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.

Saturday, November 8, 2014

Fail Caesar: Exposing the Anti-Syria Photo Propaganda

Fail Caesar: Exposing the Anti-Syria Photo Propaganda {Masterlist}
November 8, 2014
last edits July 6, 2016 

This story of "Caesar" - the code-named defector with a supposed 55,000 photos worth of proof the "Assad regime" was genociding its Sunni political prisoners, 11,000+ at least 6,627 of them - warrants a series of posts (number of parts unsure but low) and so, as they come up:
  • Fail Caesar Part 1: Protecting his Identity - From Whom? (if his story of employment by the Syrian government is true, the code-name and other precautions couldn't possibly hide his identity from them. So ... why all the secrecy then?) 
  • Fail Caesar Part 2: Re-Considering the Victims (if we're willing to question what he says about the dead men documented during the Syrian conflict, what else might explain the evidence?)
  • That may be enough, unless there's some new development...
  • There was. Fail Caesar, part 3: A New Offensive at the Ides of March, started post added a bit late, March 19. The nearly 7,000 detainees face shots are released, challenging one core problem I'd raised, and leading to a slew of alleged identifications.
  • Part 4: The Other Half of the Photos - And then in December, 2015, the Human Rights Watch report and its revelation that half of Cesar's photos did not show tortured detainees, but rather, more or less, showed victims and effects of rebel violence.  The half that did show alleged regime detainees was the app. 6,700 shown in March.
  • Photos Timeline - scrapped for now, see ACLOS page with a usable start (collaborative, if anyone collaborates!)  Helps largely verify the numbers and number system alleged.
  • Part 5: Questioning the Number System - building off the timeline and other on-going analysis, so far this proves nothing one way or the other, but it's well-worth understanding, and some serious contradictions and minor mysteries are raised.  
  • Part 6: Evidence the Victims were NOT Prisoners of the Government The start of what I've been building up to here; it seems these are unidentified bodies, not coded prisoners. They include rebel combat deaths, some pro-government fighters, some civilian massacre victims, and mainly a whole bunch of civilians and fighters held captive, starved, tortured, seemingly mass-exterminated and dumped - by the foreign-backed terrorists plaguing the Damascus area. It does not seem likely the victims were held by the government those terrorists seek to undermine with hostage-taking, genocide programs, and false-flag allegation. 
  • Part 6, sub-posts (see part 6).  
  • Part 7: Inventing More Coded Prisoners? Connecting to parts 5 and 6 but deserving its own slot - Identifying a peculiar pattern of inserted entries  that essentially proves some invention of the telltale "prisoner ID#" from a different number that means no such thing.  133 cases at least were nabbed in this analysis, with the method, pattern and meaning explored in a super-detailed explanation.
  • Part 8:  Upside-Down Terrorist Crimes in Geneva?: On Mohammed Alloush, poitical leader of Jaisg al-Islam - possibly the killers of the Caesar photo victims - using the photos in his new job as Saudi-Western-backed chief negotiator in Geneva, in light of the evidence of genocide contained in the photos.   
  • Part 9: Prior Documentation of Torture: So far one telling example of opposition activists intercepting regime abuses (of the kind as, from the area as, and at the same time as the abuse of the Caesar photo victims) - just moments after they happened. 
  •  Part 10: On the Silence From Damascus: Asking for more information. 

#CaesarPhotos Identified Victim Profiles
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"Caesar" is widely advertised as totally winning, a hero for truth and justice, risking his life. But his life might be a work of fiction. No one can really know yet who the victims are and who killed them. But over the last ten months, I and teammates at A Closer Look On Syria have compiled some good analysis and questions on the page Torture Photos from "Caesar" and its talk page. This research is the starting basis for the material in the posts linked above. From the main page there,
the overview:
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Carter-Ruck report, figure 5
On January 21, 2014, the media grew abuzz with startling news - first broken the day before - of "industrial scale" torture, abuse, and murder of at least 11,000 Syrian prisoners by their government. Such claims were nothing new, but this time they were supported by actual photographs and some kind of study by professional investigators of such crimes. The unusually strong claims and noted parallels with Nazi death camps made waves, among other places, at the Geneva 2 peace conference which began in Montreaux the following day.

