Published On: Sun, Aug 19th, 2018

Archive: Did NATO roll out “Fake Green Square” for Jalil, and was he actually there?

First published at Luikkerland, 13th September 2011

Overnight it seems that Mustafa Abdul-Jalil, the leader of the Libyan rebels, was speaking to a huge crowd in Martyr’s Square (formerly known as Greeen Square) in Tripoli. This is how the Telegraph reported it at least, and provided video so that we, in an age where it must be true if it appears on TV, can be suitably convinced of the reality.

However, ever since eagle-eyed critics spotted some missing detail in the construction of Green Square as it appeared in the first ever footage of rebels in the capital on 22nd August – the night that Alex Crawford of SKY was supposedly “on the scene” and winning plaudits from Twits who, thinking that it put BBC coverage to shame, (and being too cowardly to stop paying it outright) comically demanded refunds of their TV licence – many think that rebel-organised demonstrations and mass assemblies said to be occurring in Martyr’s Square are actually being staged elsewhere. The elsewhere they have in mind is Qatar. According to a Libyan State TV programme aired on 17th August (available on the Stop War Crimes site), there was knowledge then of a possible replica of Tripoli existing in the gulf state.

The idea that it would be impossible for Jalil to give a speech to a real crowd in a real Green Square certainly fits with the account that is coming out of Libya, in spite of corporate media, that tells of how the NTC can barely stay for any length of time on the outskirts of the Libyan capital. For all that, it still seems incredible (and even though they are desperate characters) that NATO would build an elaborate stage set in another location and parachute in SKY and Al-Jazeera presenters to create a completely false reality.

I was reminded, however, of a certain Jasper Maskelyne and grand hoaxes played out to fool the Nazis in World War II. Such stuff is eminently interesting, and to rule out known tricks of war when there is a tantalising piece of evidence that suggests incontrovertibility of the fake Green Square would be foolish.

“Fake” Green Square, shown on Al-Jazeera, compared with the real version?

The folks at the Stop War Crimes website spotted an anomaly between stock footage of Green Square and the “stage set” that they were now suspicious had been built to churn out pro-NTC propaganda. The doubt stemmed from missing pieces of decoration in the masonry. In stock images, it had ridges carved in it, along with a faux window and arch motif. In the Al-Jazeera coverage of the “taking of Green Square”, this detail is supposedly missing. What we are looking for, and where we are looking for it, is indicated in the image [above]. The original TV images are also provided directly below [lost], where the building in question can be seen at around 1′.19” on the timeline. I believe that some of the so-called missing detail is infact visible, but I’m not sure why it would not be more prominent than it is. Stop War Crimes claims other significant contrasts.


[Alternatively search YouTube for Alex Crawford in Green Square]

If you look at the footage from SKY [above], the pan-round reveals that Crawford is in the same location shown in the Al-Jazeera footage. As the images below show, a white building with a 9-arched loggia fronts on to the square and appears in both SKY’s and Al-Jazeera’s footage.

Al-Jazeera coverage 22/08/11


SKY coverage 22/08/11


Jalil’s rally 12/09/11


Gaddafi’s rally 01/07/11

Now look at an image from Jalil’s rally (above). The same building with the 9-arched loggia can be seen in the background. The crowd are supposedly looking at Jalil on a covered stage which can be seen in the footage from Reuters. Please notice that we never get to see Jalil and the crowd in one shot. Indeed, there is a sense of disconnection between shots of Jalil and the crowd. This is not to say that footage that gels them together exists that I have not yet seen.

To bring more evidence into consideration (before we try to sum up), on 2nd September, a rally for women to celebrate the rebel victory was held, and claims were made that Martyr’s Square held a million people on that occasion. The Al-Jazeera video [link lost] is taken from an elevated position which does not show any land marks except the yellow crane stanchions that can be seen in other images.

For direct comparison, here is footage of Gaddafi’s million man march back in July [link lost]. Please notice that it is shot in daylight, and there are camera shots showing people filling into the square from side roads. The same building with the 9-arched loggia can be seen (and you may have noticed the still image showing this, above). Is it my eyes, or are people spilling out of the gaps at the side of this building? The camera angle capturing the rallies under the cover of night are too low to see if the same thing is happening in those cases.

If the rebels’ Martyr’s Square is actually a stage set, then it would account for why important detail in the masonry has gone missing (which I am not at all sure is the case). It would certainly explain the composition of the images. If the scene is tantamount to a stage, then it explains why everything is shot at night. The use of strong illumination from above would be for exactly the same reason it is used in theatres – to focus attention, and to reduce the effect of “two-dimensionality”; to give the audience the impression that there might be something real existing in the periphery.

If the rebels’ Martyr’s Square is a stage set, then it would explain why, as far as I have seen, there are no shots of people pouring out of side streets. I did notice one feature that Al-Jazeera was very keen to make a point of showing, which suggests depth beyond the square (shown below): a feature that I believe is called the Medina Gate. Does anything look odd about it? Stop War Crimes suggests it is a painting [inside the arch]! A stock image is shown to contrast it with. Is this the crucial evidence that blows the Qatar stage set conspiracy theory out of the water, or confirms it?

Medina Gate – on al-Jazeera

Medina Gate – stock image

Of course, the biggest stumbling block to the reality of the dislocated Martyr’s Square is the simple question of where do the people who fill it come from? As I am merely an interested observer, and not a proponent of this theory, I don’t have to try and answer that question at the moment. The net of research needs to be cast a little further, and maybe we will return to this subject later.

It's important to donate to FBEL - please see here to find out why
A PayPal account not required.