Warning

Warning: This site contains images and graphic descriptions of extreme violence and/or its effects. It's not as bad as it could be, but is meant to be shocking. Readers should be 18+ or a mature 17 or so. There is also some foul language occasionally, and potential for general upsetting of comforting conventional wisdom. Please view with discretion.

Monday, December 31, 2012

Shed Massacre Trial, part two

December 30, 2012
last edits, Dec. 31, 2:35 AM(Pacific)
See Part one

The Captive Soldiers
The nine named men awaiting trial for the Khamis Brigade Shed Massacre, as announced by the Libya Herald, are largely know to us by name from previous study. They weren't necessarily all guards or commander at the Yarmouk alleged prison shed. Rather, they were part of an overall team that ran that plus another compound quite nearby at Qasr Ben Ghashir, at the facility here called "the Slovenian company." The alleged massacre there at about the same time as the shed massacre is at least as bizarre, having three different official dates given so far, for one thing, and approximately five prisoners killed, and 70 escaped when they suddenly realized they could let themselves out of their cells.
- The Tripoli Massacres: Killings at Qasr Ben Ghashir
- See also A Question Mark Over Yarmouk (QMOY, PDF link), section 1.4, pp 20-31.

So ... the four men accused over that smaller alleged incident are to go up in the dock second, on January 8. Two days before, the five tagged for atrocities at the larger site have their turn. A high-level commander is named in the lesser case, and in his own separate military tribunal. Let's take a look now at the men named and, more importantly, a couple who were not mentioned.

The main source for about 50% of the info we have previously collected is an amazingly useful piece by Robert F. Worth, New York Times, May 2012. This was based on visits to rebel-held prisoners in Tripoli and the Western Mountains (but not Misrata), who stood accused of the atrocity he had earlier written about. (side-note: in that, I suspect, he was advised by Dr. Salem Al-Farjani, under yet another pseudonym: see QMOY p. 88)

Jan. 6 Trial:
Yakhlif Sifawi, Abdul-Razak Baruni, Juma Daqdouq and Mohamed Harous

Mohammed Harous and Yakhlif Sifawi are new names to me. We have nothing to add, unless Mohammed is the same one mentioned by alleged escapee M.M. Zedan: “someone called Ibrahim Tajouri came, with him another one called Mohamed from Abou Salim and some Tuaregs…” (QMOY p. 76) A "Jumaa" was seen on supposed loyalist torture videos by Worth, made to dance in such a way the rebels always busted up when they saw it. The family name Daqdouq is new. Although it wasn't specified by Worth, I wonder if he's a Black Libyan of sub-Saharan descent. (open questions to Mr. Worth - is either hunch so far ventured correct?)

Abdul-Razaq Barouni is a special case. In a couple variegated names, he’s been hailed by alleged escapees as a hero. He was a guard, but had a good heart and even acted on it. He helped them, or tried to, in several conflicting ways, with maybe another guy named perhaps Mustafa or Osama. Depending on the version, Abdulrazaq tried to free the prisoners 30 minutes before the attack (but they never made it out the unlocked door), or successfully released the survivors after the worst of the killings, or offered no help at all, leaving the prisoners to die or escape on their own. He then ran away, it was said, perhaps with the other semi-hero guard(s). Later, he was arrested by rebels, apparently Misrata ones.

Mr. Barouni presumably struck a plea deal long ago, as his name has been written into the rebel cover-story from day one. He sounded more like a legend at first, an added detail of the script the "survivors" were working off of. But he shows up as a named captive in Robert Worth's report in May 2012. One Tripoli fighter said the Misratans shot the guard in the foot during interrogation, and took him back to Misrata with them. (see QMOY report pp 74-76 for the varying legends, and p. 63 for Barouni as an unseen captive) According to the Herald's announcement, he's still alive and ready to face the charges both ways, perhaps to some dramatic acquittal. We might finally get to see the guy.

Jan. 8 Trial
Hamza Mabruk Muftah Harizi, Marwan Emhemed Khalifa Gaddoura, Musbah Mohamed Musbah Ajim, Naji Massoud Najjar and Sami Saleh Ragie

Hamza Harizi, the base commander, is a special case that will be covered below. Musbah and Sami are new names to me. Marwan and Naji, however, we know, again mostly via Robert Worth. The following summaries are directly from the report QMOY, pages 63-64:
Naji : Naji Najjar, a former Yarmouk guard, is now apparently a base trustee, whipping boy, and clown. He reportedly is happy to beg for beatings, and for family of his alleged victims to beat him at will and break broomsticks over him. A letter from his brother was read out: “Naji is being held by an illegal entity, being tortured on a daily basis, starved and forced to sign false statements.” They all laughed, even Naji. Ragai’s rebuttal to torture, starvation, and false confessions by an illegal entity was “there is no legal entity for us to hand the prisoners over to.”
Then there's Marwan Gdoura, the 28-year-old newly-devout Muslim scholar, involved in the execution of prisoners at “Yarmouk,” Worth writes, but apparently at Qasr Ben Ghashir by the details. There, on August 24, he ignored Dr. Omar Salhouba/Salhoba’s plea to “fear God” and killed him, along with five others. Interrogator Nasser Salhoba, Dr. Omar’s brother, says he still wanted to kill Marwan and once beat him severely for reflexively failing to step on a green Jamahiriya flag, showing a lack of remorse, and “that he would kill all of us here if he could.”
Hamza Harizi: Hazy
Harizi alone among these nine gets a military trial for some reason. Given as Hirazi in Worth's article, he was held in or near Az Zintan, apparently, with no visit managed. His jailer Eissa Gliza cited security concerns, explaining that the prisoner had to be moved frequently due to repeated death threats, two of which became thwarted assassination attempts by unspecified parties. No rank was there given, but a high one implied; he was “the Yarmouk prison commander.”

Sgt. Maj. Hamza el Harizi is mentioned in a late 2011 report by Physicians for Human Rights (PHR), as “the officer-in-charge” of the Yarmouk detention facility. there his superior was Lt. Col. Mohammed Mansour (see below), whoin turn reported directly to the Libyan leader's son Khamis Gaddafi. Thus, Harizi was ostensibly set just two degrees from Khamis. UN report, March 2 the commission found the “immediate commander” of the Yarmouk base was the soldier called [056], reporting to a brigadier [028] who in turn reported to Khamis. Thus, [056] is most likely Harizi. It doesn’t seem the UNHRC commission spoke with him and it’s not clear if he was in custody at that time or still at large. But by the time of Worth's visit, Harizi was locked-up. As QMOY summed up (p.64)
The CIWCL was eager to learn what the second link said, but for security reasons, there was no meeting. Worth too wrote “I was eager to talk to him,” hoping for insight into “one of the central mysteries” of the massacre: “Why? And who gave the orders?” [RW2] The presumptions so far has been “evil,” and “Khamis,” but perhaps Worth was hoping to have an expertly handled captive spell it out with alleged second-hand authority.
And now this prisoner of opaque condition is slated to get his day in court, under whatever rules of fairness and transparency govern military trials in "Free Libya."

Note: Harizi was heavily implicated, by alleged eyewitnesses and at least one alleged subordinate, with the Yarmouk shed massacre. They have him directly passing on the order to kill the lot, overseeing the elimination of survivors, and the burning of (about 50 of) their bodies back inside the shed days later. According to what's reported, he will be tried not in connection with that crime, but on the 8th, in connection to the smaller alleged massacre at the "Slovenian company" prison, as well as by tribunal. That's slightly interesting.

The Lesser Missing Names
There are more sources than Robert F. Worth feeding into the CIWCL's previous knowledge base, but only a few alleged accomplices fall outside his roster, mostly excluded from this trial list.

The first notable exception is actually  one of Worth's central interviewees, a young Ibrahim Lousha, mentioned in part 1. The oft-cited Ibrahim Lousha/Tajouri/Sadeq-Khalifah, aged 20, of Tajoura Tripoli, says he did it all. Devil child. He threw the grenades, headed up the heavy shooting, finished off the survivors 'til 2 am, and/or burned them alive. He left little for the other four or so alleged executioners, but candidly confesssed to everything and helped his jailer Ibrahim Bietalmal prove there was no torture in Misrata's jails. I mean, just look at this kid!

