Text of Indictment by the Independent Commission of Inquiry Hearing to Investigate U.S./NATO War Crimes Against the People of Yugoslavia

Text of the indictment prepared by Ramsey Clark.

The Complaint

This Complaint is presented to end the scourge of war, prevent future violations of fundamental human rights, protect international and national organizations, governments and institutions and to hold those convicted of the violations alleged accountable for their acts.

The Governments, Organizations and Individuals named herein are charged with:

Crimes against Peace, War Crimes, Crimes against Humanity and Other Offenses in Violation of the Principles of the Nuremberg Tribunal (Nuremberg), the Hague Regulations (Hague) and Geneva Conventions (Geneva) and Other International and National Laws;

Grave Violations of the Charter of the United Nations (UN Charter), the North Atlantic Treaty (NAT), other international treaties, International Law, the Federal Constitution and Domestic Laws of the United States, the Basic Laws of Other Nations Including the United Kingdom, the Federal Republic of Germany, Turkey, the Netherlands, Hungary, Italy, Spain and other Governments of NATO members and the Federal Republic of Yugoslavia.

Grave Violations of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights (UDHR), the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights (ICCPR), the International Covenant on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights (ICESCR), the Genocide Convention, and Other International Covenants, Conventions, Treaties, Declarations and Domestic Laws named herein.

A. Defendants
1. President William J. Clinton, Secretary of State Madeleine Albright, Secretary of Defense William Cohen and Commanding Generals, Admirals, U.S. personnel directly involved in designating targets, flight crews and deck crews of the U.S. military bomber and assault aircraft, U.S. military personnel directly involved in targeting, preparing and launching missiles at Yugoslavia, the government of the United States personnel causing, condoning or failing to prevent violence in Yugoslavia before and during NATO occupation and Others to be named.

2. The United Kingdom, Prime Minister Tony Blair, the Foreign Minister, the Defense Minister and Commanding Generals, Admirals, U.K. personnel directly involved in designating targets, flight crews and deck crews of the U.K. military bomber and assault aircraft, U.K. military personnel directly involved in targeting, preparing and launching missiles at Yugoslavia, the government of the United Kingdom personnel causing, condoning or failing to prevent violence in Yugoslavia before and during NATO occupation and Others to be named.

3. The Federal Republic of Germany, Chancellor Gerhard Schroeder, the Foreign Minister, the Defense Minister and Commanding Generals, Admirals, German personnel directly involved in designating targets, flight crews and deck crews of the German military bomber and assault aircraft, German military personnel directly involved in targeting, preparing and launching missiles at Yugoslavia, the government of the Federal Republic of Germany personnel causing, condoning or failing to prevent violence in Yugoslavia before and during NATO occupation and Others to be named.

4. The Government of every NATO country that participated directly in the assaults on Yugoslavia with aircraft, missiles, or personnel and Commanding Generals, Admirals, NATO personnel directly involved in designating targets, flight crews and deck crews of the NATO military bomber and assault aircraft, NATO military personnel directly involved in targeting, preparing and launching missiles at Yugoslavia, the governments of the NATO countries’ personnel causing, condoning or failing to prevent violence in Yugoslavia before and during NATO occupation and Others to be named.

5. The Governments of Turkey, Hungary, Italy and others who permitted the use of airbases on their territory to be used by U.S., or other military aircraft and missiles for direct assault on Yugoslavia.

6. The North American Treaty Organization (NATO), Secretary General Javier Solano, Supreme Commander, General Wesley K. Clark

7. For Condemnation: Each NATO member that voted to authorize military assaults on Yugoslavia.
B. The Charges
1. Planning and Executing the Dismemberment, Segregation and Impoverishment of Yugoslavia.

