Waco II -- Serbia
From: Gary Hunt at theOutpost of Freedom in Mesa, Arizona
Date: April 8, 1999
From the NATO press conference:
Joe Lockhart, White House Press Secretary, gave a press conference yesterday afternoon. A line of questioning that I thought quite interesting, in light of last night’s Outpost of Freedom, is as follows:
Q Does the United States know with certainty what happened to those 30,000 Kosovars that apparently disappeared from the border? What does it mean?
MR. LOCKHART: I can"t tell you with ultimate certainty, but what we believe has happened is the Serb authorities have closed the borders and have forced refugees to return into Kosovo. Exactly where, I can"t tell you.
Q That"s good, isn"t it? I mean, we were complaining that they were trying to force them out of Kosovo. If they allow them to return, aren"t we for that?
MR. LOCKHART: We have certainly noticed what has gone on and we have -- the ethnic cleansing that"s gone on that"s led to the 430,000 that we"ve talked about displaced people was a brutal act by Milosevic and the Serbs. I would not view, though, as necessarily good the fact that he"s now closed the border and is forcing people back in.
MR. LOCKHART: Because we know what he"s done to some of these people.
Q But aren"t these small gestures that he"s making?
MR. LOCKHART: I don"t necessarily view this as a small gesture at all. This is a regime that has gone in and brutally murdered thousands of people. This is a regime that has gone in and rampaged through towns, through extortion, murder, rape. These are all things that we know this regime has done and is capable of. And we don"t know what his plans are for these people, but we know what he"s done to them in the past, so I don"t know I"d look at this as a positive.
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So, yes, it is true. The government objected when the Albanians were forced out of Kosovo, and now, they have found means to object when they are retained in Kosovo. Now, who is to say whether Milosevic is being honest with his Unilateral Cease-fire, or not? Until there is evidence to the contrary, it would seem that sincere people would have a bit more faith than the government seems to have --- but, then, I’m not surprised.
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From Jamie Shea, "... displaced person population in the former Yugoslavian Republic of Macedonia is being looked after courtesy of NATO." Now, these are the very same displaced people who are crying and resisting as they are forced on to buses to be relocated, without any knowledge or consent from themselves. Courtesy of NATO? About as courteous as the bombs.
David Wilby, in addressing the targeting, said, "I would like to emphasis that all targets were of military significance." He, then, goes on to absolutely assure us that the damage in Pristina must have been caused by the Serbian Forces. The significance of this statement will soon be made apparent.
As in Waco, there were plants in the press conferences. They served two purposes. First, they would ask a superfluous questions whenever answers to other question led on a course in which the FBI would rather not go. The distraction, loss of thought and momentum seemed to effectively thwart some serious threads of questioning.
The other purpose was to assure that certain questions got asked, while attempting to make it appear that the answer was nothing more than an answer to a question, when, in fact, it was used to force a statement which might look bad if made without inducement.
One person in the audience asked, "Can you confirm reports that NATO will now be striking television and radio transmitters, antennae, etc.?" Without hesitation, Wilby replied, "Well, Serb radio and TV is an instrument of propaganda and repression. It has filled the airwaves with hate and lies, over the years. And, especially, now. It is, therefore, a legitimate target in this campaign."
He continued, "If President Milosevic will provide equal time for Western news broadcasts, in its program, without censorship, three hours a day between noon and 1800 and three hours a day between 1800 and midnight, then, his TV could become an acceptable instrument of public information."
Now, Wilby is about as good at thinking while standing as Conroy (BATF) was. So, Jamie Shea, not to let a political opportunity pass him by, and, concerned that the planned message might be misleading (appear to be an ultimatum), nearly interrupted Wilby when he said, "Let me add, if I may. Let me add to that, that also, many of the TV transmitters are integrated into command and control communication nodes for the Yugoslav Armed Forces. We have, therefore, been attacking those military targets."
I suppose that NATO wouldn’t want us to believe that they would destroy the television network just because they weren’t allowed FREE broadcast time. I just wonder if NATO would provide the same for Serbian news. But, then, wasn’t it NATO that wouldn’t admit to a downed F-117A Stealth – until Serbian TV showed us pictures of what could be nothing else?
The next question, proving a point, was, "Commodore [Wilby], you seem to expecting that question. Can we take it that that reply should be seen either as a thereat or a promise? That you will be bombing the television transmitters, UNLESS they allow three hours of Western television?" Wilby then suggested that the reply could be taken as a public announcement.
There were no less than three instances in which Shea had to clarify the matter, as he did on the strategic value of television transmitters. I wonder if this means that David Wilby’s term as a spokesman is just about over.
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