Recovered history: General Wesley
Clark spoke of "policy coup" after 9/11
CLARK'S FIRM WAS PREPARING
MASSIVE SPYING ON CITIZENS
THE ELECTRONIC PRIVACY
INFORMATION CENTER has obtained a document under the Freedom
of Information Act containing internal communications among Defense
Advanced Research Project Agency employees considering data broker
Acxiom [which Wesley Clark represented as a lobbyist - TPR] as
a supplier of personal information for the Total Information
Awareness program. In an e-mail dated May 21, 2002 to TIA developers
John Poindexter and Robert Popp, a DARPA employee writes that
"Acxiom is the nation's largest commercial data warehouse
company ($1B/year) with customers like Citibank, Walmart, and
other companies whose names you know. They have a history of
treating privacy issues fairly and they don't advertise at all.
As a result they haven't been hurt as much as Choice Point, Seisint,
etc by privacy concerns and press inquiries."
The e-mail claims that
Jennifer Barrett, Acxiom's Chief Privacy Officer, provided recommendations
that would help quell public scrutiny of the transfer of data
from the company to the government: "One of the key suggestions
she made is that people will object to Big Brother, wide-coverage
databases, but they don't object to use of relevant data for
specific purposes that we can all agree on. Rather than getting
all the data for any purpose, we should start with the goal,
tracking terrorists to avoid attacks, and then identify the data
needed (although we can't define all of this, we can say that
our templates and models of terrorists are good places to start).
Already, this guidance has shaped my thinking."
The employee continues:
"Ultimately, the US may need huge databases of commercial
transactions that cover the world or certain areas outside the
US. This information provides economic utility, and thus provides
two reasons why foreign countries would be interested. Acxiom
could build this mega-scale database."
STORIES NOT FULLY TOLD
MATTHEW ROTHSCHILD ON CLARK
MATTHEW ROTHSCHILD But
both Moore and McGovern, who are known as peaceniks, need to
explain a few things. First, there's the war in Yugoslavia. As
Supreme Commander of NATO during the Kosovo war, Clark was ultimately
responsible for targeting the bridges and electrical grids of
Yugoslavia and for using cluster bombs and depleted uranium.
(I asked him at a press conference in Madison, Wisconsin, this
fall about depleted uranium. He said: "There is no indication
it causes any trouble," except perhaps if you put something
in your mouth that is covered with it.). During the Kosovo war,
Clark also repeatedly targeted Yugoslavia's TV headquarters,
killing twenty people there.
"At least 1,200 civilians
have died in NATO accidents," Steven Erlanger of The New
York Times reported at the end of the war. On May 27, 1999, The
Wall Street Journal ran an article that said: "On the sensitive
topic of civilian casualties, Gen. Clark emphasized that no air
war was perfect and that, to prevail, the (NATO) ambassadors
should brace themselves for more collateral damage."
During the war, Clark
also fobbed off the problems facing the hundreds of thousands
of refugees in Kosovo whom the Serbs predictably forced out after
NATO started the bombing. Refusing to drop relief supplies to
the refugees, Clark said, "Our view on this is that, frankly,
this is a problem that's caused by President Milosevic. He needs
to address this problem."
Second, there is Clark's
support for the School of the Americas at Fort Benning, which
has trained some of the most notorious human rights abusers in
the hemisphere. On the campaign trail, as Joanna Weiss of the
Boston Globe noted on January 17, Clark "vigorously defends"
the School of the Americas, which now goes by the name of the
Western Hemisphere Institute for Security Cooperation. Weiss
also found a quote from Clark's 1997 testimony before the Senate
Armed Services on the School of the Americas: "This school
is the best means available to ensure that the armed forces in
Latin America and the armies in Latin America understand U.S.
values and adopt those values as their own."
Clark gave a graduation
speech at the school in 1996, Weiss added. I found a copy of
that speech on the web. "I have met School of the Americas'
graduates who are aides to the highest military leaders, and
I have met School of the Americas' graduates who are highest
military leaders," Clark said. "I think you know in
your command structures who the School of the Americas' graduates
are, and you know that they are respected."
Many progressives are
going to find Clark's support for the School of the Americas
very difficult to swallow, just as they are troubled by his past
support for Nixon, Reagan, and the Bush team. But it is the inexorable
logic of the anybody-but-Bush position that even a nominal, newly
minted Democrat who favors business and lauds the School of the
Americas is acceptable.
WESLEY CLARK, CNN, FEBRUARY
2003 - The credibility of the United States is on the line, and
Saddam Hussein has these weapons and so, you know, we're going
to go ahead and do this and the rest of the world's got to get
with us. . . The U.N. has got to come in and belly up to the
bar on this. But the president of the United States has put his
credibility on the line, too. And so this is the time that these
nations around the world, and the United Nations, are going to
have to look at this evidence and decide who they line up with.
AND THE SCHOOL OF THE AMERICA
From June 1996 to July
1997, General Clark served as Commander of the US Southern Command,
where he was responsible for US military activities concerning
Latin America, including the School of the Americas, now known
as the Western Hemisphere Institute for Security Cooperation.
On Sept. 20, 1996, Pentagon officials admitted that SOA manuals
used from 1982 to 1991 advocated the use of torture, extortion,
and extra-judical executions against dissidents in Latin America.
The New York Times wrote "an institution so clearly out
of tune with American values should be shut down without further
On December 16, 1996,
a few months after the Pentagon admission of the torture manuals,
Clark visited the SOA, not to demand accountability but to give
a commencement speech at an SOA graduation ceremony. Six years
later and still no one has been held accountable for the use
of the torture manuals at the SOA. The SOA trained death squad
leaders, assassins and military dictators. Its graduates were
found responsible for some of the worst human rights atrocities
in Latin America, including the El Mozote massacre of more than
900 civilians in El Salvador in 1980, the murder of Guatemalan
Bishop Juan Gerardi in 1998 and of Colombian Archbishop Isaías
Duarte in 2002.
Asked about his continued
support of the SOA during an event in Manchester, NH, on Dec.
19, Clark responded, "I'm not going to have been in charge
of a school that I can't be proud of." In reaction to a
question asked in Concord, NH, about the torture manuals Clark
stated: "We're teaching police procedures and human rights
. . . [We've] never taught torture." Despite cosmetic changes,
the SOA remains a combat training school that teaches Latin American
soldiers commando tactics, psychological operations, sniper and
other military skills.
In 2001 the SOA changed
its name at a time when SOA opponents were poised to win a congressional
vote that would have closed the school. The vote lost by 204-214
and even though the school renamed, Amnesty International joins
other human rights groups in calling for its closure. A broad
movement of human rights groups, churches and temples, students,
veterans and others maintain that the underlying purpose of the
school remains the same: to control the economic and political
systems of Latin America by aiding and influencing Latin American
JIM RIDGEWAY, VILLAGE VOICE - Despite a rousing campaign
rally led by Michael Moore, Wesley Clark himself remains a bundle
of questions. His standard stump speech is a monotonous recitation
of how he went to church as a kid, became patriotic when he saw
Khrushchev thumping the table and threatening the U.S., and so
on. . .
Meanwhile, questions about
Clark's past continue to dog the former NATO commander. For one
thing, he has strongly supported the School of Americas, a U.S.
military training school that taught scores of Latin American
army officers the techniques of modern warfare, including - according
to a declassified Pentagon report-off-the-books skills like execution,
torture, and kidnapping. Among its most notable graduates was
former Panamanian dictator Manuel Noriega. Clark never ran the
school, which turns out about 1,000 officers a year, but worked
with it when he headed the U.S. Southern Command.
In his campaign appearances,
Clark defends the school, which has been closed and reconstituted
as the Western Hemisphere Institute for Security Cooperation.
When a woman at a retirement home earlier this week pointed out
to Clark that the school's graduates had been accused of murder,
The Boston Globe reports, the general riposted: "There's
been a lot of rotten people who've gone to a lot of rotten schools
in the history of the world. And a lot of them went to this school.
But a lot of them have gone to Harvard Business School and a
lot of other places."
Clark's role as a lobbyist
for a company seeking a War on Terror contract with the Department
of Homeland Security continues to raise questions. Records show
that Acxiom, a company that was seeking homeland security contracts,
agreed to pay Clark hundreds of thousands of dollars for his
help in persuading the government to buy the company's wares.
Clark was a registered lobbyist while he served as a military
analyst on CNN, and was still a lobbyist when he declared his
candidacy on September 17, 2003. . .
The Washington Post reported
in January 2002 that Clark attended a meeting at the Department
of Transportation, at which he described "a system that
would combine personal data from Acxiom with information about
the reservations and seating records of every U.S. airline passenger"
to detect "subtle signs of terrorist intentions."
CLARK'S BRAGGADOCIO OF THE DAY
Clark, meeting with Herald
reporters and editors, vowed that, if he were president, Osama
bin Laden would already be captured or dead.
WHAT CLARK ACTUALLY
Some pro-Clark reporters
have tried to suggest that criticism of Clark for supporting
military action against Iraq in 2002 is unfair given his full
congressional testimony at the time. In fact, Clark took a variety
of positions in that testimony as he has since, but in summation
there is no way his statement could be described as anti-war.
His dispute with Bush was over timing and procedures. In the
end, Clark's description of his Iraq positions have been only
slightly less ambiguous, contradictory, and disingenuous than
Clinton's description of his sexual positions, which isn't all
that surprising given the common source of spin advice. Here,
however, is much of what Clark actually said:
WESLEY CLARK TESTIMONY,
SEPTEMBER 26 2002 - The problem of Iraq is not a problem that
can be postponed indefinitely, and of course Saddam's current
efforts themselves are violations of international law as expressed
in the U.N. resolutions. Our President has emphasized the urgency
of eliminating these weapons and weapons programs. I strongly
support his efforts to encourage the United Nations to act on
this problem and in taking this to the United Nations, the president's
clear determination to act if the United States can't -- excuse
me, if the United Nations can't provides strong leverage for
under girding ongoing diplomatic efforts.
