"Impartial or Imperial court at the Hague"
Just another scandal: Dead men walking!
By Petar Makara
The Wrong Turn PART 1
Most of us have made a wrong turn on a road. For three Serbs who made a wrong turn on a road close to Sarajevo, the mistake brought a fundamental, catastrophic change to their lives. It meant torture, unbelievable world-wide humiliation, horror. A hopeless life in jail spent in the hands of a merciless enemy.
On November 11, 1992, Sretko Damjanovic, 31, and his wife Nada Tomic, 46, were traveling in their Volkswagen Golf with their friend Borislav Herak, 21, in the divided city of Sarajevo. The civil war had already been ragging around the city for at least seven months.
In their secessionist demand to form a separate country and control the whole of Bosnia Izetbegovic's fundamentalists seemed quite unreasonable. The Muslims who were ruling class during four centuries of Turkish occupation never inhabited, as majority population, more than 15% of the territory of Bosnia. Those were then the only territories they could control militarily. In all of those they found themselves surrounded - under siege. Their war against the Bosnian Serbs would have been hopeless was it not for their Western guarantors who put intense diplomatic and military pressure on their behalf.
As the war ragged around them, the Serbian trio was traveling from one Serb-held suburb of Sarajevo to another, from Vogosce to Ilidza. After making the wrong turn they stumbled into a Muslim separatists' check point and were arrested on the spot. To make things worse, Mr. Herak and Mr. Damjanovic, were wearing Yugoslav military uniforms.
What a treat for the Islamist rulers of Sarajevo - not just Serbs - but Serbs in uniform! The prey seemed to be heaven-sent. The Muslim government desperately needed a scapegoat for the suffering endured by their population. Someone had to be blamed for the siege.
Two weeks after their fatal turn, the world had not yet heard of Herak and Damjanovic, but behind the scenes an amazing propaganda campaign was being prepared. On November 26, 1992, the London "Evening Standard" was the first to show a photograph of Mr. Herak. The photograph was subtitled:
Serbian soldier Borislav Herak, 21, is held at gunpoint in a Bosnian army jail in Sarajevo. He is accused of killing 29 Moslems.
The next day all hell broke loose, as hundreds of Western newspapers and TV stations reported on Mr. Herak who, with Mr. Damjanovic, were soon to become the personification of cruelty. The news reports contained accusations horrible enough to boil the reader's blood.
And the reports had the intended effect.
The point of the propaganda campaign was to tarnish an entire people, the Serbs; to present them as mindless beasts, perpetrators of mass murder and mass rape. The goal was to make them worse than the Nazis themselves. The very top of the Bosnian Serb leadership was to be blamed. Supposedly they planned, they orchestrated, they ordered the carnage.
To simply quote here what the Western press was writing would only add to the astonishing injustice the propaganda accomplished. Instead, for a moment, let's turn the clock forward.
No witnesses and no bodies
More than THREE YEARS latter, on January 31, 1996, after the propaganda hoopla had receded and the damage was done, the Houston Chronicle, in a barely-noticed statement, on page 10, managed to utter the simple admission:
There are no witnesses to the killings Herak is said to have committed and no bodies of those thought dead have been recovered.
NO WITNESSES AND NO BODIES! In other words there was NO MATERIAL EVIDENCE. Indeed, no material evidence at all. It was all hearsay. A cruel fairy tale.
Still, the Western press did not want to dull the thunder of the anti-Serb propaganda. The New York Times did manage to acknowledge (on page 6):
The Bosnian Government has no witnesses to the killings and has recovered no bodies.
But this damning fact appeared deeply imbedded in a text with the accusatory title: "Symbol of Inhumanity in Bosnia Now Says 'Not Me' ."
The referenced "Symbol of Inhumanity" was Mr. Herak. Now, more than three years later, the New York Times, the media outlet that was instrumental during the 1992 anti-Serb propaganda campaign, admited there were no witnesses and no bodies. In 1992, they published all of the damning speculations about Herak. Now, when it did not matter any more, they could managa a single sentence, though it had to be followed by an obligatory "but":
But Mr. Herak and Mr. Damjanovic were seen at several detention camps by inmates who were later traded in prisoner exchanges...
Hearsay defended with more hearsay. They were SEEN by some unnamed inmates? Even if the inmates had been quoted, which they were not, their claims had to be regarded skeptically, given their adversarial bias against the Serbs.
As we shall see, despite stubborn bias of the Western media, the entire structure of lies against Mr. Herak and Mr. Damjanovic collapsed in a miserable scandal a year after no-witnesses-no-bodies revelation. But first, let's examine the initial case against Herak and Damjanovic.
To murder a little girl
Back to November 27, 1992. On that day the story of "genocidal Serbs" exploded - front page - everywhere in the West. The New York Times presented John F. Burns' Special Report on page A1, the front page, under the headline: A Killer Tale - A Serbian Fighter's Path of Brutality
In the very first sentence of his Special Report Mr. Burns said:
What Borislav Herak remembers most vividly about the sunny morning in late June when he and two companions gunned down 10 members of a Muslim family is the small girl, about 10 years old, who tried to hide behind her grandmother as the three Serbian nationalist soldiers opened fire from a distance of about 10 paces.
"We told them not to be afraid, we wouldn't do anything to them, they should just stand in front of the wall," said Mr. Herak, who is 21 years old.
"But it was taken for granted among us that they should be killed. So when somebody said, 'Shoot,' I swung around and pulled the trigger, three times, on automatic fire. I remember the little girl with the red dress hiding behind her granny."
Shocking, isn't it? No little girl should be killed, in any war. Let alone this way. But why should this account by a prisoner of war - even when printed by a reporter from a reputable newspaper - be taken at face value? When a captured American pilot was shown on Iraqi TV, it seemed natural for the American media to immediately deny anything he may have said. Of course, he was in enemy hands. He was forced to say whatever they wanted him to say.
But the Western media effortlessly assumed a double standard with respect to Herak: what applies to an American prisoner of war does not apply to a Serbian prisoner of war.
As far as we know, the little girl in Burn's story was never named. Such details are unimportant in creative journalism. Nevertheless, fictional reports like these were instrumental in shaping the public consent for subsequent Western involvement in the Balkans. When three year old Serbian girl Milica Rakic was murdered by NATO planes in their "humanitarian" bombing of Belgrade on April 18, 1999, her name was never mentioned in the Western press. Her death was not worth printing in the New York Times. She was a Serb and after press' demonization of people, any disaster that befell the Serbs seemed justified. Little Milica was only a collateral damage in a humanitarian mission.
But John F. Burns was not satisfied with dramatizing the murder of an imaginary girl. His Special Report seem to be competing with itself in gore:
In another incident with multiple victims, in July, Mr. Herak said, he saw 30 men from Donja Bioca, a Muslim village three miles northwest of Vogosca, shot and incinerated in a furnace at a steel plant at Ilijas, a town north of Vogosca.
Some of the men were alive when they were thrown into the furnace, he said.
Just to be sure the reader would notice it, this vignette had a subtitle: "Bodies in a Furnace."
Ah, the furnace! What Nazi would operate without a furnace? This fabrication was obviously intended to target the Jewish audience. Predictably, the Jewish community was outraged and energized by the Burn's report and soon played an important role in the orchestrated Serb-bashing. This is a crime, given the basic history of WWII.
It is common knowledge that the Serbian people suffered terribly at hands of Croat and Muslim Nazis (known as Ustasha) during WWII. Even the matter-of-fact research in the Britannica (Macropedia section, under Yugoslavia, WWII, editions 1971 to 1987) felt the need for a bit of emotion when describing the plight of the Serbs:
Armed resistance to the [Ustasha/Nazi] occupation began in BOSNIA, and there the Croatian fascists began a massacre of SERBS WHICH, IN THE WHOLE ANNALS OF WORLD WAR II, WAS SURPASSED FOR SAVAGERY ONLY BY THE MASS EXTERMINATION OF POLISH JEWS.
Moreover, the suffering of Serbs, as documented in countless Western books on the WWII Holocaust, is always tied to the slaughter of Jews and Roma (Gypsies). Such books rutinely use the phrase "Serbs and Jews" when talking about the mass slaughter. The countryside of the former Yugoslavia (Croatia and Bosnia in particular) is littered with common graves of Serbs, Jews and Gypsies.
When one people have suffered so much at the hands of the Nazis, as the Serbs did, one should be particularly cautious about comparing them to Nazis. When the press tailors its anti-Serb propaganda to the fears of the Jewish community in order to turn them against the Serbs - the other victim of the holocaust - it is not only irresponsible journalism it is an appalling crime.
As far as we know, John F. Burns has never repeated his charges that Serbs burned live people in a furnace. Indeed, the charges were never repeated by anyone. The front page story was for one-time use.
Back to Mr. Burns' "Special report." More gore:
[I]n early June, Mr. Herak said, he watched a Serbian unit called the "special investigation group" machine-gunning 120 men, women and children in a field outside Vogosca.
Mr. Herak said dump trucks had been used to transport the bodies to scrub land beside a railway yard at Rajlovac, near Sarajevo, where the bodies were piled in an open pit, doused with gasoline and set afire.
Of course, when the no-witnesses-and-no-bodies reality was revealed in 1996 all of Bosnia was under NATO occupation. Yet despite all the digging, no bodies and no human ashes were ever found to substantiate Herak's alleged confession. None. Ever.
