What Did The CIA's George Tenet
Know About US Covert Operations In Yugoslavia?

Previously describing himself as having the 'best job in government' GeorgeTenet became Deputy Director of the CIA in 1995 and its acting Director in 1996, formally graduating to the top job in 1997. Previously Tenet had served as Special Assistant to the President and Senior Director for Intelligence Programs at the National Security Council. While at the NSC, he coordinated (amongst other matters) Presidential Decision Directives on 'Intelligence Priorities' and interagency activities concerning covert action.

It would seem, therefore, that his influence throughout the 1990s was considerable and across multiple intelligence agencies. At the time of his appointment as Director of the CIA it was pointed out by former Republican Senator Warren Rudman on PBS television that that Tenet 'will not only be the head of the CIA. He is essentially the director of Central Intelligence with broad jurisdiction over a number of agencies'. In the same programme former CIA director James Woolsey suggested that Tenet's character 'shows a certain deft capacity for deception which really suits him very well for the job'.

Allegations of the CIA's role in fuelling ethnic conflict in former Yugoslavia in the 1990s are of especial interest when it comes to considering matters of US deception in global affairs.

A letter to the International Criminal Tribunal for the former Yugoslavia in the Hague submitted by the Croatian World Congress in July 2002 claims US involvement in the Croatian led 'Operation Storm' which resulted in the ethnic cleansing of up to 200,000 Serbs from Croatia in 1995. Although in practice the purpose of the letter was to protect the extradition of Croatian General Ante Gotovina to the Hague for his role in the operation, the letter reports CIA involvement in the exercise and specifically cites George Tenet as one of the US officials against which it is potentially seeking redress.

A congressional press release of 16 January 1997 confirms that the US covert policy of arming Islamic militants in Bosnia was approved by Clinton in April 1994 on the recommendation of a man called Anthony Lake. The press release also states that "the Clinton Administration's policy of facilitating the delivery of arms to the Bosnian Muslims made it the de facto partner of an ongoing international network of governments and organizations pursuing their own agenda in Bosnia: the promotion of Islamic revolution in Europe. That network involves not only Iran but Brunei, Malaysia, Pakistan, Saudi Arabia, Sudan (a key ally of Iran), and Turkey, together with front groups supposedly pursuing humanitarian and cultural activities.... [one group] is believed to be connected with such fixtures of the Islamic terror network as Sheik Omar Abdel Rahman (the convicted mastermind behind the 1993 World Trade Center bombing) and Osama Binladen, a wealthy Saudi emigre believed to bankroll numerous militant groups."

In 1995 Lake was head of the US National Security Council and by 1997 he had become CIA Director designate. However, by that stage Congress had become aware of the US-Islamic partnership scandal in Bosnia and Lake was forced to relinquish his candidacy for the post at the top of the CIA. Tenet was brought in to replace him.

According to an Associated Press report 19 February 1997 "During Clinton's first term, Tenet served on Lake's National Security Council staff as principal intelligence adviser. Lake, a close friend of Tenet, recommended him for the job in a Monday night conversation with Clinton..."

Prior to the adverse change in Lake's fortunes the Washington Post reported that "One advantage Lake will have is the help of CIA deputy director George J. Tenet, a former NSC assistant of Lake's who is expected to remain in the job and has spent most of his time at the CIA with the clandestine operatives." Tenet therefore was no stranger to covert operations.

After Tenet was put forward to replace Lake the Centre for Security Policy commented that "the trouble with nominating George Tenet ..... is that such individuals may well be implicated in the sorts of controversies that proved to be show-stoppers for Tony Lake."...."