But the problem of Iraq
is only one element of the broader security challenges facing
our country. We have an unfinished worldwide war against Al Qaida,
a war that has to be won in conjunction with friends and allies
and that ultimately will be won as much by persuasion as by the
use of force. We've got to turn off the Al Qaida recruiting machine.
Now some 3,000 deaths on September 11th testify to the real danger
from Al Qaida, and I think everyone acknowledges that Al Qaida
has not yet been defeated.
As far as I know, I haven't
seen any substantial evidence linking Saddam's regime to the
Al Qaida network, though such evidence may emerge. But nevertheless,
winning the war against Al Qaida and taking actions against the
weapons programs in Iraq, that's two different problems that
may require two different sets of solutions. In other words,
to put it back into military parlance, Iraq they're an operational
level problem. We've got other operational level problems in
the Middle East, like the ongoing conflict between the Israelis
and the Palestinians. Al Qaida and the foundation of radical
extremist fundamentalist Islam, that's the strategic problem.
We've got to make sure that in addressing the operational problem
we're effective in going after the larger strategic problem.
And so, the critical issue facing the United States right now
is how to force action against Saddam Hussein and his weapons
programs without detracting from our focus on Al Qaida or our
efforts to deal with other immediate mid and long-term security
I'd like to offer the
following observations by way of how we could proceed. First
of all, I do believe that the United States diplomacy in the
United Nations will be strengthened if the Congress can adopt
a resolution expressing U.S. determination to act if the United
Nations can not act. The use of force must remain a U.S. option
under active consideration.
Such congressional resolution
need not, at this point, authorize the use of force. The more
focused the resolution on Iraq, the more focused it is on the
problems of weapons of mass destruction. The greater its utility
in the United Nations, the more nearly unanimous the resolution,
the greater its utility is, the greater its impact is on the
diplomatic efforts under way.
The president and his
national security team have got to deploy imagination, leverage,
and patience in working through the United Nations. In the near
term, time is on our side and we should endeavor to use the United
Nations if at all possible. This may require a period of time
for inspections or the development of a more intrusive inspection
regime such as Richard Perle has mentioned, if necessary backed
by force. It may involve cracking down on the eroding sanctions
regime and countries like Syria who are helping Iraq illegally
export oil enabling Saddam Hussein to divert resources to his
We have to work this problem
in a way to gain worldwide legitimacy and understanding for the
concerns that we rightly feel and for our leadership. This is
what U.S. leadership in the world must be. We must bring others
to share our views not be too quick to rush to try to impose
them even if we have the power to do so. I agree that there's
a risk that the inspections would fail to provide evidence of
the weapons program. They might fail, but I think we can deal
with this problem as we move along, and I think the difficulties
of dealing with this outcome are more than offset by the opportunities
to gain allies, support, and legitimacy in the campaign against
If the efforts to resolve
the problem by using the United Nations fail, either initially
or ultimately, then we need to form the broadest possible coalition
including our NATO allies and the North Atlantic Council if we're
going to have to bring forces to bear. We should not be using
force until the personnel, the organizations, the plans that
will be required for post conflict Iraq are prepared and ready.
This includes dealing with requirements for humanitarian assistance,
police and judicial capabilities, emergency medical and reconstruction
assistance and preparations for a transitional governing body
and eventual elections, perhaps even including a new constitution.
Ideally, the international/multinational
organizations will participate in the readying of such post conflict
operations, the United Nations, NATO, other regional organization,
Islamic organizations, but we have no idea how long this campaign
could last, and if it were to go like the campaign against the
Afghans, against the Taliban in which suddenly the Taliban collapsed
and there we were.
We need to be ready because
if suddenly Saddam Hussein's government collapses and we don't
have everything ready to go, we're going to have chaos in that
region. We may not get control of all the weapons of mass destruction,
technicians, plans, capabilities; in fact, what may happen is
that we'll remove a repressive regime and have it replaced with
a fundamentalist regime which contributes to the strategic problem
rather than helping to solve it.
So, all that having been
said, the option to use force must remain on the table. It should
be used as the last resort after all diplomatic means have been
exhausted unless there's information that indicates that a further
delay would represent an immediate risk to the assembled forces
and organizations. And, I want to underscore that I think the
United States should not categorize this action as preemptive.
Preemptive and that doctrine has nothing whatsoever to do with
this problem. As Richard Perle so eloquently pointed out, this
is a problem that's long-standing. It's been a decade in the
making. It needs to be dealt with and the clock is ticking on
this. Obviously once initiated, a military operation should aim
for the most rapid accomplishment of its operational aims and
prompt turnover to follow on organizations and agencies, and
I think if we proceed as outlined above, we may be able to minimize
the disruption to the ongoing campaign against Al Qaida. We could
reduce the impact on friendly governments in the region and even
contribute to the resolution of other regional issues, perhaps
such as the Arab-Israeli conflict, Iranian efforts to develop
nuclear capabilities and Saudi funding for terrorism. But there
are no guarantees. The war is unpredictable. It could be difficult
and costly and what is at risk in the aftermath is an open-ended
American ground commitment in Iraq and an even deeper sense of
humiliation in the Arab world which could intensify our problems
in the region and elsewhere.
The yellow light is flashing.
We have a problem. We've got to muster the best judgment in this
country. We've got to muster the will of the American people
and we've got to be prepared to deal with this problem, but time
is on our side in the near term and we should use it.
CLARK DECEPTIVE ABOUT POSITION ON WAR
DRUDGE REPORT - Two months
ago Democratic hopeful Wesley Clark declared in a debate that
he has always been firmly against the current Iraq War. "I've
been very consistent... I've been against this war from the beginning,"
the former general said in Detroit on October 26. "I was
against it last summer, I was against it in the fall, I was against
it in the winter, I was against it in the spring. And I'm against
But just six month prior
in an op-ed in the London Times Clark offered praise for the
courage of President Bush's action. "President Bush and
Tony Blair should be proud of their resolve in the face of so
much doubt," Clark wrote on April 10, 2003. "Can anything
be more moving than the joyous throngs swarming the streets of
Baghdad? Memories of the fall of the Berlin Wall, and the defeat
of Milosevic in Belgrade flood back. Statues and images of Saddam
are smashed and defiled.". . .
Less than 18 months ago,
Wesley Clark offered his testimony before the Committee On Armed
Services at the U.S. House Of Representatives. "There's
no requirement to have any doctrine here. I mean this is simply
a long-standing right of the United States and other nations
to take the actions they deem necessary in their self defense,"
Clark told Congress on September 26, 2002.
has deployed forces as necessary to take action. He's done so
without multilateral support if necessary. He's done so in advance
of conflict if necessary. . .
Clark continued: "There's
no question that Saddam Hussein is a threat... Yes, he has chemical
and biological weapons. He's had those for a long time. But the
United States right now is on a very much different defensive
posture than we were before September 11th of 2001. . .
More Clark: "And,
I want to underscore that I think the United States should not
categorize this action as preemptive. Preemptive and that doctrine
has nothing whatsoever to do with this problem. As Richard Perle
so eloquently pointed out, this is a problem that's longstanding.
It's been a decade in the making. It needs to be dealt with and
the clock is ticking on this."
JAMES TARANTO, OPINION JOURNAL - Although Clark did say force
should be a "last resort" and U.N. support was desirable,
he also urged Congress to "adopt a resolution expressing
US determination to act if the United Nations will not."
This is completely at odds with what he's been saying since he
became a candidate for the presidency. After Clark jumped into
the race, Hugh Shelton, a former chairman of the Joint Chiefs
of Staff, said "integrity and character issues" were
behind the decision to relieve Clark of his position as supreme
commander of NATO. Shelton has yet to elaborate, but Clark's
public actions have certainly provided good reason to question
his integrity and character.
CLARK TRIES TO SHAKE EARLIER COMMENTS
WASHINGTON POST - Shortly
after the new year, Wesley K. Clark told the editorial board
at a local newspaper here that no terrorist attacks would occur
in the United States if he is elected president. The next day,
the retired Army commander scaled back his promise. "Nobody
can guarantee anything in life," he said.
Clark found himself explaining
another statement a few days later, this one from 2002, when
he said he believed the Iraqi government had ties to al Qaeda.
He denied that the statement contradicted his assertion that
Saddam Hussein had no role in the Sept. 11, 2001, terrorist attacks.
CLARK TIED TO FIRM DEVELOPING
WAYS TO SPY ON CITIZENS
CENTER FOR PUBLIC INTEGRITY
- Two weeks after declaring his intention to run for president,
Clark was still registered to represent a high tech contractor,
Acxiom Corporation, giving him the rare distinction of seeking
the White House while registered as a lobbyist. Shortly after
Clark announced his candidacy, a company spokesman said the general
no longer lobbied for Acxiom, but, according to the Senate Office
of Public Records, Clark had not filed any termination papers.
Clark has been lobbying for the firm since January 2, 2002; Acxiom
has paid more than $830,000 for Clark to advance its agenda and
meet with government officials. Clark also serves on the company's
board of directors.
According to federal disclosure
records, Clark lobbied directly on "information transfers,
airline security and homeland security issues," for Acxiom,
which sought funding to do controversial informational background
checks on passengers for airlines. Privacy advocates have criticized
the program, called the Computer Assisted Passenger Pre-Screening
System II, because of concerns that the data collected would
be an overly invasive violation of individuals' rights to privacy.
The public outcry has been so strong that there is a bi-partisan
effort to create more oversight for the program to protect privacy
interests if CAPPS II is implemented.
