topics dispatches sources home
Analysis of the US-led Assault on Yugoslavia

All dispatches on the US-led
attack on Yugoslavia are available, complete
with index, at
Please inform your friends, colleagues, and
others who you think might care.

June 14, 1999

*** Special Brasscheck Report ***

- Did the tactics of NATO's commander Wesley Clark
in the war against Yugoslavia seem oddly familiar? 
There's a good reason for that - 

From Waco To Belgrade: Wesley K. Clark and America's 
"Army of the Future" 

By Ken McCarthy - Brasscheck
Copyright: Ken McCarthy, 1999

"I knew we would win it. I knew you would win it,
Mr. President."
- Gen. Wesley Clark, NATO Supreme Commander to Bill Clinton,
fellow 50-something Rhodes Scholar and Arkansan, after
NATO agreed to stop bombing Yugoslavia

Source: "Clinton Claims Victory in Air War" - Terence Hunt,
AP White House Correspondent, June 10, 1999

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"

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

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, it's here at:

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***."

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
Department of Justice reports that the code word used
to launch the raid was "Showtime.")

Note too that armored vehicles were held "in reserve"
on the day of the raid as well. There are at least two 
published local press photographs that show armored 
military vehicles at and on their way to the Mt. Carmel 
center on the very day of the raid.You can see them here:

There is another press photograph taken the day
after the raid which shows at least nine military
vehicles stationed at nearby Texas State Technical
College which very soon after the raid was
completely taken over as a command center.

The presence of so much military owned equipment 
on the scene, along with the documented fact that the
raid was prepared for at Ft. Hood by military
trainers seems to me to be all the evidence needed 
to show heavy military involvement preceding the
initial raid.

Perhaps equally significant is the amount of dissembling
that surrounded the undeniable fact of pre-raid military 
involvement. For example, the governor of Texas claimed 
to the press that she requested National Guard presence 
after the raid.

President Clinton was quoted as saying:

"The first thing I did after the ATF agents
were killed, once we knew that the FBI was going
to go in, was to ask that the military be consulted
because of the quasi-military nature of the conflict."
(Washington Times, April 24, 1993)

Attorney General Janet Reno attempted to explain away 
the "FBI" use of US Army tanks as being equivalent to 
an innocuous "rent a car" arrangement.

The statements of these three individuals obscure 
the simple fact that the military vehicles, and personnel 
who operated and maintained them, were part of the 
initial raid - and therefore in clear violation of US law. 

Also, government statements relayed to the public 
by the US news media made much of the fact that one of 
the tanks was operated by an FBI agent. It's interesting 
to note that no reference was ever made to the operators 
of the other 16 military vehicles used in the operation.

* Showtime

As I mentioned earlier, the code word that launched
the raid was "showtime." The name of the operation
itself, according to the aforementioned Department
of Justice report, was "Operation Trojan Horse."

Early in the siege, "Operation Trojan Horse"
became a popular destination for special forces officers
both from around the United States and from its closest ally,
the UK. They came to observe the effectiveness of various
high tech devices and tactics that were being tested against
the Branch Davidians.

Source: London Sunday Times, March 21, 1993: "FBI brings out
secret electronic weapons as Waco Siege drags on"
You can see a photocopy of the original article at:

The raid was on February 28. The London Times article ran on
March 21. It's noteworthy that Waco became a focus for
US and UK special forces officers so quickly. The 3/21
London Times report states that "observer teams from
the American Delta Force and British SAS have *already*
visited Waco." (Emphasis mine.)

Organizing groups of officers to make a field trip normally
takes far more lead time than a couple of weeks. This is the
military, not a group of freewheeling bohemians who can pile in
a van and travel across the country, or the globe, on a whim.
Yet, there they were, with plane and hotel reservations,
briefings, tours and the like, all arranged. Such organization
implies pre-planning or at least very strong pre-existing
relationships with Delta Force and SAS on the part of
the officer in charge. It would have taken an officer with
unusual connections and motivations to pull off this level of
"show and tell." 

By the way, the notion that Delta Force and SAS officers
would make such a trip to observe the *FBI* using various
secret high tech warfare devices is laughable. Who in the FBI 
would know how to operate them? In any event, the equipment
and tactics used came from the military, not any law
enforcement agency.

In reality, the FBI was not in charge of the Waco siege.
Its role instead was twofold: 1) to keep up fruitless
negotiations with the Branch Davidians and 2) to act as the
front for the real operation which was under military 
command and therefore entirely illegal.

