Part 1 - The Yugoslav Case
In today's world where not only newspapers but also news is dying, it is hardly surprising that people have neither a broad understanding of what is going on nor a coherent recall of what happened in the recent past. It is all just a bit of a blur where individual incidents - especially if they involve celebreties, particularly flashy or controversial politicians - capture the headlines, dominate the news reports, and monopolize the talk shows. Public knowledge is just an amalgam of what comedians, tv presenters, and weighty commentators are willing and/or able to make of world events. It has become, as Harold Pinter reminded us while receiving this year's Nobel Prize for Literature, a pernicious blend of art, truth and politics.
Who, for example, remembers what happened in the rest of the world when former American football star and flashy tv ad presenter O. J. Simpson was on trial in California for murdering his estranged wife Nicole and an acquaintance of hers, Ron Goldman, on June 12, 1994? While most people in the developed world were glued to their tv sets, and talking endlessly about what had
happened - e. g., Nicole's 911 call for help after O. J. beat her up again, and LA detective Mark Furman's testimony about his investigation of the murders - how many of them have any recall of what was going on in Bosnia at the same time? And when President Clinton tried to put back the pieces there by sending in American troops as peacekeepers - what Washington had encouraged at Yugoslavia's expense by urging Muslim militant Alija Izetbegovic to seize power as President, declare independence from Belgrade after an illegal referendum, and set about building a Muslim state?
And this had all started when George Bush was still President, and facing a difficult re-election prospect. The European Union was intent on breaking up Slobodan Milosevic's communist Yugoslavia, resulting in both Solvenia and Croatia declaring their independence from it the previous year. To compensate for the losses, Croatia's Franjo Tudjman and Milosevic agreed at Karadordevo on March 25, 1991 to carve up Bosnia along ethnic lines, what would leave its Muslims out in the cold, and tear up what Izetbegovic, Croat Mate Boban and Serb Radovan Karadzic had argeed to earlier in Lisbon about an independent Bosnia.
In an effort reminiscent of how Richard Nixon managed to steal the 1968 presidential election by promising South Vietnam's President Nguyen Van Thieu a better deal if he refused to attend the peace conference that LBJ had called at the last minute to help assure Hubert Humphrey's election, Bush instructed American Ambassador Warren Zimmerman to tell the Muslim leader on March 28, 1992, that he too would get a better deal if he tore up the Lisbon Accords - which he did. In the end, Bosnia got less from the Dayton Accords during the Clinton administration than had been agreed to in Lisbon.
And when Clinton was facing impeachment four years later, how many people recall his missile attacks on Sudan, Afghanistan and Pakistan - what were intended not only to help head off the process but also to give some payback to Osama bin Laden for Al-Qaeda's attacks on the US Embassies in Kenya and Tanzania? And when everyone was concentrating on the whole sordid details of his dealings with Monica Lewinski, and his lies about them as his impeachment gathered momentum, how many remember Secretary of State Madeleine Albright's meetings with Milosevic's representatives in Rambouillet, France where the Yugoslav President was issued an ultimatum - either allow 28,000 NATO peacekeepers into Kosovo or face a massive aerial bombardment by 430 of its aircraft, including F-117 stealth fighter bombers and B-52s?
I reckon not many because they were all most secret operations whose details, if known, would have reflected most badly on Washington, the Clinton administration, the EU, and, most surprisingly, Israel. Few people took seriously Gordon Thomas's claims in Gideon's Spies: The Secret History of the Mossad that its agents were tapping the sexual encounters that the President had had over the phone with Ms. Lewinski - what it was now using to blackmail the White House - much less ask for what possible purpose.
And once freed from the threat after the Senate rejected the bills of impeachment on Febraury 12, 1999, the President had NATO rush to put together the bombing campaign in Kosovo which commenced six weeks later. This was to bring to a successful conclusion all the secret operations that the CIA had carried out to help the Kosovo Liberation Army (KLA) gain independence from the Republic of Serbia. The KLA had originally been trained and financed by Osama's Al-Qaeda, and the job had been completed by CIA security agents, Dyncorp and the MPRI. Their greatest accomplishment was making it look like the Serbs had carried out the massacre of Kosovars at Racak - where several dozen residents had apparently had had their throats slit, and their bodies dumped in a ditch.
