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Monday, January 30, 2012

The Big Investigation Group Thing

January 23, 2012
last edits Jan. 27

I have an extremely vague idea, spurred to renewed life by a recent comment from contributor Afrikat. I've said in the past this is academic, a history project, and there's no rush to get things done. But really, that's just necessity speaking in a different voice. I just don't have enough time at one time to do even half of what I'm driven inside to do. So one gets zen with delayed grartification of the desire to know.

And then there's the desire to act, which I have a harder time with, and which was the focus of his comment. If I may:
Yes, the Rats and their coalition partners in the axis of evil cannot be allowed to get away with it, and that's why this site and this page in particular (IMHO) are important. You have said somewhere this is a "history project" and so there's no need for any haste. I'd suggest this is also a campaigning site of sorts. In view of all the past and current media and other orchestrated disinformation and bias through ommision, maybe we need not just to debate the issues but also to conduct an incisive analysis of the plentiful data available here, and to disseminate it widely, including to the UN Human Rights Commission and to ICC, and to Aisha and her lawyer, among others.

A laudable line of thinking, if a bit thick on praise for this site in particular. I have been readying to take the case for rebel authorship of the Khamis Brigade shed massacre - a point within the whole I have no shame taking great pride in - to Physicians for Human Rights (more on that line of work here), and to others. I'm becoming aware that I, or we, need to move soon. The deepening mythology of the massacre and its light-skinned 'rebular Libyan guy' Zlitny martyrs only helps cement the idea this lie has gone too far to turn back from, and that it must be pushed through no matter the cost. There's a Muslim proverb about that being ignored in Libya in droves right now.

From there, I don't know. Somehow I think getting members explicitly behind a common idea with a name is a good start. Inspired by the clownish 9/11 "reseachhers" Citizen Investigation Team, I could suggest Global Citizen's Public Inquiry into War Crimes in the Libyan War. Something else better will surely be suggested.

I have been hit with ideas with broader implications I'm definitely not ready to take on - Human Rights Fraud Watch, for example. Or broader yet, the Future or Reality Foundation, promoting science and reality-based, factual reportage to hamper the ability of governments and others to create false realities to justify their agendas. Not getting any NED grants for that one.

But even keeping it narrower, seeing any reality flesh in a body around those bones seems heavy,if do-able. We (whoever signs on) could maybe do, or just stand by, what we have been doing, or at least what I have - put the emphasis on solving a few specific cases, and then raising concerns over others, based on well-established precedent. Then, all still talk but getting clearer and louder, we make a fancy report or three, have a web-site (a pro one I will not be establishing), get it all out there to relevant professionals and to journalists, have a press release, try to make the news, in alternative circuits at least. Careful crafting of the message to make it even remotely palatable to the masses, excellent graphics, etc...

All things I could do, but it's daunting to even consider it all alone in the time I have between working, sleeping, and life (other). And even if I essentially go it alone talking to relevant people and demanding they talk back, it would be nice to have a group I'm compelled by, as opposed to just me and my idiosyncratic insecurity clashing with their position of unavailable authority.

Then, there's not necessarily any need to re-invent the wheel, as exciting as it can be. Perhaps its best to latch onto someone else, like Global Civilians for Peace. Maybe they'd be able to absorb a bunch of data, and help whip it up into something more actionable and even actionated. Specific ideas?

Straight to the ICC, UN bodies etc.? Somehow I have a hard time taking that as seriously. However, I imagine none of these people, aside from certain journalists maybe, wants to hear the troubling message that we all put bad guys in power there. And the ones who matter, as closed as they might make themselves, are who needs to be rung up about it.

Discuss, please. I'll be following this thread closer and contributing - research and writing break for a few days to focus on this bigger picture.

Jan. 27:
(continuing disinterest in tedium...)

The only thing that'll change or pierce my mood of "bleh", and force an enthusiastic response, would be some more input on this post and this post. Getting a group going, even just in name, a strategy discussed and agreed, the backlog of locked-up Arabic language evidence started on. THEN, when it's serving some concrete action on the hard parts, that will hopefully motivate me to magically be able to get all these other things done on top of the action stuff.

