Al-Akhbar – Hezbollah’s Propaganda Mouthpiece

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My attention was drawn to this article in the NYT today about Al-Akhbar’s extraordinary stance on the STL case. Here is a brief excerpt:

“The first shock came when a leading Lebanese newspaper published a confidential list of 17 witnesses who may testify in the murder trial of a former prime minister — showing their names, passport pictures, dates of birth and where they work.

A spokesman for the United Nations-backed Special Tribunal for Lebanon quickly condemned the publication, in January, as a serious breach of court rules that put the lives of those named at risk.

But the response of the newspaper, Al Akhbar, which is close to the militant movement Hezbollah, was defiant. A few days later it published a second confidential list, splashing the names, pictures and personal details of another 15 possible witnesses across two pages.

The newspaper’s actions seemed to underscore the lengths to which opponents of the tribunal will go to undermine its mandate: to investigate who was behind the powerful car bomb that killed the former Lebanese prime minister, Rafik Hariri, and 22 others in 2005. The leaks raise the likelihood that witnesses may be silenced by fear or coercion, which could seriously weaken the prosecution’s case.”

Funny how the other day I was called out by Al-Akhbar for being a parachute journalist exercising my powers to stir up sensationalist rhetoric about Hezb involvement in Syria.

Barely anyone in the world believes that Hezbollah are not currently waging a war against FSA rebels within Syria so their “Iranian Hasbara” scheme isn’t really working out too well for them.

The assassination of Rafik Hariri is one of the darkest moments in this nation’s history. He wasn’t quite the saviour of the Lebanese people March 14th make him out to be and was allegedly involved in some pretty serious corruption on the way to earning his $16 billion fortune. If there is one thing he brought to the table though it was stability. Stability after decades of civil war can not be written off lightly. His anti-Syrian stance would not fly with the powers that be so Syria gave the order and he was killed.

The execution was “allegedly” conducted by Hezbollah. I say “allegedly” but the evidence in the case is pretty staggering. The man who found the link was also assassinated. The Special Tribunal for Lebanon has been tasked with trying those responsible for the crime.

Hezbollah have refused all co-operation with the STL.

Now, their mouthpiece Al-Akhbar is publishing details of key witnesses in the case. Is this in the interests of journalism? No. This is a clear attempt to sabotage the trial and to intimidate the witnesses.

This kind of behaviour in the media is utterly disgraceful but it at least proves one thing. Hezbollah and their allies are running scared. They are losing the battle for Syria and once they lose the support of the Assad regime things become all the more difficult back home.

I encourage you all to read further into this:

http://www.nytimes.com/2013/03/10/world/middleeast/lebanon-paper-launches-salvo-against-hariri-tribunal.html?smid=tw-share

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