The United States, Germany, NATO and other defendants engaged in a course of conduct beginning in, or before 1991 intended to break the Federal Republic of Yugoslavia into many parts, segregate different ethnic, religious and other groups among and within newly balkanized borders, weaken the Slav, Serb, Muslim and other populations by causing and prolonging internal violence and by direct assaults by the United States and certain NATO members. As a consequence Yugoslavia, which had 25 million people in an integrated society and economy, is now comprised of many small nations, the largest of which is Serbia. Defendants intend to divide Yugoslavia until all parts of Yugoslavia have fewer than 5 million people, each to be overwhelmingly of a single ethnic origin and religion, to have severely impaired economies largely dominated by foreign interests, in which two groups, Orthodox Christian Serbs and Muslims suffer severest casualties, most extensive property damage, a vast reduction of productivity now down by three-quarters or more, and a generation of impoverishment.

UN Charter; Declaration on the Inadmissibility of Intervention in the Domestic Affairs of States and the Protection of their Independence and Sovereignty (Non Intervention Decl.), 1965 USGA Res. 2131.

2.Inflicting, Inciting and Enhancing Violence between Muslims and Slavs.

The United States and other defendants engaged in a course of conduct beginning in or before 1991, to cause Muslims and Orthodox Christian Slavs to engage in protracted fratricidal violence, in wars of attrition, similar to conflicts in Afghanistan and Chechnya between Muslims and Russian Slavs, which caused death, destruction and division in Bosnia, Kosovo and elsewhere between the groups and dangerous frictions and enmity between two major enemies of the U.S., Slavic peoples and Muslims, in other regions, weakening both. Tactics included both providing and depriving select Muslim groups of arms to attack others, or adequately defend themselves in Bosnia; motivating, training and supplying KLA with arms to attack Yugoslav police and military to seize control of Kosovo during NATO occupation and attack Serbs and others; preventing outside efforts to prevent and control the violence; committing, causing and condoning violence against persons displaced by U.S. and NATO bombing campaigns, and by KLA and Yugoslav police and military ground actions; causing and supporting clashes between Yugoslav military/police/civilian groups and KLA/paramilitary/civilian groups; condoning and failing to prevent assaults on displaced persons returning to and persons who remained in Kosovo, both before and after the NATO/U.S. occupation of Kosovo. In 1999, the U.S. caused the largest numbers of deaths, injuries and destruction by aerial and missile assaults against all elements in the population and its life support systems.

UN Charter, Art. 2; Non Intervention Decl.; Resolution on the Definition of Aggression (Res. on Aggression), 1997 UNGA Res. 3314.

3. Preventing and Disrupting Efforts to Maintain Unity, Peace and Stability in Yugoslavia.

From the beginning of its efforts to implement its plans for dismemberment and destruction of Yugoslavia, the U.S. acted to prevent any interference, negotiation, or other efforts within Yugoslavia, or by other nations, leaders, or individuals to prevent the accomplishment of its intended purposes. Its techniques included political, military and economic threats and control of highly publicized peace negotiations much like those at Dayton, Ohio, during the Bosnia struggle, at Rambouillet, France, in 1999, which created an appearance of earnest peace negotiations, but offered Yugoslavia only two choices, agree to foreign military occupation, or expect a devastating military assault.

UN Charter; Non Intervention Declaration; Resolution on Aggression; Pact of Paris 1928, Art I and II.

4. Destroying the Peace-Making Role of the United Nations.

The United States acted and coerced other nations to act to block the United Nations from performing its duties under the UN Charter to prevent conflict, control violence and maintain peace in Yugoslavia in violation of the Charter of the UN and threatening its viability as a international institution capable of maintaining peace and ending the scourge of war.

UN Charter; Non Intervention Decl.; Resolution on Aggression, Pact of Paris 1928, Art I and II.

5. Using NATO for Military Aggression against and Occupation of Non-Compliant Poor Countries.

The United States acted and coerced other nations to act to cause NATO to authorize direct military assaults on Yugoslavia in violation of the UN Charter and the North Atlantic Treaty relying overwhelmingly on U.S. weaponry and military technology and to cause NATO members to provide and finance the majority of the military forces to occupy Kosovo for the foreseeable future thereby employing the wealth and power of the rich former colonial powers of Europe against the poor and defenseless people of Yugoslavia.

United Nations Charter; North Atlantic Treaty 1949, Art. I.