While the Yugoslav President had forced some Kosovars out of the province into Serbia both to undermine their claim to self-determination, and to prepare for the apparent NATO onslaught, it was trying to get the Albanian and Kosovar clan chiefs to withdraw their people from the province to make it look as if Milosevic was engaged in ethnic cleansing, but without much success. For those ethic Muslims who refused, the KLA and the CIA took the strongest measures, as the autopsies of some of those allegedly killed at Racak showed. To add to the charge, NATO, thanks to the connivance by agents of the Office of Security and Cooperation in Europe (OSCE), overruled two inquests into the Racak affair, claiming simply that the Serbians had carried out a massacre.
Clinton, now cleared of lying and obstructing justice in a significant way, and joined by British Prime Minister Tony Blair, was free to establish his legacy - the ending of the last traces of communism in Europe through the efforts of the Moujahedeen who had ended it in Afghanistan. The only possible downside to the project was the risk of building a trans-national Muslim state across southeast Europe from the Adriatic to the Black Sea, and at the expense of Serbia, Macedonia, and Bulgaria. Still, Clinton thought it was well worth it, and on March 24, 1999, NATO started dropping over 200 million dollars-worth of ordnance a day on selected targets in Serbia to force its army to withdraw from Kosovo, but which only immediately forced the Kosovars to leave in droves. When NATO feared that the public was learning too much about the damage wrought, it bombed Serbian TV with considerable loss of life. When NATO learned that the Chinese Embassy was transmitting messages to the Serbian military after its jets had silenced Slobodan's, it destroyed it. (William Blum, Rogue State, pp. 233-4)
After 78 days of constant bombing - what devastated Serbia's infrastructure, laid waste to vast areas of human habitation, caused many willful, unnecessary and unlawful killings, and contaminated vast areas of land and sea with toxic and unexploded ordnance - Milosevic finally withdrew his army from Kosovo, and the aerial assault ceased. The attacks were aimed at Serbia's economic elite by destroying its infrastructure - who had been softened up by the CIA's National Endowment for Democracy (NED) to push for comprehensive market reform - so that it would oust the old communist warhorse and his inner circle, especially Karadzic and General Ratko Mladic. To see that they got their just desserts, the Americans even agreed to the establishment of the International Criminal Tribunal for the Former Yugoslavia in The Hague.
Milosevic's increasingly nationalist regime, seeking a Greater Serbia, had become apparently totally isolated because the need of its acting as a counterweight to the USSR - what had provided Marshal Tito with all kinds of concessions from Europe because of his steadfastness - had collapsed with his death, and that of the Soviet bloc. After Tito died in 1980, his successors, especially Ivan Stambolic, had tried to keep the policies and allies that the famous Partisan leader had established, and things continued pretty much as they had been until Milosevic seized control of the Serbian Socialist Party from Stambolic, and was elected the Republic's President in the late 1980s. And to go along with Milosevic's Serbian nationalism, he switched sides on the Palestinian-Israeli conflict, not only resuming diplomatic relations with Tel Aviv - terminated after the Six Day War in 1967 - but also giving the Mossad an increasing role in its fight against the Muslims and separatists.
During the 1990s Israel became Serbia's only remaining ally. While 2,000 of Yugoslavia's few remaining Jews were immigrating to Palestine, Milosevic's government adopted 'false flag' operations which the Mossad had made famous, and for which it provided vital intelligence and assistance. The most active domestic group was Vuk Draskovic's Serbian Renewal Movement (SRM) whose Serbian Guard attempted to make it look like it was serious in ovethrowing Milosevic's regime in 1991 through street protests in Belgrade. When this fizzled out, its aim, along with other Serbian paramilitary groups, was to stoke up hatred with the Croats and Bosniacs by making wild claims - like Tudjman was trying to assassinate Milosevic while conducting secret negotiations with him, and behind the back of Izetbegovic's Bosniacs - and then arranging the killing of those involved, or using the deception as a basis for getting rid of less ideologically committed colleagues.
