SPECIAL REPORT: HOW CROATS SUCCESSFULLY BLACKMAILED U.S. GOVERNMENT AND I.C.T.Y. INTO SUBMISSION
EDITORIAL: When writing the chronology “THE NEWEST EU MEMBER PROUDLY CELEBRATES THE BIGGEST ETHNIC CLEANSING IN EUROPE SINCE WWII” I omitted on purpose to include all the supporting documents, to make the articles easier to read and “swallow”. Here I am presenting again the entire chronology, this time in “one piece”, and more importantly I am publishing some official US and Croatian governments (and their’ affiliates) documents, hidden from the public, or not longer accessible in the official archives or on the internet sites, which simply “disappeared” from the cyber space. These documents will prove, not only US government (USG) complicity, but its direct (covert) military and intelligence involvement in the biggest ethnic cleansing in post-WWII Europe.
The specially damaging for USG is the official complaint (request for prosecution) filed in July 2002, with International Crime Tribunal for former Yugoslavia (ICTY) against US president Bill Clinton and his top government aides, by influential (Advisory UN Member- and with Croatian government associated) NGO Croatian World Congress (CWC). This complaint directly provides evidence of “Joint US/Croatian criminal enterprise” during the military offensive against Serb held territory in Krajina (which was at that time designated as UN Safe Zone, and under UNPROFOR protection), when terrible war crimes and crimes against humanity, including the complete ethnic cleansing of 200,000 Krajina’ Serbs, were committed- by Croatian forces, which were directly supported, supervised and controlled by USG.
“The Croatian World Congress sent a letter last week demanding that Carla Del Ponte, the chief prosecutor of the International Criminal Tribunal for the former Yugoslavia (ICTY), open a criminal investigation into Mr. Clinton and other top officials of his administration for ‘aiding and abetting indicted Croatian Gen. Ante Gotovina in a 1995 Croatian military operation known as ´Operation Storm.´… Secretly supported by the Clinton administration, Croatian forces launched a massive three-day military offensive – known as ‘Operation Storm’ – on Aug. 4, 1995, in which Croatia recovered territories occupied by rebel Serbs following Zagreb´s drive for independence from Yugoslavia in 1991…. The Croatian World Congress said the U.S. administration gave the green light for the operation and provided diplomatic and political support for it.” – Source: “Balkans tribunal turns to Clinton”, Washington Times, July 08, 2002
Another document which proves that USG via its embassy in Hague, had “a mole” inside ICTY, namely Timothy McFadden, Warden of ICTY prison unit, who supplied them with intelligence on Serbian prisoners, specifically in USG cable 03THEHAGUE2835 is presented very ample evidence about US (via MacFadden) spying on ICTY prisoner- former Serbian president Slobodan Milosevic, in the light of Milosevic’ threat to bring a bunch on NATO leaders to the witness stand, and to prove, by cross examining them, the complicity and involvement of their government in the break up of Yugoslavia, and consequent separatist’ wars. This document is very important to understand the methods and scale of USG intelligence penetration and control of Hague tribunal (ICTY). It is obvious that warden MacFadden was just one of many US moles inside the tribunal, who were not only compromising the secret court files, but manipulated the work of ICTY, and some sources suggest that these spies were directly involved in the “medical assassinations” of Serbian prisoners. We should bear in our mind, that Milosevic suddenly died in Hague captivity from the “wrong medication”, after he repeated his requests, that US president Clinton, British PM Blair and many other appear in the court, and in the light of US envoy Richard Holbrooke testimony, which was (against frantic efforts of presiding judge May to obstruct it) very damaging for USG.
Cable 03THEHAGUE2835, ICTY: AN INSIDE LOOK INTO MILOSEVIC’S HEALTH
AND S E C R E T SECTION 01 OF 05 THE HAGUE 002835
SUBJECT: ICTY: AN INSIDE LOOK INTO MILOSEVIC’S HEALTH AND SUPPORT NETWORK REF: THE HAGUE 2568
Classified By: Legal Counselor Clifton M. Johnson per reasons 1.5(b)-(d)
¶1. (S/NF) Summary: The head of the detention unit (Tim McFadden) of the International Criminal Tribunal for the former Yugoslavia (ICTY) provided Embassy legal officers and USG physician with details of Slobodan Milosevic’s health status, daily regimen, legal and financial network, frame of mind, and contacts outside the Tribunal…
NOTE: As soon as ICTY appeal chamber overturned (in a very controversial split decision) the long term prison sentences against Croatian generals for crimes during operation “Storm”, freeing them of all charges, Croats fell back in US arms, forgetting all the bad blood (spilled in the aftermath of “Storm”), and removing all traces of the evidence of their “Joint criminal enterprise” with American friends (most of documents, which documented US involvement in Croatian war crimes, simply disappeared, even the ICTY files, while the internet sites were, either completely shot down, or redacted of any reference to their “Joint criminal enterprise”). Nothing surprising- Croats have the historically proven record of efficiently erasing the evidence of own war crimes, as it was shown here on the examples of their “sanitation of war zones”. In same time, USG counts on this new NATO ally, as the proven Russian enemy, which will eventually get (again) the special role in the future Balkans wars and further NATO expansion toward East. Let’s not forget, during WWII Hitler’ satellite (“Third Reich”) state Independent Croatia, had two SS divisions, which bled together with Germans in the historical battle for Stalingrad.
Once again Croats are ready to bleed on the Russian doorstep, this time for the NATO Reich and, again befriended, dear Uncle Sam (they almost flushed down the toilet)… FBR Editor M. Novakovic, 15Aug2017
“Judge who acquitted war criminals at Hague had ‘close and confidential relations’ with U.S. gov’t–
The Danish publication Information has a piece based on Wikileaks cables, showing that presiding judge Theodor Meron, an American-Israeli, was in touch with US officials.
Now documents from 2003 made public by WikiLeaks show that Meron had close and confidential relations with the United States government in his first term as President of the ICTY… “It is the perception among my former colleagues that the tribunal president takes instructions from the US government. And the WikiLeaks documents certainly do not help his case,” a former legal adviser at the Tribunal said…
As far as Meron’s critics are concerned the U.S. and Israeli government are deeply worried about the traditional doctrine of command responsibility. Until the recent acquittals it was sufficient for the prosecutor to prove that a military commander or political leader was aware of the risk that subordinates or forces allied with his army or government would commit a war crime in order to get a conviction.
Under this practice, political leaders and high-ranking officers in the United States and Israel ultimately could risk being held responsible for war crimes committed by their soldiers or by foreign forces that their governments support with arms… Source: http://mondoweiss.net/2013/06/criminals-confidential-relations
THE NEWEST EU MEMBER PROUDLY CELEBRATES THE BIGGEST ETHNIC CLEANSING IN EUROPE SINCE WWII
CROATIAN HISTORICAL EXPERIENCE- CRIME PAYS…
If there was a nation that could safely conclude from its own historical experience that “Crime Pays”, than it must be the newest EU member, Croatia. In the modern history this tiny Catholic nation committed one of the most horrific genocides in WWII over Serbian Orthodox Christian population residing in Croatia and Bosnia, murdering at least one million people; and recently in 1995, Croatia conducted (under US supervision) the biggest and permanent ethnic cleansing “military operation” against its (again) Serbian population, expelling over 200,000 of them in just three days (the real number of ethnically cleansed Serbs from Croatia during the wars in 90ies, is at least twice larger)- unofficially becoming the most ethnic cleanse European state.
If you believe, that Croats “en masse”, would be ashamed of such reputation, than you are dead wrong. Actually most of them are very proud, and for the last 22 years they are celebrating it very loudly, and doing everything in their power to prevent (after being pressured by the international community) the return of hundreds of thousands of Serbs to their ancient land, and to avoid returning of their stolen property, mostly (real estates, farm lands, etc.).
“We could not prevent the slaughter of the Serbs by the Croatians, including elderly people and children…” – UNPROFOR French Lieutenant-General Jean Cot
WHEN WESTERN “DEMOCRACIES” ORCHESTRATE ETHNIC CLEANSINGS
Of course, if would be unreasonable, for this evident and well documented war crimes, and crimes against humanity, to blame only Croats. If their hands are soaked in the blood, of innocent Serbian civilians, up to their arms, then the hands of their Western sponsors (namely USA and Germany) are soaked in the blood at least up to their elbows. Simply Croats would never get away with “such perfect crime”, if they were not backed, in every possible way, by their American and German sponsors.
This week will mark 22 years, since on August 4th 1995, Croatia lunched so called military-police operation, named Storm, against Serb’ held and controlled Krajina region. Croats backed by US military-logistic & air support, CIA intelligence drone reconnaissance, and open political support from Washington, completed their “operation” in just three days. On August 7th they declared “victory”.
Their “victory resulted”: in a complete ethnic cleansing of Krajina region, and a murder of at least 2,000 Serbs; vast majority of them were defenseless civilians. Official sources claim that: 1,192 Serbian civilians were killed or missing, and around 200,000 thousands (entire Krajina population) were expelled from their ancient land. Their property was destroyed, looted and stolen, by the Croatian “soldiers” (who performed this “operation” under direct Washington’ supervision, while UNPROFOR peacekeepers assigned for the protection of UN designated “Krajina Safe Zone” just stood by, doing almost nothing to prevent the slaughter).
