Wesley Clark: From Waco to Yugoslavia:
Branch Davidians
Wesley Clark: From Waco to Yugoslavia:
Sat Jan 10 15:14:09 2004

From Waco to Yugoslavia: The US military was at Waco

General Wesley Clark was involved in the siege and final assault near Waco, Texas that killed, by a combination of toxic gas and fire, at least 82 people including some three dozen women, children and infants. As outlandish as this claim may seem, it's a reasonable conclusion that can be drawn by any fair minded person who takes the time to examine the evidence. Further, there is substantial circumstantial evidence that, Clark, in addition to acting as a tactical consultant, may, in fact, have been the prime architect and commander of the entire operation.

If this is true, why is it important? First, it represents a clear violation of US law. The military is banned from involvement in the enforcement of US civil law except under certain carefully defined circumstances. The incident at Waco did not come even close to legally qualifying. Second, it casts light on some of the more outrageous tactics used in the war against Yugoslavia, in particular the bombing attacks on Yugoslavian news media, essential life support services, and on civilians, the latter which were sometimes, but not always, described as "accidents." Third, President Clinton began the year with the statement that he is considering a Pentagon proposal to create a new US military command, commander-in-chief for the defense of the continental U.S., a first in peace time and an alarming move for reasons described in "Bombing 'suspended' - and now, the future"



Clark tanks used in Waco siege
Democrat candidate's role in attack on Branch Davidians questioned
Posted: October 16, 2003 - 1:00 a.m. Eastern

Editor's note: WorldNetDaily is pleased to have a content-sharing agreement with Insight magazine, the bold Washington publication not afraid to ruffle establishment feathers. Subscribe to Insight at WorldNetDaily's online store and save 71 percent off the cover price.

By Kelly Patricia O Meara
2003 News World Communications Inc.

Retired Army Gen. Wesley Clark wants to be president and, given that he is a man who has worn many hats during his controversial rise through the ranks, many believe this qualifies him for the top political job. But serious questions abound about his actions as commander of the 1st Cavalry Division of the Army's III Corps at Fort Hood, Texas, in 1993.

Clark has worn the hat of first-in-his-class graduate of West Point, Rhodes scholar, decorated Vietnam combat veteran, White House fellow, four-star general and even Supreme Commander of NATO – a post from which he was relieved.

There is one hat, though, that despite lingering suspicions and accusations Clark neither has confirmed nor denied wearing – a hat that many Americans might find very disturbing for a military man seeking the top civilian post in the U.S. government without first registering with either political party or being so much as elected dog catcher.

In his recently published book Winning Modern Wars, Clark proclaims that the "American way was not to rely on coercion and hard pressure but on persuasion and shared vision," which has been taken by Democratic Party doves to explain why the retired general has been an outspoken critic of President George W. Bush's handling of the war in Iraq. But while Clark may prefer a "kinder, gentler" persuasion in dealing with U.S. enemies abroad, critics are saying his actions at home should be reviewed before deciding whether he is qualified to be trusted with America's civil liberties.

For example, there is the 1993 siege of David Koresh's Mount Carmel commune in Waco, Texas, where four law-enforcement officers were killed and nearly 90 civilians – men, women and children – massacred by being shot and/or burned alive. Those seeking an investigation of his part in the Waco outrage say that Clark not only played a hidden role in the military-style assault on the Branch Davidians, but easily could have refused to participate in what was a clear violation of the Posse Comitatus Act that bars use of the U.S. military for civilian law-enforcement activities.

Although Clark never publicly has discussed his role in the attack on the Branch Davidians and did not respond to Insight's requests for an interview to discuss his role at Waco, there are indisputable facts that confirm he had knowledge of the grim plans to bring the standoff to an end.

Between August 1992 and April 1994, Clark was commander of the 1st Cavalry Division of the Army's III Corps at Fort Hood, Texas. According to a report by the U.S. Department of the Treasury, the list of military personnel and equipment used at Waco included: 15 active-duty military personnel, 13 Texas National Guard personnel, nine Bradley fighting vehicles, five combat-engineer vehicles, one tank-retrieval vehicle and two M1A1 Abrams tanks. Additionally, Fort Hood reportedly was used for much of the training for the bloody attack on the Davidians and their children.

