Patterico's Pontifications

2/26/2011

The Report of Hospital Massacres Explained and (Somewhat) Verified

Filed under: General — Aaron Worthing @ 10:58 am



[Guest post by Aaron Worthing; if you have tips, please send them here.]

The other day I posted on reports that Gaddafi forces were murdering wounded protesters while they waited in the hospital.  A few were very reasonably skeptical about that as frankly I was, too.  Well, courtesy of the New York Times, we get a ton of accounts that line up with what was described in that report only this time we get something we didn’t have last time: a reason why they would go after them.

After all, it was quite reasonable to wonder last time why Gaddafi would bother.  But the Times report provides that explanation.  You see Gaddafi was getting ready to let the press do an official tour.  And he wanted all signs of strife removed:

A bold effort by Col. Muammar el-Qaddafi to prove that he was firmly in control of Libya appeared to backfire Saturday as foreign journalists he invited to the capital discovered blocks of the city in open revolt.

Witnesses described snipers and antiaircraft guns firing at unarmed civilians, and security forces were removing the dead and wounded from streets and hospitals, apparently in an effort to hide the mounting toll.

When government-picked drivers escorted journalists on tours of the city on Saturday morning, the evidence of the extent of the unrest was unmistakable. Workers were still hastily painting over graffiti calling Colonel Qaddafi a “bloodsucker” or demanding his ouster. Just off the tour route were long bread lines where residents said they were afraid to be seen talking to journalists.

The whole thing is definitely worth reading, but here’s a few more highlights:

“I have seen more than 68 people killed,” said a doctor who gave his name only as Hussein. “But the people who have died, they don’t leave them in the same place. We have seen them taking them in the Qaddafi cars, and nobody knows who there are taking the people who have died.” He added, “Even the ones with just a broken hand or something they are taking away.”…

Then the reporter starts to get the official tour…

The next morning, a driver took a group of foreign journalists to an area known as the Friday market, which appeared to have been the site of a riot the night before. The streets were strewn with debris, and piles of shattered glass had been collected in cardboard boxes.

A young man approached the journalists to deliver a passionate plea for unity and accolades to Colonel Qaddafi, then left in a white van full of police officers. Two small boys approached surreptitiously with bullet casings they presented as evidence of force used on protesters the night before….

A middle-age business owner, who identified himself only as Turkey, … and several other residents said that over the past week neighbors had been besieged by pickup trucks full of armed men shooting randomly at the crowds, sometimes wounding people who were sitting peacefully in their homes or cars. At other times, several said, the security forces had employed rooftop snipers, antiaircraft guns mounted on trucks and buckshot, and they produced shells and casings that appeared to confirm their reports. Mr. Turkey said that on one day he had seen about 50 to 60 heavily armed men who appeared to be mercenaries from nearby African countries.

The residents also said that they had seen security forces scooping up dead and wounded protesters and removing them from the streets, apparently to hide evidence of the violence. Because they believe security forces are also removing casualties from hospitals, they said, they have tried to hide their friends within the hospital and remove them after initial treatment.

There’s much more in the article, but I think it is reasonable to believe that Gaddafi was truly murdering wounded protesters and removing their bodies, for the purpose of hiding the bloodshed.

I suspect at some point we will learn of a mass grave of those who died opposing this dictator.

Sic semper tyrannis.

[Posted and authored by Aaron Worthing.]

15 Responses to “The Report of Hospital Massacres Explained and (Somewhat) Verified”

  1. At one point America’s little president man issued a strongly-worded statement I think so a lot of the killing stuff probably happened before that.

    happyfeet (ab5779)

  2. I just honked in support of the protesters here in Chicago. Interestingly, they are across the street from the Congress hotel, where the president man famously marched with the SEIU goons.

    carlitos (01d172)

  3. The Libyan protesters, that is. Both sides of the abortion debate cost me about 10 minutes of being stuck on Michigan Ave.

    carlitos (01d172)

  4. The Governing Class…
    when confronted with an issue, they appoint a committee to initiate a study, schedule meetings, draft and revise reports, and hope the issue goes away so they can enjoy the retreat to Greenbriar where they will edit the final report calling for a U.N.Resolution!

