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On The 30th Anniversary Of The Beirut Marine Barracks Bombing,

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  • On The 30th Anniversary Of The Beirut Marine Barracks Bombing,

    The Victims' Families Are Close To Receiving $1.9 Billion

    All was quiet on that fateful morning of October 23, 1983 in Beirut Lebanon. That silence shattered at 6:22 AM, when a lone terrorist driving a Mercedes Benz water truck loaded with the military explosive PETN (the equivalent of 12,000 pounds of TNT), accelerated through the public parking lot south of the building and crashed through a barbed wire and concertina fence. The truck passed through two guard posts without being engaged by fire, went around one sewer pipe obstacle, smashed through the Sergeant of the Guard’s booth, breached the building, and detonated.

    It is believed to be the largest man-made, non-nuclear explosion in history. As the smoke and debris cleared, all that remained of the four story Marine Battalion Landing Team Headquarters was a thirty nine foot crater and the lifeless bodies of 241 brave American servicemen.

    A Defense Department report concluded that the concentration of a large number of U.S. military personnel combined with its location near a busy airport made the Battalion Headquarters Building a prime target for terrorists. Since this was a peacekeeping mission, guards on interior posts were under orders that they could not have loaded weapons. The sentry at one of those interior posts immediately identified the truck as a threat, but by the time he inserted his magazine clip into his M-16 rifle and chambered a round, the truck had already entered the building.

    Approximately four weeks earlier U.S. intelligence intercepted a message to the Iranian Ambassador in Damascus from the Iranian government in Tehran. From this intercept it is known that the Iranian Ambassador directed the terrorist leader of Hezbollah to conduct attacks against military forces in Lebanon and to take “spectacular” action against United States Marines. Admiral James Lyons, Deputy Chief of Naval Operations at the time later stated in court testimony “if there was ever a 24-karat gold document, this was it”. For some unexplained reason, that information never reached the Admiral until two days after the attack.


    When you enter the offices of Thomas Fay (Fay, Kaplan Law) in Washington, D.C., your attention is drawn towards a large framed American flag hanging on the wall. The flag is on loan to him from its owner, Major Joe Jacobs. The flag flew in front of the Marine barracks on the day of the bombing and serves as a constant reminder to Fay of the victims’ families he is fighting for.

    Fay, along with Steven Perles (Perles Law Firm) and Dan Gaskill (Law Office of Dan Gaskill) are counsel for the plaintiff’s in Peterson vs. The Islamic Republic of Iran. The case filed in 2000, alleged that Iran provided substantial support to Hezbollah, which carried out the 1983 attack. In 2007 the plaintiffs received a judgment when U.S. District Judge Royce Lamberth ordered Iran to pay $2.6 billion to families of the 241 servicemen killed in the attack.

    In 2008, the U.S. Treasury Department discovered $1.9 billion of Iranian money at the New York branch of Citibank. The plaintiffs subsequently sued Citibank, Bank Markazi (the central bank of Iran) and Clearstream (which transferred Iranian funds to Citi) in an effort to have the money go toward satisfying the judgment.

    More at Link
    May we raise children who love the unloved things - the dandelion, the worm, the spiderlings.
    Children who sense the rose needs the thorn and run into rainswept days the same way they turn towards the sun...
    And when they're grown and someone has to speak for those who have no voice,
    may they draw upon that wilder bond, those days of tending tender things and be the one.