Anatomy of propaganda – Francisco Gil-White

Anatomy of propaganda

How Slobodan Milosevic was framed

by Francisco J. Gil-White


In April 2001, a story broke making the following allegations: (1)the Yugoslav army had massacred Albanian civilians; (2) their bodies were driven away in a refrigerator truck which was then supposedly dumped into the Danube, deep inside Serbia. In short notice this story became an enormous international “scandal,” and the allegations evolved and multiplied until we were talking about whole convoys of trucks, all of them supposedly full of massacred Albanian victims, and supposedly spirited out of Kosovo and hidden in Serbia, out ofthe view of The Hague tribunal investigators.

The hysteria in the Western (and some of the Serbian) media surrounding these allegations was responsible for building support among the public for the illegal abduction of Slobodan Milosevic and his subsequent shipping to The Hague. Given the important role it played, it is remarkable that there is absolutely no substance to the story. 

In this piece I promise to do the following:

1)  Give you a synopsis of what the story became, and an analysis of its surface plausibility, just on its own terms.

2)  Give you a blow-by-blow chronology of how the story evolved in the media, and how it grew and grew in spite of the fact that no evidence was ever added to the original “evidence,” which turns out to be no evidence at all, as I will show.

3)  Demonstrate that, not only is there no substance to the accusations against Slobodan Milosevic, but that these accusations have been part of an organized plot to frame Milosevic for war crimes in order to send him to The Hague in time to get a billion dollars from the United States and also to neutralize the pro-Milosevic opposition that has been a nuisance to the new government in Belgrade, which government the United States helped install with considerable effort and expenditure.

I will be happy to hear from anybody who does not find my refutations sufficiently convincing.


(1) The Story 

Before we begin the chronology of how the story was constructed with zero evidence, let us briefly look at what this story ended up becoming. Here is my synopsis, followed by a brief analysis of its plausibility, taken in its own terms.

Story Synopsis. According to what the story became in the media, Kosovar Albanian civilians were being slaughtered by the security services of the Milosevic regime, with the help of the Yugoslav army.

After many a massacre, Albanian villagers would be buried in individual graves, in local cemeteries, supposedly in order to hide the fact that a crime of war had been committed. That is a very strange explanation, of course, because on other occasions there was no concern for hiding the crime and surviving Albanians were supposedly left to bury the victims themselves. Some anxiety apparently later developed over whether this was a good enough cover-up!  So at an alleged meeting which was said to include then Interior Minister Vlajko Stojiljkovic, Milosevic supposedly gave the order that evidence of the massacres against civilians should be covered up. The story claims that the bodies were then dug up, put into Mercedes Benz freezer trucks belonging to Kosovar company, and taken hundreds of miles to the farthest corners of Serbia. These trucks were then supposedly dumped, with their grisly contents, in rivers and lakes. But this too turned out not to be a good enough solutionb(some bodies floated, some trucks were visible)! So the trucks were fished out and destroyed, and the bodies were transported in other trucks to different locations where they were finally buried out of sight. 

  Forget for a moment about the evidence (of which, as I will show, there is none) the story is simply fantastic, and accepting it as something that could, in principle, have occurred requires already that you swallow whole a number of rather extraordinary claims.

The British daily The Independent wrote: [1]


Hundreds, maybe thousands, of bodies disappeared from Kosovo during the Nato air strikes in 1999. In many cases, Albanians saw their loved ones buried, or even dug the graves themselves. But when they returned to show the graves to investigators from The Hague, they were empty. 

. . .As the Nato bombs rained down, body-snatchers roamed Kosovo.

Mete Krasniqi saw them in action, after Serb forces machine-gunned the inhabitants of his village, including his son. The villagers buried them. A month later, hiding in the woods, they saw men in orange overalls dig up the bodies and load them into two trucks.


So you are asked to believe that an astonishing number of bodies were moved out of Kosovo even as NATO unleashed an overwhelming shower of bombs. That is an extraordinary claim. It should require extraordinary evidence. But what is the evidence that “hundreds, maybe thousands” of bodies were moved out of Kosovo? Only that, when the Albanians “returned to show the graves to investigators from The Hague, they were empty!”

But the graves could be empty because they never contained any bodies in the first place – say, for example, because no Albanian civilians were ever massacred by the Yugoslav army!

Why doesn’t the Independent at least consider this possibility? After all, by the time the Independent wrote the above article, it was already publicly known that the excuse for starting the NATO bombing (the so-called Racak `massacre’) had been a KLA hoax,[2] so it is perfectly natural to suppose that the KLA could lie again – say, for example, when they give a preposterous story about thousands of massacred civilians being spirited away in refrigerator trucks during a massive aerial bombardment.

“What KLA is lying again?” you say, “The Independent interviewed a villager by the name Mete Krasniqi.” Uh-huh. But what the Independent does not say is that the KLA is a Krasniqi operation. They probably just forgot to explain that, as reported elsewhere, “the Krasniqi family helped found [my emphasis] the Kosovo Liberation Army in 1995,” and that “Although some Krasniqis have taken jobs outside the village [of Vranoc], in nearby factories or overseas, they remain intensely loyal to their families and land.”[3] The Independent isnot getting the views of an `innocent villager’ but of a member ofthe tightly-knit clan which forms the KLA core. Since it simply repeats Mete Krasniqi’s statements with no context or explanation, the Independent’s position must be that terrorists who have lied before could not possibly lie again, and that knowing the details I have provided here would be of no interest to readers trying to determine the story’s plausibility. I was able to find another alleged witness to `substantiate’ the `missing bodies’ story. You’ll never guess who: Sheremet Krasniqi, as reported in the Chicago Sun-Times.[4] 

Thus, we see that accepting this story even on its own terms requiresthat we take zero notice of the following:

1. The so-called `witnesses’ who explain the `missing bodies’ are members of the clan that forms the KLA core.

2. The KLA obviously has an interest in pushing this kind of story.

3. The KLA had previously pushed precisely this kind of story and it turned out to be a complete fabrication, now know as the Racak `massacre’ hoax.

4. The KLA is not the kind of organization that you turn to for trustworthy witnesses. For starters, it was well known from the beginning that it was terrorist, something that even the US (later to become the KLA’s air force) admitted publicly.[5] Moreover, it is well-known that they were getting funded by, and had fighters from Osama bin Laden’s Al Qaeda,[6] and it got funds also from its prominent role in international heroin trafficking.[7]

The Independent and the Chicago Sun-Times deprived its readers of the foregoing analysis and simply reported the testimony of the Krasniqi ‘witnesses’ with no comment.

These papers also failed to point out that this sort of story has another obvious beneficiary: the new government in Belgrade, which the US had helped install. By uncanny coincidence the story exploded precisely at the moment when NATO was threatening the new government in Belgrade that if Milosevic was not turned over to the Hague Tribunal they would not get 1 billion dollars for reconstruction (in addition to other vague threats). The story was exquisitely timed to help build momentum for Milosevic’s illegal abduction and subsequent shipping to The Hague.

A truly free press would have shared with its readers such details, as they are obviously immensely relevant. Instead, the mainstream Western media gave us the claim, completely stripped of any context or documentation, that, according to alleged `witnesses,’ “hundreds and maybe thousands” (!) of murdered victims were driven out of Kosovo.

And how? 

Well, as the New York Times explained:[8]

“At least 10, but maybe dozens, of truckloads of bodies were shipped from Kosovo to Serbia proper and dumped underwater or in mass graves. ‘This whole operation was a crazy thing to do, a crime and for us incomprehensible,’ Captain Karleusa said. ‘The goal was to hide something.’ “ 

Yes, it sounds crazy, doesn’t it? It is incomprehensible? I agree.

What could possibly be the reason to attempt such a preposterous operation? Karleusa explains it: “The goal was to hide something.”

Well, this is, certainly, the only plausible explanation. The only conceivable reason to move the bodies of massacred Albanian civilians out of Kosovo would be to avoid discovery by NATO troops, on the assumption that NATO was likely to occupy Kosovo but not Serbia. But this goal of avoiding discovery is precisely what makes the story “a crazy thing to do” and for us incomprehensible?”

For starters, consider that with this many bodies, we are talking about a very large scale operation. Those planning to carry it out must naturally ask themselves: how easy will it be? How likely are the trucks to get hit?

At the time that these freezer trucks are supposed to have been leaving Kosovo for Serbia, NATO was unleashing a storm of bombs over Kosovo and the rest of Serbia. Among other civilian targets, NATO was bombing roads, bridges, and vehicles. And when it comes to vehicles, NATO was hitting everything. Consider for example that, bombing from 15,000 feet, NATO was either unable or unwilling to distinguish between an open tractor full of refugees and a truck, let alone between a civilian truck and a military vehicle (see APPENDIX). A freezer truck would have looked like a target.

Try to imagine yourself as one of the drivers. You are navigating the mountainous Kosovo territory, with a very heavy load, so you are sluggish. As you chug painfully along you become a ripe ambush target for the KLA which has men crawling all over the hills?and for the NATO bombs that are falling all around you. Even if the KLA or the NATO bombs don’t get you, you are bound to find parts of roads bombed out and more than one bridge destroyed. What are the chances that you can go cross-country through forests, deep canyons, and rivers in a freezer truck? These are large trailers, already heavy when empty, and one of them is alleged to have contained 86 bodies! And they are not exactly maneuverable (even when empty). How can you make it out of Kosovo? And if you are hit, which is really very likely, then at best the `masterminds’ of this operation will have a new mess to clean up, and at worst they will have handed a priceless propaganda victory to the enemy. Now consider that you are just one of several dozen, or many dozen, drivers, all of whom must succeed in accomplishing this impossible feat in order for the massacres to escape discovery. 

Are you laughing? To attempt this feat would have been to guarantee discovery of the alleged massacres but avoiding discovery is supposedto be the point of attempting this ridiculous operation! Crazy and incomprehensible. Yes.

But it gets better?

Contrary to NATO’s original propaganda immediately prior to the bombing, the Yugoslav army was not attacking civilians. Former Canadian ambassador to Yugoslavia, James Bissett, an ardent critic of NATO’s attack on Yugoslavia, has said:[9]

“A number of credible OSCE observers have publicly stated that in the weeks leading up to the bombing they witnessed no murders, no deportations and nothing that could be described as systematic persecution.” 

We don’t have to accept Bissett’s claims that his chosen observers were really `credible.’ This is the sort of thing a propagandist would do, and we have no way of checking his cheaply made claim that his sources are trustworthy. However, it is now public knowledge that the American OSCE mission was composed mostly of CIA operatives who colluded with the KLA in setting up the hoax that the Yugoslav army had massacred Albanian civilians at Racak.[10] If a hoax was necessary to accuse the Yugoslav army of war crimes in order to justify the bombing of Yugoslavia, then James Bissett must be telling the truth. 

And, as noted earlier, the freezer truck stories in the press are in fact consistent with this, accusing that the massacres were going on during the NATO bombing. Thus, we are asked to believe that the considerable resources needed to massacre thousands of civilians and take them out of Kosovo in freezer trucks were not expended when it was relatively comfortable to do so. No. These genocidal masterminds waited until they were also fighting the KLA and NATO simultaneously because this way they could do everything at the same time. And they must also have decided that they would give the enemy the propaganda gift of turning their false accusations into a prophecy!

But it gets better.

Remember that, according to the Independent (see above) these geniuses first buried the bodies in, of all things, individual graves (and in cemeteries), and only then unearthed them and put them in trucks. They were making this as expensive as possible! And while they were unearthing the victims which they had earlier buried (or else left for surviving villagers to dig even though these murderers were supposedly very worried about discovery) they were wearing, get this, orange overalls. Why? Because? because orange overalls are good camouflage? 

…and better? 

Once they succeeded in getting all of these trucks out and managed to strand not one in Kosovo?they proceeded to dump them in rivers and lakes! This makes perfect sense because they were trying to preventdiscovery. Right? 

After all, how do you prevent discovery of a widespread massacre? If I am one of those drivers, my first thought is that I will put the bodies in a truck and then dump it all in a river or a lake. Of course, dead bodies do float. But since I made it out of Kosovo unscathed even though I was sluggishly and improbably driving a large and heavy freezer truck cross-country over bombed-out and mountainous terrain, and yet managed to escape both the KLA and the NATO bombs, it is obvious that I have just the silliest luck. I can count on it.

So…naturally, I will dump the truck in a river and just hope toluck that the bodies won’t float. But for good measure, just to challenge my crazy good fortune (let’s see how far it goes!), I will dump the truck in The Danube, a navigable river and a very important trade artery, and trust that nothing will ever hit it (the Danube is where the alleged first truck was supposedly found). And to add to the suspense, I will neither puncture the tires nor make holes in thetruck, and see if the whole thing can escape detection as it floats hither and yon.[11]

What fun! 

And don’t forget that these were Mercedes Benz trucks. They were dumping Mercedes. And the trucks belonged to some Kosovar company. Inother words, the agents of the genocidal state could not commandeer some trucks of their own that they could trust for this crucial cover-up operation?

All of this would be bad enough by itself without the details of thestory emanating from what is supposedly a “free press.”

The entire western media establishment found itself incapable or unwilling to examine the ludicrousness of the story. Instead, they treated it as a plausible story from the beginning. They expanded andgrew the story lyrically even though they were never presented with a shred of evidence for it.

And this lack of supporting evidence is not something they ever bothered to reflect on either.

Here now is the chronology of how this non-story became an elaborate fictional narrative in the media. Following that, I show how this cheap novel emerged out of a plot by the new government in Belgrade in order to frame Milosevic and send him to The Hague in time to get a billion dollars.

 (2) Origin and evolution of a vast media fabrication


The first report in the Western media concerning the `refrigerator truck’ incident was given by the Associated Press. We will be paying close attention to the wording, to what is said, what is omitted, etc., and to what is claimed as fact and what is reported as an allegation. 

My goal is to demonstrate that the mainstream Western media establishment is controlled, that it is emphatically not a “free press.” Unfortunately, demonstrating this requires that we follow the development of this media fabrication step by step, and that we look at the claims made by a variety of media outlets. This is the only way to do it, there is no shortcut, because for each individual caseone can always argue sloppiness. Only the pattern can establish beyond reasonable doubt that we are dealing with propaganda. My purpose here is therefore to follow the growth of the story in the media, step by chronological step. I will demonstrate that the story grew and grew even though no evidence was added to the original allegations, which turn out to be entirely false (and this wasactually shown early on, as we will see, but the press chose toignore that completely).

The argument is not that every single journalist in the Western world is in the pay of the intelligence services of NATO powers. The argument is that many are, and that the top echelons of the media hierarchies certainly are. Thus, even when honest journalists write hard-hitting pieces which contain embarrassing information on issues of critical importance to Western governments, the headlines will be changed to contradict the body of the text, and the text itself will be rearranged so as to place the embarrassing information at the end (for a pithy demonstration of all this, click here). This iseffective because most people remember only the headline, and few of them ever read an article all the way to the end.

We begin with the Associated Press wire dated April 30th that first broke the story considered here. That wire ran the headline: “Rights Activist Says Yugoslav Army, Police Destroyed Evidence Of Kosovo Atrocities.” 

The headline blares that this “right’s activist”, one Natasa Kandic, who works for an outfit calling itself the Humanitarian Law Center, based in Yugoslavia, is the source for the allegations. But the article below this headline in fact contradicts it.[12]


Kandic cited a report in a local magazine in the eastern Serbian Negotin region, describing how on the night of April 6, 1999, a refrigerated trailer truck was lifted out of the Danube near Kladovo, at the border with Romania.

The vehicle bore license plates from Pec, a western Kosovo city, and allegedly contained 50 bodies. According to Kandic’s center, the bodies were subsequently transferred to a truck with Belgrade plates and driven away. Kandic claimed local authorities knew about this.


Did you notice? The text contradicts the headline. The “right’s activist” Natasa Kandic is not, in fact, the source for the allegation. All that she did is send a fax to the Associated Press in which she relays the claims of a local magazine. That magazine, notKandic, is who makes the allegation.

So why is the AP putting Kandic on the headline as the source? This is like writing “The President’s Translator Tells The Russian Foreign Minister That There Will Be No Deal.” The president’s translator could never do such a thing as he is just the messenger, and so is Kandic. 

The headline maneuver is repeated in the body of the wire, when the AP says, “According to Kandic’s center?” Wrong. According to the magazine, which Kandic read.

How to explain the AP’s headline? The suspicion that they are dishonest NATO propagandists could make us say the following: since most people read and remember only the headline, and since most people think human rights activists are the good guys, the AP’s intended and memorable effect on the reader is that a trustworthy source claimed there had been an atrocity.

Less cynically, we might think this is nothing more than editorial sloppiness. But keep your eye on the ball: either way that headline is wrong and it raises suspicion. It demands that we pay attention so that we can decide which hypothesis is more plausible.

Another detail worth remarking on is the placement of the word “alleged.” The whole thing is an allegation, but the only thing presented as an allegation is that the truck contained 50 bodies.

This implies that things not presented as allegations are fact – namely, that the truck existed, that it was fished from the Danube, etc., and that it contained bodies (but perhaps not 50). The word “alleged” thus appears to have been deployed to season this wire lightly with the aroma of journalistic impartiality (which is evoked by the use of equivocal words that demonstrate lack of commitment on the part of the writer, such as “alleged”). However, the strategic placement of this word in fact implies that everything except for the exact number of bodies is an established fact. Again, this could conceivably be sloppiness, but that hypothesis will become increasingly strained if we find such things to be part of a pattern that cumulatively builds increasingly complex disinformation, the building of which requires, to boot, ignoring contrary evidence at the Associated Press.

Later wires from the AP support the propaganda, not the sloppiness, hypothesis. For example, three weeks later, on May 23, 2001, the AP wrote a wire with the headline, “Human Rights Group Urges Investigation About Suspected Mass Killing.”:[13]


A respected [my emphasis] human rights group said Wednesday it has discovered [my emphasis] a truckload of bodies dumped in a lake in western Serbia during the 1999 Kosovo war when NATO bombed Yugoslavia. Local authorities denied the claim.

The Belgrade-based Humanitarian Law Center, whose investigating teams have made previous revelations [my emphasis] about atrocities committed during recent wars in the region. [sic] It urged Serbian and Yugoslav authorities to open an official investigation into what it said was ”a truck with corpses brought to and dumped into a lake near the town of Kokin Brod,” some 160 kilometers (100 miles) southeast of capital Belgrade.

The case appeared related to similar allegations made last month about a refrigerated trailer truck dumped into the Danube river in 1999 with bodies of people from the southern Kosovo province, possibly ethnic Albanian victims of the Kosovo war.


Another story about a truck full of bodies being dumped in a body of water. This is called “establishing a pattern.” If the first story checks out, and so does the second, we have the basis for a vigorous investigation. Unfortunately, the pattern that is really established here is one that demonstrates Associated Press propaganda, not wrong-doing by the Yugoslav government.

First of all, how can you or I know whether the Belgrade-based Humanitarian Law Center is really respected (and respected by whom)?

We can’t: it’s in Belgrade, and we’ve never heard of it. It is easy, and cheap, to say that someone is credible, and no serious journalist should ever do this. In telling us that the source is “respected,” the Associated Press instructs us to believe, lest we exercise any critical thought or even prudently hold our judgment.

Leaving nothing to chance, the AP adds careful wording, telling us that this “respected” rights group “discovered a truckload of bodies.” There is no way to read that sentence except as telling us that the Humanitarian Law Center found the actual truck containing the bodies. But just to be triple sure that we get it, we are told that the center has “made previous revelations about atrocities.”