Mr. Burns attempted to extrapolate from the Herak stories to generalizations on the entire civil war in Bosnia:
Although Mr. Herak's experiences were limited to a 10-mile stretch of territory immediately north of Sarajevo, his account offered new insights into the ways that tens of thousands of civilian victims of the war have died...
Indeed, Burns made sure that the Serb leadership was implicated:
In effect, Mr. Herak's story was the first account given by a perpetrator to outsiders of how the Serbian nationalist forces have carried out "ethnic cleansing."
This is the policy under which Serbian leaders seeking to carve out much of Bosnia and Herzegovina for an exclusive Serbian enclave have sanctioned the killing of large numbers of Bosnian Muslims and Croats and their forcible eviction from their towns and villages.
Let us say here that for the last hundred years, all Western maps that displayed the disposition of ethnic groups in Bosnia clearly show Serbs as being majority population in well over half of Bosnia. The Serbs wanted to carve out nothing. If Islamic separatists wanted an Islamic state under their own control, the Serbs did not want to be any part of it. They wanted to stay loyal to the mother country - to multiethnic Yugoslavia.
As far as the notion of ethnic cleansing is concerned, again without boring you with excessive historical detail, here is one reference to the most infamous twentieth century application of that concept:
Encyclopedia of the Holocaust, Vol 1, page 323, entry: Croatia, quote:
Croatia... established during WWII, that was in existence from April 1941 to May 1945. Its area... consisted of what are today the Federative Republic of Croatia and the Federative Republic of BOSNIA and Herzegovina...
... Shortly after taking control, the [Croat/Muslim Nazis known as] Ustasha, with the support of many Croats, EMBARKED UPON WHAT IT CALLED "THE PURGE OF CROATIA FROM FOREIGN ELEMENTS," which had as its MAIN purpose the ELIMINATION OF THE SERB MINORITY.
In a BRUTAL TERROR CAMPAIGN, more than half a million Serbs were killed, a quarter of a million expelled, and 200,000 forced to convert to Catholicism.
The Ustasha regime in Croatia, and particularly this drive in the summer of 1941 to EXTERMINATE AND DISPOSSESS THE SERBS, WAS ONE OF THE MOST HORRENDOUS EPISODES OF WORLD WAR II !!!
THE MURDER METHODS APPLIED BY THE USTASHA WERE EXTRAORDINARILY PRIMITIVE AND SADISTIC: thousands were hurled from mountain tops, other were beaten to death or their throats cut, entire villages were burned down, WOMEN RAPED, people sent to death marches in the middle of winter, and still others starved to death.
Did you notice who was a target of this very real ethnic cleansing? The Serbs. Does it not explain a bit how the Serbs slipped from being the largest ethnic group in Bosnia before WWII to a slight minority in these days? It is particularly disturbing to see the distortions of historical fact - in a quite Orwellian fashion - that labels the Serbs ethnic cleansers.
During the same the decade of 1991-2000, while the Serbs were being blamed for ethnic cleansing as if they had invented it, huge swaths of lands in the former Yugoslavia, that had been populated for centuries by an overwhelming Serb majority, were made Serb free.
For example, in August 1995, NATO and its neo-Nazi Croat proxies cleansed, all the resident Serbs from one third of Croatia. That land was known in history books as "Military Frontier" (or Krajina). The Serbs had settled there, at invitation of the Habsburg emperor in 1578, decades before the "Mayflower" sailed in 1620 to the American shores.
The cleansing of the Serbs was preceded by Western propaganda campaigns, where, again in Orwellian fashion, the Serb residents of Krajina were called aggressors, land-grabbers, even conquerors. What is happening to the English language if people who were the overwhelming majority population for at least four centuries can be called conquerors on the land of their birth?
Such appalling distortion of fact should be insulting not only to Serbs, but to anyone decent.
After expulsion of the Serbs from the Krajina, NATO ethnically cleansed the Serbs from one half of Bosnia and from entire Serbian province of Kosovo.
Mr. Burns' article was instrumental in the shameless propaganda effort to tie the term "ethnic cleansing" to the Serbian people. Here is how he did it:
Mr. Herak, his head shaven by his captors, frequently used the Serbo-Croatian word "ciscenje," meaning cleansing, to describe his activities as a Serbian fighter...
Referring to the killing of the Muslim family at Ahatovici, for instance, he said Serbian commanders had described the Serbian operation in the village as "ciscenje prostora," or the cleansing of the region...
True - "ciscenje" means cleaning and "prostor" means space, or region, but when combined into the phrase "ciscenje prostora," the words have an easy and standard English translation, meaning "mop up operation." There is no other Serbo-Croatian phrase for this common military term. There is no "ethnic" in "ciscenje prostora." There were many mop up operations in the Bosnian war, but no Serbian leader ever ordered "ethnic cleansing". Yet here is Mr. Burns to place such a spin on the words of Mr. Herak, the prisoner of war.
It does not add up
Why should we believe Mr. Burns? Just because he was one of select Western journalists the Muslim jailers allowed to visit Mr. Herak?
Mr. Burns writes:
As he tells his rambling story now, in a room with potted plants at the Viktor Buban military prison here, Mr. Herak stands up from his steel chair, shuffles into the open part of the room in his green field jacket and laceless black army boots...
Rambling indeed. The numbers of people Mr. Herak admits killing and the number of people he claims to have seen other Serbs executing kept changing from interview to interview over time. The number of 120 men, women and children supposedly machine-gunned outside Vogosca was mentioned in Mr. Burns' original article but not repeated again. The same day, David Crary, of Associated Press, another interviewer a competitor to Mr. Burns, writes an article titled "Serb Soldier Tells of Slaughtering 20 After Hate-Mongering Training." He says:
[Mr. Herak] told how his unit gunned down 150 people, mostly women and children, in the village of Semizovac.
The 150 victims of Semizovac were never mentioned again. During trial, Los Angeles Times reported on March 14, 1993, that Mr. Herak talked about 150 villagers killed. But now it was not in Semizovac but in Ahatovici:
Herak said he later was sent with some soldiers from Serbia to the village of Ahatovici, near Sarajevo, with orders "to kill everybody and burn everything down."
He said about 150 villagers, including many children, were herded together and shot at close range with a machine gun. Some were still alive when they were dumped into a mass grave.
Nice touch - the "soldiers from Serbia." These words are to claim aggression by the Republic of Serbia against Bosnia.
Most Western articles agree that, in total, Mr. Herak had seen some 220 executions. It does not matter that it does not add up across the articles.
The number of murders and rapes Mr. Herak supposedly committed himself also changes. As you saw above it have started with Mr. Herak confessing to 20 murders...
The Associated Press, March 12, 1993:
The principal defendant, Borislav Herak, is charged with raping at least 12 women and murdering 30 war prisoners and civilians...
The same day, March 12, 1993, United Press International:
The prosecutor... was charging Herak with 32 murders and 16 rapes, 12 of which also were supposedly murders.
Two days later, March 14, 1993, the New York Times:
Mr. Herak,... is accused of 35 killings...
When one admits and volunteers gruesome stories presenting himself as a mass murderer then numbers may not mean much. The captors must have kept the record of ever multiplying stories so, by March 1997, the New York Times, page A3, says:
Mr. Herak confessed to a series of war crimes that included 42 individual killings, and 16 rapes that were followed by the killing of 11 of the women. He said he also witnessed the killing of 220 civilians during Serbian campaigns of ethnic cleansing.
So from 20 confessed murders, Mr. Herak had progressed to 42.
One look into Mr. Herak's mind
Forget the numbers. It is the story that sells. Back to the huge and pivotal propaganda article of Mr. Burns (NYT, November 27, 1992, page A1):
Almost immediately, [after being captured] Mr. Herak began telling investigators of his gruesome experiences as a Serbian fighter, including one incident in which he used a six-inch hunting knife to cut the throats of three captured Muslim men who were Bosnian soldiers...
He described details of the killings without any apparent emotion... [We have cut out the gruesome details from Mr. Burns' article.]
[H]is account was offered in a matter-of-fact manner, and always with a keen attention to detail. As he shifted between one killing and another, and between rapes, the young Serb gave the names of many of his victims. He described where they were killed, what they were wearing, and what they said immediately before they died...
It is quite puzzling this avelange of self-accusation. Is Mr. Herak so stupid as not to understand that the gruesome self-accusation would bring him nothing but a certain death sentence? Here is what Mr. Burns saw when trying to peek into the dark corners of Mr. Herak's mind (the same article: NYT, November 27, 1992):
Now, under Article 41 of the old Yugoslav criminal code, he [Mr. Herak] faces death by firing squad for offenses that include genocide, mass murder, rape and looting. His trial, expected to begin next month, could make him the first person to be executed legally for crimes committed in Europe's most brutal conflict since 1945.
Mr. Burns continued:
Throughout much of his account, which was given partly in the presence of prison officials and partly with nobody from the Bosnian Government or Army present, Mr. Herak appeared almost nonchalant...
Is something wrong, seriously wrong, with this man? (Ibid):
[E]ven the threat of execution seemed not to hold his attention for long. "I am sure that I am guilty, and even if I am sorry, I will be executed," he said at one point. "They will stand me in front of a wall and shoot me."
Later, he said he would like to be exchanged for Muslim prisoners held by the Serbian forces. On another occasion, he suggested that he should be freed to fight on the Bosnian [Muslim] side.
"I don't suppose that's possible," he said. "But if it's possible, I'd like it."
In the same date report (November 27, 1992), Associated Press writer David Crary tells us that Mr Herak told him:
"For what I did, the only thing they can do is shoot me. Even if they sentenced me to 20 years in jail, I would ask to be shot."