The organizer of these dummy political parties, and special forces who killed friend and foe alike who impeded the war on Islam was Jovica Stanisic, Milosevic's trusted covert operator who controlled all counterterrorist operations throughtout what was left of Yugoslavia by the draft law in 1997 which made him the Presidential Advisor for National Security. Stanisic's greatest claim to fame was the capture of Ilich Ramirez Sanchez aka 'Carlos the Jackal' back in 1976 in Belgrade after he killed two French secret service officers in Paris trying to arrest him on a tipoff from Mossad informer Michael Moukharbal. Ramirez was apparently a double agent of the Mossad who was a founding member of the Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine's Black September Movement which carried out assassinations, hijacking and kidnappings, guaranteed to insure that it never happened. Stanisic was now involved in a program to put PFLP-style operations against Muslims and Croats on a federation-wide basis to make sure its split-up never occurred.
To commenorate the achievements of Stanisic's State Security Division (RDB) in the Vojvodina region against Croats and Mulims during 1991-5 - what had earlier occurred in Bosnia - a celebration was called for the all the participants in the campaign, especially Dragan Vailjkovic's 300-man unit which stormed the Croatian town of Glina in 1991. At the celebration, a video was shot of the proceedings which became most explosive when it came time to try the various Serbian war criminals at The Hague.
As a witness during the trial of Milosevic explained, as Paul Gallagher reported for Reuters on February 19, 2003, "Milosevic Trial Shown Secret Paramiliary Video": "You can see all members of the Serbian State security in one place, which made it unique. I asked them to give me this tape and they denied it to me because it was very sensitive material." Of course, the presence of people like Milosevic, Stanisic, and his subordinate Franki Simatovi - name-sake of 'Frenkies Boys' which was led by the legendary Milorad Lukovic aka "Legija" - was to be expected.
The video would only be explosive if it showed the presence of foreign advisers, especially Israeli ones, in counterterrorism, and alleged domestic opponents who participiated in the RDB's various 'false-flag' operations. The frames would show that witnesses from Serbian military intelligence (the KOB), especially Slobodan Lazarevic and Mustafa Candic, testifying against Milosevic at his trial at The Hague were telling the truth when they claimed that the whole network of paramilitary groups, assemblies, and officials throughout Yugoslavia were completely under the control of "The Boss" in Belgrade, charges so upsetting to the former President that the court had to order a recess until he could regain his health and composure.
Then who was supplying Belgrade with the necessary information so that operations could be planned, and then carried out? It certainly wasn't the American intelligence community, nor the intelligence agencies of the various European states. The best evidence that Washington was not involved in any kind of black operations when it came to Serbia was demonstrated when President Clinton ordered the National Security Agency (NSA) in early 1993 to recruit on a crash basis 125 linguists to handle tactical communications in Serbo-Croat in the most hostile environment. (James Bamford, Body of Secrets: How America's NSA and Britain's GCHQ Eavesdrop on the World, p. 554.) If Washington were doing anything untoward in Bosnia, it would have trained linquists beforehand.
And it is interesting to note that Bamford does not have a word to say about the bombing of the Chinese Embassy in his book, though the NSA had promised to be much more forthcoming about its achievements at the time, and Bamford has included other contemporaneous developments - like the joint NSA-DARPA program to build a super computer which could fit in a coat pocket. (p. 609) "By 2001," he added, "researchers at MIT were actively attempting to marry the digital with the biological by altering the common E. coli bacterium to function as an electronic circuit." (p. 612)
The Embassy bombing had become for some explained reason an example of renewed NSA secrecy - what Jeffrey T. Richelson had complained about in his "Back to black" article for the May/June 2001 issue of the Bulletin of the Atomic Scientists, and the only apparent reason for the void is that there was much more to the bombing than Washington is prepared to admit.
