February 06th 2011 08:02:18 PM
Council of Europe Adopts Dick Marty’s Albanian Organ-Trafficking Report: Investigation to be Pursued; Marty MUST NOT Share Sources’ Identities with WashingtonPosted by Julia Gorin
“The KLA led a pure war. It has followed international standards.” Marty’s report has raised a fury in Kosovo, where people saw it as a direct attack on the honorable legacy of the KLA.
– TIME Magazine, Feb. 9, 2011
In Strasbourg on January 25th the Council of Europe voted to formally endorse Swiss senator Dick Marty’s report on organ-trafficking by the KLA mafia that the U.S. installed to run Kosovo. The resolution calls for an investigation by international judicial bodies as well as one by Albania (keep dreaming) into various serious crimes in post-war Kosovo.
At the PACE meeting (Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe), the Albanian delegation tried to water down the resolution, with some lawmakers trying “to either postpone debates on the issue or somehow smooth out the report’s rather tough formulations,” Voice of Russia paraphrased Russian rep Dmitry Vyatkin as saying. “It is clear that neither Kosovo nor Albania will help the investigation, but will instead try to conceal or destroy all evidence. We also should not rely upon NATO occupation forces, which are also hardly interested in the probe’s success…”
That’s certainly not news to Balkans observers, and helps explain why, while denying the accusations and denouncing Marty, Kosovo “prime minister” Thaci feels safe in expressing support for an investigation. “Albania has also said it would support a probe, either by EULEX or the International Criminal Tribunal for Former Yugoslavia, in The Hague,” according to the Center for Investigative Reporting.
The Albanian confidence in institutions like EULEX and ICTY is well placed. The ICTY has proved its loyalty over the years to Albanian and other anti-Serb ethnic causes, and EULEX of course is based in Kosovo, where it can easily be “gotten” to, as former chief ICTY prosecutor Carla del Ponte intimated in a recent interview in which she cited “the Tribunal’s own experience with intimidation of its witnesses in Kosovo. ‘I fear that EULEX will not be able to do this investigation because you can imagine the obstacles they would face with personnel based in Kosovo,’ she said.”
To be fair, the Tribunal’s reluctance to get Albanian war criminals and other monsters behind bars, while starting out based on a lack of interest in pursuing non-Serbs, evolved — especially after Albanians got used to the impunity — into an actual inability to prosecute Albanians thanks to the threat of violence for both witness and personnel. It’s only natural that justice and law enforcement — including KFOR all along — would be more reluctant to go after the scarier, more difficult people to go after.
Further underscoring the fact that the U.S. and the Kosovo criminal elite are counting on this being easy to make go away, the Center for Investigative Reporting continues:
Marty cited failures by both UNMIK and EULEX in developing tools to run sensitive investigations such as a witness relocation program and a system to protect confidential information like foreign intelligence reports.
“Everyone knows that UNMIK had great difficulties in its work and that EULEX — and it is senior officials and judges in EULEX who tell me this — has major problems with interpreters, with local collaborators, with searching the information system in a secure way,” he said. “It is extremely difficult to keep records strictly confidential,” he added.
“If, as a witness, you do not have complete assurance that your statements will be kept confidential, and that as a witness you are truly protected, clearly you won’t talk to these institutions,” he continued.
But Marty said there has not been the will in Kosovo to develop informants to target high-level suspects. As an example, he cited the case of Nazim Bllaca, a 37-year-old Kosovo Albanian who claimed he had been part of a network run by former top KLA officials that killed, tortured and blackmailed political adversaries in Kosovo after the war. Bllaca said he had killed one person and took part in the torture of 16 others.
EULEX only placed Bllaca under protection and house arrest a week after he went public with the allegations in November 2009. Marty said Bllaca’s experience did not bode well for other insiders who are considering cooperating with the authorities.
“I think that is a troubling indication of the state of the justice system in this country [Kosovo],” he said…Kosovo is the only country in the region that does not have a witness protection law in place, according to the Council of Europe.
Gee, that wouldn’t be by design or anything, would it…
Marty himself said last week that he fears the investigation will go no further than his report.
In an interview to BBC’s Serbian service, Dick Marty…said he feared the report may go no further. “When we are dealing with…someone in a high political position, or a high criminal hierarchy, we find out that there are simply no witnesses,” Marty said.
“Witnesses and their families are being intimidated and there have been murders too,” he added.
He expressed surprise that his report had “triggered a scandal” in some western political circles, “while murders of witnesses which took place over the past few years have been met with general indifference”.
Marty said the international community should react, “but the problem is that there are still too many ministers and politicians burdened by their past decisions, who would have to retract what they had done”.
He called for the creation of an international judicial structure to investigate and prosecute the alleged organs trafficking. But Marty said he was surprised by the statement of European Union chief for security and foreign policy Catherine Ashton that there was no need to appoint a special prosecutor. […]
“Prior to the voting,” SwissInfo reported, “Marty…spoke of the witnesses who had risked their lives to provide information, adding that threatening witnesses was the worst form of terrorism against justice.” (See “Council of Europe: Witnesses in Kosovo risk their lives,” or a shorter report: “Witnesses are Being Murdered in Kosovo.” ) According to BalkanInsight.com, Marty had to emphasize that “What is scandalous is not my report but the fact that witnesses were murdered.”
Further, as Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty reported:
Addressing [the] PACE session in Strasbourg, Marty said the “democratic future of Europe would be compromised if we tolerate equivocal links between politics and organized crime.” He said the report was not meant as a slight against the people of Kosovo.
“We cannot defend human rights if we don’t defend the politics of human rights,” argued Greek council member Liana Kanelli, “…Let’s support Marty because he was courageous enough — and even if it took him ten to 20 years — let’s support him because truth will prevail,” she said, according to SwissInfo, which noted that her comments drew applause.
Indeed, in addition to the implications for Europe of a tolerated criminal state, the continent has been feeling the Kosovo effect for years before we bullied and bribed them into enshrining with statehood the criminality they’ve been contending with.
If Europe does endeavor to undertake this long overdue overhaul of this long festering sore in its midst, it will be a lengthy, difficult and deadly haul. After all, here this criminal entity had gotten Uncle Sam’s blessing to carry on as such, and now they’re about to see it all be dismantled? Not readily.
The very day of the PACE vote, the UK Guardian published more leaked material, this time from 2004 NATO documents profiling the “big fish” mobster and our ally Thaci — who naturally dismissed the NATO intel as “Russian and Serbian propaganda.” One is hard-pressed to disagree with Voice of Russia’s take on NATO’s disturbing reaction:
The ensuing internal investigation by NATO representatives in Kosovo was launched not in relation to the prime minister’s connections as one might expect, but with regard to a leakage of secret information. Thus there is little doubt that the leading western powers, along with the authorities of Kosovo and Albania, will keep doing their best to soft-pedal the scandalous investigation of black [organ] transplantology.
(What are the powers going to do when WikiLeaks’ 668 documents on Kosovo start surfacing in the press? “[Albanian news agency] Koha Net assessed that the publication of those documents could create a boomerang effect for political parties in Kosovo that have been in power since 2004, as the documents contain a lot of information on corruption affairs and criminal activities.”)
Illuminating the picture further was a good comment on the American Spectator site, by “Bianca”:
…Instead of letting Miloshevic take on gangs, we let them fight a cartel war that Thaci won. The war for mafia supremacy cost many Albanians their lives. Nobody was safe, whole families slaughtered, and attributed to Miloshevic. Not much has changed. Now Nato presides over the independent Kosovo, having removed over 250,000 mostly Serbs and other non Albanians in process. All the crime continued under the banner of the new state. And it is no small potatoe. Albanian mafia has taken over Italy, Switzerland, Germany and UK for sure. [It] is powerful in US. Over ninety percent of [the] world’s opium and heroin comes from Afghanistan, and is distributed by Kosovo mafia.
Good luck in prosecuting. As UNMIK learned earlier, they know where you live and what is dearest to you. Thaci was [an] invited guest at [the] John Kerry presidential convention, and many a politician depends on Kosovo “diaspora” political donations. Now that corporations can give money, crime money can be easily laundered. Good luc[k] Dick Marty. I do not think you know how deep the rabbit hole goes.
