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2005.12.10. – Croatian Worldwide Association

…Dear
Ambassador Bolton, On behalf of the Croatian Worldwide Association,
we are deeply saddened and infuriated by the arrest of Croatian
General Ante Gotovina. We write requesting your help to secure
his Hague indictment be dropped and he be released immediately….This
begs the question: why is Del Ponte insisting on indicting
Croatian journalists for revealing information that is already
in the public domain? Moreover, who can she possibly be
"protecting" when the primary person-Mr. Mesic-she
is supposedly shielding is exposing his identity and the nature
of his entire testimony to the media? This brings us to the
ultimate question: why are tens of millions of U.S. taxpayer
dollars being used to support an unaccountable and anti-democratic
tribunal, whose goal was to prosecute mass murderers, but
under Del Ponte has become a vehicle to pursue her political
and personal agenda? Why is U.S. taxpayer money being used
to throw independent reporters in jail for the "crime"
of simply doing their job?………

 



December
9, 2005

Honorable John Bolton
U.S. Ambassador to the United Nations

 

Dear Ambassador Bolton,

On behalf of the Croatian
Worldwide Association, we are deeply saddened
and infuriated by the arrest of Croatian General Ante Gotovina.
We
write requesting your help to secure his Hague indictment be dropped
and he be released immediately.
The original purpose of the ICTY established in 1993 was to pursue
high-level war criminals in the hopes of securing meaningful justice
and reconciliation in the region-its mandate was never to abuse
its
power to jail independent journalists critical of ICTY Chief Prosecutor
Carla Del Ponte.
First, the journalist indictments. These indictments are absurd
for
several reasons: 1) They are an assault on basic press freedoms
and
Croatia’s democratic institutions; 2) Other reporters who are
pro-ICTY, pro-Del Ponte-such as those at the "Institute for
War and
Peace Reporting" or at the leftist Croatian daily, "Novi
List"-who revealed the exact same testimony and the identity
of the
"secret witness" in the Tihomir Blaskic case are not being
prosecuted. Hence, this is a case of selective prosecutorial abuse
of
authority, where Del Ponte’s enemies are being silenced and her
supporters are left alone.
Why is Del Ponte pursuing these journalists, all of whom have been
critics of the ICTY and her conduct as chief prosecutor, while other
pro-ICTY, pro-Del Ponte journalists are left alone? Does this not
raise
the public perception of a double standard and abuse of power emanating
from the Chief Prosecutor’s office?
Croatia’s President Stipe Mesic, the primary "secret witness"
that the Tribunal is allegedly trying to "protect," has
himself
publicly admitted that he was the secret witness. Mr. Mesic has
also
publicly revealed on numerous occasions the exact content of his
testimony. Therefore, Del Ponte is not "protecting" her
"secret" witness because Mr. Mesic has already gone public
with his
revelations. This begs the question: why is Del Ponte insisting
on
indicting Croatian journalists for revealing information that is
already in the public domain? Moreover, who can she possibly be
"protecting" when the primary person-Mr. Mesic-she is
supposedly shielding is exposing his identity and the nature of
his
entire testimony to the media?
This brings us to the ultimate question: why are tens of millions
of
U.S. taxpayer dollars being used to support an unaccountable and
anti-democratic tribunal, whose goal was to prosecute mass murderers,
but under Del Ponte has become a vehicle to pursue her political
and
personal agenda? Why is U.S. taxpayer money being used to throw
independent reporters in jail for the "crime" of simply
doing their
job?
In the wake of the U.N.’s Oil-for-Food scandal, where we now know
tens of billions of dollars were misused at the highest levels of
the
world body, and considering the fact that the ICTY is a U.N. court,
why
is the State Department so reluctant to investigate the allegations
against Del Ponte? The Oil-for-Food scandal reveals the pervasive
corruption, incompetence and abuse of power at the U.N. There has
been
a congressional investigation of the U.N. scandals. As a branch
of the
U.N., is it not time that the ICTY also be investigated and held
accountable for the same kind of incompetence, abuse of power and
corruption?
The State Department has recently discouraged Congress from
investigating the very serious allegations against Del Ponte. In
addition, the State Department is opening itself up to the charges
of
being involved in a cover-up. When the media and Congress begin
to shed
more light into Del Ponte’s abuse of power and prosecutorial
negligence, it will be asked why officials in the State Department
did
nothing when presented with this kind of overwhelming evidence.
That is
the question that needs to be answered.
Our second and emergency issue deals with Croatian General Ante
Gotovina who was indicted by Del Ponte in 2001. On November 10th,
Undersecretary Nicholas Burns, during his testimony to the Senate
Foreign Relations Committee, called General Gotovina a "despicable
war criminal."