The claims were lodged originally by an alleged defector - code-named "Ceasar" - who says he was employed by the Syrian government as a morgue photographer. Over the first 29 months of the Syrian conflict, he says he collected copies of 55,000 digital images he says show about 11,000 dead victims, all of them executed prisoners of the Syrian government. Sometime in August, 2013, "Caesar" says he stopped taking new pictures, faked his own death, and escaped with his trove, as he says, "in order to stop the systematic torture." With funding from the Qatari royal family, the defector's narrative was bolstered with the hire of British law firm and a team of three war crimes prosecutors. The latter drafted a report - stamped "CONFIDENTIAL" but ultimately released on January 20th via Western Media in France, Turkey, the US, and UK. (see below) - that analyzed the photos, and passed on the back-story "Caesar" provided. The primary media reports added little to no skepticism, and political leaders have of course added none of their own as they reflexively push their well-known anti-Assad agendas.

It should be considered there are two parts to this evidence package; the actual photographs, and the alleged photographer's explanation of what they show. The 30+ images published, at least, do show systematic abuse of captive men, including signs of torture, starvation, and sometimes execution. While we cannot know how representative the few publicized photos truly are, it seems criminal abuses are being carried out in Syria, a problem that merits alarm and attention. "Caesar's" story may be true, but for all we know, many of these bodies passing through this morgue could have different true stories. For example, some of them (like the apparent Christian man in image #25 - see list here) could be of civilians hostages taken by rebel forces, executed and then dumped, and simply being documented by the government. It's only by trusting Caesar that one can be sure that's not even part of the picture.

The reasons to question or even doubt the defector's word are many, starting with the baseless claim that any code-name would protect him or his family from the Syrian government, if his employment story is true. All it really does is keep his identity secret from those he's appealing to, and suggests he may not be at all who he claims. [3] But these reasons have been ignored in a push by the powerful to indict and harm the Syrian government again, this time over distressingly ambiguous morgue photos.

"Caesar" has arguably been given more credibility than "Curveball" and "Nayirah" combined. Nonetheless, this project has proven less effective than some may have expected; throughout 2014 it continued with diminishing efforts to spur direct, perhaps military action against the Syrian government. The first release on January 20, as mentioned, complicated the peace talks starting on the 22nd. As the conflict ground on, some photos were presented to the UN Security Council in April in another fruitless effort to secure firmer action against the Syrian government. Some images plus the defector appeared before the US House of Representatives foreign policy council in late July. Then a select few images were displayed at the U.S. Holocaust Memorial Museum in October. These plus frequent media exclusives and interviews with countless uncritical echoes, as a New York Times article lamented on October 31, had so far "spurred outrage, but not action." [4]
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The cartoon below shows the one victim of the few shown so far that is apparently a Syrian Christian, a segment of the populace that the Sunni extremist anti-government rebels often kidnap and execute, for their religion and/or for supporting the government and resisting the rebellion. Other targeted classes, by the way, are Alawi, Shia, Kurds, and the majority of Syria's Sunnis who also support the government. They don't usually sport tattoos like this, so it's hard to tell whether or not you're looking at one, once he's been murdered in a photo that rebels wound up with in the end (if not from the start).



Note, Feb. 11, 2016: I can expand on the photographed Cristian victim now. The card always said (in other views) Branch 227 victim #2615 - that's the number on this SAFMCD entry with consistent face shot from folder 7-7-2013. Eye gouging isn't clear (partly blurred) but his eyes do seem at least damaged (chemically),  like many, many sets of eyes in here. Like the rest of those, he also has some red-purple irritation of the skin, mild cyanosis (blue blue lips), yellow crust in the eyes, and orange fluid (blood-mucous mix) running out of his nose and mouth, apparently bubbled or foamy at the mouth (blurred). That's besides being stabbed, starved, etc.  For what it's worth (not clear), his entry number is just 5 lower than eyes-gone Douma resident Mohammad Khaled al-Tout (he's 227-2620), and little ways into a long and horrible stretch of hundreds of mostly-starved bodies where half seem to have actually had their eyes totally removed (runs at least 2480 to 2824 - link on that maybe in time).

