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, November 28, 2011

The Tripoli Massacres: Seven More at Bab al-Aziziyah

December 1, 2011
last update Dec. 8

<<The Tripoli Massacres

These victims may or may not be included in the approximatley two dozen mostly-black apparent Gaddafi fighters found scattered outside Gaddafi's Bab al-Aziziyah compound. They are, however, quite near the few of those that we've seen, prominently at the roundabout, just north and sort of inside the compound, in a barren, scrubby patch between two security walls. (images below).

I'm not sure how to define Bab al-Aziziyah, but there's a clear divide, with an open highway running north-south between the main compound and an apparent annex to the east. On both sides of that divide are walled areas within which bunker-looking buildings have mostly been bombed. The imagery is surprising, showing that Google maps must've just updated it. (direct link to current view of the compound, centered on the location under study - zoom in for body locale, zoom out for whole compound.) The bomb damage and scattered civilian cars inside the new tourist attraction, as well as improvised truck-based checkpoints nearby, all suggest this is Tripoli after the takeover, no older than late August.

The exact area I identified was also closed-off with some kind of slats across the south end, to keep traffic at the roundabout from banking right into the field. The rebels apparently gained access by removing some of theslats. That alone makes this within the supposedly secured area where one might think only Gaddafi's people could have days-old corpses stashed. And far moreso than those at the well-travelled roundabout, these seven could possibly have gone unseen here for days.

But they were seen on the 25th. A Reuters news video covering the roundabout victims meandered far enough north to see and describe how "seven bodies were also found piled into a wasteland nearby, their hands tied." They showed the image below, as well as a close-up from the same view:

Note the damaged gray wall, with a large hole in its mid span, not far from these bodies. A larger image I found of the same bodies, original source unknown, reveals a rather grisly burned face. A different wall is visible here, a white one with stars and a guard tower opposite the gray one we saw above. Note the proximity of tower, tree,and a  gate, allowing access from the dirt road outside to some crossroad inside.

Victim analysis... forthcoming perhaps. It's a messy scene, with decay and mysterious fluids. It could be blood, but something tells me they were dead when they got here. It seems to he the far victim in odd clothes the fluid is associated with, It could be oil. This victim seems to have burning of the face, among other possible problems...

On the location, walls with towers like this are seen around Baba al-Aziziyah's east side, near the roundabout area. I decided the photo above was of this spot below, the white wall here to the west, running nearly north-south. The time of photography is mid-day, shortly before solar noon. The sun is high and just a bit east of due south. The gate isn't visible in the Google Maps imagery, but the faint signs of a road behind the wall seeming to pass through it at that point are. So it's a gate.
Update Dec. 4: The exact location of the bodies is pre-marked in the satellite imagery - the large, dark spot right across from the gate, 4/5 of the way to the eastern wall. I can see the shape of the "stain" they would leave (a large roundish blob of oil/blood/whatever that is, with a south-running sub-blob left of center, per the photos). 

This is noted in comments below, along with contributor Petri Krohn's observation from looking at Google Earth (which I haven't installed yet) that "I see shadows on the blob, indicating it is not just blood on the ground but real bodies." With an enhancement (at right) I can agree for another reason. I see a light patch just right of center corresponding roughly to the lightest patch you'd see looking from on these bodies from above - the upper back, shoulder, and left arm of the man in the white shirt, expanded with glare effect to look larger than it is.

Petri also tells me this imagery is from August 29 (as Google Earth shows), meaning these bodies were still there four days after being filmed, six days after rebels took control of the area. As far as the map goes, these victims of sloppy rebel cruelty are part of the landscape now. 

Now, who were they, who killed them, and when and where and how did that happen? These questions will have to wait for now. One visual clue, perhaps, suggests they came from within the eastern compound walls; the overview shows a faint arcing path, traced in red above, just north of the spot. It starts scraping across the road inside the eastern compound - through the hole in the wall? - and across the field to about the dump spot. After carrying and re-piling the corpses in a clear patch of dirt 20-25 feet away, their body-dragging sledge apparently got lighter and left no further mark.

Thursday, November 24, 2011

Fathi Terbil

November 24, 2011
last edits November 25

As Libya's new government was named by the NTC on November 22, I take special brief interest in a minor post given to a major but mysterious figure in the uprising that started it all. Lawyer and "activist" Fathi Tarbel was named minister of youth and sport. As  Hurriyet Daily News explained, he's the man "whose brief arrest on Feb. 15 was the spark that lit the popular uprising against Gadhafi’s regime in the eastern city of Benghazi."

He was before now an NTC member in charge of the youth, and now he's being put in charge of sports too. He apparently knows how to get a game started. I really know little of the man, aside from two vague versions I've heard.

Terbil the Persecuted Human Rights Hero
The mainstream and rebel narrative is that he's a crusading "Human Rights" lawyer for families of the Abu Salim prison massacre of 1996 which ... actually may not have even happened, despite the over-eagerness to claim they had found physical proof of it. But some family members said they had missing people lost in the prison system, who they think died there. It wound up totaling about 1,270 implied victims, and they had a lawsuit and this lawyer.

Andy Worthington writes on "How the Abu Salim Prison Massacre in 1996 Inspired the Revolution in Libya," describing Terbil as a dedicated campaigner for justice who endured repeated arrests and even torture. He was offered an obscure human rights prize, but took a while to collect it (if he ever did), and Terbil was listed by Time magazine as among "Time’s 100 Most Influential People" for 2011. Their write-up suggested he was arrested not for any uprising-related activity, but for his counsel work, ongoing already for years:
lawyer Fathi Terbil, 39, showed extraordinary courage just by agreeing to represent the families of those killed. Sure enough, he was arrested in February. Then a group of lawyers and judges gathered in front of Benghazi’s main courthouse to protest. The victims’ families joined them, and the demonstration grew into a full-blown rebellion that has liberated eastern Libya from Gaddafi’s grasp and may yet topple him from Tripoli.
The UK Guardian reported that Terbil "was arrested over a lawsuit against the government on behalf of the relatives of 1,200 men killed by Gaddafi's forces at Abu Salim prison in 1996." 

On or before February 15, however, he might also called for a general uprising, or urged support for one. One had been set for two days hence, imagined for years, planned for months, and openly called for already for weeks. The planning to turn the uprising military and make it international were also apparently well-laid, and Libya faced an immense threat that the government might have been faintly aware of.

And Fathi Terbil was arrested on the afternoon of February 15. Understandably, Libyans who had been just fine were suddenly enraged against the machine at this draconian arrest, and took to the streets to demand his release. Apparently the authorities refused the demands, and started killing people left and right, and so the people had to take over and thus began the spontaneous peoples' revolt.

Some acknowledge this silenced political prisoner was eventually released, and even as Hurriyet acknowledged, held only "briefly." "The overnight unrest followed the arrest of an outspoken government critic, who was reportedly freed later," said the BBC on the morning of February 16. He was in less than 24 hours.

Goheda's Version
R.Breki Goheda's 2011 documentary Libyan Crisis: Events, Causes, and Facts, gives more details. I haven't as yet found any other supports for it, but the video has a good track record of claims that do pan out. The segment of Terbil is early on, part one, 3:42, explains in more detail than usual how he got arrested and released and how that effected the protests/insurgency:
Security apparatus in Benghazi arrested Fathi Terbil, the coordinator of the association of the victim of Abu Salim [prison massacre of] 1996, after he incited people in Tripoli to head for Abu Salim prison, under the pretext that the prison was burning, and instigated them to storm the prison, so as to free prisoners.
Some members of the association being led by Terbil mediated for his release, and he was released on the same day with the guarantee of the mediators after he confessed of making up the call contrary to realty. However, members of the association gathered in front of the police station , and staged demonstrations immediately following the release of Terbil, and marched for 10 kilometers ...  
And so on until we get to where we are now. By this, he recanted his charge the prison was burning, and it can't be ignored that maybe he was coerced by the authorities to take it back. So was the prison really burning? There's been no supporting evidence for that, from photos, videos, or any other reports. It feels like a thin excuse related to his personal area of expertise - questionable stories about what happened at Abu Salim prison.