Based on the fact that military equipment from Fort Hood was used in the siege and that training was provided there, say critics, it is clear the commanding officer of the 1st Cavalry had direct knowledge of the attack and, more likely than not, was involved in the tactical planning.

West Point graduate Joseph Mehrten Jr. tells Insight that, "Clark had to have knowledge about the plan because there is no way anyone could have gotten combat vehicles off that base without his OK. The M1A1 Abrams armor is classified 'Secret,' and maybe even 'Top Secret,' and if it was deployed as muscle for something like Waco there would have been National Firearms Act weapons issues. Each of these M1A1 Abrams vehicles is armed with a 125-millimeter cannon, a 50-caliber machine gun and two 30-caliber machine guns, which are all very heavily controlled items, requiring controls much like a chain of legal custody. It is of critical importance that such vehicles could not have been moved for use at Waco without Clark's knowledge."

"This is something that the general staff would know in the daily situation report or manning reports. Clark would have known and, given his obsession for micromanagement, there is probably someone who can place him on the scene. He wouldn't have been able to resist going in. At the very least there is no way he didn't have knowledge," Mehrten continues.

So what if the general was aware that his military equipment was being used against American civilians, and so what if he even participated in the planning? Wasn't he just following orders from above?

"To follow that order," explains Mehrten, "is to follow a blatantly illegal order of a kind every West Point officer knows is a violation of the Posse Comitatus Act. Clark's obligation was to say, 'No, I'm not going to do it.' Look, Clark went to the same institution I did and at West Point we had extensive instruction in military ethics and issues concerning how one avoids obeying an illegal military order. It is drilled into our heads from the earliest days as cadets that the 'I-was-just-following-orders' defense isn't necessarily a good one."

He had the juice to say no, concludes Mehrten, "and he could have and should have. But if he had done so he probably wouldn't have gotten his next star. There is a reason critics say this man was not recommended by the military for that fourth star but got it anyway because of political clout, just as there is a reason that Chief of Staff Hugh Shelton brought him home early from Europe because of 'character and integrity issues.' Sure the Bradley vehicle could have been operated by a civilian, but that's unlikely. This military equipment is very specialized and would be virtually useless in the hands of untrained operators. But just using military equipment against civilians is running way afoul of Posse Comitatus. Legally, if he were involved in it and there were active-duty units where these armored vehicles came from, then it is a clear violation of the act. Clark's command at the time, 1st Cavalry, is an active-duty federal division and it is my understanding that these vehicles used at Waco were from Fort Hood – his command."

Tom Fitton, president of the Washington-based Judicial Watch, believes Clark has some questions to answer.

"The question for Clark," explains Finton, "is a fair one in terms of corruption. Many Americans still are troubled by what occurred at Waco, and we're very interested in his role. Many people are going to ask what are his views of the force [attorney general] Janet Reno used at Waco and they'll want to know if he, were he to become president of the United States, would authorize that kind of force again. Specifically, was Gen. Clark comfortable allowing forces and equipment under his command to participate in a police raid or, at best, a hostage situation? People are going to want to know these things."

Michael McNulty, an investigative journalist and Oscar nominee for his documentary, Waco: The Rules of Engagement, tells Insight that, "From the standpoint of what went on that operation had military fingerprints all over it. The chain of command being what it is, Clark had some responsibility, but to what degree we really don't know."

McNulty takes a deep breath and then says, "My military sources tell me that Clark and his second in command got the communication from then-governor of Texas Ann Richards, who wanted help with Waco. At that point Clark or [Gen. Peter J.] Schoomaker should have asked themselves, 'Religious community? Civilians, they want our tanks?' and hung up the phone. Clark had to be involved at the tactical level, he had to know what the tactical plan was and he'd have to approve it. No one has ever asked these questions of this man. Clark wasn't even asked to testify before the congressional committee investigating the circumstances of Waco. For me the real question is one of character and, because of the cover-up that's gone on with Waco, it could even be a question of criminality. From the get-go, when the assignment came down from III Corps, which is the primary Army unit at Fort Hood and his division, Wesley Clark had the opportunity to say 'Hey, wait a minute folks, we're not gonna give tanks and personnel to the FBI to use on civilians!'"

