WaPo Pulls Number Of Dead From Hot Air
At least 32 killed as Syrian troops open fire headlines the Washington Post:
BEIRUT — Defying a stern warning from President Obama, Syrian forces opened fire on protesters after Friday prayers, killing at least 32 people as the regime led by President Bashar al-Assad showed no sign of easing its military crackdown.
But the piece does not explain when, where and under what circumstances those 32 have supposedly died. There is not one bit of information in the piece about this. In which cities did this happen? Who opened fire? When was this? Where is that number coming from?
In addition to the 32 deaths, about 200 people were injured by gunfire aimed at protesters, and the toll could rise, said Tarif, the human rights activist.
That would be one “Wissam Tarif of the human rights group Insan”. Insan is an organization in Spain with a website that does not say much about the group. There is especially no say as to who is funding it. The FAQ on the side only has this:
[S]ince 2009 INSAN has re-strategized its approach, turning, instead to project partners and funding institutions for support.
No project partner or institution is listed. This organization could be a front for about anything. I have no idea why any decent journalist would trust it especially when it throws out numbers without any factual backing.
The group claims to have grown out of other organisations:
INSAN began in 2001 as an awareness and educational project in Syria under the name ‘LCCI.’
The lobbying and opinion-forming organization which was born from this endeavor was to be called ‘FDPOC’ (Foundation for the Defense of Prisoners of Conscience).
There is no trace on the Internets of LCCI and an FDPOC link to FDPOC.com in a Wikipedia article is dead. The current nameserver for FDPOC.com is NS1.SUSPENDED-FOR.SPAM-AND-ABUSE.COM. I find one Syria bashing piece from 2008 that mentions FDPOC and Wissam Tarif.
My hunch is that Wissan Tarif and INSAN are front for some intelligence service.
But the Post doesn’t bother. Some numbers thrown around of some people killed in Syria, no matter from where, seems to be enough for a big headline and a piece which doesn’t back it up.