Did he even really make the claim? No one else specifies a stated reason for the arrest on the 15th. They presume it was really about that old lawsuit, but can't say what the authorities said. Goheda does. I'm not convinced this narrative is true, but I do lean that way. The alternative has been left just way too vague.

Let's consider again Andy Worthington's article and some imagery he used to tie the Libyan crisis in with the "Arab Spring" uprisings of Egypt and Tunisia. He wrote of "the revolutionary movements that were spreading like wildfire across the Middle East," and noted the origins in the first uprising in Tunisia in the self-immolation of Mohamed Bouazizi. A man's rather extreme reaction to a mild act of bureaucratic insensitivity was taken as a sign that the whole government had to be torn down. Maybe it was so, but one must note that the power of fire seems to sometimes unlock energy it doesn't even have a right to.

Where there's fire spreading, in this case it's revolution. So when you see revolution... where's the fire in Libya's supposed spark, in Terbil's accepted arrest saga? Nowhere until the escalating riots afterwards, in the mainstream/rebel version. But Goheda's version has it - in the form of unsupported allegation / apparent outright lie.

Another source I'll be citing:

Libya's New Government for 2012

November 24, 2011

On November 22, 2011, a new government of Libya, with new ministers who will matter in coming months, was announced by the Interim NTC. Hurriyet Daily News, English edition, is the one source I'll draw on for now.

Libya names new government, ‘Gadhafi hunters’ get key posts
Compiled from AFP and Reuters stories by the Daily News staff.
Wednesday, November 23, 2011
The National Transitional Council gave the new government its vote of confidence, NTC vice chairman and official spokesman Abdel Hafiz Ghoga said.

“This provisional government aims to achieve the following: first security, stability and restoration of normal life by providing basic social services, the return of children to their schools and the payment of (overdue) salaries,” an NTC statement said.

That's a tacit admission it was their ill-advised takeover effort, in tandem with European imperialists, that had all these things interrupted so thoroughly and devastatingly, for months on end. Only once the new program was accepted-something Libya fiercely resisted-would operation be allowed to resume.

What makes this new form of government acceptable is sure to twinkle through in spots as we look at who it has appointed to keep the faith into 2012, the first full year of its thousand-year rule.
In a symbolic step for Libya, a deeply conservative Muslim society, the cabinet included two women, heading the ministries of health and social affairs. El-Keib said those appointments showed women enjoyed more equality than ever before.
Then it won't look too good when, in this deeply conservative society that just had their al Qaeda-type elements brought to power nationwide, these ladies ushering in "a new liberal order" are killed by "the people" who insist their black-flag-waving voice really be heard.
Foreign diplomats had been expecting the foreign minister’s job to go to Libya’s deputy envoy to the United Nations, Ibrahim Dabbashi. A respected diplomat, he had rallied other Libyan officials to turn against Gadhafi soon after the revolt erupted against his rule. Instead, the job was given to Ashour Bin Hayal, Libya’s envoy to Canada under the Gadhafi regime who joined the opposition in the 1990s.
I like to imagine the transparency of his conspiratorial designs in mid-February, in tandem with more trasparent yet early defector Nouri al-Mesmari, might have something to do with his usefulness being outlived. But neither did the job go to Dabbashi's boss, Libya's ambassador to the UN Abdulrahman Shalgham, who started out with cold feet as his deputy ran miles ahead and talked the world into declaring full-scale war on the government they had both served.
Lawyer Fethi Tarbel, whose brief arrest on Feb. 15 was the spark that lit the popular uprising against Gadhafi’s regime in the eastern city of Benghazi, was named minister of youth and sport.
He really knows how to get a game going. I'm covering him separately.
Abdelrahman bin Yazza, a former official at Italy’s energy major ENI, becomes interim oil and gas minister. Ali Tarhouni, a U.S. academic who returned from exile to manage the oil and finance portfolios in the rebellion against Gadhafi, had no role in the new government.
The privatization fanatic from Seatlle, Ali Tarhouni, is blessedly out. His replacement is probably worse, however, in some other way. I don't know anything about bin Yazza just yet.

The post of Minister of Defense, the leader of the nation's external military (count-down to a new war with Chad...) went to "Osama Juwali, commander of the Zintan fighters who arrested Seif," and perhaps of the Zintan fighters who recently shot the hell out of Tripoli hospital and killed a few people trying to settle a blood feud with some Misrata fighters. Perhaps friends with the early Zintan rebels who broke the finger off of, tore open the cheek of, and sliced the nose off a Libyan Internal Security man, before killing him, and called him a mercenary from Chad.

The Zintani wasn't appointed to head the Interior Ministry, who have always operated Internal Security. "[T]he interior ministry went to Fawzi Abdelali from the former rebel town of Misrata, whose fighters captured Gadhafi in October," as well as who oversaw the "un-sanctioned" torture, murder, and public display of the formerleader, as well as his son Mutassim (see On the "Gaddafi's Dead!!!" Party). The Misratans, or Misrottens, at large also oversaw epic war crimes of revenge like the siege of Sirte, the massacres following on it, and the purge of Tawergha.

Finally, Hurriyet reported that someone called "Kib," apparently meaning current interim Prime Minister Abdurrahim El-Keib. He will head the government as continuing Prime Minister, which includes an interesting set of posts,  one of which I'm curious to see how it's filled:
Kib will head a 24-member government which will include such portfolios as the ministry of martyrs, wounded and missing people, and a ministry of civilian society.
My own imaginative reading of that is the de-facto overseer of the blaming of rebel atrocities - quite epic it seems - on Gaddafi's defenseless legacy. It will require control of who corpses get identified as, what "family members" can be found to swear to it, and which other disappeared loyalists and African workers they can just let themselves shrug their shoulders at. "Ask his loyalist commander, who probably killed him,"they can simply say. He's probably long dead and missing too.

PM el-Keib was quite reassuring, however, assuring us he could assure us of this basic fact:
 “I can reassure everyone: all of Libya is (represented) in the new government.” 
Even the hundreds of thousands, perhaps a million or more total, who were still showing massive support for Gaddafi nationwide just a few months ago, and the millions who probably sympathize with them nationwide but were too pinned-down by rebel checkpoints or NATO drones, or too dead to join in? How are they represented?

Thankfully, the loss of some prominent faces of acceptable Libyan governance didn't sufficiently shake European support.
A spokeswoman for the European Union’s foreign policy chief, Catherine Ashton, said after the Cabinet was named that the EU was “confident that the interim leadership now in place will enable the country to embark on the political transition ahead.”

Tuesday, November 22, 2011

NATO MAY Face War Crimes Probe, Some Claim to Worry

November 22, 2011

According to a report by the Associated Press (11 November) some NATO diplomats are worried that the alliance may be investigated by the International Criminal Court (ICC) after its prosecutor said allegations of crimes committed by NATO in Libya would be examined "impartially and independently".

The NATO diplomats speaking anonymously said action to pre-empt a war crimes investigation would likely include an immediate internal legal review of all incidents in which NATO bombing or other actions caused civilian casualties.
NATO may be investigated by ICC for alleged war crimes in Libya
Submitted by ian on Fri, 11/11/2011 - 13:35

NATO Secretary General Anders Fogh Rasmussen even refuses to acknowledge that were any civilian deaths caused by the bombing. During his monthly press briefing on 3 November, he said:

As regards collateral damage, I have to say that we conducted our operations in Libya in a very careful manner, so we have no confirmed civilian casualties caused by NATO

Casualties, by the way, includes injuries as well as deaths, technically. I do have to say, I imagine you can't fail to confirm a single one of the thousands of civilians they killed, especially in Sirte, without treating the facts and common sense in any other than "a very careful manner."

