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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
Recently we have published articles
about the dispute in the Milosevic support group, ICDSM.
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:
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.
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:
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
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.
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?
About those crying
Did you think I
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
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
The BBC feature story is at
It is archived at
The transcript of the BBC interview follows.
-- John Flaherty
Transcript of Jared Israel's BBC
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
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 mean...you 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
Jared Israel: I'm not, nobody in the world could ever
make a statement like that about any security force in
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
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
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,
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
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
www.tenc.net 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
Bill Hayton: Ok. Thank you very much.
Jared Israel: Thank you.
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Footnotes & Further
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
 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
than Fiction: NATO and the US Sponsor Terror in Kosovo and
Macedonia," by Jared Israel at
 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.
B) As Serbian Ex-Security
Chief testifies he was tortured to force him to give false
'Trial' Blows Up In Hague Tribunal's Face!"
By Jared Israel, and Nico Varkevisser at The
[Posted 27 July 2002]
C) "Jared Israel Interviewed
Mr. Israel discusses the Rade Markovic issue.
[Posted 29 August 2002]
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 http://emperors-clothes.com/milo/july26.htm
"July 26th Cross-Examination of Rade Markovic, Part 2 of 2,"
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.
 The White Book of
NATO crimes against Yugoslavia, Spring 1999, can be accessed at
 The file is on
RealPlayer. When you go to download RealPlayer at
http://www.real.com/products/player 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.
Thank you for reading Emperor's
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