It wasn’t until late 2007 that the awkwardly titled UN International Independent Investigation Commission actually got around to some serious investigating.
By then, nearly three years had passed since the spectacular public murder of Lebanon’s former prime minister Rafik Hariri.
Hariri, the builder. The billionaire tycoon who’d reclaimed Beirut’s architectural heritage from the shattered cityscape of a civil war and made it his mission to restore Lebanon’s mercantile leadership.
Hariri, the nationalist who’d had the courage to stand against Syria, Lebanon’s longtime occupier; and in his day was the most important reformer in the Middle East.
The massive detonation that killed him on Feb. 14, 2005 unleashed forces no one knew were there. All of Lebanon seemed to rise up in the murder’s aftermath, furiously pointing at the country’s Syrian overlords.