Tuesday, June 21, 2011

Rebel Atrocity Videos

The following post will discuss several videos from the Libyan civil war once hosted on Youtube. These were originally put up and allowed, despite Youtube's general ban on violent and gory images,perhaps for the posters' stated aims of supporting the rebel cause and freedom. For weeks they sat there, each in several posting watched thousands of times.

But more and more people started noticing that these showed grossly inhumane atrocities, and most of them (possibly all of them soon) have now been pulled back offline. (inset: a screen capture of one showing dead government soldiers being driven around Misrata) A cynic might say they were taken down for having served their purpose and now becoming an embarrassment to the rebellion. Below a list of videos taken down, but first some excerpts from an excellent article at "Pajamas Media."
While the International Criminal Court has announced that it is investigating charges of war crimes against Muammar al-Gaddafi and other members of the Libyan regime, harrowing video evidence has emerged that appears to show atrocities committed by anti-Gaddafi rebels. Among other things, the footage depicts summary executions, a prisoner being lynched, the desecration of corpses, and even a beheading. The targets of the most serious abuse are frequently black African prisoners. The ultimate source of the footage appears to be rebel forces or sympathizers themselves.

What is probably the most harrowing of the clips depicts a public beheading. A man with a long knife can be seen alternately sawing and hacking at the neck of a man who has been suspended upside-down. The victim’s inert body is soaked in blood. The beheading takes place in front of a burnt-out building in what appears to be a public square. The Dutch public broadcaster NOS has identified the location as the main square of the rebel capital of Benghazi.

A crowd numbering at least in the hundreds cheers on the assailants. At one point, a man begins chanting “Libya Hurra!”: “Free Libya!” According to the NOS translation, someone can be heard saying, “He looks like an African.” As the principal assailant begins to saw at the victim’s neck, members of the crowd yell “Allahu Akbar!” Dozens of members of the crowd can be seen filming the proceedings with digital cameras or cell phones.
Video #3, as given there, is one I have covered in some detail. It shows nine government soldiers and/or suspected mercenaries, held captive by armed rebels. This article links to a (poorly) English-subtitled version I've now saved a copy of to bolster my previous analysis. That suggests the nine prisoners were accused of shooting at someone's car, but only, they swear, after being shot at. They're told the rebels have a right to shoot them, to defend themselves, and the soldiers have no right to shoot back. They're asked who their "emir" (king) is, and they suspect the elder officer is that - so they likely mean commanding officer, as I've seen suggested. They are all clearly threatened with death, and with (cutting of the neck?). And as noted in the video, compiled for Al-Libya TV, at least a few (probably all but 2) of these nine were among the 22 found the next morning executed. And those 22 were among 130 Gaddafi soldiers killed by the regime itself, according to the rebels and the West at large, despite this available video proof otherwise.

A longer list of videos accompanied a (poorly written) e-mail sent to Business Insider and oddly re-published by them on April 18. This was re-posted on other sites as well in the following days, and I watched most of them. But now that I'm checking the links a week later, it's sudden attrition. Documented below are the links in that e-mail (minus the "&" extensions), their current status, and the original given notes for each (no guarantee of correct characterizations).

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=YSR689ICYWw - pulled, terms of service violation
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_t5eMpvMly8 - pulled, terms of service violation
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=hloG7RIUY-Y - pulled, account terminated
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=UlhagKw0MWU - pulled, removed by user - the boy that the rebels beat up because he supported the gov...
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=VwUfgGDiaSM - pulled, account terminated
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=v21AfK1SPHs - pulled, account terminated
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=VoL4IHNQUuk - pulled, account terminated - here is an old man beaten by the rebels
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=EYLs-OOsxNg - still there (saved a copy) - here some girls from Benghazi who are not with the rebels where raped by the Rebels the peaceful with risk to bring the videos to the public... she is calling for the Libyan army to come to save them!!!
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=vh8pMv--Hs0 - pulled, account terminated - they are doing it just like the americans.. humiliating sexually - that is a direct evidence of the rebel-CIA connection
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=VkcMgPsB3Gs - still there (saved a copy) - Libyan rebels behead,mutilate a soldier that surrenderd... where is the cnn?
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zWN0ffheWy0 - pulled, account terminated

Update June 20: The above list was apparently just too reliant on one or two sources. Other postings of most or all of these videos, plus many more, still abound. Here are a few I should have mentioned before but either didn't know of or think of them in time. I'll refrain from embedding them here, only giving optional links. Most people don't really need to see these things, just to know about them in general.

hesham shoshan.wmv
One famous video of a suspected mercenary being beaten to death by a crowd in broad daylinght, pants pulled down, and left that way on the blood-stained street. instead from the PoV of the family and fiance of the Libyan soldier killed (Hesham Shosham?).

21-2-2011 Abuse soldiers Bawhita - ‏التنكيل بالجنود بالبيضاء
A very frightened black man assaulted by a crowd of Arab men in some place with cargo containers (I suspect he was working there when they found him). They point a gun at his head the whole time, his face looks swollen, they shout and swear at him, hitting with sticks(?) as they march him across the place. They ignore his protests, pull off his shirt, and lay him down. He gets back up, his shirt half on, one man holds a military rifle. They again threaten to shoot him, he says something, and they suddenly sound friendly. The video cuts without a single death. Wish I knew what they were saying.

I just found the "Libya's Western-backed revolution" series, posted by user Sonbakkah. With 25 parts so far, each covering a certain atrocity, it might be close to comprehensive. Some of them ... I've become jaded, but parts 2 and 13 in particular made the bottom drop from my stomach in horror and gave me serious pause. Some are not clear in their relevance - gory dead people with little clue who they are and how they died. Each is just the raw footage, or someone else's edit (Saif Gaddafi's al Libya TV, etc.), with the same intro, no original audio, and the same very sad music that I quite like.

Part 1 - Misrata I believe, a scene others have written of - quite a crowd stands atop a burnt-out tank in a main square while they take turns displaying high for all to see charred pieces of something, in different sizes. I can't make any of them out, but one's said to be a man's heart, another part of his whole torso. I don't see what else it would be that everyone wants to see. Sick people, if you ask me.
Part 2 - A lone man on a side-street trying to back away from and fake-fight a nasty gang of about eight pumped-up, possibly stoned young men, some in no shirts, dancing around, swinging clubs and small furniture at him. He might be black, seems skinny and possibly mentally deficient. They tear his white civilian shirt off,  revealing a green undershirt, and it cuts before we see the end. Later, someone else I hope (lighter-skinned?) is shown, dead by then I hope, with slices from a heavy blade leaving guts, muscle, and bone visible, seeming to flex and breathe at one point as if alive. But then seeing the face I hoped not - sliced clean open, teeth, tongue, and nasal cavity are all right there. I can't go back and look again, sorry if I remembered wrong.  I almost cried there... The story isn't clear.
Part 3 - the famous Benghazi beheading scene - didn't watch it, so it might be a variation
Part 4 - Same thing by the still image, so unless two of the same were posted, we have at least two recordings from the sea of cameras filming that night.

Part 5 - Fascinating scene. It's nighttime, again in a main square somewhere, and a very large crowd surrounds a struggling black man attacked by some med who finally get a rope around his neck. A crane then yanks him up and leaves him dangling above the throng, kicking wildly (his hands seem bound). Mercifully, they shoot him a few times until dead after letting this drag on only a few seconds.
Part 6 - Another suspected mercenary, dead, hanging upside down from a fence of what seems a government facility. Stripped from the waist up, his shoulder is slashed open. It's daylight, and a pleased crowd is again taking pictures and video.
Part 7 - Two black men laying dead on debris-strewn ground, stripped from the waist up.
Part 8 - Again the "Al-Baida" massacre, 'dying soldier gets some water' version. I've counted 21 or 22 corpses in that courtyard at different times, making this atrocity highly weighted relative to the rest.

Part 9 - A headless body, neck looking like stretched skin tucked behind - no visible blood. He's also suffered massive trauma to the legs, twisted, broken, swollen, almost unrecognizable, like a mutant with too many knees. One arm is also badly tweaked, with something hanging out of it. Looks like he was pulled through some kind of machine, or partially drawn and quartered. Possibly left in water and mud for a day or two? Again, the story's just not clear to me, no audio even for Arab speakers, but a document or letter is shown, perhaps barely readable.
Part 10 - Balding black man seated, tied up tight, surrounded, scared, a pistol pressed tight against his head. One man in the back of the crown is very eager to bring his large, shiny, sword into it, pointing it in, straining, but finally giving up. The gun is never moved for over 2 minutes but no direct violence is shown.
Part 11 - Very gory - a soldier in some junk-strewn warehouse, perhaps, with a lot of brain matter blown clear out of a vary large hole in his forehead, collapsing his otherwise intact face. He'd been shot from behind, while his head was over his right forearm, possibly while crawling. Spent casings lay in his blood. Something like seven or eight more dead soldiers in fatigues are panned across closely, piled against a far wall, partly covered in rubble. One has a head wrapped in bandages or cloth strips, none particularly gory. A few more are shown amid wreckage in the next room. Not really sure how much of an atrocity this was - soldiers die all the time in wars.
Part 12 - The same soldier (Hesham Shoshan?) covered above, and another shown being hanged, plus other Libyan soldiers killed in the massacres (no video available, sorry) have their paperwork and portrait photos in uniform shown. Apparently from al-Libya TV.

Part 13 - Seems to be a rooftop area. I don't know why, but there are body parts strewn about. They don't look like blown-up bodies, but torn up ones. In a recessed area with a rope net stretched across it, hang one dead body and two partial legs from different people (victims, 3). Then, a head, with a huge stretch of back skin attached. There's also an apparent bullet hole taking out his right eye and all surrounding tissue. It's pretty terrible stuff.
Part 14 - Several killed loyalists piled into the back of a jeep, some hanging over the sides. The bed is full of death and running with blood, an extra body stuffed in the passenger's seat, his slumped head pulled back for the camera.
Part 15 - The same soldier (Hesham Shoshan?) covered above, dead and bare-assed on the street, still being abused.
Part 16 - apparently missing.

Part 17 - dead soldiers or loyalists in pickup trucks. The same video is shown elsewhere as being from Misrata.
Part 18 - A man brings a torn-off leg into the hospital.
Part 19 - It looks like a man hanged in the green-painted gate of some official building, so one can't enter without bumping into it. His head is bent back, and someone standing up on the gate kicks it. A man in a jacket with "_?_ESI"  on the sleeve is pointing and directing others to do something. It's short, chaotic, and badly filmed.
Part 20 - Dead soldier, Arab in appearance, eyes frozen open, blood had come out his nose and mouth. The cameraman runs across a courtyard to where about six others are piled, hungrily zooming in on their bloodied faces and wounds. One has shirt and pants just soaked in blood, another, a nasty head shot.
Part 21 - the al-Baida massacre, behind the scenes as shown on al Libya, with longer interrogation footage than some versions.

Part 22 - A dead black man, naked, curled on the ground, partly covered with a blanket. He's got a bandage on his arm as if he'd had an IV installed earlier (snatched from a hospital?). Another black man lays on his back a few feet away, also dead, at least half naked, nose bloodied.
Part 23 - Dead and burned soldiers beneath blankets. One looks like he was just badly sunburnt, others remain covered. Somewhere between nine and 12 bodies at least  are present.
Part 24 - two dead soldiers in the bad of a pickup truck.
Part 25 - dead soldiers across the hood of a truck.

That last was just posted June 16, and I suspect there are more coming. That'll do for me, however.