BFP Exclusive – The Balkan Gladio of Congressman Mike Turner

Can one really be surprised that Turner was chosen to be the president of the NATO Parliamentary Assembly?

Mike Turner is a Republican member of the US House of Representatives from Ohio's 10th District based in Dayton. He was first elected in 2003. The Citizens for Responsibility and Ethics in Washington (CREW), a non-profit organization which deals with the issues of ethics and accountability in the US political life, listed him in its 2008 and 2010 reports among the most corrupt members of the US Congress. The CREW alleges that Turner committed the ethics violations in the categories of "enrichment of self, family, or friends", and "solicitation of gifts".[1]

Turner's latest claim to public spotlight was the 2012 initiative to build the missile defense systems on the US East Coast whose alleged purpose would be to protect the US from the missiles from Iran and North Korea. According to Turner, "you cannot open a newspaper or turn on a TV … without seeing a story of the rising threat from Iran and North Korea to mainland United States ...With these emerging threats, it is inevitable that an East Coast site will be necessary in order to ensure we have the ability to lessen the threats from both Iran and North Korea".[2]

Seemingly oblivious of both geography (the US West Coast is much closer to North Korea, for instance) and common sense, the statements like these prove that Turner is one of those members of US Congress who, over the years, have pushed an extremely aggressive, arrogant, ignorant, and dangerous agenda which seeks to impose the goals of the US foreign policy on both allies and opponents the world over, no matter what it takes.

Possessed of such psychological traits and ideological worldview, can one really be surprised that Turner was chosen to be the president of the NATO Parliamentary Assembly?[3] The Parliamentary Assembly is supposed to be NATO's attempt at playing a "civilian" alliance. But, since they elected Turner to be their leader, they themselves appear to have ripped off even this fig leaf of democracy. That is, no doubt, yet another piece of evidence that shows the extent to which NATO is intent on militarizing the EU and re-molding it into the politically scared and economically scarred nuclear bulwark against Russia and its allies in Europe and beyond. However, taking into consideration the recent actions of French president François Hollande and German chancellor Angela Merkel, it appears that this effort may not be as easy and smooth as some in NATO's Brussels have expected.

But this is exactly why they got Turner. His task is to stir up and inflame age-old grievances in the EU's "soft underbelly" - the Balkans. And so, Turner has recently got himself heavily involved in promoting NATO membership in the region. In November 2013, in Washington, during the visit of the speaker of the Montenegrin Parliament Ranko Krivokapić, a long-time US asset, several members of the US Congress formed the so-called Montenegrin Caucus, oriented primarily to pushing for Montenegro's NATO membership.[4] In fact, as one of the co-presidents of the caucus, Michael Michaud, a Democrat from Maine, said, they intended to work on this agenda in "an aggressive way".[5] Well, that certainly is no surprise.

What is also not surprising is that both Michaud and the other co-president, Doug Lamborn, a Republican from Colorado, have, just like Turner, been allegedly involved in scandals and corruption. Michaud, who is no longer in Congress, was faulted for failure of oversight over the US Veterans Administration whose corrupt practices led to dozens of veteran deaths,[6] while Lamborn was linked to the interests of the gambling industry and left threatening voice mails to those who sought to expose him.[7] Truly, who else but corrupt politicians would lobby for a state ruled by an undemocratic, mafia-type regime, such as the regime of the Montenegrin prime minister Milo Djukanović?

According to the news footage from the Caucus inauguration ceremony, Turner was one of the first Congressmen to join it and, by February 2014, he was already reported to be its president. In the past year, he met several times with the high officials of the Montenegrin government. Turner met with Djukanović in Brussels in March 2014,[8] right before Djukanović's visit to Washington in April 2014, where he met with the US vice-president Joe Biden.[9] In addition, Turner met with Krivokapić in September 2014 and, most recently, in February 2015.[10] He himself visited Montenegro as a member of the congressional delegation in October 2014.[11]

At all these meetings, one question dominated the agenda: how to convince the majority of the Montenegrin citizens, who are against NATO membership, that NATO is a good idea. The strategy decided on was, as I will show, from the Gladio repertoire: artificially instigating the tension with the neighboring states, preferably the ones who are not the members of NATO. In other words, making it seem as if other states harbored designs on the parts of Montenegrin territory, so that NATO could be offered up as the savior, as the only guaranty of the territorial integrity and the inviolability of borders. This in fact is one of the main claims of the Montenegrin government NATO membership propagandists, and now their task was to create a political crisis out of nothing, so that they could solve it via the US and NATO Gladio operators.

The Sutorina Gladio Operation

The point of contention chosen was the small area called Sutorina (80,000 square meters) on the coast of the Adriatic Sea which was part of Montenegro since the establishment of the Socialist Yugoslav Federation during WWII, but was a part of the Bosnian province of the Ottoman Empire in the more distant past. Certain politicians and academics, such as Denis Bećirović, a member of the Parliament of Bosnia-Herzegovina, and Suad Kurtćehajić, a political science professor at the University of Sarajevo, demanded that Montenegro give up this territory to Bosnia-Herzegovina.[12] For the time being, they have been successful in stopping the signing of the border agreement between two countries, and the "crisis", which is ongoing, has been widely reported both in the regional media and beyond.

Bosnia-Herzegovina recalled its ambassador from the Montenegrin capital Podgorica and Montenegro did not send its ambassador to Sarajevo after the end of the previous ambassador's mandate.[13] Just a few days before his recall, the ambassador of Bosnia-Herzegovina in Montenegro contacted me for a meeting on an unrelated matter, which I take as a sign that even he did not know that he was going to be recalled and that therefore the matter was planned at the last minute.

