Hezbollah, Lebanon

Nasrallah Comments on the STL Indictments

Hizbullah Secretary-General Sayyid Hasan Nasrallah is scheduled to give an address this evening about the Special Tribunal for Lebanon’s (STL) indictments against members of his party. I will attempt to live-blog it, pending the quality of the internet connection. Refresh this page to follow the translation, once the address begins.

**

8:30: Nasrallah begins speaking.

8:34: Le Figaro said a long time ago that Hizbullah members would be targeted, and we already commented on that. We have already explained what the objectives of this project are.

8:35: We know that it is impossible to annul the STL, because this is an American project anyway. Its goal is to tarnish the image of the Resistance, and even to create civil strife in Lebanon.

8:36: I’m going to speak about 3 subjects. I am in the habit, as you know, of giving you a table of contents for my speeches. The first subject is the investigation. The second subject is the Tribunal. And the third subject is our position on the indictments.

8:39: Over the past year, we have suggested to the various authorities that they investigate the Israeli hypothesis [that Israel killed Hariri]. We held a major press conference and presented all kinds of evidence, involving drone footage, witness testimony, etc. We presented all this evidence and said: “Here you go. This constitutes a lead for you to pursue.” Did they follow it? No.

8:40: The evidence we presented is circumstantial, and it is enough to suspect Israel of the crime. But they didn’t even bother looking into it, let alone taking it seriously and building a case on it.

8:42: It’s not my job or the job of Hizbullah to launch an investigation and present evidence to Mr. Bellemare. But we did, and we found once again that there was no interest because this Tribunal is completely politicized.

8:43: In 2005, Mehlis admitted to Le Figaro that he was getting information from Israel. Rather than investigating Israel, this investigation has cooperated with Israel.

8:44: I have a question with regard to the investigation. When the UNIIIC was annulled and the offices in Lebanon were transferred to the Netherlands, everything was taken out via Beirut International Airport, with the exception of the computers. There were 97 computers that were not taken out via the airport, but rather via Israel. So the question to Mr. Bellemare is: Why didn’t you take them out via the airport or the seaport? Why did you take them out of Lebanon via Israel?

8:47: [Shows a video presentation presenting information about the transfer of computer equipment to The Hague via Israel. Shows multiple documents allegedly showing transfer of computer equipment to Israel. Name on the document: Miho Hirose. (Someone please Google this…)]

8:49: This shows that the investigators are hardly objective. As you will see, one of Bellemare’s top officers is from the CIA.

8:51: [Shows another video presentation]. Nick Kaldas was involved with the CIA in Iraq. Michael Taylor, a British officer in the investigation since 2010, and former anti-terrorism officer in New Scotland Yard. Darryl Mendes, an American officer who served in the CIA and FBI and continues to coordinate with these agencies. Was also a general prosecutor for the US Navy. Durayd Bsharawi, a Lebanese officer, known to have bad relations with Syria and Hizbullah. Robert Baer, an American former CIA official who was in charge of hunting Imad Mughniyyeh. (Shows a clip from an interview with Baer, where he talks about hunting and failing to catch Mughniyyeh). In 2010, Baer turned up as an advisor to the STL. [QN: So what?]

8:59: Nasrallah: What’s the point of showing this montage? It’s simply to make the point that this team of advisors is hardly capable of investigating the Israel hypothesis, given its experience of fighting the Resistance.

9:01: Gerhard Lehmann was Mehlis’s deputy. I believe that the time they spent in Lebanon was the golden age of their life. We’re going to show you evidence of Lehmann’s complete corruption.

9:03: [Shows another video presentation] Gerhard Lehmann worked for German intelligence and was Mehlis’s deputy. During his tenure in German intelligence, he worked with Israel. He tried to make a deal with Jamil al-Sayyid. We’re showing you a video capture of Lehmann receiving payment in 2006 from someone. [Hidden camera].

9:05: We have previously talked about corruption in the STL. Did anyone investigate them? We are happy to present Mr. Bellemare with more evidence.

9:06: You have all seen, via New TV’s series “Haqiqa Leaks” how the various investigators were sitting around with the false witnesses. We have even more to say on this score, which we will save til later.

[Internet connection is acting up…stay tuned]

9:09: The worst instances of leaking happened a couple of days ago. The STL delegation meets with the Lebanese delegation. While they were sitting and talking, the Lebanese TV stations were already talking about the names, which are supposed to be secret! So who leaked them? Where is the investigational secrecy?

9:11: The indictments are being used for a political side, not for the cause of finding the truth. There were names that appeared in Der Spiegel and CBC that the indictments did not name but Bellemare said that there would be more indictments.

9:12: Do you remember when Der Spiegel came out with its report? It was just before the 2009 elections. The elections in which hundreds of millions of dollars were spent by March 14? The Der Spiegel leak was part of the electoral campaign against the Resistance.

9:13: All of the leaks and actions by the STL have coincided with key events in Lebanese politics. They want to bring down PM Miqati’s government by any means possible. The indictments were confirmed and announced to give a weapon to the other side (i.e. March 14) to bring down this government. This is the end of the first subject.

9:15: The second subject is the Tribunal. People are saying that these men who are accused should present themselves to the STL and defend themselves.

9:16: Did this Tribunal treat the four generals with any fairness or justice? Jamil al-Sayyid has been pleading his case with the STL tirelessly after being imprisoned for 4 years. Did anything come of it? No. So how do you expect this Tribunal to treat people who have fought against Israel??

9:17: Who is in charge of the STL? Mr. Antonio Cassesse. This man is a dear friend of Israel. [Shows a video presentation]. At a conference in Herzliya (in Israel), Professor George Fletcher apologized to the attendees: “One of the great heroes of our field is not able to be here today… his name is Antonio Cassesse… He is a great friend of Israel.”

9:21: Nasrallah: Cassesse believes that the Resistance is a terrorist organization. So this man is supposed to bring about justice? This man is supposed to be impartial?

9:22: [Video presentation] In 2006 Cassesse sent a letter to Israel which says things like “Israel is a democratic state, etc.” [QN: Yes, but the point of the letter was actually to criticize Israel for its acts that violate humanitarian law, if you look closely at the letter. That was a mistake by Nasrallah… someone should have caught that.]

9:26: Is it possible for a Tribunal like this, with such a president and officers and track record, to actually find out the truth?

9:27: To the final subject: the current situation. To the Lebanese people, I say to them the following: don’t worry about civil strife. Those who talk about civil strife in Lebanon actually want that to come about. There will be no Sunni-Shiite strife, and no civil war in Lebanon. Everyone should be assured that we have a responsible government and trustworthy that will confront this situation effectively. So, to the Lebanese people, don’t worry. Everything is fine.

9:29: To the March 14 forces, I say the following. You consider yourself an opposition to PM Miqati’s government, and that is your right. If you think that the international game is aiding your fortunes, that’s also your right. I have, however, two pieces of advice for you, or let us say two thoughts (since you don’t like to be advised). (1) Don’t ask PM Miqati’s government to try to arrest the indicted individuals, because you wouldn’t be able to do it yourself even if you had a 100% March 14 government. Even if you held every single portfolio, you wouldn’t be able to arrest these individuals, so don’t expect PM Miqati to do it. (2) My second piece of advice is: Don’t demand that PM Miqati be less flexible than PM Hariri was with respect to the STL. The Foreign Ministers of Qatar and Turkey gave me a document that stated that Prime Minister Saad Hariri was ready to accept a certain set of demands (with respect to the STL). I can show you this document. So don’t expect PM Miqati to refuse demands about the STL that Saad al-Hariri accepted. That document was signed by the Qataris, Turks, Syrians, Saudis, and Saad al-Hariri, and we were told that Ms. Clinton was ready to bless the agreement as well.

9:37: To the supporters of the Resistance: there has been a war waged upon us for years. This is no surprise. We have always been prepared for it. Whether the war takes the form of military conflict or media wars or psychological war or whatever, we are prepared. The path of resistance has succeeded in liberating land, and defending our country. So we will confront this issue of the Tribunal just as we have confronted other issues.

9:42: There are people in Lebanon who want to see Sunni-Shiite strife, particularly some Christians in March 14. We will not succumb to this.

9:43: Presents a summary of his speech and some concluding comments. The Resistance has never been stronger.

*

Well, there you have it folks. I’ll have some thoughts about the speech either later today or tomorrow, but right now I have to go prepare for a BBQ. Tfaddalo!

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Discussion

313 thoughts on “Nasrallah Comments on the STL Indictments

  1. Touche Sayed

    Posted by Jnoubi | July 2, 2011, 1:50 pm
  2. Miho Hirose works at UNTSO in Jeruslaem and is the gender focal point at that organization.

    Posted by sean | July 2, 2011, 1:52 pm
  3. I’m pretty sure she’s Japanese…

    Posted by sean | July 2, 2011, 1:55 pm
  4. Before the bearded Supreme Leader finishes his remarks with his stupid smirk…I do declare the Zionists and the Ameweekans did it!!! 😛

    This guy has lost all…BTW doesn’t he look a bit fat?

    Posted by danny | July 2, 2011, 2:21 pm
  5. So far an attack without defense. If the mandate of the STL is prolonged before March 2012 (when it lapses), or if the trials would start before that, then Hezbollah will be on the defensive when the case against them is put forward.

    Posted by Pas Cool | July 2, 2011, 2:34 pm
  6. Nasrallah’s attack on Cassese is nasty and unfair. For some context, here is a letter he sent to the UN about Gaza:

    To: United Nations Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon, the United Nations Security Council Ambassadors

    Find the truth about the Gaza war

    Dear Secretary-General, dear Ambassadors,

    Allegations of serious violations of the laws of war have emerged throughout the latest Gaza conflict – relating to the conduct and actions both by the Israeli military and by the Palestinian armed groups.

    As individuals with direct experience of international justice and reconciliation of conflict, we believe there is an important case to be made for an international investigation of gross violations of the laws of war, committed by all parties to the Gaza conflict.

    Without setting the record straight in a credible and impartial manner, it will be difficult for those communities that have borne the heavy cost of violence to move beyond the terrible aftermath of conflict and help build a better peace.

    A prompt, independent and impartial investigation would provide a public record of gross violations of international humanitarian law committed and provide recommendations on how those responsible for crimes should be held to account. We have seen at first hand the importance of investigating the truth and delivering justice for the victims of conflict and believe it is a precondition to move forward and achieve peace in the Middle East.

    The international humanitarian law enshrined in the Geneva conventions provides universal standards of conduct of war for both state and non-state actors. The world must vigilantly demand respect for these standards and investigate and condemn their violations.

    We urge world leaders to send an unfaltering signal that the targeting of civilians during conflict is unacceptable by any party on any count. We call on them to support the establishment of a United Nations commission of inquiry into the Gaza conflict. The commission should have the greatest possible expertise and authority and: a mandate to carry out a prompt, thorough, independent and impartial investigation of all allegations of serious violations of international humanitarian law committed by all parties to the conflict; it should not be limited only to attacks on UN facilities; act in accordance with the strictest international standards governing such investigations; if it finds sufficient evidence, it should provide recommendations as to the appropriate prosecution of those responsible for gross violations of the law by the relevant authorities.

    The events in Gaza have shocked us to the core. Relief and reconstruction are desperately needed but, for the real wounds to heal, we must also establish the truth about crimes perpetuated against civilians on both sides.

    Posted by sean | July 2, 2011, 2:36 pm
  7. SHN is one more time acting as the bully and the vigilante that he is. His respect for the rule of law and for the sovereignty of the state is summed up in his last sentence. He dares anyone to serve those indicted with a warrant. Implication being that these individuals are protected from any judicial procedure any where. This is the language of a mobster. Its a sad day for Lebanon and I must immediately add a sad day for everyone even remotely connected to this government. An unelected official decides who gets to be PM designate, when to form a cabinet, when to issue its ministerial statement and know what are the limits of its domain of operation. What we have in Lebanon, is the farthest thing away from a democracy (sorry HP) , what we have is arguably a theocratic dictatorship in disguise. It is that simple.

    Posted by Ghassan Karam | July 2, 2011, 2:54 pm
  8. Ghassan,

    QN rightfully wrote in bold letters:”(1) Don’t ask PM Miqati’s government to try to arrest the indicted individuals, because you wouldn’t be able to do it yourself even if you had a 100% March 14 government. Even if you held every single portfolio, you wouldn’t be able to arrest these individuals, so don’t expect PM Miqati to do it>>>”

    Seriously ANYONE!!!!!!!!!! PLEASE let me know what more do you want to analyze. The guy is a piece of scata. What an arrogant mafia don…

    Lally, ????, Usama and others go ahead and justify your democratic hoodlum!!!

    HP, I see you and BV have a few things in common (also ancestry)….Where the hell is democracy in Lebanon now? Please let me know by explaining in the above statement???

    Posted by danny | July 2, 2011, 3:00 pm
  9. Loved the speech. Mni7 ba3d fi a political figure bi lebnen bte7ke shi wa2ta btotla3 3al television.

    Posted by Joseph Ch. | July 2, 2011, 3:04 pm
  10. It’s fair to criticize Nasrallah’s speech, but please guys, spare us the sanctimonious BS – as if everyone in Lebanon respects the rule of law and all of a sudden Nasrallah is breaking our marvelous justice system by refusing to turn his people over to an international tribunal. The whole political system is full of criminals who never had to face any trials or tribunals for crimes too heinous to name. Let’s be serious and cut the charade, it’s not convincing anyone. Now back to your regularly scheduled programming…

    Posted by Paul | July 2, 2011, 3:22 pm
  11. Kudos to Sayyed Hassan Nasrallah, Sayyed Al-Mouquawama Al-Sharifa.
    Long live the Valiant Lebanese Resistance of Hezbollah 🙂
    Down with the infamous White House Murder INC,

    http://newhk.blogspot.com/2011/01/components-of-white-house-murder-incs.html

    Posted by HK | July 2, 2011, 3:49 pm
  12. Amateurish attack on Cassese that anyone with even a double digit IQ would spot. The whole speech is a classic page out of the playbook of any Arab dictator. Just mention Israel and link your detractors to Israel to justify your brutal and murderous ways.

    Posted by MM | July 2, 2011, 3:52 pm
  13. SHN has to be a bully and vigilante because of the conspiracy against the Arab resistance that most of you choose to be blind about, or at least pretend to be blind about.

    Even with all the material he presented today, he made it clear there was more. There is no doubt in my head that, after today, whoever still blindly supports the STL does so for a political agenda and not out of genuine desire for actual justice. You just have to look at the consequences of Rafik Hariri’s assassination to know who is more than likely behind the large explosion, but even if you don’t want to agree on that, one cannot honestly claim the STL has any remaining credibility whatsoever.

    Another thing that caught my eye today that I never noticed before: when they showed the footage of the scene of the car bomb explosion in the 1985 assassination attempt of Fadlullah, it looked A LOT like the 2005 scene of the car bomb explosion, no? Hmmm… hmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmm

    Posted by Usama | July 2, 2011, 3:59 pm
  14. Usama r u a little brainwashed or it seems your head has echoes??? What an amazing analysis!!! Brava

    Posted by danny | July 2, 2011, 4:09 pm
  15. danny,

    I’m surprised you mentioned my name since I’ve only posted a handful of times here, but here is my answer to you anyway. What SHN was doing was simply warning March 14 against demonizing Miqati for not doing something that March 14 themselves would not have been able to do had they still been in power today.

    Does this statement show that Hizbullah is a rogue organization? Maybe. But if you want to keep denying the continuous conspiracy and plotting against Hizbullah, then you’re just as guilty as they are. Why should he give up his men when 4 high-ranking Lebanese Army officers lost 4 years of their lives in jail to find out there was no sufficient evidence to even keep them in jail to begin with? I would expect my leader to protect me, especially when I’m innocent, and SHN did not disappoint. Why should Hizbullah answer to an international court with the Israeli and Western intelligence fingerprints all over it?

    And no I don’t expect you to change your opinion because, like I said before, people like you have an obvious political agenda and no genuine desire for actual justice. But I just wanted to remind you of one little thing. SHN did not explicitly say it today, but it was clear that when he talked about an “agreement” he meant Sa`d Hariri and his allies (Qatar, Turkey, KSA, USA, France) were willing to drop the STL for Sa`d to remain in power (plus something else probably), but SHN refused and brought the government down anyway, using DEMOCRATIC and CONSTITUTIONAL methods! All I’m saying is, don’t put all your hopes and dreams on a puppet that is willing to give up “justice” for his father in order to stay an extra 2 years in power before elections.

    Posted by Usama | July 2, 2011, 4:13 pm
  16. I have no doubt in my mind what so ever that Israel and the U.S. killed Hariri. Former Lebanese President Lahoud, who was previously a Lebanese Army General, said when he visited Hariri’s murder site that this is a new technology. It was an implosion not an explosion. It does not carry Syria’s fingerprints (Syria killed Lebanese President Mouawad with an explosion. His car was ripped apart and thrown away hundreds of meters). In case of Hariri, the cars were on spot and burning. When I watched the Syriana movie, I said to myself, this is how Hariri was killed. BTW, Syriana was based on Robert Baer’s book “See No Evil”. Robert is a former CIA Agent and now part of Hariri’s Tribunal, coincidence!?. Robert’s name was mentioned by Hizbollah’s Leader tonight.

    Posted by RD | July 2, 2011, 4:14 pm
  17. Usama, with all due respect, your logic is like swiss cheese – full of holes.

    But I must credit people like SHN who provide the information you rely on to discredit an international investigation which has of yet to disclose the evidence it holds against the suspects. 45 of SHN from time to time has done a lot of damage to an investigation that has not presented an iota of counterattack. That is slightly to the fault of the STL, but if it would defend itself from 1,5 min youtube clips it would of course fall into the trap of acting politicized. It is when the trial begins that we can start to fully appreciate the work the investigators have done over the years. SHN must defend itself before the trials begin, but the STL can not truly defend itself before the trial begins.

    And it is fully inadequate to assess who is behind RH murder by saying this and that entity/person benefited from him dying. Many can be presumed to have benefited, but very likely all those who did are not be behind the murder.

    And supporting your argument based on what you saw from Fadlallah’s murder scene is again very inadequate. Honestly, unless you have a background in crime scene investigation I dare say that you don’t know dilly squat about the similarities and differences between these two crimes. And even if you did, this does not proove it all.

    Posted by Pas Cool | July 2, 2011, 4:23 pm
  18. we as Lebanese should all be aware of the current situation.
    United we win divided we fall

    Posted by ADON | July 2, 2011, 4:26 pm
  19. Bla bla bla, sounds like Johnny Cochran defending OJ or Jose Baez defending Casey Anthony. He was preaching to the converted (uh, brainwashed) and to those stuck in Lebanon and having to play his game (uh, GMA & Co.).
    This is now the Big League. The truth will come out regardless of whether the brainwashed choose to believe it or not.

    danny boy, habibi, the point is that SHN is exercising free speech. It’s his right. The point is that people are free to believe or not believe. That’s their right. The point is that even SHN is reassuring everyone that there will be no civil strife. What’s wrong with that?
    Yeah there were all the bumps of 2006 and 2008 but the point I was making in my previous comment (in the previous QN post) is that as long as it’s rhetoric and functioning of institutions according to the constitution, then it is democracy, why is it not? Just because we don’t like what he says and believe it is a bunch of lies doesn’t mean he doesn’t have a democratic right to voice it.
    He gave advice and thoughts and this time did not use threats.
    It almost sounds like Michele Bachman shouting
    “Obama will be a O N E T E R M P R E S I D E N T” (and repeat a few times).
    As the late Dalida used to sing: Parole, Parole, Parole,….

