Haganâ€™s American Journal:
They may be afraid to name names, but I'm not
William John Hagan
October 14, 2005
The Houston Home Journal
Warner Robins, Georgia
The United States of America
The United Nationsâ€™ International Criminal Tribunal for the Former Yugoslavia (ICTY) in The Hague has been a truly questionable entity since its inception. On the surface one would find it hard not to support an international court based on Nuremburg Tribunal which tried Nazi Leaders after World War Two. Few people on the world stage have had the guts to stand up and point out that the ICTYâ€™s lofty mission of bring justice to alleged Yugoslavian war criminals is both unnecessary and a danger to national sovereignty.
Those individuals in the docks until recently have not been the most sympatric individuals, so there has virtually no public outcry about how the United Nations is using the ICTY to establish its sovereignty over independent nations. The nations who are primarily affected by the ICTY are Croatia, Serbia, and Bosnia which are all former republics of the once Federal Republic of Yugoslavia. Unlike the Nazis tried for crimes against humanity at Nuremburg, the accused sitting in the docks at The Hague are all from nations with functioning judiciary systems. Both Croatia and Serbia are more than capable of trying their own citizens at home. While this may be a politically incorrect statement it is reality. Supporters of the ICTY will claim that neither Croatia nor Serbia would fairly prosecute their own former soldiers and political leaders. I find that hard to believe as these are the very nations that under international pressure have shipped their own citizens off to stand trial in a foreign land.
Since its inception the goal of many within the United Nations bureaucracy has been world government. The United Nations is even today quietly floating the idea of the first world tax. Such a tax would be on oil and would be paid directly by those that pump the crude, the cost of the tax would then be past on to consumers world wide.
Until now their was absolutely zero chance of any significant opposition to the ICTY acting as a World Court whose sovereignty reigned above that of self governing nation states. Who is going to care about the rights of alleged war criminals or the nations that produced them? Why not send them off to a foreign land to stand trial? Well for the same reason the Iraqi Government isnâ€™t shipping War Criminals such as Saddam Hussein off, there is no need for an independent nation to bow its head to a Non Governmental Organization such as the United Nations.
However few people are going to loss sleep about a kangaroo court trying a man such as Croatian General Tihomir Blaskic who was convicted of crimes against humanity for allegedly orchestrating the massacre of Muslims in Bosnia. The tribunal was able to secure its conviction in part because of the testimony of a â€śprotected witnessâ€?. In other words Blaskic was not able to face his accuser.
The tribunal issued a gag order against the media and ordered that the name of this â€śprotected witnessâ€? not be published. There of course is no basis in international law for such an order so five Croatian Journalists â€śviolatedâ€? this order and published the name of the witness whose motives were politically motivated. If General Blaskic did in fact commit the crimes for which he was convicted, I will certainly not defend him but I will always support the right of an accused to face their accuser.
However of much greater import is not the fate of Blaskic is that of the five Croatian Journalist who have now been arrested by the United Nations for violating the gag order of a court in a foreign land. The War Crime Tribunal was set up by the United Nations to tri war criminals not journals. The rights of a free press in all cases surmount the desire of the United Nations to formulate world governing power. The UN may think that they can get away with this type of action against Croatian journalists whose government wonâ€™t support their right to a free press, but letâ€™s see if they have the guts to try to arrest an American journalist for violating their gag order.
I solidarity with my fellow journalists I will shout from the highest roof top the name of this witness that in reality needs no protection. His name is Stjepan Mesic and the reason he does not need protection from the press or anyone else is that he is the President of Croatia. The courtâ€™s gag order does not serve to protect Mesic from physical harm but from political harm. I was personally acquainted with Mesic when I lived in Yugoslavia. I disliked him then and I dislike him even more now that he has demonstrate such cowardice allowing the United Nations to arrest journalist who did their job and reported on his testimony.
In solidarity with my brother journalists, I challenge the ICTYâ€™s to indict me for violating their gag order. Letâ€™s see if they have the resolve to go after a journalist from a nation that has enshrined Freedom of the Press in its constitution. If not then they have a moral reasonability to release the Croatian journalists that are little more then political prisoners of would be world governing body.
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William John Hagan can be contacted directly by e-mail at:William_Hagan@excite.com