17 February 2008

US takes over management team for Hariri Special Tribunal

A UN Press release from Wednesday 13 Feb 2008 states:

The following statement was issued today by the Spokesperson for the UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon:

The Secretary-General today established the Management Committee of the Special Tribunal for Lebanon. This Committee, which will inter alia, provide advice and policy direction on all non-judicial aspects of the operations of the Special Tribunal and review and approve its annual budget, is composed of the main donors to the Tribunal

So who are the main donors? Well we just didn't know until the Daily Star in Lebanon published this piece yesterday:

Ban creates management team for Special Tribunal"

In the article, which reported on the above statement, we find that 2 days before making this statement, Germany announced it would extend $1 million for the Special Tribunal for Lebanon, and the day after the UN announcement, the US doubled its contribution:

"The United States also announced on Thursday that it is doubling to $14 million its contribution to the Tribunal."

The chtutzpah of Rice is astounding as she declared: "We hope the Tribunal will help deter further political assassinations, end an era of fear for Lebanese citizens and impunity for the perpetrators of these crimes, and help protect the sovereignty of Lebanon".

I say chutzpah because, according to today's
Sunday Times, Israel is behind 6 other car bombings in the Middle East since August 2002 which have "taken out" 'militants':

"December 2002 Ramzi Nahara, Israeli agent who defected to Hezbollah and planned attacks against Israel. Dagan knew him personally. Killed in Lebanon by car bomb

March 2003 Abu Mohammed Al-Masri, Al-Qaeda member building cell to target Israeli border with Lebanon. Killed by car bomb in Lebanon

August 2003 Ali Hussein Saleh, Hezbollah explosives expert. Killed by car bomb in Beirut

July 2004 Ghaleb Awali, Hezbollah official with links to activists in Gaza Strip. Killed by car bomb in Beirut

September 2004 Izz el-Deen al-Sheikh Khalil, Hamas official liaising between headquarters in Syria and members in Gaza and West Bank. Killed by car bomb in Damascus

May 2006 Mahmoud Majzoub, Islamic Jihad official liaising with Hezbollah. Killed by car bomb blast in Lebanon "

The total now stands at 5 car bombings in the Lebanon and 2 in Syria. So just who are the real experts in assassinations using car bombs?

Curious also that there were no 'militants' killed by car bombs in the Lebanon between 1 October 2004 and 12 December 2005 or at later dates.

Why is that curious? Because according to
UNSC Resolution 1757, the "Agreement on the establishment of the Tribunal states that, if the court finds that other attacks that occurred in Lebanon between 1 October 2004 and 12 December 2005, or any later date decided by the Parties, and with the consent of the Council, are connected in […] and are of a nature and gravity similar to the attack on Mr. Hariri, the Tribunal “shall also have jurisdiction over persons responsible for such attacks”. That connection includes, but is not limited to, a combination of the following elements: criminal intent (motive), the purpose behind the attacks, the nature of the victims targeted, the pattern of the attacks (modus operandi) and the perpetrators.

The Israelis need not worry though, UNSC 1757 also states that this is subject to "the consent of the Security Council", and we all know who controls that...

Meanwhile, Israeli newspaper
Jerusalem Post boasts of how it got the BBC to apologise "for equating former Lebanese prime minister Rafik Hariri and Hizbullah terror chief Imad Mughniyeh as "great national leaders", in what it describes as "an uncommon act of journalistic contrition".

Just shows where the power really lies. The BBC have difficulty in even acknowledging ML letters, while they bend over for the Israelis...

Further info and links:

FACTSHEET: The Special Tribunal for Lebanon

Special Tribunal for Lebanon

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