Hariri reportedly assassinated to make way for large US air base in Lebanon
By Wayne Madsen, Online Journal Contributing Writer
March 11, 2005—According to high-level Lebanese intelligence sources—Christian and Muslim—former Lebanese Prime Minister Rafik Hariri was reportedly assassinated in a sophisticated explosion-by-wire bombing authorized by the Bush administration and Ariel Sharon’s Likud government in Israel.
There are also strong indications that the Hariri assassination was carried out by the same rogue Syrian intelligence agents used in the 2002 car bombing assassination of Lebanese Christian leader Elie Hobeika, who was prepared to testify against Sharon in a Brussels human rights court. That case involved the Israeli Prime Minister’s role in the 1982 massacre by Israeli troops of Palestinian refugees at the Sabra and Chatilla camps in Beirut. The Hariri assasination used wire-bombing technology because Hariri’s security personnel used electronic countermeasures to fend off a remote control bomb using wireless means. It has been revealed that the Bush administration has used Syrian intelligence agents to torture al Qaeda suspects through the program known as “extraordinary rendition.”
Hariri, a pan-Arabist and Lebanese nationalist, was known to adamantly oppose the construction of a major U.S. air base in the north of Lebanon. The United States wants Syrian troops completely out of Lebanon before construction of the base is initiated. Hariri’s meetings with Hezbollah shortly before his death also angered Washington and Jerusalem, according to the Lebanese intelligence sources.
Washington and Jerusalem media experts spun Hariri’s assassination as being the work of Syrian intelligence on orders from President Bashar Assad. However, a number of Middle East political observers in Washington claim that Hariri’s assassination was not in the interests of Assad, but that the Bush and Sharon administrations had everything to gain from it, including the popular Lebanese uprising against the Syrian occupation.
Lebanese intelligence sources report that even without a formal agreement with Lebanon, the contract for the northern Lebanese air base has been let by the Pentagon to Jacobs Engineering Group of Pasadena, California. Other construction support will be provided by Bechtel Corporation.
Jacobs Engineering and Jacobs Sverdrup are currently contracted for work in Saudi Arabia for Aramco, Iraq for the U.S. occupation authority, Bosnia, Turkey, Syria, Lebanon, Israel, Jordan, Yemen, Oman, and the United Arab Emirates.
The Lebanese air base is reportedly to be used as a transit and logistics hub for U.S. forces in Iraq and as a rest and relaxation location for U.S. troops in the region. In addition, the Lebanese base will be used to protect U.S. oil pipelines in the region (Baku-Tbilisi-Ceyhan and Mosul/Kirkuk-Ceyhan) as well as to destabilize the Assad government in Syria. The size of the planned air base reportedly is on the scale of the massive American Al Udeid air base in Qatar.
A number of intelligence sources have reported that assassinations of foreign leaders like Hariri and Hobeika are ultimately authorized by two key White House officials, Deputy Chief of Staff Karl Rove and Deputy National Security Adviser Elliot Abrams. In addition, Abrams is the key liaison between the White House and Sharon’s office for such covert operations, including political assassinations.
“Abrams is the guy they [the Israelis] go to for a wink and a nod for such ops,” reported one key source.
Wayne Madsen is a Washington, DC-based journalist and columnist and the co-author of “America’s Nightmare: The Presidency of George BushII.” This article is republished in Lebanonwire by pemission of Mr Madsen.