Hamilton, Madison, and Jay

This blog is devoted to a variety of topics including politics, current events, legal issues, and we even take the time to have some occasional fun. After all, blogging is about having a little fun, right?

Location: Mesa, Arizona, United States

Who are we? We're a married couple who has a passion for politics and current events. That's what this site is about. If you read us, you know what we stand for.

Wednesday, July 11, 2007

UN investigators reveal more on Hariri assassination

This news has been off the radar for awhile, but not because no one's paying attention to it. No, the UN's in charge of the investigation, and these yokels move as slow as molasses in Chicago in January. But today as Reuters reports, they have identified some suspects:

U.N. investigators probing the killing of former Lebanese Prime Minister Rafik al-Hariri have identified a number of people who may have been involved or known about it, their chief reported on Thursday.

New information about a van used to blow up Hariri and 22 others in Beirut in February 2005, about mobile phones used to track him and about Hariri's political activities had helped to pinpoint suspects, Belgian prosecutor Serge Brammertz said.

The role of Hariri, who became a prominent critic of Syria, in support of a 2004 U.N. resolution demanding that Syrian and other foreign troops withdraw from Lebanon had emerged as a likely motive, he said in a report to the Security Council.

In the eighth report so far by the U.N. team, Brammertz said that since the last one in March, investigators had clarified their findings by condensing some 120,000 document pages into reports totaling 2,400 pages.

That effort "has helped identify a number of persons of particular interest who may have been involved in some aspect of the preparation and execution of the attack" on Hariri or had prior knowledge of it, he said.

Brammertz did not name any suspects in his report, which also expressed concern that deteriorating security in Lebanon could hamper the continuing U.N. inquiry, which will eventually hand over to a court approved by the Security Council in May.

The report said the Mitsubishi Canter van in which a suicide bomber is believed to have set off some 1,800 kg (4,000 lbs) of explosives was stolen in the Japanese city of Kanagawa in October 2004, then shipped to the United Arab Emirates.

From there it was sent in December to a showroom near the northern Lebanese city of Tripoli and sold. The U.N. team "has recently acquired information regarding the sale of the van to individuals who could be involved in the final preparation of the van for the attack," Brammertz said.

The investigation had also established that individuals who had used six cellular phone SIM cards to spy on Hariri before his killing had also "played a critical role in the planning and execution of the attack itself," the report said.

The report also states that the Palestinian who claimed responsibility for the assassination, Ahmed Abu Adass, had nothing to do with it. Just another nutter looking for fifteen minutes of fame. (Maybe Mama Moonbat may want to give that a go. It might garner her more support than the idle threat of challenging Nancy Pelosi for her seat in '08.) But I digress .....

The investigators also claim that they have had a lot of cooperation from Syria on this matter, which I find hard to believe. Something smells funny in Damascus, especially given that the initial investigator, Detlev Mehlis, claimed that Syria wasn't being cooperative, and maintained that the Hariri assassination couldn't have been carried out without some assistance from Damascus. This is something we've long thought more than plasible given that Hariri was a strong proponent of UN Resolution 1559. That order mandated a complete Syrian withdrawal from Lebanon. (I guess the UN missed this when it happened this past week.) With that in mind, it makes sense that Assad wanted Hariri dead. Whether he actually had a hand in it is something for investigators to determine, but he was shaking in his loafers when this investigation was convened.

Hopefully, the UN investigators will nail the right people in this heinous crime. I know that's putting a lot of faith in an organization that can't seem to accomplish much, let alone something good, but they're the ones in charge of this investigation. Boy, what I wouldn't pay to have a glimpse at a few of those names in the interim report.

Publius II


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