What is most revealing in the whole thing is that most of the Bosnian politicians and academics who are destabilizing the political situation by pushing for the border changes share the so-called Euro-Atlantic (NATO) orientation of Djukanović's government, while those politicians in Bosnia-Herzegovina who are against NATO membership and are critical of Djukanović's policies are keeping silent. Hence it appears, beyond a reasonable doubt, that those in the first group are all playing an assigned role in the Gladio-type charade. I pointed out this "anomaly" in a commentary published in the Montenegrin daily newspaper Dan in December 2014.[14]

And, then just a few weeks ago, additional evidence for my claim surfaced: Congressman Turner entered the fray. On February 25, 2015, he sent a letter to Bakir Izetbegović, the Bosnian Muslim member of the tripartite Bosnia-Herzegovina Presidency, demanding that Bosnia drop all obstruction to the border agreement with Montenegro immediately.[15] He also threatened the cut-off of US aid and cooperation unless Bosnia promptly complies. In order to show that he means business, on March 3, 2015, Turner introduced an H.R. 1228, a bill entitled Montenegro Border Integrity Act, "to limit US assistance to Bosnia-Herzegovina until Bosnia-Herzegovina is in compliance with the state borders established by the Conference on Yugoslavia Arbitration Commission".[16]

Both the recipient of Turner's letter, Izetbegović, and the commentators in the Bosnian media noted that it was surprising that Turner did not write to the chairman of the Presidency, Mladen Ivanić, which would be procedurally the only right thing to do.[17] However, Ivanić is a Serb member of the Presidency and therefore likely not to be a member of the Balkan Gladio cabal. Ivanić later said that he did not see the letter and that "such letters are not very welcomed".[18]

Of course they are not "welcomed", because their purpose is to create an atmosphere of fear, instability, and tensions where there was none before. Their function is to sway civilian populations to accept the idea that only a military alliance such as NATO can provide for international peace and stability, whereas precisely the opposite is true, as this very example, among many, goes to show. And, fundamentally, they bear all the unmistakable signs of an intelligence Gladio operation in which, it appears, US Congressman Mike Turner is both an able and willing participant.

# # # #

Filip Kovacevic, Boiling Frogs Post contributing author and analyst, is a geopolitical author, university professor and the chairman of the Movement for Neutrality of Montenegro. He received his BA and PhD in political science in the US and was a visiting professor at St. Petersburg State University in Russia for two years. He is the author of seven books, dozens of academic articles. He has been invited to lecture throughout the EU, Balkans, ex-USSR and the US. He currently resides in San Francisco, and can be contacted at fk1917@yahoo.com

NOTES

[1] http://www.citizensforethics.org/page/-/Beyond%20Delay%20Full%20Report_0.pdf?nocdn=1; http://www.citizensforethics.org/page/-/PDFs/Reports/Most%20Corrupt%20Reports/Most%20Corrupt%20Report%202010.pdf?nocdn=1; see also http://www.cdm.me/politika/nvo-pokret-za-neutralnost-korumpirani-kongresmeni-ubrzavaju-crnogorski-put-u-nato

[2] http://thehill.com/policy/defense/226265-republican-plans-east-coast-missile-defense-shield

[3] http://www.nato-pa.int/default.asp?SHORTCUT=201

[4] http://mondo.rs/a635789/Info/Ex-Yu/Formiran-crnogorski-kokus-koji-lobira-za-NATO.html

[5] https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Iz50zb7VI74

[6] http://www.themainewire.com/2014/06/michaud-refuses-responsibility-va-corruption-scandal/

[7] http://www.denverpost.com/search/ci_6782060

[8] http://www.novosti.rs/vesti/planeta.300.html:483876-Djukanovic-Vreme-za-poziv-NATO

[9] https://www.whitehouse.gov/the-press-office/2014/04/08/readout-vice-president-s-meeting-prime-minister-milo-djukanovic-monteneg

[10] http://www.skupstina.me/index.php/en/skupstina/predsjednik/aktuelnosti/item/3323-predsednik-skupstine-u-poseti-sjedinjenim-americkim-drzavama

[11] http://www.cdm.me/politika/krivokapic-i-tarner-odnosi-crna-gora-i-sad-a-u-kontinuiranom-progresu

[12] http://www.slobodnahercegovina.com/becirovic-sutorina-je-pitanje-bih-a-ne-entiteta/; http://ba.n1info.com/a16719/Vijesti/Vijesti/Kurtcehajic-Potez-za-povrat-Sutorine-me-je-jako-obradovao.html

[13] http://www.balkaninsight.com/en/article/montenegro-bosnia-still-argue-over-adriatic-claim

[14] http://www.dan.co.me/?nivo=3&rubrika=Politika&datum=2014-12-29&clanak=469390&naslov=Milova

[15] http://www.balkaneu.com/senator-demands-bih-suspend-discussions-border-dispute-montenegro/

[16] http://www.gpo.gov/fdsys/bulkdata/BILLS/114/1/hr/BILLS-114hr1228ih.xml

[17] http://www.bosniatoday.ba/bakir-izetbegovic-replies-to-american-congressman-turner-i-have-nothing-to-do-with-sutorina-issue/

[18] http://www.bosniatoday.ba/bih-presidency-will-consider-threats-by-congressman-turner-that-us-could-suspend-aid-to-bosnia/

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Comments

  1. We need to put aside any pretense of shock or surprise when a politician gets handed more power and perks “despite” being obviously corrupt. It’s not “despite”, it’s precisely “because”.

    A politician’s hidden skeletons-in-the-closet are functionally equivalent to a bit in the mouth of a horse in terms of making him/her controllable. Evidence of an utterly corrupt and barren soul is further necessary to qualify for acceptance into the inner circles of power. “They” would never feel comfortable with, or trust, anyone with a trace of genuine human soul and conscience; or in other words, anyone different from themselves.

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