Sayyed Hassan Nasrallah: Martyr Hariri’s Case and STL Must be Reviewed
The Secretary General of Hizbullah Sayyed Hassan Nasrallah made a television appearance on Friday night, the first of May, at the start of which, as usual, he introduced the headings which he would talk about, summarizing them from three to two headings, because the "Israeli" maneuvers topic had been sufficiently covered by the head of Loyalty to the Resistance bloc so far, and because there was still a bit of time before these maneuvers take place.
The following is the full text of the speech.
"In this appearance, this message, as I have said before, I wanted to talk about several headings, on the crisis with the Egyptian regime, the release of the four officers, the question of the international investigation and International Tribunal (IT), and the recent developments related to the "Israeli" military drill.
Since apparently we do not have sufficient time for the three topics and the "Israeli" maneuvers issue in particular, what was presented at the dialogue table and the comments made on this subject is sufficient for now.
The seriousness of this issue alone needs a long and detailed talk, therefore, I will leave it for the next few days, as there is still plenty of time to talk about this subject.
In today's talk I will focus on two titles: the crisis with Egypt, and the question of the four officers-the international investigation-the International Tribunal and the case of the assassination of martyr Prime Minister Rafik Hariri.
However, at the outset, today on Labour Day, I must wish-well all the workers, the toiling laborers in Lebanon and the world on their day and ask God for this day to become a festivity and an occasion for workers unions, trade unions, Governments and political forces to make today an event to make real efforts to give these workers justice, to resolve their crisis, problems and issues, and to hear their legitimate demands.
These workers, who, in the eyes of the prophets and the apostles, are like Mujahideen for the sake of God, they are ranked as such, as stated in the Hadith (Prophetic Tradition) attributed to Mohammad the Messenger of God (pbuh) that says "Battlers providing for their dependents are akin to Mujahideen in the way of God".
They have this place and this ranking and so deserve all this care from us all.
Back to the titles and the first heading associated with the crisis with the Egyptian regime.
As you know nearly three weeks or more have passed on the crisis since the Egyptian public prosecutor made his announcement of the charges and allegations against one of the brothers and another group of people.
An extremely large and wide scale political, media and propaganda campaign was launched and is still going on to this moment, in which the Egyptian regime took part, from its head, its ministries and apparatuses, through to the media outlets, a campaign which also saw the assistance of others in the Arab world outside Egypt.
Back then, I spoke frankly and commented on this issue, and in Hizbullah we considered sufficient what I had said in general, We did not engage in a confrontation with the media and political system of Egypt nor were we a party in this confrontation.
Hence, what we have been witnessing over the past few weeks, which is still continuing till now, is a one-sided media, propaganda and political war carried out by the Egyptian regime. In fact, to comment on this campaign, I would like to say this: if there was any truth to the allegations made, or if there was a real case against us, they would not have needed this entire media and propaganda campaign; had they had any logic to base their argument on, they would not have resorted to the insults, fallen and improper language used by the senior officials of the Egyptian regime, its chief editors and senior journalists, in more than one location, who themselves said from the outset that this it was a purely judicial matter!
If the issue was truly judicial as claimed, they would not need all this political and media efforts.
Right at this moment, I wonder what the Egyptian regime has accomplished from a campaign of this kind against Hizbullah.
In my opinion, nothing, except maybe "venting" steam, yes. This is all that has been achieved until now. If not, what are the other political or media results that have been made so far?
Have any of the desired, expected or perceived objectives been achieved?
Through this wide scale campaign, was the regime able to convince the Egyptian people in particular and the Arab peoples in general, of the picture it plastered Hizbullah and the resistance in Lebanon with?
I say no.
I advise them to go to neutral sides for opinion surveys, in Egypt or in the Arab world, to discover this fact. I read the polls of a group of surveys of this kind, through such polls they can ask if their accusations and stains were convincing. They will find that not only they did not achieve anything but they did not convince the Egyptian people nor the Arab peoples at this level.
