NY Times Lede Blog Surveys IDF’s Sea of Lies

NY Times Lede blogger Robert Mackey has cataloged some of the IDF’s most egregious fabrications and distortions and provided a gallery of new photos smuggled off the Mavi Marmara that blow the IDF’s version of events out of the water. Among the distortions Mackey mentioned was the doctoring of the now-notorious “Auschwitz” clip:

The second video is  a short clip of what the I.D.F. said were audio transmissions Israel’s navy received from the Mavi Marmara before the raid. The clip suggested that a polite request from the navy to the ship was met with responses from three people who said: “Shut up — go back to Auschwitz,” “We have permission from the Gaza Port Authority to enter,” and “We’re helping Arabs going against the U.S., don’t forget 9/11, guys.”

This clip, posted on the I.D.F.’s official YouTube channel on Friday, was met with immediate skepticism by some bloggers and journalists in Israel. Max Blumenthal pointed out in a post on his blog that the I.D.F. had already released  video of what seemed like the same exchange four days earlier in which the only reply from the ship was “Negative, negative. Our destination is Gaza. Our destination is Gaza.”

Mr. Blumenthal suggested that at least one of the voices making the inflammatory remarks in the clip “sounded like an impersonation of an Arab.” He also noted that Huwaida Arraf, one of the organizers of the flotilla, said that it was her voice saying “We have permission from the Gaza Port Authority to enter.” But Ms. Arraf was not on the Mavi Marmara, which suggested that the I.D.F. tape was not an unedited snippet of the exchange between the naval ship and the Mavi Marmara.

On Saturday, the I.D.F. published what it called a “Clarification/Correction” regarding the clip which said that the audio had been edited. The military’s statement insisted that the audio of the exchange was genuine, but had been condensed for clarity:

There have been questions regarding the authenticity of the recording as well as its attribution to a communication with the Mavi Marmara.

So to clarify: the audio was edited down to cut out periods of silence over the radio as well as incomprehensible comments so as to make it easier for people to listen to the exchange. We have now uploaded the entire segment of 5 minutes and 58 seconds in which the exchange took place and the comments were made.

This transmission had originally cited the Mavi Marmara ship as being the source of these remarks, however, due to an open channel, the specific ship or ships in the “Freedom Flotilla” responding to the Israeli Navy could not be identified….

The  longer clip, which the I.D.F. calls the “Unedited Radio Transmission Between Gaza Flotilla and Israeli Navy,” also includes the audio of the inflammatory statements, but since they are snippets of audio over a black screen, it is impossible to verify their authenticity.

7 thoughts on “NY Times Lede Blog Surveys IDF’s Sea of Lies

  1. gabi

    Wow… “fabrications, distortions, lies, doctored photos”… And yet, the quoted source, by NY Times blogger Robert Mackey, entitled “Photographs of Battered Israeli Commandos Show New Side of Raid” doesn’t even mention any of these words! Or did I miss something?!? I searched twice the text of the referenced blog, and found none of it. In an equally biased article on this website, entitled “IDF Admits It Doctored Flotilla Audio Clip”, the author spews out another set of tainted opinions presented as the de-facto news: where, pray tell, does it say that IDF “admits it doctored the audio clip”? Can you please indicate the source? I, for one, couldn’t find it. Credible and truthful journalism typically quotes its sources, especially when making inflammatory statements.

    And now a few words about the actual claim set forth by this blog… Excuse me for being a bit dense, but I’m missing the argument here. The initial versions are abbreviated, “edited” versions of the last one (June 5th) – correct? The inflammatory comments are still present in the complete version. You have no proof that they are fake. Since when are “editing” and “doctoring” of a tape, synonymous??? OK, so maybe that wasn’t the Marmara, it was the Challenger transmitting. Or, maybe the Defne Y was being addressed in one instance. Who cares? Same flotilla. IDF itself said it was an “open channel”, meaning any of the ships could use it. Since the crews did not identify themselves, all IDF could do was guess. This article is totally worthless and misleading, not to mention utterly biased.

  2. chakobsa

    MAIN PROBLEM… NO AUDIO or VIDEO MATERIAL HAS BEEN RETURNED TO JOURNALISTS OR OTHER PASSENGERS. Why are we not seeing more than a few short clips of audio and video? And why was the raid carried out in the dark, after the ships had moved deeper into international waters in an attempt to avoid a confrontation in the dark? Why is Israel resisting an independent investigation? I don’t see how anyone can draw any conclusions on the matter until we know more. It’s maddening that we haven’t seen any other material.

    Second… the 27 second clip first posted by the IDF and the 5:58 clip later posted are completely different audio. The transcript from the 27 second clip does not appear anywhere in the 5:58 clip. ?????? I thought the unedited audio stream was supposed to contain the 27 second clip in there somewhere…

  3. E

    Max – are you delusional?!?!?!?! You have really gone off the deep end here…you need to step back before you completely lose any semblance of credibility.

    Seriously – something must be terribly wrong here…the logic is so simple that even an 8th grader could follow it…

    You claim that the first tape was fake and your evidence for this was that it featured what was acknowledged by Huwweida Arraf to be her voice and she wasn’t on the Marmara even though the audio was claimed to be communication from the Marmara – so you claim audio was fake.

