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To: Hoplite; GeraldP


Excuse me? I was not, a week ago or at any other time, of the opinion that a massacre had happened in Racak. I agreed that something awful had happened there yes, as anytime civilians get killed when caught up in cross fire between two rival groups is awful. But it does not mean I agree that Racak was a massacre.

I have as much reason to believe the IAC as you do to trust the ICG who has Soros as one of their lead figures. But than anyone who throws a shadow of a doubt on the "legitimate" reasoning for bombing Serbia is considered unrealiable by you.


There are more recent articles as per 2004 that cast a doubt on the links you posted. And they are not from the IAC.

"In an attempt to bring the truth to light, Dr. Ranta is demanding that evidence connected with Racak, including photographs of the scene, be released. Dr. Ranta believes that photographs exist which would demonstrate that non-Serb authorities tampered with the physical evidence at Racak."

Although Ranta made the charges that directly led to the NATO intervention, her team's full report was suppressed by the U.N. and the EU for a full two years, until February 2001. When it was finally published in Forensic Science International, the report revealed that there was no evidence of a massacre, even though the OSCE observer mission in Kosovo, led by U.S. diplomat William Walker, was quick to come to such a conclusion.

This year, the Finnish pathologist Helena Ranta, who led forensic investigations into the Racak case, told the Berliner Zeitung of Jan. 17 that Serb security troops were also killed and that there was no proof that the dead bodies she examined were civilians or had been executed.

And then you have from Znet which I'm guessing you won't recognise as it is rather anti-nato or pro serb or whatever you want to call it, whatever it is, it does not toe the party line so that makes it "illegitimate", right?

Lippman cites for documentation of a massacre of 45 civilians at Racak, the "independent investigators" of Human Rights Watch and the EU's Forensic Experts Team. In general in his critiques Lippman's independent investigators are not very independent. Human Rights Watch was a protagonist in the Balkan Wars, always urging intervention by force and, most famously, issuing a report on NATO's bombing of Serbia that denied any NATO war crimes (Amnesty International, much more independent, found them in plenitude). HRW's report on Racak was one of the most outrageous ever-coming late, interviewing with complete gullibility 14 Kosovo Albanian witnesses from a KLA-dominated village, who claimed to have seen the massacre. But a French reporter, Christophe Chatelet, a journalist from Le Monde, arrived at Racak on the very afternoon of the attack, and was told by OSCE personnel that nothing of interest had happened (Le Monde, Jan. 21, 1999). On the following day Chatelet and Le Figaro reporter Renaud Girard looked at the video made by AP photographers who had been invited to witness the events and saw nothing suggestive of a massacre. The photographers and video have been kept unavailable since then. Those 14 witnesses showed themselves only to HRW, not to the truly independent observers, who might have been inclined to take issue with their accounts.

OSCE and the photographers had been invited by the Serbs to accompany their attack on Racak, a KLA stronghold, an amazing thing to do if they were intending to slaughter civilians. Amazing also that they left dozens of bodies to be found and capitalized on by the KLA and William Walker, especially when, on other occasions we are expected to believe that bodies were buried and in some cases reburied and even transported in refrigerated trucks hundreds of miles to hide Serb crimes from a watching world. The alternative, which I believe is true, is that the KLA collected the bodies of dead KLA fighters and put them in the gully, counting on the Western establishment to swallow a massacre, which Albright and company eagerly desired to provide the casus belli for a long-planned attack.