And Britain's MI5 does seem to have been most unprotective of Israeli interests for some unexplained reason at this time, allowing its Embassy in London, and Balfour House, Finchley to have been bombed on July 26, 1994, resulting in 19 people being injured. According to the famous reporter Paul Foot, the Mossad had set up four Palestinians living in Britain for the crimes by having its agent Reda Moghrabi get them to buy and test explosives under the pretence that they would be used in Sidon, Lebanon. (For corroboration of this, see Annie Machon, Spies, Lies & Whistleblowers, p. 225ff.) And on July 13th, The Sunday Times reported that Mossad agents had come to London to warn British counterterrorists that Hezbollah planned to attack its Embassy - what turned out to be just another "false-flag" operation.
And, according to Richard Tomlinson, MI6 was trying to assassinate Milosevic back in 1992, hoping to arrange a convenient car crash for the President, a dummy paramilitary organization managing to penetrate his security network, or an Special Air Service (SAS) squad simply staging his assassination - what the Mossad might well have learned from Tomlinson himself who was willing to tell anyone who would listen the SIS's latest transgressions. And the Mossad attack on the London buildings could have well been a wake-up call to the Major government to take Israeli and Jewish security concerns more seriously.
This leaves only the Israelis, and it seems that American fugitive Marc Rich - who had renounced his US citizenship in 1983, and become one of Israel and Spain when his financial empire was charged with racketeering and trading with the enemy, Iran - provided the necessary connections between Belgrade and Tel Aviv so that the necessary trageting of individuals, and Muslim hotspots could take place. The Rich Foundation was a front for the Israeli government itself, and it was managed by important Mossad operatives, especially former directors Avner Azulay and Shabtai Shavit. It may well have transmitted important intelligence to Stanisic's people about how to conduct their campaigns through the Chinese Embassy - what could not be done by the Israeli Embassy because of the real risk of being discovered by NSA - explaining why NATO took it out during the aerial campaign after NSA finally got up to speed in reading its communications. Israel only even gave slight support to the bombing campaign, Foreign Minister Ariel Sharon refusing to cut ties with Belgrade.
In order to keep earlier operations most secret, Belgrade had not been loath, like the Israelis themselves, to eliminate those who might be security risks to the most essential Mossad program.The killings which come to mind are those of Beli Matic on August 11, 1991, Djordje Giska the following month, Aleksandar Knele a year later, and Goran Vukovic in December 1994. Serbian authorities predictably blamed these assassinations upon unspecified Western intelligence agencies rather than the Mossad and apparent domestic opponents - claims which just stoked up zenophobia. Little wonder that Milos Vasic wrote this in exasperation in "Two-years silence" in the June-November 2002 issue of the Bosnia Report after Stambolic had not been seen since 2000:
"For eleven years now the police have been simulating investigations, going through the same ritual motions, knowing all the while that the culprits will never be found. Hence the cyncisim of the police top brass: 'Well, John Kennedy was killed. Olof Palme was killed, it happens'..."
Those assassinated gained the name of the Vozdovac Gang, the place in Belgrade were Karadzic got his training in crowd education and mobilization during two appointments at its Health Center during the 1980s before he went off to Sarajevo in Bosnia to organize the Serbian revolt from its Health Center - what was kicked off by a highly-trained sharpshooter gunning down a Bosniac medical student as he went shopping downtown. The unsuspecting Matic was killed by a single bullet outside his home, as he was unlocking his car - reminiscent of how the Mossad had apparently arranged the killing of Said Hammami, who was seeking a negotiated settlement to the Palestinian-Israeli confict, in his London office in January 1978. (For more on this killing, and others that the Mossad arranged through surrogate killers, see Tony Geraghty, The Bullet Catchers, p. 376ff.)