    Posted by Honest Patriot | July 2, 2011, 4:27 pm
  20. Usama

    The procedure and the investigation are two different things. I truly hope that the investigation itself is not subject to political interference. The procedure however is dependant on sovereign nations’ willingness to annually fund and, when required, to vote for a prolongement of the STL’s mandate. The procedure, I presume, could be part of a political deal, i.e. let the STL die a slow death due to lack of funding or die a quick death due to no more mandate. But I don’t believe the investigation itself is possible to interfere with politically.

    Posted by Pas Cool | July 2, 2011, 4:31 pm
  21. ADON

    Words of wisdom 🙂 . Just one sentence have expressed a clear, right and wonderful message in this current situation… I think you have proved a high IQ average 🙂

    Bil2alb YA WATAN

    Posted by wael | July 2, 2011, 4:33 pm
  22. Usama says:

    “SHN has to be a bully and vigilante because of the conspiracy”
    Such statements cannot be defended and that is why , under such realities, a discourse will be fruitless. So you really think that there is nothing wrong in having vigilantes and bullies? 🙂

    Posted by Ghassan Karam | July 2, 2011, 4:44 pm
  23. I really appreciate the QN instant translation and look forward to an English transcript of the whole enchilada as devilish details do count. As I was reading QN’s worthy efforts, it occurred to me that SHN is the shiite version of Alan Dershowitz sans the spittle.

    Sean re the letter you posted; Cassese was one of 16 signatories so claiming that he sent it is disingenuous. It would be useful to have the actual letter referenced by my BF.

    Posted by lally | July 2, 2011, 4:47 pm
  24. So in any polity there are some people who believe whatever their side claims under any circumstances and regardless of proof. I have no doubt that the indictments are accepted as fact by people who hate Nasrallah and written off as nonsense by Hezbullah supporters. If you’re already convinced that global politics is an evil Zionist conspiracy it’s not a big jump to assume the STL is part of the conspiracy too.

    As a non-Arabic reader, non-Lebanese person, and non-expert I tend to rely on this site and its commenters for my Lebanon news. So how are the Lebanese “swing voters” responding to everything that’s happening. For that matter, the Christians aligned with M8, the Druze etc? There’s articles in the American press claiming that this will isolate Hezbullah and hurt its standing in the Arab world, but I have no way of knowing whether that’s true.

    Posted by Abraham Rotsapsky | July 2, 2011, 4:47 pm
  25. HP says:

    “He gave advice and thoughts and this time did not use threats.”

    Do you thing that his affirmation that no one can lay a hand on any of the 4 indicted persons in 30 days, in 30 years or even in 300 years is not a threat? Do you have any doubts about who is the President, PM and Speaker? This is nothing short of a copy of the Iranian system where there is a president and a few other trappings but actually only one person in control.
    Yet inspite of all this I remain hopeful. I am not under any allusions that the HA issue can ever be resolved through domestic developments in Lebanon. HA’s power, sans the bluster, is essentially due to its patrons. One is on thwe way out and the other is facing tremendous domestic challenges.

    Posted by Ghassan Karam | July 2, 2011, 4:55 pm
  26. Usama,

    It is gorgeous outside and I will refute your unimaginably redundant and illogical theme…
    I am sure your logic can be torn your shreds as you can’t see the forest for the trees… 😀
    In the meantime I am having a BBQ…

    Posted by danny | July 2, 2011, 4:57 pm
  27. I wish that a day will come when we will be talking about the potholes that needs to be fixed, the schools that needs to be built and the health care that our states should provide,

    As long as we are next to Israel, we will not have the chance to worry about what people in other countries worry about, and that is why most of us are not there.

    Syria might be in bigger trouble than Lebanon if they name high Syrian officials, In Lebanon the government will not be able to find the ones wanted while in Syria the officials are well known and that can put Syria under more sanctions .

    Posted by Norman | July 2, 2011, 5:02 pm
  28. 14. Pas Cool

    I don’t fully agree with you. It is fine to make legal assessments based on who benefited, or how scenes of explosions are similar. Just like how mutilations of civilians in Syria by “peaceful protesters” look eerily similar to the 2008 mutilations of SSNP members by Hariri Salafis, just 20km away across the border. That is many criminal investigations start! Look for similarities and proximity.

    However, I agree that it is not right to make legal indictments based on such similarities alone (but they’re still a good starting point). My main grievance with the whole process is how it not only completely ignored the possibility of Israeli involvement, but it even started receiving cooperation from Israel during its investigation. How can you defend this? Whether you like Israel or Hizbullah is irrelevant. Would you want someone who wants to kill you to “cooperate” in investigations against you?

    16. Pas Cool

    Procedure and investigation cannot be separated. The most well-known example of “evidence” against Hizbullah is a network of operatives using Lebanese telecommunication networks, which, as everyone knows, have been easily intercepted and manipulated by Israeli devices in the past. I am also very intrigued about how you think these prosecutors actually carried out investigations. From all that has been said, I’m expecting their documents of evidence (if any) to smell like (the most expensive) cigars, be stained with (the most expensive) red wines and champagnes, and be littered with the glitter falling off (the most expensive) dancing strippers that Lebanon has to offer.

    But look, I understand that not everyone agrees with the above. That’s fine. But can we at least agree on the ONE following point:

    The STL needs to answer to SHN’s claims of 97 STL computers (77 desktops, 20 laptops) being moved outside of Lebanon via the Zionist entity. I am assuming that those 97 computers contained much (if not all) of the evidence related to the case, and not just the porn these investigators watched to pass the time.

    There are many other conflicts of interest involved in the STL investigation, but wouldn’t you at least agree that this one conflict needs to be disproved or explained?

    Posted by Usama | July 2, 2011, 5:14 pm
  29. 18. Ghassan Karam

    Welcome to Lebanon! Everyone in Lebanon is a bully and vigilante. Why does a Syrian need to remind you of this?

    Posted by Usama | July 2, 2011, 5:18 pm
  30. off topic, but please take these 2 minutes of wisdom!

    Posted by 3issa | July 2, 2011, 5:42 pm
  31. Thank you for that 3issa. I’m Syrian but that video reflects exactly how I feel. All the stories about cash ready to be plucked off trees, no electrical wires overhead on the streets, 10 Mercedes for every house, etc etc etc. It was all bullshit. No one realizes how much they love their country until they leave it.

    I know maybe all of you hate Hafez al-Asad, but I’m still going to share this anyway (suck on it):

    الوطن غالٍ , والوطن عزيز , والوطن شامخ , والوطن صامد , لأن الوطن هو ذاتُنا , فلندرك هذه الحقيقة , ولنحبَ وطنُنا بأقصى ما نستطيعُ من الحب , وليكن وطنُنا هو المعشوق الأول , الذي لا يُساويه ولا يُدانيه معشوقٌ آخر , فلا حياةَ إنسانيةً بدون وطن , ولا وجود إنسانياً بدون وطن

    Posted by Usama | July 2, 2011, 6:19 pm
  32. hey dude, please don’t associate my funny video with your cheap propaganda.

    Posted by 3issa | July 2, 2011, 6:32 pm
  33. I just released 5 comments from moderation from new commenters. Go back and read them.

    Posted by Qifa Nabki | July 2, 2011, 6:40 pm
  34. 3issa

    Not propaganda. It’s how I feel. If you don’t agree with what Hafez said, how can you agree with what the old sailor in your video said? Maybe a Palestinian would appreciate the quote more because they never had the luxury of having a homeland.

    Posted by Usama | July 2, 2011, 6:52 pm
  35. Usama,

    I didn’t posted the video to claim that Lebanon is the best place in the world, just to introduce a little of Lebanese popular wisdom (even tough I’m not Lebanese).

    However, if you ask me if I agree with the guy I would say yes. I mean, the guy is an innocent coffee seller in Beirut who speaks his mind about the “western mirage”. But you are coming with a speech uttered by a mass murdered, probably in the top 5 of the butchers ever produced in the region. Hafez had everything except love for his country and fellow Syrians. Period.

    Posted by 3issa | July 2, 2011, 7:03 pm
  36. Spot on Ghassan with the bully/mobster analogy.
    I don’t see how it could be any more plain.

    Yet, cue the excuses “no one else follows the rule of law, why should he?” and so on.

    There is really no excuse. None of these clowns follow the rule of law. But it’s clear that some of these clowns have the guns and get to dictate their way or the highway. How is that NOT obvious to some of you people???

    Lebanon is truly beyond hope.

    (And please HP and others, let no one ever use the word “democracy” when describing Lebanon ever again. I beg of you).

    Posted by Bad Vilbel | July 2, 2011, 7:14 pm
  37. Yeah that’s why we love him. What the hell do you know about Syria anyway?

    This is off topic here. If you feel strongly about what you said and want to continue this “discussion” join me on Syria Comment. Let’s leave this to place for discussions related to the STL farce.

    Posted by Usama | July 2, 2011, 7:15 pm
  38. And Usama,

    I can tell you personally. I had the exact opposite experience. I left Lebanon and never regretted it one bit. In fact, with each day, I am glad i left that cesspool of rot for a place where the rule of law and human dignity are held in high regard.
    I do not care about Mercedes’ and overhead electrical wires. I do care about freedom of speech, dignity and the rule of law.

    Posted by Bad Vilbel | July 2, 2011, 7:16 pm
  39. You are all missing the point. The details of the court are not what matter, but public opinion in Lebanon. The court is toothless without civil strife since it can’t achieve what a full fledged war could not. Ultimately, the only outcome a politicized court could hope to achieve is civil war and no Lebanese would risk such an outcome given the grave doubts behind the court’s motivations (remember, this comes at a time when wikileaks and revolutions have proven Arabs’ worst fears and conspiracies to not be far fetched at all and all is possible). Also, remember that the case (as the leaks indicate, and whose accuracy are confirmed every day) is based only on loose circumstantial evidence – telecoms data that can easily have been tampered with… no defense would be able to prove that and an intent by the court to get HA will not stop at such gaps (including the suspicious bylaws of the court which SHN referred to). In that sense, I think SHN has been largely successful in neutralizing the court’s effect (with more unreveiled ammo if needed)…

    Posted by shades9662 | July 2, 2011, 7:20 pm
  40. “Hafez had everything except love for his country and fellow Syrians. Period.”

    Usama, this is what I wrote, maybe you didn’t read it well because you are telling me this is the reason why you love Hafez.

    I’m already reading SC, there is some interesting exchanges there amongst overwhelming rubbish propaganda. So see you there, you go first, I follow you lol (irony)

    Posted by 3issa | July 2, 2011, 7:22 pm
  41. revealed*

    Posted by shades9662 | July 2, 2011, 7:23 pm
  42. Now it all depends if Miqati can convince enough Western countries that his government is sincere about the STL despite what Nasrallah said. The US congress will not buy this for sure. I do not envy Miqati. He is in a lose – lose situation.

    Posted by AIG | July 2, 2011, 7:32 pm
  43. @AIG well it goes back to what SHN mentioned… which is how much can you expect from Mikati when even Saad, should he lead a full one-sided cabinet as M14 claims of Mikati, wouldn’t be able to achieve any arrests either… i.e. the Congress may not be satisfied with anything but civil war… in which case, who do you side with then? (and that’s a question to all commentators here and QN)

    Posted by shades9662 | July 2, 2011, 7:37 pm
  44. @AIG don’t forget that this was precisely attempted in 2008, with a government decision to ‘wage war’ internally on HA by targeting a main part of its vital command and control structure that allowed it to survive the 2006 war intact… so, we’ve seen how that worked out (and how Saad’s men from the North threw their weapons under cars as they abandoned their positions)

    Posted by shades9662 | July 2, 2011, 7:41 pm
  45. No one imagines that any suspects will be arrested. There will be trials in absentia.

    Posted by Qifa Nabki | July 2, 2011, 8:07 pm
  46. @QN and then what? to set up the stage (through an accusatory finger and sanctions) for a new Israeli aggression that would hope to create the atmosphere for a Sunni – Shiaa conflict after HA is weakened (i.e. in a pincer attack)? This should not happen and will not happen…

    Posted by shades9662 | July 2, 2011, 8:11 pm
  47. …as it could spell a long civil / regional war that sets us back many many decades…

    Posted by shades9662 | July 2, 2011, 8:12 pm
  48. shades9662′
    So Sa’ad Hariri would not have been more effective than Mikati dah. What does that mean? If both of the two guys are clueless and incompetent then it makes vigilantism acceptable? You don’;t mean that do you?
    We have been talking about this for years but I guess that it bears repeating. If one objects to the logic, fhetoric and beliefs of SHN then by no means does that mean that one is in favour of the equally clueless Sa’ad Hariri. The Lebanese tragedy is due to the fact that the Lebanese citizen is very accepting of the backward feudalistic oligarchy that has been in control ever since this failed experiment has stared.
    Lebanons’ salvation is in a revolutionary change. We must rise and say enough to Jumblatt, Frangieh, Beri, Hariri, Gemayel…Those who were and still are part of the problem cannt be part of the solution. Its elementary .

    Posted by Ghassan Karam | July 2, 2011, 8:26 pm
  49. Usama,

    Whether you are new or not is irrelevant. Your opinions while respected reek of illogical stench.
    “What SHN was doing was simply warning March 14 against demonizing Miqati for not doing something that March 14 themselves would not have been able to do had they still been in power today.”

    Huh? Is that what he said? or did he say that not in 300 years he will give up those accused. Off course not Mr. Usama because Nassrallah along with Bashar/Iran planned and executed the crime. What Nassrallah declared is tantamount to a Mafioso telling everyone to take a flying leap as he is the Supreme leader!!

    As for Saad hariri was allegedly agreeing to…I really don’t give a rat’s ass! Rafiq Hariri was assassinated and numerous others by the same gang and they will face justice.

    Shades; people like you do not scare the real Lebanese. I mean those who are not on Bashar’s or Mullah’s payroll. If your bullshit reasoning is that if HA murderers are arrested it will cause civil war; then you are a diluted ninny!

    Look at Syria for a moment; those scaremongering tactics are redundant and will not work. Hassan Nassrallah is a criminal and justice will find him. mark my words. May be he should refer to Bin Laden’s heroic proclamations. He sleeps with the “fishes”. Lebanon will not be free until all militias and terrorist entities like HA are destroyed one way or another. Lebanese have a choice to make (same as all Arab countries) …either live free or stay a slave.

    Nassrallah is a typical goon. A hoodlum. He has not an iota of credibility.

    STL will deliver justice. I stay positive.

    Posted by danny | July 2, 2011, 8:30 pm
  50. Folks, I mean seriously, HA is deemed a terrorist organization by the US, and its leaders and commanders are being hunted by every Western intelligence organization (and a few Arab ones too), do you really expect that HA will ipso facto hand in these top commanders, men who are virtually anonymous, to be publicly transported to the Hague (on a direct MEA flight I suppose)? Do you really think that even if these men faced a fair trial and were found innocent of this particular crime, that they will be allowed to return to Lebanon to resume their normal activities? You can think anything of HA but fools these guys are not. There is no option in this matter, legal or not. And what if the court starts naming other names from the political leadership, does anyone expect HA to send those guys as well? Come on guys…if you still refuse to see the overall political context that is the real crux of the matter of this matter and the reason why this tribunal has taken on such importance and is being pushed with such zeal and eagerness on the part of some in the international community then you are not seeing the forest for the trees. Take away the formidable force that HA represents against the Israeli and American project in the ME and this crime would have been just another footnote in the sorry history of this little exploited nation.

    Posted by Saint | July 2, 2011, 8:36 pm
  51. @ghassan karam: and how do you see the court achieving any of that?

    @danny I’m not sure why I honour you with a reply. Your use of expletives notwithstanding, how exactly do you see the next steps and what happens, o wise one? (I’m not sure anyone wants your answer)

    @saint finally a realist

    Posted by shades9662 | July 2, 2011, 8:40 pm
  52. Shades…If you want to heap unudulterated crap you will be reciprocated!
    Saint; I understand your points. However; these people who have been indicted and are proven guilty after the trials; would you still expect the Lebanese or anyone for that matter to buy into your logic?
    In your esteemed opinion; HA has a free hand (like the Nassrallah hinted to) to do as they will and heap all this static garbage on us.
    We have had enough of Mafiosos.

    Posted by danny | July 2, 2011, 8:45 pm
  53. ….and before you play your violins…Go back to 2005 and follow the chain of events that HA masterminded! From refusing an international tribunal to pulling out then resigning..then invading Beirut and subsequently burning parts of it. The same boring refrain is unacceptable. The assassins of the terrorist entity otherwise known as Hizballa will be brought to justice. If you have any blinders on…ask the leaders of the almighty USSR what happened to their “empire”…HA is a mouse compared to those. Or rather look at your patrons in Syria.

    The “formidable ” HA will collapse like a house of cards. Read history.

    Posted by danny | July 2, 2011, 8:53 pm
  54. Did anyone else view the comment about m14 christians wanting strife as a veiled threat against geagea?

    Posted by joe | July 2, 2011, 9:04 pm
  55. Danny,
    Your understated wishes notwithstanding, and going back to your post @52, my answer is that the court will have to try and convict them on its own. HA has already resigned itself to that fact. Some in Lebanon will not like it (in fact they will never like anything HA will do since no less than their complete dismantlement will satisfy them).With the political/security context in the ME, the fact that HA’s struggle against Israel is branded as terroristic and its personnel are being pursued, the fact that many pushing this tribunal, who are also the final arbiters on how to execute the convictions ,are sworn enemies of the group, participating in this court would totally expose HA and its leaders and commanders to be arrested on any charges. HA, if it to survive, has really no choice in this matter, come what may. That is really all SHN was saying today.

    Posted by Saint | July 2, 2011, 9:08 pm
  56. I hope some of the posters here could answer my question. What percentage of lebanese christians support m8 parties?

    Posted by joe | July 2, 2011, 9:10 pm
  57. Sorry for the off topic question but I was just wondering if they indictments willhurt christain support for ha

    Posted by joe | July 2, 2011, 9:14 pm
  58. Saint;

    nassrallah was saying more than that and you know it. When he said that NO Lebanese government will be able to execute the warrants for 300 years; he was aiming it straight to Lebanese audience or as he explicitly said “his advice to M14″.
    Then he goes on attacking the Christians…Oh ya not the clAoun’s small group but the ‘others” in M14.

    He is accusing the Christians of inciting a Sunni Shia stife? Wallaw look around you.

    Posted by danny | July 2, 2011, 9:15 pm
  59. Joe,

    Nassrallah anf his merry men have been unable to tarnish the “new” Geagea. He has been the most statesmanlike politician. His attacks and warnings have not illicited his desired response. He has been calling Geagea a murderer etc. but Geagea has kept his cool and respectful tone. Off course he is worried about clAoun whereas the so called free elections for a new governing body have been put off for over two years now. In contrast the Lebanese Forces has gone ahead with a new modern constitution and election platform for their party. Nasrallah is petrified that his Christian cover is eroding constantly.

    Posted by danny | July 2, 2011, 9:20 pm
  60. Ya Danny,

    Yes, that is all he was saying. SHN, is supposedly the leader of a terrorist organization, how can he in fairness give up members of his group who are also deemed terrorist to an international entity? So of course he was not going to give them up to the Lebanese government, because Lebanon would have been obliged to transfer them to the court in the Hague. Don’t you think that that in fact saves the Lebanese government from that responsibility and at least keeps the peace between the government and HA, further evidence that the Miqati government has handled this file the best way it could without causing problems in the country? What do you want a national fight?