6. Killing and Injuring a Defenseless Population throughout Yugoslavia.

Beginning on, or before March 24, 1999, the United States, without a declaration of war by the Congress, aided and abetted by certain NATO members, including the United Kingdom, Germany, Turkey, Spain and the Netherlands, as well as Hungary, Croatia, Italy and others, commenced a war of missile and aerial bombing assaults, often indiscriminate in its targeting, against the populations of Yugoslavia, intentionally killing and injuring many thousands of Serbs, Albanians, Romas, Muslims, Orthodox Christians, Roman Catholics, foreign nationals throughout Yugoslavia with malice aforethought.

Hague, Art. 22 and 23; Geneva 1949, Art. 19; Nuremberg, Principle VI a, b and c; U.S. Constitution, Art. I, Sec. 8, cl. II.

7. Planning, Announcing and Executing Attacks Intended to Assassinate the Head of Government, Other Government Leaders and Selected Civilians.

The United States planned, announced and carried out missile and aerial bombardment attacks intended to assassinate the Head of Government of Yugoslavia, members of his family, other government leaders and selected civilians to destroy existing government leadership and terrorize it and its closest personal support into submission. U.N. Charter, Art. 2, Convention on the Prevention and Punishment of Crimes Against Internationally Protected Persons (Protected Persons Convention); U.S. Army Field Manual 27-10; U.S. Presidential Executive Order 12333 (Ex.Order 12333); Geneva Conventions 1977, Protocol I Additional (Geneva 1977), Art. 48, 51.

8. Destroying and Damaging Economic, Social, Cultural, Medical, Diplomatic and Religious Resources, Properties and Facilities throughout Yugoslavia.

Beginning on, or before March 24, 1999, the United States, aided and abetted by certain NATO members, including United Kingdom, Germany, Turkey, Spain and the Netherlands and others including Croatia, Hungary and Italy, commenced a systematic missile and aerial bombing assault on resources, properties and economic, social, cultural, medical, diplomatic and religious facilities intentionally destroying and damaging them throughout Yugoslavia to crush the productive, economic, social, cultural, diplomatic and religious viability of the whole society.

Hague, Art. 22 and 23; Geneva 1949, Art. 19; Geneva 1977, Protocol I, Additional, Art. 48, 52, 53; UN Charter, Art. 2; Protected Persons Convention; U.S. Army Field Manual 27-10; Exec. Order 12333; Geneva 1977, Art. 48, 51; ICESCR.

9. Attacking Objects Indispensable to the Survival of the Population of Yugoslavia.

Beginning on or before March 24, 1999, the United States, aided and abetted by others, for the specific purpose of depriving the population of Yugoslavia of food, water, electric power, food production, medicines, medical care and other essentials to their survival, engaged in the systematic destruction and damage by missiles and aerial bombardment of food production and storage facilities, drinking water and irrigation works for agriculture, fertilizer, insecticide, pharmaceutical, hospitals and health care facilities, among other objects essential to human survival.

Hague 1907, Art. 22 and 23; Geneva 1949, Art. 19; Nuremberg 1970, Principles Via, b and c; Geneva 1977, Art. 48, 54.

10. Attacking Facilities Containing Dangerous Substances and Forces.

The United States attacked chemical plants and storage facilities, petroleum and natural gas refining, processing and storage facilities, fertilizer plants and other facilities and locations for the specific purpose of releasing and scattering toxic, radioactive and other dangerous substances and forces into the atmosphere, soil, ground water and food chain to poison the environment and injure the population.

Nuremberg Principle VI, Hague, Art. 22 and 23, Protocol for the Prohibition of the Use in War of Asphyxiating, Poisonous or Other Gases, Geneva 1925 (Poisonous Substances Protocol); Geneva 1977, Protocol I Additional, Art. 48, 51, 56.

11. Using Depleted Uranium, Cluster Bombs and Other Prohibited Weapons.

The United States used prohibited weapons capable of mass destruction and inflicting indiscriminate death and suffering against the population of all Yugoslavia. Despite knowledge of its deadly long-term effect on life and warnings of the U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission, the U.S. attacked Yugoslavia with depleted uranium missiles, bombs and bullets. These depleted uranium weapons spread radioactive matter into the atmosphere, soil, ground water, food chain and solid objects, placing the Yugoslav population at risk of death, genetic damage, cancers, tumors, leukemia and other injuries for generations. Cluster bombs were used extensively, spraying deadly razor sharp metal shards over wide areas against hospitals, churches, mosques, schools, apartment developments and other heavily populated places inflicting death, injury and property damage. The use of other illegal weapons is under continuing investigation.

