BBG Watch Commentary

State Department Spokesperson Marie Harf's comments about the importance of Caesar's testimony in Congress last week on killings and torture in Syria were not reported by Voice of America.
State Department Spokesperson Marie Harf’s comments about the importance of Caesar’s testimony in Congress last week on killings and torture in Syria were not reported by Voice of America.

No Voice of America language service was found to have posted news from Congress, State Department and White House last week on new Syrian torture testimony in Washington.

A search of Voice of America (VOA) English news website and websites of many VOA language services, including VOA Persian News Network (PNN), has not produced any results showing that U.S. taxpayer-funded news organization reported last week online about testimony in Congress by a Syrian Army defector who is known by the pseudonym “Caesar.” Employed by the Syrian Army as a photographer, he had defected and provided photographic evidence of massive killings and torture by the Syrian regime of Bashar al-Assad.

BBC and many other international and U.S. media outlets reported last week on this news story originating from Washington. It was a front page story on The Wall Street Journal, but it was apparently completely ignored by the Voice of America which is in the midst of a management crisis.

“Caesar” also met last week in Washington with U.S. Deputy National Security Advisor for Strategic Communications Benjamin Rhodes and Jake Sullivan, National Security Advisor to Vice President Joe Biden. It is not clear whether someone at the Voice of America made a conscious decision not to cover this story or whether it was not covered due to lack of leadership by VOA Director David Ensor and his deputy Steve Redisch combined with general mismanagement.

The news about “Caesar’s” meeting with an NSC official and an advisor to Vice President Biden, which was released by the White House at approximately 5:30 PM EDT, Friday, August 1, 2014, was also not reported online by the Voice of America in English and apparently not in any other language, although a more complete search of VOA numerous websites would be necessary to know this with absolute certainty. BBG Watch has not found any news reports or tweets from a VOA correspondent covering the U.S. Congress Thursday and Friday about “Caesar’s” Syrian war crimes testimony in the House Foreign Affairs Committee. The vast majority of numerous tweets by the VOA correspondent on those two days reflected attacks by Democrats and the White House on the Republicans and their positions on the border security and immigration issues.

While BBG Watch cannot say yet with absolute certainty that not a single Voice of America language service reported last week on the Syrian defector in Washington and the Syrian torture story, this or something very close to it appears to be true. It is safe to state that VOA English News and the vast majority, if not all, of VOA’s more than 40 language services did not carry the news about the new testimony in Congress last week by the former Syrian Army photographer about massive killings and torture being committed by the regime in Damascus.

Even though State Department Deputy Spokesperson Marie Harf said Thursday that “it was important for members of Congress, for members of the public, where appropriate, to hear his story because there’s more people that need to hear this story, quite frankly,” BBG Watch could not find any evidence that Voice of America English News and VOA language services providing news to Iran, Turkey, Iraq including Kurdistan, and many other countries around the world critical to U.S. national security had the “Caesar” news last week in their online reporting and on social media. This conclusion is based on an extensive but not yet totally complete search of VOA websites by BBG Watch.

What BBG Watch can state is that in searching of many VOA websites it has not been able to find online a single VOA report in any language about “Caesar’s” testimony Thursday in Congress, comments about his testimony by State Department Deputy Spokesperson Marie Harf, “Caesar’s” meeting Friday with U.S. Deputy National Security Advisor for Strategic Communications Benjamin Rhodes and Jake Sullivan, National Security Advisor to Vice President Joe Biden, and the White House statement about this meeting.

While it is important to point out again that BBG Watch cannot be absolutely certain that we have not missed a VOA news report online in a foreign language that might have included details of “Ceasar’s” congressional testimony in the House Foreign Affairs Committee, which is headed by Chairman Ed Royce (R-CA) and Ranking Member Eliot Engel (D-NY), it appears from our extensive search of VOA websites that the vast majority of VOA language services failed to report online last week on the new revelations made in Washington about killings and torture by the Syrian regime.

The VOA’s main English news website and many of VOA’s language services also failed to report on the arrival in the U.S. on Thursday of Meriam Ibrahim, a Sudanese woman who was sentenced to death in Sudan for refusing to renounce her Christian faith.

