Kosovo: The US and the EU support a Political Process linked to Organized Crime.

Kosovo Prime Minister Hashim Thaci is part of a criminal syndicate

    Our orientations are clear. The building of the state of Kosova, economic development, economic and social well-being and rigorous measures against corruption, organized crime and negative behavior, so we can have improved security and integrate Kosova into European Union structures.
    (Hashim Thaci, chairman of the Democratic Party of Kosovo (PDK), Prime Minister of the Kosovo provisional government, former KLA leader and known criminal)

    The PDK, led by Hashim Thaci, former Kosovan Liberation Army commander, took control of many municipalities after the war. The party has close links with organized crime in the province.
    (The Observer, 29 October 2000)

    Mr. Thaci, nicknamed "the Snake" during his KLA days, is a sharp-suited 32-year-old former rebel commander with poor oratory skills, links to organized crime and a determination to preserve relations between his party and the United States
    (The Scotsman, 20 October 2000)

    I know a terrorist when I see one and these men are terrorists,"
    (US Special Envoy and Ambassador Robert Gelbard)

    "The KLA [formerly headed by Hashim Thaci] is tied in with every known Middle and Far Eastern drug cartel. Interpol, Europol, and nearly every European intelligence and counter-narcotics agency has files open on drug syndicates that lead right to the KLA,..."
    (Michael Levine former official of the US Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA))

    Hashim Thaci founded the "Drenica-Group" an underground organization that is estimated to have controlled between 10% and 15% of all criminal activities in Kosovo (smuggling arms, stolen cars, oil, cigarettes and prostitution).
    Wikipedia The Free Encyclopedia

The US, the EU and the UN are supporting a Kosovo government headed by a known criminal, Prime Minister Hashim Thaci.

The position of Prime Minister was created under the "Provisional Institutions of Self-Government (PISG)" established by the United Nations Interim Administration Mission in Kosovo (UNMIK)

Under UN mandate, the purpose of the provisional government was "to provide 'provisional, democratic self-government' in advance of a decision on the political status of Kosovo.

What this signifies is that the United Nations has not only set the stage for an "Independent" Kosovo government in violation of international law, it has also installed a Kosovo government integrated by the members of a criminal syndicate. All three Kosovo Prime Ministers, Ramush Haradinaj, Agim Ceku and Hashim Thaci are war criminals.

The Kosovo Democratic Party headed by former KLA Commander Hashim Thaci is essentially an outgrowth of the former Kosovo Liberation Army.

US-NATO covert support the KLA goes back to the mid-1990s. In the year preceding the 1999 bombing of Yugoslavia, the KLA was quite openly supported by the Clinton administration.

KLA leader Hashim Thaci was a protégé of Madeleine Albright. He was chosen by Albright to play a key role on Washington's behalf at the 1998 Rambouillet negotiations. .

The links of the KLA to organized crime have been documented by Interpol and the US Congress. The Washington Times in an article published in May 1999 describes the KLA and its links to the Clinton administration as follows:

    Some members of the Kosovo Liberation Army [headed by the current Kosovo Prime minister Hashim Thaci] , which has financed its war effort through the sale of heroin, were trained in terrorist camps run by international fugitive Osama bin Laden -- who is wanted in the 1998 bombing of two U.S. embassies in Africa that killed 224 persons, including 12 Americans.

    The KLA members, embraced by the Clinton administration in NATO's 41-day bombing campaign to bring Yugoslav President Slobodan Milosevic to the bargaining table, were trained in secret camps in Afghanistan, Bosnia-Herzegovina and elsewhere, according to newly obtained intelligence reports.

    The reports also show that the KLA has enlisted Islamic terrorists -- members of the Mujahideen --as soldiers in its ongoing conflict against Serbia, and that many already have been smuggled into Kosovo to join the fight. ....

    The intelligence reports document what is described as a "link" between bin Laden, the fugitive Saudi millionaire, and the KLA --including a common staging area in Tropoje, Albania, a center for Islamic terrorists. The reports said bin Laden's organization, known as al-Qaeda, has both trained and financially supported the KLA. (Washington Times, May 4, 1999, see complete article below)

The Christian Science Monitor in an August 14, 2000 report describes the criminal network controlled by Thaci:

    UN police suspect that much of the violence and intimidation has come from former KLA members, especially those allied with Hashim Thaci, the former KLA leader and head of the Democratic Party of Kosovo, one of the KLA's political offshoots.

    In one recent incident, the shop of an LDK activist in Mr. Thaci's home village was sprayed with automatic gunfire - the second such attack since November.

    Thaci's party potentially has much to lose in the elections, which are for municipal offices only. After Serb forces withdrew last year, the KLA occupied town halls and public institutions across Kosovo and set up its own provincial government.

    Although the UN has gradually asserted its own authority and placed representatives of other political groups in local governments, in places like Srbica ex-KLA members affiliated with Thaci's party still exercise virtual complete control.

