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Democracy's Blameless LeadersFrom Dresden to Abu Ghraib, How Leaders Evade Accountability for Abuse, Atrocity, and Killing$
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Neil James Mitchell

Print publication date: 2012

Print ISBN-13: 9780814761441

Published to NYU Press Scholarship Online: March 2016

DOI: 10.18574/nyu/9780814761441.001.0001

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(p.116) 7 Beirut
Democracy's Blameless Leaders

Neil James Mitchell

NYU Press

This chapter recounts the killing of approximately seven hundred Palestinians in the Sabra and Shatila refugee camps in West Beirut by the Israeli-allied Lebanese Christian militia. Specifically, it shows how information is passed up the chain from agents to principals. The conventional complaint that supports a principal's claim of can't control is a lack of knowledge of the agent's activities. In this case, the lack of knowledge was self-inflicted. Individual Israeli Defense Force (IDF) soldiers quickly pulled the alarm on the massacre, but there was no response from above. With unresponsive superiors, IDF soldiers provided information to journalists, who then contacted ministers. However, the Israeli leaders denied and delegated responsibility. After the initial denials failed to convince the world, Israeli leaders claimed to be deeply shocked by their agents' activities.

Keywords:   Palestinians, Sabra refugee camp, Shatila refugee camp, Lebanese Christian militia, Individual Israeli Defense Force

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