Warning

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

Monday, July 30, 2012

Abu Salim Hospital Massacre: Named Vicitms

July 30, 2012
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Among the reported victims of the Abu Salim Hospital Massacre, there are only a few, to our knowledge, that have been given even an alleged name in the available reports. The total number of corpses isn't even clearly known, reported from around 80 to 200 or more, but most likely the 164 reported later on. As the images so far reveal, most of these victims are dark-skinned. One of those is clearly a Caucasian/Arab male, darkened with decay, but many of the other dark bodies appear to be their original color, and seem to be of sub-Saharan and sub-Maghbrebian African stock (although many of these were just as likely Libyan nationals as African foreigners).

Those few who've been named (more perhaps to come):

African Foreigners
The UK Daily Mail’s reporter mentioned “a litter of the dead’s ID cards” to be found next to some of the bodies at the front of the hospital. “Two of them revealed that 21-year-old Mahaamat Cherif, from Chad, and Saidou Massatchi, 31, from Niger, would not be going home … they cannot even try to explain why they fought for Gaddafi.” [DM1] Nor can they explain if they fought for Gaddafi as opposed to doing manual labor.

A Cop
Andthony Shadid (R.I.P.) and Kareem Fahim for the New York Times said “the relatives of one victim, Abdul Raouf Al Rashdi, a 33-year-old police officer, said he had been killed by a sniper several days earlier in the Hay Andalus neighborhood.

The Hotmani Clan
Al A’an, a channel from UAE, had a segment on the hospital, posted on Aug. 27, apparently filmed the same day, early afternoon (the piled bodies are already powdered with lime). The still below shows that interview of interest here, with those bodies behind. The man says his cousin is one of them.

A friend with Arabic skills helped understand this interview, and even followed it up with the followinguseful research.
 ---
The guy at 1:07 says that he recognized his cousin among the dead people found in the hospital. His cousin is Musa Saleh al Hotmani (موسى صالح الحطماني). Then he says another one of his relatives is missing, Abdel Mola Mohamed Al Hotmani.

Didn't find much when I searched Musa Saleh Hotmani. When I searched Abdel Mola, I found this list. Abdel Mola is number 247 on the list. It says he was last seen on August 21 in the neighborhood of Gurgi, in Tripoli.

Also this : http://www.lost17.ly/online/index.php?city=1&orderby=aname&start=50 with a picture of Abdel Mola, and his birthday (the second name on the list).

This pro G page says that after Abdel Mola was killed, his corpse was burnt and buried in the desert, with other rebel corpses so that the families of these fighters don't ask for compensation from the NTC.

I also found this (video) interview with the family. They talk about Abdel Mola (father's nephew), they say that he's still missing. They say that Mohamed (not Musa) was found dead in one of Tripoli's hospitals.

So I searched Mohamed Al Hotmani. This page http://www.libya-alyoum.com/news/index.php?id=21&textid=3378&page=31 says Mohamed Saleh Al Hotmani (no 33) corpse was found in Abu salim hospital and that Abdel Mola is still missing.

A facebook page dedicated to Mohamed Saleh Al Hotmani.
---
So are Musa and Mohammed the same person, or did two Hotmanis wind up dead at the hospital? Incidentally, my own (Google) translation of the text at the second-to-last link (pops up when you click the name) shows it was apparently just added, on July 19, and says something like:

Martyr Mohammed Saleh Alahtmana born in 1989 of the population of Tripoli area Ain Zara came out in demonstrations in Tripoli and then joined Bthoar [Thuwar, rev. fighters] the mountain in the city of Alzentan and his cousin missing Abdul Mawla Alahtmana Vkaddo during the battle to liberate Tripoli on the morning of 22 \ \ 8 in rapid area Abuslim and Osma found the body of the martyr day 27 \ \ 8 inside a hospital Abuslim

If Osma/Osama is the man on the video, then Mohammed Saleh and Musa might well be the same.

Tuesday, July 24, 2012

Abu Salim Hospital Imagery - Catalog

June 15, 2012 
(last update July 24)

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This post will gather all visual references to see what clues exist ... along the way, some analysis will be included in a seaperate post.

Satellite imagery and its clues Google maps link for Abu Salim hospital. Below is the cool graphic I made from it, with areas of interest labeled-A-F. A and B are further established by other imagery listed below. The other areas not so much, if at all. Special emphasis on looking for stray bodies - reporters were shown about 80 of them, nearly all black men. There should be more caucasian casualties as well, and reports of 200 bodies or more total. If the satellite imagery shows any of these, that would be interesting. It might - see areas D and F. 
Area A = The northwest out-building, with strange black doors (see PB19) in front of which app. 20 bodies were piled. Satellite image taken after body removal.
B = front loading area and northwest drive, where many empty gurneys were left after body removal. At least 57 are visible, with others perhaps still underneath the covered promenade. 
C = Apparently two gurneys, empty. Perhaps these were two "high-value" patients rolled out a side door and driven off for special treatment, leaving their beds behind 
D = A whole lot of something - possibly garbage/debris, possibly bodies the media wasn't taken to. 
E = Surrounding street, southwest corner - of possible interest, something messy happened on the street back here. 
F = A back loading area, quite possibly usually used for garbage pick-up. The apparent garbage bags piled here are of the scale to be human bodies, at least 25 of them if so. 