Since allegations cannot be revealed (only facts can), and since there have been “previous revelations,” this truck is supposedly just the latest in a string of fact-finding successes for the center. For good measure, we are also told that the center employs “investigating teams,” which obviously means fact-finding researchers.

Translation: Natasa Kandic’s Humanitarian Law Center’s fact-finding researchers fished a truck full of bodies from a lake.

However, if we read all the way to the end of the wire, we find that this is perfectly false:


“But local authorities near Kokin Brod reacted Wednesday to the latest allegations, saying there was no truck dumped in their lake.

The independent Beta news agency quoted a local police official, Petar Micunovic, as saying that the lake was recently drained through a dam during repair works on a nearby power plant and that no truck was seen there.” 


The authorities at Kokin Brod said the dam had recently been drained and that no truck was seen there. What does this mean?

Well, first, that even if there really are fact-finding researchers at the Humanitarian Law Center, they never fished any truck from any lake. Not only that: nobody else did either.

So what was the “respected” Humanitarian Law Center doing? It was reporting a rumor, which, for all we know, emanates from the same Center.

Why then does the first sentence of the AP wire claim that this center discovered the truck? And why is this statement reinforced with practically every turn of phrase?

The AP also says that “The case appeared related to similar allegations made last month about a refrigerated trailer truck dumped into the Danube river?”

Yes, the two cases are related because (1) in both cases the AP is treating allegations that are entirely evidence-free as newsworthy;  (2) in both cases the AP uses language to suggest that theallegations are established fact; (3) in both cases the allegations come courtesy of one Natasa Kandic; and (4) in both cases the AP tries hard to make Kandic, and her center, to appear as credible sources. 

There is, however, one difference. The truck with Kandic’s center alleged was dumped in the lake was never mentioned again (perhaps because the authorities as Kokin Brod had no problem demonstrating that the allegations were false), whereas the story about the truck in the Danube grew and grew.

Now, one may here try to salvage a non-cynical belief in the good intentions of the Western press by interjecting that, compelling as the case may be against the Associated Press, the other news services may not be so bad. 

Alas!  A few days after the initial AP wire, The Independent, a Britishdaily, elaborated on the original Danube-truck story:[14]


A Kosovo-Registered truck containing the bodies of 50 people allegedly murdered by Serb security forces during the Nato air campaign two years ago was fished out of the river Danube, Serbian press reported for the first time yesterday.


Notice again the use of the word “allegedly” to give a whiff of journalistic impartiality. But notice again the strategic placement: what is presented as an allegation? That a truck full of bodies was fished from the Danube? No. Only that the bodies in the truck were murdered by Serb security forces. The existence of the truck itself is taken for granted.

Why? Who knows? 

Moreover, the above sentence should, of course, begin: “The Serbian press reported?” That is how normal people speak and write. By placing the attribution at the end, we get a prominent initial impression that everything is established fact, which impression may linger. And using the verb “reported” rather than “reported allegations” reinforces the sense that we are talking aboutestablished facts. 

The Independent then goes on to underline that impression with careful wording: 


The refrigerator truck could contribute to missing evidence of how the bodies of thousands of Kosovo Albanians, allegedly murdered by Serbian security forces and paramilitaries in 1999, disappeared. The truck, with registration plates from the town of Pec in western Kosovo, was pulled out of the Danube 250km east of Belgrade on 6 April 1999. The 50 bodies included children, women and elderly people, according to Zivadin Djordjevic, a diver who told his story to Timocka Krimi Revija, a little-known Serbian crime magazine. Mr Djordjevic took part in the operation to salvage the truck in 1999.

He said: “Bodies started to fall out … Some women were dressed in traditional Muslim clothes … Some children and elderly people were naked. It was a horrifying scene.”


We are told that “The refrigerator truck could contribute to missing evidence?” That implies that the truck exists, because a non-existent truck can never be evidence of any sort.

The same implicit message is communicated by the sentence: “The truck, with registration plates from the town of Pec in western Kosovo, was pulled out of the Danube 250km east of Belgrade on 6 April 1999.” Anybody reading that sentence will understand that, in fact, a truck, with registration plates from the town of Pec in western Kosovo, was pulled out of the Danube on 6 April 1999.

The only thing that is properly reported as an allegation is the specific identity of the bodies: “The 50 bodies included children, women and elderly people, according [my emphasis] to Zivadin Djordjevic.” But stating loudly that the specific identity of the bodies is a claim?while omitting this observation for the other statements (that there was a truck, that there were bodies, that the whole thing was fished from the Danube, etc.) distracts the mind and unconsciously telegraphs the implication: a truck with bodies in it was definitely fished from the Danube.

Sadly, the two media companies considered so far are entirely typical of the mainstream Western press, which routinely treats allegations as fact if they are made against NATO’s enemies. Notice: the story had just broken, and nobody had yet produced a shred of evidence for it. But no matter, the press had already decided it was all true. If it looks like propaganda, talks like propaganda, walks likepropaganda? 

For good measure, here is another example from The Times of London, writing three days later:[15]


The alleged atrocity was revealed when one of a team of police divers who helped to remove the lorry was quoted in the Timocka review of criminology, remarks that were reported yesterday in the leading Belgrade daily, Vecernje Novosti. The lorry was said to have been recovered from the Danube near the town of Tekija, close to the Serbian border with Romania, on April 6, 1999.


Here is that word again: revealed. How can an “alleged atrocity”be “revealed”? Only facts can be “revealed.” And here again we see the strategic placement of the word “alleged.” Once again it istactically deployed to supply the veneer of journalistic impartiality, but the trust it buys is then immediately used to deceive by employing a phrasing “revealed” which is appropriate only for established facts, never for allegations.

Moreover, the fact that a big Belgrade newspaper reported what the tiny Timocka magazine said (this is the magazine where all of the allegations come from) is presented as newsworthy, as if therepetition of an allegation by a big newspaper makes it less of an allegation. This is a hoary propaganda tactic: repeat the lie until it seems true by sheer dint of repetition.

The same article said the following:


During the crackdown on ethnic Albanians by Serb forces in Kosovo between 1998 and 1999 and the subsequent Western bombing campaign, there were repeated rumours of mysterious refrigerated trucks with Belgrade registration plates being used by authorities to dispose of people who had been murdered. At one point, international investigators checked reports that such bodies might have been dumped in mineshafts in the mine complex of Trepca, but no traces were found.


We are told that there had been “repeated rumours of mysterious refrigerated trucks with Belgrade registration plates being used by authorities to dispose of people who had been murdered,” and that these rumors started as early as 1998.

These two writers evidently didn’t stop to think long enough to reflect on the fact that any such massive activity happening prior to March 24th, 1999 when the bombing of Yugoslavia began would have been going on under the noses of a swarm of OSCE observers. But these observers reported that “they witnessed no murders, no deportations and nothing that could be described as systematic persecution.”[16]

Except, of course, for the American `observers,’ but these turned out to be CIA operatives, and the one `massacre’ accusation they launched against the Yugoslav government turned out to be a KLA hoax.

It seems we have found a creative mistake.

Omissions can be plausible evidence of sloppiness, but creative mistakes signal dishonesty. This is why police officers interrogate suspects over and over again: to see if any important details change.  

And there is another creative mistake in the quoted passage above: the rumors that the London Times alleges were circulating supposedly talked about trucks with Belgrade license plates.

Why is this a creative mistake? Well, consider first that a rumor about the biggest crime possible, a crime against humanity, will include a reference to where the truck’s license plates were registered only if this terribly specific and minor detail were highly informative as to the identity of the perpetrators.

The Times appears to be saying the following: the rumors emanated from Albanians in Kosovo, and so if these rumors said that the license plates were from Belgrade, then this is a detail pointing to the identity of the perpetrators: from Belgrade = Serbs. The reader is practically instructed to reach this conclusion.

The first problem with this is logical. Any rumors about massacred Albanians being shipped in refrigerator trucks from Kosovo to mass graves in Serbia will automatically allege that the Serbs are the perpetrators. What is the alternative rumor? That immigrant Thais did it? The license plate registration adds absolutely no information.

The second problem is an inconsistency with the original AP wire, which in fact claimed that the trucks “bore license plates from Pec, a western Kosovo city [my emphasis]” (see above).

The story can be kept consistent only if they claim the last truck, the one that supposedly took the bodies to their final destination after fishing them out of the first truck, which had supposedly been dumped in the Danube, was the one with the Belgrade license plates.

This truck begins and ends its journey in Serbia proper, rather than in the Serbian province of Kosovo.

Alas! This will not work either, for this would mean that the rumors then originate with Serbs, as this is not a truck that any Albanianrumor-mongers would have seen. Why would Serbs in the proximity of Belgrade notice that a truck had Belgrade license plates? That is entirely unremarkable.

For a novelist, the purpose of detail is to tickle our brains into producing mental images, helping us suspend disbelief. The Timeswriters appear to strive for verisimilitude here by relying on this novelistic strategy, in order to convince us that the Serbs are guilty. However, they have clumsily added details that no real rumor about massacred Albanians would have included. Such obviously purposeful creative mistakes are evidence of dishonesty.

One final point about the Times is that it includes a reference toanother rumor: that bodies were dumped in the Trepca mine. But notice that the Times tells us that these rumors turned out to be utterly false. Why then doesn’t the Times do a skeptical investigation into these new rumors instead of reporting them as though they support theallegations about the truck in the Danube?


So far we have a story that is based on a number of allegations. It has been just one week since the original AP wire, but already we see considerable growth in the story, and considerable confidence that it is all true and deserving of much attention in the media even though not a shred of evidence has been presented. To compensate for this absolute lack of evidence, we hear about rumors that don’t even look like they could be real rumors (let alone rumors about plausible things), and also about rumors that turned out to be utterly false.

This must be the only way for the propaganda press to go, because theonly source for the freezer truck story, Zivadin Djordjevic (thebvdiver who supposedly found the truck in the Danube) very soonbvdisputed the attributions made to him in the `Timocka’ magazine that is the source for all these allegations.

Let me state this again: only a few days after the story broke, the man on which the Timocka magazine had based all of its allegations, disputed the story.



The next day, May 8th, Deutsche Presse-Agentur reported the following:



Serbia’s Interior Ministry said Tuesday it had begun investigating reports about a truck and a trailer with some 50 bodies of Kosovo Albanian women, children and elderly, recovered from the Danube in  Serbia in April 1999.

“A special task force has been set up to determine all relevant facts regarding the unidentified corpses in the refrigerated trailer,” the ministry said in a statement.

It pledged that the “public will be informed” about the results.

Belgrade newspapers last week quoted a diver, Zivadin Djordjevic, as saying he took part in the recovery of the truck and that the former authorities declared the find a state secret. Djordjevic, who has meanwhile denied some parts of the interview [my emphasis], said many of the bodies were in traditional Albanian clothes.


Wait! Djordjevic, the only source for this story?said he was misquoted. Which statements were misquoted? What does he disclaim?


Stop the presses? Why? Just because we have a story based, not on an allegation, but on the allegation of an allegation – and one disputed by the only source. Only if we were doing journalism would it be necessary to stop and reexamine on such grounds. The mainstream Western press is in a different game entirely.

I have been unable to find one, repeat not one report of any journalist going to talk to Djordjevic to find out why he said he was misquoted. Not in any wire, not in any newspaper article, not in any magazine article. And I was not able to find one, repeat not one article where Djordjevic’s dissatisfaction was even repeated. Not in any wire, not in any newspaper article, not in any magazine article.

We are talking about the most serious accusation that could possibly be made: war crimes, crimes against humanity. There is only one sourcefor the accusation. And that source denies the story!

And nobody looks into it?

The case against the Western press is gathering steam…(In the section ahead where I explain how this was all a plot to frame Milosevic it becomes clear precisely what Djordjevic was complaining about)



The next day, Agence France Presse wrote the following wire:[18]


Two Serbian police chiefs were sacked for their alleged role in the cover-up of a Kosovo truck full of corpses fished from the river Danube during NATO’s 1999 air war on Belgrade, the daily Politika said Wednesday. 

General Vlastimir Djordjevic, head of public security at the time, was pensioned off while the former commander of the special police, General Obrad Stevanovic, was demoted after their forces reportedly failed to look into the discovery [my emphasis] of 50 bodies in a sunken refrigerator truck.


Once again, the tried and true tactic: the truck is presented asvdefinitely having been fished from the Danube, and the subsequentvcover-up, as definitely having taken place. The word “alleged” is employed, but placed in such a way that the only thing presented as an allegation is the role of the two police chiefs, and the word “discovery” is likewise attached to a truck that nobody has discovered.

So let’s see…: The day after DPA reported that diver Zivadin Djordjevic, the only source for any of this, denied parts of the story, two Serbian police chiefs were sacked.

Come again?

And why were they sacked? Because an interview which the interviewee partly contests, published in a tiny magazine that nobody has heard of, said that there had been a truck in the Danube with bodies, which bodies have never been seen, and neither has the truck!? They were sacked because the same questionable “interview” reported that this thing had been hushed up and declared a “secret”!

Who decided that this flimsy account was solid enough to justify the  removal of two police chiefs? On what grounds? Shouldn’t somebody at least try to find out which parts of the story are disputed by its only source before firing two police chiefs?


By this standard, police chiefs should be fired for failing to look into stories of alien abductions, which the tabloids publish every day.

The same day, a wire from United Press International[19] elaborated on the issue of how the whole thing was supposedly hushed up:


The district public prosecutor Miroslav Srzentic in Negotin with jurisdiction over the Kladovo area told the media Tuesday he had notified the Serbian prosecutor’s office of the case and was waiting for instructions.

Srzentic, who was deputy prosecutor in 1999, told the crime magazine he had been prevented from investigating the case at the time by his immediate superior Krsta Majstorovic who declared it a state secret and said there would be no autopsy and no investigation, most likely on orders from higher authorities.

Majtorovic, now retired, at his home in Negotin refused to say anything about the case except that “I have no truck with it any longer and all relevant documents, including an indictment, are in the local prosecutor’s office.” He declined to disclose who the indictment had been raised against.


The wire begins by telling us how Srzentic supposedly “told the media [on] Tuesday,” which makes it sound as though this is new information. But immediately thereafter we learn that “the media” is none other than the crime magazine which is still the only source for any of this. Everything is still coming from the Timocka magazine, which looks less than credible, since its star informer disputes the content of statements attributed to him.

Krsta Majstorovic (or is it Majtorovic?), who is presented as Srzentic’s immediate superior, however, does appear to have been reached for comment in the flesh “at his home in Negotin,” andapparently after the story broke in the mainstream press. But a little further research reveals that we cannot believe a word of this, because Majstorovic does not exist.

We have found another creative mistake.

Here is the evidence: a few days earlier, on May 4th, the same wire service. United Press International had reported the following:[20]


The current district prosecutor in Negotin, Miroslav Srzentic, told Belgrade radio B92 he was aware of the incident at the time and was initiating an investigation but was told the next day by his predecessor Nestorovic, now retired, “there will be no autopsy, no such case has taken place and it is a secret.”


Did you notice? In this wire, the person who told Srzentic not to investigate and declared the whole case a secret was not his supervisor but his predecessor, and his name was not Majstorovic butNestorovic.


And on May 14th the Inter-Press Service reported the following:[21]


A deputy prosecutor in the nearby town of Negotin, Miroslav Srzentic, was informed of what had been found in the truck. He started for Kladovo on the morning on April 7, but was stopped by his superior.

“The prosecutor, Mr. Krsta Manojlovic, told me that there was not going to be an investigation,” Srzentic recalls. Manojlovic, who is now retired, would not talk to the press.


Now we are back to the whole thing being hushed up by Srzentic’s superior. But his name this time is not Krsta Majstorovic (or  Majtorovic) but Krsta Manojlovic.


Which is it? Who stopped Srzentic from investigating? His superior or his predecessor? Who told Srzentic that a case which had not taken place (!) was a secret? And what was his name? Majstorovic (Majtorovic?), Manojlovic, or Nestorovic? Some kind of “ovic,” to besure. Does it make a difference? I would think so!

Did Srzentic really say anything? Does he exist?

Apparently not, and this would explain why all future mention of  Srzentic was dropped. But then all mention of the `evidence’ supposedly coming from Srzentic should have been dropped as well.

What? Never. Till the very end we are still hearing how this whole thing was supposedly “hushed up” and made a “state secret,” even though the source for this is one alleged Srzentic who allegedly spoke in the interview published in the tiny magazine Timocka Krimi Revija, or else to Radio B92 (which is controlled by NATO), and who does not seem to exist.

Other tidbits on the same level of substance as the phantom Srzentic and his even more phantasmagoric and multinomial supervisor/predecessor were also added. Agence France Presse supplied these details on May 11th:[22]


Workers from a funeral home in Serbia have told how they unloaded the corpses of men, women and children from a Kosovo-registered truck pulled from the river Danube during NATO’s 1999 air war on Belgrade, the daily Blic reported Friday.

The workers from Kladovo in eastern Serbia, who all demanded they not be named, said they had reloaded the bodies into another truck on the orders of local cemetery manager Sreten Savovic, the daily said.


So now we add to the list of `witnesses’ a few alleged grave-diggers who will not identify themselves. Uh-huh. Still nothing.

You or I could have written this story ourselves in the privacy of our homes. It is a novel. The new details are presented as if they were the result of fresh reporting, but nothing prevents us fromsuspecting that it all still comes from the Timocka article (or else is made up). I searched everywhere for a follow-up with the alleged human by the name Savovic, but he was apparently never again reached for comment.


We can hazard a guess: Savovic, like Majstorivic/Majtorovic/Manojlovic/Nestorovic, and Srzentic, does not exist. Surely, if anybody wanted to find the bodies, they would interview Savovic? 

And notice how the story is designed to prevent the production of any evidence that one might examine. This is from Agence France Press, dated May 9th: [18]


A magazine last week reported that a diver had found the Kosovo-registered refrigerator truck in the river some 250 kilometres (150 miles) east of Belgrade.

The magazine said the truck was later dynamited in a nearby training centre for special police.

An investigation has been opened into the incident following the revelations [my emphasis], police said Tuesday.


And this is from an Inter-Press Service wire dated May 14th:[23]


In Kladovo, on the evening of April 6, the bodies were placed into another truck that went to an unknown destination. Four undertakers were summoned to dig the graves. During the night, the police blew the green Mercedes truck into pieces with 30 kilograms of explosives.


The four anonymous undertakers again. A truck which no longer exists because it was exploded. Bodies that cannot be found because theywere taken to an “unknown destination.”

All we really have is an article in Timocka Krimi Revija, which claims to get its information from an interview with the diver Zivadin Djordjevic.

But Djordjevic “has meanwhile denied some parts of the interview.”




On 25 May, almost a month after it broke the story with its original wire, the Associated Press outdid itself in the following report. It bears a close analysis because it could not be dripping with more Orwellian propaganda if Carla del Ponte (the chief prosecutor at The Hague) had drafted it herself in order to generate the right atmosphere in the public’s opinion, both Serbian and international, forthe illegal abduction of Milosevic to The Hague. They wrote:[24]


BELGRADE, Yugoslavia (AP) – Police linked former President Slobodan Milosevic on Friday to a cover-up of atrocities in Kosovo, includingthe dumping of bodies in the Danube River – a revelation that couldhelp the U.N. war crimes tribunal.