    So the IDF clarifies by saying it was mislabled when they said marmara because it was an open channel that was communicating with all 6 of the ships of the flotilla and releases what they said is the unedited version whose main difference from the edited version is that there are minutes of silence and unintelligible communication that they edited out for clarity.

    So now you blare from the rooftops that the “IDF admits doctored audio!” They admitted that they edited out minutes of the communication that was irrelevant to their point – and you proclaim this as an admission of them “misleadingly doctoring audio” like its some big scandal that you’ve uncovered??? – This is journalism?!!?

    But you don’t stop there – not satisfied with your “BIG SCOOP” that you got the IDF to “admit” that they edited out moments of silence and unintelligible communication from the radio broadcast (what a scandal!) – you then go on to say that the newly released “unedited” version must be fake as well!

    The proof of this?? Suddenly Huwwaida remembers what she had never mentioned the first time around when she heard her voice – that she never made those statements during THIS trip with the freedom flotilla – so this MUST be proof that Israel is slicing up and doctoring audio because they took a really old radio communication with Huwaaida’s voice and added it claiming it was from this trip right?

    The only problem with this “proof of IDF zionist fakery” is that in the communication that Huwwaida already acknowledges is her own voice but claims not to have been from this attempted trip to Gaza she very clearly says in the same exact breath and voice “This is the Freedom Flotilla, we are comprised of six vessels” Go ahead and listen to it yourself – click below and go to 3:26

    Are you going to claim now that the IDF digitally reproduced Huwaidda’s voice and edited in exactly so it sounds like she is identifying the “6 ships of the Freedom Flotilla??”

    There is absolutely NO other proof that you have that the recording is fake – absolutely NONE, ZERO – NOT ONE. And yet you persist in claiming that it is without any form of proof whatsoever! And then you have the nerve to say its we who should be calling up WAPO and telling them to retract statements they made without proof?! Have you gone mad!?

    Most importantly – you go to all this trouble trying to prove that the “Auschwitz” quote is fabricated and an attempt to smear good hearted humanitarians who couldn’t possibly harbor anti-semitic feelings when Al-Jazeera has a very clear video of dozens of passengers on the Marmara chanting in Arabic “Khaybar Khaybar Oh Jews the army of Muhammad will return.” You can watch it with your own eyes right here – http://www.memritv.org/clip/en/2489.htm
    The battle of “Khaybar” that they are referring to is a bloody battle mentioned in the Quran between Muhammad and a Jewish tribe in Saudi Arabia in which the Jewish tribe was defeated and eventually expelled.

    So is it really unbelievable that out of dozens of passengers chanting about the battle of Khaybar and taunting Jews that the army of Muhammad will return one of them would get on the radio and say “go back to Auschwitz?” Do you really believe that Max? And even if you did – whats the point of all of this? That they were chanting “oh Jews” about the battle of khayber but would never disgrace themselves by saying anything about Auschwitz??? Or maybe you think the Al Jazeera clip that you can see with your own eyes is some form of Zionist psy-ops. Did the IDF fake that Al-Jazeera report too Max?! Get on it Max this could be the next big scoop!

    As for the pictures “blowing the IDF version of the raid out of the water” – Are you blind man?!!? The only version of the raid that the pictures blew out of the water was YOURS!!! Are we all missing something?! You have been here the past week with your “investigative journalism” telling us that the violence was preplanned against innocent helpless unarmed passengers – and now these pictures come out that show bloodied and unconscious soldiers being taken hostage by passengers armed with knives and you claim this as further proof of your version of the story versus the IDF’s?? I swear to god Max if you actually believe all of this then you MUST be delusional – there is simply no other explanation.

  4. chakobsa

    ok, guess i missed the 27 second clip with the slurs in it. i thought they were referring to the original clip they posted where they are addressing the Marmara. just saw the 27 second clip — does anyone know if there is video to accompany the audio as with the one in which they address the Marmara?

  5. Michael

    @ Gaby

    Do you need proof, that the inflammatory comments were fake?

    Well how about this:
    1.) Auschwitz part: Click sound between “Shut up” & “Go back” sounds like cutting error. The background noise in this gap has a different tonal colour than the background noise between “Go back” & “to Auschwitz” which means that they the parts were manipulated and glued together.
    2.) The 911 guy sounds the same as “Navy is the best guy”, when adapted in pitch and speed. It is more likely and semantically plausible that he said “Going against the arab will help US, “Don’t forget 911 guys.” and that words were rearranged on the timeline.

    And there are tons of more audio manipulations in this “undedited” versions.

  6. Michael

    @ E

    Miss Arraf said, that her message included excerpts of a message from 2008. As I understood her, the flotilla couldn’t have haid Gaza port permission at that time, because they were still a 100 miles out. One can also find many inidications for multiple cuts in her message when analysed with audio software.

    What do you think about the communication between the operator and a captain? The operator talks about a pilot coming on bord and that (only) one person should stay ready with his lagguage and passport. Don’t you also think that this is israeli port to vessel communication?

    Didn’t you also notice that the operator talks a lot of rubbish? It is just glued together words to cover the beginnings of his messages which may include real day time, real location and real channel of this communication or other signs that this was not a communication between navy and flotilla.

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