The CIA: Beyond Redemption and Should be Terminated

July 24, 2010

By Sherwood Ross

The Central Intelligence Agency(CIA) has confirmed the worst fears of its creator President Harry Truman that it might degenerate into “an American Gestapo.” It has  been just that for so long it is beyond redemption. It represents 60 years of failure and fascism utterly at odds with the spirit of a democracy and needs to be closed, permanently.

Over the years “the Agency” as it is known, has given U.S. presidents so much wrong information on so many critical issues, broken so many laws, subverted so many elections, overthrown so many governments, funded so many dictators, and killed and tortured so many innocent human beings that the pages of its official history could be written in blood, not ink. People the world over regard it as infamous, and that evaluation, sadly for the reputation of America, is largely accurate.  Besides, since President Obama has half a dozen other major intelligence agencies to rely on for guidance, why does he need the CIA? In one swoop he could lop an estimated 27,000 employees off the Federal payroll, save taxpayers umpteen billions, and wipe the CIA stain from the American flag.

If you think this is a “radical” idea, think again. What is “radical” is to empower a mob of covert operatives to roam the planet, wreaking havoc as they go with not a care for morality or, for that matter, the tenets of mercy implicit in any of the great faiths. The idea of not prosecuting CIA interrogators (i.e., torturers), as President Obama has said, is chilling. These crimes have to be stopped somewhere, sometime, or they will occur again.

“The CIA had run secret interrogation centers before—beginning in 1950, in Germany, Japan, and Panama,” writes New York Times reporter Tim Weiner in his book “Legacy of Ashes, The History of The CIA”(Random House). Weiner has won a Pulitzer Prize for his coverage of the intelligence community. “It had participated in the torture of captured enemy combatants before—beginning in 1967, under the Phoenix program in Vietnam. It had kidnapped suspected terrorists and assassins before…”

In Iran in 1953, for example, a CIA-directed coup restored the Shah (king) to absolute power, initiating what journalist William Blum in “Rogue State” (Common Courage Press) called “a period of 25 years of repression and torture; while the oil industry was restored to foreign ownership, with the US and Britain each getting 40 percent.”  About the same time in Guatemala, Blum adds, a CIA-organized coup “overthrew the democratically-elected and progressive government of Jacobo Arbenz, initiating 40 years of military government death squads, torture, disappearances, mass executions, and unimaginable cruelty, totaling more than 200,000 victims—indisputably one of the most inhuman chapters of the 20th century.” The massive slaughter compares, at least in terms of sheer numbers, with Hitler’s massacre of Romanian and Ukranian Jews during the holocaust. Yet few Americans know of it.

Blum provides yet other examples of CIA criminality. In Indonesia, it attempted in 1957-58 to overthrow neutralist president Sukarno. It plotted Sukarno’s assassination, tried to blackmail him with a phony sex film, and joined forces with dissident military officers to wage a full-scale war against the government, including bombing runs by American pilots, Blum reported This particular attempt, like one in Costa Rica about the same time, failed. So did the CIA attempt in Iraq in 1960 to assassinate President Abdul Kassem. Other ventures proved more “successful”.

In Laos, the CIA was involved in coup attempts in 1958, 1959, and 1960, creating a clandestine army of 30,000 to overthrow the government. In Ecuador, the CIA ousted President Jose Velasco for recognizing the new Cuban government of Fidel Castro. The CIA also arranged the murder of elected Congo Prime Minister Patrice Lumumba in 1961 and installation of Mobutu Seko who ruled “with a level of corruption and cruelty that shocked even his CIA handlers,” Blum recalls.

In Ghana, in 1966, the CIA sponsored a military coup against leader Kwame Nkrumah in 1966; in Chile, it financed the overthrow of elected President Salvador Allende in 1973 and brought to power the murderous regime of General Augusto Pinochet who executed 3,000 political opponents and tortured thousands more.  In Greece in 1967, the CIA helped subvert the elections and backed a military coup that killed 8,000 Greeks in its first month of operation. “Torture, inflicted in the most gruesome of ways, often with equipment supplied by the United States, became routine,” Blum writes.

In South Africa, the CIA gave the apartheid government information that led to the arrest of African National Congress leader Nelson Mandela, who subsequently spent years in prison. In Bolivia, in 1964, the CIA overthrew President Victor Paz; in Australia from 1972-75, the CIA slipped millions of dollars to political opponents of the Labor Party; ditto, Brazil in 1962; in Laos in 1960, the CIA stuffed ballot boxes to help a strongman into power;  in Portugal in the Seventies the candidates it financed triumphed over a pro-labor government; in the Philippines, the CIA backed governments in the 1970-90 period that employed torture and summary execution against its own people; in El Salvador, the CIA in the Nineties backed the wealthy in a civil war in which 75,000 civilians were killed; and the list goes on and on.

Of course, the hatred that the CIA engenders for the American people and American business interests is enormous. Because the Agency operates largely in secret, most Americans are unaware of the crimes it perpetrates in their names. As Chalmers Johnson writes in “Blowback”(Henry Holt), former long-time CIA director Robert Gates, now Obama’s defense secretary, admitted U.S. intelligence services began to aid the mujahideen guerrillas in Afghanistan six months before the Soviet invasion in December, 1979.

As has often been the case, the CIA responded to a criminal order from one of the succession of imperial presidents that have occupied the White House, in this instance one dated July 3, 1979, from President Jimmy Carter. The Agency was ordered to aid the opponents of the pro-Soviet regime in Kabul—aid that might sucker the Kremlin into invading. “The CIA supported Osama bin Laden, like so many other extreme fundamentalists among the mujahideen in Afghanistan, from at least 1984 on,” Johnson writes, helping bin Laden train many of the 35,000 Arab Afghans.