The accusations, the first time Yugoslav authorities have tied Milosevic to war crimes, could pave the way for sending him to the U.N. tribunal in The Hague. Milosevic has been jailed since April 1 on charges of corruption and abuse of power.


Notice the Associated Press’s choice of words: “Police linked [my emphasis] former President Slobodan Milosevic on Friday to a cover-up of atrocities?” This, they tell us, is of course “a revelation.” And then: “The accusations [constitute] the first time Yugoslav authorities have tied [my emphasis] Milosevic to war crimes?”

But for the police “to link” or “to tie” Milosevic to a cover-up is a colloquialism that refers to their success in proffering evidence:

1)  that there was a crime in the first place;

2)  that it was covered up; and

3)  given the first two points, that Milosevic had something to do with it. 

Anything short of that, if it is to be reported at all, should be called what it is: an allegation. But here we have that Milosevic was “linked” and “tied” to a cover-up of an alleged and unproven crime with what? Allegations of allegations that the crime took place, and unsupported “accusations” that Milosevic had something to do with the alleged cover-up of the unproven crime. It should be obvious that he is not “linked” or “tied” to the allegation of analleged crime that may not have happened with accusations that he had something to do with this vaporous non-event! No accusation, by itself, establishes any kind of link.

Sadly, equating police accusations to the establishment of “a link” or “a tie” between Milosevic and the allegation of the alleged crimes for which there is no evidence, and which the only source disputes, has been commonplace in the media. Here is an example from the St. Petersburg Times:[25]


In a move that could help the U.N. war crimes tribunal, police Friday linked former President Slobodan Milosevic to a coverup of atrocities in Kosovo, including the dumping of bodies into the Danube River.

The accusations, the first time Yugoslav authorities have tied Milosevic to war crimes, could pave the way for sending him to the U.N. tribunal in The Hague.


The same AP report of 25 May whose language the St. Petersburg Times parrots almost verbatim went on to say:


The government is now drafting a law on the extradition of war crimes suspects to the Netherlands-based tribunal that would permit handing over suspects like Milosevic only if local courts found a basis for war crimes accusations. The new allegations came after police investigated reports that a truck containing 50 bodies, reportedly those of ethnic Albanians, was found in the Danube River outside Kosovo near the Romanian border in 1999.


Notice what we are being told: the new allegations (which were piled on previous allegations of allegations, and still no proof?) happen to coincide with activity by the new Yugoslav government to draft a law for the extradition of war crimes suspects to The Hague.

Interesting coincidence.

The US was pressuring the new Yugoslav government in Belgrade which they spent millions helping to install with the threat that, unlessMilosevic was sent to The Hague, they would withhold economic aid for the rebuilding of the civilian infrastructure that NATO had illegally bombed (and which bombing constitutes a crime of war). [This sounds like the kind of talk one might hear from a mafia boss: “Please, don’t make me hurt you. I don’t want to hurt you again?You think Ienjoy your screams? I am going to ask, politely, once again? (sigh!). Vinnie, give his tourniquet another twist?”]

It seems that we have found a powerful incentive for the new government in Belgrade “to link” Milosevic to something. Faced with repeated failures to make the KLA hoaxes of civilian massacres in Kosovo stick (because international forensic experts were not cooperating with the fabrication of evidence), there seems to have been a very natural desperation “to tie” Milosevic to an alleged crime with no physical evidence of the sort that nit-picking international forensic scientists might take issue with. In this way, a rationale, admittedly, an Orwellian rationale, for sending Milosevic to The Hague was generated in order to get the American money.

At least that would be the interpretation of the opposite camp, as reported in the same AP report:


Milosevic’s Socialist Party said in a statement that the police were distributing “hideous misinformation launched deliberately before theexpected parliamentary debate about the law on cooperation with the Hague tribunal.” 

The party said the accusations were aimed at “trying to justify the totally unacceptable act of opening the way for possible extraditions.” 


One could be forgiven for thinking that the other side would never be reached for comment. But here, finally, after nearly a month of allegations of allegations with no proof, we hear Milosevic’s party accuse “hideous misinformation” for political purposes. How are they exaggerating?  And what exactly were the new allegations? The same AP report says:


Police Capt. Dragan Karleusa said that in a March 1999 meeting, Milosevic ordered top police commanders “to remove all evidence” of civilian casualties in the crackdown in Kosovo and to remove corpses that could be subject to “possible investigation by The Hague tribunal.” Those present at the meeting included former Interior Minister Vlajko Stojiljkovic, who is also wanted by the U.N.tribunal.   


“Police Capt. Dragan Karleusa said?” Apparently, in order to “link” or “tie” Milosevic to a crime that nobody seems even remotely able to show happened you need nothing more than an unsupported accusation by Police Capt. Dragan Karleusa that Milosevic said something at a meeting.

An Orwellian tactic is employed here to great advantage. We are told that, “Those present at the meeting included former Interior Minister Vlajko Stojiljkovic, who is also wanted by the U.N. tribunal.” A meeting that did not take place cannot have been attended by Vlajko Stojiljkovic. Thus, Stojiljkovic plays a double role in this narrative: 

1)           By saying that he was at the meeting the police imply that they were flies on the wall and know everything that happened atthis meeting?which must mean, therefore, that the meeting happened.

2)           And by saying that Stojiljkovic is wanted by The Hague they also imply that Stojiljkovic must be a bad guy, and thus his presence at the meeting suggests that Milosevic must have given sinister orders. 

Finally, notice that “The new allegations came after police investigated [my emphasis] reports that a truck containing 50 bodies, etc. etc.” In other words, the new allegations did not come after the police succeeded in providing any evidence for the original statements attributed to Djordjevic (and partially disputed by him) concerning Albanians found in a truck in the Danube?merely after these reports were “investigated.”

Does it matter if the “investigations” come out empty-handed?

Apparently not. 


Police made it clear Friday that they considered the evidence about the bodies in the Danube one link in Milosevic’s alleged large-scale attempt to remove traces of thousands of civilians killed by histroops in Kosovo.


What evidence? The statements of one individual, Djordjevic, who disagrees that he was properly quoted? It is truly spectacular how quickly the allegation of an allegation has become “evidence.”

Apparently all it takes is a little bit of repetition. And the allegation has become “evidence” not only for itself, notice, but for a whole multitude of similar non-events, all of them “linked” to Milosevic.

And notice again the strategic placement of the word “alleged.” The only thing reported as an allegation here is whether Milosevic engaged in a large-scale attempt to cover-up evidence. That the killings took place, the AP’s language implies, is established fact!

(As if one attempt after another to prove such crimes had not beenshown to be a hoax by international forensic experts; click here foran example). 


“When we finish the investigation, we will file criminal charges,” said Serbian Interior Minister Dusan Mihajlovic. “For now it’s clear that this was a case of removing evidence of criminal acts.”


The Interior Minister says that “When we finish the investigation, we will file criminal charges.” In other words, regardless of whether they find any actual evidence. And he feels that “it’s clear that this was a case of removing evidence of criminal acts.” Why is itclear? Isn’t he still investigating? Nobody so far has provided one iota of material evidence that any bodies or truck even existed.

There is one alleged `witness,’ but this man disputes parts of the interview attributed to him. Again, why is the Interior Minister so sure…? 

If the body and trucks existed in the first place, this could certainly be evidence of a criminal cover-up, but we need to establish that they exist in the first place. If and when we do, we need to establish something else: that this was not a Mafia killing, or illegal immigrants being smuggled from Romania to Europe thru Yugoslavia, or something else (crimes of war are not the only possible crimes that may need to be covered up). If and when we decide it was a crime of war, there is still the question of establishing the link to Milosevic.

But investigation involves much tiresome work. Better to find a Police Captain to make an unsupported accusation about orderssupposedly given by Milosevic for a general cover-up. Then you can declare that this unsupported accusation “ties” Milosevic to the specific bodies that nobody has seen. Mission accomplished.


Police said that the bodies found in the dumped truck were reloaded in April 1999 and taken to another, still undisclosed location. The whole operation had been officially declared secret by Milosevic’s authorities, and those who had witnessed the operation were ordered to remain quiet. 

The police quoted witnesses who spoke of an “unpleasant smell,” when the truck was pulled out of the Danube.

Zivadin Djordjevic, a diver employed in the operation to raise the truck, recently spoke of “a terrible mixture of congealed blood, stench, and decomposing twisted bodies” when the truck was lifted. Hesaid the bodies included women and children.


There is nothing new here, but this old wine comes in new bottles:

1)          We are told that the “police said.” But everything in that first paragraph just repeats what was said in the tiny crime magazine that did not quote the lonely “witness” Djordjevic to his own satisfaction. By putting these words in the police’s mouth the AP makes it seem as though the police uncovered this information in their investigations.

2)          The same alleged Djordjevic “interview” not any evidence turned up by a police investigation is also the source for the claim that the authorities had hushed this up. But as you may recall there is a very big problem with this claim because it comes from one Srzentic who does not seem to exist, but who in any case appears completely unable to keep straight even the name of the person who told him that, or whether this person was his immediate superior or immediate predecessor.

3)          The “witnesses” who spoke of the unpleasant smell are too many for no name has been attached to any of this except for Djordjevic, in the same interview, some parts of which he denies.

4)          Finally, the one statement attributed to Djordjevic in this report (concerning the “congealed blood, stench, and decomposing twisted bodies”) is made to seem as though he has spoken out elsewhere and recently (which would then appear somewhat in contradiction to his dissatisfaction with how he was quoted, which Deutsch Press Agentur reported). But although the report sayshe “recently spoke” it does not say where or to whom. And since the AP does not say, then `recently’ probably means that this, too, comes from the original magazine `interview,’ since that had been brought to light less than a month before this wire was written (`recently’is more appropriate for a month’s time than it is for the last few days). 

I was unable to find any indication of where or to whom Djordjevic had made these supposedly additional and recent statements. I looked for it, but the only wire service that ever attributed this statement to Djordjevic is the AP, and the few newspapers that repeated thisquotation either directly attributed it to the AP, or listed nosource. Certainly the first mention of there having been women and children in the truck came from the alleged magazine interview with Djordjevic in Timocka Krimi Revija (see above), and this is paired here with the statements about the congealed blood. So it seems quite likely that the AP’s claim that Djordjevic “recently spoke” is nothing more than a repetition of something Djordjevic said in themagazine interview. If so, the AP liberally chooses not to say that it is lifting such statements from the magazine (unless it made them up entirely). 


At The Hague, Jean Jacques Joris, a top adviser to chief war crimes court prosecutor Carla Del Ponte, said the police accusations make “clear that Milosevic was directly involved in the crimes committed in Kosovo.”

Deputy Prosecutor Graham Blewitt told AP that “if this is new evidence this would be very valuable to us, because this is somebody standing up, saying, ‘Milosevic ordered to cover up evidence.”‘


Here we see that if a tiny magazine claims that one Djordjevic said a number of things in an interview, even though Djordjevic denies some parts of the interview, then this makes it “clear” to “a top adviser to chief war crimes court prosecutor Carla Del Ponte” that “Milosevic was directly involved in the crimes committed in Kosovo.” Which crimes? Who knows? 

This says quite a lot about the nature of the Hague Tribunal: its purpose is to convict, not to try Milosevic . That crimes were committed in Kosovo is, to this “chief advisor” to the prosecutor, a foregone conclusion, despite the repeated embarrassments his own court has suffered as it fails again and again to find any evidence of such crimes. And the flimsiest non-evidence imaginable clearly ‘establishes’ to his satisfaction that Milosevic is responsible for these non-crimes.

Moreover, the “Deputy Prosecutor” considers it “very valuable” that “this is somebody standing up, saying, `Milosevic ordered to cover up evidence.'” That “somebody” of course is the same police captain charged with the investigation, who so far has not told us why or how he knows this. Well, in that case it will be equally valuable that “somebody” stands up to say that Milosevic didn’t, andMilosevic’s lawyer has already said that. This opposing “somebody” therefore neutralizes the first “somebody” and we can drop the whole thing. No? 

Alas!, no. This is the LA Times writing the next day:[26]


Yugoslav authorities Friday for the first time accused former President Slobodan Milosevic of covering up war crimes committed in Kosovo. 

“Milosevic ordered former Interior Minister Vlajko Stojiljkovic to take measures to eliminate all the traces which could lead to any evidence of crimes committed” in Kosovo, Dragan Karleusa, a Serbian official in charge of efforts against organized crime, told a televised news conference in Belgrade, the Yugoslav and Serbian capital. 

The announcement, linked to the discovery in 1999 of a corpse-filled truck in the Danube River, marked the first time that the new democratic authorities in Belgrade have accused Milosevic of involvement in war crimes. The statement could pave the way for his trial in Yugoslavia or in The Hague. Police suspect that the truckincident was part of an effort, code-named “Depth 2,” to dispose of slain Kosovo civilians, Karleusa said.

The truck was pulled from the Danube in 1999 with more than 50 bodies inside, but Milosevic associates declared the incident a state secret and ordered a halt to any investigation, Karleusa said. The bodies were taken to a still-unknown location, he said.


The LA Times is careful to say that these are accusations, and they do not say that this establishes “a link” to Milosevic in any cover-up. However, they commit a different sin: they say the announcement of these accusations is “linked to the discovery in 1999 of a corpse- filled truck in the Danube River.” But of course, there hasn’t beenany such “discovery.” How could there be? The truck was supposedly destroyed! And even that story has no more than one possible source: Zivadin Djordjevic, but he disputes the magazine article that madeattributions to him.

An allegation is an allegation. A discovery is a discovery. And the allegation of an allegation of a discovery is not a “discovery”, it is an allegation (of an allegation).

Notice that by this date the allegation that Milosevic had givenorders for these supposed cover-ups of these supposed crimes has now been given a catchy name: “Depth 2.” We are still not told howKarleusa knows that Milosevic gave such orders, or how he knows that the operation was named “Depth 2”. But adding these novelistic details creates the impression that they know what they are talking about. It also creates the implication that there was a “Depth 1,” which may come in handy later if other non-crimes need to be pinnedon Milosevic. 

Finally, for Karleusa to say that the location of the bodies is “still unknown” implies that we know the bodies themselves exist – a nice and very convenient rhetorical tactic, because in fact thepolice have so far produced no evidence that the bodies ever existed.

And the statement about the “unknown location” to which the bodies were supposedly taken is lifted, again (yes), from the alleged Djordjevic interview, parts of which he denies!



On the same day that the LA Times piece above was published, TheIndependent, not to be outdone, came out with the following front page headline: “SERB POLICE REVEAL PROOF OF MILOSEVIC WAR CRIME LINKSIN KOSOVO.”[27] 

As we saw earlier, it took just a little less than a month to turn an allegation (of an allegation!) into “evidence.” But practice makes perfect because the transition from “evidence” to “proof” has beeneven faster, one day.

Ship him to The Hague!

There is no point in quoting this front page piece as it contains nothing new. All we get is a repetition of Karleusa’s allegation that Milosevic gave orders, which is, as always, unaccompanied by anexplanation of how Karleusa knows this. Proof of the allegation that Djordjevic alleged anything (let alone that the alleged allegations have any substance) is, of course, not provided either.

More interesting, however, is a second article on page 13 of the same issue of The Independent, which goes into greater detail and is entitled “HOW MILOSEVIC HID THE EVIDENCE OF HIS ATROCITIES.” [28]

Sounds like a triple conclusion, doesn’t it?

1)      Atrocities were committed;

2)      Milosevic is responsible; and

3)      they were covered up.

And they are going to tell you how.

Not bad for a short headline. I reproduce and analyze the full text:


IN MARCH 1999, as the Nato bombs rained on Serbia, a meeting was heldin secret at Slobodan Milosevic’s office in Belgrade. The former Yugoslav leader had summoned Vlajko Stojiljkovic, a close friend who was then Serbian Interior Minister and who, like his master, has been indicted for war crimes in Kosovo.

At that meeting, it seems Mr Milosevic had already acknowledged he might one day face charges of war crimes committed in Kosovo. He had learnt his lesson from the unearthed mass graves from the earlier wars in Croatia and Bosnia. He ordered Mr Stojiljkovic to get rid of the evidence, the bodies of his victims. As many as 10,000 Albanians are thought to have been murdered by Mr Milosevic’s security forcesin Kosovo during the 1999 Nato air campaign. But more than half of their bodies have never been found. Only 4,000 corpses have beendiscovered – nobody has ever found traces of the others.


Notice the novelistic style: “as the Nato bombs rained on Serbia, a meeting was held in secret at Slobodan Milosevic’s office in Belgrade”. Suspend disbelief, suspend disbelief.

No mention that the existence of this meeting is so far only an unsupported allegation by Karleusa. We are being told that this definitely happened.

We are also told that Milosevic had good reason to worry, as “He had learnt his lesson from the unearthed mass graves from the earlier wars in Croatia and Bosnia.” This is not the place to refute theaccusations that the Bosnian Serb leadership was guilty of atrocities against civilians in Bosnia. Such accusations are false. (click here,and here). But that does not even matter here. The Bosnian Serbleadership was independent of Milosevic. The accusation that Milosevic was responsible for alleged massacres that have been blamed on the Bosnian Serbs, whom he did not even control, has no feet tostand on, not even in principle. But remember: in the demonology of the Western propaganda, if anything bad happens anywhere, it isalways Milosevic’s fault, even – or perhaps especially- if the bad thing did not happen in the first place.

The Independent tells us that “as many as 10,000 Albanians arethought to have been murdered by Mr. Milosevic’s security forces inKosovo during the 1999 Nato air campaign.” That sounds like a lot,but it is much less than 100,000, which is the figure given at onepoint, in 1999, by United States Secretary of Defense William Cohenin order to justify the NATO aggression to the American public and to the world.[29] With little shame, The Hague has recently offered an interesting prevarication for that figure on Cohen’s behalf. I quote from The Boston Globe: [30]


[Graham T.] Blewitt [the deputy chief prosecutor for the International Criminal Tribunal for the former Yugoslavia], said that the 100,000 figure of missing Kosovars was accurate when given, but that the vast majority of that number had fled Kosovo when Serb forces began a systematic campaign of ethnic cleansing after the NATO bombing began. He said tens of thousands of Kosovars had crossed over into Macedonia to stay with relatives or friends, but that there was no reliable system to account for refugees.


Two sleights of hand here. First “Kosovo Albanians” have become “Kosovars.” Did you notice? Sounds like an endorsement of the view that Kosovo Albanians were in their own countrywhich is something other than Serbia but not the Kosovo Serbs, (who must have been foreigners!). 

Second, he says “the 100,000 figure of missing [my emphasis] Kosovars was accurate when given?” The problem with this explanation is that, even if it was the accurate number of missing Albanians (and I doubt it), it was not given as a figure of unaccounted-for Albanians, but as a figure of murdered Albanians. That is hardly the same thing, and it makes the figure inaccurate when given.

But of course, coming back to The Independent, we are never told why anybody believes that “as many as 10,000 Albanians” were murdered by security forces. Should we take it on faith? Should we believe it with the same ferocity that we were expected to believe the 100,000 figure? This is important because only if we do is the failure to find 10,000 bodies a problem. If 10,000 people were not, in fact, murdered, then finding only 4000 bodies presents absolutely no mystery. But The Independent, even here, appears to be grossly overstating things. In 1999, by one account, UN sources were already saying privately that less than 2000 bodies would be found, in all. [31] And this is a figure not of Kosovar Albanians “murdered by thesecurity forces,” but of all the dead, which includes both Kosovar Serb and Albanians. And it is not the figure for Kosovo residents who died during the NATO bombing but for the entire period when theYugoslav forces were fighting the KLA which extended from February 1998 until June 1999. Of course, this figure includes those who diedfrom NATO’s bombs. 

