What the Charlie Hebdo Execution Video Really Shows

 

charlie-attentat-400x266I am well aware that I’m stepping into a hornet’s nest by posting this video, which is going viral. Those who wish to silence all debate have an easy card to play here, accusing me of buying into a conspiracy theory. There’s only one problem: unlike the video-maker, I have few conclusions to draw about what the significance of this video is in relation to the official story. That is not why I am posting it.

But it does, at least to my mind and obviously a lot of other people’s, judging by how quickly it’s spreading, suggest that Ahmed Merabet, the policeman outside the Charlie Hebdo office, was not shot in the head, as all the media have been stating.

That said, it does not prove much more. It doesn’t prove that Merabet did not die at the scene. Maybe he bled to death there on the pavement from his earlier wound. It certainly doesn’t prove that the Kouachi brothers were not the gunmen or that the one who fired missed on purpose. Maybe he just missed.

Nor does the video’s removal from most websites prove that there is some sort of massive cover-up going on. Ideas of good taste, especially in the immediate aftermath of a massacre close to home (ie here in the West), can lead to a media consensus that a video is too upsetting. That can occur even if it does not show blood and gore, simply because of what it implies. Herd instinct in these instances is very strong.

But the unedited video clip does leave a sour taste: because unless someone has a good rebuttal, it does indeed seem impossible that an AK-47 bullet fired from close range would not have done something pretty dramatic to that policeman’s head. And if the video is real – and there doesn’t seem much doubt that it is – it clearly shows nothing significant happened to his head either as or after the bullet was fired.

So what points am I making?

The first one is more tentative. It seems – though I suppose there could be an explanation I have overlooked – that the authorities have lied about the cause of the policeman’s death. That could be for several probably unknowable reasons, including that his being executed was a simpler, neater story than that he bled to death on the pavement because of official incompetence (there already seems to have been plenty of that in this case).

The second point is even more troubling. Most of the senior editors of our mainstream media have watched the unedited video just as you now have. And either not one of them saw the problem raised here – that the video does not show what it is supposed to show – or some of them did see it but did not care. Either way, they simply regurgitated an official story that does not seem to fit the available evidence.

That is a cause for deep concern. Because if the media are acting as a collective mouth-piece for a dubious official narrative on this occasion, on a story of huge significance that one assumes is being carefully scrutinised for news angles, what are they doing the rest of the time?

The lesson is that we as news consumers must create our own critical distance from the “news” because we cannot trust our corporate media to do that work for us. They are far too close to power. In fact, they are power.

Official narratives are inherently suspect because power always looks out for itself. This appears to be a good example – whether what it shows is relatively harmless or sinister – to remind us of that fact.

Charlie Hebdo Shootings – Censored Video

Published on Jan 10, 2015

This is footage of the Charlie Hebdo shootings which has been restricted or taken down from a number of websites. As you will see it contains no blood, gore or graphic violence. It does however punch a major hole in the official story.

Transcript & sources: http://stormcloudsgathering.com/charl…

I’m still trying to imagine a plausible explanation for the video. I’m no ballistics expert, so I’m firmly in the land of conjecture. But I wonder whether, if the bullet hit the pavement close to Merabet’s head, it might have been possible for bullet fragments to hit him, possibly killing him.

This possibility (assuming it is one) does not invalidate the point of my post. If it was indeed the case, certainly no media outlet has suggested that the gunman missed Merabet and that he died from the exploding fragments.

This isn’t meant to raise technical, or gruesome, details of the case. It is to suggest that western journalists do not report fearlessly and independently when they examine events being narrated by official sources. They mostly regurgitate information on trust, because they trust the authorities to be telling the truth. They do the same when the acts of official enemies are being examined – they again turn to official sources on their side. In short, most journalists have no critical distance from the events they are reporting on our behalf.

That leaves us, ordinary news consumers, in a position of either blindly trusting our own officials too or trying to work things out for ourselves. You would hope that the issues raised by this video get aired by journalists as part of establishing greater trust in our profession and proof of our independence. Instead, I expect it will simply be consigned the “conspiracy theory” bin.

Motives behind the Charlie Hebdo attack in Paris

 http://youtu.be/aCES82xfgdw

 

Published on Jan 8, 2015

Yesterday morning, three masked gunmen stormed the headquarters of the French satire magazine Charlie Hebdo. The attackers forced one of the cartoonists to open the door with a security code. And then headed straight towards the paper’s editor, Stephane Charbonnier better known as Charb, who was in an editorial staff meeting. In the encounter the gunmen killed Charb, his bodyguard and many more journalists. Minutes later the attackers left the building and shot a police officer and escaped with a vehicle. Ten journalists and two police officers were killed, it was the deadliest terrorist attack on French soil in fifty years.

