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TWA 847, 20 Years Later ^ | June 20, 2005 | Debbie Schlussel

Posted on 06/20/2005 5:45:16 AM PDT by veronica

Twenty years ago, this week, Hezbollah terrorists hijacked TWA Flight 847, and trampled Navy Diver Robert Stethem to death.

Stethem's only crime was being American.

The hijacking and murder was among the first televised Islamic terror attacks against Americans, unfolding on TV screens over 17 days.

Twenty years later, disturbing kowtowing to Hezbollah terrorists shows we've learned nothing from Stethem's brutal murder at the hands of Islamic terrorists. On September 11, 2021, will it be worse?

On June 15, 1985, Hezbollah hijackers seized the TWA flight in Athens. Identifying Robert Dean Stethem as an American serviceman, they brutally beat and tortured the 23-year-old Stethem to death. Then, they threw his body off the plane, like garbage. Stethem was so badly beaten that he could only be identified from fingerprints. He was on his way home after a tour of duty with the US Navy in the Middle East.

But Stethem never made it home. His next and final stop was Arlington National Cemetery.

At the time, the President was Ronald Reagan, a heroic leader who didn't give in to Islamic terror. Well, almost. In 1983, Hezbollah terrorists (with the help of the PLO and Syria) attacked and killed over 300 U.S. Marines and civilians in Beirut, while they slept. It was the bloodiest attack on the Marine Corps since World War II. But President Reagan didn't strike back. Instead, he pulled out of Lebanon. He sent a signal to Hezbollah and other Islamic terrorists that their attacks would not be answered, that America was weak. That gave Hezbollah the courage to hijack the plane and brutally kill Stethem, almost two years later.

Lebanon never apologized for Stethem's murder, nor did Syria or Iran which control Hezbollah. Three of Stethem's four murderers--Imad Fayez Mugniyeh, Hasan Izz-Al-Din, Ali Atwa--remain free, and are believed to be in Lebanon, Iran, or Syria. The fourth, Mohammad Ali Hamadei, may soon be freed from prison in Germany, where he was caught smuggling explosives.

To date, Hezbollah remains on the State Department terrorist list. But that means little, when federal officials in foreign service, Congress, and domestic federal law enforcement openly embrace Hezbollah and its supporters. They do this, despite the fact that Hezbollah is a component of Al-Qaeda and trained the insurgents who attack American soldiers in Iraq.

Earlier this year, while thousands of Lebanese people called for the ouster of Syria from their country, U.S. bureaucrats openly floated the idea of embracing Syrian-controlled Hezbollah. "U.S. Called Ready to See Hezbollah in Lebanon Role, A Sharp Policy Reversal," read the headline in an outrageous March 10, 2005 front-page New York Times article. Incredibly, the U.S. was following the lead of France in embracing the terror group, only a few weeks after Secretary of State Condoleeza Rice was blocked--by France--from getting the EU to formally label Hezbollah as a terrorist group.

"Hezbollah has American blood on its hands," one official told the Times. "They are in the same category as Al Qaeda." Yet the official acknowledged that the U.S. was headed toward acknowledging a political role for Hezbollah in Lebanon. Sickening.

Then there are Hezbollah's domestic supporters and the law enforcement bureaucrats and honchos who gush over them.

Take Imad Hamad, Midwest Regional Director of the American Arab Anti-Discrimination Committee (whose scheduled 2003 FBI award was revoked). When Israel released hundreds of Hezbollah prisoners in early 2004, Hamad sent invitations to a celebration of the new freedom of "the Heroes." In a newspaper article, he openly wondered aloud if it would be okay to wear "a T-shirt praising Hezbollah or [buy] the yellow Hezbollah flag, emblazoned with a rifle held in a clenched fist." This is the group that murdered Robert Stethem and hundreds of U.S. Marines and civilians, and this cretin, Hamad, wants to celebrate that.

Even worse, Hamad regularly visits Nabih Berry, speaker of the Lebanese Parliament, who just also happened to be the spokesman, chief negotiator, and media mastermind for the Hezbollah hijackers who killed Stethem. It's beyond embarrassing that Berry--who headed the Shi'ite Amal Militia--is a University of Michigan (my alma mater) grad, whose close relatives are unabashed and prominent in Detroit's Islamic community.

Despite Hamad's support for Hezbollah, then-Homeland security chief Tom Ridge and then-Treasury Secretary Paul O'Neill "broke pita" with Hamad and Berry's first cousin, Ali Berry, at an April 2002 meeting at La Shish restaurant.

