Rafiq Hariri and the CIA

Very interesting story via the ever fascinating Sic Semper Tyrannis (blog by Pat Lang, a former US marine). I have no idea how much of it is true and how much planted, but if you are into shady espionage novels, it is definitely worth a read – there’s a lot about Bashir Gemayyel as another failed CIA tool as well: ‘Following the [Taif] accord, the Saudis arranged for Hariri to become the Lebanese prime minster, even though Hariri  for six years was a Saudi citizen and a subject of the Saudi king.  (He remained a Saudi citizen until his death. ) By the time of his return to Lebanon, Hariri’s worth was reliably estimated  by  U.S. sources to be between four and five billion dollars. By 2004, it was estimated to be $10  billion. Said a former senior U.S. intelligence source, “The increase had resulted from the continuing flow of monies from Saudi Arabia in addition to the billions that he and his Lebanese partners have looted from the Lebanese economy.” All the while some in the CIA  assumed Hariri was their man, ignoring the fact that the  Saudis were the directing force, and not realizing that all the while, the same Wahabi  factions that funded Hiriri were also busy giving money to extremist Sunni groups whose aim was to reassert Sunni dominance of the eastern Mediterranean. And all the while Hariri advanced such interests portraying himself as a defender of the Sunnis against the Shia and different Christian communities in Lebanon. […]  He was quite incapable of shame,  encouraging attacks against minority religious figures and did nothing to prevent attacks against the Christian leaders as well. In Syria, he used his Wahabi money to buy the cooperation of the Syrian branch of the Syrian Baath Party. To do this, Harari took the sons of such figures as Hikmat Shilabi, Abd al-Halim Khaddam and Mustafa Tlas as his “partners.” Before the death of then Syrian President Hafiz Assad, Hariri and his Saudi backers believed that the resultant unrest caused by the inexperience of Assad’s son, Bashar, meant that Khaddam could safely be made president overseeing the restoration of majority Sunni rule in Syria under Wahabi influence. But Assad had become aware that Hariri posed a threat to the succession of his son, and removed Hariri from office as a precaution. In a flash, a delegation arrived in Damascus from Saudi Arabia protesting Hariri’s fall. The members of the delegation were all members of the Suderi faction of the Royal Family and all devotees of the Wahabi cult.  The delegation demanded that Hariri undergo a gradual “rehabilitation” that would end by restoring him to office. They threatened that if this were not done, Bashar would never be received in Riyadh.  Assad’s reaction was to say lamely that he would think about it, but in fact, he immediately phoned Crown Prince Abdullah in Riyadh to tell the prince what his guests had just said. Abdullah reacted by inviting Bashar to Riyadh in the coming weeks to make clear that he, Abdullah, was in command, not the Wahabi fanatics. In a campaign that appealed to the most vile bigotry and inflammatory prejudice on the part of Muslims against Jews and Christians, including allegations that Muslim candidates who opposed him were secret converts to Christianity or agents of the CIA,  combined with huge bribes paid to officials and directly to the electorate, Hariri was restored to office in September 2000.’

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