Representatives of ISIS quickly praised the massacre as an act of revenge for the magazine’s insults against Islam and the Prophet Muhammed. But a closer look at the long term implications reveals a more complex and a profound motive that is meant to shake Europe and radicalize European Muslims.

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A Timeline: Where did the Paris Shooters Get Their Weapons?

Region:

 

police-paris_shooting-400x249Heavily armed, well-trained gunmen executed what appears to be a well-planned attack in Paris, France, killing 12, including 2 police officers. Where did these terrorists get their weapons, training, political backing, funds, and inspiration? A short timeline featuring news stories from 2011 to 2014 helps explain how France’s recent national tragedy could have been the direct result of its own insidious, callous, terroristic foreign policy that has visited this very same carnage seen in Paris, upon the people of Libya and Syria, a thousand fold. 

2011 – France supplying weapons to Libyan rebels, London Telegraph:

A French military spokesman, Colonel Thierry Burkhard, said it had provided “light arms such as assault rifles” for civilian communities to “protect themselves against Col Gaddafi”.

But the decision to arm the rebels is a further move towards direct involvement in the land war on top of the air war against Col Muammar Gaddafi. The Nafusa rebels have come closest to breaking through to Tripoli itself of any of the front lines of the conflict, while three months of Nato bombing have failed to dislodge Col Gaddafi from power.

Le Figaro, the French newspaper which first reported the air drops, said the shipment included rifles, machine guns and rocket-propelled grenades, along with Milan anti-tank missiles.

2011 – Libyan rebel commander admits his fighters have al-Qaeda links, London Telegraph:

Abdel-Hakim al-Hasidi, the Libyan rebel leader, has said jihadists who fought against allied troops in Iraq are on the front lines of the battle against Muammar Gaddafi’s regime.

2012 – France to push for arming Syria’s opposition coalition, the BBC:

France’s foreign minister has said he will discuss supplying arms to the Syrian opposition coalition with European partners.

The government plans to push for a relaxation of the EU arms embargo to Syria to enable “defensive arms” to reach opposition fighters.

2013 – Syria crisis: France and Britain move a step closer to arming rebels, the London Guardian:

France and Britain have moved a step closer to arming the opposition to the Assad regime in a radical move aimed at tipping the balance in the two-year civil war while also ignoring European policy on Syria.

The French president, François Hollande, went into an EU summit in Brussels with a dramatic appeal for Europe to join Paris and London in lifting a European arms embargo, but the sudden policy shift was certain to run into stiff German opposition.

2013 – Syrian rebels pledge loyalty to al-Qaeda, USA Today:

A Syrian rebel group’s April pledge of allegiance to al-Qaeda’s replacement for Osama bin Laden suggests that the terrorist group’s influence is not waning and that it may take a greater role in the Western-backed fight to topple Syrian President Bashar Assad.

The pledge of allegiance by Syrian Jabhat al Nusra Front chief Abou Mohamad al-Joulani to al-Qaeda leader Sheik Ayman al-Zawahri was coupled with an announcement by the al-Qaeda affiliate in Iraq, the Islamic State of Iraq, that it would work with al Nusra as well.

2014 – France delivered arms to Syrian rebels, Hollande confirms, France 24:

President Francois Hollande said on Thursday that France had delivered weapons to rebels battling the Syrian regime of Bashar al-Assad “a few months ago.”

France Isn’t the Only One

2Nusra.

The Daily Beast would report in its  September 2014 article, “Al Qaeda Plotters in Syria ‘Went Dark,’ U.S. Spies Say,” that:

One Syrian rebel group supported in the past by the United States condemned the air strikes on Tuesday. Harakat Hazm, a rebel group that received a shipment of U.S. anti-tank weapons in the spring, called the airstrikes “an attack on national sovereignty” and charged that foreign led attacks only strengthen the Assad regime.The statement comes from a document, purportedly from the group, that has circulated online and was posted in English translation from a Twitter account called Syria Conflict Monitor. Several Syria experts, including the Brookings Doha Center’s Charles Lister, believe the document to be authentic.

Before the official statement, there were signs that Harakat Hazm was making alliances in Syria that could conflict with its role as a U.S. partner. In early Septemeber a Harakat Hazm official told a reporter for the L.A. Times: “Inside Syria, we became labeled as secularists and feared Nusra Front was going to battle us…But Nusra doesn’t fight us, we actually fight alongside them. We like Nusra.”

This group would later be reported by the Western press as having “surrendered” to Al Qaeda. The International Business Times would claim in its article,Syria: Al-Nusra Jihadists ‘Capture US TOW Anti-Tank Missiles’ from Moderate Rebels,” that:

Weaponry supplied by the US to moderate Syrian rebels was feared to have fallen into the hands of jihadist militants affiliated to al-Qaida after clashes between rival groups.

