RE: Posse Comitatus Act Violation? The text reproduced below is cut from a full transcript

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RE: Posse Comitatus Act Violation? The text reproduced below is cut from a full transcript of a speech given by President Clinton. It would appear to be a confession of a violation of the Posse Comitatus Act. Comments from the several attorneys on this echo would be appreciated. THE WHITE HOUSE Office of the Press Secretary ______________________________________________________________ For Immediate Release April 23, 1993 PRESS CONFERENCE BY THE PRESIDENT The East Room 1:00 P.M. EDT Q Mr. President, by any count, you have not had a good week in your presidency. The tragedy in Waco, the defeat of your stimulus bill, the standoff in Bosnia. What did you do wrong and what are you going to do differently? How do you look at things? Are you reassessing? (Laughter.) THE PRESIDENT: I don't really believe that the situation in Bosnia -- it's not been a good week for the world, but I don't know that the administration could have made it different. Q Waco -- THE PRESIDENT: Well, with regard to Waco I don't have much to add to what I've already said. I think it is a -- I want the situation looked into. I want us to bring in people who have any insights to bear on that. I think it's very important that the whole thing be thoroughly gone over. But I still maintain what I said from the beginning, that the offender there was David Koresh. And I do not think the United States government is responsible for the fact that a bunch of fanatics decided to kill themselves. And I'm sorry that they killed their children. Q Mr. President, several of the leading lights in your administration, ranging from your FBI Director to your U.N. Ambassador, to your Deputy Budget Director to your Health Services Secretary, have issued statements in the last couple of weeks which are absolutely contradictory to some of the positions you've taken in your administration. Why is that? Are you losing your political grip? THE PRESIDENT: Give me an example. Q Example? Judge Sessions said that there was no child abuse in Waco. Madeleine Albright has said in this morning's newspapers, at least, that she favors air strikes in Bosnia. All of these are things you said that you didn't support. THE PRESIDENT: First of all, I don't know what -- we know that David Koresh had sex with children. I think that is undisputed, is it not? Is it not? Does anybody dispute that? Where I come from that qualifies as child abuse. And we know that he had people teaching these kids how to kill themselves. I think that qualifies as abuse. And I'm not criticizing Judge Sessions because I don't know exactly what he said. Q Do you wish, Mr. President, that you'd become more involved in the planning of the Waco operation? And how would you handle that situation differently now? THE PRESIDENT: I don't think as a practical matter that the President should become involved in the planning of those kinds of things at that detail. One of the things that I'm sure will come out when we look into this is -- the questions will be asked and answered, did all of us who up the line of command ask the questions we should have asked and get the answers we should have gotten? And I look forward to that. But at the time, I have to say, as I did before, 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, as least, military nature of the conflict given the resources that Koresh had in his compound and their obvious willingness to use them. And then on the day before the action, I asked the questions of the Attorney General which I have reported to you previously, and which at the time I thought were sufficient. I have -- as I said, I'm sure -- I leave it to others to make the suggestions about whether there are other questions I should have asked. Q Mr. President, what is your assessment of Director Sessions' role in the Waco affair? And have you made a decision on his future? And if you haven't, will you give him a personal hearing before you do decide? THE PRESIDENT: Well, first of all, I have no assessment of his role since I had no direct contact with him. And I mean no negative or positive inference. I have no assessment there. I stand by what I said before about my general high regard for the FBI. And I'm waiting for a recommendation from the Attorney General about what to do with the direction of the FBI. ********** John Mudge


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