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Milosevic Says Kosovo Massacre Staged by Rebels
Reuters ^ | 4/15/02 | Eric Onstad

Posted on 04/15/2002 12:30:01 PM PDT by joan

— By THE HAGUE (Reuters) - Slobodan Milosevic at his trial on Monday accused separatist Kosovo Albanian guerrillas of fabricating an alleged atrocity by Serb forces in 1999 in a bid to spur a shocked West into attacking Yugoslavia.

The killing of about 45 ethnic Albanians in Racak in January 1999 shocked the outside world and was widely credited with stiffening NATO's resolve to launch its 11-week campaign of air strikes against Yugoslavia two months later.

The former Serb strongman, accused of genocide and crimes against humanity in Croatia, Bosnia and Kosovo in the 1990s, could face life behind bars if convicted at the end of Europe's biggest international war crimes trial since World War Two.

The Hague tribunal heard last week from a Western observer that dozens of unarmed men dressed in slippers and rubber boots were found shot in the head at Racak in 1999 after Serb forces entered the village. Milosevic disputed the testimony.

Milosevic told the war crimes court that ethnic Albanian Kosovo Liberation Army (KLA) guerrillas shifted corpses around Racak to an open mass grave as part of a ruse to convince Western observers that Serb forces had butchered villagers. He said Serb forces had only killed KLA guerrillas in gun battles.

"It may be, as Serb authorities claim, and many Europeans tended to believe, that the victims were in fact killed in the shoot-out reported by police and then aligned to give the appearance of a massacre," Milosevic said quoting from an Italian press report.


The 60-year-old accused, who is conducting his own defense at the United Nations court against charges he has rejected as "false," vigorously challenged testimony that Racak's villagers had been gunned down.

Retired British general Karel Drewienkiewicz, who served in Kosovo with a mission of the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe (OSCE), said he was convinced a massacre had taken place and had not been staged by the KLA.

"I know what I saw on the hillside and it was not was men who had been gunned down in cold blood," said Drewienkiewicz.

Drewienkiewicz acknowledged, however, that a fierce battle had taken place between KLA guerrillas and Serb forces at Racak and that there had been a "lapse" of some 15 hours overnight before Western observers viewed the scene.

Last week Drewienkiewicz told the court he saw men shot in the head at Racak. They had been dressed in carpet slippers and rubber boots.

Since his trial opened in February Milosevic has accuses the West and Islamic militant group al-Qaeda of supporting a "terrorist" campaign by the separatist Kosovo Liberation Army to destabilize the Balkans.

He declined to enter pleas to the charges against him. Not guilty pleas were entered on his behalf. The trial is expected to last at least two years.

TOPICS: Foreign Affairs
KEYWORDS: balkans; kosovo; racak
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Drewienkiewicz acknowledged, however, that a fierce battle had taken place between KLA guerrillas and Serb forces at Racak and that there had been a "lapse" of some 15 hours overnight before Western observers viewed the scene.

15 hours with the Serbian police absent from the town and the KLA already back in as soon as the police left. So the KLA had 15 hours alone in the town to...

1 posted on 04/15/2002 12:30:01 PM PDT by joan
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To: *Balkans
index bump
2 posted on 04/15/2002 1:07:03 PM PDT by Fish out of Water
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To: joan
Sounds like a repeat of Bosnia.........made for TV lies and murders to ramp up public sentiment.
3 posted on 04/15/2002 1:09:37 PM PDT by OldFriend
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To: joan;Hoplite;Fusion; vooch; wraith
Racak for the 1000th time
4 posted on 04/15/2002 1:14:42 PM PDT by Incorrigible
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To: joan
It's quite incredible that there are so many thick heads when it comes to exposing the fact that there was no massacre at Racak by Serbian forces!!!. It's like telling a child [in this case, children] over and over again of the truth, but, like spoiled brats, don't want to accept it.

The "OSCE LIED ABOUT RACAK," which was the headline of Il Manifesto, the Italian newspaper dated 9 April 2000. It reported "There was no massacre in Racak, says today the Italian daily Il Manifesto, citing the results of the inquiry recently launched by the German daily Berliner Zeitung. The evidence clearly shows what really happened: there was no mass murder in Racak. Those were probably the bodies of the KLA terrorists who died [in the battle] on January 15th."

Some people just can't hack the truth.

5 posted on 04/15/2002 1:36:17 PM PDT by Doctor13
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Comment #6 Removed by Moderator

To: joan
Racak is still an unresolved question for me. There were 45 dead bodies, with lots of opportunity to fiddle with them by either side, and confirmation and conflicting stories of who they were and how they got there.

What I'd like to see is the coroner's forensic reports or testimony by the coroners themselves. It is fairly easy to identify whether a gunshot to the back of the head was the cause of death [ie evidence of a massacre], or made sometime after death [ie evidence of a staged massacre], parrafin tests on the hands of the dead to see if they recently fired weapons [ie soldiers / rebels vs. civilians], time of death, cause of death, etc.

I also seem to recall that forensic reports were prepared but have never been released. Anyone know if that's true, and if so, why haven't the reports been available? I'm willing and I believe most right thinking Freepers would accept proven facts. I'm just still wating for them.

Also, does anyone know when, or if, the ICTY plans to call the coroners? They are usually one of the first witnesses in a murder trial - they tend to establish the date, time and cause of death and rule out a lot of defenses.

