Friday, August 25, 2006

Another Bluff Report on the way: U.S. to investigate Israeli use of cluster bombs

WASHINGTON - The State Department is investigating whether Israel's use of U.S.-made cluster bombs in southern Lebanon violated agreements with the United States that restrict when it can employ such weapons, two officials said.

The investigation by the department's Office of Defense Trade Controls began this week, after reports that three types of U.S.-made cluster munitions, anti-personnel weapons that spray bomblets over a wide area, have been found in many areas of southern Lebanon and were responsible for civilian casualties.

Gonzalo Gallegos, a State Department spokesman, said, "We have heard the allegations that these munitions were used, and we are seeking more information." He declined to comment further.

Several current and former officials said that they doubted the investigation would lead to sanctions against Israel, but that the decision to proceed with the inquiry might be intended to help the Bush administration ease criticism from Arab governments and commentators over its support of Israel's military operations. The investigation has not been publicly announced; the State Department confirmed it in response to questions.

"A congressional investigation after Israel's 1982 invasion of Lebanon found that Israel had used the weapons against civilian areas in violation of the agreements. In response, the Reagan administration imposed a six-year ban on further sales of cluster weapons to Israel. "
[If sanctions will not be applied this time why are they bothering to do this? Who do Bush Inc. really think they are bluffing? These US / Israeli investigations are only done to suit their objectives and their own rabid supporters.]
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