Wikileaks: Bellemare “has no case” against Syria

9. (C) Jumblatt said the Special Tribunal was “not enough” to intimidate Syria. Rizk chimed in to acknowledge that work on the Special Tribunal was “frightening to Syria until recently.” Both agreed that Syrian President Bashar Assad won’t care about the Tribunal in a year’s time. Rizk repeated his concerns that UNIIIC Commissioner Daniel Bellemare had stated to some that he “has no case.” Rizk said the U.S. can help by directing Ambassador Zalmay Khalilzad to ask the UN SYG to impress upon Bellemare the importance of his role as prosecutor for the Tribunal…..

Guardian (GB): US embassy cables: Syrian spy chief’s surprise appearance at US talks


5……Mamlouk repeatedly stressed his attendance at the meeting did not signal the commencement of security and intelligence cooperation between Syria and the U.S., but could be a starting point for “a blueprint for that which is not yet started.” Echoing Miqdad, Mamlouk said progress on political issues in the Syrian-U.S. bilateral relationship was “closely connected” to progress on possible cooperation on security and intelligence.

6. (S/NF) The GID Director said Syria had been more successful than the U.S. and other countries in the region in fighting terrorist groups because “we are practical and not theoretical.” He stated Syria’s success is due to its penetration of terrorist groups. “In principle, we don’t attack or kill them immediately. Instead, we embed ourselves in them and only at the opportune moment do we move.” Describing the process of planting embeds in terrorist organizations as “complex,” Mamlouk said the result had yielded been the detention of scores of terrorists, stamping out terror cells, and stopping hundreds of terrorists from entering Iraq. Mamlouk acknowledged some terrorists were still slipping into Iraq from Syria. “By all means we will continue to do all this, but if we start cooperation with you it will lead to better results and we can better protect our interests,” he concluded.

7. (S/NF) According to Mamlouk, Syria’s previous experience in cooperating with the U.S. on intelligence “was not a happy one.” He stated Syria hoped any future cooperation would be “on an equal basis.” Mamlouk specified this meant Syria should be allowed to “take the lead” on anti-terrorism efforts. Alluding to the “wealth of information” Syria has obtained while penetrating terrorist groups, Mamlouk declared “we have a lot of experience and know these groups. This is our area, and we know it. We are on the ground, and so we should take the lead.”

…. Miqdad stressed a “political umbrella” of improved U.S.-Syrian bilateral relations should facilitate counterterrorism cooperation….

13. (S/NF) Third, Miqdad stated convincing the Syrian people to support cooperation with the U.S. would hinge on progress on economic sanctions against Syria, including spare parts for airplanes and a plane for President Asad. The Vice Foreign Minister said the Syrians wanted these efforts “accelerated.” Miqdad specifically requested the USG reach out to Lufthansa Technik and “assure them of no negative consequences” if they cooperate with Syrian requests to have the purchase of spare aircraft parts approved. In response, Benjamin said the Obama administration viewed counterterrorism as a vital concern but, unlike its predecessor, it did not see counterterrorism as something that was separate from the rest of U.S. foreign policy or the sole driver of U.S. foreign policy. Rather, it was part of the fabric of policy, and the administration recognized that progress in bilateral relations would involve coordinated moves in a number of areas. Benjamin added the U.S. expected that the Syrian people would see the benefits of closer relations.

14. (S/NF) Miqdad also encouraged the U.S. to reconsider including Syria on the TSA’s list for enhanced screening, and praised U/S Burns for informing the SARG that the U.S. was prepared to lift its block on Syrian accession to the World Trade Organization.

Hariri investigation was bogged down by ‘insane’ bureaucracy, non-cooperation from world powers
Brammertz said it was obvious the 14 bombings were linked to the Hariri assassination
By Patrick Galey, Daily Star
Monday, December 06, 2010

BEIRUT: The preliminary United Nations probe into the death of former Prime Minister Rafik Hariri was hamstrung by “insane” internal bureaucracy and non-cooperation from world governments, according to leaked diplomatic documents seen by The Daily Star.