    Posted by Saint | July 2, 2011, 9:25 pm
  61. shades9662
    Let me tell you that I believe that I must have been one of the first, possibly the first person that I know of, to be very highly critical of all the efforts at sanctifying Rafic Hariri. Whether he was a creative , effective and deep thinker or not is not the issue. You do not have to agree with and support the policies of Rafic Hariri to be in favour of the STL.
    As sad as it is, the Rafic Hariri is not the first, and probably will not be the last, assassination that could be unresolved. This is about necessarily finding the culprits. Essentially , this is a special case not because the crime might go unsolved but because a party of interest; HA; has resorted to blackmail, fear tactics even hijacked a government, in an effort to prevent an investigation from proceeding. I will be candid with you, on a personal level, I feel that HA has executed this operation on behalf of the Syrian regime. But that is not important. I am willing to accept the final judgment of an international court and I do not want anyone to interfer with the prosecution only because it seems to have evidence about their complicity in the case.
    Let me repeat, this is not about favouring Sa’ad Hariri; whom I have been very critical of; or about opposing HA and their military wing. This is about the rule of law. Lebanon is the party that asked for the establishment of the process, its two previous governments have supported it, the UNSCR 1757 was passed under chapter VII which carries very serious conditiond in case of non-compliance. Neither SHN noir anyone else should have the right to tell lies and half truths and to challenge the whole world to dare and arrest his henchmen. If we are to build a respectable society then legal procedures will have to apply to all without any exceptions whether they are men of the clotyh, heads of a vigilante group or respected faqihs.

    Posted by Ghassan Karam | July 2, 2011, 9:30 pm
  62. How long can HA keep selling the myth that it is fighting Israel when for the last five years the Israeli-Lebanon border has been quiet, the Sheba farms not touched, and Mugniyeh not avenged? In 5 years, when Hezbollah has not done anything against Israel for 10 years, what exactly will be the view in Lebanon about their weapons? When will it become clear that the weapons are only directed inward?

    Will anyone buy the Miqati line that the “Hezbollah government” respects the STL after the latest speech? Not likely. So, why didn’t Nasrallah remain more ambiguous about the issue? And if the government is formed, what will it do about the budget of the STL in the future?

    Posted by AIG | July 2, 2011, 9:41 pm
  63. Thanks for the answer danny. What percentage of christians do you think still support awn?

    Posted by joe | July 2, 2011, 10:02 pm
  64. I think SHN was also sending a signal to Miqati. “No more of that centrist bull crap game you’ve been playing”

    Don Nasraleon is collecting debts !

    Posted by V | July 2, 2011, 10:29 pm
  65. Gaby’s Analysis! (whether you want it or not 🙂 )

    I think everything that is wrong with this speech can be reduced to the following snippets of it. (The rest is bedtime story telling).

    8:39: Over the past year, we have suggested to the various authorities that they investigate the Israeli hypothesis [that Israel killed Hariri]. We held a major press conference and presented all kinds of evidence, involving drone footage, witness testimony, etc. We presented all this evidence and said: “Here you go. This constitutes a lead for you to pursue.” Did they follow it? No.

    8:40: The evidence we presented is circumstantial, and it is enough to suspect Israel of the crime. But they didn’t even bother looking into it, let alone taking it seriously and building a case on it.

    8:42: It’s not my job or the job of Hizbullah to launch an investigation and present evidence to Mr. Bellemare. But we did, and we found once again that there was no interest because this Tribunal is completely politicized.

    The biggest problem is what was said @ 8:42. Actually, it is the job of EVERY Lebanese to be concerned with the sequence of political murders, and to support every effort to solve those murders. Especially those with the means to support this type of activity, and with their ears to the ground, as HA clearly is.

    It is not their job to do this to placate the STL or the UN, or this organization or that organization. It is their CIVIC duty as Lebanese who are terribly offended by what has happened.

    It is nice to see that Nasrallah admits that everything him and his sidekick Charbel spewed out was CIRCUMSTANTIAL. Again, while the STL or the UN or or could have asked Israel to explain this flight over or that flight over (to placate Nasrallah’s silly concerns)… what Nasrallah should truly have been OFFENDED by is that he could produce nothing beyond the CIRCUMSTANTIAL. Despite the collusions of instruments of the State, and despite the tremendous intelligence network he boasts on the streets where those murders took place.

    The fact that Nasrallah believes it is NOT HIS DUTY is a testament to just how UNLEBANESE he feels.

    Posted by Gabriel | July 2, 2011, 10:42 pm
  66. Hi Guys,

    I rarely post on this blog. But I always follow/read the interactions between you guys.

    My opinion is as follows: Hezbollah is scared from the STL. If not , they would not have done what they did so far to block every single process leading to the STL. They will be affected by the STL. And time will prove that.

    If they are smart, they would surrender these four thugs and defend them. Unfortunately, they decided to headbutt with the STL and the international community.

    I am not sure what their plan is. But I think from now on they are going downhill. I cannot see them escaping. It took ICC 14 years to catch Ratko Mladić.

    Posted by LebanesePatriot | July 2, 2011, 10:49 pm
  67. Check out his article:
    “Why Hezbollah Had a Really Bad Week ”
    http://www.washingtoninstitute.org/templateC06.php?CID=1663

    Posted by LebanesePatriot | July 2, 2011, 11:07 pm
  68. After saying for so long that HA is not concerned by the STL, he makes a long speech to try to discredit the STL.

    The Cassese argument is bull. Any Internet search will reveal how the man truly feels about Israel’s human right abuses (targeted assassinations etc.)

    The fact that the investigators have worked for the security apparatus of their respective country is natural. Where else would they gain the experience.

    How does he know that the STL has not investigated the possibility that Israel was involved? Was he spying on it?

    The computers transiting via Israel: Since HA is the prime suspect and it controls the seaport and airport, Israel was the safer route.

    Etc.

    I wrote a short piece about my other thoughts on the speech here:

    http://lebanon-untold.blogspot.com/2011/07/nasrallahs-speech-regarding.html

    Erasmus

    Posted by Erasmus | July 2, 2011, 11:29 pm
  69. So AIG, if HA’s weapons were so irrelevant why are you so worried about them, and you keep visiting this site to feed us your erudite analysis?

    But seriously: I have a real homework assignment for you: instead of worrying about Lebanon, why don’t you go and give us a little report about some of the more than 7,000 Palestinian prisoners, including women and children, whose land has been taken and whose families have been killed by your government over the years? Here’s a little snippet just about this neglected human drama (we’re keeping light here and mentioning all the massacres and human rights violations that never see chapter 7 courts or tribunals):

    “According to the Palestinian Centre for Human Rights, between the years after the Six Day War (1967) and the First Intifada (1988), more than 600,000 Palestinians were held in Israeli jails for a week or more.[2] Rory McCarthy, The Guardian’s Jerusalem correspondent, estimated that one-fifth of the population has at one time been imprisoned since 1967.[3]

    According to B’Tselem, there was a decline, starting in 1998, in the number of Palestinians held in administrative detention where, on average, less than 20 were held from 1999 to October 2001. However, with the start of the Second Intifada (2000), and particularly after Operation Defensive Shield (2002), the trend was reversed, and the numbers began to steadily climb.[4]

    According to the Fédération Internationale des ligues des Droits de l’Homme (FIDH), from the beginning of the Second Intifada in 2000 through to April 2003, more than 28,000 Palestinians were incarcerated in prisons or prisoner camps. In April 2003 alone, there were more than 5,500 arrests.[5]

    In 2007, the number of Palestinians under administrative detention averaged about 830 per month, including women and minors under the age of 18.[6] By March 2008, more than 8,400 Palestinians were held by Israeli civilian and military authorities, of which 5,148 were serving sentences, 2,167 were facing legal proceedings and 790 were under administrative detention, often without charge or knowledge of the suspicions against them.[7] In 2010, the Palestinian Central Bureau of Statistics reported that there were “over 7,000” Palestinians in Israeli jails, of them 264 under administrative detention.[8] The main prisons in which Palestinian prisoners apprehended by Israel are held are in the Ofer Prison in the West Bank and the Megiddo and Ketziot prisons in Israel.[7]

    On 17 April 2008, the annual day of commemoration for Palestinian Prisoners, Adalah: The Legal Center for Arab Minority Rights in Israel, published a summary report of statistics noting that there were 11,000 Palestinian prisoners being held in prison and detention in Israel, including 98 women, 345 children, 50 members of the Palestinian Legislative Council, and 3 ministers of the Palestinian National Authority.[9] Of these 11,000 Palestinian prisoners, 8,456 were from the West Bank, 762 from the Gaza Strip, and 694 from within Israel itself (including 552 from Jerusalem).[9] In October 2008, Haaretz reported that there are 600 Palestinians being held in administrative detention in Israel, including “about 15 minors who do not know even know why they are being detained.”[10]

    Child prisoners
    Between October 2000 and April 2009, approximately 6,700 Palestinian children between the ages of 12 and 18 were arrested by the Israeli authorities, according to Defence for Children International’s Palestine Section (DCI/PS). The number of Palestinian children held in detention and interrogation centers, as well as prisons, both in Occupied Palestinian Territory and inside of Israel, was 423 in 2009. In April 2010 the number was 280. DCI/PS reports that these detentions stand in contravention of international law.[11]”

    Posted by Saint | July 2, 2011, 11:50 pm
  70. QN,
    it’s really sad how right-wing and fanatical your blog comments have become. it’s dominated by proto-fascists like danny and AIG who hijack the discussion to promote some pretty disgusting positions. While ghassan, who previously used to damn those that opposed the tribunal by claiming that he wanted to wait for evidence and let the process play out, now bluntly states that he’s already condemned hizbllah to death in this matter. evidence not withstanding. Of course, politics are more important than law to these people, even when they hide behind the language of law. rule of law indeed!

    That said, i am seriously out of date with regard to the proceedings of the tribunal, and dont have the info to truly defend it. but, Nasrallah’s argument has serious merit. Those of you arguing that STL has credibility must recognize what the STL actually did. It merely presented a PRIMA FACIE case for criminal liability. this is a very, very low standard, and should not imply any guilt. All it means is that the prosecutors have done the absolute minimum of showing that there is A POSSIBLE SCENARIO where those indicted could have been involved in some way. This is such a low standard that it means almost nothing, particularly in the absence of direct evidence (which is generally recognized, i believe the previous reports admitted as much).

    But it does give credence to Nasrallah’s argument that the court is politicized beyond recognition. Because the bar is so low, a politicized prosecutor’s office would be more than sufficient to damn the entire process. If all the evidence that exists is circumstantial and based on telephone records (as most reports seem to claim, like this BBC article: “Leaks from the tribunal suggest it is mainly relying on mobile phone evidence to accuse the Hezbollah members, the BBC’s Owen Bennett-Jones in Beirut reports.” http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-middle-east-14004096 ) then it goes without saying how weak these indictments are in reality. Hizbullah has an internal communications network, and is actually able to communicate with each other in a generally secure manner (through a hard line system, but i assume they also have a means of mobile communications). By that fact alone, they would be the prime suspect if communication evidence is the basis of the case! To meet the standard of a prima facie case, more or less, all the prosecutor would have to add that they have phone records around the time before and after the event, and that political reasons provide a motive and intent to commit the murder! THAT’S ESSENTIALLY NOTHING!

    Nasrallah has previously said that they had evidence that Israel was planning something in the area. Assuming that it true (which is very plausible), that would be plenty reason to show that hizbullah was in the area at the time, using secure communications methods. An indictment would easily rest on political arguments.

    That said, we don’t know what the facts are. we don’t know what the case is. Im am not claiming hizbullah is innocent. But, politically, i think nasrallah is on strong ground to point out the weaknesses of this case, and to provide reasons not to take it seriously or cooperate with it. Given his arguments, it makes sense why he would want to act like a “vigilante” or whatnot. He apparently has plenty of other evidence as well. And all these years of the STL failure imply that the case is WEAK, not strong. Had they had good evidence, they would have brought forward indictments years ago. which also bolsters the argument that the case is political. It would be a much stronger case for cooperation had they actually followed up on other leads, as nasrallah points out.

    My point is, you right-wing fascists are eager to condemn hizbullah. but you’re standing on weak ground. But in a political world, when you control the levers of power, an indictment is pretty strong ammunition against your enemies (just look at our resident legalistic commentator, ghassan, and how he has come to equate an indictment with guilt!). Even if it turns out that Nasrallah is full of hot air, his basic points do merit serious consideration.

    (oh, im not going to proof read this comment, so excuse the errors that are probably there).

    Posted by Joe M. | July 3, 2011, 1:14 am
  71. Usama post nr 28

    “I don’t fully agree with you. It is fine to make legal assessments based on who benefited, or how scenes of explosions are similar.”

    I agree to this. But you draw conclusions (or very strong assumptions) based on this. I don’t.

    One reason is that it is not entirely evident who benefited. One could for instance argue that Syria has benefited in the way that had RH lived the Sunni of Syria would have been even more closely aligned with the Sunni of Lebanon. I’m just speculating, but by doing that I am attempting to show that one can not boast who did it by relying on this argument alone. One could also easily point out that it was M8 and Hezbollah that from the get go opposed the STL, perhaps because they were guilty (and knew it) and thus didn’t want it established. That argument is about as strong as the argument of who benefited, i.e. not solid.

    “My main grievance with the whole process is how it not only completely ignored the possibility of Israeli involvement, but it even started receiving cooperation from Israel during its investigation.”

    I am intrigued that you know the inner proceedings of the STL! How can you possible claim that it ignored Israel? Maybe the supposed leads leading to Israeli involvement were investigated but written off? And regarding cooperation, the STL has cooperated with Lebanese intelligence and possibly cooperated with Syrian intelligence (although, in either case, we do not know whether this cooperation was entirely fruitful). Again, it is 45 min of speeches by SHN that makes you think this way. Quite impressive PR. You do not know what kind of evidence the prosecutors have at their disposal and anything you say is merely speculation.

    Anybody claiming that the STL is politicized must also explain why there are no leaks of conspiracy from the UNIIIC or the STL. Beside the numerous investigators there are plenty of translators and especially people working with filing papers that must have been duped as well so as not to show proof that the investigation of the STL is being tampered with.

    As for people like Leehman and others being corrupt, that still does not proove that the investigation itself was being tampered with. Selling information is not tampering with the content.

    SHN is taking shots at the STL, but the STL is finding it difficult to defend itself. This is natural. When/if the trial in absentia start, it will be interesting to see who will do the defending. I believe that Hezbollah (appointed lawyers) will do it, which of course will lead to very high publicity

    Posted by Pas Cool | July 3, 2011, 1:43 am
  72. This is one of the best articles out there on the STL. A must “read”!
    http://bit.ly/kk8RkZ

    Posted by Usama | July 3, 2011, 1:54 am
  73. Saint,

    I’ll give you another chance to answer the questions instead of making a fool of yourself: Why has the Israel-Lebanon border been so quiet in the last 5 years? When is Hezbollah going to avenge Mugniyeh and why is it taking so long? What is Hezbollah doing about the Sheba farms? And a bonus question: When Israel attacked Gaza in 2009, why did Hezbollah do nothing, why didn’t they fire one missile at Israel if they care so much about the Palestinians?

    The questions are simple enough. Can you answer them without changing the subject?

    Posted by AIG | July 3, 2011, 1:56 am
  74. سمير جعجع

    سمير جعجع ، حديث في الفساد الذي من واجبنا محاربته و في القرف الذي من واجبنا إبادته. في كل مرّة يأتون على ذكره ، ينادونه بلقبٍ ربّما هو لا يعرف معناه و أكيد أنّه لا يعرف قيمته! يقولون عنه “دكتور” أو “حكيم” و هنا سؤال عفوي و بديهي يُطرَح و كل مرّة نطرحه ، ما من أحدٍ يجيب.

    هو طبيب ماذا ؟
    أو ما هو إختصاصه؟
    أهو في الطب العام ؟ (عذراً من الأطبّاء الكرام) فيعطي نفسه حق إطلاق النظريّات البائسة التي لا أساس لها من الصحّة و إنّما هدفها التشويش و التخويف من المستقبل كي لا يرتاح أحد و التهويل بحرب لا يجيد تمنّي سواها؟
    أم هو طبيب صحّة فيعالج الذين ضلّلهم خلفه في عالم المخدَّرات و الفساد و القباحة و منهم شباب في عمر الورود ، سرق أعمارهم في فساد الميليشيا التي أنشأها و في حمله للسلاح؟
    أم هو ضليع في طب القلب ، فيبلسم جراح الأمَّهات اللواتي سلبهنّ أولادهنّ و ما زلن حتّى اليوم ينتظرن عودتهم؟
    أهو بيطري و في التعبير دلالة على اختِصاصه؟
    أم أخطأوا باللقب و هم ينادونه ، فهو في القيقة مهندس ، يريد إعادة الـ”عمار” و البناء للمدن و القرى التي دمّرها دون رحمة على أهاليها؟ كم أحبُّ أن يُفتَح العديد من الملفّات و القضايا كالمقابر الجماعيّة مثلاً ، فتظهر الحقيقة و ربّما حينها ، لن يبقى له سوى الذين يشبهونه!
    منذ فترة لا نأتي على ذكره ، فما بنا اليوم؟ نقول له إنَّ معراب الذي ذكرها و شوّه صورتها ، هي قرية من لبنان و مَن يحب لبنان لا يميّز بين قرية و أخرى أو بين طائفة وأخرى أو بين إنسان وآخر ، و في كلامه كل التمييز و كل الحقد و كل الضغينة لطائفة هو يريد عزلها و مَن يحب لبنان ، لا يعزل أحد من مكوِّناته، فلبنان إلى الأمام و لأمثاله العودة إلى الوراء حتّى لا نتكلّم مثله و ماعاذ الله أن نصبح شبهاً لأمثاله

    Posted by HK | July 3, 2011, 2:17 am
  75. Pas Cool

    I understand that you are trying to be (PAINFULLY) objective. I have my own convictions on the matter, but I still try to be objective. I just don’t see any credibility to the STL. I think it is very naive to think the international community ever pursued justice for Lebanon or anything short of sectarian strife for Lebanon. I can give my reasons for why it doesn’t make sense for Syria and/or Hizbullah to perform the assassination, while presenting reasons for the US and the Zionist entity to commit it, but in the end everyone will go by their own agenda. People who love Hizbullah will keep believing Hizbullah didn’t do it, regardless of the outcome, and people who hate Hizbullah will keep blaming Hizbullah, even if the charges are thrown out. Both sides will cite political reasons for the outcome.

    But like I said before, I would like to know from the STL whether or not the UNIIIC computers transited via the Zionist entity, and if so, why? I am also very weary of all those ex Western intelligence officers and “experts” on “Islamic terrorism” that have been involved with the STL. Why not enlist some ex Syrian or Iranian intelligence officers (just to make it more balanced)? Why not enlist experts on Judaic terrorism? There was a political target from the start. Everything in between is filler material to get to that political target and make it somehow look legitimate. Hizbullah has so far done a good job exposing the illegitimate, or at least questionable, aspects of the STL.

    It wasn’t SHN’s 75-minute speech that formed my opinion on this matter, but rather the personalities that have been involved in this farce since the start all the way up to now.

    http://www.counterpunch.org/schuh11182005.html

    Posted by Usama | July 3, 2011, 2:31 am
  76. Joe M #70

    I believe this prima facie business is pretty standard in most legal systems. It means, if I’m not mistaken, that if the evidence were presented uncontested in court, it would lead to a guilty verdict. Have you seen the indictment? If not, how do you know that the evidence is flimsy? And if the evidence really is flimsy, the best thing HA can do would be to contest it. I’ve got a friend who represented some accused at the Yugoslavia tribunal, so have seen some of this from up close — if the STL is at all like that tribunal, the burden of proof for a guilty verdict is very high.