Members of Congress have long been aware of mismanagement at the Voice of America and VOA’s news failures. They have proposed reforms in a bipartisan bill which the House of Representatives passed unanimously last Monday in a voice vote. A Senate version of the same bill is reportedly in the works. Some VOA English News reporters criticize the bill fearing that VOA might become a public diplomacy tool for the U.S. government, but many current and former VOA journalists, including their AFGE Local 1812 union, strongly support the bill and urge its passage with only minor revisions to protect VOA’s journalistic integrity.

The U.S. State Department has nearly ten times more Twitter followers than VOA English News, but VOA’s failure to carry important news from Washington in foreign languages appears to be a serious issue with members of Congress. It appeared to be also a serious issue with former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton who had called the Broadcasting Board of Governors (BBG) “practically defunct” in its ability to do media outreach abroad and in other statements also mentioned the Voice of America, which is the main media element of the BBG.

###

State Department Deputy Spokesperson Marie Harf Speaks About “Ceasar” in July 31, 2014 Daily Press Briefing

Marie Harf
Deputy Spokesperson
Daily Press Briefing
Washington, DC
July 31, 2014

QUESTION: Marie, I’m sure you saw the man known as Caesar was on Capitol Hill today sharing testimony about some of the photos he carried out showing pictures of what’s going on inside Assad regime jails. And I wanted to know if he officially briefed anyone here at State, if anyone from this building met with him to hear his account.

MS. HARF: Well, we did initiate the process to bring Caesar to the United States so that U.S. officials analyzing this really gruesome evidence he had provided, also some members of Congress, could hear directly from him about the horrific abuses committed by the Assad regime. I can see if we can get you a list of who here has been in touch with him, but obviously we have folks who have been looking at the photos, working to authenticate them, even though we do believe they are authentic. So I know folks have been, but I can see if we can get you a list.

QUESTION: Is there reason to fear for his security in the U.S.? I mean, when he testified, he was disguising himself and it was said that there were concerns, particularly in this building, about his wellbeing inside the U.S.

MS. HARF: Absolutely. I mean, we had been working with Congress on the hearing today to address security concerns, particularly with press access. But look, this is – we are concerned about his security or anything that could jeopardize it when he’s in the United States and elsewhere, quite frankly. But we are concerned about it.

QUESTION: When you said, the answer to the first question, we worked for – is we the State Department or is we the – is the royal we, you?

MS. HARF: Which we – which statement?

QUESTION: Is it the royal you you’re talking about here?

MS. HARF: Which statement that I said, sorry?

QUESTION: The first – very first —

MS. HARF: The State Department initiated the process.

QUESTION: So when you said we, you meant the State Department.

MS. HARF: Correct.

QUESTION: Not some other part of the government.

MS. HARF: Correct, yes.

QUESTION: Okay.

QUESTION: Do you know how long he’s going to be here?

MS. HARF: I don’t, I don’t.

QUESTION: I mean, has he actually asked for asylum in the United States? Is he planning to move here, or —

MS. HARF: We don’t normally comment on that. I don’t know the answer, again.

QUESTION: But I mean, look, it’s really good for you to be able to hear from him, but is this really, at this point, having any effect on your policy decisions on what to do?

MS. HARF: Well, I think that, look, you can’t help but look at those photos and not want to do more, and that’s why – part of the reason we’ve consistently done more. But we also thought it was important for members of Congress, for members of the public, where appropriate, to hear his story because there’s more people that need to hear this story, quite frankly.

QUESTION: When you said that the people – that he was meeting with people to talk about authentication of his photographs, even though you believe they’re real and other things, even though you believe they’re authentic, is this in – what, in support of what? A potential war crimes trial for —

MS. HARF: I don’t have anything specific to preview in terms of what that might be in support of.

QUESTION: But I believe he met Steven Rapp, though, didn’t he?

MS. HARF: He has worked with Ambassador Rapp quite a bit, quite a bit on this issue.

QUESTION: So that would suggest that the answer to Matt’s question is —

QUESTION: Yes.

QUESTION: — yes.

MS. HARF: Potentially.

QUESTION: (Laughter.)

MS. HARF: Possibly.

