by Michel Chossudovsky July 2001

Professor of Economics, University of Ottawa

Official transcripts of US State Department briefings reproduce "verbatim" the "questions" (Q) by journalists and the answers of the State Department spokesperson. Words are always transcribed phonetically, "Yes" is recorded as "yeah", grammatical and speech errors are also recorded, non-verbal "noises" such as "laughs", "chuckles", "applause" as well as "mm-hmm", "wow" and "huh" are also transcribed.

"Laughs" and "chuckles" are usually associated with a Question (Q) from an individual journalist or an answer by the State Department official, whereas "laughter" is from the floor. The "chuckles" and "laughs" often come after an embarrassing question, or when the State Department spokesperson says "Yeah, I don't know" or "I don't want to get into that". "Chuckles" is often a way of skirting the question. It also means, "You know the answer, why are you asking..."

A few months before the onslaught of the NATO bombings of Yugoslavia, the State Department held a "Special Briefing" on Kosovo (November 1998). James Pardew, Washington's "mediator" now in charge of "disarming" NLA-KLA terrorists in Macedonia, had been appointed in 1998 "Special Representative for Kosovo Implementation" by the Clinton Adminstration. Joined by Julia Taft, Assistant Secretary of State for Population, Refugees and Migration, Pardew answers questions on a central issue of the Kosovar crisis:

"Q Where are the arms coming from? I mean, the Yugoslav forces' arms are coming from Yugoslavia. Where is the KLA getting their arms?

MR. PARDEW: I can't answer that. I don't know the answer to that.

Q Don't have any suspicions?

MR. PARDEW: No, not that I'm going into here. (Chuckles.)

Q (Chuckles.)

MR. PARDEW: Okay --

MS. TAFT: He's guns, I'm butter. Any other — other questions? (Laughs.)


Ambassador James Pardew was sent by Washington to Macedonia in July 2001 with a mandate to "disarm" the NLA-KLA terrorists and implement a US-EU brokered "cease-fire". "No laughing matter": recent developments in Macedonia confirm that Washington rather than disarming the terrorists is in fact equipping them with brand new weapons "Made in America."


1. Federal News Service, State Department Briefing on Kosovo, Washington, November 13, 1998.

For details on how Washington has armed and equipped the KLA, see the following articles by the author:

"Washington Behind Terrorist Assaults in Macedonia", July 2001

"Washington Finances Ethnic Warfare in the Balkans", April 2001

"Macedonia: Washington's Military-Intelligence Ploy", June 2001, at http://www.antiwar.com/rep/chuss4.html.

"America at War in Macedonia", June 2001

"Kosovo 'Freedom Fighters' Financed by Organised Crime", Covert Action Quarterly, Fall 1999.

Copyright by Michel Chossudovsky, Ottawa, July 2001. All rights reserved. Permission is granted to post this text on non-commercial community internet sites, provided the essay and the title remain intact, the copyright note is displayed and no headers or footers are added to the article without consulting the author. To publish this text in printed and/or other forms, including commercial internet sites and excerpts, kindly contact the author at chossudovsky@videotron.ca, fax: 1-514-4256224.