US embassy cable - 85LONDON6332

EVENING STANDARD ARTICLE ON US CAPTIVES IN LEBANON

Identifier: 85LONDON6332
Wikileaks: View 85LONDON6332 at Wikileaks.org
Origin: Embassy London
Created: 1985-03-19 17:52:00
Classification: UNCLASSIFIED
Tags: PREL UNSC LE IS XF
Redacted: This cable was not redacted by Wikileaks.
O 191752Z MAR 85
FM AMEMBASSY LONDON
TO SECSTATE WASHDC IMMEDIATE 9116
INFO AMEMBASSY BEIRUT IMMEDIATE
AMEMBASSY TEL AVIV IMMEDIATE
AMEMBASSY ALGIERS IMMEDIATE
AMEMBASSY DAMASCUS IMMEDIATE
AMEMBASSY AMMAN IMMEDIATE
AMEMBASSY CAIRO IMMEDIATE
UNCLAS LONDON 06332 
 
E.O. 12356: N/A 
TAGS: PREL, UNSC, LE, IS, XF 
SUBJECT: EVENING STANDARD ARTICLE ON US CAPTIVES IN 
LEBANON 
 
REF: RAPHEL/STANTON TELCON 31985 
 
1.  PARAGRAPH 2 CONTAINS ARTICLE FROM THE STANDARD OF 
MARCH 19, 1985 ENTITLED "TORTURE ORDEAL OF KIDNAPPED 
US DIPLOMAT".  THE ARTICLE WAS WRITTEN BY THEODORE 
LEVITE IN TEL AVIV. 
 
2.  BEGIN TEXT:  AN AMERICAN DIPLOMAT KIDNAPPED BY LEBANESE 
EXTREMISTS IS BEING PARADED AROUND THE COUNTRY IN AN OPEN 
TRUCK AND PUBLICLY TORTURED AND HUMILIATED. 
 
THE MAN SAID BY THE KIDNAPPERS TO BE THE HEAD OF THE CIA 
IN BEIRUT, WAS SEIZED LAST MARCH BY THE FANATICAL SHI'ITE 
HIZBOLLAH ORGANIZATION. 
 
THE CIA CARAVAN--AS THE KIDNAPPERS CALL IT--GOES FROM ONE 
SHI'ITE VILLAGE TO ANOTHER IN LEBANONS BEKA'A VALLEY 
ATTRACTING HUGE JEERING CROWDS WHILE THE PRIZE HOSTAGE IS 
FORCED TO TAKE PART IN THE "SHOW". 
 
SHI'ITE SOURCES IN SOUTH LEBANON REPORTING THE STORY POINT 
OUT THAT HIZBOLLAH IS TOTALLY CONTROLLED BY IRAN AND ACTS 
ONLY ON ITS DIRECT ORDERS. 
 
THE ORGANIZATION HAS ADMITTED RESPONSIBILITY FOR THE WEEK- 
END KIDNAPPING OF TWO BRITONS AND THE ASSOCIATED PRESS 
BUREAU CHIEF IN BEIRUT MR. TERRY ANDERSON. 
 
-- 
 
THE LATEST DEVELOPMENTS ARE BELIEVED TO HAVE CAUSED THE 
U.S. GOVERNMENT HURRIEDLY TO EVACUATE THE REMAINING 
AMERICAN DIPLOMATS FROM BEIRUT TO CYPRUS. 
 
THE HIZBOLLAH GROUP IS BELIEVED TO BE CURRENTLY HOLDING 
FIVE AMERICANS, TWO BRITONS, AND SEVERAL OTHER FOREIGNERS. 
 
UNITED NATIONS SOURCES IN SOUTH LEBANON POINT OUT THAT 
IT IS THE SHI'ITE FANATICS WHO PRESENT THEIR HOSTAGE AS 
A CIA CHIEF--SOMETHING THE AMERICANS HAVE NEVER ADMITTED 
BEYOND CONFIRMING THAT ONE OF THEIR DIPLOMATS IN BEIRUT 
IS MISSING, BELIEVED TO BE HELD HOSTAGE. 
 
THE KIDNAPPED AMERICAN IS THOUGHT TO BE MR. WILLIAM 
BUCKLEY, A POLITICAL OFFICER AT THE U.S. EMBASSY IN BEIRUT. 
 
HE WAS SEIZED IN WEST BEIRUT NEAR HIS EMBASSY WHEN HE WAS 
FORCED INTO A WHITE CAR AND DRIVEN AWAY AT GUN-POINT. 
 
A VIDEO FILM RELEASED IN JANUARY SHOWED HIM AND TWO OTHER 
KIDNAPPED AMERICANS, MR. JEREMY LEVIN AND MR. BENJAMIN 
WEIR. 
 
-- 
 
MEANWHILE ISRAEL WAS PREPARING A TOUGH NEW DEFENCE LINE ON 
ITS BORDER WITH LEBANON TODAY, AIMED AT PREVENTING 
TERRORIST INCURSIONS AFTER THE ARMY WITHDRAWS. 
 
MILITARY CHIEFS SAY THE WITHDRAWAL COULD COME AS QUICKLY 
AS JUNE DESPITE OFFICIAL ESTIMATES THAT ISRAELI SOLDIERS 
WILL BE OUT OF LEBANON BY SEPTEMBER. 
 
ARMY ENGINEERS ARE WORKING DAY AND NIGHT IN THE NEW DEFENCE 
LINE, MOST OF THE DETAILS OF WHICH ARE HIGHLY SECRET. 
 
ONE OFFICER SAID, "WE'RE NOT BUILDING A GREAT WALL OF 
CHINA, BUT OUR AIM IS TO ENSURE THAT NO MADMEN DRIVING A 
CAR BOMB WILL BE ABLE TO GET INTO ISRAEL." 
 
SPORADIC FIGHTING ERUPTED TODAY BETWEEN THE LEBANESE 
ARMY AND THE RIGHT-WING CHRISTIAN MILITIAMEN NEAR THE 
SOUTHERN CITY OF SIDON AFTER SEVERAL HOURS OF CLASHES IN 
THE AREA YESTERDAY.  END TEXT. 
 
3.  BEIRUT MINIMIZE CONSIDERED. 
 
PRICE 

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