Of course, in this context, the UN Secretary-General Bank Ki-Moon's joining the scene was very noticeable. He launched harsh statements regarding the case of the so-called Hizbullah cell in Egypt, and sent his Special Envoy Terje Roed-Larsen to Cairo, who in turn released fiery statements from Egypt on the issue.
I would like to pause with the text mentioned by Mr. Ban Ki-moon who, when talking about the issue of Hizbullah, Egypt and the cell, said "It's frightening for me"...listen to this: "It is frightening for me that Hizbullah openly admitted that it provides support for the 'militias' in Gaza Strip through Egyptian territories."
The UN SG commented using these words, but did not use such literature when Gaza was exposed to genocide and a Holocaust as witnessed by the entire world, when more than 1300 martyrs mostly women and children killed by internationally banned weapons, used under a tight blockade on Gaza's population, with civilians murdered in UN organization centers... A real tragedy.
Mister Ban Ki-Moon did not use these expressions then. Yet when he addressed the Lebanese issue, he spoke of Hizbullah employing terms such as 'Denounce' and 'condemn'.
Nevertheless, when referring to the recently uncovered "Israeli" spy networks, in his report he mentions "the accusation made by the Lebanese government against a retired officer along with three others accused of spying for 'Israel'." Regarding this captured spy network Ban Ki-Moon states "Should these accusations prove true, they constitute a breach of Lebanese sovereignty by 'Israel'," yet he is willing to send Larson to Cairo, to make endless long statements, about dangers, and condemnations etc...about a case in Egypt, that is still in the judicial system, still an accusation. He does not use the expression "should this accusation prove true" in this regard.
Let us call it an accusation by the prosecutor General and the security apparatus...he (Ban Ki-Moon) did not say 'should the accusation prove true, we would do such and such'...but he took a position [on the matter] and left the scene.
UN SG persisted in issuing statements...I will talk about this point later.
The telecommunication network is not the topic of tonight's discussion, but we see how a year later Ban Ki-Moon comes back to remind the Lebanese of the communications network, which nearly caused a huge catastrophe in Lebanon a year ago, due to their [the US-backed ruling team's] hasty decisions, intimidating people and threatening stability, etc....
Through this reminder, Mister Ban Ki-Moon attempts to force the UN into a confrontation against Hizbullah, regional resistance movements, the peoples along with their conscience in favour of the Zionist entity and its project for the region.
This is inappropriate for the UN and for its standing.
In this same context, we witness a broad and significant campaign in more than one location in the world. This campaign did exist in the past and I say to you it will grow with the days. It is a natural result because of our position, value, and stand, and from the importance of the cause we have adopted and are working for.
Within this context, the US State Department issued its recent report, which relabeled Hizbullah as the most significant 'terror' organization, and (alongside which) "Israel" accuses Hizbullah of drowning them with drugs. As part of this global campaign, a report surfaces in a European country and one American report related to Mexico ...in other words there is a campaign coming from every-which-direction, its main objective is labeling Hizbullah as a terrorist, a fraudulent mafia group of killer gangsters. This is completely unfounded, because Hizbullah is a resistance jihad movement, that is genuine, honest, clean, pure, enduring, sincere and genuine, and for them the problem it represents is that it is a serious and victorious resistance.
The reason behind waging all these media, propaganda and defamation campaigns against us is because we reject the Zionist project, we refuse to acknowledge ‘Israel' as an usurping entity and occupier of the others' land of the nation's sanctities...because we do no accept US hegemony...This is our crime.
Should we initiate contact with the Americans to tell them we no longer concern ourselves with the Arab-"Israeli" conflict, the nation's cause-Palestine, Lebanon's defense, regardless whether the Lebanese government defends Lebanon or not, and that our weapons will, from now on, no longer be pointed at Lebanon's enemy "Israel"...then all problems will dissolve, we will be off the 'banned terrorism list', accusations will drop and justifications will be found for any activity we do or we get accused of.
They will no longer object to us keeping our weapons, provided they become inwardly pointed, a direction they do not mind.
The issue the Americans and "Israelis" have with our weapons is its true aim, confronting aggression and "Israeli" occupation...the real and only reason for our weapons.