QUESTION: It’s a secret. (Laughter.)

###

Voice of America ignores Syria war crimes news from Congress and White House

AUGUST 2, 2014

BBG Watch Commentary

House Foreign Affairs CommitteeThis week, Voice of America (VOA) English News failed to cover online riveting testimony in Congress by a Syrian defector about war crimes in Syria, his meeting with National Security Advisor to Vice President Biden, and the arrival in the U.S. of a Sudanese Christian woman who once faced a death penalty because of her religious beliefs.

Instead, during the week that also saw a North Korean threat to launch a nuclear attack on the White House and a Congressional vote in favor of new sanctions on the regime in Pyongyang, the Voice of America posted online a press release-like feature story about beer production in North Korea, a country known for starving, imprisoning and executing its citizens for the slightest criticism of the regime.

Voice of America headquarters are located in Washington, DC within walking distance of Capitol Hill and the U.S. Congress. Commenting on VOA’s failure to cover significant U.S. news and posting of news which lack balance and violate the VOA Charter, a senior congressional staffer observed:

SENIOR CONGRESSIONAL STAFFER: “There’s a level of irony here… VOA claiming their journalistic integrity is under attack and then putting out stories that make their journalistic integrity seem questionable.

Very disappointing.”

The staffer was referring to H.R. 4490, the bipartisan United States International Communications Reform Act to improve the missions, objectives, and effectiveness of U.S. international broadcasters, introduced on April 28, 2014 by Rep. Ed Royce (R-CA) and Rep. Eliot Engel (D-NY) and passed unanimously by the House in a voice vote on Monday.

Some former and current VOA reporters, while supportive of management reforms, are opposed to some of the bill’s wording, fearing that VOA might become a tool of U.S. public diplomacy or even propaganda, while others, including the employees’ union, AFGE Local 1812, view these fears as exaggerated and strongly support the legislation in general while calling for revisions in the bill’s language to strengthen VOA’s journalistic integrity. Many former and current employees and other critics accuse VOA’s senior management of already destroying the organization’s reputation as a reliable source of news about the world and the United States. They are calling for the bill passage in the Senate and for President Obama’s support to save the Voice of America from its dysfunctional management.

This week brought more glaring example’s of VOA’s failures to cover news as required by its congressional Charter and information needs of its international audiences.

 

NEWS NOT COVERED BY VOICE OF AMERICA

 

 
 
White House Statement on Caesar at NSC

The White House released its statement on “Caesar” and Syrian war crimes after business hours on Friday (5:20 PM EDT) and the Voice of America did not cover this news. But VOA also did not cover a Congressional hearing on war crimes in Syria held during the day on Thursday.

Another U.S. and international news story not covered on the VOA’s main English news website and by many of its language services was the arrival in the U.S. on Thursday of Meriam Ibrahim, a Sudanese woman who was sentenced to death in Sudan for refusing to renounce her Christian faith. CNN, Fox News, New Hampshire Union Leader and other media reported that she had arrived at Manchester-Boston Regional Airport on Thursday night. Voice of America did not have a report on its main English news website about Meriam Ibrahim’s arrival in the U.S. A check of many, but not all, of VOA language services to Africa and other regions of the world also showed that they have not covered the Sudanese Christian woman’s arrival in the U.S.

 

Fox News

Woman sentenced to death for marrying a Christian returns to US

My Fox BostonAug 1, 2014
Miriam Ibrahim, her husband Daniel Wani and their two children can now live together again in the Granite State. They will soon start a new life …
Meriam Ibrahim, Sudan Woman Who Faced Death Over Faith 
Huffington PostAug 1, 2014

 

“CAESAR” IN WASHINGTON NOT COVERED BY VOA

 

BBC Caesar in Congress ReportU.S. taxpayer-funded Voice of America (VOA) English Central News, mismanaged, neglected and deprived of staff by VOA’s senior executives, has again shown its inability to reliably cover U.S. and international news when it completely ignored in its online reporting the visit this week to the Capitol Hill and the National Security Council (NSC) at the White House by “Caesar,” a former Syrian military-police photographer who defected and brought with him thousands of photographs documenting killings and torture by the Syrian regime.