Yes, can we have a look at him now? He's not listed as about to stand trial for his crucial and shifting role. Has he been forgiven and released, or knocked off? Perhaps fake-knocked-off, his character forgotten or written out of the show with a wink?

Massachusetts-based Physicians for Human Rights witness "Laskhar" may or may not be missing from the list – the name was a pseudonym. One likely real/alleged name behind that is Wajdi Kikly (QMOY p. 57), from Az-Zawiya, who reportedly helped execute and later burn the victims, along with his boss, Hamza Hreji/Harizi (see below). Laskhar was from Az Zawiya, it was said, turned in by his uncle after taking a solid and all-seeing role in the Yarmouk killings. (QMOY p. 56) Laskhar also related the ridiculous days-long clean-up process with his commander Harizi, that consisted of burning them on about the 25th. His account was especially well-suited to the mainstrean understanding of the evidence, and was supported with curious precision by PHR's other well-managed witneeses. But of course, it's contradicted by most of the other information from sources not so well-meshed.

Missing: Mansour/Brigadier [028]
And then there's the top link between the multi-dead Khamis Gaddafi and the highest acknowledged captive, Hamza Harizi. This is Lt. Col. Mohammed Mansour, as perviously given, and according to the Herald, Mohammed Mansour Dhau, a continuing threat.
The Yarmouk association has urged survivors as well as families of those killed to attend the trials and keep track of the cases. It added that a number of people believed to have been involved in the massacre are still at large, including the officer in charge of the camp at the time, Colonel Mohamed Mansour Dhau.
It's never been clarified 100% that Mansour was in custody, but previous research had suggested it pretty strongly. The QMOY report had taken it as likely true, which was perhaps an over-estimation, especially since it suggests the lack of confirmation suggested he was killed, as opposed to never held.

Physicians for Human Rights (PHR) deputy director Richard Sollom wrote in late 2011 that “alleged war criminals from all sides of the recent conflict remain at large” and that “holding these individuals accountable is the most effective way to end impunity and establish the rule of law.” But he only named one such person, from one side; “one whom Libyan authorities should detain and hold accountable is Lt. Col. [Mohammed] Mansour, who ordered his troops to kill 153 men in late August.” PHR were told, and believed, that he “reported directly to Khamis Qaddafi,” who originated the order.


PHR's witness "Laskhar" had Mansour firmly in his overly-clear picture of the command loop (QMOY p. 56):
At 12:30 pm on the day of the execution, Laskhar said, Khamis Gaddafi was there at the base conducting a meeting, with bigwigs including Lt. Col. Mansour and the deputy chief of military intelligence. A few hours later, Laskhar says he also saw his boss Sgt. Maj. Harizi get a call from Mansour, relating the order to kill all the prisoners that very night. Unsurprisingly, Hamza also confirmed for Laskhar that the order came straight from the younger Gaddafi.

The name twist "Dhau" suggests two villainous brigade commanders on record - a Mohammed Mansour and a Mansour Dau - are one and the same (while other clues argue against that). The latter was named as a mind-controlling rapist by alleged girl executioner Nisreen Al-Farjani (no known relation to Dr. Salem). She later allegedly escaped rebel custody and claimed all this was a lie extracted under torture and rape. But she said, while shackled to a bed under rebel guns, that a female controller named Fatma "had an office at the 77 Brigade base and there was a room with a bed next door." She was sent there one day, and "Mansour Dau, who was the commander of 77 Brigade, then came in and shut the door" and raped her. Thereafter, she became a regime slave, she said (more willing than that, others smirked), forced to shoot at least a dozen rebels point blank in the face just for the added evil and insult. She was 19 at that time.

If Col./Lt. Col. Mansour/Dau is currently at liberty, it might be that he escaped. A commander code-named Brigadier [028] was met by the UN’s investigators. Brigadier is sometimes a general term for a higher-ranking officer, so this could without contradiction be Mansour/Dau. He had been in command of “the Khilit al-Ferjan zone,” which includes the Yarmouk base. Mansour is said to command that base but, since his subordinate Harizi ran it, Mansour's turf might have been the broader area.

The UN commission related as a fact they believed, based on what rebels told them, that 028 "reported directly to Khamis Qadhafi," as did Mansour, allegedly. Although they believed it, he didn't confirm it; "he denied this to the Commission.” Both Mansour and 028 are said to have visited Yarmouk on the day of the massacre, but then left-after passing on the order but prior to its execution. (see QMOY p. 55) This crucial, high-level, witness – a link if not the link to the leader’s son – says there was no such link. This lack of "confession" is unusual among those captured. Perhaps he was one of those not being tortured, or not yet broken by it. His denial had a little more detail:
“He told the Commission he was simply in charge of personnel at the Military Intelligence (Istikhbarat). … he says he never was tasked directly by members of the Qadhafi family. When asked about his knowledge of the massacre, he claimed he only heard about it after the event and “if you’re interested inhuman rights violations then I don’t know why I am here.”[UH p.70]
I suspect Brigadier [028] has died in the interim, whoever he was. Robert Worth visited in the spring of 2012 and heard exactly one past-tense reference to Mansour, by young Ibrahim, as a giver of the kill orders. (QMOY p. 62)
[Ibrahim Lousha] names commander Muhammad Mansour, who “arrived late in the afternoon and ordered the guards to kill all the prisoners in the hangar.” He previously said Mansour threatened them with his gun, but Worth adds, as the UNHRC does, Mansour / [028] then left the site, with his gun. With the threat removed, Lousha says: “the other guards had the grenades. I told them, ‘Give the grenades to me.” He threw two of these in on the prisoners...
No one else even mentions Mansour/Dau at all. He may well have been dead already by then, and he may not have gone out comfortably. If [028] is someone else, we apparently have a missing captive anyway; this Khamis-linked non-confessed commander doesn't seem to be mentioned anywhere else; no one higher in rank than Harizi has been acknowledged. The UN investigators should come clean whether it was Mansour they spoke to or someone remarkably similar. Because if it was him, he’s since been eliminated and erased as a captive, and turned into a ghost at large. And that's not how "Free Libya" was supposed to work (or was it?)

Saturday, December 29, 2012

Shed Massacre Trial, part one

December 29, 2012
last edits Dec. 31

Note, Dec. 30: Part two, not today.

There has been nothing going on at this site for much of 2012, myself and other contributors having become wrapped up in the events in Syria. In a real sense, there’s more good to be done/bad to be prevented there. Libya, sadly, has been doomed to whatever it is as it hadn’t been for sure when I started this site in April 2011. The ongoing conflict in Bani Walid an elsewhere, the civil war as it exists in reduced form in the Libyan mind, and the various crimes and abuses of the new government and its forces, are all still well-worth study, but we only have so much time in a day.

But a reader alerts me to a development in an area I feel an obligation to; the Khamis Brigade Shed Massacre, which is set to take on a courtroom dimension some 16 months after the event. As a reader alerts me, the upcoming trial for several accused asoldiers was announced in the "new independent Libya daily" Libya Herald on December 27.

Yarmouk camp massacre trials to start in 10 days’ time
The trials of ten men accused of involvement in the Yarmouk Detention Camp massacre on 23-24 August last year are to start in January.
[...]
The Yarmouk association has urged survivors as well as families of those killed to attend the trials and keep track of the cases. It added that a number of people believed to have been involved in the massacre are still at large, including the officer in charge of the camp at the time, Colonel Mohamed Mansour Dhau.
Accused, by-and-large confessed, and innocent. This series of two posts will serve double as a first new article here in months (and a last chance for one in 2012), as well as an open letter to the defense team for this upcoming trial. Anyone who knows who that is and how to contact them should pass this on to them.

Our Investigation
We have of course covered this event quite extensivelyat this site and via the Citizen’s Investigation into War Crimes in Libya.
- All research here, links gathered
- 152-page report, A Question Mark Over Yarmouk (PDF link)
- Summary press release - "Holocaust" denied
- video:Amnesty by Way of Fakery

In summary: Something like 80 apparent Gaddafi loyalists were slaughtered at and around the overrun Yarmouk military base south of the capitol, and the majority charred beyond recognition (those who weren’t charred were primarily Black men). Then a stream of fake witnesses came forth, eventually making it seem that 51 non-loyalist prisoners out of an original 157 had escaped without a scratch to tell the tale – blasted at close quarters with machine guns and grenades, by Gaddafi loyalists and African mercenaries. They formed a survivor’s group and had an anniversary meeting earlier this year, featuring the first-ever Black survivor. Their original champion, Dr. Salem Al-Farjani aka Dr. Salem Rajab, might be dead by now.