Should we abandon this path, change our skin or 'move our gun from one shoulder to the other' (change sides) we would automatically be viewed as the example of culture and democracy, considered by all western and American media outlets as a source of pride and honour ...
Thus, I say to the resistance public in Lebanon and throughout the Arab and Islamic worlds do not be saddened by any accusations and insults against you and the resistance of Lebanon, Palestine or any other place. It is part of the nature of this confrontation and struggle. It is normal for a nation to stand up in defense of its rights, honour and dignity.
To be accused, insulted, even killed or taken prisoner, become displaced and have ones home destroyed, are all a natural part according to the nature of this battle.
The last point on this issue is this, I say to the Egyptians in this campaign, and to those with similar campaigns in more than one location in the Arab and larger worlds, you are wasting your funds and efforts, if you think such a campaign of insults, damnation, lies and accusations could affect us or our will, resolve and faith, you would be delusional and completely mistaken.
Take an example from the July 2006 war; we were under constant shelling for 33 days, with the entire world condemning us, the UN Security Council, the G-8 States, decision capitals of the world and many Arab countries. Harsh and very violent fatwas (Religious opinions) were issued against us, in addition to accusations of relentless campaigns here and there.
We were being killed and shelled, our people, our fathers, mothers, women and children were being displaced within Lebanon, to Syria and other countries, but throughout this historic battle our will did not wane, our resolve did not weaken and our faith did not waver.
We are people of faith in God and the Judgment Day. We believe in our cause and our path, in the correctness of our way, in the justness of this cause and this right, and therefore do not imagine that anything you do can shake our will, determination or faith.
I want to take advantage of this opportunity to approach and conduct a new review of the entire assassination case of martyr Prime Minister Rafik Hariri and the issue of the investigation, the court and the truth, in service of this cause.
To begin with, I must first convey my congratulations to the respected officers and their families and loved ones on their release and return to freedom.
On this occasion I want to speak responsibly and carefully, away from any zeal, emotion or reaction, because we are talking about a very delicate case and the most dangerous of phases in the contemporary history of Lebanon, a phase in which we are still living.
After the assassination of martyr Prime Minister Rafik Hariri in February 2005, the entire Lebanese people reached consensus in condemning the assassination...they were unanimous on the necessity to having a serious field and judicial investigation to uncover the truth.
The whole Lebanese people also reached unanimity about the necessity to punish the culprits whoever they may be.
There were no differences among the Lebanese that far, for some to now claim these demands were theirs and theirs alone, denying in the process the other Lebanese who were in consensus at the time.
If we had managed to preserve this consensus past that point, it would have been a great favor and a strong guarantor of justice in the case of martyr PM Rafik Hariri.
However, the Lebanese differed on the political accusation. A political party in Lebanon rushed from the first moments after the assassination to accuse Syria and its allies and the ‘then' Lebanese authority.
They judged, they convicted, and they punished...and then asked the ‘kind' Lebanese people to vote for them in the elections to punish Hariri's killers in the 2005 election speeches.
They founded their entire political project, their relations, friendships and animosities on this accusation, even with us when, back then, we had been in a quart-partite alliance in that election with them ...That was the beginning of the problem. This is the point at which they wanted us to join them in their 'political accusation', and since we did not, an all out assault began against the resistance and its weapons... and you know the other descriptions they used back then...
This rash, violent, harsh, extreme and relentless 'political accusation' could have led to civil and confessional war in Lebanon, even a regional war. It was the level headed reasonable people who prevented the situation from reaching such point.
Such a war could have allured western and American armies into Syria and Lebanon.
This was prevented when Syrian President Bashar Assad decided to pull out Syrian forces from Lebanon.
On the other side of the political domain, another team had been saying "we have to consider all assumptions that point to sides that might be behind the assassination, to wait for the investigation and its results, and to stay away from political accusations as that might lead the country to undesired consequences."
This team that urged to wait for the investigation's outcome, refusing to make political accusations, was accused of defending the killers, protecting and covering them at the time. They were confronted by a political, psychological, confessional and, unfortunately, sectarian intimidation media campaign.