Interior locations will be placed as soon as we get hold of a reliable floor plan of the place. Not expecting that. 

Videos For a pretty comprehensive list, I thank Petri and his Abu Salim hospital playlist at Youtube. Here are most of them, if not all: 

[VAA]"In the area of ​​Abu Salim, dozens of bodies in front of and behind the... في منطقة بوسليم، عشرات الجثث امام وخلف المستشفى by alaantube 
[VBS] (new link when available) 
 [VC1]Bodies abandoned in Tripoli hospital by ikon589 (CNN video) 
[VC2]Grim face of war in Libya by ikon589 (CNN video) 
[VCT] CTV, Canada (load third video down on the right) 
[VE1] Parents find missing boy in Abu Salim by Euronews 
[VE2] Tripoli hospitals full of wounded and almost out of medical supplies by bonanza91v

[VJ1]Trauma at Abu Salim hospital by AlJazeeraEnglish 
[VJ2]1Bodies found in Tripoli hospital by AlJazeeraEnglish 
[VLD] A Massacre at Abu Salim Trauma Hospital [graphic] by LockerbieDivide

[VRT] RT Spanish


Photographs







Alfred de Montesquiou, Getty Images, Aug.26.
[AM7] pile outside


Bejamin Lowy, Getty Images, Aug. 27
[BL5] blood and a bottle of blood !?!
[BL6] three bodies on gurneys, outside
[BL7] Pile ouside, lime-covered
[BL8] pile outside
[BL9] Evacuee
[BL10]Cleanup -blood

Bruno Stevens
Tripoli, Libya, August 26, 2011.About 100 bodies are recovered in Abu Salim Hospital before being transfered to a functionning morgue in another Tripoli hospital. Details of what happened are unclear, but it seems most were wounded Khaddafi soldiers who were later executed on their hospital beds in what constitutes a massive war crime."
[BS1] Gurneys outside, cat
[BS2]executed man in the left bed (bottle of blood room)
[BS3]same room
[BS4]same room
[BS5] same room, detail on left bed, shot-through pillow
[BS6] same bed wheeled out, more bullet track marks
[BS7] patient in right bed uncovered
[BS8] same
[BS9] same outside, ID card shown
[BS10] outside, covered entryway, worker
[BS12] same
[BS13]same
[BS14]same
[BS15] same
[BS16]same
[BS17]same
[BS18]same
[BS19]same
[BS20]same, with bodies piled on a truck now
  [BS21] same
[BS21] doctors discussing a body, outside
[BS22] black victim outside, being uncovered
[BS23] same man inside, being wheeled out [BS24] Inside, dead man, light-skinned (torture signs?)
[BS25] inside, rolling [BS26]sick ward, dark, half emptied, one body close-up
[BS27]basement morgue, Aug. 27
[BS28] basement morgue, Aug. 27 [BS29] blood cleanup 1
[BS30] blood cleanup 2
Daniel Berehulak [DB1]Bodies on gurneys, loading area [DB2]same [DB3] same [BD4] same

David Enders/MCT

Francois Mori


Giulio Petrocco, AP via Scanpix
[GP1] basement morgue,low angle [GP2] bloody gurneys, late PM Aug 26 [GP3] body in bed [GP4] unhappy corpse wheeled out [GP5] Basement morgue, arm detail
Geoff Pugh  [GU1]pile, Aug. 26
Heidi Levine

Jerome Sessini, Getty Images, Aug. 26




Patrick Baz, Getty Images, Aug. 26:
[PB1] Evacuees
[PB2] Evacuees
[PB3] Evacuees
[PB4] Evacuees
[PB6] Same
[PB7] Same
[PB8] Same
[PB13] pile outside
[PB14] pile outside
[PB17] same


Ron Haviv, Corbis Images
[RH1] body in a bed, face removed (skeleton - possibly by an animal - see also unknown, below)
"The decaying remains of a body are seen in a hospital where numerous bodies were found abandoned after what appeared to be execution style killings, Tripoli, Libya, Aug. 27, 2011."


