Sunday, April 19, 2009

Milosevic's top agent and killer was also top CIA agent

Death squad leader was top CIA agent

(with my comments interspersed, plus further articles and comments below, on where this intriguing story leads)

SERBIA: Gabriel Ronay

THE LATE President Milosevic's secret police chief and organiser of Serb death squads during the genocidal ethnic cleansing of disintegrating Yugoslavia was the United States' top CIA agent in Belgrade, according to the independent Belgrade Radio B92.

The claim that from 1992 until the end of the decade, Jovica Stanisic, head of Serbia's murderous DB Secret Police, was regularly informing his CIA handlers of the thinking in Milosevic's inner circle has shocked the region

Stanisic is said to have loyally served his two masters for eight years

(Comment MK: Yes, loyally, from all reports. Which srongly sugests there was not much of a contradiction).

He is facing war crimes charges at the International Criminal Court at The Hague
In the terrifying years of Yugoslavia's internecine wars, he acted as the willing "muscle" behind Milosevic's genocidal campaigns in Croatia, Kosovo and Bosnia, including Srebrenica

(Comment MK: Yeh, in fact you could hardly have got worse than Stanisic).

According to the charges he faces, Stanisic was "part of a joint criminal enterprise that included former Serbian president Slobodan Milosevic and other Serbian politicians".
Dermot Groome, The Hague's chief prosecutor, has specifically accused him of sending in the Serb Scorpion and Red Beret death squads into the states seeking independence from Belgrade. Stanisic has pleaded not guilty.

(Comment MK: Just for reference, the Scorpions took part in the Srebrenica massacre of over 8000 Muslim captives when they overrun the Srebrenica/Gaza/Warsaw ghetto in July 1995)

Like in a Cold War spy thriller, Serbia's secret police chief met his CIA handlers in safe houses, parks and boats on the river Sava to betray his master's action plans
(Comment MK: "Betray"? Well, let's see).

He provided, it is claimed, information on the whereabouts of Nato hostages
(Comment MK: Who were not being held by his master, the Milosevic Serbian govt, but by the Karadzic Bosnian Serb gangster govt., at a time (1995) when the former was pressuring the latter into agreeing to generous US "peace" terms, under which half of Bosnia would be given as a Serb Republic, despite Serbs being only 30% of the pop'n - Karadzic was vainly holding out for more, something like Lieberman to Netanyahu I suppose. Hence Stanisic was actually doing his master's bidding at the time)

aided CIA operatives in their search for Muslim mass graves
(MK: ie, after the end of the war)

and helped the US set up secret bases in Bosnia to monitor the implementation of the 1995 Dayton peace accord
(MK: ie the accord just signed between the US, Milosevic and Tudjman to partition Bosnia - the main purpose of these NATO bases being to hunt down the Muslim fighters from the Middle East that had come to besieged Bosnia's aid during the war, indeed some sent of to Guantanamo for 6 years - so no "betrayal" of his master anywhere here in these tasks for the CIA)

This has raised awkward questions for Washington. With Stanisic providing chapter and verse of the genocidal slaughter of Croats, Bosnians and Albanians from the early 1990s, should President Clinton have cut a deal with Milosevic at Dayton, Ohio, ending the Bosnian war on such equitable terms for the Serbs?
(Commnet MK: yeh, much more than "equitable" to the Bosnian Serb Republic" in half of Bosnia).

Or, using Stanisic's evidence, should the Americans not have unmasked Milosevic and Radovan Karadzic, the then head of Republika Srpska, as genocidal war criminals and demanded their surrender?

From his prison cell at The Hague, Stanisic countered the charges facing him with an aide memoir portraying himself as "a person who had sought to moderate Milosevic and had done a great deal to moderate the crisis"
(Comment MK: Yeh, "modeation" I guess means being the most ruthless killer of the lot)

In an unusual move, the CIA has submitted classified documents to the court that confirm Stanisic's "undercover operative role in helping to bring peace to the region and aiding the agency's work. He helped defuse some of the most explosive actions of the Bosnian war."
Thus the judges at The Hague are having to judge a man who allegedly sent the Scorpion death squads to Srebrenica to "deal" with men and boys fleeing the UN-protected Muslim enclave, while working with the CIA trying to end Milosevic's ethnic wars.

