Gambling with a Lie: Enderlin pulls a Rosemary Woods

[NB: For those who are too young to remember, Rosemary Woods was President Richard Nixon's secretary, who was asked to take the blame for the missing 18.5 minutes of tape that had been cut from the famous "Nixon Tapes" before releasing them to the Grand Jury investigating Watergate. She has, for those politically aware in the 1970s, become a byword for tampering with evidence.]

I must admit, many people told me that Enderlin would doctor the tapes, and I didn’t believe them. “No,” I thought, “it’s one thing to lie to me and others in his office, but to the court, where he would surely get caught? He would not be that reckless…” Not.

Today Charles Enderlin presented in court the “rushes” of Talal abu Rahmah which the Judge had requested from him. And he presented an edited version in which he took out at least three minutes, and at least one scene that I distinctly remember seeing. In the United States that’s called tampering with evidence, obstruction of justice, and perjury. In France, we’ll find out what it’s called.

I’ll let Nidra tell the detailed account since I was one of two people who, having seen the rushes, were placed in an advantaged position to see and check that they were, indeed, what I had seen earlier, so I was unable to take notes.

Before the viewing of the rushes, there was some discussion of why there were only 18 minutes. Charles Enderlin — who had disdained showing up for any previous hearing in the trials he had initiated, even when he was in Paris at the time — explained that the cassette they had saved had 27 minutes of footage, but some did not concern that day (how?), and that he had eliminated the irrelevant material. (At this point I expected the judge to say, “let us be the judge of what’s irrelevant,” but she didn’t.)

Then we viewed the rushes with a preamble and running commentary by Enderlin, with comments by Karsenty. It was something of a circus. But it did give me an insight into how Enderlin’s mind works. He explained about Sharon’s provocative visit to the Temple Mount on the 28th, and the riots that ensued on the 29th in the West Bank, and how everyone expected the rioting to spread to Gaza the next day, “because that’s how it works.”

And sure enough, when we see the tapes, we see scene after scene of people being evacuated into ambulances. We don’t see them hit, we don’t see their injuries, but we do see them taken to ambulances, and Enderlin explains: “The Israelis are firing with rubber bullets.” Now there’s no evidence that the Israelis are firing. But because Enderlin expects violence, when he sees Palestinians evacuated in ambulances, he concludes that they have been shot by Israelis.

Most of the material was inconclusive or boring, and I patiently waited for the material I’d seen. Then, at about 15 minutes on the time code, Enderlin announces that there will be a break and we will see the final scenes. That’s when I knew he had cut the scenes. Sure enough, the screen went blank, and then began the final three minutes.

Now there are at least two scenes that I remember specifically, one of which we have documented by Reuters. (In the original post here I thought that scene was cut because Enderlin knew of the Reuters footage and the use we had made of it in Pallywood. But it turns out I missed this brief sequence because people in the court were in the way.)

In a scene we’ve dubbed Molotov Cocktail Kid, a youth lopes comfortably down the road, showing no sign of injury. He hands of a Molotov Cocktail to another kid and enters a crowd. We see red on his forehead, but no indication that he’s injured.

molotov 1
Handing off the bottle. Note the red on his forehead.

Once in the crowd, he is picked up by others.

molotov 2
Note that his left leg is bent as the crowd sets to carry him.

Past photographers, among whom we find Talal abu Rahmah, with his France2 equipment.

molotov 3

Talal is in close, for maximum effect. Note the fellow on the far left who’s in for the ride. He’s seen smiling in the video.

And then run back right in front of the Israeli position (where he was presumably shot) and loaded on the ambulance right in front of the Israelis

molotov 4

Israeli position in the background. No one is afraid of being hit by them.

Here’s the video sequence:

Apparently, only the close comparison with the Reuters footage reveals that this was a staged scene, so Endlerlin left it in, showing the power of both techniques for filming staged scenes so they look real, and the ready (even innocent) willingness of an experienced journalist like Enderlin, even when he’s been warned that people are checking his work, to assume it’s true.