Clark lobbied the Department
of Justice, the Central Intelligence Agency, and the Department
of Transportation for the company. Clark also reported, on his
lobbyist disclosure forms, that he promoted Acxiom to the Senate
and the executive office of the president. According an Arkansas
Democrat-Gazette report, he even met personally with Vice President
Richard Cheney. He also made a pitch for the kind of tracking
that the company's wares can perform while acting as a commentator
on CNN. On January 6, 2002, four days after filing as a lobbyist
for Acxiom, Clark told an interviewer, in response to worries
that private planes could be used for terrorist attacks, "We've
been worried about general aviation security for some time. The
aircraft need to be secured, the airfields need to be secured,
and obviously we're going to also have to go through and do a
better job of screening who could fly aircraft, who the private
pilots are, who owns these aircraft. So it's going to be another
major effort." Naturally, he did not reveal to CNN's viewers
that the company he lobbied for had a substantial stake in this
OF THE YEAR
CLARK PROMISES NO TERRORIST ATTACKS UNDER HIM
WESLEY CLARK BACKS NOTORIOUS SCHOOL
OF THE AMERICAS
VINCENT MORRIS, NY POST
- In a position that's likely to alienate some Democratic primary
voters, retired Gen. Wesley Clark is a big booster of the controversial
"School of the Americas" - which critics charge has
history of graduating Latin American soldiers accused of rape,
murder and torture. Clark fought for years to keep the school
at Fort Benning, Ga., open, even testifying on its behalf in
Congress, despite graduates like imprisoned Panamanian ex-strongman
Clark's backing of the
school - whose curriculum once included teaching torture, execution,
kidnapping and blackmail - puts him at odds with many Democratic
officials and groups like Amnesty International, who want the
school closed. . .
ON THE TRAIL WITH WESLEY CLARK
MATT TAIBBI, NATION -
In a room full of people in satin jackets embroidered with union
acronyms, Clark entered flanked by a pair of boosters dressed
in shiny red VFW jackets. Seeming harried, he gave a short address
that was laden with military metaphors: "I'm going to go
on the warpath to stop that," "We have to attack on
the employment front" and so on. As his speech went on,
it became painfully clear that Clark had the idea of workers
confused with soldiers. "As I stand here today, I tell you
that in the Army, we knew that the unit was never any better
than its parts," he said. "The generals weren't any
better than the soldiers. When you're in uniform, you're part
of a team..."
Heads turned in shock
all throughout the audience. What the hell was he talking about?
But Clark plowed on. He began to recount his biography, noting
that the Army had allowed him to "be all he could be."
Five minutes later, he said it again. "Every part of this
society," he said, "has to get the support that they
need to be all they can be." After the conference, I chased
after him in the parking lot. "General," I said. "You're
not seriously going to make 'Be all you can be' your campaign
slogan, are you?" He smiled, then gave me a little nudge
with his elbow, apparently thinking I was with him on this one.
"Son," he said, "it is my campaign slogan.".
At one of the Clark meet-ups
in Boston, at a bar near Faneuil Hall, we volunteers were addressed
by a man who was introduced as the highest-ranking Massachusetts
politician to have endorsed the Clark campaign--a member of the
state Democratic committee named Steve Driscoll. Here is how
Driscoll opened his remarks:
"The thing is,"
he said, "being electable means having certain qualities.
And unfortunately, many of those qualities are superficial qualities."
He paused. "General Clark has depth, but he also has those
surface qualities. He appeals to people who don't have time to
think about the depth part.". . .
The Clark people were
nice and well-meaning enough, I suppose. But it was hard not
to notice that the fastest way to bum them out was to ask a question
about the candidate's platform. At one point, when Yoken was
talking to the "media committee" (I had joined a group
whose job involved writing letters to the editor of various newspapers)
about Clark's "New American Patriotism," I interrupted
"What does that mean,
exactly, 'New American Patriotism'?" I said. "Is that
as opposed to the old foreign patriotism?"
said. "The New American Patriotism sees patriotism as something
where dissent and civil liberties are encouraged."
"I thought that was
the old patriotism," I said.
The committee fell silent
for a moment. "Well, whatever," Yoken said. . .
Up at the labor conference
in Whitefield, for instance, the candidates were asked about
their position on a labor dispute involving workers and management
at the New Hampshire TV station WMUR. WMUR videographer Ryan
Murphy asked the candidate if they would support a boycott of
a WMUR televised debate if management failed to give workers
a contract. All the candidates except Clark said yes unequivocally.
Clark's initial response to Murphy was classic:
"Let me ask you something,"
he said. "Have ya sat down with management?" Murphy
repeated what he'd said in his question: They'd been in negotiations
for nine months. Clark squirmed out of that one, saying he'd
"look into the matter."
Now here's when it got
interesting. After the conference, a WMUR reporter went up to
Clark and asked him if he would boycott the debates if the other
candidates did. "Oh, you betcha," he said. "I'm
with you a hundred percent on that one."
I nearly dropped my notebook.
"Wait a minute," I said to the reporter. "Are
you asking him if he'd debate himself if everyone else boycotted?"
The reporter shrugged.
I turned to Clark. "General,
what if the other candidates don't boycott? What will you do
then?" "We're going to take a look at this," he
said, then rushed past us.
CLARK PLAYED MAJOR ROLE IN CORPORATION
HELPING GOVERNMENT SPY ON CITIZENS
LESLIE WAYNE, NY TIMES
- [Clark] sought out Thomas F. McLarty III, a former Clinton
chief of staff. "Wes called me when he was leaving the military
and seeking advice," said Mr. McLarty, who has also served
with General Clark on the board of the Acxiom Corporation, a
Little Rock data collection company. . .
The general sought out
Vernon Weaver, a former ambassador to the European Union, who
is an executive at the Stephens Group, a politically connected
Little Rock investment bank. The introduction helped him in the
door. From June 2000, Stephens provided General Clark with a
steady paycheck and a base of operations.
Stephens - where General
Clark worked until last March, first as a consultant and later
as a managing director - has long supported both parties. Its
reputation was tarnished by ties to some people involved in Clinton
fund-raising scandals. The Stephens family has also given to
Republicans, including both Bushes and Bob Dole.
Those who have worked
with General Clark, whether at Stephens or a half-dozen other
companies, said his main value was as a Washington door-opener,
helping them land government contracts and advising them what
products the Pentagon might want. . .
He helped Acxiom land
government contracts for its antiterrorism databases. . . In
2000, the year he left the military, General Clark had an income
of $474,000, of which $184,000 came from wages, $249,000 from
business earnings and the rest from investments. In 2001, he
reported income of $762,000, of which $213,000 was wages, $84,000
was pension, $434,000 was business and the rest was from investments.
By 2002, General Clark's
income had risen to $1.667 million. Of that, $568,000 came from
wages, $86,000 was pension and $984,000 was business income,
with investment gains making up the rest. Since he left the military,
most of General Clark's wages have come from Stephens. . .
"Wes started making
phone calls to people in the upper reaches of government,"
said Jerry Jones, Acxiom's legal counsel, "and then they
started calling us." Many of the resulting contracts are
classified. One that is not is Capps II, an airline passenger
screening system that some privacy advocates have criticized.
The general did such a
good job that he became a registered Acxiom lobbyist. In June
2002, to keep an arm's length between Stephens and his Acxiom
lobbying, he and Stephens set up S.C.L., a limited liability
corporation in which General Clark received a consulting fee
of $300,000 to get government contracts for Acxiom.
In March of this year
General Clark left Stephens and signed a $150,000 retainer to
lobby for Acxiom. As a member of the Acxiom board, he also received
$54,500 in shares and board fees of $23,000.
Acxiom recently came under
fire after a subcontractor to Jet Blue Airways bought some Acxiom
data and used it in ways that Jet Blue said violated its privacy
policy. Mr. Jones said General Clark had had nothing to do with
GREG PIERCE, WASHINGTON TIMES
- White House
hopeful Wesley Clark yesterday broke with most of his Democratic
rivals, saying he favors amending the Constitution to ban flag
burning, the Associated Press reports. In June, the Republican-controlled
House approved a one-line change to the Constitution - "The
Congress shall have power to prohibit the physical desecration
of the flag of the United States." - for the fifth time
in eight years. The Senate never has passed the proposed amendment.
WASHINGTON POST - [Wesley Clark] became the first
allied commander to run and win a war -- and still lose his command.
Cohen, the secretary of defense, selected Clark for the post
over the objections of the Army, yet the two became locked in
a conflict over the direction of the war. It was planned as a
strategic air campaign against the Serbs, but Clark pushed a
more aggressive strategy - a ground invasion and the use of low-flying
Apache helicopters. Cohen adamantly resisted.
The tension, sources familiar
with it said, was not over their differences on strategy, but
over Clark's single-minded pursuit of his strategy. "It
got to be an almost daily comic scenario," a former Pentagon
official said. "We'd all make a decision. . . . And within
eight hours, eight different versions of the story would come
from eight different people. It was clear he was working the
Hill, the White House. . . . We'd have to spend the whole day
dealing with his back-channeling."
At one point, when Clark
appeared to be trying to advance his agenda through the news
media, then-Joint Chiefs of Staff Chairman Gen. Henry H. "Hugh"
Shelton delivered Clark a message from Cohen: "Get your
[expletive] face off the TV."
Even though Clark held
the 19-nation coalition together through 78 days of bombing,
some Pentagon officials and subordinates came to view him as
a headstrong leader, unable to work collegially. In July 1999,
a month after the campaign had driven the Serbs from Kosovo,
Cohen relieved Clark of his duties several months early, a public
humiliation for a man whose service was his life.
CLARK REFUSES TO ANSWER QUESTIONS
ABOUT ROLE IN WACO MASSACRE
KELLY PATRICIA O'MEARA,
INSIGHT MAGAZINE - 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.
Tom Fitton, president
of the Washington-based Judicial Watch, believes Clark has some
questions to answer. "The question for Clark," explains
Fitton, "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."
WESLEY CLARK AT NATO
THOMAS H. LIPSCOMB - The
NATO commander's headquarters rapidly became an echo of the "five
o'clock follies" of press misinformation at Army headquarters
in Saigon two decades earlier.
Here are a few examples:
There were supposed to be 100,000 prisoners detained by the Serbs
in a soccer stadium in Pristina. An Agence France Presse reporter
dropped by the stadium a few days later and admired its green
grass and empty seats with the single caretaker on the site.
