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| 5/13/2011 11:00:00 AM

What the Farc files really reveal

May 13--A conservative thinktank's attempt to reheat widely discredited Colombian military claims about Farc is pure black propaganda.

The release Tuesday of a "dossier" of Farc files, which were supposedly seized by the Colombian government in 2008, is truly a non-event. The report, by the International Institute for Strategic Studies (IISS), appears to be an attempt by hawks in the US and the UK to perpetuate, using "black propaganda", the failed policies of the George W Bush administration, as well as previous administrations of the cold war era, to which they respectively once belonged. All of its conclusions are based on the false premise that the documents that it claims to analyse are entirely trustworthy.

Impartial observers of the events surrounding the supposed capture of computer files from the Farc, and their subsequent revelation in the media, have long ago concluded that the files are highly dubious at best. The Colombian military, which claims to have obtained the documents from computers and flash drives following an illegal bombing raid on a Farc camp inside Ecuador in March 2008, is the only party that can know for sure whether the documents are authentic.

The IISS, and others who want the world to believe in the documents' authenticity, rest much of their case on the supposed verification of the files by Interpol. But what Interpol actually said, in its 2008 report on the documents, was that the Colombian military's treatment of the files "did not conform to internationally recognised principles for the ordinary handling of electronic evidence by law enforcement". Interpol noted that there was a one-week period between the computer documents' capture by Colombia, and when they were handed over to Interpol, during which time the Colombian authorities actually modified 9,440 files, and deleted 2,905, according to Interpol's detailed forensic report. This "may complicate validating this evidence for purposes of its introduction in a judicial proceeding", Interpol noted at the time.
 
Read more here.

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