Such murky stuff, as is typical with the CIA. How do you begin to untangle criminal actions like this? When does spying for the opposition outweigh participation in genocide? Does one cancel out the other?
These aren't rhetorical questions, because we have a web of similar interests all over the world:
For eight years, Stanisic was the CIA's main man in Belgrade. During secret meetings in boats and safe houses along the Sava River, he shared details on the inner workings of the Milosevic regime. He provided information on the locations of NATO hostages, aided CIA operatives in their search for grave sites and helped the agency set up a network of secret bases in Bosnia.
At the same time, Stanisic was setting up death squads for Milosevic that carried out a genocidal campaign, according to prosecutors at the International Criminal Tribunal for the Former Yugoslavia, which was established by the U.N. Security Council in 1993 to try those responsible for serious human rights violations in the Balkan wars.
Now facing a trial at The Hague that could send him to prison for life, Stanisic has called in a marker with his American allies. In an exceedingly rare move, the CIA has submitted a classified document to the court that lists Stanisic's contributions and attests to his helpful role. The document remains sealed, but its contents were described by sources to The Times.
The CIA's Lofgren, now retired, said the agency drafted the document to show "that this allegedly evil person did a whole lot of good." Lofgren, however, doesn't claim to disprove the allegations against Stanisic.
"But setting the indictment aside," he said, "there are things this man did that helped bring hostilities to an end and establish peace in Bosnia."