Hague, Art. 22 and 23, Geneva 1977, Art. 48, 51, 54, 55, POONA Indictment for the Subversion of Science and technology 1978 (POONA Indictment).

12. Waging War on the Environment.

The United States aerial and missile assault intentionally created a widespread, long-term and severe environmental disaster in Yugoslavia. Air pollution from overflights alone multiplied normal impurities in the atmosphere. Thousands of tons of explosives unleashed enormous quantities of chemicals into the air, raised clouds of dust and debris from places hit and started fires that often raged for days. Chemical, petrochemical, oil and gas refinery, storage and transmission facilities purposely targeted in the vicinity of Belgrade, Novi Sad, Nis and other major cities exposed huge populations to dangerous and noxious pollution. Depleted uranium scattered across Kosovo and the remainder of Serbia will threaten life for generations.

Hague, Art. 22 and 23; Geneva 1977, Art. 48, 51, 54, 55; Stockholm Declaration of the United Nations Conference on the Human Environment 1972; Principles I, II, (UN Conf. on Human Environment), et al.

13. Imposing Sanctions through the UN that Are a Genocidal Crime against Humanity to Achieve Impoverishment and Debilitation of the People of Yugoslavia.

The United States began an economic attack on Yugoslavia designed to break it up politically and tear it down economically before 1989. It caused the International Monetary Fund (IMF) to use its strongest shock therapy to attack Yugoslav productivity, add to its foreign debt burden and expose national wealth to foreign capital by forcing removal of trade barriers and privatizing vital public industry, commerce, utilities and facilities. In May 1991 U.S. Secretary of State Baker stopped all U.S. aid programs to all six Yugoslav Republics and vetoed future IMF credits, creating an enormous economic incentive and powerful political argument for political opposition to Belgrade to separate other Republics from Serbia. The U.S. forced UN sanctions against Yugoslavia, but relieved Republics that seceded from Yugoslavia of sanctions. Such sanctions devastated the entire economy of Yugoslavia to the degree that a normal growth rate free of U.S. coercion would require 30 years to return Yugoslavia to its 1989 levels of productivity. Per capita production value for all six Republics of Yugoslavia in 1989 was $6220. Today for Serbia and Montenegro, the remaining Republics of Yugoslavia, it is $1510. Ninety percent of all trade was among the six republics before the break-up. All former republics have suffered economically, but Yugoslavia now, with barely 40% of its 1990 population, including Kosovo, has had a far greater decline economically than the favored northern Republics of Slovenia and Croatia, which are today more overwhelmingly Roman Catholic than before their secession. The sanctions against Yugoslavia continue and Serbia, excluding Kosovo, is barred from receiving any planned reparations and aid to rebuild from bomb damage and economic attrition. The sanctions have had a far more damaging effect on life, health, the economy and the quality of life in Yugoslavia than the military assault, increasing death rates, lowering life expectation, reducing nutrition and health care and driving production down. As in Iraq, and elsewhere, the sanctions are an economic crime, a crime against humanity and genocide.

Nuremberg, Principle VI c, Crimes Against Humanity; Genocide Convention; Geneva 1977, Art. 48, 54, 55.

14. Creating an Illegal Ad-Hoc Criminal Tribunal to Destroy and Demonize Serb Leadership.

The United States acting through defendant Madeleine Albright coerced the UN Security Council to create ad hoc criminal tribunals for Yugoslavia and Rwanda in violation of the UN Charter to destroy and demonize enemy leaders in those two countries and threaten leaders elsewhere. The UN Charter does not authorize creation of criminal tribunals. The U.S. strongly opposes the International Criminal Tribunal treaty approved by 120 nations at Rome in July 1998 and in the process of ratification by nations now, because it does not intend to subject its leaders or military forces to the jurisdiction of an independent international Court and the rule of international law. By targeting individual enemies in ad hoc courts and charging them with genocide, it achieves their isolation internationally, pressures their own countries to remove them from power, corrupts and politicizes justice and uses the appearance of neutral international law to adjudicate and punish enemies as war criminals and establish itself as an innocent champion of justice.

