Walid Phares is 'former official' of group implicated in 1982 massacre of Palestinians
WASHINGTON, Feb. 23, 2011 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- The Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR) today called on Rep. Peter King (R-NY) to drop a witness from upcoming congressional hearings on Muslim "radicalization" because he is a "former official" of a group implicated in the 1982 massacre of civilian men, women and children at the Sabra and Shatila refugee camps in Lebanon.
CAIR said the witness, Walid Phares, is named in an article highlighted on the website of the House Committee on Homeland Security that King chairs and which will hold next month's hearings.
SEE: King's Speechhttp://tinyurl.com/4n5nwmn In a letter sent today to Rep. King, CAIR National Executive Director Nihad Awad wrote: "Mr. Phares is a 'former official with the Lebanese Forces, a Christian militia.' This militia was implicated, by Israel's official Kahan inquiry and other sources, in the 1982 massacre of civilian men, women and children at the Sabra and Shatila refugee camps in Lebanon. Regarding the massacre, the French news agency Agence France Presse (AFP) reported that, 'Lebanese militias, notably the Lebanese Forces, went on a killing spree.' SEE: Jerusalem Report Article Citing Phares' Links to Lebanese Forces http://www.cair.com/bedfellows.html AFP Article on the Role of the Lebanese Forces in Massacre http://www.cair.com/sabra-and-shatila.html "In 1999, Phares' World Lebanese Organization included among its 'leading members' both 'Col. Sharbel Baraket, former deputy commander of the [South Lebanese Army], and Etienne Sakr, head of the radical Guardians of the Cedars group.' "Until its closure in 1999, the South Lebanese Army (SLA) controlled the notorious Khiam Prison. Human Rights Watch has stated, 'It is indisputable that systematic torture occurred in Khiam.' The SLA also perpetrated atrocities such as the 1984 massacre in which its members 'fired guns and hurled hand grenades at men rounded up for questioning.'