Indeed, he not only didn’t cut it, he used - without any irony – it to show how the court the quality of his journalism. I did a video blog subsequently to show what was going on.

 

The second scene, however, was more blatant all on its own, and it was missing: I had described it in some detail because it led to perhaps the most astonishing conversation I’ve ever had, an eye-opener for me that inspired the term Pallywood.

At another point, a heavy-set man faked a leg injury, but instead of drawing big kids who could pick him up and rush him past the cameramen to an ambulance, he only attracted little kids. He shooed them away, looked around, and, seeing that no one was coming to evacuate him, straightened up and walked away without a limp.

Indeed this scene provoked a snort from the Israeli cameraman working for France2 who was watching the film with me and Enderlin at the time. When I asked him why, he said:

“Because it looks so fake.”
“That’s my impression as well,” I responded.
Enderlin commented, “Oh, they do that all the time. It’s their cultural style. They exaggerate.”
“But if they do it all the time, why couldn’t they have staged Al Durah?” I asked.
“Oh, they’re not good enough,” a supremely confident Enderlin responded.

Now ultimately, this is my word against Enderlin until we see the full tapes. But I suspect that the response that Jeambar, Leconte and Rosenzweig got from Didier Epelbaum (Enderlin’s boss at France2) – “Oh yes, monsieur, you know it’s always like that…sdasavad” – was in response to the same scene, and if Arlette Chabot turned “white as the walls,” it was when she saw this comically bad scene.

If there was any scene to cut from this tape. And sure enough Enderlin cut it.

Apparently, he has such contempt for the court that he thinks he can brazenly cheat them. The judge struck me as no one’s fool, and Karsenty will surely pursue these matters. (He did not.)

So as far as I can make out Enderlin has made a major gamble: tamper with the evidence, show people inconclusive material (the woman next to me said, “I came without making up my mind, and nothing’s clear), and hope the court doesn’t catch him.

But in so doing, he’s rendered himself extremely vulnerable. As Esther Schapira pointed out:

First of all, we have no proof whatsoever that what we saw today is really the camera tape or a DVD copy of the camera tape, the original master tape. For one simple reason, there was a consecutive time code on the DVD that we saw. Now there’s no way you can have the time code without any interruption when it is really the camera tape, because when you switch it on and off you always get a new time code… there are frames missing. So clearly, what you could see on the material was that it is not one shot… but many, many different shots.

As far as I know, it’s virtually impossible to edit this material without leaving marks of your activity.

Either Enderlin is desparate and foolish, or he will pull strings to get away with this. In either case he’s demonstrated just how much he fears letting the evidence out, and how consumately he prevaricates.

I’ll post more on yesterday’s events in the days to come. Many important details to cover.

50 Responses to Gambling with a Lie: Enderlin pulls a Rosemary Woods

  1. fp says:

    There is too much at stake for Enderlin now to NOT gamble on this. And my guess is that his reading of the odds is probably accurate.

    fp
    http://fallofknowledgeandreason.blogspot.com/

  2. Solomonia says:

    Al Dura in the French Court — Missing Minutes and Laughter

    Reports from today’s court session are beginning to come in. Melanie Phillips at The Spectator: The al Durah blood libel …the judge ordered France 2 to produce the unscreened footage of this incident; today it did so. Well, sort of….

  3. Antidhimmi says:

    The interviews on UTUBE were FANTASTIC. Finally Enderlin and France 2 are being called to account. Let’s hope something of this reaches the MSM. No mention in Boston on tonight’s news as yet. Congratulations Richard

  4. David S says:

    Richard:

    Many of us in the blogosphere knew there was no way that France 2 would NOT mess with the tapes.

    Do you have any idea why the judge did not immediately take them to task for the obvious tampering?

  5. ldd says:

    Won’t hold my breath Antidhimmi, the media is NOT about to turn on itself especially with nothing like a watchdog group with any authority holding it accountable.

    Here in Canada, nothing but the BBC party line-HATE AMERICANS, you know same o, same o, and the yellow cbc will not cover it at all, as their still quaking in their tighty whities because the chinese are mad at them.

