International Committee to Defend Slobodan Milosevic www.icdsm.com
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Due to the stand taken by Slobodan Milosevic, everyone is asking: is the Hague 'Tribunal' a legitimate court? If it is not, if it is in fact a sham, then it must be an instrument of NATO/Imperial rule; there is no third alternative. And if it is an instrument of Imperial rule, used to demonize and punish those who, coming from materially poor countries, nevertheless dare to resist U.S. control, then citizens of the NATO countries must act against it. Otherwise, shall we not share a shameful responsibility? (1)
Below are excerpts from a press conference held April 30, 1999. Louise Arbour, then Chief Prosecutor of the ICTY (The Hague 'Tribunal') and Madeline Albright, then U.S. Secretary of State, called it jointly.
At the time, the United States and other NATO countries had spent five weeks perpetrating the worst crime under international law: waging aggressive war.
Moreover the United States and its allies:
* Bombed civilian facilities (a war crime), including with anti-personnel weapons (a war crime); (2)
* Bombed a train and at least one refugee column (both war crimes)
* Bombed Serbian TV (a war crime)
* And deliberately created an environmental catastrophe by bombing chemical facilities in Pancevo (a war crime). (3)
In the press conference, Arbour made no reference to these publicly known war crimes. Instead she accepted as her only field of concern NATO's accusations against Yugoslavia. These accusations, which have been over and over exposed as being without foundation, and even lies, were used to justify the crime of bombing Yugoslavia. (4)
B) In this highly visible forum, Albright instructed Arbour to indict President Milosevic.
Instead of rejecting what would be a gross and humiliating interference if the 'Tribunal' were a real court, Arbour coyly (and shamelessly) linked the execution of said indictment with increased funding and help in gathering (or, one should say, fabricating) evidence:
C) The crucial question to ask about any would-be judicial system is this: is it independent? That is why Justice is pictured wearing a blindfold. At the end of the excerpts is a special section featuring Arbour's references to NATO countries as her 'partners.'
Hmmm. It occurs to me that if you just add one little 'e' to 'sham' it gives you 'shame.'
Press Conference Excerpts
Secretary of State Madeleine K. Albright and
SECRETARY ALBRIGHT: Justice Arbour and I today discussed how the United States can provide more information to the Tribunal, and how to speed up delivery of potential evidence to The Hague. I assured her that we are asking Congress for additional resources for the Tribunal to meet new demands for investigations in Kosovo. And we discussed other needs of her investigations, which I am not going to get into, but which I assure you that the United States will do everything we possibly can to meet.
We are also thinking ahead to the Tribunal's needs after the fighting stops. We have consulted with Justice Arbour and begun planning for how we could facilitate access by Tribunal investigators to crime scenes in Kosovo.
The Tribunal now needs real-time support for its Kosovo investigations, and the United States is determined to give it. The world needs to know exactly what is happening there, and we are committed to helping discover it. Milosevic's victims, and those everywhere who love justice, need to know that there will be no impunity for those who commit these heinous offenses. And we're committed to helping the Tribunal ensure that those responsible are held accountable.
JUSTICE ARBOUR: Thank you. I don't have a statement. I think I'd rather turn to your questions, except to say that I've had very fruitful discussions. We had announced a few weeks ago that we now need unprecedented assistance, in order to respond to the kinds of allegations that are coming out of Kosovo in a time frame that will make our work relevant. The discussions I've had in Germany, in the United Kingdom, here, and that I hope to have in France next week, are very much a part of our effort to obtain this kind of assistance. I'm happy to say that the support that is promised to us is starting to materialize, and I hope that it will permit us to face this massive flow of information and organize it in a coherent fashion that will allow us to discharge our mandate in a real-time environment.
QUESTION: Did you discuss an indictment of Slobodan Milosevic, and did you discuss reports that Justice Arbour is planning to leave this position; and what is the US view of that?
SECRETARY ALBRIGHT: Well, obviously, the question of what is going to happen to Mr. Milosevic is a subject that is very much on our minds, and Justice Arbour knows what we have said both publicly and privately; that she and the Tribunal need to follow out the trail of evidence to its conclusion. We, as I said, are supportive of her efforts.
She and I did not personally discuss the subject of -- it is my understanding. We talked about the challenge of the position. I was there when she was chosen as prosecutor, and I made very clear to her our tremendous support for the work that she has done and will continue to do. She is a great public servant, and someone that the international community has the highest respect for.
JUSTICE ARBOUR: ...We are here, and elsewhere, to ensure that we get the assistance to move the cases forward in that direction. Whether it points to any particular individual, I think the law is very clear: there is no immunity before our Tribunal for heads of state. There's no immunity, essentially, for any individual, both in a personal or a command responsibility position. All our discussions take place in that framework.
[Arbour used the word "partners" several times in the press conference. Following are some choice:
1 - Arbour: "We have long-standing relationships with [NATO] information providers. We are now looking at trying to accelerate the flow of that kind of information and the quality of the product. Of course, we're doing so at a time where that the collection capacity of all these potential providers is taxed by the need for them to collect information relevant to their efforts in the region.
"So we are, of course, competing with other interests at a time when we're trying to get access for information for our purposes. It's a dialogue and a partnership that we have to maintain."
2- Arbour: "I can assure you that one of the main subjects of discussion that I raised -- not only here but in all the capitals that I visited recently -- is the need for an immediate, very robust arrest initiative in Bosnia.... I believe that what will ...have a very immediate impact -- would be the demonstration that we have the capacity to investigate and we have partners who have the political will and the operational skills to execute arrest warrants even in hostile environments."
3 - Arbour: "There's no question that we would like to access the largest number of pieces [of information] and to have the capacity to process this information. As I said, I think we've now put in place mechanisms that allow us, in partnership with many others who are in the field in Albania and in Macedonia, to try to process refugee accounts and, from our point of view, select those who will provide the best base for a court case that will be reflective of the magnitude of what has transpired."
2) 'Message from a cluster bomb,' by Norman Solomon can be read at http://emperors-clothes.com/interactive/l-i.htm#a
3) 'NATO Willfully Triggered Environmental Catastrophe In Yugoslavia,' by Michel Chossudovsky can be read at http://emperors-clothes.com/articles/chuss/willful.htm
4) 'Why Albanians Fled Kosovo During NATO Bombing,' an interview with Kosovo archivist Cedomir Prlincevic, can be read at http://emperors-clothes.com/interviews/keys.htm
5) 'SZAMUELY'S LIST, PART 1 - 22 Reasons Why I Don't Want to be Imprisoned by the Hague Tribunal' http://emperors-clothes.com/articles/szamuely/szam.htm
6) 'Back to the Dark Ages?' by Jared Israel at http://emperors-clothes.com/articles/jared/bac.htm
7) 'Learning from the Inquisition,' by Prof. Kosta Cavoski at http://emperors-clothes.com/articles/cavoski/c-4.htm
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