Thus Carter, like his successors in the George H.W. Bush government — Gates, Dick Cheney, Donald Rumsfeld, Condoleezza Rice, Paul Wolfowitz, and Colin Powell, “all bear some responsibility for the 1.8 million Afghan casualties, 2.6 million refugees, and 10 million unexploded land mines that followed from their decisions, as well as the ‘collateral damage’ that befell New York City in September 2001 from an organization they helped create during the years of anti-Soviet Afghan resistance,” Johnson added. Worse, the Bush-Cheney regime after 9/11 “set no limits on what the agency could do. It was the foundation for a system of secret prisons where CIA officer and contractors used techniques that included torture,” Weiner has written. By some estimates, the CIA in 2006 held 14,000 souls in 11 secret prisons, a vast crime against humanity.

That the CIA has zero interest in justice and engages in gratuitous cruelty may be seen from the indiscriminate dragnet arrests it has perpetrated: “CIA officers snatched and grabbed more than three thousand people in more than one hundred countries in the year after 9/11,” Weiner writes, adding that only 14 men of all those seized “were high-ranking authority figures within al Qaeda and its affiliates. Along with them, the agency jailed hundreds of nobodies…(who) became ghost prisoners in the war on terror.”

As for providing the White House with accurate intelligence, the record of the CIA has been a fiasco. The Agency was telling President Carter the Shah of Iran was beloved by his people and was firmly entrenched in power in 1979 when any reader of Harper’s magazine, available on newsstands for a buck, could read that his overthrow was imminent—and it was. Over the years, the Agency has been wrong far more often than it has been right.

According to an Associated Press report, when confirmed by the Senate as the new CIA director, Leon Panetta said the Obama administration would not prosecute CIA officers that “participated in harsh interrogations even if they constituted torture as long as they did not go beyond their instructions.” This will allow interrogators to evade prosecution for following the clearly criminal orders they would have been justified to disobey.

“Panetta also said that the Obama administration would continue to transfer foreign detainees to other countries for questioning but only if U.S. officials are confident that the prisoners will not be tortured,” the AP story continued. If past is prologue, how confident can Panetta be the CIA’s fellow goons in Egypt and Morocco will stop torturing prisoners? Why did the CIA kidnap men off the streets of Milan and New York and fly them to those countries in the first place if not for torture? They certainly weren’t treating them to a Mediterranean vacation. By its long and nearly perfect record of reckless disregard for international law, the CIA has deprived itself of the right to exist.

It will be worse than unfortunate if President Obama continues the inhumane (and illegal) CIA renditions that President Bill Clinton began and President Bush vastly expanded. If the White House thinks its operatives can roam the world and arrest and torture any person it chooses without a court order, without due process, and without answering for their crimes, this signifies Americans believe themselves to be a Master Race better than others and above international law. That’s not much different from the philosophy that motivated Adolph Hitler’s Third Reich. It would be the supreme irony if the American electorate that repudiated racism last November has voted into its highest office a constitutional lawyer who reaffirms his predecessor’s illegal views on this activity. Renditions must be stopped. The CIA must be abolished. Source

Drone Pilots Could Be Tried for ‘War Crimes’

The pilots waging America’s undeclared drone war in Pakistan could be liable to criminal prosecution for “war crimes,” a prominent law professor told a Congressional panel Wednesday.

It’s part of an ongoing legal debate about the CIA and U.S. military’s lethal drone operations, which have escalated in recent months…

NATO Smears a Truth-Teller in Afghanistan

When the CIA/US needed money or weapons shipped into a country they enlisted the help of Israel. Israel was the funnel tunnel used by the US.
Israel’s Latin American trail of terror

June 5 2003

By Jeremy Bigwood

“I learned an infinite amount of things in Israel, and to that country I owe part of my essence, my human and military achievements” said Colombian paramilitary leader and indicted drug trafficker Carlos Castao in his ghostwritten autobiography, Mi Confesin. Castao, who leads the Colombian paramilitaries, known by their Spanish acronym AUC, the largest right-wing paramilitary force to ever exist in the western hemisphere reveals that he was trained in the arts of war in Israel as a young man of 18 in the 1980s. He glowingly adds: “I copied the concept of paramilitary forces from the Israelis,” in his chapter-long account of his Israel experiences.

Castao’s right-wing Phalange-like AUC force is now by far the worst human rights violator in all of the Americas, and ties between that organisation and Israel are continually surfacing in the press.

Outside the law

The AUC paramilitaries are a fighting force that originally grew out of killers hired to protect drug-running operations and large landowners. They were organised into a cohesive force by Castao in 1997. It exists outside the law but often coordinates its actions with the Colombian military, in a way similar to the relationship of the Lebanese Phalange to the Israeli army throughout the 1980s and 1990s.

According to a 1989 Colombian Secret Police intelligence report, apart from training Carlos Castao in 1983, Israeli trainers arrived in Colombia in 1987 to train him and other paramilitaries who would later make up the AUC.
Fifty of the paramilitaries’ “best” students were then sent on scholarships to Israel for further training according to a Colombian police intelligence report, and the AUC became the most prominent paramilitary force in the hemisphere, with some 10,000-12,000 men in arms.

The Colombian AUC paramilitaries are always in need of arms, and it should come as no surprise that some of their major suppliers are Israeli. Israeli arms dealers have long had a presence in next-door Panama and especially in Guatemala.
In May of last year, GIRSA, an Israeli company associated with the Israeli Defence Forces and based in Guatemala was able to buy 3000 Kalashnikov assault rifles and 2.5 million rounds of ammunition that were then handed over to AUC paramilitaries in Colombia.

Links with the continent

Israel’s military relations with right-wing groups and regimes spans Latin America from Mexico to the southernmost tip of Chile, starting just a few years after the Israeli state came into existence.
Since then, the list of countries Israel has supplied, trained and advised includes Argentina, Bolivia, Brazil, Colombia, Costa Rica, Dominican Republic, Ecuador, El Salvador, Guatemala, Haiti, Honduras, Nicaragua, Panama, Paraguay, Peru and Venezuela.
But it isn’t only the sales of planes, guns and weapons system deals that characterises the Israeli presence in Latin America.
Where Israel has excelled is in advising, training and running intelligence and counter-insurgency operations in the Latin American “dirty war” civil conflicts of Argentina, El Salvador, Guatemala, Nicaragua, and now Colombia.

