The Esoteric perspective in this context means the "inner" (eso-), in the sense of the inner consciousness; the contemplative, gnostic, wisdom perspective, as opposed to the "outer" (exo-) or Exoteric, i.e. the outer or surface or everyday consciousness. Esoteric and Exoteric are the two basic ways of looking at reality - the intuitive and the rational.
Do you accept Wikipedia as good source for investigating such things as the 7 World Trade Center collapse on September 11, 2001 after two Boeing 767's hit the two buildings next to it or discussing the Esoteric interpretation of the Qur'an? Should Wikipedia even be allowed to continue on the Internet or are you one that believes that it causes confusion to the uninformed public.
I am so pleased to be working with an older African American gentleman by the name of Joseph Harland who for years was a servant to the Honorable Howard Baker, Jr. and traveled with Mr. Baker and his first wife Joy Dirksen on trips to Washington, D.C. He has given me stories that I can remember of how particular Howard was when a junior Senator in Washington circles. If I ever get the chance I would mention Joseph Harland to Ambassador Baker and let him know how well Mr. Harland remembers his time while in the Baker's service.
Stories from Joseph Harland:
Joseph had just gotten out of the Air Force in 1978 when his cousin Wagner, who bar tended at Cherokee Country Club, told him that Howard Baker, needed someone to attend him. He got Joseph a small room without a bed in the slave quarters of one of the old Civil War houses on Kingston Pike to stay until he needed him in Helenwood.
Mr.. Howard had several houses behind his house in Helenwood. Joseph used one as his quarters while staying at the Baker house. Howard liked for Joseph to dress in a tuxedo while serving he and his guests. Joseph said that nothing worked in the small house that Baker allowed him in Helenwood. He talked of the Studebaker that the Baker's kept in a barn out behind the house.
He traveled to Washington, driving one of the Baker cars, and although he said that he was not paid well in Tennessee that he was in Washington. The time that Joseph spent with Howard and Joy Dirksen Baker was the time that Howard and Jimmy Carter traveled to Japan, 1978 he believes. This was a business trip for the Baker's.
1967 Graduate of Claiborne County High School and 1968 Freshman at Lincoln Memorial University - Miss Pearl Robinson
Has TVA finally sank us and destroyed our environment. One step in BAILING OUT should be to split TVA up like the nucleus of an ATOM
It must be nice to think that everybody likes you. Imagine the money and time Howard Baker, Jr. has taken to insure that his legacy will be remembered just how he wants it to be. I traveled my life in some way or other during Senator Baker's influence on the politics of especially East Tennessee. Not much of it has meant more to me than the two and one-half years I spent in Washington D.C. 1972-1974 during his participation in the Watergate hearings. A mutual friend of ours, Hazel Davis, wife of Judge William "Bill" Davis introduced Senator Baker once as someone that knew the worth of having to work his way through school, having left her house once having to hitchhike back to his home in Scott County. I often doubted that story but who knows. Through the years I have lost much of the respect for Howard Baker, Jr., one because of my strong belief in the Democratic Party and others you can read below. The few video's are complementary to Senator Baker and I am of course humbled by them as anyone would be, especially those who have gained their own prominence or position in some way because of Howard Baker, Jr. or those he supports. I assure you I am not one of those.
How humiliating it is to be degraded by large political figures and their trickle down political chieftains in local county government. Once I admired Senator Howard Baker (ROBERT SOB-EL - Irene SOB-adosky - SIMON E. SOB-ELOFF) and many other politicians but found that they favored unscrupulous politicians on local levels and even in corporate America to honest hard working people trying to protect the health and welfare of themselves, their family and their employees. I found that one or two wrong words or deeds can cost you your reputation, friends, lively hood and maybe even your life. And the big man at the top doesn't even realize it. He has forgotten to care. Oh, the stories I heard regarding the Tennessee Valley Authority's first years from my father and Uncle Fate. How my uncle met his wife Helen McMahon from Sevierville while she was working in a small office located about where Pa & Ma Brown's old store was. Where they were the clerical employee's employed by TVA drawing up all the deeds to the land needed for the formation of Norris Lake and the building of Norris Dam. How proud
they were that she was working with Howard Baker, Sr., wife Senator Irene Edith Bailey Baker at this small office. How they used to socialize with the Baker's while the deeds were gathered. How years later I had attended Lincoln Memorial University with Rodney Keene, a music student of my Aunt Mildred Payne Bumgardner, whose husband Clyde was a druggist in Hazard, Kentucky. And trying to understand how Rodney was supposedly related to Senator Howard Baker, Sr.'s first wife, Helen Blanch Keene and her father Alderson Thompson KEENE. Imagine having to prove your only half kin to the incredibly powerful Baker family of Scott County, Tennessee.
New York Post - December 8, 2008 -- FORMER Tennessee Sen. Fred Thompson is cashing in on next month's inauguration. A source tells us the ex-Republican presidential candidate and part-time actor, who did 142 episodes of "Law & Order," is offering to rent his luxury one-bedroom condo in Washington, DC, for five days. The price: $30,000. "It has a balcony overlooking the inaugural parade route, the Navy Memorial and the US Capitol, and comes with a reserved parking space," said our insider.
I watched him during the "Watergate Scandal" and was impressed by the way he was able to save face for certain aspects of his Republican party. I think that was some of the best play acting by both he and Senator Fred Thompson that has ever been staged by their Republican Party. For example:
"Thompson was a mole for the White House," Armstrong said in an interview. "Fred was working hammer and tong to defeat the investigation of finding out what happened to authorize Watergate and find out what the role of the president was."
