US Official Implicated With Bosnian High Representative Ashdown in Attempting to Force Fabricated Report on Srebrenica
International Strategic Studies Association - September 8, 2003

Exclusive. Analysis. By Gregory R. Copley, Editor, GIS, with input from sources in Sarajevo and elsewhere. Very reliable sources within the Office of the High Representative in Bosnia and Herzegovina, and other sources in Sarajevo, have told GIS/Defense & Foreign Affairs Daily that a seconded US official, Amb. Donald S. Hays, the Deputy High Representative for Bosnia and Herzegovina, has been actively engaged in attempts to force a fabricated report to be published on the controversial wartime fighting at the city of Srebrenica.

Amb. Hays, presumably at the insistence of High Representative Paddy Ashdown, the former British politician, has demanded the publication of a so-called “final report” on an alleged mass-killing of Bosnian Muslims at Srebrenica in 1995, during the Bosnian civil war, by the Government of Republica Srpska, the predominantly Serbian province of Bosnia-Herzegovina. In essence, Amb. Hays and Lord Ashdown are attempting to force the Government of Republica Srpska (RS) to admit that Serbs were responsible for killing thousands of Muslims at Srebrenica.

The Government of Republica Srpska’s leadership — indeed any of the elected officials of the state — can be summarily dismissed immediately by the High Representative at any time should they refuse to obey his orders, regardless of whether or not the officials were democratically elected or whether the High Representative’s own actions violate the Dayton Accords, which he was put in office to sustain. This threat was implicit in the ultimatum delivered by Amb. Hays in a series of meetings he held with the Republica Srpska Prime Minister, Mladen Ivanic, in late August and early September 2003 in Banja Luka, the RS capital. 

Amb. Hays presented the Prime Minister with a document — on the letterhead of the Office of the High Representative (OHR) — which the Government of Republica Srpska was “advised” to accept as à fait accompli, in which three major points were made. The content of the two-page document was to be re-issued by the Government of Republica Srpska, probably through the RS Office of Human Rights, as though it represented the RS “final report” on the Srebrenica issue. Significantly, the RS has been conducting a detailed and thorough investigation of the issue and has already issued some material which acknowledged Serbian responsibility for some actions but which also contained a wide range of other information which showed the conflict in a much more detailed light. The RS office was established specifically to assist the International Criminal Tribunal on Yugoslavia (ICTY) in The Hague, where prosecutions for war crimes have been underway.

The RS investigations are, in fact, far from over.

The ICTY has also been conducting its own investigation into the Srebrenica allegations, and its investigation is also far from over. As a result, the ICTY, having heard about the OHR’s pressure to force a statement on the issue, essentially accepting Serb blame for war crimes, has distanced itself from the OHR position and has refused to go along with Amb. Hays’ insistence on the statement by the RS Government in Banja Luka.

It appeared that the OHR wanted the statement issued before the opening of a Muslim monument — essentially a shrine which was being promoted as a site for annual Muslim pilgrimages from around the world — memorializing the radical Islamist allegations about events in Srebrenica to occur on September 19, 2003. The unveiling of the monument would be attended by former US Pres. William Clinton, and “finalizing” the Srebrenica case would help stop the ongoing wave of allegations of illegal Clinton Administration activity in supporting radical Islamist activities in Bosnia during the 1990s. This is particularly critical given the fact that a significant number of the Islamist terrorists involved in the September 11, 2001, terrorist attacks on the United States had strong links into the Bosnian Muslims whom Clinton had supported.

The US Embassy in Sarajevo donated $1-million to the construction of the “shrine”, even though all proper investigations of the Srebrenica affair in fact showed the Islamists’ claims to be unsubstantiated and, in many respects, without foundation at all.