In the case of the Salvadoran conflict – a civil war between the right-wing landowning class supported by a particularly violent military pitted against left-wing popular organisations – the Israelis were present from the beginning. Besides arms sales, they helped train ANSESAL, the secret police who were later to form the framework of the infamous death squads that would kill tens of thousands of mostly civilian activists.

From 1975 to 1979, 83% of El Salvador’s military imports came from Israel, according to the Stockholm International Peace Research Institute. By 1981, many of those in the civilian popular political movements who had survived the death squads headed for the hills to become guerrillas.

By 1981 there was an open civil war in El Salvador which took over a decade to resolve through negotiations.
Even though the US was openly backing the Salvadoran Army by 1981, as late as November 1983 it was asking for more Israeli “practical assistance” there, according to a declassified secret document obtained recently by Aljazeera.
Among the assistance asked for were helicopters, trucks, rifles, ammunition, and combat infantry advisors to work at both the “company and battalion level of the Salvadoran Army”.

One notable Salvadoran officer trained by the Israelis was Major Roberto D’Aubuisson, who always held a high opinion of the Israelis. It was Major D’Aubuisson who ordered the assassination of El Salvador’s archbishop amongst thousands of other murders.
Later he would organise the right-wing National Republican Alliance Party (ARENA) and send his son to study abroad in the relative safety of Israel.

Dirty war

Amazingly, while the Israelis were training the El Salvadoran death squads they were also supporting the anti-semitic Argentine military government of the late 1970s and early 1980s – at a time when that government was involved_in another “dirty war” of death squads and disappearances.

In 1978, Nicaragua’s dictator Somoza was making his last stand against a general uprising of the Sandinista-led population who were sick of his family’s dynasty which had ruled and monopolised the county for half a century. The Israelis and the US had been supplying Somoza with weapons for years. But when President Jimmy Carter came into office in 1976 he ordered a cessation of all US military assistance to Nicaragua.

Filling the void, the Israelis immediately increased their weapons supplies to Somoza until he fled the country when the Sandinistas took power.

Israeli operatives then helped train right-wing Nicaraguan Contras in Honduran and Costa Rican camps to fight the Sandinista government, according to Colombian police intelligence reports Aljazeera_has obtained.
At least some of the same Israeli operatives had also previously trained the nucleus of the paramilitary organisations that would become the AUC in Colombia.

But by far the bloodiest case of Israeli involvement in Latin America was its involvement in Guatemala from the 1970s to the 1990s. As in El Salvador, a civil war pitted a populist but, in this case, mainly Indian left against a mainly European oligarchy protected by a brutal Mestizo Army.

As Guatemalan President Carlos Arana said in 1971, “If it is necessary to turn the country into a cemetery in order to pacify it, I will not hesitate to do so.”
Active involvement

The Israelis supplied Guatemala with Galil rifles, and built an ammunition factory for them, as well as supplying armoured personnel carriers and Arava planes. Behind the scenes, they were actively involved in the bloodiest counter-insurgency campaign the hemisphere has known since the European conquest, in which at least 200,000 (mostly Indians) were killed.
Like Israel’s original occupation of Palestine, several entire Guatemalan Indian villages were razed and a million people displaced. “The guerrilla is the fish. The people are the sea. If you cannot catch the fish, you have to drain the sea,” said Guatemalan President Rios Montt in 1982.

Guatemalan army officers credit Israeli support with turning the tide against the uprising, not only in the countryside where Israeli counter-insurgency techniques and assistance set up strategic-hamlet-like “development poles” along the lines of the Israeli kibbutz, but also in the cities where “Israeli communication technicians and instructors” working through then-sophisticated computers were able to locate and then decimate guerrillas and their supporters in Guatemala City in 1981.
From the late 1970s until the 1990s, the US could not overtly support the Guatemalan army because of its horrendous human rights record (although there was some covert support), but many in the US government, especially in the CIA, supported Israel in taking up the slack.

Wrong

But the US grew to regret its actions. On 10 March 1999, US President Bill Clinton issued an apology for US involvement in the war: The “United States… support for military forces or intelligence units which engaged in violent and widespread repression…was wrong.” No similar statement has ever been forthcoming from the Israelis.

At the present time, the only major insurgency war in Latin America is in Colombia, where Israel has an overt involvement.
Besides the dozen or so Kfir IAI C-7 jet fighters they have sold the Colombian government, and the Galil rifles produced in Bogota under licence, most of the Israeli ties to the government’s counter-insurgency war are closely-guarded secrets.
Aljazeera’s attempts to obtain clarification on these and other issues for this story were stonewalled by the Israeli embassy in Washington.

Why does Israel continue to provide arms and expertise to the pariahs of the world? Clearly, part of the reason is the revenues produced by arms sales, and part of it has do with keeping up with trends in counter-insurgent war across the globe.
But another factor is what is demanded of Israel by the world’s only superpower, the US, in partial exchange for the superpower’s continued support for Israeli dominance in the Middle East. Assistance

This relationship can be best illustrated by recently declassified 1983 US government documents obtained by the Washington, DC-based National Security Archives through the Freedom of Information Act.
One such declassified document is a 1983 memo from the notorious Colonel Oliver North of the Reagan Administration’s National Security Council and reads: “As discussed with you yesterday, I asked CIA, Defense, and State to suggest practical assistance which the Israelis might offer in Guatemala and El Salvador.”
Another document, this time a 1983 cable from the US Ambassador in Guatemala to Washington Frederic Chapin shows the money trail.

He says that at a time when the US did not want to be seen directly assisting Guatemala, “we have reason to believe that our good friends the Israelis are prepared, or already have, offered substantial amounts of military equipment to the GOG (Government of Guatemala) on credit terms up to 20 years…(I pass over the importance of making huge concessionary loans to Israel so that it can make term loans in our own backyard).”