Seamus Murphy, Corbis Images, Aug. 26 
[SM2] pile outside

Teun Voeten/Panos Pictures /Felix Features, Aug. 27
[TV3] loading area
[TV4] loading area
[TV7] pile outside

Youssef Boudlal, Reuters, via Scanpix
[YB1] Pile outside
Yuri Kozyrev, Noor Images/Time
[YK1] pile outside, powdered
Unknown, Chinese page:
[UC1] Fuller-body view of the skeleton-face victim, well-decayed, left out in the sun for days before coming here. Skin and hair remnants suggest caucasian.

Sunday, July 15, 2012

Early March 2011 - a sudden and extraordinary burst of kidnappings. (Alleged)

by Felix
I had been meaning to publish a list of alleged kidnappings in March 2011 shortly before the no-fly zone was imposed by the UN. As ever they are only sourced from one side and often rely on extraordinary stories which don't quite seem to stand up to analysis. Obviously, kidnappings or alleged kidnappings (even faked kidnappings) are symptomatic of a naughty government which NATO requires to be demonised,and is grist to the mill. This post will be added to case by case. The reasons behind the kidnappings, even more so, the curious release of the journalists, photographers, dissidents never seemed to arouse comment. What is the purpose of kidnapping? The victim normally is exchanged for something or somebody, or killed.
First up...
The Sweheli family. [thanks to Petri] for this pointer
This is the same Misrata family whose member Abdul Rahman Swehli (variants : Abdulrahman, Abdurrahman, Suwehli, Sewehli,Suwehli) is founder and leader of the Union for [the] Homeland a party or alternatively a coalition of parties which , which won the most votes in Misrata in the bogus July elections in Libya. The composition of the coalition is shrouded in mystery - not to be confused with the islamist Homeland or Al-Watan party which is led by Belhaj. Over 100 candidates for 4 seats is pretty standard...what a farce. Anyway.....
My fears for family kidnapped by Gaddafi’s henchmen [Telegraph, March 5 2011]: British psychiatric doctor from Manchester,Ahmed Swehli said said his father Abdurrahman and three of his brothers Khaleel, Mohammed, and Shtewi were arrested in Tripoli last week by armed security agents.
The raids came shortly after they had had urged Libyans to join anti-regime demonstrations. [Tripoli resident Khalil Sewehli says he is preparing to protest in the capital in an attempt to bring an end to the regime of Libya's Colonel,Feb 25 2011 - like announcing it to the world Khaleel, 31, had given a telephone interview ten days ago to BBC Radio Five, saying Gaddafi should go if Libyans demanded it....During the recent unrest he [the father] became a figurehead for the Libyan rebels, regularly appearing on Al Jazeera and Western television networks to denounce his former classmate [Moammar Gaddafi].
At 1.15am [Monday Feb 28] his father telephoned to tell him that two of his sons had been arrested [Khaleel and Mohammed]...but he went back with my brother, Shtewi, and was waiting to be taken. [smart move,that] He said if he didn’t pick up the phone in the morning to fear the worse. When I called later he didn’t pick up, and I knew what had happened.”

The first report,though, whch I find was on Feb 3 2011, a day earlier in Europe.
A phone call with ABC Australia, that's what. "And now that Gaddafi's regime was coming to an end he didn't mind dying " [crazy, actually]. Even crazier:(translated: I'm a shrink and I know a mad man when I see one [Gaddafi]): "I mean I am a psychiatrist and, but it doesn't need a psychiatrist to show that at the very least Gaddafi is a psychopath because he doesn't care about whether other people are hurt or killed. I don't think he has any feelings about that whatsoever. And he may indeed be delusional and feel that the whole, you know the whole of the Libyan nation is with him. However he's a very shrewd and intelligent man at the same time. But you know, a psychopath at that." [That will be 200 guineas please]
More details are woven into another call with the (strange) station of choice,ABC Australia: Gaddafi releases kidnapped Libyan teenager but not father and brothers, March 9 (8 in Europe) - they're all in the Bab Al-Aziziya compound , of course.
ELEANOR HALL: Why do you think that Gaddafi forces did release your youngest brother? AHMED SEWEHLI: Yeah, that's something that the family, we've been thinking about< br/> Not very convincing. Er, so what happened exactly? Big news story??
On March 14 HRW reported the same story. Fast forward to March 26, when Ahmed, who works in Blackpool, tells BBC Manchester that he has not spoken to his 19-year-old brother Mohammed much since his release, as he fears the phone lines are being monitored by the Libyan authorities.
Not much??? Or not at all??
"The people who released him know where he lives, they know where my mum lives, they could decide to take him again whenever they want to, "
Pointless. Well, quietly slipped into an interview with ABC's Eleanor Hall again on May 24, this time about horrific rapes (alleged) in Libya, that "[my brother] has told me of some of the things that happened to him. He was beaten up, because he was kidnapped before my father, he was interrogated, asked where his father was. He was getting very little water, he was blindfolded, of course he was never charged."Now, what I can tell you is that approximately two weeks ago that third brother, along with the rest of my family, have actually come to the UK." [Not the father & 2 brothers I gather]
do you know actually where they are ?
No

