“All the NewsrnUnfit to Print” igns! of tlje ®imes!rnVol. 1 No. 4 April 1999rnBack in 1994, a major news itemrnproved unfit for publication in any “mainstream”rnmedia outlets in the UnitedrnStates. It concerned the possibility—rnwhich turned into a virtual certainty—thatrnthe Bosnian Muslim government stagedrnthe infamous “marketplace massacre” inrnSarajevo, killing 66 of its own people.rnThe U.S. government promptly blamedrnthe Serbs. In subsequent months, a hostrnof European papers published articles onrnthe controversy. Lord David Owen andrnGeneral Sir Michael Rose referred to anrnAmerican-engineered cover-up. ThernAmerican public—Chronicles readers exceptedrn—remained oblivious.rnPlus ga change…. In January, Americarnwas on the verge (for the second timernin four months) of bombing the Serbsrnbecause of yet another stage-managedrn”massacre.” This time the venue was thernvillage of Racak, in Kosovo. From NewrnYork to Los Angeles, the media went intorna state of righteous rage over the discoveryrnof 45 dead Albanians, allegedlyrn”civiUans butchered in cold blood.” Thernhead of the OSCE observer mission inrnKosovo, American diplomat WilliamrnWalker, immediately blamed the Serbianrnpolice. Belgrade’s claim that the 45 deadrnwere in fact Kosovo Liberation Armyrnguerrillas killed in a fire-fight was scornfullyrnrejected as “Serbian propaganda.”rnNo attempt at “objective reporting” onrnRacak was made by any of the majorrndaihes in the United States.rnBut according to Christophe Chatelotrnin Le Monde (“Were the dead in Racak reallyrnmassacred in cold blood?” Januaryrn21), Walker and the Albanian side gave arn”version of this event which does not answerrnmany questions”:rnI s n ‘ t the massacre of Racakrntoo perfect? . . . The accountrnof two journalists ofrnthe Associated Press TV,rnwhich filmed the police operationrnin Racak, contradictsrnthis report. At aboutrn10:00, when they enter thernlocality behind an armouredrnvehicle, the village is almostrndeserted. Theyrnprogress along the streetsrnunder the fire of the gunnersrnof the Kosovo LiberationrnArmy . . . These exchangesrnof gunfire will lastrna l l the time of the intervention,rnwith more or lessrnintensity. It is in thernwoods that the main combatrntakes place. The JvLA i srntaken in the siege.rnAt 3:30 P.M., the report goes on, the policerncomplete their operation and leavernthe village under sporadic fire from thernKLA. The Serbs estimate that there arern15-20 combatants dead on the KLA side.rnThe Albanians come out from their sheltersrnand go down toward the village.rnThree vehicles of the OSCE VerificationrnMission arrive. Le Monde points out thatrnthe Serbian operation “was neither a surprise,rnnor a secret”: Journalists and OSCErnobservers were encouraged by the Serbsrnto witness the proceedings before thernfighting started and allowed into the villagernafterwards, where they found onlyrnfour lightiy injured civilians. The nightrnfalls. With the police and verifiers gone,rnLe Monde reports, the events take an unexpectedrntum:rnThe next morning, journalirns t s and verifiers arrivernand, guided by airmed KLArnfighters who regained thernvillage, they discover thernditch with twenty bodies,rnmostly men. During the dayrnWilliam Walker arrives andrnexpresses horror at “therncrime committed by the Serbianrnpolice and the Yugoslavrnarmy.” But many questionsrnremain unclarified. Howrncould the Serb police gatherrna group of men, and quietlyrndirect them towards thernplace of the execution,rnwhile they were constantlyrnunder the fire of the KLA?rnHow could the ditch at thernedge of Racak escape thernglance of the inhabitants?rn. . . And how come the observers,rnpresent for morernthan two hours in this veryrnsmall village, failed to seernthe ditch? Why are therernonly a few cartridge casesrnaround the corpses, and l i t ­trnl e blood in this sunkenrnlane where 23 people werernsupposedly shot severalrntimes in the head? Weren’trnthe bodies of the Albaniansrnkilled in combat by the Serbrnpolice, rather, heaped togetherrnin the ditch to createrna scene of horror to ignrni t e the wrath of publicrnopinion?rnIn the same vein, Renaud Girard reportedrnin Le Figaro (“Massacre under arncloud,” January 20) that, “in view of arnwhole series of confusing facts . . . thisrnmatter deserves undivided attention”:rnIf one considers that an APrntelevision crew was invitedrnas early as 8:30 A.M. to filmrnthe operation, i t seems thatrnthe police had nothing tornconceal. The OSCE was alsornnotified about the operation,rnand they sent two carsrnto the s i t e . Verifiersrnspent the entire day on arnh i l l , which offered a fulllengthrnview of the village.rnAt 3:30 P.M. the police leftrnthe village, taking along arn12.7 mm heavy machine-gun,rntwo automatic r i f l e s , twornsnipers and some t h i r t yrnKalashnikovs, of Chinesernmanufacture.rnLe Figaro also pointed out that thern”massacre” was unveiled only the followingrnmorning, when the KLA was in fullrn22/CHRONICLESrnrnrn