In other words, during civil wars in which the US does not want to be seen getting its hands dirty in Latin America, the superpower loans Israel money at a very good rate, and then Israel uses these funds to do the “dirty work”. In this regard, in Latin America at least, Israel has become the hit-man for the US. Source

Israel Trains Other Undemocratic, Abusive Regimes

For years, Israeli military expertise has been shared with other abusive undemocratic regimes across the globe. In the 1980s, Israeli security forces trained a Honduran military intelligence unit, Battalion 316, that disappeared, tortured and killed Honduran citizens. Israel also trained members of the South African apartheid regime’s Inkatha hit squads that targeted ANC leaders. US aid to Israel, then, has led to the support of regimes that US taxpayers perhaps would not have otherwise aided. Source

lsrael’s ties with South Africa seem to be especially disturbing to many who follow Israel’s international activities. Perhaps it is natural that Israel has been castigated more harshly for its arms sales to South Africa than for its sales to other countries: first, because there has been for a decade an arms embargo against South Africa; and second, because of the unsurpassed criminality of the white regime and the uses to which it puts the Israeli-supplied weapons.

Also

Israel has also been involved with the Mozambican “contras,” the South African-backed MNR (Mozambique National Resistance or “Renamo”), which has brought great economic and social distress to Mozambique. Renamo has a particular reputation for ideological incoherence, being regarded by most other right-wing insurgencies as a gang of cutthroats. For several years there have been stories coming from Southern Africa of captured mercenaries of Renamo who say they were trained in neighboring Malawi-one of the four nations to maintain relations with Israel after the Organization of African Unity (OAU) declared a diplomatic embargo in 1973-by Israelis. And more than one report has told of “substantial Israeli aid” to the MNR, thought to have been funded by the CIA and Saudi Arabia as well as South Africa and former Portuguese nationalists. Source

Israel and El Salvador
Israel and Guatemala
Isreal and Nicaragua and the Contras
Israel and Honduras and Costa Rica

Haiti Government was also toppled by the US

Israel and US were behind the Georgian Attacks on South Ossetia and Abkhazia

CIA Torture Tactics Endorsed in Secret Memos

Repression in the Dominican Republic

Another tactic used by the US

A Detailed Description of Management Strategy Fraud

Recent

US occupation not for “liberation of Iraqis

Mental illness rising among US troops

Republicans in the US House of Representatives want Israel to attack Iran

Gaza Flotilla: Lawyers from 60 Countries to Sue Israel

Hospitals in Haiti to be shut down due to lack of funds

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Gaza Freedom Flotilla Eyewitness Accounts

Was the Obama Administration involved in the Planning of the Israeli Attack on the Gaza Freedom Flotilla?
The Broader Military Agenda

June 6 2010

By Michel Chossudovsky

The Israeli Navy Commando had prior knowledge of who was on the Turkish ship including where passengers were residing in terms of cabin layout. According to Swedish author Henning Mankell, who was on board the Marmara , “the Israeli forces attacked sleeping civilians.”

These were targeted assassinations. Specific individuals were targeted. Journalists were targeted with a view to confiscating their audio and video recording equipment and tapes.

“We were witnesses to premeditated murders,” said historian Mattias Gardell who was on the Mavi Marmara.

“…Asked about why activists on the Turkish ship had attacked the Israeli soldiers, Gardell stressed “it is not as if Israel is a police officer whom no human being has the legitimate right to defend him or herself against”:

“If you are attacked by commando troops you of course must have the right to defend yourself … Many people on this ship thought they were going to kill everyone. They were very frightened … It’s strange if people think one should not defend oneself. Should you just sit there and say: ‘Kill me’?” he said.” (See Mahdi Darius Nazemroaya, Detailed Compiled Eyewitness Accounts Confirm Cold-Blooded Murder and Executions by Israeli Military, Global Research, June 1, 2010)

“They even shot those who surrendered. Many of our friends saw this. They told me that there were handcuffed people who were shot,” (quoted by Press TV)

The Israeli Commando had an explicit order to kill.

What was the role of the United States?

The raids on the Gaza Freedom Flotilla, bear the mark of  previous Israeli operations directed against unarmed civilians. It is a well established modus operandi of Israeli military-intelligence operations, which is tacitly supported by the US administration.

The killing of civilians is intended to trigger a response by Palestinian resistance forces, which in turn justifies Israeli retaliation (on “humanitarian” grounds) as well as a process of military escalation.  The logic of this process was contained in Ariel Sharon`s “Operation Justified Vengeance” (also referred to as the “Dagan Plan”) initiated at the outset the Sharon government in 2001. This Operation was intent upon destroying the Palestinian Authority and transforming Gaza into an urban prison. (See Michel Chossudovsky, “Operation Justified Vengeance”: Israeli Strike on Freedom Flotilla to Gaza is Part of a Broader Military Agenda, Global Research, June 1, 2010).

The Israeli attack on the Flotilla bears the fingerprints of a military intelligence operation coordinated by the IDF and Mossad, which is now headed by Meir Dagan. It is worth recalling that as a young Coronel, Dagan worked closely with then defense minister Ariel Sharon in the raids on the Palestinian settlements of Sabra and Shatilla in Beirut in 1982.

There are indications that the US was consulted at the highest levels regarding the nature of this military operation. Moreover, in the wake of the attacks, both the US and the UK have unequivocally reaffirmed their support to Israel.

There are longstanding and ongoing military and intelligence relations between the US and Israel including close working ties between various agencies of government: Pentagon, National Intelligence Council, State Department, Homeland Security and their respective Israeli counterparts.

These various agencies of government are involved in routine liaison and consultations, usually directly as well as through the US Embassy in Israel, involving frequent shuttles of officials between Washington and Tel Aviv as well as exchange of personnel. Moreover, the US as well as Canada have public security cooperation agreements with Israel pertaining to the policing of international borders, including maritime borders. (See Israel-USA Homeland Security Cooperation, See also Michel Chossudovsky, The Canada-Israel “Public Security” Agreement, Global Research, 2 April 2008)

The Role of Rahm Emmanuel

Several high level US-Israel meetings were held in the months prior to the May 31st attacks.

