“We Bombed The Wrong Side” (General Lewis Mackenzie)
In my previous articles I have portrayed Kosovo with quite dark colours. I have summarized Kosovo
“as Serbian province, occupied and now international protectorate administrated by UN Kosovo mission; as quasi-independent pseudo-state has good change to become next “failed” or “captured” state; today’s Kosovo is already safe-heaven for war criminals, drug traffickers, international money laundry and radical Wahhabists – unfortunately all are also allies of western powers”.
This description can naturally be seen as individual biased view without any connection to reality. However the process which began before Xmas may lead similar outcome in western mainstream media too. Investigations conducted by the Swiss diplomat, Dick Marty on behalf of the Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe (PACE) have revealed the true picture of Kosovo’s prime minister Hashim Thaci. In his report to the PACE’s Commission, Thaci is presented as the leader of a criminal gang engaged in the smuggling of weapons, the distribution of illegal drugs throughout Europe and the selling of human organs for unlawful transplantation. The Swiss senator conducted a two-year inquiry into organised crime in Kosovo after the Council of Europe mandated him to investigate claims of organ harvesting by the Kosovo Liberation Army (KLA) after the war with Serbia ended in 1999.
Western intelligence agencies warned that Hashim Thaci ran an organised crime network in the late 1990s, they knew the KLA were criminals running the drug, slave, and weapons rackets throughout Europe, they knew the KLA was supported by Osama bin Laden (with whom Thaci met personally in Tirana in 1998 to plan the jihad in Kosovo. Despite this Western political leaders backed his Kosovo Liberation Army and its members were transformed as “freedom fighters”.
The case related to organ trafficking is now in Pristina court, according Swiss sources PM Thaçi has been prohibited from entering Switzerland “for a certain period of time”, investigations are called for allegations that sums originating from organ trafficking in Kosovo and Albania had been deposited in Swiss bank accounts. Swiss Foreign Minister Micheline Calmy-Rey has reportedly decided not to receive an award given by the Kosovo Embassy and members of the Kosovo diaspora, for her contribution to the recognition of Kosovo’s independence. The award ceremony was planned to be held on 21. December, 2010 for her contribution to the recognition of Kosovo’s independence. (Source: Euractiv )
Organ trafficking case
In April 2008 Madam Carla Del Ponte, the former Chief Prosecutor of the International Criminal Tribunal for the former Yugoslavia (ICTY), published a book “La caccia – Io e i criminali di guerra”. In the book, almost ten years after the end of the war in Kosovo, there appeared revelations of trafficking in human organs taken from Serb prisoners, reportedly carried out by leading commanders of the Kosovo Liberation Army (KLA). Now the report, “Inhuman treatment of people and illicit trafficking in human organs in Kosovo” , for Council of Europe Parliamentary Assembly (PACE), prepared by Swiss prosecutor-turned-politician Dick Marty, expands on allegations made by Mrs. Del Ponte.
The PACE report claims that civilians – Serbian and non-KLA-supporting Kosovan Albanians detained by the KLA in the 1999 hostilities – were shot in northern Albania and their kidneys extracted and sold on the black market. It names Hashim Thaçi, the former leader of the KLA and Kosovo’s prime minister, as the boss of a “mafia-like” group engaged in criminal activity – including heroin trading – since before the 1999 war.
A Council of Europe report into organ trafficking in Kosovo linked the Medicus case to a wider criminal network in the Kosovo Liberation Army (KLA), which began trading in organs in 1999. A faction within the rebel guerilla army loyal to Thaci has been accused of overseeing a racket involving Serb captives. A “handful” were said, in the report, to have been shot in the head, then had their kidneys extracted. It is believed the kidneys were flown to Istanbul in ischemia bags. Thaci has strongly denied the claims. I also touched on a matter in my article New Cannibalism in Europe too? a couple of years ago.
In November 2008 police raided the property of Medicus clinic in a deprived suburb near the Kosovan capital Pristina. Patients from Canada, Germany, Poland and Israel had received organ transplants at the clinic. Victims were promised up to $20,000, while recipients were required to pay between €80,000 and €100,000 euros. But despite promises of payment the donors had left empty-handed; up to 30 victims lost their kidneys in the clinic in just eight months in 2008. The key player of is Dr. Yusuf Ercin Sonmez from Medicus clinic has been a key player in the unscrupulous organ market for more than 10 years.