    We are in the best of hands….

    AD-RtR/OS! (5fd0fb)

  5. There’s a line from The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy series that seems applicable to Gadhafi’s actions … Approximately:

    But in a conciliatory move, government officials met with the protesters early this morning … and had them all shot.

    Murgatroyd (fd5fcd)

  6. To do a competent cover-up, they would have to hose down the streets, too. Even a foreign reporter might wonder about the discolorations.

    Bleepless (d93b93)

  7. In related news, Donald Berwick expressed admiration for Qaddafi’s enlightened approach to triage and cost savings.

    daleyrocks (ae76ce)

  8. And what exactly are shell casings evidence of? According to http://www.gunpolicy.org/firearms/region/libya there are 15.2 civilian owned firearms per 100 people in Libya. To just hand a reporter a bunch of casings and say that is evidence of recent crackdowns is a bit silly. I haven’t fired a gun in 10 years now (due to being blind it doesn’t seem like a good idea), yet I could still hand over a bunch of shell casings. And given the general lack of knowledge about most subjects that reporters tend to demonstrate (a depressingly regular topic here) are you really going to trust that these particular reporters could distinguish between potentially meaningful brass and otherwise?

    Soronel Haetir (c12482)

  9. “I have seen more than 68 people killed,” said a doctor who gave his name only as Hussein. “But the people who have died, they don’t leave them in the same place. We have seen them taking them in the Qaddafi cars, and nobody knows who there are taking the people who have died.” He added, “Even the ones with just a broken hand or something they are taking away.”…

    That’s definitely the highlight, or lowlight, of this story.

    After randomly firing into crowds or brutally overrunning a protester position, anyone left behind is being taken “away.” No doubt to be quickly shot and dumped somewhere, unless they’re recognized as someone worth being held captive.

    Sure it shows the barbarity of Qaddafi but it also shows how desperate he is. He knows he’s hopelessly outnumbered if the people make a concerted move against him, so kill as many of them as you can with your limited number of men before it gets to that.

    Meanwhile the president prudently waits until all Americans who want to leave are out of Libya, except that it took them longer than it should have because the State Department chartered some small-ass boat. A competent response would have seen the UN starting to move into real action and beginning of NATO discussions happening a week ago instead of the last 36 hours.

    deepelemblues (a78b16)

  10. Why haven’t we seen outrage in the media about Russian or Chinese weapons being widely used by the loyalists and mercenaries in Libya to match the media outrage that (unfired)US weapons were in the hands of the Egyptian military?

    in_awe (44fed5)

  11. What “Russian or Chinese” weapons?
    Those were obviously Assault Weapons purchased along the SW Border, and smuggled through Mexico into Libya!
    ATF will issue a report any day now…
    right after they explain Project Gunrunner.

    AD-RtR/OS! (f760ca)

  12. So, if there were no journalists covering the story, would all these people be disappearing so quickly? Shouldn’t the media bear at least part of the responsibility for these people’s deaths?

    Nancy (c00f9c)

  13. Nancy, people were being killed like this before the camera crews arrived.

    Scott Jacobs (d027b8)

  14. 12. So, if there were no journalists covering the story, would all these people be disappearing so quickly? Shouldn’t the media bear at least part of the responsibility for these people’s deaths?
    Comment by Nancy — 2/26/2011 @ 10:21 pm

    — Not sure if the above is pure silliness OR subtle genius. Hmmm . . . maybe it’s both!

    Icy Texan (53dae7)

  15. Our esteemed guest host wrote:

    After all, it was quite reasonable to wonder last time why Gaddafi would bother. But the Times report provides that explanation. You see Gaddafi was getting ready to let the press do an official tour. And he wanted all signs of strife removed

    Overthinking the question. The real answer is far simpler: they are letting everyone know that this isn’t a game, and telling the protesters that if the lose, they die.

    The realistic Dana (132cf8)


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