The EU Forensic team study of Racak has never been released, which is suggestive of its conclusions, as the EU was hardly a neutral and "independent" body. The team leader of that study, Helena Ranta, has spoken about Racak with great discomfort and hesitation, and contradicted herself frequently. She was under great pressure from William Walker and EU officials to toe the party line, and she has looked foolish. On one occasion, with obvious reluctance, she declared that the Racak deaths were a "crime against humanity," but quickly followed this by saying that killing one individual was a crime against humanity (the media left out this followup statement). At one point she said that the victims appeared to be unarmed civilians, but in testimony before the Tribunal in the Milosevic case she retreated. She limited herself to saying that "At the time-at that time, there was no indication of them being anything but unarmed civilians." (p. 17727) In fact, she explicitly denied having claimed any "executions" ("I never used the word 'executed'." [p. 17770]) Her hedging reflected the fact that in the Tribunal hearings she had been made well aware of the fact that some of the autopsied bodies were dressed in ways that suggested that they had been fighters, and in her press conference in Pristina back in 1999 she noted that "medicolegal investigations cannot give a conclusive answer to the question of whether there was a battle or whether the victims died under some other circumstances." This conflicts with her ambiguous statement before the Tribunal as well as her earlier statement that "They were most likely killed where they were found," a statement based on hearsay, and offered despite the fact that she didn't arrive on the scene until a week later and acknowledged that there had been no "chain of custody" of the bodies.

Ranta has retreated further since than, saying recently that there should be an investigation of the fighting at Racak, suggesting that bodies had been moved around there, criticizing Walker for asserting that there had been a massacre, asking "why the Tribunal is not interested in" the number of Serbs killed at Racak, and calling into question the poor procedures followed in gathering evidence (Markus Bickel, "Work of the Hague Tribunal in Racak Case Criticized," Berliner Zeitung, Jan. 17, 2004). She now recognizes the possibility that many or all of the bodies found were fighters, consistent with the evidence of gunpowder residues on the fingers of most of them. While Ranta retreats, and the OSCE continues to refuse to release the EU report, three forensic doctors on the EU team finally did publish an account of their findings in an article on the Racak evidence, "Independent forensic autopsies," in the Forensic Science International in 2001. These analysts reported finding a bizarre set of bullet paths that do not fit a picture of a firing squad mowing down a row of standing people. They also found only one example of a body that had been subjected to "close-range firing." The authors also stated that the Yugoslav and Finnish teams discussed the autopsy findings "in full professional consensus…In both groups the final conclusions were equally strong." These analysts denied any capacity to determine whether the bodies were of "unarmed civilians."

These comments by the three Finnish forensic experts are worth more than those of Helena Ranta, who was under intense pressure from William Walker, the U.S. official who had orchestrated the "massacre" claims, and the OSCE, to give the desired politically correct answers. I would say the "independent" evidence supports the staged event model, not the party line model.

That's just a small example of articles about Helena Ranta this year. For more just do a search on Google.

104 posted on 06/01/2004 2:22:41 PM PDT by Jane_N (Truth, like in the eyes of the beholder!)
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To: Jane_N

I admire Helenta Ranta's professionalism. However, it is that same professionalism which has been taken and used by many people to discredit what is quite clearly her opinion, that unarmed civilians were found murdered in Racak. A pathologists job is not to make statements such as "it was a massacre" or "the Serbs did it". What you claim to be her backtracking, is nothing more than her attempt to maintain the ethics of her profession. The INA article you quoted makes Dr. Ranta sound quite different than anything else she's ever said. (She's been called everything, from a liar to a NATO puppet, on Serb ultranationalist sites).

The fact remains, that indication of a "staged massacre" are circumstantial at best, and most of those who support the notion, do so on a "ideology-over-fact" basis. I do not have facts, I don't believe anybody here does, but there is nothing to convince me to dismiss the account of living witnesses, backed up by OSCE and HRW and PHR etc. These recounts sound very much like the ones I have heard with my own ears. (Please spare me the Rajmonda story, even "circumstantial" is an overstatement for it.)

I was not trying to be antagonistic when I said you should be ashamed of yourself, I am only very frustrated to keep hearing this "staged massacre" story when it is obvious there is no firm basis for it. Yes there is one or two good points, but they do not justify the revisionism evident in your post. My position is that such revisionism is disrespectful to those who lost their lives, and abating those who took them. Please remember that Racak was neither the first, nor the last of these events. The "Racak conspiracy theory" should be put to rest for as long as there is no reasonable evidence for it, and we are really quite distant from that being the case.

105 posted on 06/01/2004 3:02:54 PM PDT by GeraldP ("Non-violence never solved anything." - Homer)
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To: Jane_N
But it does not mean I agree that Racak was a massacre.