While numerous U.S. and international media outlets reported in the last few days on Ceasar’s testimony in Congress on Thursday and his meeting Friday with the National Security Council officials at the White House, a search of the Voice of America main English news website and most of its foreign language websites on Saturday afternoon has shown zero VOA online reports on this news story as of 3PM EDT, August 2, 2014.

BBC News posted a news report Thursday on “Caesar’s” testimony before the U.S. House Foreign Affairs Committee. “Wearing dark glasses and a hood to hide his identity, he told members of the House Foreign Affairs Committee what he had seen in Damascus. He described maimed bodies, people with eyes gouged out and skeletal remains, a litany of horrors that defy the imagination,” BBC reported. Syria ‘torture’ photos shown in US, By Tara McKelvey, BBC News, July 31, 2014.

Voice of America, however, was in good company. Russia’s RT, Voice of Russia, and Aljazeera also did not cover “Caesar’s” testimony in Washington this week about war crimes in Syria. That was more of a reason for VOA to cover the story for international audiences. Once again, VOA failed.

 

Search of VOA Site for Caesar and Syria Last Week, Screen Shot 2014-08-02 at 3.45PM EDT. It shows 0 results.
Search of VOA Site for Caesar and Syria Last Week, Screen Shot 2014-08-02 at 3.45PM EDT. It shows 0 results.

 

A VOA correspondent covering the U.S. Congress had no reports or tweets Thursday or Friday about “Caesar’s” Syrian war crimes testimony in the House Foreign Affairs Committee. The vast majority of tweets from the VOA correspondent on those days reflected positions of President Obama and the Democratic lawmakers on the U.S. border security funding bill. There were about twice as many tweets from a VOA correspondent reflecting the Administration’s and the Democratic Party’s views on the border crisis as there were tweets reflecting the views of the Republicans during those two days. The VOA Charter, however, says that “VOA will represent America, not any single segment of American society, and will therefore present a balanced and comprehensive projection of significant American thought and institutions.”

A Google search for “VOA” and “Caesar” in July and the first two days in August produced a VOA Spanish Service feature report about the “Dawn of the Planet of the Apes” movie. VOA claims to have a large audience on affiliate stations in Latin America, but critics say that its placement program not just in Latin America but around the world is often subject to external and self-censorship and on many stations and websites consists of feature stories without hard news.

Caesar is a chimpanzee and leader of the apes in the movie.

 

El Nacional.com

Cine: Los “simios” conquistan la taquilla

Voz de AméricaJul 14, 2014
Una nación de simios genéticamente evolucionados liderados porCaesar es amenazada por un grupo de humanos sobrevivientes del …

 
In addition to reporting by BBC, Fox News, Daily Beast, ABC News, Kuwait News Agency, Hindustan Times, Journal of Turkish Weekly and many others, “Caesar’s” testimony in Congress was a front page story Friday in The Wall Street Journal, Syrian Defector’s Photos Could Trigger War-Crimes Charges: U.S., Allies Reviewing Material Provided by Man Code-Named Caesar; Lawmakers Stunned at Hearing, By JESS BRAVIN and MICHAEL R. CRITTENDEN, The Wall Street Journal, August 1, 2014.

 

STRANGE VOA COVERAGE OF NORTH KOREA

 

VOA English News Screen Shot 2014-07-29 at 7.25 PM EDT. There is no mention in this VOA English News report of malnutrition in North Korea. Such a mention might have spoiled beer tasting for Western tourists going to North Korea.
VOA English News Screen Shot 2014-07-29 at 7.25 PM EDT. There is no mention in this VOA English News report of malnutrition in North Korea. Such a mention might have spoiled beer tasting for Western tourists going to North Korea.

U.S. taxpayer-funded Voice of America, led by VOA Director David Ensor, VOA Executive Editor Steve Redisch and a large number of senior advisors, strategic planners, program directors and coordinators, has shown no interest in “Caesar” and the Syrian war crimes story this week, or the arrival of the Sudanese Christian woman in the U.S. after facing a death penalty in Sudan, but VOA also missed many other significant news stories in recent months and years.