It was just the kind of action that Ariel Sharon had called for back in 1990 when he grabbed the microphone away from Prime Minister Yitzhak Shamir during a Likud Party conference debating the issue, and shouted: "Who's for wiping out terrorism?" And the real possibility that Mossad leaders might well have had something to do with these assassinations, and that of "traitor"
Yitzhak Rabin when he was seriously involved in the implemention of the Oslo Accords to achieve peace between the Israelis and Palestinians was not diminished when his successor, Benjamin Netanyahu, was tempted to make either Efraim Halevy or Meir Dagan the Mossad's Director, only to settle for Danny Yatom after he was advised by a former veteran agent of its foreign relations department against it, declaring that Dagan would especially be a "recipe for disasters", with his "targeted killings during lulls" - what could destroy its relations with other secret intelligence agencies throughout the world.
Instead Dagan served as a counterterrorst expert for the Netanyahu government, and the Barak one which followed, while Halevy continued to run operations as its Deputy Director. And the growing involvement of Israel, especially the Mossad's, in Serbia's struggle was increasingly evident. Ever since the Americans had taken over Albania militarily back in 1991-2, the Mossad had been putting together "The Gazidede File" for Belgrade, named after the Albanians' secret intelligence chief, Baskin Gazidede, who was Albania's link with the Al Qaeda and the KLA. "In February 1999 Jane's" (Defence Weekly), M. Bozinovich has added in the just-posted article on Serbiana, "Al Qaeda in Kosovo", "cites that documents found on the body of a KLA member showed that he had escorted several volunteers into Kosovo, including more than a dozen Saudi Arabians."
By this time, Zeljko Raznatovic, the infamous hit man aka Arkan, was writing to President Clinton, as if he were Dagan, calling attention to the Al-Qaeda bombings in East Africa in the hope that he would take a more pro-Serbian view in the battle against Muslim terrorism. This was a far cry from when Arkan was setting out on his first mission in Bosnia, taking along Jewish photographer Ron Haviv to take pictures of his 'Tiger's atrocities in the hope that publishing them would scare the Bosniacs into submission. Now Arkan, for his trouble, saw his hotel in Belgrade destroyed during the bombing, and the Chinese Embassy joined the list when it was determined that he was using it to pass on military information to the Serbian forces. And then in January 2000, Belgrade arranged Arkan's assassination by Debrosav Gavric, just to keep critics guessing about who was pulling the strings, and calling the shots.
By this time, Vuk Draskovic had given up his charade that he was really opposed to what Milosevic was attempting with Mossad help, having distanced himself from the SRM, and joined the Belgrade government. Serbia had helped resupply weapons lost in the first Gulf War to Saddam Hussein's regime, Con Coughlin tells us in Saddam (p. 292), apparently in return for helping cleanse Yugoslavia of the Muslim menace for Tel Aviv. Baghdad and Abu Nidal aka Sabri Al-Banna of the PFLP had long settled their differences with Israel over the value and role of Arafat and his PLO, though the Mossad still made sure that Saddam was not achieving the means to strike Israel with devastating blows. Saddam had paid his dues to Tel Aviv by fighting its proxy war against Iran - what he tried to cover up as best he could when the Gulf War was commencing by firing a few Scud missiles Israel's way but without any real impact.
In return, Milosevic made sure that Arkin's followers, particularly "Legija", disposed of his most dangerous critic, Slavko Curuvija, and his most dangerous opponent, Stambolic, in the run-up to the 2000 presidential election. Curuvija, a whistle-blowing publisher, knew about all the extra-judicial killings, and threatened Milosevic's wife Mira Markovic, "a kind of communist Rasputin", to tell all - what could well have resulted in the couple being stung by an angry Belgrade mob on the nearest lamppost, like Mussolini and his infamous mistress. Curuvija was assassinated on April 11, 1999, and Stambolic disappeared on August 25, 2000. About Curujiva's killing, his Wikipedia biography adds: "It is still not known who carried out the assassination, nor who ordered it." To hide from the public Draskovic's role in the process, Arkan apparenlty took a shot at him twice but somehow missed both times.
