Thereby all but confirming that the bombing was carried out, as has long been suspected, by the Saudi chapter of the left’s favorite freedom fighters: Hezbollah.
Though Lamberth has previously ruled that a survivor of the blast could seek payment from Iran, Friday’s ruling was the first time Tehran has been blamed for the deaths of the Americans in the bombing.
“The defendants also provided money, training and travel documents to Saudi Hezbollah members in order to facilitate the attacks,” Lamberth wrote. “Moreover, the sheer gravity and nature of the attack demonstrate the defendants’ unlawful intent to inflict severe emotional distress upon the American servicemen as well as their close relatives.”…
Two Iranian government security agencies and senior members of the Iranian government itself provided funding, training and logistical help to terrorists who carried out the attack on a dormitory that housed U.S. Air Force pilots and staff in Saudi Arabia, [former FBI Director Louis] Freeh testified.
Nineteen dead American airmen. Fourteen suspects, all but one of them Saudi, not a single one of whom has been extradited to the United States to stand trial. The victims’ families will have to sue in foreign courts to recover the award; they’re unlikely to get much.
The attack occurred on June 25, 1996, incidentally. Who was the president of Iran at the time? The same man for whom Argentina recently issued an arrest warrant in connection with the bombing of the Buenos Aires Jewish Center in 1994. Who happens to have been the leading vote-getter in last week’s election for Iran’s Assembly of Experts and, thus, the leading candidate to replace Khamenei as the country’s supreme leader — that famous moderate, Ayatollah Akbar Hashemi Rafsanjani.
Update: Andy McCarthy says Clinton knew and didn’t do jack.
Yet, in the civil litigation brought by bombing victims against Iran, the State Department has actually intervened on Iran’s behalf, filing an amicus brief in support of the Islamic Republic’s position.
In point of fact, the Iranian role has been known to our government since the 1990s. The Clinton administration suppressed it because, right after the Khobar bombing, President Clinton threatened to retaliate with a military attack against any nation found to be complicit. Acknowledging proof of an Iranian role would have required doing something about it.
By autumn 1999, evidence had emerged that was reliable enough for State Department spokesman James Rubin to state publicly: “We do have specific information with respect to the involvement of Iranian government officials.” Yet, Clinton contented himself with firing off … a letter, pleading with the mullahs — who, mind you had already spurned a similar request — for help bringing those responsible to justice.