BBG Watch has learned that the senior management announced this week yet another reorganization of the decimated VOA English newsroom. VOA reporters are highly skeptical of these plans and point to the lack of leadership and good management as the cause of VOA being far behind other international media in audience engagement through social media, news stories missed, and reporting that embarrasses VOA as a news organization. An anonymous VOA journalist urged top executives in a satyrical “Dear John Letter from VOA Girl” to resign. This week also brought the story that managers at the Broadcasting Board of Governors (BBG), which include VOA executives, have the worst internal communication skills in the federal government and the agency is one of the worst places for government employment. Execs with worst communication skills in charge of U.S. world media outreach at BBG, BBG Watch, August 1, 2014.

VOA’s main news website had no reports Monday at all on the U.S. House of Representatives passage of bipartisan legislation, H.R. 1771, the North Korea Sanctions Enforcement Act, to strengthen sanctions against North Korea, but on Tuesday, a day after North Korea threatened to launch a nuclear attack on the White House, VOA posted a feature story about North Korean beer, “Czech Know-how Brewing in N. Korea – VOA English News Report,” that read like a press release written in Pyongyang.

When VOA does cover congressional news, the results do not always seem to be in compliance with the VOA Charter, which says that “1. VOA will serve as a consistently reliable and authoritative source of news. VOA news will be accurate, objective, and comprehensive. 2. VOA will represent America, not any single segment of American society, and will therefore present a balanced and comprehensive projection of significant American thought and institutions. 3. VOA will present the policies of the United States clearly and effectively, and will also present responsible discussions and opinion on these policies. (Public Law 94-350).”

 

VOA REFORM

 

Reforming International BroadcastingOn Monday, VOA posted a news report on the House passage of H.R. 4490, the U.S. International Communications Reform Act of 2014. The VOA report quoted members of Congress who support the bill and two outside critics of the bill, but failed to quote or even mention its outside supporters, including current and former VOA journalists, human rights activists, and U.S. ethnic community leaders who wrote a letter to President Obama in support of the reform legislation.House Passes Bill To Overhaul US International Broadcasting — Voice of America take lacks balance,” BBG Watch, July 28, 2014.

 

 

 

A senior Congressional staffer in the House Foreign Affairs Committee made this comment on the lack of balance in some VOA English News reports and VOA’s repeated failures to fulfill its other Charter obligations:  

SENIOR CONGRESSIONAL STAFFER: “There’s a level of irony here… VOA claiming their journalistic integrity is under attack and then putting out stories that make their journalistic integrity seem questionable. Very disappointing.”

 

EXTENSIVE COVERAGE OF “CAESAR” BY OTHER MEDIA

  

The Voice of America ignored both the U.S. House Foreign Affairs Committee hearing with Caesar on Thursday, July 31, a statement by Committee Chairman Rep. Ed Royce and a statement by Deputy NSC Spokesperson Bernadette Meehan on Deputy National Security Advisor for Strategic Communications Benjamin Rhodes’ and National Security Advisor to the Vice President Jake Sullivan’s meeting Friday, August 1, with the Syrian Defector “Caesar.”  

 

 

 

###

Statement by Deputy NSC Spokesperson Bernadette Meehan on Deputy National Security Advisor for Strategic Communications Benjamin Rhodes and National Security Advisor to the Vice President Jake Sullivan’s Meeting with the Syrian Defector “Caesar”

WHITE HOUSE
Office of the Press Secretary
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
August 1, 2014

Statement by Deputy NSC Spokesperson Bernadette Meehan on Deputy National Security Advisor for Strategic Communications Benjamin Rhodes and National Security Advisor to the Vice President Jake Sullivan’s Meeting with the Syrian Defector “Caesar”

Deputy National Security Advisor Benjamin Rhodes and National Security Advisor to the Vice President Jake Sullivan met today with former Syrian military police photographer “Caesar,” who defected from the Assad regime with thousands of photographs of brutalized bodies, suggestive of torture and killing on an industrial scale by the Assad regime.

Mr. Rhodes and Mr. Sullivan thanked “Caesar” for his personal and moral courage in bearing witness to the Assad regime’s atrocities, which represent an assault on human dignity. The images that “Caesar” has shared with the world paint a picture of unimaginable suffering – gouged eyes, abrasions in the silhouette of metal chains, and the emaciated corpses of men, women, and children – and offer some of the most heart wrenching evidence of the unconscionable tactics Bashar al-Assad employs to cling to power.