Radio 5 Live is a funny old very British radio station to ring up for a chat. And Ahmed's own article in the Guardian ,It's late, but the UN resolution gives hope to Libyans, March 18 (thank's Guardian, thanks NATO) points to a purpose in the kidnapping story.
It seems the release was quietly slipped into an Al-Jazeera page, captured at Democratic Underground with no further elucidation, no reasons,and subsequently removed from the Al-Jazeera website.: "freedom fighters were able to free my father, Dr Abdurrahman Sewehli (PhD in engineeering, UK) and my 2 brothers from their 3 months of captivity in Tripoli under Gaddafi's forces." So the mystery remains
Dr Ahmed Sewehli was in Misrata throughout July and early August 2011
Nothing further until...his father starts blogging in September 2011, viz an interview with Al-Alamat online, Sept 14 By then the father was well on the way to having his own political party
Is the man in this video,http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ACg9LcvjI7c, calling himself Mohamed Shtewi the same as Shtewi Sewehli, investigating a yard similar to Yarmouk where he asserts he was tortured?
Three BBC journalists (well, one actually,plus one photographer and one security/special services man) arrested and kidnapped. Feras Kilani, Goktay Koraltan and Chris Cobb-Smith, at a checkpoint 6 miles south of Zawiyah, afternoon of 7 March 2011.
This has been discussed elsewhere References: CNN, 9 March (release) http://articles.cnn.com/2011-03-09/world/libya.bbc.journalists_1_beatings-execution-journalists?_s=PM:WORLD
http://www.dailyecho.co.uk/news/8900911.Hampshire_journalist_tortured_in_Libya/
"The former Barton Peveril student was captured at a checkpoint with his colleagues, Feras Killani, a Palastinian reporter with a Syrian passport and Goktay Koraltan, a Turkish cameraman and their local driver. But Chris had managed to hide his phone and was able to get a call out to the BBC saying he and his colleague were in trouble and needed help. He said: "We were lined up against the wall. I was the last in line - facing the wall. I looked and I saw a plain-clothes guy with a small sub-machine gun. He put it to everyone's neck. I saw him and he screamed at me "Then he walked up to me, put the gun to my neck and pulled the trigger, twice. The bullets whisked past my ear. The soldiers just laughed. Now it just feels like a bad dream." The trio were held for 21 hours, moved to various locations, before they were released and they have since left Libya. "
No reason given for the release.
Guardian with video http://www.guardian.co.uk/world/2011/mar/09/bbc-staff-arrest-torture-libya
A very detailed narrative which points to the Khamis compound apart from a steel cage in the centre which is significantly NOT described as a mobile blue prison wagon.
"It also offers the first real eyewitness depiction of conditions endured by those arrested by the regime, including those whose only crime has been to talk to foreign journalists [timely] ...."I thought it was a good sign we were going to a legitimate barracks,"[Cobb-Smith] er, why? Vivid descriptions of beatings are offered by Cobb-Smith and Kilani
Austrian report with photo. Released the next day, around lunchtime, Tuesday March 8: http://www.freemedia.at/home/singleview/article/bbc-team-detained-and-tortured-by-gaddafis-forces.html
BBC report: http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-africa-12695134
BBC Transcript of interview: http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-africa-12695138
BBC with additional quote by Koraltan and podcast interview with Cobb-Smithhttp://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-africa-12695077
As the Christian Science Monitor peceptively noted, the BBC interview was the only one which all three made. Smart. Keep the narrative short and narrow.
"...it was suddenly all over. They took us to their rest room. It was a charm offensive, packets of cigarettes, tea, coffee, offers of food."[Cobb-Smith] A curious ending. Wyre Davies of the BBC was also in Tripoli at the time and also relayed the story via the BBC
Ghaith Abdul-Ahad and Andrei Netto Guardian reporter, Iraq born Ghaith Abdul-Ahad and a Brazillian reporter Andrei Netto who was travelling with him, disappeared from Zawiyah in late February 2011. .