The amazing, shrinking body count?

We started with 100,000 genocidally murdered Albanians and we ended up with perhaps less than 3000 dead[32]both Serbs and Albanians. Andquite a few of these had to die from NATO’s bombs, most of which werefalling on civilian targets! (see APPENDIX).

The recently murdered Daniel Pearl and his co-author Robert Block wrote an article for The Wall Street Journal that somehow got published, and which, as early as 1999, was already piercing through

the NATO propaganda about the body count:[33]


British and American officials still maintain that 10,000 or more

ethnic-Albanian civilians died at Serb hands during the fighting in

Kosovo. The U.N.’s International Criminal Tribunal for the former

Yugoslavia has accused Serbs of covering up war crimes by moving

bodies. It has begun its own military analysis of the Serb offensive.

But the number of bodies discovered so far is much lower – 2,108 as

of November, and not all of them necessarily war-crimes victims.

While more than 300 reported grave sites remain to be investigated,

the tribunal has checked the largest reported sites first, and found

most to contain no more than five bodies, suggesting intimate acts of

barbarity rather than mass murder.[34] The KLA helped form the West’s

wartime image of Kosovo.  International human-rights groups say officials of the guerrilla force served on the Kosovo-based Council for the Defence of Human Rights and  Freedoms, whose activists wereoften the first to interview refugees arriving in Macedonia.

Journalists later cited the council’s missing-persons list to support theories about how many people died in Kosovo, and the State Department this month echoed the council’s recent estimate of 10,000 missing. But the number has to be taken on faith: Western investigators say the council won’t share its list of missing persons.


The key point above is this: “The KLA?served on the Kosovo-based Council for the Defence of Human Rights and Freedoms [and] the council’s missing-persons list [was used] to support theories about how many people died in Kosovo?”

So now we know where the 10,000 missing-person figure comes from: the KLA. Ah?!  But perhaps this makes sense, after all, since it was KLA agents who were interviewing the refugees fleeing Kosovo, as explained above. If we can trust the KLA, an organization acknowledged by the US State Department to be terrorist[35], to interview the refugees and report their statements accurately (from which reports the entire world got its impression of what was happening in Kosovo), then surely we can trust them to estimate the number of dead! And trust we must, because the list of missing persons is not something they have released. As Pearl and Block say, “the number has to be taken on faith.” This applies to many other things. There is a whole system dedicated to keeping so-called journalists from doing any actual investigations,[36] and therefore we are asked to take most ofthe things they say on faith.

The Independent is strong in the faith, because in 2001 it was still reporting the “10,000 dead” figure. Let us continue with The Independent’s `exposé’ on how Milosevic supposedly hid his supposed war crimes:


The bodies are the evidence the international war crimes tribunal in The Hague needs to prove its charge of crimes against humanity against Mr Milosevic. Yesterday, for the first time, the story of how they disappeared began to be officially revealed. Dragan Karleusa, a Serbian Interior Ministry official, said yesterday: “Slobodan Milosevic ordered Vlajko Stojiljkovic to take measures to remove all the traces that could lead to the evidence on crimes that have been committed.”

Mr Stojiljkovic then issued orders to two police generals, Vlastimir Djordjevic and Dragan Ilic, to begin the operation of “removing civilian victims, who could become the subject of the eventual investigation by The Hague tribunal”, Mr Karleusa said.


Notice that again we hear Karleusa’s accusation, and again we are not told what it is based on. It is true that now the accusation adds more details. But if the addition of detail were the same thing as corroborating an accusation every novel would be a history. And we have seen this propaganda maneuver before: the statement “the story of how they disappeared began to be officially revealed” employs phrasing which suggests that the bodies definitely existed, for they cannot have disappeared unless they existed, and only if they first existed and then disappeared can “the story of how they disappeared be officially revealed [my emphasis].” But there is no reason for believing the supposedly missing bodies ever existed except for the following arithmetic: 10,000 killed – 4000 (allegedly)found bodies = missing bodies.

This arithmetic the Hague prosecutors have explained as follows, as reported in the Boston Globe: [37]


“We will issue a report in November with exact numbers, but I anticipate that we will have identified between 4,000 and 5,000 bodies,” Blewitt said. “The discrepancy between the final figure and the 10,000 figure that was initially used can be accounted for by bodies being destroyed or transported into Serbia, and by the fact that some people feared dead had managed to flee Kosovo.”


Notice that two different hypotheses for “the discrepancy between the [estimated] final figure and the 10,000 figure” are presented as one.

Some of the missing bodies were “destroyed or transported into Serbia,” and others were mistakenly presumed dead. But it is of course admissible that all of the missing bodies were mistakenly presumed dead and that none were “destroyed or transported into Serbia.” It is also possible that the 10,000 figure was made up by the KLA – in fact, likely, as they have quite a record as blatant liars. But the Hague tribunal would have you believe that, eventhough their previous figure ‘100,000 dead Albanians’ was completely and utterly off the mark, there is no basis for expecting them to make enormous mistakes when estimating numbers of dead, especially when the KLA helps elaborate the estimates based on a list of names that nobody has been allowed to see.

It doesn’t matter what the facts are, apparently. Serbs will be guilty. Some interpretation to this effect will be found. And Milosevic, invariably, will turn out to be the mastermind. Of everything and especially for events that did not take place.

We return to The Independent’s “exposé” of the “cover-up”:


The Independent first reported the crucial evidence which led Serbian police to discover Mr Milosevic’s cover-up three weeks ago, on 4 May.

Then, it emerged for the first time that a refrigerator truck full of bodies had been dredged from the river Danube. It is believed the 50 bodies inside, many of them women and children, were of people murdered by Mr Milosevic’s security forces in Kosovo.


The Independent proudly reminds its readers that they had reported the “crucial evidence” on May 4th. You can go back and examine it above. It is nothing more than the interview with Djordjevic, parts of which Djordjevic denies (which parts? who knows?) in a tiny and obscure crime magazine. That is the crucial evidence. This is still, at this late date, all that we have!

Still just the allegation of an allegation! But the story grows and grows and grows. 

And this “crucial evidence” supposedly “led Serbian police to discover Mr Milosevic’s cover up.” Discover? What did they discover?

They have yet to produce one shred of evidence.


Back in March 1999 as Mr Milosevic and Mr Stojiljkovic plotted rid of the bodies, witnesses saw 130 people being killed security forces in the village of Izbice in Kosovo. Their bodies were seen being buried in the local cemetery. Yet at the end of the Kosovo war, no bodies were found. Natasa Kandic, Serbia’s foremost human rights investigator, knows why. She travelled to Kosovo during the air strikes and interviewed witnesses who saw Serbian police return to the Izbice cemetery a few days after the murders took place, dig the bodies back up and takethem away.


This is now a full-blown novel. “Back in March 1999 as Mr Milosevic and Mr Stojiljkovic plotted to get rid of the bodies?” It is as if The Independent were reporting on, say, the French Revolution as  understood by modern historians. The fact that these are all unsupported allegations added to the allegations of allegations that the crimes themselves took place is nowhere mentioned.

Natasa Kandic is no longer merely in the employ of “a respected human rights group,” as the Associated Press earlier said (see above), and neither is she working for “one of the most respected rights groups in Serbia” as the IPS informed us on May 14th,[38] she has now,herself, on May 26th, become “Serbia’s foremost human rights investigator.” But the dizzying speed with which her career rockets to the heavens should surprise nobody. Her rise to these exalted heights must occur on a time-scale proportional to the rapidity with which the dubious allegations of allegations that she feeds to the press become “evidence” and then “proof.” After all, she was the one who pointed out the less-than-credible Djordjevic interview by faxing a press release to the Associated Press, and also the one who told the press about a truck that had supposedly been dumped in a lake even though the lake had been drained and nobody saw it!

Given Kandic’s track record as a rigorous investigator, nobody should bat an eye when she finds unnamed `witnesses’ to say that 130 people were killed by security forces somewhere in Kosovo and then buried in the local cemetery, but the bodies are nowhere to be found. This is fine because Kandic “knows” what happened. To wit: she can explain the absence of the alleged corpses by interviewing some other unnamed `witnesses’ who say they saw Serbian police return to the cemetery in order to dig up the corpses and spirit them away. No need to consider the hypothesis that the alleged witnesses, or Kandic, or both, are lying, because clearly Kandic is someone we can trust (and, given that, no need for material evidence!).

A short digression is pertinent here to get a sense of just how much Kandic may be trusted by taking a closer look at her publicly stated standards of evidence. When Kandic originally directed the press to the Djordjevic story (reported for the first time in the AP on April 30th after they got a fax straight from Ms Kandic), she also alleged other things, and displayed an interesting reasoning style: allegations of atrocities are fact if she thinks they are. Consider this:[39] 


In a statement issued Monday, Kandic’s group demanded that the new, pro-democracy Yugoslav government urgently reveal the truth about what could be one of the best-kept secrets of the former president’s rule”: the destruction of evidence pertaining to crimes committed against Kosovo Albanians during NATO’s air war. According to data assembled by Kandic’s Center, Serbian security forces and the Yugoslav army allegedly took part in removing and destroying evidence of these atrocities.

”Certainly, the removal of evidence on such a large scale cannot take place without the knowledge of authorities,” Kandic maintained. ”We have many witness accounts, many terrible stories … but the orders for these actions could only have come from high up, such as from Serbian police.”


The wire tells us that Kandic’s Center has “evidence.” This is an altogether gratuitous characterization, for Kandic herself explains what the “evidence” consists of: “many witness accounts; many terrible stories.” By this standard, Ms. Kandic should also be demanding that the Yugoslav government do more to solve the problem of alien abductions.

Notice also that Ms. Kandic considers that her “terrible stories” have already established the fact. The trouble and toil required by the tiresome investigations that would determine whether there is any truth to an allegation of a war crime can thus be dispensed with.

This has many benefits over and above the obvious one of saving much time and energy. Most importantly, she can move directly to consider the question of just how highly placed were those who gave the orders. But in fact Ms. Kandic does not really offer a hypothesis here. She is quite sure: “?the orders for these actions could only [my emphasis] have come from high up, such as from the Serbian police.” Thus, anybody discomfited by the idea that there might have been a tiresome investigation to determine who was culpable for atrocities that may not have happened can sit back down on his couch.

These could certainly have turned out to be endless investigations (especially if the atrocities did not take place). But Kandic informs us that it is in the nature of unproven atrocities which may not have occurred that the orders for them “can only [my emphasis] have come from high up, such as the Serbian police.” Unlike real atrocities, unproven atrocities apparently require special planning at the highest level. 

Finally, notice that Kandic can say that evidence has been removed only because she takes the allegations of massacres as fact. We have already seen this tactic: if you assert that 10,000 died and you find only 4000, then you get to say that the evidence for the other 6000 has been removed. By this standard the inability of a prosecutor to produce any evidence that murders were committed on Milosevic’s orders is evidence not of his innocence, but of how well he covered it all up. The less investigators and prosecutors come up with, the more astute and conniving Milosevic must have been. And all the more guilty for that! 

The principle that alleged and unproven atrocities must be ordered from high up is very useful given that nobody is “higher up” than Milosevic, and there are quite a lot of unproven allegations of atrocities flying around. Case closed. 

And especially useful given that in order to get a billion dollars, the government in Belgrade had to send Milosevic to The Hague.

But let us now return to The Independent’s “exposé,” which still has some juicy details for us on how Milosevic supposedly hid the0evidence of his supposed war crimes.


Natasa Kandic, Serbia’s foremost human rights investigator, knowswhy. She travelled to Kosovo during the air strikes and interviewed witnesses who saw Serbian police return to the Izbice cemetery a few days after the murders took place, dig the bodies back up and take them away. 

The same thing happened two months later, in May 1999, in theDjakovica neighbourhood of Cabrat. Then, 87 men were murdered. Again, witnesses told Ms Kandic that they saw police return to the scene, dig up the bodies and disappear with them.

Although this is the first time that the Serbian police have directly linked Slobodan Milosevic with hiding the evidence of atrocities, it is clear that Kosovo was not the testing ground for such operations. They were organised during the Bosnian war too, specially after the 1995 Srebrenica massacre. One of those believed to be involved in that operation was Dragan Obrenovic of the Bosnian Serb Army, who was arrested in the eastern Bosnian town of Zvornik on 15 April, 2001. He is in The Hague now.


Another propaganda tactic: the statement that “The same thing happened two months later” implies that the first thing definitely happened, for it is hardly possible for the same thing to happen again if the first never did. Can it matter that all the evidence we have is allegations of allegations? Certainly not. And who can doubt that this one is also true when it is the trustworthy and rigorous Ms. Kandic who again brings us the new story?

The nice thing about having unproven allegations taken as fact is that the precedent then allows Kandic to expand lyrically by making multitudes of new unproven allegations of the same kind. Since we canconfidently say, with no evidence, that the “hiding of atrocities” supposedly committed against Kosovar Albanians was going on, it is equally valid to say, again without any evidence, that such things were probably going on in Bosnia!


Lt-Col Obrenovic was responsible for the removal or “relocation” of bodies of Muslim men killed in Srebrenica. The green Mercedes refrigerator truck was discovered on 5 April, 1999 – yet until this month it remained an astonishingly well-kept secret. It was only when Zivadin Djordjevic, a Serbian diver who helped recover the truck, told a little-known Serbian magazine about the discovery that the truth emerged.


This makes perfect sense. The non-existent evidence for one non-event can be used to substantiate another non-event. It is economical. So now we have that the same truck which was full of Albanians, and whose alleged discovery on 5th April 1999 nobody can prove, was apparently also full of bodies from men killed in Srebrenica!

This is the freezer truck that could – it was doing double duty (on the other hand, it was, after all, a quality Mercedes).


“There were bodies of women, children and elderly people,” Mr Djordjevic said. “Some children and elderly people were naked.” The police report made public yesterday says that investigation at the time was prevented from “the top”. Vlastimir Djordjevic, one of the police generals entrusted by Mr Stojiljkovic with disposing of the bodies, ordered the discovery to be kept secret.


What happened here requires a bit of explanation. Keep your eye on the names Vlastimir Djordjevic and Vlajko Stojiljkovic, and notice that Stojiljkovic is the guy at the top supposedly giving orders to cover things up. 

How did we get here? Well, recall the infamous Srzentic…The original alleged interview with diver Zivadin Djordjevic (no relation to Vlastimir), published in Timocka Krimi Revija, had said that it was Srzentic’s superior (or was it his predecessor?), a man with a veritable multitude of names, who had prevented the investigation and declared it was a “state secret.” Srzentic seems to be somebody’s fabrication, given that, depending who you read, the hapless Srzentic gives three or four different names for his immediate superior (who is sometimes his immediate predecessor). But even if Srzentic is not a fabrication his boss definitely is. In one of his incarnations, Srzentic gave the name Majstorovic (or Majtorovic) for his “immediate superior” who stopped him from investigating. In that same wire (from UPI) it was reported that:[40]


Gen. Vlastimir Djordjevic, most recently head of police, was put on pension and Gen. Obrad Stevanovic, former head of the interior ministry’s police department, was transferred to the staff of the police academy, the Politika reported. The newspaper said, “The two of them are the first to pay the price for covering up the crime the traces of which were found at the bottom of the Danube on April 6, 1999,” two weeks after NATO launched its air attacks on Yugoslavia to stop police repression against Kosovo Albanians.


There he is again: Gen. Vlastimir Djordjevic. You may recall this. He is one of the two police chiefs who were sacked for not investigating the freezer truck incident. What UPI tells us is that Vlastimir Djordjevic was sacked because he was supposedly responsible in the chain of command for getting Srzentic’s immediate superior to tell Srzentic, the local prosecutor, that there would be no investigation into the truck and that the whole thing was a “state secret.”

So let us analyze…

Obviously, Srzentic’s boss (or predecessor) cannot be sacked if he does not exist. And he doesn’t. But somebody has to take the fall – and in any case Karleusa and company need somebody higher up because they have to get the chain of command all the way up to Milosevic. So it must be that Vlastimir Djordjevic and Obrad Stevanovic had to be the ones who told a non-existent ghost by the name Majstorovic, Majtorovic, Manojlovic, or Nestorovic (who cares?), who was either Srzentic’s immediate superior or his immediate predecessor (who cares?), that he should stop Srzentic from investigating. This, then, is how we link Vlastimir Djorjevic to the “cover-up”: we just assert that Djordjevic ordered people who don’t exist to cover-up a crime for which there is zero evidence.

Done deal. 

Now we can go back to the penultimate quotation. Vlastimir Djordjevic, we are told there, was under orders from somebody even higher up: Vlajko Stojiljkovic. Not even a non-existent ghost is produced to accuse Stojiljkovic. If you are high enough, apparently, that is unnecessary. We have already seen this principle at work. It was explained by Natasa Kandic: alleged cover-ups of alleged atrocities for which there is zero evidence can only be ordered from high up. Stojiljkovic is pretty high up, so we can dispense with the evidence and move directly to the accusation.

Finally, it is a good thing that they can pin this on Stojiljkovic because Karleusa has already made the unsupported accusation that Stojiljkovic was supposedly present at a meeting that he alleges,

without any evidence, took place, and at which Milosevic supposedly gave the orders for the supposed clean ups. So in this way they `establish’ a series of `links’ in a `chain of command’ all the way up to Milosevic!

To summarize, it goes like this. Srzentic, who does not appear to exist, got told by his boss/predecessor, who definitely does not exist,not to investigate. This ghost was working for general Vlastimir Djordjevic (because, in Serbia, even people who don’t exist must need a boss), so this means we’ve got a chain of command all the way to Vlastimir Djordjevic. Karleusa has made an accusation supported by zero evidence that Stojiljkovic was at a meeting when Milosevic gave an order for a cover-up, and so this must mean that Stojiljkovic (another guy that The Hague wants to get, and this is just wonderfully convenient!) is deeply involved in this and must have been the one to order Vlastimir Djordjevic to tell his ghost to tellthe other ghost Srezentic to back off. And now we have a chain that goes from Srzentic all the way up to Milosevic.


Let’s continue with the Independent’s “exposé”:


Nikola Dajic, a grave-digger who helped reload the bodies into two new trucks, said: “When we arrived at the bank of the Danube, we sawna horrifying scene… The bodies were piled up. Some were in pieces, some were intact.”


At last, something new! This is the first we hear of Nikola Dajic, grave-digger. It is a little surprising that, given the fervor “to link” Milosevic to this vaporous stuff it has taken this long to find another person who will give his name to this. But should I say “another”? After all, Djordjevic denied parts of the interview, and we still don’t know which parts. And it is not clear that Nikola Dajic’s statements, whoever he is or isn’t, are not lifted from that same magazine article.


One of the two trucks can be tracked as far as the main road north of Belgrade, where people who identified themselves as “official persons” took control of it. There the trail disappears. Nothing is known of where the second truck went. The Serbian Interior Ministry said yesterday it had evidence ofsimilar cases. The skeletons are beginning to come out of the closet.


One of the trucks can be tracked as far as Belgrade?(tracked how?). Then the trail disappears. The other truck is simply gone forever. No material evidence. Even though no bodies are coming out of any refrigerator trucks, The Independent tells us that the skeletons are coming out of the closet.

