The Rocket’s reference to the National Security Agency reminds me…The Rocket kindly noted last Sunday that the Star Tribune published a piece I wrote about the United States Department of State and Yasser Arafat. I noted the involvement of Yasser Arafat in the 1973 assassination of Cleo Noel, Jr., the former United States Ambassador to Sudan, and George Curtis Moore, his charge d’affaires, both former State Department employees. Given Arafat’s involvement in the truly brutal assassination of its former colleagues, let alone his involvment in the murder of many other Americans, I found it difficult to understand why the State Department carries water so slavishly for Arafat. The department cannot bring itself to tell the truth about him and instead acts to conceal it, most recently in its Patterns of Global Terrorism report for the year 2001. In working on the piece I corresponded with the State Department’s official spokesman for Near East Affairs, Gregory Sullivan, who observed that Noel and Moore had been assassinated by Black September and that no link had been established between Arafat and Black September.
In researching the piece, I found the following information relevant to the question of Arafat’s link to Black September and his involvement in the assassination operation. First, the head of Black September was Arafat’s number two man in his Fatah organization. There is simply no dispute about that. Arafat himself set up Black September to be his operational terrorist organization, albeit one to which he could deny his link. Second, in his book “Assassinaton in Khartoum,” former State Department employee David Korn cites a State Department cable referring to intelligence information that Arafat had personally approved the operation. Third, one of the orders to assassinate Noel and Moore was broadcast over the PLO’s Voice of Palestine radio station. Let me say it one more time: the murder order was broadcast over PLO radio. Korn quotes the order delivered over Voice of Palestine in his book as well as the coded order referring to the operation’s name–“Cold River”–that was delivered via short wave radio. (I garbled my reference to Korn’s information in the Star Tribune article.) Fourth, the coded short wave radio assassination order was reputedly intercepted and recorded both by Israeli intelligence (see Robert Pollock’s Wall Street Journal column of a year or so ago) and the National Security Agency. The NSA’s copy of the recording has mysteriously disappeared, but according to Pollock (if I recall correctly) Ariel Sharon brought a copy of Israel’s recording with him on a visit to the US last year. According to one former NSA employee who was involved in intercepting the short wave radio order, the order was given by Arafat himself. Insight Magazine published an article regarding the former NSA employee by Kenneth Timmerman last year as well, and the foremer NSA employee has given interviews to the same effect to others, including a columnist for the Pittsburgh Post Gazette. The State Department’s denial of Arafat’s responsibility for the assassination of Noel and Moore is…shocking, isn’t it? Looking at the assassination of Noel and Moore with the perspective of 30 years and in light of current events, we can see clearly (if we look) that this is simply how Arafat operates.
And speaking of statesmanship, if there is a worse example of statesmanship since Neville Chamberlain’s agreement with Hitler at Munich than Yitzhak Rabin’s agreement to the Oslo Accords, I don’t know what it is. And at least Chamberlain and Hitler were not awarded the Nobel Peace Prize for their great work at Munich, as were Shimon Peres and “Chairman” Arafat!
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