We certainly were part of the team that called for waiting for the investigation's findings; we were against making political accusations.
Back then I said on more than one occasion on television, and personally to MP Saad Hariri, that 'if Syria were to be found involved in the assassination, we, in Hizbullah, would stand by your, and I will not say in front of you, as that would amount to one-upmanship.'
All the intimidation campaigns at the time could not convince us to join the political-accusations-band wagon.
The basic difference in this exact point of 'political accusation' and political employment of the assassination lead to differences over which side is supposed to get hold of the investigation file of the assassination of PM Rafik Hariri, and which body is to issue rulings... in other words which judicial body is the relevant and appropriate side to issue judgments.
To begin with, we called for a Lebanese investigation and judiciary, but those, who have been defending the judiciary in recent speeches in the last couple of days, had deemed the judicial system back then incapable and too politicized to handle a case of the extent of PM Rafik Hariri. They rejected any Lebanese investigation or judiciary to rule in the case of anyone found to be connected or involved in the assassination.
We called for a joint Lebanese-Saudi investigation. Only to do martyr PM Rafik Hariri's family justice, we agreed. So did Syria. The Lebanese government had no objection. But Saudi Arabia refused, because of it own calculations.
We called for an Arab investigation, but the Arabs refused as that would amount to a precedent the Arabs said they could not enter into.
Then they called for an international investigation.
At first we had some reservations for fear of its political employment and the international investigation court's possible lack of impartiality, but later agreed out of respect to the other political bloc and the family of martyr Hariri, and the wide base the martyr had represented.
So we expressed agreement to it in the national dialogue conference and on more than one occasion we voted in the Cabinet in favor of time extensions for the International Investigation Committee (IIC), but our caution and suspicion did not dissipate.
The IIC was formed headed by judge Detlev Mehlis. After a brief period the IIC ordered the arrest of and in fact arrest the four officers as well as the brothers Abdul Aal and others.
I confess to having remained silent back then wondering if there was anything (substantial) there.
This came despite our certainty that an assassination of such extent could not be executed by a group of four high officials in the country. There was also talk of a group of Syrian officers. We were certain no one would carry out an operation this way, yet we still waited to see what basis the IIC would build its case on.
After a short period it turned out that the IIC had based its case on testimonies made by Mohammad Zuheir Siddiq, and other witnesses like him.
A few weeks later I met some high officials of different posts in the current ruling authority from the other team, and they frankly said "it is clear that Mohammad Zuheir Siddiq, nicknamed 'king-witness', is obviously a liar and a false witness."
In a few days only, this became widely known and commonly circulated in the media... and the King-witness disappeared.
Here lies the question, had the probing committee done its job away from politicization and away from the countries that backed the March 14 bloc, it would have certainly ordered the release of the four officers, the minute it learned that the witness was a liar, not after four years and the collapse of the investigation with nothing to accuse the officers with.
If there was justice, fairness and integrity at the time, Mehlis himself and anyone that followed him would have said: 'With nothing against these officers. We as a probing committee order their release, and should anything new come up in the future, we will recall them for further investigation.'
This is integrity and justice, not holding the officers in detention for the length of that period without any investigation or witnesses and with the collapsed credibility of false witnesses.
Let me say this to you: They were not released because of the extremely enormous political, personal and psychological implications their release would have had on the project by the other team, and on the entire regional scene.
Hence the officers and the other prisoners were kept in detention for purely political reasons.
More than one corner of the world back then was prepared to cover, protect and take responsibility for the extension of this political detention.
The 'March 14' leadership for the duration of the three years and eight months of the officers' arrest, issued many statements until last Wednesday, in which most of them attempted to defend the Lebanese judiciary, by saying that the arrest orders were issued by the IIC, and the detainees were kept in jails according to a decision the IIC made.
Let us accept that for argument's sake. Yet according to them (March 14), the Lebanese judiciary do not carry any responsibility, a matter necessitating examination. But I will go along with that statement for now, and recall the speech Dr Samir Geagea made in a press conference the other day in which he said: "The decision to arrest the four officers was not made by Amin Gemayel, Samir Geagea, Saad Hariri or Walid Jumblatt, but by the German investigator Detlev Mehlis."
