vrijdag 31 januari-2014
Met die nucleaire ellende in Den Haag voor de deur is het vooral voor nieuwkomers op deze site misschien handig om even de serie Lubbers en de muzelmannenbom door te struinen (1). Daarin speelt de destijds vanuit Damascus en Beirut opererende Hassan Zubaidi een hoofdrol. Vaak werd deze Levantijnse zakenpief weggezet als een onbetrouwbaar en louche portret. Maar deze serie toont in onze ogen aan dat ie wel degelijk meetelde in het duistere internationale steekspel tussen oost en west. Ook op nucleair gebied. Vandaar dat we vrolijk verder gaan met de getuigenis van onze informant, die Zubaidi indertijd van nabij heeft meegemaakt. Komt ie:
"Shea and Gould at that time were one of New York's largest and most respected law firms. They occupied six floors in the Time-Life building on 6th Avenue. I spoke to Cutaia by phone and was asked to come to the office for a meeting. I walked in one evening after work, dressed in blue jeans and an open-necked shirt. I was treated like a leper by the myriads of secretaries and juniors who were still in the offices at 6.30 in the evening. Cutaia, a very young man, early thirties, met me and walked me into a corner office, occupied by a middle-aged Jewish partner whose name I can't remember. It was an hilarious session in retrospect. The partner leaning back in his expensive leather chair. Smoking a cigar and acting totally disinterested and disbelieving my story of the events I have recounted to you. I had no papers with me to back anything I said. And he was such an arrogant, nationalistic prick. I remember my elation as I left his office. I knew by my persistent hammering of his questions that I had seriously dented his American nationalism! I was asked back to present my documents. Desert Storm took place in January 1991...
Over the next several months I visited Shea & Gould many times and worked with the small team of lawyers and investigators they assigned to the case. I put Rory Cutaia in touch with Margit Nesselrod and I think that was the turning point for him. He became a believer in Zubaidi's innocence and he worked very hard after that to get the Italians their freedom. Margit told me early in the year that the Italians would be released and allowed to go home. But she said they would be tried first. The Feds could not force the State of New York to release the men. Morgenthau wanted a trial.
Sometime early in 1991, after I had been to two or three meetings at Shea & Gould, I telephoned the investigative reporter at the New York Times, under whose byline the article savaging Zubaidi had been written. I introduced myself and made reference to his article by span and date. I told him that I knew Hassan Zubaidi and that I knew a great deal of information about the Indonesian Notes, the men who were arrested and Zubaidi's business. I asked if he would like to meet me. He replied: There is no story! and he hung up without saying another word. The New York Times! All the news that's fit to print! An investigative reporter! I knew then, beyond a shadow of a doubt, that Zubaidi had spoken to the NSC and the White House (as he told me) and the Feds had squashed the story. Margit just laughed when I told her, but she advised me to destroy copies of all the documents I possessed. For my own good".
Geen loos advies. Per saldo ging het om een staaltje smerige internationale polletiek en het achterover drukken van miljarden dollars. Er zijn mensen voor minder het hoekje om geholpen. Stay tuned.
(1) Voor de echte diehards is over Zubaidi ook het nodige te vinden op de site van de Morgenster.