Mr. Rhodes and Mr. Sullivan told “Caesar” that he has done a service not only to the Syrian people, but to the world, in bringing this evidence to light. The United States remains deeply disturbed that because Russia and China vetoed a referral to the International Criminal Court (ICC) that was supported by every other member of the United Nations Security Council, the perpetrators cannot be held to account in the ICC. Nevertheless, the United States will continue working through other avenues with our international partners to pursue accountability for the perpetrators of these crimes against the Syrian people.

The United States is deeply concerned for the many thousands of Syrians who remain imprisoned within Syria. More broadly, the United States will continue to be the largest international donor to help alleviate the humanitarian crisis faced by the Syrian people. We are also providing increased support for the moderate Syrian opposition, which is fighting both the Assad regime and the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant. Finally, we will continue our efforts to achieve a negotiated political resolution to the Syrian conflict that leads to Assad’s departure and finally ends the nightmare facing the Syrian people.

###

Syrian Army Defector, “Caesar,” Briefs Committee, Shows Photographs Documenting Atrocities by Assad Regime — Chairman Royce Opening Statement

Briefer smuggled 50,000 photos out of Syria, shares story, photos in public for first time

Washington, D.C. – Today at 9:30 a.m., U.S. Rep. Ed Royce (R-CA), Chairman of the House Foreign Affairs Committee, convened a briefing entitled, “Assad’s Killing Machine Exposed: Implications for U.S. Policy.” The Committee is being briefed by “Caesar,” a Syrian Army defector who was witness to and a documenter of Bashar al-Assad’s lethal brutality. This briefing is the first public setting in which “Caesar” has shared his story.

“Caesar,” who is appearing in disguise at the briefing, has smuggled out of Syria more than 50,000 photographs that document the torture and execution of more than 10,000 dissidents.

During the briefing “Caesar” is showing Committee Members a number of those photographs, some of which are available HERE.

***Please note these are VERY GRAPHIC images.

Below is Chairman Royce’s statement as prepared for delivery at the briefing:

Today, we examine evidence of horrific atrocities committed by the regime of Bashar al-Assad against the Syrian people.

The Syria crisis is now in its fourth year. This is a crisis created and sustained by Bashar al-Assad, who responded to peaceful demands by Syrians for their universal rights with unspeakable violence – even against children. In doing so, he has placed his own grip on power above the very survival of millions.

The conflict has created unimaginable human suffering. According to international statistics, 11 million Syrians are in need of humanitarian aid – which Assad has blocked in many areas. His “Kneel or Starve” campaigns are just one example of his brutality.

Others include – targeted killings, mass graves, ethnic cleansing, sexual violence, widespread torture, aerial bombardment of residential areas with conventional and chemical weapons, and the extermination of entire families.

Assad’s brutality, as we know, is underwritten by robust military and other support from Russia, Iran and Hezbollah. Syria is a humanitarian crisis, but a strategic challenge too, as Assad has pulled the entire region into violent chaos.

Today, the Committee will view images of horrendous violence, carried out on an industrial scale. It is no coincidence that these photos were shown at the Holocaust Museum earlier this week. We will see evidence of the Assad regime’s killing of at least 10,000 political dissidents between 2011 and 2013. The killing continues today.

In April, this Committee unanimously condemned Assad’s atrocities, passing H. Res. 520. We also passed a resolution authored by Mr. Smith, which called for the establishment of a tribunal to hold accountable the perpetrators of war crimes in Syria. Pure and simple, these photos cry out for justice.

We are honored to be joined by four excellent witnesses, including “Caesar,” a defector from the Syrian army, who risked his life to collect and smuggle out of Syria over 50,000 photos of political dissidents tortured and killed by the regime after the protests began. I offer you a special thank you for speaking to our Committee today.