Saturday, July 14, 2012

Those Libyan Elections

by Felix July 15 2012
A headline in the Guardian, July 14 : Mahmoud Jibril seeks coalition with Libya's Islamists after his poll win makes it clear that this was the "wrong result" in a bogus election in which there were no candidates with links to the past Government.
"Nobody saw this coming," said Dirk Vandewalle, a US academic and former adviser to UN special envoy for Libya, Ian Martin. , i.e. democracy producing the wrong result. Normally this needs a post-election "correction".
So Mahmoud Jibril, who trounced the Muslim Brotherhood party, "Justice and Construction" is now seeking a grand coalition. No mention of Abdelhakim Belhaj of the Al-Watan , or Homeland or Libyan National party in that article. So what is he up to?
Aymenn Jawad Al-Tamimi of Brasenose College Oxford also mis-read the tea leaves: Rethinking Libya, July 12 2012, The American Spectator: It appears that I underestimated the stigma associated with ties to foreign powers for Islamists (i.e. Qatar, and its sycophantic media channel, Al-Jazeera...)
However, Bloomberg noted on July 10, U.S.-Educated Academic Leads Early Libyan Election Results: “The Muslim Brotherhood isn’t doing as well in Libya, as they don’t have the same grass-roots organization as in Egypt or Tunisia to gain and mobilize support,” Emad Mostaque, a London- based emerging-markets strategist at Religare Noah, said today by e-mail. “Voting in Libya has gone along tribal and familial lines......Abdurrahman Sewehli, leader of the Union for Homeland party, which came in first in the coastal city of Misrata, yesterday ruled out working with Jibril, saying he had been too close to the previous government.
However, as Tony Cartalucci noted also on July 10, in The Libyan Election Farce,All candidates [are] neo-imperial candidates
It is instrtuctive to note the nonsense spouted by Fox News on July 7,before any results were known Outcome of Libyan elections could spell trouble for US: According to news reports this week, the emir of a US-designated Foreign Terrorist Organization [Belhaj, my reading of foreign being US in this context...] is edging closer to securing a leadership role in Libya’s new government.
They pretend they don't want it, but deep down they do. Watch Belhaj pop up in the coalition. As the New York Times reported back in September 2011, Islamists’ Growing Sway Raises Questions for Libya, Mr. Belhaj has become so much an insider lately that he is seeking to unseat Mahmoud Jibril, the American-trained economist who is the nominal prime minister of the interim government, after Mr. Jibril obliquely criticized the Islamists. . Insider??? Where, with whom? To continue with the article by Rod Nordland and David D Kirkpatrick: “Jibril will be gone soon,” one aide to Mr. Belhaj said. And Mr.[Ali Al-] Sallabi [now leader of Belhaj's Al-Watan party] said that Mr. Jibril, along with the American-educated finance and oil minister, Ali Tarhouni, were ushering in a “new era of tyranny and dictatorship,” Al Jazeera reported.
Whoops.
Stop press.
As Umar Khan has pointed out, The Future of Libya after elections, July 13 2012, FIKRA, the Jalil - NTC deal just prior to the election entrusted the law making part of government to an equal three-way split of 60 seats divided between the three old divisions, thus sending the balance away from Tripoli region, a sop to the federalists of Benghazi. Also, Widely believed to be a result of bargaining ["imput" from the Brigades no doubt], a minister from each of the two cities [of Misrata and Zintan] was awarded the influential roles of Minister of Defense and Minister of the Interior". How this move will reign in the militias remains to be seen. Only 62% of voters could be bothered with the election, many having no choice they liked, and Belhaj has gone to Tunisia to meet the Ennahda Movement as his Muslim Brotherhood claim 50% of the invidual seats in Libya.

Wednesday, July 11, 2012

Yarmouk Class of 11

by Felix
July 11 2012
Photos have appeared on the Facebook page of RABTA. None of the early witnesses seem to have made the photo call apart from Bashir, now sporting a broken arm. Where is Fathallah, and the rest?

The group :Association of Holocaust victims detained Yarmuk
Mission:
Search for bodies of the martyrs and identified
Search for survivors of the massacre.
Punish those responsible for the massacre
Attention to families of the victims and survivors
.......ordering the group....
......That's better.
Preparatory meeting of group October 14 2011
Election of officials in Libyan Jihad Centre, December 13 2011.
Officials:
Adnan Bashir Al-Sari عدنان بشير الصاري, President
Sabri Tahir Al-Tabal - صبرى الطاهر الطبال , Vice-president
plus other officials.
The minister for familes Nasser Jibril Hamid - ناصر جبريل حامد met Yarmouk detainees on December 29 2011. and officials of the Association, including Tabal and the Chairman, عيسى محمد ابو الخير Mr Aissa Mohamed Abu Al-Kheer. Described as the first visit of a high-ranking official to Yarmouk.
But who's the guy between I.O. Zadan and the man with cap and white slogan T-shirt? He has a front row seat opposite the UN.
Images of the , Naser Jibril Hamed, the Libyan minister for the Affairs of Families of Martyrs and Missing Persons may be seen on pages documenting his delegation's visit to Bosnia in May 2012:
Libya Minister for Missing Persons Discusses ICMP Assistance
[ICMP = International Commission on Missing Persons]
and also here
A close up photo is here, from the article of May 16 2012 in Aktualnosti ministara, Bosnia and Herzegovina "Minister for Human Rights and Rrefugees of Bosnia and Herzegovina Damir Ljubić received today Naser Jbreil Hamed Minister for Families of Deceased and Missing Persons of Libya."

