|Israel Resource Review
||4th March, 2004
Khartoum" by David A, Korn
Dr. Daniel Pipes
Bloomington: Indiana University Press, 1993. 262 pp. $24.95
In the minutes before 7 p.m. on March 1, 1973, a routine diplomatic reception was breaking up at the Saudi embassy in Khartoum, the capital of Sudan. But as the ambassadors left the party and disbursed to find their drivers, a volley of machine-gun bullets suddenly interrupted the quiet scene. Eight masked gunmen of Black September, a covert Palestinian organization, burst out from the shadows and commandeered into the embassy's main reception room all those not fleet of foot enough to escape. There the diplomats were sat down on the floor and compelled to identify themselves by nationality. The assailants then proceeded to release most of them, keeping just five: two Americans - Ambassador Cleo Allen Noel, Jr. and Chargé d'Affaires George Curtis Moore - a Belgian, a Jordanian, and a Saudi. The gunmen sent out a leaflet with their demands, which included the freeing from Jordan of many Palestinians, including Abu Daoud, a leader of the Black September Organization; the freeing of Sirhan Sirhan, Robert Kennedy's killer, from jail in California; and the freeing of "Palestinian women in prison in Israel."
Twenty-six hours of feverish negotiations then went by. On the evening of the 2nd, the Beirut headquarters of the Palestine Liberation Organization (PLO) sent an order of execution to the terrorists via radio broadcast: "Why are you waiting? The people's blood in the Cold River cries for vengeance" ("Cold River" was the code word for executing the captives). Recordings of that call have suspiciously disappeared, but it appears that Yasir Arafat, chairman of the PLO then as now, personally delivered this order to murder. Soon after he did, the two Americans and the Belgian were bound, lined up against a basement wall, and executed in gangland fashion - all eight gunmen simultaneously pulling on their triggers.
Mission accomplished, the eight assailants gave themselves up to the Sudanese authorities. Many months of prevarication then passed (no one in the early 1970s relished the prospect of crossing the PLO). Finally, a Sudanese court on June 24, 1974, sentenced the eight Black September killers to life in prison. This impressive-looking decision was actually a sham, for within hours Sudan's president had commuted the sentences to a mere seven years. He then proceeded to dispatch the eight from his country by putting them on a plane to Cairo.
Three of the prisoners promptly disappeared. The remaining five did in fact serve out their full sentences, with a few months tacked on for good measure at the end - a highly unusual event in the Arab countries - before winning their release.
The author of Assassination in Khartoum, a compelling account about this incident and its repercussions, himself played a small part in the drama. In the mid-1960s David A. Korn had worked for Moore, one of the two dead Americans; then, during the siege at Khartoum, he worked at the Department of State's Operations Center, doing what little he could to save the lives of his two colleagues. Unsuccessful in that effort, he kept the story in mind and now, twenty years later, has published a study which suitably remembers the victims and honors their memory.
But Assassination in Khartoum does more: it has a current significance the author could not possibly have anticipated. With the recent signing of a Israel-PLO accord, Korn's meticulous inquiry into the killings at Khartoum raises important questions about the PLO as an institution, the character of its chairman, and American policy.
Bringing the murder of Noel and Moore back to public attention highlights the unpleasant fact that the PLO has on a number of occasions attacked American citizens. Korn doesn't refer to it, but in 1986 the Senate Judiciary Committee published an important document titled The Availability of Civil and Criminal Actions Against Yassir Arafat's Palestine Liberation Organization. Among a wealth of information, it lists forty-two incidents between 1968 and 1985 in which American citizens suffered depredations at PLO hands.
Probably the best-known of these attacks took place in October 1985 when Leon Klinghoffer, an elderly invalid, was shot and thrown overboard the Italian cruise ship Achille Lauro. In contrast, the most costly incident in terms of American lives is also one of the most completely forgotten: the bombing of TWA flight 707 in September 1974 en route from Tel Aviv to New York. A high-explosive bomb went off in a rear cargo compartment, sending the plane into the Ionian Sea and killing all eighty-eight persons aboard. Other incidents included letter bombs sent to President Nixon and two of his cabinet secretaries (needless to say, they did not get very far), a dead American diplomat in Amman, and a bomb that went off in Boston's Logan Airport. (And the Senate's list is by no means complete: for example, it doesn't mention the April 1973 bombing of an American oil terminal in Lebanon.)
