Wow. Talk about a mind-bending video. This slice of propaganda comes from the sanitized, slicked-up English version of Al Jazeera, as masked Palestinian terrorists attend International Humanitarian Law and First Aid training classes run by the International Committee of the Red Cross, and Al Jazeera tries to show us the human side of a gang of remorseless murderers. Without taking off the masks, of course.
Last month, LGF noted that the International Committee of the Red Cross had deliberately removed from their web site, with no notice or explanation, a very clear high-resolution image of the Lebanese ambulance supposedly attacked by the IDF.
Blogger David Amior managed to get a reply from an ICRC spokesman … and I was right. They did deliberately remove it, and it was in response to the blogosphere controversy over the transparently false claims made about this incident.
The ICRC’s reason for surreptitiously removing crucial evidence, like a criminal in the night?
They did it “to keep the moral high ground.”
An International Committee of the Red Cross spokesman explained that a photo of a damaged Red Cross ambulance, which was said to have been hit by the Israeli Defence Force during the Lebanon conflict, was removed from the ICRC website following allegations of a hoax by a blogger “in order to keep the moral high ground on the issue”.
An essay published by Zombietime soon after the picture appeared on the ICRC website criticized perceived factual inaccuracies in the reporting of the incident. It argued that the circular hole in the roof which was said to have been caused by a missile corresponded with the size and position of ventilation covers on top of other ambulances. It was also claimed that, “The presence of rust on every part of the roof where the paint has been scratched away proves that the damage to the metal happened long before July 23”, the date the incident was said to have taken place.
The photo showing the damaged ambulance was removed from the ICRC website shortly after this post was made. Roland Huguenin-Benjamin, an ICRC spokesman who was in Lebanon during the conflict and saw the ambulance in question, told The Guardian that the ICRC “categorically rejects and denies” the claims made by Zombietime.
When subsequently asked why the photo was removed, he replied to your correspondent that the ICRC held a meeting, at which it was decided that Zombietime would not be directly confronted. “The Institute in Geneva decided not to go into a controversy in order to keep the moral high ground on the issue”, he said.
Here’s the photograph the ICRC doesn’t want you to see: Ambulance 782.
As reported here last Monday, the International Committee of the Red Cross had formerly made available on their web site a high resolution photograph of the ambulance supposedly hit by an Israeli missile.
This high resolution photo, which shows an enormous amount of detail on the amazingly undamaged ambulance, was deleted from the ICRC web site shortly after zombie’s exposé of the fraud was posted.
The ICRC has ignored requests for information about why the photo was deleted, so we can now reasonably conclude that they are deliberately covering up the evidence, in the hope that no one will be able to glean any more useful analysis from the only publicly available high res image of the vehicle. This is unethical behavior in the extreme, and implies that they have something to hide.
It’s not the crime that really takes you down. It’s the cover-up.
Here is the photograph they attempted to make vanish: Ambulance 782.
Here is the page at their site where the photo originally appeared: Conflict in the Middle East: selection of photos.
And here is a screenshot of the Google cache of this page (from Monday — it’s since been updated and no longer shows the broken image link and caption), showing where the ambulance image was deleted, while other images were not:
UPDATE at 9/1/06 9:28:39 am:
Andrew Bolt consults military experts: The ambulance hoax - why no missile could have done this.
There is no weapon that would deliver terminal effects consistent with the pictures, the alleged story and the reputed damage done to ambulance and people.
Here are some hard facts easily locatable on the internet via globalsecurity.org which is an invaluable open source free intelligence site.
The Israeli Unmanned Aerial Vehicle (UAV or “drone“) index is here. As you can see Israel fields 10 UAV types. Of the ones with technical specifications only the Harpy deploys a weapon payload. However as it is designed to support suppression of enemy air defence it would deploy a radar seeking missile capable of destroying a hardened air defence radar station. Clearly a Harpy wasn’t deployed.
A weapon deploying UAV would be one of the remaining three without technical specifications. Let’s assume it is similar to the US Predator an armed UAV. Here are its specifications and some photos. As you can see from the front page it deploys a Hellfire missile. Here are the hellfire missile specs and some photos. The missile itself is 64 inches or about 1.5m long, weighs around 100lb and has an explosive payload of around 35 lbs.
Clearly something like that slamming through a vehicle is going to destroy it even if it doesn’t go off, after all the missile is designed to kill a 70 tonne tank, so a half ton unarmoured ambulance doesn’t stand a chance.