Then there's Brian Moskowitz, Special Agent in Charge for Immigration and Customs Enforcement for all of Michigan and Ohio. Before his arrival at the Detroit ICE office, Customs (as it was previously known) constantly investigated and raided suspected Hezbollah money-launderers, including cigarette smugglers and weapons procurers who were successfully prosecuted. But Moskowitz befriended Hezbollah supporter Hamad, and, his agents say, he has shut down most, if not all, investigations into suspected Hezbollah support and funding.

On Memorial Day weekend, while the rest of America was remembering Stethem and others who gave their lives for our country, Hamad's ADC was, instead, holding its national convention. Despite ADC's constant praise and reverence for Robert Stethem's Hezbollah killers and other Islamic terrorists, Homeland Security officials Russ Knocke and Daniel Sutherland were in fawning attendance.

Unlike them, Robert Stethem was an American hero, who refused to denounce the United States while being tortured to death by Hezbollah murderers. As his brother, Ken, so eloquently said, "Every time I look at the flag now and for the rest of my life, the red will represent the blood he spilled, the blue the beating and bruises he endured, and the white the purity and integrity he demonstrated in sacrificing his life."

American officials need to feel the red, white, and blue--blood, beating, and integrity of Robert Stethem--instead of gushing over Hezbollah.

In 1995, the USS Stethem was named after the late Robert Stethem to recognize his heroism. But today, America must demonstrate that his death at the hands of Islamic terrorists means more than just a name on a ship.

That it is worth fighting--and dying--for.

TOPICS: Crime/Corruption; Editorial; Government; News/Current Events
KEYWORDS: flight847; stethem; twa

1 posted on 06/20/2005 5:45:16 AM PDT by veronica
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To: veronica

Great read, very sad though. The people need to wake up and force the administrations hand on this. Just because "our guy" is in the WH, does not mean he gets a pass. EVERY President must be held accountable daily for his policies. That is the price, those of us not in combat must pay.

2 posted on 06/20/2005 5:54:47 AM PDT by jeremiah (W is a big government liberal.........someone please refute this if possible.)
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To: jeremiah

Appeasement never works. Never.

3 posted on 06/20/2005 5:56:15 AM PDT by veronica (Mimes and clowns are weird...)
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To: veronica

Excellent article and great reminder that our enemy is right here among us in places of importance. They use us for their own gain. Too many Americans in sensitive locations, ie., FBI, Homeland Security, CIA, State Dept., are so arrogant that they don't realize the maneuvering being done.

Brother Ken said, "Every time I look at the flag now and for the rest of my life, the red will represent the blood he spilled, the blue the beating and bruises he endured, and the white the purity and integrity he demonstrated in sacrificing his life."

For me too Ken...

4 posted on 06/20/2005 6:16:15 AM PDT by milford421
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To: veronica

I subscribe to the Reader's Digest. This month's issue had a chilling article about a terrorist named Imad Mugniyah. The article claimed that he was one of the masterminds behind the Lebanon attack of the marines, and the TWA hijacking in which Stethem was murdered. Imad's fingerprints were found in the airplane. There was evidence that he was the planner of the Khobar Towers bombing and other terroristic attacks. The CIA had him cornered in the mid 80's in Paris. The French blocked their efforts to grab him. Later he was found to be in Saudi Arabia. The Saudis blocked the U.S. efforts to grab him. He is an Iranian. He is a senior Hezbollah operative. One that is behind many of the attacks against our military in Iraq.

5 posted on 06/20/2005 6:18:39 AM PDT by EmilyGeiger
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To: veronica
"Appeasement never works. Never. "

Now you tell me...
6 posted on 06/20/2005 6:22:30 AM PDT by LIConFem (A fronte praecipitium, a tergo lupi.)
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To: veronica

"Lebanon never apologized ..."


You cannot apologize and bring the young man back to life, you cannot apologize for all the people who have been blown to bits - innocent people - people who had done nothing to anyone to deserve being blown to bits.


Yes, I'm yelling .. get over it!

7 posted on 06/20/2005 8:20:50 AM PDT by CyberAnt (President Bush: "America is the greatest nation on the face of the earth")
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To: CyberAnt
Yes, I'm yelling .. get over it!

I demand an apology!

(Actually I agree with everything you said. You can't fix the past, you can only change the future)

8 posted on 06/20/2005 8:30:49 AM PDT by John O (God Save America (Please))
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To: John O

"I demand an apology"

ROTFLOL!! That was a good comeback.

9 posted on 06/20/2005 8:39:31 AM PDT by CyberAnt (President Bush: "America is the greatest nation on the face of the earth")
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To: John O

"You can't fix the past, you can only change the future."

And .. if that "future" activity is a continuation of the previous activity - then an "apology" is USELESS AND WORTHLESS.

10 posted on 06/20/2005 8:50:17 AM PDT by CyberAnt (President Bush: "America is the greatest nation on the face of the earth")
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