Libya & Syria: Dueling Rally Photofinishs

BREAKING: Mummar Qaddafi has been indicted by the International Criminal Court at the Hague. For an idea of why read this eyewitness report that has recently emerged about the murder of an estimated 700 unarmed and peaceful demonstrators in Tripoli in the opening days of the uprising. Friends and family still don't know the fate of about 14,000 people state security disappeared from Misrata. After Tripoli falls, the state security records will be revealed and the full extent of Qaddafi's crimes will be a matter of public record. Then the complete bankruptcy of Qaddafi supporters such as ANSWER will be clear to one and all.

Saturday I asked ANSWER supporters for their help in the hopes of settling a dispute that arose among Kossacks commenting on my diary a few days ago:

Ian, the ANSWER REBUTTAL to my criticism says

the people of Libya, who just had a massive 250,000 person march against the NATO bombing this past week

This was ridiculed in some of the comments to my DailyKos dairy today, people brought it up because my diary included a video of a demo of 200,000 in Hama on Friday. They said stuff like:

Where is video of that 250,000-1 million... (6+ / 0-)
...person demonstration in support of Gaddafi that sources say occurred on either June 17 or June 20 and that ANSWER responder talked about? Surely, SOMEbody among the hundreds of thousands in Libya with cellphones took a photo of it. Surely the Gaddafi government would consider such a demonstration a propaganda coup. And yet not one single photo or even 15 seconds of video on the alleged demo.

It's still being photo-shopped. (3+ / 0-)

You'll never see a video of it because the Gaddafi Regime can't even muster more than a hundred paid protestors in Tripoli anymore.

That bit of propaganda from the answer guy reminds me of the incident where Gaddafi Regime Libyan state tv showed footage from anti-austerity protests in London and stated that it was a demonstration against the U.N. intervention in Libya.

The problem is that nobody is going to believe a quarter million people demonstrated in Libya unless they can see some video, even cell phone video, especially a pro-gov't rally. Not in this day and age.

I've looked myself on YouTube and other sources but haven't been able find video of the protest you are talking about. This controversy is really a side issue. Can you help me put it to rest? You brought it up and you have all the details as to time and place. Can you send me a link to video of the protest of which you were speaking and I promise I will post it to my blog.

Thank you in advance,


Sunday morning LB responded:

This is the youtube that is being shown: Mass pro-Gaddafi, anti Nato-Rebels Demonstration in Tripoli, June 17, 2011 and it does appear to be filmed from a cell phone. There was a report by Reuters but only the audio goes through as if the video footage had been censored out.

By the way, from the Reuters audio, it does appear that a large demonstration occurred on that day. Ironically, Reuters says "thousands march in pro-Gaddafi rally" while a rally is not a march and in the very short audio strangely states that it was "a few thousand people"...

The fact that the Reuters video is not functional leads me to suspect that it has been censored and disguised as a technical problem. A proof that Gaddafi, who for months has been described as having no support in the population is firmly in power and gathering a large rally in his support does not fit the US and NATO imperial powers story line for successful intervention and impending recolonization.

Now, after spending this first beautiful Venice Summer Sunday hunkered down in front of my computer, I think Reuters got it just about right. There was a pro-Qaddafi rally of several thousand supporters in Tripoli on Friday, June 17th.

As to the great Reuters audio only cover up theory, I found no problem with the video thank you. I would embed it here but Reuters has that turned off. You can watch it on YouTube however: Thousands march in pro-Gaddafi rally in Tripoli

And Reuters was right about something else too. A pro-Qaddafi rally is also a march. After studying these two videos recommended by LB plus a number of others I found on my own today of this June 17th event, I have been able to discern a certain order to chaos of thousands of Qaddafi supporters in Green Square

A sort of grid like structure to the crowd can be discerned, with men, many wearing white hats, often with arms folded form squares and corridors and the people are marching around in them.

This is the first video he recommended to me. The one "that is being shown" by Qaddafi supporters that "does appear to be filmed from a cell phone."

