Friday, December 23, 2005

SW2 (DV) Stethem's terrorist killer freed

I am sure that the MilBlogs have already beaten this to death (sick pun intended), but I have seen one newspaper in the last week - and this hit me like a ton of bricks.
The German government disclosed Tuesday that it recently freed a Hezbollah member who was convicted of hijacking a TWA airliner in 1985, allowing him to return to his native Lebanon despite long-standing requests from the United States to hand him over for trial.

Mohammed Ali Hamadi, 41, walked out of a German prison on Thursday after a parole board concluded that he was eligible for early release,
Need some details, in case you've forgotten?
"When the plane was at the Beirut airport in Lebanon, Petty Officer Stethem was singled out because he was in the US military. After many hours of being cruelly beaten, tortured, and finally killed by the terrorists, they threw his body from the plane in a final disgraceful, cowardly act. The wounds were so terrible that his body had to be identified by its fingerprints.

Throughout the ordeal, Robert Stethem did not yield, and instead encouraged his fellow passengers to endure by his example. He was posthumously awarded the Purple Heart and Bronze Star for heroism and bravery. He is buried at Arlington Cemetery."
Funny thing happened after the release...
The German hostage freed in Iraq on Sunday was Susanne Osthoff, an Arabic-speaking archeologist. A German Foreign Ministry spokesman denied the two cases were linked.
"Oh, Phibian.." you say, "You are just a jaded old fart. You don't really think this was a quid pro quo, do you?" Really?
His brother, Abbas Hamadi, was arrested in Germany in 1987 and convicted the following year of helping to kidnap two German businessmen in a bid to use them as bargaining chips for Mohammed Hamadi's freedom. Abbas Hamadi was released in 1993 after serving half his sentence.

At the time, German media reported he was let go as part of a deal between the German government and Hezbollah to release two other Germans held hostage in Lebanon. German officials denied it.
Germany is not a serious partner. We should face that, again.

Though there is one DDG that would love to open some VLS cells, I don't think we would do anything that overt. If there is one thing I can find good in this is that Petty Officer Stethem' brother is a retired Chief Boatswain’s Mate and Navy SEAL - with lots of friends.

Run Hamadi, run. Run far, dig deep, hide darkly.

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