Clinton, once the Yugoslav Army had been forced to withdraw from Kosovo, decided to settle scores with the other members of the secret triumvirate, Israel and China. While they thought that their covert system had remained secret from Washington, it had ultimately learned what was going on from NSA, and decided to strike when the moment was right. Israel had established diplomatic relations with Beijing the same time Belgrade had, and they had built rewarding economic and strategic relations ever since the late 1970s. Now Tel Aviv was under considerable pressure to make amends for the destruction of the Chinese Embassy in Belgrade, and they worked very cautiously for a settlement - the sale of around a half dozen, radar-equipped, early-warning planes aka Phalcons. Tel Aviv and Beijing had carefully worked diplomatically towards the culimination, Jiang Zemin coming to Israel in April to close the deal, only for Washington to cancel it three months later, sending the staggering Yugoslav ecomony into free fall.
It hit bottom when Milosevic lost the election in October, and refused to resign, obliging almost all his former collaborators, except the military, to organize his ouster. The movement was headed by the victor in the election, leader of Serbia's Democratic Party (DS) Vojislav Kostunica; Draskovic, who had arranged Arkan's assassination, and then had seen to the disposal of his killer, Momir Gavrilovic; and Zoran Djindjic, who took over the DS when Kostunica assumed the Presidency. They were all most eager to cut ties as best they could with the past for fear of being sent along with Milosevic and others charged with war crimes to the special tribunal in The Hague.
Back in Washington, President Clinton, to avoid a similar prospect, decided to reduce the risks by pardoning Rich as he was taking leave of the White House in January 2001. The leader of the campaign to rehabilitate the scofflaw, and expatriot was the director of the Rich Foundation and former Mossad operative, Avner Azulay.
To soften up Clinton to agree to the pardon behind the backs of the relevant Justice Department officials, Azulay gave $100,000 of Rich's money to Abraham Foxman of the Anti Defamation League to talk up his boss's contributions to Jewish causes, and got Rich's former wife Denise, who had already given $450,000 for the Clinton Library, to put the pitch to the President while at a White House dinner in December. For good measure, Azulay lined up various Israeli officials, especially Prime Minister Ehud Barak who had been stung by the Phalcon cancellation, and former Mossad Director Shavit, not only to speak about his charitable efforts and allude to his intelligence help of Tel Aviv but also to press for a pardon for the more controversial spy Jonathan Pollard to make sure that at least Rich was satisfied.
Clinton went along with the backmail which recalled the Mossad's use of Ms. Lewinski because he risked much more by not doing so. There was still the possibility that chief prosecutor Carla Del Ponte at The Hague might take up the Canadian suit, claiming that he and many other world leaders had committed war crimes during the bombing campaign of Serbia, especially since even the Pentagon had issued a warning that hacking into Serbia's computer networks for destructive purposes - what the NSA might well have already done, and might explain further the destruction of the Chinese Embassy - could constitute a war crime. (William Blum, Rogue State, pp. 77-8) And the President was always afraid that any inquiry into his activities might revive interest in what he had done back in Arkansas as Governor.
To temper any backlash from the pardon, he also issued one to Adolf "Al" Schwimmer, the key operative in Iran-Contra who started it all by not getting clearance for the shipment of 80 HAWK missiles through a third country, apparently Sweden, from Israel to Iran back in November 1985. (For more on this, see Lawrence E. Walsh, Firewall: The Iran-Contra Conspiracy and Cover-Up, p.37ff.) Then Israeli Defense Minister Yitzhak Rabin and several Israeli senior officials, especially Shimon Peres and David Kimche, had been deeply involved in this black operation, and it was hardly surprising that when Azulay was trying to induce Clinton to pardon Rich, it was suggested bringing in Rabin's widow, Leah, to strengthen the plea, only to be reminded that she had died the previous November.