IMPERATIVE WAS TO ESTABLISH US MILITARY PRESENCE IN YUGOSLAVIA
To understand this US complicity, and its direct military involvement, in such horrendous atrocity against one ethnic group, in one, of many, civil wars, which erupted, when former Socialist Yugoslavia “fell apart”, again with covert or overt Western support, we have to look here at the wider picture-
When the Clinton’ government, together with their major European allies, decided in 90ies, that the best American interest in the Balkans will be to back armed rebellion of the separatist administrative regions in Western Yugoslavia, and openly support the breakup of, internationally recognized, Federal Republic of Yugoslavia, while it was still the UN member, they consciously opened the Pandora box.
They openly sided politically & militarily with Slovenian and Croatian Catholics from the Western Yugoslavian Republics, and with Islamic fundamentalists from Bosnia, in their civil and religious wars against Orthodox Christian Serbs living outside, then administrative Republic of Serbia (and later in 1999, US & NATO started another illegal war against Serbia, on behalf of Islamic Albanian separatists from Kosovo, ultimately “stealing” this Southern Serbian province).
Croatian and Bosnian Serbs, who simply wanted to remain in their Federal Republic of Yugoslavia, and not to be “taken away” by Catholic and Islamic separatists, and not to be stripped of their constitutional rights, under existing Yugoslavian laws, naturally rebelled against such illegal and violent Yugoslavian outcome, and they subsequently declared own autonomy within the Yugoslavian separatist’ regions.
And then all hell broke loose…
The historical roots of such American approach, could be found in the Western (mainly British and American) support of “Anti-Stalin” communist leader of post-WWII Yugoslavia Marshal Josip Broz Tito (who was Croat himself), who provided Western leaders with assurances that he will, not only keep Yugoslavia outside the Soviet bloc, but he would align militarily his country with NATO alliance as well; and later in Reagan’ presidential directive NSDD133, from 1984, which outlined US strategic interest to expand its military presence to Yugoslavia.
THEY ARE KILLING “LITTLE RUSSIANS” TOO, AREN’T THEY…?
The “only” obstacle to this US (read NATO) expansionist policy in the former Yugoslavia, was Serbian (majority) population, which was, due to its traditional friendship with Russia, considered as “problematic” and had to be decimated, “broken into pieces”, and Republic of Serbia to be disabled as an independent state, during so called “spontaneous” civil wars in 90ies.
I am not trying here to state that in the Western society exist some unexplained hatred against Serbs (in same time, there is a lots of prejudice, and media & Hollywood bias, picturing Serbs primarily as “bad guys”), actually I believe that people and their politicians in the West could not care less about Serbs (Serbians), and most of them have no clue where to find Serbia on the geographic map. But in same time, as we can observe these days in the West, particularly in United States, there is a lot of unfounded and unreasonable hatred for the Russians…
…And if we are familiar with the popular saying among Western diplomats, that “Serbs are Little Russians”, then is not difficult to put two and two together, and understand their desire to “disable” any Russian-friendly nation in the region.
CROATIAN WAR CRIMES AGAINST SERBS WERE SO EVIDENT, AND ON SUCH LARGE SCALE, THAT WESTERN CONTROLLED ICTY HAD NO CHOICE, BUT TO SENTENCE CROATIAN LEADERSHIP…
Western controlled ICTY (International Crime Tribunal for Yugoslavia) reluctantly brought charges for war crimes and ethnic cleansing, against (war time) ultra-nationalistic Croatian leadership and group of its generals. But in the wake of overwhelming evidence and international outcry, they had little choice.
In 2001 ICTY brought charges for war crimes against Croatian president general Franjo Tudjman (who will be remembered for publically saying “that he was very proud that his wife was neither Jew or Serb”), Croatian defence minister Gojko Susak (prior to war- open Neo-Nazi ideologist), and two other former (renegade) Yugoslav Army generals, (promoted into supreme commanders of Croatian army) Janko Bobetko and Zvonimir Cermenko. Their indictment was actually travesty of justice, because at the time they were charged, all of them (with exception of General Janko Bobetko), were already dead (by natural cause). General Bobetko died one year after indictment, before he could be delivered to ICTY.
“The decision to launch Operation Storm is not controversial; what is controversial, however, is ‘the successful effort’ of some Croatian officials headed by President Franjo Tudjman to ‘exploit the circumstances’ and implement the plan to drive Serbs out of Krajina.”— ICTY prosecutor Alain Tieger
When the indictment of Croatian generals Ante Gotovina, Ivan Cermak and Mladen Markac, for their war crimes and ethnic cleansing of Croatian Serbs in Krajina, during “operation” Storm in 1995, was announced in 2008- Serbs who survived US sponsored pogrom and ethnic cleansing, were naively hoping that at last some justice will be served.
Even, with such unprecedented obstruction of ICTY by Croatian government, Catholic Church and wider Croatian society, who concealed and destroyed many war documents, facilitated escape and concealment of indicted Croatian war criminals, and intimidated not only victims and witnesses, but ICTY leadership as well- the trial of those three Croatian generals came to conclusion in 2011, and after the overwhelming evidence (the evidence, Croats were not able to conceal or destroy), Gotovina was sentenced to 24 years, Markac to 18 years, while Cermak was acquitted.
Serbian victims hoped that at the end at least some justice was served- but they were wrong again. There is a Serbian saying: “A crow doesn’t pick out another crow’s eyes.”-
In 2012, ICTY appeal chamber overturned the decision of lower chamber, and unconditionally acquitted Croatian war criminals Gotovina and Markac for all crimes. Entire Croatia and its diaspora erupted in joy and massive celebration.
Their historical experience that Crime Pays have been proven yet again…
Even, after the ICTY had proved (from the audio and written transcript of Croatian war leadership meeting in July 1995) – that there was very credible evidence of existence of a joint criminal enterprise, with intent to forcibly remove ethnic Serbs from Croatia, and that civilian areas in Krajina, including the subsequent civilian refugee columns, were indiscriminately shelled by Croatian artillery, and bombed & machine gunned by Croatian air-force – that did not prevent the real ICTY masters to pervert the course of justice.
One would wander who and what was behind such obvious and embarrassing justice travesty, demonstrated in this example. What had forced American controllers of ICTY to change their mind, and influence the tribunal to free of any charges, these obvious and heavy documented, war criminals?
Just remember that at that time, US government offered $5 million reward for the capture of war criminal Ante Gotovina, making him the ICTY most wanted man. He was at that time sheltered by Croatian government, and through the notorious Vatican’ “Rat Channels”, that were used at the end of WWII to facilitate the escape of Nazis, he was hidden (among the other Croatian war criminals) in a Catholic monastery, to be smuggled to Tenerife, where he was eventually captured by the Spanish police, in 2005.
INTERNATIONAL “POST-MORTEM” RESPONSE…
It is worth to mention accusations and reactions, to such perversion of justice by ICTY, from some highest international bodies and public persons, at that time-
US Security Council, on August 10th 1995 issued “post-mortem” (when ethnic cleansing of Serbs was already completed) resolution #1009, demanding from Croatia to halt military operation, and condemning targeting of UN peacekeepers (during the operation Storm, Croats had killed three UN soldiers) – but UNSC failed to request a withdrawal of the Croatian forces, and de-facto accepted new “ethnically cleanse” reality!?
The only UN official, who was fully aware of the horrific aspect of this US sponsored “operation”, and who was trying to prevent further Croatian atrocities against Serbian population, was, at that time, the Head of UN mission in Yugoslavia, Thorvald Stoltenberg, who urged UN Secretary Yasushi Akashi to request NATO strikes against Croatian army, to prevent further atrocities against civilians.
Of course, that never happened, especially if we know that Croatian operation Storm, was directly supervised by the retired US generals (via Pentagon military contractor MPRI), while US Air Force conducted air raids against Serbian Air Defense systems in Krajina, and CIA officers operated surveillance drones, which provided intelligence for advancing Croatian troops, from two Croatian bases in Adriatic.
Even, EU negotiator Carl Bildt, and US ambassador in Croatia Peter Galbraith, publically condemned Croatian atrocities in Krajina- but they too stayed short of requesting some concrete and punitive measures.
“It is important that these [Serb] civilians start moving and then the army will follow them, and when the columns start moving, they will have a psychological effect on each other. That means we provide them with an exit, while on the other hand we feign (pretend) to guarantee civilian human rights and the like…”— Croatian President Franjo Tudjman, during War Council meeting in July 1995
THE REAL ATROCIOUS OUTCOME OF THE BIGGEST ETHNIC CLEANSING IN POST-WWII EUROPE IS MUCH HIGHER, THEN THE OFFICIAL FIGURES STATE…
While ICTY prosecutors accepted the fact that some 200,000 Serbs were ethnically cleansed in just couple of days from Krajina region, they “lowered” the number of murdered Serbian civilians to 324. Serbian sources on the ground documented 1,192 dead or missing civilians, while Croatian Helsinki Committee documented 677 killed.
Human Rights Watch documented at least 5,000 Serbian homes razed to the ground by Croatian forces, and HRW accused Croats for summary executions of elderly and disabled Serbs, who stayed behind due to inability or unwillingness to leave their homes. We can only imagine if the entire defenseless Serbian civilian population stayed behind, and faced bloody-thirsty Croatian soldiers- in that case we would be talking here about a full scale genocide, not “just” the ethnic cleansing!?
