Schweich said the OSC found that claim "preposterous" after conducting a lengthy investigation and a weapons test March 19, 2000, at Fort Hood, Texas.
Correct weapons sought
To make a final determination about the charge of gunfire on the infrared video, the OSC -- empowered by then-Attorney General Janet Reno to conduct one final examination of all available evidence from the raid on the Branch Davidian complex -- requested a sample of all weapons used by the FBI during the raid so officials could try to recreate the alleged gunfire on the infrared video.
Schweich told WND last week that all weapons finally tested were approved by both sides -- government officials as well as representatives for the Branch Davidians. He added that the OSC reviewed thousands of photos and other evidence during the investigation, including photos that would be helpful in determining which types of weapons needed to be test-fired.
McNulty has questioned that assertion, and said he wonders why the OSC didn't test-fire carbines as it has said it did, because the weapons were visible in photographs and video taken of FBI agents on the day of the raid by the Texas Department of Public Safety.
When pressed about McNulty's specific charges that the correct types of weapons (carbines) and type of ammunition (non-military commercial ammunition, as used by the FBI during the Waco raid) were not tested, Schweich again said the test's results left no doubt that debris, not gunfire, caused the FLIR flashes.
"Anybody that looks at the result of that test is going to know not only that it's debris that is causing those flashes, but even which pieces of debris were causing those flashes," said Schweich.
"We did our best to get the right weapons but I'm in no position to say why, in an office of 74 people, one weapon was in and one weapon was out, other than to say that we had tremendous input from both sides as to what weapons should be shot," he added.
Schweich also told WND that the OSC reviewed thousands of photos and other evidence during the investigation, including photos that would be helpful in determining which types of weapons needed to be test-fired.
"The Davidians insisted that there be a CAR-15 or short-barreled carbine included in this test" during the protocol meetings to determine which weapons would be fired, McNulty said in his most recent WND interview. "And, much to the chagrin of the FBI, a carbine - a CAR-15 - was finally agreed on to be tested."
McNulty said that an OSC document -- the Operations Plan for the weapons test, dated the day of the Fort Hood test -- says the FBI would supply the correct ammunition for the test while noting that "a CAR-15 has [also] been requested. "
"'Attachment A' of that document, 'Item 6,' lists a CAR-15" as a weapon to betested, McNulty acknowledged.
"But then it says something curious," he pointed out. "In parentheses, it also said 'Actual M-16 A1,' and then on the FLIR [infrared test] Test Course of Fire Commands" -- a page from the original operations plan -- "it lists 'Item D' as 'Shooter No. 4 -- M-16,' and 'Shooter No. 5 -- CAR-15 -- Military.'"
"So that's the operation plan that was supposed to be implemented," he said, noting that all parties agreed in February 2000 on which weapons would be tested, as Schweich said, during the protocol meetings to work out the test's overall details and plans.
And though representatives for the Davidians had requested that a CAR-15 be tested, McNulty said, "They didn't have any weapons experts at the protocol meeting, only FLIR experts."
Final testing report
Vector Data Systems, the firm chosen by the OSC to conduct the test and review the findings and conclusions, issued its final testing report April 14, 2000, which was sent to U.S. District Judge Walter Smith, who was presiding over a lawsuit brought against the federal government and the FBI for wrongful death by surviving Davidians.
"The judge ultimately relied exclusively on the Vector Data Systems report and the attorneys' rebuttal to it," McNulty said. "He did not conduct a trial on this issue, so anything in this report is now gospel."
The VDS report, McNulty said, also contained infrared photos taken by a helicopter that was flying overhead at Fort Hood during the time the weapons were test fired. Each shooting lane was marked, documented, and described, he said, including the type of weapon allegedly being fired and the type of combat dress worn by the shooter.
The VDS report listed several CAR-15s being tested, but, McNulty said, "here's the problem: We subsequently, through the special counsel's office, confirmed, with a photograph, that the only weapon tested at Fort Hood of the M-16 family was an M-16 A2, with a 20-inch barrel."
"No carbines were tested at all," he added, even though the VDS final report listed CAR-15s -- which have 14-inch barrels or less -- as being fired on several occasions during the test.
"They fired the M-16 A2 but mislabeled them as CAR-15s," he said. "There was no CAR-15s tested. And in the report to the judge, they said there was and showed pictures -- but they were pictures of the longer M-16 standard rifle."
FBI did not supply correct rifle
"There's also a memo that some of my colleagues have" from the FBI, McNulty said, "that says that the FBI could not or would not provide a CAR-15 for testing, so they were going to substitute an M-16."