Well let's just set the WABAC machine to 5/21/04...

Me:  You didn't raise a stink about Racak when Bo Pellnas referred to the 23 men as having been executed in the article you posted, so I didn't really have any reason to suspect you'd subscribe to the idiocy surrounding the subject.

You don't, do you?

You:   I didn't "raise a stink" as you so eloquently put it in the Bo Pellnäs thread as it was not relevent to the conversation. I have never denied that Albanians were killed in Racak in any of my posts either.

So, just so I understand you completely here, Jane, what you're saying now is that you weren't agreeing with Bo's assertions concerning the massacre at Racak, but were instead, through some acrobatic gyration known only to you, maintaining that nobody was massacred at Racak while only implying that you were of the opposite viewpoint, and that you do subscribe to the idiocy surrounding the subject.

there is a difference between 23 killed/executed and 350,000 being "expelled".

I guess "/executed" is Australian or Swedish for "but not executed"?

Don't you just hate it that your previous statements are still available? It's kind of like Balkans history - you can misrepresent it all you want, as many are wont to do, but the lies never hold up under close scrutiny, which leaves the parties propagating those lies with a tough choice between coming clean or producing more lies - kind of makes your posts just a small example of the overall Balkans discussion here on FR.

The EU Forensic team study of Racak has never been released, which is suggestive of its conclusions, as the EU was hardly a neutral and "independent" body.

A copy of the EU Forensics Team's report on Racak, by the way, was delivered to the district court in Pristina on March 17th of 1999 - if it has been suppressed, it is with the complicity of Slobodan Milosevic.

Congratulations Jane, you're now a fully fledged member of FR's Serbian wolfpack.

Howl away.

108 posted on 06/01/2004 3:21:03 PM PDT by Hoplite
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To: Jane_N
The alternative, which I believe is true, is that the KLA collected the bodies of dead KLA fighters and put them in the gully,

Unfortunately, Jane, there is zero evidence to back your claim. No witnesses, no forensic evidence. The converse, however, that they were civilians shot and killed by Serbs is supported by eyewitnesses who saw the Serbs take the men out of the village toward the gully, by the statements of the four Albanian men who escaped from the shooters, by the forensic team that says the Albanians were shot & killed in the gully in the clothes they were wearing when found, and is even supported by reports of communications intercepts of Serb officials discussing Racak.

You quoted a couple excerpts from Dr. Ranta's testimony in your post--here is the transcript of her whole testimony--pay particular attention to page 17711 where an article about Ranta's findings is put into evidence:

she, that is Dr. Ranta, got all the

3 facts. She now knows where the bullets were fired from, point blank, not,

4 as the Serbs and Belorussians claim, from a distance of 200 metres. She

5 knows how many weapons were fired, what kind of bullets were used, that

6 the victims were shot in the clothes in which they were found, not in UCK

7 uniforms, and that they were shot where they were found. Under the

8 surface, investigators found a bullet along with fragments of human teeth.

9 These tooth fragments were found to be missing from a corpse lying

10 precisely in that location. The DNA was identical.

11 "By the middle of 2001, Ranta had convincing proof that Racak had

12 not been faked, but the German and French media continued to hypothesise a

13 Western conspiracy. You can imagine this is you being quoted. You can

14 imagine how I [Dr. Ranta]suffered, but I wouldn't say a word. I wouldn't influence

15 the public."

and further down in the transcript, she is asked to verify the accuracy of the above story:

9 Q. Quite right. But as to the gully, the way you were reported,

10 subject to the qualifications expressed in the letter to Mr. Curtis, was

11 accurate.

12 A. Yes.

Jane, I can see from the sources you cite that you like to read the left-wing, anti-American press; so I understand why you hold an opinion so contrary to the facts. I recommend you go primary source--read the eye-witness statements. Read what Dr. Ranta actually said, not what The Emperors New Clothes or Worker World Daily "reports" that she said.

113 posted on 06/01/2004 4:50:15 PM PDT by mark502inf
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