To better understand what kind of “Croatian justice” were facing defenseless Serbian civilians, who decided not to leave their homes during operation Storm, here is one excerpt from Wikipedia, describing one of many of Croatian “post-Storm” atrocities against innocent civilians-
“The Varivode massacre was a mass killing that occurred on 28 September 1995 in the village of Varivode, Croatia during the Croatian War of Independence. According to United Nations officials, soldiers of the Croatian Army (HV) and Croatian police killed nine Croatian Serb villagers, all of whom were between the ages of 60 and 85. After the war, six former Croatian soldiers were tried for committing crimes in the village, but were all eventually released due to lack of evidence… On the night of 28 September 1995, Croatian soldiers entered the village of Varivode and killed nine elderly Serb villagers. The civilians that were killed were Jovan Berić, Marko Berić, Milka Berić, Radivoje Berić, Marija Berić, Dušan Dukić, Jovo Berić, Špiro Berić and Mirko Pokrajac. After the executions occurred, the bodies were buried in a cemetery near the village without the knowledge of the families of the victims.… After the massacre, Croatian authorities denied reports of widespread atrocities targeting Serbs and said that they were propaganda. Later, the government blamed the atrocities on uncontrollable elements within the Croatian Army and Croatian police. Christiane Amanpour‘s report from October 1995 said that the “United Nations believes 12 Serb civilians were massacred.” In the first one hundred days following Operation Storm, at least 150 Serb civilians were summarily executed, and many hundreds disappeared as part of a widespread campaign of revenge against Croatia’s Serb minority. The bodies of the killed Serbs were never exhumed, autopsies were never performed and much of the evidence that could have been used against the perpetrators of the crime was discarded. Despite this, six Croatian soldiers were tried for committing crimes in the village. The soldiers were Ivan Jakovljević, Peri Perković, Neđeljko Mijić, Zlatko Ladović, Ivica Petrić and Nikola Rašić. However, in 2002 they were all released due to the lack of evidence against them.… In July 2012, the Supreme Court of Croatia ruled that the Republic of Croatia was responsible for the deaths of the nine Serb villagers who were killed in Varivode. The Supreme Court declared, “two months after the conclusion of Operation Storm, an act of terrorism was committed against the Serb inhabitants of Varivode for the purpose of causing fear, hopelessness and to spread feelings of personal insecurity among the citizens.” – Source: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Varivode_massacre
By 2012, Croatian government received 6,390 reports about committed war crimes against Serbian civilians, during and after operation Storm, but did little or nothing to bring the perpetrators to justice.
To make things worse and more humiliating for surviving Krajina Serbs, Croatian government is still refusing to return (or reimburse) 140,000 Serbian homes, stolen from ethnic Serbs. 795 Serbs, presumed dead, are still missing, 1,604 bodies were retrieved- according to NGO “Veritas”.
DID THE CROATS SUCCESSFULLY BLACKMAIL U.S. GOVERNMENT INTO SUBMISSION, FORCING THEM TO OVERTURN THE INITIAL ICTY RULING!?
The initial ICTY ruling in 2011, which sentenced Croatian generals Gotovina and Markac to long term imprisonment, was expected, and very well supported by the “conclusive evidence”. Even, according to many international experts, this sentencing was not enough tough, and did not cover the full scale of war crimes and atrocities, committed by Croatian political and military leadership, during and in the aftermath of operation Storm. Still, many Serbian victims were satisfied that they finally achieved at least some justice…
…So, when in November 2012 ICTY appeal chamber ruled that Croatian generals are innocent of all charges and free to go, the news came to many as a complete shock, and reaffirmed them in a belief that ICTY tribunal is just another NATO war tool, in their efforts to punish and humiliate, not only the Serbian government, but the numerous Serbian victims of civil wars in 90ies, whose executors were never (and probably never will be) brought to justice.
The ruling was very controversial, not only because it ignored all the hard evidence, including the forensics and the testimony of the international observers, but because the formal excuse for the liberating judgment was – that in the prosecutor documents were missing the Croatian artillery log books, that according to the Appeal chamber, were the only document that would prove the Croatian intent to drive Serbian population from Krajina. The same books were previously repeatedly requested by the ICTY prosecutors, and Croatia did not even deny its existence, but simply refused to cooperate with ICTY and hand them over. Finally, when in 2008 Croatia was warned by European leaders that non-cooperation with ICTY might affect the prospect of its EU membership – somebody from the Croatian leadership simply destroyed these books, and they informed Hague tribunal that Artillery logs no longer exist. Even such provocative and blunt obstruction of the international justice by the Croatian government, did not result in any repercussions for them, and practically they were forgiven for their deeds. Crime pays – doesn’t it?
Anyway, ICTY tribunal had plenty of other evidence, proving the intentional destruction of Serbian civilian infrastructure was very well documented by the international observers, and in April 2011 ICTY had no choice but to sentence general Gotovina to 24 years, and general Markac to 18 years.
Another fact that indicates that Appeal chamber’ ruling was the political one, and result of some external interference was its split decision – the chamber ruled by the majority decision 3 – 2, implying that there were serious doubts and disagreements, by at least two of the Appeal chamber judges.
“American concern is that if General Gotovina is arrested he may carry out a threat to disclose previously unknown extent of US covert involvement in the Krajina offensive…” – London Times, June 14th, 2003.
CROATIAN OFFICIALS PROVIDED A PLENTY OF EVIDENCE THAT U.S. GOVERNMENT WAS INVOLVED IN “STORM” MILITARILY, AND HAD A FULL CONTROL OVER WAR (CRIMES) ACTIVITIES THAT TOOK PLACE ON THE GROUND
As soon the ICTY indictments against Croatian leaders were announced in 2001, the Croatian government, NGOs, public, and very well organized and connected diaspora, displayed anger and disagreement, promising that they will do everything in their power to obstruct ICTY investigations and prevent trials against their “national heroes”. When in 2011, the first instance judgment by ICTY was issued and Croatian generals were sentenced to long term imprisonment, the Croatian Prime Minister Jadranka Kosor and President Ivo Josipovic publicly expressed their shock and rejection of the ruling, promising to help to overturn the judgment, on appeal!?
And they started their campaign – of obstruction of justice, of abetting the accused war criminals, of the intimidation, and finally, of the blackmail, of ICTY and US officials –
On July 4th, 2002, NGO associated with Croatian government “Croatian World Congress- CWC” filed complaint with ICTY citing what proofs, about US direct involvement in ethnic cleansing of Krajina, they have:
“US officials aided General Gotovina and the Croatian army in operation Storm by violating UN arms embargo and allowing Croatia to obtain weapons… US officials established a CIA base inside General Gotovina’ military base, which provided the US officials with real-time video footage of events transpiring on the ground during Operation Storm (and thus imputing to them knowledge of events on the ground), but also from which they could provide such intelligence data to General Gotovina to assist him in conducting Operation Storm. If General Gotovina carried out pre-planed campaign to deport 150,000 to 200,000 Croatian Serbian civilians, the CIA base was not only used to provide knowledge to US officials of such plan and course of conduct on the part of General Gotovina, but was also used to assist General Gotovina in achieving the goals of his alleged plan. The US official gave the green light for the Operation and provided diplomatic and political support for it. The US officials at all times had the ability to halt the military operations. Accordingly, the US officials named in the complaint should be indicted for having aided and abetted General Gotovina.”
If you read carefully through this CWC statement (threat), they are not even trying to deny Gotovina’ war crimes, they are just implying bluntly, that if their lovely General was sentenced, they would gladly provide ICTY with the evidence of Croatian-American “Joint criminal enterprise to forcibly remove the Serb population from Croatia…”, as it states the ICTY indictment from 2001, of course omitting the US participation (which was the very secret deal, at least until Croatian officials started “mouthing” their “American friends”).
Croatian complaint to ICTY specifically named the highest US officials, alleging that they, along General Gotovina, committed too war crimes against Serbian population:
“On behalf of the Croatian World Congress, a non-governmental organization that is a member of the United Nations with advisory status, you are hereby notified pursuant to Article 18(1) of the Statute of the International Criminal Tribunal for the former Yugoslavia of the existence of information concerning serious violations of international humanitarian law (hereinafter “IHL”), namely that officials of the United States of America, including but not limited to William Jefferson Clinton, Anthony Lake, Samuel Berger, Richard Holbrooke, Peter Galbraith and/or George J. Tenet (hereinafter collectively referred to as “U.S. officials”), aided and abetted Croatian General Ante Gotovina, who was indicted by your office on 8 June 2001.”
We are not going here to present detailed evidence of US crimes, committed during the operation Storm. Of course, the Croatian war crimes on the ground were very brutal, systematic and savage, they did “the physical work”, but from the evidence provided by numerous Croatian officials and their organizations, it is very obvious, that operation Storm would never happen, or if happened never would be successful, without US military support and direct supervision, or without US approval.
Just to give you “a taste” what kind of American support Croats were enjoying during their atrocious operation against innocent Serbian civilians, will present you with some documented facts:
The Green Light for the operation came a couple days prior the assault- President Clinton passed the order directly to US military attaché in Zagreb Colonel Richard Herrick; Herrick passed order to Croatian head of military intelligence Markica Rebic (the others involved directly were defense minister Gojko Susak, Miro Tudjman and Miro Medimurac, heads of Secret Service and Intelligence Service). US masters were so pleased with Rebic’ service, that they rewarded him with Meritorious Service Medal, delivered to him by Ambassador Galbraith in 1996. The other people from USG involved in this joint criminal enterprise with Croats, in addition to Clinton, were Anthony Lake and William Perry. US masters imposed the time limit on operation Storm- it had to be completed in 5 days.