So, in the same day, Mr. Herak wanted to be exchanged, shot and to fight on the Muslim side.
For now, it will seem unrelated, but let us quote a bit more from Mr. Crary's article:
A few days ago, [Mr. Herak] received a visitor... It was his father, who looked at him, said nothing, then left.
In Mr. Burns' article Borislav Herak's father seemed much more talkative:
Among those who appear satisfied that Mr. Herak is telling the truth [sic!] is his father, Sretko Herak,... who is one of... Serbs who have remained in Sarajevo [under Muslim control] during the siege.
Milica Herak, his wife,... was visiting Belgrade, the Serbian capital,... in April, and Borislav Herak's decision in late May to flee across a bridge in central Sarajevo into the Serbian-held district of Vraca left the older Mr. Herak, who is 55, alone.
When this reporter arrived at the two-story home in the Pofalici district, Sretko Herak invited him in, then quickly burst into tears.
Referring to a tape-recorded confession by his son played on Sarajevo television on Tuesday night, Mr. Herak said: "I could see that he was frightened, but I believe he was telling the truth. Now I am ashamed to look people in the face because my son has thrown dirt on his family..."
Sretko Herak said: "I would be happier if he had simply killed me, and gone to prison for it. Now, I am alive and tortured by what my boy has done to innocent people."
Let us not play amateur psychiatrist and try to understand the family dynamics here. The most important point is that captive soldier's father was in the hands of the Muslim enemy too.
Trained on the pigs
The reporters' exaggeration becomes more obvious as the gory details are presented again and again. The exaggerations get to be almost funny. But the reader's mind becomes too numb by horror to notice.
Let us get back once again to Mr. Burns' November 27, 1992 article:
Mr. Herak also recounted being taken to a small farm outside Vogosca... and shown... how to wrestle pigs to the ground, hold their heads back with their ears and cut their throats.
Days later, Mr. Herak said, he used what he described as "this skill" to cut the throats of three Muslim men captured fighting for the Bosnian Army near Donja Bioca, the village outside Vogosca.
We will skip here the detailed York Times account of how he was supposedly slaughtering those imagined Muslim men.
Trained on the pigs!? Idiotic. And expensive. Are other soldiers, let us say American ones, trained in the "art" of murder? Quite probably yes. Such is the "job." Were they trained on pigs? Not likely. So, what is the purpose for such tales? Was it to sneak the notion that these ugly racists known as Serbs do not distinguish between pigs and Muslims? What else would they print in the democratic press?
But do not be fooled. For this job Mr. John F. Burns got no less than a Pulitzer prize! The article we are talking about went round the globe and was reprinted a few times. For example, The Houston Chronicle printed it on the same day. The London's Guardian, on December 3rd, 1992, etc. In the Guardian the title was: "Slaughter in the name of Serbia!"
Competition in Serb-bashing
Mr. Burns was not without competition for that Pulitzer prize. As mentioned above Mr. David Crary of the Associated Press was also interviewing Mr. Herak at the Muslims army jail. He also mentions pigs. He also had a story about how Mr. Herak was thought to hate Muslims by the Serb authorities:
The hate stories were constant, he said - the Muslims... threw Serb babies to lions in the zoo.
It is a bit too much, wouldn't you say? Even if coming from primitive people like Serbs. This story was, as we know, repeated only once, and that in the Irish Times, on September 15, 1995 during NATO's deliberate bombing of one party in the civil war - the Serbs. The operation was nicknamed - "Deliberate Force." Then, maybe, it was again time to recycle Serb-bashing and say few more nasty things against the Serbs. Then it turned out that the story of Serbian children and zoo was not a story at all - it was a tape. Quote from Irish Times:
They [the Bosnian Serb Army, Herak included] were shown propaganda films by the Bosnian Serb army. One which he saw maintained that Bosnians were feeding Serb children to the lion in Sarajevo zoo.
While Mr. Burns was harping on the Serbian motives in becoming slaughter machines, Mr. David Crary in his long article never mentioned that Muslims may have some motives in the war. Mr. Crary's mistake was to mention this in his article of November 27, 1992:
For propaganda purposes, Bosnian officials make prisoners available for interviews. Prisoners say they are speaking freely, but it was impossible to determine if they have been pressured.
Mr. Burns tried to avoid the mistake of casting doubt on our allies, the Bosnian (i.e. Muslim) officials:
Asked repeatedly if he had been put under pressure to talk, or promised a lighter sentence or relief from harsh treatment for confessing, [Mr. Herak] said he had not.
At one point, when this reporter asked to see his upper body, he pulled up his shirt to show that he had not been bruised.
Immediately he slips in adding:
But he appeared deeply frightened, and asked after one long session if a visitor would seek the prison governor's assurance that the guards, mostly Muslims, would not beat him once he had finished telling his story. The governor, Besim Muderizovic [a Muslim], gave assurances that he would not be harmed.
Why in the world would Mr. Herak be harmed when he had said everything the Islamic fundamentalist ears wanted to hear? He said everything that "neutral" reporter from NATO country could and did gladly print.
Obviously, the Muslim officials presented only the prisoners who were willing to say whatever they were told, so they would be allowed to live one more day. We should also remember this detail that Mr. Burns asked Mr. Herak to take of shirt. How did Mr. Burns get the idea? Why did Mr. Burns not interview Mr. Damjanovic, the other Serbian soldier captured with Mr. Herak? He obviously knows about him and mentions him in the article. Why didn't he ask Mr. Damjanovic to pull up his shirt? We will get answers to all those questions.
Obviously Mr. Damjanovic was not nearly as compliant as Mr. Herak. Mr. Burns says:
After investigators confronted him with statements by Mr. Herak... implicating him in the Ahatovici killings, Mr. Damjanovic is said to have replied: "Is that what he said? If you put me in a cell with him, I'll kill him."
Actually, as we will see later, Mr. Damjanovic and his wife Nada Tomic, together with Mr. Herak, have all signed statements, in front of their Muslim "investigators." All three texts were supposedly consistent with each other. Not a difficult thing to do. But two weeks after the trio was caught, Mr. Burns and other Western reporters were left with only Mr. Herak to interview.
Well, in time, we will also see that the methods of "investigation" were a bit medieval. In medieval times actually the term "inquisition" was preferred over the term "investigation."
The mass rape!
Mr. Burns' article has all the elements needed to present the Serbs as Nazis. There is mass-murder, a whole family slaughtered, ethnic cleansing, even a furnace. In copying the Nazi style Mr. Herak was supposedly ordered to kill some Muslims simply because they "were working poorly." For others there was no food to feed them... All of this is your regular every-day life in some German Nazi concentration camp of WWII. The supposed murders described by Mr. Herak were readily printed by Mr. Burns, in all the gory details. The only excuse Mr. Herak offered was a standard Nuremberg Nazi excuse - he was ordered to do it.
Despite it all, it seems that it was not enough for the Western propaganda machine that Serbs should be simply equated with the Germans of WWII. The Serbs had to be painted as worse than Nazis. This is how mass rape was invented. It is out of scope of this analysis but the mass-rape propaganda was proven to be just another anti-Serb propaganda hoax.
But here we had a Serb ready to talk and he have given his own contribution to the mass-rape propaganda campaign. We will again skip the gory details and quote only parts of Mr. Burns' article (the same Pulitzer winning article of November 27, 1992):
Mr. Herak said the "commander" of the prison for Muslim women established in the motel was a Serbian fighter...
[The commander] had established "a system" for the Serbian fighters raping and killing the women. "It was always the same," Mr. Herak said, describing how he and his companions were encouraged to go to the motel by Serbian commanders who told them that raping Muslim women was "good for raising the fighters' morale."
Mr. Herak even gave some names, first names:
Mr. Herak identified the women he had attacked -- Emina, Sabina, Amela and Fatima among others, the youngest of them teen-agers, the oldest about 35 -- and... the "prison commander," had told them: "You can do with the women what you like. You can take them away from here -- we don't have enough food for them anyway -- and don't bring them back."
Mr. Herak said this was understood to mean that the women should be killed. He described how he and a companion had attacked Fatima...
By the way names like Emina, Fatima and Sabina are among the most frequent names for Bosnian Muslim women. But what a beautiful way to attract yet another Western activist group to the anti-Serb lynch mob. Here, obviously the group targeted by the propaganda was women activists.
Here is more from the same Burns article:
He said that he went to the motel once every three or four days, and that although Serbian fighters routinely took the women they raped away and killed them, there were always more women arriving. "It was never a problem," he said. "You just picked up a key and went to a room."
Mr. Herak's account of the rapes was among the tape-recorded sequences shown on Sarajevo television.
Makes you scream, doesn't it? Who cares a damn whether there is ANY truth to it. Hey, the reputable New York Times has printed it. Front page. They would not dare lie to such a degree. Right?
The story of mass rapes was repeated so many times by so many different (reputable) Western newspapers that it simply had to be truth. Right?
Why did we say - Never again!? Was it not Hitler's Minister of Propaganda Mr. Goebbels who said that if you repeat a lie s sufficient number of times it becomes a truth. A Big Lie has a better chance according to his master:
"The broad mass of people... falls victim to a Big Lie more easily than to a small one"
(Hitler, "Mein Kampf," Vol I, ch. 10).
Western women are not heartless. The Big Lie eventually worked. Still, in late 1992 the New York Times editors felt that the story needed additional boost. Ten days after Mr. Burns' article was published, on December 7, 1992, the editorial page of the magazine said (page A18):
Although those Muslim women who shored up the spirits of Mr. Herak and his companions are now dead, many others survived. Thousands of them,... are crammed into refugee camps and hotels in Croatia.