Monday, July 9, 2012

The "Janat Hotel" Exposed?

July 9, 2012
By Adam Larson/Caustic Logic
(incomplete)

In the course of some reading earlier this year, I and readers and contributors here have noticed some references to a place called something like "Janat hotel." I had gathered Janat meant - with ominous overtones - heaven. At least two survivors of the Free Libyan prison system of Misrata referred to it with dread. These I've previously mentioned here and here.

There are some grave allegations made between them, which I don't feel up to working in here at the moment. (maybe comments will help - Hurriya? - as well as time to get other things caught up) And I believe there are other claims around about the morbid locale that I'm even more hazy on. Was there systematic sexual abuse reported at this former luxury resort? Is this the spot where it was said some sick doctor from India was doing organ extractions, to let the militias turn prisoners into a few million dollars a piece?

Thanks to a tip from Hurriya, I learn that a guy from the UK Daily Mail now gets to expose the place. His report sounds none too positive by mainstream media standards, and tends to land with a well-weighted thud. But is it really the full story, or just an edge of it they felt compelled to acknowledge? Andrew Malone reports, July 6, in part:
Called Funduq Al-Jannah - Arabic for Heaven Hotel - it is an execution ground where up to 1,000 of Gaddafi’s fighters were taken by the victorious rebel army, then slaughtered in cold-blooded vengeance.

Everyone in Misrata knows of the events that unfolded at this desolate spot, but no outsiders had been here until I visited this week and heard the full harrowing details of what happened at Heaven Hotel - a bitterly ironic name, as I shall explain.
Malone learned of the horrors from "a group of fighters I came to know at the height of Gaddafi’s siege of the town last year." They took him to the site and explained how loyalist and suspected loyalist prisoners were executed here "after being tortured at rebel bases." They were the "worst of the worst," rebels said, certainly guilty of rape and/or torture. "Many had been mutilated and made to drink diesel - a form of torture common in Libya." Found guilty and driven to the beach, they were unloaded, laid out, and at first, had their throats slit. Later, it was ordered they should do it with guns. The bodies had been buried in huge piles of gravel and sand nearby. At the time of Malone's visit, families played in the surf nearby.
Misrata’s rebel fighters reassured them they would not be harmed, that they were simply being taken for questioning at the ‘hotel’. It was a lie. As soon as the captives arrived, the killing started. 
‘I’d told one of these dogs that we were taking them to Funduq Al-Jannah near the beach - he was really pleased and said that was good because his aunt lived in the area,’ a Misratan revolutionary told me. ‘We cut his throat first.’

Alleged scale and duration of the execution spree:
Every one of them denied killing any captives themselves. ‘We burned some of the bodies before burying them in the sand,’ I was told. ‘I don’t know how many were killed - as many as 1,000.’  
Most died in the immediate aftermath of the end of the war last August. But sources say people were still being taken to Heaven Hotel earlier this year.
It's not clear how far back the killings go. It was in about April 2011 that the rebel militias established full control of the area, and could kill those they captured anywhere, at leisure, thereafter.

This report is admirably dark-sounding and closer to reality than we've been normally allowed, with a lot of the previously-known rebel bad side hanging out to see. They admit with every word that they are jerks, and gravely so. They still call their victims dogs, still leaving the bodies rotting a year later.

But  it still feels a little clean and simplified, according to these "full, harrowing details." We're reminded of the alleged horrors in the siege of Misrata. The victims here were real soldier types and mercenaries who took part, even if the confessions were sometimes a little forced. Torture occurred, but only to the point of confession to a true and heinous crime. Simple execution, a bit of burning, and an unacknowledged mass grave, are the worst that happened at the Janat hotel. It happened perhaps a thousand or so times over, but the whole thing is not quite as sick morbid as I had previously thought. That was in part my imagination filling in for partial info I never considered closely. But the info was from people who had served time in a system that had the "heaven hotel" as one of its designated exits...

The picture painted for Malone could be a realist piece, an impressionist piece, or a forgery. It could be what they call a limited hangout, where a part of a suspected truth, or a version of it, is acknowledged, while helping conceal darker secrets yet. Limited hangouts are often displayed with a suspicious air of total openness. Since they seemed so open, and did admit to bad things, that must be all there was to admit, we're to presume.

Beyond that question, I must protest the article's casual references to some supposed fact that African mercenaries fought for the Libyan government in any real number. Likewise, the Tawerghans have been 'white-washed.' Malone argues that most of the Blacks of Tawergha were not really loyalists, in a fighting sense anyway - they've just been confused with the Afro-mercs. Were they good and brave people? I presume so, and so they likely fought with or actively supported the Jamahiriya. But that's not the main point here. Except, as usual with the mainstream media, it is a main point.