One cannot see images like these and not ask, “what can be done?” Answering that isn’t easy. Mr. Engel was an early supporter of more aggressive action on Syria, when it wasn’t popular. I’m not sure that’s changed much, but as Committee Members, we are charged with confronting these difficult issues, which are moral issues too. I appreciate our Members attending this briefing, a vivid and depressing reminder that while action can be costly, so too can inaction.

###

JUL 31, 2014

Syrian Defector’s Photos Could Trigger War-Crimes Charges

Wall Street Journal – ‎Jul 31, 2014‎
Caesar, a former Syrian military-police photographer, testified Thursday before a House committee about his job documenting thousands of corpses at a Damascus hospital, many of which were mutilated or showed other signs of torture. The images are being …

Syrian defector testifies, shows House lawmakers graphic images of Assad torture

Fox News – ‎Jul 31, 2014‎
WASHINGTON – EDITOR’S NOTE: The images linked in this story are of extremely graphic photographs of Syrian torture victims, which should be considered before viewing. ASyrian defector who goes only by the name “Caesar” delivered dramatic and …

Assad Poised to Torture 150000 More

Daily Beast – ‎Jul 31, 2014‎
The regime of Syrian President Bashar al Assad is holding 150,000 civilians in custody, all of whom are at risk of being tortured or killed by the state, the Syrian defector known as “Caesar” told Congress on Thursday. According to a senior State Department …

Syrian Defector Brings Torture Photos to Congress

National Journal – ‎Jul 31, 2014‎
The photos shown Thursday were just a small portion of the roughly 50,000 that “Caesar,” who uses the pseudonym in order to protect his safety, handed over to the Syrian opposition. Caesar, wearing a disguise at the hearing so he could not be identified, …

Syria ‘torture’ photos shown in US

BBC News – ‎Jul 31, 2014‎
A forensic photographer smuggled images of Syrians killed and tortured by, he says, those working for Syria’s president, Bashar al-Assad. The photographer, using the pseudonym of Caesar, spoke publicly for the first time on Capitol Hill. Wearing dark …

Lawmakers rattled by Syria genocide horrors, call on Obama to act

Washington Times – ‎Jul 31, 2014‎
“What is going on in Syria is genocidal massacre,” the defector, known as “Caesar,” said through an interpreter. “He [Mr. Assad] destroyed the country and killed his own people with no mercy.” The photographs, which Caesar took and collected in his role as a …

Witness of Syrian Atrocities Testifies in Congress

ABC News – ‎Jul 31, 2014‎
Codenamed “Caesar,” the man appeared before the House Foreign Affairs Committee in disguise, his face concealed by a blue hooded raincoat, hat and glasses. Before defecting from Syria last year, he smuggled out 55,000 photos showing more than …

Syrian defector “Caesar” meets US officials

Journal of Turkish Weekly – ‎11 hours ago‎
The defected Syrian military photographer responsible for leaking troves of photographs indicating large-scale torture and abuse by the Syrian government met with senior Obama administration officials Friday. Deputy National Security Advisor Benjamin …

Anonymous Syrian Defector Reveals Assad’s Killing Machine

Talk Radio News Service – ‎Jul 31, 2014‎
(TRNS) – Appearing before Congress under the alias “Caesar,” a Syrian military defector revealed thousands of photographs to the House Foreign Affairs Committee Thursday morning documenting the Assad regime’s flagrant torture and execution of more …

Syria defector shows war ‘torture’ photos to US lawmakers

Yahoo News – ‎Jul 31, 2014‎
“I had the job of taking pictures of all the deaths … before and after the revolution,” explained the man known only as Caesar, who appeared in heavy disguise before the House Foreign Affairs Committee. He was required to download the photos and store …

Army defector’s photos encourage greater US role in Syria

Al-Monitor – ‎Jul 31, 2014‎
The anonymous military photographer known as “Caesar” appeared before the House Foreign Affairs Committee cloaked in a blue hoodie alongside several advocates of greater US involvement in Syria’s 3-year-old civil war. He told lawmakers that 150,000 …

Syrian Defector Describes Scenes in Photos of Alleged Assad Atrocities

Wall Street Journal – ‎Jul 31, 2014‎
Syria has termed Caesar’s photographs as fabrications, saying many of the dead shown in them were civilians and soldiers killed by terrorist groups. It has called Caesar a fugitive lacking credibility and said the photos represent a campaign by the nation’s …