Some are pregnant, and all have suffered physical and emotional battering. Treating their physical injuries is difficult enough in an area swamped with refugees; treating their psychological damage is out of the question. "No one here cares about the women," said Biljana Kasic, a Zagreb feminist and political scientist. "There is no social consciousness on this issue."
Ms. Kasic's group, the Autonomous Women's House, has asked for a revision of the Geneva Convention to designate rape as a war crime. Meanwhile, the Bosnian battles continue, and so does the "morale-raising."
The invitation to Western women organizations to join the anti-Serb crusade is clear and open.
The Wrong Turn Part 2
A chapter from future book: "Impartial or Imperial court at the Hague"
Just another scandal: Dead men walking! (Part 2)
By Petar Makara
The show trial
Anti-Serb propaganda campaigns went, for years, one after the other in relentless waves. Among the propaganda images presented in Western newspapers and on the Western TV were Serbian "concentration camps", Serbian "rape camps", Serbian mass murder and ethnic cleansing. Herak (and Damjanovic) case was prominent in that process.
Some three and half months after the Herak stories were printed in November 1992, it was time for a trial. It was time to rehash some of the stories, repeat some of the lies. In any case, the demonization of the Serbs had already been achieved by that time, as the picture of Serbs as bestial monsters was firmly set in the minds of the avid Western consumers of the media horror stories.
The intention of the Western public brain-washers was exactly to saturate mind of a common person with irrational hatred. Prepared this way the Western mind can watch, with ease, as the actual victim is put through otherwise appaling and unbareable pain and injustice. The implanted hatred works as a blind and as an anestezia. Common person is unable to recognize the obvious and blunt injustice perpetrated right in front of his or her own eyes.
There are two victims to this process: one is abused in front of the cameras while the other is sitting at home, in front of TV, watching and actually aproving the injustice perpetrated.
The televised Sarajevo court process against Herak and Damjanovic was illustration of such injustice. Only a very careful reading of multiple sources would provide one with a fuller picture.
This was a military court consisting of five judges and no jury. The motive of the prosecution was put clearly in the Western press:
Laura Pitter, UPI, March 12, 1993:
Military prosecutors read indictments against two Serbs accused of genocide Friday as the government opened its first war-crimes trials in connection with the ongoing ethnic conflict in the former Yugoslav republic of Bosnia-Herzegovina.
Military prosecutor... told the court the purpose of the trials against Boris Herak, 22, and Sretko Damjanovic, 31, was "to show the world what has been done here and that we can conduct this trial fairly and impartially." ...
[The prosecutor] said the majority of the indictments were based on confessions, but he could not provide ANY DETAILS about specific incidents in which the suspects were involved.
The prosecutor only would say he was charging Herak with 32 murders and 16 rapes, 12 of which also were supposedly murders. Damjanovic was charged with five murders and two rapes...
A third person, Nada Tomic, 47,... is being tried along with the two men on the lesser charges of hiding fugitives and stolen goods.
Hiding fugitives? The two Serbian soldiers were no fugitives, nor were they hiding. They were part of Bosnian Serb Army, on territory which the Bosnian Serbs considered free. But all three had to be lumped together and guilty together.
The defense expressed some doubts about the impartiality of the trial. (Same source as above):
[D]espite [prosecutor's] claim it would be fair and impartial, one of the defense attorney's charged he had not had adequate time to prepare a case.
[T]he lawyer for Damjanovic and Tomic, would discuss few details about the case but said he had only met with his clients for two half-hour sessions and never without a guard in the room. Three days before the trial he said he was planning on meeting Damjanovic for the first time without a guard.
We will see later that Herak's lawyer said the same.
So, how would you like this: You are a war criminal accused of genocide (among other things). They want to put you in front of a firing squad, but your lawyer is allowed only two half-hour conversations with you. And that always with an enemy guard present. Would you call it fair and impartial?
It was immediately obvious whose word was more important to the Western press (the same source):
[Herak's lawyer] Prpa read a joint objection by him and Maric [Damjanovic's lawyer] stating that the charges of murder and rape were not specific enough because they did not state the times, places or full names of the victims.
The judges adjourned the court and said they would hear the objections again Saturday. But [prosecutor] said after the proceedings the objections "won't hold up." He said a NEW LAW states that the defense in a military court during war time does not have the power to object to a military prosecutor.
Nice thing - if you can not make someone guilty by existing laws - you simply change the law.
Since Mr. Damjanovic would not cooperate with the prosecutor, only Herak and his purpoted confessions remained as evidence.
Chicago Daily Law Bulletin, March 12, 1993:
Herak and Sretko Damjanovic were captured Nov. 11 when they blundered into an enemy checkpoint. Damjanovic has not confessed to ANY of the five killings he is charged with.
Kurt Schork, Press Association Newsfile, March 12, 1993:
Damjanovic... has told reporters he was beaten and TORTURED into confessing.
But Mr. Herak stubbornly keeps to his side of the deal. He repeats his stories, slightly different versions but who would notice. Mr. Herak even demonstrates to the court his technique of slaughtering people. The one he learned on the pigs. The Western press dutifully reports the stories in all the gory detail.
The leader of the Free World is at the forefront pushing for a future model of punishment - an international model that is under its own control.
David Crary, the Associated Press, March 12, 1993:
Herak's name was included in a list released earlier this year by former Secretary of State Lawrence Eagleburger of potential defendants before a U.N.-organized war crimes tribunal...
Mr. Burns keeps his hand in the story, adding nice details. He tells us which American institution will be in charge of naming non-American war criminals.
John F. Burns, the New York Times he New York Times, March 14, 1993:
Borislav Herak, a 21-year-old Serbian nationalist fighter, took the witness stand at his trial here today and said that he killed and raped dozens of Muslims in Serbian "ethnic cleansing" offensives across Bosnia and Herzegovina last year.
Wow! Now it is all "across Bosnia and Herzegovina"! Remember the same Mr. Burns said three months earlier: "Herak's experiences were limited to a 10-mile stretch of territory immediately north of Sarajevo." It seems that Herak (and Burns) are ready to escalate yet again. But let us continue the above Burns' quote from March 14, 1993:
Mr. Herak is the focus of attention at the trial. After his arrest, his head was shaved, and he appeared for interviews in the green Yugoslav Army field jacket he had worn when, according to his account, he engaged in his six-month rampage of killing and rape.
For his trial, Mr. Herak has been allowed to grow his hair and to wear a tan jacket over a diamond-pattern sweater. But he retains the hunch-shouldered posture he had when interviewed in the Viktor Bubanj prison in November, and he appeared from today's testimony not to have changed his own perception of his activities... [All the gory details the New York Times have reprinted here we choose to omit.]
Mr. Herak's account, first published in The New York Times in November, caused the Serbian fighter to be named in December to a list of possible war criminals drawn up the State Department.
...Serbian nationalist leaders in Bosnia,... dismissed Mr. Herak's confessions derisively when they were first made. Senior Serbian officials, including Radovan Karadzic, the Serbian leader in Bosnia, also named by the United States to its list of possible war criminals, said Mr. Herak was a weak and "sub-normal" personality who had been coached into his confessions by his captors.
OK. Now we know that in New World Order the US State Department will judge who is a war criminal. A detail not mentioned here is that "the Serbian leader" is the elected President of Republica Srpska, the Serbian part of Bosnia and that he is a professional psychiatrist who spent decades in Sarajevo treating mental patients. But who cares about his professional opinion. He is just another Serb; another war criminal.
Mr. Herak continued his dance with death. Press Association Newsfile (Reuter), March 17, 1993:
A Serb man who has confessed to multiple rapes and murders in a Sarajevo war crimes trial today said HE WANTED THE DEATH PENALTY as punishment. Asked by his defence attorney if he realised he was facing execution, Borislav Herak, 22, replied: "Yes". "Do you want to be punished by death?" the attorney asked. "I guess so. Whatever the court decides," said the defendant...
In the mean time the US government is pushing all the buttons for more trials. (The same source, the same date):
The United Nations is setting up a war crimes tribunal for the former Yugoslavia, the first such court created since the Second World War.
In vain, Mr. Damjanovic resists. Press Association Newsfile (Reuter), March 20, 1993:
Damjanovic has withdrawn his signed confession, claiming it was beaten out of him by his jailers...
Both defence lawyers today asked for the accused men to be examined by a court-appointed doctor to check the allegations of beatings. The judge agreed, but Herak REFUSED TO BE EXAMINED. "There's no need for me to be examined," said the young Serb soldier whose self-incriminating evidence riveted the court's attention for two days.
A doctor who later examined Damjanovic outside the courtroom said he had FOUND SCARS IN SEVERAL PLACES CONSISTENT WITH HIS COMPLAINTS OF BEATINGS.
And also the Associated Press, David Crery, March 20, 1993:
Damjanovic and Nada Tomic,... have testified that they were beaten into false confessions and were CUT by their captors with KNIVES.
A doctor testified Saturday that Damjanovic and Tomic did have scars apparently made by a sharp implement several months ago.
Obviously this is but a circus where the defense is completely hopeless. The Associated Press (and no Western newspaper) scantly mentions (March 20, 1993):
[The two defense] attorneys are trying to make a case that the prosecution LACKS HARD EVIDENCE and has little to go on other than the disputed testimony of Herak...
