About Florence Hartmann's book 'Paix et Chatiment'


Just finished reading Florence Hartmann's 'Paix et Chatiment' (Peace and Punishment).  Amazing book. Hartmann brings out so much dirty laundry about the inner workings of the ICTY, that one has to conclude that the content is disgusting, to the point of throwing up. With so much tell-all, even a hardened skeptic of the ICTY will want to reach for Alka Seltzer before offering any 'I told you so.'


Thus, like in Euronews -- without comment, inter alia, Hartmann says:


Military Analyst Team (MAT) is the operating brain trust of the ICTY. It is staffed effectively only with US and UK intelligence staff. They decide which documents can go, which cannot, which witnesses will appear for the prosecution and which not. And when a 'bad' witness sneaks through, MAT makes sure to find another that will look to discredit him/her.


The 'smoking gun' evidence of Belgrade originating, leading, and micro-managing the wars in BiH and Croatia exists in the transcripts of the Supreme Defense Council, Vrhovni Savet Obrane, the VSO. Belgrade managed to suppress this evidence by offering the ICTY judges a deal to see them -- without the right to quote from them. This despite the insistence from Del Ponte. Hartmann concludes this was done in order to prevent these documents from becoming public property to be available to ICJ. The ICJ would then have to rule that Belgrade was complicit in genocide, which, by extension, would leave the UN Genocide Convention signatory states liable for dereliction of duty.


Initially, the investigations were run by Graham Blewitt from Australia and scores of country bumpkin policemen from the Commonwealth states, who were before all, loyal to him. Blewitt's approach was to get a few 'little fish' because the 'big fish', including Milosevic would never get to the ICTY. He pushed the thinking that Croatian and BiH wars had different origins, with limited connection to Belgrade. Arbour and then Del Ponte made the push for Milosevic and the other big fish, and became the enemies of the MAT, prosecution staff, and some judges, and certainly the Balkan policy people, lead by senior US and UK officials.


US and UK were never serious about getting Karadzic and Mladic because: (i) policy people though it would destabilize the region; (ii) military people feared casualties; (iii) Bill Clinton decided that Moscow should have a final word on their arrest (policy crumb); (iv) Kosovo more important than the duo; (v) there was a deal between Karadzic and Holbrooke known to Cristopher; (vi) fear of exposing US/UK policy mistakes; and, (vii) Belgrade decided to send troops to Afghanistan. Thus, the most senior US officials, including Albright, Holbrooke, Clark, Montgomery and Prosper, among others, worked to get the two to leave the region, to prevent Del Ponte to push the issue with Belgrade and in public forums, and actually stopped one would be arrest of Karadzic by Djindjic in 1/2004. The attempts by SFOR to arrest them were zero-risk staged events.


So given the official policy that the two should be arrested, and the effective policy that the Western states cannot risk their arrest, the operational people were compelled to implement the policy by public pressure to have the two surrender. For instance, by visiting Karadzic's elderly mother in the backwater of Montenegro to urge her 'to use her influence'.


US was opposed to big fish indictments of Croatia figures until it became clear that Zagreb will not sign Article 98. Hartmann mentions one unnamed senior US official in the region making a special visit to Del Ponte to make a case for Gotovina in 5/2003. UK on the other hand was eagerly in favor, and used the Gotovina issues as way to slow down Croatia, i.e., to bring it into EU together with Serbia, and as payback for Gotovina circles allegedly providing the IRA with explosives that were used to bomb the MI6 headquarters.


With the help of the US, Rwanda was able to remove Del Ponte from running the ICTR and block her investigations against the ruling Kigali government by accepting to sign Article 98, and accepting to play a US proxy role in Congo.


Other interesting tidbits:


The case of Belgrade role in Croatia was easier to document than that in BiH.


Post-Dayton Lagumdzija's Federation intelligence chief Munir Alibabic was replaced officially because he leaked official documents unfavorable to Izetbegovic's party in an election cycle, but was actually replaced by Ashdown because he would not work with the UK intelligence services (preferred the French).


Mladic is quoted in one of the meetings with Karadzic at the onset of war cautioning that what is being proposed was genocide.


When not in BiH, Montenegro or Serbia, the two are in Russia, and on occasions in Greece and Bielorussia. It seems like every other Serb indictee has spent some time in Russia.


The trial of Milosevic's right hand man Jovica Stanisic was delayed, with the intention of having it transferred to Belgrade, and effectively ended, because Stanisic has in the past cooperated with CIA.


Le Monde and the Washington Post were used by the French and US intelligence services respectively as platforms to shift the blame for failure on Karadzic.


Blewitt personally recruited Jeffrey Nice to run the Milosevic trail, in his last attempt to sabotage the expanded/genocide charges that Del Ponte was insisting on (Blewitt and later Nice were arguing that there was no strong evidence.)


Now that Belgrade, Sarajevo and Zagreb will take over the prosecution, they have already agreed that the targets will be middle-size fish.


Time to throw up yet ... have Alka Seltzer ready ...



Ghislain Robert Lafleur