In other words, Americans have their own, serious problem with the PLO quite independent of Israel's. Oddly, however, this point almost never comes up; instead one hears that if Jerusalem is ready to do business with the PLO, who are we Americans to hold back?
This question fits a curious and long-standing logic whereby Americans see their interests in the Middle East through the prism of what's good for Israel. This is not a complete surprise coming from American friends of Israel, who sympathize with the Jewish state and see its concerns as close to our own. But it is little short of amazing to find that Americans hostile to Israel also proclaim (at least publicly) that they look at Middle East politics through an Israeli prism. In George Ball's classic 1977 phrase, they promote an American policy that would "save Israel in spite of herself."
Examples of this approach are easy to find. The virulently anti-Zionist Talcott Seelye, a former U.S. ambassador to Syria, says he long opposed Menachem Begin's policies not because they harmed the American interests but because he found them "antithetical to Israel's long-term interests"! Similarly, Representative John Bryant introduced a bill some years ago to withhold U.S. aid from Israel on the grounds that he sought "to protect the people of Israel from the extreme policies" of the Likud government.
The murder of Cleo and Moore led to another strange case of putting Israel first. Several pro-Israel organizations sought in early 1986, without success, to indict Arafat under U.S. law on criminal charges for his personal involvement in the Khartoum murders. The Department of State ought to have been delighted to find this ally in its effort to protect its own people from terrorism abroad. Not at all: State weighed in against such an indictment on the grounds that Arafat and his colleagues would some day be key to settlement of the Arab-Israeli conflict. In this case, a direct American interest - protecting our own diplomats - was shunted aside in favor of taking steps which might help secure peace for Israel.
This makes no sense. A great power like the United States needs to formulate its own policies in the Middle East. If Jerusalem has its own reasons to overlook the PLO's history of murder that doesn't mean we have to do the same. The PLO's having repeatedly attacked Americans means we have our own issues to settle with it. All of which points to keeping open the possibility of taking a harder line on the PLO than Israel. For example, we need not repeal the many anti-PLO regulations now on the books (a temporary waiver will do); nor need we welcome Yasir Arafat again to our shores. This may sound odd, but it's in keeping with both the tragic events in Khartoum and a close evaluation of American interests.
But now back to Assassination in Khartoum. Like so many studies about foreign subjects, it tells us much more about the American side of this incident than about the Palestinian and Sudanese angles. The author's extensive interviewing endows Noel and Moore with fully developed personalities; in contrast, we never learn so much as the names of their killers. While this skewing is understandable, it's less forgiveable that Korn seems to display more anger at Nixon and Kissinger (whose hard-line policy may have cost the diplomats' lives) than at the Sudanese (who in advance excluded the use of force), the Jordanians (who rejected the terrorists' demand that their leader Abu Daoud be released from a Jordanian jail, only to let him go a mere half-year later), or the Palestinians (who did the actual killing).
Korn has an eye for the ironies of the tragedy. Far from being an enemy of the PLO, Curt Moore espoused vehemently pro-Arab and anti-Israel views. As Korn delicately sums up his outlook, he "felt that the Arabs had legimimate grievances and were, in general, more wronged by Israel than wrong-doing against it." In contrast, he criticized Israelis for their "cockiness" and for being "violently and narrow-mindedly nationalistic." Oddly, Arab terrorists have often targeted such anti-Israel American friends, for example almost every hostage or murder victim in Lebanon during the 1980s.
Published in the American Spectator
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Ex-NSA op asks Congress to
Probe Arafat Murders
Intelligence Analyst: U.S.
Hides Evidence PLO Chief had American Diplomats Killed
Editor and chief executive officer of WorldNetDaily.com.
A former National Security Agency intelligence analyst in the Middle East is formally petitioning Rep. Henry Hyde and the Senate Foreign Relations Committee to investigate the disappearance of recordings made by the NSA of Yasser Arafat planning and directing the murders of two U.S. diplomats in Khartoum, Sudan, in 1973, a story first reported in WorldNetDaily.
On February 28, 1973, James J. Welsh, the National Security Agency's Palestinian analyst, says he was summoned by a colleague about a communication intercepted from Arafat involving an imminent Black September operation in Khartoum.