Successive cables sent from the US Embassy in Beirut and seen exclusively by The Daily Star also appear to show how previously unheard-of US surveillance data on Lebanon was requested by the commissioner of the United Nations International Independent Investigative Committee (UNIIIC)

In a 2006 discussion with former US Ambassador Jeffrey Feltman, UNIIIC Commissioner Serge Brammertz is said to have lamented burdensome UN processes which were hindering his investigation.

Brammertz told Feltman that “administrative delays with the UN’s bureaucracy have taken up 50 to 70 percent of his time in the last month and have significantly hindered the UNIIIC’s efficacy and progress,” a cable sent on July 7 said.

“Most of the delays appeared to be the result of a cumbersome UN bureaucracy, which seemed to affect everything from the UNIIIC’s hiring procedures to housing issues and even its food supply.”

The UNIIIC commissioner is said to have delivered successive anecdotes detailing a flawed and time-consuming hiring process and severe staff shortages in the investigation’s most critical stages.

“What’s the point of waiting five months to hire someone when the Commission only has five months to do its work?” Brammertz is quoted as saying.

Turning to the issue of international cooperation with investigator’s requests, Brammertz alleged that France – a long-time vocal supporter of the probe into Hariri’s death – had been particularly “flatly non-cooperative.”

“After Brammertz asked this country’s ambassador in Lebanon for access to interview a suspect in that country’s territory, the ambassador came back with all kinds of conditions about how the interview would take place, how the testimony could or could not be used, in order to comply with EU standards. Brammertz said, ‘I told him, if you were Syria, I would write in my report that you refused to cooperate with the investigation. He was shocked, of course, but it’s true. I’ve had better cooperation from Syria than some of the EU countries.’”

In an earlier meeting with Feltman on July 6, 2006 – 16 months after Hariri’s death and over a year after the investigation began – Brammertz is said to have advised that there was no legal basis for the four generals’ continued detention.

“Brammertz explained that, if any sort of international legal standards were applied, the four generals would be released immediately. At the same time, however, he acknowledged that doing so would be a political disaster for Lebanon,” a cable on the meeting read.

Brammertz, who succeeded Detlev Mehlis as UNIIIC commissioner, reportedly labeled three now-discredited witnesses – whose testimonies were used in the four generals’ incarceration – as completely unreliable. He suggested Mehlis had overstepped his jurisdiction in advising the four be detained.

“Brammertz said that much of his work, though, is focused on completing three ‘legacy projects,’ final appraisals of the testimony provided by Zuhair Mohammad Siddiq, Hussam Hussam, and ‘X,’ a ‘protected witness located in a Nordic country,’” Feltman’s cable said.

“As he prepared his final evaluation of each witness, Brammertz said he could discount most of the testimony from all three. Maybe 20 percent of Siddiq’s testimony was based on fact, Brammertz suggested, but his credibility as a witness is so low that none of his testimony would stand up in court. He described Hussam also as an unreliable witness, but suggested that he probably does have important information.”

Brammertz also apparently ruled out all of the Syrian government’s involvement in the crime – a startling confession given the relatively early stage of the investigations of the UNIIIC.

“Syria has five different state security apparatuses. I can’t imagine that an order came down from the president and worked its way through all the security services and until they killed Hariri,” Brammertz is quoted as saying. “If anything, you probably had one security service involved, and the order came from on high and, how high, we’ll have to figure out.”

In a separate cable detailing the arguments of Jamil as-Sayyed’s lawyer, the US Embassy advised: “That Brammertz is worried about [Lebanon’s] continued ability to detain the four generals is cause for us to worry as well.”

The cable continued: “Besides having a seismic effect on the political situation here, Sayyed’s release might well have security implications for us as a diplomatic missions. If Sayyed gets out, he is going to be angry and seeking payback, and he is going to see the United States as at least partly responsible for his interrogation by the UNIIIC and his long months in detention.”

Comments (59)

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51. Akbar Palace said:


Obviously your kind are used to ordering America what polixies to pursue in the Middle East and now, since Israel will not be getting any “FREE F -35’s you presume to start ordering SC’s forum what to say and how to say it.


Please don’t hold anything back. Your input is an important service to the brain trust that runs this unique web site.

Not quite sure who “my kind” are. Zionists come from all walks of life: they’re liberal, conservative, secular, religious, black, white, blond, middle-eastern, european, south american, persian, asian, and everything in-between.