BTW, the general's testimony does not appear to establish the required command responsibility link to find Milosevic ordered a 'massacre', identity of the perpetrators [If Serbian soldiers, then which ones, or was it paramilitaries, the mafia, jealous lovers, etc.] or accepted NATO's interpretation of a 'massacre' to justify punishment of the unidentified perpetrators.

7 posted on 04/15/2002 3:36:05 PM PDT by LA-Lawyer
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To: LA-Lawyer
Dr. Helena Ranta was the head of forensic team. She is forensic dentist, not forensic pathologist. She never visited the crime scene ( or, visited crime scene several motnths after the event for the first time). She did not possess the knowledge to evaluate the use of tests wether someone used firearms or not.

Besides, there is AP video footage of January 15 1999 that shows firefight between KLA and Serbian Police.

Ranta got hush money in the form of position of director, Helsinki Committefor Finland. (State Department stint)

She is disgrace for medical profession.

8 posted on 04/15/2002 8:58:51 PM PDT by DTA
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To: joan,ABrit
Anyone have an idea how to prod the Hague to release transcripts, discontinued when the score was Milo 2, der Hague 0? After all, its' still being pouted as the 'biggest trial' of the century. People are interested in the 'ending'.

ABrit sounds like he has an inside track and could help out, and explain what's going on.

9 posted on 04/15/2002 10:44:37 PM PDT by duckln
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To: joan
The Serbian police know better than to go into KLA territory at night, especially when they are returning to a scene of previous heavy fighting. Most of the actions happend by day as 'night time is the right time' for the KLA. I also wonder where the reports of nightime gunfire (which judging from the report was not exactly 'minimal') are, if they exist and by whom.


10 posted on 04/16/2002 3:43:03 AM PDT by Voronin
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To: joan;Hoplite;Fusion; vooch; wraith;duckln
From the indictment:

a. On or about 15 January 1999, in the early morning hours, the village of Racak (Stimlje/Shtime municipality) was attacked by forces of the FRY and Serbia. After shelling, the forces of the FRY and Serbia entered the village later in the morning and began conducting house-to-house searches. Villagers, who attempted to flee from the forces of the FRY and Serbia, were shot throughout the village. A group of approximately 25 men attempted to hide in a building, but were discovered by the forces of the FRY and Serbia. They were beaten and then were removed to a nearby hill, where they were shot and killed. Altogether, the forces of the FRY and Serbia killed approximately 45 Kosovo Albanians in and around Racak. (Those persons killed who are known by name are set forth in Schedule A, which is attached as an appendix to this indictment.)

No, I don't have an inside track, these excerpts come straight from the ICTY website.

Looks like the ICTY have produced an independent eyewitness who says he saw men who had been shot in the head.

Milosevic disputes this, but he is not an eye witness.

What I don't think a lot of you understand is that this was the straw that broke the camels back.

No matter how small the straw, it was in fact the weight of what had gone before which did the damage.

11 posted on 04/16/2002 8:51:25 AM PDT by ABrit
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To: duckln
ABrit sounds like he has an inside track and could help out, and explain what's going on.

No disrespect, but are you kidding??? ABrit claims that s/he visited Yugoslavia at some point and yet apparently met no Serbs; calls everyone who was against the bombing of Serbia (regardless of their political stance) 'deniers of the holocaust'; and speaks about the murder of 'Kosovar Muslims'. Hmmm... I don't think so. Although s/he does have a collection of 'Bash Slobo' and general anti-Serbian headlines from during the bombing - that shows a real leaning towards 'deep' research and inside knowledge.

12 posted on 04/16/2002 10:05:34 AM PDT by Kate22
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To: ABrit
No, I don't have an inside track, these excerpts come straight from the ICTY website.

Not true! They come filtered by the Media and have been 'negatively bias', for the most part, against Serbian.

My question to you has been, why aren't the transcripts released ? They provide the information 'people' require, not political articles by rumdumb news outlets.

Looks like the ICTY have produced an independent eyewitness who says he saw men who had been shot in the head.

So what's the point? Who shot who? It's what the KLA does to 'fence sitters'. There are plenty of reports of 'decapitations' of 'infidels', and we know who's resposible for that.

13 posted on 04/16/2002 10:18:27 AM PDT by duckln
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To: Kate22
ABrit claims that s/he visited Yugoslavia at some point and yet apparently met no Serbs;

That's what Paddy Ashdown said almost verbatim in his testimony. He observed the shelling from the Albania side. As I recall, he saw a destoyed village but no Serbs.
He has the 'charges' at his figure tips and the same flawed accusations.
A 'johnny come late', March 2002, makes me think he's employed to support NATO.