    As for your representation of GK’s arguments, that’s just using straw man reasoning and not even worth rebutting.

    Posted by PB | July 3, 2011, 2:37 am
  77. Usama

    For the sake of clarity, just let me get this straight.

    You believe Israel and/or the US was behind the assassination, who then actively pursued the establishment of an international trial to prosecute those behind the assassination of RH and others from late 2004 and years onwards (i.e. Israel and/or the US), and all investigators and various support personnel with inside information (for instance in the archive section or perhaps even translators) are all in on the charade when trying to implicate Hezbollah (because evidence would point towards Israel, but all of this is disregarded for the active pursuit of planted evidence)?

    If they can pull this off, cudos to them. It would be wrong, so wrong, but still cudos, ’cause then the world works in far more devious ways beyond what I ever thought possible.

    Posted by Pas Cool | July 3, 2011, 2:48 am
  78. Short of a clash between the ISF and HA, is there a way for the STL to consider that reasonable attempts to serve the indictment have been made? If not, are sactions then inevitable?

    Posted by Badr | July 3, 2011, 3:01 am
  79. Pas Cool

    Lol if you think this is too devious for the Zionists, then you’ve been living life with eyes closed. This court was built for a political and/or armed conclusion, not for a legal conclusion.

    Posted by Usama | July 3, 2011, 3:07 am
  80. The world DOES work in far more devious ways beyond what ANYONE ever thought possible…. 🙂 You can take that to the bank anytime!

    “”Why has the Israel-Lebanon border been so quiet in the last 5 years? When is Hezbollah going to avenge Mugniyeh and why is it taking so long? What is Hezbollah doing about the Sheba farms? And a bonus question: When Israel attacked Gaza in 2009, why did Hezbollah do nothing, why didn’t they fire one missile at Israel if they care so much about the Palestinians?””

    1- Because Hezbollah is taking the time to prepare for the next inevitable War, a war which will be imposed again by the Ziocons on Lebanon…and because the war criminals in DC and Tel Aviv have changed the nature of the game by launching an all out war in 2006, which they utterly lost….In the same vein, Israhell is doing the exact same thing: preparing for the next war and attempting to learn from past mistakes. Hezbollah and Israel are doing the same, planning for war contingencies. STL is part and parcel of that Ziocon strategy of WAR.

    2-Hezbollah KNOWS that it was Asef Shawkat’s Goons who murdered Imad F. Moughnieh in Damascus, hence NO RESPONSE…. 🙂

    3-Planning for the full recuperation of Shebaa farms, Kafarshouba and the SEVEN Villages in the next war…

    4-Because the timing of any response has to be CHOSEN by a clever strategist…you do not get pulled into a war which is not of your own making/choosing!

    Posted by HK | July 3, 2011, 3:07 am
  81. PB,

    the “prima facie business” is standard in common law systems, not in “most legal systems.” there is a huge difference. My point is that it is mostly meaningless to draw conclusions at this point (which is absolutely true).

    I never said that the evidence was flimsy. I only said that they need not have strong evidence to win, and only need the most elementary hypothesis to create a case. The concept that the prosecutor would win if UNCONTESTED (which basically sounds like you are quoting QN in a previous post), is absolutely essential. Common law systems require zealous advocacy by both sides to be effective. Without zealous advocacy on both sides, they lose all credibility. that is why it is essential that, in the usa, for example, “if you can not afford an attorney, one will be appointed for you.” The point is that contestation of the case is THE KEY element, not the mere presentation of the case (which is all we have now).

    For example, if you have been watching the news coverage of the Dominique Strauss-Kahn situation, and listening to the french reactions, you noticed that they have been viciously critical (rightfully so) of the american “justice” system for the way it prejudices the case. Nasrallah is essentially making the same argument, but adding an extra layer of damnation by saying it has been DELIBERATELY prejudicial. The difference is that the State of New York had all the power to arrest DSK and throw him in jail, parade him around like a convicted felon, make statements to the media, blah blah…. prior to the case going to trial, while Hizbullah is not willing to subject its people to that treatment.

    based on the information Nasrallah has released to date, and the unprofessional nature of the whole hariri investigation (the 4 generals, the political atmosphere, apparent bribes, the agenda of those advocating the trial, the apparent weakness of the case….), i think Hizbullah is perfectly justified in this response.

    Also, as QN says, there is likely to be a trial in absentia. but this will not be credible at all. Particularly because Hizbullah clearly has internal information of a much, much higher quality than any randomly appointed defense attorney would have. So even the best, most effective, most zealous defense attorney in the world would make an inferior case to that hizbullah is able to make. This is absolutely clear, just based on the little we have seen so far. with every speech by Nasrallah blowing the case more and more wide open.

    So, you say, “well, then why doesn’t hizbullah just defend the case! prove innocence!” but, that’s a chicken and egg situation. Why would they want to defend a case to a court they believe is irredeemably political and compromised? I am not saying they are right, but I have seen enough evidence to be convinced they are not speaking empty words. on that basis alone, they seem justified to me (the most basic doctrine of common law systems is that “better that ten guilty persons escape than that one innocent suffer” http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Blackstone%27s_formulation)

    Posted by Joe M. | July 3, 2011, 3:16 am
  82. AIG,

    You are a disingenuous actor. I have no inclination of answering you about anything. Your questions are simplistic, flimsy and misleading. It is you who throws red-herrings, and when pushed do nothing but justify every crime of your brutal state for which a thousand chapter 7 tribunals could not atone.

    The fight against the expansionist, racist, and criminal entity that is the state of Israel continues…

    Posted by Saint | July 3, 2011, 3:22 am
  83. HK,

    Very weak excuses for doing nothing and not helping Palestinians when they needed it most. We all know the true answer, they need the weapons to point inward, not outward. Hezbollah would rather intimidate their own countrymen than fight Israel.

    Posted by AIG | July 3, 2011, 3:26 am
  84. Joe M. Says:

    July 3, 2011 at 1:14 am
    QN,
    it’s really sad how right-wing and fanatical your blog comments have become. it’s dominated by proto-fascists like danny and AIG who hijack the discussion to promote some pretty disgusting positions. While ghassan, who previously used to damn those that opposed the tribunal by claiming that he wanted to wait for evidence and let the process play out, now bluntly states that he’s already condemned hizbllah to death in this matter. evidence not withstanding.

    GOOD SAY

    and that want be civilized people.

    Posted by Afghani | July 3, 2011, 3:27 am
  85. “I am not saying they are right”
    “they seem justified to me”

    Joe M.,

    Can you see the contradiction?

    Posted by Badr | July 3, 2011, 3:43 am
  86. badr,
    don’t be stupid. there’s no contradiction. I am saying, that they are justified based on the impulse to protect the innocent and to defend their men, which is THE cornerstone of the common law legal tradition. When i said that “im not saying they are right” i also said that they have presented enough evidence to rebut a basic presumption of the STL’s credibility. Maybe they are wrong and the STL is credible. But Nasrallah have given me reason to make a sound judgment and be confident that it is not clear if the STL is credible. On that basis they are justified. because the alternative is that they give their men up to a compromised court. for argument’s sake, let’s say that is only 10% likely that the trial is compromised (i think it’s higher, but let’s stick with 10%). Well, that’s still way too much. would you want to go to trial knowing you only have a 90% chance of a fair trial?

    The evidence of corruption and political interference that Hizbullah has already presented is substantial enough that this case would have been thrown out in any court in the western world (or definitely in the USA), absent such high political interference. that’s a fact.

    Posted by Joe M. | July 3, 2011, 3:58 am
  87. badr,
    don’t be stupid. there’s no contradiction. I am saying, that they are justified based on the impulse to protect the innocent and to defend their men, which is THE cornerstone of the common law legal tradition. When i said that “im not saying they are right” i also said that they have presented enough evidence to rebut a basic presumption of the STL’s credibility. Maybe they are wrong and the STL is credible. But Nasrallah have given me reason to make a sound judgment and be confident that it is not clear if the STL is credible. On that basis they are justified. because the alternative is that they give their men up to a compromised court. for argument’s sake, let’s say that is only 10% likely that the trial is compromised (i think it’s higher, but let’s stick with 10%). Well, that’s still way too much. would you want to go to trial knowing you only have a 90% chance of a fair trial?

    The evidence of corruption and political interference that Hizbullah has already presented is substantial enough that this case would have been thrown out in any court in the western world (or definitely in the USA), absent such high political interference. that’s a fact.

    Posted by Joe M. | July 3, 2011, 3:59 am
  88. Joe m,
    A great thinker once said: I love to be quoted but I hate to be misquoted 🙂
    Joe, if I remember correctly, you and I have been through all of this once before and so I have no interest in going over the same material again. But to allude that I am saying that HA has been more than indicted is disingenious at best. My argument has always been and still is that at a personal level our thoughts and feelings are not what matters. What is inportant is the process. The process is not about the ideology of HA, it is not to support the policies of either Hariri senior or those of Junior. It is simply about a process that must go forward. IAs I have said before many a time, the indicted have a chance to dfend themselves and show their innocence. The process has just started and we must all accept its final judgement irrespective of our own personal suspicions. I used the line that at a personal level I do believe that HA was involved in execution of this sordid affair in order to illustrate the above i.e. my personal private thoughts /suspicions do not matter since in a civilized society the judgement of the courts is binding on all.
    It is based on the above that I totally reject the SHN scenario that uses lies and half truths ( letter by Cassis and the computers) and declares proudly that he will not allow the state to serve its warrants on the accused, not in 30 days, not in 30 years and not in 300years, This behaviour must be condemned as it is not the responsible speech of a law abiding citizen but it is reflective of a person who is above the law and who threatens the state if it ever dares and applies the rules. This is not a statesman but a DonNasraleone , to borrow a term from V.

    Posted by Ghassan Karam | July 3, 2011, 4:00 am
  89. To add to the comments already made about Nasrallah’s misguided attempt to discredit Cassesse, Nasrallah seems to be assuming that to be President of the STL is to be in control of the whole thing from investigation to trial to verdict. He can’t seem to recognize that the powers of the head honcho may be limited and that Cassesse has nothing to do with the Office of the Prosecutor.

    I haven’t managed to see it yet: how damning is the Lehmann video?

    Posted by Jonathan | July 3, 2011, 4:01 am
  90. Joe m,
    The DSK case highlighted a procedural issue that I wonder whther you can shed some light on. (Some of the readers might not know that you are a lawyer).
    Is the obligation of the prosecutor to share damaging information to the clients’ case with the defense a “universal” judicial feature or is it essentially a feature of the Anglo Saxon law.
    BTW, so many people both in the US and abroad are opposed to the perp walk but that feature should not be used to discredit the impartiality of the judicial proceedings as this case amply demonstrates on at least two levels: (1) The accusations of a chamber maid against a very high ranking official were treated with the urgency and respect that they deserve. (I wonder how many countries would have acted to protect the right of such an accuser by delaying the flight of one of the top civil servants in the world) and (2) The process of sharing info through discovery speaks volumes about equal protection.

    Posted by Ghassan Karam | July 3, 2011, 4:27 am
  91. ghassan,
    I know what you said. My goal was to point out that it’s incredibly easy to argue that people should “accept its final judgement irrespective of our own personal suspicions” when the process is biased in your favor.

    for example, if i show you the standard that federal courts in the USA use to determine whether a case has been compromised by outside influence, and it is clear that this case has exceeded that standard, would you then abandon your religious faith in this tribunal? (for the record, i am not claiming i will do that. because i would have to piece some things together and that would take a lot of time that i don’t currently have. but i am just asking the question). because, your argument that the process must move forward is a great slogan. unfortunately, it doesn’t make much sense in reality. it’s like saying you are “for peace” or for a “two-state solution.” wonderful slogans, too bad that the details matter more than the slogans!

    Posted by Joe M. | July 3, 2011, 4:29 am
  92. ghassan,
    regarding your question above:
    Is the obligation of the prosecutor to share damaging information to the clients’ case with the defense a “universal” judicial feature or is it essentially a feature of the Anglo Saxon law.

    you are referring to a feature of the rules of discovery. and those are different everywhere. the rules of how much must be shared with the other party is determined locally. and the goal of many of the more recent automatic disclosure rules is to generally is to reduce cost or speed up the pace of the trials. but the automatic disclosure rules have problems of enforcement.

    Some argue that it is an effort to correct the a basic flaw of the common law tradition, and move the system more toward a code based system (like in france). Im not very familiar with the legal systems in the code based countries (like france, egypt…), but i believe that the judge in those places provides a baseline of facts that the cases are allowed to use. The judge serves as fact finder, as opposed to the system in the usa and UK, where the judge is moderator, and the prosecution and defense are their own fact finders…

    Also, you are very wrong about the “perp walk.” it makes it impossible to find an impartial jury, which absolutely should “discredit the impartiality of the judicial proceedings.” though, there were many more problems with the DSK situation than just the perp walk. that was just an obvious one.

    And yes, i think most countries with developed legal systems would have stopped someone in the position of DSK. Even Egypt arrested Hisham Talaat Mustafa and sentenced him to death for murder.

    Posted by Joe M. | July 3, 2011, 4:44 am
  93. Joe M post nr 85

    “The evidence of corruption and political interference that Hizbullah has already presented is substantial enough that this case would have been thrown out in any court in the western world (or definitely in the USA), absent such high political interference. that’s a fact.”

    Perhaps so, but the problem with international courts is that usually such high stakes are involved that people will resort to theatrics (however well argued), harming the credibility of the court in question, luring out defenders of the court and thus politicizing the court in the eye of the public opinion. This SHN has succeeded with quite well. But not very well. Many international courts around the world lack legitimacy in the eyes of some, but that is no reason to stop having them. Instead, those who believe in the justice that these courts serve will continue to grant them the legitimacy necessary for them to fulfill their duties. I believe this is what will happen here as well.

    Posted by Pas Cool | July 3, 2011, 4:52 am
  94. @QN I second @Joe M.#70 in his observation of how fanatical the commentators of this blog have become and obviously so from their tone. Do they reflect M14 frustration by events in Lebanon (and yes, it is a power game when M14 were ready to give up the STL for it). Either way, I used to be able to glean interesting ideas from the comments section…but no more…don’t you think most Lebanese are getting tired of the whole process? Reflected by the fact there are few new ideas except that this phase can only be a perparatory one for a new war in year or two’s time (Ibrahim al-Amine wrote as much in an editorial in Al-Akhbar http://goo.gl/3IJZI although watch out commentators, it’s in Arabic!!!). As @HK#80 also outlines

    @Joe M.#70 I second the veiws there regarding CIRCUMSTANTIAL evidence and pointed it out in my posts @shades9662#39 above as well. Be sure that they have found no ‘smoking gun’ so to speak and telecom evidence can be easily tampered with (all you need to do is to change records, which is not hard when you have Stuxnet capabilities, insiders willing to grant you access and know what you’re doing). @Joe M.’s contribution seems most plausible in the legal sphere, though I am no legal expert myself

    @LebanesePatriot#66 you would be quite naive to think that they would hand over a key member (of great interest to Israel, if you read their press) to the STL as you can be sure they would not at all interrogate them as to Hariri’s bombing, but on everything else. That’s like asking for Mughnieh when he was still alive.

    @Erasmus#68 you think it’s natural to have intelligence agency spies of other countries diametrically opposed to HA working for the STL? What next, should the Mossad have also been involved in the STL investigation of HA? Please, get real

    @Gabriel#65 it is NOT HA’s responsibility to carry out the STL’s investigation nor would using jargon such as “civic duty” convince anyone either. Nonetheless, they have presented some of their own work (including the fact that Bin Jidd, a spy working for Israel, was present at the scene of the crime etc. but no one followed up on it)

    @danny#59 the Kataeb and LF christians SHN referred to have been far more vocal than the Sunnis themselves on the Harrir matter. I mean did you hear that kid Sami address the party Friday while daddy Amine Gemayel sat in the front row? Not to mention his pitiful defense of grandpa Bashir (calling him ‘muqawim’). Pathetic

    @AIG#62 talking about a quiet border is pointless. The border was quiet for 6 full years since 2000 before the July war happened in 2006. I, as a Lebanese, would not feel safe (nor would Lebanon have sovereignty – compare Sinaa with South Lebanon where Lebanon has defences that the Egyptians are not allowed and Sinaa is as big a Lebanon) without HA or someone credible (definitely not UNIFIL) to confront Israel

    @Pas Cool#71 it is highly likely that HA was able to get its hands on internal STL documents that show no credible investigation of Israel. Maybe @QN can confirm if any of the initial documents of Mehlis contemplated Israel as a beneficiary.

    @Pas Cool#77 Have you not read any wikileaks US embassy cables? Your worst conspiracy fears are true and this is not far fetched…

    @Badr#78 Bingo! The US/Security council may not accept anything less than civil strife as “reasonable attempts”. It has all been tried before in May 2008 as in my posts @Shades9662#43,44

    @Jonathan#87 The Lehmann video is damning enough…you can see it here http://goo.gl/Uxnqu (exact timing is 31m22s)

    Posted by shades9662 | July 3, 2011, 4:52 am
  95. Joe M #85 said:

    “The evidence of corruption and political interference that Hizbullah has already presented is substantial enough that this case would have been thrown out in any court in the western world (or definitely in the USA), absent such high political interference. that’s a fact.”

    That would be a fact if said evidence had actually been scrutinized and accepted by a judge on the case and not merely presented by the accused and then taken at face value. Be careful what you claim to be a fact.

    Posted by Jonathan | July 3, 2011, 4:58 am
  96. Joe M. I am just curious how these indicted individuals, who are already guilty of belonging to a “terrorist” organizations, hope to be tried in an international court of law on these specific charges alone? What can prevent a powerful nation like the US for example of finding it within its judicial right, under its own law, to extradite these individuals or even to kidnap them to try them on their own charges, or in some cases as we see in Guantanamo simply incarcerate them without any charges at all for years? I am not talking about a simple promise by the Hague, but rather about ironclad and demonstrable assurances that these individuals will truly be freed if the accusations against them don’t hold up?

    The other question I have is about operational secrecy by an organization such as HA. We know that a government will plead national security concerns regarding some questions which it refuses to answer and that is enough to meet the burden of proof in US courts. How can an organization like HA protect its secrets/hideouts/operations/methods while at the same time be able to defend one of its top commanders who obviously knows many things and whose inability to expose some facts may lead to his conviction? Will the courts accept that “we can’t answer this question for instance” as the US govt does in the cases brought against it?

    Posted by Saint | July 3, 2011, 5:01 am
  97. Joe M.,

    My argument is not about your personal doubt of the credibility of the STL. My point was that logically speaking, one cannot say in the same sentence both of the following:
    I am not saying they are right and
    they seem justified to me, because if someone seems justified to you, then this means that you think (s)he is right!

    Posted by Badr | July 3, 2011, 5:19 am
  98. It turns out that Mustafa Badreddine is suspected of building the powerful bomb that blew up the U.S. Marine barracks in Beirut in 1983. So he was framed here to be nailed for something else,

    Check the CBC News article:
    http://www.cbc.ca/news/world/story/2011/07/02/hezbollah-hariri-nasrallah.html

    Posted by RD | July 3, 2011, 5:21 am
  99. Jonathan,
    i agree, this evidence has not gone before a judge. it may in fact be thrown out on its own. so i am jumping the gun. but, it appears that there has been a trial already, before a case was even made. i was making a rhetorical point, as you made clear. but you are right on principle.