A Washington-based intelligence source said the kidneys were sold to Dr. Sonmez, a 53-year-old medic. It was then that the Turkish doctor was said to have struck up a relationship with Kosovan Albanians, who, investigators believe, are implicated in the Medicus clinic case which unfolded in the confirmation hearing case on December in Pristina district court. (Source: The Guardian:The doctor at the heart of Kosovo’s organ scandal )
However the present case is limited to Medicus clinic and its links to a wider network of Albanian organised criminals and events a decade ago will hopefully take place in wider trial. EU’s EULEX-operation in Kosovo will from its side examine allegations that the country’s prime minister is the head of a “mafia-like” criminal network linked to organ trafficking. if there is sufficient evidence against Thaçi or the other senior government figures implicated in the report, they could face prosecution even though most crimes are alleged to have taken place in Albanian territory. (Source e.g: The Guardian: The doctor at the heart of Kosovo’s organ scandal )
Whitewashing Organized Crime
War crimes related to organ scandal are only minor by-plot in context of organized crime in Kosovo during last decade. KLA’s transformation from OC-/terrorist group to freedom fighters was an amazing media victory which guaranteed the occupation and later capturing of Kosovo.
Neil Clark in his column Kosovo and the myth of liberal intervention – in the Guardian describes very well this hoax:
It was the KLA’s campaign of violence against Yugoslav state officials, Serbian and Kosovan civilians in 1998, which led to an escalation of the conflict with the government in Belgrade, with atrocities committed on both sides. The report is a damning indictment not only of the KLA but also of western policy. And it also gives lie to the fiction that Nato’s war with Yugoslavia was, in Tony Blair’s words, “a battle between good and evil; between civilisation and barbarity; between democracy and dictatorship”.
On 1999 the Western media was full of stories of mass graves and brutal rapes. U.S. officials claimed that from 100,000 up to 500,000 Albanians had been massacred. In 78 days the Pentagon dropped 35,000 cluster bombs, used thousands of rounds of radioactive depleted-uranium rounds, along with bunker busters and cruise missiles. Expecting to find bodies everywhere, forensic teams from 17 NATO countries organized by the Hague Tribunal on War Crimes searched occupied Kosovo all summer of 1999 but found a total of only 2,108 bodies, of all nationalities. Some had been killed by NATO bombing and some in the war between the UCK and the Serbian police and military.
|Number game as cause of Nato’s attack on SerbiaAccording the Kosovo “Book of the Dead”, the equivalent of the Bosnia “Book of the Dead” by London based Bosnian Institute which finally counted the slain, has since the Kosovo war been able to establish a total about 10,000 dead or “permanently missing” (i.e. dead), of which just under 5000 are Albanians, and the rest Serbian, other minorities, or ethnicity not known. So as Albanians made up around 50% off the dead despite making up 85% of the population, they suffered proportionately much less in terms of deaths than any other group.
(Bosnian Institute: Establishing the number of victims in the Yugoslav wars of succession)
I would draw following time axis about some core events with this campaign:
- As side result U.S. created Bondsteel, one of the biggest U.S. military base in center of Europe – completely outside European/international jurisdiction – to serve also as secret torture/detention/investigation center of CIA.
In the bottom line – so far at least temporary – U.S. State Department and their British lapdogs were responsible for orchestrating or facilitating events mentioned above. For background information I recommend a video “General Lewis Mackenzie: We Bombed The Wrong Side”, anyway the headline of video is not so far from my point of view.
OC-connection well known
Thaçi and other members of his inner circle, Marty avers, were “commonly identified, and cited in secret intelligence reports,” published by the German secret state agency, the Bundesnachrichtendienst or BND “as the most dangerous of the KLA’s ‘criminal bosses’.” Trading on American protection to consolidate political power, thus maintaining control over key narcotics smuggling corridors, the special rapporteur writes that “having succeeded in eliminating, or intimidating into silence, the majority of the potential and actual witnesses against them (both enemies and erstwhile allies), using violence, threats, blackmail, and protection rackets,” Thaçi’s Drenica Group have “exploit[ed] their position in order to accrue personal wealth totally out of proportion with their declared activities.” Indeed, multiple reports prepared by the U.S. DEA, FBI, the BND, Italy’s SISMI, Britain’s MI6 and the Greek EYP intelligence service have stated that Drenica Group members “are consistently named as ‘key players’ in intelligence reports on Kosovo’s mafia-like structures of organised crime.”
Mafia Clans/KFOR sectors -map made by Laura Canali
Reliable and highly informed sources at the Institute for European Policy based in Germany, in a 2007 report commissioned for the German Armed Forces, indicated that the three leading Kosovo politicians, Ramush Haradinaj, Hashim Thaci and Xhavit Haliti, are “persons protected by the international community although they are deeply involved in all of these affairs.”Already in 2000, according to Interpol Kosovo criminals, illicit profits of 2 billion euros were laundered through more than 200 banks. The current data show much higher earnings, and this without considering the investments in the building sector, the purchase of shares and other activities. In relation to the drugs issue, according to the Italian journalist Roberto Saviano, in an interview in 2009, the Albanian mafia in Kosovo chiefs “dream” about turning the province into “a European Colombia.”