Defense lawyers said the court should order a search of [Muslim] government-held areas to find the victims' bodies, which Herak says he could locate. The bodies should be exhumed and examined, the lawyers said.
But even this call for hard evidence is swamped with rehashed gore stories in the same article. Who cares for facts when blood boils and calls for revenge. Revenge for stories of one almost insane man.
The prosecution is allowed to bring anyone as a witness. Any silly story goes. Press Association Newsfile (Reuters), March 20, 1993:
A Muslim woman told today how one of the men facing a war crimes court had beaten her, made her lick his boots and bark like a dog. The presiding judge said the 33-year old woman, Muljia Berisa, was not in court because her recently-born baby was ill. Instead her sworn testimony was read out to the Sarajevo court. She identified 22-year-old Borislav Herak as one of the Serb soldiers who accosted her last May at a cafe outside Sarajevo where she had been taken after trying to get medical help. "They asked me to lick their boots and bark like a dog," Berisa said.
So the "witness" did not have to show her face in the court. It was OK. Muljia Berisa is an Albanian name. Remember the recent president of Albania with the same last name? Why should not Albanians - Muslims also - help their Muslim brothers in Bosnia?
This precedent that witnesses need not appear in court was to be repeated in the subsequent Hague trials. Indeed, it improved - even the names of those who accuse Serbs need not be revealed.
On March 23, 1993, The Associated Press reports:
The main defendant in Bosnia'a first war crimes trial was unhappy as a youth, became an alcoholic and slit his wrists four times, but cannot claim insanity as a defense, a psychologist has testified.
Dr. Boro Djukanovic said Serb soldier Borislav Herak, who has confessed to killing 30 war prisoners and civilians, had subnormal intelligence and schizophrenic tendencies, but was accountable for his actions.
The doctor's testimony on Monday was based on examinations that he and three psychiatrists conducted... on Herak...
Djukanovic said Damjanovic was beaten by his father during an unhappy childhood, and as an adult beat his father...
What a perfect victim was that Borislav Herak!
Well, no evidence, and no need for evidence. The words, and words only of a person of questionable integrity suffice. There seem to be more important goals involved here that render justice irrelevant.
Nothing is real. This is a circus of blood.
The military prosecution gets the last word. The Associated Press March 26, 1993:
Prosecutors requested the death penalty for two Serb war crimes suspects...
"The only logical punishment is execution," said prosecutor... in closing arguments. "They don't deserve to be among us."...
One of the charges against both soldiers is GENOCIDE, based on allegations that some of their civilian victims were killed during "ethnic cleansing" operations aimed at eliminating Muslims from Serb-dominated villages...
[The prosecutor] said there were moments - while listening to Herak's first confessions in November - he was so horrified he felt like killing the soldier himself.
It is only fair to let Mr. Burns read the final sentences. John F. Burns, The New York Times, March 31, 1993:
A military court today imposed sentences of death by firing squad on two Serbians found guilty... [The sentence] included a three-year prison term for Miss Tomic.
One of the defendants, Borislav Herak, a 22-year-old high school dropout whose confession to 35 killings and 16 rapes was the centerpiece of the trial, seemed unshaken as the death sentence was pronounced... [Gore details deleted.]
Another defendant, Sretko Damjanovic, 32 years old,... stared straight ahead at the panel of five judges as the death sentences were pronounced, and protested his innocence.
"I have nothing to say except thank you for this fair verdict," he said, his voice edged with sarcasm. "I know I have been unfairly condemned."
Mr. Herak maintained to the end the impassiveness that marked three weeks of testimony at the trial and months of interviews with Western reporters after he was captured with Mr. Damjanovic and a third defendant, Nada Tomic, at a Bosnian military roadblock in November. Asked by the presiding judge if he thought he deserved the death penalty, he answered, "Yes, I deserve it," then added in an even voice, "I would like to ask if I can have some cigarettes."
Before he left the court, guards gave him several packs of cigarettes, which he stuffed into his jacket pocket.
Kill me but give me some cigarettes? Well the Muslim guards and their masters could be satisfied. The cigarettes were well earned. The job was well done. Back to Mr. Burns' article of March 31, 1993.
[T]he trial provided a catharsis for Muslims....
[It] struck a deep chord among the 380,000 residents of Sarajevo, about 80 percent of whom are Muslims. Through extensive coverage of the trial on radio and television, the defendants became, for many Muslims, symbols of the Serbian nationalist forces and their policy of "ethnic cleansing,"...
By the way, Sarajevo was less than 50% Muslim before the war began so the Muslims must have done some ethnic cleansing of their own.
The real masters of Bosnia, or any other place on Earth, had to use this occasion to show who is boss. Mr. Burns' article of March 31, 1993
The trial and its outcome were condemned by Lieut. Gen. Philippe Morillon of France, the United Nations military commander here...
General Morillon said he had told Bosnian and Serbian nationalist leaders that it was "not the time for them to take justice into their own hands." A better solution, he told them, would have been for the Bosnian Government to await the time when a war crimes tribunal that the United Nations plans to establish for the former Yugoslavia could place Mr. Herak and Mr. Damjanovic on trial.
So spoke a NATO general in a blue UN robe. A wolf in sheep's skin. He thinks that no aborigine should be involved in dealing out justice, not even the local proxy. It is up to the masters.
The model of how to colonize a land is clear:
1. Destroy the economy of the place and bring despair and instability
2. Find a local proxy, a local lever of destruction and use it.
3. Help the proxy in every way:
- Be its protector (safe zones)
- Supply the proxy with weapons and training
- Deny any advantage to the non-proxy party (here, for example, the no-fly zone was introduced so Serbs can not use the advantage they had in aviation)
- Be a free propaganda outlet for the proxy (which is the topic of this analysis)
- Bomb and destroy the non-proxy party
Bosnia was not viable. Never in history of mankind was such a crippled place declared an independent country. Historically Bosnia was never an independent country. Those who were to govern the newly invented country were a minority in their own country. Muslims constituted only 44% of the total population and they were divided among themselves. One large group stayed on the Serbian side (on the side of multi-ethnic Yugoslavia) and was at war with the leading Sarajevo Islam fundamentalist faction that the West supported. Almost all of the more than 50% of Bosnia who were Christians (i.e. Serbs and Croats) did not want to be under Muslim rule. So the entity that the West recognized, and whose flag was raised in front of the United Nations - i.e. Sarajevo's Alija Izetbegovic's faction - did not have control of either the people or the land of Bosnia. At their highest point in the war they controlled at most 15% of the land!
Great! Here comes the master with a long experience in colonizing by force and declares that not even its proxy's juridical system is to be respected. As completely dependant and helpless proxy, Bosnia will be occupied militarily, exploited economically and humiliated in any shape and form the master desires. You, the proxy, should know that without us you would not last more than a week.
Again, this was only a model, but a precedent for the future; a successful experiment on how, in modern times, to destroy and then colonize a geographic area.
This explains how, only 4 days after the trial, on April 4, 1993 Mr. John F. Burns, who with his propaganda helped the common NATO/Bosnian Muslim proxy cause against the Serbs could flip it all around and even make fun of the proxy:
By most standards, it was a FLAWED TRIAL -- just one substantial piece of evidence, a confession by a man with a history of mental disturbance...
He effectively condemned his partner in the dock, Sretko Damjanovic, 32, who confessed but then recanted, saying he had been beaten. Unless saved by appeal or reprieve, the two Serbs could become the first soldiers in the Bosnian war to be legally executed.
But let us keep the main goal in mind. In 1993 the non-proxy force, the Serbs, were alive and fighting. So Mr. Burns uses even this occasion to bash the Serbs, including their democratically elected leadership:
But there was an uneasy feeling among many in the courtroom that these two were serving, in effect, as substitutes for the men they consider the REAL VILLAINS of "ethnic cleansing" -- men like Radovan Karadzic, the Bosnian Serb leader; Ratko Mladic, the Bosnian Serb military commander, and their mentor, Slobodan Milosevic, President of Serbia. All three continue to meet Western negotiators who are attempting to end the war, even as their names sit atop a list of potential war criminals the United States has handed to the United Nations for consideration by the war crimes tribunal that the Security Council has voted to convene.
Well, Herak or not, the political and military leadership of the Serbian people is guilty by default. Guilty by the fact that they stay as the only obstacle to occupation by the friendly, democratic nations.
So, what happened to Mr. Herak? Was he simply shot? No way. His services seemed to be priceless. The West had (and has) a need to revamp the anti-Serb propaganda at any minute. So, his stories were, though in far less frequently, repeated, embellished, changed, boosted.
As time passed it became safe to present Mr. Herak as a human being. Here is a story two and half years later after the death sentence was pronounced. Mark Brennock, the Irish Times, September 15, 1995, headline: Multiple rape was ordered "to boost morale", A Bosnian Serb rapist and killer spoke to Mark Brennock in Sarajevo yesterday:
"I raped five Muslim girls, then I killed them," Herak Borislav (24) told me. To be precise he almost decapitated them with a knife.
He is a thin, gentle mannered and withdrawn young man. My Muslim translator said she found him handsome. He has a clear, sallow complexion with dark lines under his brown eyes...
He agreed to talk to me, but caught my eye just once as we talked...
Herak had NEVER before said he used to DECAPITATE his female victims. That's something new. More new stuff is added but we do not know what to believe any more.The same article:
His father was an alcoholic and rarely at home. His mother sometimes worked as a prostitute. When Borislav was 10 he came home one day to find her in bed with another man. His father used to beat her and kick Herak. She ended up in hospital several times with her injuries. She ran away from home with Herak roughly 30 times...
