Is the CIA murdering YU leaders?

IAC Condemns Bulatovic Assassination

Feb. 2000

The International Action Center condemns the murder of Yugoslav Defense Minister Pavle Bulatovic. The minister was gunned down in a Belgrade restaurant Feb. 7. The assassination was "part of a chain of organized terrorism orchestrated from abroad," Yugoslav Information Minister Goran Matic charged at a Feb. 9 press conference. It coincided with a new wave of terror against Serbs who have refused to leave their homes in the NATO-occupied province of Kosovo.

Over the past three years at least a dozen Yugoslav officials have been assassinated. Most were members of the Yugoslav United Left or the Serbian Socialist Party. Is this a CIA "executive action" campaign to destabilize the government of Yugoslavia?

Last October, at a session of the information committee of the United Yugoslav Left, Goran Matic had "warned that subversive and terrorist actions are being planned abroad in order to destabilize the country's political and economic system," the Yugoslav press agency Tanjug reported. He charged that Washington's policy would "increasingly rely on destructive and illegal activities ... relying on an existing network of secret agents."

During the US-NATO bombing of Yugoslavia last spring, US missiles destroyed the bedroom of Yugoslav President Slobodan Milosevic, and the Pentagon openly declared Yugoslav political leaders to be military targets. This was in brazen violation of the Geneva Convention, which prohibits political assassination. To set the stage for the bombing, the CIA-backed "Kosovo Liberation Army" murdered dozens of Kosovar Albanians, Serbs, Roma and others who opposed secession from Yugoslavia.

As well as being Yugoslavia's defense minister, Bulatovic was a leader of the Montenegro Socialist People's Party, which wants Montenegro to stay part of Yugoslavia. The US and NATO have been encouraging a separatist movement in Yugoslavia, as they did previously in Slovenia, Croatia. Bosnia and, most recently, Kosovo. The Pentagon has gone so far as to warn the Yugoslav government not to "interfere" in Montenegro's affairs. Montenegro has been a part of Yugoslavia since that country was founded.

From the 1961 murder of Congo President Patrice Lumumba through the repeated attempts on the life of Cuban leader Fidel Castro, from Operation Phoenix in Vietnam to the murder of tens of thousands of Latin Americans by CIA-supervised death squads, the CIA and Pentagon have long used assassination as an instrument of war and policy. The CIA overthrow of Salvador Allende's pro-socialist government in Chile in 1973 was preceded by a wave of political assassinations. Nor can we forget the FBI-CIA domestic assassination program—the COINTELPRO murders of members of the Black Panther Party, the American Indian Movement and other activist organizations in the '60s and '70s. There is evidence that Dr. Martin Luther King was among COINTELPRO's victims.

The corporate-owned major US news media have not even raised the question of a US hand in the assassinations in Yugoslavia. Ignoring the Yugoslav government's statements, they have implied the victims were involved in criminal activity—a classic "make 'em look dirty" means of blunting outrage-or insinuated the Yugoslav government itself had carried out the murders. The media made similar allegation about the January murder of anti-NATO Serb nationalist leader Zeljko Raznjatovic, popularly known as Arkan.

This is the same corporate news media that uncritically repeated wild and now disproven Pentagon allegations of mass murder by the Yugoslav army in Kosovo, claims used to justify last spring's undeclared war. They have refused to report non-government efforts to investigate NATO war crimes in Yugoslavia, such as the Independent Commission of Inquiry founded by former US Attorney General Ramsey Clark. They have completely censored any news of the recent US-orchestrated presidential coup in Ukraine, which threatens to bring US troops to Russia's border. This level of media complicity with the State Department and Pentagon has not been seen since the height of the Cold War in the 1950s.

The Bulatovic assassination and the new attacks on Serbs in Kosovo coincide with other bellicose moves by the US toward East Europe and the former USSR. The past few weeks have also seen a pro- NATO coup against Ukraine's parliament, the US Navy seizure of a Russian ship in the Persian Gulf and the State Department's declaration of support for anti-government forces in the former Soviet republic of Belarus. The Pentagon has also revived its "Star Wars" program and is planning NATO military exercises in July in Ukraine, Bulgaria and Estonia. For decades the Washington warmakers have dreamed of the military conquest of East Europe and what was once the Soviet Union. Now they appear to believe they can make this dream a reality. They must be stopped.

International Action Center
39 West 14th Street, Room 206
New York, NY 10011
email: iacenter@iacenter.org
website: http://www.iacenter.org
phone: 212 633-6646
fax: 212 633-2889

Original article