A National Public Radio report talks of collaboration between both Baker and Thompson with Richard Nixon's White House lawyer Fred Buzhardt.
In fact, Thompson was being fed information — by Nixon lawyer J. Fred Buzhardt. White House tapes, later made public, captured Nixon, Buzhardt and others discussing the cooperation of both Thompson and Baker, not once but several times.
It is inconceivable to me that Senator Baker could have written the first Clean Water Act in 1972. I am skeptical that his interest in the environment played any part in the formulation of the Clean Water Act.
WASHINGTON, DC, June 7, 2004 (ENS) – Attorneys general from seven states urged President George W. Bush on Friday to immediately require the Tennessee Valley Authority (TVA) to install modern pollution controls at its 11 coal-fired power plants. A federal corporation and regional development agency, the TVA is the nation’s largest public power company.
The attorneys general called on the President to act because efforts to "remedy significant, on-going violations of the Clean Air Act’s New Source Review requirements" have failed and the subsequent pollution is harming public health and the environment.
"TVA is one of the nation’s largest air polluters and its emissions degrade air quality throughout the eastern and mid-western United States," said the attorneys general of Connecticut, Illinois, Massachusetts, New Jersey, New York, Rhode Island and Vermont. All these states are outside of the TVA's service area and do not receive electricity generated by the power plants at issue.
However his/our cousin James T. Baker, who was in charge of the Water Department in Scott County, did have a genuine concern for water and seeing that clean water was delivered to the people of Scott County for many years. I doubt if Howard's concern for the environment came anywhere near his interest in Big Oil and it's riches. With Howard's interest in oil and the like, it must have been hard to weigh the evils of polluting the environment as opposed to preserving and conserving natural resources. I think as the problem persists he and his cronies will continue to actively cause those of us who grew up with a true concern to be pushed aside and publicly humiliated by him and others politically powerful enough to do so. Their ambitions are contrary to those of the true environmentalist and historians. Two video's are below that may be of interest. One regarding Howard Baker's political career during the Watergate hearings by Senator Robert Wexler. In all fairness Howard has had a long and mostly successful career but in his quest to secure his legacy has cast aside many of us who supported him so many years and looked the other way, especially during the George W. Bush administration.
In my opinion, J.T. Baker and his wife, on the other hand, were and are, respectively, very interested in preserving, especially the Tobias Phillips history in Scott County, Tennessee, which seems to me has been not only disregarded, it has been trampled on by the wrong people. As I have told you there are two lines of the Phillips family in Scott County and Atty General Paul Phillips is from both. J.T. Baker's widow, Irene Sobodosky Baker has worked tirelessly to catalog the county history and I think that James Toomey Baker deserves a place in that counties history with his concerns for clean water and the public health and welfare. The video below is from the Howard Baker Center for Public Policy at the University of Tennessee
Much of this political theater seems to be going on right here in Claiborne County also, history the way the politically powerful want to make it appear. James Toomey Baker deserves something more than just a brief mention in one of the good Senator's picture books. And that mention was regarding an incident during an overnight stay in 1982 in Huntsville by then President Ronald Reagan when J.T. became annoyed at some crows flying around on his property, which is located less than a mile from Senator Baker's house. J.T. told us that all he wanted to do was scare the damned crows away, they were making a big ruckus. He went and got his shotgun and began shooting up in the air just to scare the crows away. He said next thing he knew he was surrounded by Secret Service agents with their guns drawn. He said if it weren't for Senator Baker explaining it was just J.T. scaring the crows the he surely would have wound up in Federal Prison. Well, I guess Howard isn't all bad.
J.T. Baker on a trip to Rugby in about 1991 with my brother Eddie and my mother, told us of tapes he had of an Adolph Ruth regarding the Superstition Mountains and a treasure in GOLD called the Lost Dutchman's Gold Mine. He said the tapes were on an old reel to reel and were conversations that Ruth had with an interviewer and that if he could he would send me the tapes that gave a fairly good description of where Ruth had heard the GOLD was hidden. Now, this is the thing of dreams, finding a treasure in GOLD. Instead of sending the tapes, I sent an entire years worth of searching to Irene Baker and they were never returned. I will never understand the logic of that.
I have found that along with Howard, Senator Edward Muskie co-authored the 1972 Clean Water Act. I wonder just how much of this act Senator Baker truly wrote.
Howard H. Baker Jr. — Baker became the first Republican popularly elected to the U.S. Senate from Tennessee in 1966. As a member of the Senate Public Works Committee, he was instrumental in developing the Federal Water Pollution Control Act of 1972. He memorably urged his colleagues to override President Nixon’s veto of the bill, calling it “the most significant and promising piece of legislation ever passed by Congress.” He concluded his Senate career in 1985 after two terms as majority leader (1981-85) and two terms as minority leader (1977-1981). He was President Reagan’s Chief of Staff from February 1987 to July 1988 and was appointed in 2001 by President George W. Bush to serve as the U.S. Ambassador to Japan. He currently is senior counsel at the law firm Baker, Donelson, Bearman, Caldwell &
Senator Muskie just happened to be a neighbor of my wife's family in Bethesda, Maryland when she was growing up. Senator Muskie's son Ned Muskie was Amy's age and they attended school together for some time. Ned was a "bully" according to Amy and I attribute a lot of the problems she may have had during her elementary school days to Ned Muskie and others that teased her for being a little slower than the rest of the children in her class.
Began to notice when my brother told me Howard had joined the "American Oil Cartel" when Senator Baker bought all that EXXON (Esso) Stock. My grandfather Joseph Phillips died in obscurity in Scott County, Tn after a long and successful career.