Wednesday, July 4, 2012

Houla, May 25: the Turning Point in Syria

May 27/28, 2012
Adam Larson/Caustic Logic
last updated July 4, 2012
(new wiki link finally added, Nov.18)
(minor edits Oct. 26, 2014)

Houla Massacre (Syria) {Masterlist}

July 4 "Houla" Massacre investigation progress:
A Discussion thread: Houla Massacre, Syria: What If?
An appeal and two starter articles at the CIWCL site
the appeal and the forum create the research wiki (still accepting members willing to dig in a bit and help)
That enables a featrued article at SyriaNews.cc, July 3.

The last was actually finished and published today, the 4th, but didn't want to make a point. But here I do. Happy Independence Day, USA. Long ago you stood up as a nation and said "we have a right to exist as a nation and reject foreign management." Some nations don't get to be so lucky, even today.   From the last link (prior to a possible edit of a few typos, which I'll just fix here, sory):
Do please realize now that if little Ali Al-Sayed is a fake, coached witness as he now seems, that suggests the opposite of what he says is more likely true. That means the people the West is increasingly arming and supporting are the ones who actually left a reported 49 children and 59 adults dead in Houla. It would mean the weapons people want more of sent were responsible for attacking the protecting army stations, and getting these monsters in close enough to slash throats, hammer heads, rape, mutilate, burn, and otherwise make of men, women, and children extreme examples sent out on Youtube. 
Besides propaganda fuel against the regime, this horror show might also have been designed to send a different signal within Syria, where people actually know more of what’s going on and have thought about it more deeply. Some evidence suggests the killings terrorized loyalist, Alawite, and other non-Sunni or non-rebel families into fleeing for their lives and limbs. That’s in lieu of joining or surrendering to the side that, increasingly, has a good chance of winning and hunting them down anyway.

After Houla and at least one copycat massacre, among an ever-increasing string of barbaric terrorist acts, it’s more urgent than ever that the world help Syria overcome the menace. Monsters are inscribing their bleak world vision on the flesh of the nation’s families, and the government’s defenses grow weaker by the week. But sadly, the brain-damaged “world community” is further than ever from helping at all, and is in fact pushing to escalate the horror until it manages to overcome all defenses and satiate itself at its own leisure.

And doubtless we’ll have plenty of witnesses along the way to deliver a version that upsets us less than the truth would.

Original article, initial thoughts, updated to June 2, below:
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I don't keep up on the news, and Syria, while related, is off-topic here. But I just caught a CNN report on the protests against a supposed Syrian government atrocity, late on Friday (May 25), in the small town of Houla (or rather the Houla area, with the worst in Taldou). The readers hardly should need a re-cap of this amazing slaughter  - as in with blades - of over 100 people, half of them young children. Some number of Syrian protesters believe the Rebel claims of Assad forces authorship, and are protesting and, they say, being killed nowfor that. There's condemnation from self-righteous Western outsiders of the Syrian forces, its demonized regime, even the UN monitors who've been monitoring the gov't forces and still failed to prevent this massacre against civilians (meaning BY non-civilians, gov't forces)...

Who runs the morgue where all the bodies are laid out? Where was the rebel video of this to shock the world freely filmed? Is it it an area under rebel/terrorist gang control? Let's see.
Houla, Google Maps - about ten miles northwest of Homs.
Map, April 10 - it's between Homs and Rastan, partially controlled and totally controlled and hotly contested by the false-flagging Bosnian-Libyan style terrorists there. Suspicions bolstered.

The big question CNN and the corporate media salivating after Iran's oil will not want to ask: Who stands to benefit from a sudden slaughter-provoked panic in this rebel-held area? The government struggling to regain control of a country it has to live in, or the outsiders (who feel free to mangle and walk away as they've done in Libya) and the insurgents they support? Who would hack to death fifty children? Who stands to benefit from the responsibility to Panic (R2P) doctrine, when Syria's (and Libya's) enemies tend to control the process?

Islamists hack people up. Islamist provocateurs might do it in public, en masse, on children, if they want to upset people in a direction they find useful for destroying a nation. Libyans are involved here, since the NTC/NATO rebels took over Libya's plentiful ports, their exports include people much like the ones who almost surely caused the slaughter at Abu Salim hospital, perhaps 200 or more people shot in their hospital beds, throats slit, heads chopped off, government loyalists, local black people who were trying to flee, a few women and children included... this time they're in someone else's contry, perhaps more free to mangle and walk away like NATO does.

What this incident really needs now is an investigation. Heck, the hospital thing still hasn't gotten one, and this won't either. What it's supposed to get is panic, moral certainty, and strong action to overthrow the government and turn the whole country over to the armed militias of whoever, just like happened in Libya. It'll probably get something along those lines.

