Wash. Times: Bill Clinton’s Body Snatching Legacy in Kosovo

jpb kosovo wash times 8_4_2014_b1-bovard8201_s877x1066Washington Times, August 5, 2014

When the spoils of war are human organs

by James Bovard
Bill Clinton’s Kosovo ‘freedom fighters’ trafficked in body parts

Former President Bill Clinton continues to be feted around the world as a progressive champion of human rights. However, a European Union task force last week confirmed that the ruthless cabal he empowered by bombing Serbia in 1999 has committed atrocities that include murdering individuals to extract and sell their kidneys, livers and other body parts.

Clint Williamson, the chief prosecutor of a special European Union task force, declared that senior members of the Kosovo Liberation Army (KLA) had engaged in “unlawful killings, abductions, enforced disappearances, illegal detentions in camps in Kosovo and Albania, sexual violence, forced displacements of individuals from their homes and communities, and desecration and destruction of churches and other religious sites.”

A special war-crimes tribunal is planned for next year. The New York Times reported that the trials may be stymied by cover-ups and stonewalling: “Past investigations of reports of organ trafficking in Kosovo have been undermined by witnesses’ fears of testifying in a small country where clan ties run deep and former members of the KLA are still feted as heroes. Former leaders of the KLA occupy high posts in the government.” American politicians have almost entirely ignored the growing scandal. Vice President Joe Biden hailed former KLA leader and Kosovo Prime Minister Hashim Thaci in 2010 as “the George Washington of Kosovo.” A few months later, a Council of Europe investigative report tagged Mr. Thaci as an accomplice to the body-trafficking operation.

The latest allegations might cause some Americans to rethink their approval of the 78-day bombing campaign against Serbia killed up to 1,500 civilians. In early June 1999, The Washington Post reported that “some presidential aides and friends are describing [bombing] Kosovo in Churchillian tones, as Clinton’s ‘finest hour.’” Clinton administration officials justified killing civilians because the Serbs were allegedly committing genocide in Kosovo. After the bombing ended, no evidence of genocide was found, but Mr. Clinton and Britain’s Tony Blair continued boasting as if their war stopped a new Hitler in his tracks.

The KLA’s savage nature was well-known before the Clinton administration formally christened them “freedom fighters” in 1999. The prior year, the State Department condemned “terrorist action by the so-called Kosovo Liberation Army.” The KLA was heavily involved in drug trafficking and had close to ties to Osama bin Laden. Arming the KLA helped Mr. Clinton portray himself as a crusader against injustice and shift public attention after his impeachment trial. Mr. Clinton was aided by many congressmen anxious to portray U.S. bombing as an engine of righteousness. Sen. Joe Lieberman whooped that the United States and the KLA “stand for the same values and principles. Fighting for the KLA is fighting for human rights and American values.”

After the bombing ended, Mr. Clinton assured the Serbian people that the United States and NATO agreed to be peacekeepers only “with the understanding that they would protect Serbs as well as ethnic Albanians and that they would leave when peace took hold.” In the subsequent months and years, American and NATO forces stood by as the KLA resumed its ethnic cleansing, slaughtering Serb civilians, bombing Serbian churches and oppressing any non-Muslims. Almost a quarter-million Serbs, Gypsies, Jews, and other minorities fled Kosovo after Mr. Clinton promised to protect them. By 2003, almost 70 percent of the Serbs living in Kosovo in 1999 had fled, and Kosovo was 95 percent ethnic Albanian.

In 2009, Mr. Clinton visited Kosovo’s capital, Pristina, for the unveiling of an 11-foot-tall statue of himself. The allegations of the KLA’s involvement in organ trafficking were already swirling, but Mr. Clinton overlooked the grisly record of his hosts. Instead, he stood on Bill Clinton Boulevard and lapped up adulation from supporters of one of the most brutal regimes in Europe. A commentator in the United Kingdom’s The Guardian newspaper noted that the statue showed Mr. Clinton “with a left hand raised, a typical gesture of a leader greeting the masses. In his right hand he is holding documents engraved with the date when NATO started the bombardment of Serbia, 24 March 1999.”

Shortly after the end of the 1999 bombing campaign, Mr. Clinton enunciated what his aides labeled the Clinton doctrine: “Whether within or beyond the borders of a country, if the world community has the power to stop it, we ought to stop genocide and ethnic cleansing.” In reality, the Clinton doctrine was that presidents are entitled to commence bombing regardless of whether their accusations against foreigners are true. As long as the U.S. government promises great benefits from bombing abroad, presidents can usually attack whom they please.