    Thank whoever for the internet and the dedicated group or writers like this blog who are holding the truth up for the rest to come see.

  6. Barry Meislin says:

    Let me get this straight.

    This guy lies once (for a “larger truth”, one must add). He lies again. And again. And again. (All for that “larger truth”.)

    And we’re supposed to be surprised?

  7. [...] from Richard Landes and Melanie Phillips, both of whome were in the [...]

  8. Rob says:

    With all due respect to fp, I’m a lot more optimistic now that this story is just too big for the media to blow off.

    We shall see….

    Well done, Richard and Philippe.

  9. [...] Richard Landes has another report from the trial: Gambling with a Lie: Enderlin pulls a Rosemary Woods. [...]

  10. Soccer Dad says:

    Philippe who?

    There is precious little coverage of what ought to be considered Watergate for the international media, but yesterday brought some dramatic news. After telling the court that he had 27 minutes of video of the conflict near Netzarim junction the day tha…

  11. EditMan says:

    As a professional editor, I can tell you that there
    are several ways to edit the tape to look like
    it hasn’t been tampered with – even by making it look
    like there is continuous time-code.

    I smell a rat!

    W

  12. Michael N says:

    Richard, do you know of any high-powered lawyers who recognize the fraud that this footage represents, and who would be prepared to publicly provoke Enderlin into a similar legal action against them? It seems to me that the judge is letting Enderlin get away with too much.

  13. [...] As regular readers will recognize one of the people mentioned, Boston University professor Richard Landes, has analyzed the al Durrah incident in great detail on his blog The Augean Stables. He has also provided all the footage available from other news cameras that were recoding at the same time and location at The Second Draft. Here is Landes’s post about today’s dramatic events entitled Gambling with a lie: Enderlain pulls a Rosemary Woods. [...]

  14. [...] As regular readers will recognize one of the people mentioned, Boston University professor Richard Landes, has analyzed the al Durrah incident in great detail on his blog The Augean Stables. He has also provided all the footage available from other news cameras that were recoding at the same time and location at The Second Draft. Here is Landes’s post about today’s dramatic events entitled Gambling with a lie: Enderlain pulls a Rosemary Woods. [...]

  15. Jakester says:

    Even if he is exposed as the cheat he is and the Duras video gets debunked, no one will care. The Arabs and their d’himmi crowd are not operating in a rational, moral framework and will ignore any contradictions to their so called truths.

  16. fp says:

    Rob,

    Indeed we shall see. I am a realist, not a pessimist.

    EditMan,

    I sort of figured that if Enderlin took such a gamble, he first assured himself that clean editing would be possible. Whether the full capability is really there, or whether the court will even check something like that (I doubt it) remains to be seen.

    barry,

    this surprise is something I cannot understand either. I mean, the whole ME coverage of the ME is one big lie from beginning to end, the case itself is founded on a lie, and people are surprised that enderlin lied … IN A FRENCH COURT???? tampering with the tape was one of the first concerns I raised here, it was almost automatic.

  17. Anat says:

    fp and EditMan,

    Are you sure you were paying attention? There is no need to trace any cryptic editing, because Enderlin openly stated that he had indeed deleted some scenes. His reason: he considered them irrelevant. Now the question is if the judge will accept this. She shouldn’t, since the whole point is if the footage contained any staged scenes at all, not only al-Durah, and in fact she had asked that much of France2 lawyer in the previous court session.

  18. SE says:

    Richard, aside from MSM issues, I would be interested in your thoughts about the workings of French justice. Honest? Corrupt? Capable? Keystone Cops?

    really hard to say. I don’t know enough. but i must admit that the informality of the court (in contrast with the formality of their robes) is disorienting. i like informality, but, as Neo-con said in one of her posts on a previous trial, there doesn’t seem to be much engagement with empirical reality. if there is, Enderlin’s goose is cooked. is it? who knows.

  19. fp says:

    anat,

    whoops, i stand corrected.

    but that only reinforces my impression that enderlin is so certain the court won’t do much about that, that he allowed himself to admit it. and i would not be surprised if he’s right.

