Bonuses For Waco Duty?

Newly released internal documents show that FBI supervisors wanted to reward agents running the Branch Davidian siege with medals and cash bonuses.

But one of the top officials overseeing the Waco operation says the rewards weren't handed out.

One 13-page memo recommended the entire Hostage Rescue Team be given the FBI Shield of Bravery, with individual recognition for agents who left their tank to save a woman from the April 19th fire that ended the siege.

Another memo proposed financial rewards for the agents.

The FBI maintains the Branch Davidians started the fire. Some 80 cult members died as the flames consumed the compound.

But the FBI only recently admitted that agents lobbed potentially flammable tear-gas canisters into the compound hours before the fire broke out.

In another story related to the Waco tragedy, a retired Army colonel told the Dallas Morning News that he heard cult leader David Koresh give the order to set the fires that ended the deadly standoff, as CBS News Correspondent Jim Stewart reports.

Col. Rodney L. Rawlings, who retired from the Army in 1997, said he heard Koresh's order through bug transmissions on speakers in the FBI Waco command center, followed within five minutes by the sound of gunshots.

"I heard it. Anyone who says you couldn't at the time is being less than truthful," said Rawlings, explaining he was in an adjacent room in the FBI command center during the incident.

The allegation is significant because the FBI has always insisted that the voices could not be understood at the time...and that they would have halted their tear gas attack if they'd overheard talk of starting a fire.

It was only months later, the FBI said - after tapes from the bugging devices were technically enhanced - that the Davidians could be heard spreading fuel and planning the blaze.

Deputy FBI Director John Collingwood would not comment on Rawlings' account.

"We have appropriately relinquished all of these issues to Senator Danforth and are confident he will get to the bottom of this," he told the Morning News.

Meanwhile, a new CBS News poll finds that 43 percent of Americans blame the Branch Davidians for what happened at Waco, versus 14 percent who hold the FBI primarily responsible. But 62 percent of those responding to the poll believe there has been a government cover-up on Waco.