Chances any NATO country's leader will be handed over for war crimes against humanity trials, or stabbed in the ass and shot dead before even getting the chance?

More perhaps later, or in comments...

The Capture, "Humane Treatment," "Fair Trial," and Violent Death of Abdullah al-Senoussi

November 22, 2011

This is another area, one of the big ones, where I know little at the moment. Therefore, another spot for comments from the better informed. At some point I'll pull the best stuff up into this post, but for now the content is below.

Monday, November 21, 2011

The Tripoli Massacres: Shed Massacre Location

November 21, 2011
(incomplete, last edits Dec. 31)

Visual Sources
This, from a BBC News report, is the dramatic gate of the Yarmouk military base just south of Tripoli, next to which the Khamis Brigade shed massacre of about 150 was said to have occurred on August 23. Its famous eagle gate, scarred by fighting, has been topped by this time with a rebel flag of "free Libya." Just where it is briefly remained a mystery to me.

The immediate base surroundings is sometimes called the Yarmouk area of the district named Salaheddin or a couple of variations, or alternately Khalet/Khelet/Khalid/Khalida Ferjan/al-Ferjan/Forjan. Arabic for the last: خلة فرجان.

Four videos and three photos help visually set up the base grounds and the shed area out back.
Rebels "storming" the base well-after it had been taken, from the look of it. Shows the north area, main gate, and a bit of the interior.
A drive-by video from May, when the large warehouse-type buildings at the south end of the base at least were already bomb-damaged.
CBC video shows some glimpses of bomb-gutted buildings inside, as seen at right, as well as the shed yard in the adjacent area.

Al Jazeera video of the shed yard, with a nice full-circle pan.
Human Rights Watch photos, from this useful report on their silly "investigation," show the shed yard (see map below) from three views (using afternoon light presumptions): looking north from atop the trashed truck perhaps, looking northeast from just west of the shed (includes a dead body), and looking northwest from the gate area - one of the mattress victims is visible.

Conformity with Satellite Imagery
Wikimapia has the Yarmouk base indicated, about 10-12 miles south of Tripoli city center, from Google maps, inset at left. but it didn't seem to match the video of the base's exterior. Or interior, or "adjoining" shed yard. Satellite imagery can be dated and fail to reflect more recent changes, but to be the same place shown in the videos, we'd need new buildings just north of the compound and a new paved crossroad there, a new gate structure, new wall probably, a large expansion to the south, at least one large new building inside, northeast of the entrance when facing in, plus new trees and different layout inside with more paved roads. Further, the highway outside would have to be re-done to curve to the east around the base's southern end, where the wall slopes away from the road, and have another, recessed, gate put in down there. Not to mention the road would have to be made lower-capacity; the satellite images of Airport Highway suggest four lanes each direction, whereas the video suggests only four total passing by the base.

It took me a while to locate another fit, not far away to the northeast. Diagonally across the patch of 15 giant "crop circles," one kilometer east of the top row, at the curve in al Hadhbah Road, is a perfect match. It's got the right cross-roads, matching double-pillar gate structure, wall dipping further from the road to the south, covered walkway things out front to the north, built-up interior and - are my eyes deceiving me, or does the current Google maps imagery show extensive bombing damage within the compound?
Google maps link

I didn't yet spot the shed area, where the massacre was allegedly staged. But all reports say it's adjacent to, adjoining, or perhaps even within this eagle-gate place, so it should be nearby. I'll leave that puzzle to readers for now. The grounds will look kind of like this, presuming afternoon light in general, with exact north orientation uncertain-it could be rotated a bit from this in reality. The bodies probably won't be shown - this is just to make this graphic dual-use, helping clarify where the dead outside the shed were.

Update Nov. 22: Contributor Petri Krohn found it right behind the base. He looked for peaked roofs like the shed has. Since most buildings there have flat roofs, this was smart, and helped narrow down a great match.

I had wondered about a curved corner, but at the wrong corner. As I thought it might be, it's rotated from true north as I had it, like the whole base itself and the road. The dimensions are off, but otherwise, I recognize it on sight now. Here is the body placement on the satellite image, the back wall of the base highlighted.

And then a graphic of the whole area base area and where it is.As an afterthought, I added a small orange square in the lower left corner where Wikimapia had placed the Yarmouk base.

The apparent bomb damage, highlighted here in blue and worth a closer look, is largely to the base's south side. The warehouse buildings with their sheet metal blown all over, and a few concrete buildings closer to the center, can be seen in some of the video views at top. Some of this is months-old already as the base was finally taken. More extreme building damage, cropped off here, is apparently outside the compound, southeast of the highlighted area here. There are other spots with craters in the ground, buildings with holes in the roofs and/or debris blown out across streets, throughout the compound. It's possible what was there in late August was more bombed yet, but the large building in the dirt lot near the north corner at least seems to be intact.

As far as we know, there have been no reports or evidence of dead soldiers anywhere in there. Only 150 or so of their random captives, all collected at that red corner compound and mostly burned to anonymity.

Friday, November 18, 2011

Down-Turn Announcement

November 17, 2011

For the last roughly two weeks, I've had spots of productivity, but have been pre-occupied with my paid job, putting in extra work to get ready for an announced inspection. Completing posts in progress and responding to comments, e-mails, and the like, not to mention the wuality of said work, has suffered.

For those who wonder, my paying job is as a janitor. Yep. I vacuum and empty garbages and dust things, and sometimes scrub toilets at night.

ANyway, somehow I was preparing for the wrong inspection, had all my work pretty much in vain, and am in trouble again for not having the main things done on a certain floor. Now, again, the micro-management, the daily inspection of my work, repeated time-consuming explanations of what I need to do, the strictures on how I do it that do nothing but slow me down... the continued long hours catching up an insane amount of detail, while preparing for the next inspection of my other floors that I had better ace ...

So, for today and tomorrow, this weekend, and next week, I'll be doing even less, or near nothing, including responding to comments. Do keep them coming though, contributors. For the thousands of readers out there if not for enlightening conversations with yours truly.

Wednesday, November 16, 2011

Fakest Rebel Videos

May 13/14 2011
last edits January 4, 2012

This post will gather some instances of suspect fakery from the social media video postings of our Libyan pro-Democracy forces. Simple mislabeling is too widespread to count - the video itself must contain actors and fake scenarios (or be suspicious at least) and presented as real. I'll take submissions and votes by comment form below, and start it off with the few I can think of, with newer additions first:

Shooting at protesters outside the barracks.
(Thanks to  contributor Felix for this one)
"Shooting at protesters outside the barracks."
Saturday, 19 February, 2011
Source: ahmadkadar

People in Shahet run and scramble to hide from the sound of gunshots at the al Jarah barracks - hundreds of feet away from these ...weaponless attackers? ... clustered on the main street, at least a day after the base was apparently taken by their allies (see here for the details). Some others lay there helpless on the pavement, not carried away, but not bleeding either. (See image - video embedding unavailable.)

One of the victims sits up and looks around, waving at people. Another victims then wanders over and, apparently having been shot, lays splayed-out among them (at left, starting to kneel). As Felix describes it "this video clearly shows a "protester" ambling onto set (and it is essentially a film set with actors) then slowly getting down, then lying dead on his back, at about 0.16 onwards. He occasionally pops his head up just to check he isn't dead." Another victim in the struggle!

