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Mon Mar 4, 2019, 03:26 PM

What really happened to Otto Warmbier?

I'm reposting this, (I posted it when it came out) because the narrative that Otto was beaten and his 'teeth rearranged' seems to be the only narrative out there. In fact, it's one that is not supported by the evidence. It's the one the Trump administration and his family (Otto's) wanted/needed.

It's a long and compelling read - and I came away feeling certain that Otto was overwhelmed, frightened, felt defeated - and the likely scenario in the article - that he tried to kill himself - is the most cogent explanation.

This does not remove culpability from N. Korea. What happened was clearly their fault.

But I see no reason to invest in a convenient story, either. In the end, we don't know quite what happened - we can only guess. But our best guess shouldn't be what the Trump administration finds convenient - nor (I'm so sorry to say) the one that suits the Warmbier's grief (though I sympathize with them).


Anyway, for those that are interested, this is well researched journalism -

https://www.gq.com/story/otto-warmbier-north-korea-american-hostage-true-story

21 replies, 1048 views

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Arrow 21 replies Author Time Post
Reply What really happened to Otto Warmbier? (Original post)
janterry Mar 4 OP
NightWatcher Mar 4 #1
TheBlackAdder Mar 4 #11
karynnj Mar 4 #18
TheBlackAdder Mar 4 #20
brooklynite Mar 4 #19
NightWatcher Mar 4 #21
BlueintheSTL Mar 4 #2
janterry Mar 4 #3
Hortensis Mar 4 #15
FakeNoose Mar 4 #4
yonder Mar 4 #5
erronis Mar 4 #6
Pompoy Mar 4 #7
janterry Mar 4 #8
Act_of_Reparation Mar 4 #16
uppityperson Mar 4 #9
countingbluecars Mar 4 #10
lunatica Mar 4 #12
janterry Mar 4 #13
lunatica Mar 4 #14
janterry Mar 4 #17

Response to janterry (Original post)

Mon Mar 4, 2019, 03:29 PM

1. Who goes to North Korea? Why was he there?

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Response to NightWatcher (Reply #1)

Mon Mar 4, 2019, 04:38 PM

11. I think, he went as a Christian, and they tried to break his faith or have him smite his captors.

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Response to TheBlackAdder (Reply #11)

Mon Mar 4, 2019, 05:50 PM

18. He was Jewish.

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Response to karynnj (Reply #18)

Mon Mar 4, 2019, 06:03 PM

20. Oh, it looked like he was masking himself as a Methodist.

.

U.S. negotiator Mickey Bergman later stated that Warmbier's family were advised to maintain silence about his Jewish heritage while he was under arrest, as negotiators believed that publicly repudiating Warmbier's purported affiliation with a Methodist church would antagonize the North Korean regime.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Otto_Warmbier

.

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Response to NightWatcher (Reply #1)

Mon Mar 4, 2019, 05:59 PM

19. There's a bigger tourist trade in North Korea than you might imagine...

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Response to brooklynite (Reply #19)

Mon Mar 4, 2019, 06:55 PM

21. The article said "he wanted to witness the world's most repressive nations".

Not to be nasty, but he got his money's worth.

Some things are not for tourists and North Korea is one of those things. I'm sorry he was then stupid enough to deface and steal a government propaganda poster after drinking in "the world's most repressive nations".

The ruler executes relatives with anti aircraft guns and feeds prisoners to dogs. This is the kind of place where visitors have no business.

Go to South Padre Island or Daytona Beach if you want to get drunk and act stupid and still have protections from state sanctioned execution.

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Response to janterry (Original post)

Mon Mar 4, 2019, 03:40 PM

2. The kid was a fucking moron

The State Department had an advisory in place against traveling to North Korea, where he'd be beyond the American government's power to directly help him. Otto's parents weren't thrilled by the trip, but as his mother later explained, Why would you say no to a kid like this?


Nice parenting bozo. I can only think of maybe a thousand reasons to tell my kid no chance in hell he/she is going with the sentence just right above her quote being one of them. I have zero sympathy for him or his family but let them go ahead and continue to blame Obama for their son's stupidity.

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Response to BlueintheSTL (Reply #2)

Mon Mar 4, 2019, 03:46 PM

3. I really think he tried to kill himself

and his family doesn't want to believe that.

