(Translation: “Uribe attempts to deflect attention from himself by attacking Chavez…’And we pulled this red rabbit out of the computer. Chavez sent it to the FARC!’ As Anibal Nazoa said, ‘In Plan Colombia, you can see from a mile away that the gringos think we’re all fools!'” Meanwhile, the computer’s mouse wisely decides to skedaddle.)
There’s been a lot of fuss in the media lately about some computers which allegedly survived a bombing raid on March 1 in Ecuador. Here is a random sampling of what’s been running through my head concerning the kerfuffle:
1. Does a truly bomb-proof laptop design even exist? When I did a Google for the terms “bomb-proof laptop”, the best I could come up with was “near bomb-proof” and “virtually bomb-proof” in terms of existent technology. “Virtually” and “near” aren’t good enough when we’re talking about the real world, though, specifically a bombing raid in the jungles of Colombia. Most of the “bomb-proof” links were simply for putes that aren’t supposed to crash (which, I’m sorry to have to tell you, even the best ones will do–on your desk or on your knees, under the most gentle everyday usage.)
And even the most impressively tested putes I could google up aren’t actually bomb-tested. Even the most expensive cars go through crash testing, don’t they? Can’t they at least drop a live grenade on these fuckin’ things to see if they actually survive a blast? Until they do, don’t count on me being overly impressed by a manufacturer’s careful-careful lab-testing to “simulate” the conditions of a war zone.
2. When Interpol’s representative in the FARC laptop case, Ronald Noble, gave a press conference in Bogota, Colombia yesterday, the bulk of his discourse consisted of bragging on Interpol’s eight-decade track record (was that really necessary?) and his own credentials (ditto), and salivating all over the wonderfulness of the Colombian authorities (whose corruption and ineptitude are the stuff of legend out here in the larger world). When he finally got around to talking about the alleged laptops of Raul Reyes, Noble said he couldn’t talk about the “classified” contents. In fact, he couldn’t talk about the contents of the alleged laptops at all. There was so much stuff in there that it was impossible for him to do so:
Using sophisticated forensic tools, INTERPOL’s experts determined that the eight seized computer exhibits contained more than 600 gigabytes of data, including 37,872 written documents, 452 spreadsheets, 210,888 images, 22,481 web pages, 7,989 email addresses, 10,537 multimedia files (sound and video), and 983 encrypted files.
In non-technical terms, this volume of data would correspond to 39.5 million filled pages in Microsoft Word and, if all of the seized data were in Word format, it would take more than 1,000 years to read at a rate of 100 pages per day. To break the 983 encrypted files, INTERPOL’s experts linked and ran 10 computers simultaneously 24 hours a day / 7 days a week for two weeks.
Wowie zowie! How on Earth does one man generate 600 gigabytes of encrypted data? No wonder Noble couldn’t talk about the contents of it. It’s kind of hard to imagine that one man, or even one small army, could be responsible for quite that much. But how could they examine the data and pronounce it “authentic” without a close reading, I wonder?
3. How about doing a mock bombing raid, with exact duplicates of all the equipment Raul Reyes allegedly had, placed as he would have placed it before retiring for the night, and then bombed as it was bombed on March 1? See if other computers, memory sticks, etc. of the same make and model as those “found” would survive such an impact. If they don’t, the case is blown apart as surely as the casing.
Naturally, I’m not about to hold my breath for them to do this for the benefit of the court, as would be done in any other murder case where ballistic evidence is involved.
4. How come there was just one laptop at first, and now suddenly there are THREE? Do laptops, like bunnies, multiply if left to their own devices? Did they pull two more of them out of the same hat they pulled the first one from? Or did someone, somewhere, realize that if one laptop didn’t make an impressive enough case, three might at least help to create some confusion and diversion?
5. The computer was not mentioned in the media, so far’s I can see, until two days after the raid. Strangely, as the friendly BoRev guy points out, for two days the Colombians failed to follow the international protocols for handling such evidence. Guess which two days those were.
6. If the data is truly “authentic”, why would an Interpol representative NOT talk about it in detail? Why classify it? Shouldn’t the public have a right to see exactly what’s got FUX Snooze screaming that Hugo Chavez “supports terrorists”? Or is it classified exactly for the opposite reason–that it proves nothing of the sort? Maybe it’s classified because it proves only that the data is all faked, and the computer(s) in question never belonged to Reyes?
I mean, it’s not as if the Colombian army isn’t known for its habit of planting evidence against people it wiped out, after the fact. Just as it’s not a secret that the whore media tends to swallow absolute bullcrap wholesale.
7. Why did the Colombian narcopresident, Alvaro Uribe, not answer a Telesur reporter’s questions about the laptop and the discrepancies and inconsistencies in the Interpol report? Surely not because Telesur is a relatively unbiased multinational channel, with no vested interest in painting Chavez as a devil or the FARC as terrorists? Or because the reporter’s questions were too probing for Uribe, who must stay on Washington’s message at all costs?
8. Why are actual scholarly experts on Latin America cautioning against the very kind of interpretations that the whore media and the Pentagon pundits are pushing?
9. There was a group of Mexican students in the FARC encampment in Ecuador, doing scholarly research on the guerrillas. Only one of the Mexicans survived, and she has been offered refuge in Nicaragua because she is living under constant death threats–from Colombia. Why do you suppose that is? Maybe because she can supply details not only of the FARC’s activities in the days leading up to the massacre, but also of the illegal bombardment itself?
I wouldn’t be a bit surprised if Lucia Morett can also identify–or not–the computer(s) Raul Reyes is alleged to have used. That’s another thing I’m sure El Narco’s nasty and ultra-violent government would like to forestall, the way they’re forestalling deeper inquiries into their own narco-paramilitary governing style by permitting the US to extradite paramilitaries and jail them on drug charges so they can’t testify against Alvaro the Arrogant.
Golly, I wonder what they would say if the duct tape were re
moved from their mouths.