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31 January 2011

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Retired (once-Serving)Patriot

Thank you Mr. Sale for getting this version of history out there. Too bad what snippets of it exist have long been flushed down the American memory hole.

RP

Patrick Lang

All

I was serving in the Jeddah US embassy as Defense Attache at the time Richard Sale describes in which he says Rafik Hariri was "recruited" by Alan Fiers. Dick Murphy was ambassador. I remember well the Fiers personality that Sale describes and the enormity of his ego. I did not know Hariri at the time but it was clear that the Saudi government pushed him at the US as part of the Habib diplomatic effort. In the years after government retirement in which I worked in business that was headquartered in Lebanon, Hariri was prime minister twice. Sale's version of these events seems quite plausible and even likely to me. pl

Fred

"...ran the whole operating off the books, outside the normal, internal channels and secret channels using a staffer on the National Security Council who dealt directly..."

Shades of Elliot Abrams and Ollie North. Maybe Andrea Mitchell should review her Mid-east history before she talks to the likes of the former again.

Doug Tunnell

Thank you for parts I and 2. You might want to look again at the bombing that killed Bashir. I believe the generally accepted version is that the device was placed in an apartment just above the room in which Bashir was addressing his party cadre and not a car bomb. Also, I can't square the date of his "recruitment" with 1980. He was fully on scene as a militia commander in Beirut at that time. Perhaps you intended to place him in Washington in 1970 ?

Clifford Kiracofe

Good piece, brings back bad memories.

1. "Alan D. Fiers, Jr, was President Ronald Reagan's Chief of the Central Intelligence Agency's Central American Task Force from October 1984 until his retirement in 1988.

His CIA alias was "Cliff." He pled guilty to two counts of withholding information from the Congress about Oliver North's activities and the diversion of Iran arms sale money to aid the Nicaraguan Contras as part of the Iran-Contra Affair."
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Alan_Fiers


2. Murphy's wife was associated with the Hariri Foundation.

3. The very pro-Israel Gen.Haig/Sec State was said at the time to have given Israel the "green light" to invade Lebanon.
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/1982_Lebanon_War

WILL

it was the medical school dropout, the hakim, Samir "GaGa," Gea-gea that led the raid on Tony Franjieh. the convicted murderer who also killed Sunni PM Karami was pardoned after the Syrians left. GaGa ultimately rebelled against the Phalange and led the pre-eminent Xtian milita, the Lebanese Forces (not LAF but LF). he stabbed the Lebanese Armed Forces led by Aoun in the back by attacking their rear area while they were trying to drive out the Syrians.

The Palestinians refugees were settled in the Beirut area, it is said mainly on Maronite Church charitable land that became armed camps. the Phalange response was excessive as well as their incursions in Druze territory which backfired once Israeli Druze officers intervened in the Chouf. After Damour and what happened in the Aley region, things spiralled out of control.

Bashir, aka Bachir, Gemayel was a flawed individual. His wikipedia bio is very sympathetic & the truth is probably somewhere in the middle b/n that & Sale's view.

The assassination from what i have read was by members of the Syrian Nationalist Party which is mostly Christian Eastern Orthodox. The Orthodox historically tended to have a greater Syria orientation as they are not all concentrated in Lebanon as the Maronites.

I have done some reading of the Lebanese Civil War & look favorably on Gen. Aoun for his non-sectarian outlook. I authored the wikipedia article on Souk-El-Gherb, where the Lebanese Armed Forces repulsed Syrian proxies. The American intervention there, shelling the Chouf Mountains, some say led to the Beirut barracks bombing. The Marines became to be seen as participants in the Civil War. Maybe it would have happened anyway.

The Sabilla/Chatilla revenge massacres are blamed on the South Lebanon Army, from what I have read. From the PA leaks, it doesn't look like the Lebanese Palestinian refugees are going home. It is going to take billions (guess where the gold will come from?) to soothe them. they do not have citizenship nor are they able to legally work! Humans on the shelf.

William P. Fitzgerald III

Mr. Sale or Pat Lang,
There are wheels within wheels, as the saying goes. The first Israeli invasion of Lebanon abruptly ended my Leon Uris influenced enchantment with Israel. As I recall, the seige of Beirut was ended by an American brokered agreement whereby the Palestinian fighters were given safe passage by sea to Tunis and we guaranteed the safety of those left behind in the refugee camps. Is that correct? The gurantee, if given was, obviously, worthless.
The Hariri episode seems to follow the general American practice of picking a course of action and then bending facts and reality to support it.
WPFIII

Patrick Lang

WPFIII

To Tunis and North Yemen. pl

Sam Will

To Doug Tunnell, Will, PL and ALL.
I lived ALL these events from the inside of the LF...
What Doug, Will and PL say here is absolutely correct.
But, what I want ALL of you to know is that contrary to what Richard Sale is saying here...not because he is trying to hide anything...but because he is ill-informed or partially informed... The truth of the matter is that the Christian Lebanese Forces of Bashir GEMAYEL were a CIA Proxy Militia lock, stock and Barrel from its inception and throughout...It was Totally funded by CIA whether On or Off the books... throughout its existence...and most of its arms came through Israel...during the 70s and 80s... In ALL Phases the LF were/are a CIA Proxy Militia/organization...and up until TODAY...The LF have been re-activated under the Banner of Samir Geagea...and it is still today totally funded by CIA and the Saudis...