14 posted on 04/16/2002 10:47:03 AM PDT by duckln
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To: ABrit
Press Review from Diana Johnstone in Paris THE "RACAK MASSACRE" QUESTIONED BY FRENCH MEDIA Paris, 20 January 1999 French newspaper and television reports today feature evidence apparently ignored by U.S. media, suggesting that the "Racak massacre" so vigorously denounced by the U.S.-imposed head of the OSCE (Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe) "verifiers" mission to Kosovo, William Walker, was a setup. This coincides with reports in the German press indicating strong irritation with Walker among other OSCE members. Meanwhile, the ineffable State Department spokesman James Rubin appeared tonight on CNN for short glimpses between Clinton impeachment dronings, plodding forward amid questions from journalists even more gung-ho for NATO bombings than he and his bride Christiane Amanpour, whose love story apparently owes so much to the common anti-Serb cause. It seems the U.S. is clueless as to the doubts being cast elsewhere on the "massacre" story, and the only questions well-paid U.S. journalists could conjure up were variations on the theme, "why isn’t cowardly NATO already bombing the Serbs?" RENAUD GIRARD has covered virtually all the Yugoslav wars of disintegration on the spot for the French daily "Le Figaro". Here is my rough but accurate translation of his lead article published on January 20, 1999: KOSOVO: OBSCURE AREAS OF A MASSACRE The images filmed during the attack on the village of Racak contradict the Albanians’ and the OSCE’s version Racak. Did the American ambassador William Walker, chief of the OSCE cease-fire verification mission to Kosovo, show undue haste when, last Saturday, he publicly accused Sserbian security forces of having on the previous day executed in cold blood some forty Albanian peasants in the little village of Racak? The question deserves to be raised in the light of a series of disturbing facts. In order to understand, it is important to go through the events of the crucial day of Friday in chronological order. At dawn, intervention forces of the Serbian police encircled and then attacked the village of Racak, known as a bastion of UCK (Kosovo Liberation Army, KLA) separatist guerrillas. The police didn’t seem to have anything to hide, since, at 8:30 a.m., they invited a television team (two journalists of AP TV) to film the operation. A warning was also given to the OSCE, which sent two cars with American diplomatic licenses to the scene. The observers spent the whole day posted on a hill where they could watch the village. At 3 p.m., a police communique reached the international press center in Pristina announcing that 15 UCK "terrorists" had been killed in combat in Racak and that a large stock of weapons had been seized. At 3:30 p.m., the police forces, followed by the AP TV team, left the village, carrying with them a heavy 12.7 mm machine gun, two automatic rifles, two rifles with telescopic sights and some thirty Chinese-made kalashnikovs. At 4:40 p.m., a French journalist drove through the village and met three orange OSCE vehicles. The international observers were chatting calmly with three middle-aged Albanians in civilian clothes. They were looking for eventual civilian casualties. Returning to the village at 6 p.m., the journalist saw the observers taking away two very slightly injured old men and two women. The observers, who did not seem particularly worried, did not mention anything in particular to the journalist. They simply said that they were "unable to evaluate the battle toll". The scene of Albanian corpses in civilian clothes lined up in a ditch which would shock the whole world was not discovered until the next morning, around 9 a.m., by journalists soon followed by OSCE observers. At that time, the village was once again taken over by armed UCK soldiers who led the foreign visitors, as soon as they arrived, toward the supposed massacre site. Around noon, William Walker in person arrived and expressed his indignation. All the Albanian witnesses gave the same version: at midday, the policemen forced their way into homes and separated the women from the men, whom they led to the hilltops to execute them without more ado. The most disturbing fact is that the pictures filmed by the AP TV journalists—which Le Figaro was shown yesterday—radically contradict that version. It was in fact an empty village that the police entered in the morning, sticking close to the walls. The shooting was intense, as they were fired on from UCK trenches dug into the hillside. The fighting intensified sharply on the hilltops above the village. Watching from below, next to the mosque, the AP journalists understood that the UCK guerrillas, encircled, were trying desperately to break out. A score of them in fact succeeded, as the police themselves admitted. What really happened? During the night, could the UCK have gathered the bodies, in fact killed by Serb bullets, to set up a scene of cold-blooded massacre? A disturbing fact: Saturday morning the journalists found only very few cartridges around the ditch where the massacre supposedly took place. Intelligently, did the UCK seek to turn a military defeat into a political victory? Only a credible international inquiry would make it possible to resolve these doubts. The reluctance of the Belgrade government, which has consistently denied the massacre, thus seems incomprehensible. END— Short comment: Not entirely incomprehensible, since Belgrade is convinced that the U.S.-led "international community" is determined to frame the Serb side in order to justify NATO bombing. The hasty and virulent William Walker condemnation of the Serbs for "the most horrendous" massacre he had ever seen (and that after four years in El Salvador!), not to mention the latest in a series of fatal "captures" of Bosnian Serbs accused of war crimes, has only confirmed the view of most Serbs that they can expect only unfair condemnation, not justice, from such "investigators". Doubts are cast on the reality of the "Racak massacre" even by LE MONDE, which for years has led the crusade against the Serbs. But Le Monde’s own correspondent, Christophe Chatelot, sent the following report from Pristina: WERE THE RACAK DEAD REALLY COLDLY MASSACRED? The version of the facts spread by the Kosovars leaves several questions unanswered. Belgrade says that the forty-five victims were UCK "terrorst, fallen during combat, but rejects any international investigation. Isn’t the Racak massacre just too perfect? New eye witness accounts gathered on Monday, January 18, by Le Monde, throw doubt on the reality of the horrible spectacle of dozens of piled up bodies of Albanians supposedly summarily executed by Serb security forces last Friday. Were the victims executed in cold blood, as UCK says, or killed in combat, as the Serbs say? According to the version gathered and broadcast by the press and the Kosovo verification mission (KVM) observers from the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe (OSCE), the massacre took place on January 15 in the early after-noon. "Masked" Serbian police entered the village of Racak which had been shelled all morning by Yugoslav army tanks. The broke down the doors and entered people’s homes, ordering the women to stay there while they pushed the men to the edge of the village to calmly execute them with a bullet through the head, not without first having tortured and mutilated several. Some witnesses even said that the Serbs sang as they did their dirty work, before leaving the village around 3:30 p.m. The account by two journalists of Associated Press TV television (AP TV) who filmed the police operation in Racak contradicts this tale. When at 10 a.m. they entered the village in the wake of a police