September 21st 2011 12:31:01 PM
This year brought the Council of Europe’s report on the murder-for-organs scandal involving top echelons of the Kosovo Liberation Army, now wearing suits as Kosovo’s “legitimate” rulers. While top Albanian and Kosovo officials are being indicted for corruption, war crimes, illegal weapons hauling, and deep mob ties, a Brooklyn man from Albania was arraigned last week on charges of providing material support to terrorists and planning to join a radical group in Pakistan — just months after an Albanian Kosovar shot five American servicemen in Frankfurt, killing two. (Which hearkens back not only to last year’s “North Carolina Eight” that included two Kosovo Albanians and targeted a Marine base, but also to the 2007 Ft. Dix plot in which three Albanian-Americans wanted to “kill as many American soldiers as possible”.)
And so one is almost tempted to the fanciful hope that The Wall St. Journal might finally feel a tinge of reservation if not shame about unequivocally following the Foggy Bottom line on the Balkans, which unconditionally implements the maximal Albanian agenda.
Instead, the newspaper publishes the terrorists who won the Balkans, this time “Prime Minister” Hashim Thaci — criminal alias “The Snake.” With no irony whatsoever, on August 29th The Journal treated us to “A Better Future for the Western Balkans,” by Thaci. This is despite his internationally long-known connection to drug- and organ-trafficking, his notoriety in Greater Albania for running every kind of racket, not to mention his intimidating witnesses in the organs affair and ordering untold murders. ( “Cadavers have never been an obstacle to Thaci’s career,” explained Bujar Bukoshi, of the late Ibrahim Rugova’s 1990s government-in-exile.)
Take it from a narco-terrorist prime minister now suppressing the press in “liberated” Kosovo on what constitutes “a better future.” And yet it’s the “rampant criminality” of Kosovo’s Serb-populated north that Thaci wants to bring under his “rule of law” (the “rampant criminality” being a resistance to rule by the criminality of the rest of Kosovo). This is a gangster solidifying his turf.
North Mitrovica is the last part of Kosovo that we’re trying to submit to the thugocracy, and it’s also one of Kosovo’s last multi-ethnic remnants, where a non-Albanian can leave his immediate vicinity without risking dismemberment. Ergo the Serbian “stubbornness” that our bureaucrats — and The Journal — regularly scold.
The 2008 Italian documentary “Infinite War” shows a Serbian monk serving liturgy surrounded by NATO tanks and troops. “In liberated Kosovo, this is the maximal possible freedom for Christians to profess their faith,” narrates journalist Riccardo Iacona, adding that 223,409 Serbs were cleansed after the 1999 war (the number has grown since).
It was done with the help of the never-disbanded KLA, which answers directly to high-level Kosovo politicians. “And this is how they finance themselves,” Iacona summarizes a classified UN report, “by trafficking of drugs and arms, and by extortion…They smuggle oil and practice destruction…Then, there is a list of the superiors of this organization, and the links between this military structure and politicians in PDK, Thaci’s party.”
Albanian journalist Bardulaj Ajeti was writing for the daily Bota Sot, investigating “the relations between the ex-KLA fighters and Prime Minister Hashim Thaci. He was shot in the head on June 7, 2005…[One Ajeti article] speaks about a shadow government, controlled by Thaci, giving names of those who comprise it. All of them are ex-KLA commanders. Then there is one incredible interview with Mr. Ymer Ymeri…whose brother was killed by the UCK (KLA)…[He says] the UCK erected dozens of prisons in Albania where Rugova’s men were being tortured and killed, and Thaci, the current prime minister, knew about it…”
Iacona asks Ymeri’s wife (Ymeri had fled to Germany after giving the interview), “Do all the opponents of Thaci’s UCK get killed?” She replies, “Yes, it’s like a mafia.”
According to a 2007 Institute for European Policy report, Kosovo “‘is a Mafia society’ based on ‘capture of the state’ by criminal elements…[The authors] quote a German intelligence service report of ‘closest ties between leading political decision makers and the dominant criminal class’ and name Ramush Haradinaj, Hashim Thaci and Xhavit Haliti as compromised leaders…”
Leading up to the war crimes trial of Haradinaj, Thaci’s predecessor and also a former KLA commander, witnesses started dropping dead, going missing, or dropping out to prevent either fate. In 2003 two Kosovo police officers who insisted on investigating the murder of witness Tahir Zemaj (found in a well with his father and cousin) were likewise killed and a third wounded.