Marty has been reassuring the Albanian public, which is accusing him of attacking Kosovo and Albanians in general, that the report makes clear the distinction between the lawlessness of the land and the population threatened by it. Many reps at the PACE meeting similarly emphasized that the report wasn’t targeting the “Kosovan people,” and had “nothing to do with the independence of Kosovo,” reported SwissInfo.
It bears remarking that none of those who are worried about the broad-brush approach — least of all the affronted Albanians themselves — had any such concerns when the Albanians unleashed their Geobbels-approved media blitz against an entire people called Serbs. The Albanian propaganda was adopted and employed by the rest of the world without any complexes or pretensions to steering clear of broad brush strokes.
Yet the broad brush happens to be better suited for its current canvas. After all, what is to be said about the callous indifference of a nation to their hero KLA’s crimes? When a whole nation covers up for and justifies the actions of its criminal class and denies that it has a violent supremacy problem, they may indeed feel that Marty’s report is a reflection on them all. In the Albanian case, accusing a whole nation is a shoe that fits much better than it did on the nation that this very nation accused.
Over time, the Albanians have become so convinced of their own lies about Kosovo’s founding purpose — as well as about victim and villain despite the daily evidence to the contrary that they provide with their own bloodied hands — that any reminders to the contrary would, one supposes, feel like an attack. To say anything negative at all about Albanians is not allowed, so used are they to hearing negativity only about the side that they methodically demonized.
Sure enough, no sooner was Thaci credibly accused of heading an organization engaging in Nazi-era crimes against humanity than he accused his accuser of Nazi-style propaganda. (Demonstrating the M.O. described in Jacques Ellul’s 1973 book Propaganda: “The propagandist will not accuse his enemy of just any misdeed; he will accuse him of the very intention that he himself has, and trying to commit the very crime that he himself is about to commit [or has committed].”
Really, could he have laid it on any thicker: Kosovo PM likens organ trading claim to Goebbel’s propaganda (AFP, Dec. 30)
Kosovo Prime Minister Hashim Thaci hit out in an interview Thursday…”There are neither facts nor proof,” he charged, saying that the report was an act of “political vengeance.”
“The way and manner in which Marty had written his report reminds me of the propaganda of Joseph Goebbels. The undertone of these pamphlets is racist,” said Thaci.
He added that Marty had “libelled all Albanian people and is trying to criminalise our freedom fight against Serbian policies of oppression.”
Marty is “an enemy of our freedom” and has “put himself in the service of the Serbian nationalism,” accused Thaci. […]
(Incidentally, notice that while Albanian leaders proclaim that to accuse the KLA is to accuse the whole nation and to undercut Kosovo’s legitimacy, Western suckers have been going to great lengths to say the opposite.)
Below, Thaci tries a new approach: Marty’s “made-in-Belgrade Nazi propaganda” threatens the talks that he and Belgrade are looking forward to: Trafficking report threatens Kosovo-Serbia talks: Thaci (Dec. 30)
Kosovo Prime Minister Hashim Thaci warned on Thursday that a Council of Europe report linking him to organ trafficking and organised crime could endanger long-awaited EU-brokered talks with Serbia.
“It is an attack by Dick Marty against the dialogue (between) Kosovo and Serbia,” Thaci told AFP in an interview…Thaci slammed the report as “racist” and described it as “Goebbels-style propaganda”…
Marty’s report was released just as Pristina and Belgrade were expected to begin “closing the chapter of darkness and opening the chapter of the future between the two states and two nations”, he noted.
But Thaci said he was still committed to taking part in the talks with Serbia. “I have expressed readiness to meet with (Serbian) President (Boris) Tadic as the two most legitimate leaders of our countries, Kosovo and Serbia,” Thaci said.
The dialogue would lead to ending a “century-old conflict between the Albanians and the Serbs”, he added. […]
But back to the recent PACE session. According to Balkan Insight, an Albanian MP named Shpetim Idrizi “argued that the report lacked factual evidence. ‘This is something ordered by Russia and Serbia, and offers no facts. This is a story full of untruths and propaganda.’ Damian Gjiknuri [also representing] Albania said that the report ‘has no proper evidence.’”
I pointed out previously that there has been a heavy, unprecedented, constant emphasis and repetition about the need for “hard evidence.” It’s a coded, almost subtextual attempt by the responsible EU structures (and by Washington, which pulls their strings in the Balkans) to subliminally convey the futility of a real investigation and prosecution, hoping that there won’t be enough. This way they’ll be able to drop the investigation yet again and spare some Western lives by not looking into the snuffed-out Serbian ones. It is really all the more conspicuous, given that a lack of evidence has never stood in the way of the Hague throwing the book at someone, particularly when that someone is Serbian.
IF there is enough evidence, it is reiterated over and over, only then should any kind of prosecution be pursued. As if that isn’t the case generally with investigations. Only when the dead are Serbs and their killers Albanian — and when everyone involved knows that the ICTY has helpfully destroyed much of the hard evidence — are we hit over the head with “need for evidence.”
As Nebojsa Malic put it, “KLA’s Imperial patrons have also awakened to the danger of the report to their reputations, and are already pressuring Marty to ‘provide evidence.’ Never mind that the evidence was contained in the actual report….”
This December posting about Serbian media coverage of the affair reinforces the point:
…[Head of EU Delegation to Serbia Vincent] Degert claims that if there is enough evidence, the EU mission in Kosovo is ready to take legal action against anyone. He says the investigation that the EULEX Prosecution would lead would be based on evidence…The daily Danas (p.3) and Politika (p.5) write that…EULEX Spokesperson Irina Gudeljevic said that EULEX had sent a letter to Marty adding that the EU Prosecution in Kosovo would base its investigation on proofs….“EULEX takes any allegations of war crimes and organised crime very seriously. However, the prosecution bases their investigations on evidence….”
Another EULEX spokesperson, Karin Limdal, said, “Marty has not provided us with any evidence despite us asking him for it” (i.e. they’re asking him to identify the sources). And while saying right-sounding things such as “The U.S. expects cooperation from Pristina” and “The U.S. takes the report ‘very seriously’” (like Hans Blix in the animated film “Team America” — we may even write Thaci a letter!), Asst. State Department Secretary Thomas Countryman repeated the American/Albanian position to Voice of America, emphasizing “evidence”:
…EULEX has already investigated on earlier accusations. If there are new evidence or new witnesses mentioned in Marty’s report, EULEX and other authorized bodies must be informed about it for investigation,” said he.”…[T]he U.S. supports new evidence and we expect all countries and individuals in the region to cooperate with the investigation,” he underscored.
KFOR Commander Erhard Buehler said…”If there is no evidence on the table, all of us are innocent. Nothing has changed in our cooperation, and with the damage done after the report, due to the reaction of the international press, the report does not help Kosovo’s image…We are cooperating closely with the Kosovo police and EULEX, and if we have evidence we will turn it over to the police, but as long as there is no evidence, we operate under the presumption of innocence,” Buehler said.
He said that if the report is accurate, “evidence should exist to support it”.
It is all the more galling, given that we know, and Marty has “disclosed,” that “the UN-NATO overseers carried out ‘little or no detailed investigation.’ Records were incomplete or lost, and they had failed to conduct witness interviews,” wrote commentator Gregory Ellich, adding:
U.S. State Department spokesman Philip Crowley announced that while the rule of law is important, the “UN and ICTY investigated the charges of organ trafficking in 2004 and decided then not to take any action.” It was his way of dismissing Marty’s report without acknowledging that the ICTY’s investigation was perfunctory at best, before it was squelched outright. “At this point, since any individual anywhere in the world is innocent until proven otherwise, [Thaci] is the current prime minister, and we will continue to work with that government,” Crowley added…
The point about being innocent until proven guilty can only be interpreted ironically, given how US and British officials repeated the wildest stories handed to them by the KLA prior to and during the Kosovo War, most of which were later proven to be untrue.
In addition, writes columnist Vojin Joksimovich, “One should recall that the State Department treated the Serbian President Milosevic as a war criminal before he ever made it to The Hague. As a Serb he was treated as guilty until proven innocent. Many analysts of the Milosevic Hague trial concluded that he did prove his innocence.”
But the world never had to find out about it, as his case was neatly filed away by the Hague upon his hoped-for death.