Here's some more to help fill out the picture:

Serbian spy's trial lifts cloak on his CIA alliance

As Milosevic's intelligence chief, Jovica Stanisic is accused of setting up genocidal death squads. But as a valuable source for the CIA, an agency veteran says, he also 'did a whole lot of good.'

By Greg Miller March 1, 2009,0,5662696.story
(clip, lots of the same as above)
In 1991, as ethnic violence escalated, Milosevic ordered the creation of secret paramilitary units, with names like Red Berets and Scorpions, that would roam the Balkans. They wore unmarked uniforms, were led by thugs and committed some of the worst atrocities of the war.

As the trial got underway last year, Groome showed photos of Stanisic posing with members of the special units. He played audio of intercepted communications in which Stanisic appears to refer to the units as his "boys."

At one point, Groome introduced a videotape showing images of Muslim men and boys - their hands bound with wire - being led into the woods and shot, one by one, by members of the Scorpions.

"Jovica Stanisic established these units," said Groome, an American lawyer. And Stanisic made sure "they had everything that they needed, including a license to clear the land of unwanted people, a license to commit murder."

(Comment MK: then the following creeps innocently into the text, strangely with no conclusions being drawn, least of all the obvious ones:


By then, the Clinton administration was engaged in an all-out diplomatic push to end the war. Stanisic accompanied Milosevic to Dayton, Ohio, for peace talks, then returned to Serbia to carry out key pieces of the accord.

It was left to Stanisic to get the president of Bosnia's Serb republic, Radovan Karadzic, to sign a document pledging to leave office. And Stanisic helped the CIA establish a network of bases in Bosnia to monitor the cease-fire
(MK: Ah yeh, but hang on, didn't this little event about encouraging Karadzic to leave office have somethig to do with one Richard Holbrooke - chief US negotiator/crook at Dayton - making certain promises to Karadzic - let's see below)

US diplomats back Karadzic's claim of immunity deal
By Marlise Simons
Published: March 22, 2009

PARIS: Every time Radovan Karadzic, the onetime Bosnian Serb leader, appears in court on war crimes charges, he hammers on one recurring claim: A senior American official pledged that he would never be standing there.

The official, Richard C. Holbrooke, now a special representative on Afghanistan and Pakistan for the Obama administration, has repeatedly denied having promised Mr. Karadzic immunity from prosecution in exchange for abandoning power after the Bosnian war.
But the rumor persists, and different versions have recently emerged that line up with Mr. Karadzic's assertion, including a new historical study of the Yugoslav wars published by Purdue University in Indiana.

Charles W. Ingrao, the study's co-editor, said that three senior State Department officials, one of them retired, and several other people with knowledge of Mr. Holbrooke's activities had told him that Mr. Holbrooke had assured Mr. Karadzic in July 1996 that he would not be pursued by the war crimes tribunal in The Hague if he left politics.

Mr. Karadzic had already been charged by the tribunal with genocide and other crimes against civilians.
Two of the people cited anonymously in the new study, a former senior State Department official who spent almost a decade in the Balkans and another American who was involved with international peacekeeping there in the 1990s, provided additional details in interviews with The New York Times, speaking on condition that they not be further identified
Mr. Holbrooke, who brokered the peace agreement that ended the Bosnian war in 1995, returned to Belgrade in 1996 to press Mr. Karadzic to resign as president of the Bosnian Serb republic. Mr. Holbrooke's memoirs recount a night of fierce negotiation on July 18, 1996, but make no mention of any pledge of immunity.