He went on to point out that the FBI's refusal to provide the correct weapon "was referenced in the Operations Plan, when a 'CAR-15' was listed for testing but in parentheses next to it was listed an 'M-16' instead."
"At the point at which they actually did the test, the FBI had not produced the requested CAR-15," he said, "but they labeled them as such in the documents that went to the judge."
McNulty said he has brought this to the attention of attorneys for the Davidians. "They're looking at it on the basis of new evidence for a new trial."
"In the earlier protocol meetings, everybody agreed that Vector Data Systems and the OSC would test a CAR-15," McNulty said. "Then VDS tried to acquire one from the FBI, but the agency turned them down, so they substituted a full-size M-16 rifle.
"Mr. Danforth had a duty to ensure that the weapons were absolutely representative of the weapons carried on April 19, 1993," he said. "Mr. Schweich was correct when he said all weapons tested were agreed upon by both parties, but that's as far as it went."
A former official in John C. Danforth's Office of Special Counsel, which was tasked by then-Attorney General Janet Reno with examining FBI actions during that agency's disastrous 1993 raid on the Branch Davidian community in Waco, Texas, has denied allegations that FBI agents shot at fleeing Davidians.
Tom Schweich, a lawyer who was Danforth's chief of staff last year when he was empowered by the Justice Department to conduct a final review of the FBI's April 19, 1993 raid, said the former Missouri senator's investigation "left no doubt" that the FBI did not fire on church members as they fled the conflagration.
At issue are charges made in a new video documentary produced by Mike McNulty, called "The F.L.I.R. Project," which features questionable flashes of light captured by infrared video cameras aboard an FBI aircraft flying overhead during the raid.
McNulty, who has helped produce two other Waco-related videos, says experts he has consulted have indicated that those flashes of light are automatic weapons allegedly fired by FBI agents stationed at the rear of the Mount Carmel complex. As the buildings burned, McNulty charges, Davidians inside tried to escape the flames but were gunned down by federal agents.
The Waco film producer also said that Danforth's office, in its testing, did not test-fire the correct weapons carried by FBI agents the day of the raid. McNulty said a Texas Department of Safety video shows agents were carrying carbine variants of the standard M-16 A2 rifle. Carbine models, such as the CAR-15 or newer M-4, have shorter barrels of between 14.5 and 16 inches; A2s have 20-inch barrels.
McNulty told WND Friday that because Danforth's office did not test-fire carbines and instead sampled a standard-sized M-16, the OSC's conclusions that the flashes seen on the infrared videos were not gunfire, made in Danforth's Nov. 8, 2000, report, are fatally flawed and unreliable.
"This whole thing boils down to one thing. The one variant of the M-16 produces a much larger flash signature than the other variant," he said. "The M-4 carbine/CAR-15 produces a much larger signature," especially when using commercial ammunition rather than military stocks.
Military ammunition has flash-suppression ingredients integrated into the gunpowder, McNulty -- a certified weapons expert -- told WND.
McNulty has also questioned why Danforth accepted the FBI's denial that it didn't have any M-16 carbine-type weapons in its inventory, even though video evidence exists showing agents at Waco carrying them.
Schweich, in an exclusive interview with WND, said that all weapons tested by Danforth's office were agreed upon by all relevant parties in the investigation.
"The protocol by which we conducted the FLIR test [at Fort Hood, Texas, last spring] was developed with substantial input both from government entities that were interested in the event, as well as parties representing Branch Davidians," Schweich said.
"It was agreed to at a meeting in St. Louis with all parties present," he said, which included "all the FBI people, all the military people, all the various lawyers representing the Davidians, and their experts."
In that meeting, which took place in several rooms, Schweich said "we negotiated which weapons would and would not be used" in Danforth's subsequent tests.
"In the end, everybody did agree on which weapons would be fired," he said. "As a result, the test took place."
However, Schweich said, "what Mr. McNulty's new video doesn't show -- andconspicuously leaves out -- is that when the weapons were fired and the debris was placed the debris did create solar reflections."
In his report, Danforth's office concluded that the flashes seen on infrared were not guns being fired, but instead were sunlight "glint" off debris on the ground, including metal, glass shards and other objects.
"That was something that all of the Davidian experts and Mr. McNulty were saying was physically impossible," Schweich said.
"Particularly the glass" created glint, he said, "but metal did too in some circumstances. Glass was the principal cause of the reflections of the same shape and duration that you found at Waco."
He said personnel from the government's expert, Vector Data Systems, "sat down with thousands of photographs and they matched the piece of debris that was causing each reflection."
One of the analysts, he said, even performed a mathematical study that could predict precisely where and when the flash would occur, "based on the angle of the sun, the angle of the helicopter, and the location of the debris."