    Saint,
    I think you’re slightly off base with your arguments. because, if hizbullah’s men were arrested and went to this trial, and were found not guilty… but they were then kidnapped by the usa or israel or someone else… the entire system of international justice would be further compromised. No one would ever believe in the credibility of international trials again. even people who support them would no longer trust them So, there is a very strong incentive to either 1) make sure you only bring cases you can win, or 2) win the cases you bring. Especially when the accused are pre-damned. So, i mean, what is more likely is that the outcome is predetermined through political means before the case comes to court.

    as to the inclusion of operational secrets, that is unlikely to be a problem because such secrets are unlikely be considered relevant by the court. so they court wouldn’t allow them into evidence.

    Pas Cool,
    as a general matter, I will support international courts after i see tony blair tried and convicted for war crimes. Once the powerful are put to trial for their crimes, then i am ready to apply the standard of justice to the weak. and the case of tony blair is so easy, so obvious, so blunt and clear, that he should serve as the test case. even his own attorney said the war in iraq was a war crime. if international courts are unable to put someone like him in jail, they are unfit to try anyone else.

    Posted by Joe M. | July 3, 2011, 5:25 am
  100. Saint # 94,

    Excellent questions, fully justified.
    Hezbollah still has many more evidence of utter corruption of STL up its sleeves, including Bellemare’s shenanigans.

    Posted by HK | July 3, 2011, 5:28 am
  101. @RD#96 Lol, love how the CBC article you linked to calls SHN “sheikh”… i mean do you think he’s some lousy Saudi potentate? It’s Sayyed, damn it, get the basic facts right! And have you noticed how the western press (all of them, including the venerated BBC) simply say “he went on to cast doubt on the tribunal” without any discussion of the transfer of STL equipment to Israel, the Lehmann scandal, involvement of former CIA and other intelligence agency members etc… useless…

    Posted by shades9662 | July 3, 2011, 5:31 am
  102. Joe m #89
    If the case developed by the prosecutor does not measure up to the established legal standards then yes it should be thrown out. I have no problems with this, non whatsoever.
    What I do not accept is the accusation that all of these judges, including the Lebanese ones, have been selected in order to put on a show whose only objective is to cook up evidence and to indict individuals who have nothing to do with this case. Are all of these individuals agents? Are the judges interpreting credible law and are they using procedures that have been made public and appear to offer protection to the accused.
    It seems to me that all the objections about the STL have not been directed against its standards and procedures but against the fact that it had dared indict some individuals. A good prosecutor will let the evidence lead the way. If the prosecutor fumbles along the way then the case will be weak and the the accused will beat the rap.
    Back to your question: Of course I will accept the judgement of the court if it dismisses all of the charges on legal grounds

    Forexample, I have no problem with having the judge dismiss all the charges against DSK even due to a technicality. And if you still recall I told you once that I believe that the US presidential elections was “stolen” from Gore but yet when the Supremes voted in favour of Bush I accepted that ruling. There has to be a final arbiter to resolve issues as they come up..

    Posted by Ghassan Karam | July 3, 2011, 5:34 am
  103. Joe m. I have to disagree with you on this. If the US says it has “evidence” that Badreddine for instance is guilty of other terrorist-related crimes, per US law, why would they waste an opportunity like his to launch extra-legal proceedings against him while in the Hague to bring him to the US one way or the other? Would they not be in violation of their own laws when the suspect is within their grasp and they let him go, especially if this guy is the top commander for HA based on reports about him? How would that contradict the Hariri trial? It is possible to be accused and tried for two different crimes no? That would hardly cause the uproar you predict regarding the international legal system or even cast doubt on the impartiality of the Tribunal. The man is pre-indicted, politically so far, on other crimes, one of which is belonging to a terrorist organization, unless you can tell me that he will be publicly exonerated by all of all other accusations beforehand and will face the international court on the merits of the Hariri case by itself.

    Posted by Saint | July 3, 2011, 5:50 am
  104. # 99,

    Forget due process, discovery, rule of law or any other trick in the book, like real evidence, presumed innocence, reasonable doubt and all the rest of the charade STL “justice”…. 🙂
    Just look at the stories that they will be spewing from now until the Messiah comes back: http://www.topix.com/world/syria/2011/07/hezbollah-a-contract-killer

    AIG, and ALL the Zioconned Western intelligence creeps are looking for BLOOD in Lebanon, that’s all, pure and simple. They are in the final stages of planning the next big war. All the rest is hogwash!

    Posted by HK | July 3, 2011, 5:51 am
  105. Joe M # 81

    Thanks for the response.

    As I understand, the current stage is the indictment, which means that the prosecutor gave the pre-trial judge some “prima facie” evidence, and the indictment coming out means that the judge ruled that on the basis of what he has been shown already, there is enough to warrant a full case, in which both sides will have a chance to present whatever information they feel is necessary to make their respective cases.

    I disagree with your statement that the prosecutor doesn’t need strong evidence to win. At this stage, he isn’t trying to win, rather he is trying to get to the trial stage based on the evidence amassed so far. I’m not sure if you are implying that the evidence will not be contested, but obviously it is going to be contested, whether or not the accused are present at the trial.

    Agree that the perp walk style in the DSK case, and some other high-profile cases in the US, is unfair to the accused. But comparing this to that is not quite the same thing. So not worth for me to respond to this analogy.

    You say in your experience and from what you have heard and seen, you are convinced that HA is justified to believe that the court is irredeemably political and compromised. As I told you, my (limited and indirect) experience with international justice is different. The standard of evidence is higher than in national-level courts, as the level of scrutiny is extremely high. Defendants can typically expect top-level international lawyers to take their cases, pro bono, as it is a hugely visible arena from which to raise one’s profile. My one direct example of a case in which I was involved as an avid spectator, was one in which the defendants, to me at least, seemed as guilty as can be. This was one of the trials related to events in Kosovo. But the defendants were found not proved guilty, and were released. What I took away from that is that really the standard required to get a guilty verdict in such trials is very tough. And the degree of transparency makes it very difficult to hide improprieties from the public and a determined defense team.

    If, based on the limited information available to us, you have apparently concluded that it is highly likely a sham, a politically-motivated fake trial aimed at HA regardless of justice, then I am truly convinced that a half-decent defense team can use this trial not just to prove their own innocence, but to prove the complete corruption of the international justice system as a whole.

    Refusing to participate in the trial, however, is a defensive action, one that suggests fear rather than confidence.

    I don’t have an opinion or even a gut-feeling on who is ‘guilty.’ I’m not even convinced, as GK is, that this STL will be a good thing for Lebanon. It might turn out really badly.

    Posted by PB | July 3, 2011, 5:57 am
  106. PB # 103,

    I have met people with a legal background who are high ranking UN officials. They are extremely critical of the whole proceedings of Fitzgerald, UNIIIC and STL, based on what they know from internal deliberations. It is not just Lebanese who see this whole exercise as utter charade and anything but “justice” to the fallen…
    In fact, I am invited tonight to a cocktail dinatoire where I will be meeting those same UN people again to gauge their reaction to the “indictments”…

    Here is a recent picture of Daniel CIA Bellemare with Gerhardt BND Lehman! 🙂

    Posted by HK | July 3, 2011, 6:12 am
  107. Joe m., And not to belabor you with too many questions (and I see you have kicked a hornet’s nest), but regarding operational secrecy, my point is not what the court will admit (although you may not have all the facts straight on this one), but rather that for one of the accused to properly defend himself, he would have to cite facts about his rank/abilities/his whereabouts on the day of the crime, which due to his position and role in the organization may not be able to answer which could compromise his defense.

    But also, the US govt does often cite national security to not show evidence or answer some questions. In one case, which I cannot recall at the moment, against an alleged terrorist, a US court did accept the govt’s refusal to show the defense the evidence against their client by citing national security concerns claiming that exposing them in court would jeopardize their operations, personnel and methods. How does one from HA, its alleged top commander, be able to defend himself without similarly compromising his organization?

    Posted by Saint | July 3, 2011, 6:13 am
  108. Saint # 105,
    You are absolutely right, I remember that case very well indeed, and it was repeated several times since…

    GK, here is something for you on the 4th of July 🙂

    http://geoplotical.blogspot.com/2011/07/would-this-truly-revolutionary-document.html

    Posted by HK | July 3, 2011, 6:28 am
  109. HK,
    The preamble of the declaration is an excellent example of what Bentham calla” nonsense on stilts” .:-)

    Posted by Ghassan Karam | July 3, 2011, 6:57 am
  110. pb,
    just to clarify, i did not mean to imply in the absolute sense that “the prosecutor doesn’t need strong evidence to win.” i was saying that the prosecutor doesn’t need strong evidence to make a case that can go to trial. And, that the absence of a defense at trial would result in prosecutor’s victory without the need of strong evidence overall. and i presume that hizbullah would make a much stronger case than could any randomly appointed defense attorney (no matter how good they were).

    Also, i have not concluded that it’s “highly likely a sham.” I mentioned in comment #85 that Hizbullah need not be correct in their view that the court is irredeemable to have a strong justification for not believing that it is fair. im not saying that the STL is 100% corrupt (i don’t know how corrupt it is), im just saying that Hizbullah has presented evidence that shows me that they are not 100% fair. would you like to go to trial in a court where you had only a 90% chance of getting a fair trial, for example? and i think that is reason enough for them to be concerned. since there is no judicial review board or external institution to review whether this entire system fair, it makes sense that Hizbullah would seek to avoid a trial that they believe is biased against them. whether they are right or wrong would only be determined by the trial itself. and at that point it would be far too late. so, their actions seem reasonable to me.

    Last, i have not looked into the details of the STL enough to really know the types of procedures they are using, and i haven’t been following the proceedings close enough to know who’s seen the indictments or whether judges have ok’ed them or whatnot. Im just not watching it closely. That said, the basic theory applied to all common law courts (as im pretty sure the STL is) is that the prosecutor only need to meet the MINIMUM standard of evidence to show that it is POSSIBLE that the crime was committed by who they say… for it to go to trial. essentially, they only have to have some theory that makes basic sense. This is criminal law 101.

    Ghassan,
    you are confusing two issues. you keep talking about the procedure in the absence of context. im not saying that all the people “have been selected in order to put on a show whose only objective is to cook up evidence and to indict individuals who have nothing to do with this case.” im saying that there are enough problems that have been uncovered to discredit the STL systematically. think of it the way that you probably think of the causes of the recent economic crashes. you need not have agents out to destroy the world for bad things to happen. but when you have a series of small incentives that promote an outcome, like buying houses despite the lack of equity or prosecutors and politicians that are looking at their enemies as having committed a crime by default, you automatically get a particular outcome. In the case of the STL, you have a similar situation (though, it would take too much effort to recount all the ways). So, i mean, you keep saying the procedure is fair. but what difference does that make? maybe the procedures of the tokyo trials was also fair, did that make them fair trials? http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/International_Military_Tribunal_for_the_Far_East#Criticism

    Saint,
    I think you are referring to the muhammad salah trial? http://kentnlgadmin.wordpress.com/muhammed-salah-case-history/ or maybe to recent controversy about the usa of military tribunals v. domestic courts for guantanamo cases… the main argument for military tribunals is that they don’t have to expose their evidence. (notice that this is not a normal court, but a military tribunal: http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/25951573/ns/world_news-terrorism/t/gitmo-judge-allows-secret-testimony/ ) or there are others that slip my mind. and, actually, i recant, and agree, that it is possible that the USA would arrest someone on some other charges if they were brought to trial. that is what france just did to manuel noriega:
    http://www.guardian.co.uk/world/2010/jul/07/manuel-noriega-jail-france

    as for the role of actual evidence, courts have strict evidentuary procedures. and one of the key requirements is that the evidence be “relevant” and not overly “prejudicial”. so, it is unlikely that the court would allow evidence about events or actions that do not have a very direct relationship to the hariri murder.

    also, i can’t write this much anymore. i’ll try to keep tabs, but i have other work to do for now.

    Posted by Joe M. | July 3, 2011, 7:13 am
  111. GK,

    “And for the support of this Declaration, with a firm reliance on the protection of divine Providence, we mutually pledge to each other our Lives, our Fortunes and our sacred Honor.” 🙂
    Where is it nowadays….?

    Posted by HK | July 3, 2011, 7:14 am
  112. Come again?

    Israel murdered Hariri ala Syriana style, and then killed off the whistle blowers, with a few pro Syrian activists just to throw off the curious enquirers, and then proceeded in establishing an international trial to find the assassins. Oh and they also killed prominent figures in Lebanon, prior to Hariri. Did the Zionists also orchestrate 9/11 and the landing on the moon?

    Theres no way in hell anyone can beat these extra terrestrial beings, so why dont you drop the arguile, and that fine stash from the Beqaa and go join them.

    Posted by maverick | July 3, 2011, 7:52 am
  113. +Yay for Bashar, in containing the millions of Israeli/US salafis planted in Syria in yet another international plot against the resistance camp.

    Posted by maverick | July 3, 2011, 7:55 am
  114. Just released a few comments by Joe M. from moderation. Check them out, further up the page.

    Posted by Qifa Nabki | July 3, 2011, 7:56 am
  115. and seriously though why didnt Bellmare consider the damning evidence against Israel that HA intelligence provided. Remember the videos of Hariri being followed by Israeli surveillance with the medal of honor music in the background, yeah that one.

    Posted by maverick | July 3, 2011, 7:59 am
  116. Joe m #110,
    Joe, you know that I have always enjoyed these exchanges with you but at one point we start going in circles. Before we do that let me make one quick response to your latest post about procedure vs context.
    If your point about the Tokyo Trials is that a better procedure could have been set up then I have no quarrels with that. But if you are saying that none of the indicted should have been tried then I will disagree with that proposition.
    Furthermore, again as I have suggested many times, those who have voiced vociferous objections to the STL have not made a single suggestion about what needs to be done to improve the fairness of the procedure but have instead that the accused are not to be held accountable in a court of law simply because their patrons have bigger guns. It is this context that cannot be accepted. BTW, it looks like Cyrus Vance Jr. the Manhattan DA is in trouble for being quick in his indictments. But it appears that there are enough protections in the system to prevent a DA from abusing the power of the office ( He has lost many cases recently). Anyway , maybe Mr. Vance Jr. can use your services:-)

    Posted by Ghassan Karam | July 3, 2011, 8:42 am
  117. In a simple language anyone who is affiliated with the illegal militia HA is immune to any criminal prosecution…Because the non fascist terrorist sympathizers are pontificating so.

    In your ; HA crowd…opinion where can any HA cadre get a just trial? Remember irrespective of all this mambo jumbo you guys and the Supreme Leader is throwing around…(the transport of the computers really intrigued the bearded fellow). Someone should let him know that the investigators did not want another incidence of bearded “women” in full robes stealing their reports lol.

    All in all I have heard nothing but regurgitated garbage & distraction good enough for a science fiction thriller.

    Shade I am proud to say I want to be free and all for justice and against an existential battle to annihilate Israel. I am against the terrorist entity called HA. If that makes a fascist; I am proud of it!!

    Posted by danny | July 3, 2011, 8:53 am
  118. ”La grande science est donc de faire vouloir [à l’ennemi] tout ce que vous voulez qu’il fasse et de lui fournir, sans qu’il s’en aperçoive, tous les moyens de vous seconder….” (Sun Tzu, l’art de la guerre) 🙂

    Been there seen it all, it ain’t pretty!

    Posted by HK | July 3, 2011, 9:25 am
  119. Joe M. #110

    I have really appreciated your posts in this thread because you have mounted a much more articulate and nuanced skepticism towards the STL than the “It’s clearly a US-Israeli tool” crowd.

    You point out that if there is even a chance of not getting a fair trial then why should the defendant subject themselves to it. The problem with this seems to me that it confuses irregularities in the investigation with procedural fairness in the trial stage. HA are claiming that the investigation has been biased. Maybe so, but the trial procedures are quite clearly designed with all the expected safe-guards for the rights of the accused. Irregularities in the investigation significantly increase the chances of being acquitted given that the court is set up according to accepted standards of procedural justice. To my mind, that means that if HA don’t turn up it boils down to their declared suspicion that the investigation has been cooked and the judges and defense lawyers will make little attempt to expose it as such. And that is the position to which I cannot give any credibility.

    Posted by Jonathan | July 3, 2011, 9:26 am
  120. كما تم هدم منازل لنشطاء في بلدة البارة واعتقال اهالي نشطاء متوارين من اجل الضغط عليهم وتسليم انفسهم”

    The above quote is by a Syrian human rights activist who is describing the actions of the Syrian regime in parts of Idlib.
    It is important to know that the above is NOT a description of an act by the IDF.
    The Syrian butchers continue their unabated campaign of violating the rights of Syrian citizens that they are expected to protect. It is clear that those in Damascus are not interested except in protecting their right to maime , imprison , exploit and abuse.
    When would the US apply its moral pressure on this regime. Maybe July 4 is a good occasion to remind DC that when the preamble speaks of “all men created equal”.the it does not mean only those residing in what became the US.

    Posted by Ghassan Karam | July 3, 2011, 10:12 am
  121. Joe M

    “if international courts are unable to put someone like him in jail, they are unfit to try anyone else.”

    You are not defending the pursuit of justice by this statement. Rather, you are defending an all or nothing approach. That is not how the world developed from the first tribes to a society reminiscent of, say, Norway of today. Trial and error, and we will evolve, and we will continue to put pressure where pressure is to be put, like on Tony Blair, but that does not imply that we can’t put others on trial until we reach nirvana.

    And for goodness sake, when ever does an accused truly think that he/she will be tried hundred percent fairly? How many accused guilty of a crime in more modern societies believe their crime was all fair and square? That’s not a reason to support somebody for not being present at a trial, or for opposing the trial before we’ve even had a chance to see the evidence the prosecution has come up with.

    Posted by Pas Cool | July 3, 2011, 10:42 am
  122. When would the US apply its moral pressure on this regime. Maybe July 4 is a good occasion to remind DC that when the preamble speaks of “all men created equal”.the it does not mean only those residing in what became the US.

    GK,

    Like you and most of us here, I read a few posts and ponder what to write about. Has a new point or “twist” been made? Is it the same narrative we’ve been reading for the past number of years?

    I think the two extremes were once the pro-Israel and the pro-Palestinian. But then it became even more extreme: the pro-Israel and the pro-jihadist. And now a third element, pro-Israel and pro-democracy.

    Whether one agrees or not, the pro-Israel camp has moved left. The Likud of today has moved to replace the Labor of yesterday. If we take the 67 borders, Camp David and Jerusalem as “boundary” or “red line”, the Likud isn’t that far from it.

    On the opposite side, jihadism hasn’t modified at all. How have the charters and positions of Hamas, Hezbollah, and al-Queda changed?

    The “third element”, pro-democracy, IMHO, is the key to move the rock that holds the Arab world at the bottom of the ocean. No power, Israel or the US can hope to make a breakthrough with these jihadist organizations that have taken hold of Gaza, Lebanon, and other areas of the ME.

    Lastly, I find it interesting that some (like your quote that I placed at the top of this post) are calling for the US to “apply its moral pressure on this regime [Syria]”. Hasn’t our Secretary of State been doing that recently with her actions, statements and embargoes? Are you asking for the US to do something that you were probably against, like regime change in Iraq?

    What “moral pressure” were you referring to? Give us the details.

    I think the best way to deal with the crumbling regimes of Libya, Syria and the jihadist-controlled ME is to let the people challenge the authorities in each respective totalitarian state.

    Posted by Akbar Palace | July 3, 2011, 12:04 pm
  123. Ghassan don’t be gullible. These “human rights activists” have been making up lies since day one. We actually appreciate our army. Too bad most Lebanese people wouldn’t be able to understand such a wild concept as appreciating your own country’s army. I hope one day you can have a state army willing to fight for and protect Lebanon, but until then Hizbullah is the best available option.

    ya7ya al-jaish!

