DATE=7/21/2000 TYPE=CORRESPONDENT REPORT TITLE=WACO INVESTIGATION (L) NUMBER=2-264668 BYLINE=MICHAEL LELAND DATELINE=CHICAGO CONTENT= VOICED AT: INTRO: An investigation has declared the United States government did nothing wrong when it took action in 1993 to end a standoff in Waco, Texas, headquarters of a religious sect known as the Branch Davidians. Authorities surrounded the sect members' compound in Waco for 51 days. As they tried to move in, a fire destroyed the site and left 80 members of the group dead. VOA's Michael Leland has more. TEXT: A report by the government's special counsel in the case, former U-S Senator John Danforth, sought to answer what Mr. Danforth called "four dark questions": Did U-S government agents start the fire that killed the Davidians? Did government agents shoot at Davidians on the day of the fire? Was the U-S military improperly used in ending the standoff? And did the U-S government engage in a major cover-up afterwards? Mr. Danforth says he has concluded with 100-percent certainty that the answer to all of those questions is "no." /// DANFORTH ACT /// Responsibility for the tragedy at Waco rests with certain of the Branch Davidians and their leader, David Koresh, who shot and killed four [gopvernment] A-T-F agents, wounded 20 others, shot at F-B-I agents trying to insert tear gas into the complex, burned down the complex and shot at least 20 of their own people, including five children. /// END ACT /// Mr. Danforth released his preliminary findings Friday in (the Midwest city of) St. Louis. It is the result of hundreds of interviews, a review of one-and-one- half-million pages of documents, and the results of a reenactment of events on the final day of the siege. The firm that conducted the simulation, Vector Data Systems of Great Britain, says it compared results of its reenactment with videotape taken during the final hours of the standoff. It says it was unable to detect any gunfire from either federal agents or Branch Davidian members. Davidian attorneys have called Vector's conclusions "fatally flawed." It is the second time in a week the U-S government has been cleared of wrongdoing in ending the Waco siege. Last week, an advisory jury in a civil trial ruled the government was not negligent in trying to end the matter. The judge in that case has yet to deliver his final ruling. The 51-day standoff at the Davidian compound began February 28th, 1993, when a gunfight erupted as federal agents attempted to serve the Davidians with search and arrest warrants for possible weapons charges. Four federal agents and six Davidians died in the fight. (Signed) NEB/MJL/WTW 21-Jul-2000 16:06 PM EDT (21-Jul-2000 2006 UTC) NNNN Source: Voice of America .