The Council of Europe published a report on December 15 that identifies Kosovo’s “prime minister” Hashim Thaçi as the boss of a “mafia-like” Albanian group specializing in smuggling weapons, drugs, people, and human organs all over Europe.

The report reveals that Thaçi’s closest aides were taking Serbs across the border into Albania after the 1999 war, murdering them, and selling their organs on the black market.  The report also accuses Thaçi of having exerted “violent control” over the heroin trade for a decade, and ordering a series of politically motivated murders.

Long dismissed in the Western mainstream media as “Serbian propaganda,” the allegations of organ trafficking—familiar to our readers—were ignored in the West until early 2008, when Carla Del Ponte, former prosecutor at the International Tribunal for the Former Yugoslavia at The Hague, revealed in her memoirs that she had been prevented from initiating any serious investigation into their merits.  She also revealed that some 400 DNA samples gathered by her field investigators from the notorious “Yellow House” in the Albanian town of Rripe were taken to Germany and destroyed, thus enabling the KLA and their Western enablers to claim that “there was no evidence” for the organ-trafficking allegations.

In April 2008, the matter was referred to the European Assembly’s Committee on Legal Affairs and Human Rights, which in June 2008 appointed Swiss senator Dick Marty as its rapporteur.  He had gained international prominence through his previous investigation of accusations that the CIA abducted and imprisoned terrorism suspects in Europe.

In his report’s “Introductory Remarks,” Marty revealed some of the “extraordinary challenges of this assignment,” chief among which was “an implicit presumption that one side were the victims and the other side the perpetrators.”  “The structure of Kosovar Albanian society, still very much clan-orientated, and the absence of a true civil society have made it extremely difficult to set up contacts with local sources.  This is compounded by fear, often to the point of genuine terror, which we have observed in some of our informants immediately upon broaching the subject of our inquiry.”

The report says Thaçi’s links with organized crime go back to the late 1990’s, when his Drenica Group became the dominant KLA faction.  Marty notes that the international bodies chose to ignore war crimes by the KLA, enabling Thaçi’s men to conduct a campaign of murderous terror.  Some 500 civilians “disappeared after the arrival of KFOR troops on 12 June 1999,” most of them Serbs.  Some captives were “filtered” in ad hoc prisons for their suitability for organ harvesting based on sex, age, health, and ethnic origin.  They were then sent to a makeshift clinic near the Tirana airport: “As and when the transplant surgeons were confirmed to be in position and ready to operate, the captives were brought out of the ‘safe house’ individually, summarily executed by a KLA gunman, and their corpses transported swiftly to the operating clinic.”

The report adds that the support by the leading Western powers “bestowed upon Thaçi, not least in his own mind, a sense of being untouchable.”

The story caused a sensation in Europe and prompted calls for Kosovo’s derecognition, but it was reported halfheartedly in the American media.  No major daily has published a word of doubt about Bill Clinton’s wisdom of waging a war on behalf of Thaçi and his comrades a decade ago.

That Thaçi, a.k.a .“the Snake,” is a criminal as well as a war criminal is no news, of course.  That Washington’s policy since the mid-1990’s regarding Kosovo has been mendacious is equally indisputable.  The intriguing question is who, on the European side, finally decided to end Thaçi’s “untouchable” status.

The thoroughly distasteful situation resulting from Marty’s report might be a parochial issue were it not for the high-profile role that the United States and her leading NATO allies played in the process of securing Kosovo’s independence from Serbia.  As Ted Galen Carpenter of CATO wrote on the website of The National Interest on December 30, “The Obama administration should use the Marty report as an opportunity for a comprehensive reassessment of U.S. policy regarding the Kosovo issue. . . . Governments are notoriously reluctant to acknowledge being responsible for a major policy blunder.  But the United States and its principal NATO partners need to make such an admission regarding Kosovo.”

It is an even bet that Washington will do no such thing.  On the same day Marty’s report was made public, Hashim Thaçi noted in a telegram to President Obama that “the death of Richard Holbrooke is a loss of a friend.”  He has many other powerful friends in Washington, however—people like U.S. Sen. Joseph Lieberman, who declared back in 1999 that “the United States of America and the Kosovo Liberation Army stand for the same human values and principles.”  Thaçi’s photos with top U.S. officials are a virtual Who’s Who of successive administrations: Bill and Hillary Clinton, Albright, Bush, Rice, Biden, Wesley Clark . . .

Thaçi’s American enablers and their media minions have already embarked on a bipartisan damage-limitation exercise.  The report rests on flimsy factual evidence, they say, and Kosovo “deserved” independence regardless of the facts of the case.  Like good partners in crime, they are defending “the Snake” to safeguard their own record and reputations.