    Posted by Usama | July 3, 2011, 1:10 pm
  124. Usama,

    If you so much appreciate your army, why do well off Syrians bribe their way out of it?

    Posted by AIG | July 3, 2011, 1:26 pm
  125. AP/Usama
    I think that you are right Usama. The 1500 dead, villages razed, 10,000or more arrested and the possibility of a Hama II are figments of the imaginations of hoodlums and gangs. Syria is not ruled by one party and citizens are free to express their mind. As Syrias’ foreign minister implied recently Syria is going to teach the world lessons in democracy. And yes, BTW, pigs can fly.

    AP
    I am not going to do justice to the important issue that you have raised since that would demand that I spend hours , if not days, typing a manuscript. Let me therefore touch on a few highlights. I do not believe that it was a coincidence that the Syrian uprising that started on March 15 in Damascus picked up steam after the adoption of the No Fly Zone over Libya on March 17, 2011.
    The Libyan intervention has gone on for too long and has had many ups and downs essentially because the Europeans for the past 66 years have adopted the Kantian policy that all problems can be resolved through dialogue and so have not spent much attention to armament. I understand that the rather small and limited Libyan campaign has taxed their resources and that is why they asked the US to join their efforts. This prolonged campaign will not in the long run be very helpful to the rebels who would be victorious but who cannot claim that their movement was popular enough to chase Qaddafi out of office by itself.
    The Syrians have done much better so far but only because the regime has held off on its brutality. They did hold off and because of the fear that the West and Turkey might interfere. That is all the help that the demonstrators need. They need not fear the Syrian Air Force and sustained attacks by the Syrian army. The Europeans have imposed restrictions and so has the US but the messages have not been as strong as they could be. The US must stop playing it safe with Bashar. No more any messages that he can reform himself into his negation. DC must send an unambiguous message that it will be unacceptable for the Syrian authorities to open fire on peaceful demonstrators ever. The freedom of expression and congregation are human rights that are not violable. The regime must know for a fact that when it violates the human rights of its people through outright butchery then there will be a price to pay in very strong international sanctions at all levels and keep the threat of military intervention on the table.
    And yes you are right, a more democratic Middle East will change the dynamics of the Israel-Palestine problem but only if the Israelis are also to change their approach to the peace process.

    Different people view the 20th century differently. In my considered view the single most important developments of the twentieth century were not in science and technology nor in globalization but in the spread of democracy and the big gains in womens liberation. I would hope that the 21st century will build on these very firm bases.

    Posted by Ghassan Karam | July 3, 2011, 1:57 pm
  126. The Bristol meeting has just concluded and Seniora has read the final communique issued by the convocation of the March 14 alliance. He has used clear and strong language to throw in the gauntlet that the alliance will embark on an Arab and international effort demanding that the Lebanese government enforce the Taif agreement regarding illegal weapons as well as 1701 and 1757. It would be fair to describe the statement as a line drawn in the sand. He was forceful like I have never heard him before.(The jellyfish has grown a vertebrae )

    Posted by Ghassan Karam | July 3, 2011, 2:21 pm
  127. AIG

    Why do Israelis pretend to be seminary students, or actually become seminary students, just to get out of serving in the army?

    You can’t bribe your way out of the army. There is a “badal” (substitute) you can pay to get out of it, but as far as I know that’s only available to expatriates. Some people do bribe though to get their sons more menial tasks like chauffeuring, making coffee/tea or standing outside office doors. Whatever!

    Ghassan

    Wow villages razed? Really? You’re so gullible man. And about the “1500 dead” I went through some of that list and it had so many names of soldiers and civilians that were proven to have been killed by armed terrorists. Let me guess, you still think the kid Hamza Khatib had his penis chopped off by security forces, right? You still think the hundreds of fake videos with audio editing and fake blood are all real, right? Let me guess, you also think Hama 1982 was to finish off a peaceful uprising, right? There weren’t thousands of civilians killed by the Muslim Brotherhood beforehand, right?

    You’re so incredibly lost about what’s really happening in Syria. Just remember how there were media attacks against Hizbullah even as it was fighting off the Zionist invasion in 2006. Syria today is facing the same bullshit x1000 with Saudi sheikhs issuing fatwas for the death of 1/3 for the “happiness” of the 2/3 (coincidentally, 1/3 is just about the fraction of non-Sunnis in Syria), while at the same time issuing fatwas against protests in Egypt (when Mubarak was still around) and in the Gulf’s Arab countries.

    Again, since this is all more-or-less off-topic here, if you want to be more “enlightened” about what’s happening in Syria, I invite you to look at the comments on Syria Comment where people from both sides present material. That’s if you actually care, which I don’t think you do. Most people here are just interested in their own political agendas. For me though it’s personal because all my family is still in Syria.

    Posted by Usama | July 3, 2011, 2:29 pm
  128. Usama,
    I do not have either the time or the patience to carry conversations with condescending individuals. Its been nice talking to you.

    Posted by Ghassan Karam | July 3, 2011, 2:40 pm
  129. For those of you interested in seeing what prima facie evidence is, here is an example of prima facie evidence of al-Jazeera purposely lying about events in Syria and inciting hatred against the army. The important part runs from 1:10 to 2:45.

    I’m not a lawyer, so if this is not considered prima facie evidence, please correct me, but I’m positive that it is (based on my readings).

    Ghassan

    It’s been nice talking to you too. It’s unfortunate that I came across to you as condescending for objecting to you spewing out bullshit against my country without knowing anything about what’s happening in it. I still think you’re an intelligent person though and because of that I invite you to further enlighten yourself with different sources, if you are actually interested in doing so.

    Posted by Usama | July 3, 2011, 3:11 pm
  130. United we win divided we fall

    Posted by wael | July 3, 2011, 4:44 pm
  131. tired from all political distortions and analysis

    Posted by wael | July 3, 2011, 4:53 pm
  132. Usama #127:

    Next time the IDF kills civilians in the name of “security”, I expect you to be arguing that it is a perfectly justifiable course of action and citing the events of Hama in 1982 as an example of such justifiable violence.

    Posted by Jonathan | July 3, 2011, 5:39 pm
  133. United against whom ya Wael?

    Is Nabatiyeh or the bay of Jounieh an example of what “true” Lebanese will do with the land given free reign?

    Posted by R2D2 | July 3, 2011, 5:54 pm
  134. I don’t think that a sword carrying, self bloodying Ashoura celebration will be a major attraction for tourists in any country.

    Posted by R2D2 | July 3, 2011, 6:18 pm
  135. Shades #94

    it is NOT HA’s responsibility to carry out the STL’s investigation nor would using jargon such as “civic duty” convince anyone either. Nonetheless, they have presented some of their own work (including the fact that Bin Jidd, a spy working for Israel, was present at the scene of the crime etc. but no one followed up on it)

    Excuse me?

    Did I read that correctly. Did You just write:

    it is NOT HA’s responsibility to carry out the STL’s investigation

    I thought Hizballah’s position was that it WAS NOT THE BUSINESS OF THE STL to investigate issues in Lebanon, as they are POLTICIZED.

    So please try again. This time, Stick with Hassan Nasrallah’s narrative.

    So who is this Bin Jidd? Where is he hiding or staying? And why haven’t Hizballah pressured Charbel Nahhas’s group to go arrest him. I thought the between the Aounis and the Hizbis, they had control of all sorts of important ministries.

    Posted by Gabriel | July 3, 2011, 9:55 pm
  136. Jonathan,

    You make a good point about the distinction between the investigation and trial portion of the STL. but the problem with your argument is that there might be some level of procedural independence between the two branches, but we are still talking about two branches that sprouted from the same tree. Are you saying that Hizbullah should subject themselves to a trial, in order to discover whether the trial is fair? Whether it’s irredeemably biased against them? When the failures of the investigation has blatantly given them legitimate reasons to be skeptical? Is that justice? How can they legitimately respond guilty verdict from an unfair trial?

    Additionally, we are not talking about a police, prosecutor’s office and an independent judiciary here. We are talking about a prosecutor and a judge that are born of the same cloth, and that answer to the same incentives and same masters. For example, a judge in a local american court does not lose credibility if they acquit one of the several hundred defendants they see in a year. they do not loose their job when a single case ends. But a judge at an international trial like this, a trial that has been created by the “international community” to prosecute a single murder, knows that part of their duty is to show the value of these institutions. And justice is one way to do that, but in the face of such an internationally demonized organization as hizbullah, it will be hard for a judge vote not guilty and leave the court room with international credibility. Even if we assume the highest standard of professionalism from these people, the pressure is very high.

    I mean, i don’t have any evidence that the judicial part of the show would not be fair. Who knows. But, based on what we have seen to this point, I think Hizbullah is justified in their skepticism towards the whole endeavor. even if the judicial part is minimally independent from the prosecution phase. (and that said, i honestly have not reviewed the STL enough to know how much indepndencen there is between the two. Ghassan would know. But do they share personnel? do they share resources? how were the judges chosen? are they ideologically uniform? diverse? and other such questions…)

    Posted by Joe M. | July 3, 2011, 11:38 pm
  137. Shades 96! Nice cheap shot against FL/Kataeb and “grandpa Bashir”. Great way to unite the country.
    QN! I am impressed that for the most part your readers engage in well thought out discussion and debate. Too bad our leaders and countrymen can’t seem to reach the same depth and decorum.

    Posted by Paul Matuk | July 4, 2011, 12:32 am
  138. GK,

    Thanks for the response. Yes, no need for a dissertation, we’re just informally learning from each other.

    Summarizing, you seem to want the US to get tougher with Syria, draw a line in the sand, and threaten military force? Am I close?

    And what if this “threat” lasts 12 years and 17 UNSC resolutions like it did with Iraq?

    “Clean Break” was a good idea after Russia ran away from the ME and the US had an economy. Now the US has to carefully pick and choose her battles. Iran should be our next focus.

    Posted by Akbar Palace | July 4, 2011, 1:09 am
  139. Joe,
    The judges and the prosecutor are entirely independent of one another in that the judges are not privy to any evidence until it is put before them in their capacity as judge. The judges were appointed by the office of the Secretary-General, I presume either by invitation or application. Arguably that is hardly a transparent process, but judges are always in some sense politically appointed, and so they should be.

    I take your point that from HA’s point of view the whole thing is cut from the same cloth, and I have some sympathy with that view. The problem there is: what defendant would like the look of a court, not least one which hasn’t operated before? I would prefer that defendants be put before a court without first passing judgement on whether or not they like the look of it, and then that the trial process is open to public scrutiny and critique. But then, as you say, we are dealing with a strange one-off, hybrid animal when it comes to the STL. But at least we can look at the other recent international tribunals in which we have plenty of acquittals (even in the presence of evidence for conviction) and no egregious procedural injustices.

    One of the very strange things about the politicized nature of international criminal law is that the defendant can refuse to recognize the authority of the court, and thereby not only maintain, but even gain political legitimacy. In the short-term at least, HA has plenty of incentive to reject the court, and there’s no downside.

    Posted by Jonathan | July 4, 2011, 1:14 am
  140. Akbar Palace,

    I would like more attention being paid to Saudi Arabia and their goons. The way they fund Islamic extremism around the world is sickening and their human rights record is probably worse than that of any country in the world. Iran is bad, but not as bad. Also, perhaps not politically relevant, Iran has a rich culture and is heir of one of the richest civilizations on the planet, from where poets, scientists, philosophers, architects and many others stemmed. Saudi Arabia is not very culturally rich. Wahhabism has seen to that, and they’re attempting to spread these ideas. That is probably a worse threat to our way of life than anything you will find on the face of this planet. People die, but ideas live on.

    Posted by Pas Cool | July 4, 2011, 1:17 am
  141. Jonathan & Joe and anybody else interested

    Besides reading the annex of 1757 where it is stipulated how judges are to be appointed you can take part, if you wish, of the STL’s Rules of Procedure and Evidence

    http://www.stl-tsl.org/x/file/TheRegistry/Library/BackgroundDocuments/RulesRegulations/RPE_EN_November_2010_Modified.pdf

    Posted by Pas Cool | July 4, 2011, 1:22 am
  142. On the 4th of July!

    What drives the most infamous White House Murder INC, is that there are things in this world that are beyond the power of investigations….
    But you are not Kings of the Mountain, and calling all the shots. You need a trace of humility in a world of dangerous shadows…. Zioconned USA, the Western creeps and Israhell are countries of drunken bully-boys who think that they can win every battle with bravado along, if only they are mean enough and tough enough. 🙂

    Abetted in this delusion by Fake & False “religiosity”.

    Nothing shatters religious delusions like a sufficiently humiliating defeat. It worked for Japan. It would work for the country that bombed Japan….

    When the victors write history, the Japanese attack on Pearl Harbor, or the attack on the Marines compound at Beirut’s AIB in 1983…. become “cowardly” attacks by fools who should have known better than to attack a much stronger United States….

    Probably, from the Japanese perspective, they knew very well that they were attacking a more powerful force. They probably saw themselves essentially as the brave “David” boldly attacking a power “Goliath”. The same goes for Hezbollah….

    They probably also saw themselves as fending off a racist, imperialist power who was encroaching on Asia and the Mid-East…. They were probably correct in that assessment.

    They did not attack, after all, in San Diego. They attacked in the middle of the Pacific Ocean and in Beirut…. What exactly were US Navy or Marines doing in the middle of the Pacific Ocean or Beirut Lebanon…, and how did they come to be there?
    Had they been welcomed in open arms by the Hawaiian or Lebanese people?

    Not that Japan was any saint, as the Rape of Nanking shows, as Unit 731 shows, as the Death March of Bataan shows.

    The balanced perspective is not one of white and black hats, so much as bastards fighting other bastards….

    As you chase Russian boogey-men and Muslim boogey-men it would probably seldom occur to you that your most worrisome enemies are not necessarily the ones who make the most noise. The ones who silently nurse their grudges….

    The embittered, former communist KGB who sees his nation being plundered by American-style oligarchs’.
    The embittered Lebanese who’s best friends were cowardly assassinated on a Beirut street by thugs working for the odious & Zioconned White House Murder INC, in 2002…

    The Japanese scientist who nurses bitterness about the military humiliation of his nation.

    The Iranian man who sees his kind being used as a political football to whip up an ugly sectarian Fitna between Sunni and Shia, or Islamophobic hate votes in the despicable WEST…., as a new “Southern Strategy” by power-hungry Zioconned right-wing/AIPAC bribed politicians.

    What control and nuclear weapons mean, NSA man, is that the equations of power and weakness have all changed, that the future is an unpredictable wild card from MENA to Darfur and from Ecuador to the Hindu Kush….

    The Zioconned USA and their remaining lackeys are too caught up in the enjoyment of their last hurrah’s to show much indication of yet appreciating that reality….

    Posted by HK | July 4, 2011, 2:51 am
  143. 132. Jonathan

    I really don’t want to bring too much off-topic discussion here, but I can’t keep quiet when you say things like that. From your earlier comments, I know you’re a fairly intelligent person and I hope you can keep that open mind when reading the following.

    In 1976-1982, Syria went through a very ugly time with the Muslim Brotherhood assassinating scores of individuals and bombing civilian trains and buses. In one of the worst days, they bombed 12 buses loaded with civilian passengers. They killed many thousands with an emphasis on Alawites.

    The Muslim Brotherhood is not a home-grown organization. Their funds and ideologies come mainly from Saudi Arabia and their exiled members live in luxury all around Europe, mainly in the UK. It was not a coincidence that these events in Syria started happening at the same time as Hafez refusing to join Sadat at Camp David, and also at a time when the Lebanese were executing each other based on sect, which was clearly displayed on all their National ID cards. The Muslim Brotherhood is used for Western political agendas, always was and always will be.

    The movement had to be crushed to restore order and stability and to avoid a sectarian civil war similar to Lebanon’s. At one point, Hafez gave a 90-day opportunity for MB recruits to hand themselves in and surrender their weapons and information in exchange for full amnesty. Many took the opportunity but many others didn’t and eventually Hama became their main base as they all retreated there.

    It was clear that a large showdown would take place in Hama. Before going into Hama, they warned all residents to leave their homes and join family elsewhere in the country. They gave ample time for everyone to leave, and the checkpoints around the city only checked their names to make sure they weren’t on the wanted list. The army operation took 3 weeks and was not a demolition of Hama as some “opposition” idiots claim. The fact that it lasted 3 weeks tells you it was a strategic operation and not a “scorched earth” policy. They went through Hama building by building and cleaned it out. Some buildings were very heavily fortified with armed terrorists and, from what I heard, the army completely demolished those buildings with the terrorists still inside them. Before your imagination goes too far, a building more than 4 or 5 storeys high was considered a tall building for Hama.

    It’s fair to say some civilians stayed behind and that they were killed, but it’s not fair to say they were all killed by the army. It is also not fair to say that the army didn’t suffer casualties. What we know for sure, as FACT, is that after the Hama operation, Muslim Brotherhood terrorism in Syria abruptly stopped. It was clear they hit their targets and anyone trying to tell you the the army only killed civilians is full of shit. Killing civilians does not stop terrorism. Killing Muslim Brotherhood terrorists is what stopped civilian buses blowing up.

    I hope you can see why, especially today, all the media and “human rights” organization are trying to make Hama 1982 a focal point of anti-government sentiment. But think about it: if they really wanted justice for Hama 1982, why don’t they pursue a case against Rif`at al-Asad? He’s living in a luxurious and large mansion near London. Why are they pursuing Hama 1982 against Bashar today, who was only a teenager at the time, and not against the leader of the operation, Rif`at? Rif`at is accessible to them. Why isn’t the external “opposition” pursuing a “Special Tribunal for Hama/Syria”? Food for thought.

    Posted by Usama | July 4, 2011, 3:52 am
  144. Sorry, Usama, my previous post was pretty terse. I don’t mean to offend you, but even in the light of what you have written I stand by what I said. The parallels with IDF justifications only got sharper in what you wrote. I understand that when one is close to a conflict it changes one’s perspective, but that’s not necessarily a good thing.

    To bring this back to the issue of the STL, times have changed since 1982. If such action was committed today, the President would be subject to ICC indictment the way Ghaddafi has been. No need for a special tribunal. Lawyers have tracked their way back to the 1970s for the millions killed in Cambodia, but the Middle East, for all its troubles, simply hasn’t had crimes that they would go back that far for.

    Posted by Jonathan | July 4, 2011, 6:33 am
  145. We will never know who really killed Hariri – at least until someone comes out 20 years later in his autobiography and confesses to it. At the end of the day it is political assassination committed by some secret security apparatus. Forget all of the trial scenes from Hollywood movies already. It does not work that way.

    Enough doubt has been shed on the investigation, the tribunal and its practices to discard the possibility of an agreed outcome ‘beyond reasonable doubt’.

    People who want to believe that Hezbullah, Syria and/or Iran did it will do so regardless of anything. Others who don’t, won’t.

    In any case, the whole thing has nothing to do with justice and everything to do with power politics. The ‘international community’, international, regional and local politics, were never about justice and will never be.

    The real questions now have to do with the future of Lebanon and the impact on the region. The tribunal and indictments are only one more variable in an extremely fluid situation in the whole region. We are not used to it, but Lebanon has really become a marginal arena.

    No one cares about Lebanon at this point except for the Hezbullah dimension regarding Israel.

    When the Lebanese realize that Lebanon does not matter, except in this context, things will become much clearer.

    Posted by Context | July 4, 2011, 8:05 am
  146. Pas Cool,

    I hear what you’re saying, and I don’t disagree with you entirely.

    Saudi Arabia is no less a theocracy then Iran, and they fund anti-semitic clerics, madrassas, and terror organizations. And if you recall, the “neocons” present in the first half on GWB and were putting a lot of pressure on KSA.