True, explains McNulty, "Clark didn't do this in a vacuum. Whatever he did he at least is guilty of being a good German – following orders. He was in a position to put his foot down and say no. It was his men, his equipment and his command. Everything that happened at Waco, from the beginning, the U.S. military was involved – including the strategic and tactical planning that went on from Feb. 29 to April 19. Why weren't the guys making the decisions debriefed and questioned by the committee? I would hope that Clark would answer these questions now, the sooner the better, because it appears that Waco is about to follow him into the political arena full force."

Related special offers:

'WACO: A New Revelation'

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Kelly Patricia O'Meara is an investigative reporter for Insight. - komeara@insightmag.com

One of the officers most likely to receive this appointment would be, as the result of his "success" in Yugoslavia, General Wesley K. Clark. Fourth, US military leadership must be well aware of Clark's role in Waco, yet they have rewarded him with significant promotions ever since. * The US military was at Waco The initial reaction of virtually every person who hears about Clark's involvement in the attack on the Mt. Carmel Center of the Branch Davidians outside of Waco, Texas is surprise and/or disbelief: "I thought it was an ATF/FBI operation that went wrong and all the military did was lend a few tanks."

Let's start by dispelling that myth. Here is the list of US military personnel and equipment that the US Justice Department admits were used at Mt. Carmel: "Military Personnel and Equipment - Personnel Active Duty Personnel - 15 Texas National Guard Personnel - 13 - Track vehicles Bradley fighting vehicle (OMZ) - 9 Combat Engineer Vehicle (M728) - 5 Tank Retrieval vehicle (M88) - 1 Abrams Tanks (M1A1) - 2 Source: Department of the Treasury, Report of the Department of the Treasury on the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, and Firearms Investigation of Vernon Wayne Howell also known as David Koresh, U.S. Government Printing Office, September 1993 If you'd like to see a photocopy of the original document, See below:

The Justice Department list has some very important deliberate omissions as will become clear later in the section on the final assault. * The real command structure at Waco Since the recent bombing campaign against Yugoslavia started, "NATO commanders" (i.e. General Wesley Clark) have insisted that that NATO, not the UN, would be the commanding force in Kosovo and everyone else, like the Russians, would have to submit to NATO orders. Epic ineptitude on Clark's part may has thwarted NATO's designs, but the lesson is of critical importance for understanding Waco.

It is this: No military commander "lends" 17 pieces of armor and 15 active service personnel under his command to anybody, let alone the FBI or any other law enforcement agency, willingly. The principle is very simple: my men, my arms, my show. In a lawful operation, the command structure would have been publicly announced, but since the involvement of the military in Waco was entirely illegal and indefensible, it was necessary to paint the situation as an FBI operation. The obviously substantial presence of US military equipment used in the operation was dismissed as being equivalent to a "rent a car" service.

The US news media which received all of its information on Waco by dutifully attending FBI press conference briefings and then repeating them uncritically swallowed the "FBI in charge" story hook, line and sinker. Still not convinced Waco was a military operation? There's more. * The key role of the Fort Hood, Texas army base The military equipment and personnel used at Waco came from the US Army base at Ft. Hood,Texas, headquarters of III Corps. Here's an succinct account of the initial raid that caused the standoff submitted by David T. Hardy, an attorney who battled to force the government to release evidence in the case. Take special note of the passages I've marked with *** "The incident originated in an attempt by the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco and Firearms to serve search and arrest warrants on a building, known to its residents as Mount Carmel, located in a rural area a few miles outside of Waco, Texas.

The operation required mustering approximately a hundred agents (flown in from sites around the country), and who ***received military training*** at Ft. Hood. They traveled in a convoy of sixty vehicles and were supported by three National Guard helicopters and one fixed-wing aircraft, ***with armored vehicles in reserve***."(Archived) http://www.indirect.com/www/dhardy/waco.html  The personnel, described as ATF employees, received military training at Ft. Hood in preparation for the raid. Why? The reason is that the original charges against the Branch Davidians included drug violations. On the strength of these charges - which later were found to be absolutely false - the ATF qualified to receive military training and other assistance for the raid.

Given that the training was customized for this particular raid, the assistance in all likelihood included intelligence support. In other words, military personnel looked the compound over, drew up attack plans, created a training program for the ATF agents, and then, one would assume, were there on the day of the raid - along with the local news cameras which had been tipped off in advance - to watch the thing go down. (The Departme

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