The Purdue University study, "Confronting the Yugoslav Controversies: A Scholars' Initiative," says that Mr. Holbrooke "instructed his principal assistant, Christopher Hill, to draft the memorandum to be signed by Karadzic," committing him to give up power
Mr. Ingrao said Mr. Holbrooke had used Slobodan Milosevic, then the Serbian leader, and other Serbian officials as intermediaries to convey the promise of immunity and to reach the deal with Mr. Karadzic.

US protected Mladic?

3 March 2009 10:14 Source: Vecernje novosti BELGRADE -- U.S. historian Charles Ingrao says that the Pentagon did not consider the arrest of Hague fugitives a priority, according to daily Vecernje Novosti.

Ingrao has completed a report that is the result of five years of investigative work by 300 historians, sociologists and legal experts from the former Yugoslavia and entire world.
According to the Belgrade daily, the report states that the American military did everything in its power to make sure that the chief Hague fugitives, Ratko Mladic and Radovan Karadzic, were not arrested.

The report claims that from late February to early July 1996, a specially-formed American reconnaissance unit had Mladic "in its sights" at least 20 times.
The daily states that the American observers were accompanied several times by American Colonel John Batista, who held meetings with Mladic at the command headquarters of the Republic of Srpska military to discuss, reportedly, the terms for his surrender.
The negotiations came to an abrupt halt on July 6, when American soldiers and Mladic's security personnel came to blows.

According to the daily, American military commanders actively blocked the efforts of the Dutch and Danish to arrest the fugitives, which, the daily says, was confirmed by military and civil officials from several NATO member-states, as well as by Swedish Prime Minister Carl Bildt, who was the international high representative in Bosnia-Hercegovina at the time

CIA protected Karadzic"
10 August 2008 10:20 Source: FoNet, Blic
BELGRADE -- A former Hague Tribunal insider has added her comments to claims that Radovan Karadzic enjoyed support from the United States.
Former Hague spokeswoman Florence Hartmann told the Belgrade daily Blic that the UN war crimes court's prosecution on several occasions gave the U.S. exact locations where the former leader of the Bosnian Serbs was hiding.

But, Hartmann says, "they did nothing".
"Information about the fugitives' whereabouts was abundant, however, it would always turn out that one of the three countries - the U.S., Britain or France - would block arrests."
"Sometimes arrest operations were halted by [former French President Jacques] Chirac personally, other times by [former U.S. President Bill] Clinton," she told the daily in an interview published today, and added she spoke "based on authentic statements and documents".

Hartmann claims that during the summer of 2005, two CIA agents asked the Bosnia-Herzegovina police to put an end to a surveillance operation directed at Karadzic's family members, ordered previously by Del Ponte and the Hague Tribunal.

She adds that former Bosnian secret police chief Momir Munibabic was sacked on former High Representative Paddy Ashdown's orders, "for being efficient in his search for Karadzic, and for sending information to Del Ponte".

Hartmann also believes that Karadzic's arrest "was never a problem for Serbia as much as for the West - unlike the case of Ratko Mladic, whom the Hague sees as a firm link of crime that connects Belgrade and Bosnia".

Karadzic, she continued, was known to distance himself from Serbia.
"Now that Karadzic has finally been arrested, he can tell a lot about secret deals that led to the fall of Srebrenica. His testimony represents a great risk for the great western powers," Hartmann is convinced.

According to her, so far no solid evidence emerged that it was the western countries who had handed Srebrenica over in exchange for the Serbs' cooperation in the peace process, but that "if anyone has any knowledge about such secret deals, it's Karadzic".

(Comment MK: Ah yeh, but there's plenty more about that as well, isn't there?):

US Connived in Bosnian Serb seizure of Srebrenica
Report on Bosnian Murders Fuels Debate
Marc Perelman Fri. Nov 10, 2006

A French media report published last week is sparking claims that the United States was partially complicit in the 1995 destruction of three Bosnian Muslim enclaves, protected by the United Nations.

