London (November 2) that “the actualrnnumber of civihans killed to scare the restrnoff is irrelevant; the prevention of massrnmurder and ethnic cleansing, on whateverrnscale, remains a war aim of which Natorncan be proud.”rnThis is a desperate claim indeed, andrnForeign Secretary Robin Cook knows it.rnAt the time of this writing, he is still evadingrnpublic pressure to explain how thernbombing could be justified by a non-existentrn”genocide.” The Sunday Times (Octoberrn31) reported that a Balkans committee,rncomposed of members of Parliamentrnfrom all parties, had asked the Foreign Officernto comment on the disparity of numbers:rnAt the height of the war westernrno f f i c i a l s spoke of a deathrnt o l l as high as 100,000. PresidentrnClinton said the NATOrncampaign had prevented “deliberate,rnsystematic efforts atrnethnic cleansing and genocide.”rnGeoff Hoon, then a ForeignrnOffice minister and nowrnthe defence secretary, laterrnscaled down the estimates. “Itrnappears that about 10,000 peoplernhave been k i l l e d in morernthan 100 massacres,” he said.rnThe most outspoken challengernto these figures has come fromrnEmilio Perez Pujol, a pathologrni s t who led the Spanish teamrnlooking for bodies in the aftermathrnof the fighting. Hernsaid: “I calculate that the f i ­nalrnfigure of dead in Kosovornwill be 2,500 at the most, includingrnlots of strange deathsrnthat can’t be blamed on anyone.”rn. . . Alice Mahon, thernLabor MP who chairs the Balkansrncommittee, said that therndeaths were tragic but did notrnj u s t i f y the m i l i t a r y actionrntaken by NATO: “When you considerrnthat 1,500 c i v i l i a n s orrnmore were k i l l e d during NATOrnbombing, you have to askrnwhether the intervention wasrnj u s t i f i e d , ” she said.rnFour of those civilians were Chinese,rnand a detailed investigative article in thernObserver of London (October 17) reportedrnthat NATO deliberately bombed thernChinese embassy in Belgrade last May,rnsupposedly because the embassy was relayingrnYugoslav military radio signals.rnThe report contradicted the public assurancesrnof NATO leaders—taken at facernvalue by all mainstream U.S. media—thatrnthe attack had been “accidental.” The Observer’srnsources included “a flight controllerrnoperating in Naples, an intelligencernofficer monitoring Yugoslav radio trafficrnfrom Macedonia and a senior [NATO]rnheadquarters officer in Brussels.”rnThe report was picked up by media allrnover the world. The Guardian carried itrnsimultaneously with the Observer, and thernTimes of London ran a follow-up articlernon the official reaction the next day. ThernGlobe and Mail. Canada’s most prestigiousrndaily, ran the full Reuters accountrnprominently in its international section; sorndid the Times of India, the Sydney MorningrnHerald, and the Irish Times, to mentionrnbut a few. And yet none of America’srnmajor TV networks or leading dailiesrndeemed this story worthy of coverage,rneven though it was carried by AP, Reuters,rnand other major wires. The WashingtonrnPost was something of an exception, relegatingrnit to a 90-word summary in itsrn”World Briefing” (October 18), under thernagitprop-correct headline, “NATO DeniesrnStory on Embassy Bombing.”rnFairness & Accuracy in Reporting, arnNew York-based group, compared thernheadlines that several international newsrnagencies attached to their wire storiesrnabout the Observer expose; “NATOrnBombed Chinese Embassy Deliberatelyrn—UK Paper” (Reuters); “NATOrnBombed Chinese Embassy Deliberately;rnReport” {Agence France Presse); andrn”NATO Bombed Chinese Embassy Deliberately,rnObserver Claims” (DeutschernPresse-Agentur) . . . but “NATO DeniesrnDeliberate Embassy Hit” from our ownrnAP. Come back, Pravda, all is forgiven.rnThe New York Times has referred to thern”accidental bombing of the Chinese embassy”rnat least 20 times since last May.rnThe last reference was on October 17—rnthe day the Observer published its report.rnApparently, some news stories are more fitrnto print than others.rnLest we forget; In July, CIA directorrnGeorge Tenet testified in Congress that,rnout of the 900 targets struck by NATOrnduring the three-month bombing campaignrnagainst the Serbs, only one was developedrnby the CIA. Yes, it was the ChinesernEmbassy (AP, July 22).rnRegardless of what you think of ourrn”free” media, you are well advised not tornshare your thoughts on this or any otherrninteresting subject with your friends byrntelephone or e-mail. According to an indepthrnreport by Andrew Bomford of BBCrnRadio 4’s PM program (November 2),rnthere is a global spying network that canrneavesdrop on electronic communicationsrnat any time and anywhere on the planet.rnI t sounds like science fiction,rnbut i t ‘ s true. Two ofrnthe chief protagonists-Britainrnand America-officially denyrni t s existence. But the BBC hasrnconfirmation from the Austrnr a l i a n Government that such arnnetwork r e a l l y does exist andrnp o l i t i c i a n s on both sides ofrnthe Atlantic are calling for anrninquiry. On the North Yorkshirernmoors above Harrogaternaround 30 giant golf balls,rnknown as radomes, r i s e from thernUS m i l i t a r y base at MenwithrnH i l l . Inside is the world’srnmost sophisticated eavesdroppingrntechnology, capable ofrnl i s t e n i n g – i n to s a t e l l i t e srnhigh above the earth. The baserni s linked d i r e c t l y to the headquartersrnof the US National Secrnu r i t y Agency (NSA) at FortrnMead in Maryland, and i t is alsornlinked to a series of otherrnl i s t e n i n g posts scatteredrnacross the world . . .rnThe power of the network, codenamedrnEchelon, is astounding. According to thernBBC report, every international telephonerncall, fax, e-mail, or radio transmission canrnbe monitored by powerful computers capablernof voice recognition. The computersrnhome in on a long list of keywords, orrnpatterns of messages. While the Britishrnand American governments refuse to admitrnthat Echelon even exists, the man whornoversees Australia’s security services. InspectorrnGeneral of Intelhgence and SecurityrnBill Blick, has confirmed to the BBCrnthat their Defence Signals Directoratern(DSD) forms part of the network. Thernsystem is so widespread, says Blick, thatrnall sorts of private communications—oftenrnof a sensitive commercial or privaternnature—are monitored and analyzed. In arnreport commissioned by the EuropeanrnParliament, investigative journalist DuncanrnCampbell has concluded that there arern”no safeguards, no remedies.” His conclusionsrnto the BBC were unequivocal;rn”There’s nowhere you can go to say thatrnthey’ve been snooping on your communications.rnIt’s a totally lawless world.”rnJANUARY 2000/25rnrnrn