"That evidence is absolutely conclusive," Schweich said. "They identified which piece of debris caused which flash. They completely disproved the notion that debris could not cause flashes, which was the position that Mr. McNulty and others were taking.
"Up to that point, we didn't know the answers to it. We were totally objective. We had no preconceptions going in" to the investigation, he said. "We didn't know if it was the guns that was going to cause the flashes like that or if it was the debris. It clearly proved to be the debris."
He noted that "the only way McNulty," in his video, "could even get the guns to cause the flash was by throwing clouds of dust in front of certain weapons in the most preposterously unscientific method I could imagine."
"We had Republicans, we had Democrats, we had prosecutors, we had defense lawyers our team was so mixed to ensure we had complete objectivity and balance in our tests," Schweich said. "We were going to call it like it was."
Schweich said he was amused by earlier statements suggesting he and Danforth relied upon or completely trusted the FBI, because "I don't believe they [the FBI] would see it that way. We were very hard on them."
The former Danforth chief of staff also accused McNulty of "leaving out of his video the flashes caused by the very debris he says can't cause them." He added that McNulty's tests included different infrared cameras than the ones used at Waco, different camera distances from the actual Waco footage, and other testing deficiencies.
Regarding the camera that shot the actual infrared footage in 1993, Schweich said he personally had to fly over to England to find the exact camera used by the FBI.
Initially, he said, the FBI told him they couldn't produce the exact camera because it was a "hybrid" -- an upgraded version of a standard camera that was manufactured by a British company, and that no others were made.
After arriving in Britain and contacting the company, Schweich said officials there refuted the FBI's claim that no other cameras of that type existed.
"They [the British camera-maker] told me they made lots of those cameras, and many of them were still in use," Schweich told WND.
He said that after negotiations with U.S. and British government and military officials, Danforth's office was able to gain permission to have a British military Lynx helicopter with the same kind of camera used at Waco mounted in it flown to Fort Hood for the firing and FLIR tests.
When asked if Danforth's office did or did not examine Texas Department of Safety film showing FBI agents carrying different weapons, Schweich said he couldn't address the specifics of the weapons themselves.
"We had dozens of people working on this, and I can't answer a question that is that specific," he said. "What I can answer is that we had everybody from both sides making inputs as to what should be fired and what shouldn't be fired."
When pressed about McNulty's specific charges that the correct types of weapons (carbines) and type of ammunition (non-military commercial ammunition, as used by the FBI during the Waco raid) were not tested, Schweich again said the test's results left no doubt that debris, not gunfire, caused the FLIR flashes.
"Anybody that looks at the result of that test is going to know not only that it's debris that is causing those flashes, but even which pieces of debris was causing those flashes," he said. "We did our best to get the right weapons but I'm in no position to say why, in an office of 74 people, one weapon was in and one weapon was out, other than to say that we had tremendous input from both sides as to what weapons should be shot."
"The idea that that is gunfire [on the infrared video] is preposterous. Preposterous," he insisted.
WND noted that other infrared video experts have maintained that the flashes of light resemble gunfire flashes they have seen in other, non-Waco related videotape.
Schweich said neither he nor Danforth dismissed those experts' claims out of hand.
"The first week that we were appointed [by the Justice Department], I arranged for Sen. Danforth and others to go down to" Davidian attorney Mike Caddell's office "to view that FLIR tape with" infrared expert Ed Allard, "and to tell us what was causing it."
"We sat there and we listened to Ed explain to us that it was gunfire, and we took it very seriously," Schweich said. "He was the first expert we talked to, and we sat there for hours watching him point out which flashes were gunfire, and how debris cannot physically cause a flash on a FLIR tape.
"What we have here is the classic battle of experts," Schwiech said. "I'm a civil litigator, so I deal with this all the time. Everybody can get an expert to say anything."
So, he noted, "what we decided was, 'We need to go out there and do a test.'"
When it was over, Schweich said Danforth gathered his staff and all personnel involved in the investigation into a room to gauge their confidence in the test and the Office of Special Counsel's handling of the final investigation.
"When we got ready to write the final report, we pulled all 74 people involved in the investigation into a room and went through the evidence with them," Schweich said. "We asked them, 'Do any of you 74 people have any doubt as to whether the FBI fired or didn't fire at those people in that complex?' And every single one said, 'There is no doubt that the FBI did not fire at Davidians.'"
"We were no friends of the FBI," he added, as implied in earlier reports. "We did not trust the FBI they're probably laughing when they read that. We were tough on those guys."
"And let me say -- if we had found that they fired shots, we would have said so in our report," Schweich said.