Grandfather Phillips was not only successful he was one of the few senior administrator's in the government that had hired, during his early years, an African-American office assistance who remained with him for over twenty years as the office secretary in the Alcohol Tax Division located in the Old Court House, Louisville, Kentucky. How my mother bragged that he knew a fellow named Branch Rickey and even brought him by his house in Tazewell on a couple occasions. Mr. Rickey was the man who brought African-American player Jackie Robinson into baseball with the Brooklyn Dodgers in (I had made a mistake earlier by saying he brought Mr. Robinson into baseball with the St. Louis Cardnials. Ricky was manager of the St. Louis Cardinals 1919-1925 and this must have been during the time he brought Mr. Rickey by Tazewell as my mother was a young girl having been born in 1912 and remembered the Cardinal and Bats on the card he left) in 1947.
But, my grandfather's name was dragged through the mud in Scott County court for several years and nothing much remains of what he stood for other than scraps of paper and my memory, now that my brother George "Eddie" Payne too has died. I have felt the pain of being outcast by companies and federal agencies because of what I believe and can see the disparaging effects of what happens when what at time might have been small things, were over looked by people afraid to admit they were wrong. The rich and powerful do control this country and people like me have no recourse other than to try and show just how their mistakes and misrepresentation of the true public have caused great attrocities and continue to be the blame for things such as global warming, lack of research for important cures for HIV, Cancer and other diseases that by now should have found cures. Following are some of my experiences with one of those powerful people, Senator Howard Baker, Scott County, Tennessee.
One article of interest regarding a major land deal in Scott County is the Payne-Baker Estate ,formally owned by the Round Mountain Lumber Company — which included more than 40,000 contiguous acres from near Huntsville in Scott County to near Petros in Morgan County. The land now owned in Scott County rivals that owned by another State Senator years ago, that of Senator John Toomey, who married my great Aunt Elizabeth "Betty" Phillips.
Senator Baker also in 1983 was in favor of importing live rhesus monkeys to the U.S. for use in biomedical research by MOL Enterprises, and was part of a effort that suggested that American aid to the impoverished country of Bangladesh, who had cut off their supply of monkeys to a testing company, would be cut off if it did not reinstate the contract. But curtains closed on the bizarre international drama in August 1983 when a federal court threw out the case.Howard's law firm has lobbied for years for such large pharmaceutical industry such as Amgen, Inc.; PhRMA; Schering-Plough Corporation (see The Other Drug War: Big Pharma's 625 Washington Lobbyists). Could Howard have had his mind on Monkey Business instead of the Marines in mid 1983? I remember my cousin Brian Payne was always going to pharmaceutical conventions, hum??
While on the other hand I spent the entire year of 1983 and lots of time at the 8th & I Street Barracks worrying especially about THE Americans stationed in Beiruit , Lebannon and little else. Several letters I wrote finally prompted Senator Baker to write me the letter that has become the subject of this page. I am allowed to say this, my brother was one of the youngest Regional Security Officers and remained one throughout his entire career. You know what a State Department RSO does, right? Forget that I was born on November 10th and that I am cursed with that constant "marking time" thing that Marines are famous for. My old Claiborne County football Coach BILL V. BOGGS, an old Navy veteran, noticed it and wanted me over the ball and in the middle, off the ball first. Sad to say others with a different agenda noticed it too and did their best to degrade, copy and destroy it. Remember the JAG star Katherine Bell, who played Sarah. Well I have that thing and can mark time just like that. Always have had that damed curse. Usually can find my way out of the woods too. Back to RSO's, they not only are the civilian in charge of the Embassy Marine Guard they are over the security of entire regions, even countries. Let's hope that Barack if he becomes President doesn't forget about the Barracks in Baghdad where there are over 300 Marines inside the compound. Just wonder what my brother would think about this huge embassy on the banks of the Tigris? It was obvious that many of his old cronies knew that "Lonesome" George was not that well liked at State anyway.
Always complaining about one thing or another you know, putting embassy's in crowded busy places, etc. George Payne. son of Al, may not have been accepted by the beltway's inner circle. No problem with getting air space for George's flyover during his burial in Arlington National Cemetery in August 2000. Another famous Arlington burial was that of Scott County's, Captain Albert Burice Norrod in June 1942.
Development, biospheric ethics and a new way forward -
The US government immediately reacted by threatening to withhold food aid if Bangladesh discriminated in this way against US pharmaceutical manufacturers. So too, in 1979, the Bangladesh government decided to stop selling rhesus monkeys (a threatened species) to a US company called Mol Enterprises for experimentation in its laboratories. The US government's response was, as New Scientist notes, "swift and strong" and "even included a suggestion that American aid could be cut off if Bangladesh refused to honour its contract with Mol Enterprises, the monkey importers." 71,500 Monkeys' Lives in Danger
Speaking of Howard Baker I find the following:
Former Senator Fred Thompson named former Sen. Howard Baker as his campaign chairman, and Sen. George Allen, who lost his re-election bid last year after uttering what some considered a racial slur, as campaign co-chair, along with former Michigan Sen. Spencer Abraham and Elizabeth Cheney, the eldest daughter of Vice President Dick Cheney. Well, Fred they can't make a monkey out of you can they. Fred Bites the Bullet - Wonder if my wife dies of cancer I will be able to find one as young as yours or as powerful as Howards? No, I doubt it.
I know that Senator Baker was not happy about his Clinch River Breeder Reactor not being built, something that President Carter had managed to block. I also was against a Nuclear Power Plant in my own back yard.