"The Croatian World Congress sent a letter last week demanding that Carla Del Ponte, the chief prosecutor of the International Criminal Tribunal for the former Yugoslavia (ICTY), open a criminal investigation into Mr. Clinton and other top officials of his administration [including the CIA's George Tenet] for 'aiding and abetting indicted Croatian Gen. Ante Gotovina in a 1995 Croatian military operation known as ´Operation Storm.´... Secretly supported by the Clinton administration, Croatian forces launched a massive three-day military offensive - known as 'Operation Storm' - on Aug. 4, 1995, in which Croatia recovered territories occupied by rebel Serbs following Zagreb´s drive for independence from Yugoslavia in 1991.... The Croatian World Congress said the U.S. administration gave the green light for the operation and provided diplomatic and political support for it."
Balkans tribunal turns to Clinton
Washington Times, 8 July 2002

Click Here to view Croatian World Congress letter

"The complaint filed today [by the Croatian World Congress] alleges that the US officials aided Gen. Gotovina and the Croatian Army ('HV') in Operation Storm by violating a UN arms embargo and allowing  Croatia to obtain weapons... US officials established a CIA base inside of Gen. Gotovina's military base which provided the US officials with real-time video footage of events transpiring on the ground during Operation Storm (and thus imputing to them knowledge of events on the ground), but also from which they could provide such intelligence data to General Gotovina to assist him in conducting Operation Storm.  If General Gotovina carried out a pre-planned campaign to deport 150,000 to 200,000 Croatian Serb civilians, then the CIA base was not only used to provide knowledge to US officials of such a plan and course of conduct on the part of General Gotovina, but was also used to assist General Gotovina in achieving the goals of his alleged plan.  The US officials gave the green light for the Operation and provided diplomatic and political support for it.  The US officials at all times had the ability to halt the military operation.  Accordingly, the US officials named in the complaint should be indicted for having aided and abetted General Gotovina."
Croatian World Congress, Press Release, 4 July 2002

"Americans in military uniform, operating from a cream-colored trailer near the runway, directed the GNAT-750 drone to photograph Serb troop positions and weapons emplacements. The images were transmitted back to base, analyzed and then passed on to the Pentagon. According to top Croat intelligence officials, copies were also sent to the headquarters of the Croatian general in command of 'Operation Storm.'... Now the successful CIA operation is about to become defense exhibit A in a war-crimes case at The Hague tribunal. Last month prosecutors announced the indictment of General Gotovina for atrocities committed during and after Operation Storm, including the murder of 150 Krajina Serbs, the forced displacement of as many as 200,000 others and the torching of thousands of homes.... Now a NEWSWEEK investigation has shown that U.S. intelligence cooperation with Croatia went far deeper than Washington has ever acknowledged. According to Miro Tudjman, son of the late president Franjo Tudjman and head of the Croatian counterpart to the CIA in the mid-1990s, the United States provided encryption gear to each of Croatia's regular Army brigades. He says the CIA also spent at least $10 million on Croatian listening posts to intercept telephone calls in Bosnia and Serbia. 'All our [electronic] intelligence in Croatia went online in real time to the National Security Agency in Washington,' says Tudjman. 'We had a de facto partnership.' American officials familiar with intelligence issues confirm that the CIA operated drones from a base near Zadar on the Adriatic coast, during and after Operation Storm... And the country's former intelligence chiefs have decided to speak out about their ties to the United States as a way of vouching for Gotovina's innocence. 'I always said that the only people in Croatia who know everything are the Americans,' says Markica Rebic, the former head of military intelligence. When Gotovina stands trial, some of those Americans may be asked to testify about their country's role in an ugly conflict."
What Did the CIA Know?
NEWSWEEK, 21 August 2001

"President Clinton has authorised an all-out campaign to topple Slobodan Milosevic, according to sources close to the US Government. Earlier this spring, Mr Clinton signed a secret presidential 'finding' giving the Central Intelligence Agency (CIA) the green light to try to bring down the Yugoslav president, said sources quoted in the US news-magazine Time. The reported campaign has two tracks, overt and covert....Now, six new radio transmitters outside Serbian territory will beam a 24-hour diet of pro-Western broadcasts to bolster dissident elements. "
'CIA ordered to topple Milosevic': US report
BBC Online, 6 July 1999

"I read the latest reports concerning a recent Executive Order that hands the CIA a black bag in the Balkans for engineering a military coup in Serbia, for interrupting communications, for tampering with bank accounts, freezing assets abroad and training the Kosovo Liberation Army in terrorist tactics, such as how to blow up buildings. How this is intended to help establish a democracy in Serbia or Kosovo hasn't been explained. Nor has the failure to substantially demilitarize the KLA been explained. Nor has the reverse ethnic cleansing taking place in Kosovo by the KLA while NATO rules the province been explained."
Democrat Congressman Dennis Kucinich, Ohio
The Progressive, Vol 63, No.8, August 1999