    "These guys are not going to give up power that easily," says Dardan Gashi, a political analyst with the International Crisis Group, a US-based research organization with an office in Pristina.

    UN police also suspect organized crime is involved in some of the violence. They say that criminal groups engaged in racketeering, smuggling, and prostitution rely on close links to some people in power. The prospect of losing these connections - and the income they generate - may make them ill-disposed toward the LDK.

    Officials say the problem is the worst in the Drenica region of Kosovo, the KLA's heartland and a stronghold of Thaci's party. Srbica, where Koci is the local LDK president, is one of the main towns in Drenica. (emphasis added)

The Heritage Foundation: Support the KLA-KDP, despite its Criminal Connections

The Heritage Foundation in a May 1999 report acknowledges that the KLA is a criminal organization. It nonetheless called for the support of the KLA by the Clinton administration:

    Should the U.S. harness the KLA's military potential against Milosevic's brutal regime, despite the KLA's unusual ideological roots and apparent ties to organized crime? ... The KLA does not represent every group seeking an end to Milosevic's brutal campaign and is known to have committed some atrocities of its own, it is the most significant force resisting Yugoslav aggression within Kosovo. Moreover, the scale and scope of its crimes have been dwarfed by the systematic campaign of terror unleashed by Yugoslav military, paramilitary, and police forces inside Kosovo. which Washington has done consistently since the 1999 war. (Heritage Foundation Report, 13 May 1999)

    Shunning the KLA now will deprive the United States of the benefits of cooperating with a resistance force that is capable of ratcheting up the pressure on Milosevic to negotiate a settlement (Ibid)

The Heritage Foundation supports the Kosovo Democratic Party (KDP) which is integrated by former members of the KLA.

The KDP has retained its links to organised crime. This position of the Heritage Foundation broadly summarizes the attitude of the "international community" in relation to Kosovo. More recently, the Heritage Foundation, which plays a behind the scenes role in the formulation of US foreign policy, has been pushing for Kosovo "Independence"

The evidence amply confirms that the prime minister of Kosovo never severed his links to organized crime.

A known criminal is being protected by the United Nations: He was arrested in Budapest in July 2003 on an Interpol warrant and was immediately released, following a request from the UN Mission in Kosovo (UNMIK). This is not an isolated event. There is evidence that the UN Mission and its international police force have protected the former KLA, which in the wake of the 1999 NATO bombing was relabeled the Kosovo Protection Corps (KPC) under a formal UN mandate.

According to Serbian Justice Minister Vladan Batic, "the prosecution at the Hague war crimes tribunal has over 40,000 pages of evidence against former Kosovo Liberation Army leader Hashim Thaci, (quoted by Radio B92, Belgrade, 3 July 2003).

In April 2000, US Secretary of State Madeleine Albright "ordered The Hague chief prosecutor Carla del Ponte to omit from the list of war crime suspects Hashim Thaci" (Tanjug, 6 May 2000). Carla del Ponte subsequently claimed that there was not enough evidence to indict Thaci on war crimes. .

More generally, the UN Mission has acted as an accessory in protecting a criminal syndicate.

In November 2003, criminal proceedings against several former KLA commanders were initiated in Belgrade. These included Hashim Thaci, Agim Ceku and Ramush Haradinaj. .Both Haradinaj and Ceku's names are on Interpol lists.

Agim Ceku

Agim Ceku is known for having committed extensive war crimes in the Krajina region of Croatia in the mid-1990s involving the massacre and ethnic cleansing of the Serb population. He was a former brigadier general in the Croatian Army and a key planner of Operation Storm, which led to the expulsion of several hundred thousand Serbs from Krajina region of Croatia. In 1999, he was appointed Commander of the KLA, with the approval of the US and NATO. He was subsequently appointed Commander of the UN sponsored Kosovo Protection Corps (KPC) (on UN payroll) and became Prime Minister of Kosovo in 2006, succeeded by Hashim Thaci, the current Prime Minister In Kosovo, he continues to have links to organized crime syndicates. According to a London Observer, the KPC which was headed by Ceku, was involved in acts of torture as well protecting prostitution in Kosovo. (March 14, 2000 , Atlanta Journal-Constitution)

The Western Media: Disinformation concerning the Nature of the Kosovo government

The Kosovo government is tied into organized criminal syndicates involved in narcotics and human trafficking.

The fact that all three Kosovo Prime Ministers, Ramush Haradinaj, Agim Ceku and Hashim Thaci are war criminals has not been acknowledged in recent press reports regarding the Independence of Kosovo.

The EU and the US are supporting the criminalization of Kosovo politics.

Michel Chossudovsky is the author of the international best America's "War on Terrorism" Second Edition, Global Research, 2005. He is Professor of Economics at the University of Ottawa and Director of the Center for Research on Globalization.

[Source: Michel Chossudovsky, Centre for Research on Globalization, 12Feb10].

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The Question of Kosovo
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