He then says on another occasion "There are those trying to take advantage of this event to pounce on the government or the Lebanese authorities," and goes on to remind us that "the decision to arrest the four officers was made by Detlev Mehlis, and after him by the international investigators Serge Brammertz and Daniel Bellemare", and that "They did not issue any recommendations to release the four officers."
The text is clear for those who would like to review it; it is on the Lebanese Forces website.
Here we ask, leaving the Lebanese judiciary aside for now, will there be a more detailed talk on this subject at another time on another occasion?
Let us continue on with this assessment and analysis of that stand made by Dr. Geagea and the way the March 14 leadership put it, that "the arrest decision came from the IIC, and the detainees' continued imprisonment for 3 years and 8 months was according to a decision made by the IIC."
This indicates that the decision that was issued two days ago by the Pre-Trial Judge in the International Tribunal (IT) was made upon the recommendation or non-opposition of Prosecutor General Daniel Bellemare three years and eight months later.
In our view, and we do not oblige anyone to agree with it but just for argument's sake, we see this release as a clear-cut proof that throughout its work, in all the previous phases, the IIC was politicized and lacked integrity and justness and did not abide by any legal, judicial and technical standards whatsoever, because of the clear evidence that three years and eight months later, they had nothing at all in their possession. Why [did it take] this long?
The political considerations that prevented the release of the four officers for three years and eight months are purely political considerations, and in my opinion it draws a condemnation.
They say this decision demonstrates the integrity of the IIC, the IT and their neutrality and fairness. Let us assess this issue among ourselves. Hence, at the same time it reveals proof that the IIC, through the course it has taken over the last four years, took the wrong path. The detention of the officers and the other detainees was political - governed by political considerations.
Does the decision the judge issued now prove the IT's fairness and impartiality?
In order to answer this, something must be said for this long detention period, in an attempt to understand why they were released after this long period of three years and eight months, which, as provisional detention of anyone accused without evidence, is too long a period by all standards.
It is too long a period after false testimonies were thrown out of court, after the king-witness disappeared, and other witnesses withdrew after confessing to their statements were fabricated and that they had been taught how to act and what to say...
It is too long a period after false testimonies were thrown out of court, after the king-witness disappeared, and other witnesses withdrew after confessing due to their fabricated statements and admitted that they had been told how to act and what to say...
This matter is far beyond a mere judicial and political scandal. The continued arrest of the officers was no longer possible. The matter had reached the extent surpassing a sheer scandal. And what occurred a few days ago can be seen at best as a correction of an error, and at worst it puts an end to a judicial and political scandal.
I say to you, had the IT not been formed and the issue kept in the hands of the IIC, this farce may have continued on longer, despite all the efforts that have been made.
Of course, forming the tribunal placed it under the obligation to decide on the fate of the detainees, or else it would have stood accused from day one, and this is not in the interest of the IT, particularly since it was faced with an empty file and a fabricated scenario, upon which nothing can be built whatsoever.
There is certainly something that must be take into account here, which assisted in revealing the scandalous level the judicial and political issue had reached. It is the tremendous efforts spent to expose the arbitrary detention, in particular, by the officers, especially by Major General Jamil Sayyed, the lawyers, the detainees' families, and political, legal, media and civil entities from Lebanon and abroad.
The only option that remained before the IT's Pre-trial Judge was to correct the wrong at the very least, or put an end to this scandal the IIC created and is responsible for. This is regardless of our assessment of the Lebanese judiciary's responsibility now.
Here I wish to introduce the next stage.
I believe the first and second commissioners of the IIC stand guilty for keeping the officers under arrest for this period of time without evidence and without the right to do so.
As for Bellemare, the Attorney-General who was head of the IIC and later became Prosecutor Judge; in my opinion there are three of him:
1- The first Bellemare: head of the IIC, who had participated with those who preceded him in the injustice initially done to the officers and the Prime Minister Hariri case.