He looked like a lovely young man - but what he did was indeed stupid.

And it sure doesn't change the fact that N. Korea is brutal regime.

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Response to janterry (Reply #3)

Mon Mar 4, 2019, 04:56 PM

15. Or some accident in bad surroundings. Unlikely to be

anaphylaxis ("allergy" ), but my outdoorsman husband had had absolutely no allergies or unusual insect reactions for 70 years then went into anaphylactic shock at a flying insect sting/bite. His blood pressure crashed. He lost unconsciousness, turned black in the face and was foaming at the mouth, and if his systems hadn't recovered on their own he would have died or had severe brain damage.

I don't ascribe to either to accident or to suicide, though. He had so much to live for, apparently had no history of emotional problems, was a U.S. citizen, and seemingly suffered no serious physical abuse before his death.

Thanks very much for posting, Janterry. The pattern of no Americans or "white" people ever having been known to be physically tortured is of course good to hear. I would not wish it otherwise.

Blueinthestl, my best guess is that the thoughtless foolishness of a 21-year-old adolescent still a few years short of adult brain development, who was trying to steal a poster (assuming that's some version of the truth) might have borne some resemblance to your casual processes with nothing at stake. In his situation, definitely very not smart.

Fwiw, impulse control comes with full brain development. Plus, the most dangerous years of adolescence are the final ones in the mid 20s. That's reportedly when most fatally foolish deaths and dreadful incidents, like this one, occur.

Such a shame this ordinarily goal-directed and disciplined young man's parents didn't consult a psychologist before deciding he'd do okay based only on his past high functioning. That said, I have real doubts I'd have paid for a guided tour into NK either. Any part of China has far more going for it.

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Response to janterry (Original post)

Mon Mar 4, 2019, 04:07 PM

4. K & R Thanks!

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Response to janterry (Original post)

Mon Mar 4, 2019, 04:10 PM

5. Thanks for the thread. It think it sheds as much light on what happened as can be expected.

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Response to yonder (Reply #5)

Mon Mar 4, 2019, 04:14 PM

6. Also, thanks for the thread. Not everything is how it is portrayed - on MSM or DU or elsewhere.

Also echo the comments about the poor choices the kid made and his parents accepted.

I guess if the kid felt he was doing something related to "god's work", the parents should blame said 'god'.

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Response to janterry (Original post)

Mon Mar 4, 2019, 04:14 PM

7. Why wouldn't the N. Koreans say that he tried to kill himself?

He was an idiot but the blame lies with the N. Koreans, what did they expect, that he was James Bond? Stupid savages.

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Response to Pompoy (Reply #7)

Mon Mar 4, 2019, 04:28 PM

8. They didn't say that. Did you read the article?

n/t

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Response to Pompoy (Reply #7)

Mon Mar 4, 2019, 04:57 PM

16. They have a Big Lie to maintain.

A suicide attempt would be better press than torture, but it would still reflect poorly on the Most Perfectest Nation Evar.

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Response to janterry (Original post)

Mon Mar 4, 2019, 04:32 PM

9. Thank you

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Response to janterry (Original post)

Mon Mar 4, 2019, 04:34 PM

10. What really happened to Otto Warmbier?

Kim Jong-un and his brutal regime killed him one way or another. They are responsible. Trump loves brutal dictators.

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Response to janterry (Original post)

Mon Mar 4, 2019, 04:46 PM

12. This is not a discussion on this thread

This is a hatchet job on a kid and his family. Its disgusting.

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Response to lunatica (Reply #12)

Mon Mar 4, 2019, 04:48 PM

13. I thought the article was quite sensitive

I'm sorry you feel that way.

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Response to janterry (Reply #13)

Mon Mar 4, 2019, 04:51 PM

14. Truly I'm not referring to you

You obviously posted it because it is thoughtful and well written. Im referring to a confluence of really nasty insults hurled at the kid and his parents.

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Response to lunatica (Reply #14)

Mon Mar 4, 2019, 05:01 PM

17. His story has always had that kind of effect

I think it's a way to control our own sadness - you know? If someone says it's all his fault -- they can contain their grief w/in the confines of judgment and anger. Much easier - for many - than being sad.

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