NATO headquarters passed
along Albanian allegations that Serbian victims were being incinerated
at a Trpca mine smelter. But when interviewed by reporter Ben
Works, NATO officers admitted they had monitored the site during
the entire war and the smelter had never been fired up.
Even the NATO bomb-damage
assessment team Clark sent in after the truce found that instead
of the several hundred Serbian tanks Clark had claimed were destroyed
by his air war, there were only 12 and about as many personnel
carriers. As for atrocities, according to Works, Clark's team
found "no credible indications of large scale atrocities
or any other pattern of smaller scale crimes against humanity."
If Clark was singularly
unsuccessful in his high-altitude air war on the Serb forces,
which he had predicted would bring victory in a few days, it
caused a lot of civilian casualties. Besides blowing up the Chinese
Embassy, some civilian convoys, a lot of radio and TV facilities,
and an amazing number of chicken coops, one incident stands out.
A train loaded with civilians was crossing a bridge near Grdelica
when it was attacked by NATO F-15s. A dozen were killed and many
wounded. In briefing the press Clark termed it "unfortunate."
Clark ran gun camera photo footage. "You can see if you
are focusing on your job as a pilot how suddenly that train appeared."
NATO was claiming their target was the bridge and the train was
moving so fast they couldn't reinstruct the missile in time to
avoid the train.
. . . Mistakes happen.
Subordinates send up bad or intentionally skewed information.
The fog of war makes any headquarters press communications difficult
at best. But if Shelton and Defense Secretary Bill Cohen were
receiving reports as misleading as the ones furnished to the
press by Clark's headquarters it couldn't have made their task
EX-MILITARY LEADERS CRITIQUE CLARK
A CLARK FOR EVERYONE
WILLIAM SALETAN, SLATE
- Clark has repeatedly questioned Bush's truthfulness in making
the case for war. Last Thursday, after announcing his candidacy
for president, Clark said,
1) "I was against
the war as it emerged because there was no reason to start it
when we did."
2) "At the time,
I probably would have voted for it, but I think that's too simple
3) "I don't know
if I would have or not. I've said it both ways because when you
get into this, what happens is you have to put yourself in a
position-on balance, I probably would have voted for it. When
the president of the United States comes to you and makes the
linkages and lays the power of the office on you, and you're
in a crisis, the balance of the judgment probably goes to the
4) "I think [Dean's]
right. That in retrospect we should never have gone in there.
But on the other hand, he wasn't inside the bubble of
those who were exposed to the information."
According to the New York
Times, Clark's press secretary tried to clear things up by telling
Clark, "You said you would have voted for the resolution
as leverage for a U.N.-based solution." Clark replied, "Right.
On Friday, Clark said,
"I would never have voted for this war. I've gotten a very
consistent record on this. There was no imminent threat."
But he added, "I would have voted for the right kind of
leverage to get a diplomatic solution, an international solution
to the challenge of Saddam Hussein."
WEIRD WESLEY UPDATE
MARGARET WARNER, PBS:
Now the other tension that runs through your whole book is the
tension between. . . That this was an alliance war. And you were
head of NATO forces as well as American forces. There is an amazing
scene at the Pristina Airport as NATO forces are coming into
Kosovo, and the British general on the ground, General Mike Jackson,
refuses your order to block the Russians on the runway. Just
tell us more about this.
GEN. WESLEY CLARK: It
was a surprising moment to me. It was Sunday the 13th of June,
about 8:30 in the morning. And he said, "I'm not going to
take your order to block these, this runway." And so we
talked about it. He was extremely agitated and emotional and
making all kinds of statements. So I said, "let's get your
chief of defense," his boss in the British chain of command,
"on the line." I talked to General Sir Charles Guthrie,
the British chief of defense, and he said, "let me talk
to Mike." And so I pass the phone over and then Mike handed
the phone back to me. And the British chief of defense said,
"well, I agree with Mike." And he says, "so does
Hugh Shelton," the American chairman of the Joint Chiefs
of Staff. I was very surprised because I had gotten word from
Washington that Washington supported, in fact, suggested that
I block these runways and strongly supported how I did it, how
I wanted to do it. So I called Hugh. It was about 3:00 in the
morning in Washington, and I said, "well, you know, here
is the problem and Guthrie says you support Jackson, not me.
What... Do you support me or not?" Because you can't take
actions in war without support of governments. He said, "well,"
he said, "I did have a conversation with Guthrie. I knew
you were getting this order. Guthrie and I agreed we don't want
a confrontation but I do support you." So I said, "well,
then you've got a policy problem." And it really was a policy
problem caused by the British government's differing perception
than the American government's, and by Mike Jackson's perception
of the situation.
US - In the new
issue of Newsweek, former General Wesley Clark is quoted telling
Colorado's GOP Governor Bill Owen and GOP activist Marc Holtzman
that "I would have been a Republican if Karl Rove had returned
my phone calls." But according to White House phone logs,
there is no record of Clark ever having called Rove.
AND NOW A WORD FROM ANOTHER FOUR
JOAN GARVIN, LOS ALTOS
TOWN CRIER, CA - Retired General H. Hugh Shelton, chairman of
the Joint Chiefs of Staff on 9/11, shared his recollection of
that day and his views of the war against terrorism with the
Foothill College Celebrity Forum audience at Flint Center, Sept.
11 and 12. His review of that historic event and his 38 years
in the military kept the audience's rapt attention throughout.
But it was his answer to a question from the audience at the
end that shocked his listeners.
"What do you think
of General Wesley Clark and would you support him as a presidential
candidate," was the question put to him by moderator Dick
Henning, assuming that all military men stood in support of each
other. General Shelton took a drink of water and Henning said,
"I noticed you took a drink on that one!"
"That question makes
me wish it were vodka," said Shelton. "I've known Wes
for a long time. I will tell you the reason he came out of Europe
early had to do with integrity and character issues, things that
are very near and dear to my heart. I'm not going to say whether
I'm a Republican or a Democrat. I'll just say Wes won't get my
JIM VANDEHEI, WASHINGTON POST
Gen. Wesley K. Clark said today that he "probably"
would have voted for the congressional resolution last fall authorizing
war. . . Clark said his views on the war resemble those of Democratic
Sens. Joseph I. Lieberman (Conn.) and John F. Kerry (Mass.),
both of whom voted for the war but now question President Bush's
stewardship of the Iraqi occupation. "That having been said,
I was against the war as it emerged because there was no reason
to start it when we did. We could have waited," Clark said
during a 75-minute session with four reporters.
En route to his first
campaign stop as a candidate, a high-energy rally at a local
restaurant, Clark said he has few specific policy ideas to offer
voters right now and offered a few thoughts that might surprise
Democrats flocking to his campaign. As recently as Sunday night,
he was unsure if he should run for president, so Clark said voters
need to give him time to think things through. . . In the interview,
Clark did not offer any new ideas or solutions for Iraq that
other candidates have not already proposed. . .
Clark, relaxed and chatty,
portrayed himself as a different kind of Democrat, one without
strong partisan impulses. He said he "probably" voted
for Richard M. Nixon in 1972 and backed Ronald Reagan. He did
not start considering himself a Democrat until 1992, when he
backed fellow Arkansan Bill Clinton. "He moved me,"
Clark said. "I didn't consider it party, I considered I
was voting for the man."
Clark said that as recently
as last week, the former president and Sen. Hillary Rodham Clinton
(D-N.Y.) both encouraged him to run, as did many of their close
friends. He said the former president initially was cool to the
idea but warmed to it as the draft-Clark movement grew. Clark
said he never discussed running with Sen. Clinton on the same
ticket, however. Clark, who discussed the vice presidency with
Dean at a recent meeting, said he would not rule out taking the
No. 2 slot on a ticket. . .
He said he supports universal
health coverage that includes preventive care and a "freeze"
on Bush's tax cuts that have yet to take effect for people earning
$150,000 or more. Clark said he supports a ban on assault weapons
and was uncertain of precisely what the Brady gun law does --
and if any changes to it are needed. The law requires background
checks and waiting periods for gun purchases.
Clark, who said he does
not consider homosexuality a sin, said the military needs to
reconsider the "don't ask, don't tell" policy for gay
service members. He suggested the military should consider the
"don't ask, don't misbehave" policy the British use.
"It depends how you define misbehave. That's what has to
be looked at," he said.
ABC NEWS NOTE - By letting Adam Nagourney, Jim
VandeHei, Johanna Neuman, and Joanna Weiss interview him on the
plane to Florida (for somewhere between 75 and 90 minutes), Clark
certainly shook up his place in the Democratic world. . . Suffice
to say, the message is a work in progress. Some of the other
Democrats are amazed at the manner in which Clark is taking and
(apparently) untaking positions.
Speaking of positions,
the Miami Herald 's Wallsten and Bolstad interviewed Clark, with
The General offering this on the death penalty:
"At one point in
the interview, Clark endorsed a moratorium on the death penalty,
saying there has been "a lot of discrimination and a lot
of injustice" and saying cases should be reviewed with DNA
evidence. Asked if he would back a halt to executions, Clark
sat up straight."
"'Stop. Stop,' he
said. 'I promised I wasn't going to take a strong position."'
[He didn't indicate
to whom he had made the promise - TPR]
Writes one Democrat with
national political experience:
"I have read the
accounts of the Clark interviews and my reaction is despair and
anger. Why did my party's best operatives think it would be a
good idea to subject their neophyte candidate to the country's
savviest reporters for over an hour? Why have my party's elders
rallied around a candidate who is so shockingly uninformed about
core issues and his own positions? I am not a Dean supporter
- but I am angry that our party's leaders have anointed an alternative
to him who seems even more ignorant and unprepared - and that
this supposed 'anti-war' candidate turns out to have been in
favor of both the war resolution and Richard Nixon!! And let's
not even talk about the Clintons. Today I am embarrassed to be
NOTE: Clark has agreed to take part
in the upcoming debate that he had previously decided to duck.