Within minutes, Welsh recalls, the director of the NSA was notified and the decision was made to send a rare "FLASH" message -- the highest priority -- to the U.S. Embassy in Khartoum via the State Department.
But the message didn't reach the embassy in time. Somewhere between the NSA and the State Department, someone decided the warning was too vague. The alert was downgraded in urgency. The next day, eight members of Black September, part of Arafat's Fatah organization, stormed the Saudi Embassy in Khartoum, took U.S. Ambassador Cleo Noel, diplomat Charge d'Affaires George Curtis Moore and others hostage. A day later, on March 2, 1973, Noel, Moore and Belgian Guy Eid were machine-gunned to death -- all, Welsh charges, on the direct orders of Arafat.
Welsh, who left the Navy and NSA in 1974, accuses the U.S. government of a 28-year-old cover-up of Arafat's role in the planning and execution of the attack.
"Over the years I have kept my silence about what I know about this tragic episode," Welsh told WorldNetDaily. "But recently I began to wonder how recent administrations could overlook something as terrible as this in our dealings with Yasser Arafat."
When President Clinton invited Arafat to the White House for direct negotiations on the Middle East, Welsh says, that was the last straw. He has been on a personal one-man mission to uncover the tape-recordings and transcripts of those intercepts between Arafat and Fatah leader Salah Khalaf, also known as Abu-Iyad, in Beirut and Khalil al-Wazir in Khartoum.
"I have decided that my oaths of secrecy must give way to my sense of right and wrong," he told WorldNetDaily. "I was particularly outraged as I had spent four years following these individuals and, at the moment of our greatest intelligence coup against them, an uninformed GS level had pooh-poohed our work and cost the lives of two U.S. diplomats," he recalls.
Welsh sent a letter to all members of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee March 27, detailing his charges. He sent another to Hyde March 31 after reading of the congressman's call to re-examine U.S. policy toward the Palestinian Authority headed by Arafat.
In his letters, Welsh alleges that earlier congressional investigations were subverted with false and misleading information. He offers to assist investigations in any way he can.
"These tapes do exist," claims Welsh. "I participated in their production. But no one has ever been willing to come forward and acknowledge their existence."
Arafat reportedly ordered the eight gunmen to surrender peacefully to the Sudanese authorities. Two were released for "lack of evidence." Later, in June 1973, the other six were found guilty of murdering the
two diplomats. They were sentenced to life imprisonment and released 24 hours later to the PLO.
During their trial, commander Salim Rizak, also known as Abu Ghassan, told the court: "We carried out this operation on the orders of the Palestine Liberation Organization and should only be questioned by that organization."
Sudanese Vice President Mohammed Bakir said, after questioning the six: "They relied on radio messages from Beirut Fatah headquarters, both for the order to kill the
two diplomats and for their own surrender Sunday morning."
"I know Yasser Arafat was a direct player in the murder of our diplomats and so has every U.S. administration since Richard Nixon's," says Welsh.
Before surrendering, the Khartoum terrorists demanded the release of Sirhan Bishara Sirhan, the convicted assassin of Sen. Robert F. Kennedy, as well as others being held in Israeli and European prisons. Nixon refused to negotiate.
"The problem is not Arafat's occasional lapses of sincerity or honesty," Welsh wrote to Hyde. "If that was the true problem, perhaps we could continue to try to work to guide him to the desired goal of peace. The problem is Arafat himself. He is an unrepentant murderer. To deal with him at any level other than this is hopelessly naïve or indicative of using this issue for mere political posturing. There can be no peace with Arafat as an active participant in the process."
Welsh believes Congress must demand that the executive branch of government release to the public the tape recordings of Arafat's calls to the terrorists in Sudan.
"There are no compelling national security or intelligence source issues today that would prevent this action," he wrote. "For 28 years these tapes have been withheld from Congress and the American people."
Published on WorldNetDaily.com
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Sidebar: Nixon tapes and the
Arafat's murders in Khartoum
The web site
draws some interesting
e-mail and comment from knowledgeable people who read it. On
February 10, 2002, I received a call from Jim Welsh in Oregon
(James J. Welsh), who had noticed that I covered the PLO
uprising in Jordan in 1970 (from which came Black September,
Yasser Arafat's terrorist arm) and the October War in Egypt in
1973, and I did not believe Arafat's denial that his men had
killed Major Robert Perry in Amman in 1970.