In any case, US-Israel relations are fine despite Arab/Muslim attempts to terrorize both countries apart.

Typical “yiddishee” postures

I’m not sure what “typical ‘yiddishee’ postures” are, especially since about half of Israelis are from north africa and asia.

The days shown in the link attached are over AP and there will never be an “eretz israel”

Sorry to wake you from your self-induced denial, but Eretz Israel is alive and well.

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December 10th, 2010, 9:41 am


52. Alex said:

Iranians want nuclear arms, US survey finds

The survey shows the stupidity of the US when humiliating a proud country like Iran for

1) Its democratic system is not perfectly democratic
2) The unhealthy role religion plays in the state
3) Its negative role in the region
4) Its seeking to develop nuclear weapons.
5) Its human rights record

While Israel which can easily be accused of the five points above (but often in much more obvious ways) is treated like the darling of the international community.

And Saudi Arabia, which is guilty of 4 out of 5 is also treated with respect and love.

This stupidity will have its price … The US at the end will have to either concede and apologize to an Iran that have clearly won the political influence game in the region … or go to war against Iran … a lose lose situation.

President Obama should have visited Tehran … and it is not too late now to do so.

This stupidity is the result of relying on the advice of America’s other backward allies … like Saudi allies (Prince Bandar or Prince Saud) who hate anything Shia … or Israeli allies and their friends who are always embedded in the US … such as the omnipresent Dennis Ross .. their only real goal is to help Israel keep its dominance in the Middle East.

The US is paying the price for picking two of the three backward religious states as its allies and fighting the third one (Iran).

All those who convinced the US government that Ahmadinejad only won the elections by tampering with the results should look again at the 60% in this poll who said they really voted for him … and at the now 71% who want their country to develop nuclear weapons … and the 8 percent support for the US which is down from 34% in 2008 when they had hope President Obama could make a real difference.

Face it … because of your unfairness, you lost the Iranian people, after you lost the support of most of the Arab people (similar polls).

Thank you Dennis Ross for your expert advice!

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December 10th, 2010, 10:06 am


53. Ghat Albird said:

ALEX. A normal reporting of who tells whom what to do.
Israel to US.

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December 10th, 2010, 10:46 am


54. Akbar Palace said:

Alex in Wonderland

While Israel which can easily be accused of the five points above (but often in much more obvious ways) is treated like the darling of the international community.

And Saudi Arabia, which is guilty of 4 out of 5 is also treated with respect and love.


Thank you for your “objective” judgement regarding Israel and Saudi Arabia’s human rights record, especially against your “5 points” above.

Can you tell the forum why you refuse to judge Iran (which you brought up) and Syria in the same fashion?

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December 10th, 2010, 10:56 am


55. Alex said:


Nobody is perfect … each country in the Middle East (including Syria, Iran, Israel, Saudi Arabia and Egypt) is “guilty” to various degrees … Syria has the worst freedom of expression … Israel is the most violent … Saudi Arabia is the most backward in every sense…

But to pick Iran (and Syria during the Bush administration) for punishment through sanctions and/or potential war is wrong … it is very costly to the US.

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December 10th, 2010, 11:12 am


56. Akbar Palace said:

Syria Comment’s Objectivity Revealed

Nobody is perfect … each country in the Middle East (including Syria, Iran, Israel, Saudi Arabia and Egypt) is “guilty” to various degrees … Syria has the worst freedom of expression … Israel is the most violent … Saudi Arabia is the most backward in every sense…


OK, so now that we’ve “evened the playing field” by stating that “each country in the Middle East is guilty to various degrees”, please tell us how you came up with the following:

1.) “Syria is the worst freedom of expression”
2.) “Israel is the most violent”
3.) “Saudi Arabia is the most backward in every sense”

Do you make this up based on your prejudices or do you have a reference or study to back this up?

But to pick Iran (and Syria during the Bush administration) for punishment through sanctions and/or potential war is wrong … it is very costly to the US.


US President Barack Hussein Obama has continued applying sanctions to countries our State Department has determined to be involved in terrorism. Don’t put in all on GWB.

Further, many of these sanctions are administered through the UN with the backing of many countries who are as equally fearful of Iran’s intentions as the US and Israel. As we are learning, many of these countries are Arab countries, and they seem to be more fearful of Iran than the “Zionist Entity”.

