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About the ABC’s expert

Yesterday the ABC's "The world today" ran an interview  contrasting the findings of the IDF concerning the 'Gaza Beach shell incident' with the findings of an "independent" analyst - Marc Garlasco - who was on the spot at the site of the incident. Presumably his so called independence gave more credibility to his opinions than the Israeli findings. Here is an extract about the expert.

The ABC introduces him as follows : Marc Garlasco is a former Pentagon official who did bomb damage assessment for the American military in Kosovo and worked for the Defense Intelligence Agency.

Sounds like he is a US official. No mention of his membership of Human Rights Watch!

…the British newspaper The Independent on Wednesday quoted a former Pentagon "battle damage expert," who visited the site of the incident,as saying that "all the evidence points" to a "155mm Israeli land-based artillery shell" as the cause of the blast.

"According to the report, Marc Garlasco also called for an independent inquiry into the deaths, saying that physical evidence, including shell fragments, shrapnel and the type of injuries `made Israeli shelling easily the likeliest cause.…'

His background? From Mother Jones: Marc Garlasco is the senior military analyst at Human Rights Watch (HRW), and is HRW's resident expert on battle damage assessment, military operations, and interrogations. Marc also leads HRW's work on Abu Ghurayb, civilian military contractors, and non-lethal weapons.

Marc is the co-author of two HRW reports: "Razing Rafah: Mass Home demolitions in the Gaza Strip," and "Off Target: The Conduct of the War and Civilian Casualties in Iraq." He led a team of researchers in July 2004 on a one-month mission to Gaza, Israel, and Egypt to investigate home demolitions in Rafah. Before that he led a five-week mission in 2003 throughout Iraq to assess the conduct of the war in Iraq. He also appeared to be a key person responsible for disclosing the previously classified and secret practice of renditions of terrorists suspects.

Lately he has been peddling the Haditha massacre myth... which has been seriously questioned. He has said, " "What happened at Haditha appears to be outright murder. The Haditha massacre will go down as "Iraq's My Lai" in his view.

HUMAN RIGHTS WATCH is a notoriously anti-Israel advocacy group funded by George Soros-who, he proudly admits, is anti-Israel.

According to NGO Monitor and well-respected Professor Anna Bayefsky, Human Rights Watch "has a lot of explaining to do when it comes to anti-Semitism and anti-Israel bias."

He has participated in panels with anti-Semitic conspiracy-monger Karen Kwiatkowski.

In other words, how independent is this expert and how wrong was it for the Independent to rely on him?



Also see Sam Tatarka's letter  (with comments) reproduced from yesterday's Age.

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