The U.S. Congress terminated funding on October 26, 1983.
The site for the Clinch River Breeder Reactor was a 1,364 acre (6 km) land parcel owned by the Tennessee Valley Authority (TVA) adjacent to the Clinch River in Roane County, Tennessee, inside the city limits of Oak Ridge, Tennessee, but remote from the city's residential population. CONTROVERSIAL CLINCH RIVER REACTOR PLAN IS POISED TO PROCEED - March 1981 - and - Clinch River: a Breeder for Baker - August 1981
I have by good source that Bush and Baker are now partners in another operation that mines GOLD in AFRICA and many other countries Barrick Gold Corporation TSX, one of the firms that Baker's law firm lobby's for. Maybe cousin Howard was too worried about BARRICK to help with the BARRACK in 1983. Maybe BARACK in 2008 will have to straighten all this out for us, I know McCain can't, he never passed THE BAR. Well, I didn't pass the LSAT so I guess I can't talk. Oh, both Democratic candidates are LAWYERS.
Senator Nancy Landon Kassebaum and former Senator Howard H. Baker Jr. married December 7, 1996. LohAma Psicologit? A date that will live in infamy. Ambassador Howard H. Baker, arrived in Japan and took office on July 4, 2001.
After years of wondering where the logic of having the "Multinational Force" stationed I have continued to search archives and came up with something I wasn't aware of. Evidently Senator Baker did not agree with sending the troops to Lebanon to begin with.
A suicide bomber with a truckload of explosives drove into the U.S.
Marine barracks compound in Beirut, Lebanon. Two hundred forty-one
American soldiers were killed and more than 100 others were injured. Caspar
Weinberger said that Hezbollah was responsible. Hezbollah denied
responsibility. The U.S. did not retaliate militarily but did station a
battleship off the coast of Beirut. Four months later, the U.S.
withdrew all Marines from Lebanon. The Regan Administration blames Casper Weinberger for it's failure to launch a retaliatory attack according to this transcript from the July 29-30, 2006 CNN PRESENTS presentation Marine Barracks Bombing.
Unfortunately after the Marine Barracks were bombed the State
Department stopped investigation on all clearances and I returned to
Tennessee. I felt confident that I had done everything I could to
convience those in power that the consequences of no action might be
disaster for our military presence. I did feel fortunate that I was
able to attend the Memorial Ceremony at the National Cathedral earlier
that year for the people who were killed April 18, 1983 when a suicide
bomber with a truckload of explosives attacked the United States
Embassy in Lebanon. Sixty-three people were killed of whom 17 were
Americans. I had, for all intent and purpose, been assigned to loading
mail for the personnel at the Beruit Embassy when I first arrived at
the Mail and Pouch Center in March of 1983, and did feel some kinship
to those whose mail was now stacked high in the SA-16 Newington, Va
Center. I did receive the following outstanding
recommendation from John W.S. Channell, Chief of the
Diplomatic Mail and Pouch Center for my work while I was there for nine months in 1983.
In the name of Allah, Most Gracious, Most Merciful.
((Of the believers are men who are true to the covenant which they made with Allah: so of them is he who accomplished his vow, and of them is he who yet waits, and they have not changed in the least)) Almighty Allah has spoken the truth.
With pride and honor, we announce the martyrdom of a great resistance leader who joined the procession of Islamic Resistance martyrs. After a life full of Jihad, sacrifices and accomplishments lived with a longing to martyrdom, Islamic Resistance leader Hajj Imad Moghniyeh (Hajj Radwan) was assassinated by Israeli criminal hands. The martyr, may his soul rest in peace, had been a target for the Zionists for more than 20 years. Almighty Allah has chosen him to be a martyr on the hands of His Prophet's killers who know that we have a long battle with them and the blood of martyrs especially our leaders has always taken our resistance to a higher and stronger level, just like when our two great leaders, Sheikh Ragheb Harb and Sayyed Abbas Moussawi were martyred.
We pledge to continue the martyr's path until achieving complete victory, God willing.
We offer our sincere condolences to the martyr's family and his brothers in arms and we congratulate all resistance fighters for the Divine legion of honor.
I take the following from a December 2007 Report:
HOW THE REAGAN ADMINISTRATION TAUGHT IRAN THE WRONG LESSONS
No year is more important to understanding current U.S.-Iranian relations than 1983. Differing perceptions of the causes and consequences of that year’s events delineate, more than the events of any other year, those today who are willing to accept a nuclear Iran from those who are not.
The year 1983 is also of special relevance to the contemporary United States, because the year’s events brought about an American troop withdrawal (or redeployment, as it was then called) from Lebanon, an unraveling Arab country whose long-suppressed and Iranian-backed Shi’a plurality was on the rise. The U.S. withdrawal resulted from three primary factors, all of which exist in 2007. First, as America’s adversaries knew too well, domestic support for the American military presence was dwindling and would only shrink further as the upcoming presidential election approached. Second, Iran possessed the power to create conditions that would alter U.S. public opinion and effectively force America’s expulsion. Third, America failed to perceive, in the tangled web of Middle Eastern politics, how its actions and interests throughout the region were intertwined; only after considerable and repeated injury did America discover that it could be punished in the Mediterranean for its actions in the Gulf.