Maybe just the few most necessary things. Or maybe some volunteers can find a way to help with some of it? The list is right above. Whole re-formatted, updated, original posts can be submitted by e-mail, etc. Not to be presumptuous, and expect anyone to do anything, but...

Well, anyway, all my readers and contributors have been awesome, and the effect of this amazing mental activity all happening around me, coinciding what what "I find fascinating too!" is a bit of a rush. Lets my mind run away with me sometimes.

Anyone else so inclined? Let's run a ways, then.


- Undefined group explicit member #1 (in order of joining, not necc. rank), Adam Larson aka Caustic Logic, Spokane, WA, USA
- Others, may remain anonymous/screen name I think, right? Better than nothing...


  1. I was hoping for a mass of excited comments when I woke up. :(

    Still open to ideas on group dynamics and master approach here, and on shed massacre follow-up specifics at the page for that

  2. Once the word holocaust has been invoked for whatever happened - and I am pretty sure what happened did not equate what everybody from Ban Ki Moon downwards has come to accept without studying in detail the evidence - then one is immediately a holocaust denier. In a normal country this would have been a criminal site and impartial experts would have been brought in to assess the sealed compound. But nobody is allowed to be impartial over Libya. And the evidence is long bundled out with no forensic tests. Did Alex Thomson really smell a rat here? Was it sarcasm which made him tweet something like "so all three witnesses are liars then..."? Or did he think their story, based on his knowledge of what happens in the real world, plus a bit of school physics and biology, think what he was told really happened? Perhaps there are troubled medical people out there who think it doesn't add up?

    1. Damn, just lost a long reply. It was brilliant but unnecessary. Summarized and improved:

      How to deal with that: Holocaust = olos, "whole" + kaustos, "burnt." Burnt sacrifice, literally. Clever, but it has only one meaning in modern usage. And it's not what happened here, nor what happened across Libya the last year.

      This Yarmouk thing is a massacre, and the temporal and physical and circumstantial evidence and past precedent all suggest the rebel committee and eyewitness version is false. Who's more likely to lie? People who contradict the hell out of each other and highly-partisan political appointees, or time, space, and reality itself?

      Hmmm... That might be a little strong, but something to that effect.

      So they'll be incredulous that witnesses would lie. That's natural and healthy, up to a point. Here's how to handle that: show inconsistent stories and let the reader decide which one's lying or has a near-psychotic tendency to create false memories. Do that a half dozen times in ways that puzzle them consistently, and anyone reasonable will start to get it - their basic understanding might be wrong, and a different viewpoint might let this stuff make sense again.

      People know this doesn't add up. All of them, on some level. With Ramsay and maybe Thomson, it was near the surface, from the things he said and how he did. It's all about psychology and fear. Who can even visualize an acceptable way to just start an approach to a very awkward truth here? It won't be easy, but it can and should be done.

    2. Lotta thoughts, what the heck...

      I'm reminded of the Lockerbie judges, who managed to convict Megrahi despite tossing the star witness, Abdul Majid Giaka. They're willing to do all kinds of idiotic mental gymnastics to stick to script, and craft eloquent rationales why they could accept such-and-such bogus evidence or prosecution argument. But some things, like Giaka, would just make them look like complete idiots to accept, so they refused, and along the way set loose Megrahi's accused accomplice.

      I've seen it in other cases of miscarriage of justice. Sometimes scientific DNA proof plusreview of all the crap the first judge glossed over would make some appeals judges look like undeniable frauds to re-convict in the face of.It seems to be at that point where they make the decision to turn the whole machine around, so the wrongfully convicted man finally goes free.

      It never worked with Megrahi (some other stupid stuff happened to set him free and make us all mad towards Libya shortly before the war started). But the case was made, it was powerful, and something among our works here needs to be our Giaka, where people are almost shamed into saying, at the least, "okay, this one case is not something to prosecute/persecute surviving loyalists over. Serious questions have been raised, and ideally, it should be investigated by a brilliant and independent team of experts."

      So who or what is going to push people to that point? Letting them find it on their own with a Google search doesn't seem to have worked yet.

  3. I like this idea very much, though it's hard to me to keep optimism. The results of the work done here are doubtless worth to be presented to a broader public. But I think some "professional" help from organisations or "serious" journalists would be urgently needed for that. The problem is not missing qality but missing experience in PR and missing media connections which probably nobody has here.