Recommendation to the Defense
First, anyone claiming to represent these accused Human Beings should consider the PDF report, especially the overview (section 1.1 pp 7-9), any sections hinted at there that sound interesting, and the part about the captive soldiers now to stand trial (section 2.3, pp 51-67).

If such a thing won’t get the courthouse rocketed, try for a special defense of incrimination. Your clients aren’t guilty, torture-extracted confessions notwithstanding, because somone else is.

It’s hard to know just who executed the people in question, but the evidence suggests it would have been primarily fighters from Misrata. The Misrata Military Council had the first information on the crime, 140 grenade-killed prisoners, all dead, increasingly burnt as reports came in, just found in some prison in near Tripoli. These leaks started at 6:15 AM on August 24, just hours after the massacre is alleged, the same day some rebels say they conquered the Yarmouk base, and three days before the Misratans later acknowledged access to the place. There is simply nothing else known that they could have been talking about - they were at the scene way too early and they knew it. All else, apparently, is made-up to cover for that. (report p.129)

One name does rise to the fore as someone to blame; Ibrahim Bietalmal, leader of Misrata Military Council at the time. (pp 139-141) Since then overseeing a "prison system" plagued by endemic torture, executions, and disappearances, he also may have had a special role in crafting the cover story for his fighters' crime. For one thing, he played hands-on (cigarette-burning?) jailer to another Ibrahim, some kid held in one of his Misrata hell-holes. The younger Ibrahim does appear well-treated, pampered like a star actor almost. He claimed to be one of the Yarmouk guards, either the grenade thrower, the main shooter, the main torturer, or the one who burned everyone alive on the wrong date. His last name always changes – Tajouri, Lousha, Sadeq-Khalifah – but the visual and biographical clues and the unchanging first name make the link clear. Ibrahim's name is probably fiction, but it's the same name as a chief suspect in this unsolved crime. (p 59-62)

So far, the victorious teflon brigades have had the last word on their crime, filtered through their own captives and various alleged witnesses who seem to be speaking freely, but can often be proven to be lying or wrong in their memories anyway. In court, that could, hypothetically change. The details of "Free Libya" will decide whether or not that happens.

If no such defense is lodged, that would be a bad sign for the prospects of accountability and justice there. If they're found guilty, it will be suspicious, but not surprising. In fact, I predict very little fight for prosecutors to get the win. I predict guilty pleas, and begging forgiveness and/or for death. The "revolution" must be vindicated. Facts on the ground can't do it, so one way or another, the courts will have to help.

Anyone challenging that decision will have to have some courage. I'm really not sure if I hope they do or not. Thefight for truth iscosmicallyworth it, every time. But one more kidnapped-and-tortured-to-death lawyer, just to slow to process down a bit, might not be worth it to everyone involved.

Trial Sequence
The Herald got its information from members of the Yarmouk Massacre Victims Association, who named several defendants in three separate trials with set dates in the very near future. There's little time to prepare that hasn't already passed. My recommendation comes late.

January 6: trial of four men accused of torturing prisoners to death (and/or the alleged mass execution?) at Yarmouk:
Yakhlif Sifawi, Abdul-Razak Baruni, Juma Daqdouq and Mohamed Harous are accused of torture and torturing unnamed victims to death at the camp.
January 8, related Qasr Ben Ghashir killings trial (also covered in great detail in the report, pages 20-31):
A second case, known as “the Slovenian company case” (a reference to the company that ran the compound before it was taken over, as a makeshift prison) involves five named defendants: Hamza Mabruk Muftah Harizi, Marwan Emhemed Khalifa Gaddoura, Musbah Mohamed Musbah Ajim, Naji Massoud Najjar and Sami Saleh Ragie.
Undated:
The third case involves just one defendant: Sergeant-Major Hamza Mabrouk Muftah El-Harizi. He is accused of mass murder. This case is said to be being handled by a military court.
Part two I don't have time for this morning will go into those names and give some profiles of the men in the dock.

Note Dec. 31: Part two

Monday, November 19, 2012

Syria: Daraya Massacre

By Caustic Logic
September 9, 2012

Updated Nov. 18, 2012 (new links)

First, it's been decided by Petri and I, CIWCL co-founders, to make Syria an official area of focus for the CIWCL, and not for some new group dividing efforts. No promises of tons of posts here, but being sort of the CIWCL's blog, well, here's one at least. This is a spot for those inclined to a spot like this, to discuss the Daraya massacre (preferably not too many side-issues, if it's to be a comment-driven post like most)

On the weekend of Aug 24-26 a huge but uncertain number of people were massacred in the Syrian city of Daraya, just outside Damascus. This roughly coincided with a decisive government conquest of the rebel-held city, and has of course been blamed on the invading national army and its allies, by the retreating FSA/activist/terrorist forces who would be the prime alternate suspects.

This latest example of "Assad's massacre strategy" escalates the insane brutality requiring intervention. The Houla massacre in May was Assad thumbing his nose at the West, 108 people dead, 49 children, diplomats expelled (later found to be a rebel crime). He allegedly shot himself in the foot bigger yet with the massacre/battle of Tremseh in mid-July. Saudi paper Al Arabiya made a Freudian slip, it seems, reporting at the time "at last 250 people have been killed," finally eclipsing Houla. (Emphasis added - presumably they meant to parrot the standard "at least 250.")  But that story of 250-300+ fell apart quickly, with even the Western mainstream media considering it more a minor battle the rebels lost, with no more than 50 killed (though neglecting victims of a rebel massacre apparently interrupted by the battle), and too boring to rant about any longer.

Now in Daraya, the reports of dead started where Tremseh's did, only climbing from there to a range of reports of 3-400 to "more than 1,000." At least about 200 can be visually verified so far. But now, the high-water (high-blood) mark of the Houla Massacre has been subsumed under a whole new level of bloodshed. Clearly it merits some investigation. In the last few weeks, it's gotten that. Our wiki page at A Closer Look on Syria is the best resource for it and still growing. Feel free to spread this link:


We encourage interested and responsible/honest people to register and help develop this and all topics related to the Syrian conflict.

Tentative findings (my own readings, opinions, and questions):
  • Not mentioned in initial "activists say" reports, there were some number of government loyalists held hostage by rebels in Daraya. By some evidence, it was when negotiations on a prisoner transfer for opposition fighters fell through that the national army attacked the city. This aspect was first dramatically broken in a report from Robert Fisk on Aug. 29, and elicited much buzz and some rebuttals. Three hostages (all officers, all evil) are now admitted (pleaded to) by FSA spokespeople. Officers, off-duty conscripts, military families, and a mailman were all mentioned among those taken - more than three categories, let alone three people. But we don't know what the FSA's hand was entering into trade talks for their captured comrades. Was it closer to 3 or to 300?

  • Local witnesses, freed by the army from rebel-run basement shelters in Daraya, spoke to Addounia TV on Aug. 26. They claim they were forced in there by rebel fighters, mostly the day before (Aug. 25) to protect them from the government coming, with plans (that rebels knew about) to kill them. Some of the others weren't so lucky, and not all the shelters were found. Or were they? People executed in basement/shelters, by the government, of course, appeared on rebel videos in the following days. Time-release false flag massacre to coincide with the "brutal occupation?"

  • One eyebrow-raising feature of the Daraya massacre is the relative lack of alleged eyewitnesses and miracle survivors. This will likely turn around soon, but the delay is still noteworthy. Taken by surprise? Most witnesses and activists are called "Abu something." Even to the massive alleged mosque massacre there's no clear witness. The regime killed 150 or so while they his inside the Abu Suleiman Al Darani Mosque, it was said by some. Other reports aren't so sure, but speculate that's what happened, after they found the bodies there. 