Indeed, anyone else take a look and see how ridiculous this is. Note also the creepy stiff man in a black trench coat who at the end walks right over to that same jackass and stands over him. As if to say "what the hell was that? Don't you realize what we're trying to do here?" He seems unconcerned that they're failing all around.

Shelling the Mosques, Zawiyah and Misrata
(Thanks again to Felix) It was very important for Muslim world opinion that Gaddafi be seen as anti-Islam and an attacker of mosques. The rebels in az Zawiya claimed Gaddafi forces attacked the main mosque the rebels were working out of on Feb. 24, hitting the minaret with AA fire, and it does seem to have some bullet holes in it later. (see here for details). By the latter re-conquest of the square,March 11, video shows the minaret seriously damaged and the dome caved in. But it's not clear who did that since between the two, we see this fake-ass video: Translated title "Muammar Gaddafi infidel, criminal, and a mosque was bombed [az Zawiya] 6311 [March 6]," the crayon font at the beginning is perfect. You know it's real because they pan to the minaret, wondering "hey, what if something were to happen to it right now? I'd better be filming and whoa, did you see that puff of smoke?" Smoke bombs attached to its circumference go off with a light bang, then some gunshots in the air and people cheerfully shouting Allahu Akbar, with grief over the no-damage Minaret attack.

As for who caused the actual damage some time over the next week, it's not entirely clear.  We've seen the rebel desire, and willingness to use fakery, to suggest just such a thing. Forget war crime, isn't using a mosque to create lies to falsely invoke religious furor a wee bit sacrilegious? Not to mention basing militant activities from one or possibly destroying it yourself in a heavy-weapons false flag operation?

And another more ambitious possible smoke-bomb project with fortuitous filming seems to be the cause of what's seen in this video of a Minaret attack by Gaddafi infidels/apostates in Misrata, March 19 apparently. This time, I'm far less sure it's a fake, but repeated smoke puffs, some much larger, are seen from a distance, happening over and over with no visible damage to the minaret. Only at the video's end does a bigger explosion happen and the tower finally falls. This must be the power of Allah withstanding the Satanic attack; the poster himself says "I honestly don't know how it stood that long." Nice tragic Islamic music, nice possible false-flag minaret destruction from those trying to simply manipulate religious fervor...

Refusing to praise Gaddafi
A man with fake blood trailing from his legs pulls himself along the ground as an apparent Gaddafi soldier films on his iPhone type thing. Transcript, as posted here:
Gaddafi Soldier: Raise your head, Raise your head, Get on your back, What is your name?! What is your Name?
Injured man: Ahmed.
Gaddafi Soldier: Say long live alfatah (Gaddafi/Gaddafi’s revolution)
Injured man: God is great
Gaddafi Soldier: Say long live Alfatah (Gaddafi/Gaddafi’s revolution)! Say long live Mu’ammar!
Injured man: There is no god except God, Muhammed is the messenger of God…

What a cliff-hanger at the end! Three shots are fired just as the camera pans away wildly. Maybe the hero lived, as he was rescued in Hollywood style by the hidden heros at the last second. So close, for a moment you think the soldier did shoot him. No head shot needed to fake, and an excellent propaganda set-up of Gaddafi against God. This is quite common and total evil genius for firing up these radicals and, in this case, gaining public support across the Youtube-viewing Arab world. (re-posted as a news story here - he's a doctor, it says, and unfortunately, he's shown dead on a truck later, but with again no visible injuries that are hard to fake - he could well just be laying there.)

The Sniper-shot x-ray girl
At about 3:20 in this video about evidence for snipers shooting children, is the only actual evidence of that specified. A little girl is shown in hospital after a sniper's bullet was removed, the x-ray of it in situ is shown. Why it's fake is explained here. In short, that film shows a pristine bullet fired from an odd angle, no broken or deformed bones, and the same exact image was used at the same time to prove a little boys was also shot by a sniper.

It's obviously powerful medicine, government snipers (we presume) shooting little kids. Human Rights Watch said so, and used the boy's identical fake x-ray for their report on the alleged crime against humanity. This one stands above some other contestants for popular impact, but perhaps not as much as another below.

Gaddafi forces abuse civilians  1
There's hardly a realistic thing about this staged scene of "civilans" tied up in the back of a pickup and verbally abused and fake-slapped by hillbillies in army fatigues. Note the weird googles person at the beginning, the two actors really hamming it up with the fear or intense-inner-defiance act. Note the "soldiers" have a lazy, disorganized style, and a little kid among them, pulled aside too late (at 0:54). I can't even understand Arabic, but having read the transcript for the "refusing" video, I recognize them barking "something Fatah" and "something Muammar," after which the bearded captor dutifully repeats the phrases.

The city "Sabrata" is mentioned. The one coward is in fatigues is interesting. Among more stoic civilians, he seems to be cast as the frightened isolated soldier who wants to defect, but was tied up by the real Fatah supporters. He also happens to be the most "black" looking among them. He could really use some outside support, it's implied.

Gaddafi forces abuse civilians  2
I'm not as sure, but this one I just found might be fake too. One boy is injured, with a slight black eye.  That's realism. Otherwise, same drunk-seeming "soldiers," probably on purpose to make some point. Young men and boys laying and sitting, questioned abusively and stupidly. I think from Misrata's mention and the context, this is in Misrata, or supposed to be. From 1:31 unnervingly loud gun shots are happening all around for some reason, but no one is shown injured. At 2:00 I hear "Fatah" and "Muammar," with the loud word repeated in between, I presume, meaning "repeat," or "I love."  The captor repeats, weakly, and oh-so-scared and helpless-like (as seen in the still below):

Afterwards in this same video, around 4:00, these rebel video fakers playing Gaddafi soldiers can be seen firing real rockets from truck-mounted launchers - on the outskirts of a town, and firing in, just like real Gaddafi soldiers. Wonder how often that happens?

The "Dying Soldier"
Warning: Actual dead people surround the suspected faker, with blown-open heads
The lone survivor of the "al-Baida massacre" (but possibly in Dernah, or elsewhere - See the link for fuller explanation) - nearly two dozen executed soldiers found in this courtyard, after rebel forces executed them for firing on a car in self-defense (see transcript here). One of these is alive in two videos, absent in two others - he's unbound and his head's intact, and moving a bit but ignored or teased by the rebel camera crew. He's apparently is the "source" for the government killing them all, besides him, for refusing to shoot "protesters." These 22 were among a total of 130 killed by Gaddafi for so refusing, said a French Human Rights Group, based on no reasonable evidence. And here, the only real massacre I've had to show yet because of the actor someone had lay down in the blood and brains.

One video from Facebook - not sure how to embed it.
Again with the intense religion - they do nothing medically except give him a little water. Thay ain't doctors but they know he's dying (from what exactly isn't obvious) and only "convert" him back to Islam and from Gaddafism with a last rites. It's the least they could do, literally, given he allegedly gave his life refusing to shoot at them for no good reason.

And the other video with the "dying soldier," where he's just passed by as if the cameraman didn't notice this one wriggling around. Quite odd. He's more interested in panning in on the gore. Amateur fakers do think maximizing everything real helps obscure  the fake parts, don't they?

Others if they come to my attention ...

Foreign Adventurers

November 16, 2011

There are a few posts I've bee asked to start but don't feel versed enough to write on, norready to research. This is one of them. Considering the incredible commentary input of late, I realize a post- orseveral - of reader-generated content could work here.

Find below, when they appear, some fascinating comments with useful links on foreign fighters and adventurers on the rebel side of the fight. These are often Libya natives, or with Libyan ancestry, but who have lived abroad for long enough they count as foreigners, converging on their homeland in support of a foreign-sponsored civil war. Others, from the Arab world, Europe, and elsewhere, have nothing to do with Libya except wanting to go be a part of history there. Some may have been channeled in by al Qaeda or similar extremist networks. Still others are professional fighters and advisers from placeslike Qatar and France and the U.S., arguably mercenaries, who are helping one side fight in a sense that if any other country's nationals were assisting the Gaddafi regime in the same way, they'd be slapped with all sorts of sanctions for breaking arms embargoes, etc..