Did I have any direct information on Arafat's 1973 murders in
Khartoum, Sudan, of U.S. Ambassador Cleo A. Noel Jr., Charge
George Curtis Moore, and Belgian diplomat Guy Eid?
I had no direct knowledge. All I remembered off-hand was that Israeli intelligence had intercepted a radio-telephone call in which PLO boss Arafat ordered the murders.
Not exactly, Welsh said. It was the National Security Agency that intercepted the calls, a series of them, but that had been suppressed.
Welsh had recently left a NSA listening post on Cyprus where the calls were recorded and was at NSA headquarters. He was a Navy technician and NSA analyst, an Arabic speaker and expert on the PLO. A colleague on Cyprus called him to tell him of the first call on February 28, 1973, from a transmitter at Shatila refugee camp near Beirut.
Shatila was for a time PLO headquarters, and in 1970 West German Communist terrorists had trained there -- the East Berlin-backed Baader-Meinhof gang, or Red Army Faction. Their key members committed suicide in a West German prison when repeated hostage-taking vemtures failed to free them. A dozen years later, in September 1982, then-General Ariel Sharon invaded Lebanon in response to PLO attacks and drove to Beirut, forcing Arafat to flee to Tunisia, under protection of the Ronald Reagan administration. In
three days in 1982, September 16-18, 2,700 Palestinians by Red Cross estimate were killed in two camps, Sabra and Shatila, by Christian Phalange troops who were losing the civil war that the PLO arrival from Jordan had triggered in Lebanon. Sharon was blamed although Israeli troops stayed out of the camps.
That intercepted February 28 message was from Salah Khalaf (Abu Iyad), assistant to Arafat and head of Black September in Lebanon, to Khalil al-Wazir in Khartoum. Khalaf was No. 2 in Arafat's Fatah, a close friend since the two Egyptians were classmates in Cairo, where Arafat was head of the Palestinian Student League. The name Abu Iyad was notorious in 1973 as the overall leader of Black September when it sent a group to kidnap and murder 11 Israeli athletes at the 1972 Olympic Games. Mohammed Oudeh (Abu Daoud) was the off-scene mastermind of the Olympics hostage taking, as he claimed in an autobiography published in France, and he lived on the run between countries for years before settling in Jordan, but Salah Khalaf was his superior. Khalaf was assassinated in Tunis in 1991 by bodyguards of the PLO's Abu al-Hawl, who also was killed that night. The gunman was believed to belong to Abu Nidal's organization, which was challenging Fatah for leadership of the Palestinians. Through the 70s, the PLO was an unruly coalition of competing gangs, and the revolt against King Hussein in 1970 was not so much directed at the king as it was Arafat's effort to shut out of an Irbid-based Palestinian nation the Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine of Dr. George Habash and Waddia Haddad, which had upstaged Fatah with its multiple aircraft hijackings and was doing better than Fatah recruiting in the refugee camps. Waddia Haddad, the father of PLO terrorism who assigned the hijack teams, died of cancer in East Berlin's Charite Hospital.
In the 1973 phone call, Abu Iyad was instructing Wazir in Khartoum to raid with eight Black September guerrillas the Saudi Embassy party for departing U.S. Charge George Curtis Moore, an Arabist popular with most Arabs, who was being replaced by Ambassador Noel, and to seize the Americans.
Welsh belives that Wazir supplied the weapons, brought into Sudan in a Libyan diplomatic pouch -- more wheels within wheels == but was not one of the eight murderers.
Welsh said the NSA director, the late Air Force General Sam Phillips, was notified by Frank Raven, and a FLASH warning was sent to the State Department for relay to the U.S. Embassy in Khartoum. It may have been delayed at State (or at NSA) when someone in the bureaucracy downgraded its urgency.
The next day, March 1, the eight guerrillas armed with pistols and what were described in a State Department cable as submachineguns (probably Kalashnikovs) took more than a half dozen hostages at the Saudi reception. News reports said they demanded the release of Sirhan Sirhan, convicted assassin of Robert Kennedy, and others jailed in Israel and Egypt. President Nixon refused to negotiate with the guerrillas.