Serbia's new President, Kostunica, acted as if it had hardly had any previous relations with Israel. No sooner had he taken office than he stated: "For some strange reasons there are nations and countries that are geographically far apart...but very close to one another," the AP reported on November 10, 2000 in an article entitled "Yugoslav president favors broadened relations with Israel." He said that he wanted to officially visit the Holy Land, and he was the first Serbian President to attend Holocaust Day memorial ceremony the following April. It was all intended to counter anti-Semitic incidents which started right after the presidential election, and it all seemed intended to fool everyone, especially the outside world, about what had been going on before.
To keep everyone guessing, outgoing Mossad Director Efraim Halevy wrote his memoirs, Man in the Shadows, an unprecedented act for a former foreign intelligence chief. The book really didn't reveal anything new - what had been discussed more fully, for example, in Gordon Thomas's work. Halevy seemed intent on making it officially clear that there wasn't anything more to tell - an unbelieveable effort by any former intelligence chief, especially one of the Mossad. And Con Coughlin added to the charade by interviewing him for the Daily Telegraph, entitled "Out of the Shadows", on March 26, 2006, acting as if Halevy's denials of the agency having had anything to do with the 9/11 attacks, and Saddam Hussein settled the matter. In doing so, Coughlin
discounted claims he had earlier made in Saddam that Milosevic and the Iraqi dictator had a secret alliance for him to survive a similar aerial bombardment, and that they were collaborating in the development of nuclear weapons. (p. 318)
While most Israeli leaders were prepared to simply lick their wounds after these setbacks, Sharon and Dagan, who took over from Halevy, were not, and the former's election as Prime Minister, thanks to the latter's efforts, guaranteed that a preemptive agenda would be adopted - one which called for Saddam's overthrow without any significant blowback. To reduce the risks, Dagan arranged the assassination of Abu Nidal in Baghdad on August 16, 2002. Nidal, like his PFLP predecessor, 'Carlos the Jackal', just knew too much about the double-dealing regarding Libya's Gadaffi, Jordan, Israel, Syria, Lebanon, and especially Iraq to be allowed to live. Nidal could particularly deny what was left of the claims about collaboration between Milosevic and Saddam, particularly the claim that the Iraqi leader was going it alone in the production of nuclear weapons, now that Milosevic had departed the political scene.
Thanks to this effort, Dagan was made Mossad's Director on September 10th, and he immediately put together the essentials of the Downing Street dossier about Iraq's WMD - what was traced falsely to others, particularly a most dated American Ph.D. dissertation, when it claims were questioned by others. As Jeffrey Steinberg has written in "Behind the Iraq Dossier Hoax: Intelligence Was Cooked in Israel" in the February 21, 2003 issue of the Executive Intelligence Review:
"In fact, at least 11 of 16 pages were lifted, verbatim, from an Israeli journal, Middle East Review of International Affairs, whose sole proprietor is Dr. Barry Rubin, an American-born Israeli citizen. The 11 pages were drawn from two articles by Ibraham al-Marashi and Robert Rabil, that appeared in the September 2002 edition of that journal."
And reading Steinberg's article further, one discovers that Rubin's effort is part of the International Center for Counterterrorist Policy (ITC) which is financed by the Marc Rich Foundation whose Director is Avner Azulay and "another publicly listed associate of the ITC is Maj. Gen. Meir Dagan, one of Ariel Sharon's most notorious thugs, and the current head of the Mossad."
Given this most unexpected revelation, the Mossad, it seems, moved quickly to stem the damage, having, it seems, Milorad Lukovic aka "Legija" assassinate Zoran Djindjic, the Serbian Prime Minister, by shooting him twice in the chest at long range as he was going to a meeting with Sweden's Foreign Minister Anna Lindh in Belgrade three weeks later. Djindjic, along with Lindh, were great champions of market reform, and bringing all the war criminals, especially those who targeted suspected terrorists for assassination - what could still result in Sharon, Dagan, and many others going to The Hague.
Djindjic's killing was apparently an ideal example of Dagan's work - the strategic move during a lull which could well change the outcome of some complicated operation, as the ouster of Saddam was just days away. And the use of hit man "Legija" would guarantee what few would suspect Israel of the murder.