  • The mosque massacre clearly didn't happen. If the rebel story (see last point) is correct, then why does it seem otherwise to be rebel base of operations on the southern fringe, especially crucial after losing most other bases? Why are all the bodies on/wrapped in blankets, one even in a coffin, with no blood spray all over the floor? Why are they dodgy about the "basement" the bodies were found in, the "makeshift morgue" they were taken to after, and the mass grave site they were then buried at? Because it's all, visually verified, the same rebel-base-mosque? (There are some interesting facts buried now in that dirt lot... Damascus will want to strip mine it for data ASAP. But first, they'll have to attack a mosque, again. Watch for news on that...) 

Monday, October 22, 2012

Khamis Gaddafi Once Again Killed (Ring of Truth This Time)


October 21, 2012

However fascinating it is, I don't feel like the person to write blog posts about what's happening in Libya these days, as Petri and I focus on Syria and the Houla Massacre investigation that I'm not even keeping up with quite well enough. So below, some comments, maybe even by me, on this strange new subject emerging from the final, or most recent, major battle of the Libyan Civil War, the unknown but currently happening siege of Bani Walid, of October 2012.  All somewhat unverified (??). They say, at the Libya Herald for example, that Misrata Brigades engaging in some kind of fighting there managed to capture Khamis Gaddafi, drive him towards Misrata, and kill him along the way.

Aside from the all-too likely truth of a hideous and genocidal ignored assault on a major Libyan city, this has all gotten really fascinating. More than a year after his last-reported, for real and for sure, violent death, (which I never quite bought), he was offed on the road by Misratans, get this, on about or exactly the anniversary of his father's exact experience. When an anniversary marker like that appears in Libya, it suggests it's been planned that way. Someone has good intel and capabilities and can choose their own time for the crime, anddoesn't mind letting us know it. Not unlike the now spontaneous, non-Al-Qaeda, non-planned consulate attack right on the anniversary of 9/11. Suuuure...

For those reasons, this has both the ring of truth, and the ring of Al Qaeda wreacking its slow vengeance for "the 1990s" on Libya, and on its slimming pool of secret backup plans. As usual, a victory for Al Qaeda is a victory for the CIA. That's all a few leaps from what precisely is known, especially by me. But clearly the plan for a pre-fabricated clash of civilizations is running fast, World War IV (or is this V already? Will depend on your definition...) looms, and at the very least it's intended Iran will burn to the ground.

It's a guess, anyway.

Saturday, October 13, 2012

Bani Walid Attacks, Poison Gas Allegations

October 14, 2012

I've let the blog lapse, haven't been following comments, etc. Sorry. But Leonore Massanet has at her site some disconcerting reports in the last few days (Spanish language). Several posts there address reported use of poison gas by rebel forces against the people of Bani Walid in their recent assaults on the area. It's a little Déjà Vu, or at least not  the first time reported (but mainly ignored) poison gassing of recalcitrant Libyans who resist their new master-puppets. Last year, if leveled against the sovereign Libyan government, it'd be taken as fact. Now, it's not even on page 10.

URGENTE. 09/10/2012
 GASES TÓXICOS PROHIBIDOS SOBRE LA CIUDAD LIBIA DE BENI WALIT...

BENI WALIT 10/10/2012
Video of some victims in a hospital

A doctor reports from Bani Walid hospital, speaking to 108Morris108 (video, English)

BENI WALIT ACOSADA Y BOMBARDEADA...
October 10

People protesting and resisting in Bani Walid, Oct. 11 (is it still Arab Spring there, like it is in Syria?)

Even if I don't get to assessing the evidence here, here's a space for comments and more to accrue. I turn it over to "H," (see below) and will at least follow this one.

Wednesday, October 3, 2012

How Tripoli, and Sirte, Lost Their Water

August 3, 2012
last edits Oct. 3, 2012

<< The Abu Salim Hospital Massacre {Masterlist}
      << Abu Salim Hospital Massacre Research {Masterlist}

A fairly important side-issue in the upcoming report is the loss of Tripoli's clean water supply just as the rebel forces swept through in late August. As usual, I solicit further information that might help. Not that this is going to be a big section, but I can simmer lots of material down into a well-informed few paragraphs. First, the supporting case of what was done in later in the loyalist holdout city of Sirte.

Update 10/3: See revised section below

Sirte, A Latter Precedent
(source for the following: Situation in Sirte: Neither Good Nor Great.)
As rebels solidified their hold on Tripoli and turned their eyes east, an Associated Press report of September 1 passed on this threat from a rebel spokesman in Benghazi: "'in the end, we will get Sirte, even if we have to cut water and electricity' and let NATO pound it with airstrikes." In the end, the city was pounded with more ferocity than anyone expected, killing uncounted thousands over in about six weeks. Food and medicine were effectively embargoed, electricity was cut, and water was shut off to the best of the rebels' ability. Reuters reported that "both sides accuse the other of cutting off water and electricity, the U.N. source said." Why the Gaddafi loyalists trying to hold out would turn the water off on themselves is not the slightest bit clear.

Details were hazy last I looked, but it seems this was done in various ways:
- It's possible the pipes of the Great Manmade River into the city were disrupted, but we haven't seen direct evidence or claims to that effect (or have we?)
- Shelling and/or bombing broke open most of the city's water mains, draining the taps and flooding the streets. Rebels speculated Gaddafi did this to make "moats" to slow them down.
- The backup reservoirs were at least sometimes damaged, like at the city's main Ibn Sina hospital. The Red Cross reported "The first time we went to the hospital, we saw that the water reservoir had been hit by a rocket..."
- Clean water was brought in by the UN but not allowed in - it was for those in the giant forced traffic jam "on the road from Sirte." residents had to come out, surrender, and be allowed onto the road before they could have a drink.

The United Nations is sending trucks of drinking water for the increasing flow of civilians crammed into vehicles on the road from Sirte, heading either toward Benghazi to the east or Misrata to the west, he said. But fighting around the city, Gaddafi's hometown, and continuing insecurity around the Bani Walid area, the other loyalist hold-out, are preventing the world body from deploying aid workers [and water] inside, he said. [RN]

Tripoli Without Electricity or Water
Update 10/3: A belated update - the better research and compression completed before the report, copied directly from it. [read/download page]

The loss of the capitol’s water supply is an issue worthy of more study. It’s a well-known fact mentioned in most reports of the day, as people scavenged condensation from rooftop air conditioners just to get by, and hospitals couldn't clean up the unusual amounts of blood gathering there. The rebel-approved city council’s leader “said that between 60 and 70 per cent of the capital's residents do not have enough water,” the Telegraph reported, blaming a “technical problem” that would soon be fixed. [T6]

But there were widespread rumors, given a high and muddled profile even outside Libya, that loyalist sabotage was to blame. The New York Times' David Kirkpatrick noted how “rebel leaders … sought to link the shortages to fears about sniper fire and sabotage from retreating Qaddafi loyalists.” [DKN] Some echoes of their engineered fear said “BBC reporters are saying the water supply for Tripoli is contaminated, possibly poisoned.” [BB] The BBC actually reported how “the Telegraph's Rob Crilly tweets: Hearing that Gaddafi forces have been trying to disrupt Tripoli water supplies (and I hope nothing more sinister besides).” [BC] The Telegraph in turn reported how “fear began to spread after discarded pellets of aluminium phosphide were discovered at a civilian water plant close to Misurata.” [T4] The fears spread far, and the CIWCL sees no mechanism for the poison’s spread to Tripoli, aside from the movements of Misratan fighters.