armored vehicle, the village was nearly deserted. They advanced through the streets under the fire of the Kosovo Liberation Army (UCK) fighters lying in ambush in the woods above the village. The exchange of fire continued throughout the operation, with more or less intensity. The main fighting took place in the woods. The Albanians who had fled the village when the first Serb shells were fired at dawn tried to escape. There they ran into Serbian police who had surrounded the village. The UCK was trapped in between. The object of the violent police attack on Friday was a stronghold of UCK Albanian independence fighters. Virtually all the inhabitants had fled Racak during the frightful Serb offensive of the summer of 1998. With few exceptions, they had not come back. "Smoke came from only two chimneys", noted one of the two AP TV reporters. The Serb operation was thus no surprise, nor was it a secret. On the morning of the attack, a police source tipped off AP TV: "Come to Racak, something is happening". At 10 a.m., the team was on the spot alongside the police; it filmed from a peak overlooking the village and then through the streets in the wake of an armored vehicle. The OSCE was also warned of the action. At least two teams of international observers watched the fighting from a hill where they could see part of the village. They entered Racak shortly after the police left. They then questioned a few Albanians about the situation, trying to find out whether there were wounded civilians. Around 6 p.m., they took four persons—two women and two old men—who were very slightly wounded toward the dispensary of the neighboring town of Stimje. The verifiers said at that time that they were "incapable of establishing the number of casualties of that day of fighting". The publicity given by the Serbian police to that operation was intense. At 10:30 a.m., it gave out its first press release. It announced that the police had "encircled the village of Racak with the aim of arresting the members of a terrorist group who killed a policeman" the previous Sunday. At 3 p.m., a first bulletin announced fifteen Albanians killed in fighting. The next day, Saturday, it welcomed the success of the operation which, it said, had resulted in the death of dozens of UCK "terrorists" and the capture of a large stock of weapons. The attempt to arrest an Albanian presumed to have murdered a Serb policemen turned into a massacre. At 5:30 p.m., the police evacuated the site under the sporadic fire of a handful of UCK fighters who continued to hold out thanks to the steep and rough terrain. In no time, the first of the Albanians who had got away come back down into the village, those who had managed to hide came out in the open and three KVM vehicles drove into the village. One hour after the police left, night fell. The next morning, the press and the KVM came to see the damage caused by the fighting. It was at this moment that, guided by the armed UCK fighters who had recaptured the village, they discovered the ditch where a score of bodies were piled up, almost exclusively men. At midday, the chief of the KVM in person, the American diplomat William Walker, arrived on the spot and declared his indignation at the atrocities committed by "the Serb police forces and the Yugoslav army". The condemnation was total, irrevocable. And yet questions remain. How could the Serb police have gathered a group of men and led them calmly toward the execution site while they were constantly under fire from UCK fighters? How could the ditch located on the edge of Racak have escaped notice by local inhabitants familiar with the surroundings who were present before nightfall? Or by the observers who were present for over two hours in this tiny village? Why so few cartridges around the corpses, so little blood in the hollow road where twenty three people are supposed to have been shot at close range with several bullets in the head? Rather, weren’t the bodies of the Albanians killed in combat by the Serb police gathered into the ditch to create a horror scene which was sure to have an appalling effect on public opinion? Don’t the violence and rapidity of Belgrade’s reaction, which gave the chief of the KVM forty-eight hours to leave Yugoslavia, show that the Yugoslavs are sure of what they are saying? Only an international inquiry above all suspicion will make it possible to clarify these obscure points. Finnish and Belurussian legal doctors were expected to arrive in Pristina on Wednesday to attend the autopsies being carried out by Yugoslav doctors. The problem is that the Belgrade authorities have never been cooperative in this matter. Why? Whatever the conclusions of the investigators, the Racak massacre shows that the hope of soon reaching a settlement of the Kosovo crisis seems quite illusory. END Report by Christophe Chatelot, Le Monde, dated 21 January 1999. WARHAWK BEHIND U.S. KOSOVO POLICY/ AMB. WALKER COVERED UP REAL MASSACRES IN EL SALVADOR By Gary Wilson When the U.S. news media began to report that a massacre had taken place on Jan. 15 in Yugoslavia’s Kosovo province, most relied for their information on statements by U.S. Ambassador William Walker. On Walker’s say-so, U.S.-NATO warplanes could begin bombing this small country, which has already had large pieces torn out of it in recent years. It’s important that the world know who Walker is: a U.S. State Department veteran who directed the dirty war against El Salvador and Nicaragua in the 1980s and lied about every aspect of it. Walker, now the head of a NATO-imposed inspection team in Kosovo, said he had visited the site of the alleged massacre and declared that he knew all the facts. He was the judge, jury and executioner all in one. Not even a district attorney in any United States city could so boldly make such a declaration. Guilty first. Evidence later. The Yugoslav government ordered Walker’s expulsion. The U.S. media all said this was in order to cover up what had really happened. But that’s turning reality on its head. It was Walker who spoke out before the facts could be known. He thus guaranteed that Washington’s version of what happened became the official version. That’s a real cover-up. WHO IS WALKER? Who is Ambassador Walker? Is he the Richard Butler of Kosovo, as many in the Balkans now believe? Butler, an Australian acting as the head of the United Nations inspection force in Iraq, has secretly worked for U.S. military and intelligence services. Members of the UN Security Council have even charged him with fabricating his last report to fit the needs of Washington in order to justify the Pentagon’s December bombing campaign against Iraq. Walker heads up a NATO inspection team in Kosovo. Who makes up the team? "Sizable numbers have military backgrounds; a lesser number, but also a sizable number, have police backgrounds," Walker said at a State Department news conference Jan. 8 (official transcript, U.S. Information Service). When asked if the Kosovo team was a spy team like the UNSCOM group in Iraq, Walker replied, "I hope everyone on my mission is trying to gather as much intelligence as they possibly can." Questioned again, "Are you reporting it back to Washington?" Walker replied, "A lot of it comes back to Washington, but it goes to all the capitals [of the NATO powers]." Sounds a lot like what’s been happening in Iraq. Is Walker someone who can be trusted to tell the truth about what is happening in Kosovo? Or does his past history show that he is the master of the political lie and cover-up? Walker is commonly portrayed in the U.S. media as a career diplomat now caught in the Balkan quagmire. But that’s not quite the reality. Walker does have a long career in the U.S. State Department. It is how he spent that career that sheds some light on what he is doing