Long before the Storm, in 1992 USG with Croatian approval established CIA reconnaissance base on island of Brac, from where CIA operators were flying unmanned aircraft spying on Serbian positions in Krajina, Bosnia and part of Serbia itself. USG requested that this cooperation to be held a top secret, so outsiders don’t find that US is taking sides in the Balkans’ civil wars. But it did not stay for too long the top secret. On January 1st, 1994, Croatian state security apprehended a spy on the base perimeter. They delivered him right away to General Gotovina, to find out it was their German ally, precisely it was German military attaché Hans Schwan.
This incident alerted USG, which wanted to conceal any covert activities on behalf of CG, so they promptly removed CIA base to new secret location, in Sepurina, near city of Zadar. This new location was covered by three security layers, to ensure the full secrecy. From new base CIA started immediately collecting photographic and video evidence of Serbian activities in Krajina and Bosnia, and passing them to Croats, and to Pentagon. There was 24 hours, 6 member intelligence crew, present on site- consisting of three CIA and three Croatian military officers.
“STORM” WASN’T THE FIRST ETHNIC CLEANSING, UNDERTAKEN BY CROATIA AND US, AS A JOINT CRIMINAL ENTERPRISE:
It is interesting that disgruntled (by ICTY indictment) Croatian Officials and Croatian World Congress body, in their complaint to ICTY, are providing the evidence about USG intelligence and logistical support for another Croatian genocidal operation, named Flash, that took place in Western Slavonia, between May 1st and 3rd, 1995, which resulted in another complete ethnic cleansing of Serbian population- prior to the operation this area was populated by 29,000 Serbs, after Flash, only 1,500 remained.
The number of killed civilians is unknown because Croats prevented UNPROFOR troops from accessing the area, until they did “the sanitation” (read: removing the evidence of their crimes, because entire Serbian refugee columns were massacred and overran by Croatian tanks). Estimates of killed civilians rage between one hundred to couple thousands. Another example of “the successful US-CRO joint criminal enterprise”?
The interesting details, revealed here by Croatian sources, is- that US military attaché Herrick was attached to the Croatian mobile military command, during the genocidal operation Flash, supervising it directly- and the head of CIA branch in Zagreb Marc Kelton was directly coordinating expulsion of Slavonia’ Serbs, with Croatian president Tudjman son Miro.
In the eve of the attack on Krajina, on August 4th 1995, between midnight and 4 a.m. Croatian forces were ordered to turn off all telecommunication devices, to unable US air force to electronically disable all Serbian communications.
According to NATO spokesman Jim Mitchell in Aviano, Italy, two US military planes EA-6B Prowlers were dispatched to Krajina air space. USAF planes, on the top of jamming Serbian telecommunications, destroyed the airport Udbine, and Radar and Serbian Air Defense near Knin, in order to prevent any Serbian air support or defence, against invading Croatian forces.
Here, US military attaché Herrick was replaced by the Colonel John Sadler, who was embedded with Gotovina command unit, directly supervising operation Storm. Pentagon was also directly monitoring the operation via live video feed.
Shortly after the biggest joint (US/CRO) ethnic cleansing in Europe was completed, US head of DIA General Colonel Patrick Hughes visited Croatia to coordinate further military actions against Serbs in Bosnia and if necessary in Republic of Serbia…
Crime pays, doesn’t it?
CROATIAN DOCUMENT WHICH PROVES JOINT CRIMINAL ENTERPRISE WITH U.S. DURING GENOCIDAL MILITARY OPERATION “STORM”:
HRVATSKI SVJETSKI KONGRES
– CROATIAN WORLD CONGRESS
PRESS RELEASE CONTACT: PROF. DR. SIMUN SITO CORIC
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
CROATIAN WORLD CONGRESS FILES COMPLAINT WITH HAGUE PROSECUTOR DEL PONTE TO INVESTIGATE US OFFICIALS, INCLUDING
WILLIAM JEFFERSON CLINTON
(4 JULY 2002) –The Croatian World Congress today submitted to Carla Del Ponte, Prosecutor at the International Criminal Tribunal for the former Yugoslavia, a formal request to open a criminal investigation against senior U.S. officials for aiding and abetting indicted Croatian General Ante Gotovina in a 1995 Croatian military operation known as “Operation Storm.” Specifically named in the complaint are former President William Jefferson Clinton, former National Security Advisor Anthony Lake, former Deputy National Security Advisor Samuel Berger, Ambassador Richard Holbrooke, and former U.S. Ambassador to Croatia Peter Galbraith. The Croatian World Congress maintains that both General Ante Gotovina and the named U.S. officials are not guilty of any war crimes, but that if the Prosecutor continues to pursue General Gotovina then the U.S. officials must be investigated as well in the interest of “even-handed justice,” because they played a pivotal role in aiding General Gotovina’s campaign in Operation Storm.
The complaint filed today alleges that the US officials aided Gen. Gotovina and the Croatian Army (“HV”) in Operation Storm by violating a UN arms embargo and allowing Croatia to obtain weapons. Furthermore, the US officials established a CIA base inside of Gen. Gotovina’s military base which provided the US officials with real-time video footage of events transpiring on the ground during Operation Storm (and thus imputing to them knowledge of events on the ground), but also from which they could provide such intelligence data to General Gotovina to assist him in conducting Operation Storm. If General Gotovina carried out a pre-planned campaign to deport 150,000 to 200,000 Croatian Serb civilians, then the CIA base was not only used to provide knowledge to US officials of such a plan and course of conduct on the part of General Gotovina, but was also used to assist General Gotovina in achieving the goals of his alleged plan. The US officials gave the green light for the Operation and provided diplomatic and political support for it. The US officials at all times had the ability to halt the military operation. Accordingly, the US officials named in the complaint should be indicted for having aided and abetted General Gotovina. The Croatian World Congress reiterates, however, that it believes the most just outcome would be to withdraw the indictment against General Gotovina.
Established in July of 1993, the Croatian World Congress is a non-profit, non-governmental and non-party international organization that enjoys advisory status as a member of the United Nations.
Orignal URL http://www.studiacroatica.com/cwc/submission.htm
CROATIAN WORLD CONGRESS
HRVATSKI SVJETSKI KONGRES
NOTICE OF THE EXISTENCE OF INFORMATION CONCERNING SERIOUS VIOLATIONS OF INTERNATIONAL HUMANITARIAN LAW WITHIN THE JURISDICTION OF THE TRIBUNAL COMMITTED BY UNITED STATES OFFICIALS
REQUEST THAT THE PROSECUTOR INVESTIGATE NAMED INDIVIDUALS FOR VIOLATIONS OF INTERNATIONAL HUMANITARIAN LAW AND PREPARE INDICTMENTS AGAINST THEM PURSUANT TO ARTICLES 18.1 AND 18.4 OF THE TRIBUNAL STATUTE.
Madam Carla Del Ponte
International Criminal Tribunal for the former Yugoslavia
Churchillplein 1, 2501 EW,
Dear Prosecutor Del Ponte:
On behalf of the Croatian World Congress, a non-governmental organization that is a member of the United Nations with advisory status, you are hereby notified pursuant to Article 18(1) of the Statute of the International Criminal Tribunal for the former Yugoslavia of the existence of information concerning serious violations of international humanitarian law (hereinafter “IHL”), namely that officials of the United States of America, including but not limited to William Jefferson Clinton, Anthony Lake, Samuel Berger, Richard Holbrooke, Peter Galbraith and/or George J. Tenet (hereinafter collectively referred to as “U.S. officials”), aided and abetted Croatian General Ante Gotovina, who was indicted by your office on 8 June 2001.
In your indictment against General Ante Gotovina, you allege that General Gotovina is responsible for crimes committed during and after Operation Storm, a Croatian military operation against the so-called “Republika Srpska Krajina.”
The indictment alleges that the operation was a preplanned ethnic cleansing campaign that resulted in the deportation of over 150,000 Croatian Serbs in August 1995, as well as the murder of over 150 Croatian Serbs. The indictment charges that:
Between 17 July 1995 and 15 November 1995,Ante GOTOVINA, acting individually and/or in concert with others, including President Franjo Tudjman, planned, instigated, ordered, committed or otherwise aided and abetted in the planning, preparation or execution of the crimes charged below in the course of, and after, the “Oluja” offensive.
Ante GOTOVINA is individually responsible for the crimes alleged against him in this indictment pursuant to the provisions of Article 7(1) of the Statute of the Tribunal. Individual criminal responsibility includes planning, instigating, ordering, committing or otherwise aiding and abetting in the planning, preparation or execution of any crimes referred to in Articles 2 to 5 of the Statute.
It is thus the contention of your office that as early as 17 July 1995 (over two weeks prior to Operation Storm), General Gotovina had “acted in concert with others” and had “planned, instigated, ordered committed or otherwise aided and abetted in the planning preparation or execution of the crimes charged below in the course of, and after, the “Oluja” offensive.
