The Theatre of War 78

My last post on the BBC footage of Syrian casualties – and the different versions of what the doctor said – has brought me a deluge of emails, not least from the Guardian who have been in touch with the BBC and, if the Guardian can get over its phobia at ever mentioning me at all, will doubtless produce a “Craig Murray is a Conspiracy Theorist” piece.  It would be unethical for me to reveal what the BBC said ahead of the Guardian, but I might point out that in a large amount of verbiage they completely failed to address or admit the point that they showed two different versions of what the doctor said.

Close inspection of the two different versions, by numerous commenters and for which I am grateful, reveals that there were actually two or more takes of this scene.  The easiest tell is the arm position of the man in the fluorescent jacket next to the doctor.

Actually, that is much worse than if it were overdubbing.  What this means is, that what is portrayed as a live action piece with casualties being rushed in, was actually a rehearsed piece of which several takes were done.  Rehearsed because, with the exception of the words napalm and chemical weapons, the words are precisely the same, which is not easy spontaneously especially under that kind of stress.

This raises some even weirder questions.  In a hospital where dozens of  desperately wounded casualties are at that moment being rushed in for life-saving treatment, this British doctor not only has time to talk to the BBC, but to do several takes? Is that not extremely strange?  Furthermore, nobody else in the courtyard is wearing a face mask.  If the doctor has time to do several takes with the BBC, why on earth has she not slipped off her mask to talk?  Is it for theatrical effect, to give the impression of someone just rushed from the theatre, as opposed to someone doing several takes for the BBC?

The BBC report says specifically the doctors were “overwhelmed”.  In which case how on earth could the BBC even ask them to do several takes of an interview in the middle of the crisis?  And why would they agree?






78 thoughts on “The Theatre of War

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  • Joolsleeds

    It;s likely they did one interview with the doctor and made two separate news reports using the same material. In the first interview there’s a cut away around the time she mentions the chemical weapons, in the second, she’s shown in a different position. I very much doubt they did numerous takes – they probably just had the one interview and used it two different ways.

    I’m a documentary filmmaker so know how interviews can be cut. To get to the bottom of it you would have to see the full transcript of the unedited interview. But if I were a betting man, I’d say she probably mentioned both napalm and chemical weapons in the same interview and possible different people edited the two news reports and made different selections. Was one from Panorama and the other from News? That might account for the differences.

    It also doesn’t help though that she’s wearing a face mask.

  • Rose

    Which is why the very language used and the way it’s employed needs to be examined. George Orwell said it all in “Politics and the English Language”

  • Fred

    Remember the toppling of Saddam’s statue?

    Every reporter there must have known it was staged yet not one of them said so because it would have got in the way of a good story.

    If this entire interview was staged they wouldn’t say so for the same reason.

  • eddie-g

    Interesting to hear that the Guardian is weighing in on this, after last week Glenn Greenwald humiliated Kirsty Wark on Newsnight.

    Any sense that they are perhaps trying to curry a bit of goodwill with after what should be a career-ending interview for Newsnight’s worst host?

  • Maxter

    According to the mouthpiece on the BBC new tonight regarding value for the TV licence….the BBC are impartial!!!!

  • Rose

    “Theatre of war” is exactly the right description – a piece of deadly pantomime got up for the diversion of the great unwashed in the hope that nobody in the audience will be rude enough to point out the nudity of the actors, the thinness of the script and the paucity of the props.

  • fedup

    Freedom of the press means you area free to own one

    The corporate interests dictated by the proprietors’ imperatives, set the guidelines for editorial policies that ultimately dictate what is to be fed to the consumers. The bbc is owned by the FOC and manned by the various SIS assets. Hence it should come as no surprise it is feeding a pack of bullshit to the license payers whom have little or no choice to opt out of paying their dues.

    It is good to see that Craig has highlighted the war propaganda that has been put together as a piece of “news” and fed to the Jo Couch Potato. Further, outing the almost comical and amateur package for what it is; a pile of steaming horse shit, will invite the interested parties to pour scorn and derision on whomsoever who dares to fucking speak out in such terms.

    The tosser in the yellow jacket in the middle of war zone ferrying the victims of the “chemical attacks” in the attack of the chemical zombies, has a clean jacket amidst the world of shit, blood, vomit and piss, aimlessly hanging around in the background. Sticking out like a sore thumb, sort of a turd in the pool, but hey that is the colour of the gear our first responders ware, so the jacket will have to do. This for the benefit of the Jo Couch potato to relate to, and understand there is a medical emergency, in progress.