No bombing this time? Fine. It won't be so quick and decisive. Rather than 7-8 months bombing and then the years-long purges and skirmishes, it'll be a grinding three-year war, costing at least half a million lives. Followed by the purges and insurgency and bleed-over. Sound good? No. "The Arab Spring" is long over. Welcome to next year, with Syria still resisting. Time to acknowledge a few things.

Advice to Syrians 
The Libyan loyalists (a large and ignored percentage of the population, if not an ignored majority) were up against even more pressure by far, per capita, than the you guys are now. But if they had stood together stronger at Tripoli, or earlier, they could have stopped – or greatly slowed - even that onslaught. Some of them fought valiantly but too little too late, and they were slaughtered. Too many others caved in to fatalism, defected, fled, or surrendered. Now those who supported or served the former government are demonized and hunted down, imprisoned for rebel crimes against their colleagues, blamed on them, and often tortured to death well before any of the promised "fair trials."

 The world cannot sit by and watch – or help - this happen again. Nonetheless, it might. All citizens who support the government of Syria, or at least oppose the terrorists trying to destroy it, make an ever more united front. Bigger protests, armed militias – armed civilians fighting the armed civilians-boy wouldn’t that confuse the corporate media? Brainwashed civilians they’d say, so not civilians-government machines. Well, fuck them. Arrest the rats, confiscate their weapons. Get decisive. Isolate their strongholds, smash their border crossings and supply lines. Support and protect the locals in their effort to end the disorder and get on with a reasoned approach to settling the real grievances they have against the government.

 If the forces of "Free Syria" and chaos are allowed to win, as some very powerful people are trying to make happen, eventually, it could be over for you. Government soldiers, police, ministers and workers and prominent civilian supporters and volunteer defenders will pay. They’ll be the ones hacked up in ditches, languishing in prisons rape rooms, toenails pulled out, boiled alive, who knows? If you are to be killed for daring to oppose them, do it head-on, in battle, now or quite soon. 

 This is war, or at least a huge police operation that’s threatening to become one, so no doubt people will continue to die during the clean-up. The Syrian loyalists must remain sane and humane, killing as few as possible, detaining or abusing as few as possible, all the while documenting everything, showing the world the truth (even if it ignores you by and large). They need to know they’re losing, and start giving up and scattering.

 Don’t ignore the propagandists – answer them calmly and efficiently. But don’t waste much breath or time trying to argue with them.

 Advice to The World:

 Russia: they could use more some help on all fronts. Responsibility to Protect a state from anarchy and years of bloodshed and revenge and torture? Check.

 Iran: fuck the propagandists. Send technical support for border control. Keep this all between the Syrians to sort out or, if that fails, make sure both sides are bolstered by armed outsiders, the legitimate government with more. You could be a force for peace, preventing the grinding war from taking root. Not that you'll get the recognition you deserve from CNN and the like...

UN: Can you do your job this time, unlike with Libya? The inspectors do seem to be making some sense. Who do they feel has been trying to blow up the monitors in rebel-held territory? 

F-UK-USA/Israel/Rebel Libya/Saudis/Others: Fuck the fuck off. I wish I could flat out say “you will lose here,” but that’s not clear yet. I hope it does soon get that way. Above named parties - make it so.

Update May 29: From one of the great comments below, Houla one month ago, on the regime's last child-killing foray against civilians there. They selected a Syrian military officer and his entire family. For refusing to kill civilians, we presume? Here's a young boy of a loyalist family caught in the crossfire. Not in the sense of being hit by accident. No, someone decided to put bullets in each and every one of these brains they hated. And they keep coming back for more, especially now the child-killing is working in their favor.
June 2: A lot of typos and such above, little time. New info is coming out. Some links
Details on the Syrian investigation (called a "Blatant Lie" by Susan "Viagra" Rice)
A list of the victims, Google translated Lots of stupid shit about punishing the regime, broad acceptance the regime did the shelling, because they have such weapons for sure and the terrorists only might have them.
BBC has satellite images from the day after the massacre showing caterpillar tracks in the "suspected artillery position," suggesting tank-tread artillery was driven there the day before.
"All the images were taken on the morning of Saturday 26 May, within hours of the massacre ending."

So... why are the same tracks there on Google Maps' earlier, greener imagery from February 22 or earlier (not there in Aug 20 2010, there by Feb. 22, per Google Earth, and thanks Petri for looking that up). This might be a tree farm, a small one, with lots of little dirt roads for accessing the trees, to plant, water, and eventually harvest them. I don't see any reason to think it's a place where artillery's been driving at random amongst the trees for at least three months now.

Why do we suppose the BBC called them "telltale tracks," giving credence to private "military analyst" Forbes McKenzie? McKenzie "believes [these] are the caterpillar tracks left by a mobile artillery battery that fired on the civilian houses" and told the BBC "This would be standard Soviet bloc tactics, firing from woods and then withdrawing." Is this guy an idiot or a liar trying to "justify" war? I don't think he's an idiot.