At the outset, the Croatian World Congress (“CWC”) wishes to express its deep dismay at your indictment of General Gotovina. The CWC firmly believes that General Gotovina is innocent of the charges you have leveled against him and that Operation Storm was carried out professionally and in full accordance and respect for international humanitarian law. Nevertheless, your office persists with its prosecution of General Gotovina, which as a matter of law suggests that you believe you have evidence that General Gotovina is guilty beyond reasonable doubt.
If this is in fact the case, then the CWC believes that justice demands that you prosecute all potential perpetrators, and all nations must be treated evenhandedly. The ICTY has come under consistent criticism that it applies one set of standards for the countries and citizens in Croatia, Bosnia and Herzegovina, and the Federal Republic of Yugoslavia, while it applies a different set of standards for the countries of Western Europe and North America. For this reason, we bring this Notice pursuant to Article 18(1) of the Tribunal’s Statute in order to allow your office to demonstrate that it applies justice evenhandedly.
THE UNITED STATES PARTICIPATED IN OPERATION STORM
Much evidence has been made public that demonstrates that United States officials aided and abetted Operation Storm. These public facts include:
- The “Green Light“: It is public knowledge that US officials in fact gave the green light to the Croatians to start Operation Storm. The United States of course denies this, but information has seeped into the public domain.
- The Observer, 30 July 1995: On July 30, 1995 [six days before Operation Storm began], the British newspaper The Observer quoted unnamed Western diplomatic sources as saying that US officials had given the Croats a green light. The Observer quotes the diplomat as follows: “. . .Diplomatic sources in the area, who declined to be identified, said the Croat offensive followed the discreet encouragement of the United States. ‘Croatia has been given the thumbs up by America,’ said a Western source. ‘They basically said: “We understand you’ve got to do it. Just do it fast and don’t misbehave”…
- Testimony of the head of Croatian military counterintelligence: In August 2001, the Croatian Army’s head of counterintelligence at the time of Operation Storm announced in the Croatian paper “Narodni List” as follows: “Former chief of Croatian Army’s counterintelligence Markica Rebic stated today that Pentagon and the CIA were completely supervising operation ‘Oluja’ (Storm) of Croatia Army in 1995. Rebic also claims that he had gotten a message from American military attache that the USA did not have anything against Oluja, if Croatia performed it quickly and cleanly.” As you can see, the Observer story from 1995 and Rebic’s interview six years later portray a very similar “green light” message from the United States.
- Testimony of Croatian President Stipe Mesic: Current Croatian President Stipe Mesic also claims that the United States gave the green light for Operation Storm. Mesic gave an interview in the German weekly magazine Der Spiegel on 7 August 1995. In the interview, Mr. Mesic states as follows:
“I am certain that President Tudjman would never have undertaken this Operation [Storm] had he not received the green light from the United States and Germany. . . . I believe that President Clinton thinks that Congress will override his veto [of Congressional legislation authorizing the unilateral lifting of the United Nations arms embargo against Bosnia-Herzegovina] and that his policy with respect to Bosnia would be viewed as a complete failure. On the other hand, if Croatia were to conquer Knin, then it would be possible to defend Bihac as well, and then end the siege of Sarajevo, which would finally force the Serbs to the negotiating table.”
- Knowledge of Events During Operation Storm: US officials’ involvement in Operation Storm extended much further than simply giving the Green Light, however. According to the 27 August 2001 issue of Newsweek magazine, the Central Intelligence Agency stationed a base inside a Croatian Army base near Zadar, Croatia. This CIA base was used to launch unmanned intelligence aircraft known as GNAT 750s, which allowed the CIA to monitor the entire operation. These video images were transmitted back to the Pentagon, thus allowing individuals in Washington to monitor the entire Operation Storm. Moreover, according to Newsweek, the CIA shared these videos with General Gotovina in an effort to assist in the success of Operation Storm, and in fact did assist Gotovina in smashing a Serb counteroffensive. US officials thus had knowledge of events in the so-called Krajina and were assisting the Croatian Army in its offensive. Moreover, US officials were aiding and abetting General Gotovina in carrying out Operation Storm.
- Violations of the United Nations Arms Embargo: The United Nations Security Council, pursuant to Resolutions 713 and 727, imposed a general and complete embargo on all deliveries of weapons and military equipment to the countries of the former Socialist Federal Republic of Yugoslavia. US officials nevertheless engaged in a covert military operation designed to arm not only the Croatian Army (HV), but also the Army of Bosnia-Herzegovina (ABiH) in clear violation of Security Council Resolutions 713 and 727.
Former U.S. Ambassador to Croatia Peter Galbraith admitted in an interview in the Croatian daily “Vecernji List” on 21 July 2001 that the provision of intelligence information to the Croatian Army would amount to a “serious breach of the UN arms embargo.” It was subsequently learned in Newsweek that the United States did in fact provide such intelligence information to General Gotovina and the HV.
In 1996, an inquiry by the United States Congress as well as the Los Angeles Times revealed that United States officials, and particularly Amb. Galbraith, President Clinton, and Lake, approved of a plan that allowed Croatia and Bosnia to import weapons from Iran. See US Had Options to Let Bosnia Get Arms, Avoid Iran, Los Angeles Times, 14 July 1996; Closer US Role Seen on Bosnia-Iran Arms Pipeline, Los Angeles Times, 23 December 1996. US officials played a pivotal role in arming the HV in advance of Operation Storm, all in knowing violation of a UN arms embargo.
- Air Support for Operation Storm: In addition to providing intelligence support, US officials also provided air support to the Croatian offensive. On the first day of Operation Storm, two U.S. planes attacked Krajina Serb positions. The press agency Deutsche Presse-Agentur reported as follows:
NATO spokesman Jim Mitchell in Aviano, Italy, said the two U.S. navy pilots, flying EA-6B Prowlers, fired at a Krajina Serb missile site in self-defence as they were flying over the embattled area at the request of U.N. military commanders. EA-6B Prowlers are electronic warfare aircraft used to protect strike aircraft and ships by jamming enemy radar, electronic data links and communications.
The missile site that the United States destroyed was near Udbina airport, which allowed the Croats to destroy the airport and prevent the Krajina Serbs from using airpower against the Croatian offensive. It is important to note that the US was using EA-6B Prowlers which, as the above quote states, are “electronic warfare aircraft”. It is possible that the US was jamming Krajina Serb communications on the ground and thus assisting the Croats.
- The Croats were our junkyard dogs@: US Ambassador Richard Holbrooke’s memoirs on this period, entitled To End A War, are full of admissions of the United States’ command role in Operation Storm.
Holbrooke recalls on page 73 a dinner he and US Ambassador Robert Frasure were having with Franjo Tudjman on 17 August 1995 (thirteen days after Operation Storm began). Holbrooke recounts that Ambassador Frasure passed him a note during this dinner which stated as follows:
“Dick: We hired these guys to be our junkyard dogs because we were desperate. We need to try to control them. But this is no time to get squeamish about things. This is the first time the Serb wave has been reversed. That is essential for us to get stability, so we can get out.” [Emphasis added].
Holbrooke’s book thus offers concrete admissions that the United States hired the Croats to be our junkyard dogs. The passage even reflects that the US needed to control them.
- Holbrooke‘s Control Over Croatian Military Operations: Holbrooke’s book makes clear that the United States in general, and Holbrooke in particular, were in control of Croatian forces and were using the Croatian Army as their own ground troops in an effort to achieve preconditions necessary for the Dayton Peace Agreement. At page 160, Holbrooke admits to telling Tudjman which towns to take:
“I told Tudjman the offensive had great value to the negotiations. It would be much easier to retain at the table what had been won on the battlefield than to get the Serbs to give up territory they had controlled for several years. I urged Tudjman to take Sanski Most, Prijedor, and Bosanski Novi all important towns that had become worldwide symbols of ethnic cleansing. . . .Banja Luka, I said, was a different matter.”
Later, Holbrooke writes at page 166 that he told Croatian Defense Minister Gojko Susak:
“Nothing we said today should be construed to mean that we want you to stop the rest of the offensive, other than Banja Luka. Speed is important. We can’t say so publicly, but please take Sanski Most, Prijedor and Bosanski Novi. And do it quickly, before the Serbs regroup!”
It is plain from Holbrooke’s own words that he was giving orders both to Tudjman and to Susak in the military arena. At the very least, Holbrooke was providing a level of encouragement for Croatian military operations that rises to the level of aiding and abetting under IHL. Per Holbrooke’s instructions, the Croats attacked all three cities, but only succeeded in taking Sanski Most. The US was intimately involved in Croatian military operations.
- Holbrooke Encouraged The Croats Despite Human Rights Violations: Holbrooke encouraged the Croatian offensives despite knowledge that violations of international humanitarian law were occurring. Holbrooke himself writes as follows on page 160:
“Even while encouraging the offensive, Galbraith and I expressed great concern over the many refugees already displaced. We told Tudjman that there was no excuse for the brutal treatment of Serbs that followed most Croatian military successes. The abuse of Serb civilians, most of whom had lived in the area for generations, was wrong. Using a provocative phrase normally applied only to the Serbs, I told Tudjman that the current Croatian behavior might be viewed as a milder form of ethnic cleansing.”
Holbrooke here admits to encouraging HV military operations despite actual knowledge of violations that have occurred in the aftermath of Operation Storm.