today. AN AIDE TO ELIOT ABRAMS AND OLIVER NORTH Walker began his diplomatic career in 1961 in Peru. In 1985 he was made deputy assistant secretary of state for Central America. He was a key operator in the Reagan White House’s operation to overthrow the Nicaraguan government, run by Lt. Col. Oliver North and Assistant Secretary of State Eliot Abrams. Walker was a special assistant to Abrams, according to charges filed in U.S. District Court by Independent Counsel Lawrence Walsh. According to the court record, Walker was responsible for setting up a phony humanitarian operation at an airbase in Ilopango, El Salvador. It was secretly used to run guns, ammunition and supplies to the contra mercenaries attacking Nicaragua. Independent Counsel Walsh believed that Walker was one of the key players in Oliver North’s operations, according to court records. Later, from 1988 to 1992, Walker was the U.S. Ambassador to El Salvador. That was the period when military death squads reigned. Many in these death squads were trained at the U.S. military’s School of the Americas at Ft. Benning near Columbus, Ga. ‘SILENT PARTICIPANT’ IN KILLING OF JESUITS A document presented last Nov. 16 by anti-war activists at a protest outside the School of the Americas gave details of one of the massacres:"On Nov. 16, 1989, an armed group of men from El Salvador’s U.S.-trained Atlacatl military battalion, most of them SOA graduates, entered a dormitory of the Jos, Simecn Caas University of Central America at 2:30 to 3 a.m. They dragged six priests from their beds and then shot them in the head. Then they killed the priests’ cook and her 15-year-old daughter." The priests were believed to be sympathetic to the liberation army fighting against the U.S.-backed government. The Jesuits have charged that Walker was a "silent participant" in the massacre. Years later, on May 6, 1996, Walker headed a ceremony in Washington to honor 5,000 U.S. soldiers who had secretly fought in El Salvador. At the time Walker was ambassador, the official story was that there were only 50 U.S. military "advisers" in El Salvador. (Washington Post, May 6, 1996) AN EXPERIENCED LIAR So Walker is not someone used to telling the truth. He could not honestly be characterized as an independent observer or a human rights advocate. He is probably up to his old tricks in Kosovo. This time, his actions give backing to a different contra army, the contra "Kosovo Liberation Army." Some European newspapers have begun to refer to NATO as the KLA Air Force. Walker’s actions are clearly meant to destabilize the Yugoslav government. His statements could be used to justify a NATO military attack, if the U.S. government decides to do that. On Jan. 12, three top Yugoslav officials, including a prominent opponent of the government of Slobodan Milosevic, held a news conference to show a top-secret CIA document on U.S. plans to oust Milosevic. The document said that $35 million was to be funneled to opposition groups in Yugoslavia. The U.S. Senate has passed a bill calling for the overthrow of Milosevic. A war is being waged against the government of Yugoslavia. The so-called Kosovo Liberation Army, which has adopted the uniform of the fascist occupiers of the region during World War II, has backing from the United States, Germany and Israel. On news of the alleged massacre, right-wing Israeli Arial Sharon wrote a statement that was passed by parliament condemning the Yugoslav government and calling for its ouster. No one should get caught up in the media hysteria of the moment. The truth of what happened in the Kosovo village of Racak may never be fully known. Yugoslav forensic teams were prevented by the KLA from visiting the site or examining the bodies before Walker made his statements. The story given out to the world has come through Walker and his team of military "experts." A READER RESPONDS TO ARTICLE Stephanie Niketic wrote: Gary Wilson’s article "Warhawk behind U.S. Kosovo policy" is truly excellent. However, Mr. Wilson makes three errors I know of regarding the Kosovo situation which can undermine the entire piece if left uncorrected: One, the Racak "massacre" is said to have taken place on Jan. 15, not Jan. 14. Two, the document which upset the Yugoslavian government was not "a top-secret CIA" document, as claimed by Milosevic. It was a report written by the "U.S. Institute for Peace," available on their web site ( ) for about a month. It does call for U.S. funding of "democracy" in Yugoslavia to increase from the current $15 million to $35 million. But who is the USIP? It is funded by Congress and run by presidential appointees, including the State Department Under Secretary for Intelligence and someone from the Department of Defense. If it quacks like a duck and walks like a duck...? Three, I follow this pretty closely and I know of no Senate bill passed calling for the overthrow of Milosevic. The Senate did pass a non-binding resolution last summer calling for his indictment by the International War Crimes Tribunal. If I’m wrong on this, I would really like to know about it! Stephanie Niketic Gary Wilson replies: Thanks for your remarks. You’ve give me a chance to elaborate on some points that space limitations kept me from doing in the original article. The date of the alleged massacre was Jan. 15, and the typographical error has been fixed on the web version of the article. On the second point, I reported what was said at the news conference in Belgrade—that the papers came from the CIA. Since I had space limitations I did not elaborate more fully. I felt that since the CIA is often used generically to refer to all spy operations by Washington, it could stand. As you’ve noted, the documents they presented were actually prepared by the United States Institute for Peace, an agency set up and funded by the U.S. Congress. The USIP is like many Cold War organizations funded by the U.S. government and secretly tied to the CIA. As you’ve noted, this looks like a duck. The head of the USIP is Chester Crocker. Under him is Max Kampelman. Crocker was a Reagan administration official whose policy of "constructive engagement" strengthened and emboldened the racist apartheid government of South Africa. Kampelman was also a Reagan administration official who has spent much of the 1990s advocating the breakup of Yugoslavia and a NATO military occupation of the Balkans. Finally, the term overthrow was inaccurate. An overthrow might imply a popular uprising. The Senate knows that’s not about to happen and doesn’t want to take such a chance. A better choice of terms might have been to say that the Senate has called for a foreign military takeover of the Yugoslav government much like the U.S. military takeover of the Panamanian government of Manuel Noriega in 1989. The Senate resolution you refer to—Senate Concurrent Resolution 105—does more than call Milosevic a criminal. It lays the groundwork for justifying a foreign invasion of Yugoslavia by U.S.-led NATO forces for the purposes of dismantling the Milosevic government. The resolution says that "the United States should engage with other members of the North Atlantic Treaty Organization and other interested states in a discussion of measures to be taken to apprehend" Milosevic and members of his government.
15 posted on 04/16/2002 12:32:37 PM PDT by akbsz
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To: OldFriend
When are we going to apologizes to Serbia, and pay them for the undeserved destruction? Let Slobo go, and give the Serbians arms to fight the Moslem infiltrators from Iran/Saudi Arabia!
16 posted on 04/16/2002 12:38:57 PM PDT by philosofy123
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To: philosofy123
Recently heard slick willie bragging about how we supported the islamic fundamentalists in Bosnia and Albania.

