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What the US Knows and Won't Reveal

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Last week, the Clinton administration made a long-awaited admission: it had not turned over to the International War Crimes Tribunal all evidence it has of recent mass executions of Muslims by Bosnian Serb forces.

Many Bosnia watchers say the evidence may be necessary for prosecuting top Bosnian Serb leaders.

For the last two months, the US has had dramatic spy photos of six possible mass graves around Srebrenica - the smoking guns of the largest single mass execution in Europe since World War II - but failed to give all of its evidence to the Tribunal.

Critics warn that the administration's handling of the photos shows it may be willing to achieve peace at the price of justice in Bosnia, and is not fully supporting the Hague-based Tribunal.

''I bet that we don't have alot of it,'' says a Tribunal investigator.

State Department officials blame the delay on resistance from the CIA. Intelligence officials say they are cooperating as much as they can. Critics also question why the US has not released all the photos to the public.

Officials in the administration warn that releasing the photos could prompt the Bosnian Serbs to tamper with the graves. But intelligence officials say they already have evidence that the Bosnian Serbs are exhuming one of the graves.

Promise to cooperate

Administration officials, responding to complaints from the Tribunal, initially denied that they were withholding information from the Tribunal, and are now promising to fully cooperate.

Critics point out that the administration made a dramatic presentation of the Nova Kasaba photos to the United Nations Security Council in August. But during September and October - the two months when US Assistant Secretary of State Richard Holbrooke was trying to launch a new peace initiative in the region - almost no senior American officials mentioned Srebrenica.


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