|EMBASSY OF THE|
UNITED STATES OF AMERICA
|June 16 , 1983|
|Dear Mr. & Mrs. Baumel:|
Senator Charles Percy has asked me to convey to
you the following letter.
"Dear Mr. and Mrs. Baumel:
Henry Grunwald, Editor in Chief of "Time" magazine,
has responded to my inquiry. He provides a memo from the
"Time" correspondent, Dean Brelis, who was in Damascus
then. The memo is confidential and for humanitarian pur-
poses . The memo reads: "I did see the tank. It bore
battle scars, Hebrew markings, and if it was a fake, it
was a masterly job. The three Israelis were wearing the
right uniform and the right boots. The Israeli crew
looked exhausted, downcast, typically combat fatigued,
and again, if they were actors, they were superior.
When the crowd surged around them, taunting, they looked
frightened. I mention this only because it could have been
staged with an old captured tank, so I paid a lot
of attention to details, like how fresh the bullet marks
were on the side of the tank which was a rebuilt Sherman
with a 105 gun, they were fresh ricochet scarrings. The
Syrians were driving the tank. I'm not sure about this,
because their faces and hair were filled with dust, but
one of the young men looked as though if his hair were
washed, it would be red. It was a public parade, as it
were, right through the center of Damascus, and once it
passed, I never saw the tank or the Israelis again. I
recall that one or two of the Israelis had bandages on
an arm or leg." Mr. Grunwald also says that Brelis said
he talked to a source at the British Embassy who said he
had heard that the tank had suffered a breakdown, was
surrounded by a Syrian force, and the crew surrendered.
He got a similar story from a Syrian official. That is
all he knows.
What do you make of this report?
Charles H. Percy
United States Senate"
John F. Scott