News agency uses picture of dead Iraqi children to depict alleged government atrocity in Syria.
The British media has been caught yet again with its pants down in the effort to sell a NATO-led attack on Syria, with the revelation that BBC News used a years-old photo of dead Iraqi children to depict victims of an alleged government assault on the town of Houla.
In a report issued hours after the massacre, the BBC used a photo that was first published over nine years ago and taken in Al Mussayyib, Iraq. The image shows a child skipping over the dead bodies of hundreds of Iraqi children who have been transported from a mass grave to be identified.
The caption used by the BBC to describe the image stated that the picture was provided by an activist and “believed to show the bodies of children in Houla awaiting burial”. After the “mistake” was exposed, the BBC changed their original article but did not issue a retraction.
The photographer who took the original picture, Marco Di Lauro, posted on his Facebook page, “Somebody is using my images as a propaganda against the Syrian government to prove the massacre.” Di Lauro told the London Telegraph he was “astonished” the BBC had failed to check the authenticity of the image.
“What I am really astonished by is that a news organization like the BBC doesn’t check the sources and it’s willing to publish any picture sent it by anyone: activist, citizen journalist or whatever. That’s all,” said Di Lauro.
Information surrounding the massacre at Houla clearly suggests that the murders were carried out by death squads and not shelling by government tanks. Video footage of the child victims (warning – graphic) appears to show gunshot wounds to the face and stab wounds. None of the victims appear to have lost any limbs.
As RT reports, “Many of the victims were executed at point blank-range,” a fact inconsistent with the explanation that tank shelling was responsible for the bloodshed. It’s equally as likely that terrorist death squads, responsible for numerous deadly bombings in Syria that have killed scores of people, were responsible for the massacre.
As Tony Cartalucci writes, “Why on earth would the Syrian Government want to kill Syrian children? And even if for some reason they did – why would they do so in a way more or less guaranteed to attract international condemnation and renewed calls for intervention? In other words, ‘cui bono‘?
“Who really benefits from this atrocity – and who doesn’t? Surely the insurgents and their foreign backers benefit. and the Syrian Government most certainly does not! Given that recent bomb atrocities in Damascus have been blamed – almost universally – on extremist opponents of the Assad Government, isn’t it at least plausible they’re also behind this latest horror?”
Whatever the truth behind events over the weekend, the mass media has once again prostrated itself as a rolling propaganda mouthpiece for the claims of dubious anonymous “activists” who have proven to be adept at staging propaganda time and time again.
This is by no means the first time the British media has salaciously claimed that Assad’s forces are indiscriminately killing babies and children.
Back in February, the London Independent reported, “President Assad’s security forces have indiscriminately killed scores of newborn babies in Homs this week.”
As we documented, the source for this claim did not originate in Syria but in London, from an organization called Syrian Observatory for Human Rights (SOHR), which is little more than a lobbying group with intimate ties to the UK Foreign Office.
The propaganda tool of falsely accusing governments of killing babies and children is not new to the middle east. Before the first Gulf War, then largest public relations firm in the world Hill & Knowlton crafted a hoax centered around the lie that Saddam Hussein’s troops were ransacking hospitals in Kuwait and throwing babies out of incubators. Despite later being proven to be a complete fabrication, George H.W. Bush administration aggressively pushed the story as part of their build-up to war.