Sudanese President Jaafar Nimeiri, who had led an Arab League mediation team in Amman in 1970, was absent from Khartoum, held in Juma by bad flying weather. Nimeiri, a military dictator and strong PLO supporter, had been seeking good relations with the United States, and had proposed in 1972 to Secretary Rogers and Special Envoy Joe Sisco getting friendly Arabs, like the Saudis, Kuwsitis, and Libyans (!) to talk Answar Sadat into negotiations with the Israelis. State was responding to his gestures, and Nimeiri doubled the Sudanese interest section in Washington, so he was being treated with kid gloves.
Abu Iyad telephoned the order to murder two of the hostages and release the others, saying "Remember Nahr al-Bard (translation: Cold River). The people's blood in Nahr al-Bard cries out for vengeance." The reference was to a terrorist camp raided by Israel 11 days earlier that killed the terrorists of the Munich massacre who had escaped the Munich shootout.
Another recorded message on March 2 was from Arafat himself to Salim Rizak (Abu Ghassan), operational commander of the killers, to confirm that he understood that the code "Cold River" meant executing the hostages. Rizak reported that the executions already had been carried out. The murders were sadistic, 40 bullets fired into the
two diplomats from near the floor level upward to ensure agonizing deaths, according to Inside the PLO, by Neil Livingstone and David Halevy (Quill/Morrow, New York, 1990). First the victims were told to write wills and farewell messages to their families, according to Holger Jensen, who was in Khartoum for AP.
Another message from Arafat said "your mission is over," and instructed Rizak to surrender to Sudanese officials, which was done at six a.m. March 4. Two were immediately released "for lack of evidence," and six others were tried in June, convicted of murder, but later released to PLO custody and flown out of the country.
Welsh said that the State Department had sealed or purged records at the National Archives, perhaps for reasons of state, but since he returned home and left NSA in 1974, he has felt increasing urgency to break his oath of secrecy. He felt he could not remain silent about the NSA evidence, especially after President Clinton invited Arafat to the White House, Secretary of State Madeleine Albright held hands with Arafat, and Hillary kissed Arafat's wife. He is certain that the tape recordings of the radio-telephone calls still exist, but no one will officially acknowledge them.
In 1989 Senator Jesse Helms learned that the State Department was negotiating with the PLO, and in fact with Salah Khalaf, who had become a diplomat. Helms tried to get the Senate to adopt an amendment to prevent the United States from negotiating with the terrorist PLO. Welsh informed Joseph Farah, who published an extensive report on WorldNetDaily.com on April 17, 2001. Welsh also filled in the New York Post in December 2001 on the story that had been suppressed by the State Department and every President since Nixon.
In Spring 1973 the dominant news story in the United States was Watergate, as Gordon Liddy, Howard Hunt and the burglars on March 23 were sentenced to long prison terms and the focus of investigation narrowed to Nixon. Biographer Richard Reeves said on TV that by April 1973, Nixon knew he was finished. The Middle East story that year was the October War, launched by Egyptian President Anwar Sadat, and the OPEC oil boycott of the United States and The Netherlands (Europe's refinery center) by Saudi Arabia, whose King Faisal secretly had promised Sadat such support if his war went awry, according to Arnaud de Borchgrave, then of Newsweek. Sadat lost his war, then won anyway, when Menachem Begin gave him back the Sinai -- "every grain of sand" -- as Sadat demanded, but Sadat then was murdered, not by Israelis, but by the Muslim Brotherhood, his own people.
Arafat, in Lebanon, played no role in the 1973 war and was a sideshow, all but ignored by a media concentrated on Watergate, while the Soviet Union, wounded by Nixon's opening to China, was a major player, first building Egypt's SAM missile sites that almost won the war, then being ordered out of Egypt by Sadat, then coming back in -- if they ever left. The Nixon administration received little support from NATO allies when Nixon went to Israel's aid. Willy Brandt, West Germany's first Socialist chancellor, who had released the
three surviving Black September killers of the Israeli Olympics athletes the year before, denied refueling rights for replacement aircraft Nixon was sending to Israel, so Phantom jets were refueled in the air over the Azores on their way to the Sinai.
I had covered the 1972 Munich massacre for the New York Daily News in September 1972, when five Bavarian Police sharpshooters took on the eight terrorists with their 11 hostages at Fuerstenfeldbruck airport, and I also covered the release in October of
three Black September guerrillas when Black September promptly hijacked a Lifthansa plane over Turkey with 23 aboard. The hijackers ordered the plane to Munich to demand the three killers' release, then on to Zagreb, Yugoslavia, wary of Bavarian police on the ground. Brandt's government flew the three killers to Zagreb by executive jet, where they joined the captive Lufthansa people and were flown to Mohammar Khadafi's Libya. The three freed killers were Ibrahim Masud Dudran, 20, Samer Mohammed Abdullah, 22, and Abdel Kadir Dnawy, 21.
