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Al-Ahed Telegram

"Information Branch" example of illegal institutions

folder_openLebanon access_time12 years ago
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Source: Al-Manar, 06-05-2008
The unconstitutional government of Fouad Saniora declared the Resistance's communication network "illegal and unconstitutional." An unconstitutional government in which half of the Lebanese nation is not represented and that was founded on a ministerial statement that supports the resistance right to defend the country, labels the tool that played a significant role in defeating 'Israel' in 2006 as illegal.
In other words, resistance against 'Israel' is arms; the communications network is part and parcel of the arms, therefore, if this is illegal then the resistance as a whole is illegal as well, in the eyes of the US-backed ruling bloc.
It goes without saying that the cabinet declaration has opened heavy fire on Hizbullah and surpassed all red lines. Yet it reminds of the many violations of the constitution committed Saniora and his ministerial team; one of them is the information branch.
The story began when the head of the unconstitutional government Fouad Saniora alongside his security group took, individually, the decision to transform the information department operating under the Internal Security Forces (ISF) apparatus, into an independent branch. The unconstitutional government did not follow normal legal procedures and did not issue a special decree to be signed by then president Emile Lahoud and the cabinet after him.
The ISF made several appointments to increase the staff the of the information department from 12 to 70 officers, thus committing another violation of the law. Such formations, according to ISF order, need the ratification of the leadership of ISF units, which eventually never took place. Instead, ISF director general Ashraf Rifi resorted to the trick of issuing dismissal decisions to complete formations and renew them every three months without the ratification of the leadership of the gendarmerie and the units.
Days have passed and the information department grew up into an illegal information branch. Officers in this 'branch' belong to one political and confessional trends. Their numbers are increasing and so are their financial and moral capabilities. The smallest officer in this branch possesses more authority than higher-ranking officers in other ISF units, without any legal warrant.
This body received remarkable US care whether covertly or overtly through equipment, training and arming. Postal packages to the 'branch' arrived constantly to Beirut's international airport; it was forbidden to open them and they did not follow legal procedures necessary to enter weapons and equipment into the country .
And then came the July 2006 war of 'Israel' against Lebanon. The picture became clearer. Many incidents proved that the focus of this branch was to track the resistance and its allies in Lebanon, but of course 'the branch' shakes off its hands when actions linked to 'Israeli' intelligence are involved.
The illegal information branch also practiced aggression against some Lebanese people and fired at civilians, killing and injuring them in different places, without being reprimanded or even questioned.
Meanwhile, it was remarkable how judicial authorities have rushed to deal with the airport case that was raised by MP Walid Jumblatt who founded his assault on Hizbullah on illegally leaked reports from a security service. This outstanding fast pace however makes one wonder how this same body dealt with other documented cases.
The Lebanese remember the shooting spree by some of MP Saad Hariri (Future Movement) and Jumblatt's (Progressive Socialist Party - PSP) militiamen in the populated region of Aramoun a few months ago. Al-Manar broadcasted footage of this February incident with the faces of the gunmen clearly showing. Nevertheless, until this moment the gunmen have not been prosecuted, apparently for political reasons.
Another case is the notorious Normandi Dump case. Al-Manar also broadcasted several reports about the environmental catastrophe some pro-ruling bloc companies were causing by dumping highly intoxicated wastes in populated areas and into the sea. Everything was clearly shown to the public opinion, but again, on the legal level nothing happened.
However, the most dangerous incident yet is the infiltration of 'Israeli' reporters into Lebanon using foreign passports. These reporters said that they received assistance from whom they called 'Lebanese friends'. Judicial authorities have not yet taken steps to reveal the 'sides' that offered help to journalists from an enemy state. Silence is also maintained by the same authorities as to information revealed by 'Israeli' journalist Nasim Aloni over the involvement of Marwan Hmedeh (PSP), the Telecommunication Minister in Saniora's unconstitutional government, in the 'Israeli' massacre at the Imam Hassan complex during the July 2006 war. Aloni offered to testify against Hmedeh in case he was asked to.