Meddling with the elections…

“There are agents, like Mahmoud Rafea, who confessed to have delivered bags with explosives. Other collaborators have confessed to have carried out field reconnaissance missions. Others have facilitated the entrance and exit of Israelis after accomplishing their missions. This is what is meant by executive agents. The door must be opened wide … this Israeli path should be scrutinized so as to reach a place where we would find information about many crimes, particularly from 2005 onwards.” – Sayyid Hassan Nasrallah, commenting on the recent spate of Israeli spy arrests during a rally marking the ninth anniversary of the removal of Israeli troops from Lebanon, 22 May 2009.

So after we had Joe Biden flying in to tell the Lebanese they are free to vote for whoever they want, as long as they vote for friends of the US (and by extension of Israel), we get that load of crap in Der Spiegel by a ‘journalist’ who routinely writes for Israeli newspapers. The suggestion that Hizbullah was behind Hariri’s murder is so incongruous and ridiculous as to be dismissed out of hand in this part of the world – even by Hizbullah’s opponents – but apparently it is taken seriously in Europe and the US, so let’s have some detailed criticism of it (by Rannie Amiri): ‘In the midst of unraveling and dismantling these espionage rings operating in Lebanon, a report penned by Erich Follath surfaced in the sensationalist, pro-Israel German weekly Der Spiegel implicating Hezbollah in the 2005 assassination of Prime Minister Rafiq Hariri. The allegation was immediately dismissed by Hezbollah who claimed it was simply an attempt to sully its image prior to the upcoming June parliamentary elections as well as sow discord between Sunnis and Shias. But does it have any merit? Not a single piece of credible evidence was presented to substantiate Follath’s claim. No sources were named, no documents were produced and the Special Tribunal for Lebanon charged with investigating the Hariri assassination denied ever coming to those conclusions (yet alone discussing them with Follath).“We don’t know where the Der Spiegel magazine did get their information from and we don’t know where they brought this story from. No one in the prosecutor’s office has spoken to the German magazine about anything,” said the spokeswoman for the Tribunal. According to Nasrallah, “The Israelis and the Americans wondered how to scuttle the election and influence its outcome. Der Spiegel was their answer.” The case against Hezbollah is not only flimsy, but one likely fabricated by the author’s anonymous “sources.” It was discounted or simply ignored in Lebanon, even by Hezbollah’s opponents; Saad Hariri refused comment and Walid Jumblatt cautioned it may “derail justice.”Readers are referred to the trenchant reporting of Dr. Franklin Lamb who clearly exposed the gaping holes in, and unanswered questions of, Follath’s article.’

This is what Franklin Lamb writes: ‘The headline was dramatic. The strongly pro-Israel German weekly Der Spiegel offered bold “new information” it claimed came from secret sources and documents, stemming “inside investigative sources who were working on the Rafic Hariri assassination. Der Spiegel’s breakthrough ‘exclusive’ with ‘new evidence pointing to those who were guilty. The headline screamed BYE-BYE, HARIRI! UN Report Links Syrian Officials to Murder of Former Lebanese Leader By Erich Follath et al. Publication date? October 24, 2005, nearly four years ago. Yes, that particular Spiegel excloo came back in 2005. Syria was accused in the assassination of former Lebanese Prime Minister Rafic Hariri of being the ‘real’ assassins. An international anti-Syria campaign was promptly launched by the Bush Administration and Israel to demonize its government. Fast forward to the tense run-up right now, before the June elections. This weekend, a new exclusive, secret, investigative report showing the real, real assassins was published by the same weekly, Der Spiegel. Same author. Same editor. New target. This time Der Spiegel’s Erich Follath claims that the international committee investigating the assassination of former Prime Minister martyr Rafik Hariri has reached “surprising new secret conclusions”, this time pointing to Hezbollah. The new Der Spiegel head line (May 24, 2009): BREAKTHROUGH IN TRIBUNAL INVESTIGATION New Evidence Points to Hezbollah in Hariri Murder By Erich Follath (…) Radiya Ashouri, Spokeswoman for the Special Tribunal for Lebanon (STL) says for the record:  “We don’t know where the Der Spiegel magazine did get their information from and we don’t know where they brought this story from. No one in the prosecutor’s office has spoken to the German magazine about anything. We have a clear policy of not leaking any information about the tribunal through media outlets, and we have been stressing this since the beginning. When Der Spiegel spoke about Bellemar’s spokesperson, they meant me. They emailed me and asked a few questions. My answer was that the tribunal does not deal with investigation files through the media and adopts the policy of direct announcement by the part of Mr. Bellemar.If we had something to say, we would have said it directly, not through media outlets.”’

By the way, there are some compeeling arguments to link the mossad to this assassination – beyond the obvious fact that this is what the mossad has been created for and has been doing all over the world for decades anyway. The fact is that Hariri and Nasrallah had been getting closer before the former’s assassination and were about to work out a national defense strategy against Israel which would combine the resistance and the army’s forces and weapons. That might be the reason why Hariri had to be done away with… Looking at it from the cui bono angle, neither Hizbullah nor Syria stood to win anything from killing Hariri, and neither has won anything from it.

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