"I asked to be executed but I think they give me mercy and leave me in prison instead. I can't stand to be in prison any more. I have been here three years..."
His father visits him sometimes...
Mr. Herak recants - I didn't do anything
Then something snapped in Mr. Herak. He could not wait any more to either be murdered or freed. That may not be a surprise. The surprise is that the New York Times published it, January 31, 1996, page A6. The text by Kit Roane was entitled: Symbol of Inhumanity in Bosnia Now Says 'Not Me.'
Thin and pale, Borislav Herak does not fit the picture of the rapist and killer he confessed to being nearly three years ago. He is quiet and subdued, an ex-store clerk residing in a 6-by-12 foot prison cell.
He shocked the world, after his arrest by Bosnian forces in early 1993, with his meticulous, deadpan accounts of systematic murder and rape, wielded by the Serbs as deliberate tactics of war.
Now, as he appeals the death penalty imposed on him after his conviction by the Bosnian Government for crimes against humanity, he has changed his tune.
"It was a mistake," he said simply, lighting a cigarette under the watchful gaze of a guard. "I was forced to speak against myself and my comrades in the Serb republic. But I DIDN'T DO ANYTHING." ...
Dozens of journalists made pilgrimages to the regional jail in Sarajevo to hear his grisly accounts of abducting women from Serb-run prison camps near Sarajevo, raping them, then dumping their lifeless bodies along nearby hills. Other times, he recalled the "ethnic cleansing" of Muslim villages, where his commanders encouraged him to rob and then kill the inhabitants.
At least some of those interviews were out of earshot of Bosnian guards, and his accounts -- which effectively indicted Bosnian Serb leaders for pushing their troops to commit terrible acts -- were widely seen as credible...
Now Mr. Herak protests his innocence, saying that the tales of conquest and monotone recollections of brutality were a result of BEATINGS AND THREATS by his prison guards. They were looking for a scapegoat to the ills that had befallen their nascent country, he says, and knew that Mr. Herak, who is slightly retarded, would provide the vessel.
"I was tortured, forced to confess," he explained, hunching over his bunk. "I was given 60 pages to learn by heart and recite. I was afraid for my father, afraid they might kill him because of me."
"I said what I did to survive," he added. "Otherwise he and I WOULD HAVE BEEN DEAD IN A DAY. BUT I TALKED AND HERE I AM STILL ALIVE."
Now that makes PERFECT sense. Mr. Herak was only 21 when he was caught. He was young and he knew he wanted to live. As the mass graves of Serbian civilians were found in Muslim controlled Sarajevo, graves of people who posed no threat to the Muslim government, it is more than obvious that Mr. Herak would not last a day in Muslim hands as a common soldier.
Maybe Mr. Herak was not that dumb after all. Maybe he was abused in childhood and knew he would not be able to endure any torture anyhow. Better talk BEFORE the torture than AFTER. As quoted before, this article of New York Times manages, at last, to give the BASIC FACT:
The Bosnian Government has no witnesses to the killings and has recovered no bodies. BUT Mr. Herak and Mr. Damjanovic were seen at several detention camps by inmates who were later traded in prisoner exchanges...
Mr. Damjanovic also confessed before his trial, and also retracted the confession. And, as Mr. Herak is now doing, he also complained of being beaten and stabbed by guards.
But Mr. Damjanovic is not rallying to Mr. Herak's side. ...Mr. Damjanovic professes his own innocence... "I'm someone who's clean. I never hurt anybody in my life. I want them to send me to The Hague to prove it."
"Let Herak talk if he wants, but it's ALL LIES," said Mr. Damjanovic, his bald head peeking out from under a gray knit prison cap. "Now he says he didn't do anything. Well, that is a guy that I know pretty well. He's not really clean, if you know what I mean. He never was..."
In the above text the phrase that Herak is "not really clean" was translated word for word from Serbo-Croatian, but in the context the phrase means: "He is not sane."
The same text gives us an answer to a very important question: Why are Herak amd Damjanovic alive at all? Why did not the Muslims execute them? Here is the quote from the above New York Times article:
The Bosnian Government, which captured the pair after Mr. Herak took a wrong turn near Sarajevo and ran into a Government roadblock, has been slow to press forward on the death penalty, hoping that international war crimes investigators will find enough evidence to charge the two men separately in The Hague, a Government official said. The international war crimes tribunal would not comment on the case.
These people are still assets in the anti-Serb propaganda show. Perhaps Herak could be used in Hague Tribunal show trial? Maybe Big Brother can find some evidence... Actually, Mr. Herak would like that. (The same article):
"I didn't say anything [about the torture] then because of the way things were," he said, noting that the prison now has civilian guards. "I never thought I would get out of jail.
"Now the war has ended," he continued, "... The circumstances are different and I want my case heard."
He added: "If I go to The Hague, I'll tell them I'm 100 PERCENT INNOCENT."
The Houston Chronicle adds on the same day, January 31, 1996, page A10:
Nearly three years after confessing to a rampage of killings and rapes, Bosnian Serb soldier Borislav Herak has recanted and now claims that his grisly testimony before a Bosnian court was beaten out of him.
"I was tortured, forced to confess," said the 25-year-old high-school dropout from a bunk in his cell. "But I was really just a simple soldier on the front line. I NEVER KILLED ANYONE." ...
[S]ilence is in marked contrast to the encyclopedic tales of conquest and monotone accounts of brutality Herak provided visiting journalists during his trial and in the months that followed, accounts that often held discrepancies from one telling to the next. He now says these flubs are yet another example of how he was framed.
"I was given 60 pages to learn by heart and recite, but my memory is not so good so sometimes I made mistakes,'' he said hunching over his bunk. "I confessed to things I didn't do and brought a death sentence on myself. I thought I would never get out anyway."
There are no witnesses to the killings Herak is said to have committed and no bodies of those thought dead have been recovered...
Gaunt and pale, Herak has spent most of the war in his 6-by-12 foot cell, visited only by his father, war crimes investigators from The Hague, and a dribble of reporters.
Stickers showing Barbie dolls in different poses and chocolate wrappers paper his one cabinet. Light beams in through a single window...
It is important to notice that Mr. Herak recanted his testimony on January 1996. This is NINE MONTHS EARLIER than a similar case, on October 25 of the same year, when yet another Serb, this one in the Hague Tribunal jail, recanted on his story as a key witness of the prosecution. He was known as witness "L." That is the next story in this book. When the two stories are compared it is more than clear that the Hague inquisition learned a great deal from its Sarajevo Muslim predecessor. Exactly the same methods were used.
The Wrong Turn Part 3
A chapter from future book: "Impartial or Imperial court at the Hague"
Just another scandal: Dead men walking! (Part 3)
By Petar Makara
SCANDAL! Dead men walking
Thus, the entire prosecution and the accompanying propaganda was based on nothing but Herak's words. Mr. Damjanovic and Ms. Tomic recanted as soon as they were out of torturer's hands...
Now that even Herak recanted, it is clear that the whole hoopla was BASED ON EXACTLY - NOTHING! Still, this did not mean that the trio was freed.
Four years after the scandalous death sentences were uttered the prosecution still had no MATERIAL data (and no witnesses). Then, in early 1997, as if God himself had demanded it some material evidence finally appeared. But not for the prosecution. The evidence, proved, beyond the shadow of doubt, that key portions of Mr. Herak's forced confession were clearly false.
This time the Western media was not out to make a propaganda campaign out of it. We were able to find only four media sources, scattered over a period of several weeks. These, put together, give a clear picture of what happened. The sources are:
1. Agence France Presse (AFP), February 28, 1997
2. Chris Hedges, The New York Times (NYT), March 1, 1997, Page A3. Title "Jailed Serbs' 'Victims' Found Alive, Embarrassing Bosnia"
3. Jonathan C. Randal, the Washington Post, March 15, 1997, Page A17. Title: "Serb Convicted of Murders Demanding Retrial After 2 'Victims' Found Alive."
4. Karen Coleman, The Guardian (London), March 26, 1997, Page 14. Title: "War crimes put justice in the dock"
The AFP article was very brief, and judging by the position of the articles in the newspapers (pages 3, 17 and 14, respectively), it is obvious that this was not considered significant news.
We will start with the NYT, because it is nice to see how they tried to downplay the importance of the event. Then other sources will be compared and contrasted.
The NYT article begins:
In a major embarrassment for the Bosnian Government, two Muslim brothers whose supposed murders were used as evidence in a highly publicized war crimes trial to condemn two Bosnian Serbs to death have been found living in a Sarajevo suburb.
There are a few things wrong with this statement: First, "highly publicized war crimes trial" was not only used "to condemn two Bosnian Serbs to death." By 1997 when this article was published, NATO had bombed and ethnically cleansed the Serbian people from Krajina and most of Bosnia. This atrocious act was possible in the first place thanks to the media's role in demonizing not some unimportant Bosnian Serbs, but the ENTIRE Serbian people. As result of the bash-then-bomb campaign, close to a million Serbs were dispossessed from everything they EVER owned, their land, their farms, their possessions plus often their lives. In their long and bitter history of well over thousand years the Serbian people NEVER experienced such a disaster.
Second, because this military slaughter followed directly from the gleeful participation of the Western press in Goebbelsian propaganda campaign based on lies and hearsay, it is not only the Bosnian Islamic fundamentalist government but Western media and Western governments that should have been embarrassed - to say the least. It was, after all, official pronouncement and the rabid yellow journalism of newspapers like the New York Times that "highly publicized the war crimes trial."