“In order to achieve this, they wish to genetically engineer a type of coca plant that would grow in Kosovo’s climate. In this way, the Albanian mafia would have a monopoly over the cocaine trade. They need 20 years to achieve this,” he said, and added that “then, Kosovo will without a doubt become the new Colombia.”
More about link between organized crime and Kosovo political leaders one can find e.g. from “Albanian Terrorism and Oraganized Crime in Kosovo and Metohija (K&M)” , which also can be found from my document library. Related background information can be found also from “leaked” German Intelligence reports BND report 2005 and BND-IEP report Kosovo 2007 which can be found from my document library under Kosovo headline.
International community unwilling to rock of the boat
“Two years ago a joke was being circulated on the Runet that a heroin producer has recognized its distributor’s independence. It was about Afghanistan, which was to the first to recognize the independence of the Serbian province of Kosovo which had illegally separated from Yugoslavia.” (GRTV)
International community has worked over ten years with capacity building of Kosovo administration; EU launched few years ago its huge EULEX operation for rule and law in protectorate. Still it was needed outside institutions to bring both individual case – organ trafficking/war crime – and a system error – OC/political link – to public knowledge. Why so?
An other report gives one answer. Extract from recent the Council of Europe Parliamentary Assembly (PACE) Rapporteur Jean-Charles Gardetto’s report entitled The protection of witnesses as a cornerstone for justice and reconciliation in the Balkans (The document should be adopted by the Council of Europe Parliamentary Assembly (PACE) on coming January 26.)
Moreover, when a witness does come forward, there is a real threat of retaliation. This may not necessarily put them in direct danger, losing their job for example, but there are also examples of key witnesses being murdered. The trial of Ramush Haradinaj, the former leader of the Kosovo Liberation Army, well illustrates this. Mr. Haradinaj was indicted by the ICTY for crimes committed during the war in Kosovo but was subsequently acquitted. In its judgment, the Tribunal highlighted the difficulties that it had had in obtaining evidence from the 100 prosecution witnesses. Thirty-four of them were granted protection measures and 18 had to be issued with summonses. A number of witnesses who were going to give evidence at the trial were murdered. These included Sadik and Vesel Muriqi, both of whom had been placed under a protection program by the ICTY.
The five countries – U.S., Britain, Germany, France and Italy – had access to information, resources and a long history of work with the Kosovo Liberation Army (KLA), former U.S. diplomat and UN Regional Representative in northern Kosovo Gerard Gallucci told Belgrade’s Politika newspaper in an interview. “Regardless of the claims about organ trafficking, everyone knows about the involvement of some of the top Kosovo leaders in transnational crime and corruption. International officials ignored these problems so as not to provoke the ethnic Albanians and prevent them from creating even bigger problems,” Gallucci stated, according to the newspaper.
“I am very proud of my past and the past of my people who, along with NATO, arrived at the goal” (Hashim Thaci, Crime Minister of Kosovo)
New talks between Belgrade and Pristina are planned to start soon for resolving frozen Kosovo conflict. Serbs and Albanians have been in negotiations and talks half a dozen times over the past two decades – from the tentative efforts of the 1990s to the doomed talks in Rambouillet, France, in 1999 and the later “status” talks between 2005 (Ahtisaari’s pseudo-talks) and 2007 (“Troika” led talks). None of these has led to tangible results and left outsiders imposing an outcome, be it NATO intervention or proposing the Ahtisaari plan.
Few month ago it looked like now it would be possible to have real talks first time between local relevant authorities; the events on December have put this optimism in question. The PACE report gives new (for western powers, mainstream media and public) view to justification of the Nato’s attack on Serbia, it products evidence and argumentation for suspected joint venture of organized crime and political elite in Kosovo before “humanitarian intervention, after that and now: the report casts a shadow to western political leadership as their own intelligence services had all relevant information at their disposal.
In my earlier article Will Negotiation Slot for Kosovo be used? I remarked, that
“EU in my opinion should start to distance itself from U.S. cowboy policy. Now many Europeans realize they were hoodwinked into recognizing Kosovo’s independence on the pretence it would resolve problems and bring peace – it didn’t happen; a new approach is needed.”
I would like to point out that now after PACE report the West can not any more escape reality, facts can not be ignored any longer. The report could be start for reassessment of Kosovo status and operations/presence of international community there.