Once enough good material is gathered below, I'll probably put the best of it in the body of this post.

Sunday, November 13, 2011

Pro-Gaddafi Protests: Green Square Size and Capacity

November 13, 2011
last edits April 4

Intro Part, Will be Moved Later
This is a nicely narrow spot to start sorting out something that's been bugging me for months now. In a war justified as being on behalf of the Libyan people and their roughly universal desire for massive change, we seem to have passed over some pretty clear signs those weren't really the Libyan people that were begging for help overthrowing Gaddafi.They weresome of the people, to be sure, but not all of them nor speaking for all of them.

There have been genuine-seeming public displays of support for Gaddafi from the beginning, like the tribal gathering of May. But of special poignance is the epic spectacle other people of Libya, reportedly a million of them or more, and perhaps as many as one in four Libyans alive at the time, who stood together in the capitol (or in Tripoli plus other cities, perhaps, it's confused) on July 1, in solidarity with the old green Jamahiriya flag and the "Dictator's" unorthodox "rule."

This after "the Libyan people" had already demanded the opposite months ago, seized much of the country, and had the most powerful nations on Earth backing them up with bombs and so much else. A reported 1.7 million from the nation of about 6.5 million still said "no thanks," and did it physically, in the same place and/or the same time. Certainly some number of others agreed but couldn't make it, perhaps on account of the civil war, occupation status, being dead, or finally convinced/dispirited by the weight of power against them, etc.

The videos and commentary are ubiquitous, if the exact reality of the protests of July remains nebulous.  The video and photos of it sure looked impressive, even if it wasn't quite, as the Voice of Palestine website reportedly called it, "the largest demonstration ever in world history."

It was uniformly ignored or belittled by mainstream Western media. Mostly ignored, or dismissed wholesale as a stunt by paid actors or those threatened with death if they didn't show up. But here I'll be drawing primarily on an ambitious seeming, and convincing to most, analysis of the details, run by the American liberal site Daily Kos, July 19. This one only mentions threats, bribes, and even computer animation, as passing back-up arguments, but mainly focuses on the details, sort of: Tripoli Green Square Reality Check, by Clay Claiborne.

This cites a supposed Gaddafi loyalist estimate by leftists and Chinese, of 1.7 million people packed into Tripoli's Green Square on at least one occasion, perhaps thrice. I think that is a straw man tactic, but to be sure will take a separate post. The author conveniently finds this achievement impossible, and then passes on alternate estimates that seem to me ridiculously low - 10,000 to 30,000 tops

I had suspected anyone saying even one million in Green Square itself was exaggerating, but not wildly. I would be happy to acknowledge if even that was too generous. But I would be quite surprised to find this opinion of Clay Clairborne's to be anything like reality. 

Green Square Size
To establish basics, I'll start with the definition of Green Square, Tripoli's primarypublic assembly spot. Claiborn says "Green Square is roughly 646 meters long by 238 meters wide." In fact, I get something considerably smaller. In fact I don't know what he's measuring, except maybe the smaller portion, highlighted in red below, but taking feet as meters (I find it's roughly 700 by 300 feet, or 210,000 square feet - surprisingly like his meters).

I've got the basic area as given by Google maps, already re-named "Martyr's Square"over some people who got themselves shot early on. Myself, I'll stick with "green." I'm not sure what counts as the square, and so offer this image in meters. The red outline is the smallest version, that Google's pin points to the middle of. It's about 100-125m at the narrow ends and 210m per long side, plus the side square and perhaps the open air cafe next to that (dead center here, not highlighted).
But across that surrounding street is another much larger public square and surrounding roads and beach front that the crowd could well fill up as well. I excluded the parking lot, which may or may not be fair, but otherwise take this larger version, all that shaded green, which I measured at about 425m (northwest side) by 350m (northeast side).

It's not a complete filling of that square area, although considering the parking lot and southern surrounding streets, the tea house area, and spillover into surrounding streets and perhaps rooftops, using those numbers might be close enough. That says 148,750 sqaure meters, to Claiborne's estimated "just 205,065 sq. meters." That's not "just," it's big - nearly half the size of China's Tiananmen Square (440,000 sq. meters - the second biggest in the world, per Claiborne). It's not quite that big by my measure, but impressive enough considering the China:Libya population ratio of about 220:1.

Theoretical Capacity
Claiborne continues:
205 thousand square meters would appear to be an impossible fit for 1.7 million people

So how many people can you fit into 205,000 sq. meters?.
using the most dense "mob crowd" of 2.5 sq. ft or .23 sq. m. per person it would appear that Tripoli's Green Square could support a rally of at most 891 thousands people.
He gave sources there, but basically it came down to four people per square meter being fairly crowded, which is true. On my measure, I get only 595,000 people at that density. But four per square meter really isn't the densest it can get, just the densest it can comfortably or safely get. Perhaps 50% more people could be crammed in there hypothetically. I'll have to agree that this wouldn't fit 1.7 million, but something more in the neighborhood of 900,000, roughly what was widely claimed, is not far out there at all. That's not to say it happened, but it could.

How Dense on July 1?
Next, take note that the photos show this up-to roughly one million-capacity space is pretty well filled. To clarify, Claiborne refers to a sequence of three Tripoli demonstrations, whereas I'll focus just on July 1, which seems to have been the largest rally in the capitol (supported the same day by smaller demonstrations in other cities). These images from that date, compiled by Clothcap, were linked to and drawn on by Claiborne.

He uses the following image to suggest a fairly low density. Note both that he's got a point, here, and that in the arch we can see at least some people actually outside the square, over-spilling into surrounding streets and casting doubt on his simple estimates based on the square's limited size.

The following image of the square's west end was not used by Claiborne and shows greater density over a greater area. Note the side-street spill-over in the upper middle of the picture. Solid humanity, unbroken as far as the eye can see and one can only guess how much further back.

Other images suggest an overall density somewhere between these two extremes. It's not the uniform shoulder-to-shoulder packing that could achieve a figure like a million, but not all that shy of it either.

All these photos were taken from the smaller portion of the square as I've identified it, the red western portion.  However, as another image (below) clarifies, the crowd did in fact extend a block to the west of that, perhaps to the waterfront, and presumably across at least part of the much larger public square next door. The green flag, kilometers long, snakes along the dividing street there, between rows of palms, and surrounded by crowds on both sides.

As far as how many people there actually were per square meter, I've done a rough count on the second large image here. I've measured the area captured in that photo as approximately 6,000 square meters on the western end of the smaller portion of the square.

The head/pixel count within that area was done section-by-section, each with a range based on possible over-counting and possible misses. The image below shows these totaled into three broader segments - near, middle and far.

What I got for each section adds up to a range of about 3,195 to 3,740. I feel it's fair to add at least 5% for people too short to have appeared above the others, those just around corners, inside using the restroom, running back to the car for the camera, etc. So 3,355 to 3,927 in or around this part of the square is a nice conservative estimate.

The density by this is about 0.56 to 0.65 people per square meter. That's nowhere near the crowded level of four per. It's not as dense as it looks from the trick of depth. The sparser looking image has about 1,000 people in about 1,500 sqm, so I will in fact consider these numbers pretty representative and do no averaging of densities so similar.

Before extrapolating, I'll clarify my overall space estimate here at about 3/4 of the full-square 148,750 m sq. Rounding up, that's a bare 111,600 m sq. That makes the segment shown in that photo (6,000 sq m) about 5.4% of the total space available. 18.5 times this total would give us what the whole square would hold at this density.