Actually, what we’re hearing from Crowley and the other automated voices of U.S. officialdom is triple chutzpah. Retired U.S. diplomat and former UN rep for Kosovo’s northern Mitrovica, Gerard Gallucci, gives us an understated reminder of what we already know about all these spokespeople and their governments:
The so-called Quint countries “must have known about the allegations made in the recent report by Council of Europe (CoE) Rapporteur Dick Marty”.
The five countries - U.S., Britain, Germany, France and Italy - had access to information, resources and a long history of work with the Kosovo Liberation Army (KLA), former U.S. diplomat and UN Regional Representative in northern Kosovo Gerard Gallucci told Belgrade’s Politika newspaper in an interview.
“Regardless of the claims about organ trafficking, everyone knows about the involvement of some of the top Kosovo leaders in transnational crime and corruption. International officials ignored these problems so as not to provoke the ethnic Albanians and prevent them from creating even bigger problems,” Gallucci stated, according to the newspaper.
“It is also common knowledge that, with their desire to create a greater Albania, the Kosovo Albanians have often been a threat to regional stability,” Gallucci said.
In her recent article titled “Criminal Kosovo: America’s Gift to Europe,” author Diana Johnstone wrote:
…Embarrassed supporters of Thaci’s little self-proclaimed state dismiss the accusations by saying that the Marty Report does not prove Thaci’s guilt.
Of course it doesn’t. It can’t. It is a report, not a trial. The report was mandated by the PACE precisely because judicial authorities were ignoring evidence of serious crimes. In her 2008 memoir…Carla del Ponte complained that she had been prevented from carrying out a thorough investigation of reports of organ extraction from Serb and other prisoners carried out by the “Kosovo Liberation Army (KLA)” in Albania. Indeed, rumors and reports of those atrocities, carried out in the months following the occupation of Kosovo by NATO-led occupation forces, have been studiously ignored by all relevant judicial authorities.
The Marty report claims to have uncovered corroborating evidence, including testimony by witnesses whose lives would be in danger if their names were revealed. The conclusion of the report is not and could not be a verdict, but a demand to competent authorities to undertake judicial proceedings capable of hearing all the evidence and issuing a verdict.
Naturally, European accomplices in putting the Thaci gang in charge of Kosovo have been quick to dismiss the Marty report. Tony Blair apologist and former Labour minister Denis MacShane wrote in The Independent (UK) [”The Human Organs of the Council of Europe: Evidence Please”] that, “There is not one single name or a single witness to the allegations that Thaci was involved in the harvesting of human organs from murdered victims.” To someone unfamiliar with the circumstances and with the report, that may sound like a valid objection. But Marty has made it clear that he can supply names of witnesses to competent judicial authorities. Thaci himself acknowledged that they exist when he stated that he would publish the names of Marty’s witnesses – a statement understood as a death threat by those familiar with the Pristina scene.
Indeed, in addition to intelligence reports from at least four countries and testimony from the drivers of the vans and trucks transporting the kidnapped, among other evidence, there is a KLA-made video of some of the abducted individuals:
One of the main proofs against Hashim Thaci and his Drenica group that the Serbian War Crime Prosecution Office has is a video from the camp in Likovac, Municipality Srbica, where, in addition to members of this group, four Serbs kidnapped from Kosovo can be seen, writes the Belgrade Blic Daily.
As stated, the video was shot by members of [the] so-called KLA in May 1998, and it shows a worker of the Serbian Power Supply, Zarko Spasic, kidnapped from his work place on May 14 1998, a policeman from Gnjilane, Dejan Stoiljkovic, kidnapped on May 19 1998, while he was coming back on a bus from his visit to his cousin in Pec, Vladimir Spasic, kidnapped near Komorani on the same day, as well as a worker from Klina, Miroslav Suljinic, kidnapped near Lapusnik on May 21 1998.
Mortal remains of Suljinic were found in 2005, in a mass grave near Lapusnik, the article reads. The KLA Drenica Group attacked towns and villages and kidnapped at least 30 Serb and 11 Albanian civilians, as well as several policemen, the Daily reports and points [out], calling upon a source close to the investigation, that, based on the gathered evidence, Thaci ordered a series of crimes.
As in 2008, when the allegations first surfaced publicly in Carla del Ponte’s book, we hear Albanian officials denying anything and everything concerning the story, along with the new recurring themes of the investigator being the real criminal and the facts presented not being facts presented: KLA leader: No proof of organ trafficking
…Kadri Veseli, who created the KLA secret service…told the EUobserver the report is “based on no facts, no proof and without the backup of a real legal investigation.”
Marty, if he has any evidence, should have presented it to Eulex…Veseli said. “But since he is trying to manipulate the facts by imposing his version of the truth, he has committed a crime,” he said. “He has set out to judge not some names, but a whole nation.”
At the same time — and with the Albanian ambassador to Switzerland similarly saying that media aren’t making it “clear enough that Marty didn’t present evidence of the alleged crimes” — there are voices naively encouraging Council of Europe investigator Dick Marty to share his “non-evidence” with Washington. That is, to disclose the names of his sources, as former NY Times reporter Chuck Sudetic suggests while expressing feelings of being “betrayed” by Our Friends the Albanians, as if he didn’t know what they were:
Americans should feel betrayed by the contents of the Council of Europe’s report on organized crime in mostly Albanian-populated Kosovo, a country that owes its existence to the United States.
…Kosovo’s leaders have waged an ugly media campaign to discredit Marty and his findings and have threatened to launch a witch hunt against Albanians who aided the inquiry. Washington’s voice is needed now to stop the incitement in Kosovo and to turn public opinion toward an international criminal investigation and, if necessary, prosecutions.
…According to Albanian and U.S. sources, during the spring of 2008 — after a former U.N. war crimes prosecutor, Carla Del Ponte of Switzerland, published a memoir that mentioned these killings and reported credible assertions of organ harvesting — senior U.S. diplomats in Kosovo advised Thaci and other Kosovo leaders to do nothing except wait out the storm. [Indeed, one could almost hear the waiting for the ‘rumor’ to pass so that it could quietly enter into the realm of “Serbian myth/propaganda.”] Kosovo’s and Albania’s governments have since issued only blanket denials of wrongdoing.
Marty’s report does not attack Kosovo’s legitimacy. Many, if not most, Albanians know this but are too terrified to say so in public. This is in part because corruption and violence are so prevalent in Kosovo and in part because Thaci and other leaders have condemned the report as an assault on Kosovo’s sovereignty, the Albanian people and the KLA’s legacy. On Christmas Day, Kosovo’s press reported a threat by Thaci to name every Albanian who assisted Marty. In a land where witnesses to crimes are killed to silence them, Thaci’s words could incite attacks on members of minority groups, political opponents, journalists and foreigners.
This danger and the long-term need to foster rule of law in Kosovo and Albania make it incumbent upon the United States to make a forceful public statement and conduct tough closed-door diplomacy. The United States should question every detail of the Council of Europe report and demand a briefing with Marty to discuss the sources he cannot publish for security reasons. If it finds the evidence and sources to be credible, the United States should join the European Union in establishing an entity capable of carrying out a criminal investigation and, if necessary, prosecutions; this entity should be capable of protecting witnesses.
So Sudetic advises Marty to reveal the sources to Washington — while Thaci is clamoring for their heads and promising to make their names public. (These “fake patriots” could face consequences, he told Kosovo’s Klan TV, “These names are known and they will be made public very quickly.”) Revealing the information to Washington is as good as giving the names directly to the KLA. Sudetic should know better, from the very background that his own article has just provided.
Washington should demand that Kosovo and Albania cooperate fully. If they fail to, the United States and its allies should use their leverage to force the resignation from public office of those responsible for the lack of cooperation. Washington should also ensure that Serbia, Russia and other countries do not misuse the Council of Europe report to undermine Kosovo’s legitimacy.
Oh, have no worries about that last part, Mr. Sudetic. That will of course be the American priority in all this, won’t it. As if there were something “legitimate” about a criminal state, born of crimes to thrive in crime. You’d think Mr. Sudetic were talking about the United States as if it still existed. He honestly doesn’t realize that Washington, D.C. is the seat of KLA power. Mr. Sudetic is either criminally naive, or benevolently evil. He thinks it’s safe to share evidence with a government that in 1999 actually said about the KLA:
State Department spokesman James Rubin brushed aside concerns about the criminal nature of Washington’s new partner, claiming, “We simply don’t have information to substantiate allegations that there was a KLA leadership-directed program of assassinations or executions”, and that the State Department had no “credible evidence” the KLA was involved in drug trafficking.
