Sunday, February 5, 2012

Arkan Declassified: What the CIA Was Willing to Disclosed

Željko Ražnatović aka Arkan was the most mediagenic, infamous, and well-known Serbian warlord. Married to glamorous turbo-folk singer Ceca, owner of a leading Serbian soccer team, and possessor of the best-trained thugs in all the Balkans, he had little competition in that regard.

In response to a recent FOIA request seeking "all previously released records" pertaining to Željko Ražnatović, the CIA released just two records. The first is a FBIS translation of a Slovenian media article titled, "Rape as a Means of Battle" in which the authors report on the allegations the rape warfare strategies employed by VRS forces in Bosnia were organized, approved, and defended at the very top. The second - and far more interesting document- is a copy of the portions of the CIA's April 1999 Terrorism Review dealing with possible anti-American violence spawned by the NATO intervention against Serb genocide in Kosovo.

While I honestly disbelieve that Arkan named his group the Serbian Terrorist Organization Resistance Movement (STOP). I do not disbelieve that Arkan had the capacity- probably an organized, named capacity-to strike at the United States. However, I doubt he would have used it to defend Serbia. I base it not only on his failure to use it, but also the fact that Arkan was about Arkan first. While Hungary, Macedonia, Croatia, and the rest of the Balkans might be willing to tolerate his criminal enterprises, none of them could or would tolerate terrorist attacks on its soil, much less directed  terrorism at it. A single Arkan ordered terrorist attack would meant the end of his lucrative rackets. Thus, why, in part, there were none.

Anyway, enjoy the files.

Arkan's (Available) CIA File                                                           

The Milosevic Files

A rapid method to procure documents from the CIA is limit your request to "previously released records." This means sacrificing your right to appeal and usually (but not always) receiving stuff in the public domain. Y

I recently submitted several such requests for Yugoslav leaders such as Milovan Djilas, Aleksandar Ranković, Slobodan Milosevic, Željko Ražnatović (Arkan), and Edvard Kardelj. In the cases of Djilas, Ranković, and Kardelj, I received significant numbers of hard-to-find documents relating to the men. My request for Arkan's files, I was given two documents a FBIS translation of a Slovenian newspaper article and a copy of a Terrorism Review."

In response to Milosevic, I received two "requester reports"- a one- page report and another eight page report. I am not sure how they were created, but they list every previously released document on Milosevic. I done some research on the CIA's websites. The check marks means you'll find it searching for "Milosevic" while the an "x" means you have to search for that specific document. No marks means you'll most likely have to order it up.

Milosevic Requester Report