Covering for the KLA

At the end of July, a “Special Investigative Task Force” (SITF) announced (PDF) the results of its three-year inquiry into charges of heinous atrocities involving the “Kosovo Liberation Army”. Insofar as it deigned to acknowledge any atrocities were committed by these favored clients of the Empire, the SITF report is indeed groundbreaking. However, a second glance at the task force’s findings suggests that, far from being a truth-seeking endeavor into crimes committed on NATO’s watch, this inquiry is yet another whitewash.

Vindicating Marty

It all began in early 2008, when Carla del Ponte – until then the chief prosecutor at Empire’s kangaroo court in The Hague (ICTY) – went “off the reservation” and revealed allegations that during and after the 1999 Kosovo War the KLA had butchered some of the several hundred abducted Serbs and harvested their organs for illegal transplantations. Formerly a darling of the media, Del Ponte was quickly silenced and banished – but not before she persuaded a fellow Swiss, senator Dick Marty, to look into the matter. After almost two years of investigating, Marty published his report in December 2010, corroborating Del Ponte’s claims but warning that evidence was being destroyed and witnesses intimidated or even killed.

Both the officialdom and the propaganda machine treated Marty as they had Del Ponte, dismissing the charges as “Serbian propaganda” (!) or asking for evidence – though they’ve never needed any when accusing the Serbs of atrocities and even genocide. But Marty refused to give up. This is where the SITF came into play.

It would have been absurd to expect the EU to impartially investigate claims of Albanian malfeasance; not only have most EU countries taken part in NATO’s illegal war of aggression in 1999 that resulted in the KLA taking over the Serbian province of Kosovo, Brussels also established a “law and order mission” (EULEX) charged with helping the cause of “Kosovian” independence. To actually look at KLA crimes, they’d have to look at themselves as their enablers. Fat chance.

Tainted from the Start

But that was not all: SITF was to be led by Clint Williamson, an American (!) prosecutor that had worked for the ICTY, and had co-written the indictment against Yugoslav president Slobodan Milosevic. Keep in mind that ICTY was acknowledged as an instrument of NATO; that the Milosevic trial turned out to be a travesty; and that the indictment against him was purely political, conjured during the NATO attack as a means of justifying the unjustifiable.

Williamson himself made sure to note, in announcing the SITF results, that he was on the KLA’s side:

“…it should be clear that this investigation and any charges that result from it, are directed at the criminal actions of individuals within distinct groups, not at the KLA as a whole.” (emphasis added).

And just so there would be no confusion, he added:

“I was in Kosovo in 1998 and 1999 and I supervised the subsequent investigation by the ICTY of Serb-perpetrated crimes… co-authoring the initial indictment against Slobodan Milosevic and others for the crimes directed against Kosovo Albanian victims. I had a leading role in the exhumations of mass graves that occurred in the summer of 1999, where the bodies of thousands of Kosovo Albanian victims were recovered… from my own very direct involvement, I understand very clearly what happened in Kosovo…”

Bear in mind that, contrary to the arbitrary figure of “10,000 Albanian civilians” quoted by the media even today, the actual outcome of the 1999 exhumations was 2,108 bodies, and that the final death toll among the noncombatants, accounting for the missing, amounted to 3,150 – including the Serbs, Roma, and others – the vast majority actually killed by NATO and the KLA. But we’re supposed to take Williamson’s word that he “knows” otherwise.

Organized Rogue Individuals

Since the US – and by extension, NATO and the EU – have stood firmly behind the KLA and its “Kosovian” state, the outcome of the investigation was never truly in doubt. Williamson’s team found evidence of crimes against both non-Albanians and Albanians who refused to submit to KLA rule – but nothing that would enable actual prosecution, they say. And even though the violence and abuses were widespread, systematic and organized, they were blamed on “individuals” within the KLA. Because anything else would bring into question the KLA’s “freedom-fighting” legitimacy, and by extension those that have backed it: U.S. Presidents (and presidential candidates), NATO and EU officials, etc.

So we get tortured phrasing and reasoning like this:

“…these crimes were not the acts of rogue individuals acting on their own accord, but rather that they were conducted in an organised fashion and were sanctioned by certain individuals in the top levels of the KLA leadership” (as quoted by The Guardian)

This after the entire military and political leadership of Serbia was hauled before the Hague Inquisition and charged with “joint criminal enterprise” to supposedly expel all the Albanians from Kosovo – for which zero evidence beyond the prosecutors’ wild conjecture was ever presented. Now that the Empire’s own clients are under scrutiny, all of a sudden there are (supposedly) strict evidentiary standards. And a special court would be required to prosecute any of these crimes, of course – preferably one that writes its own rules and laws, just like the ICTY.

The Media Muddle

Also notable is that Williamson’s inquiry was largely ignored by the US media, and was mostly reported by the British (e.g. The Guardian, or the BBC). Needless to say, they maintained the official narrative, while wringing their hands over “rogue” KLA criminals. It was left to the dissident commentators, such as James Bovard and’s Justin Raimondo, to bring up the issue – naturally focusing on the fact that US governments from Bill Clinton onward have backed the KLA and its land grab.

A typical “see no evil” non-apology came from a former Reuters reporter, now working for the US- and British-backed propaganda outfit BIRN; Andrew Gray wrote about “inadequacy of NATO peacekeepers’ response to the ruthless violence of those hell-bent on forcing Serbs and others to flee or die,” and how the media “initially wrote of ‘revenge attacks’… It later seemed clear that much of this violence was organised, but to what extent and by whom remained murky.”

Later? Seemed? Murky? Only to those who refused to see the obvious. Here was the press that uncritically reported NATO propaganda about alleged Serbian atrocities as fact, but refused to report on the obvious, documented Albanian atrocities happening before their very eyes. Such is the power of delusions.

Back when BIRN was known as IWPR, their Kosovo program director – aptly named Fron Nazi – used to spin “revenge attacks” such as the massacre of Staro Gracko as Serb attempts to make the KLA look bad! That same reluctance to point the finger at the KLA itself, but instead look for some unspecified “individuals”, permeates Williamson’s findings 15 years later.

Author: Nebojsa Malic

Nebojsa Malic left his home in Bosnia after the Dayton Accords and currently resides in the United States. During the Bosnian War he had exposure to diplomatic and media affairs in Sarajevo. As a historian who specializes in international relations and the Balkans, Malic has written numerous essays on the Kosovo War, Bosnia, and Serbian politics. His exclusive column for debuted in November 2000.