Published June 13, 2012
(save to your computer or open in a new window to read it now)
(note: this draft has a few typos and small errors and too few pictures - a new draft to address these and other shortcomings is being slowly worked out)
This is an exhaustive study and rethinking of what's been called "the most clear-cut war crime" of the whole Libyan civil war. On August 23, 2011, at the Yarmouk army base south of Tripoli, over 100 political prisoners were allegedly killed. Locked in a run-down shed behind the base, they were killed callously by soldiers of the Khamis Brigade, using guns and grenades, we're told. Around 45 of the bodies were then burned to skeletons, discovered by rebels and the media at about the same time, early on August 27.
Yet the escapees - 51 of them as now accepted - and the other witnesses are all ridiculously inconsistent. They agree on the political implications and some of the poetic touches, and by and large on the date. But they conflict on the kinds of details real witnesses tend to agree on. A conspiracy seems possible.
And beneath the many versions the witnesses relate is a likely rebel
massacre, committed as they conquered Yarmouk three days before now
acknowledged. The report details how many of the victims were Black men, and
how the racist Misrata fighters reported 140-170 mangled bodies by 6 am on the
24th. This early report was never explained until the CIWCL did it.
At over 150 pages, citing more than 230 sources, and based on the most incisive research yet, this report is not likely to be widely read cover-to-cover. But it is sure to re-define this event in the mind of any reader, and to provide valuable lessons for those concerned with questions of war vs. peace and lies vs. justice.