Kirkpatrick suggested a prosaic cause for the lack of water; the Great Man-Made River stopped. The government hydration system, drawing from the massive Nubian Sandstone aquifer beneath the southern desert, needed electrical power to run. And this, as noted, was sporadic, in some places apparently cut. [DKN] An Al Jazeera English video report by James Bays, Aug.27, supports this. Standing atop the massive expanse of concrete lids at Tripoli’s “water plant,” Bays addressed rumors of sabotage or poisoning as “not true.” Rather, the tanks were all empty, unable to be re-supplied, as usual, “through a series of reservoirs, the furthest one in the deep south of Libya.” An electricity shortage there, 45 days running, was blamed for leaving “no way to pump water to the capitol.” Bays heard this from engineer Tarik Al-Shogman, who thought it might take a week or less to fix the problem if their engineers “successfully re-start the system.” [JBV]

Saudi Arabian news agency Al Arabiya reported on the 30th that more than a fuel problem, “the pumping station … had been damaged.” [AR] Damaged by what in July, if not NATO bombing, was unexplained. Further, the plant was in the city of Sabha, still loyalist-held, so to fix it would require a “big military force” to “escort a repair team of engineers,” and that force wasn’t available yet. [AR] The NTC’s assault on Sabha commenced around September 19, one week after the water problem in Tripoli was quietly fixed. [UT] So it doesn’t seem the real problem was there after all. Besides, it’s too coincidental for comfort how that would lead to the reserved water running out almost exactly on August 20, as the rebel assault started. It was “a week ago” when the water stopped, a local man told Bays on the 27th. [JBV]

The European Union's humanitarian office was told a different story; “pro-Gaddafi forces in Sirte,” not Sabha, “had cut off the water supply to Tripoli.” [TR] Again, the rumors presaged conflict; a rebel spokesman in Benghazi threatened the loyalist holdout city: “‘In the end, we will get Sirte, even if we have to cut water and electricity’ and let NATO pound it with airstrikes.” [CLS] Over six weeks, intense bombing and surface attacks fairly leveled the whole city, and killed uncounted thousands. The only way to leave was through a checkpoint run by people who had already promised to “punish even those that supported Muammar with words.” [CLS] Electricity was cut and water mains were burst, backup reservoirs were damaged, trucked in water from the UN was kept outside the city, and Reuters heard “both sides accuse the other of cutting off water and electricity” there. In addition, fuel, food, and medicine were effectively embargoed by various documented tricks; the very density of NTC war crimes against Sirte is staggering.

In both Tripoli and Sirte, the loss of water and electricity were blamed on the attacked government, but best served the opposition, and was likely their doing. What they told the world was likely a string of inconsistent cover stories, where the rebels turned off nothing. NYT’s Kirkpatrick captured the one known exception, where minister Farage Sayeh in Tripoli may have admitted the partial truth when he “said in an interview that the rebels had turned off the city’s water supply,” but only to help, on the unsubstantiated rumors “that Qaddafi loyalists had poisoned it.” [DKN]

Non-included original paragraphs
Tawergha, and other rebel-hammered cities, were "close to Misrata"... Okay, there's a method for spreading now that Misratan attackers were in the capitol.  This is the best evidence I can find for any reason to suspect the same in besieged Tripoli.

If "Gaddafi loyalists" had poisoned the water, that might be why the "technical problem" was about to arise – as stated, they turned it off somehow to avoid poisoning. They were only trying to help, not to thirst a city of millions into surrender which would, I believe, be a serious war crime.


sources
[BB] http://www.blindbatnews.com/2011/08/tripoli-water-supply-poisoned-gaddafi-says-war-is-still-on-rebel-positions-near-tunis-under-attack/6667
[BC] http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-africa-14610722
[DKN] Rebel Government Struggles to Restore Water and Power in Tripoli. David D. Kirkpatrick, New York Times, August 27, 2011. http://www.nytimes.com/2011/08/28/world/africa/28libya.html?pagewanted=all
[FT]Tripoli Water Shortage blamed on sabotage. Financial Times, August 31.
[RN] UPDATE 2-NTC seeks UN help for wounded in Sirte-UN source. By Stephanie Nebehay, Reuters, Sept. 29, 2011. http://www.reuters.com/article/2011/09/29/libya-aid-idUSL5E7KT3E020110929
[T4]“Libya: Col Gaddafi troops may have poisoned country's water supply” Martin Evans. The Telegraph, August 24, 2011. http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/worldnews/africaandindianocean/libya/8721049/Libya-Col-Gaddafi-troops-may-have-poisoned-countrys-water-supply.html
[T6] “Libya: Up to 50,000 people imprisoned by Gaddafi regime are missing, rebels claim” By Gordon Rayner, The Telegraph, Aug 28, 2011.

Thursday, September 20, 2012

Behind the Scenes of an Al Qaeda Massacre {Masterlist}

Masterlist created May 27, 2012
Last edits Sept. 20, 2012
(new wiki link Nov. 18)

The original article "Behind the Scenes of the Al-Baida Massacre" has been moved here.
"Al-Baida" wasn't necessarily the location, for one thing, which remains unsettled.
The Sub-posts: 

Original article, first published March 30, 2011, as Behind the Scenes of the Al-Baida Massacre - one of the first articles plugged in as this site was started a month later.

Further Behind the Scenes - quick updates from April 30 - a transcript, some other things.

Al Baida Massacre III: Three Killings in February.
From October, the Al-Hassadi Al-Qaeda link and a location-Maktub-come into focus.

Report: Behind the Scenes of an Al Qaeda Massacre
(pretty slick cover at left, report forthcoming, no estimated due date).

Update Sept.20:
Still no report or even effort towards one. Sorry. There should be a more cogent summary of the stuff at the links above, but I'm swamped. However, since this post is getting plenty of views lately, let's take a look at some Al Qaeda / Islamo-nihilist atrocities happening in Syria more recently.

In Douma, near Damascus, the same kind of matching work between rebel captives and murky massacre victims yields fruit more brilliantly than it did here (luckier with abundance of clear visuals). Sixteen regime victims were found, throats slit, rebels said, around Aug. 17, 2012. Only six were clearly shown, and all match with six out of 16 known FSA captives. Those were last seen alive in a video shot by a rebel death squad from the neighboring town (Harasta). (the six seen dead marked here)

See here for the fuller explanation, mostly citing existing work but with a few additions from our own.

See also the expanded Syria page at the CIWCL site for more things relevant things done well.

Wednesday, September 12, 2012

The Christopher Stevens Operation

September 12, 2012
Updates Sept.18

The average reader should need no links to know of this story by now, and I have nothing great to offer other than this post to collect commentary. Maybe I'll put something more here, depending. I'm curious if this gets blamed on remnants of Gaddafi loyalists, or on the Salafists it would seem like.

Sept.18: On blaming loyalists: Indian Express:
A senior Libyan official accused supporters of the late Libyan leader Muammar Gaddafi of carrying out an attack that killed the US ambassador to Libya Christopher Stevens and three other Americans in Benghazi.
Deputy Interior Minister Wanis al-Sharif told a news conference in Benghazi that the attackers had used rocket-propelled grenades.
There were RPGs...which shows there were forces exploiting this. They are remnants of the (former) regime, he said. The news conference was broadcast on Al Jazeera television.
Fox News/Infowars:
While the establishment media has engaged in a concerted effort to bury the fact that today’s attack on a U.S. Consulate in Benghazi was carried out by the same extremists the U.S. armed during the overthrow of Colonel Gaddafi, Libya’s Ambassador to Washington Ali Aujali launched his own lame attempt to shift the blame, ludicrously pointing the finger at Gaddafi loyalists.
“We know that Qaddafi’s associates are in Libya. Of course, they took this chance to infiltrate among the people,” Aujali said in today in an interview.
Also, Petri has somehow assembled a playlist of 83 videos of the Benghazi consulate attack. One in particular sounds interesting, and was picked up by Dputamadre: Chris Stevens: Hunting or Saving?

Al Qaeda's Flag Over Benghazi

October 31, 2011
last updates Sept. 12, 2012

Bumped Sept. 12 in response to the news of the US envoy to Libya's killing during Salafi protests, and roughly on the anniversary of 9/11 to boot.
---
Happy Halloween, everyone. You want something spooky? As usual, you can find something to fit the bill here.How about the flag of al Qaeda in Iraq being flown surreptitiously above the flag of new Libya, over the NTC headquarters-cum-capitol building in Benghazi?
Via Libya S.O.S., a video and a story from Vice.com.


http://youtu.be/ZAfBoOsYK1c

http://www.vice.com/read/al-qaeda-plants-its-flag-in-libya
AL QAEDA PLANTS ITS FLAG IN LIBYA
By Sherif Elhelwa

Excerpts:
... [A]ccording to multiple eyewitnesses—myself included—one can now see both the Libyan rebel flag and the flag of al Qaeda fluttering atop Benghazi’s courthouse.
[...]
According to one Benghazi resident, Islamists driving brand-new SUVs and waving the black al Qaeda flag drive the city’s streets at night shouting, "Islamiya, Islamiya! No East, nor West," a reference to previous worries that the country would be bifurcated between Gaddafi opponents in the east and the pro-Gaddafi elements in the west.