The report, which appeared in the magazine Paris-Match, drew on an interview given by former American diplomat Richard Holbrooke to a Bosnian television station last year. In the interview, Holbrooke, a Clinton administration assistant secretary of state, said that his "initial instructions" at the time were to sacrifice the three enclaves, which included Srebrenica, the site of the grisly murder of some 8,000 Muslims. These instructions, Holbrooke then told Paris-Match, came from Anthony Lake, national security adviser at that time, and Holbrooke claims he rejected them. Word that the instructions were given, however, has fueled speculation that Western countries not only allowed the fall of the enclaves, but in effect encouraged it, as well, in order to facilitate a diplomatic solution in which the dividing line between Bosnian Serb and Muslim territories would be clear.

Holbrooke, a key architect of the Dayton peace agreements that ended the war, has long said that he resisted orders from the White House to abandon one of the three enclaves, Gorazde; however, his seeming admission that American policy envisioned sacrificing the two others - Srebrenica and one called Zepa - was in sharp contrast with all previous assertions by officials of the United States, including Holbrooke himself.

Holbrooke told the Forward that he misspoke and that the instructions he received and rejected involved only Gorazde. "I was sloppy," he said. "I conflated Srebrenica and Gorazde."

Lake, who now teaches at Georgetown University and has had a sometimes tense relationship with Holbrooke, said through an assistant that Holbrooke also had told him that he had misspoken and that he agreed with Holbrooke's explanation. But Muhamed Sacirbey, who was Bosnia's foreign minister at the time, claims that Holbrooke did not misspeak and that his words were in fact "an indictment" of Western countries.

"It was a long, sit-down interview to mark the 10th anniversary of the Dayton accord, and the main topic was Srebrenica, so I have a hard time believing that someone like Dick Holbrooke could make such an obvious mistake," Sacirbey said. "I think it's an attempt on his part to disperse blame in the face of mounting evidence of Western complicity" with the Bosnian Serbs and Serbian strongman Slobodan Milosevic.

In an interview with author Sylvie Matton, published in the same issue of Paris-Match, Carla del Ponte, chief prosecutor of the international tribunal for the former Yugoslavia in the Hague, asserts that Milosevic and Bosnian Serb leaders Radovan Karadzic and Ratko Mladic had a meeting with Western officials in the spring of 1995 in which they indicated their plans to take over Srebrenica. "This is the smoking gun," del Ponte said, adding that there were minutes of the meeting and that she knew the names of the Western participants but was unwilling to divulge them.

Sacirbey said that the meeting in question was part of a negotiation process that he now believes led to a deal in the early summer of 1995 between Western officials and Milosevic that included the transfer of the three enclaves, which were under the protection of U.N. peacekeepers, to what would become Bosnian Serb territory.
"For many years, I believed that the West gave an orange light to the Serbs to take over Srebrenica, but I am now convinced that it was a green light," said Sacirbey, who added that although he had no rock-solid evidence, a series of revelations like the meeting mentioned by del Ponte made him reassess some of the instances he witnessed a decade ago.

My comments on that:
US green light to Bosnian Serbs to seize Srebrenica: the smoking gun?

But then it all goes back much further, doesn't it?

Conspiracist leftist icon Michel Chossudovsky, one of the leading apologists for Serbian nationalism among the left, wrote that a 1984 US "Secret Sensitive" National Security Decision Directive (NSDD 133) called for a "quiet revolution" to overthrow Communist governments, while seeking to "promote the trend toward an effective, market-oriented Yugoslav economic structure...and to expand US economic relations with Yugoslavia...," with an important role to be played by the IMF. Yet Chossudovsky, hung up on the absurdist view that the West "broke up" Yugoslavia, makes no mention of the fact that the role being played by the IMF was precisely to encourage Yugoslav recentralisation (which by definition could only be under domination of its biggest republic, Serbia), nor of the already very large-scale US economic relations with the federal Yugoslav government and army, and in particular, links to Milosevic personally.