Diana Johnstone also pulls back the curtain on this Kosovo ‘legitimacy’ that’s being reaffirmed ad nauseum:
Isn’t it part of romantic legend for revolutionaries to rob banks for their cause? Leftists assume such criminal activities are merely a means to the end of political independence. But what if political independence is in reality the means to sanctuarize criminal activities?
Assassinating policemen, the KLA specialty prior to being given Kosovo by NATO, is an ambiguous activity. Is the target “political oppression”, as claimed, or simply law enforcement?
The West, that is, the United States, the European Union and NATO may be able to agree on a “curse on both their houses” approach, concluding that the Serbs they persecuted and the Albanians they helped are all barbarians, unworthy of their benevolent intervention. What they will never admit is that they chose, and to a large extent created, the wrong side in a war for which they bear criminal responsibility. And whose devastating consequences continue to be borne by the unfortunate inhabitants of the region, whatever their linguistic and cultural identity.
From what I can tell of Chuck Sudetic, an American of Croatian descent, he seems to be a non-Serb-hating anti-Serb, which puts him on a slightly higher plane than the rest of the pack. He seems a slightly more fair-minded anti-Serb, as evidenced by the fact that he was actually on Del Ponte’s 2003 fact-finding mission to the yellow house in Albania, about which he was quoted in 2008 as having been advised by a former diplomat “not to get on the wrong side of the Albanian mafia. People are afraid of organized crime.” Even that much balance on his part is remarkable, given that his rather typical journalistic interest in Serbian war crimes in the 90s led him not only to report from the region but to later become part of the actual prosecutions against (disproportionately) Serbs at the Hague, which employed him as an ‘analyst’. (His wife’s being Serbian probably also helps inch his views toward the less harshly anti-Serbian. See another fairly reported piece by him here.)
Given his somewhat deep involvement in the Balkans, could Mr. Sudetic really be so completely unaware of the partner in crime that the United States has become with Albanians, in some cases removing evidence to protect “our boys” in Kosovo?
UNDER NO CIRCUMSTANCES SHOULD THE COUNCIL OF EUROPE DISCLOSE THE NAMES OF THE SOURCES TO WASHINGTON. IF IT DOES, THESE PEOPLE WILL BE AS GOOD AS DEAD.
As this writer put it, “[T]he leading lights overseeing Kosovo’s administration, Germany and the United States, have every reason to scuttle any credible investigation into the crimes of their clients, particularly when a serious probe would reveal their own complicity.”
As I’ve written a hundred times, in the Balkans, America is not America. America as it behaves in the Balkans is unrecognizable, including not only by the Europeans who have been watching us operate there with a certain amount of horror but nonetheless doing our bidding, but also by a number of U.S. military people who served there and either noted the disparity in operating procedure for the more dangerous side (Albanians) as opposed to the less dangerous side (Serbs) — or who were tasked with covering up Albanian crimes or transporting the KLA’s narcotics or guarding the KLA’s heroin factories.
The whole reason it’s taken Europe this long to do anything about the goings-on in Kosovo is that every step of the way it has been strong-armed by the US to suppress precisely the kind of information that Marty’s report presents. Just as it’s done everything it can to keep Albanian war criminals out of the Hague while zealously pushing the hunt for Serbian ones and repeating the names Mladic and Karadzic on a more than daily basis. (Notice how much less familiar to the public are names like Haradinaj, Ceku, Gotovina, Ganic, Oric, and until recently Thaci.)
It was Washington that made official the system of looking the other way in Kosovo — and quite fiercely enforced it among the Europeans if and when they made the mistake of trying to uphold some semblance of lawfulness, human rights, impartiality, justice, or legality. Washington has seen to it that everything that happens in Kosovo gets buried and the perpetrators get, at worst, time served while awaiting trial (unless they lack direct political protection, in which case they could get up to five years for murder — as perhaps only one or two did). Our policy in Kosovo for all atrocities called to our attention by the Europeans has been “Make it go away.” We have actively obstructed investigations and tampered with evidence, and the Europeans have been fuming over the weight of the American thumb in the Balkans, but the public doesn’t know it.
There’s a good reason that “the signs of collusion between the criminal class and the highest political and institutional office holders” in Kosovo which Marty notes and which “are too numerous and too serious to be ignored” have been ignored by the U.S., which his report notes has been “failing to take action to combat organized crime in Kosovo in spite of extensive intelligence reports documenting high levels of corruption.” There is a reason that crimes against Serbs in Kosovo have been taking place with what Serbian Patriarch Irinej describes as an “icy, indifferent, and in many cases accomplice-like silence of representatives of the international community.”
Sure enough, U.S. ambassador Christopher Dell in an interview with Pristina daily Koha Ditore said he “believes that if Dick Marty has new evidence, as he says that there [exists], then he must publish [it]. ‘It would be unfair to say “I have the facts but I cannot publish them, because I need to protect witnesses.” You cannot reject such doubts and not be ready to help the process,’ said [Dell].”
That is, Dell too is asking that the witnesses be outed. And unfortunately, Marty merely seeks some ‘assurances’ of their safety before doing so, according to the Center for Investigative Reporting: “Marty said he would not hand over any sensitive information such as witness identities and testimony unless there are ‘absolute guarantees’ that the information will be tightly protected.” And according to Balkan Insight, “When asked by reporters [after the PACE vote] about what evidence he could provide to back up his allegations, Marty replied: ‘[A]s far as I am concerned it is up to investigative judges to find the evidence. We can provide information, we can provide names of witnesses….But we want to know under what conditions this very sensitive data that we will provide will be processed.”
If Marty gets within arm’s reach of the Washingtonians, he will be bullied, blackmailed, bribed, and everything else to make this go away — in addition to his sources being hunted down, of course. Fortunately, when EU officials last week urged him to “hand over ‘evidence that is admissible in court,’ [Marty] retorted that he did not trust the EU mission because he believed it could not guarantee the protection of witnesses…. ‘I do not think EULEX, the way it is forced to operate today and the way it is organized, can conduct a serious investigation,’ Marty told…Vesti, a Serbian-language paper published in Germany.”
But in a case that demonstrates the cosy relations amongst KLA leaders and their Western puppetmasters despite, or possibly because of their links to organized crime, German Foreign Policy revealed that “high ranking UN officials helped intimidate witnesses due to testify in The Hague against Haradinaj.”
According to German Foreign Policy, “the structures of organized crime in Kosovo, in which Haradinaj is said to play an important role, extend all the way to Germany. It is being reported that German government authorities prevented investigations of Kosovo Albanians residing in Germany.”
Investigative journalist Boris Kanzleiter told the left-leaning online magazine that the UN administration in Kosovo (UNMIK) and its newest iteration, the European Rule of Law Mission in Kosovo (EULEX) “maintains very close ties to Haradinaj.”
The former head of UNMIK, Sören Jessen-Petersen, referred to him as a “close partner and friend.” Kanzleiter said that “Jessen-Petersen’s successor, the German diplomat, Joachim Ruecker, also has a close relationship to him.”
Kanzleiter told the journal, “accusations were made that high-ranking UNMIK functionaries were directly involved in the intimidation of witnesses.”
These reports should be taken seriously, especially in light of allegations that even before Haradinaj’s first trial, a witness against the former Prime Minister was killed in what was then described as “an unsolved auto accident.”
“Back in 2002,” German Foreign Policy reported, “three witnesses and two investigating officials were assassinated in the context of the trial against Haradinaj’s clan.”
German Foreign Policy also reported that despite overwhelming evidence of KLA links to the global drugs trade, political circles in Berlin vetoed official investigations into KLA narcotics trafficking.
In 2005 “the State Offices of Criminal Investigation of Bavaria and Lower Saxony tried to convince the Federal Office of Criminal Investigation to open a centralized investigation concerning the known [Kosovo-Albanian] clans and individuals in Germany” because “many criminal culprits from the entourage of the KLA have settled in Germany.”