Islamist fighters with Jabhat al-Nusra seized control of large swathes of land in Jabal al-Zawiya, Idlib province, at the weekend, routing the US-backed groups the Syrian Revolutionaries Front (SFR) and Harakat Hazm, activists said.

Washington relied on SFR and Harakat Hazm to counter Isis (Islamic State) militants on the ground in Syria, complementing its air strikes.

Clearly, Harakat Hazm willingly pledged allegiance to Al Qaeda, bringing with them Western armament. Much of Al Qaeda’s weapons, cash, training, and backing has been supplied by the West through similar “laundering” arrangements – intentionally – with plans to arm Al Qaeda and use it as a mercenary force against Western enemies in the Middle East laid as early as 2007.

Al Qaeda was intentionally organized and directed by the US, Saudi Arabia, and Israel to engage in a regional confrontation aimed at Iran and its powerful arc of influence including Syria, Hezbollah in Lebanon, and now apparently Iraq. A similar gambit played out in North Africa during NATO’s war with Libya. Before that, in the 1980′s, the US CIA notoriously created Al Qaeda in the first place to fight a proxy war against the Soviet Union in Afghanistan.

This most recent use of Al Qaeda was exposed by Pulitzer Prize-winning journalist Seymour Hersh in his 2007 article,  ”The Redirection: Is the Administration’s new policy benefiting our enemies in the war on terrorism?it which it was stated explicitly that (emphasis added):

To undermine Iran, which is predominantly Shiite, the Bush Administration has decided, in effect, to reconfigure its priorities in the Middle East. In Lebanon, the Administration has coöperated with Saudi Arabia’s government, which is Sunni, in clandestine operations that are intended to weaken Hezbollah, the Shiite organization that is backed by Iran. The U.S. has also taken part in clandestine operations aimed at Iran and its ally Syria. A by-product of these activities has been the bolstering of Sunni extremist groups that espouse a militant vision of Islam and are hostile to America and sympathetic to Al Qaeda

Now these “extremist groups that espouse a militant vision of Islam” and who are “sympathetic to Al Qaeda” are running loose in France spilling French blood, with and inexhaustible supply of weapons and cash courtesy in part of the French government itself, and with years of combat experience fighting Paris and the rest of NATO’s proxy wars for them everywhere from Libya to Syria.

Police Commissioner Involved in Charlie Hebdo Investigation “Commits Suicide”. Total News Blackout

 

fredou-400x186Police Commissioner Helric Fredou,  Number Two Police Officer of the Regional Service of France’s Judicial Police (JP), Limoges, (Haute-Vienne), “committed suicide on the night of Wednesday to Thursday at the police station.”

Commissioner Helric Fredou was part of the police investigation into the Charlie Hebdo terror attack.

Terror suspects Cherif and Said Kouachi who were shot dead by police on  January 9, spent their high-school years in the Limoges region. No doubt this was the object of Fredou’s police investigation. Yet police and media reports state that on that same Wednesday he was involved in a meeting with the family of one of the Charlie Hebdo victims.

On Wednesday, as part of the Charlie Hebdo investigation, he dispatched a team of police officials under his jurisdiction. He is reported to have waited for the return of his team for a debriefing.  Immediately following the police debriefing, he was involved in preparing his police report.

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Police Commissioner Helric Fredou

According to media reports, he committed suicide at around 1am on Thursday, within hours of the police debriefing. He used his own police  weapon, a SIG-Sauer to “shoot himself in the head”.

At the time of his death, police claim to have not known the reason for his alleged suicide. This was reflected in their official statements to the media: “It is unknown at this time the reasons for his actions”.

However, a back story appears to have been inserted simultaneously, most likely from the very same police media liaisons, who then told the press that Fredou was ‘depressed and overworked’. For any law enforcement officer in France, it would seem rather odd that anyone would want to miss the biggest single terror event of the century, or history in the making, as it were. (21st Century Wire,)

”An autopsy was performed at the University Hospital of Limoges, “confirming the suicide” 

There has been a total news blackout.

The French media decided or was instructed not to cover the incident. Not news worthy? So much for “Je suis Charlie” and ”Freedom of Expression” in journalism.

Likewise, the Western media including all major news services (AP, AFP, Reuters, Deutsche Welle, etc)  have not covered the issue.

One isolated report in Le Parisien presents the act of suicide as being totally unrelated to the Charlie Hebdo investigation.

While described as being  depressive and suffering from a burnout, police reports state that Helric Fredou’s suicide was totally unexpected.

Moreover, it is worth noting that, according to reports, he committed suicide in his workplace, in his office at the police station.

Did he commit suicide? Was he incited to commit suicide?

Or was he an “honest Cop” executed on orders of  France’s judicial police?

Has his report been released?

These are issues for France’s journalists to address. It’s called investigative reporting. Or is it outright media censorship?