For all the change in U.S.-Iranian relation that 1983 brought about, the year began with relative constancy. The United States was still viewed by Iran as the Great Satan, the source of all the world’s ills, the national embodiment of what the Koran’s final sura (chapter) calls “the insidious whisperer who whispers in the hearts of men.” Iran’s leadership was still consolidating its power, prosecuting its domestic policy of Islamization, and pursuing its two primary foreign policy objectives of defeating Iraq and exporting the Islamic Revolution. The United States, by leading the multinational force in Lebanon, providing aid to Iraq, and attempting to broker an Arab-Israeli peace, continued to stand in the way of, and on the most fertile soil for, the Islamic Revolution’s export.
The changes that were taking place at the beginning of the year were largely positive. A sense of relative normalcy had returned to Lebanon. In those first, optimistic months of the year, many Lebanese who had fled their bloodstained country were returning. The multinational force, despite a March grenade attack that wounded five Marines, was encountering few problems. Israel had withdrawn from most of the country,These developments came to an abrupt end on the afternoon of April 18, 1983. A dented, late-model GMC pickup truck, laden with hundreds of pounds of explosives, slammed into the main entrance of the U.S. embassy in Beirut. It was the first large-scale attack against a U.S. embassy anywhere in the world. Seven stories of the building collapsed and 63 people died, 17 of them Americans. The wedding ring of Robert Ames, CIA’s national intelligence officer for the Near East, was found floating a mile off the coast of Lebanon, still affixed to his severed hand. and a peace agreement that would assure its complete withdrawal appeared near.
The Shi’a group al-Jihad al-Islami, Islamic Jihad, claimed responsibility. The name was one of several used by a wing of Hizballah, the Party of God, in the organization’s early years. Islamic Jihad also claimed responsibility for a number of kidnappings of Americans that took place in Lebanon at the time. Several of the abducted, including the CIA’s station chief in Beirut, William Buckley, were held by the Pasdaran, or Iranian Revolutionary Guards, in eastern Lebanon’s Shaykh Abdallah Barracks. Located in Shi’a-populated Ba’albak, the barracks had been seized from the Lebanese Army, on Lebanon’s Independence Day in November of 1982, by several hundred Pasdaran and a group of Khomeinist Lebanese Shi’a led by Hussein Mussawi, a future commander of Hizballah. Algeria informed the United States that Hizballah’s chief of operations, Imad Mugniyah (who is said to go by the nickname “the Fox”), had kidnapped Buckley and others. To its everlasting discredit, the United States later sold arms to Iran in exchange for the release of some of those hostages; but in the case of Buckley, who had been severely beaten and died in captivity, the representatives of Iran could trade only a 400-page transcript of his interrogation.
Reagan Roadmap for Antiterrorism Disaster By JAMES BOVARD - Muslims also responded to U.S. troops by seizing American hostages. Reagan sent military equipment to Iran as a means to entice the Iranians to exert pressure to get hostages released. After the "arms for hostages" deal became public (along with the illegal funneling of the proceeds to the Nicaraguan Contras), Reagan's credibility was devastated. Reagan went into such a tailspin after the crisis broke that his new chief of staff, Howard Baker, briefly examined invoking the Twenty-Fifth Amendment to remove Reagan from office because of medical unfitness. The Tower Commission report on the debacle concluded: "The arms-for-hostages trades rewarded a regime that clearly supported terrorism and hostage-taking."
Reagan biographer Edmund Morris stated in an interview:
"The incoming Baker people, especially James Cannon, Baker’s helper, decided to have a meeting with him on Monday, their first official meeting with the President, and to cluster around the table in the Cabinet room and watch him very, very closely to see how he behaved, to see if he was indeed losing his mental grip."
Morris went on to explain
"...Reagan who was, of course, completely unaware that they were launching a death watch on him, came in stimulated by the press of all these new people and performed splendidly. At the end of the meeting, they figuratively threw up their hands realizing he was in perfect command of himself."
For all its boldness, the embassy bombing had little impact on U.S. foreign policy. The United States effectively ignored what turned out to be a warning and remained focused instead on its primary regional objective of achieving an Israeli-Lebanese agreement that could serve as a foundation for a broader Arab-Israeli peace. When Secretary of State George Shultz flew to the region for that purpose only days after the attack, the first stop on his itinerary was not changed to Beirut. Reagan’s response was nothing more than perfunctory. “This criminal attack on a diplomatic establishment will not deter us from our goals of peace in the region,” he said. “We also remain committed to the recovery by the Lebanese Government of full sovereignty throughout all of its territory,” and will “continue to press in negotiations for the earliest possible total withdrawal of all external forces.
The administration hoped that a negotiated Israeli withdrawal would encourage Syrian, Pasdaran, and Palestinian Liberation Organization (PLO) forces operating from Syrian-occupied territory to follow suit. Though Shultz succeeded in brokering a Lebanese-Israeli agreement in May, hopes for a broader Arab-Israeli peace, national reconciliation in Lebanon, and foreign troop withdrawal all proved illusory. As a result, the United States was forced to change tactics: Weeks after negotiating Israel’s withdrawal, the Reagan Administration began pressing it to stay, now hoping that its presence in Lebanon would force the departure of other foreign fighters.
Yet Israel’s presence brought only mounting casualties and overwhelming domestic opposition. In July 1983, the Israeli government approved plans for a unilateral redeployment to a position south of Lebanon’s Awali River. Meanwhile, the Reagan Administration began facing growing internal opposition of its own: While Reagan and Shultz remained committed to obtaining their objectives in Lebanon and had, in addition, concerns about the effects of appearing to have been driven out, Secretary of Defense Caspar Weinberger, who had opposed the deployment from the start, was strengthening his case. “We shouldn’t be the Beirut police department,” Weinberger said.
