No License to Kill


There is an extremely disturbing development in the investigation of the assassination of former Lebanese prime minister Rafik Hariri: "unidentified sources" are saying he was killed by a suicide bomber. Though, it matters less how he was killed than by whom, the story is almost certainly bogus. Here's why doubt is in order:

The alleged suicide bomber didn't know how to drive, as his father told investigators. So, in the words of a most amusing friend, it would be the first suicide attack where the perpetrator was … a passenger!

Secondly, as this story (sorry it's in French) from a Lebanese newspaper makes clear, the video imagery is taken from the cameras of the HSBC bank, near the site of the attack. I know several people who have viewed the footage, and the fact is you cannot see the point of impact from the angle at which the bank is located. You see the cars racing by, then they are concealed by a building, then the blast.

Third, the Lebanese authorities are pointing to satellite photos of the blast to make their case (visible in the first story linked above). An opposition MP observed that the satellite imagery of the area did not correspond to the video imagery, so that the disposition of boats in the nearby St. Georges port was different.

Finally, you know something's wrong when unidentified sources leak a story before the official investigation issues its report. If you smell cover up, that's probably because everybody else does too.

NEXT: Friday Superfun Link

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  1. I suppose it is useless to note the following from a Reuters story on this matter:

    “A previously unknown Islamist group said in a video aired a few hours after the bombing it had carried out a suicide attack against Hariri because he supported the Saudi government.
    Lebanese security sources identified the man who read the statement as on the video as Ahmed Tayseer Abu Adas and authorities did DNA tests on the remains of a body found at the scene to establish they belonged to Abu Adas.”

    The reason I say it is useless to note this is because Michael Young could care less about the facts. In his view, Syria did it because, well, er, um … he WANTS them to have done it. He NEEDS them to have done it. And, by golly, the facts be damned — they DID do it.

    Lies, lies, and more lies — from the Bush administration, from Michael Young, and from “Reason” magazine. All in the service of ginning up another war.

  2. From Young’s own newspaper, this morning:

    “Local authorities confirmed that DNA tests had been conducted on the remains of a body found at the site, proving it to be that of Abu Adas.”

    Are the DNA tests wrong? Is it all a nefarious plot by the Syrians to “cover up” what would have to have been the stupidest act of self-inflicted harm ever committed?

    Wriggle your way out of this one — I can’t wait to see how you manage it.

  3. “The alleged suicide bomber didn’t know how to drive, as his father told investigators.”

    Yes, and the parents of several of the alleged 9/11 hijackers said that their sons were alive and well and had nothing to do with terrorism:

    So why is the father of this suicide bomber an extremely reliable source?

  4. Thanks, Mr. Raimondo.

    See, I’m really a nice guy after all. You can reduce my kill count by one.

    And Hama was my father’s doing, not mine. I’m a compassionate Ba’athist. I’m doing for the children.


  5. Make that, doing it for the children


    Have my English tutor shot.


    Have the IT guy who installed this worthless speech to text software shot as well.


  6. Justin Raimondo,

    This seems like overwhelming evidence. Will this get mainstream media attention? A non-Syrian plot always made more sense anyway because, as you point out, for the Syrian government to have done it they would have had to been so stupid as to be oblivious to the likelihood of the devastating blowback that has followed-not too likely. This, incredibly, however is exactly the case Danial Pipes made:

    Pipes is, of course, in favor of US government anti-Syrian action.

    Now we can’t yet totally discount the possibility that Abu Adas is indeed part of a Syrian cover up. Almost though, because we would have to envision the Syrian plotters being, at once, meticulously attentive to the cover up plot yet at the same time blind to the obvious blowback ramifications of a successful assassination plot.

    Lastly, your slam against Reason is undeserved since there has been plenty of criticism here of the Bush administration’s lies for the Iraq war.

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