Skip to comments.Del Ponte, Pentagon's "persona non grata"
Posted on 03/21/2008 11:05:50 AM PDT by dschapin
B92 News Crime & War crimes Crime & War crimes
Del Ponte, Pentagon's "persona non grata" 15 March 2008 | 17:46 | Source: B92, Beta ROME -- The issue of NATO's responsibility for war crimes is explored in Carla Del Ponte's new book.
In her as yet unpublished book that Beta news agency has had access to, the former chief Hague prosecutor writes that she had hoped to reopen an investigation into NATO actions during the 1999 bombing of Serbia by the end of her mandate, "once the prosecution's work was not so dependent on the Alliance".
The book, entitled "The Hunt", describes how Del Ponte encountered difficulties in her attempts to gather evidence against NATO commanders, how she subsequently dropped the investigation "for technical and political reasons", and how all this made her a "persona non grata" at the Pentagon.
From March 24, until June 11, 1999, the North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO) engaged in war against Serbia with the goal of driving the country's security forces out of Kosovo, after failed attempts to arrive at a negotiated solution between the Serbian authorities, led by Slobodan Miloević, and ethnic Kosovo Albanians.
Del Ponte describes the events linked to the probe conducted by a prosecution commission, set up to ascertain whether it had access to evidence that could lead to a wider investigation of incidents that resulted in civilian deaths, such as the bombing of the state broadcaster RTS, the passenger train in the Grdelička Gauge, and the Chinese embassy in Belgrade.
"But it was clear to me and to my team that NATO is either hiding important information about the selection of targets, or that this information was in the hands of NATO member states and their governments, and that they has no intention to disclose them. China gave us nothing, even Belgrade refused to cooperate in a useful manner," she writes.
The former chief prosecutor also claims in her book that she was never pressured by NATO to stop investigating.
"But it is not difficult to arrive at a conclusion that it's impossible to conduct a probe into NATO if NATO member states have no intention to cooperate with us," Del Ponte said, and added that the Alliance did not provide access to necessary documents.
Del Ponte explained that if she persisted on conducting the NATO investigation, "not only would those attempt have failed, but my office would be unable to continue and persecute those suspected of crimes committed by the local forces in the 1990s [Balkan] wars".
"Security conditions that the Tribunal works in, in Bosnia and Kosovo, depend on NATO. The Tribunal's expert forensic teams are only able to dig up mass graves because they have NATO protection. Arresting the fugitives is up to NATO's intelligence work," she continued.
Finally, when the commission said that, although NATO's campaign against Serbia was illegal, launching a full investigation would be unjustified considering that the evidence gathered could not lead to indictments of the Alliance's top brass, the Swiss prosecutor says she was "disappointed".
"Nobody cooperated with us that was the technical problem. Politically, it was impossible to carry on without compromising the rest of the Tribunal's work," Del Ponte wrote, according to Beta.
She also asserted she was ready to continue with the investigation "at a later date".
"I thought we could slowly collect the evidence, without making much noise, and put together an indictment, as my mandate came to an end, in other words, as the Tribunal's existence as an institution came to an end, when NATO's support would no longer be so crucial."
"Later on I was informed that I became a persona non grata at the Pentagon. Until 2005 I could not interview anyone there," Del Ponte said, and added that new evidence never emerged.
Several years later, she attended the testimony given at the Hague Tribunal of the former NATO commander in Europe, U.S. General Wesley Clark. He was testifying at the Miloević trial when the former Yugoslav president asked him about the bombing campaign of 1999, which Clark commanded.
"For the only time during the entire process [Miloević trial], I felt I was on Miloević's side," she revealed.
"I listened carefully, hoping that Clark will disclose something that will enable me to reopen the investigation. But Judge Richard May immediately banned 'this line of questioning'."
"I was disappointed," Del Ponte wrote.
Thought ya’ll would find this article interesting.
What's also really interesting is that B92 is doing articles on this stuff. For years, B92 has been the "Soros network" carefully only doing articles stilted toward Serbs hating themselves and only allowing comments that favored their pro-socialist positions. For the last few months, B92 has opened up and started really reporting things that aren't stilted toward their point of view. Am still wondering what's up with that.
As for Carla, she may yet redeem herself if she tells the truth. Sounds like this book is more of a "confessional" than a politically correct puff piece.
clinton Legacy Bump!
About time something like this came out— something that I know we’ve all suspected for a while, confirmed from someone who was there.
This at the very least, will help bring attention to the atrocities committed against the Kosovo Serb Christians. Not a day too soon, for that matter.
Frankly, I’m shocked. I’ve been seeing the bits of info coming from her book, from which I was expecting another Serb-hating diatribe.
I have sold her short and will read the book when released. I suspect the BBC, CNN, Fox NEWS, etc. will stick to the pre-planned fable.
She’s going to find herself way under the bus.
I am very shocked as well well. I had viewed Carla Del Ponte as complete pawn of NATO and I am very surprised that she has chosen to attack Nato, Kosovo, and Albania in her book. I am sure that her book will also contain many negative things about Serbia, but I can no longer view her as a total hypocrite. And it sure will be nice to see some of the things that many of us have long suspected being confirmed by an unimpeachable source.
With regards to Yugoslavia: Clinton lied and people died...and are still dying.
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