UN Charter, Statute of the International Court of Justice (Statute ICJ); UDHR; ICCPR.

15. Using Controlled International Media to Create Support for U.S. Assaults Anywhere and to Demonize Yugoslavia, Slavs, Serbs and Muslims as Genocidal Murderers.

The United States defendants have systematically controlled, directed, manipulated, misinformed and restricted press and media coverage concerning Yugoslavia and the U.S. assaults on it to gain public support for the massive bombardment of a defenseless Yugoslavia, including Kosovo, as had been done in Libya, Iraq, Afghanistan, Sudan and elsewhere. The international media has supported and celebrated U.S. political goals of further fragmentation of Yugoslavia and other areas, segregating each region; demonizing selected government officials, other leaders, generals, military officers and soldiers as genocidal murderers; controlling other nations by the threat of popularly supported missile and air assaults and crippling economic sanctions and stimulating acceptance and support from the U.S. public for future operations against other nations and to increase military budgets to support an expanding global role for U.S. military presence and control.

16. Establishing the Long-term Military Occupation of Strategic Parts of Yugoslavia by NATO Forces.

The United States has coerced defendant NATO members and others to provide and support military occupation forces for the occupation of Kosovo, as it did in Bosnia, in order to physically control key parts of Yugoslavia to enforce permanent separation and segregation of States and peoples, to further injure the populations, to create barriers to immigration from Asia Minor, Arab states in the Middle East, North Africa, and former southern republics of the USSR, and elsewhere; to provide a buffer between Europe and the regions described by controlling the territory of divided, segregated and impoverished Slavs, Serbs, Orthodox Christians, Albanians, and others; to exploit the resources of the region; and to prepare and condition NATO members for future participation against other nations.

UN Charter; NAT, Art. I; Non Intervention Decl.

17. Attempting to Destroy the Sovereignty, Right to Self Determination, Democracy and Culture of the Slavic, Muslim, Christian and Other Peoples of Yugoslavia.

The United States has attempted to destroy the Sovereignty of Yugoslavia, the rights of its people to self determination, the democratic institutions it has developed and its culture that defines the heritage, values and traditions of its people. The United States overthrew the democratically elected Mossadegh administration in Iran in 1953, which it replaced with the Shah of Iran, who ruled absolutely for 25 years; the democratically elected Arbeny government of Guatemala, which was followed by 40 years of brutal governments; the democratically elected Lumumba government of the Congo in 1962, which was followed by the violent dictatorship of Mobutu Sese Seko for 32 years; the democratically elected Allende government of Chile, which promised health, education, social and economic justice, which was replaced by a reign of terror and military dictatorship under General Pinochet now sought by Spain and other nations for human rights violations. Popularly elected leaders in Vietnam, Pakistan, the Philippines, Panama, Haiti and elsewhere were replaced by U.S. surrogates. The U.S. has opposed, assaulted and blockaded Cuba and its people for 40 years. The UN General Assembly voted 155 to 2 to condemn the U.S. for its blockade of Cuba in December 1998. The U.S. has maintained repressive governments on five continents in too many countries to name; all seeking to destroy the cultures that define the people, their history, character, values, arts, literature, music, with commercially exploitative products having no substantive worth and one overriding purpose — profits from the poor. A goal of U.S. policy is to entrench the belief that only one system works, capitalism, that only one culture has value, that of the U.S. and western European, and that history will end with the globalization of U.S. culture.


18. The Purpose of the U.S. Actions Being to Dominate, Control and Exploit Yugoslavia, Its People and Its Resources.

The long term purpose of all the acts complained of is to dominate, control and exploit the poor nations of the world and the poor people of the U.S. and other rich countries to further enrich and empower concentrations of wealth and neutralize the whole population of poor, overwhelmingly darker skinned people with fear, powerlessness, poverty, bread and circus.

