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War criminal Wesley Clark testifies at Hague

By John Catalinotto

Ex-NATO commander and current U.S. presidential candidate Gen. Wesley Clark began testifying Dec. 15 at the trial of former Yugoslav President Slobodan Milosevic in The Hague, Netherlands.

Outside the courtroom of the Inter national Criminal Tribunal for the Former Yugoslavia, a group of demonstrators protested both Clark's appearance and the court's plans to keep his testimony secret, at least until Dec. 19. U.S. authorities will be allowed to censor any of the testimony they consider endangering U.S. "national interests" if made public.

Two of the protesters held a banner reading, "Yankee kangaroo court secretly fears the truth."

At a news conference organized by the International Committee for the Defense of Slobodan Milosevic across from the court, Canadian attorney Tiphaine Dickson pointed out what lay behind the court's decision to keep the testimony secret. "Any doubt over the political nature of the ICTY has been erased after the judge let it be known that they accepted the conditions the U.S. regime demanded of them."

Many lawyers and law professors have pointed out this court's political nature, and its illegal setup by the United Nations Security Council under U.S. pressure. Among the ICTY's critics have been former U.S. Attorney General Ramsey Clark and Canadian attorney Chris Black.

The court only hears alleged crimes of Yugoslavs. It refuses to hear any charges brought against U.S. or other NATO military or political leaders.

Though he poses as a "peace candidate," Gen. Wesley Clark directed the aggressive 78-day U.S.-NATO bombing of Yugoslavia in 1999 and admits responsibility for choosing civilian targets in Serbia during that bombing campaign.

At least three initiatives recognized Clark's responsibility for these crimes by naming him along with other NATO political and military leaders in war crimes indictments.

The three included a war-crimes case in a Belgrade, Yugoslavia, court that found him and the other leaders guilty on Sept. 22, 2000; a request, drafted in 1999 by Toronto law professors Michael Mandel and David Jacobs, that the prosecutor for the ICTY investigate and indict Gen. Clark and others for war crimes; and a June 10, 2000, People's Tribunal organized by the International Action Center and others that found Clark and others guilty of war crimes.

In another repressive move, the ICTY cut President Slobodan Milosevic off from contact with the public, using as an excuse his candidacy in the Dec. 28 national elections in Serbia. The Socialist Party of Serbia chose Milosevic to lead its ticket because the former president has gained in popularity by defending himself and his country expertly and with energy before the ICTY.

Reprinted from the Dec. 25, 2003, issue of Workers World newspaper

This article is copyright under a Creative Commons License.
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