    Russia, Syria and the Decline of American Hegemony

    The most dramatic event of September 2013 was the high-noon stand-off near the Levantine shore, with five US destroyers pointing their Tomahawks towards Damascus and facing them – the Russian flotilla of eleven ships led by the carrier-killer Missile Cruiser Moskva and supported by Chinese warships. Apparently, two missiles were launched towards the Syrian coast, and both failed to reach their destination.

  • Ken Waldron

    Thanks Mary.

    Craig, you should read your replies before you post. Here it is again:

    BBC Doctor audio reconstructed.

    Well, despite the differing backgrounds in the video, which I thought pointed to different takes…

    I had a brief analysis done on it, result and comments which I copy fyi here:

    “Here’s the full sentence reconstructed:

    It IS one sentence… you’ll notice the background noise jumps on the switchover: thats due to the effect of compression on the audio, one piece has been compressed more heavily which has raised the noise floor.
    Note that the sentence lines up perfectly despite that, which points to the fact that the section about chemical weapons was actually edited out the first time round, even though she has said it, and the napalm edited out for the later.”

    Check the reconstruction I had made: I think you may be convinced. What we have is two different edits of this: Please listen to it.

  • fedup


    US torturing terror suspect on USS San Antonio: Lendman

    “On October 5th, US commandos, CIA and FBI agents lawlessly abducted Abu Anas al-Libi from Libya. Who is this man?” Lendman asked.

    “He was recruited in the 1980s as a Mujahedeen fighter that America used against Soviet occupiers. That’s the time Ronald Reagan called all of these fighters “the moral equivalent of our founding fathers.” Bin Laden, al-Libi and many others, with these type fighters, over the years have been used strategically as both allies and enemies,” he explained.

    “Al-Libi was used to fight Gaddafi in 2011 and as I mentioned he was used against the Soviet in Afghanistan in the 1980s and then on October 5th he was abducted lawlessly,” Lendman said.

  • oddie

    however it was done, it reeks of a staged event.

    as some others have pointed out, even more incriminating is the signal to those on the floor to begin moaning & writhing about at 3 minutes in:

    btw in all Syrian coverage at present, the MSM, including BBC, are not making a single reference to the possibility/probability that the “rebels” also have chemical weapons. rather, the hourly/daily narrative associates the Syrian Govt with the Ghouta “chem weapon” attack & BBC (& other MSM) continue to use the unverified 1400 figure:

    6 Oct: BBC: Work has begun to destroy Syria’s chemical weapons
    The work follows international outrage at a chemical weapons attack near the Syrian capital Damascus in August.

    6 Oct: BBC: Syria chemical arms removal begins
    The destruction of Syria’s chemical weapons has begun, following international outrage at an attack near Damascus in August that killed more than 1,400 people…

  • DRE

    Odd bit at 02.00 where the guy being bagged (being ventilated by bag,mask and oxygen due to heat injury of his airway and lungs) can breathe so easily he leans over to show the camera the burns on his back.

  • Stephen Perrett

    I wonder that use of the face mask allowed for easy overdubs. Also with a face mask you might expect the voice to be a little muffled but it is very clear.

  • OT

    So they “gassed” 426 alawite children from Latakia and laid them dead side by side in Ghouta, to start a war. After that juvenile performance in the Commons, urging for war based on such faked videos and 8200 “intercepts” by his ilk at Herzliya, Rifkind should be dragged on the streets of Kensington along with Chemical Bandar and the rest of the EVIL MONSTERS involved in this deception.

  • Jemand


    I can’t see anything sinister in this BBC reporting. Just the usual low quality production values and dramatically “enhanced”, speculative narrative designed to keep costs down and ratings high. Isn’t this normal?

    The British doctor might have worn the mask for either anonymity or dramatic effect – no big deal there. 

    In this era of declining standards of accountability, I would have thought that nobody really cares about quality news reporting anymore. Especially since the public doesn’t like hearing the awful truth anyway.

  • Joe

    Little write up here with video excerpts

  • Fred

    “Note that the sentence lines up perfectly despite that, which points to the fact that the section about chemical weapons was actually edited out the first time round, even though she has said it, and the napalm edited out for the later.”

    So effectively the problem was that the doctor said that napalm was a chemical weapon. Given that America’s extensive use of the stuff is well known that might not be a good thing to broadcast.

