Wednesday, August 27, 2008

Mystery of France's Femme Fatale and the suicidal Druze Guard at Ben Gurion

She's drop dead gorgeous, without a doubt. Mighty men often have succumbed to the charms of Carla Bruni Sarkozy, the brainy First Lady of France, who happens to be Italian and irrepressible. Everyone from the Dalai Lama (snapped beside her this month in ersatz dunce cap, above) to Mick Jagger have been eager to interact with this model-cum-singer-cum-paramour. When Carla left Ben Gurion airport earlier this summer, scampering up the jet's steps "like a gazelle", in the words of an enraptured al Jazeera reporter, there'd been parting shots drowned out by the military band and one Israeli guard lay dead on the tarmac. This incident was duly investigated by the IDF, and almost immediately ruled a suicide. It was a very odd way to top oneself, as Dion Nissenbaum of Checkpoint Jerusalem has noted. The guard's family figures that he couldn't help sneaking a peek at her through his rifle's scope and his ogling made him look like a sniper. Read on for the naked truth:

But the family of the dead Israeli border guard, Raed Ghanem, challenged the [IDF cover] story from day one. And now they have come up with a counter-theory.

Call it The Carla Conspiracy.

Here's the theory as laid out by Samer Ali, the attorney representing the dead border guard's family.

Raed Ghanem was a happy father of two toddlers, a Druze border guard who had no reason to kill himself.

On the morning in question, Ghanem excitedly told his wife that he was going to get to see Carla Bruni, the sultry, alluring, model-turned-singer-turned-French First Lady.

Ghanem was stationed at least 100 yards from the farewell ceremony, on the outer edge of the security detail, according to Israeli police.

Ali's theory is this: In an attempt to sneak a peek at Carla, Ghanem raised his M-16 so he could check her out through his scope.

Then... blam! Ghanem was taken out by another member of the security team who thought the Druze border guard was raising his M-16 to take out one of the world leaders.

Considering the insatiable interest Carla creates wherever she goes, it's not an outlandish theory. (Any good conspiracy theory has to have a plausible starting point.)

Unfortunately for Ghanem's family, there isn't much evidence to back up the claims at this point.

The Israeli police investigation isn't done yet, but spokesman Mickey Rosenfeld restated there is no doubt that Ghanem killed himself.

Ali has pulled together all the kinds of threads one would collect to question the official version of events: Alleged eyewitnesses who say more than one shot was fired. Information from "insiders" that the police investigation has determined that Ghanem did not kill himself. Autopsy observers for the family who contend that there were no powder burns on Ghanem's hands. And a contention that Ghanem's fatal wound suggests that he was shot in the back of the head.

"The most likely theory is that he was looking at Carla Bruni through his telescope and someone shot him," Ali told Checkpoint Jerusalem. "We're certain that there's something being hidden. He had no reason to kill himself."

Israelity bites.

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