Recently, Scope made damning accusations towards I-RED ( 'Killing Fields' ). Originally, it just seemed your regular sensationalism Gallente news, like Gutter Press often publishes. I should have known better however, as the timing's suspicious, so shortly after the I-RED Tsuruma colony disaster.
Thanks to an internal source, Aurora News managed to acquire a copy of the tapes Scope used for their reports. The information held within these tapes compelled me to run an investigation myself.
Discrepancies in reporting
Before we go any further, it's relevant to know that I-RED does have a long standing history in Syndicate, working for years to reduce the pirate activity & improve the situation of the colonies in the region.
However, the information held by the tapes used by Scope do contain info that they did not publish or otherwise neglected to report to condemn I-RED. To further investigate the reports, a private investigation has been run. Do note, I-RED is conducting their own internal investigation on the matter.
The Killing Field investigation
Due to the sensitive nature of all the info, a decision was made to deploy an Arcology forensic investigation team down to the planet, as they would offer a neutral viewpoint on the findings.
First & foremost, the Killing Fields are a real thing, no denying that, with the Kresh Trees present & the disfigured corpses strewn around, some of them barely hanging on the trees branches after all this time.
But a first clue pops up when investigating the trees. The Scope report mentions the trees are roughly 4 years of age & without any mention of the site's age, it implies that's the timeframe.
However, the Kresh Trees planted would have trouble growing in the humid & muddy environment, not to mention their size indicates they are quite older then 4 years. In addition, research revealed that sometime in the past two years they've been replanted to this site. The conclusion has been drawn from two things: One, their stunted growth on the end of the branches, indicating their conditions worsened since two years. Two, the rootballs of the trees are proof they've been replanted from somewhere else. The outgrowth from it is also only dated 2 years.
Research on the corpses provides not much, albeit none of them wear any uniform related to I-RED, despite the suggestion by Scope that this was an 'internal purge'. the tattered outfits worn are those of typical make for Syndicate colonists, a low quality fabric with no distinguishable form or function. All in all, while the corpses are horribly disfigured, some of it clearly based on an old, outlawed punishment practice known as the 'Kresh Feeding', there is no direct link with I-RED here either.
Further investigation of the surroundings brought to light some additional curiosities. While most of the tracks & traces are more recent, accounted to other investigators, likely Scope or I-RED, there's a few older traces.
The most notable are the old imprints of two Caldari Dropship landing spots. Due to the muddy soil, they've been deeply imprinted and are not easy to erode away. However it's hard to tell if they landed together or separate as too much time has passed.
Another special note is how 'clean' the site is. Outside the recent disturbances made by Scope & others, there is no disturbance of the site, no old footprints in the mud or other items left behind, like cans or such. It's just the corpses & the trees, nothing more. It is as if someone did their best to cover their tracks, save for the quite deep & colossal dropship landing imprints in the deep mud.
The Killing Field Conclusion
All in all, it is a very disturbing sight. the investigation brought to light some curious things. One is the time, instead of 4 years, which is suspected to be roughly the start of the major Syndicate campaign by I-RED, it's now timed 2 years ago, smack in the middle of I-RED's major involvement with the region.
However, there exists no direct link with I-RED to this site! While it is easy to accuse I-RED of what occurred here, it is important to remember they made some powerful enemies along the way in their Syndicate campaign, from the pirates they fought to Megacorps who saw their investments flunked due to I-RED's alignment with Ishukone.
However, one person probably does knows the answer whether I-RED is involved in all this or not. This person is Katrina Oniseki, who was head of Public Relations at the time. While she has stepped down from this position, the successor Makoto Priano, who also leads the investigation is a pupil of her, making any form of unbiased conclusion hard for I-RED.
The role of Katrina Oniseki
In this light, the call for a third party to investigate the matter in detail carries value. In this light, any investigation taking itself seriously should also question Katrina Oniseki regarding any possible I-RED activities in that area around that time to verify if I-RED was involved or others.
A hint that Katrina Oniseki is a key person in clearing up I-REDs involvement in the killing fields can be found in the declassification of Project Dustbowl, where she reveals the investments of her alliance into the Syndicate colonies.
Of particular interest is the ambiguous term 'sterilization' used to cope with a colony under heavy Serpentis influence. However the bodies found carried no Serpentis insignia or marks, making a link unlikely.
Timing of the accusations & the internal leakage
With all of the above in mind, the timing is also curious, as only recently one of I-RED's colonies in Black Rise suffered a catastrophe due to sabotage...
In addition, the Scope report 'I-RED Internal leak' continues to paint I-RED in a dark light, without a relevant cause cause.
The relevance of this 'Kruger' operate isn't fully understood, but his actions are no different then other well-decorated covert operatives employed by Caldari megacorps to cope with the, sometimes literal, cut-throat competition with each other.
The leak continues with informing that I-RED has a large buildup of militia forces in recent times. While some might find this suspicious, with the rise of the Dust Mercs, this hardly should be surprising.
The past year saw a severe rise in security force recruitment by quite some groups, like the PIE Kameira recruitment program, to the most recent call by Richard Masseri to bolster his 'bodyguard' forces. Even the Aurora Arcology acquired some military grade assets last year to improve it's security!
With that in mind, it is important to note that there was no official announcement by I-RED to greatly bolster their security & militia forces, unlike the previous mentioned examples. In addition to this, these forces fall under the responsibility of a new security wing, namely Internal Watch. Previously, this security force fell under the management of Human Resources. The mobilisation mentioned in the leak, is probably related to the sabotage of the Black Rise colony.
I-RED had sworn swift justice upon the culprits and is likely to go far in this as thousands perished, and tens of thousands more would have died if not for the rapid assistance of capsuleers in the evacuation.
Conclusion of this investigation
All in all, there's no direct evidence of I-RED's involvement in the 'Killing Fields' but neither is there any that absolves them of this atrocity. Over the years they made enough enemies in Syndicate that some of them might go this far to stage a campaign to paint I-RED in a bad light.
However, Katrina Oniseki holds the answers, as she was head of Public Relations at the time & was directly involved with the Syndicate colonies, as the announcement on the declassification of Project Dustbowl shows.
An internal investigation however will never satisfy outsiders, simply because of Katrina Oniseki's history, too many folks in Public Relations would have a too strong connection to her, not to mention that the current head of Public Relations, Makoto Priano has learned much of her trade from Mrs Oniseki herself, making her hardly a suitable person for leading this investigation.
In this light, a neutral third party should be appointed to lead the investigations & have the ability to question Katrina Oniseki regarding the Killing Fields
The second report by Scope is a bit ambiguous & it's relevancy isn't fully understood. However as it seems to be linked to the Black Rise colony disaster, I'm sure we'll find out more about all of it sooner!
To keep track of the ongoing investigation, you can check here: 'Investigations into the recent I-RED accusations' that I published on the Intergalactic Summit, to offer a more continuous flow of the investigation.