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Capture of Saddam Hussein:
Was the Photographic Evidence Manipulated?
We present to our readers two sides of the "Yellow dates" controversy including the photographic evidence.
At this stage we reserve our judgment on this matter, pending further investigation.
However, it should be understood that the release of the official story and the photographic evidence were controlled by the US led Coalition (CPA), most probably in liaison with the CIA and the Pentagon's Office of Special Plans (OSP).
OSP --which had been established by Deputy Defense Secretary Paul Wolfowitz-- was behind the media spin and disinformation campaign regarding WMDs in the months leading up to the war.
For further details on the disinformation and propaganda campaign behind Saddam Hussein's capture, see: War Propaganda and the Capture of Saddam Hussein , by Michel Chossudovsky, 22 December 2003, http://globalresearch.ca/articles/CHO312B.html
Doubt regarding Capture of Saddam , several authors, 22 December 2003, http://globalresearch.ca/articles/CRG312B.html
Posted by Michel Chossudovsky, CRG Editor, 22 December 2003
According to Abd Al-Bari Atwan, Editor-in-Chief of the London-based Arabic daily Al-Quds Al-Arabi, quoted by Dr. Nimrod Raphaeli, MEMRI's Middle East Economic Studies Program ( http://www.memri.org/bin/latestnews.cgi?ID=IA15503 ):
"The U.S. and its mighty propaganda machine are involved in a disinformation campaign that reaches the level of terrorism" to mislead public opinion ...
The pictures distributed by the Americans about Saddam's hideout show a palm tree behind the soldier who uncovered the hole where Saddam was hiding. The palm tree carried a cluster of pre-ripened yellow dates, which might suggest that Saddam was arrested at least three months earlier, because dates ripen in the summer months when they turn into their natural black or brown color."
Atwan concludes that the arrest was "a staged show and the place of arrest [was] completely elsewhere."
The London Times, (20 December 2003) reviewing the Arabic Press, carried the following analysis of the Yellow dates:
"...the dates growing in palm trees at the farmhouse where Saddam was arrested were ripening yellow, placing the images to sometime around July.
In a country where no one ever trusted their leadership or the media to tell the truth gossip and rumour quickly gain credence among a people in the midst of tremendous upheaval. Journalists at the scene in al-Dawr village confirm that the dates were unseasonably yellow but Iraqis dismiss such arguments."
See picture below (pre-ripened yellow dates, picture taken in mid-December)
(AP), December 15, 2003
The following text, which constitutes a "refutation" of the above was posted at http://hammorabi.blogspot.com/2003_12_01_hammorabi_archive.html
We are including it for the record.
The Yellow Unripe Dates!
Regarding the rumours raised about the unripe dates seen at the site of the arrest of Saddam (please see my article; The Unripe Dates, 17 Dec 2002), some reporters have visited Al Door area and met the farmers. Asharq Al Awsat newspaper tried to enter the site where Saddam was arrested but prevented from going inside by an American patrol. They then went to the neighbouring farms. The farmers affirmed that plenty of yellow dates exist now and will remain so until the end of March. They explained that the lack of fertilisation hampered the process of ripening by which the dates converted from hard yellow to a brown soft. The unfertilised dates called (Shees) or unripe dates. It will remain yellow for long time until the end of March. This was the case in the tree near Saddam's hiding place. It was like many other trees ignored (not been fertilised) due to the war. The usual process of fertilisation in Iraq carried out manually by taking the seeds dust from the males and put it in the flowers of the females. This process carried out individually from one tree to another by one person or more. The farmers added that the members of the previous regime ignored their farms due to the war so remained unfertilised.
Posted by: Sam / 12/21/2003 05:27:11 AM
In the following days we will update this analysis, which can be corroborated or refuted with photographic evidence of "yellow dates" at that particular site or in neighboring farms in mid-December.
Bear in mind that in December it gets pretty cold in Iraq, with temperatures dropping to close to the freezing point at night. http://weather.yahoo.com/forecast/IZXX0008.html
If indeed the picture of the spider-hole was taken several months ago, this casts doubt on the official story.
For more photos, see:
photo gallery of Capture of Saddam Hussein
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