WALL STREET JOURNAL - Since retiring from a 34-year
Army career in 2000, Gen. Clark has become: chairman of a suburban
Washington technology-corridor start-up, managing director at
an investment firm, a director at four other firms around the
country and an advisory-board member for two others. For most,
he was hired to help boost the companies' military business.
After the Sept. 11, 2001,
terrorist attacks. Gen. Clark counseled clients on how to pitch
commercial technologies to the government for homeland-security
applications. One is Acxiom Corp., based in Gen. Clark's hometown
of Little Rock, Ark., where he formally launched his campaign
yesterday. He joined the board of the NASDAQ-traded company in
December 2001, as the company started to market its customer-database
software to federal agencies eager to hunt for terrorists by
scanning and coordinating the vast cyberspace trove of citizen
information. . .
In aiming for the White
House, Gen. Clark follows a long revolving-door tradition of
government officials going back and forth between the public
and private sectors. For now, at least, he plans to mix business
and politics. "At this early point in the campaign, Gen.
Clark will remain on his hoards," campaign adviser Mark
Fabiani said this week. Gen. Clark did, however, miss a board
meeting for Chicago-based Sirva Inc. yesterday to launch his
It is unclear exactly
how successful Gen. Clark's business career has been-either for
his clients or for himself. Most companies contacted declined
to give specific examples of contracts he helped them win. Those
willing to detail his role mainly said it was too soon to see
the fruits of his efforts. . .
Stephens Inc., the large,
politically connected Little Rock investment firm, hired him
to boost its aerospace business shortly after he gave up his
NATO command. He left Stephens last year and opened his own consultancy,
Wesley K. Clark & Associates. While Gen. Clark was at Stephens,
the firm also marketed him to clients such as Silicon Energy
- in which Stephens held a stake - "as a good person to
help us understand the federal procurement process," says
Mr. Woolard. The company was trying to enter the government market,
and Gen. Clark explained the process "and contacted people
at the Navy and Air Force and told them what we had," Mr.
In today's feedback column
there are a number of letters critical of our coverage of Wesley
Clark. They arrive just as your editor is finishing Gore Vidal's
'Washington,' a novel written in 1967.
One of the characters
is a faux war hero who is elected senator despite the journalistic
efforts of Peter Sanford, who at one point asks the senator being
replaced: "Why do you think what I wrote about Clay had
so little effect? It was the truth and it was devastating."
In any case the public is impressed only by winners."
"But winners have
become losers. They've even gone to jail."
"But to say that
Clay was a false hero. . . "
"And I proved that
he was. . . "
". . . only confuses
people who have already accepted him as what they think he is,
a genuine hero, the subject of an extraordinary amount of publicity.
that's all that matters, the large first impression. You cannot
change it, short of a public trial."
We practice these days
the politics of first impressions. This is the reverse of older
politics in which success was based on lengthy, serial impressions.
Here's how I described it in 'Shadows of Hope:'
"Politics used to
be about remembrance. The best politicians were those who remembered
and were remembered the most -- the most people, the littlest
favors, the smallest slights, the best anecdotes tying one's
politics to the common memory of the constituency.
"Politics was also
about gratitude. Politicians were always thanking people, "without
whom" whatever under discussion could not have happened.
. . Above all, politics was about relationships. The politician
grew organically out of a constituency and remained rooted to
it as long as incumbency lasted.
"Today, we increasingly
elect people about whom we have little to remember, to whom we
owe no gratitude and with whom we have no relationship except
that formed during the great carnie show we call a campaign.
Dallas coach Jimmy Johnson spoke for many contemporary politicians
when he answered a question about his memories of Thanksgiving
Day football games by saying, 'Memories? That's not my style.'"
Wesley Clark is the latest
manifestation of the politics of first impressions. The job of
the Review, however, is not to foster the latest myth, report
only things that support readers' hopes, or - in the words of
Russell Baker - serve as a megaphone for frauds. If you want
that, go turn on your TV.
Our job is to tell you,
as best we can, what the hell is going on. Unfortunately, the
facts about Clark simply do not fit the fantasy that has quickly
developed around him. This is not a revelation for me. I have
been following Clark ever since a high Clinton administration
official told me during the Bosnian business what a problem the
guy was to all around him. I would subsequently learn that one
reason these people were around him was that Richard Holbrooke
told them to be there, to reduce the chances of Clark saying
something stupid to the press.
Of course, one of the
reasons political fantasies are so popular is because the Democratic
Party is running low on appealing reality. The party, as a political
institution, disintegrated under Clinton, with extraordinary
numbers of seats lost at every level from the Senate to the statehouses.
If the party were strong, it might today be sharply divided between
its conservative and liberal wing but it would not suffer from
the embarrassment that the name that does best in polls against
Bush is someone named "Unknown." The last thing the
party would have to do is hope that a general it doesn't know
anything about will fool others as much as he has it.
In Clark's case, the people
who are skeptical include a surprising number of professional
colleagues both in and out of the military. In fact, I can't
recall another instance in which a general has attracted such
unenthusiasm from those who worked with him (or as much as they
One of the problems is
that there are a declining number of people of this country with
military experience and thus an increasing number of people -
including journalists - who are susceptible of having their heads
turned by a few stars and medals. For someone like myself, who
served as an aide to an admiral and worked closely with three
captains, flag officers are just typical humans in atypical dress.
Some, like my boss, are exceptionally talented. Some are fools.
And it helps to be able to spot the difference.
My first real appreciation
of how difficult this was becoming came as the city of Washington
fell woozily for a new school superintendent who was a general.
To me it was quickly apparent that the man was an incompetent
blowhard, but it was impossible to convince many of this. Eventually,
however, reality raised its ugly head and the general was gone.
One sensible way to look
at Clark is to figuratively undress him and garb him in civvies.
What is it that then that makes him so appealing?
Regardless of how you
feel about their politics, Dean, Gephardt and Lieberman have
consistent, seriously conceived policies, an integrity of philosophy
and purpose, and a record of others having worked with them and
thought well of the experience. Clark does not and those who
ignore this are casting a part for dreams rather than for reality.
FINDING CLARK (CONT'D)
DAY ONE. . .
WASHINGTON POST, SEP
18 - Retired Gen.
Wesley K. Clark said today that he "probably" would
have voted for the congressional resolution last fall authorizing
war, as he charged out into the presidential campaign field with
vague plans to fix the economy and the situation in Iraq. Clark
said his views on the war resemble those of Democratic Sen. Joseph
I. Lieberman (Conn.) and John F. Kerry (Mass.), both of whom
voted for the war but now question President Bush's stewardship
of the Iraqi occupation. "That having been said, I was against
the war as it emerged because there was no reason to start it
when we did. We could have waited," Clark said during a
75-minute session with four reporters.
DAY TWO. . .
NY TIMES - General Clark was famous for
impressing his bosses throughout his career, and yet, at the
pinnacle of his power and influence after the Kosovo war, he
was cashiered by his boss, William S. Cohen, the secretary of
defense, after openly challenging the Clinton administration's
reluctance to use ground troops in the conflict.
"I find him to be
a guy who's very clever at determining which way the wind's blowing,"
said Gen. Paul Funk, who was General Clark's boss in the early
1990's. "Who knows, maybe in the political world that's
a good thing."
Commanders in Bosnia,
and later in Kosovo, complained that General Clark would micromanage
from his headquarters in Belgium the tactical details of missions
usually left to commanders on the ground.
"It was tenuous at times," said Maj. Gen. David Grange,
who is retired now but who headed the First Infantry Division
in Bosnia and Kosovo. "He did get into the weeds."
As he struggled to keep
the fractious NATO alliance united, he repeatedly clashed with
his bosses in Washington - Mr. Cohen and Gen. Henry H. Shelton,
chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff - when he urged the use
of American ground troops and Apache attack helicopters after
days of bombing alone failed to bring Mr. Milosevic's surrender.
It is unclear how someone
so skilled in the political ways of Washington could have put
himself in such a precarious position with his civilian masters.
Yet when he received word from General Shelton in July 1999 that
his command would end earlier than scheduled, General Clark was
Similarly, despite his
months of toying with whether to run for the presidency, he seems
ill-prepared. Even if his goal is to be picked as a vice-presidential
running mate, he still seems to be short on the fundamentals,
like a top-level staff, message and strategy.
What's most striking about the Clark boomlet is how little his
supporters really know about the candidate in whom they have
invested such sudden and stratospheric hopes-a man who didn't
declare himself a Democrat until a few weeks ago and who says
he isn't sure whether he voted for a Democrat for President before
Bill Clinton ran. "He can save this goddam nation from self-destruction,"
declares New York Congressman Charles Rangel, who is arranging
a meeting for Clark with the Congressional Black Caucus, possibly
as early as this week. But Rangel acknowledges that he has never
met Clark in person (they have talked on the phone) and didn't
know a thing about Clark until he started catching the general's
criticism of the Iraq war on CNN. . .
On a post-announcement
swing through Florida and Iowa, Clark deflected questions on
issues that ranged from aids in Africa to the Patriot Act. But
that did not dampen the enthusiasm of the supporters who greeted
him wherever he went. . . He is clearly at ease with some domestic
policy issues-dissecting the Bush tax cut, for instance, and
citing a string of figures to explain why he wants to retain
the breaks for the middle class while eliminating the ones for
high-income Americans. On other subjects-health care and education,
for example-his positions have not yet congealed, though he promises
they will soon.
ROBERT NOVAK - The important Democrats eager
to run retired Gen. Wesley Clark for president might exercise
due diligence about a military career that was nearly terminated
before he got his fourth star and then came to a premature end.
The trouble with the general is pointed out by a bizarre incident
in Bosnia nearly a decade ago.