    What I disagree with you about is that KSA doesn’t arm terror organizations, doesn’t keep the IAEA from inspecting nuclear facilities, and doesn’t threaten Israel’s existence.

    Posted by Akbar Palace | July 4, 2011, 8:53 am
  147. Context
    I share your view that many crimes and political assassinations go unsolved. This might also be the case in the Rafic Hariri assassination but we do not know until we carry the process to the end.
    It is not important that the accused be found guilty. Actually I have no problems with throwing the case out of court if the judge thinks that the evidence does not meet certain minimal legal standards. I have stated this earlier but let me repeat; the STL is not a judgment on the policies of March 14, those of Rafic Hariri or the ideology of HA. It is simply a court of law investigating a series of crimes.
    Civilized society always sets u institutions to help it navigate the problems and obstacles encountered in evertyday affairs. That is why we have police force, judicial systems, electoral laws, constitutions… None of these structures is perfect but we resort to them to solve issues as they appear. The STL is not any different. Actually it might demonstrate to the Lebanese the importance of the rule of law, the single most important aspect of a civilized state.
    It is unfortunate that we have chosen to contest that which we have set up without any attempts at reforming it. The result , as it can be seen by all is a total abdication of democratic rule . Lebanon is being taken hostage by a group of vigilantes

    http://rationalrepublic.blogspot.com/2011/07/totalitarianism-in-lebanon.html

    Posted by Ghassan Karam | July 4, 2011, 9:47 am
  148. Israeli Media is quoting Al-Arabia claiming to prove false the point Narsrallah made in his speech – the Israeli document concerning the transfer of STL related computers.

    They say the computers were destined for the offices of UNSTO (United Nations True Organization), which remains active in Israel since 1948.

    Surely HA supporters won’t be convinced by this revelation, but here is the link to the Israeli article in English:
    http://www.ynetnews.com/articles/0,7340,L-4090683,00.html

    Posted by G | July 4, 2011, 10:04 am
  149. I meant UNTSO , the United Nations *Truce* Organization, not True…seems like a Freudian slip.

    Posted by G | July 4, 2011, 10:07 am
  150. Bizarro-Land Continues….

    We will never know who really killed Hariri – at least until someone comes out 20 years later in his autobiography and confesses to it.

    Wow. What a defeatest attitude. Maybe we should drop the investigation. After all, we will only find out when the autobiography of the killer comes out.

    Actually, they should just dissolve the court systems and police forces throughout the world. Why pursue any murder investigations at all.

    Posted by Gabriel | July 4, 2011, 10:07 am
  151. Gabriel,

    It is totally redundant to relate in any way to these brainwashed Hizbmaniacs…
    They keep on using words that they don’t know the meaning of except watching CSI on TV.

    In their opinion HA can never be tried because of the existing perception that they are terrorists. So the the amazing opinion of the crew above; HA are free to kill and maim with no accountability!

    …and they have convinced themselves that they are so perceptive!

    Posted by danny | July 4, 2011, 11:29 am
  152. UNTSO , the United Nations *Truce* Organization….another CIA/MOSSAD tool.

    You all think that it is beyond the realm of possibilities that UNIIIC/STL have deliberately masqueraded the description of the said 97 Computers as “belonging” to UNTSO….. 🙂
    They could have been “handled” by UNTSO on behalf of UNIIC/STL!
    They are fully capable of doing much more than that, and they have done it repeatedly with cell-phone records, false “witnesses” and much much more….

    Posted by HK | July 4, 2011, 12:24 pm
  153. As many of the readers of this space know many have , for years, expressed incredulity at the seemingly vacuous attack on the STL. Whether it was SHN or whether it was any of his spokespersons the attack on the STL was always based on the fact that the institution is an Israeli tool targeting the resistance. The attacks never spelled out what is it about the STL that is not acceptable neither did they offer any willingness to rebut the charges levied against HA members. Such a shot gun approach that lacks specificities and that appeals only to emotion is nothing short of a smoke screen to divert attention and distract from the main issue of specific charges against specific individuals for having committed specific criminal acts.

    Finally AlManar has presented a reasonable argument that attempted to build a case against the STL that is not based on emotional appeal only and that attempts to specify weakneses in the structure of the STL. The professor whose observations were cited failed in making his case.

    He starts as is often the case by pointing to the fact that the establishment of the STL was requested by the Seniora government without the signature of the President, Lahoud at the time, or the approval of the parliament , whose doors were shut by the speaker.He speaks about the fact that no country has ever accepted such a judicial review by an outside institution and he points to the fact that Rwanda even voted against the UN courts set up to deal with the genocide in that country. I am surprised that the professor does not recognize that his own example shoots his hypothesis to pieces. Rwanda, although it voted against the court it could not stop it. A chapter VII resolution is binding on Lebanon whether we vote for it or not. So this lays to rest the idea that the origin of the STL is illegal.

    The professor proceeds to make another point,that both Walid Jumblatt and Najib Mikati are constantly bringing up. He points out that it is not reasonable to expect a cuntry that could not hold a series of football matches for fear of sectarian fights to hold on national TV screens a trial that accuses some some high ranking officials of crime. Note again the weakness in this argument. The objection is not whether these individuals committed the acts that they are accused of or whether the court can be impartial but it is geared to the fact that it is to sensitive. Are we suggesting that there is a carte blanche for the commission of sensitive crimes because the country cannot handle the legal proceedings? I should hope not.

    Finally towards the end of the article the professor hints at certain acts that could make the STL more acceptable. The Lebanese government always had the option of making suggestions to implement some changes in the STL structure and the good professor saggests that we make some rsuch requests. That would be great. He also suggests that maybe the court could be held in Lebanon instead of the Hague. Again that is worth considering. I believe that the Hague was chosen only because the security in Lebanon was and is still less than ideal But that could change.

    Finally, I hope that you have noted that none of the objections is material or specific. The real reason for all of this opposition appears to have only one goal in mind: prevent the authorities from bringing to court the accused.I wonder why?

    Posted by Ghassan Karam | July 4, 2011, 12:44 pm
  154. Danny…

    La2 ya habib. Khalas takhanooha zyadi 3an el lezoom.

    One chap says there’s no point to do any investigations, cause you’ll never find out who did it anyways, until a biography comes out.

    The other says that while the STL is illegitimate and shouldn’t be doing any investigation, that Hizballah shouldn’t be doing the investigation. Pray tell, who should do the investigation then?

    Are they stupid? Do they believe their own shameless arguments? Or are they sinister? Do they secretly acknowledge that the evidence is pointing overwhelmingly at HA, and they don’t really care if HA killed x number of people. If so, they should be honest, and I would respect them for their honesty at least.

    But this. This is not an intelligent exchange. It’s people pushing BS down our throats.

    Posted by Gabriel | July 4, 2011, 1:29 pm
  155. GK,

    Your argumentation is flawed through and through.
    The President has to be in the loop whenever there is an international agreement being considered. He was deliberately excluded and that’s unconstitutional.
    When STL was forced down the throats of the Lebanese, the Infamous White House Murder INC, de4liberately targeted Jibran Tweini in order to create a psychological “shock and awe” on ALL of Lebanon and it worked beautifully, everybody did shut-up and Fouad CIA Siniora rammed down the throats of Lebanese in the UNSC under Chapter 7….
    On top of that the Government of Siniora the creep was unconstitutional at the time per the preamble of the constitution to say the least.
    No one is attempting at preventing anything, in fact during the deliberations in the Hiwar of 2006, STL was unanimously approved, only to be fingered out today with crude and foul language because of their actions and inaction’s since…and not because anyone is afraid of anything. STL dug a whole for itself with its own actions and many UN high ranking officials, some of whom i met last night are totally ashamed of the process of STL and are against it fully.
    Would like that kind of justice in the US or European courts? 🙂
    I can tell you it won’t fly anywhere in any civilized country…. in that format and with its crooked by-laws.
    Lastly, there is absolutely no agreement on the definition of “terrorism”.

    Posted by HK | July 4, 2011, 1:36 pm
  156. Lastly, there is absolutely no agreement on the definition of “terrorism”.

    HK,

    That’s easy. “Terrorism” is anyone Israel or the US kills in self-defence combatant or non-combatant.

    It’s really that simple.

    Anything the Arab despots and their “resistance” organizations do (like bombing a JCC in Argentina, shooting live ammunition during peaceful protests, firing missiles into Sderot, or flying a jet into a skyscraper) is not terrorism. It’s “resistance”.

    I hope that clarifies things. Don’t look at a dictionary. That will confuse you.

    Posted by Akbar Palace | July 4, 2011, 1:49 pm
  157. HK
    Why would they want to send the computers to Israel? Is it to sneakily unpack them, switch them on, hook them to an external drive ( one by one all the 97 of them) and copy the data?
    Dont you think, since they are a CIA agents, it would have been a lot easier to copy the data to an external drive and send it to the Israelis?
    IMO The only claim by HNA that is worth investigating is the bribery issue and the STL should come clean on it.

    Posted by IHTDA | July 4, 2011, 2:00 pm
  158. 158-There is a difference between altering data on the original copy versus a meaningless secondary copy.

    Posted by Nasser V | July 4, 2011, 6:58 pm
  159. Nasser V,
    So are you suggesting the whole cunning plan was to give the 97 computers artificial histories (like the memory implants of the androids in Blade Runner)? Why do that in such a ridiculously traceable way, by physically shipping them to Israel via Naqoura? It’s like a Bond villain finding a ridiculously elaborate and clumsy way of trying to kill Bond that pretty much ensures he will fail. Surely these Mossad IT guys can get on a plane and go to the Hague. Given the lack of evidence, it would seem much simpler to suggest that this is an absurd claim.

    Posted by Jonathan | July 4, 2011, 7:16 pm
  160. The STL is calling Nasrallah’s bluff. (See the press release below).

    Press Release No. 2011/007

    Confirmation of Indictment Shows that the Prosecutor’s Investigation Relies on Credible Evidence

    Leidschendam, 4 July 2011 – In response to allegations made by Mr. Hassan Nasrallah in his speech of 2 July 2011, the Prosecutor stated that “the staff of the OTP have been recruited on the basis of their professionalism, impartiality and expertise, and I have full confidence in their strong commitment to finding the truth”.

    The Prosecutor welcomes Mr. Nasrallah’s offer to provide the file that he stated he has on some elements of the investigation and requests the video material that was shown on television during his televised statement, as well as any other information and documents that would assist the Tribunal in its ongoing pursuit of justice.

    The investigation is carried out according to the highest standards of international justice and its results are based solely on facts and credible evidence. The Prosecutor stated that “the staff of the OTP act independently and in good faith in their search for the truth”.

    In seeking the release of the four generals in April 2009, the Prosecutor has already demonstrated that when he is not satisfied with the credibility or reliability of the evidence he will not hesitate to reject it.

    In confirming the indictment on 28 June 2011, the Pre-Trial Judge ruled that he was satisfied that there was sufficient evidence to send the accused to trial for the attack of 14 February 2005.

    The Prosecutor will not engage in a public debate in the media about the credibility of his investigation or of the investigative process. This is a judicial process and should be treated as such. In this context, the proper forum to challenge the investigation or the evidence gathered as a result, is in open court during a trial that will fully comply with international standards.

    As has often been stated, justice is the guarantee of sustainable stability. The Prosecutor calls for all steps to be taken to bring the accused to justice.

    Posted by Qifa Nabki | July 4, 2011, 7:37 pm
  161. I wasn’t suggesting anything Jonathan, just explaining how the argument would go. I imagine the argument would also point out how it is not by any means an easy thing to do and would require sophisticated software, and not easy to do on the fly. Though I’d be impressed if the Mossad had IT guys that were well trained spies at the same time.

    Posted by Nasser V | July 4, 2011, 7:50 pm
  162. The issue of the “97 computers” is curious; and not only because of the efforts to disavow a claim that hasn’t garnered all that much attention. Sometimes it’s best to just be quiet (al_Arabia and *”fantomasgroup”) and wait things out rather than draw attention by lame-ass attempts @ debunking disinfo.

    The manifest including the UNIIIC “sea container” is dated July 23, 2009:

    “Document No. 2: The cargo manifest, which shows the dependence shipment No. 39,148 in favor of the International Independent Investigation Commission (UNIIIC). ”

    http://tinyurl.com/3pdsra7

    * @ “fantomasgroup” thanks everso for FL29148

    Posted by lally | July 4, 2011, 7:58 pm
  163. For those Arabic speakers who have the time let me suggest that you should try to watch the rerun of a very lively and informative round table panel discussion of the STL and HA on MTV.Com.lb and click on programs. The program that I am refering to is called Bi Maoudoeiyeh. All points of view by well informed professionals are represented. Give it a listen you won’t regret it.

    Posted by Ghassan Karam | July 4, 2011, 8:41 pm
  164. Ghassan do you remember which week it was?

    Jonathan, it is useless debating these guys who have no logic. First they claim Mossad pulled of the assassination of the century then they call them clumsy lol…

    Let them fret. Justice will be done. Ask Mladic and Karadic and milosevic.

    QN, That’s what I was hoping for and Bellemare called Nassralla’s bluff just as he had in Nassy’s bogus claim of Israeli drone footage. Don’t expect the liar to respond.

    Nassrallah has proven that he is head of the Mafia family. His stupid and futile attempts (two ministers ONLY in cabinet); in an effort to show that HA is not controlling Miqati is a farce.

    Now all of us together one more time:

    IT IS THE STL “STUPID”

    Posted by danny | July 4, 2011, 9:14 pm
  165. Danny,

    How will justice be done? While the Lebanese fret about a civil war (and rightly so) there will be no justice. You will only see the pragmatism that Jumblatt is its most extreme manifestation. But that basically is how most Lebanese view things in my opinion.

    Posted by AIG | July 4, 2011, 9:23 pm
  166. Lally #163

    Isn’t it a bit ridiculous that we sit at our computers and examine images of documents presented on a TV show? That is no way to examine evidence. Unless evidence is examined within the rules and authority of a legal process, it’s worthless. HA should provide its lawyers with all that they need to go to the Hague to discredit the prosecutor’s case. Nothing else will do.

    Posted by Jonathan | July 4, 2011, 9:34 pm
  167. AIG,

    Justice in Lebanon. What a novel concept. It is still contingent on Syrian murderous regime’s tenuous hold on power. I am sure that Nassrallah/Iran have an alternate plan in casr of losing the Bashar clan and a non friendly regime (towards HA) takes over.

    Lebanese will then have a choice. BTW I have been saying this forever: Either buy into that Mafioso threat (that there will be civil strife if HA held accountable to their crimes) and live like slaves at the mercy of the Supreme Leader of Lebanon; thus assuring themselves a continuous series of murders and assassinations. The other option decide not to live as slaves and confront them through the international stage arab pressure Once Egypt and Syria situation is sorted out.

    The trial will take weeks or months…In the meantime mafia rules are the order of the day.

    Posted by danny | July 4, 2011, 9:41 pm
  168. Danny, It was earlier today. ( I hate to admit this but I have seen it twice:-))

    Posted by Ghassan Karam | July 4, 2011, 9:58 pm
  169. Danny,

    Even if Iran, Syria and Egypt all have governments to your liking, nobody is going to send an army to disarm Hezbollah. What kind of pressure can cause them to disarm? How can they be targeted without harming all of Lebanon? I just don’t see it.

    Posted by AIG | July 4, 2011, 10:00 pm
  170. this is embarrassing….

    I don’t know how to navigate the MTV site.

    Danny, did you figure out how to access the clips?

    Posted by Gabriel | July 4, 2011, 10:40 pm
  171. figured it out…

    http://mtv.com.lb/Bi_Mawdouiyeh

    Posted by Gabriel | July 4, 2011, 10:47 pm
  172. QN. great discussion as usual. This site with a few exceptions has the best thought out debate amongst articulate actors.
    You all know the expression “money talks, BS walks”.
    In Lebanon weapons talk. So, Nasrallah will pay lip service to process knowing well that his guys are above the law.

    Posted by Paul Matuk | July 4, 2011, 11:08 pm
  173. Ghassan…

    I’m not so sure what you found interesting in the clip.

    People are getting bogged down with too many legal details.And this strategy is nefarious.

    Step back, and the story is simple. There is a group of people advocating investigations, due process, open to accept discounting of the court if it doesn’t provide compelling evidence etc.

    And there is a group of people who say this is politicized, that we can “never” find out who the killers are. That Hizballah has no civic/moral duty to involve itself in investigations regarding murder of 5,6, I lost count Lebanese citizens, some intellectuals par excellence.

    There is no reason to complicate the story more than this.

    The latter group complains but does not offer alternatives.

    They should offer sincere alternatives to explain how they plan to uncover the killers.

    Posted by Gabriel | July 4, 2011, 11:23 pm
  174. Gabriel,
    As you probably now, I share your view. I do not want to prejudge any potential trial but it seems obvious that the HA side is willing to do anything as long as its members are not brought to trial.
    The story is simple and so there will not be great revelations from anyone about the process. I think that many of us have looked at potentially every possible angle over the past few years when no one should have spent any time on this. The prosecutor should have issued his indictments and then the accused sought and a trial held. End of story. Unfortunately HA and allies have decided to use this story as a distraction for justifying a lot of their acts. What I found interesting about the round table is the fact that even with “professional” lawyers, judges, journalists… the absurdity and the weakness of the HA position could not be obscured. It just is an indefensible posture.
    Sorry that you did not find the roundtable worth your while but I guess that it will always be different strokes for different folks 🙂

    I am just curious, didn’t you find forexample the two incidents brought up by the journalist about his suggesting an alternative scenario in the case of Danny Chamoun andRashid Karami ironic since the same people who are complaining that their suggestions about a possible Israeli involvment are the same people who threatened to throw rthis guy in jail if he persists to talk about an alternative path.

    Posted by Ghassan Karam | July 5, 2011, 12:07 am
  175. Jonathan.

    Chewing over “evidence” is a grand American tradition of long standing that predates TEH innerwebs; think JFK for a wellknown example. It’s kind of what we skeptics do in the land of the free . Americans are trained by the wise forefathers not to imbue the government & it’s institutions with infallibility.

    “Question authority!” is a broadly popular mantra.

    That aside, the documents related to the 97 computers etc aren’t likely to become a part of the trials in absentia unless an STL-appointed counsel for the defense deems it germane (“fruit of the poisoned tree”?) to the case against his virtual client. But who knows? rotting evidential fruit could be perfectly acceptable under STL “standards”.

    Can we now do away with all claims that Nasrallah was lying about the transfer of UNIIC computers and other equipment to Jerusalem? In fact, it would be most interesting to query the recieving staffer, Miho Hirose, why it would take 6 weeks for the goods to transit from Naquora to UNTSO hdqtrs in Jerusalem.

    BTW, the notion that Mossad IT Guys would fly to the Hague is most amusing. Good one!