Now if it didn’t explode there is a 1.5m long 35lb undetonated warhead stuck in the road somewhere near Qana. No doubt Martin Chulov can go and get a photo of it. Of course it is possible that Israel has no anti armoured missile armed UAV as well. I would love to know what Tony Jones’ source is for the Israelis using such a weapon system so that the data can be checked thoroughly.
Israel has two air to surface missiles. The hellfire is not listed so I assume the NT family is the Israeli equivalent. The Gabriel is an anti shipping missile and the NT family are anti armoured missiles. Unfortunately it has no real detailed specs listed and one non photographic image. You can see from its range of over 4km (from link page) that it needs to carry fuel and have a large propulsion and guidance unit, so it is probably smaller than the hellfire (less range) but the deliver system is likely to be at least 1m long.
Once again as it is designed to destroy tanks it would have a significant warhead that would obliterate a lite van ambulance. If it didn’t detonate it would go right through the floor and would be stuck in the road somewhere posing a significant danger to people in the area. Perhaps Martin Chulov could confirm with the UN Mine Action Centre in UNIFIL if they have any reports of unexploded missiles stuck in the road near Qana. Because if any of these weapons went off the vehicle would be incinerated.
Of course there are no lesser warhead missiles listed for Israel, nor any I know of for the US. Who would field a $2 million missile only to equip it with a $200 war head that couldn’t even stop a van? It defies logic that this is the case and pursuing this line, as Tony Jones did on “Lateline”, is not so much a case of hope triumphing over common sense or experience, it is absolute idiocy. And no doubt Tony Jones has previously called “Military Intelligence” an Oxymoron!
Now going through this has taken me my lunch break. Of course twenty years military experience is more difficult to replicate but should the “Australian” or the ABC have really wanted to check the accuracy of its claims it could have gone to a military consulting company and got some independent bomb damage assessment from someone who knows what they are looking at. No doubt a number of people working in Aerospace in Australia, its associated media or companies like Boeing would have been able to provide a more reasonable verification of the story. But no, Martin Chulov goes and asks the guy who lied to him in the first place if he lied. The answer was a definite “no” with some modifications to the original version of events. Sounds a bit like “Justice” Einfeld!
At a minimum the Editor of the Australian owes Alexander Downer and the Australian public a full, fulsome and prominent editorial apology!
UPDATE at 9/1/06 12:20:58 pm:
At The Australian, here’s a casual—and thoroughly arrogant—dismissal of the evidence in the Red Cross ambulance story, endorsing the dishonest stories of Martin Chulov and smearing zombietime and Australia’s foreign minister: Editorial: Red Cross rocket snares Downer.
That the truth is not always easy to discern must be better appreciated by Mr Downer following his embrace of the Lebanese ambulance incident, as presented by internet site zombietime.com. In his speech to PANPA, Mr Downer said the incident, in which it was claimed Israel had deliberately bombed a Red Cross ambulance, did not stand up to even the most rudimentary scrutiny. Mr Downer said that after closer study of the images of the damage to the ambulance, it was beyond serious dispute that this episode has all the makings of a hoax. His source? A pro-Israel website that specialises in posting pictures of student protests, naked bicycle riders and historic pictures of the prophet Mohammed. In a lengthy posting, the website puts forward its own conspiracy theory and claims the incident never took place. This newspaper was aware of the website claims but, rather than accept them at face value, dispatched reporter Martin Chulov to review the evidence and reinterview those involved. In his report in the Media section today, Chulov stands by the original account and says damage to the ambulance is consistent with the original claims of attack. We have done what a good newspaper should, done the leg work and reported the facts. Mr Downer may himself have fallen for the propaganda trick he is keen to warn against. While his point may be true, that most media have taken a pro-Lebanon, anti-Israeli stance, what Mr Downer’s experience most highlights is the benefits of an unbiased, well-resourced, established media, as opposed to its new online cousin. In this case, readers have a choice, a website that relies on analysing photographs a long way from the action or media with resources on the ground. Mr Downer is correct that the first duty of responsible media is to get the facts straight even when that story might not necessarily conform to existing opinions or prejudices. But, as his experience highlights, this is equally true for politicians.
The International Committee of the Red Cross is digging in their heels and rebuking Australian Foreign Minister Alexander Downer: Red Cross slams Downer hoax claim.
THE International Committee of the Red Cross has rebuked Foreign Minister Alexander Downer for relying on an unverified internet blog to claim an Israeli missile strike on one of its ambulances in southern Lebanon was a hoax.
A spokeswoman for the ICRC in Geneva said yesterday there was no evidence to support Mr Downer’s assertion that the international media had been duped in reporting that Israel had deliberately targeted the ambulance.