By the end of August 1983, the United States appeared unlikely to remain in Lebanon. Israel was packing its bags, and its beleaguered prime minister, Menachem Begin, announced his intention to resign. The Marines in the multinational force took their first casualties the following day. Iran, Syria, and the PLO knew then that they would only have to bide their time. For the first time since it was adopted ten years before, Congress invoked the War Powers Resolution, which requires the president to either withdraw troops within 60 to 90 days or gain Congressional approval for their use in combat; but Shultz then helped to turn the tide with an effective testimony before the House and Senate, arguing that a withdrawal from Lebanon would have disastrous consequences.8 On October 12, 1983, Congress approved the extension of the Marine deployment for an additional 18 months.
The blindsiding of the Marines that would propel their premature and ignominious departure came less than two weeks later. It was caused by three developments which conspired in the fall of 1983 to cause Iran to drastically escalate its actions in Lebanon. The first was the congressionally approved extension of the Marine deployment. The second was America’s inaction in the face of attack. The third (which stemmed, ironically, from Iran’s successes in fighting Iraq), was the aid provided to Iraq by France, another member of the multinational force in Lebanon.
The promise of French aid came amid reports that Iraq might soon lose the war. America’s primary concern was that neither side would become so desperate that it would threaten oil flows in the Persian Gulf. The U.S. Defense Guidance report, the Pentagon’s statement of strategy and policy for the 1984-1988 period stated that “Whatever the circumstances, we should be prepared to introduce American forces directly into the region should it appear that the security of access to Persian Gulf oil is threatened.”9 As its financial ability to continue fighting was almost entirely dependent on its export of petroleum, and because it was then winning the war, Iran lacked the incentive (but not the aptitude) to threaten that access. Yet as a desperate Iraq appeared poised to receive from France an October delivery of five Super Etendard planes—with which it could use French Exocet anti-ship missiles to attack Iranian petroleum shipments—Iran had newfound cause for alarm; so much so that what it promised in return—to close the Strait of Hormuz, through which approximately two-fifths of globally traded oil, as well as Iran’s own petroleum, passes—brought to mind Bismarck’s characterization of preventive war: “Suicide from fear of death.”
It was not only the economies of Western and Gulf countries that were menaced, however. In the weeks before the French plane delivery, Iranian officials made a series of escalating public threats. Iran closed both the French consulate and the Society for French Culture in Isfahan. Iran’s then-President and future supreme leader, Ali Khamene’i, said that delivery of the aircraft would not go unanswered.10 Ali Akbar Hashemi-Rafsanjani, speaker of the Iranian Majlis, or parliament, and later president of Iran, delivered a Friday sermon warning that if France went through with the delivery it would be regarded as “Iran’s enemy,” and that Iranians would “take revenge.”11 On another occasion, he said that those who supply Iran’s enemies would not escape punishment. Muhammad Bakir al-Hakim, the head of the Iranian-backed Supreme Council for the Revolution in Iraq (SCIRI), promised that after deposing Saddam Hussein, the Iraqi people would also avenge the French delivery.12 In October 1983, there were large anti-French demonstrations in Tehran and in front of the French embassy in London. The demonstrators warned France that the delivery would “seriously endanger its interests throughout the world.”13 Iran’s prime minister, Mir-Hossein Moussavi, said that the arms delivery was “an act of suicide” and that neither France nor the United States would have “a minute of rest.”
Over U.S. objections and complaints to France, Iraq received the planes in October. Seeking to deter the possible consequences of France’s actions, the United States met Iran’s threats to close the Strait with a mid-October increase in its presence in the Gulf. America’s willingness to defend its access to Gulf oil and to appear to be France’s protector came as no surprise to Iran, however; indeed, this was likely to have been among the reasons that Iran had already decided, weeks before, to use an alternative theater—one of less vital interest to the United States and less danger to itself—to compel Western powers to rethink their presence in the Middle East.
naval intelligence intercepted a message sent to the Iranian ambassador in Syria from Iran’s Ministry of Intelligence and Security, which operationally controlled Hizballah.14 The message directed the Iranian ambassador to contact Hussein Mussawi (the Hizballah commander who had previously seized the Shaykh Abdallah Barracks together with the Pasdaran). Mussawi, the message said, was to be instructed to lead attacks against the multinational force in Lebanon and to “take a spectacular action against the United States Marines.” The ambassador proceeded to contact the leader of the Pasdaran’s Lebanese headquarters. The Pasdaran leader then met in Ba’albak with three future secretary generals of Hizballah—Shaykh Subhi Tufayli, Shaykh Abbas Mussawi, and Shaykh Hassan Nasrallah—where, according to deposition testimony by a Hizballah member (whose reliability was avowed by an expert witness from U.S. intelligence), they planned simultaneous suicide attacks on the Marines and the French paratroopers
The Marine compound was cased and a Mercedes stakebed truck acquired.15 The truck was taken to an underground warehouse near a gas station, fitted with explosives, and painted to resemble the yellow water delivery truck that regularly stopped near the barracks. In the early dawn of Sunday, October 23, 1983, Hussein Mussawi’s group ambushed the real water delivery truck and sent its replacement on its way. The fake water truck, driven by an Iranian named Ismalal Ascari, sped toward the compound, broke through the protective barrier of sandbags and concertina wire, and detonated in the center of the barracks at approximately 6:22 a.m. Like the political leaders who had sent them, most of the Marines were sleeping.