Albania was on the list of terror nations and our navy was ordered NOT to enter their port...........that is, until Albania became slick willie's new best friends.

What a sad day in our history when we allowed the media in general and christianne amanpour of CNN in particular to foist this lie on America.

17 posted on 04/16/2002 12:47:13 PM PDT by OldFriend
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To: ABrit
Don't worry about this thread - Milosevic's defence in this matter (the bodies were moved) was one of the first lies, and has already been disproven.

The rest is just the usual smokescreen of BS. Milosevic doesn't have the luxury of all his henchmen of ascribing his crimes to his superiors or to simply following orders, and he's going to get his ass handed to him on this one.

20 posted on 04/16/2002 2:55:48 PM PDT by Hoplite
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To: ABrit;joan;Hoplite;Fusion; vooch; wraith;duckln
A group of approximately 25 men attempted to hide in a building, but were discovered by the forces of the FRY and Serbia. They were beaten and then were removed to a nearby hill, where they were shot and killed.

Don't you find something very strange here? Where are all the women and children if Racak had been pounced on by the Serbian VJ and MUP? Why were the 25 men ALL attempted to hide together like sheep rather than take their AK-47's and flee for life in the hills where the UCK were sniping at the Serb forces? Think about it don't you think that the male villagers would have evacuated with their families unless they decided or where force to stay behind and defend their village with the UCK??? The latter I believe is the answer and the end result is the UCK taking the bodies of the Racak villagers and placing them in the ditch, well in the open where any Serbian soldier would not dare venture. The reason I know this is because I have been to Racak and know for a fact that this ditch is at the halfway point between the tree line above where the UCK snipers were shooting at the Serbs forces and the village itself. The UCK have tried this scenario before but did not succeed until Racak.

The biggest thing that I can add that convinces me that the UCK took the time during the night of January 15, 1999 to stage the massacre is because they the UCK prevented one of two OSCE KVM patrols from going to Racak. Why would the UCK do this if inocent Kosovar Albanians where being butchered by the Serb forces who by the way had news media with them. Makes no sence.

21 posted on 04/16/2002 9:01:57 PM PDT by Wraith
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To: Wraith
Wraith - the men were seperated from their family members, who were left in the village.

That information has been available for over a year.

C'mon - you're not sleuthing anymore, you're buying into the Slobo revisionism and embellishing it with your own proprietary tidbits.

The Serbs shot those men, not the KLA.
The men were shot in place, per the subsequent investigations.

You can raise all the questions you want about the prosecution's version of events, but cannot come up with a reasonable subsitute version of events which conforms to information now available regarding Racak.

Neither can Milosevic, and he's going to spend the rest of his life behind bars in part because of it.

22 posted on 04/16/2002 10:02:55 PM PDT by Hoplite
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To: Hoplite
The rest is just the usual smokescreen of BS

You've got that part right. Go to the video archives (15th) listen what this witness's 'testimony' is, or as Milosevic points, is answers and opinions 'read' from prepared 'text'. Milosevic again 'creams' the witness (a standin for Walker).

From the 'testimony', Walker is in deep doo doo, if justice is served. I remember anxiously waiting for the 'Finnish' report, commissioned by Germany, then unbelievably classified as secret. This IMO is a covert operation that won't wash, truth be known. The 'media' was and is up to their necks in this fraud.

