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March 30, 2011

Everything Old Is New Again

By: John Caruso

Yugoslavia, 1999:

American intelligence agents have admitted they helped to train the Kosovo Liberation Army 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. Central Intelligence Agency officers were ceasefire monitors in Kosovo in 1998 and 1999, developing ties with the KLA and giving American military training manuals and field advice on fighting the Yugoslav army and Serbian police.

When the Organisation for Security and Co-operation in Europe (OSCE), which co-ordinated the monitoring, left Kosovo a week before airstrikes began a year ago, many of its satellite telephones and global positioning systems were secretly handed to the KLA, ensuring that guerrilla commanders could stay in touch with NATO and Washington. Several KLA leaders had the mobile phone number of General Wesley Clark, the NATO commander.

Libya, 2011:

Barack Obama signed a secret order authorising covert US government support for rebel forces seeking to oust Libyan leader Muammar Gaddafi, according to government officials.

Mr Obama reportedly signed the order, known as a presidential "finding", within the last two or three weeks, four US government sources told Reuters. [...]

The New York Times reported that the CIA has had clandestine operatives who have been gathering intelligence for air strikes and making contact with the rebels for several weeks.

As far as we know the Libyan resistance isn't basically an organized crime outfit led by a heroin dealer and human organ trafficker, though, so there are at least a few differences.

(That "two or three weeks" is very interesting, given that Security Council resolution 1973 was only passed 13 days ago.)

— John Caruso

Posted at March 30, 2011 08:15 PM

Adam Curtis traces the history of "humanitarian intervention". Includes Bernard Kouchner, Bernard Henri Levy, Gaddafi, Tony Bliar, Samantha Power.

Posted by: mistah charley, ph.d. at March 31, 2011 12:29 PM

Who sez lightning don't strike twice. Ya know, in that proweling, smuggeling, sneak-thief way, Obama is looking FAIRLY Presidential, these dayz. Maybe there's a way to spam Sun Tzu's book to ALL the Libyans, THAT would do them more good than what the CIA IS going to do for them.

Posted by: Mike Meyer at March 31, 2011 01:55 PM

Read the Thaci article. Hey, can WE turn over a rock and find a leach, or what???!!!

Posted by: Mike Meyer at March 31, 2011 02:05 PM

Yeah the whole issue of the so-called rebel Libyans has been murky (to me at least) but the usual rule of thumb wins out again: if the US backs it then it's evil.

Posted by: DavidByron at March 31, 2011 02:18 PM

A fine post by JC!

Posted by: N E at March 31, 2011 08:37 PM

Thank Bill Clinton for saving the lives of the Bosnians....they were being slaughtered like chickens by the Serbs, and what did Europe and Nato do wrung their hands and complained when Bill Clinton had the Navy fly some missions to tell the Serbs that if the UN and NATO were powerless to stop them then SOMEBODY would.
Remember Srebrenezia, and the cowardly walk away by UN forces, remember the Serbs pulling a Bosnian official from a Canadian UN armored car and shooting him dead in front of the UN troops?
I am very very thankful that the US sent in CIA assets to help the Bosnians aren't you???
And Yes it bothers me that we get no credit either from the rest of the Muslim world and that the oh so sophisticated Europeans who called us cowboys...
Damn Skippy

Posted by: TrDem55 at April 3, 2011 01:25 AM

Man, that comment sure takes me back to the old days.

I am very very thankful that the US sent in CIA assets to help the Bosnians...

So thankful that you didn't notice I was talking about the US planting CIA agents in Kosovo, not Bosnia.

Posted by: John Caruso at April 5, 2011 02:53 AM