Earlier this week, I went to the Benghazi courthouse and confirmed the rumors: an al Qaeda flag was clearly visible; its Arabic script declaring that “there is no God but Allah” and a full moon underneath. When I tried to take pictures, a Salafi-looking guard, wearing a green camouflage outfit, rushed towards me and demanded to know what I was doing. My response was straightforward: I was taking a picture of the flag. He gave me an intimidating look and hissed, "Whomever speaks ill of this flag, we will cut off his tongue. I recommend that you don't publish these. You will bring trouble to yourself.”

He followed me inside the courthouse, but luckily my driver Khaled was close by, and interceded on my behalf. According to Khaled, the guard had angrily threatened to harm me. When I again engaged him in conversation, he told me "this flag is the true flag of Islam," and was unresponsive when I argued with him that historically Islam has never been represented by a single flag. The guard claimed repeatedly that there is no al Qaeda in Libya, and that the flag flying atop the courthouse is “dark black,” while the al Qaeda flag is charcoal black.
Update Nov 1:
Reader Peet73 alerts me the same flag can be seen in a demonstration last Friday in Benghazi. The New York Times made no mention of the flags, but showed a photo with at least five of them, the most common one carried, per that image. The demonstration was in support of extremist Sharia law, particularly to support the Jibril/NTC stance on marriage (no-consent polygamy, rescinding of female-friendly divorce laws). How their terrorist flag wound up atop the main courthouse (the same spot as the famous Benghazi beheading, by the way) is a puzzle that was bound to make news. In fact:
Digital Journal
Fox News (readers vote it "scary")
Daily Caller: "A CNN report on Saturday [the 29th] showed al-Qaida’s black flag flying over the Benghazi courthouse, which was one of the rebellion’s starting points."
The CNN video, submitted to them, is the one shown above.

There was also this:
Anti-Qaddafi Forces Flew al-Qaeda Flag During Siege of Sirte (National Review Online)
John Rosenthal here conflates the similar "Emirates flag" and the al Qaeda flag, the former actually being seen flown in Sirte. Hence, no al Qaeda.
The appearance of the al-Qaeda flag over the Benghazi courthouse has been generally spun by commentators in the Western media as a sign that Islamic extremists are now rushing to fill the “vacuum” left by the fall of the ancien régime in Libya. But the Echorouk report and the accompanying photo indicate that anti-Qaddafi forces in fact fought under the “Islamic Caliphate” banner in the decisive battle of the rebellion.
Only one or the other flag can be flown, apparently, and it was this one. So see, these aren't bad guys. That other black (bad) flag of Islamist extremists helped them to lay siege to Sirte and mop up afterwards. Far from a troublesome symbol of Islamist terrorist war criminals, the AQ/Emirates flag is now just another way of saying "FREEEEEDOOOOMMM!"

But reader Sam 1 alerts me, in comments below, new video (if not a new procession) of rebel fighting vehicles in Sirte flying the same al Qaeda flag with the full moon. The occupants of those vehicles are all disguised too, like bank robbers or snuff film makers. Was this from October, during the slaughter, or more recently, to mop up again inside the shattered and scattered onetime "capitol of the resistance?"

Others think it's possibly new. ABC News (US) has picked up the story, saying these are "police" vehicles." Similar processions have been seen in Tripoli. Ibrahim Dabbashi says:
But the Libyan ambassador to the United Nations, Ibrahim Dabbashi, told ABC News that the video is not what it seems. Libyan brigades have flown similar flags in the past and, when questioned about them, the brigade commanders always said they were simply the "flag of the Prophet Muhammad," Dabbashi said.

"These brigades have no relation whatsoever with al Qaeda," he said. "There are no al Qaeda elements in Libya."
So it is al Qaeda then. Great.

Monday, September 3, 2012

Shed Massacre Annivesrsary

By Caustic Logic
Aug. 21, 2012
last update Sept. 3/4

<< The Khamis Brigade Shed Massacre
      << Report: A Question Mark Over Yarmouk

It's about that time - Thursday will mark the one-year anniversary of the Khaimis Brigade Shed Massacre. There have already been some pre-anniversary developments (too tired to collect ATM) and there will surely be more as the date arrives.

Blogger analytics suggests some trafic lately, from Libya, following our graphic of the dead doctors Omar Salhouba and Ali Al-Darrat from the related Qasr Ben Ghashir "massacre." It would seem that issue has gotten some mention in Libya recently...

For now, this is just a spot for comments so the readers/contributors can drop references to anything they see on the mythical Yarmouk massacre remembered, and related-enough things like the above.

I don't have to follow all this stuff personally for hours a day, thank God and my readers.

http://www.libyaherald.com/?p=12761

They were on it a bit early, and again Libya's new Independent Daily seems short of Libyan staff...

The Yarmouk Massacre Anniversary
By Rhiannon Smith.
15 August 2012:

On Saturday 11 August, the 23rd Ramadan, a memorial service was held in Tripoli to mark the anniversary of the notorious Yarmouk massacre which took place during the final days of the 2011 Libyan Revolution. The 32nd Khamis Brigade, run by Colonel Qaddafi’s son Khamis, were holding prisoners arrested during the revolution in a warehouse adjoining the Yarmouk Military Base just outside Tripoli. Statements from eyewitnesses and journalists at the time and a subsequent in depth report on the massacre compiled by Physicians for Human Rights in December 2011 confirm ...
Cyclical confirmation, cool! Rebels ("survivors") say, rebels tell HR groups with no bullshit detectors, and they "confirm" what the rebels say... CIWCL tears it all wide open...

Update, Sept. 3/4: I still haven'tdone a detailed search, and have only gotten a few tips. But one from h was very good. A set of photos at Facebook of "ألبوم إحياء الذكرى الاولى لشهداء محرقة ومعتقل اليرموك" ["Album commemorate the first anniversary of the Holocaust Martyrs' and Yarmouk detainee"].
http://www.facebook.com/media/set/?set=a.276885319092843.61479.156854547762588&type=1

Album commemorate the first anniversary of the Holocaust Martyrs' and Yarmouk detainee
Posted by the Ministry of care for the families of martyrs and missing - Libya [ وزارة رعاية أسر الشهداء والمفقودين - ليبيا]

Here, at the site, I recognize Mr. Sabri Tahir Al-Tabal - صبرى الطاهر الطبال , Vice-president of the association of holocaust Yarmouk survivors, alleged onetime prisoner (not escapee).
Otherwise, no familiar faces are obvious. The anniversary appears to have been an ambitious, festive, all-day affair. There was a luncheon, a visit to the site and display of photos of the alleged victims (I recognize Ramadan Jabr), then what seems (at left) like a disco party to celebrate the rebel victory at Yarmouk base that happened about the same time as this alleged mass-killing.

(a few more notes later)

Citing many photos, but not all: There's a one year since the massacre banner, with some famous photos included. Early arrivals have that banner behind them. There were fliers printed up en masse. I want a copy of one of those. If this is a real family of a real victim, her father's killers are providing this girl with her chicken and orange soda. People were bussed in and/or from site to site. An interesting-looking banner I can't read. A bigger one-year banner with more photos (including the sobbing man congratulated by Dr. Salem). (Sadly, but not surprisingly, Dr. See-Through Salem is not present in any of these photos.)

Speakers at the table or podium: possibly Said Falba on the right here - same guy speaking. A little girl speaks, and so does a woman in black. By his black skin, bald head, and camo pants, this speaker (survivor, presumably) must be related to all the dead, Black, army-type guys found around the shed. Is he the same as seen in the Class of Yarmouk '11 post? Doesn't seem to be. So are there now two fully Black survivors, or what? Here's a whole different kind of Black guy speaking. A third? Another guy. This guy (speaking) looks familiar, but not one of the guys discussed here as I wondered...  None of these guys do ... I guess this is the new Fathallah (I like season one's actor better)

Two main guys - speaking to the media, again, again, again, again, the guy on the right here and left here appeared in some of those. Here's the bearded guy with the five dead (sons?), in front of the shed. En route down Al Hadbha Road to the site, the entourage got a police escort to protect them from Gaddafi snipers or whatever. The friendly post-Gaddafi cops kept the order at the shed compound. Quite a few people attended. ... a young relative of Ramadan Jabr's - Something odd about this portrait, perhaps besides the photoshopping. It's held by this kid.