Mr. Clinton’s war on Serbia was a Pandora’s box from which the world still suffers. Because politicians and most of the media portrayed the war against Serbia as a moral triumph, it was easier for the Bush administration to justify attacking Iraq and for the Obama administration to bomb Libya. Both interventions sowed chaos that continues to curse the purported beneficiaries.

Unfortunately, Bill Clinton will never be held liable for killing innocent Serbs or for helping body-snatchers take over a nation the size of Connecticut. Mr. Clinton is reportedly being paid up to $500,000 for each speech he gives nowadays. Perhaps some of the well-heeled attendees could brandish artificial arms and legs in the air to showcase Mr. Clinton’s actual legacy.

James Bovard is the author of “Attention Deficit Democracy” (Palgrave, 2006) and “Lost Rights” (St. Martin’s, 1994).

* Thanks to WT’s Alexander Hunter for the great art work at the top!

On Twitter @jimbovard




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6 Responses to Wash. Times: Bill Clinton’s Body Snatching Legacy in Kosovo

  1. Jim August 5, 2014 at 9:42 am #

    I posted this piece on Facebook. Philip J. Crincoli Sr. had an excellent quip: “That Clinton statue really takes the proverbial cake. That’s synonymous to the Three Stooges having their statue placed on the front lawn of the house they destroyed as plumbers.”

  2. Jim August 6, 2014 at 4:08 pm #

    OK, I reckon I’m not going to sell any Hooligan copies in Kosovo. Here’s a comment posted on the Wash. Times page for this article:

    There are USA people like you that for some more money in the pocket (Serbian tips)would fabricate enemies from every good friendship around.Albanian people are strongly tied to the USA and its culture of tolerance but wasted people like you want to destroy one of the few sincere friendships USA has.About Clinton you have to wash your bloody mouth first ,than calling his name.And at the last all your poor article is based on supositions that have even no scientific background ,no prooves,and the wich were fabricated by a Serbian prosecutor.The only reason this TALE circulate because of the nice tips people like you likes to have.I know FBI cant find evidence even on this because you prefeer cash on a diplomatic lugagge but i wish to see you in jail sometime.

    I’m not quite sure how to reconcile his praise for the USA “culture of tolerance” and his desire to see me in jail but maybe something got lost in translation.

    As for “cash on a diplomatic luggage” – the closest I ever came to that was when I found a bunch of change in a pay phone coin return slot at an international airport.

  3. Jim August 6, 2014 at 8:42 pm #

    My fear is that, after Bardhyl333’s posting, I am now even more likely to be looted by TSA when traveling.

  4. The Infamous Oregon Lawhobbit August 7, 2014 at 10:58 am #

    You know, pretty much every word there appears to be taken from the English language (some, it seems, kicking and screaming at gunpoint), and yet despite their numbers I’m not really finding them conveying much of an idea. If there’s a point in there somewhere, I ain’t seeing it.

    In fairness, my Albanian probably sucks even more, though.

    If I am guessing correctly and his point is “Albanians think Clinton is a nice guy,” then I’d go with the old adage about “By their friends ye shall know them,” and remind all and sundry that Albania may well hold the record for the highest percentage of criminals (and by criminal I mean “mala in se,” not “malum prohibitum”) as a portion of the population, and that Kosovars are the worst of the worst.

  5. Jim August 7, 2014 at 11:08 am #

    Lawhobbit, Bardhyl333’s comment is apparently more aiming at conveying his sentiments than his ideas. And he actually does that fairly well as long as he is not being graded on coherence.

    The Albanians may not realize it but — I would have been as fiercely opposed to US military intervention to support the Serbs as I was opposed to US bombing to support the ethnic Albanians. Both sides in that conflict have committed atrocities and neither side deserved any propping up from the US government.

    It is not America’s war, and there was and is nothing that US intervention can do except to further empower groups that have already earned their ‘barbaric bona fides.’

  6. The Infamous Oregon Lawhobbit August 7, 2014 at 3:14 pm #

    Oh, it’s about FEELINGS rather than THINKING. Why didn’t you say so from the start? You know that lawyers have as little to do with feelings as possible, after all, thus my confusion.

    That said, I’m sure we can agree that coherence is at least to SOME degree important in communication, otherwise the communicator risks, among other things, losing the audience.

    I understand the statement to say – and I could be wrong – something along the lines of, “Jim Bovard is a poohead who’s a paid shill for the Serbians who make things like this up about the kind and gentle Albanian people who are the only real friends America has, and he should go to jail for lifting his leg on us like that!”

    But I only guess. And paraphrase. And flat out made up the part about “poohead,” but have no doubt the writer was feeling it.