Unconventional thinking about the Middle East.

Sunday, May 24, 2009

Quick links for the weekend...

-Another episode of Chalabi vs. the CIA: Dueling defamation law suits in the Iraqi courts, via IraqSlogger.

-Hariri assassination being blamed on Hezbollah, via Der Spiegel. Although this would seem to validate my initial hunch about the culprits, but the story has plenty of holes. Clearly the author, Erich Follath, got this from Lebanese sources--identified as "sources close to the investigation," and later "...According to the Lebanese security forces"--with the goal of influencing the outcome of the parliamentary elections next month. This circumstancial evidence (...nowhere in the article is there a direct link between the two cell phone networks) cited seems to have been kicked up to the investigators under Bellemare "about a month" ago. If Wisam Eid uncovered it, then why wasn't the evidence handed over earlier? (Eid was assassinated in Jan. 2008) First problem is that the story says that alleged Hezbollah operative Abdel-Majid Ghamlush was identified as the buyer of the mobile phones, but it doesn't tell us if he was the one who bought the first set of eight that were directly tied to the assassination, or the phones were the twenty mentioned in the "second circle of hell". It would stand to reason that Hezbollah operatives were in downtown Beirut monitoring things, but that would be routine, nothing with 'clear' criminal intent. Then there's the clincher: "They have apparently discovered which Hezbollah member obtained the small Mitsubishi truck used in the attack". There's no qualification for the word "apparently" and this tidbit, the only one talking about a direct link, is unsourced. To me, this is propaganda. Also note that chief investigator under Mehlis, Gerhard Lehmann, is now working for the Saudis. I've always maintained that there are plenty of reasons to denounce the Iranians, the Syrians and Hezbollah, without pegging the legitimacy of these outfits on a purported role or lack thereof in the Hariri murder.

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