The author noted “this demand was refused.” Indeed, “even though the Austrian Federal Office of Investigation and the Italian police strongly insisted that their German colleagues finally initiate these investigations, the rejection … according to a confidential source in the Austrian Federal Office of Criminal Investigation, came straight from the Interior Ministry in Berlin.“
In the unlikely event that Washington and Berlin can’t make the latest Kosovo scandal go away, because it has finally gone so unprecedentedly public, Washington may switch its approach and take the helm of the investigation; disingenuously invoke some of the principles it once stood for; take down a few fall guys including their boy Thaci; and get things back on their treacherous track. The latter charade would be preferable, but so far only continued support for Thaci is being heard from Washington.
That latter scenario would buy Washington a few more years before the public figures out that the next Kosovo Albanian leader isn’t particularly distinguishable from the last.
For now, as the earlier Crowley quote demonstrated, the U.S. is standing by their man Thaci:
According to [Gallucci], the Quint countries, particularly the U.S., put all their trust in Hashim Thaci and they do not have any acceptable alternative for him…he believed that Thaci would ’survive’ as prime minister, “which will prevent disorder”.
“But what Marty’s allegations can do is make the western Europeans finally confront the American hardline towards the Serbs. It is possible that they, excluding the British, will be more ready for a compromise with Belgrade, which implies the possibility of granting a special status to northern Kosovo,” Gallucci said.
Similarly, James Ker-Lindsay of the London School of Economics “observed that the United States and leading EU countries reacted differently to the Marty report — after repeating in unison from the beginning that Kosovo should be given independence because this was a precondition for stability.
“But Ker-Lindsay said that none were willing to publicly admit that the greatest danger posed to stability were in fact threats made by Kosovo’s Albanians that they would ‘return to violence’ unless given independence. The British expert also noted that Hashim Thaci was ‘long believed to be of key importance’ in preventing such violence. Now, however, Europeans are beginning to go with the stance that Priština must first fulfill those standards ‘that were insisted on before independence.’”
Asks Gallucci: “How did all this happen?” He proceeds to answer:
…the refusal of hardliners among the supporters of independence – especially the US and UK – to accept any form of compromise with Belgrade while they supported Pristina’s efforts to bully Kosovo Serbs into submission; and the US and EU strategy – while exercising leadership of both UNMIK and EULEX – of appeasing the Kosovo Albanians in order to maintain “control” and stability. The “independent” Kosovo was allowed to come into the world with vast problems – political, economic and criminal – swept under the carpet while the Quint focused on seeking to pressure Serbia to simply surrender its claim to the territory.
There seems only one way forward, for the internationals to make another try to achieve a political solution, this time with Belgrade directly. The Kosovo Albanians cannot keep up their end in any genuine negotiation as long as they pursue their maximalist claim to all of Kosovo on their terms. Indeed, they would have to be strongly constrained during any negotiations from seeking to provoke instability within Kosovo or the region as a “bargaining chip.” The six-member Contact Group – the Quint countries of the US, UK, German, Italy and France plus Russia – should work together with Belgrade on a political accommodation that accepts Kosovo independence as a fact but also recognizes Serbian interests, including economic and commercial and vis-a-vis the Church and the Serbian-majority north.
(For an efficient take-down of Mr. Gallucci’s unfortunate notion to “accept Kosovo independence as a fact,” see Nebojsa Malic’s tactful pummeling here, where he also explains the problem with the Sudetic piece cited earlier.)
In a piece titled “Monster of the Year,” Voice of Russia noted the U.S. reaction vis-a-vis the Thaci news in an apt sentence: “Strangely, the unmasking of Hashim Thaci as a coldblooded killer has not altered the attitude of the West toward him one bit.”
Creators Syndicate columnist Alexander Cockburn sees Thaci on firm ground as well:
The New York Times has carried a few modest stories about Marty; the Washington Post, almost nothing — this in marked contrast to the copious coverage of Belarus and Lukashenko, current Monster of the Moment, though no one has yet accused him of slicing open prisoners and making money off their kidneys or of being a white slaver and heroin trafficker. State Department spokesman Philip Crowley declared in the wake of Marty’s charges that the United States will continue to work with Thaci….
After World War II, the U.S. government, in the Paperclip program, made haste to protect Nazi scientists like Sigmund Rascher who had killed and sliced up Jews, Russians and Poles in Dachau to make use of their organs. Georg Rickhey, imported as part of Werner von Braun’s rocket team, had worked prisoners to death in the Dora camp and the Mittelwerk complex. Drew Pearson’s columns ultimately earned Rickhey a secret war crimes trial, which the U.S. Army sabotaged by withholding records.
Then as now, the United States stands by its war criminals. Thaci has nothing to fear, as Holbrooke would no doubt have assured him. Thaci would doubtless have been ready to ship him a new Serbian heart as a thank you, relabeled “Kosovar” naturally.
Similarly, writers Paul Mitchell and Chris Marsden noticed, “The liberal media has been largely silent on the charges against Thaci and wholly silent as regards any editorial mea culpa — denoting their own agreement with the propaganda mouthpiece of [the U.S.] Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty, which insisted, ‘Regardless of the truth behind the charges against Thaci and members of the KLA, one should not abandon the broader perspective, as some otherwise reliable commentators have done.’”
To implant some politically correct guilt into any would-be dissenters on the Kosovo project over the scandal, spokesman Countryman echoed RFERL: “In general, the entire purpose of such investigations…has been so that we can establish individual responsibility for crimes that have occurred…We can’t have collective responsibility in which all Serbs, or all Albanians, or all Croats are blamed for the actions of the few.”
(So…then…how did the Serbian side, collectively, get bombed by us over the supposed crimes of a few? Including, during the Bosnia leg of our anti-Serb campaign, by some missiles painted with the slogan “So you still want to be Serbs?” It took until Albanians as a group finally started being blamed for something, to hear that Serbs shouldn’t be blamed collectively.)
But belying Countryman’s notion vis-a-vis Albanians is, again, the fact that the U.S. plan for regional stability is a state run by criminals. Violence and the threat of violence have been the driving force behind our Kosovo policy — and Thaci (or his ilk) was seen as the one who could control such a population. A tacit notion that to lead or control a criminal population, one must rely on a stronger criminal. What does that say about America’s real view of Our Friends the Albanians except that they are the criminal population of which Europe has already learned first-hand and about which it’s been trying to warn us for over a decade?
Still, Johnstone has a warning for Thaci:
…[H]e has reasons to be uneasy. Thaci’s uneasiness could be sharpened by a recent trip to the region by William Walker, the U.S. agent who in 1999 created the main pretext for the NATO bombing campaign by inflating casualties from a battle between Serb police and KLA fighters in the village of Racak into a massacre of civilians….
In between receiving a decoration in Kosovo and honorary citizenship in Albania, Walker took political positions that could make both Thaci and EULEX nervous. Walker expressed support for Albin Kurti, the young leader of the radical nationalist “Self-Determination” movement (Vetëvendosje), which is gaining support with its advocacy of independence from EU governance as well as in favor of “natural Albania”, meaning a Greater Albania composed of Albania, Kosovo and parts of southern Serbia, much of Macedonia, a piece of Montenegro and even northern Greece. Was Walker on a talent-scouting mission in view of replacing the increasingly disgraced Thaci?
In case she’s right, Thaci sent a cryptic message to the U.S. of just how big a disaster it would be for him to be sacrificed. Wedding himself to Kosovo and Western policy as a single target of Marty’s report, he reminded everyone that if he goes down, he can take a lot of people and institutions with him:
“The report is an attack on the image of Kosovo,” Thaci said in an interview with Belgrade television B92. “It is directed against Kosovo, the Albanian people and me, but also against the United States, United Nations and NATO,” he added.
Speaking of Kosovo’s “leaders,” it’s time to check in on the previous “prime minister,” Ramush Haradinaj, who is awaiting his second trial at the Hague after having too many witnesses killed the last time. Interestingly, on Dec. 8 he was granted provisional release from the Hague while awaiting trial, but just one day after the Marty report hit — that suddenly changed:
ICTY grants Haradinaj temporary provisional release
THE HAGUE, Netherlands, Dec 8 (Tanjug) - The International Criminal Tribunal for the former Yugoslavia (ICTY) granted Wednesday temporary provisional release to former leader of the Kosovo Liberation Army (KLA) Ramus Haradinaj over the winter court recess from December 17, 2010 until Friday January 14, 2011.
