FBI Fired Shots Into Waco
Compound Says Expert 910/06/waco.fbi/index.html
WASHINGTON (CNN) -- House Government Reform Committee sources are downplaying an expert's opinion that the FBI fired guns into the Branch Davidian compound during the final day of the 1993 siege in Waco.
The sources tell CNN that expert assessment is based largely on broadcast footage provided to the expert by a news organization -- not on evidence provided by the committee.
Carlos Ghigliotti is the expert in thermal imaging and videotape analysis who has done work for the FBI in the past.
"I conclude that the FBI fired shots on that day," Ghigliotti told the Washington Post in a report published Wednesday. "I conclude this based on the ground-view videotapes taken from several different angles simultaneously and based on the overhead thermal tape. The gunfire is there, without a doubt."
Ghigliotti, owner of Infrared Technologies Corp., in Laurel, Maryland, said the tapes also confirm that the Davidians fired at FBI agents repeatedly during the assault.
But House committee sources said Ghigliotti's current analysis of the Waco incident "is in its infancy stage. He has not provided the committee with any reports or any definitive findings."
And the sources said the committee plans to consult a number of experts before reaching any conclusions.
1 million documents ahead
In addition, government sources said Ghigliotti has not yet viewed a cache of FBI tapes and is scheduled to do so later this week.
After committee chairman Rep. Dan Burton (R-Indiana) was informed of the newspaper report on Ghigliotti's initial observations, the lawmaker issued a statement saying:
"What we have heard from this expert is troubling, but we think it's premature to make any final determination. We don't want to go off half-cocked. As soon as we get all of the necessary information, we will hold hearings and present the information to the American people."
The committee is now beginning a critical discovery stage and is expected to receive around 1 million documents from the Justice Department and the FBI, congressional sources said.