Clark was a three-star
(lieutenant general) who directed strategic plans and policy
for the Joint Chiefs of Staff in Washington. On Aug. 26, 1994,
in the northern Bosnian city of Banja Luka, he met and exchanged
gifts with the notorious Bosnian Serb commander and indicted
war criminal, Gen. Ratko Mladic. The meeting took place against
the State Department's wishes and may have contributed to Clark's
failure to be promoted until political pressure intervened. The
shocking photo of Mladic and Clark wearing each other's military
caps was distributed throughout Europe. . .
U.S. diplomats warned
Clark not to go to Bosnian Serb military headquarters to meet
Mladic, considered by U.S. intelligence as the mastermind of
the Srebrenica massacre of Muslim civilians (and still at large,
sought by NATO peacekeeping forces). Besides the exchange of
hats, they drank wine together, and Mladic gave Clark a bottle
of brandy and a pistol.
This was what U.S. Ambassador
Richard Holbrooke's team seeking peace in Yugoslavia tried to
avoid by instituting the "Clark Rule": whenever the
general is found talking alone to a Serb, Croat or Muslim, make
sure an American civilian official rushes to his side. It produced
some comic opera dashes by diplomats.
MITCHEL COHEN, GLOBAL RESEARCH
- Gen. Wesley Clark was in charge
of refugee camps in the 1980s and 1990s where Haitian refugees
who were fleeing first Baby Doc Duvalier (and later the new regime
installed by the US following the overthrow of the elected Aristide
government in the early 1990s), were packed, under appalling
conditions. . . In the 1980s, many Haitian male refugees incarcerated
at Krome (in Miami), and Fort Allen (in Puerto Rico) reported
a strange condition called gyneacomastia, a situation in which
they developed full female breasts.
Ira Kurzban, attorney
for the Haitian Refugee Center, managed to pry free government
documents via a lawsuit on behalf of the refugees. These contained
the startling information that prison officials had ordered the
refugees sprayed repeatedly with highly toxic chemicals never
designed for such generic use. The officer in charge of the refugee
camp? None other than Gen. Wesley Clark, chief of operations
at the US Navy internment camp at Guantanamo, and later head
of NATO forces bombing Yugoslavia. The documents go on to say
that lengthy exposure to the particular chemicals can cause hormonal
changes that induce development of female breasts.
THE END OF LIBERALISM
MOORE ALMOST ENDORSES WESLEY CLARK
BUT BRITISH GENERAL MIKE JACKSON
GUARDIAN, AUG 3, 1999
- If Nato's supreme commander, the American General Wesley Clark,
had had his way, British paratroopers would have stormed Pristina
[Kosovo's capital] airport threatening to unleash the most frightening
crisis with Moscow since the end of the cold war. "I'm not
going to start the third world war for you," General Sir
Mike Jackson, commander of the international K-For peacekeeping
force, is reported to have told Gen Clark when he refused to
accept an order to send assault troops to prevent Russian troops
from taking over the airfield of Kosovo's provincial capital.
WESLEY CLARK, THE PERFUMED PRINCE
JOHN CHUCKMAN YELLOW TIMES
- The Perfumed Prince declared himself a Democrat. Many Americans
may not recognize the nickname bestowed upon Wesley Clark by
British colleagues as he strutted around Serbia with his set
of platinum-plated general's stars carefully repositioned each
day to a freshly-starched and ironed camouflage cap, wafting
a thick vapor trail of cologne. His lack of judgment demonstrated
in Serbia -- including an order to clear out Russian forces that
British general Sir Michael Jackson had to ignore for fear of
starting World War III -- should be enough to utterly disqualify
him as a candidate for President. But this is America, land of
The former general scents,
through the mists of his musky cologne, an opportunity for service.
Hell, we're at war, and any real general is better than a former
male cheerleader from Andover who cross-dresses as a combat pilot.
Dreams of being the hero on a white horse beckon. A fatal attraction
in the American people to used-up generals is how the country
managed to elect some of its worst presidents - Grant, Jackson,
and Garfield, for example.
NY POST PAGE SIX - The last thing the Clintons want is for
a Democrat from Arkansas to defeat Bush next year," says
our spy about the ex-general who is expected to announce his
candidacy next month. . . Our source adds, "The Clinton
master plan is for a Hillary candidacy in 2008 and they will
subtly sabotage the Democratic candidate in 2004.That's why they
insist on keeping their personal operative, Terry McAuliffe,
in charge of the Democratic committee."
THE END OF LIBERALISM
MONTHLY RUNS PRO-CLARK PIECE
[Joining the military
fetishists at the American Prospect is the Washington Monthly.
Sad to report, however, that once you get past the fact that
Clark's a four star general, there isn't all that much more to
say on his behalf]
THE CLARK MYTH
[The Clark fetish among
certain Democratic elites and the media is a strong argument
for a revival of the draft. With some military service, such
fetishists would be less likely to go berserk over a star-laden,
WASHINGTON POST - It's unclear whether Clark
can make the transition from military general to political leader.
Even before Clark's official announcement, Jim Jordan, campaign
manager for Sen. John F. Kerry (Mass.), previewed the attacks
to come. "It's a strange profile for a Democratic primary:
a career military with no domestic policy experience," Jordan
said. Moreover, "some Democrats might find it unsettling
he just decided in recent weeks to become a Democrat," he
said. Clark announced he was a Democrat on Sept. 4.
FAIR - A review of his statements before, during
and after the war reveals that Clark has taken a range of positions--
from expressing doubts about diplomatic and military strategies
early on, to celebrating the U.S. "victory" in a column
declaring that George W. Bush and British Prime Minister Tony
Blair "should be proud of their resolve in the face of so
much doubt" (London Times, 4/10/03).
Months before the invasion,
Clark's opinion piece in Time magazine was aptly headlined "Let's
Wait to Attack," a counter- argument to another piece headlined
"No, Let's Not Waste Any Time." Before the war, Clark
was concerned that the U.S. had an insufficient number of troops,
a faulty battle strategy and a lack of international support.
As time wore on, Clark's
reservations seemed to give way. Clark explained on CNN that
if he had been in charge, "I probably wouldn't have made
the moves that got us to this point. But just assuming that we're
here at this point, then I think that the president is going
to have to move ahead, despite the fact that the allies have
reservations." As he later elaborated: "The credibility
of the United States is on the line, and Saddam Hussein has these
weapons and so, you know, we're going to go ahead and do this
and the rest of the world's got to get with us. . . The U.N.
has got to come in and belly up to the bar on this. But the president
of the United States has put his credibility on the line, too.
And so this is the time that these nations around the world,
and the United Nations, are going to have to look at this evidence
and decide who they line up with."
On the question of Iraq's
supposed weapons of mass destruction, Clark seemed remarkably
confident of their existence. Clark told CNN's Miles O'Brien
that Saddam Hussein "does have weapons of mass destruction."
When O'Brien asked, "And you could say that categorically?"
Clark was resolute: "Absolutely." When CNN's Zahn asked
if he had any doubts about finding the weapons, Clark responded:
"I think they will be found. There's so much intelligence
After the fall of Baghdad,
any remaining qualms Clark had about the wisdom of the war seemed
to evaporate. "Liberation is at hand. Liberation -- the
powerful balm that justifies painful sacrifice, erases lingering
doubt and reinforces bold actions," Clark wrote in a London
Times column. "Already the scent of victory is in the air."
Though he had been critical of Pentagon tactics, Clark was exuberant
about the results of "a lean plan, using only about a third
of the ground combat power of the Gulf War. If the alternative
to attacking in March with the equivalent of four divisions was
to wait until late April to attack with five, they certainly
made the right call."
Clark made bold predictions
about the effect the war would have on the region: "Many
Gulf states will hustle to praise their liberation from a sense
of insecurity they were previously loath even to express. Egypt
and Saudi Arabia will move slightly but perceptibly towards Western
standards of human rights." George W. Bush and British Prime
Minister Tony Blair "should be proud of their resolve in
the face of so much doubt," Clark explained. "Their
opponents, those who questioned the necessity or wisdom of the
operation, are temporarily silent, but probably unconvinced."
The way Clark speaks of the "opponents" having been
silenced is instructive, since he presumably does not include
himself-- obviously not "temporarily silent"-- in that
category. Clark closed the piece with visions of victory celebrations
here at home: "Let's have those parades on the Mall and
down Constitution Avenue."
In another column the
next day, Clark summed up the lessons of the war this way: "The
campaign in Iraq illustrates the continuing progress of military
technology and tactics, but if there is a single overriding lesson
it must be this: American military power, especially when buttressed
by Britain's, is virtually unchallengeable today. Take us on?
Don't try! And that's not hubris, it's just plain fact."
Another "plain fact"
is this: While political reporters might welcome Clark's entry
into the campaign, to label a candidate with such views "anti-war"
is to render the term meaningless.
ABC NOTE - What does The Note know about the Wes Clark
(D-CNN) phenomenon? We know that the media interest in his candidacy
proves the political press is bored with the field as is. We
know that the Democratic elite interest in his candidacy proves
that many of them - including members of Congress - are apparently
underwhelmed by the existing nine candidates and are willing
to support someone about whom they know shockingly little. .
As for the motivations
of these (largely) Clinton-Gore types - they all want to beat
Bush; they all are totally turned off by Howard Dean personally
and by his prospects; they have all lost respect for the rest
of the field (because if they can't crush Dean, how could they
beat Bush?); and they all (for whatever reasons) failed to find
places in the other campaigns. Oh, and most of them are bored
in their lawyer, lobbyist, PR jobs, and this Clark thing looks
fun to them. . .
So far, Clark has not
taken a single position on domestic issues that distinguishes
him from the field, and in fact, he appears to be a garden variety
liberal on the gamut of party touchstones. There are no distinctive
policy positions, third way or otherwise. And for an alleged
straight talker, we wouldn't characterize his position on, say,
the Bush tax cuts, as particularly straight or crisp. . .
Clark is already talking
about maybe skipping some of the debates because of conflicts,
and the scrutiny of his past is going to ramp up fast . . .