It's been more than eight years since ATF agents killed Branch Davidian Michael Schroeder, and his mother still is waiting to find out exactly how her son died.
Schroeder was shot and killed trying to enter Mount Carmel several hours after the deadly Feb. 28, 1993, shootout between the Davidians and agents from the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco and Firearms.
Justice of the Peace David Pareya announced in November 1999 that he would hold an inquest into Schroeder's death, which he discovered was still pending after Schroeder's mother, Sandra Connizzo, wrote to him seeking autopsy photos of her 29-year-old son.
Pareya was one of four local judges responsible for determining the cause of death for the 82 Davidians who died at Mount Carmel on Feb. 28 and April 19, 1993.
However, Pareya said he would not hold the inquest until the completion of Special Counsel John Danforth's investigation and the wrongful-death lawsuit filed by Branch Davidian survivors against the government.
In July, a federal court jury cleared the government of wrongdoing in the April 19, 1993, deaths of Koresh and 75 of his followers in a fire at Mount Carmel. Four months later, Danforth released a final report on his investigation, which also concluded that the government did not start the fire and that Koresh was to blame for the tragedy.
Danforth's investigation was limited to the events of April 19, 1993, and did not focus on the military-style raid 51 days before or the circumstances of Schroeder's death a few hours later.
Pareya said Monday that he still plans to hold an inquest in Schroeder's case, which would result in an official ruling on the manner and means of his death. However, a date for the inquest has not been set, the judge said.
"I am still trying to get a final report from the Danforth committee to be sure that they are complete in what they are doing," Pareya said. "Trying to get responses from them as a judge in West, McLennan County, Texas, doesn't seem to be on the top of their list of priorities. What a lot of people don't understand is that I am a one-person operation. I don't have an investigative team, I don't have any additional judges to assist me. The law only allows me to do my job and I can't delegate it to anyone."
Pareya said he last spoke to Danforth's investigators about the Schroeder case before the wrongful-death lawsuit, which started in June.
Connizzo, who lives near Tampa, Fla., said she is concerned that ATF agents "executed" her son at close range. Her concerns grew after independent filmmaker Michael McNulty saw Schroeder's cap while visiting the Davidian evidence locker in 1999 and said it contained "visible residues," suggesting Schroeder was shot at point-black range, she said.
An autopsy showed Schroeder was hit by at least seven gunshots. Two shots were to the head, including the right ear. The autopsy found no evidence of powder tattooing or soot, which would indicate a shooting at close range. No tests were conducted on the dark blue ski cap worn by Schroeder, however.
The cap was not among the items sent for autopsy with Schroeder's body and was lost until McNulty reported seeing it, Connizzo said.
"I just think if he was horribly wounded and they walked up to him and shot him at close range to finish him off, then something is terribly wrong with that," Connizzo said. "I have been led to believe by some people that perhaps there is something to be concerned with because his hat turned up missing for 61/2 years when Mike McNulty found it. It was in the locker all that time and was never forensically tested, and I just think it should have been tested."
Schroeder, Woodrow Kendrick and Normal Allison were at a repair shop called the Mag Bag owned by the Davidians when the ATF raided Mount Carmel on the morning of Feb. 28, 1993. Later that day, all three men tried to sneak into the compound. Schroeder allegedly fired shots at patrolling ATF agents and was killed when they returned fire.
The ATF agents who shot Schroeder have said they identified themselves before firing and claim that Schroeder fired first.
Pareya said he will hold the inquest when he has time.
"There are other items that are a priority because of pending cases, litigation and other things in my court," Pareya said. "This is something that doesn't have a high-priority status, yet it is very important to me. I do not want to rush into something of this magnitude and plan to develop it in the time that is available to me. This is an open process. Time is just not on my side."
Former Waco special counsel John Danforth relied heavily on the FBI for information during his investigation of the 1993 raid on a religious sect by the agency, despite earlier statements that his query was an independent effort designed to examine controversial evidence.
Mike McNulty -- producer of three separate films detailing the April 19, 1993, assault on the Branch Davidian center in Waco, Texas, by the FBI and some U.S. military elements -- told WorldNetDaily that Danforth failed to entirely conduct his own independent probe of the incident.
"Rather than check, confirm and verify himself, just like we did," Danforth relied heavily on FBI information, even though the bureau was caught in a series of misstatements in 1999.
For six years, the FBI vehemently denied that it used pyrotechnic devices during the raid, but finally admitted it had after evidence gathered by the Texas Department of Public Safety -- including used pyrotechnic devices -- was reported.
Also, the FBI initially said that only one videotape showing infrared images of the final raid existed, which was discovered to be inaccurate.
