Former Croatian minister confirms CIA's involvement in 1995 military operation

Jared Israel Borba100 at
Tue Sep 4 10:52:06 MDT 2001

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Former Croatian minister confirms CIA's involvement in 1995 military operation
SOURCE: HRT1 TV, Zagreb, in Serbo-Croat 1730 gmt 20 Aug 01
[Translated from Croatian TV on 20 August, 2001, Monday]

Announcer: Today's issue of the US weekly 'Newsweek' carries a report
containing information that has been surmised for years, but has never been
officially confirmed. According to Newsweek's article headlined "What Did
the CIA Know" the US intelligence service closely cooperated with Croatia,
particularly in the preparation and during Operation Storm:

Reporter: The article says that in the mid-1990s the Americans helped the
Croats by sending them images of the Serb forces' movements and weapons
emplacements photographed by drones. The images were transmitted to an HQ
near Zadar from where they were then forwarded to the Pentagon. According
to top Croatian intelligence officials, copies were also sent to the
headquarters of Ante Gotovina the Croatian general in command of Operation
Storm. Miroslav Tudjman, the then head of the Croatian Intelligence
Service, says in the article that the Croatian and American intelligence
services had a de facto partnership. The then Minister of Foreign Affairs
Mate Granic also knows about this cooperation:

Mate Granic: Of course I know, they cooperated well, these aircraft were
also used. During the Kosovo operation Croatia also cooperated successfully
as a partner of NATO and the USA.

Reporter: The article further says that the US officials have confirmed
that the CIA had limited sharing of intelligence information with Croatia,
but also insist American operatives did nothing that contributed to war
crimes, nor did they know anything about planning for criminal activity.

These facts can be used for defence in the Gotovina case, the article
further says. His defence counsel Luka Misetic says that there were many
sets of eyes watching Operation Storm. No one there in the CIA saw there
was a problem with war crimes. A former senior administration official says
the White House had the usual scatter of information about individual
incidents, but no evidence that the Croats were going out of their way to
terrorize the Serb population.

Another issue is how to pressure the USA into opening their archives and
forwarding documents to the Hague tribunal:

Mate Granic: The US is reluctant to give any of its intelligence reports -
that has been our experience so far. As for whether it will give any
documents now, it is up to the Hague tribunal and the USA.

Reporter: Gotovina's lawyer announced he would ask for this by subpoena.
Roy Gutman concludes by saying that the US cannot wash its hands of it now,
having been collecting evidence all the time and finally saying: We were
not there.

Copyright 2001 BBC Reposted For Fair Use Only


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