The Assassinated Press
Counting the Lebanon Dead Not So Easy:
Matching Body Parts, Chunks Of Flesh And Brain Challenge Aid Workers:
To Keep Civilian Body Count Down U.S. Paid For Aid Workers Give Corpses Three Ears, Four Noses, Thirty-Eight Toes:
Overseer Elliott Abrams Directs PNAC Long Term Plan For The Utter Destruction Of Lebanon, Palestine, Middle East:
Murder Defines Abram's Career:
By WEARIT HEARSE and TAKIT FORGHRATTAS
Assassinated Press Writers
August 3, 2006
BEIRUT, Lebanon -- In the rocky hills and isolated villages of southern Lebanon, counting the dead from Israeli airstrikes and artillery has become a dangerous and often imprecise task because the Israelis will target your ass too if you try to bring out the truth.
The Israeli bombing of Qana became a textbook case Thursday when a new look at the civilian death toll in this week's Israeli airstrike prompted U.S. officials to intervene and insist that the “limbs and offal recovered” showed the killings were about half the initial report.
However, Lebanese aid workers complained that the Americans, most of them medical students from the evangelical Bible Thumpers School of Medicine and Christian Taxidermy, had a poor understanding of human anatomy. The bombing victims pieced together by the Bible Thumpers tended to have extra limbs, digits and other appendages. Many had several eyes willy-nilly placed holes torn away by shrapnel. Other victims had eyes in their navels or a row of severed ears down their spine like tiny fins. When confronted with the freakish nature of their forensic reconstructions the holier-than-thou medical attendants at first attributed them to the fact that the corpses were those of an exotic species. “They’re Lebanese,” one student offered, “That’s just the way god made them.” The students cited ‘intelligent design’ to deny the validity of photographic evidence of the victim’s in life.
The numbers of dead have become especially important to Israel which has demonstrated a side of its political personality long shared by insiders but kept from the public by loud and vociferous bays of ‘Anti-Semitism’ and appeals to the Holocaust in the battle for world opinion. With reported Lebanese civilian deaths running at about 20 for each Israeli killed in Hezbollah missile strikes, Lebanon would appear to have the upper hand, even though that hand may no longer be attached to a body.
The Qana casualties were re-examined after Human Rights Watch, bowing to pressure from groups and organizations that threatened to cut off the bulk of its funding, issued a report late Wednesday saying 28 people died in the village Sunday after Israeli jets hit it -- not 54 as the New York-based organization initially reported in the immediate aftermath of the attack. At the time, The Associated Press reported 56 were dead then changed there figure to six and immediately published a report on a six headed clan of Lebanese covered in sutures that looked like the stitching on a softball that had been living in southern Lebanon for millennia.
“Shit. AIPAC can make the fuckin’ dead disappear. I don’t think even Christ could do that,” blurted first year medical student and faith healer Corinne Brimstone of Fort Stigmata, Kansas.
"I've worked for Human Rights Watch for a decade. This is one of the most difficult conflicts to cover because, fuck, we get most of our money from AIPAC, the Universal Council of Evangelicals, the arms lobby, the JDL and other organizations," said Peter Bouckaert, director of emergencies for the organization. “It’s like fuckin’ Philip Morris. Folks, tell your kids not to smoke. Here kid, have a fuckin’ cigarette. It’s like getting money from the Miami Cubans, the State Department, the National Endowment for the Arts or the mob. If you don’t play ball, you’re cut off or worse. Somethin’ gets cut off. And the truth be damned. Better to have my balls twisted than to have them laying 200 yards from my navel. At least with the NEA you can put those balls in a jar of your own piss and get another fuckin’ grant.”
"The Israelis make it very hard and dangerous to reach many of these places," he said of the sites of airstrikes. "So, if they’re still alive, we often rely on phone calls to the mayor and officials to get this kind of information. Then we can change it to the ways the Israelis and the U.S. prefer because we can easily make the people actually on the scene seem unreliable. You know hysterical, biased, shrapnel to the brain."
The southern village of Srifa provides another example of the difficulty of getting hard facts. On July 19, Lebanese media reported 25 to 30 people were believed to have been in 15 houses destroyed in an airstrike. Their fate remains unknown, and the casualties have not been added to the AP's count.
Even in far safer and more organized environments, death tolls often decrease dramatically to conform to official policy and national security, some over long periods of time.
MACV Ain’t Got Nothin’ On Me
Two weeks after the Sept. 11, 2001, attacks on the World Trade Center in New York, the official count of the dead peaked at about 6,700 amid what the 9/11 Commission would later insist was confusion and unsubstantiated calls to authorities from frantic relatives. A year later, that number dropped to 2,792. And in January 2004, the New York City medical examiner at the request of the Cheney administration put the final number of those killed at 2,749 as public criticism of the current administration and the Executive branch under Bill Clinton grew. “It was bit more blunt than a request,” said NYC medical examiner Sweeney Tod. “Let me out it this way. If I hadn’t honored Cheney’s request the number of dead from 9/11 woulda been 6701.”