Well I could see right away that this was no cell phone video in spite of it having the generally low resolution and poor quality of a cell phone video. It was edited and from footage taken at different times from different angles, and it had captions.

Here is a screenshot from that video @ 00:49:20
Screenshot Mass_pro_Gaddafi_anti_Nato_Rebels_Demonstration_in_Tripoli_June_17_2011-s_AZMXfUaZA

My own search for video documentation of Qaddafi's June 17th event turned up this gem:

It turns out to be a longer version of the exact same footage as the video above. Here is a screenshot from this video @ 04:57:00

Screenshot @ 0:04:57 Speech_Gaddafi_June_17_2011_English_subtitles_during_mass_demonstration_in_Tripoli-Rt3l_dm0zhE
Finally I turned up what appears to be the source material for the two videos above. It is the official Libyan state TV report on the rally:

And look at a screenshot from this video @ 06:34:00
Screenshot @ 0:06:34 from<br />

You can see that this image is of much better quality. It is broadcast quality and it is clearly the source material for the above two videos.

A peculiarity of all three of these videos is that the only audio that can be heard is Qaddafi's voice. Any sound track related to the video being shown has been completely omitted. We don't hear anything from the crowd and the actions in the video seem strangely disconnected from the audio.

This effect would be impossible to achieve with a cell phone, in fact the biggest obstacle that someone with a cell phone or camcorder would face in trying to record Qaddafi's speech would be the roar of the crowd.

Since it clearly has been professionally edited one has to wonder why the sound track of the people in the square was dropped entirely. This is not what most editors would have done. You want some crowd noise and especially crowd reaction to make it feel more, well more real. Why is it missing here?

In any case, there aren't enough people being shown in Green Square in this footage to backup any claims of hundreds of thousands let along a million, as claimed in yet another video:

Based on the same footage. This is not a tight as the others. I didn't download it, convert it to an editable format and load it into an editor so that I could catch precise frames like with the others. I just got it close enough in the browser and did this screenshot:

Screen shot of More than million one Libyan in Tripoli ! Kadhafi Speech [With English Subtitles][17-06-2011] @02:11:00

I also un-Earthed a CNN report on this rally:

Men with automatic weapons provide security at June 17th Qaddafi rally
In David McKenize's reporting in the piece we can see a few seconds of the rare independent footage of this rally. In it we can see men with automatic weapons working the crowd.

After that we are treated to more of the very same Libyan state TV footage. You would think that they would want CNN showing original footage they shot of the main rally, but no. Here is a shot from the CNN broadcast laid over the same shot, but wider, from Libyan state TV.
CNN_17_JUNE_2011_Tripoli_Libya_Uprising_Anger_Large_Gaddafi_Rally-MxbGEtLjYiE @ 0:27:26 over top CNN_17_JUNE_2011_Tripoli_Libya_Uprising_Anger_Large_Gaddafi_Rally-MxbGEtLjYiE @ 02:34:08

So it is claimed by Qaddafi and his supporters that a pro-Qaddafi rally took place in Tripoli on Friday, June 17th, 2011 and between 250,000 and 1 million people took part. This is a government supported and government sponsored rally and yet we can only seem to find one filming of it spun into many video productions.

Why aren't there dozens or even hundreds of what really is cell phone videos available of this rally?

By contrast, consider this anti-government rally that took place on the very same day in Hama, Syria. This screenshot from one video shows a lot of people on rooftops filming it with their cell phones:

So as you might expect, a cursory search of the web for cell phone videos of this rally turn up lots of unique videos that really do show something like tens of thousands of protesters. And this is under the conditions of extreme repression and very limited Internet access now existing in Syria.

Go figure...

