Here I'll give a little specialattention to one of the more famous among the Rebel atrocity videos. This is referred to there as the Benghazi beheading video, and in fact is an event captured by perhaps dozens of people, with at least two views made public. It shows a black man in army pants and no shirt, presumably misconstrued as a"mercenary," hanging upside down from the wall of an official building at night. He's surrounded by a crowd of excited onlookers, perhaps hundreds of them, many with cameras recording. A couple of men in the front slowly hack his head off with swords.
It's been long since established this happened in the main square of Benghazi, the new rebel capitol, presumably in the first brutal and chaotic days, before a sane alternative had gained full control there.
Human Rights Investigations (HRI) has a good description of this cruel event and its location. They assert the victim was alive, which I disagree with; his hands are unbound and dangling, and nothing on him seems, to my eye, to move with anything other than the blows delivered. But the casual nature of this public disassembly is unnerving.
And what HRI added for me was detail on the building this was done up against. It's at a burnt-out courthouse in Benghazi, and HRI found a photo of the building, housing to the right of the bloodwall the famous "rebel media centre, part of the Benghazi Courthouse which now houses the rebel council and its leader Mustafa Abdel Jalil" They are now based inside "this building from which the rebels spread their propaganda about "African mercenaries"" and against which one was recently beheaded.
Most video postings of this are from April and of no great interest here. The earliest I could find is from Russia Today Arabic, posted March 30. The date is interesting in two ways.
One, it's right after another, possibly complementary, video posted on March 29 by user LibyanM. It was dated March 28, the night before, in Benghazi. Under the same yellow lights, in front of the same smoke-stained headquarters of new Libya, a truck with caged “mercenaries” rolled up amid a huge crowd. It's said they were captured in Bin Jawad, which had just been re-taken in concert with NATO.
Seen briefly as it passes this camera, a row of at least three apparently black men, maybe six or eight, sits at the bottom of the cage. Since there's still been no credible evidence of African mercenaries in these early days, chances are the prisoners were Libyan army soldiers, captured in battle while defending their nation.
The description beneath that video says "28-03-11 Foreign mercenaries caught near Bin jawad being brought back to Benghazi (courthouse)." The purpose of this journey was not specified, but to western ears, "courthouse" suggests it was for trial. But unless all this proximity is a coincidence, one of those men is apparently the one we would soon see being decapitated by a lynch mob. That apparent other half to the truck's arrival was not apparently shown by LibyanM. The fate and even number of the other captives is unknown.
The other thing about a late March execution is that this didn't happen in February, when chaos and uncontrolled anger were admitted even by TNC rebel leader Abdel Jalil. Here he is speaking to Time on Feb. 23.
[I]n the ensuing chaos, a group of men from al-Baida executed 15 of the suspected mercenaries on Feb. 18 and 19 in front of the town's courthouse. They were hanged, says the country's former Justice Minister Mustafa Mohamed Abd al-Jalil (who has quit and joined the revolution). It wasn't entirely planned, but the people here were enraged.This time it was a lynching in front of the former Justice minister's own courthouse in Benghazi, and it was in late March. He was working from there by then. The Trans-National Council he headed were Libya's recognized government, according to France and a few other nations, some of whom were bombing the old government for them. And if Mustafa Abdel-Jalil didn't sign off on this beheading outside his own office, neither has he said anything about it publicly. I think that is odd.
And here, for the hint of legacy it carries, is one of the key architects of new Libya, France's Nikolas Sarkozy, with his poodle David Cameron, in Benghazi yesterday. After visiting with Mr.Abdel-Jalil, they stand and schmooze with children directly in front of the very window that beheading was done under (green bracket). I doubt the bloodstains have even been cleaned off.