T.V. Weber & Alida Weber on Sat, 10 Jun 2000 03:27:00 +0200 (CEST)

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<nettime> "The wicked hem in the righteous, so that justice is perverted."

"The wicked hem in the righteous, so that justice is perverted."
(Hab. 1:4, New International Version)

Many of us were outraged, but none of us were surprised, to hear that
Carla del Ponte, Chief Prosecutor of the International Criminal Tribunal
for Yugoslavia (ICTY), finally announced her decision that there are no
grounds for the ICTY to open a war crimes probe of NATO's bombing of
Yugoslavia.  (See "No War Crimes Probe of NATO's Yugoslav Bombing,"
Reuters 6/2/00, by Anthony Goodman,
http://www.egroups.com/message/decani/29832?&start=29821 ).   After all,
the Clinton Administration and its supporters pays her bills, so they
get the best justice from her that money can buy. 

Del Ponte's flimsy rationalizations have been thoroughly refuted on many
occasions, most recently by Amnesty International (see News Release -
EUR 70/25/00 7 June 2000, "YUGOSLAVIA: NATO violations of the laws of
war during Operation Allied Force must be investigated,"
http://www.amnesty.org/news/2000/47002500.htm) and by Professor Raymond
K. Kent (see "An Open Letter to Carla Del Ponte,"
http://www.egroups.com/message/decani/29867?&start=29851).   And that's
not all.  The Russians have protested, the Chinese government has
demanded another investigation, and Yugoslav Minister of Information
Goran Matic has asked the U.N. Security Council to disband its "illegal,
illegitimate and biased" war crimes tribunal and sack Carla Del Ponte
without delay.  (See

It ought to be clear to everyone by now that the ICTY has nothing to do
with justice.  None--absolutely none--of the safeguards of due process
of law that Western civilization supposedly holds so dear are in effect
at the ICTY.  The "court" makes up its laws and its procedures as it
goes along.  There are no juries.  Witnesses for the prosecution can use
false names and give "testimony" without ever appearing in court.  Bail
is routinely denied.  Presumption of innocence exists in name only.
Hearsay, sealed indictments, and secret evidence for the prosecution are
in regular use.  And even when this "court" somehow manages to lose a
case, despite all of these unwarranted advantages, the prosecution is
allowed to appeal. 

As if all that were not enough, the prosecution recently set narrow
limits on the time and resources that the defense may spend on behalf of
any prisoner.  Bear in mind that the prosecution's budget is already,
for all practical purposes, unlimited.  It's as though the members of
this lynch mob can never feel satisfied that the decks are stacked
enough in their own favor.  They want to eliminate even the most
infinitesimal possibility that they could ever fail to make their case
against their latest prey, who are nearly always Serbs.  (See "UN
Tribunal Defence Lawyers Complain of Raw Deal," Reuters 4/29/00,

And then there's the matter of the recent capture of Dragan Nikolic, 43,
reportedly by bounty-hunters (in other words, judicial kidnappers)
operating illegally within the borders of FR Yugoslavia.  This episode
is beyond shameful. This poor soul apparently had no idea that there was
a sealed indictment against him--in fact, he had been one of the signers
of the Dayton Accords.  Nikolic's signature on that document irrefutably
proves what madness and folly it is even to consider negotiating, much
less signing any agreement, with the United States government or any of
its representatives, agents, or minions.  The U.S. has a long and truly
heinous record of double-crossing every one of its weaker and smaller
allies every time it gets a chance, but each new crop of victims somehow
imagines it will turn out differently for them.  Nikolic, and the
Bosnian Serbs, might as well have signed an agreement with the very
Devil himself--at least then they might have seen what they were getting
themselves into.

Recently, Carla Del Ponte had the effrontery to ask the Yugoslav
government for a visa to go there to gather material for her
"investigations."  Suppose the Yugoslav government had treated her in
much the same way as she has treated the Serbs.  Suppose they had issued
the requested visas, awaited her arrival, and then immediately arrested
her and her entire retinue as soon as they crossed the border.  With her
egregious misdeeds, how little difficulty would they have had in making
a solid case against her, even without cutting corners as she herself
always does?  But the Yugoslav government did no such thing--they simply
denied the visa.

That brings us to the point that we want to make.  Every part of the
world seems to have words and concepts that can help us to convey that
point.  To mention just a few, students of Eastern philosopy refer to
"karma," while Christians quote Jesus'  warning that "he who lives by
the sword shall perish by the sword."  Even self-absorbed modern
Americans know the phrase, "What goes around, comes around." 

Here's an example: when Eichmann was committing his heinous crimes, it's
unlikely that he ever imagined that Israeli agents would someday haul
him off to trial.  He probably never supposed that there would even be a
State of Israel, let alone that would apprehend him to be tried and
hanged fifteen years after the defeat of the Third Reich.  But it did
happen.  More recently, did Augusto Pinochet expect to be hauled up for
an extradition hearing in England, or to lose his parliamentary immunity
when he finally got back home? 

No matter how much ill-gotten power and influence Carla Del Ponte and
her predecessor, Louise Arbour (a/k/a "Madame Kangaroo"), currently
wield, they can't count on it lasting forever. We ourselves don't know
exactly how the world will change, but change it will.  New political
factions take office, immunities once granted are revoked,
long-suppressed facts come to light, and everything from public opinion
to the balance of power among nations shifts over time. 

Del Ponte and the rest of the ICTY lynch mob, take notice: you
yourselves are the criminals that you have accused so many others of
being.  You will spend the rest of your lives wondering, not if, but
when, the evil you have done to others will finally be your own undoing.

T.V. Weber & Alida Weber

P.O. Box 388164 Chicago, IL 60638-8164 U.S.A.


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