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What Were They Thinking?Dr. Franlkin Lamb Salem-News.com
Instability in Lebanon seems to be the goal of Tel Aviv and Washington.
(SHATILLA REFUGEE CAMP, Beirut) - What were the International Tribunal for Lebanon (STL) investigators imagining as they walked into Dr. Iman Charara's private obstetrics and gynecology clinic this week demanding personal information on her patients?
Perhaps more interestingly, what was Jeffrey Feltman’s ‘Special STL Unit’ housed on the 6th floor of the U.S. Department of State, 2201 C Street NW Washington, DC thinking when their clearly exasperated boss, according to a Hill Rag source, recently shouted by phone to the STL investigators in the Hague: “ Just hold your […]. Stop chasing Dutch […], and get your […] over to Hezbollahistan for Christ’s sake!”
There remain several unanswered questions that only Mr. Bellemare’s Office and Mr. Feltman’s Special Unit are obliged to answer:
Under most legal systems evidence gathered in such circumstances would be deemed to be tainted and not admissible in a court proceeding. Also disqualified from giving testimony would be the ‘tainted’ staff who attempted such wrongdoing. Attempting such a stunt in most UN member states might see careers suspended if not terminated.
Member of Parliament Walid Jumblatt condemned "the unethical behavior of UN investigators," noting that he understands Sayyed Hassan Nasrallah's political and moral objections against such an act.
"Hizbullah Secretary General Nasrallah has every right to ask the Lebanese not to deal with the international investigators and tribunal. He stressed that the action taken by the international tribunal is a violation of the Lebanese and international even humanitarian laws…All over the world and including Lebanon there are special laws pertaining to the patients and this law is called secret medical records and they are considered sacred just like a confession in a church. The doctor has no right to reveal any information on any patient even in court without prior approval from the patient. This kind of behavior will push a person not to cooperate with such types of tribunal that are not aimed at reaching the truth but rather silence the Lebanese."
Hezbollah has been largely silent the past few years as STL investigators have rummaged across Lebanon and even made available Party members for questioning. This cooperative phase is now over as Hezbollah realizes that its destruction, not justice, is the goal behind what it perceives as the latest US-Israel project to aggress on Lebanon.
Many in Lebanon and abroad suspect that “evidence” gathered by the STL is BCC’d to Feltman’s Unit in Washington and to Tel Aviv. Their faltering confidence in the STL is not stemmed by statements made by the likes of Israeli Military Intelligence Major-General Amos Yadlin to the effect that in the past four and a half years, a large number of Mossad cells were reformulated, and Telecoms networks penetrated. “Thanks to Hariri’s killing, Israel was able to launch more than one project in Lebanon,” he said.
At best this invasion of Dahiyeh was poorly conceived, clumsily executed and had led to more accusations concerning the STL’s politicization. It also lends weight to the growing body of public opinion in Lebanon and internationally that the STL indictments, reportedly already drawn up, are not to be credited.
His remarks had also popped up in the German Der Spiegel magazine as well as France’s Le Figaro and Kuwait’s Assiyassa newspapers. Even the French Ambassador to Lebanon Denis Pietton’s slip that “it’s not the end of the world if members of Hezbollah, not the party, were accused” was solid evidence that the STL indictment has been already set down in writing.
If the indictments have already been drawn up why the ongoing search for evidence presumably designed to lead to one?
Instability in Lebanon seems to be the goal of Tel Aviv and Washington. US officials told As-Safir newspaper in remarks published the day before the incident at the medical clinic that Jeffrey Feltman's visit was to underscore Washington's position on the International Tribunal and its support for the work of the Court "even if this led to Lebanon's instability and was opposed by Saudi Arabia.
Feltman, reportedly believes the Saudi’s have miscalculated and are now part of the problem, having become too chummy with Syria, and he reportedly sees nothing but problems coming to Israel from Tel Aviv’s “3rd favorite Arab country” cavorting with Persians. This is likely part of what is behind the “comprehensive dialogue” Washington intends to launch with Riyadh.
Dr. Franklin Lamb is Director of the Sabra Shatila Foundation. Contact him at: email@example.com. He is working with the Palestine Civil Rights Campaign in Lebanon on drafting legislation which, after 62 years, would, if adopted by Lebanon’s Cabinet and Parliament grant the right to work and to own a home to Lebanon’s Palestinian Refugees. One part of the PCRC legislative project is its online Petition which can be viewed and signed at: petitiononline.com/ssfpcrc/petition.html. Lamb is reachable at firstname.lastname@example.org. Franklin Lamb’s book on the Sabra-Shatila Massacre, International Legal Responsibility for the Sabra-Shatila Massacre, now out of print, was published in 1983, following Janet’s death and was dedicated to Janet Lee Stevens. He was a witness before the Israeli Kahan Commission Inquiry, held at Hebrew University in Jerusalem in January 1983.
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