- The Ability to Stop the Operation: It is clear that at all relevant times, the United States had the ability to issue a “Red Light” to the Croats. In fact, as cited above, Holbrooke did issue a red light to the Croats: the town of Banja Luka. Holbrooke told the Croats that they needed to take Sanski Most, Prijedor and Bosnaski Novi, but would stop when they reached the outskirts of Banja Luka. That is exactly what happened.
A book written by Ivo Daalder titled, Getting to Dayton, also demonstrates the ability of the United States at that time to halt the Croats. Daalder writes in footnote 20 on page 124:
Holbrooke and Galbraith met with Tudjman on September 17 to tell him not to take Banja Luka. The other members of the team met at the same time with Croatian Defense Minister Gojko Susak, who proudly displayed maps depicting the Croat gains. Susak showed the Americans the key mountain near Banja Luka that his forces would take within twenty-four hours, enabling the capture of the major Serb-held city within forty-eight hours. When informed by the Americans that the United States wanted the offensive halted before it reached the city, Susak was astonished and disappointed, but Banja Luka was not taken. Interview with an administration official, April 1, 1998. See also Holbrooke, To End A War, p. 160.
It is thus clear that the United States had the ability to stop the offensive whenever it was in the US interest to do so.
Galbraith’s Admissions Regarding Control: Galbraith shed further light on the degree of control exercised by US officials over Croatian military operations in the summer and fall of 1995. In an interview with the magazine Dani, 3 August 2001, Galbraith describes the level of control as follows:
It’s still not entirely clear how it came about that the Croat forces halted their advance before Banja Luka. Your testimony could throw additional light on the circumstances under which the operation was called off.
That was one of the absolutely key moments in the war. Even now I can’t tell you whether we did the right thing. Perhaps we did, perhaps we didn’t…
What was your problem?
I’ll tell you what my problem was at the time, and how I look at things today. It was September and Holbrooke had arrived with his team. Ordinarily we two would first have gone directly to Tudjman and talked with him for an hour, an hour and a half, before joining his ministers. We were waiting outside Tudjman’s office, Holbrooke had come in from Belgrade, with instructions from the Secretary of State to tell Tudjman not to take Banja Luka, and he asked me what I thought about it.
Was he in two minds too?
It was my impression that Holbrooke didn’t think he had to obey his instructions, since on previous occasions he hadn’t obeyed them either. And he asked me. People on the inside will tell you that I was a hawk, that I called for military intervention and favoured a military solution. But at that moment I too had certain doubts. My doubts related to two things: one was the refugee population from western Bosnia and the Krajina which was in the area, as well as the local population, since I had already seen the Croats in action. It’s true that the city was in the hands of people whom I consider fascists, but there were normal people there too, women and children, innocent people. I was worried about the potential consequences of the 400,000-strong wave of refugees that would have passed through the Posavina corridor and Brcko, and the humanitarian catastrophe it would have produced. On the other hand, I was afraid we might replace one problem by another. In other words, if Tudjman took Banja Luka would he give it up? I’d often heard him talking about how Banja Luka had traditionally been oriented towards Zagreb, and I know what that meant: when we divide up Bosnia, Banja Luka will be in Croatia. I think Holbrooke was influenced by the fact that Milosevic had told him that in Banja Luka there were Serbs representing an alternative leadership to Pale. We discussed this and both came to the conclusion that we should tell Tudjman to halt. Holbrooke told him that. It was a very hard decision, and if we’d felt only slightly differently it would have been different. Sometimes history is made not by big, carefully pondered strategic decisions, but precisely like this.
How does it strike you from today’s perspective?
The reason for allowing Croatia to take Banja Luka was that it would have meant the total collapse of the Bosnian Serbs and the fascist principles they espoused. It would have been far easier to reconstruct the country in the conditions of a total Serb defeat than it is at present. And we did think about this at the time. But even today I don’t know the right answer. The peace would have been far more stable if the Croatian Army had taken Banja Luka.
In other words, you regret your decision?
Not necessarily. The other side of the coin is the question of how many more people would have died. I don’t know what the price is. I only know these are hard decisions that cannot be avoided. We had the responsibility for taking that decision and I think we took it on the basis of the best possible assessment we could make at the time. During the past six years I’ve thought about it every day.
It is clear that the US officials had the ability to give a “red light” in order to stop HV military operations.
- Florence Hartmann’s account of US involvement in Storm: Your press spokeswoman, Florence Hartmann, authored a book in 1999 entitled, Milosevic: La Diagonale du Fou, based on her experiences as a war correspondent for Le Monde. In the book, Ms. Hartmann writes an entire chapter on the events in so-called “Krajina.” Ms. Hartmann contends in the book that the United States was the “godfather” of Operation Storm, and actually planned out Operation Storm through a private company of retired US military officers called Military Professional Resources, Inc. (“MPRI”). Ms. Hartmann contends in the book that the United States deployed MPRI to plan Operation Storm. Ms. Hartmann goes on to claim that William Jefferson Clinton knew that the Operation had been planned by MPRI.
These are the facts that are in the public domain. The United States gave a green light to Operation Storm and provided intelligence support, air support, and even anti-communication electronic warfare aircraft. The United States officials would have had actual knowledge of any abuses that were occurring. Moreover, the United States officials continued to provide diplomatic, political and intelligence support to the HV even after international officials, including Carl Bildt, had claimed as early as the first day of Operation Storm that violations of IHL were occurring. Thus, if indeed you believe that Operation Storm was a pre-planned campaign of ethnic cleansing that lasted from 4 August 1995 through 15 November 1995, then the United States officials certainly had actual knowledge of events from the first day of Operation Storm, and nevertheless continued to aid and abet the Operation. Finally, it is clear that the United States had the ability to stop the Croat offensive whenever it was in the United States interest to do so.
AIDING AND ABETTING LIABILITY OF THE UNITED STATES OFFICIALS UNDER INTERNATIONAL LAW
The elements of aiding and abetting liability are well established under international law, and were specifically addressed by the Tribunal in the case of Prosecutor v. Furundzija, “Judgement,” 10 December 1998. In that judgment, the Trial Chamber found the state of international law with respect to aiding and abetting liability to be as follows:
- The above analysis leads the Trial Chamber to the conclusion that it is not necessary for the accomplice to share the mens rea of the perpetrator, in the sense of positive intention to commit the crime. Instead, the clear requirement in the vast majority of the cases is for the accomplice to have knowledge that his actions will assist the perpetrator in the commission of the crime. This is particularly apparent from all the cases in which persons were convicted for having driven victims and perpetrators to the site of an execution. In those cases the prosecution did not prove that the driver drove for the purpose of assisting in the killing, that is, with an intention to kill. It was the knowledge of the criminal purpose of the executioners that rendered the driver liable as an aider and abettor. Consequently, if it were not proven that a driver would reasonably have known that the purpose of the trip was an unlawful execution, he would be acquitted.
- Moreover, it is not necessary that the aider and abettor should know the precise crime that was intended and which in the event was committed. If he is aware that one of a number of crimes will probably be committed, and one of those crimes is in fact committed, he has intended to facilitate the commission of that crime, and is guilty as an aider and abettor.
Thus, in order for you to prove a case of aiding and abetting liability against the US officials, it will not be necessary to prove that the US officials shared the same criminal intent as you allege was possessed by General Gotovina or Croatian Armed Forces. Instead, all that need be shown is that the US officials had knowledge that their actions would assist the HV in the commission of its alleged crimes.
The US officials clearly would have had knowledge that their actions were assisting the HV, and furthermore would have had knowledge of any criminal activity on the part of the HV. Indeed, Galbraith in interviews in the Croatian press has acknowledged that “[Defense Minister Susak] informed me of the plans before the Operation began” (Vjesnik, 29 July 2001), and also that the US officials “foresaw that violations of human rights would occur” during Operation Storm (Slododna Dalmacija, 23 August 2001). Moreover, it is clear from the excerpts of Holbrooke’s book quoted above that US officials continued to encourage HV military operations with full knowledge that violations of IHL had occurred.
The facts in the public domain are thus as follows: the United States officials violated the United Nations arms embargo by allowing the HV to obtain weapons from Iran, and violated the arms embargo by providing training and planning through MPRI. The United States officials set up a CIA post inside of an HV base from which they were not only able to obtain real-time video footage of events transpiring on the ground during Operation Storm (and thus imputing to them knowledge of events on the ground), but also from which they could provide such intelligence data to General Gotovina to assist him in conducting Operation Storm. If General Gotovina carried out a pre-planned campaign to deport 150,000 to 200,000 Croatian Serb civilians, then the CIA base was not only used to provide knowledge to US officials of such a plan and course of conduct on the part of General Gotovina, but was also used to assist General Gotovina in achieving the goals of his alleged plan.
The public facts further indicate that the United States officials encouraged Operation Storm by providing a “green light” to proceed. United States officials provided diplomatic and political “cover” to Croatia to allow the Operation to proceed without any significant diplomatic or political consequences to Croatia. United States officials have acknowledged that the HV were “our junkyard dogs” whom they “hired because they were desperate.”
Holbrooke in his book acknowledges encouraging the HV to continue with its operations despite his actual knowledge that violations of IHL had occurred.