In February-March 1973, when the Khartoum atrocity occurred, William Rogers was Secretary of State, his authority somewhat undermined when he was cut out from the Nixon-Kissinger negotiations to open China. In September 1973, Kissinger became Secretary of State just in time to be faced by the October War and the surprise that Sadat and Syria's Hafez Assad had been able to keep secrecy in coordinating their attacks on Israel. Jim Welsh suspects that Kissinger suppressed the tapes, transcripts and documents relating to the Khartoum murders, although the information was withheld for months before he took over the State Department.
In February 2002 I spent several days at the National Archives searching State Department and then NSC documents on the murder of Ambassador Noel, and concluded that Welsh was correct in saying the records have been purged. I was directed to four file-boxes in which Noel's material was archived, along with unrelated matters of that time frame. In two boxes there were file folders on Noel, each about one-inch thick, almost entirely messages of condolences and thank-you letters from Secretary of State Rogers acknowledging them. Deputy Undersecretary William Macomber Jr. headed a task force on Khartoum, but I found no task force reports in the Sudan boxes. (But there were Macomber documents in National Security Council box 666, labled Black September Organization, not pointed out by NARA.)
I found only about a dozen telegrams on the Khartoum developments themselves, not the stack of paper I expected for an event of this magnitude, which was Page One on newspapers all over the world for a few days. The scanty documents of interest including one FLASH message reporting the hostage taking, and one SECRET State Department chronology of the event written on March 1, before the hostages were murdered, but no follow-up. One telegram outlined State policy as avoiding the use of force in any rescue attempt and stalling to wear down the terrorists.
The few sheets of paper on the seizure of Noel, Moore, Eid, plus Saudi, Jordanian and Spanish diplomats, who were released, contained scraps of information, some contradictory. The chronology, for example, reports that the Spanish diplomat said the terrorists demanded that the United States turn over to them King Hussein of Jordan, which I do not remember seeing in news reports. It also said among terrorists demands was the release of German terrorists. (I covered the Baader-Meinhof gang, although my newspaper did not use much of my material, and Andreas Baader, January Carl Raspe, and Gudrun Ensslin did in fact kill themselves in prison after another aircraft hijacking in 1977 failed to release them, after Ulrike Meinhof killed herself a year earlier.) The archive also revealed that Noel and Moore were put on the telephone to the State Department, where they repeated the terrorists's demands, Moore giving a long list of Jordanian prisoners to be released, but two notes on these phone messages are one page each, appear incomplete, and did not mention either King Hussein or the Germans.
I received good cooperation from Milton Gustafson at the State Department archives, who went out of his way to telephone me at home to say he had found Noel material in boxes classified under the heading PER as well as POL.
I received little help from the National Archives' Nixon Project, where Dmitri Reavis, the Project member available, refused any cooperation. The Project director, Karl Weissenbach, whom I reached days later, said that the Nixon tapes I requested, March 1-3, 1973, by court order will not be released until 2004, but he would try to find other documents referring to Arafat's taped telephone orders.
The Nixon Project, an archive within the National Archives created when Congress confiscated Nixon's papers, eventually produced
three boxes containing Sudan folders, but they had been thoroughly purged. Normally an archivist delivers boxes within 45 minutes, but I waited an hour and a half for two of
three requested boxes. The third box took two hours and a second request with the notation for the archivist to call the Nixon Project.
The delayed National Security Council box had a Sudan folder with no files in it, only a sheaf of pages, each stating "This file has been removed." Missing were files labled 1-11, 22, 25-28, and higher numbers filed in 1974. Also missing were all the files in between these numbers, without removal slips. It looked like monkey business in the National Archives.
On my own, I found NSC box 666. which contained several folders on Black September. Two folders were empty, except for withdrawal slips indicating at least 70 documents had been removed, including 25 CIA situation reports.
One CIA report survived the purge, because it was enclosed in a message from Secretary of State Rogers sent March 13, 1973 to selected U.S. embassies, suggesting they circulate its information to foreign governments "orally only," due to its sensitivity. This lone CIA report shows that the CIA, Rogers, Sisco and many at State understood Arafat's connection.