2- The second Bellemare: the Prosecuting Judge who recommended the release of the officers, or did not object to their release as per the different texts presented to him, and this was a good and proper stand on his behalf.
3- There is also the third Bellemare, about whom we know nothing yet. Who will he be after Wednesday? The first or second Bellemare? What will the third Bellemare be?
This is a viable question, and therefore we want to ask:
1. How would the Prosecutor and the IIC investigators conduct their course of action in the coming stage?
2. Which tracks will they lead the investigation in?
3. How will they deal with witnesses, testimonies and data?
4. Will they act in a scientific and technical manner?
5. Will they commit the same mistakes that were committed during four years of international investigation?
6. Are new charges to be laid against people without evidence, allegations or based on false witnesses, only to be released after four more years again, thus wasting four more years of the lifespan of the martyr PM's case?
7. Or will evidence, allegations or witnesses be examined in a professional and objective manner, away from ready made accusations and prejudices?
8. Another question: Will the ears of international prosecutors and judges in the IT remain open to those who made Mohammad Zuheir Siddiq, who wrote the scenarios, those who provided one false-witness after the next, or will it shut the doors and ears to them, and hold them accountable for misleading the investigation over the period of four years.
This is a big question, because those who misled the investigation for four years can do so for 100 years, since they possess the same background, the same motivation and same potential.
Available information from many quarters unfortunately confirms that the ears and doors are still open to this type of people, some of whom currently reside in the Netherlands, on a full-time dedication to this task.
These questions are not for condemning, confusing or passing prejudgments, but are natural and legitimate questions.
Since day one, since Detlev Mehlis, they asked us to accept without debate the IIC's decisions, because 'it is above suspicion'. They wrote poems about Mehlis' integrity, technical professionalism, and the greatness of the IIC's work. When Brammertz came, again they wrote more of even greater poems. And when Bellemare came, they did so as well.
Yet after four years all the falsification and politicization was revealed in the work of the IIC, in one decision made by the IT Pre-Trial Judge and not the Lebanese judiciary or any other judiciary.
Today, I would hope no one demands us to readily accept anything that comes from the Prosecutor General, the international investigation or the Court's judges, only because a right decision was issued two days ago. We must consider any new accusation according to the evidence it is based on; which argument and which proof?
After today, we will not accept what we had accepted in the first days and weeks of the arrest of the four officers. When people were accused and arrested, while we all remained seated, just watching, forbidden to open our mouths, because if we did we would have been charged of disrupting the investigation or covering the killers and the like.
This is something no one can tolerate after the great injustice done to the officers and the prisoners, in the very same case of the martyr PM Rafik Hariri.
My interpretation is that the decision issued by Francine ended a black phase, and today starts a new beginning, which we will not positively or negatively pre-judge, and this is being fair.
We are facing a new stage, the Prosecutor General, the IIC and the judges of the Court are to prove through their new performance, from today onwards that they are scientific, professional, fair, unbiased and clear of politicization, and that they are able to prove it. Experience will either prove that or the opposite.
Now, there are those attempting to provide readings into the officers' release that it is due to political backgrounds, linked to currently existing variables in the world; I do not want to be rushed into this interpretation and I will leave that aside for now.
After what happened and the release of the officers and prisoners, Francine went on to say "we do not have anyone accused" thereby bringing us back to square one. Here I would, in all sincerity and care, advise all the Lebanese, the family of martyr PM Rafik Hariri, his movement, and all those who say they are sympathetic and whose hearts ache for Lebanon... Let us conduct a review of the approach and thus check to see how we can collaborate to arrive at the disclosure of the truth, so we do not to waste another four years, like the ones we have just wasted.
Let us come back together again, to regain national consensus that was once formed at the very beginning in the early days of the martyrdom of former Prime Minister Rafik Hariri, to place this issue on the right track, if we are to work correctly, I think that there are several points and matters which we must take into account in the process.
First, the false witnesses must be held accountable.
If the IIC considers itself no longer involved in this subject, and I do not know what it considers, whether it sees that Mohammad Zuheir Siddiq and his likes should be arrested and held accountable because of misleading the international investigation?