Make way for the skeletons! Don’t get crushed!

On the same day, The Financial Times reported:[41]


Captain Dragan Karleusa, the deputy head of the police’s organised crime section, told a Belgrade news conference that Mr Milosevic ordered his senior officials to “clean up”, and to remove all traces that could be linked to war crimes. Mr Karleusa said Mr Milosevic told top officials in a meeting to clear up “civilian victims, who could become the topic of possible investigation by The Hague tribunal”. Those present included his interior minister Vlajko Stojiljkovic, who is also wanted by The Hague. Police say they believe this meeting was only part of a large-scale operation to remove traces of thousands of civilian deaths.

Dusan Mihajlovic, Serbia’s interior minister, told the same news conference the meeting had “most probably” been after March 24, 1999, when Nato began a bombing campaign against Yugoslavia to end its repression of Kosovo Albanians.


This is becoming comical. They know that Vlajko Stojiljkovic was present at the meeting where the cover-up was ordered by Milosevic, but they don’t even know whether this meeting was held before or after the bombing.  How exactly do they know this meeting took place? They still haven’t told us. It must be sheer clairvoyance, as with the alleged truck containing the alleged bodies, neither of which anybody has ever seen, and for which they appear to have only one source (which denies the story!).

This is the sort of thing that the Financial Times can say only if it omits that all allegations of atrocities against Albanian civilianshave turned out to be hoaxes. The OSCE observers reported no such atrocities when they were on the ground in Kosovo, prior to the bombing. The lone exception was the American OSCE mission, which was crawling with CIA operatives, and whose claims turned out to be a hoax that they were perpetrating themselves. The fact that a hoax was necessary to make the case when the KLA controlled about 40% of Kosovo territory speaks volumes that the Yugoslav army was guilty of nothing. Had there been any real massacre to showcase, the KLA could have done just that: showcase it. But they needed a hoax…

The Financial Times does not tell you any of this, so it must want you to believe that there really is evidence that massacres against Albanian civilians were going on. With that in the background, it tells you that, according to Interior Minister Mihajlovic, “the meeting had ‘most probably’ been after [my emphasis] March 24, 1999, when Nato began a bombing campaign against Yugoslavia to end its repression of Kosovo Albanians.” Do you see the problem? If up to March 24, 1999, when the bombing started, there had been no atrocities against Albanian civilians, then what atrocities can Milosevic be ordering his subordinates to ‘clean up’? Because, recall, the Interior Ministry earlier told us that this supposed meeting was held in March, 1999.  Putting the statements of Mihajlovic and Karleusa together means that there was barely a week for the Milosevic regime to murder thousands of Albanian civilians (which they had up to then not done), and then have a meeting in which they decide that the whole mess must be cleaned up — and all of this after the bombs started falling on Yugoslavia.

Now, is this even remotely plausible?


Capt Karleusa said police had reached their conclusions while investigating the discovery of a truck containing 50 corpses dumped in the River Danube during the air war. A diver who helped salvage the truck said the bodies – believed to be those of Kosovo Albanian civilians – included women, children and elderly men.


Again, more of the same. Except that now we are told the police “reached their conclusions while investigating.” Apparently reading a little known crime magazine, whose interview with a certain Djordjevic is disputed by the same Djordjevic, is tantamount to “an investigation.” These `investigators’ are entirely worthy of Kandic.


Capt Karleusa said investigators had established that the freezer truck was pulled from the river on April 6 1999, and that police declared the case a state secret. The story broke in local media onlythis month.


“Established” how? By fiat? Who are these ‘journalists’? They cannot ask obvious questions?

We are still being told that they have no bodies and no truck. And all of these details come from the Timocka magazine anyway. Some investigation! 


Mr Milosevic is awaiting trial in Belgrade for corruption and theft, and the Yugoslav government has indicated he should first face trial in Serbia, rather than be extradited to The Hague tribunal. But the US has said that future financial aid to Belgrade should be linked to co-operation with tribunal.

Belgrade is seeking US support at a World Bank-sponsored donors’ conference, scheduled in Brussels for June 29, where it hopes to raise Dollars 1bn (Pounds 700m).

The Belgrade government is also preparing a law which could clear the way for Mr Milosevic to be handed over eventually to The Hague tribunal.


Well, with so much money to be made, one can see how standards of evidence might suffer. It is clear that “cooperation with The Hague” does not imply the conduct of a proper investigation, but rather the fabrication of stories that might help justify the extradition of Milosevic. 

What is the liberty and life of one man, after all, when on the other hand 1 billion dollars dangle?



On June 1st the New York Times decided it was finally their turn. Andthis is a happy occasion all around, because even though the New York Times does not employ any fact-finding journalists, it certainly has some reasonably gifted and imaginative fiction writers whose skills are entirely appropriate for the “children’s story” genre. We can thus now have some workmanlike prose, at least at the level of “Creative Writing 101”, with our propaganda. I analyze the text in full:[42] 

[First, set the scene]

It was April 6, 1999, and Yugoslavia was at war with NATO, which was bombing the country to stop Mr. Milosevic, who was then president of Yugoslavia, and his security forces from killing, torturing and expelling the Albanians of Kosovo.


Never mind that there is no “evidence” of “killing, torturing, and expelling” of Albanian civilians in Kosovo that does not come directly or indirectly from the KLA. And never mind that so far every allegation of a massacre has turned out to be a hoax when international forensic experts investigate (click here for an example). On with the story.

[Introduce the main character]

The police asked Zivadin Djordjevic, 56, a professional diver with the local power station, to check on a truck submerged in the Danube.

He thought it was just another traffic accident.[Enter the big surprise; establish a conflict; generate suspense] Nothing prepared him for the shock when they hoisted the truck ashore with a winch, and he and a police technician opened the rear doors to find dozens of bodies tumbling out on top of them.

[Climax: Supply emotion, elicit horror]

“We barely opened the doors, maybe a foot or two, so it’s hard to describe,” he said. “Arms and legs almost fell out, because they were leaning against the door. In that split second, I noticed a half-naked woman, a child of 7 or 8 years old behind, and an old man. It was a mess of mangled bodies, clothing, mud and water.”

[Move to resolve: begin explaining]

The police took the bodies away, blew up the truck and told Mr. Djordjevic and others to keep quiet. Though word had already spread around town wartime constraints caused the subject to become taboo rapidly. Anti-NATO propaganda was at a height and a draconian information law was in force so that journalists lived in fear of their livelihoods and even their lives if they reported something deemed even remotely unpatriotic.

[Find the villain] 

“I knew about it and the public knew about it, but no one dared to talk,” said Mica Aleksic, a journalist and political activist in Kladovo for what was then the opposition to Mr. Milosevic. Residents suspected the bodies were those of civilians killed in Kosovo but a veil of secrecy fell over the case, he said. “We talked about it in private, but no one could say anything publicly because everyone was afraid of the Milosevic regime.”

With Mr. Milosevic in jail in Belgrade since April 1, the story finally came out in the Serbian newspapers this month. It has quickly acquired enormous significance here because it has provided both the Serbian people and the authorities with the most convincing evidence to date of war crimes committed in Kosovo, and of Mr. Milosevic’s involvement in covering them up.


“Everyone was afraid of the Milosevic regime?” Everyone was afraid of a twice-popularly-elected politician, who lost the third time by a narrow margin, and only because the US spent millions of dollars to ensure his defeat (in addition to lots of ambiguous and not-so-ambiguous threats about what would happen if he won).

If this is “the most convincing evidence to date of war crimes committed in Kosovo,” just imagine the evidence for the other alleged crimes! And what was the “evidence,” again, of Milosevic’s involvement? I didn’t hear you? Excuse me! What was the evidence of the crime? 

[Get the villain] 

Police officials directing the investigation said last week that they were bringing charges against Mr. Milosevic for ordering officials to “clean up” in Kosovo and remove evidence of civilian casualties that might be of interest to the international war crimes tribunal in The Hague.

This is the first time that the authorities in Serbia, who arrested Mr. Milosevic on charges of embezzlement and abuse of power, have linked him to war crimes. The Hague tribunal indicted the former Yugoslav leader during the Kosovo war, in May 1999, for atrocities in Kosovo; an indictment for crimes allegedly committed during the earlier wars in Croatia and Bosnia has yet to materialize.


Notice that “police officials?were bringing charges against Mr. Milosevic for ordering officials to `clean up’ in Kosovo and remove evidence of civilian casualties that might be of interest to theinternational war crimes tribunal in The Hague.”

First, as you may recall, no evidence was ever reported of the alleged `order,’ this is still just an unsupported accusation by Captain Karleusa and interior minister Dusan Mihajlovic. And we haveseen above just how plausible this allegation is in principle (disregarding for the moment that not a shred of evidence has been produced to substantiate the allegations that the meeting took place). 

Second, the phrasing suggests that Milosevic is being punished for The Hague’s inability to find any evidence of war crimes — after all, the argument that Milosevic covered up evidence of war crimes reliesentirely on one fact: that the The Hague has been utterly unable to document any war crimes! The NYT’s choice of words is probably unwitting, but this is, ironically, the closest we have gotten to an accurate reporting of the reasons for taking Milosevic to The Hague.

[Post-mortem: Explain the crime]

Police officials and Serbia’s new interior minister, Dusan Mihajlovic, told a news conference last week that in a meeting in late March 1999 Mr. Milosevic ordered his interior minister, Vlajko Stojiljkovic (who was also later indicted by The Hague tribunal) to remove civilian casualties in Kosovo that could be the source for investigations by the tribunal.

Toma Fila, Mr. Milosevic’s lawyer, has called the allegations ridiculous. Mr. Stojiljkovic has denied the incident but the information appears to have come from Vlastimir Djordjevic, the former head of Police Public Security, who was at the meeting. Also present was Rade Markovic, the former head of State Security, who is now in jail under investigation for murder and attempted murder of Mr. Milosevic’s opponents.


Stojiljkovic, supposedly at the meeting, denies the incident. But the information, the NYT says, “appears to have come from Vlastimir Djordjevic, the former head of Police Public Security, who was at the meeting.” 

Cannot the NYT expend a few of its vast resources to find out exactly where the information originates? But let us pause, for we have foundanother creative mistake…

Suppose we are generous and disregard for a minute that there was obviously never any such meeting. Just imagine there was. Could it then be possible for the information about this meeting to come from “Vlastimir Djordjevic, the former head of Police Public Security, who was at the meeting”?

We know this is impossible, because we started at the beginning, and we know that Vlastimir Djordjevic is one of the two police chiefs who were sacked for not looking into the non-event of the alleged truck for which nobody can produce any evidence (see above), a story about which the only witness denies that he has been properly quoted. And why exactly was he sacked? Because Srzentic, who appears not to exist, said that his immediate superior (or predecessor), who definitely does not exist, stopped him from investigating, and apparently Vlastimir Djordjevic was the boss of this ghost! How likely is it that Vlastimir Djordjevic, fired because a ghost said that he had ordered the cover-up of this vaporous truck, would then contribute to incriminate himself in this frame-up by saying that he was present at the alleged meeting in which Milosevic supposedly gave the orders for this alleged cover-up?

Not very likely, to say the least.

The NYT seems to be fabricating a new (and uncertainly stated) fiction in order to give these accusations substance. We started with an accusation put forth by Karleusa, nearly a month ago, that there had been a meeting at which Milosevic gave an order, and still nobody can find out what the substance of this accusation is. Well, if nobody has that, then the NYT will just take the liberty of speculating that it came from one Vlastimir Djordjevic, former head of Public Police Security. That makes it sound legit, doesn’t it? NYT readers probably never heard the name, and one can be sure that they will not spend their precious time rummaging thru the wire reports, as I did. So they will never realize that it is preposterous to suggest that this information ever came from Vlastimir Djordjevic.

[Next, provide a little context]

The information has emerged just as the government is debating a law on cooperation with The Hague tribunal that would establish the procedure for Yugoslavia to transfer war-crimes suspects to the court. The bill is encountering opposition in the federal Parliament from former allies of Mr. Milosevic whose support is crucial to its passage, but the government needs to pass the law before an aid conference on June 29 if it wants to ensure American participation in the conference and raise its goal of $1 billion.


Yes. This is a very interesting coincidence, now, isn’t it?

[Context, cont.]

On Wednesday, Mr. Mihajlovic, the Serbian interior minister, told a session of the Serbian Parliament that the truck had contained 86 bodies and said he would soon make public where the bodies had come from, and what had been done with them. He gave no details, but hinted strongly that more evidence would turn up against Mr. Milosevic and his security chiefs. “I would wish that this is the only such case we are facing now,” Mr. Mihajlovic told Parliament, “but there are a lot of indications that there are more similar cases.”


Still no evidence. But on the other hand we have a very interesting new `fact’: the truck contained 86 bodies.

How does anybody know this? They don’t say. It is an interesting new fact because the original Zivadin Djordjevic alleged `interview’ said50 bodies, and this is the figure that everybody had been repeating. Since, so far, there has been no source for any of this except the claims allegedly made by Djordjevic, one would like to know where thenew figure comes from. But we are not told.

We are told, however, that the Serbian Interior Minister Mihajlovic “would soon make public where the bodies had come from, and what had been done with them.” So good stuff is on the way.

Stay tuned. 


For the people of Kladovo, there is little doubt that the deaths of people who were clearly civilians were the result of terrible deeds directed or committed by members of the Milosevic regime.

Nikola Dajic, 58, one of four workers ordered by the police to load the bodies on another truck under cover of darkness after their discovery, said there were small children among them.

He said he presumed they were from Kosovo because their injuries appeared to be from grenade explosions. “They were in pieces, destroyed. They were covered in mud and smelled very badly,” he said. “They came from a battlefield,” he added. When asked why he thought they came from Kosovo, he replied: “Where else do we have a war?”


These alleged “people of Kladovo,” for whom “there is little doubt that the deaths of people who were clearly civilians were the resultof terrible deeds directed or committed by members of the Milosevic regime” are? who again?

Nikola Dajic, grave digger.

We have seen this Dajic before: he is the only person with an actual name, other than diver Zivadin Djordjevic, who is alleged to have seen this non-truck containing non-bodies. He is prospering: he started out as a person, and now he has apparently become an entire town. 

Dajic provides a very useful rationale for deciding that the bodies which nobody can find are victims of crimes that Milosevic was covering up: there is no other explanation. “Where else do we have a war?” he says.

Ah! So simple. And the NYT simply reports this without any comment because’it makes sense’! In other words, should dead bodies be found in a truck in a river (although in fact there is zero evidence for this), the only conceivable explanation is that they are Albanians murdered in Kosovo on Milosevic’s orders.

Case closed. 

This really is sterling journalism!

[Coda (cont.)] 

Mr. Djordjevic, the diver, said the truck had no license plates but carried a sticker on the cab doors indicating it belonged to a Kosovo company named Progress, based in the town of Prizren.


Did you catch the creative mistake? The original AP wire, and subsequent news accounts, said repeatedly that the truck “bore license plates from Pec, a western Kosovo city” (see above). And once we heard that rumors said the trucks had Belgrade license plates (see above). But now they tell us that the truck had no license plates, and in fact belonged to a Kosovo company from the town of Prizren.

Tsk. Tsk. Sloppy.

Why this creative mistake? Well, the NYT must be thinking that its readers will assume sinister people doing sinister things naturally remove the license plates from their vehicles. By giving us the novelistic detail, the NYT immerses us in the story (suspend disbelief…) and it also tells us that the trucks looked like trucks that were up to no good (the license plates had been removed!). Uh huh. But the liars at the NYT really should spend a little time reading previous lies in the mainstream media, so that they can keep them consistent.

[Coda (cont.)] 

The truck was discovered on April 6, 1999, but Mr. Djordjevic and Mr. Dajic said the bodies were badly decomposed and could have been in the water nearly 20 days. Local journalists have found one person who claims to have seen someone sinking a truck into the Danube farther upstream on the night of March 20.

That would mean that the bodies were dumped before NATO began its bombing campaign against Yugoslavia on March 24, 1999, at a time when Yugoslav forces were escalating their offensive against Albanian villages in Kosovo. Local journalists have also said a police officer at the scene told them that some of the clothing indicated the people were Kosovars. 

People in Kladovo said it was good that the case was finally out in the open and being investigated, but some have called Mr. Djordjevic a traitor, and even blamed him for laying Serbia open to accusations of genocide. 

A confident, barrel-chested man, he showed some lingering fear, but he said he felt relief that the crime was finally being investigated. “It is not easy to carry something inside for two years,” he said.


Who are the “People in Kladovo [who] said it was good that the case was finally out in the open and being investigated”? Probably Nikola Dajic again, since he seems to have become the entire town.

But, to be fair, we do have some new characters here. We have oneperson whom local journalists have found and who remains unnamed whoclaims to have seen someone sinking a truck into the Danube farther upstream on the night of March 20. What can this mean? That we have another nameless so-called `witness’ making an allegation nobody can corroborate or double-check, since no name is given? Not at all. The NYT explains: “That would mean that the bodies were dumped beforeNATO began its bombing campaign against Yugoslavia on March 24,1999.” Very nice. Precisely what a NATO propagandist would say, since this would make the NATO bombing appear justified.

Only one problem: it really means something else: that they are telling us the cover-up began before the meeting was held at which the order for the cover-up was given. That is sort of strange, isn’t it? For, as you will recall, the meeting at which it was brilliantly decided that the bodies would be thrown in rivers and lakes occurred, according to Interior Minister Mihajlovic, after March 24th, 1999! Are you laughing? And notice that the second link shows that the NYT actually makes this mistake within its own article. Since the NYT simultaneously alleges that the meeting was held in late March, and also that somebody without a name alleges that a truck was dumped in the Danube on March 20, then the latest the cover-up could possibly have begun is mid-March, before the meeting took place. Sloppy is as sloppy does… They must not be very worried that anybody will pay attention to what they write.

It seems we have found yet another creative mistake.

Next, the NYT tells us that “local journalists have also said a police officer at the scene told them that some of the clothing indicated the people were Kosovars.” A police officer at which scene?

In other words, one of the police officers who were supposedly covering up a war crime? This is about as likely as that Vlastimir Djordjevic incriminated himself by saying that he was at the meeting where Milosevic gave the orders for the supposed cover-ups, the non-investigation of which he was sacked for! Once again, the police officer is nameless. But if some police officer, presumably not one at the scene, did make such a statement, we know where he got his information: these supposed observations about the clothes come from the original Djordjevic “interview” (parts of which he denies!).

Coming to Djordjevic, I hope I can be forgiven my skepticism that the NYT really interviewed the “confident, barrel-chested” yet relatively fearful Djordjevic. I have seen enough propaganda. Barrel-chested men evoke stereotypes of simple honesty, and this could be one intended effect of the physical description. Djordjevic is a big, simple guy: he would not lie to us. But, more importantly, the physical description is a detail, and details are what novelists use to help you suspend disbelief. This particular detail appears designed to convince us that the man exists at all, or at least that the NYT journalists saw him, for you cannot be “a confident, barrel-chested” man if you are not a real man, just as you cannot hide evidence of war crimes unless real war crimes took place. If the NYT had never seen this man, the assertion of his character and physique would be entirely in keeping with the assertions that we have seen everywhere in the media concerning cover-ups of crimes the evidence for which is entirely lacking. 

And this confident, barrel-chested man said nothing about the fact that he had been misquoted? Seems aberrant that, finally reached for comment, he would suddenly drop all of his previous objections to howhis statements were represented. Some explanation is called for here.

