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The Accountability Act calls for U.S. political and economic sanctions against President Bashar Assad's regime if it fails to discontinue its support of Hizbullah and withdraw the Syrian army from Lebanon in compliance with U.N. resolution 520. But the patriarch defended the exiled general against a probe the state prosecution has launched to determine whether Aoun had made any contact with Israel or the U.S. Jewish Lobby in the course of his campaign for the Accountability bill.

If anyone who opens his mouth to speak of the irregularities of the existing regime is promptly accused of treason or being an agent for Israel, that means the climate in our country is unhealthy and incorrect,the patriarch said.

A country that eliminates opposition is effectively eliminating itself,he said, denouncing the MTV closure as an act with political motives and asserting that the judicial system should not be manipulated for political ends. Beirut, Updated 26 Sep 02, 12:21

ADDOUM: AOUN, OTHERS COULD FACE CHARGES
Youssef Diab
Daily Star correspondent

Beirut, Sept. 23, 2002 State Prosecutor Adnan Addoum hinted Monday that he may take legal measures against the exiled former army commander, General Michel Aoun.

Addoum instructed the Central Criminal Investigations Department to collect information relating to activities carried out by Aoun and others, both inside Lebanon and abroad, that "harm Lebanon and its sovereignty.” The instructions call for opening investigations into such activities and determining responsibility, as well as whether these activities are designated as crimes under Lebanese law.

Judicial sources did not discount the possibility of investigations covering those who had participated in the World Maronite Congress and a rally in Antelias earlier

this year.

The sources affirmed that the measures began following information received by the Addoum that they would be in line with the provisions of Lebanese law. These provisions do no exempt any Lebanese from liability, whether the alleged crime or violations are committed on Lebanese soil or abroad.

RUMSFELD ON IRAQ: 'GOAL IS DISARMAMENT From CNN.com: http://www.cnn.com/2002/US/09/21/rumsfeld.cnna/index.html 23 September 2002

(CNN) CNN Correspondent Jamie McIntyre talked one-on-one on Saturday with U.S. Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld in Washington and questioned him on Iraq and the U.S. battle against terrorism. MCINTYRE: Let me start off with the news from Baghdad today

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MCINTYRE: You were also pressed this week about whether there was anything short of war that Saddam Hussein could do. And you seemed to indicate-well, one thing you suggested was he could leave, perhaps seek asylum somewhere. Is that a practical possibility? RUMSFELD: Only he would know. MCINTYRE: Where could he go? RUMSFELD: Oh, my goodness. I'm sure there are countries that would be delighted to have him. There are countries that have taken Baby Doc Duvalier and Idi Amin Dada and the Ethiopian dictator. MCINTYRE: Would that be acceptable to the United States if Saddam Hussein was able to leave with perhaps a large sum of money and live comfortably in some other country? RUMSFELD: The goal of—that is a question for the president, not for me. The goal, in my view, is that Saddam Hussein not be a threat and not have the relationships they do with terrorist states and not threaten their neighbors and not have weapons of mass destruction programs.

If Saddam Hussein decided to take a handful of his family and senior leaders and go away and no longer would Iraq have those weapons and no longer would they threaten their neighbor, I think that would be a-I personally think that would be a good thing for the world. But whether it's reasonable or not, I have no idea. MCINTYRE: Let me take you back about... RUMSFELD: I was being pressed by senators asking me if there's any way that it could happen, and certainly that's one way. MCINTYRE: Well, let me take you back about 20 years ago. The date, I believe, was December 20th, 1983, you were meeting with Saddam Hussein. Tell me what was going on during this meeting. RUMSFELD: Well, Iraq was in a battle, war with Iran. And the United States had just had 241 Marines killed. And President Reagan asked me to take a leave of absence from my company and serve as a temporary special envoy, and I traveled throughout the Middle East for a period of months. And we were trying to get the Syrians to get out of Lebanon and stop killing Americans at the Marine barracks. And among other things, we believed that it would be helpful if Saddam Hussein's Iraq would behave in a way in that region that would be helpful to our goals with respect to Syria and the terrorist threat that existed. And we decided it was worth having me go in and meet with him.

In that visit, I cautioned him about the use of chemical weapons, as a matter or fact, and discussed a host of other things. MCINTYRE: You were pressed during the briefings—during the hearings this week by Senator Robert Byrd, D-West Virginia, on the question of whether the U.S., in any way, aided Saddam Hussein in his chemical weapons program. At the time, during the hearings, you said you had no knowledge of it. Have you looked into it since then?

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We wish to share with you the Administration's statement on H.R. 4483, the Syria Accountability
Act of 2002 and S. 4693, the Arafat Accountability Act.

According to the State Department,

"While we share the House's concern with the Middle East situation, Congress' consideration of
legislation addressing thai crisis would be unhelpful at this time. We are working closely with all
parties to the conflict and must be perceived as even-handed in our approach. We believe that
consideration of these or similar bills will have a negative effect on our down the violence, avoid
the outbreak of regional war, and help the parties back to a path to comprehensive peace. If our
efforts 10 secure a lasting peace and 10 reduce terrorist violence are 10 succeed, the President and
The Secretary must have the greciest possible flexibility to delermine what combination of incentives
and disincentives will maximize cooperation among the parties."

We urge you to do what is best for America's foreign policy and security interests by not tying the
President's hands on sensitive matters of Middle Eastem policy,

The Parall Janethasue

Nick J. Raha!)
Member of Congress

John D. Dingell
Member of Congress

United States Department of State

Washington, D.C. 20520
MAY 24 2002

Dear Mr. Rahall,

Thank you for your letter of May 23 expressing your support for our efforts in the Middle East and requesting the Administration's views on two related bills before you: H.R. 4693, the Arafat Accountability Act and H.R. 4483, the Syria Accountability Act. My response to you draws verbatim on the letter the Secretary sent to Senate and House leaders on these same bills.

In particular, H.R. 4693 and .s. 2194, the Arafat Accountability Act, would deny a visa to Mr. Arafat, downgrade. the PLO Office, restrict travel of the PLO's senior representative in New York, and freeze PLO, PA and Arafat assets in the United States. H.R. 4483 and S. 2215, the Syrian Accountability Act, have as their purpose to halt Syrian support for terrorism, stop Syria's development of weapons of mass destruction, cease its importation of Iraqi oil, and hold Syria accountable for the international security problems its actions have caused. Our comments on these bills are enclosed.

We do not encourage or support the introduction of legislation during this critical period that (1) appears onesided to the majority of the nations in the Middle East region, 12) places restrictions on the President's actions and thus ties his hands, or (3) will have a negative impact on our ability to gain the support of one or more of the parties to an agreed settlement of the crisis.

While we share the House's concern with the Middle East situation, Congress' consideration of legislation addressing that crisis would be unhelpful at this time. We are working closely with all parties to the conflict and must be perceived as even-handed in our approach. We believe that consideration of these or similar bills will have a negative effect on our

The Honorable
Nick J. Rahall II,

House of Representatives.

-2

efforts to bring down the violence, avoid the outbreak of regional war, and help the parties back to a path to comprehensive peace.

If our efforts to secure a lasting peace and to reduce terrorist violence are to succeed, the President . and the Secretary must have the greatest possible flexibility to determine what combination of incentives and disincentives will maximize cooperation among the parties.

I appreciate your effort in this important matter and rely upon your assistance in developing a strategy for peace in this important region.

Sincerely,

Caulitsee

Paul Kelly
Assistant Secretary
Legislative Affairs

Enclosure:

As stated

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