Recent information emerging from Bosnia-Herzegovina, and particularly from the RS investigations into the Srebrenica affair and other aspects of terrorism in the region, have highlighted the fact that the Clinton Administration had, during the war, facilitated the Islamist terrorist activities because of the Clinton Administration’s need to demonize the Serbs in order to provide a casus belli for US-led military actions in the area to distract from domestic US political problems. Significantly, when the Muslim representatives involved in building the “shrine” in Srebrenica approached New York Mayor Michael Blumberg to establish a sister-city relationship with New York, the Mayor refused, based on intelligence showing the link between the Bosnian Islamists and the al-Qaida attacks on  his city.

Amb. Hays’ two-page document was expected to lead to a statement, possibly as early as September 8, 2003, by RS officials, which would not only serve to protect the Clinton Administration officials, including the former US President, but would also serve as an admission of guilt of Serbs for killing thousands of Muslims who, in fact, were not known to have been killed. Several hundred bodies have been found as a result of the fighting in and around Srebrenica, but the Islamists and their supporters have claimed figures which grow higher with each telling, with figures now claiming some 15,000 alleged deaths. At the same time, there is no acknowledgement of the Muslim killing of thousands of Serbs at Srebrenica earlier in the war, when the city was supposed to have been a demilitarized zone.

The document which Hays has been pushing essentially forces the RS Government to state that:

1. Nothing is unclear in the Srebrenica investigation except the number of victims. In other words, the Islamist propaganda, supported by Ashdown — who has long been disavowed in the UK by his former colleagues in the Royal Marines because of his unequivocal acceptance of Islamist propaganda — is accepted as fact by the RS Government, thereby admitting guilt for crimes never committed;

2. The RS apologizes to the Muslims for earlier RS statements which disputed the Islamist propaganda; and

3. A new commission would be organized which would investigate further what happened at Srebrenica, despite the RS Government’s à priori acceptance — implicit in point one of the statement — of the alleged crime. This “commission” would include three individuals from RS (not necessarily selected by the RS Government), three from the “international community” and one from an unspecified non-governmental organization. 

The Government of RS would have to pay for the work of the new “commission”.

Sources in Sarajevo, Belgrade and Washington have made it clear to GIS that the present US Bush Administration has been totally ignoring developments in the former Yugoslavia because of preoccupations with Iraq and the “war on terror”, while former Clinton Administration appointees, actively supported by the George Soros Foundation — which has been avowedly anti-Serb and anti-Bush — have been able to compound their control of the area. Significantly, as numerous GIS reports have shown, the Iranian and al-Qaida/bin Laden terrorist infrastructure in Bosnia and Serbia-Montenegro has been increasingly active during 2003, preparing for a new breakout to draw US pressure away from Iran and al-Qaida activities elsewhere.

[See, particularly, Defense & Foreign Affairs Daily, June 12, 2003: Terrorism in the Balkans and the Wider Ramifications for the Global “War on Terror”, and Defense & Foreign Affairs Daily, August 29, 2003: Osama bin Laden Focuses on the Balkans for the New Wave of Anti-Western Terrorism.]

One moderate Muslim source in Sarajevo told GIS: “If the Bush Administration does not act soon, terrorism against US and Western interests will erupt soon across much of the Balkans, and from the Balkans into the rest of the world. And all of this seems to be just to allow the old US Administration of Clinton to cover their tracks. The radicals not only destroyed the Serbs, they also destroyed the lives of moderate Muslims. Now they will start another war. Why is the Bush Administration following the policies of the Clinton Administration? Why are Clinton people still running all the key posts in American embassies in the region?”

According to the OHR website, the Principal Deputy High Representative, Donald S. Hays, a US diplomat, took up his duties with the OHR in July 2001. Between 1999 and 2001 he was the US Representative to the United Nations for UN Management and Reform, with ambassadorial rank. Previously he had served in the State Department as the Director of the Office of Management Policy and Planning and as the Executive Director of the European Affairs Bureau. He has also been posted to US embassies in Bonn, Islamabad, Dakar, Freetown (Sierra Leone), and Saigon. Ambassador Hays graduated in Political Science from the University of California, Santa Barbara.