U.S. District Judge Royce C. Lamberth Friday ordered Iran to pay more than $2.6 billion to nearly 1,000 family members and a handful of survivors of a 1983 bombing of a Marine barracks in Lebanon that killed 241 soldiers. Hizbullah carried out the suicide bombing on Oct. 23, 1983, but in a ruling in 2003, Lamberth found that Iran was “legally responsible” for supporting Hizbullah with financial and logistical support to carry out the attack.
Secretary of Defense Robert M. Gates told the Marine Corps Association on July 18, 2007: “I remember vividly a day in December 1991, when as CIA Director I – along with then-Secretary of Defense Dick Cheney – attended an arrival ceremony at Andrews Air Force Base. We were there to receive the remains of two men – two of our nation’s “bravest sons” – who had been kidnapped, tortured, and murdered by terrorists in Lebanon. One was William Buckley, CIA station chief in Beirut. The other was Marine Lt. Col. William Higgins, who served with the UN peacekeeping force in Lebanon. These two Americans were murdered by the same Hizbullah-linked extremists who killed hundreds of Americans in 1983 at the Marine barracks and U.S. embassy in Beirut. It is important to remember that until the morning of September 11, 2001, Hizbullah had been responsible for the deaths of more Americans, our countrymen, than any other terrorist group in the world.”