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Aussies probe the ambulance incident

By Michelle Malkin  •  August 31, 2006 10:25 PM

Australian blogger Tim Blair dissects shifting stories on the Qana ambulance incident. Here’s the summary of the discrepancies in Martin Chulov’s coverage for The Australian, based on the alleged eyewitness accounts of one “Qasin Shalin“/”Qassem Shalin“:

* The “first ambulance”, no. 782, was speeding in a convoy AND stationary;

* The six people on board the convoy were all severely injured except Shalin the driver AND only two were severely injured;

* Shalin was protected by the driver’s canopy AND by the vehicle’s rear ramp;

* The ambulance/convoy was struck by a rocket/s AND missile/s fired by an Apache helicopter that was also a drone;

* The missile pierced the centre of the red cross on ambulance 782 AND “an explosion thundered” into the ambulance;

* Shalin “remembers nothing” after the flash-bang-crunch of the crash AND he remembers that “then there was a battle for the next hour” and “we hid in a building convinced we were going to die”.

Lots of interesting comments at Tim’s place. Make sure to read the whole thread. Blogger attention (including mine) has been focused on the rust of the roof of ambulance 782, but one commenter notes:

…I’ve heard lots of talk about rust, lack of rust, and so on. I’m sure it’s another compelling piece of evidence, but I don’t think the ‘rust’ angle is an attention grabber, unlike the shifting details of the story, the fact that the ambulance is intact (minus a small hole), the non-existent magic missile, and that all variations of the story are completely implausible on their face.

Andrew Bolt at the Herald Sun kicked things off on Wednesday.

One guy who says he’s an intel expert wrote this in an email to me the other day:

In the case of the Reuters News Land Rover hit in Gaza, bloggers have been going nuts over the evidence of rust and once again claiming that it is evidence of fraud and that the rust could not have appeared that quickly, indicating that the damage occurred long ago and no recent attack occurred. That is wrong. Other pictures show the same damage with a dark gray mark and streaks. It appears to be a grayish powder. I suspect that the Reuters armored car was not struck directly by a missile or rocket but that such weapons were fired and struck nearby, possibly blowing masonry off of nearby buildings, causing a large chunk of brick or cinder block to fall and hit the roof, tearing it and leaving evidence of masonry dust.

You are most correct that the ambulance was not struck with a missile and that it did not punch through the Red Cross. However, as so often happens in these stories, the claim that nothing happened to the ambulance is an example of assuming too much. The vent in the center of the roof was removed, but if you look at the apparent nicks in the shiny metal in the rim around part of the hole, you can see that these are where the holes for attaching screws or bolts would be found. The holes are torn open, which likely means that the vent was ripped off by force, not merely removed by hand.

I have never claimed that “nothing happened,” and most of the blogs I’ve read questioning the MSM accounts have not done so either. Something did happen to the holey ambulances. The questions have always been what exactly happened, when it happened, and who made it happen. The MSM has dutifully clung to its second-hand reporting that Israel deliberately targeted and struck these vehicles. But the long history of ambulance abuse by terrorists suggests otherwise. The media organizations’ failure to respond to challenges to their work on this issue, and their phenomenally biased reporting against Israel, speaks volumes about their commitment to telling the truth–as opposed to “telling the stories” of Hezbollah and its supporters.

Dan Riehl writes:

Tim Blair hones in on what I always felt was the weakest link in the Red Cross Ambulace story. As I’ve said, it is hard to draw absolute conclusions from images taken a thousand miles away. But the reporting was either terribly done, or that is the real place to begin debunking the ambulance story. I don’t think anyone has yet accounted for this fellow. Unless they are talking about an entirely different incident, not one item mentions a driver losing an arm in the attack.

But by consolidating the various conflicting reports, Tim raises specific questions that can be asked to try and understand what, if anything, actually took place the night two Red Cross ambulances were allegedly targeted by Israel.

Kudos to the Aussie bloggers on the case.

Raspberries, however, for the Australian government officials who, according to LGF, are “going to pay $300,000 for a conference to which the Prime Minister’s Muslim advisory board chairman has invited several hardcore Islamists.”

One step forward, two steps back.

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