The BBC has dug itself a deeper hole in the aftermath of a censorship controversy which saw the broadcaster pull a video about Syrian rebels forcing a prisoner to become an unwitting suicide bomber, with the BBC claiming its reporter never characterized the incident as a “war crime” when in fact the opposite is true.
A video clip showing a prisoner being made by Syrian rebels to drive a truck full of explosives to a military checkpoint in Aleppo was pulled from both the BBC website and the official BBC channel on You Tube hours after it was published. Bloggers were able to capture and upload a copy of the video which can be viewed below.
BBC World News editor John Williams responded to the controversy in a blog post on the BBC News website by noting that “the story has generated much interest across the Arab World and beyond.”
Though Williams fails to address why the BBC has sent the story down the memory hole, he does attempt to explain away the fact that the events depicted in the footage clearly represent a war crime, noting that the attempted murder of a captive has been defined as such by Amnesty International.
“Some pro-government news agencies in Syria have suggested the BBC and the New York Times have termed the act as a “war crime”. This is not true,” claims Williams.
And yet it is true.
At the 2 minute 13 mark in the clip embedded above, BBC reporter Gordon Corera clearly states, “Using prisoners as suicide bombers would certainly be considered a war crime.”
So in fact yes, the BBC did term the act as a “war crime” and John Williams is being brazenly dishonest.
Why is the BBC lying in claiming they didn’t characterize the act as a war crime? Perhaps it’s because their removal of the story constitutes covering up for a war crime. Maybe it made the lawyers and senior editors nervous.
Recall that this is not the first time the BBC has been caught manipulating reporting of events in Syria to push a pro-NATO regime change agenda. Back in May we exposed how the BBC has used a years-old photo of dead Iraqi children to depict victims of an alleged government assault in the town of Houla.
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 to authenticity of the image.
The BBC’s excuse for removing the shocking story about how western-backed Syrian rebels are using unwilling prisoners to carry out terrorist attacks is shaky to say the least.
“Under the terms of the agreement with the New York Times we only had the rights to use the material on broadcast outlets. However the material was used online in error. As soon as we realised the error we immediately took steps to remove the online material,” responded the BBC.
So we’re being asked to believe that the world’s largest news organization doesn’t have a procedure in place where it checks with other major news organizations before using their material.
Even if we are to accept this dubious explanation, the fact that the BBC is now openly lying to its audience in claiming its reporter never characterized the incident as a “war crime” when the opposite is true emphasizes once again how the NATO-aligned media is desperate to uphold the image of Syrian opposition forces as glorious freedom fighters when in fact they are being led by Al-Qaeda terrorists while metering out acts of brutality on a par with anything Assad’s forces have been accused of.