* Cold blooded murder

Based on the claim that Branch Davidian leader David
Koresh was abusing the children in the compound - a
lie according to survivors - and sympathy for
the "tired" FBI agents, Attorney General Janet
Reno signed off on the plan for the final assault
which resulted in the death by toxic gas and fire
of over 80 civilians. Who presented the plan to

An article in CounterPunch relates the essential

"Two senior Army officers subsequently travelled to
a crucial April 14 meeting in Washington, D.C. with
Attorney General Janet Reno and Justice Department
and FBI officials in which the impending April 19
attack on the compound was reviewed. The 186-page
"Investigation into the Activities of Federal Law
Enforcement Agencies Towards the Branch Davidians",
prepared by the Committee on Government Reform and
Oversight and lodged in 1996 (CR 104 749) does not
name these two officers..."


From the sound of this, it appears clear that
the final solution to the growing political
problem of Waco came directly from the US 
military. How odd if, in fact, Waco was an
FBI operation.

* The final solution

The final assault on the Mt. Carmel complex
occurred in three stages: 

1) armored military vehicles punched holes 
in both ends of the main building of the
2) "crowd control" gas was sprayed in, and
3) a fire started which destroyed the complex

Witnesses expected that the gas would drive the
inhabitants out. Instead, no one came out and
the complex was engulfed in fire.

Why didn't the residents come out? The
cover story as related by the FBI and
the Department of Justice is that the
Branch Davidians killed their own children
and then themselves and simultaneneously
set the complex on fire rather than surrender.
There is no forensic evidence to support
this claim.

Here's what a Failure Analysis Associates' study
found about the nature of the "crowd control"
gas that was used:

"1. The first assault started at approximately 6:00 A.M. ....

CS concentrations in the rooms directly injected by the M5
delivery alone ranged from 2 to 90 times that required to
deter trained soldiers.

Methylene chloride concentrations in the rooms directly
injected by gas were as high as 1.8 times the IDLH
(Immediately Dangerous to Life and Health) concentration
and nearly to the concentration that would render a person

2. The second assault started at approximately 7:30 A.M.

CS concentrations in the rooms directly injected by gas
from M5 delivery alone ranged from 2 to 80 times that
required to deter trained soldiers.

Methylene chloride concentrations ... were as high as
1.6 times the IDLH...."

All in all, nearly 400 gas filled projectiles were fired
into the building, and CS was sprayed from four tank 
rack dispensers on the armored vehicles. As Failure Analysis 
Associates concluded in it report, this was the most intensive 
use of crowd control chemicals in the history of the United 

Methylene chloride is even more dangerous than CS--and five
pounds of MeCl were injected for every ounce of CS. MeCl is
an industrial solvent, with powerful anesthetic properties.
It was once used as paint remover before being banned
for that purpose for being too dangerous to handle.
Both gases are flammable. 

In other words, the gases used and the quantities they
were used in were sufficient to kill many of the inhabitants
on contact, especially the young children, and would have been
more or less capable of instantly incapacitating the rest.

Finally, there is the issue of the fire which
destroyed most of the evidence. Edward Allard, a leading
expert in FLIR (forward looking infrared recorder)
stated his conclusions in a court document after
reviewing the official FLIR footage of the final 

"11. At 12:08:32, the FLIR depicts events at the rear
of the building, where the large "gymnasium" structure
has largely been demolished. Two very bright thermal
flashes are visible near to or in the window at the
center, in front of and to one side of the (armored
vehicle) which is stopped there. I see no natural
explanation for these flashes. They would not, for
instance, be reflections of sunlight off glass...

I declare under penalty of perjury that the above is
true and correct."


Less than one minute after this hot, bright
sustained flash occurred "in front of and to one
side of the (armored vehicle)", the Mt. Carmel
complex began the process of burning down
Fire department personnel on the scene were told
they could not move forward to put out the fire
until "the danger had passed." The FBI determined
the danger had passed well after the building had
burned to the ground.

* Who commanded "Operation Trojan Horse"?

