As reported recently on the Daily Caller, when Arizona Senator John McCain went to Benghazi in April to call for stepped-up American support for the Libyan rebellion he was filmed with rebel leaders at a location where the rebels had publicly decapitated a man only weeks before. Following Nicolas Sarkozy’s and David Cameron’s triumphant visit to Benghazi, Senator McCain is no longer alone.
The beheading occurred in the first weeks of the rebellion. A video clip documenting the event appeared on the internet in late March. It shows a dark-skinned man being suspended upside down in front of the arched window of a burnt-out building. A crowd of hundreds is gathered around, many of whom are filming the proceedings on their cell phones. Members of the crowd chant revolutionary slogans. As one of the rebels begins sawing at the man’s neck with a long knife, cries of “Allahu Akbar!” ring out.
(The full video can be viewed here. Viewer discretion is advised.)
The victim appears to have been one of the countless black African migrants or dark-skinned Libyans to be accused by the rebels of serving as pro-Gaddafi mercenaries. Although they have been largely ignored by the western media, numerous other videos exist that likewise document the brutal treatment of black detainees in rebel-controlled territories.
The burnt-out building has been identified from news agency photos as part of the main courthouse complex in Benghazi. In the early days of the rebellion, rebels and/or “protestors” are known to have stormed and set fire to police stations, courthouses, and other buildings associated with the ancien régime. The rebels would later establish their impromptu headquarters in the Benghazi courthouse complex.
French President Sarkozy and Prime Minister Cameron were, of course, the western leaders who first pushed for military intervention in support of the fledging rebellion in March; and, along with the United States, France and Britain have been the main contributors to the NATO air campaign that paved the way to the rebels’ conquest of Tripoli. As France’s state-sponsored wire service the AFP has put it, Sarkozy and Cameron received a “hero’s welcome” on their September 15 visit to Benghazi. The same formula appears in numerous other press accounts in both French and English. The chief evidence of this “hero’s welcome” consists of images of Cameron and Sarkozy being swarmed by an adoring crowd.
As it so happens, those images were filmed at the same place where a large crowd of supporters of the rebellion earlier cheered on the abuse of the alleged black “mercenary.” Note the arched window in the background in the below video still. The still is taken from AP footage of Cameron’s and Sarkozy’s visit that is available here.
The window is the same window in front of which the alleged “mercenary” was decapitated. It is recognizable in the following two stills from the Benghazi beheading video. The two men in the window frame are here seen hoisting up the alleged “mercenary” by his feet.
The website of the French presidency has even published a group photo in which Sarkozy and Cameron pose with leaders of the rebellion in front of the window.
The sign in French reads “Thanks for having saved Benghazi.” Here is a closer look at the assembled leaders and notables.
The chairman of Libya’s National Transitional Council (NTC), Mustafa Abdul Jalil, is standing in between Cameron and Sarkozy. French foreign minister Alain Juppé is to the left of Sarkozy. The vice-chair of the NTC, Abdul Hafez Ghoga, is standing next to the man in army fatigues at the left.
The man with long graying hair and the incongruously unbuttoned shirt in the background is none other than the French philosopher and author Bernard-Henri Lévy. He is standing only a few feet away from the very spot where the decapitation occurred. Lévy has long been a promoter of so-called “humanitarian” military interventions. In press accounts, he is widely credited with having convinced Sarkozy of the righteousness of the rebels’ cause and the need to intervene on their behalf.