The last month has brought news of renewed deportations of Bosnian Serb men from the US to Bosnia. The reason? In the last two years, a military intelligence analyst working at the Hague combed all ICTY testimony for names of Bosnian Serb men who may bear a connection to war crimes. The resulting list of 14,000 was handed off to US immigration officials, who have seized several of the men and whisked them off to Sarajevo for a determination tribunal to decide whether they should face war crimes charges.
This is a bad idea on many levels. First, there's no indication as to whether the names on the list bear culpability for war crimes. The indictment process used by the Hague works for its evidentiary standards, whereas this system is arbitrary, capricious, and isn't based on any real standard. Second, these Bosnian Serb emigres have certain due process rights under the American system, but are being swept away without anything near a modicum of probable cause or a chance for a hearing. Most importantly, this is a bad strategic idea. Not only is it an unnecessary aggravation in our foreign affairs for little or no gain, but it also serves as a distraction in our efforts to catch the real bad guys. You know, the ones with outstanding indictments from the Hague whose criminal behavior leaves no doubt. Namely, Karadzic and Mladic.