It is deeply disturbing–and
frankly, scandalous–that the United
States State Department would continue to support such a blatant
judicial witch hunt and miscarriage of justice – the International
Tribunal for the Former Yugoslavia (ICTY). The world knows Karadzic
and
Mladic are guilty of heinous atrocities and mass murder; Gotovina
is a
hero whose actions helped to stop Milosevic’s genocidal project
of a
Greater Serbia. That is why Mladic and Karadzic should go to The
Hague,
while all charges against Gotovina should be dropped.

Yet the Gotovina indictment
is not simply about defending an innocent
man who is falsely accused. Again, as the media publications mentioned
above all stress: it seeks to rewrite the history of the Balkan
wars of
the 1990s, equalizing guilt on all sides instead of placing the
proper
blame where it belongs–Slobodan Milosevic and his rampaging Serb
marauders led by Karadzic and Mladic. General Gotovina’s leadership
of
Operation Storm, the 1995 Croatian lightening military offensive,
not
only restored Croatia’s territorial integrity and recaptured territory
that had been conquered and ethnically cleansed by rebel Serbs,
it also
saved tens of thousands of besieged Bosnian Muslim refugees in the
enclave of Bihac in northwestern Bosnia. Operation Storm brought
about
the decisive defeat of Slobodan Milosevic’s forces and paved the
way
for the Dayton Peace accords.

Hence, the man who brought
about the defeat of Milosevic’s campaign of
mass murder and ethnic cleansing–General Gotovina–is being compared
and linked by the ICTY to the principal perpetrators of genocide
in the
region–Karadzic and Mladic. Chief Prosecutor Carla Del Ponte is
trying
to turn white into black.

More importantly, by
seeking to equalize guilt, the Gotovina indictment
threatens the future stability of the Balkans. For by trying to
convict
General Gotovina for "command responsibility" over Operation
Storm, Del
Ponte’s actions are calling into question the moral and legal
legitimacy of the Croatian state within its current borders. The
Gotovina indictment, by falsely claiming that Operation Storm sought
to
deliberately ethnically cleanse 150,000 ethnic Serbs from Croatia,
provides Serbian revanchists with the moral and legal basis to reclaim
large swaths of Croatian territory in the future. In short, the
Gotovina indictment lays the groundwork for the resurgence of a
Greater
Serbia. If General Gotovina is sent to The Hague, where he will
be
certainly found guilty under the trumped up and bogus charges of
"command responsibility," it will result in a great victory
for
Milosevic’s allies and the supporters of a Great Serb empire from
the
Danube to the Adriatic. Serbia’s parliament in Belgrade has already
passed a binding resolution that claims the ICTY’s indictment of
Gotovina gives the Serbs the "political, legal and ethical"
basis to
"reclaim" one-third of Croatia’s territories. In other
words, Del
Ponte’s indictment of Gotovina is sheer madness. It threatens the
long-term security and stability not only of Croatia, but of the
Balkans in general.

Finally and most importantly,
the Gotovina indictment also threatens
the long-term national interests of the United States. It has been
well-documented and established that Operation Storm was an
American-backed offensive. The United States gave its full political,
military and intelligence support for the operation. If General
Gotovina is found guilty of "command responsibility" over
the
operation, it will inevitably lead to the ICTY investigating and
indicting senior U.S. military officials for having provided crucial
military and logistical assistance. Americans may find themselves
in
the dock as well. Several years ago, The Washington Times revealed
in a
front-page story that Del Ponte actually was seeking to indict Former
President Bill Clinton for his role in supporting Operation Storm.

Del Ponte’s office is
full of anti-American ideologues who have been
seeking to curtail and undercut U.S. foreign policy in Europe.
Moreover, we urge the United States Congress recognize the solider
who
led that operation, Croatian General Ante Gotovina, is pronounced
innocent.

The Gotovina indictment
is bad no matter how you look at it–morally,
legally, geopolitically. It’s bad for Croatia, the Balkans and
ultimately, the United States. That’s why we are hoping you will
take
this matter up and do whatever you can to demand that the Gotovina
indictment be dropped.

PLEASE RELEASE GENERAL
GOTOVINA FROM THE WRATH OF THE ICTY AND CARLA
DEL PONTE.

Thank you for your attention
and consideration. We look forward to
hearing from you.

Warm regards,
Jackie Prkic
President
ante@freegeneralgotovina.com
 
 

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