Other Assorted visual aids:
Famous victim with fan belt "highly consistent with  the ligature mark seen in a different individual," and put around his nech for unclear reasons. New details: logged Jan. 2013, victim 1043 from branch 227 (they say,) moderately starved, fit fighting age male, apparently exposed to a caustic chemical of the most common type.


How about victim 485 from branch 215, also photographed in 1-2013. This is a roughly teen-aged guy, perhaps adult but likely under 18 - he's been badly starved, perhaps tortured, and finally gassed, creating yellow mucous in the eyes, and burning the hell out of his neck, and causing him to spit up blood - most likely while being hanged upside-down, like many victims apparently were. The guy above might've looked like this before cleanup.

Seriously folks, words aside .... is this more like a Mukhabarat (Syrian military intelligence) extermination program, or one run by, say, al-Qaeda? 

Continuing with that thought, see this, and FC part 6.

9 comments:

  1. An excellent article, which is to be recommended to anyone concerned with the Syrian conflict.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thanks for popping in to say so. Comments have been slow, so it's nice.

      Delete
  2. The author of this article seems to think that Assad can't do anything wrong to Christians, that the power hungry dictator can never harm those "poor" Christians, I simply refer you to this video, where an Orthodox Syrian Christian asks Russia to protect Christians in Syria from both ISIS and the Assad regime and says Assad is pretending to protect Christians and is actually happy if they die while she states that the Russians should support the Syrian Christians and their brothers the Sunni Muslim majority who account for around 80% of the population.

    https://www.facebook.com/Hdeeloueis/videos/1504152343234453/?pnref=story

    There goes your 'Caesar's story may be true, but for all we know, many of these bodies passing through this morgue could have different true stories' argument.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Hi, Adam! Thanks for a comment and apologies I was so slow to respond. That girl is some kind of dunce and tool of someone who wrote that for her. Reference: not convincing. She THINKS Assad lets ISIS kill Christians, when really they just have far too many battles with too many groups to fight them all at once, and have focussed on heavily populated areas, whoever's trying to take them over. All such groups not creations of Assad but of the anti-Assad alliance who willfully helped create a "Salafist principality" in the Iraq-Syria border area in order to "isolate the Syrian regime" by blocking roads to Iraq and Iran and keeping Iraq too busy fighting its own war to help Syria as it was starting to do. This is their punishment.

      Do you think Assad is behind Jabhat al-Nusra, Ahrar al-Sham, the Islamic Front, Suqour al-Izz, Sham al-Islam, Farouq Brigades, Authenticity and Development Front, or the Free Syrian Army? These all engage in the same sectarian abuses (if not as gratuitous) as Daesh does.

      I don't think the government couldn't harm its Christian population. That would be naive. I'm just not seeing the motive why they would, except to be bad guys and make your lame arguments true. Since 2011, the biggest threat to Christians and other, less-championed minority groups, is of course the jihadist multinational forces who consider them infidels and/or supporters of a dictator.

      Interesting to call Assad power hungry, when he's got power and it's hungry others challenging that and trying to take it away.

      Anyway, as I said, Casar's story might be true, but it might not be, and I highly doubt it is. The girl stating stuff did nothing to change my reading of the facts on the ground. I know she's an activist and said things, but "activists say" doesn't fly here as a basis for understanding events in Syria.

      Delete
    2. And I meant to sign that
      - Adam

      Isn't that interesting? We have the same first name.

      Delete
    3. A guy with this username is predetermined to believe every lie and propaganda when it fits his religious views

      Delete
    4. Hold on ... someone calling himself anonymous is somehow "predetermined" to accept, I guess the mainstream/interventionist storyline (right?) - just because of his religious views?

      That might be your natural inclination, but I don't recommend limiting yourself like that, my friend. Rise above!

      Delete
    5. Again at anon ... and I know it's rude in some circles, but can I guess what that religion is in your case? I guess: Sunni Islam, of the Saudi-crafted Wahhabi variety. It's marked by dull and slavish thinking like yours.

      But that's just so far, and I maintain you can rise above. :)

      Delete

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