The Prosecution opposed the motion, saying that granting it would pose a risk to the integrity of the proceedings. The Prosecution argued that witness intimidation remains a prevalent feature in Kosovo…
The Trial Chamber, however, said that Haradinaj would not pose a danger to any victim, witness or other person….
Dec. 16 (two days after the organ-trafficking report hit): Former Kosovo premier denied temporary release
…[Haradinaj] was Thursday denied provisional release by appeal judges at the International Criminal Tribunal for the former Yugoslavia (ICTY)…Judges had earlier this month granted Haradinaj provisional release, reportedly so that he could be with his wife when she gives birth to their child in January.
But the ICTY’s appeals chamber on Wednesday quashed that decision after granting the prosecutor’s appeal, with presiding judge Patrick Robinson arguing that Haradinaj could have taken advantage of his release to intimidate witnesses.
So as we knew, only when something negative about Kosovo makes it — against all odds — into the public eye does the Hague behave professionally vis-a-vis the West’s political proteges.
NY Times had more: Judges Reinstate Travel Ban for Kosovo Ex-Leader (Dec. 18)
PARIS — A former prime minister of Kosovo awaiting trial in The Hague has been told he cannot be given temporary release from prison and return home because his presence there could increase threats to witnesses who have agreed to testify against him.
The trial will be the second for Mr. Haradinaj before the tribunal. He faces charges of murder, rape and torture, alleged to have been carried out by men under his command in the Kosovo Liberation Army, which fought Serbian forces during the 1998-9 war. He has denied wrongdoing.
The travel ban, issued by appeals judges, said that Mr. Haradinaj’s release could “add to the threatening atmosphere” that existed for witnesses. It cited court findings of rampant witness intimidation that has continued within Kosovo and in the past has often also crossed international lines.
Fear and the culture of silence have also led to the coming retrial of Mr. Haradinaj and two of his former comrades….[In 2008] the trial judges acquitted him….But earlier this year, appeals judges ordered him retried because, they said, the intimidation of some witnesses had been so serious that it had undermined his trial and produced “a miscarriage of justice.” Of the 100 witnesses called, judges had to allow 34 to hide their identity, 18 had to be subpoenaed because they refused to appear, and others, once inside the courtroom, said they did not dare testify.
Another trial at the tribunal that involved three former Kosovar fighters faced similar obstacles, and two of them were acquitted in 2005. After three witnesses were killed, others retracted their statements. Some told prosecutors that they had gotten warning shots and threats to their children. One lost his leg when his car was blown up.
(In the midst of all this, current PM Thaci traveled to the Hague to visit his political rival Haradinaj, a.k.a. his clone and fellow capo.)
Of course, the ‘clone’ aspect of Albanian society — as mentioned earlier — isn’t limited to the leadership. To prove the point: Albanians signing petition against Dick Marty (Jan. 10)
Albanian citizens are signing a [KLA-veteran-prepared] petition against the report…the petition signing was organized in front of the Albanian parliament, with many Tirana residents signing the document…[to] stop the Council of Europe Parliamentary Assembly from passing Marty’s report. They announced the petition will also be sent to the European Court of Human Rights in Strasbourg.
Because to not allow violations of human rights in the furtherance of the Albanian cause, is a violation of Albanian human rights.
There can be no wrong-doing, no illegalities, nor war crimes if in service to the Albanian cause, as this 2003 L.A. Times article about the first indicted “Kosovars” attests:
Three men who are among the first ethnic Albanians indicted by a U.N. tribunal for war crimes in Kosovo were sent Tuesday to the international court….A fourth ethnic Albanian who was indicted at the same time was detained elsewhere Tuesday.
The U.N. tribunal had been criticized by Serbs for its failure to indict and arrest any ethnic Albanians, even though atrocities were known to have been committed against Serbian civilians. Few Croatian or Bosnian Muslim leaders also have been indicted for responsibility for war crimes allegedly committed during the wars in Croatia and Bosnia-Herzegovina earlier in the 1990s.
All four were indicted for the torture, illegal imprisonment, intimidation and murder of both Serbian and ethnic Albanian civilians in a prison camp operated by the ethnic Albanian rebels….Rrustem Mustafa, a former high-ranking KLA officer known as Cmdr. Remi, went on trial for war crimes this week before a panel of international judges in Kosovo.
Mustafa’s is the first war crimes trial in Kosovo….Kosovo officials expressed distress at the indictments and argued that because the ethnic Albanians were fighting a defensive battle, they were not guilty of committing crimes. They are also concerned that indictments of more significant Kosovo wartime leaders might be in the offing.
“Ethnic Albanians don’t accept that Albanians committed any crimes because the Albanians were in an uprising,” Adem Demaci, an ethnic Albanian separatist leader in Kosovo, told Serbia’s B-92 radio…
And as we know, “defensive” “uprisings” often necessitate kidnapping entire families and pushing them off cliffs.
Similarly, from Thaci in a recent interview with the EU Observer:
The KLA waged a just war, a war for liberation. It is known world-wide who committed genocide. The aim of the [Marty] report is the criminalisation of the war for liberation, but also the damaging of the image of the Republic of Kosovo, of preventing new recognitions of Kosovo statehood, which are to come, harming the image of Albania…this is an attempt…to hit all Albanians; to criminalise the just war of the KLA and the Kosovo people…The worst thing that could happen to Kosovo is exactly this pamphlet directed against Kosovo and based on no facts. It’s an attempt to attack the Kosovo-Serbia dialogue, which is a European agenda. This pamphlet is an attack also against the USA, the EU, Nato and the UN, not only Kosovo.
In a Balkan Insight article titled “A Bomb has Finally Exploded in Albania’s Face,” Albanian journalist Altin Raxhimi correctly writes:
Any attempt to ignore the credible allegations documented in the Marty report would effectively mean Albania supported heinous crimes, not a liberation struggle. It would leave a dark stain on Albania if it acquiesced to that. Nor will it ultimately help the Kosovo Albanians to build a healthy society and state.
Albania can, in fact, best help Kosovo by investigating and prosecuting these crimes. This does not undermine the suffering of the Kosovo Albanians, or delegitimize their struggle. It simply separates out those who fought for Kosovo from those who committed murder.
The problem is that there is virtually no separation, and that is why the Albanian leaders fear any real probes — which they’ve so far managed to have quashed, but which could illuminate what Kosovo was really founded on.
In the days and weeks after the NATO occupation started, like something out of a zombie movie, Serbs were set upon by their Albanian neighbors whom they’d known all their lives. At the same time Albanians they’d never seen before — flooding into Kosovo from Albania — took over their neighborhoods and occupied the houses of Serbs who had fled (in villages where the houses weren’t being burned). Those who hadn’t fled, were soon made to.
Historian Carl Savich reminds us:
The KLA strategy, according to Jane’s Defense, was: “The assassination of Serb officials and civilians from Kosovo’s Serb minority. This included sniper attacks, Serbs dragged from their vehicles and beaten, together with pressure on them to leave their homes.”
That’s from an article commemorating the 12th anniversary of the Pec massacre, which coincided with the month that Marty’s report was released, December. The massacre was one of many which became the founding blocks of the “newest country in the world.” In the third paragraph of the Savich excerpt below we see a by now familiar M.O.:
…The Albanian separatist war started with the abductions and mass murders of Yugoslav police and Kosovo Serb civilians. The objective was to provoke a response and to induce U.S. and NATO military intervention against the Yugoslav government. Which they did. The mass murders occurred on Monday, December 14, 1998 in the Kosovo-Metohija city of Pec at the Cafe Panda, at 8.10 PM, when two assailants wearing black masks believed to be KLA separatists fired a Chinese-made automatic weapon from the door at six unarmed Kosovo Serbs, most of them teens. This was a planned and premeditated, cold-blooded mass murder, a slaughter, a massacre, committed by the KLA…
Four of the murdered were in their teens, three were 17, one was 18. The oldest victim was 25, Ivan Radevic, who was the first one killed. His father Bogdan was abducted by the KLA on June 24, 1999, after U.S. and NATO troops occupied the Serbian province, and is presumed dead. His mother Milena was attacked in her house in Pec by the KLA and was forced to flee to save her life. She witnessed the burning of the Serbian section of Pec, Brezenica, as the KLA secessionists burned all the Serbian houses after NATO and U.S. troops occupied the Serbian province.
