Amid NATO military supremo Wesley Clark’s onslaught on the civilians of Serbia the question arose: did Clark hone his civilian-killing skills at Waco, where the FBI oversaw the largest single spasm of slaughter of civilians by law enforcement in US history, when nearly a hundred Branch Davidians died amid an assault by tanks, flame-throwers and snipers.
The tanks were from Fort Hood, where Wesley Clark was, in early 1993, commander of the Cavalry Division of the US Army’s III Corps. In our last issue we cited a congressional report commissioned in the aftermath of Waco which described how Texas governor Anne Richards had consulted with Clark’s number two at Fort Hood. Then, on April 14, there was a summit at the Justice Department in Washington, where Attorney General Janet Reno, top Justice Department and FBI officials and two unnamed senior Army officers reviewed the final assault plan scheduled for April 19.
The two Army officers at the Justice Department that day were Colonel Gerald Boykin, and his superior, Gen. Peter J. Schoomaker, the head of Special Forces at Fort Bragg. Though Clark (who had served with Schoomaker) was not directly involved in the onslaught on the Branch Davidians, the role of the US Army in that affair throws into harsh relief the way prohibitions against the use of the US military for civilian law enforcement can be swiftly by-passed.
Boykin and Schoomacher were present because the Army’s Fort Bragg-based Combat Applications Group-popularly known as the Delta Force-had been enlisted as part of the assault team on the Branch Davidian Compound. It appears that President Clinton had signed a waiver of the Posse Comitatus Act, with the precedent being Ronald Reagan’s revocation of the Act in 1987, allowing the Delta Force to be involved in suppressing the Atlanta prison riot.