If the ICRC has nothing to hide, why did they sneakily delete the high resolution photograph of the ambulance in question from their web site?
And Michelle is right—the mainstream media are almost completely ignoring this story.
The International Committee of the Red Cross seems to have removed the high resolution image of ambulance 782 (supposedly struck by an Israeli missile) from their web site: Conflict in the Middle East: selection of photos.
Is someone getting a little too close to the truth?
Here is the high-resolution photograph that no longer exists on their site: Ambulance 782.
UPDATE at 8/28/06 9:03:26 am:
Google’s cached version of the page shows the caption and broken image link where the photo was removed: Conflict in the Middle East: selection of photos.
Notice that all the other image thumbnails still appear; these images are loaded from the ICRC web site, not from Google’s cache. Only the high-res image of Ambulance 782 has actually been deleted.
UPDATE at 8/28/06 9:39:36 am:
Several readers have suggested that the ICRC may have removed the image because of bandwidth drain, after links to the image appeared at zombietime and other sites. But please note that the International Committee of the Red Cross is a gigantic multinational organization, whose web site is critical to their operation in many ways and must stay online even during large emergencies. It’s extremely unlikely that the bandwidth drain from a link at zombietime (even at its busiest) would prompt them to remove the photo.
However, you can be quite sure that ICRC officials are very aware of the controversy about this ambulance.
Also note that there are hundreds, possibly thousands, of high resolution images at their site. They sell them, in fact.
UPDATE at 8/28/06 9:41:47 am:
More ambulance chicanery at Power Line: Reuters Alleges Israeli Air Strike.
This incident was discussed at length in this LGF thread as well: Reuters Urges Investigation of Airstrike.
UPDATE at 8/28/06 12:19:20 pm:
Please note that the high resolution image linked above also includes the camera’s EXIF data from when the photograph was taken, with the type of camera and the exact time and date the picture was taken. Here’s a screenshot of the photo data, from Adobe Bridge:
After 60 years of foot-dragging and cowardice by the Red Cross, today Israel’s Magen David Adom has been allowed into the organization: Israeli, Palestinian relief groups join Red Cross.
GENEVA (Reuters) - The Red Cross and Red Crescent humanitarian movement accorded membership on Thursday to the Israeli and Palestinian relief organizations, ending nearly 60 years of struggle over the Israeli agency’s accession. …
Noam Yifrach, chairman of Israel’s Magen David Adom (MDA), said the backing of the world’s largest relief network would make it easier for emergency workers to cooperate across checkpoints, and ensure assistance reaches those who need it.
“It will help us to function together with the Palestinian Red Crescent society … Until today, we did not have the movement behind us,” he told Reuters in an interview in Geneva.
Despite Israel’s acceptance of an insultingly PC logo, following almost 60 years of foot-dragging and cowardice from the Red Cross, Islamic nations are blocking Israel’s membership once again: New Red Cross emblem hits snag.
An attempt to end Israel’s long isolation from the Red Cross humanitarian movement hit a snag Tuesday as Muslim opponents used procedural moves to block progress at a decisive international conference, delegates said.
The International Conference of the Red Cross and Red Crescent, which opened Tuesday and is expected to conclude Wednesday, is being asked to approve changes to meet Israeli demands of almost six decades that it be granted full membership without using the cross or crescent to identify itself.
But Red Cross officials hosting the conference confirmed that the meeting’s validity had been challenged. They declined to identify the delegation that filed the motion because the session was being held behind closed doors.
The International Committee of the Red Cross admits that the terrorists at Guantanamo Bay are not being brutally tortured by sadistic guards: Guantanamo conditions ‘improved’. (Hat tip: Aussiemagpie.)
DETAINEES are being better treated at the US prison camp at Guantanamo Bay, and the Red Cross is satisfied with its access to them, the humanitarian agency’s chief said.
Jakob Kellenberger, president of the International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC), said detention conditions at Guantanamo had “improved considerably” over the past four years. “There have also been improvements in the treatment of prisoners, but that does not mean that there are no longer any problems at all,” he said. …
But he said the ICRC and Washington remained at odds over whether the detainees, which the United States calls “enemy combatants”, are protected under the 1949 Geneva Convention on the rights of prisoners of war.
“On this issue, I don’t see a possible agreement at this stage. But we are not abandoning our efforts,” he said.
He called it “extremely regrettable” that intense media focus on Guantanamo seemed to distract from troubled sites in places like Chechnya and Burma, where the ICRC has suspended prison visits over disagreements with local authorities.
I’m immensely relieved to know that the horrible days of peanut butter abuse are behind us.