MICHAEL GERSON: Turning our backs on atrocities

Stillwater News Press – ‎6 hours ago‎
Caesar – a pseudonym – was a photographer in the criminal and forensics department of the Syrian military police. “My job on a daily basis was just regular accidents, burnings, drownings, routine things,” he recently told a group gathered at the Holocaust …

Photographs of torture in Syria “heart wrenching” — White House

Kuwait News Agency – ‎11 hours ago‎
Meehan said Rhodes and Sullivan “thanked “Caesar” for his personal and moral courage in bearing witness to the Assad regime’s atrocities, which represent an assault on human dignity,” and told him he “has done a service not only to the Syrian people, but …

Police photographer, now a defector, exposes the truth on Syrian torture

Hindustan Times – ‎Aug 1, 2014‎
“I had the job of taking pictures of all the deaths… before and after the revolution,” explained the man known only as Caesar, who appeared in heavy disguise before the House foreign affairs committee to brief them on the war. He was required to download …

White House describes Syrian torture photos as heart wrenching

NCR-Iran.org (press release) – ‎9 hours ago‎
Two senior white house officials met on Thursday with former Syrian military police photographer “Caesar,” who defected from the Bashar al- Assad regime with thousands of photographs of brutalized bodies, suggestive of torture and killing on an industrial …

Syrian defector shows US lawmakers images of Assad torture

Ya Libnan – ‎Jul 31, 2014‎
WASHINGTON , DC – A Syrian defector who goes only by the name “Caesar” delivered dramatic and disturbing testimony Thursday to a congressional committee about the Assad regime’s atrocities, sharing with lawmakers just a few of the thousands of …

Statement by Deputy NSC Spokesperson Bernadette Meehan on Deputy 

Whitehouse.gov (press release) – ‎20 hours ago‎
Deputy National Security Advisor Benjamin Rhodes and National Security Advisor to the Vice President Jake Sullivan met today with former Syrian military police photographer “Caesar,” who defected from the Assad regime with thousands of photographs of …

Syrian Defector Details War Atrocities to House Panel

myCentralOregon.com – ‎22 hours ago‎
The Syrian known as “Caesar,” who wore a disguise to protect his identity, told the House Foreign Affairs Committee that “What is going on in Syria is a genocidal massacre.” He said his images of thousands of dead men, women and children were the result …

US lawmakers shown Syria ‘torture’ photos

Gulf Times – ‎Jul 31, 2014‎
Caesar said he had sent a letter to US President Barack Obama, urging him: “Please don’t forget those still in jail, including children. Please make sure they get released and don’t get tortured.” He maintained some 150,000 people were still in Syrian jails, …

David M. Crane Briefs House Committee on Syria

Syracuse University News – ‎Jul 31, 2014‎
The photos were smuggled out of Syria by a Syrian army defector code-named “Caesar.” Now under protection, Caesar spoke to the committee in disguise, and to protect his identity, the briefing was not webcast or televised. “Over the past three and a half …

Cicilline Statement on Syrian Atrocities

National Journal – ‎Jul 31, 2014‎
WASHINGTON, DC – The U.S. House Foreign Affairs Committee today held a briefing on atrocities in Syria and heard testimony from a Syrian army defector who goes by “Caesar” to protect his identity. “Caesar” smuggled 55,000 photos of an estimated nearly …

Syrian Defector Who Captured Images of Assad’s Brutality Appears Before 

PJ Media – ‎Jul 31, 2014‎
Going by the name “Caesar,” the defector smuggled more than 50,000 images of torture and starvation out of Syria, capturing killings that began soon after people started staging peaceful demonstrations against Bashar al-Assad’s regime in March 2011.

Syrian Army Defector Testifies On Assad’s Regime At House Hearing

Getty Images – ‎Jul 31, 2014‎
WASHINGTON, DC – JULY 31: Syrian Army defector “Caesar,” (in a blue hooded jacket) who has smuggled out of Syria more than 50,000 photographs that document the torture and execution of more than 10,000 dissidents, listens to an interpreter during a …

 
 
 
 

Comments are closed.

You May Also Like