Covering for Arafat the Killer

by Sidney Zion

YASSER Arafat personally ordered the murders of two American diplomats in Khartoum, March 2, 1973. Everybody with the "need to know" knew it then and knows it now. Everybody but the American people.

There are tapes that prove it, but they were "disappeared" by the Nixon administration and remain the dirtiest secret in modern American history.

I start virtually at the end of the story, when the other day I got a phone call from James Welsh - a man I never heard of, but I believe we will be hearing from in the future.

Welsh was a Navy officer assigned to the National Security Agency as an intelligence analyst from 1972-1974. The story he told me raised my blood pressure and the few hairs still on my head.

"We intercepted a communication from Arafat that an imminent operation was going down in Khartoum. We immediately flashed this to the State Department, with highest priority, for every indication was that our diplomats were in danger."

But somebody at State decided to downgrade the warning. Before it reached Khartoum, Cleo Noel and George Curtis Moore, our ambassador and charge d'affaires, were murdered point blank by Black September, Arafat's hit men.

Our men had been held hostage in the Saudi embassy. They would be released only if Sirhan Sirhan, the Palestinian assassin of Robert F. Kennedy, was set free. President Nixon refused, and the executions followed.

This was 28 years ago, and Jim Welsh hasn't had a good night's sleep since. "I wanted to break it right away, but I was told that if I did, I'd lose my clearance and would be sent to fleet-oiler duty in 48 hours."

He called me because of an article I wrote three years ago, when Ariel Sharon announced that the CIA had tapes that proved Arafat ordered the murders of our diplomats in Khartoum. "What took you so long?" I said.

Welsh said, "Finally I couldn't bear seeing Bill Clinton treating Arafat as a hero, I couldn't stand the picture of this killer [being] accepted in the White House."

It wasn't that Welsh hadn't tried before. He spent years trying to get those Arafat tapes, which he knows exist. "But even the best friends of Israel in the Congress backed off when push came to shove on these tapes," he said.

Why? "Because if Arafat is conclusively proven to have ordered the execution of American diplomats, the peace process is as dead as those poor victims. And nobody wants that to happen, even the Israelis."

So the truth is hostage to the most chilling words in diplomatese: "For reasons of state."

Of course, it never works. You can hide the tapes, but you can't change the killer. Jim Welsh's nightmares are Yasser Arafat's sweet dreams.

The only sick dreamers are the peaceniks in Israel and the State Department, who continue to live with the lie that the Palestinians want peace and are only obstructed by the likes of Ariel Sharon.

In this week's New Yorker, Sharon is quoted as saying that Arafat is a murderer. This has given Ehud Barak and his desperate supporters an attack ad in the endgame of the Israeli election: How dare Arik call Yasser a murderer - all that does is guarantee war!

Sharon was the first and still the only Israeli leader to tell us that Arafat killed American diplomats. Jim Welsh calls it truth - and truth is the only way to peace.

©2001 New York Post

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