But it is entirely possible, of course, that the above Djordjevic statement, too, is quoted from the original alleged “interview” published in Timocka Krimi Revija.



Recall that, according to the NYT piece above, “Mr. Mihajlovic, the Serbian interior minister, told a session of the Serbian Parliament that the truck had contained 86 bodies and said he would soon make public where the bodies had come from, and what had been done with them.” 

Bodies were, in fact, eventually produced. Rather than corroborate the allegations, however, every aspect of the production of the bodies screams that it was all a fabrication. The Associated Press, perhaps unwittingly, seems to have given the game away when it reported, on May 31st, that there had been an increase in the truck body count from 50 to 86.[43]


Investigators increased the death count Wednesday in a case they argue proves former President Slobodan Milosevic covered up war crimes, saying a truck found dumped in a river during the Kosovo war contained 86 bodies. The police accusations initially revealed last week could pave the way for Milosevic’s extradition to the U.N. tribunal in The Hague, which has indicted him for alleged Kosovoatrocities.


It sounds like the AP is saying that increasing the death count is a way to help pave the way for Milosevic’s extradition, doesn’t it?

Nobody explains how the body count for a truck that nobody has seen,and which was supposedly destroyed, could go up. There is no mentionof any evidence that could cause them to conclude this.

Were the authorities engaged in urgent measures to raise the gravity of the accusations in time for the June 29 deadline, when the extradition law had to be passed if the Serbian government was to receive the American money? Perhaps 50 bodies were not quite enough?

On June 2nd, United Press International wire said the following:[44]


A senior Serbian police officer said Saturday that a mass grave has been located, believed to contain the bodies of women, children and old men from a refrigerated truck hoisted from the Danube River in April 1999.

Serbian officials believe that the bodies were hidden as part of a possible cover-up of war crimes in Kosovo. Capt. Dragan Karleusa, deputy head of the criminal police department, did not reveal the location of the grave. He also did not specify the number of bodies expected to be found in the grave, but police minister Dusan Mihajlovic told the Serbian parliament earlier this week that there were 86 bodies in the truck.


Notice what is being said. A mass grave was found, and they believe it has the bodies from the now famous freezer truck. Why do they believe the bodies come from this truck? Not clear…

We are not told how many bodies they expect to find, but we are reminded that “Dusan Mihajlovic told the Serbian parliament earlier this week that there were 86 bodies in the truck” (how they arrived at the new figure is something that still nobody knows). At that date Mihajlovic had promised “he would soon make public where the bodies had come from, and what had been done with them.”

Well, at this point we can take a wild guess. The mass grave will have exactly 86 bodies!

This is the UPI writing the next day:[45]


Police near Belgrade have been digging up bodies from a refrigerator truck pulled out of the River Danube during NATO’s air campaign against Yugoslavia two years ago, Radio B92 reported Sunday quoting a reliable source close to the Serbian interior ministry.

Police unearthed 83 bodies and three heads without trunks and the digging continues, the source insisting on anonymity told the radio station.


Notice how they start by asserting that the bodies in the mass grave are from that refrigerator truck. How do they know this? Simple. 83 + 3 =  86. Thus, since Mihajlovic had announced a week earlier that there had really been 86 bodies in the alleged truck, finding 86 bodies must mean that these are the bodies from that truck, right? 



“Those are bodies of women, children and old men, and there are several bodies in uniforms of the (ethnic Albanians’) Kosovo Liberation Army,” the source said, adding that signs of torture were visible on almost all bodies. The KLA was disbanded when the NATO-led peacekeeping force KFOR took control of Kosovo on June 10, 1999 after an 11-week campaign to end alleged repression of ethnic Albanians in the province by Yugoslav security forces. During investigations, police obtained new information indicating that the Yugoslav army’s top brass as well as the former top state and police leaderships took part in removing traces of the truck and its load of bodies, the source claimed. Serbian police minister Dusan Mihajlovic told the parliament earlier in the week that there were 86 bodies in the truck when it was hoisted from the Danube on April 6, 1999, less than two weeks after the NATO launched its campaign on March 24.


This wire goes on to refer us to ongoing investigations in Kosovo itself by the international teams that comprise “The tribunal’s forensic experts from some 20 countries.” These forensic experts, as we now know, turned up nothing. However, it is true that these international experts did not have the incentive of getting 1 billion dollars. This may explain the greater success of the Serbian police of this new, Western-installed government in Belgrade.

I have to acknowledge that bodies have indeed been produced. Despite all my success above in demonstrating a propaganda animus among the new Serbian officials and in the Anglo-American press, despite the fact that an entire novel was woven without any physical evidence, and despite the fact that I have shown all manner of blatant, fatal inconsistencies in their efforts to allege “evidence,” it is undeniable that we have here, at last, numerous bodies together in the same grave. 

You may be tempted at this point to say: “Your analysis was very clever, but it does seem, after all, that there were some attempted cover-ups of massacres by the Milosevic regime.”

And to this I say: are you kidding?

Nothing yet compels us to conclude that whatever corpses were found in some mass grave (if it is really that) come from brutalities committed by the Milosevic regime that were subsequently covered up.

There are quite a few mass graves in Yugoslavia from WWII. And the number of bodies found does not even match the number of bodies originally alleged for the truck. Finally, nobody has established yet that these are the bodies of Albanians.

And we are, of course, free to entertain the hypothesis that this is all a hoax, intended to give support to the original story, which hadalready been built up in the media (and on nothing) in order to send Milosevic to The Hague in time to get a billion dollars.

This second hypothesis deserves a hearing, given the patent dishonesty I have already been able to show, both by the new Serbian officials, and by the Western propaganda machine known as “the free press.” Also arguing for an examination of this hypothesis is the presence of a clear and plausible motive — or, to be more exact, one billion motives (plus the innumerable political motives resulting from the benefits of neutralizing the pro-Milosevic opposition).

Finally, this hypothesis receives another boost from a non-trivial fact reported in the Spectator by John Laughland: [46]


When asked by Le Monde last year why no charge had been brought for genocide in Kosovo, the chief prosecutor, Carla del Ponte, replied, ‘Because there is no evidence for it.’ Yet if, as Nato claimed at the time, the Yugoslav authorities had really intended to destroy the ethnic Albanian population of Kosovo, there would be no difficulty at all in proving genocide.


The chief prosecutor at The Hague has already said that there is no evidence of genocide in Kosovo? Well, if she says it, the Tribunal must have concluded that. But what can this mean? Isn’t the systematic slaughter of thousands of Albanians, followed by theattempt to ship them out of Kosovo in freezer trucks, prima facie evidence of genocide? Surely Carla del Ponte cannot mean that evidence for such things would not qualify for the word “genocide,”so she must mean something else.

Perhaps she means that this so-called “evidence” never passed muster?


The indictment issued in July 2001 against Milosevic and his colleagues, which was amended following the exhumation over two years of more than 2,000 bodies, now accuses them of complicity in the deaths of ‘hundreds of Kosovo Albanian civilians’. It lists the names of 577 dead people, mostly men of fighting age.


Those 577 bodies were exhumed in Kosovo, not Serbia. Not one of them comes from the alleged mass graves supposedly found in Serbia. It would seem, then, that nothing came of the freezer truck story and those bodies supposedly being exhumed from mass graves in Serbia. It would seem that, having served its purpose to make Milosevic’s illegal abduction and subsequent shipping to The Hague palatable to the public, the whole thing disappeared into the Twilight Zone.

My claim is this: In the next section I will demonstrate that the freezer truck story was indeed that: a story. It was a hoax concocted to frame Milosevic for crimes that not only did he not commit, but that never took place at all, in order to send him to The Hague, collect a billion dollars, and neutralize the pro-Milosevic opposition in Serbia.

Stick with me.


(3) The plot to frame Milosevic and how it was done


We must briefly rehearse our cast of characters.

1)          Zivadin Djordjevic: Diver. Allegedly, he gave an interview to a magazine about a truck he fished from the Danube and the bodies within. 

2)          Timocka Krimi Revija: This is the magazine that Djordjevic allegedly gave the interview to.

3)          Dragan Karleusa: Police captain charged with investigating this alleged “incident” and also the source of the unsupported accusation that Milosevic had met with others and ordered that the evidence of massacres against civilians be covered up.

4)          Dusan Mihajlovic: Serbian Interior minister. He echoed in public everything Karleusa was saying, and he was also the one to increase the truck’s body count from 50 to 86.

We shall now introduce a most fascinating new character to our narrative. You may have wondered several times what exactly is this crime magazine Timocka Krimi Revija? Indeed, the news reports never said much about it except give the name, if they mentioned it at all.

And you may have wondered, as I did, how can it be possible that, if Djordjevic had denied parts of the interview, neither the police northe press ever reached him for comment?

We shall begin to shed some light on these questions. What follows is an excerpt from the Ottawa Citizen dated August 25, 2001.[47] This piece, as you will see, repeats the propaganda about the supposed cover-up, but it also furnishes new information that nobody else had reported until now, and which is highly relevant to the credibility of the whole story. I have enhanced the text where it deserves special attention. All enhancements are my own.


Yet among ordinary Serbs, Mr. Milosevic’s coverup has worked. The silent denial of atrocities committed by Serbian forces in Kosovo continued long after the war finished. It transcended even Mr. Milosevic’s fall from power last autumn. Most Serbs chose to believe that their war in Kosovo had been an heroic struggle against Albanian terrorists and Nato aggressors. In polls, 86 per cent could name atrocities committed against the Serbs. Less than 10 per cent accepted the possibility that Serbs had committed war crimes.

In one respect, the nascent democratic government had little interest in revealing Serbia’s dirty hands to a public that was more concerned with the 1,500 Serbs still missing in Kosovo. It was weak and beset by problems, among them financial destitution, powerful gangs and an old guard of influential figures in the police and military who viewed Mr. Milosevic’s demise with, at best, ambivalence.

Yet paradoxically, members of the new government realized that if they took the gamble of a slow disclosure of Serb war crimes, they could prepare public opinion for Mr. Milosevic’s extradition, an act that would release millions of dollars in foreign investment, and undermine the power of the old guard. So they hatched a revelation plan. And the silent diver, Zivadin Djordjevic, was the fall guy.

He was approached last December by Dragan Vitomirovic, owner and editor of the Timocka Krimi Revija newspaper in Zajecar. Mr. Vitomirovic explained that he was doing a story on the Danube’s most experienced divers and wanted to interview him. Mr. Djordjevic agreed. 

The interview went normally until Mr. Vitomirovic asked the diver what he had discovered on April 6, 1999. Mr. Djordjevic refused to talk. Then Mr. Vitomirovic produced his identity card for the “DB,” Drzavna Bezbednost, Serbia’s state security service. Reluctantly, the diver told his tale.

Mr. Vitomirovic, who Belgrade sources claim is a friend of Interior Minister Dusan Mihajlovic, himself a former DB officer, ran the story of the dumped truck on May 1, weeks before Mr. Milosevic’s extradition. 

At first it caused little impact. Many Serbs either refused to believe the story or thought there was some explanation for the bodies in the truck other than as civilian victims of Serb atrocity.

However, next the Interior Minister set up an investigation into the incident, placing Capt. Karleusa at its head.


This is getting very interesting.

Dragan Vitomirovic is the owner and editor of the tiny and little known magazine Timocka Krimi Revija, to which diver Zivadin

Djordjevic supposedly gave the interview that is the basis for all of this. Being owner and editor, of course, means that Vitomirovic can publish absolutely anything he wants. That’s the first point.

The second point is that he is not just an innocent publisher/editor. Vitomirovic was a man on a mission. He was in the employ of the security service, and a friend of Interior Minister Mihajlovic, who became friends with Vitomirovic, apparently, when Mihajlovic was still in the security service. Mihajlovic had sent Vitomirovic to write that story in order to set up Milosevic. Although the Ottawa Citizen gives it a different interpretation, what happened is obvious: Vitomirovic’s mission was to make Milosevic look like a criminal in order to ship him to The Hague in time to get a billiondollars and neutralize the political opposition.

After Vitomirovic printed our now infamous little story, Mihajlovic appointed Dragan Karleusa to `investigate.’ Small wonder, then, that Karleusa makes entirely unsupported accusations that Milosevic gave orders for cover ups of massacres at a meeting no one will even commit to have taken place on a definite date. After all, he was appointed by the same guy who had Vitomirovic frame Milosevic.

The Ottawa Citizen has uncovered some important information that was reported nowhere else. However, they are apparently too swamped by the preceding onslaught of Anglo-American propaganda to see this for what it manifestly, openly, and obviously is: an attempt to frame Milosevic. So they present this as a carefully planned release of genuine evidence of real cover-ups of real massacres ordered by Milosevic, which release is designed to get Milosevic to The Hague intime to get a billion dollars.

Not dishonest. Just “strategic.”

But for the Ottawa Citizen to present its revelations this way can only result from an absolute faith in the culpability of Milosevic. It is necessary to have a religious conviction that Slobodan Milosevic is a butcher not to see these revelations as anything other than evidence of a plot to frame him.

But I am not done. It gets better. Stick with me.

The Sydney Morning Herald, in a July 7 piece,[48] also reported some new details that are very interesting, even if, just like the Ottawa citizen, they were still pushing the official propaganda story. Their piece begins by recycling the same old story, and then:


But there was no follow-up police investigation. The truck was spirited away, and the bodies supposedly buried. The incident was declared top secret and Djordjevic was told not to mention it again.

After the fall of the Milosevic regime, however, the diver was approached by the magazine’s owner-editor, Dragan Vitomirovic, a former Serb state security official who says he was dismissed by Milosevic in the late 1980s for objecting to policy in Kosovo. He became a journalist in 1987 and consistently crossed swords with the authorities. 

It was only after the emergence of Belgrade’s new democratic government that the two men felt able to reveal the story’s full details. Both, however, have subsequently been attacked by some disbelieving locals.

People are divided about it all,” says Vitomirovic. I was recently a guest on a local TV program that covers about 2 million people. There were about 15 questions from the audience and 13 of those were along the lines of did I feel like a traitor and why didn’t I go to Kosovo and locate all the graves of Serbs, and so forth. The other two people said Good on you’.”


So not only is Vitomirovic a former security service official, friends with the Interior Minister Mihajlovic, and on a mission to send Milosevic to The Hague, but he appears to have reasons for harboring a personal grudge against Milosevic.

And notice that he has been mostly attacked by the local people, which completely contradicts everything the New York Times was sayingabout the locals (see above). Contrary to the New York Times’ assertions about how happy the locals all are about this dark secret of theirs finally coming out, they almost unanimously disbelieve


Recall that the New York Times gave the name of only two residents of Kladovo, even though it pretended that these two people spoke for everybody. One of these is Nikola Dajic, grave digger and second alleged witness to the truck and bodies. This man is almost certainly a fiction created by Vitomirovic, but the New York Times interviewed him anyway. The second source the New York Times listed was a man by the name Mica Aleksic, who is supposedly a journalist and political activist who has always been opposed to Milosevic. If he is not a fiction of the New York Times, then his long-standing opposition to Milosevic may explain why he has given his name enthusiastically to this hoax. 

The Sydney Morning Herald, on the other hand, has a great source for the local reaction to Vitomirovic’s story: Vitomirovic himself. And what does he say? That almost everybody calls him a traitor! And canyou blame them? 

Finally, consider what was reported in The Sunday Times (London):[49]


Yugoslavia’s new authorities have evidence that Milosevic, now in detention after being arrested for lesser crimes, and at least five senior ministers held a meeting to discuss ways of covering up all traces of the atrocities.

The story would probably have ended with the removal of the bodies from the river had it not been for the intervention of Dragan Vitomirovic, 64, a retired former officer in the Serbian state security police, who produced a small monthly news sheet detailing crimes in the Kladovo region.

His magazine, Timocka Kriminala Revija, originally listed the incident in June 1999, describing the victims as Kurds trying to flee to the West. He then discovered the truth about the bodies and three months later wrote a second version.


Vitomirovic wrote a second version?!

Now we have an explanation for why Djordjevic was denying the interview! He was denying the second version, the one Vitomirovic decided to rewrite. It is simply amazing that The Sunday Times does not realize that there can be no such thing as a second version of an interview. What was said at the interview is what was said at the interview. If Djordjevic said that those were Kurds in the truck, then that is what he said. If Vitomirovic has some special information, obtained later, which points to those bodies belonging to Albanians, he could write a new article and explain where he got the new information. But how does it make sense for him to rewrite the interview and put new words in Djordjevic’s mouth if that is not what he said? Well, this is where it comes in handy that he is ownerand editor of the magazine. Who’s going to stop him?

That is why Djordjevic denied the interview!

Nobody, as you will recall, investigated why Djordjevic had denied parts of the interview. Who was going to investigate this? Karleusa, the guy in charge of the investigation? But this Karleusa was appointed by the same Mihajlovic, friend of Vitomirovic, who sent the latter to engineer the frame-up of Milosevic. The press? Well, they should have. But if you are still hoping that the press will investigate anything you have been paying scant attention. Everybody throughout either kept referring to Djordjevic as the source of everything, even quoting him, or else they repeated the `facts’ that came from the alleged Djordjevic interview without even attributingthem to this interview. What nobody did was investigate whyDjordjevic had denied parts of the interview.And what they were quoting, we now see, was Vitomirovic’s rewriting(!) of the first interview.

And notice the interesting contradiction. We are told by the Sydney Morning Herald that  “The incident was declared top secret and Djordjevic was told not to mention it again.” Furthermore, we are told that it was only “After [my emphasis] the fall of the Milosevic regime?[that]?the diver was approached by the magazine’s owner-editor, Dragan Vitomirovic” and that “It was only after [my emphasis] the emergence of Belgrade’s new democratic government that the two men felt able to reveal the story’s full details.”

How does this all square with the claim in the Sunday Times that Djordjevic first gave an interview about this in June 1999, and Vitomirovic’s second version was published only three months later? Not very well. In June 1999, Milosevic was still in power.

Finally, notice that one has to go out of the United States to find any mention of Vitomirovic. The only English language sources to mention him are Canadian, British (and this is surprising), and Australian. 


Are American newspapers somehow not interested in these positively fascinating facts? Don’t these facts have all the markings of a TREMENDOUS SCOOP? 

I hope you are angry.

Entire multitudes of bodies were subsequently “discovered.” Mass grave followed upon mass grave. Who knows where these bodies really come from? Perhaps from WWII massacres, or perhaps some of them are refugees from other countries fleeing to Europe, as Djordjevic said in his original interview. Perhaps some of both. Indeed, Milosevic’s wife has offered precisely this speculation. Maybe even some have been stolen from cemeteries or morgues in order to completely manufacture the mass graves. Perhaps all of them?

Who knows? 

We can’t really find out because nobody that we can trust is examining the bodies. The same international teams of forensic experts who managed to prove that every claim of massacres in Kosovo was a KLA hoax have not been looking at this so-called `evidence.’

This was made evident in a Deutsche Press Agentur wire:[50]


…”There are two other possible locations,” Mihajlovic said responding to a question at a press conference. He declined further details, except to confirm that the mass grave near Belgrade contained “not only the bodies from the truck”.

The investigation was turned over to justice officials last week. “A team of experts, formed by the Belgrade Institute for Judicial Medicine is doing the work now,” he said, adding that it would bea “very long investigation”.


A month later, DPA reported a little more on this `investgation’:



The existence of three mass graves with Albanian bodies in them has so far been officially confirmed. Two are in eastern Serbia, near Kladovo, and one is in the Belgrade suburb of Batajnica.

