zondag 23 januari 2011

Revelations on Rafik Hariri’s assassination

by Thierry Meyssan

Part 1: what really happened?

With Western media having announced that the Special Tribunal for Lebanon will shortly issue indictments against Hezbollah, Russian magazine Odnako challenges the entire UN investigation. Thierry Meyssan posits that the weapon used to assassinate former Prime Minister Rafik Hairiri was supplied by Germany. Former German prosecutor and first commissioner in charge of the UN probe, Detlev Mehlis, seemingly doctored evidence to cover up his country’s involvement. These revelations embarrass the Tribunal and reverse the tide in Lebanon.


All the conflicts rocking the Middle East today crystallize around the Tribunal. For some, the Tribunal should bring about the dissolution of the Hezbollah, quell the Resistance and establish a Pax Americana. Others consider that the Tribunal is flouting the law and subverting the truth to ensure the takeover of a new colonial order in the region. The Tribunal was created on 30 May 2007, pursuant to UNSC resolution 1757, to prosecute the alleged sponsors of former Prime Minister Rafik Hariri’s assassination. In the political context at that time, this implied bringing to trial serving Presidents Bashar el-Assad of Syria and Emile Lahoud of Lebanon, not exactly favourites of the neo-conservatives. However, the charges were not pursued since they were based on flimsy evidence planted by false witnesses. With no accused left, the Tribunal could easily have disappeared in the meanders of bureaucracy were it not for a turn of events that catapulted it back into the epicentre of the turbulent Middle East political scene.

On 23 May 2009, journalist Erick Follath disclosed on Der Spiegel Online that the prosecutor was poised to indict Hezbollah military leaders. For the past 18 months, Hassan Nasrallah, Hezbollah’s secretary-general, has been proclaiming his party’s innocence, maintaining that the real aim was to decapitate the Resistance and clear the region for the Israeli army. The indictment against Shia leaders for the assassination of a Sunni leader is of such a nature as to spark off a fitna, a Muslim civil war. During his recent visit to Moscow, Lebanese Prime Minister Saad Hariri, son of the deceased, reiterated that the political exploitation of the Tribunal exposes his country to the risk of a new conflagration. President Medvedev retorted that Russia wants Justice to be served and reproves any attempt to discredit, weaken or delay the Tribunal’s proceedings. A position of principle which risks being severely eroded by Odnako’s revelations. Our own investigation unearthed data that open a completely new avenue. We met with a many actors, so that the news of our work spread quickly and alarmed those for whom the assassination trail implicating the armed Lebanese Resistance represents a real godsend. In an effort to intimidate us, the Jerusalem Post on 18 October launched an attack, accusing the author of this article of having received $1 million from Iran to exonerate Hezbollah.

Rafik Hariri’s convoy was attacked in Beirut on 14 February 2005. Twenty-three people were killed and one hundred injured. With a preliminary UNSC report indicating unprofessional conduct of the Lebanese authorities, the UNSC set up its own investigation. From the outset, it attributed the attack to a suicide bomber driving a van packed with explosives. Established to compensate for the Lebanese lack of professionalism, one would have expected the UN mission to scrupulously observe classical criminal procedures. Not so! The crime scene was hardly examined, the victims not exhumed and no autopsies performed. It took long before an attempt was made to ascertain the modus operandi. Having discarded a bomb dug in the ground, the investigators adopted the theory of van without bothering to verify it. Hariri2 However, this version is implausible given the size and depth of the crater that a surface explosion could not have caused.

Faced with the Swiss experts’ refusal to endorse the official version, on 19 October the Tribunal recreated the crime scene behind closed doors in France - one of the countries funding the Tribunal - instead of in Lebanon or the Netherlands, seat of the Tribunal. The buildings surrounding the crime scene were reconstructed and earth brought in from Beirut. The convoy was reconstituted, including the armoured vehicle, to demonstrate that the height of the concrete buildings had confined the explosion, enabling the blast to produce the crater. The results of this costly experiment have never been divulged. Photos and videos taken immediately after the attack show the enormous blaze, with burning debris all around and bodies of the victims charred on one side while intact on the other. An astonishing phenomenon which bears no resemblance to what is normally caused by conventional explosives. The theory that the van was transporting a mix of RDX, PETN and TNT does not account for the damages occurred. What is more, from the photos showing Rafik Hariri’s corpse one can observe that his solid gold wristwatch has melted, whereas the collar of his luxury shirt still hugs his neck in pristine condition.

So, what really happened? The explosion generated a blast of an exceptionally intense heat and exceptionally brief duration. Thus, the flesh exposed to the blast was instantly carbonized, while the body underneath was not burnt. High-density objects (such as the gold watch) absorbed the heat and were destroyed, but low-density objects (like the delicate fabric of Hariri’s collar) had insufficient time to absorb the heat and hence were unaffected. Rafik Hariri’s remains. Moreover, the videos show that a number of limbs were severed by the explosion. Oddly, the cuts are clean, as if made on clay statues. There is no sign of shattered or jutting bones, nor of any torn flesh. The reason is that the explosion sucked up all the oxygen and dehydrated the bodies, rendering them friable. In the hours that followed, several on-the-spot witnesses complained of breathing ailments. Wrongfully, the authorities interpreted them as a psychosomatic reaction following their psychological trauma.

In any criminal inquiry, such observations should have been the starting point, yet they do not figure in any of the reports submitted by the "professional experts" to the UNSC. When we asked military experts what explosives could generate such damage, they mentioned a new type of weapon: a combination of nuclear and nanotechnology science can trigger an explosion the exact strength of which can be regulated and controlled. The weapon is set up to destroy everything within a given perimeter, down to the nearest centimetre. This weapon exerts a very strong pressure on the area of the explosion. The minute it stops, the heaviest objects are propelled upwards. Accordingly, cars were sent flying through the air. It is equipped with a nano-quantity of enriched uranium, emanating radiations which are quantifiable. Interestingly, one of the passengers in Rafik Hariri’s car survived: former Minister Bassel Fleyhan. When taken to a top-notch French military hospital for treatment, the doctors discovered that he had been in contact with enriched uranium. But no one linked this to the attack.

The weapon, which is shaped like a small missile, a few tens of centimetres long, is fired from a drone. Actually, several witnesses assured they had heard an aircraft flying over the scene of the crime. The investigators asked the US and Israel, whose 
Hezbollah intercepted and released videos from Israeli drones surveying
Rafik Hariri’s movements and the scene of the crime
surveillance satellites are permanently switched on, to provide them with images. On the day of the attack, the US had AWACS over Lebanon. Live feeds could show a drone and even determine its flight path. But Washington and Tel Aviv - which indefatigably urge all parties to cooperate with the Tribunal - turned the request down.

At a press conference on 10 August 2010, Hassan Nasrallah showed a video allegedly shot by Israeli military drones and intercepted by his organisation. All of Rafik Hariri’s movements had been registered for months, until the final day when all the surveillance converged on the bend in the road where the attack was staged. Thus, Tel-Aviv had been surveying the area prior to the assassination. Which is not to say, as Mr Nasrallah claims, that they were the authors of the crime.

French journalist Thierry Meyssan is a political analyst, founder and chairman of the Voltaire Network and the Axis for Peace conference. He publishes columns dealing with international relations in newspapers and magazines in Arabic, Spanish and Russian. Last books published in English: “9/11 the Big Lie” and “Pentagate.”
            

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