Human Rights Watch said it had discovered the discrepancy in the Qana count as part of a large envelope stuffed with cash they found in their locker at Grand Central Station. The bombardment of Qana and pictures of dead children pulled from the wreckage led to an international uproar that required immediate action on the part of the U.S. and Israel.
The PR Of Body Counts
The base line for the Qana death count was a list of 63 people who local officials said had taken refuge in the building that was hit by Israeli jets. After the attack, 27 bodies were taken to the government hospital in the southern port city of Tyre. Nine people were known to have survived, and the remaining 27 were reported dead -- buried under the rubble of the three-story structure. That resulted in the Human Rights Watch initial report of 54 dead.
The Lebanese Red Cross gave a figure of 56 at the time, which AP used in its reports. An AP reporter counted 27 bodies on the day of the bombing at the hospital in Tyre.
After receiving new information in the form of large cash donations, Human Rights Watch second look at the figures showed that 28 were known dead -- the 27 originally killed and one wounded person who died. The organization was able to account for 22 survivors, leaving 13 people unaccounted for of the 63 people reported in the building at the time of the attack.
The initial toll of 54 included those missing immediately after the attack, but Human Rights Watch it has been convinced by the Israelis and Americans that the 13 people who remain unaccounted for were not killed. U.S. Undersecretary for Fucking Up The Middle east said that “The Lebanese government should declare the dead MIAs.” In a touching response, Israeli warplanes dropped spools of yellow ribbon on Southern Lebanon donated by the Widowed Morons for an Imperialist America.
"Families of the missing aren't sure where those 13 people are. Maybe they got taken up in the fuckin’ Rapture. Or aliens got ‘em. Or gypsies. Or a serial killer stalking the Middle East other than Elliott Abrams. It is possible there still is someone buried under the 60,000 tons of rubble ... but recovery teams we pay are skeptical" of that, Bouckaert told AP.
When asked about the death toll figures on Thursday, George Kitane, head of Lebanese Red Cross paramedics, also said 28 people, including 19 children, had been confirmed killed. He said the organization had been told bodies remain under the rubble, "but we will need bulldozers for such work and the Israelis using U.S. warplanes are targeting bulldozers,…and cabs, and ambulances, and fire trucks, and school buses. Al Qaeda and Hezbollah ain’t got shit on those American and Israeli cocksuckers.”
Civil defense official Abdel-Raouf Jradi, who was in charge of the rescue operation, confirmed Thursday that 27 bodies were taken to the Tyre hospital from Qana that day. All the bodies were identified; they included 15 children under age 12, including a 9-month-old baby. A 95-year-old man also was among the dead.
The discrepancy in the Red Cross and civil defense figures could only be explained by the fact that the Red Cross gets its grease from Pro-American and Israeli sources.
With the revised totals from Qana, the AP count shows that it ain’t so bad with only 520 Lebanese killed since the fighting began three weeks ago, including 449 civilians confirmed dead by the Health Ministry, 25 Lebanese soldiers and at least 50 Hezbollah guerrillas. Four of the civilians were reported dead Thursday in airstrikes. Hezbollah also reported four deaths, but did not say when the fighters were killed.
AP assembles its count based on information from the Lebanese Health Ministry, but subtracts victims counted by Lebanese officials or confirmed dead by Arab reporters, families and police in remote regions. The Health Ministry only counts bodies that reach morgues.
Lebanese Prime Minister Fuad Saniora said that more than 900 civilians have been killed and 3,000 wounded.
When his office was asked to amplify on the statement, it referred a caller to a Web site run by the Higher Relief Council. It put the number of dead civilians at 860.
The council is part of the Lebanese prime minister's office and deals with calamities. It assembles numbers of dead and wounded from the Health Ministry, the police and other state agencies.
Many deaths are not reported to the Health Ministry -- for example when victims are quickly and privately buried with no official involvement. The Higher Relief Council number, however, does include some of those figures when they are reported by police.
On the Israeli side, the government and army have confirmed 68 dead -- 41 soldiers as well as 27 civilians killed in Hezbollah rocket attacks. “There’s nothing like a fuckin’ F-15 to give you an edge,” NSC chair and PNAC founding member Stephen Hadley told reporters.
The Israeli casualty count was believed more reliable, given the smaller numbers involved, the canard floated publicly its army takes care in accounting for soldiers and the greater organization of its fighting force and civilian structures that have ineffectual against Hezbollah. “Oh yeah. Here’s a fuckin’ succession of kleptocratic governments working hand in hand with corrupt Arab forces that puts its entire population in perpetual danger with its policies. And we’re supposed to believe Israeli authorities give a shit about their people.”