19. The Means of the U.S. Being Military Power and Economic Coercion.

The United States with a near monopoly on nuclear weapons, military aircraft, missiles, advanced armored vehicles, firepower, equipment, and highly sophisticated technology continuously expands its physical power to destroy, expending more on its military power than the rest of the UN Security Council members combined. This year, U.S. military expenditures will be near 300 billion dollars. The demonized People’s Republic of China will spend 34 billion dollars, acquiring far less in destructive power for each dollar. The U.S. sells more destructive arms to other governments and groups seeking to overthrow governments than the rest of the arms selling countries combined. Often the intention is that they "kill each other," a preferred means of achieving domination. The U.S. does not sell arms it cannot destroy without incurring significant casualties. The U.S. uses its enormous economic power to coerce foreign governments to comply with its wishes, without regard to the interests of the people of those foreign countries. The threat of economic sanctions alone coerces countries to meet U.S. demands contrary to their sovereignty and self-interest.

C. Relief Sought
1. Freedom for all Balkan peoples to form a federation of their choice to provide political, civil, social, economic and cultural independence and viability for all the peoples of the region.

2. Comprehensive efforts to create mutual respect, common interests and bonds of friendship among and between Muslims, Slavs and all national, ethnic and religious groups in the Balkans.

3. Strict prohibition on all forms of foreign interference with or disruption of efforts to establish unity, peace and stability in the Balkans.

4. Restoration of peace-making functions of the UN and reform of the UN to make it effective.

5. The abolition of NATO.

6. Full accountability by individuals and governments for criminal and other wrongful military assaults and economic injustice, including sanctions inflicted on all the people of Yugoslavia, their lives, resources, properties and environment to include criminal prosecutions and reparations sufficient to place all the population in the condition it would be in had it not suffered the wrongs inflicted on it, together with resources with which to build a better future of the peoples’ choice.

7. Abolition of the illegal ad hoc international criminal tribunal for Yugoslavia and reliance on a legal international tribunal of worldwide non-discriminatory jurisdiction capable of equal justice under the law.

8. Providing adequate media access to inform the world of the human destructiveness of the use of high technology weapons by the U.S. against poor and defenseless people and the practice of genocide by sanctions.

9. Removing all foreign troops from the Balkans at the earliest feasible moment and U.S. troops from NATO countries and elsewhere immediately.

A broader range of relief and reform may be found in Chapter 12 of The Fire This Time. It is drawn from the experiences and recommendations of the Commission of Inquiry and the International War Crimes Tribunal, which heard evidence in 20 countries concerning the assault on Iraq in 1991, the continuing assaults on Iraq thereafter and the genocidal sanctions that continue to this day.

Scope of the Inquiry

The Commission of Inquiry will focus on U.S. criminal conduct, aided and abetted by NATO, because of the dominant U.S. role in the military and other wrongful acts against Yugoslavia. The U.S. did not incur a single casualty to itself while causing thousands of deaths in Yugoslavia. The U.S. is also the focus because of the peril of continuing U.S. conduct to all the people of Yugoslavia and the risk of aerial and missile strikes against other nations in view of its recidivist record.

The Commission of Inquiry will seek and accept evidence of criminal acts by any person or government, related to the conflict, because it believes international law must be applied uniformly. It believes that "victors’ justice" is not law, but the extension of war by force of the prevailing party. U.S. propaganda and international media coverage demonized Yugoslavia, its leadership, Serbs and Muslims to fit its purposes, but rarely noticed the criminal destruction of Yugoslavia by U.S. acts as set forth in this complaint.

Comprehensive efforts to gather and evaluate evidence, objectively judge all the conduct that constitutes crimes against peace, war crimes and crimes against humanity and to present these facts for judgment to the court of world opinion requires that any serious fair effort focus on the United States. The Commission of Inquiry believes its focus on U.S. criminal acts is important, proper, and the only way to bring the whole truth, a balanced perspective and impartiality in application of legal process to this great human tragedy.

Ramsey Clark

July 30, 1999

International Action Center
39 West 14th Street, Room 206
New York, NY 10011
email: iacenter@iacenter.org
phone: 212 633-6646
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