Friday, October 17, 2008

October 15th: 5th Anniversary Of Murder Of 3 Americans By Palestinian Terrorists

Not much attention seems to have been paid this past week to the 5th anniversary of the murder of three American security contractors, John Branchizio, Mark Parson, and John Martin Linde Jr. by Palestinian terrorists on October 15, 2003.

Jeff Jacoby reported at the time:
Three Americans -- John Branchizio, Mark Parson, and John Martin Linde -- were murdered last Wednesday when terrorists in Gaza bombed the diplomatic convoy they were riding in. News accounts immediately described the attack as a first -- "an unprecedented deadly attack on a U.S. target in the Palestinian territories," to quote the Associated Press. But Branchizio, Parson, and Linde were not the first Americans to be murdered by Palestinian terrorists. They were the 49th, 50th, and 51st in the past 10 years alone.

A few hours after their deaths, the White House condemned "the vicious act of terrorism" that killed them, extended "heartfelt condolences to the families," and promised "to bring the terrorists to justice."
At the time, the PA went through the motions of apprehending the killers:
Following the attack, PA Leader Yasser Arafat at first arrested three low-level members of the splinter organization Popular Front and held a quick trial that the U.S. called a sham, but he later caved into pressure and admitted the three may not have been involved in the attack. The perpetrators remain at large.
One year later, in October 2004, the topic came up again when:
a senior Palestinian official publicly admitted for the first time he knows the identity of the killers.

Musa Arafat, the head of PA military intelligence and a cousin of Yasser Arafat, said, "The Palestinian security forces know who was behind the killing of three Americans in Gaza nearly a year ago, but cannot act against the factions while the fighting with Israel continues."
The last effort made on behalf of the murdered Americans came last year with the sponsoring of HR 2293:
To require the Secretary of State to submit to Congress a report on efforts to bring to justice the Palestinian terrorists who killed John Branchizio, Mark Parson, and John Marin Linde.
You can see what progress was made on the bill at
  • May 14, 2007: the bill was introduced by Rep. Gary Ackerman (D, NY)
  • June 26, 2007: the bill was reported by Committee 
  • July 16, 2007: the bill was passed by the House by a voice vote
  • July 17, 2007: the bill was received in the Senate, read twice and referred to the Committee on Foreign Relations  
The New York Sun noted on January 2, 2008 that the bill:
is now languishing in the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, where three Democrats on the panel, Joseph Biden, Christopher Dodd, and Barack Obama, were too busy running for president to forward the bill to the full Senate.
What will it take to get Biden and Obama to move the bill forward?
If Americans don't remember these men, how can we expect the politicians to?

Israel Matzav goes into detail on the failure of the White House to pursue this matter.

Crossposted on Soccer Dad

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