Beirut 1983: Have We Learned This Lesson?
The facts are stark. Very early at 06:22 a.m. on October 23, 1983, a lone suicide bomber drove a Mercedes truck – packed with the equivalent of 12,000 lbs of TNT – into the building housing many of the Marines of the 24th Marine Amphibious Unit (24th MAU), killing 241 Marines and members of other US Services. Most of the Headquarters and Services Company of Battalion Landing Team, 1st Battalion, 8th Marines (BLT 1/8) was wiped out. At the same time, another suicide bomber drove a van into the barracks housing the French Foreign Legion, killing several dozen Legionnaires. Reading and watching the news coverage now of the efforts by the Marine Corps and the Army to keep the peace in Iraq brings back many memories of peacekeeping in Beirut in 1982–1984. Beirut also comes to mind when talking to veterans who tried to keep peace in Somalia.
KeywordsCommission Report Central Intelligence Agency Intelligence Network Marine Corps Suicide Bomber
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