Thursday, January 05, 2006

Bitter Lemon: The Most Trusted Name in News

CNN is running a Reuters story that the Serbian government is going to stop paying war criminal Ratko Mladic his military pension.

Authorities said the pension had been suspended because of unspecified illegalities, but the fact that Mladic received the cash will be seized on by critics of the government as evidence that the general had high level protection in the military and there is little real will to turn him in.
I'm glad to hear that he won't be eligible for his pension anymore ("unspecified illegalities" would those be something other than the genocide and the war crimes?). You would have thought that government critics would have seized upon this information 13 months ago, when it first made news.
Although indicted in 1995, Mladic lived more or less openly in Belgrade until former strongman Slobodan Milosevic was ousted then extradited to The Hague in mid-2001, when the general went underground....Serbia has repeatedly insisted it does not know where Mladic is hiding and vowed that it is doing all it can to deliver him to justice, including freezing his assets.
The international media are playing Serbia's game in all of this, because they report the Serbian governments claims, rather than the actual facts. When they say that he went 'underground' in 2001, what they actually mean is all the way underground to Belgrade, where he attended a ceremony commemorating the Bosnian wars last summer.

I know ten years is a really long time in the age of 24 hour news, but could we at least pretend show a little bit of respect for the people that he massacred? How hard is it for major media outlets to fact check when a genocidal killer was last seen at a public event?

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