Rahm Emmanuel, Obama’s White House chief of Staff was in Tel Aviv a week prior to the attacks. Confirmed by press reports, he had meetings behind closed doors with Prime Minister Netanyahu (May 26) as well as a private visit with President Shimon Peres on May 27.

May 26 meeting between Rahm Emmanuel and Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu

Official statements do not indicate whether other officials including cabinet ministers or IDF and Mossad officials were present at the Rahm Emmanuel-Netanyahu meeting. The Israeli press confirmed that Rahm Emmanuel had a meeting with Defense Minister Ehud Barak, whose Ministry was responsible for overseeing the Commando attack on the Flotilla. (Rahm Emanuel visits Israel to celebrate son’s bar mitzvah – Haaretz Daily Newspaper | Israel News, 23 May 2010). The White House also confirmed that Rahm Emmanuel was to meet other high-ranking Israeli officials, without providing further details. (Rahm Emanuel in Israel for Son’s Bar Mitzvah, May Meet With Officials)

“Our Man in the White House”

While born in the US, Rahm Emmanuel also holds Israeli citizenship and has served in the Israeli military during the First Gulf War (1991).

Rahm is also known for his connections to the pro-Israeli lobby in the US.  The Israeli newspaper Maariv calls him “Our Man in the White House” (quoted in Irish Times, March 13, 2010). Rahm Emmanuel gave his support to Obama in the November 2008 presidential elections following Obama`s address to the pro-Israeli lobby AIPAC.

At the time of Rahm Emmanuel’s confirmation as White House chief of staff, there were reports in the Middle East media of Rahm Emanuel’s connections to Israeli intelligence.

The exact nature of Rahm Emmanuel’s ties to the Israeli military and intelligence apparatus, however, is not the main issue. What we are dealing with is a broad process of bilateral coordination and decision-making between the two governments in the areas of foreign policy, intelligence and military planning, which has been ongoing for more than 50 years. In this regard, Israel, although exercising a certain degree of autonomy in military and strategic decisions, will not act unilaterally, without receiving the “green light” from Washington. Rahm Emmanuel`s meetings with the prime minister and Israeli officials are part of this ongoing process.

Rahm Emmanuel’s meetings in Tel Aviv on May 26 were a routine follow-up to visits to Washington by Prime Minister Netanyahu in March and by Minister of Defense Ehud Barak in late April. In these various bilateral US-Israel encounters at the White House, the state Department and the Pentagon, Rahm Emmanuel invariably plays a key role.

While the pro-Israeli lobby in the US influences party politics in America, Washington also influences the direction of Israeli politics. There have been reports to the effect that Rahm Emmanuel  would “lead a team of high octane Democratic party pro-Israel political operatives to run the campaign for the Defense Minister Ehud Barak” against Netanyahu in the next Israeli election. (Ira Glunts, Could Rahm Emanuel Help Barak Unseat Netanyahu? Palestine Chronicle, June 2, 2010)

The April 27 meeting between US Defense Secretary Robert Gates and Defense Minister Barak pertained to “a range of important defense issues” directly or indirectly related to the status of the Palestinian territories under Israeli occupation:

“As President Obama has affirmed, the United States commitment to Israel’s security is unshakable, and our defense relationship is stronger than ever, to the mutual benefit of both nations. The United States and our ally Israel share many of the same security challenges, from combating terrorism to confronting the threat posed by Iran’s nuclear-weapons program.

For years, the United States and Israel have worked together to prepare our armed forces to meet these and other challenges, a recent major example being the Juniper Cobra joint exercise held last October. Our work together on missile-defense technology is ongoing, and the United States will continue to ensure that Israel maintains its qualitative military edge.” (Press Conference with Secretary Gates and Israeli Defense Minister Barak, April 2010 – Council on Foreign Relations April 27, 2010)

These consultations pertained to ongoing military preparations regarding Iran. Both Israel and the US have recently announced that a pre-emptive attack against Iran has been contemplated.

Washington views Israel as being “‘integrated into America’s military architecture,’ especially in the missile defense sphere.” (quoted in  Emanuel to rabbis: US ‘screwed up’ Jerusalem Post, statement of Dennis Ross, who is in charge of the US administration’s Iran policy in the White House, May 16, 2010).

Targeting Iran

The attack on the Freedom Flotilla, might appear as a separate and distinct humanitiarian issue, unrelated to US-Israeli war plans. But from the standpoint of both Tel Aviv and Washington, it is part of the broader military agenda. It is intended to create conditions favoring an atmosphere of confrontation and escalation in the Middle East war theater;

“All the signs are that Israel has been stepping up its provocations to engineer a casus belli for a war against Hamas in Gaza and Hezbollah in Lebanon. Tel Aviv sees as unfinished business its inconclusive wars: the first in Lebanon in 2006, and the second in Gaza in 2008-09.” (Jean Shaoul   Washington Comes to the Aid of Israel over Gaza Convoy Massacre, Global Research, June 4, 2010)

Following Israel’s illegal assault in international waters, Netanyahu stated emphatically “Israel will continue to exercise its right to self defence. We will not allow the establishment of an Iranian port in Gaza,” suggesting that the Gaza blockade was part of the pre-emptive war agenda directed against Iran, Syria and Lebanon. (Israeli forces board Gaza aid ship the Rachel Corrie – Telegraph, June 5, 2010, emphasis added) .

Moreover, the raid on the Flotilla coincided with NATO-Israel war games directed against Iran. According to the Sunday Times, “three German-built Israeli submarines equipped with nuclear cruise missiles are to be deployed in the Gulf near the Iranian coastline.” (Israel Deploys Three Nuclear Cruise Missile-Armed Subs Along Iranian Coastline).

