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What the BBC cut from an interview with Jared Israel
Comments by John Flaherty

[Posted 29 August 2002 - Re-posted with new comments
16 October 2003]

The RealPlayer audio file of the interview is at

This recording begins a few seconds into the interview, with Mr. Israel answering BBC interviewer Bill Hayton's question, "Who do you think is winning in the courtroom?"
The full transcript is posted on this page.


The BBC's Bill Hayton interviewed Jared Israel about the Milosevic 'trial' on 23 August 2002.

We are re-posting that interview both because it is quite interesting and because it clarifies some important matters.

Recently we have published articles about the dispute in the Milosevic support group, ICDSM. [1]

In response, some readers have written, asking: "Why would you want to be in a Milosevic support group in the first place?" Our response: because the facts prove Milosevic and the Serbs are innocent; their accusers are the guilty parties.

The problem is, the mass media has so thoroughly misreported what happened in Yugoslavia that even people critical of US foreign policy believe the lies. Jared Israel's interview with the BBC is striking for two reasons. First because the assumptions inherent in Bill Hayton's questions become obvious when you listen to Jared Israel's replies. And second because of what the BBC did not include when they quoted the interview in a feature story.

The BBC's feature story is unusual for including any coherent statement of support for Milosevic; still, it has the usual bias. For example, the main illustration is a picture of crying women, allegedly Albanian. The caption reads: "War crimes have been proved, but not the Milosevic link".

The message is clear. Given the crying Albanians, the caption communicates that the Serbs are the people who have been proven guilty of war crimes. This is easy for most people to believe because they have heard nothing true about what happened in Kosovo.  Nothing. [2]

And look how Milosevic is treated. The subject of the BBC article is the failure of The Hague Tribunal to demonstrate criminal wrongdoing on Milosevic's part. But again, the caption under the picture reads:

"War crimes have been proved, but not the Milosevic link".

Do you see what they have done? They have used the definite article ('the') in the phrase, "but not the Milosevic link." By using the definite article, one communicates that something does exist.  Thus, if I ask you, "Did Sam bring the car?" you will assume that Sam definitely has a car, or access to a car. (As opposed to asking, "Did Sam bring a car?") By saying that the Tribunal has not proved the link between Milosevic and supposed war crimes, the BBC suggests that such a link definitely exists.

In any case, contrary to the BBC, The Hague Tribunal has not proved the existence of officially sanctioned Yugoslav war crimes. One need only read the official transcript to see that. In trying to make their case, the Tribunal's prize witness was Rade Markovic, the Serbian security police chief during the NATO bombing. He was supposed to confess to war crimes and implicate Milosevic.  Instead he denied Yugoslav forces had sanctioned improper behavior. Moreover, under cross-examination he testified that he had been tortured in an attempt to make him give false testimony. [3]

Mr. Markovic's testimony (that he was tortured) was not reported by a single newspaper or TV station in the English-speaking world. Isn't that amazing? What can possibly explain the failure to report this devastating accusation except that the mass media is organized to lie about Yugoslavia? (Seriously, if anybody has a different explanation, we would  love to hear it.)

As you can see from the audio file and transcript of Jared Israel's BBC interview, he made the torture of Markovic a central point. But all reference to Markovic was cut from the BBC article.

Is there evidence of officially sanctioned war crimes in Kosovo?  Yes there is, but not against Yugoslavia. The Yugoslav Government's White Book documents the charge that NATO targeted civilians during the three months of bombing in 1999. Including, by the way, Albanians. The Western media has entirely ignored the White Book.  Not challenged its findings; ignored it.  Why? [4] 


About those crying Albanian women...


Did you think I was being terribly callous when I wrote that the BBC story is illustrated with a "picture of crying women, allegedly Albanian"? Consider this: the first place award in the main three international photojournalism contests in 1998, 1999 and 2000 went to photos of suffering people, allegedly Albanian. All but one of the alleged Albanians were women. Crying.

