Thursday, February 14, 2008

Who Was Imad Mugniyeh?

Terrorism expert Kenneth Timmerman is interviewed at FrontPage mag on the significance of the recent assassination of Imad Mugniyeh. In the course of the interview we learn something of who this man was and why his death leaves the earth a safer place. Here are some highlights from the interview:

Before 9/11, Mugniyeh was the world's most wanted terrorist, for the simple reason that he had killed more Americans than anyone else. The CIA has said he was behind the April 1983 bombing of the U.S. Embassy in Beirut, Lebanon, killing 63 people. Later that year, he orchestrated the bombing of a U.S. military barracks in Beirut that killed 241 U.S. Marines. The very next year, he kidnapped, tortured, and murdered the CIA station chief in Beirut, William Buckley, and carried out another attack on the U.S. embassy in Beirut. In 1985, he hijacked TWA flight 847 in a famous standoff in Beirut, where he and his accomplices brutally murdered U.S. Navy diver Robbie Stethem and threw his body out onto the tarmac. He kidnapped reporter Terry Anderson and others in Lebanon, then moved to Argentina in the 1990s, car-bombing the Israeli embassy there in 1992 and the AMIA Jewish center in 1994. And that's just his more famous attacks.

There is absolutely no doubt that Mugniyeh and his masters in Iran were directly and materially involved in the 9/11 plot.

First, there is the evidence discovered very late in the day by the 9/11 Commission, which I describe in detail in Countdown to Crisis. What is astonishing is that this information has not been widely publicized. I spoke again just yesterday with one of the top investigators involved in reviewing the highly-classified U.S. intelligence reports on Mugniyeh's involvement in convoying 9/11 hijackers in and out of Iran prior to 9/11. He was astonished when I told him that few people were yet aware of this. "That's like saying you didn't know that Jesse James was a crook," he said.

The Iranians were terrified on the day of 9/11 and for the next month that the United States would "connect the dots" and discover their involvement to the 9/11 plot, as I reported in Countdown to Crisis.

Senior Iranian government officials were making desperate phone calls to relatives in the United States, asking them to rent apartments for family members so they could get out of Tehran before what they assumed would be a massive retaliatory U.S. military strike.

Of course, as we know now, that U.S. retaliatory strike never occurred - because the CIA and other U.S. government agencies succeeded in burying the information they had collected (or the case of our technical agencies, that they had siphoned up).

I believe when Americans realize the full extent of the Iranian government involvement in the 9/11 plot, they will demand action from their president - no matter what party affiliation that president may have.

You can read the rest of the interview at the link.


Your Rebate Check

President Bush signed the bill yesterday that will start rebate checks flowing in May. How much can you expect to get?

Singles earning $3,000-$75,000: $300-$600; partial rebates for singles earning up to $87,000.

Couples earning less than $150,000: $1,200; partial rebates for couples earning up to $174,000.

Parents will receive an additional $300 per child.

Spend it wisely.


Being There

A lot of people are remarking how Barack Obama has become the Chauncey Gardener of American politics. Chauncey Gardener was the character played by Peter Sellars in the 1979 movie Being There. Gardener was a complete naif, somewhat dim and totally innocent. It's not these traits, however, which invite the comparison to Obama, but rather the fact that in the movie Gardener finds himself, for a number of reasons, in the public spotlight, and every time he opens his mouth, no matter how vacuous or irrelevant whatever comes out may be, the public goes wild with admiration for his wisdom and insight. Chauncey can say nothing that is not taken by his listeners as profound and trenchant. At the end of the movie Gardener even walks on water.

This is exactly parallel to the Obama phenomenon, and it must be driving Hillary's people nuts. Indeed, the movie was based on a novel by Jerzy Kosinski whose purpose was to highlight the foolish way people eagerly accept whatever the media and our political figures serve up, no matter how inane. Obama gives speeches that cause people to swoon, but when one digs through the words there's nothing there other than platitudes, political cliches and resounding nullities. Obama can speak for twenty minutes and say nothing, but he says it so seductively that everyone in his audience leaves the room determined to vote for him.

Being There is a funny movie and with the ascendancy of "Chauncey" Obama you might wish to watch it. Unless Obama starts to put some content into his speeches you'll probably hear it referred to more than once in the coming months.


Refusing to Protect a Hero

Hot Air asks the right question, which I will paraphrase: Why, in a country that is so compassionate that we open our hospital doors to illegal aliens who need emergency care and provide all manner of other services for those who are here illegally, can we not find it within ourselves to fund emergency protection for a genuine hero in the war against terrorism who is (was) here in this country legally?

The ultimate disgrace is that because the United States would not finance her security, Hirsi Ali has been forced to turn to .... France, and the French, if you can believe it, may even provide it. The shame of it all.

To learn more about who Hirsi Ali is click on our search button and type her name in the search field.