Let's review the evidence that the US military
was involved in the raid, siege and final
assault on the Branch Davidian complex outside
of Waco, Texas:

1. The training, and probably the tactics, for the raid
were designed by the Army and provided at its base in Ft. 
Hood, Texas.
2. At least some military vehicles were at or near 
the scene of the initial raid the day it occurred and 
nine or more were stationed nearby no later than the day
3. Advanced "non-lethal" military tactics and technologies
were used to surveil and harass the Branch Davidians
in the complex and, as a result, the Mt. Carmel center
quickly became a study destination for special forces
officers from both the US and the UK.
4. The Justice Department admits at least 15 active
duty personnel and 16 armored vehicles (and one
tank retrieval vehicle) were involved in the
5. Lethal quantities of toxic gas were used in the
final assault and FLIR video documentation shows
that there was a bright flash in the front of one
of the tanks used for spraying the gas less than
one minute before the fire began.
6. Two unnamed high ranking Army officers
personally presented Attorney General Janet
Reno with the final assault tactics for her,
as chief law enforcement officer of the
US, to sign off on.

It sure sounds like a military operation to me.
If so, then who was the military commander behind 

You can learn a lot from reading a man's resume
which may explain why the US news media has gone
to such great pains to avoid even the suggestion
that General Wesley K. Clark, Supreme Commander
of NATO, had a life before his current exalted
position. But he did and here's his official bio
from the NATO web site:

Clark was the Commander 1st Cavalry Division, Fort
Hood, Texas from August 1992 to April 1994. The
Mt. Carmel raid was on February 29, 1993. The
arson-murders occurred April 19.

This means he would have been the officer who
authorized and commanded the armored vehicles
used in the raid, the siege, and the final
assault. This alone is sufficient to make Clark
a prime suspect, but there is much more.

Clark came to Fort Hood with an unusual background.
He had been Commander of the National Training Center
(October 1989-October 1991) and Deputy Chief of Staff
for Concepts, Doctrine and Developments, US Army Training
and Doctrine Command (TRADOC), Fort Monroe, Virginia
(October 1991-August 1992) See:

He was not your typical armor officer. If there were a 
high profile, cutting edge training exercise to be conducted
at Ft. Hood, it probably would have been handled, if not 
initiated, by him. Here's why:

TRADOC, where Clark was Deputy Chief right before becoming
an armor commander at Ft Hood, has as its primary mission to
"prepare soldiers for war and design the army of the future."
And what will that army look like?

Item number one from the TRADOC vision statement: "...enable
America's Army to operate with joint, multinational and
interagency partners across the full range of operations."
This would include working the ATF and FBI which would have
put Clark in touch with the high ranking officials in both
agencies long before Waco.

Further, Clark's resume explains the mystery of the
quick appearance of special forces study groups at
Waco. His background - was there another officer at
Ft. Hood with similar credentials? - gave him exactly 
the kind of clout and professional relationships 
needed to arrange for the hosting of special forces 
officers from the US and UK at the Mt. Carmel siege
on such short notice.

* Clark's tactics re-emerge in Yugoslavia

There are many similarities between the
war in Yugoslavia and "Operation Trojan Horse"
at Waco, but most of them are part of the conduct
of any US war. Here's a quick short list of

1. Exert tight information control over a mostly
cooperative  US news media
2. Attribute civilian casualty reports to
3. Declare that the attacks are for humanitarian
purposes, to "stop the bad guy."
4. Break numerous agreements then call
the other side unreliable
5. Offer absurd terms in negotiation
sessions, hide these terms from the public,
then punish the other side for its
recalcitrance in failing to accept a
"reasonable" settlement.
6. Coordinate a propaganda effort against the
other side before the assault (The Waco Tribune-Herald
ran a two part smear piece against Koresh on
Feb 27, 1993, the day before the raid, and on the
morning of entitled, "The Sinful Messiah")
7. Accuse the other side of being responsible
for crimes they did not commit.

In addition to these commonly used tactics,
there are a few unique similarities in tactics
between Waco and Yugoslavia that show Clark's
unique stamp:

1. Symbolic destruction of property
dear to the "bad guy"

Yugoslavia: Milosevic's private home was bombed
repeatedly in spite of the fact that it was not a 
military target and was located in a residential 

Waco: Tank operators repeatedly rolled over and
destroyed numerous vehicles belonging to the
church which Karesh, an avid car mechanic, had 
personally worked on.

2. Obsession with silencing the victim's "propaganda"

Yugoslavia: Clark repeatedly bombed Yugoslavian
television and radio transmitters and stations,
even though NATO had promised in writing not to
attack stations. Several workers were killed
in these attacks. Clark declared them 
"legitimate military targets" though their
only function was news reporting and entertainment. 