U.S. - As recently
as two years ago, he was addressing Republican dinners in his
home state of Arkansas amid speculation about a possible future
Clark run for office - as a Republican. Speaking on May 11, 2001,
as the keynote speaker to the Pulaski County Republican Party's
Lincoln Day Dinner, Clark said that American involvement abroad
helps prevent war and spreads the ideals of the United States,
according to an AP dispatch the following day. Two weeks later,
a report in U.S. News and World Report said Arkansas Republican
politicos were "pondering the future of Wesley Clark:"
"Insiders say Clark,
who is a consultant for Stephens Group in Little Rock, is preparing
a political run as a Republican. Less clear: what office he'd
campaign for. At a recent Republican fund-raiser, he heralded
Ronald Reagan's Cold War actions and George Bush's foreign policy.
He also talked glowingly of current President Bush's national
security team. Absent from the praise list -- his former boss,
ex-Commander in Chief Bill Clinton."
[To find out more about
the Stephens Group, go to our main page and use our site search
engine. It's pretty interesting]
GEORGE WILL - As Clark crisscrosses the country listening
for a clamor for him ("I expect to have my decision made
by Sept. 19," when he visits Iowa--feel the suspense), he
compounds the confusion that began when he said (June 15, 2003)
that on 9/11 "I got a call at my home" saying that
when he was to appear on CNN, "You've got to say this is
connected" to Iraq. "It came from the White House,
it came from people around the White House. It came from all
over." But who exactly called Clark?
July 1: "A fellow
in Canada who is part of a Middle Eastern think tank." There
is no such Canadian institution. Anyway, who "from the White
House"? "I'm not going to go into those sources. ...
People told me things in confidence that I don't have any right
July 18: "No one
from the White House asked me to link Saddam Hussein to Sept.
Aug. 25: It came from
"a Middle East think tank in Canada, the man who's the brother
of a very close friend of mine in Belgium. He's very well connected
to Israeli intelligence. ... I haven't changed my position. There's
no waffling on it. It's just as clear as could be."
VERNON LOEB, WASHINGTON POST - Clark's hard-charging style,
his penchant for dealing directly with the White House and his
ceaseless agitation for ground forces during the Kosovo conflict
- over the wishes of Defense Secretary William S. Cohen - caught
up with him a month after the end of the war. In July 2000, while
dining with the president of Lithuania in London, Clark was called
by Gen. Henry H. Shelton, chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff,
who curtly informed him that Cohen had decided to ease him out
of his NATO command. The call stunned Clark. It meant he would
have to leave his NATO post three months earlier than scheduled
and without a year's extension, which he had expected. . .
One retired four-star
general, who knows Clark well and represents a sentiment expressed
by a number of his peers, said he fully understood Clark's ultimate
clash with Cohen, Shelton and, particularly, the leadership of
the Army. "The guy is brilliant," said the general,
who agreed to speak candidly about Clark only if his name were
not used. "He's very articulate, he's extremely charming,
he has the best strategic sense of anybody I have ever met. But
the simple fact is, a lot of people just don't trust his ability"
as a commander. While his strategic analysis is "almost
infallible," his command solutions tended to be problematic,
even "goofy," the general said, "and he pushed
them even when they weren't going to work." The general
said Clark "needs to win, right down to the core of his
fiber," which tends to make him "highly manipulative."
"There are an awful
lot of people," added another retired four-star, who also
requested anonymity, "who believe Wes will tell anybody
what they want to hear and tell somebody the exact opposite five
minutes later. The people who have worked closely with him are
the least complimentary, because he can be very abrasive, very
domineering. And part of what you saw when he was relieved of
command was all of the broken glass and broken china within the
European alliance and the [U.S.] European Command."
BBC - His words at the beginning of Nato's bombing
campaign in 1998 set the tone for the alliance's tough line with
the then President Milosevic. "We're going to systematically
and progressively attack, disrupt, degrade, devastate and ultimately,
unless President Milosevic complies with the demands of the international
community, we're going to destroy his forces and their facilities
and support," he said.
But the campaign was not
as swift and decisive as Nato had hoped and there were a series
of mistakes, including the bombing of the Chinese Embassy in
LOWELL POINTE - He does appear to be supported
by much of the Clintons' political war machine. Among those flocking
to his campaign are Clinton veteran gutter fighters Mark Fabiani,
Bruce Lindsey, Bill Oldaker, Vanessa Weaver, George Bruno, Skip
Rutherford, Peter Knight, Ron Klain and perhaps even former Clinton
deputy chief of staff Harold Ickes, among others. . . The Clinton
"orchestration" behind Clark's campaign is so apparent
that commentators are already speculating whether General Clark
is running for himself &SHY; or as a stalking horse for Hillary
and/or as a puppet for Bill. Is all this being arranged to knock
down rivals and clear the way for a Clinton-Clark "C-C Rider"
ticket in 2004?. . .
In 1993 Wesley Clark,
after a solid-but-not-stellar military career, was commanding
the 1st Cavalry Division at a sweaty 339-square-mile base in
Texas called Fort Hood. On a late winter day his office got a
call from Democratic Texas Governor Ann Richards (later defeated
and replaced by George W. Bush). The Governor had an urgent matter
to discuss. Crazies about 40 miles north of Fort Hood in Waco,
Texas, had killed Federal agents, she said. If newly sworn-in
President Bill Clinton signed a waiver setting aside the Posse
Comitatus Act, which generally prohibits our military from using
its arms against American citizens inside our borders, could
Fort Hood supply tanks, men, and equipment to deal with the wackos
at Waco? Wesley Clark's command at Fort Hood "lent"
17 pieces of armor and 15 active service personnel under his
command to the Waco Branch Davidian operation. Whether Clark
himself helped direct the assault on the Davidian church using
this military force at Waco has not been documented, but it certainly
came from his command with his approval. . .
Even Clark's vaunted fourth
star as a general was unearned, according to Robert Novak. It
was twice rejected as undeserved by Pentagon brass, but then
was awarded by his patron Bill Clinton after Clark begged the
President for it. "Clark," wrote Novak, "is the
perfect model of a 1990s political four-star general."
TIM, CLINTON ADMINISTRATION
SCANDAL BULLETIN BOARD -
My wife graduated from Hall High School in Little Rock with Wesley
Clark, in the Class of 1962. Her take, briefly: Clark is a super
overachiever, very smart, but had no close friends in high school.
. . something of a loner. Has the personality of a gourd. Very
slight build, so no chance for glory on the football or basketball
teams, the popular team sports, became a champion swimmer instead.
She's mystified by the hype surrounding his nascent campaign.
. . Doesn't remember Clark as a person who could stir anyone
to do anything. . .
Prediction: Clark has
been selected by the Clintons to be Hillary's running mate if
she decides to run in '04, which I think she will do. Clark will
gain much needed national exposure over the next few months as
a candidate for the Democratic nomination for president. If Hillary
runs, she will have the Democratic nomination for the asking.
. . and Clark will be the perfect running mate.
What a ticket! Leftist
feminist icon Senator from New York, with unknown but somewhat
respected four star General from the South as a VP candidate.
JULY 1999 - Ambrose
Evans-Pritchard in The Secret Life Of Bill Clinton writes, "The
Branch Davidian siege was clearly on Foster's mind. He was 'drafting
a letter involving Waco' on the day of this death, surely a point
of some significance. He kept a Waco file in the locked cabinet
that was off limits to everybody, including his secretary. His
widow mentions Waco twice in her statement to the FBI: 'Toward
the end of his life, Foster had no sense of joy or elation at
work. The Branch Davidian incident near Waco, Texas, was also
causing him a great deal of stress. Lisa Foster believes that
he was horrified when the Branch Davidian complex burned. Foster
believed that everything was his fault.'"
no claim that Waco was a cause of Foster's death. After discussing
other anomalies, such as his ties to the National Security Agency,
the investigative reporter notes, "The point is that Foster
was involved in activities that belie the carefully drawn portrait
of a bemused country lawyer, and that have clearly been obscured
These comments are worth
reviving because of Counterpunch's revelation that two key Army
officers were involved in the Justice Department planning for
Waco and that Clinton had abrogated an longtime American principle
of not using the military in domestic law enforcement.
We now also know that
NATO chief Wesley Clark, then Texas-based, at the very least
approved the seconding of logistical support from his command.
We know that important records in Foster's possession were removed.
And we know that a military intelligence group moved in on the
White House following his death for unknown purposes.
This all, however, merely
adds to the mystery of Foster. What remains true is that the
existing facts argue strongly against Foster having died in a
park of his own hand. Put directly, if he did kill himself, someone
moved him afterwards, or else he was murdered. Under what circumstances
and for what reasons, we still don't know.
- According to
an must-read report by Ken McCarthy at Brasscheck, the military
was far more deeply involved in the Waco massacre than is generally
realized. Behind the military's part in the operation was now
NATO commander General Wesley Clark. Among the points McCarthy
makes are these:
- The military's involvement
in a domestic law enforcement matter was illegal.
- Used in the Waco massacre
operation were 13 track vehicles, 9 combat engineer vehicles,
5 tank retrieval vehicles, and a tank.
- The military equipment
and personnel came from the US Army base at Ft. Hood, Texas,
headquarters of III Corps. According to an account from attorney
David T. Hardy, who filed a freedom of information action in
the incident, "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
- 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. Clark had been Commander of the National Training
Center and Deputy Chief of Staff for Concepts, Doctrine and Developments,
US Army Training and Doctrine Command 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." 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."
- President Clinton said,
"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."
- 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.
- From 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. -- 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.
- General Clark's last
assignment before taking over NATO was as Commander-in-Chief,
United States Southern Command, Panama, 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." i.e. the support of repressive Latin American
military and police operations and a phony war against drugs.
Meanwhile, Dan Gifford,
producer of "Waco: The Rules of Engagement" writes
that "Secret anti-terrorist U.S. Army Delta Force and British
SAS soldiers were present at FBI invitation as 'observers.' But
reports of those troops illegally killing Americans on American
soil persist from sources that have provided accurate information
in the past. So do reports of classified weapons testing on the
Davidians that was being micro managed, along with everything
else, from Washington.