…The horrific mass murders did much to galvanize public opinion in Yugoslavia and Serbia against the Albanian separatists and secessionists in Kosovo. This crime was covered by the U.S. and Western media, but it was dismissed and relegated to insignificance. The murderers were “unknown assailants”. Thus, there was no one who was responsible for the murders. It was merely a tragedy. No conclusions or judgments about the Albanian terrorist and separatist war could be drawn from the mass murders…Move on. Nothing was done by the U.S. or NATO to condemn or sanction its proxies and allies, the KLA. U.S. envoy Richard Holbrooke condemned the KLA mass murders of Kosovo Serbs as “appalling beyond words”, but he was careful to condemn the attack itself, and not the culprits, not the murderers, who were suspected to be KLA gunmen.
What was the objective of the KLA separatist[s]? According to the report of the U.S. Committee for Refugees as reported in Reporting War: Journalism in Wartime by Stuart Allan and Barbie Zelizer (Routledge, 2004): “Kosovo Liberation Army…attacks aimed at trying to ‘cleanse’ Kosovo of its ethnic Serb population.” The genocidal policy of the KLA secessionists was obvious and known as early as 1996. Remarkably, the Kosovo Serb victims were ignored in order to manufacture a propaganda construct of Kosovo Albanian Muslims as victims. The UNHCR estimated that 55,000 refugees from Kosovo had fled to Montenegro and Central Serbia during the conflict, most of whom were Kosovo Serbs: “Over 90 mixed villages in Kosovo have now been emptied of Serb inhabitants and other Serbs continue leaving, either to be displaced in other parts of Kosovo or fleeing into central Serbia.”
Other historians have tried to explain that the Kosovo war wasn’t about “independence” per se, but about ethnic purification in preparation for the Greater Albania that Kosovo was merely a step toward. That fact lends clearer context to the repeat of the 1999 post-intervention pogrom — the pogrom of 2004.
That Kosovo’s mafia leadership is very much representative of the Albanian public in general is illustrated by just a random sampling of some of the other Albanian-related news items coming out just in the weeks since the organ story broke: The persecution of journalists — which a pre-modern society like Kosovo really shouldn’t attempt to have — continues:
The South and East Europe Media Organisation (SEEMO), a network of editors, media executives and leading journalists from South, East and Central Europe and an affiliate of the International Press Institute (IPI), is deeply concerned about the physical assault on Lumturie Blakaj, journalist working for the daily newspaper Zeri, in Kosovo.
According to Blakaj, she was attacked on 20 December 2010 by an unknown perpetrator in front of the UNMIK building in Pristina. The attacker started punching Blakaj furiously in the back and proceeded by dragging her seven meters along the ground. The moment the perpetrator started punching Blakaj, three young men who witnessed the assault helped her and the perpetrator ran away.
“SEEMO strongly condemns all physical attacks on journalists, which have no place in a democratic society. Physical attacks such as this must be stopped from occurring in the future,” said Oliver Vujovic, SEEMO secretary general.
“SEEMO welcomes the police investigation and calls for a full investigation into finding out not only who attacked the journalist, but also the reason behind the attack,” added Vujovic.
SEEMO also notes with unease this increasing tendency of assaults against journalists in Kosovo. It calls on the Pristina authorities to state their dedication to the protection of journalists, and press freedom in general, by taking active steps to counteract these alarming developments.
“Alarming developments”? In an INDEPENDENT Kosovo? Could it be? Woe be to any presses that try to be independent in an independent Kosovo.
FBI Seeks Ridgewood Albanian Mobster (Dec. 16)
An Albanian mob boss with ties to Ridgewood has landed on the FBI’s Most Wanted list.
The Feds and Interpol want Plaurent “Lenti” Devishaj for a string of murders committed in his native Albania. Authorities allege that Devishaj killed a rival gang leader using an anti-tank weapon, which launches a missile capable of destroying an armored vehicle.
Ridgewood, which has a large Albanian population, has in the past been home to people connected with the mafia. Earlier this year the FBI busted a heroin and money-laundering ring that operated from locations in Brooklyn, Queens, and Staten Island.
About the Albanians’ “righteous”/ “just” war of “liberation”:
European prosecutors charged two former top Kosovo Albanian guerrillas with war crimes during the 1998-99 conflict, according to a definitive indictment obtained by AFP Friday [Jan. 7].
The former commander of the military police for the guerrilla Kosovo Liberation Army (KLA) Sabit Geci, 52, and Riza Alija, 50, were charged with “war crimes against (the) civilian population” committed in two KLA camps in neighbouring Albania, the indictment said.
The indictment, seen by AFP in its Albanian version, was issued by EULEX, the European Union Rule of Law Mission in Kosovo. [This is the same EULEX that’s been trying to claim no jurisdiction in Albania on the organ matter.]
It was filed for EULEX by US prosecutor Robert L. Dean, [who] said the camps in the northern towns of Kukes and Cahan set up by the KLA were “logistic, training and supply” sites. However, the two accused used them to detain “civilians and persons who were not taking part in the war,” it said.
One of the indicted men, Geci is mentioned in Marty’s report as suspected of the “killing of a civilian in Kukes who was beaten and shot.”
According to Dean’s indictment, the two men accused allegedly detained Kosovars who fled the conflict and were suspected of collaborating with the then Serbian regime or had “political views that differed from the KLA.”
Geci and Alija were “directly involved in ordering and took part in mistreating persons kept in these detention centres,” from the end of March or beginning of April to June 1999, the document said. Civilians “were beaten regularly and were hit with batons and nightsticks (truncheons), kicked, mistreated and verbally abused,” it added.
“They were kept in filthy and…unhealthy conditions….They were denied food, water and medical treatment,” the indictment said.
The indictment described an incident in Kukes where two detainees were ordered to put on bulletproof jackets and afterwards “were shot by a firing squad” as a way of torture.
A EULEX pre-trial judge has already decided that the Kosovo judiciary has the jurisdiction over the case despite the alleged war crimes having taken place in Albania. [This trial is the first to tackle allegations that the KLA set up illegal camps in Albania.]
Geci had been arrested by European police in May and Alija in June.
The EULEX prosecution provided testimonies of around 20 detainees — whose identities were not revealed — who had said they ha[d] suffered great physical and psychological trauma “because of the conditions they were being kept and as the result of beating and torture.”
Their names are coded in a special, confidential annex of the indictment as a way for the court to keep their identities secure. […]
As well, two more Kosovo Albanians were arrested for 1999 war crimes they committed as members of the KLA. And this is all despite the emails I’ve gotten from Albanians over the years who still insist that the KLA was “incapable” of committing war crimes, and certainly never harmed civilians, much less a woman or child. (Pay no attention to this mass incineration.) Most even use the terms “fought honorably” and “a just war.” As we now know, Albanians brought a whole new meaning to the term “war crimes,” but the point is that there can be no crimes or dishonor when fighting for what Albanians want. So again, by definition, the KLA didn’t do anything wrong. At all.
And so who would notice this item, which came out as the organ story was breaking in the days before Christmas: The bodies of three kidnapped Kosovo Serbs were delivered to their families:
Today the families were handed over the remains of Veljko Markovic, who was kidnapped in February 1999, Zivota Todorovic, who was reported missing during the 1999 NATO bombing, and Zarko Perovic, who was kidnapped after the arrival of the international mission in Kosovo-Metohija in June 1999.
Or this: K. Serb returnee seriously injured (Jan. 25)
Meanwhile a January 22nd update on a case that I mentioned only in passing last June: Albanian criminals warned by Met Police, “you cannot escape British law” (The London Daily News)
With crimes in London committed by Albanians becoming an ever more regular occurrence the Metropolitan Police Service following the conviction of Aldo Aliaj [a.k.a. Gerald Mitre] in the murder of Aaron Stokes has warned that Albanians “cannot escape British law”.
…Mitre murdered 24-year old Aaron Stokes in the Centrepoint Hostel, New Cross SE4 on 2 January 2006.
He stabbed Aaron in the chest after discovering that his sister, who also resided at the hostel, had been intimately involved with the victim.
He fled the scene before the police arrived.
Mitre’s sister lied to officers telling them initially that an unknown intruder had stabbed Aaron and later claimed responsibility for the murder herself.
