October 6, 2011
last edits Dec. 26
Below is the video I just uploaded to my Youtube channel. It's powerful stuff, not light viewing. I also have a playlist to gather the source videos. Reference throughout is is made to my article The Tripoli Massacres: Abu Salim Trauma "Hospital."
Assorted New Observations
A couple of things I hadn't noticed before popped out in the video editing process.
One of the basement bodies, shown in the AFP video, also seems quite likely beheaded, making perhaps two so far known of. Like the other basement victims I can see, aside from an old man, this victims is black. That's judging by his arm and shoulder, but he's got lightened discoloration (severe burns and/or decay?) over his whole front. The angle isn't clear, but his head's either gone or bent way back. And the latter doesn't explain the enormous pool of blood covering half the floor, under the table and chairs and his gurney, with strange yellow stains on the edges.
The red spray execution marks captured so alarmingly well by Youssef Boudlal are visible in the al Jazeera video. Their guide in fact points (proudly?) right to them at 0:26, but the camera doesn't at the moment follow his finger. In my video, these signs of murder are called "footprints" of the "fleeing" medical staff.
The Parking Lot Victims
Aside from the 21 black men killed in the old sick ward, and the several stashed in the basement morgue, another large batch of dark-skinned bodies was seen on the grass outside. These numbered 19 by Andrew Simmons' count for al Jazeera, "dumped, next to piles of rubbish," and 20 by Hadeel al-Shalchi's analysis for AP. The latter said they were "in the hospital's courtyard next to the parking lot — all of them darker skinned than most Libyans, covered with blankets." As far as I can tell that's so. Their clothing is indeterminate to my eye, and gender and age are not generally clear either. There aren't any decent resolution close-up images I've seen but for one (linked below). But all bodies I can identify as such are adult-sized, and one seems to have been very tall.
|The 20 parking lot victims: screen grab from the Telegraph's video|
The one wrapped in a green blanket (either covered or moved, and not visible in the photo above), is dark-skinned but long-haired, and not exactly black African by his face. Decay might be partly responsible for the color seen, but he might be some sort of dark Indian person. Al Jazeera's camera saw his left arm hanging out intact on the 26th, but by the time another photo was taken, it was pulled around and skeletonized from sleeve to wristband. Clearly this is predation, probably by a stray dog, sometime between the 26th and the final clean-up of this mess.
These bodies are generally not so much "next to rubbish" or "covered in blankets" as described, but rather laid helter-skelter amid clothing, bedding, plastic garbage bags, and emptied cardboard boxes. All these are things people trying to flee might carry, along with other items their assailants likely kept.
They can easily be imagined packing all this into a family car hoping to make it out by some uncontrolled back-road before the rebels took control of their area. Some wouldn't be quick enough. The rebels don't seem to like those who flee instead of cheering their arrival, especially if they're black. It would all look highly suspect to their bearded little minds, and they tend to shoot suspicious things.
Indeed, all over the blighted area, photographs and videos capture the ubiquitous and mysterious abandoned cars of Abu Salim - doors thrown open, trunks emptied, tires often slashed and hoods popped open, raided for parts or just made useless. The passengers are obviously long-gone to who knows where. It seems quite likely the 20 bodies with their bedding had first been such would-be refugees found by the rebel conquerors in some of these cars.
Rebels and their supporters have many stories of Gaddafi's soldiers and loyalists in civilian clothes mugging "normal," rebellion-supporting people, robbing them, stealing their cars to escape in, and so on. In addition to the man and boy whose claimed injuries "prove" the same snipers who caused the carnage at the hospital, another of the tacked-on seeming Arab patients was described as such a "normal" Libyan mugged and robbed by Gaddafi men.
One video posted by Inominex shows streets lined with dozens of abandoned vehicles like this, including a marked rebel truck ("55"), perhaps left after trading up. It's filmed from a car driving through the neighborhood on about August 25 or 26, and captures one white little car (I don't know my cars, but it and its license plate are visible at 0:21) with two pillows laying behind it. These partially cover other things, including green fabric (a Libyan flag?) and a large pool of blood. I zoomed in, brightened and increased the color a little bit in the image below. The droplets on the side clarify this is red fluid, not thin red fabric of some kind. Who was killed there and for whatcrime besides having a green flag packed in the trunk? Was the victim's body one of those dumped at the hospital down the street?
All this ties in, perhaps, with a witness Simmons spoke with for al Jazeera on the 26th. Abdul Salam Turshi said he saw armed men stopping cars on the "highway," opening the doors and "just killing people for nothing." It originally sounded vague as to just who the "armed" men were - perhaps government soldiers - and who they were killing. But he said armed men, not soldiers, didn't he? He showed his face and gave his full name. This man needs to be checked after to ensure he hasn't been silenced for simply telling the media what he saw during the "liberation"of Tripoli. Even without details, it meshes with the many dead, dark bodies found all over just as the rebel forces arrived.
Update Dec. 26: CNN at least reported among these dumped bodies, 22 in number, were "two woemn, two children." That aspectof the hospital massacre now has a dedicated post. Also, another, much more informative image of these victims, uncredited: