Patterico's Pontifications

5/20/2008

L.A. Times: No Independent Confirmation of FARC Laptop Files Indicating Venezuelan Support for Terrorism . . . Except that Interpol Report . . . And the Files Shown to the AP . . .

Filed under: Dog Trainer,General,Terrorism — Patterico @ 11:34 am

The L.A. Times claims that there has been no independent confirmation of the content of computers recovered from FARC terrorists, which show Venezuelan assistance to the terrorists:

Sen. Richard G. Lugar (R-Ind.) proposed congressional hearings to examine the contents of laptop computers apparently owned by a Colombian rebel commander known as Raul Reyes.

The computers were recovered by Colombian commandos in Ecuador after Reyes, the No. 2 commander of the Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia, or FARC, was killed in a March 1 bombing raid.

The Colombian government has leaked files that it said indicate Venezuela made offers of financial, political and arms help to the FARC, which the U.S. views as a terrorist group.

No independent confirmation of the laptops’ content has been made, and Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez has denied the Colombian charges.

I’m not sure what is meant by that final sentence. The Times itself recently published an AP story that reported that Interpol had examined the laptops and “found no evidence of tampering”:

“There was no tampering with or altering of any of the data contained in the user files by any of the Colombian law enforcement authorities following their seizure on March 1,” said Interpol’s secretary general, Ronald Noble, a former enforcement chief for the U.S. Treasury Department.

The same story reported that the AP had been shown “damning” files from one of the computers:

The most damning evidence to date against Chavez came in text files shown to The Associated Press last week by a senior Colombian official.

More than a dozen internal rebel messages detail several years of close cooperation between top Venezuelan and FARC officials, including rebel training facilities on Venezuelan soil and a meeting inside Venezuela’s equivalent of the Pentagon.

They also suggest Venezuela was preparing to loan the rebels at least US$250 million (euro190 million), provide them with Russian weapons and possibly even help them obtain surface-to-air missiles for use against Colombian military aircraft.

So I don’t know what the paper means today when it says that “[n]o independent confirmation of the laptops’ content has been made.” A Blog for All, which brought this to my attention, thinks the paper is simply shilling for Chavez. I wouldn’t put it past them — but since I’m stubbornly willing to give this paper the benefit of the doubt, I’m wondering if there’s some legitimate reason they’re saying this. Perhaps the AP didn’t get to examine the laptops directly, and had to take the Columbian official’s word for the content?

Even if that’s what’s meant, it strikes me as pretty misleading to simply assert that “[n]o independent confirmation of the laptops’ content has been made” without mentioning Interpol’s report, or the AP‘s examination of files from the computer.

17 Responses to “L.A. Times: No Independent Confirmation of FARC Laptop Files Indicating Venezuelan Support for Terrorism . . . Except that Interpol Report . . . And the Files Shown to the AP . . .”

  1. “I’m not sure what is meant by that final sentence. ”

    Means: “We haven’t found a second laptop.”

    Al (b624ac)

  2. Of course the LAT dismisses the claims of the Uribe Gov’t, he is an oppressor of the proletariat bravely attempting to bring social justice to the peasantry.
    And, why would we believe that they would take the word of Interpol about the authenticity of the files; after all, they’re just cops, and all cops lie (from the perspective of those at Times-Mirror Square).

    Another Drew (8018ee)

  3. This is another example where it just causes one’s eyes to pop out that they would write something so brazenly wrong.

    SPQR (26be8b)

  4. When they say “independent”…they mean “we”.

    Had a socialist janitor found the laptops suggesting that there were ties to conservative Republicans, that would have been “independent”.

    Leftists cover for leftists…the world over.

    cfbleachers (4040c7)

  5. Maybe they mean no confirmation of the substance of what is in the laptop. So there are several claims all from people who have had access to the one single source: the files. So everyone agrees what the files say. But no other source has been used that verifies the files.

    I haven’t followed, but thats another way to interpret their sentence.

    stef (9d6a82)

  6. I’m sure the Time’s will say that Interpol simply authenticated the machine and contents and did not characterize the nature of those contents. It seems that Interpol feels that finding a government is behaving badly is beyond their pay grade.

    Kevin Murphy (805c5b)

  7. Just goes to show you that even the L.A. Times does not believe its own stories.

    huey (9558ff)

  8. Of course they’re shilling for Chavez, the Beverly Hills-Hollywood dictator du jour…..

    Howard Veit (cc8b85)

  9. The LA Times is deeply in the tank for Chavez and I wonder why. Chris Dodd is another one who has persisted in punishing his government for their failure to support Daniel Ortega way back in those days when the Soviets were trying to liberate Central America from Chiquita banana. Dodd has opposed Otto Reich, and John Bolton for the sin of opposing Fidel Castro’s Cuba. This is Democratic party orthodoxy and the Times is surpassed by none in its slavish loyalty to Democratic Party orthodoxy. Chavez seems to be part of that. If you doubt it, ask Robert Kennedy Jr.

    Mike K (6d4fc3)

  10. “… ask Robert Kennedy Jr.”

    Someone who is sucking at the Chavez teat.
    How much is Jr. skimming from that oil allotment he gets from Chavez?
    I guess the Trust Fund isn’t what it used to be.

    Another Drew (a28ef4)

  11. What is means is that the LATimes was told by George Soros to spike the story as best they could.

    PCD (5c49b0)

  12. My father said something laudatory about Chávez recently: anybody familiar with the Eugene Register-Guard out west there?

    Wondering what kind of coverage they’ve had, and guessing its been rather as … superficial as the LAT.

    EW1(SG) (84e813)

  13. I second #5. It may not be a question of whether the laptop contains what it is said to contain, but whether what it contains is true.

    roy (78d4a2)

  14. If FARC admitted everything on the laptop, the LAT would say they only confessed because they were waterboarded.

    Patricia (f56a97)

  15. Since Nancy Pelosi’s gang has been dead set against the Columbia Free Trade Agreement that is wanted by President Bush, and the fact that Pelosi decided to snub President Uribe but not Baby Assad, could there possible be some ulterior motive on the part of the LATs? Like providing the initial smoke screen for a certain Democrat from Massachussets who was negotiating with FARC who was possibly operating with the express permission of Madame Speaker?

    Here is the story the MSM ignored:

    http://www.online.wsj.com/article/SB120640555842961083.html?mod=djemEditorialPage

    retire05 (446aa3)

  16. Since Nancy Pelosi’s gang has been dead set against the Columbia Free Trade Agreement that is wanted by President Bush, and the fact that Pelosi decided to snub President Uribe but not Baby Assad, could there possible be some ulterior motive on the part of the LATs? Like providing the initial smoke screen for a certain Democrat from Massachussets who was negotiating with FARC who was possibly operating with the express permission of Madame Speaker?

    Here is the story the MSM ignored:

    Sorry for the wrong link, here it is:

    http://online.wsj.com/article/SB120640555842961083.html?mod=djemEditorialPage

    retire05 (446aa3)

  17. The L.A. SLIMES LYING 24/7

    krazy kagu (06d0a6)


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