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How the Beirut Bombing Spawned the Modern Surveillance State - By Shane Harris | Foreign Policy


Stashed in: Privacy does not exist., Middle East

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The sun dawned about a quarter after six on Sunday, October 23, 1983. Most of the Marines were still asleep. A few who were up and moving about the compound noticed a yellow truck outside the concertina wire that guarded the perimeter. It was a Mercedes-Benz stake-bed, a workhorse used to carry heavy cargo. Before anyone could figure out why it was there, the truck picked up speed and crashed through the fence.

A sentry in one of the two guard posts nearby turned in time to see the truck heading straight for the Marines' barracks. He grabbed his unloaded M16 and reached for a magazine of ammunition. The truck sped through an open gate, swerved around a sewer pipe, and aimed for the small sergeant-of-the-guard post stationed at the entrance to the hulking concrete building.

That guard was facing the lobby and heard the roaring truck behind him. He turned, and he thought for a moment, "What's that truck doing inside the perimeter?" An instant later he was sprinting through the building to another entrance on the far side.

"Hit the deck!" he yelled. "Hit the deck!" He glanced back over his shoulder and watched the truck flatten his post before crashing into the lobby. It halted there. One or two seconds passed, and then the guard saw a bright orange and yellow flash. Then he realized he was flying through the air.  

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