But if they do not consider this their responsibility, we as Lebanese must demand the Lebanese judiciary to summon and arrest those people to be investigated, and to punish them to close the door in the face of any-would-be new false witnesses in the course of the coming investigation.
Therefore, the witnesses lying must be held accountable, along with everyone who fabricated, financed, protected, backed and covered them, along with everyone who misled the investigation for the past four years in any position, be it political, media, security or judicial.
This is not about settling scores or taking revenge, but "In the Law of Equality there is (saving of) Life to you, o ye men of understanding" (2:179 Holy Quran), so that no one dares fabricate false witnesses again in the future, nor dare mislead the investigation or waste any more years at this level.
This must be taken seriously.
Second, we must put political accusation and incrimination aside.
Dear Lebanese, Dear brothers, leaders of political forces and currents...
Our country has endured four years of hard and extremely difficult labor pains as a result of political accusation.
Let us ease the tension off a little, even for a year, and put aside political accusation and incrimination which almost burned Lebanon and the region with it.
Let us return to saying: All of us as Lebanese demand a serious, professional, scientific, technical and objective investigation to arrive at the truth.
Third, the Lebanese judiciary and security agencies ought to work on this issue, and not settle for it as solely the IIC's responsibility, the way they have been doing with a new spirit in recent period. This spirit must be extended to demanding the Prosecutor-General Bellemare and the international investigation, to open up to all possibilities and options in the investigation, as we have been asking since the beginning of the four years.
Four years were spent with the investigation on a single track, the track of 'Syria and its allies in Lebanon', not allowing it to go in any other direction.
You can still work on any possibility and assumption you choose, but I ask once again to include "Israel" as a serious possibility within the scope of international investigation.
I mentioned this on several earlier occasions, three years ago, two years ago and again a year ago, But my call kept falling on deaf ears. Why is that so?
Because there was a ready-made judgment, and a prepared and packaged investigation set to move along one specified path.
On Wednesday, MP Saad Hariri correctly said, and I agree with him, that: "the assassination could not have been carried out by a single individual or single group of individuals."
This is true. Any sane person would agree to this conclusion. But when I talk about the "Israeli" premise, my question remains: 'Does "Israel" have the capacity to execute an operation of this kind?'
This question is for all 'March 14' and all the Lebanese.
Let us come out of this point-scoring game with one another and ask, 'can "Israel" carry out an operation of this type or not?'
It does not require a discussion to reach the conclusion that "Israel" most certainly can. Definitely.
Does "Israel" have the motivation?
Is it in "Israel's" interest?
"Israel" had an interest for Lebanon to have a sectarian war that involved the resistance, to avenge itself for the May 2000 victory; against those it considers a threat or a security for others. "Israel" had an interest for a new regional war to break out, to drag U.S. troops not only into Baghdad but to al-Shaam (the Levant) and Beirut as well, hence the whole region would fall in American hands, and consequently, in the hands of "Israel."
The assassination of Prime Minister Hariri was meant to be a gateway to a sectarian war in Lebanon and in the region, through the political accusations that were mounted.
Those who say that "Israel" does not have a motive to kill PM Hariri are killing PM Hariri a second time.
Despite the fact that this is not the first time I ask this question, I am yet to hear anyone from 'March 14' come forward to say whether or not "Israel" possesses such motivation or interest!
For them "Israel" is completely outside the circle of accusation. As far as they're concerned, it is given a zero per cent in the accusation scope.
This is illogical, unscientific, and non-objective.
Leave hatred, calculations, and rivalry aside, look at the possibilities logically, methodologically and objectively: couldn't there be 0.1% or 1% possibility!?
Have you worked on this possibility?
No, you did not!
Today, if we work on this track, and I am not here asking to close the current course of investigation, which takes Syria or its Syria's allies into account, but there is the "Israeli" course of investigation as well, why not open it and work on it?
In the past few weeks, the Information Branch (IB) of the Internal Security Forces (ISF) arrested a number of "Israeli" spy networks. This is a good thing. Had the IB in the ISF four years ago spent as much effort as it is now on "Israeli" networks, could we have not have found something in the case of the martyr PM?