  20. fp says:

    from what i know about the french, french justice is a contradiction in terms.

    but then I have serious problems with american justice too.

  21. IRIS Blog says:

    Al-Dura Video Presented in Court with Key Segments Missing

    Over two years ago, I called the Muhammed al-Dura blood libel this way: The Biggest News Scandal of All Time is Being Ignored

    The moment we have been waiting for has arrived. The video was shown in French court today, but in a breathtaking display of c

  22. [...] was in the Paris courtroom today (read his account here) when the film was shown — that is, when only 18 of the 27 minutes of the film were shown! [...]

  23. [...] Augean Stables has been following the story a long time: So here we have documentary evidence of material that Talal abu Rahmah shot with his France2 camera,… [...]

  24. [...] Augean Stables has been following the story a long time: So here we have documentary evidence of material that Talal abu Rahmah shot with his France2 camera,… [...]

  25. David M says:

    The Thunder Run has linked to this post in the – Web Reconnaissance for 11/16/2007 A short recon of what’s out there that might draw your attention, updated throughout the day…so check back often.

  26. [...] Here is what Richard Landes had to say on the subject. [...]

  27. [...] they have been edited down by at least three, possibly nine minutes. See here for the discussion I posted immediately after the session in which they were [...]

  28. [...] lie at the heart of the accusation against the Israeli army. They found themselves forced to cut the most embarrassing scenes before showing the footage to the court, and to explain to the court why the remaining footage had [...]

  29. [...] of Talal, we’ll be able to judge better what was going on that day if we could see them. And unlike Talal’s rushes, let’s see them uncensored. I suspect we won’t, because when it comes to the clash [...]

  30. [...] news. In the appeals case, the court demanded that Enderlin show the (Pallywood) footage (which he cut), and then presented the court with a video that used Pallywood footage to try and convince the [...]

  31. [...] people were outraged for different reasons. I, having seen the rushes earlier, was incensed that France2 had cut the footage and removed some of the more ludicrous scenes of “Pallywood.” Others, who knew about [...]

  32. [...] presented the court with a cut version of Talal’s rushes — the same rushes that made her blanche a few years ago. They’ve never made [...]

  33. [...] presented the court with a cut version of Talal’s rushes — the same rushes that made her blanche a few years ago. They’ve never made [...]

  34. [...] Appendix: Talal’s rushes as presented to the French court (17 of the 21 minutes). [...]

  35. [...] Originally Posted by Varghese sad After years of investigation, proved to be theater staged by the Palestinians themselves with the connivance of French television. link1, link2 [...]

  36. [...] carried to an ambulance in front of the cameras – he walked away without a limp. (NB: France2 cut this clip from the video they showed the court.) Neither of the two video reports, which are embedded below, [...]

  37. [...] the ambulance – he shoos them and walks away without a limp, I can’t show you because Enderlin cut it from the edited version he presented to the [...]

  38. [...] the ambulance – he shoos them and walks away without a limp, I can’t show you because Enderlin cut it from the edited version he presented to the [...]

  39. [...] ils font toujours ça. C’est une question de culture. Représentants de France 2 (cités par [...]

  40. [...] ils font toujours ça. C’est une question de culture. Représentants de France 2 (cités par [...]

  41. [...] ils font toujours ça. C’est une question de culture. Représentants de France 2 (cités par [...]

  42. [...] showed to a number of people beforehand, including Richard Landes. There are, according to him, about three minutes missing, including a particularly embarrassing scene of an obvious and failed [...]

  43. [...] a post at The Augean Stables, November 14, 2007 by Richard [...]

  44. […] the ambulance – he shoos them and walks away without a limp, I can’t show you because Enderlin cut it from the edited version he presented to the […]

  45. […] tape at Enderlin’s office on October 21, 2003 the footage was over 21 minutes (i.e., with about three minutes missing), including a particularly embarrassing scene of an obvious and failed […]

  46. […] presented the court with a cut version of Talal’s rushes — the same rushes that made her blanche a few years ago. They’ve never made […]

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