Investigators and forensic experts were examining the remains with U.N. war-crimes tribunal observers in attendance.

A pathologist linked to the investigation has told Deutsche Presse-Agentur dpa in Belgrade that an effort will be made to send the post-mortem data to the Kosovo capital Pristina for identification ofbodies to proceed. 

“We are making standardized files on each of the victims … like healed fractures, teeth, size, but also clothes, watches and other distinguishable personal items,” he said, speaking on terms of anonymity.


These pathologists are obviously very proud of what they do, and that is why they speak only on condition of anonymity.

And it all makes sense. While the pathologists handpicked by Karleusa and Mihajlovic examine “the bodies the Hague tribunal was so desperate to find,”[52] observers from the same Hague tribunal were there, looking over the shoulders of these “pathologists” to make sure that they found what they so desperately needed. I wonder why there is no mention of representatives from Milosevic’s legal team being invited to attend these “forensic examinations”…?



And the story later continued to evolve.

Lots of juicy new details were added by an elusive alleged `driver’ of one of these alleged trucks, and who allegedly only gave his nameas `Nikola.’ He is allegedly outside of the country in hiding. Where?

Nobody knows, that’s where. But you already guessed that. Nobody appears to have seen him. But that hardly matters because these are details that can only make him more credible to the New York Times, The Independent, the Associated Press, et al., purveyors of the truth.

And so every juicy revelation from this `Nikola’ keeps building up the story into an ever more florid and refined narrative.

When did Nikola first surface? The following is from a UPI wire which contains the first mention of Nikola that I could find.[53]


A report in the Vreme news magazine Thursday said investigators from the tribunal had confirmed that a Yugoslav army driver secretly transported hundreds of corpses from Kosovo to a Serbian smelteryduring the 1999 conflict with NATO.

The driver of the truck, who later deserted the army, told the tribunal through a Western embassy in Zagreb, Croatia, that he had taken the bodies from Kosovo to the Bor copper smeltery, the magazinereported.

The driver, who identified himself as Nikola, told the magazine he made about 10 journeys to Kosovo and back to Bor before becoming suspicious. So, he and two close friends unsealed the refrigeratortruck to find it contained 78 bodies, mostly civilians, including a woman. There were also the bodies of three Yugoslav soldiers, one of whom they recognized as a local boy.

Nikola agreed to drive the truck overnight to the smeltery, but he and others left the vehicle on a side road near Bor and fled.

Nikola first crossed into Bosnia-Herzegovina and then to Croatia with forged travel documents and a number of photographs of the truck and its load, which he forwarded to the tribunal, the magazine reported.

He has since been granted asylum in a European Union country, the magazine said.

It said his account and the photographs were deemed authentic by the tribunal. 


Now this is rich. The tribunal set up and paid for by NATO deems “authentic” an account and photographs from some Nikola with no last name who is?where? Nobody knows. But we do know that he made hisaccusations from Croatia, best friend of Yugoslavia!

Move to convict! Let’s skip the trial!

Why won’t Nikola show his face? What is he afraid of? The government in Belgrade is trying to extradite Milosevic, and so is the US government, the British government, the German government, and the entire Western media. Is this a man who needs to hide?

(Probably not. People who don’t exist don’t have to expend any effort to make themselves hard to find!)

This is from Agence France Presse, writing the same day:[54]


The witness, identified as “Nikola,” said he drove a truck carrying the bodies of ethnic Albanians from Kosovo to Serbia before the 1999 NATO air war erupted.

He said he was drafted by the Yugoslav army in February 1999, and tasked with driving a refrigerator truck back and forth from Serbia to Kosovo.


This man is extraordinary. He made it out of Kosovo with a heavy and sluggish freezer truck, full of dead bodies, cross-country over bombed-out and mountainous terrain, and managed to escape the KLA and NATO bombs not once but several times!


Nikola said he had been ordered to drive the empty truck from the eastern Serbian town of Bor to an army barrack in Kosovo’s provincial capital Pristina where “the truck was filled up and sealed and I drove it back to Bor.”

He had driven a dozen such tours “always overnight,” and his travel orders were stamped confidential.

“I realized soon that I was transporting corpses and it was clear to me where they were coming from, but I did not know where they ended up,” Nikola said. 

The weekly did not make clear whether its reporters spoke directly with the witness, but his report was confirmed by two sources within the ICTY.


Good. That is all the confirmation we needed: The Hague prosecutor’s!

And now we know just how many times “Nikola” pulled off this feat: a

dozen times. Remarkable. And by night! So to all the difficulties we mentioned earlier, we can now add the night.

And how about this precious news item, also from Agence France Presse, and also from the same day:[55]


An anonymous Serbian witness has approached the UN war crimes tribunal with new evidence of alleged massacres of ethnic Albanians by Yugoslav forces in Kosovo, the weekly Vreme reported Thursday.

Serbian Interior Minister Dusan Mihajlovic estimated Wednesday that about 1,000 bodies of suspected ethnic Albanian victims of the 1998-99 war in Kosovo could be found in several mass graves in Serbia.

Last month, police officials accused Milosevic of ordering measures to be taken to “eliminate” all evidence on crimes committed in Kosovo in 1999. 

Milosevic is currently in a Belgrade jail on domestic charges of corruption and abuse of power, but officials have not ruled out adding additional charges, even of war crimes.


The next we hear of “Nikola” is on June 29th, courtesy of The Independent:[56] 


A Yugoslav army reservist identified only as “Nikola” told the Serbian magazine Vreme that he made a dozen trips between a military camp near Pristina and the remote Serbian mining town of Bor during the air strikes, driving a refrigerator truck full of bodies. With two friends, he opened the truck and took gruesome photographs of the evidence. The journalist who interviewed “Nikola” claims he is already in The Hague, waiting to testify against Mr Milosevic.

Some of the bodies the Hague tribunal was so desperate to find had been hidden just outside the Serbian capital, inside the 13 May military compound at Batojnica. More graves are being excavated around Serbia.


First we heard that the writers for the magazine Vreme, which had originally reported the story about Nikola, had not said whether they spoke directly with him or not. Now we hear that the journalist who spoke with Nikola supposedly claims that he is already at The Hague.

If they know that surely they know the name of this journalist. It could come in handy if somebody wanted to fact-check!

And then this from the Sydney Morning Herald:[57]


The picture that is emerging is a well-orchestrated campaign, allegedly code-named Depth 2”, to dispose of the bodies of hundreds of Kosovars throughout Serbia. Witnesses talk about dozens of trucks being used as transports. Some say they shuttled bodies between various locations, including several industrial plants where theywere apparently burned.

There were lots of these trucks going around,” one driver, referred to by the pseudonym Nikola, has told investigators. They all had the necessary army and police papers to pass easily through checkpoints.” 

Nikola’s evidence could prove critical in the prosecution of Milosevic and his cronies because he was recruited in February 1999, suggesting that the killing of ethnic Albanians had started well before NATO began its bombing campaign against Belgrade.

Milosevic supporters have consistently argued that the exodus of ethnic Albanian citizens from Kosovo in April 1999 was sparked by the West’s bombing, and not by their persecution at the hands of Serbsecurity forces.


So ‘Nikola’ is not even really his first name? He’s perfect. What more can you ask of a witness except that he be completely nameless and unavailable for comment or questioning, and also that he give you exactly what you need in order to retrospectively justify the NATO bombing of Serbia?

“Nikola” is just golden!

But notice again what this retrospective justification of the bombing entails: since Nikola was recruited for the cover-up in February, it was well under way before the meeting to decide that there would be a cover-up was supposedly held in late March, after the bombing started!

Milosevic has been accused of many things. He has been so thoroughly demonized that it would not surprise me to find that those who notice this contradiction, rather than conclude he is the victim of a media conspiracy, will pile the accusation that he is a redundant bureaucrat on top of the other abuses heaped on him.

And there is also this tiny bit of arithmetic to compute. Mihajlovic estimated that he would find about 1000 bodies. How? Who knows? (Whocares, right? This is all about the joy of making stuff up). Nikola said he made a dozen trips. The first truck was said by Mihajlovic to contain 86 bodies. Assuming this was a freezer truck of representative capacity, we have 12 x 86 = 1032.

Thus, all we need is Nikola.

Nikola did it all. 

Stop the investigations!

Yes, stop them. Because in a world where “evidence” is synonymous with allegations made by a source that nobody has ever seen, whose location nobody can definitely place, who doesn’t even have a name, and whose alleged interviewers cannot be found, ‘Nikola’ has just closed the case. 


Despite the drivers’ complicity, police investigator Karleusa says he’s not sure whether they ought to be prosecuted. “I am ashamed that something like this could happen in Serbia,” he says. [But] whatcould they do? What is one soldier? Their guilt is incomparable to [that of] the ones who organised this.”



The newspaper has not noticed. They talk about the “drivers’ complicity,” which, by putting the apostrophe after the `s’ reveals that they think there must be more than one driver. Karleusa does use the pronoun `their’ when he says “their guilt” but he may just be trying to go along with the interviewer. If so, the slip: “What is one soldier?” [my emphasis] is very revealing, and matches perfectly the little arithmetic we did above.

There is just one guilty soldier.

There is an enormous amount of passion for convicting Milosevic. But not the one driver, Nikola, who carried out the entire cover-up single-handedly? And how about those who committed the massacres? They should also get off the hook?

Wait. Maybe Karleusa means the massacres were all committed by this one Nikola! 

Ah?That makes sense. After all, Nikola is superhuman. Notice: he drove a thousand victims out of Kosovo in twelve trips with a heavy, unmaneuverable freezer truck, on bombed-out mountain roads, and cross-country through forests, and across canyons and rivers, and at night, managing at the same time to escape the KLA and NATO’s unprecedented onslaught of aerial bombs (which were targeting vehicles indiscriminately), emerging unscathed, and without leaving any bodies in Kosovo. 

If he can do that, then of course he must have massacred more than 1000 civilians all by himself and with no help (and directly on orders from Milosevic, of course). He must have been the one guy digging all those graves and then unearthing them in his orange overalls. (Why orange?  Because he is superhuman, he was laughing in the teeth of fate.) He was reported as more than one person because with his supernatural powers he obviously moves so fast that onlookers thought they were seeing a multitude.

This Nikola is one of the most accomplished mass murderers in history. But hey: he is just one soldier! He was following orders.

Plus: who would want to mess with Nikola? Best not to prosecute him.


With more exhumations anticipated, editor Vitomirovic says he intends keeping up the pressure on investigators. But he cautions against damning indictments levelled at the Serb nation as a whole.

My sole motive is to expose the guilty,” he says. To individualise the guilt and put the offenders on trial, not to put on trial the whole of the Serbian people. We don’t need to proclaim the Serbian nation as genocidal. Just individuals.”


Yes. Let’s individualize the guilt so that we get it down to one: one individual: the guy giving the superhuman mass murderer Nikola his orders: Slobodan Milosevic.

 Let’s just get Milosevic to The Hague and call it quits. No more investigations. 

The only problem with this very sensible plan is that we cannot really trust Nikola. Sigh?(yes, I know you are shocked). For you see,

Nikola said this (see above): “I realized soon that I was transporting corpses and it was clear to me where they were coming from, but I did not know where they ended up,” Nikola said.

This implies that Nikola would deny that he killed all of these people. Which means somebody else must have participated. It also means other people were involved in the part of the cover-up that hadto do with hiding the bodies in Serbia.

Or maybe this means Nikola is lying, because it just makes sense that he did everything. Karleusa implied there was just one soldier, and I would bet my house that Karleusa never told a lie.

But wait. If Nikola is a liar, then which parts of his account should we believe? 

My head hurts. 

. . . 

There have been no further mentions of “Nikola.” I have been unable to find a single story written by someone who spoke to Nikola, or even knows the name of someone who spoke to Nikola.


And there is, embarrassingly (sorry), one more bit of uncomfortable arithmetic to compute. Even should we accept the earlier-given figure of 5000 identified dead bodies of Albanians (which is certainly much too high, but let’s be generous), this still leaves us with 10,000 ?

5000 = 5000 unaccounted for, if we accept the KLA’s 10,000 figure.

Mihajlovic does promise to supply us with 1000, but that means we are still missing 4000. Hmmm?seems like a lot, doesn’t it?

I think we’ll have to fudge over this one. Pity the poor Mihajlovic.

Would you like the job of hoaxing mass graves for another 4000 bodies? You’d be there till Kingdom Come. And where is he supposed to find 4000 bodies anyway? He would have to start killing people, and that might be noticed.

We’ll let it go. Give Mihajlovic a brake.



These, then, were the lies used to justify abducting Milosevic and sending him to The Hague. The world watches, and continues to get itspress coverage of the trial from the same sources that helped framehim. So they are not learning that the prosecutors are doing a terrible job of pinning anything on Milosevic, even though Milosevicis defending himself, all by himself, against the greatest collection of power ever assembled in human history, standing behind one of the most biased and compromised courts we have seen in modern times.

Milosevic sits in a tiny cell and is treated as if he were a danger to society. As if he might run amok and actually start killing people with his own hands instead of giving alleged orders for committing alleged crimes for which nobody will ever produce any evidence. And he is not allowed to communicate with the outside, for any purpose, except by using a public phone. And his conversations are always listened to. His visits with his wife have been extremely limited, and lately not allowed, and they have not been private. He has been denied access to the internet (very sensible, because the researchfor this piece was all done on the internet, just imagine the stuffMilosevic could do for his defense!). He is also not being properly fed or allowed properly to exercise, even though he suffers from aheart condition. 

The lies I have documented here are what was used to justify his illegal abduction, because that is what it was. The courts in Serbia had not allowed his extradition. But he was abducted anyway, and shipped to The Hague, to be tried by a tribunal set up and funded by the same Western powers that bombed his country at the behest of an organization that these same Western powers acknowledged was terrorist, the KLA. 

Those same Western powers who accused Milosevic of being a genocidal maniac simply because he tried to protect his citizens, both Albanian and Serb, from terrorists, are now rampaging with their troops all over the world and actually killing civilians in other countries because why? 

Because they are fighting terrorism!







An important part of my objection to the plausibility of the freezer truck story is the premise that NATO was bombing all sorts of bridges and other civilian targets, and that vehicles were targeted indiscriminately. 

A recent essay by Lewis H. Lapham reports on events that pithily illustrate the attitude towards the deaths of civilians that has become commonplace among the US foreign policy elite. Writing aboutthe intelligentsia’s response to 9-11, he writes,…the authors of the daily allegory [in the news] appealed to weapons experts and to theorists fluent in the jargon of the Cold War realpolitik. Several such authorities took part in a roundtable discussion published as a special Thanksgiving issue of The National Interest, a journal that lists Henry Kissinger as cochairman of its editorial board, and on reading the transcript I remember thinking that the dialogue sounded like the mutterings of Orcs in the lastchapters of The Lord of the Rings. Somebody said that the time had come to ‘flip’ Iran (presumably from a low-yield theocracy to a high-yield democracy), and Dimitri Simes, president of The Nixon Center,said no, this wasn’t the moment for flipping. It was the moment to consider dropping a nuclear bomb on Afghanistan — not for any strategic or tactical purpose but for the “very strong demonstration effect” that the explosion was likely to make on the rulers of Iran, Iraq, Syria, Lybia, and Lebanon. He thought that altering the terrainof Central Asia might persuade Saddam Hussein to obey the instructions of the United Nations, and when asked by a fellowdiscussant whether he knew that he was talking about the obliteration of an unknown number of miscellaneous Afghans, Simes observed thatthe NATO victory in Serbia was not won against the Serbianmilitary “but because we were effective against the Serbian civilianinfrastructure.” Mythography, Harper’s (2002), vol. 304, NO. 1821,

byline: Lewis H. Lapham, Editor.

If this is representative of how the American foreign policy elite thinks, then it is obvious that, should they condemn the deaths of 3000 Americans on 9-11, this would not be because they are civilians, but because they are our civilians. And the reference to Serbia, if representative of how the US foreign policy elite thinks of the conduct of the war against Serbia, suggests that the US hardly needs its own civilians attacked before it will make civilians in another country the main target of its bombs (notice that Simes suggests quite directly that the Serbian military was not really the target).

Finally, the matter-of-factness of the conversational exchange suggests that, at least in those circles, these are not considered radical positions.

On the question of choosing civilian targets generally, NATO never really denied that it did. Jamie Shea (NATO’s spokesman) repeated over and over again that they were not targeting civilians, but out of the other side of his mouth he said, for example, that no facility that they decided was being used to plan, conceive, or direct what they alleged were Yugoslav army attacks on civilians would be a sanctuary.[58] And there are very numerous famous cases of the deliberate choosing of targets that have no conceivable definition other than “civilian,” such as the TV station in Belgrade. In fact, military targets are now widely acknowledged to have emerged from the bombing relatively unscathed even though Serbia, and especially Kosovo, were laid waste. (So why were refugees flooding out ofKosovo? Must have been ethnic cleansing, right? The bombs falling on barns couldn’t have had anything to do with that). This is Jim Sillars writing for The Sun:[59]


You saw the size and good condition of that Serb machine roll out of Kosovo. Of course they suffered damage, but they did not lose the battle because, thanks to American fears, no battle was fought.

It was where and how the air assault was successful that should give us cause to feel anxiety. An American commentator has talked about Nato’s air campaign setting new standards in future wars. I hope not. Nato set military precedents that hold out the gravest consequences for civilian populations in future conflicts, like wars betweenstates, and terrorist actions against civil societies.

What compelled Milosevic to allow Nato in was the destruction from the air of bridges, railways, roads, power stations, water supply, factories, television stations and homes, and the growing toll of civilian dead which included a small baby sitting on its potty.

Civilian Serbia was being bombed into the ground.

Nato spokesman Jamie Shea and Supreme Commander Wesley Clark justified the attacks on what by any definition were civilian targets, on the grounds that they were of use or could be used by Serb military. 

Ponder that definition for a moment and be deeply concerned for the future of humanity. Roads and bridges over which people went to workcould, of course, be used by the military.


There are no different military and civilian roads, so, by Nato logic, civilian roads and bridges become military targets.

In fact, given the logic applied by Nato not a single civilianservice would be safe from bombing.


And none was. Consider, for example, the damage reports in this wire from Deutsche Press-Agentur:[60]


As NATO prepared to launch its 13th night of strikes against

Yugoslavia Monday, Air Commodore Sir David Wilby made it clear Alliance planes have already started to hit Serbian field forces amid improving weather conditions in the Balkans.

Serbian television said the southern city of Vranje had been struck by more than 11 NATO cruise missiles on Monday which struck civiliantargets and inflicted many casualties.

The state-run television did not specify in its report the exactnumber of casualties at Vranje, located some 250 kilometres southeast of Belgrade. 

It also said a tobacco factory in Nis, some 200 kilometres southeast of Belgrade, was still on fire in the afternoon after being hit by NATO missiles during the morning. More than 1,000 tons of tobacco had been destroyed in the attack.


But if you have doubts about the Serbian press, NATO’s own reports should lay them to rest:[61]


[Air Commodore Sir David] Wilby also said NATO strikes overnight had caused heavy damage to targets in Belgrade, hitting staging areas, petrol production and storage sites, airfields, ammunition dumps and bridges. 

He said a number of Yugoslav MiGs had been damaged on the ground and he showed a video of a missile demolishing a bridge.


