Michael Wright: [studying photographs at ESWN] Okay, I'm looking but I don't see what you're driving at -- wait a minute; this one looks like it could be staged. The attacker looks like he's posing for a picture taker. He's not even looking at Jin while he's grabbing for the torch. [Photo #7, first series of photos at ESWN]
Pundita: Yes, but look again. Something is missing from all the photos. Where are the police during the attack on Jin?
Wright: The police are just standing there, watching the attack.
Pundita: Do those police look Chinese to you? Those are French police.
Wright: The goon squad is missing! Probably millions of people have seen these photos and nobody picked up what you did.
Pundita: Don't kid yourself. The Paris police would have taken one look at those photos and knew the attack was staged. The Chinese police were sticking like glue to the torch carriers. Look even at the long shots. Not one of the blue-and-white jogging suits is around before, during, or after the attack.
Wright: Okay but the media haven't picked this up. I can see why you're so upset.
Pundita: That's not why. Anyhow, those are French policeman tackling the Tibetan protestors. But notice they're not tackling the guy who grabbed Jin. See the Tibetan flag in the two tackling photos? The grabber doesn't have a flag, and the guy thrown on the ground is not the grabber either.
Wright: Wonder what happened to him.
Pundita: Differing versions in the accounts accompanying the photos. But they boil down to his being hustled away.
Wright: And for this, all of French officialdom is kissing China's hand and begging forgiveness.
Pundita: French business concerns in China couldn't care less whether the incident was staged. They just want to make sure their government kowtows to Beijing. Another triumph for the Chinese Communist Party, courtesy of the CCP Deception and Denial handbook.
Wright: There's one of the squad. You can see the sleeve to his jogging outfit. [Photo #12, first series]
Pundita: Yes, there are blue-and-whites in the last three photographs but those are taken at a different site, different time, than the grabbing attack. The eyewitness accounts at ESWN stress the absence of the police.
Wright: It's possible you're reading the situation wrong, if you think this is a triumph. They couldn't have the Chinese police around for the attack because the Chinese public would be very upset that the squad hadn't protected her. At the same time they needed photographic documentation of the attack. That meant anybody who knew about the squad could note their absence. Staging the attack could have been a desperation move.
How long have you been sitting on this find?
Pundita: Since I saw the photos at ESWN; sometime between the 10th and 12th.(1)
Wright: Why didn't you mention it before?
Pundita: The Chinese police accompanying the torch are infamous; there have been MSM news reports on them from London to Canberra, starting around the 10th. Anyone following the torch relay story closely would know about the squad.
So it should have taken the major media 15 minutes to notice the oddity about the attack on Jin Jing, starting from the minute the photos surfaced.
(BEIJING Reuters April 11) - A wheelchair-bound Chinese torch bearer has rocketed to national fame after fending off protesters in Paris, becoming a symbol of China's defiance of global demonstrations backing Tibet.1) The Olympic Torch Tour as Public Relations Disaster, ESWN, April 10 -- same link as above; pix and various eyewitness accounts.
Jin Jing, a 27 year-old amputee and Paralympic fencer has been called the "angel in a wheelchair" and is being celebrated by television chat shows, newspapers and online musical videos after fiercely defending the Olympic torch during the Paris leg of the troubled international relay.
Protesters denouncing Chinese policy in Tibet threw themselves at Jin. Most were wrestled away by police but at least one reached her wheelchair and tried to wrench the torch away.
Jin clung tenaciously to what has become a controversial icon of the Beijing Olympic Games until her attacker was pulled off.
Her look of fierce determination as she shielded the torch, captured in snapshots of the scene, has now spread throughout China, inflaming simmering public anger at the protests.
"I thought we had lost in France, but seeing the young disabled torch bearer Jin Jing's radiant smile of conviction, I know in France we did not lose, we won!" said one of tens of thousands of Internet postings about the incident. [...]
Jin, cheerful and photogenic, has emerged to embody nationalist indignation at Western criticisms and protests.[...]
(BEIJING, Wasington Post, April 10) -- As protesters besiege the Olympic torch on its global tour, a phalanx of tall, tough-looking young Chinese men in blue-and-white running gear have vigorously protected the flame -- too vigorously in the eyes of those who consider protest a constitutional right.
With their steely demeanor and strong-arm tactics, they have become a symbol of what is going wrong for Chinese authorities who had hoped to make the 2008 Beijing Games a worldwide celebration of China's friendly new face.
Sebastian Coe, chairman of the Olympic organizing committee for 2012 in London, called the men "thugs" and said they had pushed him around when the flame passed through the city Sunday. A spokeswoman for the Paris police, Marie Lajus, said the men had failed to coordinate with local authorities when they grabbed the torch and put out the flame during protests in the French capital Monday. One torchbearer described them as aggressive and robotic; another called them tense and irritable." [...]
Resentment of the Chinese guards in London and Paris was heightened by apparent efforts to maintain secrecy about who they were. After the complaints in London, British police refused to be specific. Police in Paris said they were not really sure. [...]
Jacques Rogge, president of the International Olympic Committee, said in Beijing on Thursday that surrounding the torch with private security agents has become "standard practice" in pre-Olympic relays. He did not differentiate between private security and China's People's Armed Police, which has been used extensively in recent weeks to put down protests in Tibet and other Tibetan-inhabited areas -- the conflict that inspired most of those demonstrating abroad as the torch passed.
(TOKYO Reuters, April 11) [...] Chinese state media have reported that the "flame protection squad", consisting of some 70 members of China's People's Armed Police, has been employed by the Beijing Olympic Organising Committee to safeguard the fire for 24 hours a day.[...]