The Croatian World Congress wishes to reemphasize its position that neither General Gotovina nor the US officials should be under indictment by your office. On the contrary, they should be praised for defeating Milosevic’s forces and establishing the preconditions necessary for the Dayton Peace Accords. We maintain that, while violations of IHL may have occurred in the aftermath of Operation Storm, they were not part of an overall plan to ethnically cleanse Serbs from Croatia. Rather, they were individual incidents that were driven by the passions of a few individuals. Nevertheless, if your office insists on prosecuting General Gotovina, then the interests of justice demand that you apply an evenhanded approach that will investigate all potential suspects equally.
If General Gotovina is guilty, then the US officials are guilty of aiding and abetting him.
To put it simply, the question is, “Would General Gotovina been able to carry out Operation Storm without the assistance of the US officials?” The answer, of course, is no. General Gotovina could not have successfully completed Operation Storm without the weapons that were obtained with US approval, or the intelligence data that was provided to him during the course of the Operation. The HV could not have completed the Operation without a green light from the US and without the diplomatic and political “cover” the US provided. The effective control exercised by the US officials over the HV is demonstrated by the fact that, when the US officials decided that the military operations must be stopped at Banja Luka, the HV stopped at Banja Luka.
In short, the United States played a decisive role in Operation Storm.
It is now upon you to demonstrate that justice is blind and that your office conducts criminal investigations based on the law and facts, and not based on political considerations. It is our primary hope that you will recognize the error that occurred in indicting General Gotovina in the first place. If, however, your office continues to insist on pursuing that indictment, then it is our second hope that you will demonstrate to us and to the entire world that you treat all nations equally. We are confident that you will agree with our position that no country can be “more equal” than another when it comes to your enforcement of the provisions of the Tribunal’s Statute as mandated by the Security Council.
Madam Prosecutor, please be assured of my highest consideration.
Prof. Dr. Šimun Šito Coric President Croatian World Congress
Cc: Members of the Security Council:
Ambassador Setphan Tafrov
Permanent Representative of Bulgaria to the United Nations
11 East 84th Street
New York, NY 10028
Ambassador Martin Belinga-Eboutou
Permanent Representative of Cameroon to the United Nations
22 East 73rd Street
New York, NY 11021
Ambassador Wang Yingfan
Permanent Representative of the People’s Republic of China to the United Nations
350 East 35th Street, New York, NY 10016
Ambassador Alfonso Valdivieso
Permanent Representative of Colombia to the United Nations
140 East 57th Street, 5th Floor, New York, NY 10022
Ambassador Jean-David Levitte
Permanent Representative of France to the United Nations
One Dag Hammarskjold Plaza, 245 East 47th Street, 44th Floor New York, NY 10017
Ambassador Francois Lonseny Fall
Permanent Representative of Guinea to the United Nations
140 East 39th Street
New York NY 10016
Ambassador Richard Ryan
Permanent Representative of Ireland to the United Nations
One Dag Hammarskjold Plaza, 885 Second Avenue, 19th Floor, New York, NY 10017
Ambassador Anund Prayay Neewoor
Permanent Representative of the Republic of Mauritius to the United Nations
211 East 43rd St., 15th Floor, New York, NY 10017
Ambassador Adolfo Miguel Aguilar-Zinser
Permanent Representative of Mexico to the United Nations
Two United Nations Plaza, 28th Floor
New York NY 10017
Ambassador Ole Peter Kolby
Permanent Representative of Norway to the United Nations
825 Third Avenue, 39th Floor, New York, NY 10022
Ambassador Sergey Lavrov
Permanent Representative of the Russian Federation to the United Nations
136 East 67th Street, New York, NY 10021
Ambassador Kishore Mahbubani
Permanent Representative of the Republic of Singapore to the United Nations
231 East 51st Street, New York, NY 10022
Ambassador Dr. Mikhail Wehbe
Permanent Representative of the Syrian Arab Republic to the United Nations
820 Second Avenue, 15th Floor
New York, NY 10017
Ambassador Sir Jeremy Greenstock
United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland Permanent Representative of the United Kingdom to the United Nations
One Dag Hammarskjold Plaza, 885 Second Avenue, New York, NY 10017
Ambassador John D. Negroponte
Permanent Representative of the United States to the United Nations
799 United Nations Plaza, New York, N.Y. 10017-3505
THE U.S. DIPLOMATIC CABLE WHICH PROVES THAT USG HAD INTELLIGENCE AND OPERATIVE CONTROL OVER ICTY:
Cable 03THEHAGUE2835, ICTY: AN INSIDE LOOK INTO MILOSEVIC’S HEALTH AND
This record is a partial extract of the original cable. The full text of the original cable is not available.
S E C R E T SECTION 01 OF 05 THE HAGUE 002835 SIPDIS NOFORN
DEPARTMENT FOR S/WCI – PROSPER/RICHARD, EUR/SCE – GREGORIAN/MITCHELL, L/EUR – LAHNE, INR/WCAD – SEIDENSTRICKER/MORIN
E.O. 12958: DECL: 1.6 FIVE YEARS AFTER CLOSURE OF ICTY
SUBJECT: ICTY: AN INSIDE LOOK INTO MILOSEVIC’S HEALTH AND
REF: THE HAGUE 2568
Classified By: Legal Counselor Clifton M. Johnson per reasons 1.5(b)-(d)
1. (S/NF) Summary: The head of the detention unit of the International Criminal Tribunal for the former Yugoslavia (ICTY) provided Embassy legal officers and USG physician with details of Slobodan Milosevic’s health status, daily regimen, legal and financial network, frame of mind, and contacts outside the Tribunal. Among many revealing details, this official — who sees and speaks with Milosevic more regularly and closely than nearly anybody else — provided information indicating that Milosevic’s heart condition, while manageable on a day-to-day basis, is serious and not readily controlled by medication. At the same time the official discounted reports that Milosevic suffers from diabetes or, at least at present, depression. The official described a confident, engaged Milosevic who with his wife’s assistance ably manages a web of legal and political contacts. Through his Belgrade legal advisers that rotate through the Hague he exercises control over Social Party of Serbia (SPS) activities and coordinates legal strategy with the amici curiae, friends of the court. Meanwhile, the accused’s financial situation is precarious, necessitating a recent hat-passing exercise by the SPS in order to generate funds to pay household staff and the travel of his lawyers. End Summary.
2. (S/NF) Tim McFadden an experienced Irish prison warden and head of the ICTY’s detention facility in Scheveningen, provided embassy legal officers and USG physician an unprecedented overview of Slobodan Milosevic’s life and activities since coming to trail. McFadden, whom one ICTY Registry official described as “the best of the best,” is in a unique position not only to describe Milosevic’s detention, as he sees the defendant and interacts with him on a daily basis, but also to assess him on a relative basis to other ICTY detainees. Moreover, McFadden is privy to the contents of Milosevic’s monitored telephone conversations and visits as well as the reports of the physicians that have examined him. McFadden has had long experience in managing tough prisoners, as he managed a number of UK prisons holding Irish Republican Army detainees; another Registry official described ICTY detainees as “pussycats” compared to McFadden charges in the UK. Throughout the one-hour discussion, McFadden gave the impression of being fully and personally aware of all of the details of Milosevic’s detention, though he noted that Milosevic remains a private man who does not generally share his thoughts.
Associates and Frame of Mind:
3. (S/NF) McFadden firmly rejected reports that Milosevic was suffering from depression noting that the accused has given “no indication that he would be anything but defiant to the process” of his prosecution and that he demonstrates only a “limited inclination toward depression.” He noted that Milosevic’s inability to see his son, daughter, daughter-in-law, wife and grandson, especially the latter two, causes him substantial unhappiness. On the other hand, McFadden said that Milosevic “has a job that distracts and preoccupies so that he is not apparently inclined to depression.” He calls his wife, Mirjana Markovic, every morning, continuing what McFadden described as an “extraordinary relationship”; Milosevic could manipulate a nation, he said, but struggled to manage his wife who, on the contrary, seemed to exert just such a pull on him. McFadden referred to a broad range of emotions and approaches that Mira Markovic deployed to goad or cajole Milosevic to take particular actions. When he failed to heed her advice, she was not beyond telling him that bad outcomes could have been avoided had he listened to her. Markovic served as a source of information, comfort, motivation, and strategy for Milosevic and he relied heavily on her guidance. When Markovic pressed Milosevic to do something he did not want to do, Milosevic rarely pushed back directly but simply never acted on the particular entreaty. McFadden referred back to the relationship a number of times in the discussion as the central one in Milosevic’s life. McFadden made clear that Milosevic’s blood pressure spike in September (ref) caused serious alarm at the Tribunal, driving registry officers to consider ways in which to reduce his stress and, as one contact had previously said, “make him happy.” McFadden even described his proposal that the Registry find a way to bring Markovic to The Hague from Russia with some immunity from arrest (which the Deputy Registrar noted was not feasible), because McFadden believed so strongly that getting the two together could help keep down Milosevic’s stress and perhaps his blood pressure. He added, however, that even that was a risk because “she can be a very volatile person.”
4. (S/NF) In the absence of his wife, Milosevic himself has had to coordinate the various groups providing him with legal and other assistance, previously her domain. It appears that her absence has left a substantial hole in his ability to organize the various entities purporting to assist him. He tries to maintain what McFadden called “functional contacts” with the SPS and the Freedom (Sloboda) Association, but “the Belgrade crowd doesn’t get on with the internationals,” a relationship that Markovic used to manage and coordinate. Previously, Markovic would keep him up to date on wrangling within the SPS and tell him who he needed to call to patch up feuds, solve conflicts, or provide political guidance to.