While Israeli naval deployments were underway in the Persian Gulf, Israel was also involved in war games in the Mediterranean. The war game codenamed “MINOAS 2010” was carried out at a Greek air base in Souda Bay, on the island of Crete. Earlier in February, The Israeli air force “practiced simulated strikes at Iran’s nuclear facilities using airspace of two Arab countries in the Persian Gulf, which are close territorially with the Islamic republic and cooperate with Israel on this issue.” Ria Novosti,War Games: Israel gets ready to Strike at Iran’s Nuclear Sites,, March 29, 2010)

Also, in the wake of the final resolution of the 2010 Review Conference of the Parties to the Treaty on the Non-Proliferation directed against Israel’s nuclear weapons program, the White House has reaffirmed its endorsement of Israel’s nuclear weapons capabilities. Washington’s statement issued one day before the raid on the flotilla points to unbending US support to “Israel’s strategic and deterrence capabilities”, which also include the launching of a pre-emptive nuclear attack on Iran:

“a senior political source in Jerusalem said Sunday that Israel received guarantees from U.S. President Barack Obama that the U.S. would maintain and improve Israel’s strategic and deterrence capabilities.

According to the source, “Obama gave [Prime Minister Benjamin] Netanyahu unequivocal guarantees that include a substantial upgrade in Israel-U.S. relations.”

Obama promised that no decision taken during the recent 189-nation conference to review and strengthen the 40-year-old Nuclear Non-proliferation Treaty “would be allowed to harm Israel’s vital interests,” the sources said.  Obama promised to bolster Israel’s strategic capabilities, Jerusalem officials say – Haaretz Daily Newspaper)

Robert Gates and Israel’s Minister of Defense Ehud Barak, Press Conference, April  27, 2010


The Turkey-Israel Relationship in Jeopardy?

The actions of Israel against the Freedom Flotilla have important ramifications. Israel’s criminal actions in international waters has contributed to weakening the US-NATO-Israel military alliance.

The bilateral Israel-Turkey alliance in military, intelligence, joint military production is potentially in jeopardy. Ankara has already announced that three planned military exercises with Israel have been cancelled. “The government announced it was considering reducing its relations with Israel to a minimum.”

It should be understood that Israel and Turkey are partners and major actors in the US-NATO planned aerial attacks on Iran, which have been in the pipeline since mid-2005. The rift between Turkey and Israel has a direct bearing on NATO as a military alliance. Turkey is one of the more powerful NATO member states with regard to its conventional forces. The rift with Israel breaks a consensus within the Atlantic Alliance. It also undermines ongoing US-NATO-Israel pre-emptive war plans directed against Iran, which until recently were endorsed by the Turkish military.

From the outset in 1992, the Israeli-Turkish military alliance was directed against Syria, as well as Iran and Iraq. (For details see See Michel Chossudovsky, “Triple Alliance”: The US, Turkey, Israel and the War on Lebanon, Global Research, 2006)

In 1997, Israel and Turkey launched “A Strategic Dialogue” involving a bi-annual process of high level military consultations by the respective deputy chiefs of staff. (Milliyet, Istanbul, in Turkish 14 July 2006).

During the Clinton Administration, a triangular military alliance between the US, Israel and Turkey had unfolded. This “triple alliance”, which in practice is dominated by the US Joint Chiefs of Staff, integrates and coordinates military command decisions between the three countries pertaining to the broader Middle East. It is based on the close military ties respectively of Israel and Turkey with the US, coupled with a strong bilateral military relationship between Tel Aviv and Ankara.

Starting in 2005, Israel has become a de facto member of NATO. The triple alliance was coupled with a 2005 NATO-Israeli military cooperation agreement which included “many areas of common interest, such as the fight against terrorism and joint military exercises. These military cooperation ties with NATO are viewed by the Israeli military as a means to “enhance Israel’s deterrence capability regarding potential enemies threatening it, mainly Iran and Syria.” (“Triple Alliance”: The US, Turkey, Israel and the War on Lebanon).

The Issue of Territorial Waters

Israel’s blockade of Gaza is in large part motivated by the broader issue of control of  Gaza’s territorial waters, which contain significant reserves of natural gas. What is at stake is the confiscation of Palestinian gas fields and the unilateral de facto declaration of Israeli sovereignty over Gaza’s maritime areas. If the blockade were to be broken, Israel’s de facto control over Gaza’s offshore gas reserves would be jeopardy. (See Michel Chossudovsky,War and Natural Gas: The Israeli Invasion and Gaza’s Offshore Gas Fields, Global Research, January 8, 2009. See also Michel Chossudovsky, The War on Lebanon and the Battle for Oil, Global Research, July 23, 2006)

Source

Eyewitness Accounts
Israelis threw 4 injured into the sea ‘hoping they would drown, so the bullet holes couldn’t be discovered….this is standard Zionist practice…’ And they shot the man waving the white flag.

From Elizabeth Allen
June 6, 2010

Pro-Palestinian protesters simulate the funeral of an activist in a demonstration against Israel’s attack on the Gaza-bound Freedom Flotilla in Barcelona.

Activist Idris Simsek, who was on board one of the six ships of the Freedom Flotilla during the Israeli attack, claims that four wounded activists were thrown into the sea.

The Israeli troops also put immense psychological pressure on the activists of the Freedom Flotilla, the Turkish daily Today’s Zaman quoted Simsek as saying in an article published on Saturday.

Simsek said they expected some harassment from the Israeli forces but did not expect an armed attack.

He went on to say that he witnessed that the person who waived the white flag to surrender was shot by the Israeli troops.

Erol Demir, another activist who was on the Turkish ship Mavi Marmara, said there is film footage of the chaos and the carnage on the ship and stated that the footage will show the real face of the Israeli military to the entire world.

“They even shot those who surrendered. Many of our friends saw this. They told me that there were handcuffed people who were shot,” he added.

Hakan Albayrak, a journalist from the Turkish daily Yeni Safak who was also on the ship, said, “It was an outright massacre what Israel did out there. They attacked us in international waters We had no weapons. I think we lost more people.”

The Israeli military attacked the Freedom Flotilla in international waters in the Mediterranean Sea early on May 31, killing nine Turkish citizens on board the six ships and injuring about 50 other people.

The fate of three other Freedom Flotilla activists is still unknown.

Israel also arrested nearly 700 activists from 42 countries on board the ships of the Freedom Flotilla, which was attempting to break the siege of Gaza in order to deliver 10,000 tons of humanitarian assistance to the long-suffering people of the territory. Source

Flotilla attack – Sarah Colborne gives eyewitness account

June 3 2010

http://www.counterfire.org

Sarah Colborne was on the boat attacked by Israeli commandos.
Full account from today’s press conference organised by Palestine Solidarity Campaign.

