The Spy Who Was Never Out in the Cold

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The French major accused in today's Washington Post of sabotaging NATO plans to capture Radovan Karadzic was the most obvious spook in Sarajevo, says TIME Central Europe bureau chief Massimo Calabresi. Diplomats and military commanders were well aware that Major Herve Gourmellon was passing information to the Serbs: "Gourmellon may be being made a scapegoat for the failure to capture Karadzic and other indicted war criminals," says Calabresi. "He may have, at times, exceeded his mandate, but he was acting on French authority. Western commanders were aware that Gourmellon was passing information to the Serbs, and found it useful at times."

It would have been hard for NATO leaders to be unaware of Gourmellon's inclinations: Calabresi reports that in 1994, the French officer was caught on video rifling the drawers of Britain's General Michael Rose, then commander of U.N. forces. Despite the incident, Gourmellon was not removed from his post. Better the spy you know....