23 posted on 04/16/2002 10:08:23 PM PDT by duckln
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To: Hoplite
The Serbs shot those men, not the KLA. The men were shot in place, per the subsequent investigations.

Only partly right, the Serb Army shot the rebels (men) but from a distance per all the subsequent investigations! The 'witnesses' (15th April) opinion was, contrary to all evidence, that they were masquered in place. And he had to 'read' that from 'cue' cards he brought with him.

What a farce. Milosevic is now at 21, NATO nada.

24 posted on 04/16/2002 10:24:03 PM PDT by duckln
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To: Hoplite
Wraith - the men were seperated from their family members, who were left in the village. Funny how those revisionist journalists accompanying the Serb forces found a village empty of all inhabitants except a couple of old men. Must have been an invisible roundup.
28 posted on 04/17/2002 6:55:03 AM PDT by Gael
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To: duckln
Could be right - the 'output and knowledge base' is weak enough to be a Nato jobbie a la Paddy 'Pantsdown'. It's interesting that all Mr P had to offer were the tales of being a postman for Blaair, and 2 x hilltop observations with (as you say) Albanian 'guides'.
But he was pushing the publication of his new book, and 'where needs must'...?!

By the way, what has happened to the English language feeds via Domovina at the Hague. Does anyone know? The feed is fine in all other languages. Very strange and suspicious.

29 posted on 04/17/2002 7:56:01 AM PDT by Kate22
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To: Kate22
English language feeds via Domovina at the Hague.

I gave up on the live feeds. The time difference and buffering interuptions makes it to tedious. I just watched the video archive of the 15th, good contiuous picture and sound.

30 posted on 04/17/2002 10:32:49 AM PDT by duckln
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To: daiuy; SANDNES
Here ‘tis.
36 posted on 04/17/2002 11:48:37 AM PDT by Gael
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To: Gael
The journalists, in the case of those present on the day of the action, Jan 15th, were a Serb AP TV camera crew.

They arrived hours after the operation started and did not get a free run of the village, being treated to what amounts to a MUP CAPEX.

Or are you referring to some other set of individuals unknown to everyone save yourself? The rest of the media usually mentioned (Chatelot and Girard) visited on the 16th, not the 15th.

At any rate, should the TV crew's input be helpful to Milosevic's case, I'm sure we'll hear from them during the defence portion of the trial - I look forward to the cross examination portion if that's the case.

38 posted on 04/17/2002 2:59:43 PM PDT by Hoplite
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To: joan
Thank you, Bill Clinton, for your wag-the-dog fiasco.
39 posted on 04/17/2002 3:00:47 PM PDT by Saundra Duffy
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To: Hoplite
So you say.

I maintain that these men were forced to defend their village by the UCK while the normal population was no where near. It is a fact that the UCK dead were removed and only the dead from Racak were left. A fact. You only rely on the falsified OSCE reports and a flawed pathologist who never conducted a proper investigation but refuse to listen to another point of view from a Hum worrier as Vooch puts it.

Hoplite I have not change my position one bit since I started on FR in regards to RACAK. A lot of what I have said is slowly coming to light and I believe you have a problem with acknowledging that I have made some points.

I have a friend, a former OSCE KVM who told me about altered field reports that OSCE were falsifying. I have posted this way before the news media ever printed it. I know the name of the UCK commander whose men stopped one of the two OSCE KVM patrol. As a matter of fact I've sat in this devils office and looked him in the eyes personally for obvious reasons. This individual is still there.

The UCK tried to orchestrate a similar situation in a LDK SUPPORTING village not far from Racak some months prior and it was this same UCK commander who set that one up. You won't find that tidbit in any OSCE report. The villagers were ordered by this UCK commander to remain in this village with a promise that the UCK would defend it. Serbs come, no UCK and a very quick evacuation with some limited fighting. A lot of distrust with this UCK commander by the LDK supporting villagers and trust me word travels much faster than a Serbian tank in Kosovo. Attempts on the lives of Kosovo Albanians from UCK goon squads have taken place because of the the rift between the LDK and UCK at Racak. A very dangerous rift.

So Dear Hoplite I found it curious that the population from this LDK village managed to depart very quickly and those in Racak that could hear the Serbian Armor miles away had a problem doing this. So don't patronize me in regards to what I know and believe and especially don't paint me with the pro Milosivic brush you should know better. I dare you to quote any of my posts that show I support Milosivic. I am not doing this to defend him but to simply add to the TRUTH about a lot of civilians who were forced to become very dead stage props by the UCK to impress the world stage .

I was there my friend and have a better idea of what reality in kosovo is. Buying into the Slobo revisionism indeed!

40 posted on 04/17/2002 4:51:07 PM PDT by Wraith
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To: Banat; kosta50; pythagorean; Tropoljac; voronin; wonders; FireWall
41 posted on 04/18/2002 2:00:45 AM PDT by getoffmylawn
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To: Wraith;Hoplite;Vooch
Wraith, Hoplite enjoys his armchair view of the situation, his pathetic rantings are more for his ego inflation than actually getting to the bottom of the truth. He is desperately attempting to spin this either to protect his precious pride for being wrong and not wanting to admit it or he has Albanian relatives he's trying to protect. No matter how you slice it, Hoplite is no more interested in the truth than Thaci himself. I believe you've pretty much pounded his arguments into dust which does not sit will with our resident propogandist, let him fester in his ignorance.
42 posted on 04/18/2002 6:24:04 AM PDT by FireWall
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To: joan, getoffmylawn, Wraith, LA-Lawyer, ABrit, duckln, SANDNES, Hoplite, DTA, kate22, akbsz, Blac

At least 4 "witnesses" have come forward testifying to both the ICTY and a local court in the trial of former policeman Stanojevic. Juicy insider information on their credibility is given in the article Amnesty International and UN staff accuse Kosovo war crimes tribunal of ethnic bias (The Guardian, June 20, 2001). I quote 2 excerpts:

"Four key trial witnesses altered their testimony between giving statements to members of the international criminal tribunal for Yugoslavia and appearing in court [for the Stanojevic trial]. Two witness claims that victims had been shot though the front of the head were contradicted by forensic evidence."