Then again, the victory party at the end.

Saturday, August 25, 2012

Lessons for "the Syria Situation"

December 28, 2011
last update July 28, 2012

(new wiki links Nov. 18)

Note July 28: This is being bumped to allow comments on the whole Syria situation. The previous post these gathered at finally got full at 271 comments. This one's still got some room, plus new text that starts a ways down.

The parallels between what was done, is still being done, to Libya and what's been slowly brewing for Syria just keep coming up in my research. The Syrian situation is probably just about as fascinating, but as an obsessive specializer, I haven't looked into it in the slightest detail.

But things like this, from Thierry Meyssan, suggest I should: “Free Syrian Army” commanded by Military Governor of Tripoli, Dec. 19. It's got a lot of things I can't vouch for, including the following, which sounds well-illustrated and hinting that what we saw these schemers and terrorists do in Libya will be emerging in Syria.
However, in the Saturday edition dated 17 December 2011, Daniel Iriarte describes an encounter that shocked him. While his FSA friends were taking him to a new hideout, he came across some foreign insurgents: three Libyans [6].

The first one among them was al-Mahdi Hatari, a Libyan who lived in Ireland before joining Al Qaeda. At the end of the Libyan war, he was named commander of the Tripoli Brigade, then number 2 of the Tripoli Military Council headed by Abdel Hakim Belhaj. He resigned from this function, according to some because of a dispute with the Transitional National Council, according to others because he wanted to go back to Ireland to join his Irish wife [7] The truth is that he headed for Syria.
[...]
The second Libyan that the Spanish photographer in the Syrian army is none other than Kikli Adem, a lieutenant of Abdel Hakim Belhaj. As for the third Libyan, nicknamed Fouad, Daniel Iriarte was not in a position to identify him.

One of the few articles I have even looked at was this excellent, extremely-informed-sounding piecee from Palestine chronicle.

'Human Rights' and the Road to Hell: Libya and Now Syria?
By Jeremy Salt – Ankara. December 3, 2011
http://www.palestinechronicle.com/view_article_details.php?id=17293
We have just seen what has been done to Libya in the name of human rights and the 'responsibility to protect'. Uncounted thousands of Libyans were killed in eight months of bombing and missile attacks by French, British and American warplanes. There is prima facie evidence that war crimes were committed but there is not even the suggestion that someone will be held accountable.
Salt lists and analyzes many of the more incendiary claims made against the Assad regime, sounding depressingly just like what was spouted in the rapid build-up to destruction of another non-cooperative government. If his characterizations of the claims are correct, not even the evidence he gives for or against them, I'd recommend people be troubled. The same sorts of illogical evil has been alleged against the governments of Yugoslavia, Iraq, and now Libya. Generally they prove at least as untrue as the skeptics suspected. But they're allowed to linger in a twilight zone of truth just long enough to "justify" intervention.

Some samples, drawing from the UN Human Rights Commission's deficient-sounding report on the Syrian situation:
The commission presents one side of the story throughout. For virtually every claim it makes there is a counter narrative which it ignores. One such claim involves the use of snipers. The commission says or implies that they were state security forces. There is countervailing evidence of armed civilians shooting at demonstrators to throw the blame on to the state. Perhaps there is truth in both versions, but both versions needed to be considered. The fact remains that the identity of these snipers is not known. 
The direct evidence in Libya is there in at least one city, al Baida. The two shootings shown there on Feb. 17, both presumably fatal, are the only time I've seen unarmed people actually being shot on camera anywhere in the uprising, the only visual proof that the people killed were not armed militants engaging in an attack, at least in this one case. However, the visual cues converge to suggest quite strongly the gunmen responsible were rooftop snipers working right next to, and implicitly with, the rebel cameramen who then released this proof of Gaddafi repression to the world on Youtube.

It's just sick that people can take invisible snipers as evidence of a state crime with so little logic to it.

Select other points:
The report alleges that roadblocks and security checks were set up to prevent people from joining demonstrations but makes no mention of allegations of roadblocks being set up by armed gangs and the consequent kidnapping and killing of civilians.
Not much work done on it, but there's a post here for The Tripoli Massacres: Roadblock Victims

The report mentions the raid on a mosque in Dar'a early in the protest movement but not the stockpile of weapons found there.
See Az Zawiyah for just one example of a militarized mosque

It refers to the torture and murder in custody of two teenage boys and claims that up to November 9, 'reliable sources' indicated that 256 children had been killed by state forces. This is such a serious accusation that some corroborative evidence was needed but there is nothing, not the name even of one of these children and not the circumstances in which they were allegedly killed.

Similar baseless claims in Libya, supported by proven fake x-ray proof.

The state security forces are accused of rape but there is no mention of the cases of rape reported by the Syrian authorities to have been committed by armed gangs as part of their project to terrorize and intimidate the civilian population.
But who could believe such claims from a 'regime of rape,' like Gaddafi's once was?
Etc...

The New Website, Jan. 6
http://mar15.info/ Looks quite familiar, after having looked at Feb17 this and 17Feb thatwith Libya's "new flag" all over them, all in English. A website aggregator of anti-Assad opinions and accusations, to let the protesters and their starry-eyed, armed-gang-ignoring global supporters know they're faaaaar from alone. The corporate media, Human Rights" groups, world governments, all kinds of people agree that Assad has got to go for daring to resist this violent and deceitful takeover effort masquerading as simple protest. The following bits are all from there.

A suicide bombing just killed 25 people in an area of Damascus now, Midan, where protesters are centered. The government says some of those protesters did it in their own hood to blame Assad and provoke people, while protesters just blame Assad, and keep doing it loudly.

Time outlines the old bargain in Syria, "relative peace and limited prosperity in exchange for iron-fisted, one-party rule," now to be replaced with absolute peace, and boundless prosperity, trust us, under a NATO-enforced free-market system. Five parties maybe, none representing the old values of national independence, all working for deepened slavery to the new new world order. And you get to friggin' vote on which one!

One-Sided Cease-Fire Demands
The conflict in Libya had reached war proportions, and that was a problem because the Western-backed insurgents were losing against the government of the sovereign and solid nation of Libya. Demand for the violence to stop, a demand leveled only at Tripoli. NATO stopped any attack on Benghazi, then proceded to "protect civilians"even as they surged forward with military weapons and conquered city after city - humanitarian protection seamlessly became tactical air support. It was even highly predictable.

In late March, the Telegraph's Richard Spencer passed on the concern from the Libyan government's spokesman, Moussa Ibrahim, that "The government ... says it cannot be just a one-sided ceasefire..." But it could be and was. No terms were worked out, the West and the UN were through talking to the Libyans before they ever started. Cease-fire clearly meant one thing: die, undesirable government. If it started out too subtle to discern (it din't), the message sure became clear enough by the end of the summer.

Now, demands for the violence in Syria to end, leveled only at Damascus, not that I've ever read at the insurgent militants. Sometimes I'll see a headline, demands for a complete halt to the fighting. I get a flutter of hope, then read, Assad must accede to the other side's demands and step aside, and/or the government needs to stop fighting those trying to destroy the government.


Victoria Nuland, State Dept. spokesperson, was asked about the future of the Syrian government.
QUESTION: You think there is still a path out?
MS. NULAND: Well –

QUESTION: For the regime.
MS. NULAND: — that’s obviously still on the table. It requires Assad to step aside.
[...]
MS. NULAND: Again, what we think needs to happen first and foremost is that the violence needs to end and a process of dialogue needs to begin inside Syria. There needs to be peace and security there so that the country can move forward.
The State Department is deciding where this "forward" arrow points. They did that with Libya.

Nuland, continued:
We’re also hearing reports, interestingly, of large-scale defections of Syrian military officers over the weekend, and it is these Syrian – including taking some of their equipment and their heavy equipment – and it’s these defections that are most rattling the government.
Increasing violence, increasing deaths, and increased military defections were all reported the same time in Libya too. The truth seems to have been increased militant activity, causing the increased death of soldiers, who were then advertsied by the militants as having "defected." 22 of them shown dead in a video tried to defect but were killed by their own officers and Africans. But another of the rebels' videos shows some of these same LOYALIST people held by rebel fighters, and being sentenced to death for daring to oppose them. Oops.