She was charged with murder and perverting the course of justice, but just before the start of her trial finally admitted that it was her brother Gerald who had committed the murder.
Detectives from the Metropolitan Police Service’s Homicide and Serious Crime Command launched a national manhunt to find Mitre, but by early 2007 intelligence began to suggest he had fled to Albania.
Mitre was arrested in Kosovo on 29 December 2010. […]
And just one other organs-simultaneous news item, from Serbianna.com (no longer online):
WikiLeaks: More Jihadists outed to be among Kosovo Albanians (Dec. 25)
…Aukai Collins claims to be a mujahid and an FBI informant and in his book he describes his elaborate trip from Middle East over into Albania where Albanian government officials provided accommodation and training for the KLA and incorporated these Jihadists into these Albanian KLA terrorist units.
So, even if we are to consider it incredible that Brits would fan Jihad elsewhere [MI-6 sent Omar Sheikh to wage jihad against Yugoslavia in Kosovo] in order to postpone the one inside their country; if we are to dismiss Musharraf, officer who was in Bosnia, as a soldier with no credibility [the MI-6 allegation was in his book], or consider what Collins describes as effluvia, then here come the WikiLeaks, documents considered by the US government a credible secret.
In the latest WikiLeaks dispatch classified confidential, Muslim terrorist Al-Bathali in an interview:
Q: They say that you went to Kosovo?
A: Yes, I was the only Kuwaiti there [sic, sic]. We should help our Muslim brothers everywhere. The time that Iraq invaded our country we asked the whole world to help us. Why is it strange now to help each other?
Kosovo Albanian Muslims also got some banking help from these wild-eyed Middle Eastern beheaders.
Serbian War Crimes Prosecutor – who like all the above can be dismissed as incredible – says that FBI has uncovered [an] Albanian nexus with Islamic terror finance as far back as 2001 in the wake of 9/11 probes.
Reports German-owned Serbian daily Blic:
“According to their data, these accounts have sometimes led to personal names, but often the fake humanitarian organization that served as a cover for crime. Some of the organizations are…Al Haramain and Taibah International [with whom the FBI had some previous encounters]…
So, a rhetorical question for some with foregone conclusions, why is Washington withholding these of Kosovo Albanian “personal names”?
Then there is a peculiar case of [an] Arabic manual [about internal organs] confiscated from the Kosovo Albanian terrorists in 1999.
In the area of the Junik mountain, the region where Holbrooke walked shoeless among the Muslim Albanians, a medical textbook on anatomy in Arabic language was found in the tent field hospital.
The problem is that a Serbian doctor notes that the underlined parts, with Albanian language explanations in the margin, have nothing to do with injuries a soldier sustains in the war.
“In the book, which we later found out that it is very rare and valuable, underline the parts that speak of the internal organs such as kidneys, liver and heart,” says the doctor.
And these are the body parts that Dick Marty is talking about in his report as being extracted out of Serbs and trafficked by the Albanians. […]
To top it all off, this whole ordeal wouldn’t truly be a Balkans story if there weren’t a good chance that some of the illegal transplants took place in a hospital named Mother Theresa:
The investigation by Serbian war crimes prosecution has shown that surgical procedures performed on civilians who were victims of organ trafficking have apparently taken place in health-care centers and hospitals that were used to treat wounded members of the so-called Kosovo Liberation Army (KLA) during the war in Kosovo, the Saturday edition of the Belgrade-based daily Politika reports.
As noted in the Politika article, the Mother Theresa University Hospital Centre, Tirana, received a total of 75 patients from Kosovo in 1999, while the University Hospital in Skopje received another 70 patients from Kosovo-Metohija with the diagnosis of severe renal insufficiency.
Several kidney transplants were performed in Tirana.
A total of 35 out of the 75 patients were retained in the Tirana hospital, while others were transported to Italy (25) and Austria (15) where they were to be subjected to transplant procedures.
A number of other facilities in Albania were used for the same purpose, namely, a hospital in the army barracks in Bajram Curri, a health-care center in the Coca-Cola factory in Tirana, a neuropsychiatric hospital in a prison in the place of Burrel, and a private house adapted to serve as a hospital near the town of Tropoja, the so-called Yellow House. […]
And so it was that on January 24th the SwissInfo site ran an interview with Swiss journalist Andreas Ernst, who explained that Marty’s report exposed the “founding myth” of Kosovo:
…swissinfo.ch: We too have had some very aggressive feedback to our reports on the [organ investigation] issue. Does that surprise you, or are such reactions typical of the region?
A.E.: No, it doesn’t surprise me….The fact is that through his report Marty has challenged the widespread image of the liberation war conducted by the KLA. The Albanians see this as a just and clean war: there was one people - the Serbs - who were the perpetrators, and one who were the victims - the Albanians. This image is part of the Kosovan founding myth. And anyone challenging it always provokes strong reactions…But what is surprising, and perhaps also typically Albanian, is the unanimity of the reactions. There are very few opposing voices diverging from the general tone.
swissinfo.ch: Is it simply not possible to express a dissenting opinion, because that would call the regime into question?
A.E.: That is the real question about freedom of opinion in Kosovo. It is guaranteed in the constitution, but in practice leaves much to be desired. The media are very closely controlled by politicians, and their advertising is very dependent on government contracts. That means that the reports in many media follow the government line. And the public-service television is in practice a state television.
And then there is a lot of pressure to conform in Kosovo. If someone challenges the ruling line on some national subject, he is quickly accused of being a traitor.
swissinfo.ch: So is there no-one in Kosovo who believes even part of the Marty report?
A.E.: There are certainly people who believe at least some parts of the report. Many people know that that KLA also killed Albanians. But now, when Kosovo is under so much pressure, they are closing ranks, partly out of solidarity, and partly out of conformism and fear.
What there is, and has always been, is a lot of criticism of Thaci. But the target is not the war period, or the charges raised in the Marty report, but mainly the widespread corruption.
[W]itness protection will continue to be insufficient, so that many of the accusations will remain in the air. […]
In recent weeks we’ve also had Tony Blair’s 1999 press secretary Alastair Campbell publishing his diaries boasting of his Kosovo “disinformation campaign” (which the world nonetheless clings to) — and have been treated to a rare reminder that Kosovo was (and is) part of Serbia under international law. Nebojsa Malic lists additional media “soul-searching” amid the organs report, including:
The Conservative Daily Mail called Thaci a “monster” — language it normally reserves for Serbs — and cited as proof of former PM Tony Blair’s depravity that he accepted a “Gold Medal of Freedom” from Thaci earlier this year.
And yet shameless Albanianism proceeds on course. This Albanian pilot hovering over the globe, waiting for the next recognition of Kosovo, is undeterred: Kosovo Pilot Congratulates Liberia for Homeland’s Independence
And here a municipality in Kosovo thought it would be a good time to sue Serbia for war crimes.
Meanwhile, the EU keeps up its end of the charade, repeating that giving up Kosovo is still a precondition of Serbia’s membership and demanding a “more constructive” stance from Serbia on Kosovo. Demonstrating the lunacy of the European mind is European Parliament Rapporteur for Kosovo Ulrike Lunacek. While stating that Kosovo’s parliamentary elections of Dec. 12 and Jan. 9 were a “premeditated fraud by organized groups” that wouldn’t bring about stable institutions, and that those elected should understand they are illegitimate and are harming Kosovo’s chances of visa liberalization, Lunacek also blamed EU interior ministers for not liberalizing those visa requirements for Kosovo. “Citizens of Kosovo are now the only ones in the Western Balkans who need a visa to travel to the EU,” she said. As if that isn’t good news for the rest of Europe.
For our part, the U.S. bureaucrats and policymakers behind the West’s homicidal and suicidal Kosovo mission are continuing on-program as much as possible amid the CoE setback, not only continuing to focus on subduing the Serb-majority north, to bring it into the criminal Kosovo fold, but also continuing apace with handing over more of the planned trappings of statehood: KFOR gives control of border to Kosovo police (Jan. 23)
And there’s this: “Laying it on thick,” notes writer Burghardt, “despite damning intelligence reports by their own secret services, the [U.S.] Embassy avers that ‘Kosovo’s independence has been a success story.’ Indeed, ‘the international community and the Kosovars, themselves, can feel good about the positive steps that have occurred over the past two years.’”
Keep on rocking in the free world.