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General Admits Israel Did Know How Many Rockets Hezbollah Had

Reported by Marie Therese - August 3, 2006 -

For the past week, FOX News, through its mouthpiece Bill O'Reilly, has endeavored to convey the impression that the massive number of weapons available to Hezbollah came as a complete surprise to Israel and caught them off guard. O'Reilly's claims were picked up by various other FOX hosts and repeated as fact. However, News Hounds has pointed out that Hassan Nasrallah, the leader of Hezbollah, publicly admitted in May 2005 that he had more than 12,000 rockets in his arsenal. On this morning's FOX & Friends First, Israeli Reservist Major General Yaakov Amidror was brought in to "revise" O'Reilly's mythology. Naturally, there was no mention of O'Reilly's original claims.

JUDGE ANDREW NAPOLITANO: "General, were you surprised - were you surprised, General, at the amount of military build-up that Hezbollah had accumulated north of the Israel-Lebanon border?"

MAJOR GENERAL YAAKOV AMIDROR (RES): "No. It was known here between - at least in the intelligence community and also in the decision-makers' circles that Hezbollah is building itself in the last few years. Most of the weapons systems came from Iran through Syria, part of it directly from Syria, Syrian-made launchers and rockets. But the numbers and the amount and the preparations were known here in Israel."

Amirdror's statement is corroborated by this report on the Global Security website:

The head of Israeli Military Intelligence reported in 2004 that Hezbollah had 13,000 rockets, most with a 25-kilometer range, about 500 with a range of 45 kilometers [Fajr-3] to 75 kilometers [Fajr-5], and a few dozen with a 115-kilometer range [Zelzal-2]. A senior Military Intelligence officer told the Knesset's Defense and Foreign Affairs Committee in 2006 that Hizbullah possessed thousands of rockets with a 20-kilometer firing range as well as some 100 rockets capable of reaching targets of 40-70 kilometers. Hezbollah had not used the Fajr rockets until the July 2006 conflict.

News Hounds is delighted that FOX News has "corrected" O'Reilly's initial "mistake".

But, an important question still remains.

Why would O'Reilly and FOX News try to foist such an easily disprovable lie onto an unsuspecting FOX viewership?

Could it be that they seriously miscalculated their ability to "manage" the information output in a 24-hour news cycle enhanced by an international 24/7 blogosphere?

When FOX News broadcasts from Israel, its reporters are constantly censored and limited as to what they can say and where they can go.

In Lebanon, by contrast, FOX News reporters are free to file their gung-ho, pro-Israel reports but cannot disguise the images of the bombed-out buildings.

For example, when Greg Palkot compares Bint Jbail to Dresden while standing in rubble as a few exhausted refugees make the desperate trek to safety, all the chest-thumping propaganda from Haifa cannot erase the effect of that image.

Israel may achieve it's "defensible borders" goal in the short run.

But, in the long run, they've lost the propaganda war. Distressing and awful as the attacks on Israel have been, our TV screens show us that Lebanon has sustained much worse and is fighting back with far less sophisticated weaponry.

And, because the American government has shirked its responsibilities and given silent approval to this black farce, an impotent world waits, hat in hand, for Israel to say when and where this dreadful and destructive assault will end.

Where, I ask you, is the "fair play" in that?