Now the "Secret Sensitive" classification indicates the existence of confidential relationships with individuals or groups. It was in these conditions that Milosevic - who had wide business experience in the capitalist world and direct connections and "confidential relationships" with important US political and business circles - seized power in the Serbian regime in 1987.

Could Milosevic have been preciely the kind of gut the US had a "confidential relationship" with, so that his seiure of power in 1987 so soon after the CIA's secet senstive call was no coincidence? Let's see:

Deputy Secretary of State under George Bush, Lawrence Eagleburger, who was US ambassador to Yugoslavia in the late 1970s, had "a well-tested working relationship" with Milosevic,[1] who headed Yugoslavia's main bank, Beobank, in both New York and Belgrade.[2] As Beobank CEO in New York, Milosevic was the key Yugosav representative at IMF meetings in the late 1970s and early 19080s. Through Beobank, the JNA, Yugoslavia's largest industry (based in Serbia), dealt in its annual $3 billion arms exports program.[3] Eagleburger was President of Henry Kissinger Associates, a US consultancy providing world strategic and economic advice, which had large contracts with Yugo America and other Yugoslav companies.[4] Eagleburger was also on the Board of Directors of Yugo America, which is owned by Zavodi Crvena Zastava,[5] the major Serbian weapons producer, also a client of Kissinger Associates.

According to Eric Margolis in The World of Sunday, "Since the late 1970s, say Washington sources, Kissinger Associates channeled hundreds of millions of dollars in private US investments into Yugoslavia. By sheer coincidence, most of it was made after Eagleburger served as American ambassador to Belgrade."[9]

Eagleburger was also on the Board of Lljubljanska Banka (LBS), Yugoslavia's second biggest bank. LBS had significant business interests in the US, largely through connections to BNL bank in Atlanta, whose international department was headed by Kissinger.[10] In addition to US arms' sales to Yugoslavia, the JNA also bought licences for its arms exports industry for sophisticated new weapons from the US arms manufacturers for years.[11] Products were sold for oil or dollars, the oil going to Technogas, and the dollars to Beobanka - Milosevic at one time or another being CEO of both.[12]

As the World of Sunday article continues, "Kissinger risked his reputation by advising clients to invest heavily in Yugoslavia where his connections were excellent. Kissinger, Eagleburger and Snowcroft may have done their utmost to shore up the crumbling Yugoslav state. When it did collapse, they apparently managed to delay recognition of the new nations that emerged from Yugoslavia . If the regime of Serbian dictator Slobodan Milosevic falls, any hope that Kissinger's investors will ever see even a fraction of their money will be gone."

[1] Boyes, R, "America Gets Tough with Serbs in Policy Switch," The Times, London, April 24, 1992.
[2] Gow, J, Triumph of the Lack of Will: International Diplomacy and the Yugoslav War, Hurst and Company, London, 1997, p205.
[3] Skoric, op cit, p2
[4]BNL Subpoena Renewal, H2549-51.
[5] ibid, H2549.
[6] Poulsen, T, in Allcock, J, Horton, J, Milivojevic, M, Eds, Yugoslavia in Transition, Berg Publishers, New York, 1992, p52.
[7] Skoric, op cit, p3. When Yugo filed for bankruptcy in 1989, it was bailed out by Zastava and BSE-Genex, a Yugoslav trading firm based in London and ranking 266th among Britain's top 500 companies, Artisien , P and Brown, A, in Allcock et al, op cit, p380.
[8] Milivojevic, M, in Ramet, S and Adamovich, L Edited, Beyond Yugoslavia, Westview press, Boulder, 1995, p78
[9] Margolis, E, The World of Sunday, April 25, 1992, quoted in Skoric, op cit, p4.
[10] BNL Subpoena Renewal, op cit, H2547-51. BNL made an illicit loan of 4 billion dollars to Iraq in the late 1980s.
[11] For example, Rockwell International Corporation sold licenses to Yugoslavia to supply Iraq's telecommunications equipment, Skoric, op cit.
[12] Skoric, op cit, p1-2.
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