NATO’s policy specific to vehicles (such as, for example, alleged freezer trucks full of massacred bodies), whether moving or not, can be determined by looking at NATO’s publicly defended rules of engagement when there was sufficient evidence of wrong-doing to create a scandal which forced NATO to explain itself. The following is a wire from the Press Association:


Nato tonight admitted its planes had bombed a column of vehicles in Kosovo which appeared to include refugees on tractors.


This deserves close attention. NATO bombed a column of vehicles that included refugees on?what? On tractors.

Is this a military target? Does this look even remotely like a military target? 


It was a large convoy, which appeared from the air to be a series of military vehicles. “The 20 vehicles were uniform in shape and colour. They were maintaining steady spacing and pace, characteristic of military movement.”


Here then are NATO’s rules for deciding that something is a target at 15,000 feet: If the vehicles seem “uniform in shape and colour [and are] maintaining steady spacing and pace.”

It should be obvious that at 15,000 feet,[62] distinguishing colors is not easy, let alone deciding whether a vehicle (only the top of which is really visible) has a uniform color all around or is multi-colored (and should this matter so much? Plenty of civilian vehicles are of uniform color; that is hardly a flag that says “military”. And couldn’t the enemy paint its vehicles to make them multicolored?).

Besides, it is very common for convoys of civilian vehicles to maintain steady spacing and pace, especially in small roads of underdeveloped provinces of underdeveloped countries, and especially when these are mountain roads. Kosovo is almost nothing but mountains. To this you may add the fact that large numbers of refugees were obviously on the move, and therefore long, steadily-moving convoys of civilian vehicles were to be expected. (But, in any case, at 15,000 feet, how easy is it to judge the spacing and the steadiness of the vehicles?)

With these rules of engagement, it seems that almost anything is a target, and questions will be asked later. But matters are actually worse because, as bad as these rules of engagement already are, NATO did not even keep to them.


The pilots conferred with each other and decided the vehicles were a legitimate military target, and unleashed their laser guided bombs.

Gen Leaf played a cockpit video showing the first bomb missing the lead vehicle in the convoy, erupting in an immense blast just behind it. A following vehicle veered off the road into a field. And the General admitted that the rest of the convoy appeared to include non- military vehicles. “As we watch this video it appears possible they are tractor-type vehicles,” he told the press briefing. Soon other planes launched a series of bombing raids on part of the convoy, which stretched for several kilometres, attacking both moving and stationary vehicles. Commanders then called up so-called “verification aircraft”, flying more slowly than the F-16s, allowing their crew to observe the scene with high-intensity binoculars. These pilots were able to see that some vehicles might have been multi-coloured, indicating a civilian element to theconvoy, Gen Leaf said.


Despite all of NATO’s blather about color and spacing of vehicles, the pilots were so high up that they could not see the difference between a tractor and a truck. And notice that the wire informs us that, except for the two lead vehicles, the rest of the convoy, which stretched for several kilometers, was all tractors!

In addition, notice that NATO admits above that some of the vehicles targeted were moving and others were not. So it cannot be true thatthe “steady spacing and pace” of these vehicles marked them off as a target. 

What can this mean?

NATO is hitting anything that moves (or doesn’t move).

The obvious question, for us, is: If refugees had trouble making it out of Kosovo without getting attacked, how would a large freezer truck do?



[1] The Independent (London),  June 29, 2001, Friday,  NEWS; Pg. 3,


[2]The Toronto Sun, April 1, 2001 Sunday, Final Edition, Comment;,

Pg. C6;, 1382 words, The Hoax That Started A War; How The U.S., Nato

And The Western Media Were Conned In Kosovo, PETER WORTHINGTON,

TORONTO SUN. see also Racak, The Impossible Massacre, by Diana

Johnstone, at

[3]The Krasniqi clan has lived in Vranoc for centuries. It has its

own mosque, school, livestock and gazing lands. Although some

Krasniqis have taken jobs outside the village, in nearby factories or

overseas, they remain intensely loyal to their families and land.”


Cousin Florin raises the money; Uncle Besnik buys the guns; Shefqet

does the fighting; the Krasniqi family helped found the Kosovo

Liberation Army in 1995, and they aren’t about to let a silly peace

plan ruin their dreams of independence. Stacy Sullivan. The New York

Times Magazine Nov 22, 1998 p50 col 1 (88 col in)

[4]Chicago Sun-Times, June 16, 1999, WEDNESDAY, Late Sports Final

Edition, NEWS; Pg. 25, 503 words, Empty Kosovo graves fuel questions,


[5] In 1998 US special envoy to the Balkans Robert Gelbard “condemned

the actions of an ethnic Albanian underground group Kosovo Liberation

Army (UCK) which has claimed responsibility for a series of attacks

on Serb targets. `We condemn very strongly terrorist actions in

Kosovo. The UCK is, without any questions, a terrorist group [my

emphasis],’ Gelbard said.” From: Agence France Presse, February 23,

1998 22:24 GMT, SECTION: International news, LENGTH: 631 words.

HEADLINE: Washington ready to reward Belgrade for “good will”: envoy


[7] The Gazette (Montreal), November 27, 1999, FINAL, 4850 words, The

Kosovo connection: The shooting has stopped, but the Kosovo

Liberation Army isn’t resting. It is still a major player in the

international heroin trade, ALEX ROSLIN.

[8] The New York Times,  July 31, 2001, Tuesday, Late Edition –

Final,  Section A; Page 3; Column 1; Foreign Desk,  1347 words,

Serbia Finds Where Bodies Are Buried, and Investigates,  By CARLOTTA

GALL,  BELGRADE, Serbia, July 25

[9] The Globe and Mail, January 10th, 2000.

[10]The Toronto Sun,  April 1, 2001 Sunday, Final Edition, Comment;,

Pg. C6;, 1382 words, The Hoax That Started A War; How The U.S., Nato

And The Western Media Were Conned In Kosovo, PETER WORTHINGTON,

TORONTO SUN.; see also Racak, The Impossible Massacre, by Diana

Johnstone, at

see also

[11] I am not exaggerating. The mainstream Western press reported

such preposterous `facts’ without blushing. The New York Times

reported that “An account in the Belgrade newspaper Danas by an army

reservist who saw a truck being dumped into a lake said the bodies

had floated to the surface and then had been pulled out by the police

and buried nearby.” And Newsweek wrote that “Fortunately for

investigators, the Serbs were as sloppy in their cleanup as they were

in their killing. It was well into the night before the four Gypsies

finished the job at the Kroni Popit rifle range, where they loaded

what they estimated to be 60 to 80 corpses into the truck. The

Gypsies, by their own accounts, were then ordered to the Prizren town

dump, where they loaded the remains of an additional 20 to 30 people–

presumably victims from the Suva Reka area–into a second

refrigerator truck. The bodies then were supposed to be disposed of,

and never seen again. But in early April, a fisherman on the Danube

spotted one of the two trucks–with markings from the Progres food-

processing firm in Prizren–floating in the river. According to later

investigations, the driver had brought the truck to the riverbank,

placed a rock to the gas pedal, and sent it sputtering into the

water. But nobody had thought to shoot holes in the truck or its

tires, and it floated away.”; The New York Times, July 31, 2001,

Tuesday, Late Edition – Final, Section A; Page 3; Column 1; Foreign

Desk, 1347 words, Serbia Finds Where Bodies Are Buried, and

Investigates, By CARLOTTA GALL, BELGRADE, Serbia, July 25; Newsweek,

July 23, 2001, U.S. Edition, INTERNATIONAL; Pg. 34, 2031 words, Body

of Evidence, By Roy Gutman and Rod Nordland; With Christopher Dickey

at The Hague and Jeffrey Bartholet in New York.

[12] AP Worldstream,  April 30, 2001; Monday,  International news,

552 words,  Rights activist says Yugoslav army, police destroyed

evidence of Kosovo atrocities,  KATARINA KRATOVAC,  BELGRADE,


[13] AP Worldstream,  May 23, 2001; Wednesday,  International news,

347 words,  Human rights group urges investigation about suspected

mass killing,  BELGRADE, Yugoslavia

[14] The Independent (London),  May 4, 2001, Friday,  FOREIGN NEWS;


ALBANIANS ‘MURDERED’ BY SERB FORCES,  Vesna Peric Zimanjic In Belgrade

[15] The Times (London),  May 7, 2001, Monday,  Overseas news,  573

words,  ‘Bodies were dumped in the Danube’,  Dragan Petrovic in

Belgrade and John Phillips

[16] The Globe and Mail, January 10th, 2000.

[17] Deutsche Presse-Agentur,  May 8, 2001, Tuesday,  International

News,  374 words,  Police investigate possible war crimes find in

Serbia,  Belgrade

[18] Agence France Presse,  May 9, 2001, Wednesday,  International

news,  377 words,  Police chiefs sacked over cover-up of truckload of

bodies: report,  BELGRADE, May 9

[19] United Press International,  May 9, 2001, Wednesday,  GENERAL

NEWS,  936 words,  Police officers dismissed for coverup,  By STEFAN

RACIN,  BELGRADE, Yugoslavia, May 9

[20] United Press International,  May 4, 2001, Friday,  GENERAL

NEWS,  739 words,  Attempt to conceal war crime defeated,  By STEFAN

RACIN,  BELGRADE, Yugoslavia, May 4

[21] Inter Press Service,  May 14, 2001, Monday,  737 words,  RIGHTS-


Zimonjic,  BELGRADE, May 14

[22] Agence France Presse,  May 11, 2001, Friday,  International

news,  463 words,  Gravediggers’ tell of horror over truckload of

Kosovo bodies,  BELGRADE, May 11

[23] Inter Press Service,  May 14, 2001, Monday,  737 words,  RIGHTS-


Zimonjic,  BELGRADE, May 14

[24] The Associated Press,  May 25, 2001, Friday, BC cycle,

International News,  662 words,  Police accuse Milosevic of covering

up war crimes,  By DUSAN STOJANOVIC

[25] St. Petersburg Times,  May 26, 2001, Saturday, 0 South Pinellas

Edition,  NATIONAL; Pg. 19A,  627 words,  Yugoslavia files new

Milosevic charges,  BELGRADE, Yugoslavia; VAKSINCE, Macedonia;


[26] Los Angeles Times,  May 26, 2001 Saturday,  Home Edition,  Page

3,  808 words,  The World; ; Milosevic Hid Kosovo War Crimes,



[27] The Independent (London),  May 26, 2001, Saturday,  TITLE PAGE;


LINKS IN KOSOVO,  Vesna Peric Zimonjic In Belgrade And Justin Huggler

In Skopje

[28] The Independent (London),  May 26, 2001, Saturday,  FOREIGN


ATROCITIES,  Vesna Peric Zimonjic In Belgrade And Justin Huggler

[29] The Times (London),  November 2, 1999, Tuesday,  Features,  553

words,  Kosovo’s corpse count; The Guardian,  August 18, 2000,  989

words,  Serb killings ‘exaggerated’ by west: Claims of up to 100,000

ethnic Albanians massacred in Kosovo revised to under 3,000 as

exhumations near end,  JONATHAN STEELE

[30] The Boston Globe, September 24, 2000, Sunday, ,THIRD EDITION,



[31] The initial estimate of violent deaths during the Kosovar

conflict from 1998 to the present year was 50,000 people, but it has

been going down as low as less than 10,000, and sources from the UN

are saying privately that it will not be more than 2000.? (El Pais,

Oct. 11, 1999; my translation)

[32] The Guardian, August 18, 2000, 989 words, Serb

killings ‘exaggerated’ by west: Claims of up to 100,000 ethnic

Albanians massacred in Kosovo revised to under 3,000 as exhumations


[33] The Wall Street Journal, December 31, 1999. WAR IN KOSOVO WAS



[34] Contrary to what Pearl and Block say, finding 5 bodies in a

grave does not, by itself, suggest an act of barbarity at all,

whether intimate or not. That depends on the forensic evidence, not

on the number of dead found. It is very common for more than one

combatant to share a grave when the burying of the dead is happening

in conditions of war. “Mass grave” does not equal “massacre.”

[35] Agence France Presse, February 23, 1998 22:24 GMT, SECTION:

International news, LENGTH: 631 words. HEADLINE: Washington ready to

reward Belgrade for “good will”: envoy; Agence France Presse,

February 22, 1998 21:21 GMT, SECTION: International news, LENGTH: 554

words. HEADLINE: US Balkans envoy appeals for calm in Kosovo.

[36] Rick Grant, who has “been on both sides of the fence” and has

advised “aid groups on how to handle the media and?managed

information campaigns directed at foreign correspondents” says that

journalism “is becoming as managed, influenced, nuanced and

manipulated, the worst of government spin-controlled news? Over the

past year, I’ve experienced first hand a remarkable change in how the

media works when reporting on humanitarian disasters in such places

as Albania, Kosovo, East Timor and, from a distance, in Chechyna.

Amid the hellish dangers of such places, there is a formal dance of

intricate detail between United Nations officials, aid workers,

reporters and news managers. It’s a dance that allows a reporter

newly parachuted into some vile human emergency to be filing stories

to the news desk within hours, direct from the front lines or from

the edge of a mass grave. The days of a foreign correspondent needing

to spend huge amounts of time just finding out where to go for

information in a disaster area — after spending hours or days just

trying to find accommodation and a place from which to file stories —

 are gone. Instead, there is an mobile, worldwide army of disaster

officials, information officers, spokespersons and spin doctors that

can provide itinerant reporters with everything they need, including

food, lodging and transportation. Indeed, it is possible for a lazy

reporter — and there are many of those — to file as though from the

circles of hell while sitting in comfort at a five-star hotel.

Information flow and control by UN agencies and relief groups is so

complete that it is possible for a reporter to make a name reporting

a humanitarian disaster without leaving Ottawa, New York or London.”

From: The Ottawa Citizen, April 20, 2000, Thursday, FINAL, 1030

words, Manufacturing content: Aid organizations and political groups

drive the news from the world’s hot spots., Rick Grant

[37] The Boston Globe, September 24, 2000, Sunday, ,THIRD EDITION,



[38]Inter Press Service,  May 14, 2001, Monday,  737 words,  RIGHTS-


Zimonjic,  BELGRADE, May 14

[39] AP Worldstream,  April 30, 2001; Monday,  International news,

552 words,  Rights activist says Yugoslav army, police destroyed

evidence of Kosovo atrocities,  KATARINA KRATOVAC,  BELGRADE,


[40] United Press International,  May 9, 2001, Wednesday,  GENERAL

NEWS,  936 words,  Police officers dismissed for coverup,  By STEFAN

RACIN,  BELGRADE, Yugoslavia, May 9

[41] Financial Times (London),  May 26, 2001, Saturday,  EUROPE &

MIDDLE EAST;,  Pg. 8,  417 words,  Serbs link Milosevic to atrocities


[42] The New York Times,  June 1, 2001, Friday, Late Edition –

Final,  Section A; Page 10; Column 4; Foreign Desk,  1153 words,  A

Dark Secret Comes to Light in Serbia,  By CARLOTTA GALL,  KLADOVO,

Serbia, May 29

[43] AP Online,  May 31, 2001; Thursday,  Domestic, non-Washington,

general news item,  789 words,  AP Top News at Midnight EDT

Wednesday, May 30, 2001,  LATRICE DAVIS

[44] United Press International,  June 2, 2001, Saturday,  GENERAL

NEWS,  768 words,  Serbian official says mass grave found,  BELGRADE,

Yugoslavia, June 2

[45] United Press International,  June 3, 2001, Sunday,  GENERAL

NEWS,  1070 words,  Police find more Kosovar bodies,  By STEFAN

RACIN,  BELGRADE, Yugoslavia, June 3

[46] The Spectator, February 09, 200. SECTION: Pg. 22 23. HEADLINE:

VICTORS’ JUSTICE; John Laughland says that the trial of Slobodan

Milosevic has been rigged to justify Nato’s war against Serbia.

BYLINE: John Laughland

[47] The Ottawa Citizen,  August 25, 2001 Saturday,  3487 words,

Milosevic’s ‘awful secret’: Two years ago a diver was asked to

recover a truck from the Danube. Inside were scores of dead Kosovar

men, women and children. Investigators say that atrocity is linked to

a massive operation to exhume corpses from mass graves in Kosovo —

and the hands of Slobodan Milosevic. Anthony Loyd reports.,  Anthony


[48] Sydney Morning Herald,  July 7, 2001,  News And Features; News

Review; Pg.31,  1922 words,  Bodies Of Evidence

[49] Sunday Times (London),  June 17, 2001, Sunday,  Overseas news,

965 words,  Mass grave trail leads to Milosevic,  Bob Graham in


[50] Deutsche Presse-Agentur, June 5, 2001, Tuesday, International

News, 333 words, Mihajlovic: Three mass graves of Kosovo victims in

Serbia, Belgrade

[51] Deutsche Presse-Agentur, July 4, 2001, Wednesday, International

News, 271 words, Another mass grave found in Serbia – report, Belgrade

[52] The Independent (London),  June 29, 2001, Friday,  NEWS; Pg. 3,



[53] United Press International,  June 21, 2001, Thursday,  GENERAL

NEWS,  468 words,  Yugoslav bill on extradition blocked,  By STEFAN

RACIN,  BELGRADE, Yugoslavia, June 21

[54] Agence France Presse,  June 21, 2001, Thursday,  International

news,  706 words,  New evidence of Kosovo crimes, as Belgrade seeks

cooperation,  Alexandra Niksic,  BELGRADE, June 21

[55] Agence France Presse,  June 21, 2001, Thursday,  International

news,  466 words,  Serb witness tells war crimes court Kosovo bodies

taken to Serbia: weekly,  BELGRADE, June 21

[56] The Independent (London),  June 29, 2001, Friday,  NEWS; Pg. 3,



[57] Sydney Morning Herald,  July 7, 2001,  News And Features; News

Review; Pg.31,  1922 words,  Bodies Of Evidence

[58] NATO increased the intensity and range of its week-long

airstrike campaign against Yugoslavia Wednesday, warning there would

be ”no sanctuary” for those it accused of trying to erase the

identity of the Kosovo Albanians. ”No facility, no unit which is

currently being used to plan, conceive, direct or carryout the

Yugoslav campaign against the Kosovars is going to be a sanctuary,”

said NATO spokesman Jamie Shea. AP Worldstream,  March 31, 1999;

Wednesday,  International news,  593 words,  NATO extends airstrikes,

warns ”no sanctuary” for Serb war planners,  PAUL AMES,  BRUSSELS,


[59] The Sun,  June 15, 1999,  783 words,  We defeated evil with

another evil – and called it good;Opinion,  JIM SILLARS

[60] Deutsche Presse-Agentur,  April 5, 1999, Monday,  International

News,  853 words,  LEADALL: NATO continues to ratchet up campaign

against Yugoslavia,  By Deutsche Presse-Agentur, dpa

[61] Press Association,  April 19, 1999, Monday,  HOME NEWS,  1518


Geoff Meade and Trevor Mason, PA News

[62] From an interview: Q: “Senator Sessions today made the point in

your testimony that the air campaign didn’t stop ethnic cleansing.

There was an early criticism of the campaign that they were flying

too high, they couldn’t stop the violence on the ground.” General

[Wesley] Clark: “I don’t think it is a fair critique? We went through

three or four weeks of this continuous discussion of the 15,000 feet.

Our aircraft flew at the optimum altitude both to acquire targets and

to deliver weapons throughout the campaign.” M2 PRESSWIRE,  July 2,

1999,  5136 words,  US DOD DoD news briefing


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