Lots of talk about Hezbollah these days and some mention of the lethal attacks they have made on Americans in the past:
- the Khobar Towers attack in Saudi Arabia
- the Marine barracks attack in Beirut back in 1983,
- the kidnappings and killings in Beirut of CIA station Chief Bill Buckley and US Marine Colonel Rich Higgins
- the murder of navy Diver Robbie Stethem when Hezbollah hijacked a TWA flight in 1985.
What seldom, if ever, gets mentioned though are some of the other atrocities against Americans committed by Hezbollah –all of which have gone unpunished. Let me refresh the record with mention of a few of them.
In the early to mid 80’s Hezbollah kidnapped and tortured a lot of Americans in Beirut beyond Bill Buckley, Rich Higgins and the journalist Terry Anderson.
David Dodge, for example, he was acting president of American University when he was kidnapped and held under heartless conditions for about a year.
Malcolm Kerr, president of the same University when Hezbollah kidnapped and murdered him.
Jeremy Levin, the CNN bureau chief in Beirut. He was kidnapped by Hezbollah and held for a long time before he actually escaped, though he got remarkably little media attention for it.
The Reverend Benjamin Weir, held for 16 months and released as a broken man.
And here’s one very seldom mentioned:
In 1983 the US Embassy in Beirut was attacked by Hezbollah and 63 employees were killed, 120 were wounded. The CIA’s Mid East director was among the dead.
A year later, Hezbollah bombed a restaurant near a US Air Force base in Spain and 18 Americans were killed, 83 others wounded.
In September of 1984, Hezbollah struck the US embassy in East Beirut againkilling 23 employees and wounding 21 others.
Three months later, Hezbollah hijacked a Kuwait airliner. They murdered the two Americans aboard: Charles Hegna and William Stanford, their names now lost to history. I’ll bet you have never even heard of them. Both were US government employees, auditors for the US Agency for International Development (AID).
Charles Hegna was 50 then, he would be 72 now. He lived in Northern Virginia with his wife Edwena. They had five children.
Charles Hegna had just done a financial audit in Yemen and was flying to Pakistan when four Hezbollah terrorists stormed the cockpit of his plane. They shot an air marshall and forced the plane down in Tehran.
Charles Hegna and another AID auditor, William Stanford, were singled out and murdered.
A third American with them was tortured but survived.
Hegna was beaten after he identified himself as an American. They then shot him in the stomach, and still alive, they threw him on to the tarmac, breaking his legs.
He was shot once more from above and for three hours he lay wounded, in agony in the sun, until an ambulance finally brought him to a an Iranian hospital where he died a few days later.
His wife Edwena, now in her 70’s, said a few years ago that the family had been destroyed by the murder.
“Our lives were put into quicksand,” she said.
When the bodies of Charles Hegna and William Stanford came back to the US, the elder George Bush, then vice president, made this vow:
"We shall know their murderers, with the long memories of those who believe in patient but certain justice."
So that was 24 years ago and the US “knows” their murderers all right. But we have done nothing about it –just like we have done almost nothing about all the other attacks by Hezbollah against Americans.