"American intelligence agents have admitted they helped to train the Kosovo Liberation Army [KLA] before Nato's bombing of Yugoslavia. The disclosure angered some European diplomats, who said this had undermined moves for a political solution to the conflict between Serbs and Albanians... Several KLA leaders had the mobile phone number of General Wesley Clark, the Nato commander..."
CIA aided Kosovo guerrilla army
Sunday Times , 12 March 2000

"The United States secretly supported the ethnic Albanian extremists now behind insurgencies in Macedonia and southern Serbia. The CIA encouraged former Kosovo Liberation Army fighters to launch a rebellion in southern Serbia in an effort to undermine the then Yugoslav President Slobodan Milosevic, according to senior European officers who served with the international peace-keeping force in Kosovo (K-For), as well as leading Macedonian and US sources. They accuse American forces with K-For of deliberately ignoring the massive smuggling of men and arms across Kosovo's borders.... European officers are furious that the Americans have allowed guerrilla armies in its sector to train, smuggle arms and launch attacks across two international borders. ...One European K-For battalion commander told The Observer yesterday: 'The CIA has been allowed to run riot in Kosovo with a private army designed to overthrow Slobodan Milosevic...."
'CIA's bastard army ran riot in Balkans' backed extremists'
Observer, 11 March 2001

"On April 8 [1999] the Party of Democratic Socialism in Germany [PDS], an opponent of the war, issued a report describing an alleged CIA covert operation named 'Operation Roots' aimed at sowing ethnic divisions in Yugoslavia to encourage its breakup. The report claimed that this operation has been going on 'since the beginning of Clinton's presidency.' It was supposedly a joint operation with the German secret service, which also sought to destabilize Yugoslavia. The final objective 'is the separation of Kosovo, with the aim of it becoming part of Albania; the separation of Montenegro, as the last means of access to the Mediterranean; and the separation of the Vojvodina, which produces most of the food for Yugoslavia. This would lead to the total collapse of Yugoslavia as a viable independent state.' The report also asserts that the KLA was founded by the CIA with funding was funneled through drug-smuggling operations in Europe."
Fun Facts About Our New Allies
The Progressive Review (Washington), 22 June 1999

"Albania ... offered NATO and the U.S. an important military outpost in the turbulent southern Balkans (in the 1990-96 period Albania opened its ports and airstrips for U.S. military use and housed CIA spy planes for flights over Bosnia).... The U.S. played a major role in the DP’s 1992 electoral victory, and it then provided the new government with military, economic, and political support. In the 1991-96 period Washington directly provided Albania $236 million in economic aid, making the U.S. the second largest bilateral economic donor (following Italy).....Following Berisha’s visit to the U.S. in March 1991, Washington began supplying direct assistance to the DP, including donations of computers and cars for the 1992 electoral campaign. William Ryerson, the first U.S. ambassador, stood next to Berisha on the podium at election rallies. The U.S. failed to criticize, and at times encouraged, the new president as he purged critics of his policies within the judicial system, police, and the DP—often through illegal means. By 1993 DP loyalists and family members held most of the prominent positions in Albania’s ministries, institutes, universities, and state media. Citing the threat of communism’s return, Berisha successfully instilled fear in the population and discredited his rivals. The U.S. embassy in Albania contributed to the polarization of Albanian politics by refusing to meet most of the opposition parties (former communists as well as others) for the first two years of DP rule. This one-sided view of democratization helped Berisha dismantle most political alternatives, some of which were moderate and truly democratic. Albania had become a strategic outpost in the region, and the U.S. did not want to jeopardize its new control and political influence in the country. In 1992 Washington deployed a Military Liaison Team to the country and started outfitting the Albanian military with nonlethal equipment, technical expertise, and training. Albania was the first East European state to request NATO membership, and in February 1994 it became a member of the NATO-associated Partnership for Peace. Albania has participated in numerous military training operations with the U.S. and other NATO powers, and the CIA has used Albania as a base for air reconnaissance missions over Bosnia. In January 1995, the U.S. Army finished building a radar station in northern Albania for use by the Albanian military. In addition, Albania opened its land, marine, and airport facilities to NATO operations in the former Yugoslavia....In the volatile Balkans, the U.S. is faced with a serious crisis that it helped fuel. The raging anarchy in Albania is both a serious setback for Albania’s democratic development and a threat to regional security. In this regard, the disintegration of police and military forces has resulted in the widespread availability of weapons. These are easily purchased or stolen not only by Berisha’s opponents but also by criminal gangs and terrorist elements both inside and outside Albania. "
Foreign Policy In Focus, Volume 2, Number 33 May 1997

