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The Salman Pak mass grave story also shows signs of being a propaganda story. 1) There are suggestions of the use of biological methods of death that are neither documented or match the accounts given. 2) The presence of Shiite opposition group Dawa appears to be the organising force behind the event compromises interdependence. 3) Neither the number nor state of the remains pictured match the accounts that are given. 4) The presence of heavy earthmoving equipment suggests the "mass grave" scene was constructed quickly. 5) There is long list of discrepancies between the varying media reports. Further it needs to be pointed out that Salman Pak was supposedly a centre of WMDs storage/production as well as being an alledged training ground for Iraqi/Al Quaeda connection. As such it would have been an early target for being secured and guarded by occupation forces. I have selected 4 media reports to discuss. They are the original reuters report and BBC report of Saturday June 7, http://in.news.yahoo.com/030607/137/24y1j.html http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/world/middle_east/2971464.stm An the guardian report of June 9 and the Washington Post report of June 10 http://www.guardian.co.uk/Iraq/Story/0,2763,973543,00.html http://www.iraqfoundation.org/news/2003/fjun/10_massgrave.html In the early reports it is made clear that this was an event organised by the Dawa party, who publicised the site saying it was where people where killed by use of meat grinders. Transportation had been paid for and visitors recruited through visits to mosques (ie not grieving relatives looking for loved ones). It is claimed that 5 sets of remains had been removed from the site. In the two later reports, in the guardian it was claimed that 150 bodies had been removed from the site and that these corpses were only recently decayed. In the Washington Post it was said only 1 body had been exhumed. Both accounts told how the mass grave was a very recent one and consisted of deserters and prisoners shot in the last days of Saddam Hussein. Both told how villagers had gone into the site and found the bodies stacked up neatly like cordwood. They had then preceded to bury the bodies. Other accounts described how people had been alerted to the presence of a mass grave by dogs digging into shallow graves. It would appear then that the bodies show be both little decayed and easy to locate (the people who buried them being at hand). In addition they should be in shallow graves and not require the use of heavy earth moving equipment. Examining the photos we find from the BBC. http://newsimg.bbc.co.uk/media/images/39133000/jpg/_39133338_men_203body.jpg A long deep trench has been dug. There is no sign of any remains. It becomes clear how this trench was dug when looking at the next photo from USinfo. http://usinfo.state.gov/regional/nea/iraq/gallery/iraq-2003/0609mon2.htm Where there is a backhoe that appears to be involved in the digging, consistent with trying speedily create a "mass grave" site. Not consistent with trying to locate recently buried corpses in a known location, buried shallowly by hand by local villagers. http://www.krtdirect.com/photos/preview/preview.htm?doc=KRT%2Fkrtphotos%2Fdocs%2F171%2F748 A photo here shows what is alledged to be a vial of a lethal substance injected into prisoners brains. There has been no follow up on this, it is difficult to know how this could anyway determined without length forensic analysis. It might just as easily be a vial of any pharmaceutical product. http://www.krtdirect.com/photos/preview/preview.htm?doc=KRT%2Fkrtphotos%2Fdocs%2F171%2F744 http://www.krtdirect.com/visuals/preview.htm?doc=KRT%2Fkrtphotos%2Fdocs%2F171%2F747 Two photos alledge to show victims from the site. It is utterly obvious that these are not recently killed victims but a remains of people many years dead. It is certainly not consistent with the story of more than 100 victims being shoot recently and buried by villagers. In such a circumstance one would imagine these victims would be first to be exhumed - their location was precisely known and they would not have been buried deep. It raises the question, were these remains actually found at the site at all. http://www.krtdirect.com/photos/preview/preview.htm?doc=KRT%2Fkrtphotos%2Fdocs%2F171%2F743 A final photo shows 4 men straining to lift what is nothing more than some very old bones - as can be seen by the one bone that is visible. Again a very old set of remains, not consistent with the media stories accompaning. This has all the hallmarks of propaganda, vials of unidentified substances, use of meat grinders, accounts of buses arriving in the dead of night, the use of a backhoe to quickly create an excavation, and remains, that even if genuinely from that site, bear absolutely no relation to the accompaning accounts. Tom Young ____________________________________________________________ Free Poetry Contest. Win $10,000. Submit your poem @ Poetry.com! http://ad.doubleclick.net/clk;6750922;3807821;l?http://www.poetry.com/contest/contest.asp?Suite=A59101 _______________________________________________ Sent via the discussion list of the Campaign Against Sanctions on Iraq. To unsubscribe, visit http://lists.casi.org.uk/mailman/listinfo/casi-discuss To contact the list manager, email firstname.lastname@example.org All postings are archived on CASI's website: http://www.casi.org.uk