The U.S. has systematically blocked international investigations and prosecutions of our favored mobsters and has tampered with evidence from their crime scenes, such as when officials from Camp Bondsteel removed bullets from the walls at the scene of a Haradinaj gunfight and then helicoptered him to Germany, denying UN investigators access to him. A British ex-soldier who described our Haradinaj as ‘a psychopath’ terrorizing his own men and locals into loyalty told the UK Sunday Observer in September 2000, “Someone would pass him some information and he would disappear for two hours. The end result would be several bodies in a ditch.” The charred remains of Suad Qorraj, “who had operated a satellite telephone for a rival KLA commander…were found in a nearby forest. The burial notice said he had been ‘killed by Serbs.’”
In 2001, detective Stu Kellock asked for a special task force on a bus bombing of Serbs visiting a cemetery (11 dead, 40 injured). Instead, “‘evidence from the scene was suppressed and destroyed,’” Kellock said in an interview which also quoted Washington Post: “‘NATO paved over the crater on the Nis highway within hours.’ Furthermore, NATO did not share intelligence with the UN police, phone logs of suspects’ calls were hidden in Monaco, where Kosovo’s main mobile operator is based, and the main suspect miraculously escaped from the most secure location in all of Kosovo — the American Camp Bondsteel.”
(Indeed, the European Policy study called the U.S. out for “‘abetting the escape of criminals’ in Kosovo as well as ‘preventing European investigators from working.’ This has made Americans ‘vulnerable to blackmail.’”)
The Italian documentary offers a post-script on the escaped suspect in question, Florim Ejupi — known in organized crime circles connected to KLA and its U.S.-sponsored successor KPC. “For three years Florim remained at large. And then in 2004 he reappeared on this road that leads toward Pristina, wearing a Serbian uniform, in the company of three other Albanians. They wanted to commit an attack and ascribe it to the Serbs. In the end, they killed a police officer of the United Nations. Now Florim is in prison. He was sentenced to 40 years, but he never spoke. So we don’t know who the others were, and above all who gave him the orders to blow up the bus.”
Ejupi served just a year or two of that sentence when in March 2009, as its very first ruling, a EULEX (EU rule of law mission) appeals court released him. The only explanation offered was the Kosovo usual: “not enough evidence.”
Hashim Thaci, whom The Journal sees fit to print (as it did his equally ruthless predecessor and war crimes indictee Agim Ceku) is among Kosovo’s “elite that operates above the law,” as a February Foreign Policy article titled “Thug Life” summed up, adding:
Kosovo’s thugocrats owe their rise and continued impunity to the toleration or outright support of the international community — particularly the United States…In 1999, the U.S. endorsement of Thaci as hero was sealed with a kiss planted on his cheek by then Secretary of State Madeline Albright…In 2004, every American staffer at the U.S. Embassy was invited to attend Haradinaj’s wedding — and, despite his links to organized crime and impending indictment on war crimes, they went. Most recently, the night after the raid on [Transportation Minister Fatmir] Limaj’s home and offices, U.S. Ambassador to Kosovo Christopher Dell was seen laughing and chatting with the minister at a well-attended party in Pristina. [Limaj was also twice indicted but not yet convicted of “inhumane acts during the war.”]
It is difficult to see how democracy or respect [for] the rule of law could develop and flourish amid such overt displays of American support for a corrupt and criminal leadership…The war crimes taking place throughout the 1998-1999 conflict and in the immediate aftermath have never been fully investigated — in fact, in some cases they have been covered up…UNMIK (UN Mission in Kosovo) ran an incomplete investigation into the organ trafficking case brought to light by [Council of Europe rapporteur Dick] Marty in late 2010. The documents date from 2003 — when UNMIK was in full control of the internal war crimes investigations and prosecutions.
As the Italian journalist Iacona speaks with locals who won’t tell him or investigators anything they know about the “unsolved” murders whose perpetrators boast of their crimes, he realizes that “liberated” and “democratic” Kosovo is ruled by fear.
When Thaci writes about the still Serbian north as “the creation of a sort of state-within-a-state…evident trafficking of drugs, people and arms, and daily intimidation of both Albanians and Serbs by private armies who are the only ones benefiting from the absence of the rule of law,” the man is writing about how Kosovo itself was won. A classic case of projection.
He also has a bit of a Freudian slip when he refers to an internal issue “that once again pitted Serbs against Kosovars.” Clearly, by “Kosovars” he means Albanians, tacitly admitting not only that he — a leader ostensibly representing all citizens — does not consider Serbs Kosovars, but that the nationality the U.S. concocted to help wage the KLA’s war for independence is just another word for “Albanian.” It is also an admission of what Serbs and Albanians alike have been telling us: that Kosovo is just one leg of the plan to consolidate parts of Macedonia, Montenegro, Serbia and Greece into a Greater Albania.