"A senior UN legal official said the Stanojevic trial reflected weaknesses throughout the Kosovo judicial process. 'The quality of evidence is very very poor and relies on testimony for which there is very little supporting evidence. No one hesitates to make things up.' "

The ICTY indictment on Racak (quoted in ABrit's comment #11) is built on these discredited testimonies but on no forensic evidence. For a more reliable account concerning true and false witnesses, see Le Figaro article and Diana Johnstone's commentary (this is link for the article akbsz posted in comment #15). See also Wraith's comments for a knowledgeable and insightful account by someone with first hand experience. It is important that such accounts are heard in the Milosevic trial and are given appropriate publicity.

The abysmally low legal standard of the ICTY indictment on Racak is also demonstrated by its failure to even acknowledge that a fierce battle had taken place, a fact well known and agreed to even by the prosecution witness Drewinkiewicz (but not by certain people in this forum who are uninformed and insist on parroting demonstrably discretided stories).


The complete report of the Finnish forensic team has either not been discovered by the media or (more likely) has not been made public at all. Nevertheless, a part of the forensic study on 40 Racak bodies appeared as a peer-reviewed scientific publication in the journal Forensic Science International.

Although the document does not speculate in detail on the exact circumstances of death, 2 important facts stand out: there were no close-range gunshot wounds, except in one case, and there were no human-inflicted mutilations. These facts contradict prosecution witnesses' testimonies

I wholeheartedy agree with SANDNES's suggestion to follow the Jurists's coverage of the Milosevic trial.

43 posted on 04/18/2002 7:03:56 AM PDT by pythagorean
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To: Hoplite; SANDNES; getoffmylawn; pythagorean
The journalists, in the case of those present on the day of the action, Jan 15th, were a Serb AP TV camera crew.

And their vidoetape showed a contested entry into an empty village.

They arrived hours after the operation started and did not get a free run of the village, being treated to what amounts to a MUP CAPEX.

They arrived shortly before the operation started. There’s no evidence for your theory that the Serbs attacked at dawn. As for your claim that they “did not get a free run of the village” – proof please. Can you say bupkes? I knew you could.

The rest of the media usually mentioned (Chatelot and Girard) visited on the 16th, not the 15th.

Chatelot from Le Monde went to Racak at 4 pm on January 15 – the day of the attack.

Or are you referring to some other set of individuals unknown to everyone save yourself?

Physician heal thyself.

For those interested, the Le Figaro and Le Monde articles, plus so much more, are available on Ben Works’ website.

44 posted on 04/18/2002 7:49:53 AM PDT by Gael
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To: Hoplite
Milosevic's defence in this matter (the bodies were moved) was one of the first lies, and has already been disproven.

Where did you hear that? It has never been disproven, on the contrary there is overwhelming evidence that the bodies have been moved.

48 posted on 04/18/2002 4:21:43 PM PDT by Ungrateful
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To: Doctor13
Some people just can't hack the truth.

Seems "some people" includes the Hague prosecutors.

49 posted on 04/18/2002 4:33:56 PM PDT by aristeides
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To: Wraith
How did the men get in the ditch Wraith?

You first postulated that the KLA lured the Serbs into Racak in order to goad them into committing an atrocity, and since you stated the locals were LDK supporters, that made sense.

In this thread, however, you're supporting the position that the men in the ditch were moved or manipulated post mortem by the KLA, implying that they were something other than unarmed civilians murdered in vengeance by the Serbs - and no, you cannot simply write off any evidence as being biased as Milosevic's defenders would like to do ("falsified" & "flawed"). Ultimately, you are positioning yourself as a source of information on the matter, but in doing so, you had better be able to corroborate your version of events with other's observations or you will wind up isolating yourself from any possibility of being credible, and attacking the Forensics report or the OSCE without plausible alternatives isn't a way to skip around the issue.

There were some 1.8 million Kosovar Albanians in Kosovo during this time, yet you seem to be proposing that there is no such thing as a non-KLA or non-combatant victim of the Serbs from your post: They weren't just farmers, right? Simple farmers don't have AK-47s with which to defend themselves per your scenario, unless the KLA was arming the LDK as well as getting them bumped off - but the logical flaws inherent in this scenario render it highly unlikely.

If you don't want to be tarred with the brush, don't stand on that particular canvas, Wraith - the Serbs are good for the Racak massacre, and no amount of revisionism or sophistry is going to change the matter - not from Milosevic, not from his supporters, and yes, not from you either. Stick to coloring within the lines bounding the truth and the possible. Without new evidence which allows for the impeachment of Ranta's work, Ranta's work stands.

SKS Snajperi (or whatever he's going to call himself next) was there (Bosnia) as well, but his information isn't worth the server space it's wasting - just a note of caution.

50 posted on 04/18/2002 8:09:25 PM PDT by Hoplite
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