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<nettime> Re: FW: SFOR Intelligence sources
Ivo Skoric on Mon, 18 Oct 1999 09:50:01 +0200 (CEST)


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<nettime> Re: FW: SFOR Intelligence sources


Hi Frank, Hi Mario

As I understood domovina will become a real-audio dispatcher of the
critical political tought from Bosnia in the time of downsizing of
international support for 'critical' media there. That's very nice. What
however is even worse than I thought is the situation in Bosnia. Obviously
in the economic realities of Bosnia there is no place for independent,
alternative, critical media. As I wrote earlier it is very difficult for
such media to survive in non-diverse under- developed economies without
relying on the ex-pat support, in cas of Bosnia, support by so-called
international community through its governmental or non-governmental
channels. The failure of that support (of 80% in such cases like Radio
Zid, as you reported) is a crime against the development of democracy in
Bosnia. In that light Tuzla Night Owl operation seems to me like adding an
insult to the injury. It is like: we'll let the independent, critical
media in Bosnia die a slow un-noticeable death, and we will translate and
publish all the rubbish that the various regime factions owned media puts
out. That should prove the indispensability of our presence in the region
(which btw costs $9 billion a year - compare to less than $5 billion the
"international community" spend rebuilding Bosnia in past few years).
Hmmm. I don't like that. 

ivo 

Date sent:      	Sat, 16 Oct 1999 23:54:20 +0200
From:           	Frank Tiggelaar <webmaster {AT} domovina.net>
Send reply to:  	webmaster {AT} domovina.net
Organization:   	Domovina Net
To:             	ivo {AT} reporters.net, Mario Profaca <mprofaca {AT} PUBLIC.SRCE.HR>
Subject:        	Re: FW: SFOR  Intelligence sources

Ivo Skoric wrote:
> 
> Mario, Frank - I admire your varied contributions to the post-
> Yugoslav information space, the dedication with which you do your
> work and the encompassing influence you create.
> 
> So, I am kind of bemused with your different perception of the
> scope of the Tuzla Night Owl operation. Night Owl is an intelligence
> operation, an open source intelligence (meaning it is using public
> sources instead of secret agents or NSA intercepted data
> exchanges), but still an intelligence operation. Therefore, it can
> hardly be accepted as an example of non-partisan, objective and
> independent reporting.

Hi Ivo, Mario,

Ivo, welcome to the discussion and thanks for you comments. My opinion
in shorthand: Of course TNO is an intelligence operation, no argument
about that. But contrary to what Mario suggests, I have never tried to
sweep that fact under the carpet. As said, all issues which we added on
a daily basis (i.e. not the ones pre April 1998) have the TNO
'trademark' on them. With the help of several friends I checked the
reliability of the TNO before we started to publish it, simply by
comparing their publications with the sources we have at hand: the
printed edition of Oslobodjenje, Dani, the daily BHT-Sat programs,
Reporter, Globus, etc. No descrepancies there. Which leaves them the
option of manipulating the audience through their selection of the news
items. Again, after reading the TNO almost every day, I cannot complain.

So I see no wrong in publishing these *clearly marked SFOR*
publications. Daily visitors on DN include Phon van den Biesen, BiH's
lawyer in the genocide case against Yugolsvia, and professor Mischa
Vladimiroff, Tadic defence lawyer, who are both pretty well informed
about the situation in BiH, yet still expressed their gratitude for us
having the TNO archive on DN.

Ivo, as for you remarks about independent media (I rather use the term
'critical media' since no media are completely independent - Coca Cola
rules) : The situation in Bosnia is rapidly becoming desparate. 

NGO's have shifted/are shifting their attention to Kosova, Turkey, E
Timor etc, and so their money no longer goes to BiH. The landscape:
there are well over 300 radio and TV stations in FBiH, which is of
course a ridiculous number - surveys show that the affluent Dutch
economy could support roughly 60 commercial stations, for 15 million
people. So inevitably (if you're a capitalist), a lot of stations in BiH
will have to disappear. But it's sad to see that a responsible and
respected station like Zid has seen 80% of its annual support
terminated; it had to sack most of its employees. Svijet has lost it's
USAID support and ceased to appear. Dani's Senad Pecanin was harrassed
by the police several times, Safet Orucevic is trying to get RTV Mostar
in his grip - they have an outstanding electricity bill of DEM 385K... 

Therefore, with the help of xs4all, we are going to try and set up the
most independent/critical Balkan medium yet. The small Live RealAudio
server which runs on my home network every night is going to be the
control center for the new service. From Nov 1st we plan to offer a
download site where members of our audience may download completely
configured software which will enable them to blast 30 mins of audio
from their own PC into DN's RealServer, which in turn will pipe it into
xs4all's huge RealServer farm. We keep a finger on the button: hate
speech and the like won't hit the Web, because by nature RealServers
have a latency of 10-15 seconds. Several organizations - and one rock
band :-) - have already shown an interest.

Best to both of you,

Frank

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