Meanwhile, Milosevic’s financial position has worsened considerably since the spring (i.e., soon after the assassination of Zoran Djindjic). Milosevic fell five months in arrear in paying his Belgrade household staff and was unable for a period to pay the air tickets of his rotating Belgrade advisers. Ultimately, the condition worsened to such a degree that the SPS was forced to “to pass the hat” to raise money on his behalf. The Registry believes his financial problems will worsen. In an interesting sidenote, McFadden said that his Belgrade contacts organized, and the Registry consented to, an evaluation of Milosevic’s medical records by a group of physicians partial to him. The group concluded, following the review about 19 months ago, that his medical treatment (described below) met the requisite standard of care.
5. (S/NF) In the process of discussing Milosevic’s contacts, McFadden illuminated the nature of the relationship among the so-called legal associates (Serb lawyers who have no courtroom privileges but enjoy privileged communications with the defendant), the amici and Milosevic. McFadden said that Milosevic believes that “he is surrounded by fools” both inside and out of the courtroom, though he added in an aside that this was a problem of his own making, as he had surrounded himself with “fools” throughout his career out of a fear of being challenged by more competent and intelligent advisors. Milosevic most relishes the opportunity to examine senior level witnesses of his level and is disdainful of the lower level officials and witnesses paraded before him by the prosecution. The two associates who have spent much of the trial in the trial chamber’s public gallery (Zdenko Tomanovic and Dragoslav Ognjanovic) are, in McFadden’s view, “messenger boys” to (unnamed) associates in Belgrade. McFadden knew little of Branko Rakic, the Belgrade lawyer/law professor recently added as Milosevic’s third legal associate, but his initial impression was that he was contributing a more methodical, “legal and logical” approach to Milosevic’s defense and cross-examination preparations. As a result, McFadden expected Milosevic’s organization of his defense to improve.
6. (S/NF) In contrast to his courtroom disdain of the amici, McFadden said that Milosevic is in fact “fond” of them. Moreover, his public distancing of them actually masks the fact that his legal associates regularly liaise with the amici to discuss and coordinate defense strategy and questioning of witnesses. (Comment. Milosevic’s adept and hereto unknown coordination with the amici is a striking demonstration of his abilities and methods. By using his Belgrade advisers to liaise with the amici in secret he is able to maintain the optically favorable appearance of a single man defending himself against an unfair and powerful international process. At the same time, he takes full advantage of the legal resources the amici offer and ensures that key technical legal points in his defense are covered so that he can focus on tending to the more political aspects of his defense. The fact that senior prosecutors on the Milosevic team are wholly unaware of this cooperation (as were we) underscores Milosevic’s ability to work effectively behind the scenes, through third parties, and leave few fingerprints. End comment). The Registrar noted that, as helpful as the amici might be to Milosevic now, he does not expect the amici to continue in their current role during the defense case. Their departure would be a significant blow to Milosevic’s defense unless he finally decides to accept legal counsel or is at least able to beef up his legal support from Belgrade.
7.(S/NF) McFadden noted that Milosevic’s medical records from the former Yugoslavia indicated a long history of hypertension (high blood pressure) that was difficult to control especially when Milosevic was stressed or excessively fatigued. He said that during the past summer a number of things happened that put Milosevic under increased stress and caused excessive fatigue, including the build up of stress from court appearances and trial preparations, his wife’s legal problems that caused her to flee to Russia, the need for Milosevic to give increased time and attention to disputes and problems within the SPS Party (that would have formerly been handled in part by his wife), financial difficulties, and his gradual loss of attention from media. All of these factors appear to have contributed to the increase in Milosevic’s blood pressure. Physicians consistently found Milosevic had a diastolic blood pressure above 120 mm mercury (normal should be below 90 mm mercury). Despite treatment with high doses of six medications his blood pressure remained dangerously elevated until the trial schedule was reduced to three days a week. (Note. The only information we have about his medications is that he was near the maximum dose of beta blockers and was also taking a medication that has to be stopped intermittently because of dangerous side effects. End note). Milosevic is now on four medications.
8. (S/NF) A reduced trial schedule had been recommended by Dutch physicians (including Dutch cardiologist, Dr. Paul Van Dykman) last year but was rejected by the Court until Milosevic’s blood pressure could not be controlled with standard medications. His long history of hypertension has caused mild heart damage (identified by Serb physicians before he was apprehended and transferred to The Hague) but physicians have seen no evidence of a heart attack, stroke, or kidney damage. Three exercise EKGs have been normal and Milosevic will continue to have an exercise EKG twice a year according to McFadden. The last hypertensive episode ended about 6 weeks ago.
9. (S/NF) McFadden reports that Milosevic’s hypertensive episodes have not correlated with adverse events at the trial or with the appearance of certain witnesses. They have seen no evidence that he is using his blood pressure problems as an issue to slow or otherwise affect the trial. Moreover, Milsoevic understands that he has potentially lethal health problems and is a compliant patient. The only two physician recommendations he has refused are (1) to take sedatives recommended by his doctors to lower his blood pressure and (2) to undergo invasive procedures to look for underlying causes of his hypertension and evidence of end organ damage in the brain. He is allowed to cook for himself, which limits control of his diet, but he nevertheless appears to be following a salt restricted diet.
10. (S/NF) In contrast to previous reports that Milsoevic has diabetes, McFadden stated that there is no evidence in his medical records for this diagnosis and all of his blood sugars have been normal. Milosevic,s cholesterol and other lipids have been normal. His weight has been stable since he lost 12 pounds when he was first brought to The Hague. He has not been observed to smoke much; in a recent conversation with McFadden, he claimed not to have smoked in four days and to have no desire to do so. His only request, McFadden said, is for a glass of red wine, but alcohol is strictly forbidden in the detention unit.
11. (S/NF) Milosevic is said by McFadden to have a nearly photographic memory, saying that he has “never met a man with his memory.” He said that a “very important” detainee, whom he would not identify, warned McFadden early in Milosevic’s detention that Milosevic has a very good memory that would “come back to bite”; with a laugh, McFadden said it had. McFadden has seen no evidence of any deterioration in Milosevic’s memory or other mental capacities. He remains, McFadden said, as “narcissistic a person” as when he arrived in The Hague. On the other hand, unlike other detainees who constantly complain, Milosevic is cooperative and always accepts McFadden’s decisions, often responding, “at least I asked.” In general, moreover, Milosevic believes strongly in his own powers and thinks that he is “winning” in the courtroom, an attitude that reinforces his currently stable health.
Daily Regimen and Prison Activities
12. (S/NF) Milosevic’s routine varies depending on whether court is in session. Thus, on the three days of court proceedings per week, a typical day begins around 0700 with a wake-up call; after he gets ready, he calls his wife around 0730 and leaves for court by 0800. The court sessions run from 0900 to approximately 1400, with two twenty minute breaks. After court, he returns to the detention center, where he has a meal and is allowed one hour of outdoor exercise (McFadden noted that he will walk for a full hour, “sun, rain or hail”). Following the hour of exercise, he meets with legal advisors, reads the court transcripts, and otherwise prepares for the next court appearance. In the evening, he will typically read a book (he is an avid reader, especially of “rubbish” and potboiler thrillers like Grisham, and he prefers to read in the original English). On days when he is not in court, he may sleep later, sometimes until 0930 or 1000, have additional exercise time, attend “creativity class,” visit with his legal associates, have an afternoon nap, listen to Sinatra discs, and perhaps watch one of the DVD’s that a privileged visitor (i.e. most likely his Belgrade lawyers) have smuggled in to him.
13. (S/NF) Milosevic has access to a laptop computer but is not allowed on the Internet and cannot use E-mail. His access to the outside world is via phone calls or visits. He is allocated 75 euros per month for phone use, but can make an unlimited number of calls beyond that as long as he pays for the calls — something he has consistently been able to
- He is allowed an unlimited number of free calls to recognized legal associates on a special detention unit phone. All of his phone calls and visits, except those with the recognized legal associates, are monitored.</li
¶14. (S/NF) Within the detention community, Milosevic is well liked and respected by other prisoners. Many of them take care to monitor his health and encourage him to watch his own diet, McFadden said. He has refused to see a psychiatrist individually but does participate in the group sessions with the other prisoners on his floor, which are monitored by the detention unit. The psychiatrist who conducts these sessions tells McFadden that she has seen no evidence that he is depressed or has any other significant clinical problem.
15. (S/NF) Comment: Slobodan Milosevic’s health surely puts him, in McFadden’s words, at “higher risk of accident” than similarly situated persons of his age who do not suffer hypertension. Yet his health seems to have stabilized for the time being, particularly since the trial chamber’s decision to go to three days per week. Whether Milosevic can maintain such a schedule will be tested when the defense case begins (perhaps not before September 2004). Some in the Registry and in the Office of the Prosecutor speculate that the courtroom schedule will be further reduced to one day a week in order to allow Milosevic two days of defense preparation and, as the doctors have ordered, four days of rest. The end of the trial seems ever more distant when put in this light. Even with his health stabilized, the impact of the move to the defense phase will cause further pressures of a financial and legal nature which could in turn trigger a downturn in his health. For now, however, Milosevic remains comfortably on top of his game.