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December 10th, 2010, 11:44 am


57. Alex said:


My emphasis on the Bush administration related to plans to invade Syria, .. Obama does not intend to invade Syria.

Cheney “would have worked through the whole lot, Iraq, Syria, Iran” Blair wrote in his memoir, “A Journey.”

Don’t bother with details, just ask yourself … What did Syria do to deserve to be invaded and destroyed?

As for the Arab allies who asked the US to go to war with Iran … as I explained above, they are indeed guilty just like Israel … They are not upset because of Iran’s less than shiny human rights record, they simply despise Shia Muslims.

How did I come up with my general statements?

1) In Syria you absolutely can not criticize the government’s foreign or strategic policies for example .. in Israel, Egypt and Iran you can.

2) During the past ten years Israel waged two wars (Lebanon and Gaza) killing and injuring thousands in each case … and more importantly, Israel lobbied the US to invade Iraq and to is currently lobbying for war with IRan … massive massive responsibility for millions of casualties of dead and injured (and traumatized and economically devastated) Iraqis.

Iran, Saudi Arabia, and Syria did not.

3) Saudi Arabia being the most backward country in the region … you have any doubt?

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December 10th, 2010, 12:26 pm


58. Ghat Albird said:

“Israel progresses down the path to isolation”


Peter Beinart facetiously congratulates Benjamin Netanyahu now that he’s thwarted President Obama’s Middle East peace efforts.

Now all you have to worry about is…Argentina. You see, Argentina just recognized a Palestinian state on 1967 borders. Brazil did so days earlier. Uruguay and Paraguay are expected to follow suit, and then Bolivia and Ecuador. Oh, and you have a small problem with rock stars: last year Elvis Costello and Carlos Santana cancelled Israel gigs because of the occupation, and more seem poised to follow. Dock workers are another worry: from Sweden to South Africa, they keep protesting the occupation and the Gaza blockade by refusing to offload Israeli goods. And then there’s Hanna King, the 17-year-old Swarthmore freshmen who along with four other young American Jews disrupted your speech last month in New Orleans because, as she told Haaretz, “settlements…are contrary to the Jewish values that we learnt in Jewish day school.” You should probably expect young Jews like her to protest all your big American speeches from now on.

I know, I know. You consider all this unfair, and in some ways it is. But when you’ve been occupying another people for 43 years, confiscating more and more of their land and denying them citizenship while providing it to your own settlers, it doesn’t do much good to insist that things are worse in Burma. Your only effective argument against the Elvis Costellos and Hanna Kings was that you were trying to end the occupation. That’s where Obama came in. As long as the U.S. president seemed to have a chance of brokering a deal, his efforts held the boycotters and protesters and Palestinian state-recognizers at bay. When Brazil and Argentina recognized Palestinian independence, the American Jewish Committee’s David Harris declared it “fundamentally unhelpful to the Arab-Israeli peace process.” But what if there is no peace process? What’s your argument then? Maybe you can tell the Ecuadorians that Israel deserves Hebron because Abraham bought land there from Ephron the Hittite.

Rest assured, the Obama administration won’t go along with these efforts to punish and isolate you. It may even denounce them. But as you may have noticed, the world doesn’t listen to America like it used to. Non-Americans have grown tired of hearing that only the U.S. can broker a deal, especially because you’ve now shown that to be false. And so the dam preventing countries and institutions from legitimizing Palestine and delegitimizing Israel may soon break. You didn’t like the American way? Get ready for the Brazilian way.


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December 10th, 2010, 4:13 pm


59. majedkhaldoon said:

A.P. said
, Jesus did criticize Jewish ideas at the time. That doesn’t make Jesus “anti-semitic”. That makes him a perfectionist,
This imply that the jews are not perfectionist
Also you did not tell us your Idea about JESUS,who was he?
Also you forgot to admit that jews were living in Egypt,then they invaded part of palastine and occupied it 3000 year ago by force just like they are doing again,their kingdom did not last long,Abraham( who was not a jew )lived in Palastine,he came from UR and kept on moving and later he and his children moved to Egypt

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December 10th, 2010, 5:23 pm


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