By Peter Phillips

 

In a recent interview Catharine Schutz, a former member of the defense team for Slobodan Milosevic before the International Criminal Tribunal for Yugoslavia (ICTY) from 2002 on, reinforces the veracity of stories in Project Censored’s 2000 yearbook regarding lies that that justified the war on Serbia.  Schultz states that, “The press was never interested in the content of the trial. When it became clear that the prosecutors couldn’t prove their allegations (against Milosevic), and, on the other hand, Milosevic could expose the arming of the Croatian and the Bosnian Muslim sides, and later the Kosovo-Albanian side, by Germany and the United States, the trial was hushed up….And Bo Adam of the Berliner Zeitung newspaper was told by local Albanians, that the “innocent Kosovars” at Racak were really combat deaths. http://cirqueminime.blogcollective.com/blog

In January 1999, casualties from a battle between KLA commandos and Serb police and army in Racak, Kosovo, were disguised as civilians, and Western politicians and media used the incident to promote anti-Serb propaganda leading to the war. This interview further validates two stories in the Censored 2000 yearbook— “The U.S. and NATO Deliberately Started the War with Yugoslavia” and “Evidence Indicates No Pre-war Genocide in Kosovo and Possible U.S./KLA Plot to Create Disinformation.” http://www.projectcensored.org/top-stories/articles/12-evidence-indicates-no-pre-war-genocide-in-kosovo-and-possible-plot-to-cr/ http://www.projectcensored.org/top-stories/articles/10-the-us-and-nato-deliberately-started-the-war-with-yugoslavia/, According to the New York Times, the “turning point” to NATO’s decision to go to war against Yugoslavia occurred on January 20, 1999 when U.S. diplomat William Walker led a group of news reporters to discover a so-called Serb massacre of some 45 Albanians in Racak, Kosovo. This story made international headlines and was later used to justify the NATO bombings. Project Censored exposed the lies regarding Racak, and over the years more information on Racak has been forthcoming proving false the spin that the incident was a Serb massacre

In 2,000 Project Censored was heavily criticized by former Sonoma State University administrator Dr. David Walls. In an article published in New Politics Vol. 9. No. 1 Walls wrote, “reliance on dubious sources and a lack of rigorous research and fact-checking have tarnished the project’s reputation as a media watchdog. On the subject of the former Yugoslavia, Project Censored, I sadly concluded, had departed the terrain of the democratic Left for a netherworld of conspiracy theorists, Marxist-Leninist sects, and apologists for authoritarian regimes.”

Author Mark Cook writes in Censored 2000, “Seldom has the power of mass media censorship been so graphically and frighteningly demonstrated as in the William Walker episode in Yugoslavia.

The Kosovo atrocity story Walker trumpeted in January 1999 was almost immediately discredited, not by a small political weekly somewhere, but by the leading newspapers in France. No matter—the discrediting was so completely suppressed in the United States that virtually no one could have heard of it. It was not as if anyone successfully answered the French journalists’ claims; practically nobody even tried. As with Orwell’s Ministry of Truth, it was found that the best way to kill the story was not to challenge it.

In contrast, Walker’s dubious Racak story was loudly and unquestioningly repeated and became the propaganda justification for the bombing war. “Racak transformed the West’s Balkan policy as singular events seldom do,” wrote the Washington Post on April 18, 1999. The same day, the New York Times called Racak “a turning point.”

Ironically, Walker had no credibility with the U.S. press corps. His role in El Salvador was so notorious that CBS’s 60 Minutes ran a segment on him twice. The second time was after the principal figure Walker was protecting, Salvadoran army chief of staff Rene Emilio Ponce, turned out to have been the main culprit in the 1989 Jesuit murders.”