Sunday, November 27, 2005

The End of the Mehlis Report (as we know it)? This was explosive. I receive Syrian TV and was able to watch it. The witness (one of the three Syrian witnesses cited in the Mehlis report in addition to Muhammad Zuhayr As-Siddiq who has been discredited--the Mehlis Report rushed a qualification about him by saying that his credibility was enhanced when he changed his story because he implicated himself--take a course in logic to understand this one--) known as the Masked Witness. Husam Husam appeared on Syrian TV after fleeing Lebanon in his third successful prison escape. It is the most unusual story. I found him quite intelligent and quite credible, but who knows, especially when you are dealing with propaganda and counter propaganda and with rival intelligence services. He will prove to be useful for the Syrian government, regardless whether Syria was behind the assassination of Hariri. It seems to me that things have gotten clumsy and that the Hariri Inc (very uninnocently and due to their "external connections") was too eager and too desperate to implicate Syria that they may have damaged whatever real evidence that may have existed in order to force the international guardians to force in turn a radical and total change in the Lebanese political scene, and to expedite the implementation of UNSC 1559. Make no mistake about it. Hariri Inc is on the same side with Walid Phares these days. The scenario that Hariri Inc wanted us to buy was too outlandish: now, I have been of the view that some level of Syrian mukhabarat was behind the assassination of Hariri, but the scenario that ALL Lebanese intelligence AND national security agencies were involved, and that EVERY top Syrian military and intelligence and political leader was involved (including the brother and brother-in-law) of Bashshar was just not believable. It reflected the imagination of Hariri Inc. I watched and listened to Husam Husam (by the way, his name is Husam, h as in hawaii and not as Halwan the town in Egypt--so his name is not Husam as in sword. I never heard a name Husam. It must not be Arabic; the person is Kurdish. I could not find the name or the root of the word in Lisan Al-`Arab. Does anybody know what the word Husam mean?), and could not believe how stupid the Hariri people are. I could not believe that they, THEY, interviewed the witness and talked to him, and fed him lines. THIS witness met, at least according to his own account, with Sa`d Hariri, the Minister of Interior, the Director General of the Internal Security Forces, Walid Jumblat, Marwan Hamadah, Ghazi Al-`Aridi, Jubran Tuwayni, and Hariri propagandist (and self-designated expert in the Hariri assassination), the unbelievable Farish Khashshan. How could the witness meet all those people? This is like Bush meeting with prisoners and interviewing them. The entire investigation is now contaminated, and the Mehlis team, and the entire current security-intelligence team in Lebanon should be dismantled, just as the previous team had to be dismantled. I for one will not believe anything that will come out of this flawed and corrupt process. Husam talked about his many meetings with Faris Khashshan, who would then take him to the Minister of Interior and the Director-General of the Internal Security Forces. Sa`d Hariri himself, he said, promised to take care of him, and cash was offered to him, and a life in France. Could he be dissimulating? I don't know. Both sides--the Syrian government and the Hariri Inc--are guilty and both sides lie that one has to treat their claims with skepticism. They also both have records of lies and fabrications.