Waco: One of the first acts of post-raid  Waco was
cutting off the complex's phone system to anyone
but the FBI and disabling its short wave radio
system. As the siege wore on, the electricity was 
also cut off, turned back on, then cut off again. 

3. Mislabeling the nature of the attacking force

Yugoslavia: The war was painted as a NATO operation.
In reality, the vast majority of funding, manpower,
aircraft, targeting and munitions were provided by 
the US and the operation was commanded by a US general.
The entire operation was in violation of the
NATO charter, US law, and the UN Charter.

Waco: The assault was painted as an ATF, then FBI
operation. In reality, the training, tactics,
equipment and essential manpower were provided by
the US military and the operation was commanded
by a US general. The entire operation was in violation 
of US law.

4. Failure to plan for obvious contingencies

Yugoslavia: No meaningful preparations were
made for the likelihood of large numbers of
refugees, who, after all, the war was
supposedly being fought on behalf of.
However, immense military power was arranged

Waco: No ambulance was on call during the 
initial raid in spite of the fact that over 
100 armed agents were involved and the complex
housed numerous women and children as well
as men who were thought to be armed. However,
a convoy of armored vehicles was provided
as a "backup."

5. Assuming the victims would "fold"
immediately to a massive show of force

Yugoslavia: It took over 70 days
of terror bombing and attacks on
basic life support services to win
a surrender. Clark initially predicted 
settlement in a matter of days.

Waco: Mr. Carmel residents, who, in
keeping with rural Texas culture,
were well armed, (they were also
legally licensed gun dealers),
returned fire on the attacking ATF
agents killing four of them. They
then held out for another 50 days 
until being gassed and burned alive.

(It's important to note that the ATF
agents continued firing until they 
completely ran out of ammunition.
They then had to retreat one mile
across an open field. Not a single
shot was fired by the Branch Davidians
during their retreat.)

6. Non-combatants were killed in large numbers
"by accident" using the most vicious of weapons. 
Video evidence of assaults was "lost" due to 
unlikely technical problems

Yugoslavia: Clark's PR people claim the
flight camera malfunctioned in the US warplane
that killed 87 Albanian refugees in Korisa in 
Kosovo. Clark's extensive use of cluster bombs and 
his targeting of hospitals and other health care 
facilities, including old age homes and maternity 
wards, is well documented

Waco: Key video taken during the initial raid was
declared "not shot" because, say ATF officials,
the Branch Davidians "jammed" their video camera 
operations with "radio signals." (Video people
know this is ridiculous.) The footage from other
videos and still pictures, official and unofficial,
taken during the raid also "disappeared."
The gas attack on the residents of Mt. Carmel
was sheer savagery.

7. And last but not least, tactical incompetence on
an epic scale driven by Clark's desire to have his
accomplishments recorded for posterity on

Yugoslavia: Clark stopped the movement of British troops into
Kosovo to give unprepared US troops a chance to get in
place for a triumphant televised liberation scene. Meanwhile,
the Russian army, which Clark was trying to keep out of
the Kosovo "peacekeeping" mission, marched in and secured
the province's key strategic area, the airport at Pristina.

Waco: Local television news media were informed of
the Mt. Carmel raid the day before and by showing up 
at the scene (one news van got lost and reportedly
asked neighbors where the raid was),  removed the 
surprise element and completely undermined the raid.

The bottom line on Clark's modus operandi:

Murder innocent civilians with cold blooded 
viciousness for personal and political gain,
add heavy doses of military incompetence,
then sell it to the President, who is apparently
an eager buyer.

This is the man Bill Clinton, who like Clark
is 50-something, an Arkansas native, and a Rhodes
Scholar, would like to make commander-in-chief for 
the defense of the continental U.S.

In the meantime, he intends to be supreme commander
of "peacekeeping" efforts in Kosovo.

One last thing about Clark. In between Waco and Yugoslavia:

"General Clark's last assignment was as Commander-in-Chief,
United States Southern Command, Panama, from June 1996 to
July 1997, where he commanded all U.S. forces and was responsible
for the direction of most U.S. military activities and interests
in Latin America and the Caribbean." - the part of the world where
the US has raised military, police, and paramilitary (death squad)
collaboration to a high art.

More on Wesley Clark's career:

More on Waco:

Full text of this article appears at:

Copyright: Ken McCarthy, 1999

Directory of Dispatches || Sources || Index of Topics || Home

Copyright notice: any information on this page may be freely distributed as long as it is accompanied by the URL (web address) of this site which is