Persecution of Christians in Syria, illogically blamed on Assad. In Libya, case after case of victims of Gaddafi who look like "Gaddafi's African mercenaries," Animist/Christian/Other-Africam like some of the 17 "anti-Gaddafi activists" whose tortured bodies at Tripoli's Mitiga hospital in August were marked "non-Muslim for burial purposes." Hey, wasn't it exactly 17 prisoners of the Assad regime, for a fact, that were just found executed and dumped in Hama? One of these: a police "deserter." One of the Tripoli victims was also, I believe, a local cop, who had rebel sympathies of course (link, later). All coincidence, probably, but...

But it was illegal to do anything to stop these monsters. They were taking over, going where they wanted, killing who they wanted to kill, how they wanted to doit, blaming who they pleased, and NATO had their backs, tactically and (by roundabout channels) informationally.  

What they are insisting in Syria is, again, a surrender to whatever rabble has taken up arms against them. Essentially, it's national suicide, demanding they cut off their own faces. Of course they won't agree, and another round of "peacekeeping" might be required to force them to stop fighting by being dead.

Is air support even possible this time? Not with UNSC approval, anyway. Maybe al Qaeda will finally get to use a suitcase nuke someone slips them,and blame Assad. That might finally do it.

Feb. 13: SYRIA: NATO’s Next “Humanitarian” War? by Michel Chossudovsky
See comments below for other thoughts and new developments...
Update, July 28:

This post was supposed to something it never did. But later on I learned more about a few incidents in Syria and two particularly fascinating parallel have by now announced themselves to me.

Yarmouk/Houla Parallels: Check Those "Witnesses" Carefully
The first has to do with murky massacres and the power of both fake witnesses in a team effort, and the power of exposing that effort with careful analysis. We made good work of the Khamis Brigade shed massacre, in the report A Question Mark Over Yarmouk (PDF available here, provocative press release here), dicovering fake witnesses with changing names and stories, massive contradictions between the alleged witnesses, and adequate signs of rebel execution of the massacre. Syria had its quite different and horrifying "Houla massacre" in the town of Taldouon May 25. A reported 108 people were killed with guns and blades and hammers, including 49 children, many women, and less men, whole families of disputed identity killed at home by disputed parties.



Along with other(s) I'm slowly doing an analysis of the rebel-supplied witnesses for what happened at Houla, as well as the non-rebel witnesses with their own overall story. The rebel witnesses have their flourished of politics over-truth (with religio-ethnic/sectarian overtones), strange details like how they survived (as at Yarmouk, a fertile field to plow), and probably some serious inconsistencies (though these are harder to find in this case of scattered massacres, whereas Yarmouk was one event in a one-room shed). 

One detailed comparison of three accounts given by one star witness proved a potent starting point. Ali Al-Sayed, a little eight-year-old kid called 11, can't remember his own family members' names or number, but can detect an "Alawite accent" that probably doesn't exist, and managed to implicate his uncle in the massacre, in a fanciful twist. That the most famous and moving victim, a blessed miracle survivor, unharmed but for the brain damage (?), is so clearly coached and saw none of what he says is a bad sign for this rebel cover story. Remember, little kids, some just months old, were shot, sliced, and bludgeoned to death there by someone. I've seen the photos and videos and saved copies.

The Sniped Tykes of Misrata and of Homs

Another great parallel builds off of the above point about false-flag snipers in Libya and Syria. Back in April last year I wrote more on the alleged regime snipers, picking off little kids in rebel-held Misrata. This was a charge taken up by UNICEF and many others. Two children have been shown as victims, a boy and a girl, about 4 and 5 years old, both miraculously surviving with bullets in their chests, both proven with x-ray images.

The images, however, are exactly the same - one copy at most can be legitimate, the other or both tacked on. The image also appears fake, with no damage to the bullet or the child's skeleton - as if a kid was laid on an x-ray table with a large bullet laid on his or her sternum. It's also inconsistent with the injuries described for the boy - the bullet entered his right shoulder and exited the left side, his parents said. Here, it either entered backwards (ouch) or entered his lower left side and never exited, stopping well short of his/her right shoulder. and just shy of their hearts. 
Here are the two films side-by-side, the girl's de-skewed from a video still, the boy's from a photo published by Human Rights Watch.
Perhaps unwisely, I commented then:
All I can say is I'm glad the rebels are still able to fake these things in Photoshop and have it believed. If the international agencies like UNICEF and HRW were more exacting, we might see rebels actually shooting each others' children to leverage stronger support for regime change efforts.
Is it possible my research helped make our "freedom fighters" in Syria worse? They seem to be doing about that, except targeting the other side's children - government supporters and non-Sunni people. Gulp. 

The Syrians' Misrata is, or was, the large city of Homs, rebel-infested, government-besieged. It was  eventually re-claimed, but for months in the hads of people that the government and many locals called "terrorists." They committed almost daily kidnappings for ransom that often ended with no payment and dead captives, sometimes tortured and/or shown on video as victims of regime forces. There were also random shootings on the streets by prevalent "pro-regime" snipers, killing civilians almost daily, allowing a constant stream of shocking rebel videos,  as they always got the body, always demanding intervention while zooming in in on the shocking injuries they themselves just inflicted.

That's all a broad-sweep characterization I could only partially illustrate with solid evidence at the moment. But one anchor point where it's basically proven is the politicized assassination by anti-government activists, of nine-year-old Sari Saoud, in north Homs on November 26, 2011. 


There's nothing fake about the bullet that passed clear through his chest that day; it entered his right side, armpit level, and exited on the left, same level. 


He died about instantly, too quick for his mother to be sure, before some rebel guys appeared, probably from about the sniper's position, to 'help.' They stole his body from her care, driving off as she tried to go 'to the hospital' with him. Then he was put on a slab in a rebel safe house and had the exit wound zoomed in on, while a narrator damned Assad and demanded more foreign intervention. Later, Sari's mother was allowed to see her son and try to get him to a hospital, so they could get video of them together. Assad kills Christian boy, her Crucifix caused the vide title to say. Mother weeps and the gets cut off as she starts to scream at the activists. She lived to denounce her child's killers on video here and here.  

For less regret is tne future, let me just say there is no lesson for the terrorists here except maybe two points:
1) Tone it down a bit. You offed many innocents in Homs that hardly anyone saw or could count. Whole lives ended, some with extra cruelty for the shock of it, all for some obscure one-too-many Youtube video that only ever gets 150 views and no mentions in a single news outlet. You don't want that to be you, so quit making so many of these snuff films, people. Sometimes less is more. 
2) And no, I don't see any reason your God would have covered up his eyes for you. You might still be able to be un-damned if you start trying now. Otherwise, forget it. Activist Ahmed Houli, another obfuscator of the slaughter in Taldou/Houla said "I would like to call for the international community and the U.N. to save our souls." Huh. Acknowledgment it's needed, a fruitless avenue to get it.

Tuesday, August 21, 2012

Abu Salim Hospital Massacre: Report

Aug. 21, 2012

<< Abu Salim Hospital Massacre

A Violation of Medical Neutrality: 
The Neglected Massacre at Abu Salim Trauma Hospital
Report download page (to help with traffic)

It was one year ago today, approximately. The report is done, and that's a handy time to start a page collecting material on/for the report. (Links later)

Press Release posted on the CIWCL site as Remembering a Neglected Atrocity. Please pass << THIS link around. An excerpt from that PR:
One of the most chilling of the CIWCL’s clues is an early Red Cross (ICRC) visit to re-supply the hospital, made on the 22nd, just before a three-day span of silence and inaction. The ICRC team didn’t notice any signs of the previous day’s massacre, or have anything said by the one doctor and his 25 remaining patients. Nowhere in that scene were the 100 or more patients who would be seen five-days dead, four days later. The reason for that odd omission, and the cover-up it suggests, is now on record in this report.
The beheading graphic:


What more do I need to add at the moment? Nothing I guess. I'm very tired. Others, please spread the news.