In our fact-free news, concocted and presented by the products of our fact-free educational system, the lies have reached the point where only foreigners dare speak their name. That’s certainly true of the most outrageous lie of the year, and perhaps of the decade: the “Kosovo genocide.” It did not happen, period.

The cat may not be out of the bag in America, but it is just about everywhere else. As early as September, Spain’s foremost daily, El Pais, published a report on the findings of the Spanish police and forensic experts who had returned from Kosovo. The very first time of Pablo Ordaz’s article was clear: “Crimes of war—yes. Genocide—no”:

This was definitely shown yesterday by the group of Spanish experts formed by officials from the Scientific Police and Civilian Forensics that has just returned from Istok, the Zone in the North of Kosovo under the control of the [Spanish Foreign] Legion. 187 cadavers found and analyzed in 9 villages were buried in individual graves, oriented for the most part toward Mecca out of respect for the religious beliefs of the Albanian Kosovars and without sign of torture. “There were no mass graves. For the most part the Serbs are not as bad as they have been painted,” reflected the forensic official Emilio Perez Pujol. That was not the only irony. Also questioned were the successive counts that are being offered by the “allies” on the tragedy of Kosovo. “I have been reading the data from UN,” said Perez Pujol, Director of the Forensic Anatomical Institute of Cartagena. “And they began with 44,000 deaths. Then they lowered it to 22,000. And now they’re going with 11,000. I look forward to seeing what the final count will really be.”

The Spanish mission left Madrid in early August. After preliminary NATO briefings, they departed with the feeling that they were on a road to hell:

“They told us that we were going to the worst zone of Kosovo and should prepare ourselves to perform more than 2000 autopsies until late November. The result is very different. We only found 187 cadavers and now we are back,” explained the chief inspector, Juan Lopez Palafox, responsible for the Office of Anthropology and Scientific Police. The forensic people, as well as the police, applied their experience in Rwanda in order to determine what occurred in Kosovo . . . and they were not able to find evidence of genocide. “In the former Yugoslavia,” said Lopez Palafox, “crimes were committed, some no doubt horrible, but they derived from the war.”

Closer to home, Richard Gwyn’s commentary in the Toronto Star (November 3) had a self-explanatory tide: “No genocide, no justification for war on Kosovo.” Gwyn reminded his readers of repeated U.S./NATO claims that the Serb forces had dumped some of the countless thousands of slaughtered Albanian civilians into the Trepca mine:

The story was very big for a while: “Trepca-the name will live alongside those of Belsen, Auschwitz and Treblinka,” verily chortled the Daily Mirror . . . Giving the fib an aura of authenticity the New York Times claimed at the time that the residents on the edge of the mine reported an “unusual, pungent bittersweet smell, which they assumed to be burning bodies.” The corpses were supposedly thrown down the shafts, or were disposed of entirely in the mine’s huge vats of hydrochloric acid.

On October 12, however, Kelly Moore—a spokeswoman for the Hague war crimes tribunal—was compelled to admit that the investigators had found “absolutely nothing” at Trepca. Rather than 1,000 bodies down the mine shafts, there were none at all; and the vats had never been used to dispose of human remains. Shortly afterward, writes Gwyn, the tribunal reported on its work at the most infamous of all the mass graves of ethnic Albanians, at Ljubenic near the town of Pec. NATO officials had claimed that 350 victims had been hastily buried there by the retreating Serbs; five bodies were actually found. As Gwyn points out:

So far, not one mass grave has been found in Kosovo, despite four months’ work by forensic teams, including experts from the FBI and the RCMP. [But on October 31] the New York Times was still using the “10,000 deaths” figure.

Gwyn’s conclusions are terse and categorical: There was no genocide of ethnic Albanians by Serbs, no “human catastrophe,” and no “modern-day Holocaust.” There was only:

a grotesque lie concocted to justify a war that NATO originally assumed would be over in a day or two. . . . No genocide means no justification for a war inflicted by NATO on a sovereign nation.

In a long and detailed article in the Spectator of London (October 25), John Laughland declared the “mass graves” of Kosovo a myth. In Britain, at least, there has been some political fallout from the revelations. The defensive posture of the establishment was obvious in the feeble claim by the editorialist of the Times of London (November 2) that “the actual number of civilians killed to scare the rest off is irrelevant; the prevention of mass murder and ethnic cleansing, on whatever scale, remains a war aim of which Nato can be proud.”

