We Are Bellingcat, p. 43: How a Uni Dropout from Leicester, England Used Google Earth To Become an Expert on The War in Syria

The dis-information about what Syrian President Assad was doing to his own people was being spread far and wide (getting a major leg up from Russian State Television) and all there was to counter it were a handful of people from Human Rights Watch (“an early user of open-source investigative techniques”) and the author, who made extensive use of Google Earth to find out whether the information the world was getting was accurate. At this point, the author was doing all of this online investigative work for free, even though “by September 2012,” his “blog had surpassed 200,000 page views … “

But, the sense of righteousness, the outrage at the lies!

“barrel bombs became an emblematic weapon of Assad’s forces, which rained down thousands more as a devastating and cheap alternative to conventional munitions. By the end of 2017, regime barrel bombs had killed nearly 11,000 civilians, according to the Syrian Network for Human Rights. Assad had denied that his forces had dropped even one. “I haven’t heard of Army using barrels, or maybe cooking pots,” he joked in a 2015 interview with the BBC. “There’s no indiscriminate weapons. When you shoot, you aim. And when you aim, you aim at terrorists in order to protect civilians. Again, if you’re talking about casualty, that’s war. You cannot have war without casualty.”

We Are Bellingcat: Global Crime, Online Sleuths, and the Bold Future of News, by Eliot Higgins, p. 43

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