That yields about 62,000 to 73,000 people. There could be some more or less than this, and my estimates may well be low (I was trying not to go high). But within the square itself, I really doubt there were any more than 90,000 to maybe 100,000 people tops. At the particular moment shown. 

The Time Aspect
Another highly relevant point is that there's simply no need to argue, for either side, that 1.7 million or even one million people needed to be physically in the square at any given time. The July 1 protest, and likely the others, would have been all-day events.  Some people would come in the morning, and some of those would stay, while some would leave after a time. Others would come at mid-day, others in the afternoon and evening, with others leaving for work or other business.In such rotating shifts, there could easily be a million or more total with the square itself never being filled to top capacity at any one time.

Like the problem of spill-over to surrounding streets, Claiborne conveniently ignores the time aspect in his simple geometry equation.

Not that it's easy to consider it with any relevant accuracy. Should we presume the batch seen at this time represents 50% or 10% of the total all day? I think a total of twice what we see is low, and reasonably suggest as many as six times this many passed through at all times combined. Putting this range on the range of totals at filming, this is a reasonably broad range of daily totals: 124,000 at the very low end, to 438,000 sort-of maximum.

We can see that both Clay Claiborne and his sources were grossly wrong topping out at a pathetic 30,000 (and still considering many of those insincere - paid, trucked in, and/or threatened). But unless there's something major I'm missing, any estimate of a million people or anything higher than about half that was also far off. My own initial suspicions it was somewhere between 500 thousand and maybe a million has been challenged to my standards. Politics may have intervened to amplify the numbers, just as it's intervened to lower them, to dismiss all domestic support, to accept as truth every alleged regime crime anyone can imagine to "justify" this war, and so on.

Update April 4: Reader Art Bethea thinks the estimates here are too low, even the high end, and it could be so. The method is what it is and shows what it does. He cites Franklin Lamb, who was probably there and who said that “close to 65% of Tripoli’s population” attended the July 1st rallies.

Art notes: "I read at least ten of Lamb’s articles on the war. He’s one of the most valuable sources that I’ve read and doesn’t seem to reach for data (unlike, say, Thierry Meyssan of the Voltaire Network who accepts the 1.7 million figure). 65% of Tripoli is close to a million people—or was before regime change."

Saturday, November 12, 2011

Video Study: Rebels Attack Libyan Barracks

July 7, 2011
last update November 12

We start with two videos collected at this page of the "Libyan War" blog/site, as showing "peaceful protesters open fire at direction of army compound in Benghazi." The actions described seem accurate. One video (below, posted Feb 22) shows an ambulance leaving a compound, followed by what I believe is an internal security paddy wagon. (Update Nov.11: Reader Felix says "The black "padded wagon" in video 1 is certainly no internal security van,as it is labelled in arabic (of course!) Inna Lillahi Wa inna ilayhi raji'oon : To Allah we belong and to him we return - إِنَّا لِلّهِ وَإِنَّـا إِلَيْهِ رَاجِعونَ." This sounds kind of like a "hearse," indicating someone has died.)

They drive at medium speed down a dusty road amid a scattered crowd of apparent protesters, and dense gunfire they're not running from. Its youtube posting idiotically entitles the thing "Libya : Random Shootout Towards Ambulances and Protestors." Looks like the shooting is coming from the civilians, and only might have been towards the ambulance. More likely they're firing in the air, in celebration for the injuries it seems were inflicted on someone else prior to this point.

The next video shown, posted by the same user (LAKOMTUBE) on the previous day (Feb 21), supports those calls. This time, we're seeing "Live Fire between People and Gaddafi Regime." It shows a smaller and denser group of "protesters" hiding from lines of fire inside, while at least one aimed an assault rifle in and fired repeatedly, trying to "express himself." Something they got inside has also started a few of the trees on fire, starting the smoke chaos "non-violent insurgencies" seem to love. (the real smoke, we'll see below)

There was another video once shown at that Libyan War post, called "Protestors gather around a compound," but it has since been removed by the user. But in R. Breki Goheda's half-hour documentary video (part 1 embedded below) is a scene, perhaps the same as the one lost, of what I've decided is clearrly the same site. Shown at 5:40 (by luck with the scene in question chosen as the thumbnail), this is given as a military barrack besieged by hostile and, as we've seen, slightly armed criminals.

The narrator says of the response to thie civilian onslaught:
This video demonstrates that soldiers refused to open fire at protesters. Rather, they retreat into the center of the barrack, and open fire into the air as the attackers were advancing in the barrack.
Indeed, inside we see clustered soldiers and vehicles in the mid-distance. They seem to be armed but only at the ready. He says further the insurgents were later "able to storm" the place, among a list of three places (see below), between them seizing a fair amount of weapons.

Update, Nov. 5: More Views and a Location
The location of this incident, for one thing, vexed me for quite a while. Then recently while skimming videos from al Baida, in a playlist made by molibya, I saw the same scene explored here, in a slightly different video. Was this base in or around al Baida? The title doesn't help:
مشاهد حية للإشتبكات في ليبيا [trans: Vivid scenes of clashes in Libya]
Uploaded by brqnetwork on Feb 21, 2011

It's apparently the same video from above with the one rifleman firing into the gate. It's lower resolution, but has some extra footage at the beginning that to me shows something interesting. A military hostage, perhaps, against the wall just on the right side of the gate. In an olive green shirt, fair skin and dark hair, he's facing the opposite way of most others. At first glance, he seems to be being frisked or manhandled somehow by another guy. Then he's briefly seen looking to the side, and putting his hands out submissively.

Then down the list I saw a video that made me jump - a very high-res version of the video I had to cite Goheda's video for above (saved a copy).

Uploaded by hamd95 on Mar 1, 2011, and no further date given.

This helped me see more clearly the interior of the base and forces within, and everything else. I don't see much armed activity here, I have to say. People are bending over to pick up rocks, or throwing them. Some fiddle with other devices, perhaps (guy in trench coat, lower right in the image at the very bottom, for one)... many clues are available here.

The title of this posting is what help narrow down a location: اول كتيبه تسقط فى ليبيا من نظام القذافى ( مدينة شحات) [trans: Down with the first battalion in Libya of Qaddafi's regime (the city of Cyrene)]. I looked up Cyrene, and it's a modern small town as well as archaeological site (and clearly the origin of the whole region's name-Cyrenaica). It's on the northern outskirts of Shahet, just east of al Baida.

The army base at Shahet fell to rebel forces on February 19, I have heard, two days after the Day of Rage. The video location is not at Cyrene, but on Shahat's eastern flank. There I found an expansive walled compound, where an angled road passes a gate, in a heavily-treed area. Matching the video, this area has dense trees on both sides of the wall, making the gate area invisible from above, but with the right-hand-side (when facing in) more open.

Base and takeover details from reader Felix, as submitted in a comment, trumps my sloppy old guesswork:
The military barracks which the commentator around 6.00 in the causes and facts video 1/2 says "Attackers were able to storm Hussein al-Juweifi and Shahat Military Barrack..." Anmesty International, in their May 2011 report actually mentions Hussein al-Juweifi military barracks in Shahat (are they the same, or are there two barracks in Shatat?): In al-Bayda, a resident told Amnesty International that on 18 February, as soldiers inside the Hussein al-Juweifi military barracks in Shahat, east of al-Bayda, were beginning to lose control after protracted battles with protesters, he attempted to mediate to avoid more bloodshed:
“I asked to speak to a senior officer at the compound whom I knew from before… I gave him my word and said: if your soldiers surrender, they will be safe. As the group of soldiers were coming out to surrender, the protesters were very angry and shot dead two soldiers… they were Libyans, not foreign mercenaries… I feel guilty because was it not for me, they may not have come out.”
The barracks were at one time commanded according to this document by Colonel Al-Jarih Farkash. Several nephews of Gaddafi were Captains at the base..Abdul Qadir Saeed and Abdul Rahman Abdul-rahim al-atrash. The battalion was at Al Beida.(1993 data) (Libya's Qaddafi by Mansour O El-Kikhia, University Press of Florida, USA) [...] The barracks are also called Al-Jarah barracks, even though the arabic title says Medina Shahat - Katiba Al Juweifi in this video, Al Jarah Barracks battle (not really). A non-faked video shows it being demolished in May 2011.
It seems to all be the same place, now with a location and a name and, as we'll see, tons of more video views spanning, perhaps, nearly two weeks. But the soldiers were surrendering on the 18th. Why it was later torn down isn't clear.

