Monday, November 06, 2006

Beirut The Untold Story Part 1

After 23 years of doing nothing about what happened in Beirut on
October 23rd 1983 I will now stand up and shout to all that will listen.
I was Navy onboard the USS Portland LSD-37, the morning the bomb
went off I was standing on the Signalbridge about 1.5 miles away. The
blast was so loud we thought we had taken a direct hit. Which would not
have been extraordinary due to the amount of rocket fire and radar shine
we received on a daily basis.
When we realized we were ok I looked to the beach and saw smoke
rising from near the airport, at that point I felt my stomach turn. I couldnt
see what had been hit but it was big.

A few moments later a friend who was monitoring the shore net called
me on the sqawk box and told me that the B/L/T was down and they
were asking for all assistance and all body containers in the area.
Quickly after this I asked to be sent in as part of the recovery detail, I
was told no and a friend SM2 Moore was sent in with the first wave.
After I spent hours sending requests up the chain of command I was sent in and spent the next 4-5 days on the beach.
I have been asked why it was so important for me to go, I dont know except these were my friends and they needed my help.
On day 2 I found a message in the comm shack of the building, it was
only a few feet from the body of a young Marine Officer, who had his .45
drawn and in his hand. This message has been the root of all my

It read:

FM: Sharkey
SUBJ: Threat
Possible Syrian/Iranian hostilities against the US and other contigents of
the MNF between 10/22 and 10/24

After I found this I did my job and handed it to the officer who was
collecting these messages and it was destroyed. I didnt know that as we
were on our way home that this very message was talked about in front
of congress and it was described as broad and vague in its content.
A year ago after doing more research I also found that a Mossad Agent
had known the make and model of the truck months before were hit, he
was told to pass along a standard warning so they would not lose their
undercover agent inside Hezbollah.
Isreal sold us out to protect a source, the lives of 241 men were lost
because our own government thought this to be vague and not worthy of
preparing for.
Tim Gerahty was the Colonel in charge of the Marines he had asked
many times to move his men, to allowed to be more defensive and was
turned down over and over again. But when Congress met he and his
aides took the fall, like all good Marines they sacrifced themselves for
the Commander in Chief.
Now dont get me wrong, I am a patriot, I am not against the use of our
military but I am against allowing them to be murdered in their sleep.
Regan escalated the war by resupplying the Lebanese Armed Forces
and this was done out of site of the Marines. Operation Rubberwall was
sold to the media as a mass resupply of our Marines when in fact 3/4 of
what was brought in was taken by bought to the Lebanese Naval Base
north of Beirut. I know of this as I was part of the boat crews moving in
11 million rounds of ammo. We did this under the watchful eye of Syrian
Forces on the hill above us and they saw this as us moving into an
aggressive role in the Civil War. They have not liked us since 1958
when 14k of our troops pushed them out of Lebanon, my Father was part of that operation.
Now I guess you all see why I am so passionate about this and will remain so until I leave this planet.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Hello, Steven...

Very moving post. I was there with you (from the Harlan County), and I understand, to a certain degree, how you feel. It took me three months of nightmares to overcome the horror of that time. I was part of the recovery/salvage team from the Harlan County, and I was there for four days and nights, as were you. Very scary.

If I can help, please contact me at, I bet you know what my name is...

Take care.