ROBERT NOVAK, 1999: Members of Congress who, during
their spring recess, met in Brussels with Gen. Wesley Clark,
the NATO supreme commander, were startled by his bellicosity.
According to the lawmakers, Clark suggested the best way to handle
Russia's supply of oil to Yugoslavia would be aerial bombardment
of the pipeline that runs through Hungary. He also proposed bombing
Russian warships that enter the battle zone. The American general
was described by the members of the congressional delegation
as waging a personal vendetta against Yugoslav President Slobodan
Milosevic. "I think the general might need a little sleep,"
commented one House member.
RULING BY GREEK COURT, MAY 1999 -
Greece's Council of State, the country's highest administrative
court has an extraordinary ruling on the war against Yugoslavia:
1. NATO's offensive against
a sovereign European state, unprecedented in the post-war years,
is an affront not only to the ethical principles of Greek and
European civilization, but also to the fundamental precepts of
international law. . .
2. This inexcusable attack
is taking place in flagrant violation of articles 1 and 2 of
the United Nations Charter, which expressly prohibits the use
of violence in international relations, and designates the Security
Council exclusively competent in international crises. . .
3. But this attack even
violates the NATO Charter, the exclusive purpose of which is
collective defense of the area defined therein that coincides
with the boundaries of its member states, and which has expressly
committed itself in its international relations to refrain from
the threat or use of violence in any way whatsoever that is incompatible
with the principles and purposes of the UN. . .
4. In addition, both the
United Nations Charter and all generally recognized precepts
of international law safeguard the equality and sovereignty of
all peoples, irrespective of their numbers and power, and do
not recognize any jurisdiction on the part of powerful nations
to intervene in the internal affairs of weaker nations or to
dictate solutions to their own liking. Consequently, however
serious the crisis in Kosovo may be, it remains an internal Yugoslav
affair and belongs to the exclusive jurisdiction of the sovereign
Yugoslav state. Any humanitarian or other interest on the part
of the UN, other international organizations or third countries
may be manifested only in a peaceful way and by diplomatic means
within the context of the UN Charter.
COUNTERPUNCH, 2000: With the end of hostilities it
has become clear even to Clark that most people, apart from some
fanatical members of the war party in the White House and State
Department, consider the general, as one Pentagon official puts
it, "a horse's ass." Defense Secretary William Cohen
is known to loathe him, and has seen to it that the Hammer of
the Serbs will be relieved of the NATO command two months early.
WILLIAM BLUM, ROGUE
STATE - Beginning
about two weeks after the NATO bombing of Yugoslavia began in
March, 1999, international-law professionals from Canada, the
United Kingdom, Greece, and the American Association of Jurists
began to file complaints with the International Criminal Tribunal
for the Former Yugoslavia in The Hague, Netherlands, charging
leaders of NATO countries and officials of NATO itself with crimes
similar to those for which the Tribunal had issued indictments
shortly before against Serbian leaders. Amongst the charges filed
were: "grave violations of international humanitarian law",
including "willfully killing, willfully causing great suffering
and serious injury to body and health, employment of poisonous
weapons and other weapons to cause unnecessary suffering, wanton
destruction of cities, towns and villages, unlawful attacks on
civilian objects, devastation not necessitated by military objectives,
attacks on undefended buildings and dwellings, destruction and
willful damage done to institutions dedicated to religion, charity
and education, the arts and sciences." The Canadian suit
names 68 leaders, including William Clinton, Madeleine Albright,
William Cohen, Tony Blair, Canadian Prime Minister Jean Chretien,
and NATO officials Javier Solana, Wesley Clark, and Jamie Shea.
The complaint also alleges "open violation" of the
United Nations Charter, the NATO treaty itself, the Geneva Conventions,
and the Principles of International Law Recognized by the International
Military Tribunal at Nuremberg.
CLINTONISTAS JOINING CLARK EFFORT
US NEWS & WORLD REPORT
- Whispers learns that once in, top Democratic elected officials,
strategists and donors are ready to join the Clark Brigade. Many
of Clark's team-in-waiting are Clintonistas, like the former
president's handyman, Bruce Lindsey, scandal spokesman Mark Fabiani,
and maybe even ex-deputy chief of staff Harold Ickes, who's close
to New York Sen. Hillary Rodham Clinton. Also, New York Rep.
Charles Rangel has pledged to round up endorsements from House
and Senate members. . . And forget about that talk that all the
retired four-star general and former NATO boss wants is the veep
nomination. Supporters say that's a dirty-tricks campaign pushed
by rival Howard Dean who's scared of a Clark candidacy. Says
Frisby: "Wes Clark firmly believes that he is the best choice
to be president, not be vice president or hold any other government
DECLINE OF LIBERALISM
PROSPECT EDITOR BOOSTS GENERAL CLARK IN OP ED
WESLEY CLARK DISCOVERS HE'S A
GREG PIERCE, WASHINGTON
TIMES: Retired Army Gen. Wesley Clark, who for months has flirted
with a presidential run while declining to state a party preference,
announced yesterday that - drum roll, please - he is a Democrat.
"I have to say that I'm [aligned with] the Democratic Party,"
Gen. Clark said yesterday on CNN's "Inside Politics."
"I like the message the party has, I like what it stands
for. ... It's a party that has had a great tradition in our country,
and I'm very attracted to it, and that's the party I belong to."
THE WESLEY CLARK MYTH
NOW THAT establishment
favorite Edwards is fading in the Democratic primaries, there
is increasing talk in similar circles of launching a campaign
for General Wesley Clark, some of it so absurd that it compares
Clark to Eisenhower.
But the Clark boosters
better do a bit more homework. For example, this from a piece
by Lowell Ponte
"[Clark] was named
Commander of the 1st Cavalry Division, III Corps, at sweltering
Fort Hood southwest of Waco, Texas. On a late winter day in 1993,
Texas Governor Ann Richards suddenly called the base, later meeting
with Clark's Number Two to discuss an urgent matter. Crazies
at a Waco compound had killed Federal agents. If newly-sworn-in
President Bill Clinton signed a waiver setting aside the Posse
Comitatus Act, which generally prohibits the military from using
its arms against American citizens within our borders, could
Fort Hood supply tanks and other equipment?
"Clinton did. Wesley
Clark's command at Fort Hood "lent" 17 pieces of armor
and 15 active service personnel under his command to the Waco
Branch Davidian operation. It is absolute fact that the military
equipment used by the government at Waco came from Fort Hood
and Clark's command.
"The only issue debated
by experts is whether Clark was at Waco in person to help direct
the assault against the church compound in a scene remarkably
similar to the incineration of villagers in a church by the British
in Mel Gibson's movie "The Patriot."
"What happened at
Waco was the death, mostly by fire, of at least 82 men, women
and children, including two babies who died after being "fire
aborted" from the dying bodies of their pregnant mothers.
"Planning for this
final assault involved a meeting between Clinton Attorney General
Janet Reno and two military officers who developed the tactical
plan used but who have never been identified. Some evidence and
analysis suggests that Wesley Clark was one of these two who
devised what happened at Waco."
Ponte also reports that
"when Russians landed and took over one provincial airport
in the region, General Clark commanded British forces to attack
the Russians. British General Sir Mike Jackson reportedly refused,
saying: 'I'm not going to start the Third World War for you!'"
And this from military
writer Col. David Hackworth: "Known by those who've served
with him as the 'Ultimate Perfumed Prince,' he's far more comfortable
in a drawing room discussing political theories than hunkering
down in the trenches where bullets fly and soldiers die."
Clark, by the report of
some who have worked with him, is an egocentric, marginally qualified
officer of questionable judgment who made his way to the top
with the help of fellow Rhodes Scholar Bill Clinton.
You have been warned.
MORE ON CLARK
COUNTERPUNCH - "The
poster child for everything that is wrong with the GO (general
officer) corps," exclaims one colonel, who has had occasion
to observe Clark in action, citing, among other examples, his
command of the 1st Cavalry Division at Fort Hood from 1992 to
1994. While Clark's official Pentagon biography proclaims his
triumph in "transitioning the Division into a rapidly deployable
force" this officer describes the "1st Horse Division"
as "easily the worst division I have ever seen in 25 years
of doing this stuff."
Such strong reactions
are common. A major in the 3rd Brigade of the 4th Infantry Division
at Fort Carson, Colorado when Clark was in command there in the
early 1980s described him as a man who "regards each and
every one of his subordinates as a potential threat to his career".
While he regards his junior
officers with watchful suspicion, he customarily accords the
lower ranks little more than arrogant contempt. A veteran of
Clark's tenure at Fort Hood recalls the general's "massive
tantrum because the privates and sergeants and wives in the crowded
(canteen) checkout lines didn't jump out of the way fast enough
to let him through". . .
Observers agree that Clark
has always displayed an obsessive concern with the perquisites
and appurtenances of rank. Ever since he acceded to the Nato
command post, the entourage with which he travels has accordingly
grown to gargantuan proportions to the point where even civilians
are beginning to comment. A Senate aide recalls his appearances
to testify, prior to which aides scurry about the room adjusting
lights, polishing his chair, testing the microphone etc prior
to the precisely timed and choreographed moment when the Supreme
Allied Commander Europe makes his entrance.
"We are state of
the art pomposity and arrogance up here," remarks the aide.
"So when a witness displays those traits so egregiously
that even the senators notice, you know we're in trouble."
His NATO subordinates call him, not with affection, "the
STUPID CLARK-EISENHOWER COMPARISON
OF THE DAY
[We have begun tracking
disingenuous comparisons between World War II hero Dwight Eisenhower
and Bosnian-Waco military hack Wesley Clark. Contributions are
DAVID IGNATIUS, WASHINGTON
POST - They're all good questions, but that's not what makes
Clark an interesting candidate. It's the fact that, like Dwight
Eisenhower talking about Korea in 1952, the retired general can
argue that he's the man to get America honorably out of a war