What is said here about Bashir Gemayel's assassination is Correct but is not the Whole Story...Abou Ayad, the PLO's intelligence Chief at the time had a big hand also in the PLOT, together with Syria's intelligence and the executor was the guy named Habib Shartouni from the SNP... I will post separately the whole story of Bashir's assassination in a separate post...since I was party to the investigation...

Sam Will

The Lebanese Forces of Gemayel and Geagea were and still are today a CIA Proxy Militia Lock, stock and barrel from its inception and were funded on or off the books at various times by CIA and are still funded today by CIA and the Saudis, nothing has changed...

Patrick Lang

Sam Will

I look forward to it. pl

Sam Will

Project "Snowball" and the tragic assassination of Bashir Gemayel, our President-elect.

Operations: "Snowball", "Spark" and " Ironbrain" of IDF..., are IDF operations, planned for ahead of Israel's invasion of Lebanon in 1982.

Abou Ayyad with The Syrians assassinated Bashir Gemayel because they were extremely worried about his "plans" with Israel....

A young man by the name of Habib Shartouni, executed the whole operation. He comes from the SSNP, Syrian Social Nationalist Party....He was a Cut-out for Syria and Abu Ayyad....

There is a clear PLO/Syrian complicity here and they would probably not be ashamed to even claim it... Mr. Elie Hobeika, LF intelligence Chief at the time, prior to the Hit on Bashir did his best by imprisoning Habib Shartouni on deep suspicions of foul-play, months ahead of the hit on Bashir....only to be pressured by the late Pierre Gemayel "father" to release him immediately, because Habib Shartouni's Aunt who lives in the apartment above the location of the assassination, was the mistress of Jean NADER, [ An influential Phalange Party member...] who bugged Pierre Gemayel so hard about Shartouni..., that Gemayel ended up begging Bashir to force Mr. Elie HOBEIKA to release Shartouni reluctantly.... Furthermore, immediately after Bashir's tragic assassination, Mr. Hobeika captured and imprisoned Shartouni for an in depth interrogation, only two hours after the murder....and Hobeika did get ALL the facts from Shartouni and was able to trace most of the tools which were employed in this "new" kind of attack...because it employed a modern remote controlled device, which ultimately was traced to a Japanese manufacturer... with the credit card slips used in the purchase...etc etc etc. no need to give all the facts here...Shartouni brought all the explosives and other elements of his bomb into the apartment above the scene of the crime, bit by bit in paint containers...since the apartment was being renovated/repainted..., hence he was not caught in the act ahead of time, but his numerous comings and goings had alerted LF intelligence in time, but they obviously failed to dig more...because of the pressure brought to bear when he was in jail, by Gemayel's father for his early release...

Hobeika was always concerned about one thing and one thing only, the security of the eastern sector and the cohesion of the Lebanese Forces... Ariel Sharon took the opportunity of Bashir Gemayel's assassination in order to attack west Beirut and implement "Spark" and "Ironbrain"....and the rest is History...What "Will" says above in the comment section is true..., but the best and most precise account of what happened at Sabra and Shatilla can be found in the Book of Alain Menargues, titled: "Les Secrets de la guerre du Liban" or Secrets of the Lebanon war...It is absolutely accurate wall to wall....
Say what you want about Bashir Gemayel, the fact is that he was elected according to the Lebanese Constitution....and was murdered by Syria and the PLO as head of State... Furthermore, if one puts aside for a moment past deeds of Bashir Gemayel and focuses on what his intentions and plans were around and after his election as President, one sees a purely National Plan meant to benefit all Lebanese. Which is what a Lebanese government should have loyalty for, first and foremost....

Who killed Bashir and why? It was no one with the best interest of Lebanon in mind....but Syria's and Israel who are both the flip side of the same coin since the advent of the Alawite Dictatorship in Damascus in 1970..., that's Lebanon's fate because of the Geopolitical constraints....but for ounce..., I can assure you that Israel had nothing to do with the assassination of Bashir Gemayel...and the MOSSAD Chief came in person...to the scene of the crime in 1982...and was Visibly shaken....I saw him personally...


Peter

This reminds me of a wonderful story told by former American Ambassador to Saudi Arabia, Jim Akins, who used to say that Israel said that the US gave a green light to Israel for the invasion of Lebanon while Secretary of State Alexander Haig said we didn't. Then he concludes by stating that "this is what happens when you have an Israeli PM who speaks very little English and an American Secretary of State who speaks no English at all!"

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