Here are the links to my articles at WL Central:
2011-06-22 No Libyans allowed at ANSWER Libya Forum
2011-04-13 Doha summit supports Libyan rebels
Current Events in Libya
2011-03-11 Who's running Egypt?
Libyans are spilling their blood for us all!
2011-02-24 Arming Gaddfi
2011-02-14 Senior Egyptian army officers ordered massacre
2011-02-13 Tales of Tyrants: Ben Ali, Mubarak & Suleiman
2011-02-12 Algeria Protesters Defy Ban, Demand Change
The Mubarak Screw Up & the Suleiman Danger
2011-02-10 Mubarak is Defiant
2011-02-10 Mubarak Expected to Step Down!
2011-02-09 The Google Search for Wael Ghonim
2011-02-08 The New Egyptian Normal: Thousands Demonstrate in Cairo, Alexandria
2011-02-06 Tunisia's Revolution Continues
2011-02-04 Tunisian Anonymous activists take on Egyptian cause
2011-02-04 Protesters roar back with "Day of Departure" for Mubarak
2011-02-03 Algerians plan Feb 12 protest against 19- year-long state of emergency
2011-02-01 Jordan's King Sacks Government as Protests Grow
2011-02-01 Tunisian Islamic Leader Returns as EU Freezes Ousted President's Assets
2011-02-01 Army Vows Not to Shoot as Protesters make Million Man Marches in Cairo, Alexandria Today [UPDATE: 2]
2011-01-30 Million Egyptian Protest Planned as Resistance Continues
2011-01-29 No Internet? No Problem! Anonymous Faxes Egypt
2011-01-28 In Jordan Thousands Demand New Government
2011-01-28 Mubarak Refuses to Step Down!
2011-01-28 Egypt is on Fire!
2011-01-27 Libya is in Revolt as Gaddafi Worries
2011-01-27 Algerians Plan Big Protest Rally for February 9th
2011-01-27 Tunisia Protests Continues as a Warrant is Issued for Ben Ali
2011-01-27 Tens of Thousands Rally in Yemen, Demand Change
2011-01-27 Mubarak Blinks as Egyptian Protests Continue for 3rd Day

North African Hacker Humor

Here is a recap of my other DKos dairies on the Internet, North Africa and Anonymous:
Are they throwing babies out of incubators yet?
Continuing Discussion with a Gaddafi Supporter
Boston Globe oped supports Gaddafi with fraudulent journalism
Doha summit supports Libyan rebels
Current Events in Libya
Who's running Egypt?
Amonpour Plays Softball with Gaddafi
Californians Support North African Revolts
Google Supports Revolts | Anonymous does too!
Secret U.S. Intelligence Source on Middle East Revealed !
Arming Gaddfi
Are "mutinous officers" are being executed in Egypt now?
Algeria's 19 year long State of Emergency to end soon, President says
Senior Egyptian Army Officers Ordered Massacre!
Tales of Tyrants: Ben Ali, Mubarak & Suleiman
UPDATE: Egypt's Mubarak Has Resigned! - The Mubarak Screw Up & the Suleiman Danger
BREAKING: Mubarak is Defiant
The Google Search for Wael Ghonim
Tunisia's Revolution Continues
Google Goes Rebel, Supports Egyptian Protest
Tunisian Anonymous activists take on Egyptian cause
Protesters roar back with "Day of Departure" for Mubarak
Act Now to Stop Mubarak's Thugs From Killing More! w Petition
Act Now to Stop Mubarak's Thugs From Killing More!
They Should Have Helped That Street Vendor
Million Egyptian Protest Planned as Resistance Continues
Huffington Post Disses the Jasmine Revolution Redux
No Internet? No Problem! Anonymous Faxes Egypt
Egypt is on Fire!
North African Revolution Continues
Egypt Protests Continue, Tunisia Wants Ben Ali Back
BREAKING: Protesters Plan Massive "Day of Wrath" in Egypt Today
Tunisians Thank Anonymous as North Africa Explodes
Huffington Post Disses the Jasmine Revolution
Tunisia: A Single Tweet Can Start A Prairie Fire!
Anonymous plans Op Swift Assist in Tunisia
Arrested Pirate Party Member Becomes Tunisian Minister
Is Libya Next? Anonymous Debates New Operation
Tunis: This Photo was Taken 66 Minutes Ago
The WikiLeaks Revolution: Anonymous Strikes Tunisia
EMERGENCY: DKos Must Act Now to Protect Tunisian Bloggers!