Let us be clear once more, because it is crucial to state it: We do not believe that the Western governments and the Western media were fooled into anything. There were countless scandals of this sort. Just having in mind their numbers rule out any notion of error or accident. Indeed, a SYSTEM of purposeful deception emerges.
The third oddity with the New York Times opening sentence is that the two "victims" were not just "found" alive. Said that way one would think that the two "supposedly murdered" brothers simply, miraculously survived Serbian torture and violence.
Let us give the NYT (March 1, 1997) more chance to explain:
Mr. Damjanovic, 36, was found guilty, largely on a confession he later said was made under torture, of killing the two brothers and a third man, Krso Ramiz. But in yet another blow to the case, internal documents show that the Sarajevo public prosecutors office has charged three other Bosnian Serbs -- Nenad Damjanovic (not related to Sretko), Vukovic Miro and Jeftic Bozo -- with carrying out Mr. Ramiz's murder.
During the trial, Sretko Damjanovic recanted his confession and said he had been severely abused by the Muslim police until he signed the document. The court doctor confirmed at the trial that Mr. Damjanovic had four knife wounds and a broken rib that appeared to have been inflicted while in police custody.
In Mr. Damjanovic's confession, he stated that he was responsible for the killing of the two brothers, Kasim and Asim Blekic.
"The two principal pieces of evidence used to convict my client were his signed confession, where he supposedly admitted to murdering two men who we now know are alive, and the testimony of his co-defendant, Borislav Herak," said Mr. Damjanovic's lawyer, Branko Maric. "How can my client's supposed confession be considered valid now? And how can the testimony of Mr. Herak, who said he witnessed these alleged murders, also be accepted by the court?"...
Mr. Herak said in the trial that he saw Mr. Damjanovic kill Kasim and Asim Blekic as well as Mr. Ramiz. He said he also saw Mr. Damjanovic kill three other people who were not identified in the trial. No other witnesses were presented...
Kasim Blekic, who now raises sheep in a small shed next to his house in the Vogosca suburb, said he was unaware that his supposed killing had been used to indict Mr. Damjanovic until a year ago when Vogosca, which was under Bosnian Serb control, was handed back to the Muslim Government as part of the Dayton peace agreement.
Mr. Blekic, his wife and two children had fled their small home in Vogosca in May 1993 when they found themselves living along what became the front line.
His house was destroyed in the fighting. Mr. Blekic, 43, became an ambulance driver for the army during the war. He and his brother lived in Sarajevo until the fighting ended.
"I didn't return to Vogosca until last year when the Serbs were leaving," he said, standing next to a small, muddy pen that held about two dozen bleating sheep.
"I was buying cattle in those days from a lot of the Serbs, including many of my old neighbors. I went to see the uncle of Sretko Damjanovic, an old friend, and he said he couldn't believe I was alive. He told me his nephew had been sentenced to death for killing my brother and me. They all looked at me as if I was a ghost."
Mr. Blekic said he knew Mr. Damjanovic and his family. He described his relationship with the condemned man as "normal." He said he never saw Mr. Damjanovic in April and May 1992, when the killings were supposed to have occurred.
United Nations international police monitors showed up last summer at Mr. Blekic's new house in Vogosca, which ONCE BELONGED TO A SERB NEIGHBOR, to photograph him and copy the information on his identity card. But this was the last he heard from the United Nations team.
"We are the only Blekic family in Vogosca," he said.
At the end of last year relatives of Mr. Damjanovic reached his lawyer in Sarajevo with the news. And in December [Mr. Damjanovic's lawyer] Mr. Maric filed a motion for a new trial.
So, according to the NYT, Mr. Blekic stumbled on Mr. Damjanovic's uncle. Right? Once he learned that his neighbor is sitting on death row did Mr. Blekic do something to remedy injustice?
The same article says that the Blekic's were discovered "at the end of the last year"? This would mean that no-one cared, for months, to report on the miracle.
The Washington Post (March 15, 1997), is more precise on both accounts:
[L]ast SUMMER a cousin of Damjanovic's established that Asim and Kasim Blekic, Muslim brothers who were listed among [Mr. Damjanovic's] victims, were alive and well in the Sarajevo suburb of Vogosca...
"The first time I heard I was dead was when Damjanovic's cousin brought a patrol of the international police," Kasim Blekic told reporters. "I told them we were the only Blekic family in the region."
Also, the New York Times' article (March 1, 1997) quoted above states that the Blekic's had to "flee" during the war and when the Serbs "left" (the Serbs did not have to flee?) Mr Blekic got a new house. It took quite some reading to realize that Mr. Blekic now lives in a SERBIAN house.
Let us translate it for you: The Serbs were, thanks to NATO bombing and Dayton "negotiations" under those bombs - forced to leave their ancestral houses in Sarajevo. Sarajevo was CLEANSED of the Serbs, the people who founded the city more than 15 hundred years ago! Our Muslim "victim", Mr. Kasic, enjoys the benefits of that NATO ethnic cleansing.
The New York Times article (March 1, 1997) mentions twice the word "confession" Mr. Damjanovic had signed - as if that piece of paper ever meant anything. Then it adds (we mentioned this paragraph before):
During the trial, Sretko Damjanovic recanted his confession and said he had been severely abused by the Muslim police until he signed the document. The court doctor confirmed at the trial that Mr. Damjanovic had four knife wounds and a broken rib that appeared to have been inflicted while in police custody.
Four knife wounds and a broken rib. Let us look at it more closely.
Washington Post (March 15, 1997), on the same subject:
Damjanovic, 36, ... was convicted almost solely on the basis of Herak's testimony and a confession that he told the military tribunal had been extracted under torture soon after his arrest. Throughout the week-long trial he maintained his innocence. He showed the court scars from knife wounds in both legs and a broken rib, all of which a court-appointed doctor said were inflicted during his detention.
So it is knife wounds in BOTH LEGS and a broken rib. Now The Guardian (London), March 26, 1997:
In a room at Sarajevo central prison he took off his top, asking: "Do you want me to show you what they did to me?" He slapped his rib cage. "See how my ribs stick out."
His bones protrude. There are scars on his SHOULDERS AND ARMS. Many of his TEETH are missing. And, he claimed, he still URINATES BLOOD. "My health is ruined."
Let us sum up. Mr. Damjanovic's wounds include:
- knife wounds in SHOULDERS AND ARMS
- knife wounds in BOTH LEGS
- broken ribs
- missing teeth
- he urinates blood.
We believe that the overwhelming majority of the Western audience is still unaware of the autrageous nature of this scandal. Most people are completely unaware of how the Western press played with their emotions while manipulating national and international public opinion for political purpose.
The Muslim motives
Remember how the Western media, the New York Times in particular, had reported matter-of-factly everything the frightened Mr. Herak had to say. The media, at the time, completely "forgot" that the Muslims may have had some motive to misrepresent things. Was it naivete?
Let us see what New York Times had to say at the time the walking dead were discovered (NYT, March 1, 1997):
The finding of the brothers has raised troubling questions about how the guilty verdict was reached. The two Serbs, currently in a Sarajevo prison, were condemned to death by a military court.
Discovery of the Muslim brothers has exposed what defense lawyers say was the undue haste of the trial, which produced no physical evidence, and the heavily charged political atmosphere that colored the judicial ruling.
The trial, which was widely covered by the international press, was used by the Muslim Government to publicize the brutal "ethnic cleansing" campaign then being carried out by the Bosnian Serbs.
Did the Muslim government use the naive international press? Or would readers of the media's claim of innocence be naive to believe it?
Did you notice how the Serbs, despite the refutation of ALL of Herak's lies, are still routinely assumed to be guilty "ethnic cleansing" (the term coined during the Herak's trial).
Let us continue (NYT, ibid):
The trial of the two Serbs, Sretko Damjanovic and Borislav Herak, in March 1993 was the first attempt by the Sarajevo legal system to try Bosnian Serbs for genocide and other war crimes. It was intended to begin a judicial process that would see those Serbs who were responsible for the killings of tens of thousands of Muslims brought to justice.
But it was also used to convince Europe and the United States that the Serbs were guilty of genocide and other crimes against humanity.
Poor, naive European and United State governments. They were fooled by some Bosnian Muslims, and it seems they have never recovered.
More on the "impartial trial"
The Washington Post (March 15, 1997) wrote:
Sretko Damjanovic, a Serb soldier in the Bosnian civil war, was convicted of genocide four years ago for the murders of five unarmed people, several rapes and various other crimes. Now two of his victims have turned up alive, casting doubt on the testimony that led to his conviction and spurring his lawyer to demand a retrial.
The highly charged case was tried before a military tribunal run by the predominantly Muslim Bosnian government during the dark hours of 1993, when Sarajevo was enduring a long siege under Bosnian Serb artillery. Damjanovic and a friend, Borislav Herak, were convicted together and condemned to death by firing squad, a sentence later reduced to life imprisonment.
The same article, at last, reveals who was Mr. Damjanovic's lawyer. Earlier in the trial Western media was mentioning that the defense was court (i.e. Muslim authority) appointed. The defense lawyers were Serbs. Here is on Mr. Damjanovic's lawyer Mr. Branko Maric (WP, March 15, 1997):
Maric, who normally practices corporate and COMMERCIAL LAW, repeatedly sought to have the trial postponed. In a recent interview, he said that in preparing Damjanovic's defense he was not allowed to see his client except in a guard's presence -- "the first time that happened to me in my 24-year career." Maric also said he was given less than 10 days to prepare Damjanovic's defense and recalled having to work by candlelight in the darkened city to complete the appeal on time.