    Posted by lally | July 5, 2011, 12:12 am
  176. GK,

    Your argumentation is flawed through and through, again and again…, and it is so funny to see you avoiding an answer and being hooked on MTV’s shenanigans 🙂
    The President has to be in the loop whenever there is an international agreement being considered. He was deliberately excluded and that’s unconstitutional.
    When STL was forced down the throats of the Lebanese, the Infamous White House Murder INC, deliberately targeted Gebran Tweini in order to instigate a massive Ziocon psychological “shock and awe” on ALL of Lebanon and it worked beautifully, everybody did shut-up and Fouad CIA Siniora rammed STL down the throats of Lebanese in the UNSC under Chapter 7….
    On top of that the Government of Siniora the creep was unconstitutional at the time per the preamble of the constitution .
    No one is bent at preventing anything, in fact during the deliberations in the Hiwar of 2006, the concept of an impartial STL was unanimously approved, only to be fingered out today with crude and foul language because of STL’s and UNIIIC’s actions and inaction’s ever since…and not because anyone is afraid of deliberations in a fair tribunal. UNIIIC and STL dug a huge hole for themselves, with their own actions and many UN high ranking officials, some of whom i met Sunday night, are totally ashamed of the process of UNIIIC/STL and are against it fully.
    Would you like that kind of justice in the US or in European courts?
    I can tell you it won’t fly anywhere in any civilized country…. in that format and with its crooked terms of reference.
    Lastly, there is absolutely no agreement on the definition of “terrorism”. STL is targeting the Resistance and their terms of reference defines them as “Terrorists” from the outset. That’s not a fair hearing at all.
    Daniel CIA Bellemare has been caught with his pants down again and again. His words are empty rhetoric. UNTSO was used to give MOSSAD/AMAN access to all of UNIIIC’s findings, and to allow them total access to the database for their criminal fabrications. Period
    Lastly, i hate to disappoint you again, but i see that your judgment is flawed too and you lack real information about many crooked propaganda tools of the crumbling Empire…MTV is a Ziocon MOSSAD/CIA tool of Propaganda and utter lies reminiscent of the despicable Soviet Pravda.
    The El-MURR family is a DEN of ZIOCON SPIES, lock stock and Barrel…., i am not surprised that you feel so great watching their charades and MTV’s typical Ziocon Psy-Ops, Enjoy!

    Posted by HK | July 5, 2011, 12:54 am
  177. Okay, Lally,

    I love Thomas Pynchon’s novels, so who am I to resist the allure of vaguely paranoid skepticism that, as you say, is just about a national tradition in your parts.

    So let’s say 97 STL computers are indeed transported by UNTSO from Beirut to Jerusalem and then on to the Hague. If the point of transporting them this way was to meddle with whatever data they were storing then we have a rather bizarre situation. The anti-STL story would then be not that the investigation has been biased, or that it has been misled by malefactors unknown, but that the fabrication of evidence is a massive (not to mention clumsy) bureaucratic and logistical exercise, involving large numbers of employees from high-ranking to low, and including long and rather obvious paper trails in which little effort has been made to hide anything. That story is not only incredible (in the literal sense of the word), but, if true, the case would come down like a house of cards if even the most uninspiring defense lawyer prodded it with a question or two. Speaking of which, those lawyers who have applied to be on the list of defense lawyers would surely be ambitious enough to have a good go at the prosecutor’s case.

    Posted by Jonathan | July 5, 2011, 2:11 am
  178. United we win divided we fall, unity of purpose and unity in action…

    The slimy Wahhabi king’s men
    Have betrayed us
    Tricked us out of
    Our homes

    No one else
    Gonna save us
    We must stand up
    On our own

    Divided
    We’ve been conquered
    For too long
    We’ve played their game

    United
    We’d be invincible
    So rise up
    And shake off our chains

    We’ve been fooled by UNIIIC & STL
    By the bankers, And the priests
    By The infamous White House Murder INC,
    By UNSC and the CIA/MOSSAD scoundrels
    By Asef Shawkat, W, Cheney, Tenet, Sharon,
    Dagan, Halevy, Yaakov and other sub-human
    criminals and assassins….

    We’ve been ruled
    By the con men
    The scoundrel
    And the thief

    Divided
    We’ve been conquered
    For too long
    We’ve played their game

    United
    We’d be invincible
    So rise up
    And shake off your Ziocon chains…

    ‘Ye who suffer woes untold,
    Or to feel, or to behold
    Your lost country bought and sold
    With a price of blood and gold –

    ‘Let a vast assembly be,
    And with great solemnity
    Declare with measured words that ye
    Are, as God has made ye, free –

    ‘And these words shall then become
    Like Oppression’s thundered doom
    Ringing through each heart and brain,
    Heard again – again – again –

    ‘Rise like Lions after slumber
    In unvanquishable number –
    Shake your chains to earth like dew
    Which in sleep had fallen on you –
    Ye are many – they are few.’

    Posted by HK | July 5, 2011, 3:28 am
  179. The following is a response to the link posted by HK, which is an opinion piece by Gwynne Dyer:

    Her article contains a number of false or misleading statements, but the one that forms the premise to her argument is this one: “Tribunals of this sort have no intelligence agents of their own.” She goes on to argue that this means the whole case is likely a fabrication of western intelligence agencies.

    The premise is simply wrong, so the conclusion shaky at best. The case is based on police investigation and is the result of huge teams of investigators from many different countries employed by the UNIIIC and then the Office of the Prosecutor. At no point does she mention this small army of investigators, or indeed the prosecutor who leads them. That would be highly inconvenient to her argument.

    She is right that questions have been raised about the Lockerbie case. Now that was in fact a case that was investigated by national intelligence agencies and then placed before national judges, who are far more likely to make decisions, perhaps even unwittingly, under pressure from political interests, and justify that to themselves as being in the national interest, than an international team of investigators doing basic police work. How a rational person could look at the investigation and make the following statement is beyond me: “accusing the Syrians had worked pretty well for the Western intelligence agencies. So maybe they decided to blame Hizbollah now and see if that worked, too.” What happens, if such a decision is made, to all the people employed to gather evidence? Are they all in on this grand act of fabrication? Or are they – to a person – too stupid, too lazy or too unethical to make anything of it?

    Posted by Jonathan | July 5, 2011, 3:53 am
  180. Ghassan Karam:

    You said: “I share your view that many crimes and political assassinations go unsolved. This might also be the case in the Rafic Hariri assassination but we do not know until we carry the process to the end.”

    No matter what the outcome of the trial, even if it is stopped for “lack of evidence” or even if the accused are acquitted, people who want to believe that Hezbullah did it will continue to do so – citing a grand bargain or something of the sort – we had a taste of that when the finger started to steer away from accusing Syria in 2008. The same applies for those who do not want to believe that Hezbullah did it.

    Remember that problem with our history books in Lebanon are filled with contradictory stories. This will be another one.

    We are not talking about an ordinary murder here. It is a political assassination carried out as part of wider political-security-intelligence strategy (regardless who did it). And in the intelligence world, we know that we can only see the tip of the iceberg, with all what it entails in terms of disinformation, subversion, violence… etc.

    “Nothing is what it seems” in the world of intelligence, and thus a judicial process will not get anywhere beyond that tip of that iceberg. It can, however, get so abused and misused and misinformed in a manner that only complements the whole intelligence-security scene.

    Yes, my hope for finding out, beyond question, who killed Harriri, has been defeated. I say that with a heavy heart, remembering the sense we had when we went down on March 14 2005. We thought that this time it will be different. It wasn’t, it isn’t. We are being played like fools, and what is at stake is our country whose future is irrelevant to most of the world and whose stability can be easily sacrificed like so many times before, for other people’s ends.

    Posted by Context | July 5, 2011, 4:01 am
  181. STL, UNIIIC, UNSC are ALL Zioconned partners in crime within the sordid confines of the most infamous White House Murder INC, at least since 2000, and YES they are too unethical….to say the least. 🙂

    Posted by HK | July 5, 2011, 4:58 am
  182. Jonathan, and anybody else for that matter

    “What happens, if such a decision is made, to all the people employed to gather evidence? Are they all in on this grand act of fabrication? Or are they – to a person – too stupid, too lazy or too unethical to make anything of it?”

    I asked that question above. The answer was that they’re all in on it. All of ’em.

    Difficult to discuss when one holds beliefs like that. It’s like talking to a religious person (I’m not religious) and after some good discussion you hit a wall as the religious person will base his/her logic on a book and refuses or is not able to question what is written in that holy book.

    Posted by Pas Cool | July 5, 2011, 5:21 am
  183. Pas Cool,

    It is quite obvious that you belong to the same category that you willfully describe in your post # 184 ….for if you have carefully read what Context just said so eloquently above about the nature of covert intelligence operations….in # 182 you would have been able to rationalize why the positions of both camps are so entrenched. The attempt to label one camp as being obstructionist on Dogmatic basis is utterly flawed.
    We base our opinion on real information, facts,reason, the long record of UNIIIC/STL which has become so predictably-flagrantly boring, Nationalism, right and wrong. Period

    Posted by HK | July 5, 2011, 5:55 am
  184. HK

    There are people who believe the moonlanding never happened, that it was filmed in a studio. They base their belief on reason, facts and what-have-you.

    I’m not wifting away all criticism of the STL, but the notion that everybody working for the STL, UNIIIC and close to these bodies are “in on it” is just so far off that it comes off as ridiculous. When I argue, as I did above, that it seems highly unlikely that it can be so I get back either a “sorry, that’s the way the world works” or “we only see the tip of the iceberg when it comes to intelligence operations”. These hardly constitute solid answers, rather a, I would argue, dogmatic way of viewing the world.

    Posted by Pas Cool | July 5, 2011, 6:18 am
  185. Pas Cool,

    With all due respect and without being facetious, very few people understand or have any notion about covert intelligence operations, targeted political assassinations, Black-Ops, Psy-Ops etc, and yet they willy-nilly would like to comment about them or about what “context” has so eloquently described in 182….. Sorry, it seems that we will not be able to go any further on that basis. 🙂

    Posted by HK | July 5, 2011, 6:52 am
  186. Sorry, it seems that we will not be able to go any further on that basis

    HK,

    Is there anybody left for you to talk to then?

    Lally may be available. She likes to “Question authority!” (except those run by jihadist tendencies). I think you both have much in common.

    Posted by Akbar Palace | July 5, 2011, 7:13 am
  187. HK,

    Are you the person “John” in the following article?:

    http://beta.news.yahoo.com/ap-enterprise-man-hunted-osama-bin-laden-040627805.html

    Posted by Akbar Palace | July 5, 2011, 7:40 am
  188. GK#175

    My apologies. I didn’t mean to be that harsh on the program it was good. A little long. It’s just that with the initial description, I thought I may hear slightly more intellectual or reasoned arguments coming from the Anti-STL camp, but was disappointed to see that it was just more of the same, and I am growing rather impatient with even giving them the listening time.

    And I am a reasonable person.

    For those people who are anti-STL because for them stability and civil peace is more important, all I can say, is that they are part of the problem of the Middle East. They are not the brave people who came out and protested against Mubarak or Assad. Status-quo conservatives should pledge a vow of silence and be deprived of any rights to complain about politics.

    For those who are anti-STL just because, they have a long ways to go to form a cogent case.

    Posted by Gabriel | July 5, 2011, 8:56 am
  189. Don’t know where that previous comment disappered… Jonathon…

    Gwynne is male.

    Posted by Gabriel | July 5, 2011, 8:57 am
  190. On the 97 computers..

    To Lally and Jonathon, and and and…

    As we say in Arabic. Masha’Allah!

    Hizballah’s is very good at doing groundwork. They NEVER STOP reminding us of this fact.

    Let’s see what they’ve uncovered so far:

    – 97 computers sent to Jerusalem
    – Israeli spy planes were tracking Hariri
    – All sorts of spies.
    – CIA spies within their ranks.

    They are Good.

    Why then, despite having men on the ground tracking those Israeli spy planes who were conveniently tracking Hariri, did they not see anyone plant this huge bomb.

    Nor for that matter, do they seem to have any information on subsequent murders.

    Are they “conveniently” vigilant in this case?

    Or did they know more than they are letting on?

    Hizballah is actually shooting itself in the foot every time it releases its evidence to the court of “public opinion”. Why? Because it is not seriously (and that much is clear) interested in finding out who the perpetrators of the murders are.

    And why not? That is the question which will be answered in due course.

    Posted by Gabriel | July 5, 2011, 9:09 am
  191. No one should ever expect all parties to an issue to have the same interpretation of the implications of a particular act under a certain set of conditions. That is healthy and is to be expected. What is not helpful is when the parties build their respective arguments without regard to the facts.
    The purpose of this post is to attempt to address clearly and factually the real basis that are significant in the current STL discussion.

    Under normal circumstances Lebanon would have set up its own credible commission to investigate the assassinations and would have relied on the Lebanese judicial system That is not questioned . But what is questioned is whether Lebanon of 2005 was in such a situation. There is no need to rehash the way that the crime seen was treated or the issue of judicial independence in Lebanon either then or right now. And yes the constitution does specify that the president and the PM are the ones to enter into international agreements.

    But the above strictly legal interpretation becomes moot since starting with UNSCR 1559 that was voted on April7 2005 specified that the United Nations fact finding mission to Lebanon concluded “That the Lebanese investigating process suffers from serious flaws and has neither the capacity nor the commitment to reach a satisfactory and credible conclusion”.

    The Lebanese PM had already requested from the Secretary Genergal of the UN the establishment of an International tribunal on Dec.13, 2005.

    The UN was aware of the obstacles that MR. Lahoud and Mr. Beri were erecting to prevent the Lebanese government of the time to get the Chamber to vote on the request by the PM and to get the President to sign it. That is precisely why 1757 was passed under chapter VII which makes the above objections moot.

    And so on May 30, 2007 the UNSC adopted the following:
    “By a vote of 10 in favour to none against, with 5 abstentions ( China, Indonesia, Qatar, Russian Federation and South Africa), the Security Council, acting under Chapter VII of the Charter, adopted resolution 1757 (2007) authorizing the creation of the Special Tribunal for Lebanon.”

    For the benefit of those who are not familiar with the by laws and Charter of the UN, the following is from Article 39 chapter VII: :

    “The Security Council shall determine the existence of any threat to the peace, breach of the peace, or act of aggression and shall make recommendations, or decide what measures shall be taken”

    One more fact that again seems to escape many is that the STL is based on Lebanese law and statutes.

    As it is very clear from the above there is no question about the legality of the STL since it was established under chapter 7., in response to a request by the Lebanese PM and influenced by the conclusion of the UN fact finding mission to Lebanon.

    It is troubling that HA and its allies have chosen to concentrate on a legal issue that is not of any significance given chapter VII instead of attempting to establish the innocence of the accused.

    Posted by Ghassan Karam | July 5, 2011, 9:34 am
  192. The Lebanese PM had already requested from the Secretary General of the UN the establishment of an International tribunal on Dec.13, 2005….RIGHT AFTER the assassination of Gebran Tweini on Dec 12th 2005, by the most infamous White House Murder INC, in order to shove it to the Lebanese.
    STL’s terms of reference are built on a combination of “common Law” and “civil law” and Plea bargaining is allowed and welcome…. 🙂
    The odious White House Murder INC, should come forward in front of STL, asking for leniency and plea-bargain its way out of this mess and leave us alone in the Levant for good. The pathetic crumbling Empire of Killers has run its course!

    Posted by HK | July 5, 2011, 10:23 am
  193. HK,
    As big of a role as intel plays they are by no means as powerful as you seem to indicate. Actually often they act like “the gang that couldn’t shoot straight” and they have been wrong or missed some of the most important development in the world. But what is most relevant to your previous post is your tendency to jump to conclusions based on absolutely nothing else except the fact that two acts occured is sequence. As you well know, this is such a common mistake that logicians have given it a name and they caution people in all disciplines from commiting this error;. The Post Hoc Fallacyor post hoc, ergo propter hocstates that one must be very careful to speak about causality just because A preceds B. The classic example for this fallacy: Roosters crow before dawn but do they cause the sun to rise?

    Posted by Ghassan Karam | July 5, 2011, 11:25 am
  194. I can assure you Ghassan that you are mistaken again.
    I am not basing my statement/conclusions upon what you describe, it is based on FACT, as I have experienced it first hand, unfortunately i cannot go any further in this format 🙂
    Intel creeps would like you all to believe in their not being able to “shoot straight” quite often, but again, reality and FACTS as I know them tell me differently as far as what we have been talking about for several months now, and my facts are fully verified since early 2000, and it has been proven over and over since then…. 🙂

    Posted by HK | July 5, 2011, 11:56 am
  195. Ooof Ooof Ooof 3aleik ya HK.

    Dude. If you’re in the US, do the right thing and leave that dastardly country. And move to Lebanon. Take your facts with you.

    Apply for a position/job at one of the legal-type state agencies.

    And present your facts to the experts who will sift through them.

    Be “Useful” with your facts.

    To date, all you’ve done here at QN is practice demagoguery.

    Posted by Gabriel | July 5, 2011, 12:02 pm
  196. Jonathan @181-

    Aside from the politics, and technically speaking, it is still possible to mislead an investigation, even with an “army of investigators.” Leaked media reports seem to point to only one major piece of evidence that has to do with the telecomm data. So if that data can be tampered with, and is accepted by all these “multinational investigators” as fact to begin with, they would all be tying clues, circumstantial evidence, that eventually lead to all the wrong people. The investigative teams’ numbers and intentions here become irrelevant. Of course this is simple conjecture at this point and the STL could still claim more corroborative damning evidence, but so far, it seems that is all there is based on media leaks about the STL. Had the STL had “smoking gun” evidence with all the politics and driving forces behind the case, then the indictments and said evidence would have come to light a long time ago without all this beating around the bush.

    Posted by Saint | July 5, 2011, 12:27 pm
  197. Jonathan. I agree that this scenario would be incredible…..if there were any accuracy to your dire portrayal.

    ” but that the fabrication of evidence is a massive (not to mention clumsy) bureaucratic and logistical exercise, involving large numbers of employees from high-ranking to low, and including long and rather obvious paper trails in which little effort has been made to hide anything. That story is not only incredible…..”

    But don’t see what the above has to do with the 6-week sojourn of the UNIIIC sea container. Again, other than for the purpose of casting doubts, I’m skeptical that any evidence related to the leisurely meanderings of the 97 computers cache of UNIIC equipment would be utilized in the very controversial STL trials in absentia.

    Speaking of the defense and related difficulties:

    http://www.dailystar.com.lb/News/Politics/2011/May-28/STL-defense-in-absentia-will-mean-uncharted-waters.ashx#axzz1RFReehLJ

    Thomas Pynchon? Nah…think Joseph Heller’s “Catch-22”.

    Posted by lally | July 5, 2011, 12:28 pm
  198. Trying to catch up on the comments.
    Someone said:

    You believe Israel and/or the US was behind the assassination, who then actively pursued the establishment of an international trial to prosecute those behind the assassination of RH and others from late 2004 and years onwards (i.e. Israel and/or the US), and all investigators and various support personnel with inside information (for instance in the archive section or perhaps even translators) are all in on the charade when trying to implicate Hezbollah (because evidence would point towards Israel, but all of this is disregarded for the active pursuit of planted evidence)?

    If they can pull this off, cudos to them. It would be wrong, so wrong, but still cudos, ’cause then the world works in far more devious ways beyond what I ever thought possible.

    THIS RIGHT HERE hits the nail on the HEAD.
    This is the fundemental gap between realities (yes, realities, not narratives) between the real world, and a large chunk of the Lebanese population. There is a substantial number of Lebanese that believe the kind of deviousness in the above example is perfectly realistic, and even commonplace. And this cognitive dissonance between the Lebanese and the real world is such that we will not be able to convince anyone of anything, no matter what facts are proven using the most rigorous of measures and standards.

    I have never quite understood the Lebanese propensity for disconnecting from reality. I am certain there is a fantastic doctoral dissertation in there somewhere, examining the root causes (civil war trauma? compensating for constant mental and physical abuse? stockholm syndrome?) but it is most certainly there.

    The fact that more than a small margin of any given population can truly believe in the feasibility of such conspiracies is a clear indication to me, of some degree of mental illness at a collective level. A sort of mass hysteria phenomenon…

    Anyway….Probably only fascinating to me. So carry on.

    Posted by Bad Vilbel | July 5, 2011, 1:13 pm

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