June 15, 2010, - 12:04 pm
Twenty-Five Years Later, Don’t Forget Robert Dean Stethem . . . & What Hezbollah Did to Him (Mark Levin Excuses Hezbollah Supporters)
Today is the 25th anniversary of the Hezbollah torture murder of American Navy diver Robert Dean Stethem on the hijacked TWA flight 847. But you’d hardly know it. There’s nary a peep about it anywhere. Why hasn’t America remembered?
Robert Dean Stethem, Murdered by Hezbollah on June 15, 1985, RIP
As I write this, there is only one link on Google News which references the event. But I remember.
Twenty-five years ago, this week, Hezbollah and Harakat Amal (Shi’ite Amal Militia) terrorists hijacked TWA 847. They trampled Stethem to death for the “crime” of being American and being a serviceman. In the ultimate patriotism, Stethem refused the hijackers’ demands that he denounce America. Each time he refused they tortured him more, until finally they murdered him. The beginning scenes in the unfairly maligned 1986 movie, “The Delta Force,” are a pretty accurate portrayal of what happened, though not quite as graphic as the real thing.
But, whereas yesterday, the Bush Administration and Condoleeza Rice floated the idea that the U.S. should recognize Hezbollah, today, the Obama Administration does the same.
Yesterday, we despised this terrorist group, Hezbollah, that–with Harakat Amal–murdered over 300 U.S. Marines and officials (in addition to Rob Stethem). Today, Donald Trump and his idiots pick a Hezbollah supporter from a family of Hezbollah terrorists as Miss USA, and not a single journalist–from FOX News’ bimbo morning show to the Voice of America’s “Mideast Monitor” host David Byrd–will dare ask her to say three words, “I condemn Hezbollah.” Yesterday, we vowed to do something about Hezbollah and put it out of business, but we did nothing.
Today, we have over 30,000 open Hezbollah supporters alive and well living in Dearbornistan (and beyond) on our shores, and more are coming to America every day. Yesterday, we condemned Hezbollah, but today our top Homeland Security officials (in both Bush and Obama administrations) hang out with its American agents and Iran-backed imams including Imams Mohammed Ali Elahi and Hassan Qazwini. Yesterday, Republicans and conservatives claimed to be tough on Islamic terrorism. Today, those same Republicans and conservatives embrace open Hezbollah and Syria supporter, Congressman Darrell Issa a/k/a Jihad Darrell.
Imam Mohammed Ali Elahi (right) w/Hezbollah Spiritual Leader Sheikh Fadlallah
Qazwini w/Hezbollah Spiritual Leader Mohammed Hussein Fadlallah
GOP Michigan Gov. Candidate Mike Bouchard w/Extremist pro-Hezbollah/HAMAS Imam Hassan Qazwini
Today, fraudulent “opponents” of Islamic terrorism, like talk show host Mark Levin, make excuses for embracing Hezbollah supporters and enablers. When his candidate for President, Fred Thompson, hired Hezbollah supporter and financier Spencer Abraham as his campaign manager (a story I broke on this site), Levin said (on his nationally syndicated radio show) that this was okay, “because he needs him to win Michigan.” Huh? Remember that the next time Levin attacks the Dems and Obama for being soft on terrorism. Look in the mirror, Mark. And stop gushing over Jihad Darrell. The ADL (Anti-Defamation League), which claims to fight Islamic terrorism, gushingly hosted a Hezbollah supporter and lawyer, for its “diversity” programming. Thank airheaded ADL Michigan chieftess, Betsy Kellman, for that one.
Mark Levin Gives Thumbs Up to Hezbollah . . . When it Helps His Friends Win Elections
Below is an excerpt of my 2005 column on the hijacking, what they did to Robert Stethem, and the inroads Hezbollah has made in this country. That was on the 20th anniversary of his murder. Sadly, five years later, nothing has changed. It’s only gotten worse. Please also note that Ronald Reagan never did anything in response to the hijacking and murder. There were no bombings, no nothing. Hezbollah got the message loud and clear, a message the group gets to this day: that it can kidnap, torture, and murder with impunity.
The hijacking and murder was among the first televised Islamic terror attacks against Americans, unfolding on TV screens over 17 days. . . .
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, . . . 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.
In December 2005, I broke the story that the fourth murderer, Mohammad Ali Hamadi, was secretly freed by Germany, where he was caught smuggling explosives. In February 2008, Mugniyeh was killed in a mysterious car bomb in Syria.
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 frequent ally] of Al-Qaeda and trained the insurgents who attack American soldiers in Iraq.
Just after 9/11 (and many times since), [Republican] U.S. Congressman Darrell Issa . . . openly praised Hezbollah as “legitimate resistance” and lauded Stethem’s barbaric murderers for “the good things they do.”
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.
After this, there was enough outrage and revulsion at the Bush Administration that it never recognized Hezbollah again, but the Bush State Department and USAID gave Hezbollah millions in aid during and after the 2006 Israel-Hezbollah war.
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 [as a result of my New York Post column about it]). 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 Berri, speaker of the Lebanese Parliament, who just also happened to be the spokesman, chief negotiator, and media mastermind for the Hezbollah hijackers who murdered Stethem. It’s beyond embarrassing that Berri–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. . . .
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.
Sadly, America has “moved on.” Moved on to looking to recognize the terrorist group, a ghastly idea which was pimped first by the Bush Administration and lately by Obama’s. And “moved on” to all of the things I’ve noted above, in which Hezbollah supporters and enablers are embraced by the most conservative Republicans as well as the Obama Administration and Democrats in Congress.
Today, there is a “monument” to the memory of Robert Dean Stethem–the Navy ship, the U.S.S. Stethem.
But Rob Stethem’s brutal murder at the hands of Hezbollah demands more than memorial in a ship name. It demands the conscience of America’s elected officials on both sides of the aisle and the American public.
Sadly, they have forgotten. And Rob Stethem, forever the 23-year-old who gave his life for America in resisting Islamic terrorists, is turning over in his grave.
It’s been a quarter century since his murder by Hezbollah. And America has learned nothing other than appeasement.
Maybe, one day, America will come to its senses, and he will finally get to rest in peace. But I doubt it.
Tags: 1985, Amal, Barack Obama, Flight 847, Fred Thompson, George W. Bush, Harakat Amal, Hezbollah, hijacked, hijacking, Islam, Islamic Terrorism, Lebanon, Mark Levin, murder, Navy Diver, Rob Stethem, Robert D. Stethem, Robert Dean Stethem, Robert Stethem, Shi'ite Amal Militia, Spencer Abraham, Torture, TWA, TWA 847, TWA Flight 847, U.S.S. Stethem