    So who could be interested to help here? The complete western establishment supported this war. Whoever dares to take this case will need a strong backbone and much courage.

    From a "normal" point of view it would be the most obvious way to contact and inform the human rights groups. Perhaps it worth trying even if they never were neutral in this case and have lost much credibility? I hope there are still some engaged people there even if the higher ranks mostly used to be puppets of NATO in this dirty little war.

    But now, as the war is won the human rights groups probably have less political pressure which also means it could be worth a try . Both Amnesty International as even Doctors Without Borders published press releases about widespread torture in Libya today.

    It's a difficult but important question raised here, It would be great to hear some more oppinions.

    1. Peet, some exactly right-on thoughts. E-mails can be done - hypothetically, one can just contact people, tell them stuff, and they can say "wow, I need to act on that." From experience, you can more easily get ignored.

      Just the right words might help, but media connections/credibility and protocol/magic formulas would not jsut help but do the trick, in combo with the right words and ideas.

      As far as the info presented here, in toto, it's a liability. Far-reaching "conspiracy theory" revisionism. I think to go mainstream, it needs to be narrowed to a few strong points of greatest urgency - what those now in charge are perpetrating or covering up, what loyalists are being unjustly chased and persecuted for.

      The exactemphasis can and should be discussed. Muammar Gaddafi's capture and killing is an area of interest, as are general abuses of black people and loyalists, etc. But I think we have the most to offer on the massacres, especially the shed one, but also the Sirte ones, the hospital, the roundabout and riverbed victims...

      Someone who can briefly combine power and sanity needs to call bullshit on the implied miracle segregation by Libya's new version of God, where light-skinned prisoners of the fleeing soldiers escaped their machine guns to tell all, while the black-skinned prisoners were killed with faces smashed in and heads cut off.

      Now... I know some people via the Justice for Megrahi campaign, some of whom are journalists and seriouser people yet, some of whom will be able to see this stuff. I'll put out a line.

    2. I have decided as of today to start using the name "Citizen's Investigation into War Crimes in Libya" and hereby nominate myself as member no. 2 and co-founder.

      I have now set up temporary offices opposite a Very Important Place - which cannot yet be named for security reasons - and will be banging doors for the following three days. Hope to report back on Monday.

    3. Yes! A hint of silly in there - is that "this idea is sol silly I'll make fun of it," or more "I'm down, but having a little fun too?"

      I vote for just that version of the name, but with good enough reason it could be changed.

  4. I've been thinking about the mass of editing, updating, formatting, etc. that needs done here, and about the limitations of inviting learning from this database. It's sort of that point where you realize it's easier to get a new house then clean up this old one. Not that I want to stop this site, just move the best stuff over to something cleaner, newer, more pro. Clean up and update the few dozen most important issues we'd start with there.

    Anyone disagree with this basic idea?

    Any ideas on specific format/venue? So long as people can find it and it works, I'm probably down with anything. If it costs anything, well, I can chip in probably. Do we want comments and such? How many admins willing to help set-up and run it? Etc...

  5. could this be the start :


    somebody told a lie one day

    1. Here's the original "somebody told a lie". Afrisynergy successfully incorporated it in order to get his message out,

  6. @CausticLogic - Re Physicians for Human Rights. If the South African experience is anything to go by, I wouldn't be too optimistic about them. Consider the case of Brigadier Dr Wouter Basson, former head of the SA Army Medical Corp: 25 years ago he was responsible for, among other grotesque things, concocting muscle paralysis drugs that were administered to numerous Namibian independence movement prisoners of war before they were thrown out aircraft over the Indian Ocean. Physicians for Human Rights campaigned energetically but unsuccessfuly for Basson to be barred by the Medical Council from practising medicine and prosecuted for war crimes. The case has been dragging on in the SA courts for two decades now, with no final outcome.

    1. That, sir, is a sobering and saddening example. I have no illusion that success is gauranteed, only that not trying would really bother me later. And there's one big difference; AFAIK, there's no alternate party blamed for these sickening medical crimes. "Human rights" groups didn't go around calling for falsely accused Namibians to be prosecuted for the crimes they might've barely escaped themselves.