"Begin text. The Black September Organization (BSO) is a cover term for Fatah's terrorist operations executed by Fatah's intellgence organization, Jihaz al-Rasd. The collapse of Fatah's guerrilla efforts led Fatah to clandestine terrorism against Israel and countries friendly to it. Fatah's funds, facilities and personnel are used in these operations. There is evidence that the "BSO" operation in Khartoum was carried out with substantial help from Fatah's Khartoum office and applauded by Fatah radio stations in Cairo and Beirut. In addition, Fatah Deputy Chief Salah Khalaf, chief of "BSO," gets an independent subsity from the Libyan government.
"For all intents and purposes no significant distinction now can be made between the BSO and Fatah. Four of Fatah's 10-man command, including Khalaf, the planner and director of the Munich and Khartoum operations, are identified as "BSO" leaders. Fatah leader Yasir Arafat has now been described in recent intelligence reports as having given approval to the Khartoum operation prior to its inception.
"Arafat continues to disavow publicly any connection between Fatah and terrorist operations. Similarly, Fatah maintains its pretense of moderation vis-a-vis the Arab governments, a pose which most of these governments find convenient for their public position toward the Palestinian cause. It seems certain also that some elements within Fatah are opposed to terrorism, and the chaotic state of the whole fedayeen movement assures factionalism, power struggles, and unclear lines of command. Nontheless, the Fatah leadership including Arafat now seem clearly committed to terrorism. End text."
State had the right idea in attempting to notify NATO and Arab nations that Arafat was behind the murders, but the method, word of mouth, banning any documentary proof, is weird. For NARA to continue to withhold so many documents and thereby protect Arafat borders on the criminal.
I found no reference in the National Archives to a NSA telephone intercept, never officially acknowledged to exist, and although Isreal has repeatedly confirmed publicly it intercepted Arafat's orders, there is no reference to that information either. Welsh said his Freedom of Information requests have been denied.
Welsh suggested that Arafat's ordering the Khartoum killings was suppressed to avoid further exacerbating relations with Saudi Arabia, which is credible because the United States took no action to retaliate against the Saudi oil boycott of the Nixon administration.
There is no mention of the Khartoum murders nor of Ambassador Noel in the indexes of Nixon's RN or in Kissinger's White House Years.
Saudi oil appeared decisive in the continued coverup of Arafat's murders, as the effects of the oil boycott contributed to the one-sided votes to impeach Nixon in the House Judiciary Committee. It was a warning to subsequent Presidents not to monkey with the Saudis. As a result, Arafat has for 35 years been the PLO's commanding extortionist, kidnaper, and murderer, and the worst calamity ever to befall the Palestinian people.
President George W. Bush should break off relations with the Palestinian Authority so long as Arafat remains in charge, and the Justice Department should issue the long-suppressed subpoenas for Arafat on specific murder charges. Arafat's crew should be ordered out of this country, including his spokesman Hassan Abdel Rahman, who appears often on Fox TV mouthing such absurd charges as "Israel created Hamas," the terrorist group. Years ago I disputed with Rahman on a New York local TV show,
I don't know what the United States should de about Saudi Arabia, which has financed Arafat for 35 years and other terrorists including Usama bin Laden all these years. Washington has considered the Saudi royal family moderate, and it had shared the Allah-given wealth more or less fairly with its citizens, but that is less clear with each year. It has not been in the interest of the United States to have a revolution in Saudi Arabia, certainly not a Marxist revolution, nor a fundamentalist Islamic revolution, nor a takeover by Iraq. However, the Saudi reaction to President George Bush Senior's rescuing their country when Iraq's Saddam Hussein seized Kuwait and then set its oil fields afire has not been encouraging.
Gratitude is unknown to the present guardians of Islam.
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Dedicating this issue of
Israel Resource Review to Honor the memories of two US
Diplomats - Noel and Moore - Murdered 30 years ago today at the
direct order of Yassir Arafat
Today's issue of Israel Resource Review is dedicated to the memory of two
US diplomats, murdered in Khartoum thirty-one years ago today, at the direct order of Yassir Arafat.
The evidence is in. Will justice be done to the US diplomatic community and to the Noel and Moore families, thirty-one
A question that has yet to be answered.
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