Imagine, if you dare, yourself as the defendant. You are vilified internationally and accused of no less than GENOCIDE! The whole world is viewing you as no more than a scum. You have an enemy-appointed lawyer whose only legal expertise is commercial law. Like you, he is a Serb, and his family is at mercy of the same enemy. He is allowed to visit you only infrequently and only when your "interrogators" are present. You are Herak or Damjanovic. What are your chances to survive? A world super-power supports your nemesis; your torturers. There is NO-ONE to help you...
Finally, The Guardian (London), March 26, 1997 on the subject of Muslim motives behind the trial:
Bosnia's manner of conducting war crimes proceedings is raising doubts whether the accused are getting a fair hearing. Eight are under way, including two cases being heard in the absence of the accused. But the problems of justice in the divided country are long-standing...
The trial was a showcase. With people desperate to see Serbs punished for the atrocities committed during the war, the chances of a fair hearing were slim...
Yes, all of this was nothing but a show trial before a Bosnian Muslim kangaroo court. Muslim's Western patrons will soon take over - and pursue a similar pharse in the Hague.
In the Hague, the democratic West will repeat the same patterns of scandalous fabrication of evidence that was seen in the Herak/Damjanovic case.
When NATO's occupying police (a Gestapo of a sort) embark on Serb-hunt, when they lure Serbs into a trap by false promises and guarantees, they say that the unwary Serbs simply stumbled into their hands, just as Herak and his friends did.
Why invent anything new - this model has worked.
The Islamists' reaction. Retrial?
How did the Muslim government react to the scandal and calls for retrial? Back to our sources.
New York Times (March 1, 1997):
Government officials were reluctant today to discuss the case.
Azra Omeragic [a Muslim], the president of the Sarajevo county court, said there would be an evaluation of the request by the defendant's lawyers for a new trial. But she added that the decision was not the responsibility of her office and had been handed over to the public prosecutor's office. She said she did not want to comment further.
The chief public prosecutor, Domin Malbasic [a Muslim], said the request for a retrial had not reached his office.
Washington Post (March 15, 1997):
Damjanovic's lawyer, Branko Maric, took the new information to Sarajevo's appeals court four months ago and demanded a new trial. The court's president, Azra Omergic, said an answer will be issued next week, and until then Damjanovic and Herak will remain in jail.
Maric argued that the Blekics' existence justifies a retrial because it casts serious doubts on the testimony. But the Sarajevo establishment has reacted as if the brothers' existence were a Balkan plot instead of exculpatory evidence.
Chris Bennett, a senior analyst with the International Crisis Group, suggested that local reluctance to accept that the 1993 trial was based on faulty evidence is linked to Muslim disappointment with the U.N. war crimes tribunal in The Hague.
The proxies are not happy with the master. The Muslims insist that unless the Hague prosecutes more Serbs, the Bosnian tribunal will keep innocents in prison. Master better listen to the dissatisfied proxy. What a joke.
Mr. Chris Bennett, continued (WP, ibid):
"Sadly, it appears that fundamentally this is a society where to some extent people need to blame someone for what happened during the siege," he said. "They think they are getting nothing out of The Hague, which essentially is trying Croats and Muslims, not Serbs. [sic!]
"This is worse than denial," he added. "It's a problem of attitude, when the rights of nations pervade all aspects of society and are deemed more important than justice for a young Serb who is at least innocent of two murders. Why? Because it is more important that he is a Serb; for them, Serbs are guilty. He represents the Serbs -- end of the story."
The discovery that the Blekic brothers are alive was first reported... on Feb. 27. But it was ignored by Bosnian state television. Even the Sarajevo newspaper Oslobodjenje, much honored internationally [by the masters] for its heroic determination to publish daily throughout the city's 3 1/2-year siege, ignored the new evidence for two weeks.
"This is an example of state-controlled media masquerading to the outside world as independent -- something inherited from the old Communist model before the war," said Enver Causevic [a Muslim], president of the Bosnia-Herzegovina Journalists' Union.
So, would there be a retrial after all of those excuses?
The New York Times, June 15, 1997, Page A12, title: "Bosnia Verdict Stands Though Victims Live"
A Bosnian court has rejected a call for the retrial of a Serbian soldier convicted of killing two Muslim brothers who were recently found to be alive...
"The court rejected my retrial motion as unfounded," Mr. Maric said today. He plans to appeal.
The court found there was no need for a new investigation, saying "there was plenty of other evidence sufficient for a verdict."
The Muslim brothers Blekic who were never harmed by the defendants and who now live in an ethnically cleansed Serbian house are still referred to as "VICTIMS!" An elegant, simple, Big Lie. It works when repeated: "...there was plenty of other evidence..." What other evidence!?
Those who are paid to lie - lie with ease.
The Master's justice
Many months have passed since the scandal of dead men walking was revealed. Mr. Damjanovic, all chopped to pieces by his Muslim interrogators' knives, spent all of that time in jail waiting for a retrial. He was in jail for five long years. For who knows what reason, the western masters (who control Bosnia in every shape and form) decided to continue the circus:
BBC Summary of World Broadcasts, October 10, 1997:
Text of report by Bosnian Serb radio (Banja Luka) on 8th October
The Human Rights Chamber of Bosnia-Hercegovina - founded in Dayton; made up of eight foreign and six domestic judges - reached a decision in Sarajevo today ordering the Muslim judiciary not to carry out and immediately suspend the death sentences on Sretko Damjanovic, sentenced on 12th March 1993 by the Muslim [Sarajevo] district court for alleged genocide and crimes against civilians. Damjanovic was accused of killing two Muslim brothers in 1992, but the brothers were later found alive.
The judiciary of the Bosnia-Hercegovina Federation was ordered by 8th November to inform the chamber on the measures taken with the aim of implementing the order.
On 11th December last year Damjanovic brought charges against the Bosnia-Hercegovina Federation because of its violation of the European convention on the protection of human rights and liberties in connection with the trial against him, which the Human Rights Chamber found justified and acceptable.
Commenting on the conclusions regarding the decision on the validity of Damjanovic's appeal in connection with the legal provisions for carrying out the death sentence, the chamber said the execution of the sentence would be the violation of Protocol 6 of this convention, and consequently the violation of Annex 6 of the Dayton Agreement on the part of the Federation Bosnia-Hercegovina.
The Washington Times, February 14, 1999, Pg. A10, title: "War criminal gets compensation"
Bosnia's Muslim-Croat federation is to pay nearly $10,000 in damages to a former Bosnian Serb soldier who is serving a 40-year jail sentence for war crimes, a senior law officer said.
Sead Palavric [a Muslim], the legal attorney of the federation, said Sretko Damjanovic, who was originally sentenced to death, was being compensated for being subjected to the fear of execution.
She said he should by now have received the money, but Damjanovic's lawyer could not confirm this.
The case has provoked outrage in the federation, with Sarajevo media demanding to know who will compensate Bosnian citizens for their fear and suffering through 43 months of war.
So what is the cost of spending more than seven years in jail? What is the cost of ruined health through vicious torture? What is the cost of world-wide humiliation, continuing use of war-criminal label? Did Mr. Damjanovic ever get the money? What is the use of any money while you are confined in the enemy's JAIL?
Another year passed, and almost two years after the dead men walking scandal, Mr. Herak is still in jail. Again, for unknown reasons the masters intervene with their sense of "justice.":
Agence France Presse, February 12, 2000, title:
"Damjanovic, Serb convicted of genocide, to be retried "
The Human Rights Chamber of Bosnia and Hercegovina has ordered a retrial of Sretko Damjanovic, a Bosnian Serb found guilty of warcrimes in Bosnia, Vecernje Novine daily reported here Saturday.
Damjanovic was sentenced to death by a Sarajevo court in 1993 after being found guilty of genocide and crimes against civilians while fighting for the Bosnian Serb army around Sarajevo in 1992.
In November 1998, a court changed the sentence to 40 years in prison and the Supreme Court of the Moslem-Croat Federation reduced Damjanovic's sentence to 20 years prison in March last year.
Now the Human Rights Chamber has accepted Damjanovic's appeal against the Muslim-Croat Federation and ordered the Federation to organize a new trial, the report said.
The Human Rights Chamber was established in accordance with the Dayton Peace Agreement with the task of monitoring the actions of public authorities, including the judiciary.
And that is the last we could read about Mr. Damjanovic in the democratic press of the West. Quite probably, as you read this, the two people are still rottening in the Islam fundamentalist's jail. They are guilty by birth. They dared be born as Serbs. They are victims of resurrected Nazism of the West.
(This is what I know as of today December 2013 - Den Galna Serben)
Sretko Damjanovic has after 9 years in hell been released of all charges.
He is today a sick man. He says they have been plaing Russian roulette with me in prison, I have been beaten every single day and have so many scars that you cant count all. Sretko has 80% disability today and lives in a small refugee-room. He did get a small compensation for the time spent in jail which covered the Lawyers costs.
he is very sad about the fact that he is still remembered all over the world today as the worst criminal Sarajevo ever had...
No reporters are showing up today as they did after I was tortured to sign a 50 page confession.
In fact Media even today continue to quote the old stories, the lies.
Borislav Herak stayed in jail until 2012 when he was released and I do not know about his whereabouts.
The media quickly turned on the mute mode when facts came out about these men having been innocent of the crimes they were charged of and there seems to be no concerns about any human rights abuses when it comes to these men. But then again, they are ONLY SERBS.........