I have been privileged to meet former foreign service officer Thomas
R. Hutson. In disagreement with Madeleine Albright, he recently left
the State Department.
For the last four years Mr. Hutson has been stationed in the former
Yugoslavia, Bosnia-Herzogovina, and Croatia. His 32-year career included
service as our consul general in Moscow. In the Omaha World Herald, he
- I am troubled … that my country, whose Constitution grants the
sole power of war to Congress would be leading NATO into an undeclared
war — if only to maintain the credibility of Secretary Albright or
There are no quick fixes to these problems (of the Balkans). … We
must adhere to the basic rules of a civilized world. … If not, the
America that I proudly represented abroad — no matter how modestly —
for the past three decades is diminished beyond my worst fears.
As previously reported in WND the International Ethical Alliance
(IEA) has recently filed a formal indictment with the International
Criminal Tribunal for the former Yugoslavia, charging President Clinton
and Secretary of Defense Cohen with war crimes. Mr. Hutson has
expressed his support for the indictment. In particular, he cites its
first paragraph, which advocates the prosecution of Milosevic — and
with paragraph 6, which states,
- The Armed Forces of the United States have participated in
non-defensive aggressive military attacks on former Yugoslavia, which
have not been necessary to defend the national security of the United
States and have also been violations inter alia of (i) Article 18 of the
Geneva Convention On The Protection of Civilian Persons in Time of War,
which provides, “Civilian hospitals organized to give care to the
wounded and sick, the infirm and maternity cases, may in no
circumstances be the object of attack, but shall at all times be
respected and protected by the Parties to the conflict;” and (ii)
Protocol II (8 June 1977) to the Geneva Convention of 12 August 1949,
Article 14, which provides “It is therefore prohibited to attack,
destroy, remove or render useless … objects indispensable to the
survival for the civilian population, such as foodstuffs … drinking
water installations … [and] works or installations containing
dangerous forces…even where these objects are military objectives.
Sitting on my porch on a hot July day Mr. Hutson explained his
disagreements with our present government. He confirmed information
which has been previously reported by both former President Jimmy Carter
and Bishop Artemious of Kosovo — both of whose factual allegations are
quoted verbatim in other paragraphs of IEA’s indictment.
If a democratic anti-Milosevic resistance was conceivable in Yugoslavia,
it was aborted by NATO’s cluster bombs. As former President Carter has
said, “The decision to attack
Yugoslavia was counter-productive, and our destruction of civilian life
senseless and excessively brutal.”
The establishment of a true democracy in Yugoslavia has the support
of the Greek Orthodox Church, Prince Alexander II of Yugoslavia and
large numbers of Serbian workers who are not on the Milosevic
government’s payrolls. It also has the support of Pope John Paul, the
Roman Catholic Church, the Serbian and Russian Orthodox Churches of
America, the Bishop of Kosovo, and a large number of Anglican and other
religious leaders around the world — many of whom pleaded personally
with our leaders, and prayed openly to God, that we not bomb Belgrade.
Our bombing — which was opposed by democracy’s anti-communist
champions in and outside of Yugoslavia — has united the communists
behind Milosevic more strongly than before. It has also enhanced the
power of Russia and China.
Mr. Hutson has had extensive first hand experience in dealing with
the Clinton administration’s policies in the Balkans. As he explained
- President Clinton and his minions are telling lies. They would
deceive the world into believing that to foster democracy in the Balkans
we had no choice but to abandon diplomacy and bomb Belgrade.
President Clinton is a more adept liar than was Richard Nixon.
Mr. Hutson’s words revived my recollections of a July day in
1974 when the House Judiciary Committee (of which I was then chief
counsel) adopted its first article of impeachment. It charged that,
even if he had not lied under oath, President Nixon had committed a high
crime by “making false or misleading public statements for the purpose
of deceiving the people of the United States.”
One of the heroes of Watergate was Sen. Barry Goldwater. Before such
Democrats as Judiciary Committee Chairman Peter Rodino and I openly
became advocates of Nixon’s impeachment, the Republican senator from
Arizona publicly called the leader of his own party a “damned liar.”
Today, unlike Goldwater in 1974, Hutson’s voice is being ignored by most
of the media, all of President Clinton’s Democratic supporters, and most
Having served his country well abroad, Hutson has come home. I
consider him heroic — and refreshingly honest.
Jerry Zeifman is the president of IEA and
the author of “Without Honor: The Impeachment of President Nixon and the
Crimes of Camelot.” Send comments to mailto:[email protected]“>[email protected].