Captured and detained by Israel, an American tells his story

After two days in an Israeli jail, 64-year-old Paul Larudee speaks out

Sixty-four-year-old Paul Larudee, an American citizen and longtime pro-Palestinian activist, was on board one of the ships carrying humanitarian relief to Gaza that was raided by the Israeli navy on Monday. He dove into the Mediterranean Sea, only to be captured and held in an Israeli prison for two days.

This was not Larudee’s first brush with Israeli authorities, but it was easily his most dramatic. He spoke with Salon about the raid and his captivity this afternoon from Greece, where he arrived after being released by Israel.

At around 4 a.m. on Monday, Larudee’s ship was boarded by as many as 500 Israeli soldiers. After the ship’s captain called an alert, Larudee immediately walked out onto the deck and found that Israeli soldiers had broken the windows of the wheelhouse (the area where the captain controls the ship) in an attempt to take command of the vessel. As Larudee and several others tried to defend the wheelhouse, Israeli soldiers tased him twice so that he would back away from the area. He said he offered no resistance and just let his body go limp.

“I have never struck anyone in more than 20 years,” he said. “I was beaten. There is black and blue all over my body. They inflicted pain on me on a frequent basis because I did not recognize their authority.”

Everyone on all of the ships were completely unarmed, he said. However, on the Turkish ship — where the civilian fatalities occurred — some passengers clashed with the soldiers and tried to beat them up as they descended on the ship. (Larudee was on a different vessel.) “But that is akin to what the passengers on the hijacked 9/11 did to hijackers who had taken the aircraft,” he said. “In other words, they resisted someone who was invading their ship.”

After some time, Larudee decided to jump off the ship and to try to swim away from the Israeli forces.

“I knew it would be a way to slow down what they were doing,” he said. “It caused the ship to stop for an hour or possibly longer and it kept another ship occupied for several hours actually.”

He hoped this would create a diversion that would allow another ship to make its way to Gaza with the humanitarian aid. “It was worth doing that, but I paid a price for it.”

When the Israeli forces picked him up, Larudee said, he was severely beaten and tied to a mast at the stern of their ship. His legs and hands were bound as he was subjected to the hot sun in wet soaking clothes for four hours. He said his body almost went into shock from the extreme hot and cold conditions.

The soldiers refused to release him unless he told them his name. He repeatedly refused, but said he would cooperate only if they released him from the mast. They finally agreed and took him below deck. “For the remainder of the trip to the port, we got along fine,” he said.

When on land, Larudee was taken to the processing area, but refused to cooperate with authorities, who wanted him to say that he entered the country illegally. “This happened at 18 miles at sea, which is well beyond their own territorial waters, or anyone’s territorial waters,” he said. “We were in international waters. We weren’t violating anyone’s sovereignty or breaking any rules that we knew of, even by their standards.”

More beating ensued. Larudee, who again let his body go limp, said he was carried by nylon restraints, which were placed on his arms and legs. They cut into his skin, causing more contusions and deep pain. He was carried into an ambulance and taken to a hospital, but wasn’t treated. He said he believes he was taken there because the Israeli soldiers didn’t want the media to see his black eye, pronated joints, bruised jaw and body contusions.

Then, he was transported to the hospital ward of a prison, and eventually into an isolated cell. He was forbidden to speak with other prisoners, denied an attorney, a phone call, and access to television, radio, paper, pencils — anything else that would connect him to the outside world. A diabetic, Larudee was eventually granted a request to be moved to a cell with windows and some air circulation.

He spent a total of two days in the prison, and on the second day, was granted a 10-minute meeting with a representative from the U.S. embassy. Before the meeting, he was given a long-sleeve shirt to wear, but refused to put it on.

On the third day, the captain of Larudee’s boat, a Greek national who was sharing the same prison cell, met with the representative from his embassy. The Greek embassy official helped arrange for Laurudee to leave Israel for Greece. After arriving at the airport for his flight, Larudee was told that Israeli authorities wouldn’t permit him to go directly to Athens. Instead, they insisted that he fly first to Istanbul, then sign a release. Larudee refused to cooperate and was once again subjected to a beating by Israeli soldiers.

“But this time they did it in front of 30 to 40 other prisoners, who had seen similar things,” he said. “They went nuts.”

An all-out brawl began and some prisoners were badly beaten, Larudee said.

Those who had arranged for Larudee’s transport to Greece eventually intervened and negotiated with airport officials. Larudee was finally allowed to leave Israel. He’s now in Greece, where he says he’s staying with friends who are taking care of him. He is scheduled to fly home to the states on June 11.

“A lot of Americans are looking at Israel through rose-colored glasses,” he said. “Israel is not a demon, but it is not being held accountable for its actions, and when you do that, it allows bad things, very bad things, to happen.” Source

The Flotilla was in International waters. Israel had absolutely no legal right to stop or board the ship. As noted in the link below.

Israel attacks Gaza Flotilla in International Waters

Sweden ports to block Israel ships, goods in response to Gaza flotilla takeover

Earlier, Swedish dockworkers will launch a week long blockade of Israeli ships and goods arriving in the Nordic nation to protest Monday’s attack on a Gaza-destined aid flotilla.

Swedish Port Workers Union spokesman Peter Annerback says workers will refuse to handle Israeli goods and ships during the June 15-24 blockade. The union has some 1,500 members and supports Ship to Gaza, which took part in the flotilla.
It says the reason for the blockade is “the unprecedented criminal attack on the peaceful ship convoy.”

It was unclear Saturday how much the blockade would affect trade between the two countries since the union still needs to identify cargos with Israeli origin.
“The sole of the shoe is dirty and holding it up that to a person or a place is an insult,” John Minto, protest leader of the Global Peace and Justice organization, told reporters.