      Here, with the looming shed massacre, we have PHR calling for punishment for Col. Mansoor, who ran this camp his soldiers were slaughtered at and is thought to be alive and on the run. We now need to intervene to prevent further unjust loss of life, and the people making these calls need to be compelled to help. From there, the big question of guilt is at least raised, and we'll have our thoughts ready for obfuscation and dismissal, which will be more awkward and more noticed than usual.

      We'll make sure it's all as noticed as possible. What people actually notice happening will be up to PHR and the many others I haven't listed whom we'll be needing to contact.

      That would be a small victory right there, and we'll have a platform for more of the same. Historical revisionism can't happen overnight. It's like a campaign, and I say we take that city first.

  7. I see no need to establish a separate site in the name of Citizen's Investigation into War Crimes in Libya or by any other name. IMO What is needed is to consolidate the work and copious material that is already available at some key pages on this present site. All that's needed perhaps is practical coordination and collaboration between the existing regulars who have the stomach for it, and the necessary will and competence to consolidate critically and analytically what is already available. (In this context it might be worth bearing in mind that excess of information is frequently the cause of communication failure, or at least of obscuring the essential nitty-gritty).

    1. Thanks for the thoughts and vote of confidence in this site's potential. The information is key, and simmering it down to the best, digestible form is obviously crucial. Anyone who cares to can take an aspect I'm not getting to quick enough and put it together in any variety of ways, from a list of links, extracts, and slim notes to a fully written essay with idea fusion and wit.

      As for what happens then, I can see it just going back on this site, but mainly a few central cases need to be compressed into PDF reports which can then be sent to people. That'll be, I think, the main thing we do, aside from trying to get people to read these and take them seriously and even report on them.

      Then, I think it would be useful to have the reports and (best) supporting info, along with group details, etc., on one site that's not too cluttered with side-issues, sub-posts, and long rambling comment threads. I don't think this site will be de-cluttered anytime soon, so I lean towards something new (with this still there behind it, probably linked quite a bit). It's not just the clutter issue -there are other reasons a more pro site would be a good idea. Clean, simple presentation of the best stuff and the expansive examination needed to get those sorted out should both be done, and both be public. But both can hardly happen at the same site.

      If I get no other ideas or help, I'll probably do this myself, perhaps just at Blogger but more likely after some research on free or cheap site platforms

    2. Web.02 might be the best way to go. Best of both worlds: comments and essays/articles on the same site. Web.02 hosting probably not free or dirt cheap though ... I may be prepared to make a modest donation if others can chip in as well to cover annual hosting fee.

    3. Typo. Should of course be "Web 2.0" - (blame it on the sweltering mid-summer heat here ...)

  8. BTW -- The Afrikat comment extracted by CL above was made specifically in relation to the Sirte Massacres: Gaddafi page. Anyone (including ICC investigators possibly)searching for information about that particular atrocity and hitting on that page will have a difficult time trying to extract meaning. The thread is bloated, contains digressive off-topic stuff, and IMO its more-or-less unmanageable. This should not be so, given the significance and symbolic importance of the events leading up to and culminating in the capture, torture and execution of Colonel Gaddi as documented thus far.

  9. I think I agree with you Caustic in regards to a new site. It would take a lot of work to reorganize this site and perhaps starting from scratch is the best idea. You have a lot of really good analysis and links (those that have not yet disappeared) which would be vital as evidence for cases or just for historical information. Already many sites and video have been wiped clean. I never imagined that the truth could treaten people so much.

    1. That's an opinion from a valued reader, so thanks, EWO. I wouldn't be so sure it's fear as opposed to time that has these five-month old reports being removed. Is that earlier than usual? I don't know.

  10. http://www.heraldscotland.com/news/home-news/lockerbie-exclusive-we-publish-the-report-that-could-have-cleared-megrahi.2012036248
    Lockerbie exclusive: we publish the report that could have cleared Megrahi

    The Sunday Herald today publishes the full 800-page report detailing why the man convicted of the Lockerbie bombing could have walked free.

    The controversial report from the Scottish Criminal Cases Review Commission (SCCRC) has remained secret for five years because, until now, no-one had permission to publish it.


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