"During Senate hearings, [head of the National Security Council] Lake was forced to admit that the U.S. knew of the Iranian arms flights [into former Yugoslavia] and did nothing to stop them. Lake, who was then up for the newly vacated CIA Directorship, admitted the misdeeds and resigned in disgrace. The sudden admission of a U.S./Iranian plot to arm the Muslims strained relations [with European allies]....."
How Clinton created Serb war
WorldNetDaily 6 April 1999

"The scale of America's espionage operations cannot be understated. Hundreds of personnel from the Central Intelligence Agency, the Defense Intelligence Agency and the National Security Agency were deployed in Bosnia during 1994 and 95. The US contributed far more spies than infantry - but what UNPROFOR needed was infantry. Washington wanted it both ways. It had no players on the pitch, but that wasn't going to stop it trying to dictate the outcome of the 'game'.... Senior officials in the State Department, the CIA and the National Security Council believed that the only solution possible was what they called 'lift and strike'. They wanted to re-arm and train the Croats and the Muslims and then encourage them to fight an all-out war against the Bosnian Serb Army. 'Lift and strike' was totally contrary to the UN mandate and in breach of the Arms Embargo. It was Washington's secret agenda. Correspondent can reveal that part of the American administration went so far as to manipulate NATO resources in order to re-arm the Bosnian Army -- BiH Army....  NATO's primary involvement in the Balkans was Operation Deny Flight - the total ban on all unauthorised flying over Bosnia.... But this vital operation was manipulated by the Americans in order to do exactly what it was designed to stop - make covert, embargo-busting flights over Bosnia."
Allies and lies
BBC, Correspondent, June 2001
(From Full Programme Transcript)

"American intelligence agents have admitted they helped to train the Kosovo Liberation Army [KLA] before Nato's bombing of Yugoslavia. The disclosure angered some European diplomats, who said this had undermined moves for a political solution to the conflict between Serbs and Albanians... Several KLA leaders had the mobile phone number of General Wesley Clark, the Nato commander....European diplomats then working for the OSCE claim it was betrayed by an American policy that made airstrikes inevitable. Some have questioned the motives and loyalties of William Walker, the American OSCE head of mission....Some European diplomats in Pristina, Kosovo's capital, concluded from Walker's background that he was inextricably linked with the CIA."
CIA aided Kosovo guerrilla army
Sunday Times , 12 March 2000