  • Mary

    One creep to another yesterday in the HoC. Burt acknowledged it with a wry smile. Wonder how people like Burt feel when they have been dumped yet they have done their masters’ bidding? Foolish perhaps?

    ‘Mr Jack Straw (Blackburn) (Lab): First, while congratulating the Minister of State, Foreign and Commonwealth Office, the right hon. Member for Faversham and Mid Kent (Hugh Robertson) on his appointment, may I underline the respect for and tribute made to the hon. Member for North East Bedfordshire (Alistair Burt) for the brilliant way in which he conducted himself as a Minister? I hope the fact that he was held in as high regard by the Opposition as he was by those on the Government Benches did not contribute to the Prime Minister’s decision yesterday.’

    It followed Hague’s statement on Syria and Iran.

  • Komodo

    I noticed (and I think mentioned here) the happy coincidence of a Panorama team being in the close vicinity when the attack took place. Luck, judgement, or prior information?

    I buy the “two different edits” idea, but surely the phrase tampered with is key to the story. If she mentioned both CW and napalm, both should have stayed in. And as the entire area, together with the victims, had unequivocally suffered an incendiary attack, there is no excuse whatever for deleting “napalm” from the record.

    And what Jemand said, too.

  • Janet

    I once worked for the Refugee Council. We sometimes had TV crews in. One day I was helping someone with travel documents in the day centre. A reporter with a camera asked me to repeat exactly what I had just said and done. I said that I wasn’t an actor, but they said that it would make a really good scene for a programme about the needs of refugees. The man I was helping looked a bit bemused, but he agreed. I then did exactly what I had done before. The scene appeared on the BBC 6 O’clock news. It looked totally natural. It was presented as apart of the day to day activity of the centre. You would never have known from what you saw that the scene had been staged. Since then I have always been suspicious of so called live reports. I’m not a media person and I have never appeared on TV since, but my tiny experience does add some credence to Craig’s version of what might have happened in this far more serious case.

  • nevermind

    Most of the BBC’s electin coverage is staged, pre determined and pre planned, if something is said wrong, or coomes over not as it is required, the whole take is repeated.

    The BBC loves planning its events, the event at the Norman centre, during the Norwich North byelectin was ample evidence.
    The BBC even managed too persuade a philsophy Professor standing against Craig, a fellow academic and member of the respective union, Rupert Read, to agree with Craig being shut out of a debate on education, a then rector of Dundee university. Just one example, but repeated amny times.

    There is no such thing as TV as it comes, were the camera man is beaming directly into our living rooms, not yet, but I feel there is a point for it to be made, direct TV.

  • Mary

    Quite hilarious stuff from Gordon Corera being put out on the BBC News Channel this morning. Look at the moving flashing coloured lines and the indication of 0101010 digital displays in the blurred background at the start of the video. BBC Graphics dept giving it full welly.

    ‘MI5 warning over threat to UK public

    There are several thousand Islamist extremists in the UK and they see the British public as a legitimate target, the new chief of MI5 has said.

    In his first public speech, Andrew Parker also said security services must be given access to the many means of technology and communication used by terrorists.

    Gordon Corera reports.’

  • John Goss

    The most important thing about the attack, who did it?, is being overshadowed by the despicable behaviour of the BBC and other MSM outlets, which has had no credibility since, thanks Fred, the Iraq war. Most of these scenarios are probably rehearsed in Pinewood, Hollywood, or the backwoods. As Fred also mentioned napalm being a weapon of choice of the Yanks, could they have known about it beforehand? Supplied it perhaps?

    Off-topic. I was on the demonstration on Saturday marking 12 months in a Supermax prison for Talha Ahsan (poor man). Here Professor Bill Bowring, former Guardian editor Victoria Brittain and Hamja Ahsan discuss the disturbing extradition of the poet.

  • Fred

    As I see it the most likely chain of events are this.

    A Syrian war plane dropped an incendiary bomb which missed it’s target and landed in a residential area.

    The Syrian opposition decided to play this up as much as possible for propaganda purposes and staged the scene before sending drivers to escort the BBC camera crews safely to the area.

    The BBC camera crew knowing full well what was going on went along with it anyway because it made good television and their job is to make good television.

    The footage arrived at the BBC where two different editors realised the doctor had gone way OTT by suggesting the Syrian government had used chemical weapons and sanitised the video in different ways.

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