“The resulting explosion,” as described in Peterson v. Islamic Republic of Iran, the U.S. District Court case that found Iran responsible for the bombing, “was the largest non-nuclear explosion that had ever been detonated on the face of the Earth.”16 While the official inquiry of the Department of Defense—the Long Commission—found only that the bomb was “laden with the explosive equivalent of over 12,000 pounds of TNT,” and was “the largest conventional blast ever seen by the FBI's forensic explosive experts,” the Memorandum Opinion of the Peterson case states that the force of the explosion was equal to 15-21,000 pounds of TNT. “The force of its impact,” the Memorandum Opinion states:
ripped locked doors from their doorjambs at the nearest building, which was 256 feet away. Trees located 370 feet away were shredded and completely exfoliated. At the traffic control tower of the Beirut International Airport, over half a mile away, all of the windows shattered. The support columns of the Marine barracks, which were made of reinforced concrete, were stretched, as an expert witness described, “like rubber bands.” The explosion created a crater in the earth over eight feet deep. The four-story Marine barracks was reduced to fifteen feet of rubble.
Two hundred and forty-one American servicemen died, and many more were injured. The attempted simultaneous suicide truck bombing of the French barracks came approximately twenty seconds later; it was partially thwarted when the truck’s driver was shot and killed as he steered toward the French barracks, but the bomb was then detonated by remote control, and 58 French soldiers died. The United States designated Iran a state sponsor of terrorism three months later. The State Department’s annual report, Patterns of Global Terrorism: 1983, concluded:
radical Lebanese Shias, using the nom de guerre Islamic Jihad, operated with Iranian support and encouragement from Syrian-controlled territory [in Lebanon]. They were responsible for the suicide bombing attacks against the US Embassy and the headquarters of the US and French contingents of the Multinational Force (MNF) in Beirut, which resulted in unprecedentedly high numbers of casualties.
In a single blow, Iran had simultaneously advanced its two primary foreign policy objectives of defeating Iraq and exporting the Islamic Revolution. The attacks dissuaded Western support of Iraq and forced the expulsion from Lebanon of the Western powers that had been keeping the country from complete disintegration. As the Iranian ambassador to Lebanon stated in an interview two and a half months later, “if activities continue as they are, Lebanon will reach the stage of an Islamic revolution.” Governmental authority is “the biggest obstacle to starting Islamic movements in the world,” he said. “But since the Lebanese government does not have much power, there is no serious obstacle in the way of the people of Lebanon. We can conclude,” he went on, “that the existence of an Islamic movement in that country will result in Islamic movements throughout the Arab world.”
In his memoir, Reagan called the day of the barracks bombings “the saddest day of my presidency, perhaps the saddest day of my life.”20 Yet as with the embassy bombing, the American response was rhetorically firm but substantively hollow. The day after the attacks, Shultz spoke before the House Committee on Foreign Affairs and the Senate Foreign Relations Committee. “President Reagan is determined that we will not be driven out of Lebanon by the enemies of peace,” he said. “We will stay, and we will carry out our mission.”21 The Reagan Administration then deliberated over joining France in an aerial bombing of the Pasdaran’s Lebanese headquarters at the Shaykh Abdallah Barracks. Yet Defense Secretary Caspar Weinberger, who had repeatedly expressed concerns about stoking Muslim anger and had consistently opposed the U.S. military presence in Lebanon, prevailed. “I’m not an eye-for-an-eye man,” he said.
wish of good luck and sent him off to strike alone. “Unfortunately,” Weinberger told him, “it is a bit too late for us to join you in this one.”23 According to then National Security Advisor Robert “Bud” McFarlane, “Secretary Weinberger aborted it [the planned retaliatory joint-attack] out of a sense that it could have a harmful effect on our relations with other Arab states.”24 The defense secretary had the USS New Jersey lob several shells into an empty hillside instead—an episode that calls to mind a scene from Joseph Conrad’s Heart of Darkness: “In the empty immensity of earth, sky, and water, there she was, incomprehensible, firing into a continent… and nothing happened. Nothing could happen.
The position of the Reagan Administration’s realists—Weinberger, Baker, and Vice President Bush among them—were well encapsulated by current Defense Secretary Robert Gates (a co-author, together with Brzezinski, of a 2004 report that argued against using military force to prevent Iran’s nuclearization and an early member of the Baker-Hamilton Iraq Study Group).26 Gates wrote in his memoir that when he was at the CIA in the mid-1980s, “The downside of an attack on Iran, to everyone’s regret, outweighed how much Iran deserved punishment.… Thus Iran proved ‘too hard’—a limited attack would, as a participant in one meeting delicately put it, ‘just piss them off’ and make things worse.
Still, three months after the barracks bombings—despite the upcoming presidential elections, invocations of Vietnam by Baker, and pressure from Weinberger and George H.W. Bush—Shultz and Reagan continued to resist calls for a troop withdrawal. “Yes, the situation in Lebanon is difficult, frustrating and dangerous,” Reagan said in a February 4, 1984 radio address from Camp David. “But that is no reason to turn our backs and to cut and run. If we do, we’ll be sending one signal to terrorists everywhere. They can gain by waging war against innocent people.”
Again the administration’s strong words belied its forthcoming deeds, and three days later Reagan caved in. At the end of February 1984, under the ridicule of their French partners, the last Marines departed Lebanon; to this Tripoli’s shores, they have not returned.
In late 1986 Lt. Comdr. Tommy Mariner, an old friend from Norris,
Tennessee stopped by my house in Tazewell and we spoke of the
similarity of our fathers dying. They both were very active in regional
Library Boards and his mother had recently retried as Librarian at
Norris High School, Norris, TN. We also spoke of his being stationed on
the Aircraft Carrier Kennedy off the coast of Lebanon soon
after the assault. Although they had reports of where the group
responsible for the bombing might be in the hills of Beirut they were
unable to fly reconnaissance or strafe the area. This seemed to have
upset him considerably at the time.