McNulty, who has helped produce, "Waco: The Rules of Engagement," "Waco: A New Revelation," and his latest effort, "The F.L.I.R. Project," said Danforth's chief of staff during his days as a U.S. senator from Missouri and during his independent counsel probe of Waco, Tom Schweick, also told him that Danforth was not responsible for conducting accurate weapons tests during a Waco re-enactment at Fort Hood, Texas.
"None of these guys were weapons experts," McNulty said. "When I challenged them about not confirming or checking" the types of weapons used at Waco and during the re-enactment, "he told me, 'Well, that was Vector Corporation's responsibility'" -- the firm charged with staging the re-enactment.
"But they're not weapons experts, either," McNulty said, "they're F.L.I.R. experts." "F.L.I.R." is an acronym for "forward looking infrared," a type of imaging device used during overhead surveillance of the Waco center during the final FBI assault.
McNulty has said F.L.I.R. experts who have examined the FBI's own videotape say it clearly shows that agents positioned at the back of the Davidian's living areas were firing automatic weapons at Davidian members as they tried to escape a fire that erupted as the government began its assault.
Danforth has maintained in his final report, issued Nov. 8, 2000, that no government agents fired at Branch Davidians.
"The hard bottom line is, Mr. Danforth -- as he came into office as special counsel -- was witness to the fact that the FBI had been caught in two lies that brought about his appointment," McNulty said.
"One was the allegation of use of pyrotechnics, which [the agency] had denied for six years, and the other was the non-existence -- or claim of non-existence -- of additional F.L.I.R. tape.
"Both of those issues had been testified to before Congress and a federal court judge, and sworn to under oath, that neither of those circumstances was reality," McNulty said.
"Mr. Danforth should have looked at that and said, 'We've just caught these guys committing institutional perjury here on two major issues. Should I trust them to give me the accurate information about the weapons used?'"
McNulty added, "Mr. Schweick's comments to me were, 'Well, Mike, we both know that you don't trust the FBI, but we do.'"
McNulty said he has video evidence that the type of weapons carried by FBI agents the day of the raid were newly developed M-4s, a smaller, carbine-type variant of the military's standard M-16 rifle.
However, he said Danforth's re-enactment used "a standard M-16A2 rifle with a 20-inch barrel" and military ammunition designed to suppress gun barrel "flashes."
The ammunition used by the FBI on the day of the raid was also most likely commercial ammunition that does not have anti-flash ingredients. Plus, McNulty said, the M-4 carbine has a much shorter barrel and would naturally produce a brighter flash anyway.
Danforth said, in his final report, that the British experts he used to examine the F.L.I.R. videotape concluded that flashes seen were reflections of sunlight off nearby objects, not gunfire.
According to Danforth's final report, he "concluded that certain members of the Department of Justice's trial team that prosecuted the Branch Davidians knew about the pyrotechnic tear gas rounds in 1993" but "wrongly chose not to disclose this information to defense attorneys for the Davidians, to Congress and to others within" Justice.
Though he was "sharply critical" of these individuals for obstructing his investigation "by misleading investigators and attempting to cast blame on others in order to conceal their own role in this matter," no indictments against Justice officials or FBI agents were handed down.
Danforth's mandate, received from then-Attorney General Janet Reno when Danforth was empowered as special counsel, said he was "authorized to prosecute federal crimes arising from his investigation," as well as "federal crimes committed with the intent to interfere with the special counsel's investigation, such as perjury, obstruction of justice, destruction of evidence or intimidation of witnesses" if he "believes it is necessary and appropriate. "
McNulty's allegations follow charges leveled by The CATO Institute, a libertarian-oriented think tank, accusing Danforth of reaching conclusions in his investigation "that are not supported by the factual evidence."
The CATO assessment, authored by Timothy Lynch, director of the organization's Project on Criminal Justice, is entitled, "No Confidence: An Unofficial Account of the Waco Incident." It concludes that Danforth's inquiry was "soft and incomplete," and ignored compelling and documented evidence that the government has consistently overlooked in its numerous Waco inquiries.
McNulty said he did not have the budget to thoroughly conduct the kind of re-enactment staged by Danforth. He said he asked Schweick why Danforth, with his extensive investigative budget, did not spend more time accurately recreating exact environmental and weapons conditions.
"I got no response," McNulty said. "At the end of our latest film, we ask Danforth for a new F.L.I.R. recreation."
The Waco producer said it was important to reveal the flaws in Danforth's examination of the Waco incident because "word has it" that he may be considered by the Bush administration for an appointment to the Supreme Court later this summer, if any current justices decide to retire.
Waco, FBI and the Branch Davidians: Updates
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