After The Battle...
So... this is some part of the Shehat campaign, somewhere around the 20th. Earlier in the same Molibya playlist were mentions of a battle of Cyrene. One of them:
Uploaded by coffeeaddict99 on Feb 19, 2011.

The title suggests a date of the 18th, Petri Krohn tells me Mediainfo gives its record time as UTC 2011-02-18 14:50:33. The description says, Google translated from Arabic:
This is the return of the al Baida youth after their return from the battle of Cyrene, which Lapid [??], the remainder of the brigade a battalion called the enhanced 32 Thurs [??} [??]
Felix suggests this may mean 32th, or 32nd, and may thus refer top the infamous and ubiquitous Khamis brigade, "otherwise known as the 32nd reinforced Khamis Gaddafi battalion, as noted in this Al-Jazeera interview with General Fatah Younis, Gaddafi's friend turns foe , uploaded early on 1 March 2011." Here on whichever day and after defeating whoever, we see "protesters" in general control of at least part of al Baida, returning from a raid with weapons. We see face-covered militants, machine guns, boxes carried. Rockets for RPGs are held aloft in one passing truck bed to fervent cheers, then tank shells, larger rockets, and strings of heavy bullets. Only a few rifles are fired into the air in celebration, however.

And here's another Coffeeaddict99 video from the 19th:
The title, translated by Google: "Young white [al Baida] city Mtugeon [??] to attack the camp of Cyrene This is one of a group of 106 anti-defender." We see a big barrel artillery piece in the bed of a pickup truck, surrounded by wowed, victorious, knife-wielding young militants. There are  no military defectors to be seen in any of this.

All Shahet "Battle" Videos: Feb 16-18
Starting from invaluable comments below, especially from reader Felix, I'll use this space to organize the videos covered above and others, in the hope of establishing what happened and when in Shahet. Reader Petri Krohn has tipped me off to software that will (usually) show the date and time a video was recorded  (if it's raw and converted from Youtube, not a FLV downloaded with Safari). This will be called on when relevant below.

The earliest - and often most fascinating - glimpses I've seen are compiled in this video: 
Sahat [sic] intifada story
Source: ORWA31
duration 9:34. Credited on-screen as: "Cyrenaica for International Production."

Covering only a three-day span, this compilation suggests an "Initifada"of Feb. 16-18. It starts with video from the night of Wednesday the 16th. We see a peaceful march with chanting, but also a bonfire just outside some walled compound, with no one running from live fire, and another building roaring with flames inside it. 

Nothing is shown in this video for the 17th, which is strange. That was exactly the called-for "Day of Rage," where other cities were provoking state violence and reaping the PR windfalls on video. But along with much of what happened in other towns, Shahet's total activity shared on video seems to be zero.

Footage resumes on the afternoon of the 18th, from the angle of sunlight and deducing from the presence of "18" and no other numbers appaearing amongst the Arabic text I cannot read. It shows no clear fighting but sudden control achieved by angry, unarmed civilians. A walled compound has fallen, or at least its walls are vulnerable. A dump truck is backed into it, knocking a hole. To the left are two more rough portals through the wall, one smoke-stained. How many do they need before they can finally get in? 

The following edit makes it seem this is the same wall (and it apparently is) as the compound then shown, the same al Jarah barracks examined here. It's late afternoon, the gates are open, and people are walking in like they would to the zoo. There's some sort of white car to the right of the gate, which I thought seemed burnt. Atop the wall is the guard station, never shown manned, looking to like it was burned and soot-covered as well. Another video below confirms both hunches.

Here's another Youtube video claiming to be "Fighting in the city of Cyrene the first day of the Libyan revolution." It was only uploaded in late April, and mediainfo says April 28 - the date it was stamped in a program I presume. So we cannot say a certain date, but it seems a best fit with early afternoon of the 18th. The white car is seen at the beginning, trashed and tireless if not burnt. It's very shaky, bad camera work, filmed at the gate, panned in too close to give much detail. People are seen both walking in triumphantly, clapping, and also running out, at gunfire as if under attack within the base. Then they feel safe and keep going... There must be hundreds of "protesters" inside by now, burning a truck and piles of junk near the gate. No guns are seen, just clubs and sticks and a whole limb from a tree, held by people continuously running back out (like the masked militant at left). Then an ambulance and a black van drive out, in a clearly different scene from the one we opened with.

Back to the "Sahat intifada" video from ORWA31. The trashed interior is also shown after another cut, presumably some other time on the 18th. Within the expansive lot, rebel types mill about, loot, burn, and film freely. There are trees and green fringes, but it's smoke-filled, junk-strewn and spotted with wildly burning vehicles and buildings. Clearly, this was among the earliest of military mass defection to the side of the people, but none of the defectors are shown (except one, high-ranking, and dead - see below).

Then there's  a view walking down the street outside the base (2:57). Two trucks, their occupants elsewhere now, are seen burning fiercely, as smoke pours from the open gateway of the base itself. Along the way, a rebel flag is seen, chanting about Allah, a man with a hatchet, and just immense amounts of smoke.

Then we see an injured loyalist, it seems, carried out and into a mob that surrounds him. Two middle-aged men finally escort him through, forcing past the hot-heads. Then a bus with a rebel flag, at 5:40 military trucks full of people with machine guns are seen driving by at great speed. Other trucks are shown being filled with as many fighters as possible, and speeding off. A single artillery piece, several masked men, a cheering crowd, and light-hearted dancing with bullets are also seen in the video as it closes its coverage of the 18th. Fascinating work.

Another, more amazing video from ORWA31 shows some events that seem to fit with this day.
إقتحام كتيبة حسين الجويفي بمدينة شحات . [Break into the battalion Hussein Jawafa city of Cyrene]
Duration 10:09

This densely-packed video compilation starts with a night-time scene, perhaps the 16th or 17th, in front of the main gates. Men are waving knives and chanting. Then a day shot with burned buildings. Various scenes of marches, a funeral, and gate protests are shown quickly, with molotov coctails being dispened in pepsi bottles (1:43). Two swords at least are brandished (1:54, 2:00), then we see the car to the right is burning and belching smoke (2:03). The guardhouse also looks unmistakably blackened at this point (below, stitched from a couple different frames).

The "break into the batallion"video then shows a few brave men walk far into the interior, taunting the apparent security forces still lined across the way. None of them are shown getting shot. But we do see several injured people, civilians mostly, being carried out; one man with a mustache is quite convincing - he has his right foot bloodied and just dangling (3:50).

There's a high-speed bulldozer to the walls, knocking a big hole, perhaps one of the ones we've seen (5:47). Then two dump trucks, knocking two holes side-by-side. Then a man laden with many belts of ammunition.

Feb. 19 is the date I've previously cited as the conquest of the barracks in Shahet. That wasa"no later than," and based on a video posted by Coffeeaddict and perhaps others on that day (not sure who's version I first saw or the name of it). Labeled in Arabic, the title translates to "Cyrene (Shahet) yesterday after the attack on the camp." It has a distance view of the smoke rolling south out of the base, dominating the horizon. In the foreground is a major intersection, the street running up to the base, a large empty dirt lot, and a small, partly-collapsed building. Perhaps security-related, it's got a circular structure on its top, and sits well away from the base, half a mile away. 