This is a desperate claim indeed, and Foreign Secretary Robin Cook knows it. At the time of this writing, he is still evading public pressure to explain how the bombing could be justified by a non-existent “genocide.” The Sunday Times (October 31) reported that a Balkans committee, composed of members of Parliament from all parties, had asked the Foreign Office to comment on the disparity of numbers:

At the height of the war western officials spoke of a death toll as high as 100,000. President Clinton said the NATO campaign had prevented “deliberate, systematic efforts at ethnic cleansing and genocide.” Geoff Hoon, then a Foreign Office minister and now the defence secretary, later scaled down the estimates. “It appears that about 10,000 people have been killed in more than 100 massacres,” he said. The most outspoken challenge to these figures has come from Emilio Perez Pujol, a pathologist who led the Spanish team looking for bodies in the aftermath of the fighting. He said: “I calculate that the final figure of dead in Kosovo will be 2,500 at the most, including lots of strange deaths that can’t be blamed on anyone.” . . . Alice Mahon, the Labor MP who chairs the Balkans committee, said that the deaths were tragic but did not justify the military action taken by NATO: “When you consider that 1,500 civilians or more were killed during NATO bombing, you have to ask whether the intervention was justified,” she said.

Four of those civilians were Chinese, and a detailed investigative article in the Observer of London (October 17) reported that NATO deliberately bombed the Chinese embassy in Belgrade last May, supposedly because the embassy was relaying Yugoslav military radio signals. The report contradicted the public assurances of NATO leaders—taken at face value by all mainstream U.S. media—that the attack had been “accidental.” The Observer‘s sources included “a flight controller operating in Naples, an intelligence officer monitoring Yugoslav radio traffic from Macedonia and a senior [NATO] headquarters officer in Brussels.”

The report was picked up by media all over the world. The Guardian carried it simultaneously with the Observer, and the Times of London ran a follow-up article on the official reaction the next day. The Globe and Mail, Canada’s most prestigious daily, ran the full Reuters account prominently in its international section; so did the Times of India, the Sydney Morning Herald, and the Irish Times, to mention but a few. And yet none of America’s major TV networks or leading dailies deemed this story worthy of coverage, even though it was carried by AP, Reuters, and other major wires. The Washington Post was something of an exception, relegating it to a 90-word summary in its “World Briefing” (October 18), under the agitprop-correct headline, “NATO Denies Story on Embassy Bombing.”

Fairness & Accuracy in Reporting, a New York-based group, compared the headlines that several international news agencies attached to their wire stories about the Observer expose; “NATO Bombed Chinese Embassy Deliberately—UK Paper” (Reuters); “NATO Bombed Chinese Embassy Deliberately; Report” (Agence France Presse); and “NATO Bombed Chinese Embassy Deliberately, Observer Claims” (Deutsche Presse-Agentur) . . . but “NATO Denies Deliberate Embassy Hit” from our own AP. Come back, Pravda, all is forgiven.

The New York Times has referred to the “accidental bombing of the Chinese embassy” at least 20 times since last May. The last reference was on October 17—the day the Observer published its report. Apparently, some news stories are more fit to print than others.

Lest we forget; In July, CIA director George Tenet testified in Congress that, out of the 900 targets struck by NATO during the three-month bombing campaign against the Serbs, only one was developed by the CIA. Yes, it was the Chinese Embassy (AP, July 22).

Regardless of what you think of our “free” media, you are well advised not to share your thoughts on this or any other interesting subject with your friends by telephone or e-mail. According to an indepth report by Andrew Bomford of BBC Radio 4’s PM program (November 2), there is a global spying network that can eavesdrop on electronic communications at any time and anywhere on the planet.

It sounds like science fiction, but it’s true. Two of the chief protagonists-Britain and America-officially deny its existence. But the BBC has confirmation from the Australian Government that such a network really does exist and politicians on both sides of the Atlantic are calling for an inquiry. On the North Yorkshire moors above Harrogate around 30 giant golf balls, known as radomes, rise from the US military base at Menwith Hill. Inside is the world’s most sophisticated eavesdropping technology, capable of listening-in to satellites high above the earth. The base i s linked directly to the headquarters of the US National Security Agency (NSA) at Fort Mead in Maryland, and it is also linked to a series of other listening posts scattered across the world . . .

The power of the network, codenamed Echelon, is astounding. According to the BBC report, every international telephone call, fax, e-mail, or radio transmission can be monitored by powerful computers capable of voice recognition. The computers home in on a long list of keywords, or patterns of messages. While the British and American governments refuse to admit that Echelon even exists, the man who oversees Australia’s security services. Inspector General of Intelligence and Security Bill Blick, has confirmed to the BBC that their Defence Signals Directorate (DSD) forms part of the network. The system is so widespread, says Blick, that all sorts of private communications—often of a sensitive commercial or private nature—are monitored and analyzed. In a report commissioned by the European Parliament, investigative journalist Duncan Campbell has concluded that there are “no safeguards, no remedies.” His conclusions to the BBC were unequivocal; “There’s nowhere you can go to say that they’ve been snooping on your communications. It’s a totally lawless world.”