Possibilities are we could, couldn't we!?
Bearing in mind that work on "Israeli" networks necessitates concerted efforts by the Lebanese people and all the security organs, people must help as well... wives, fathers, mothers, sons and neighbors. Everyone must cooperate with the security agencies in this matter.
But the discovery of one, two, three or more networks does not end the story for "Israel", because "Israel's" arms are inside Lebanon, a matter well known in the country.
"Israel" ties cells of one or two persons to an "Israeli" officer; each cell is disconnected and independent from other cells. So in order to capture an entire network takes the implementation of a wide scale operation.
Through the arrested networks it is visible that the "Israeli" security presence is very strong. There are those who assume Hizbullah has a certain intelligence and information capacity to detect all these networks, something that is not true, as I previously said and again reiterate now. It is untrue.
It is not wrong to acknowledge one's limited capacitates.
The security apparatuses uncovered what we did not. There are numerous networks that neither they nor we know about, and we should all work together.
A question had been posed and I repeat it again. There is an agent who confessed to being a spy. He was convicted and held by the Lebanese judiciary. His name is Mahmoud Rafeh.
According to Mahmoud Rafeh's confessions, he was caught in possession of communication and imaging devices and that used to receive large cases or black bags filled with explosives which he used to leave hidden in certain caches in Mount Lebanon. After a while when he went to take more bags there, he used to find the old ones had been removed.
Why is it that for four years no one answered a question which I will ask now yet again: where were those bags of explosives taken to?
Couldn't "Israel" have transferred 2000 kg of TNT to murder PM Hariri?
How about the rest of the operations in which one, two, ten, 15 or 25 kg were used?
Mahmoud Rafeh may not know who took those bags even if you skinned him alive. And I believe him because this is the "Israeli" modus operandi. The "Israelis" keep individuals and networks disjointed. However, we should not abandon the search for those unknown individuals or ghosts who took the cases and black bags.
What did they do with these explosives during the past four years?
Let's cooperate and take the investigation back to its right and natural track.
When they say we have not found anything in four years... it is true. You did not because you placed the investigation on a single track, and so you did not reach anything.
Place the investigation on other tracks as well and watch if the "Israeli" track leads somewhere or not, especially, seeing the high "Israeli" technological capabilities uncovered by these security apparatuses which proved far greater than we had imagined. It seems that there are new things. The security institutions and us need time and effort to understand how they work, both in the communications or electronics worlds, at technical, implementation or gathering data levels.
I do not want to frighten people here, but there is a severe challenge we must tackle seriously, and not run away from it to repeat the same political accusations.
Finally, I acknowledge all the conflicting feelings experienced by the various Lebanese groups on Wednesday. All people have feelings and we respect those feelings. On the one hand there was a duty to celebrate the release of the four officers and their families for the great injustice they had suffered, an injustice and an arrest that nearly led the country to dire consequences and up until then that was still the case.
In truth I understand the release of the officers at that moment signified the passing of a dangerous part in a dangerous phase, the Lebanese, Lebanon the state, the entity, the entire country and the region had endured.
Crossing this dangerous part is worth celebrating.
But on the other hand, we like to acknowledge the sentiments of others and say: 'Brothers and dear ones, this incident is not one of gloating or settling scores with anyone. It is not even employed for election purposes.'
It is well known in Lebanon no matter what happens in this world that nothing will affect the 7 June elections. And any talk of effects on the elections is exaggeration. However, in the whole, the elections are considered set as all the political lineups in the arena, though there may only be a modest or slight impact on the gray arena or those on the fence, who may be affected by internal, regional or international events, who are very few.
I do not want to lower the political electoral implications of the four officers' release, and we did read in some newspapers that there had been attempts to delay their release until after the elections.
But let us put this issue aside and return to our national consensus to rectify the path and not waste four more years in search of the truth, and instead let us seek the truth, which, if reached, it may place a great deal of good before Lebanon.
That is what we all wish for and agree to.