The video cited above, "Libyan Crisis: Events, Causes and Facts," says this conquest supplied machine guns used on the 19th in Benghazi. That makes plenty of sense, especially if the base was conquered, as the video evidence suggests, by the afternoon of the 18th. 

Feb 19: Lights, Camera... Stupid!
On the 19th, per the description, occurs another battle! 
48 - al Jarah barracks battle
Saturday, 19 February, 2011
Source: kadekke6
Armed civilian men resist the Gaddafi thugs just outside the base's walls, on a day it's apparently rained heavily. They take turns firing machine guns into at least two holes knocked in the walls. Little sense of urgency is apparent. 

The location seems to be a roughly north-south wall, late morning, on the barracks' east side.The best match I could find, with no visible road next to it, is at the southeast corner of the northern portion of the compound, a more residential-looking part of the base. It's possible loyalists still held out in there,   but I doubt this would be the best way they had of rooting them out. 

Special mention goes to this gem of a same-day video: 
"Shooting at protesters outside the barracks."
Saturday, 19 February, 2011
Source: ahmadkadar
On this more famous side of the barracks wall, a few hundred yards away from the last video, the ground looks much drier than the other video, if still extremely moist by Libyan standards (the region is known for that, BTW). It seems to be afternoon and sunnier, so that could be.

People run and scramble to hide from the sound of gunshots - hundreds of feet away from these ...weaponless attackers? ... clustered on the main street. Some others lay there helpless on the pavement, un-helped, not carried away, but not bleeding either.

One of the victims sits up and looks around, waving at people. Another victims then wanders over and, apparently having been shot, lays splayed-out among them (at right, starting to kneel). As reader Felix describes it "this video clearly shows a "protester" ambling onto set (and it is essentially a film set with actors) then slowly getting down, then lying dead on his back, at about 0.16 onwards. He occasionally pops his head up just to check he isn't dead." Another victim in the struggle!

Indeed, anyone else take a look and see how ridiculous this is. Note also the creepy stiff man in a black trench coat who at the end walks right over to that same jackass and stands over him. As if to say "what the hell was that? Don't you realize what we're trying to do here?" He seems unconcerned that they're failing all around.

There are videos I'll link here soon showing some fighting near or perhaps inside the base, and of tanks being driven through holes in the wall, given as Feb. 19.

Next we turn to a sequel to the Sahet Intifada video, again by Cyrenaica, but this time on Youtube and starting on the 19th.
إنتفاضة مدينة شحات _الجزء الثاني . [Uprising in the city Cyrene _ Part II]
Uploaded by ORWA31 on Aug 3, 2011

Feb 19: a cloudy, rainy, windy day from random footage of the city. Already we see the Aruba School captives, who were captured at the nearby airport and held in Shahet. More of theseblack-skinned Libyan deputized security men seem injured in this view, but the location is the same and one captive at least is identifiable in common between this and the other video. The location, as Felix suggested, might be within the base they just captured. At 3:22 some apparent, alleged, generic viagra is shown, one pill already taken, along with paper (prescription?) and ID (foreign?) plus emphatic explanation of the significance (in Arabic of course). Apparently on day three of "protests," Gaddafi's "African mercenaries" were already coming to rape their women.

ORWA's "break into the battalion" video shows for the apparent 19th more barracks battles inside and out, on a rainy day, armed with the weapons they got wherever, running around, ducking, shooting, amid fire and smoke. We see firing a grenade, driving out tanks belching smoke. An anti-aircraft gun, two burning trucks, an old man injured, being carried. There's a parade with tanks, a hanging effigy, and a large rebel flag. It closes with two black men interviewed, one of whom might be Mohammed, the other the gray old man I recognize from the Aruba school prisoners. Both are said to be from Chad, among the five (2.5%) of these "mercenaries" who were not Libyans.

That they were captive on the 19th is interesting. It suggests the L'Abraq airport battle, starting on the afternoon of the 18th, was shorter than I thought, suggesting more of a mass surrender and capture than a prolonged struggle. 

Endless Struggle: Feb 20 and After
By the 18th they had their base, might've been bringing captives there by the next day as they drove out the heavy weapons. The 20th followed in "break into..." with armed crowds in town, driving over a large, dirty, barely recognizable portrait of Col.Gaddafi (3:42). It seems to be an incredible boring day.

But another flesh-and-blood col. Gaddafi is shown in another video for Feb 21:
Colonel Shahat Brigade
Description: Colonel Mustafa Al Gaddafi killed by mercenaries while he was protecting civilians
Monday, 21 February, 2011
Source:  ahmedomran80

"Colonel Mustafa Al Gaddafi," killed for trying to save the people allegedly, yields no hits on Google besides the Feb 17 images video and now this article. Some amazing hero, then, this col. Gaddafi must've been. Even translated to Arabic "العقيد القذافي مصطفى" it yields nothing that doesn't actually refer to the villain Colonel Gaddafi. But his dead face is shown up-close (intact but pained, with blood on the chin) in an old rebel video three days or so after his base had fallen. He doesn't look decomposed at all, so one wonders if the video is days old, if he was just holed up until then, or if he was executed after his capture. How many officers under him were killed? By whom exactly and where did the killers escape to?

It's only at this point the videos I opened with were finally filmed, it might seem judging by the time stamps and posting dats suggesting the 21st. The "live fire" video, posted Feb. 22, is time stamped UTC 2011-02-21 07:24:21 - nearly three days after people had first gained apparent control of the whole place. But the time's off - the encoding is in the morning, with the action being afternoon. It's the same with the others: The longer "vivid scenes of clashes in Libya" version of the same video has an earlier encoding: UTC 2011-02-21 06:43:46. "Libya : Random Shootout Towards Ambulances and Protestors" is marked UTC 2011-02-21 08:42:01.

My guess here is these are the times they were processed and stamped with logos, 6:43 to 8:42 am by whoever exactly. The actual events could be from any point in the previous days. Further, the two versions of the same video can be neither derived from the other. The one has extra footage, the other better resolution. So both must draw from a previous version that may still be out there...

Interestingly, the wall-top guard house is seen in neither of these videos. It could well be burned up there out of view. The burnt car as well is kept out of frame with what seems more careful camerawork than used before. The smaller guard shack inside the gate to the left is visible however, with milder soot stains coming from its window.

Finally we have the very high resolution video "Down with the first battalion in Libya of Qaddafi's regime (the city of Cyrene)." This one pans all over and shows smaller fires inside, no rebel guns at all, and the army just inside. It was posted by Hamd95 on March 1, and as with all posting dates, it's only a "no-later-than." The media info timestamp is no different, as we've seen. But this looks like raw video, un-stamped, and it's from only the previous day: UTC 2011-02-28 15:35:38. This could even be the time of filming, judging by the angle of afternoon sunlight. But ten days after they first took the place?

What else stands out is that finally we can see the guardhouse again and it's pristine, un-burnt. Beneath is is what looks from a distance like a new white car resting high on fancy tires, replacing the burnt one we saw later (earlier?). I can't tell if any of the pointless holes they knocked in the wall are present here. That stretch of wall is distant and washed out with sunlight.

So is this really an amazing early video that's only gotten to us by this later re-posting? Or is this a staged re-enactmentafter they cleaned the place up, to cast a more poetic light? Was it the first staged video, aside from the obvious"Shooting at protesters outside the barracks," or the last in an awkward sequence? Why have we still never seen the footage of when the base apparently actually fell - on Feb. 17 and into the early 18th?