There are over six billion people in the world. Perhaps three quarters of a million are Albanian women living in Kosovo. It is therefore not surprising that every year photographers shoot thousands of news photos of subjects other than crying Albanian women. So what explains the awards? Can there be any explanation except that there has been a huge pressure on public institutions to support a propaganda campaign aimed at training our minds to view Serbian people as brutes?

To read more about the photojournalism awards, apparently  for Best-Picture-of-Suffering-Albanians, please go to

The audio file of Jared Israel's interview is at
The format is RealPlayer. If you don't have RealPlayer see [5] at the end.

The BBC feature story is at
It is archived at 

The transcript of the BBC interview follows.

-- John Flaherty
Emperor's Clothes



Transcript of Jared Israel's BBC Interview

23 August 2002


Bill Hayton: Can I credit you as from the International Committee [to Defend Slobodan Milosevic, or ICDSM]?

Jared Israel: I'm the vice-chairman of the International Committee. One of the vice-chairmen.

Bill Hayton: Right.

Jared Israel: And I edit the website. [See ]

Bill Hayton: Who do you think is winning in the courtroom?

Jared Israel: Well, I think everybody thinks Milosevic is winning. The question is whether it's a rigged battle. That is, if the fix is in, in a prizefight, it doesn't really, then, mean that because one person is winning that he will necessarily win, right? Because the judges have already decided.

And the judge in this case is manifestly on the prosecution side. That was very clear on the 26th [of July], on the last day's testimony when Mr. Markovic was asked by Mr. Milosevic, "Is it true that you were tortured?" And he said, "Yes." And judge May said this doesn't have any relevance to the evidence which this witness has given here, none at all. Whether he was tortured.

Now that's a trial-stopping issue. In other words, it's our position that, since their main prosecution witness - because he's not in the KLA and he's not Paddy Ashdown, that is an operative of the British special forces and the special representative of the British government 10 times going to Yugoslavia, and he's not one of the leaders of the Kosovo verification mission, and he's not in the CIA and he's not therefore William Walker, but he was actually the leader of the Serbian security police - was brought in to testify and said he was tortured to give false evidence...that's what he said....

Bill Hayton: ....right

Jared Israel: Now, how can you continue the trial then? And they continued. So the trial is now a dead thing walking. That is our position.

Bill Hayton: I accept that war crimes were committed in Kosovo...

Jared Israel: Yeah, by NATO and the KLA on a grand scale

Bill Hayton: But you're confident there were no war crimes committed at all by any Yugoslav security forces in Kosovo?

Jared Israel: I'm not, nobody in the world could ever make a statement like that about any security force in any war.

And as a matter of fact one of the points that Milosevic and Rade Markovic, who was the leader of that force and who is the prosecution witness, made is that several hundred people in the army and I assume in the security forces were prosecuted by the Yugoslav government for committing atrocities.

Now. Does the fact that they prosecuted members of the security forces and the army for committing atrocities mean that there were no atrocities? No, it means there were. But, since that happens in every war, the crucial question is whether an army prosecutes those people who do such things. And I would hold that against the record of Britain in the Falklands [Islands]; I would hold it against the record of Britain and the US in Afghanistan. Who's being prosecuted for atrocities in Afghanistan? What pilots in the US, Britain or Germany were prosecuted for bombing civilians during the attack on Yugoslavia? Why haven't Blair and Clinton been prosecuted for launching an aggressive war? But Yugoslav soldiers and members of the security forces, according to Rade Markovic, were prosecuted.

So, yes, of course, atrocities occur, but that is the opposite of an official policy of having them, isn't it? When you prosecute the people who do it, you discourage it.

Bill Hayton: The prosecution is now trying to prove that the orders to commit those atrocities, such as they were, came from the top.

Jared Israel: But that would be remarkable, wouldn't it? To order people to commit atrocities and then prosecute several hundred people who did? As far as I know, one person was prosecuted in the Vietnam War for committing atrocities. Two and a half million people were killed, atrociously.

Bill Hayton: Ok, but...

Jared Israel: Now in the case of Kosovo, when the US attacked the country, the only people who have been prosecuted for committing atrocities, were prosecuted by Yugoslavia. Where has the US prosecuted anyone?

Bill Hayton: Ok. So, do you think the prosecution has or has so far - looking at the trial - proved a link between Milosevic and the action of the troops on the ground ...

Jared Israel: First of all, the actions of the troops on the ground, from everything that has come out in the testimony, have been remarkable and a model of how you combat terrorism without flattening the country as the US has been doing in Afghanistan - and mark you not it's own country - whereas this Kosovo is part of Serbia - that's point one. So, secondly, of course he's connected with the [action of the troops on the ground] - he was the head of the country - that doesn't mean that he oversaw every action. But [in] setting general policy, the president of the country is the commander and chief; in Yugoslavia, [he] is the commander and chief of the armed forces.

Milosevic has not denied in fact he's affirmed that he had a large role in setting policy, he and the people who are also in the government with him.

And one of the policies he set was to prosecute people who committed atrocities.

Now, we have a book on the website I edit which is emperor's clothes at we have a book written by two Yugoslav army generals, including Yugoslav army orders which are very strict in calling for the immediate arrest of any soldier who violates the strict - the "treasuring" - and they use the word, "sacred" - of prisoners and the treasuring of civilians. That's the opposite of an official policy of persecuting and atrocities. So, in answer to your question, yes there is a connection between Milosevic and the policies of his government, which includes the army.

[This book, "The Other Side of the Story," can be read at ]

As for the specific command structure, no, he was not involved in day-to- day specific decisions about specific people; that's absurd.

So, I'm saying, number 1, what they're saying happened, didn't happen. There was not an official policy of atrocities. There was an official policy of opposing them. He was responsible, in part, for that policy. Therefore he's a hero. That's what they've shown so far. Their witness, their prosecution witness, whom they tortured to get him to say Milosevic was guilty, came in and said this. And said he was tortured.

And Judge May said that's irrelevant. You know what Gandhi said about Western Civilization? He said it would be a good idea.

Bill Hayton: Ok. Thank you very much.

Jared Israel: Thank you.

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Footnotes & Further Reading


[1]Our latest article concerning this dispute is "Did Ramsey Clark Help Milosevic? Part 1: Why did Ramsey Rush to Belgrade?" by Jared Israel and Nico Varkevisser at

[2] To begin to grasp the enormity of NATO's crimes committed after taking over Kosovo in 1999, see these two articles:

      * 'Nightmare by Design,' a mind-boggling interview with Serbian women from the Kosovo town of Orahovac, at

      * "Stranger than Fiction: NATO and the US Sponsor Terror in Kosovo and Macedonia," by Jared Israel at 

[3] We have published another recorded interview and several articles on the alleged torture of Rade Markovic. Here are the links:

A) Jared Israel's interview with Hague prosecutor Blewitt about the alleged torture of Rade Markovic. Go to

B) As Serbian Ex-Security Chief testifies he was tortured to force him to give false testimony, "Milosevic 'Trial' Blows Up In Hague Tribunal's Face!"
By Jared Israel, and Nico Varkevisser at The Hague
[Posted 27 July 2002]

C) "Jared Israel Interviewed on BBC"
Mr. Israel discusses the Rade Markovic issue.
[Posted 29 August 2002]

D) "33 Days and still no answer: What was done to Rade Markovic?"
by Jared Israel
[Posted 29 August 2002]

E) "Slobodan Milosevic Cross-Examines Rade Markovic, July 26, Part 1," at
"July 26th Cross-Examination of Rade Markovic, Part 2 of 2," at
Part 2 includes exchange in which Markovic confirms he was tortured.
Both texts include comments by Jared Israel
[Posted 14 September 2002]

F) "Ari Fleischer, Iraq, Jews, Jared Israel & the BBC ...Letters and Replies"
[Posted 2 October 2002]
The second letter concerns the Markovic case.

[4] The White Book of NATO crimes against Yugoslavia, Spring 1999, can be accessed at

[5] The file is on RealPlayer.  When you go to download RealPlayer at they will try to get you to spend money ("14 day trial, pay later"). If you don't want to pay, look for the Basic download, which is free - probably on the upper right of the window. It is not a trial with payment later and there is no 'one time fee,' etc.

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