The Kennedy played a key role in the U.S. Navy efforts in
the Mediterranean in 1983 in response to deteriorating conditions in
Beirut, Lebanon. During this period of operations, the crew won their
ninth Battle "E" efficiency award.
Lt. Commander Mariner had the distinction of marrying a Naval Pilot
and during his recounting to me the events of his wedding, he flew from
a base on the east coast while his wife left a base on the west coast.
They met somewhere in the middle and were married.
I failed to mention that the Kennedy also saw action during
the First Gulf War. My brother George Payne (obituary) was on
assignment with the United States Agency for International Development
in Abu Dhabi when the war started and was unable to get back to
the States until the war was well under way. He called from there and
Amman, Jordan during the Scud Missle attacks to say that he was OK. He
had planned to travel to Turkey but had to delay that trip until the
Gulf War was over, then he and his wife planned their trip to Istanbul
And the Kennedy was also home base to a Payne descendent.
Navigator David McLauglin saw action the first night of Shock and Awe
over Bagdad. He told all of how the Knoxville, Tennessee based 278th
pulled him and his pilot out of a desperate situation that first night.
A story I am sure he will tell his children and grandchildren over and
over again in the years to come. David was a 1990 graduate of Annapolis
Academy and makes his home in his hometown of Franklin, North Carllinia
where his grandmother, Beatrice Payne Archer, resided for most of her
life. His grandfather John Archer (obituary) was President of Nantahala Power and
Light Company until his death in the 1960's, and his father Charlie
McLauglin (obituary) was an employee of the National Security Agency unitl his
retirement in the 1980's.
Matthew Kevin Gannon of Orange, California, assigned to the State Department's Middle East bureau and returning home from a stint as political officer in Beirut, Lebanon.
From the 1988 Pan Am 103 Casualty List: Matthew Kevin Gannon, 611 North Ardmore, Los Angeles, California 90004
Was this the SOLUTION that we are talking about?
Many people don't realize how difficult it is for very close family members not to understand what happened to their loved ones while in service to their country. Upon entering into any service you swear an oath to your country and to secrecy. I had to do this twice while employed with the U.S. State Department. My job was not in any way important enough to be considered clandestine but there were things I saw or people I know that I would not outright reveal with intention to harm. If you read the article posted by Mr. Matthew Kevin Gannon's family you can see and feel their pain in not knowing if their loved one was the actual target of the bombing of Pan Am 103 and their anguish in knowing if he was it may have cost the lives of 269 other innocent people. No one will probably ever be sure. I know that the Department of State's Diplomatic Security was involved in restoring faith in neighboring countries immediately after the attack on Libya in 1986 because of something my brother George Payne told me.(Possibly LAP: LohAma Psicologit. Psychological warfare)
Imagine how President Bush feels every time someone, like this proclaimed atheist Senator from California who later issued his apology, says that he was wrong for invading Iraq and that he has been responsible for the death of all our brave soldiers for nothing other than political ambitions. Now, myself a registered and voting Democrat, believe that although the situation in Iraq has grown much worse than anyone could have imagined that we are definitely fighting a movement that very much wants to destroy not only our country but our beliefs, values and most everything else that our short history as a country has given us and needs much of our attention now and in the upcoming months till the election.
An elderly Bedouin leader thought that by eating turkey he could restore his virility. So he bought a turkey, kept it by his tent and stuffed it with food every day. One day someone stole his turkey. The Bedouin elder called his sons together and told them: ''Boys, we are in great danger. Someone has stolen my turkey.'' ''Father,'' the sons answered, ''what do you need a turkey for?''
''Never mind,'' he answered, ''just get me back my turkey.'' But the sons ignored him and a month later someone stole the old man's camel. ''What should we do?'' the sons asked. ''Find my turkey,'' said the father. But the sons did nothing, and a few weeks later the man's daughter was raped. The father said to his sons: ''It is all because of the turkey. When they saw that they could take my turkey, we lost everything.''
Because the critics are missing the larger point, which is this: Sept. 11 happened because America had lost its deterrent capability. We lost it because for 20 years we never retaliated against, or brought to justice, those who murdered Americans. From the first suicide bombing of the U.S. Embassy in Beirut in April 1983, to the bombing of the Marine barracks at the Beirut airport a few months later, to the T.W.A. hijacking, to the attack on U.S. troops at Khobar Towers in Saudi Arabia, to the suicide bombings of two U.S. embassies in East Africa, to the attack on the U.S.S. Cole in Yemen, innocent Americans were killed and we did nothing.
Mr. Friedman according to the following someone decided to do something much like you had talked about doing!!
HISTORY CHANNEL PRODUCTIONS failed to mention in the February 16th production that up until September 2001 the Bush Central Intelligence Agency thought that al-Qaeda and Usama Bin Laden were no threat because of its (the CIA) funding al-Qaeda in their fight against the Russians in Afghanistan in the early 1990's.
Tom Friedman has long been an advocate of doing something about Terrorism but wiping out countries, as he suggested, is not the way. If you have good intelligence, both foreign and domestic we can fight it on a much smaller scale, also as he suggests. Let's not get carried away and carry out attacks such as was done on Bir El-Abed and other such acts against terrorists and terrorism and have "Collateral Damage". The recent assassination of a known terrorist had that collateral damage and I am sure it is regretted.