"Evans & Novak column reported in February that 'PresidentBush's plan to roll back U.S. involvement in Kosovo could be undermined by CIA Director George Tenet.' They noted that Tenet was a cheerleader for Bill Clinton's war against Yugoslavia and that his role included 'downplaying the truth about the Kosovo Liberation Army, which was in fact a terrorist organization.' With tensions high in the region, they said Tenet's role as chief intelligence gatherer made him an influential player in Balkans policy. Clinton's policy, implemented by Tenet, is responsible for the war that has now spread into Macedonia, a small nation next to Yugoslavia. Jeffrey Smith of the Washington Post has written an article describing how KLA guerrillas had plotted the war in Macedonia as far back as December 1999. They formed a new terrorist group, the National Liberation Army, but it was comprised largely of the KLA. Officially, the KLA is now supposed to be disbanded. Smith said that some of the weapons they have recently been using came from old KLA caches in Kosovo 'that NATO peacekeepers have not confiscated.' The bizarre situation has seen NATO peacekeepers depending on their old enemies, the Serb Army, to keep the new KLA contained in Kosovo. Evening news programs have shown NATO peacekeepers watching KLA fighters move through the mountains smuggling weapons. But Smith describes a fight between the guerrillas and U.S. Army Special Forces in Kosovo that resulted in one of the terrorists being wounded. It may be just a matter of time before U.S. military personnel come home in body bags. This doesn't seem to bother the Post. It ran a separate story arguing that the Bush Administration needs to expand its military involvement in Macedonia. It said our European allies were frustrated that the U.S. under President Bush seems to want to avoid taking casualties. Before the U.S. gets more deeply involved in a quagmire, it would be wise for the U.S. media to assume the stance of an adversary press and get to the bottom of how all of this happened. Jeffrey Smith's article was an excellent first step. But are we to believe this wasn't known to George Tenet of the CIA? When the CIA supported the KLA, we have to assume that the agency was aware that Kosovo wasn't the only objective of the KLA. Perhaps President Clinton didn't care about the terrorist organization's objectives for the entire region, but we have a new president in the White House who is supposed to have a different foreign policy. Yet he still has the same CIA director. President Bush has been maneuvered into continuing some aspects of the Clinton policy on Yugoslavia. He is now demanding that the new democratic government of Yugoslavia turn Slobodan Milosevic over to a U.N. criminal tribunal for a trial on war crimes charges. But some of the charges, such as involvement in the so-called Racak massacre, are so phony that some observers think Milosevic could beat the rap. The trial could make him into a martyr in Yugoslavia and destabilize the country's democratic government. Then we would have even more of a mess."
Another War in Yugoslavia
Media Monitor, 13 April 2001

"The US Embassy in Belarus has admitted that it is pursuing a policy similar to that in 1980s Nicaragua, in which anti-government Contra rebels were funded and supported.... In an unusual admission, Michael Kozak, the US Ambassador to Belarus, said in a letter to a British newspaper that America's 'objective and to some degree methodology are the same' in Belarus as in Nicaragua, where the US backed the Contras against the left-wing Sandinista Government in a war that claimed at least 30,000 lives. Mr Kozak was not available for comment..... The ambassador's disclosure has coincided with moves by the Bush Administration to gain increased political influence in Eastern Europe and the Balkans and with reports in several European newspapers, which said that former US servicemen believed to be working for the CIA were escorted with Albanian guerrillas from a village in the Former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia earlier this year."
US adopts 'Contras policy' in communist Belarus
London Times, 3 September 2001

"A more revealing report was released April 8 by Jurgen Reents, press spokes person for the Party of Democratic Socialism in Germany. The PDS received almost as many votes as the Green Party, which is part of Germany's ruling coalition. The PDS has actively opposed the NATO war on Yugoslavia. Reents said the report came from someone who holds a 'strictly confidential and high position in the offices of the German government.' The report came through a Catholic priest who has kept the individual's identity secret but has verified the person's authenticity. The report asserts that top NATO, U.S., British and German officials are 'utterly lying in public concerning almost all the facts in regard to the Balkan War.' ...The report says that the German government knows NATO consciously created the refugee crisis. For example, the report says, NATO has targeted and destroyed nearly every fresh-water facility in Kosovo. It also asserts that there are KLA units in Kosovo--one is entirely U.S. mercenaries, the other German mercenaries--who report to the military commands of those countries. Perhaps most revealing is the report's description of a CIA covert operation cynically named 'Operation Roots.' It is aimed at sowing ethnic divisions in Yugoslavia to encourage its breakup. The report says that this operation has been going on 'since the beginning of Clinton's presidency.' It is a joint operation with the German secret service, which has also sought to destabilize Yugoslavia. .. The report asserts that the KLA was founded by the CIA. And the funding was funneled through drug-smuggling operations in Europe. The authenticity of this report cannot be independently verified at this time. But much of it is consistent with what is already known. It helps to expose the real forces behind the war on Yugoslavia and shows who are the true aggressors."
Who's The KLA? - German document reveals secret CIA role
Workers World Service, 29 April 1999

US Backed Islamic Terrorism in the Balkans
Press Reports

Click here for access to these categories

1. Oil and US Geopolitical Objectives in the Balkans

2. US backed terrorism in Croatia

3. US backed terrorism in Bosnia

4. US backed terrorism in Kosovo

5. US backed terrorism in Macedonia

6. The human cost of US backed terrorism in the Balkans

NLPWESSEX, natural law publishing