The recent news that there was a spy at NATO who revealed top-secret plans—including detailed descriptions of targets—during the Kosovo war has thrown the Pentagon and the Western powers into confusion and dismay. According to the London Guardian (March 10), a classified U.S. military intelligence report reveals that the Serbs may have been reading the NATO air command’s daily orders before the NATO pilots did, starting from day one of the operation (March 24, 1999). The secret report was also discussed in a BBC documentary that aired March 12 with the Orwellian (or perhaps ironic) title, A Moral War.

According to the BBC reporters, the spy passed information to the Serbs about the activities of NATO spy planes and unmanned reconnaissance drones, so that Serb military units could move about undetected right before a scheduled bombing raid. The Pentagon also has concluded that the information was not hacked out of NATO’s computer systems by Serb cyber-pirates. According to the Guardian, Gen. Wesley Clark “suspected early in the bombing campaign that Belgrade had a spy in [NATO’s] Brussels headquarters.” Clark has vigorously denied this. But the Guardian cites a “senior source” within NATO headquarters who quoted Clark as saying; “I know I’ve got a spy, I want to find him.” Another source noted that pilots at NATO’s Vincenze base in northern Italy were worried that the Serbs were “picking up on our runs.”

There were certainly a lot of potential spies to choose from: The distribution list of the daily “air tasking orders” (ATOs) contained no less than 600 names. When the NATO-crats narrowed it down to 100, that apparently stopped the leak. Still, this alleged spy remains at large, his (or her) identity still unknown to NATO, nor is it known how this person transmitted the information to Belgrade.

The suspicion that NATO high command had a spy was initially reported last year, in the first week of the bombing campaign, when a U.S. F117A Stealth fighter was downed by Serb anti-aircraft missile fire. According to news reports and rumors coming from the Pentagon, the humiliating attack on the Stealth was successful because its secret flight plan had been obtained by Belgrade. Last August, a NATO official was cited as the source of a story claiming that an Allied military officer had passed the details of the bombing raids to a Russian intelligence operative, who then turned the information over to the Yugoslavs.

Rumor had it that the spy was a Frenchman. This was no doubt based on an admission by Pierre-Henri Bunel that he had given a Yugoslav diplomat access to NATO’s bombing plans in October 1998, five months before the bombing began. Apparently, Bunel—who said he acted out of hatred for the U.S. government—was not alone, and the generally more pro-Serb French came under immediate suspicion.

The secret U.S. report, which was drawn up by retired Air Force Gen. James McCarthy for Deputy Secretary of Defense John Hamre and Gen. Joe Ralston, avers that the Serbs had foreknowledge of NATO bombing raids. The report notes that when the distribution list was reduced, “the effect was immediate,” and the Serbs appeared to be in the dark. Before that, things had gotten so bad (as Gen. Clark admitted to Reuters after the Guardian article ran), that particularly sensitive information had to be entirely omitted from ATOs. Lt. Col. Vic Warzinsky likewise confessed to reporters that “there was a sense at NATO headquarters that the Serbs were pretty well informed about what we were doing.” More importantly, he widened the list of possible suspects, stating that the Serbian David could have been aided in his fight against the U.S./NATO Goliath by any number of possible suspects. According to the Guardian, this included spotters placed at the head of NATO’s Italian runways; on the other hand, diplomats assert that the information was readily available to an even larger audience once it reached the various European capitals.

The NATO-crats, while forced to admit the possibility of a spy, are doing their best to downplay the effect that this had on the conduct of the war—and the ramifications for future military action in the Balkans. This supposedly “secret” U.S. report, originally leaked to the BBC, goes to great lengths to imply that the security breach was plugged when the distribution list was shortened. BBC military correspondent Andrew Gilligan reports that the mole remains a mystery, but that “heavy hints are being dropped that it was not a leak from NATO headquarters itself, but from one of the national delegations attached to it or from a national government.”

Virtually every news report on the “spy in the house of NATO” contains this allegation by U.S. government officials, which is one good reason to treat it with suspicion. If this is an attempt to steer us away from the truth about a highly placed spy near the top of the NATO command structure, it fits with another twist to this case, provided by the German left-wing newspaper Tageszeitung.

In an article published March 10, the newspaper claims that the NATO mole who tipped off Belgrade is a U.S. Air Force officer. This officer contacted the newspaper and authorized it to reveal his nationality after the war ended, under the condition of strict anonymity. It was this American officer who betrayed NATO’s ATOs to the Serbs: That downed Stealth fighter fell victim to the dictates of his (or her) conscience.

If this story is true, there can be little doubt that the NATO mole acted because of a conscious moral decision, rather than the more traditional inducements of 30 pieces of silver or a desire to be on the winning side. According to Tageszeitung, the officer said he turned over NATO’s secrets on the grounds that the attack on Yugoslavia was illegal by the precepts of international law and immoral because of the “blackmail ultimatum” delivered at Rambouillet. While our rulers rampage from one end of the world to the other, this person clearly feels that Americans have a moral obligation to engage in civil disobedience, disruption, and outright sedition, through any and all avenues open to them.

Some would argue that the spy in the house of NATO is a hero, while others would liken him to Benedict Arnold. Rather than take a side in that dispute, I’d prefer to examine why a high-ranking American officer has been put in the position where he must choose between his country and his conscience.

Clearly, in his own mind, the American spy is betraying a foreign acronym, and not the United States. And this is a legitimate point: NATO and the United States are not the same entity, and, as the European Union develops its own military force, it is rapidly becoming clear where their interests diverge. It is also easy to imagine how the spy rationalized, at least to his own satisfaction, the risk that his actions would lead to American casualties. To a conscience sufficiently outraged and abused, any casualties that result from his actions could be justified on the grounds that the pilots were engaged in criminal acts, as opposed to legitimate combat, not only because they were bombing civilian targets, but also because of the war’s essential illegality.

Yet there is such a thing as taking a moral cause too far, and declaring war on your own country fits into this category. This regrettable incident underscores one of the worst dangers of our globalist foreign policy. When patriots are so alienated from their own governments that treason seems the right thing to do, then the ruling elite in this country is in for some real trouble.

If and when the spy in the house of NATO is caught, his trial should be quite interesting—should NATO dare to hold one. The whole policy that led to a criminal war will also be put in the dock, and that is not something the War Party looks forward to. The truth about the Kosovo war is finally coming out—that the NATO-crats lied about Racak, the precipitating incident of the war; that they lied about the alleged Serb “massacre” of Albanians in a reenactment of the holocaust; that they misrepresented the KLA as heroic democrats, when in fact they are murderous drug-dealers who make the Crips and the Bloods look like the Boy Scouts. In this context, the widespread dissatisfaction in the U.S. military with our global interventionism may become quite a problem, and could even put a crimp in our leaders’ plans for the Balkans. The prospect of an increasingly rebellious element within the U.S. military, which denies the moral and political legitimacy of America’s imperial foreign policy, is the War Party’s worst nightmare. What should frighten our rulers out of any further intervention in the region is the ominous possibility that this case of the spy wrestling with his conscience may be only the beginning.