Source

Israeli commando ‘to get valor medal’

June 6 2010
An Israeli commando who shot dead several activists in a recent attack on a Gaza-bound international aid convoy may receive a medal of valor, a report says.

The Times Online reported on Saturday that the nominated Israeli soldier single-handedly killed six campaigners on the Turkish ship, Mavi Marmara — one of the six ships of the Freedom Flotilla.

The convoy was carrying hundreds of activists and thousands of tons of supplies for the people of Gaza, who have been under siege for three years.

The flotilla came under attack on Monday by Israeli commandos, leaving at least nine activists dead and more than 40 others injured.

In an interview with Israeli media, the soldier — identified for security reasons only as Staff Sergeant S — said the shooting had started within minutes after he and his comrades were set upon by a “mob of mercenaries.”

Israeli forces claim that pro-Palestinian activists on board the ships started the violence, while all activists say that Israelis began shooting from their boats surrounding the ship and a helicopter hovering above.

Granting the award to the commando is expected to worsen the already shaky relations between Turkey and Israel as Ankara has called on Tel Aviv to make an apology over the deadly assault.

Source

Then Israel Hijacked the Rachel Corrie, yet another act of Piracy on the High Seas

Gaza-bound ship Rachel Corrie enters Israeli port

Army says peaceful takeover takes place after Free Gaza ship reportedly ignored IDF pleas to change course.

Shortly after 5 A.M. Israel time on Saturday morning, Greta Berlin of the Free Gaza movement that sent the 1,200-ton Rachel Corrie said the vessel was 35 miles from Gaza’s shores.  Source
If a ship is over 12 Nautical miles off shore it is illegal to for Israel to  stop, board or seize the ship, let alone kidnap the passengers, take them to jail and deport them. Explanation at link below.

As will the first Flotilla Israel has broken the International “Law of the Sea”.

Israel attacks Gaza Flotilla in International Waters

How Israel planned the Flotilla attack
Jewish anti-siege activists prep for July voyage

Bethlehem – Ma’an – In a harbor in the Mediterranean a small vessel is waiting for a special mission.

She will be sailing to Gaza during the second half of July. In order to avoid sabotage, the exact date and name of the port of departure will be announced only shortly before her launch.

“Our purpose is to call an end to the siege of Gaza, to this illegal collective punishment of the whole civilian population. Our boat is small, so our donations can only be symbolic: we are taking school bags, filled with donations from German school children, musical instruments and art materials“, says Kate Leiterer, one of the organizers.

“For the medical services we are taking essential medicines and small medical equipment, and for the fishermen we are taking nets and tackle. We are liaising with the medical, educational and mental health services in Gaza,” Leiterer said.

”In attacking the Freedom Flotilla, Israel has once again demonstrated to the world a heinous brutality. But I know that there are very many Israelis who compassionately and bravely campaign for a just peace. With broadcasting journalists from mainstream television programmes accompanying our boat, Israel will have a great chance to show the world that there is another way, a way of courage rather than fear, a way of hope rather than hate’,’ says Edith Lutz, an organizer and passenger on what is being called the “Jewish boat.”

”Jüdische Stimme,” or Jewish Voice for Peace, along with European Jews for a Just Peace in the Near East, and Jews for Justice For Palestinians (UK) are “sending a call to the leaders of the world: Help Israel find her way back to reason, to a sense of humanity and a life without fear.”

In a statement, the group said that “Jewish Voice expects the political leaders of Israel and the world to guarantee a safe passage for the small vessel to Gaza, thus helping to form a bridge towards peace.”  Source

Shocking Testimonials From The Mavi Marmara Survivors. And One Israeli Fembot

June 11, 2010

LAUREN BOOTH/GILAD.CO.UK—One of the most striking trends following the flotilla attack has been how quickly Israeli hasbara is being exposed by internet journalists. The doctored IOF audio clips, where amateurs with mock Arab accents hiss ‘Go back to Aushwitz’ to Israeli naval officers. Well they didn’t take long to pull apart did they? Then there are the (so-pathetic-they’re-almost-funny claims the flotilla was linked to Al Quaeda. I laughed out loud to read in an Israeli paper that humanitarian activist (and former US marine) Ken O’Keefe was going to Gaza to; ‘train a commando unit in Hamas.’ I know Ken fairly well. Quite frankly I’m not sure who should be more insulted by this stupidity him or Hamas? Either way flinging the words ‘Hamas’ ‘Jihadists’ and ‘Israel’s security’ around is no longer having the same shock and awe effect on journalists or the public at large.

The internet now shapes the world’s story, not the Israeli Foreign Ministry.

Meanwhile, like a soccer star caught cheating on his wife. Instead of saying ‘ I messed up big time, forgive me’ Israeli government sources and other shysters are screaming; ‘it’s not fair to watch us all the time, that’s mean!’ and ‘this is our business, leave us alone!’ Bad luck for them that as it stands, more of the IDF’s minging dirty washing, is being aired in public than ever before; via facebook and twitter. The Zionists sobs of ‘no faiirrrr!’ are sounding ever more bizarre. But more about the Isra-bots later on.

Israeli Intelligence (some mistake surely?) have been busy since the massacre. Erasing the memory sticks and hard disks of what my premiliminary research estimates to be some 800 video cameras, around 1200 mobiles and 600 lap tops. All items, looted from the passengers of the Freedom Flotilla, whilst they kneeled, handcuffed and in stress positions, on the hot deck of the Mavi Marmara for up to 12 hours after the attack. Before the bots cry ‘why so much money on board, why so many cameraaas!’ Let me explain, the good individuals on board had been raising money for months in the local communities around the world to take useful gifts tot eh people, schools and children of the besieged Gaza Strip. Besides which -the cameras were the only ‘weapons’ those on board had with which to arm themselves in the event of an attack at sea.

Now, evidence is emerging, that having been forced (by Turkish hard line diplomacy) to release all of the kidnapped passengers sooner than it would have liked; Israel is (as usual) taking revenge on the Palestinian relatives of activists onboard. Those who seek to non violently oppose Zionist policies of Apartheid violence are having loved ones interrogated by the Shabak as you read this for merely sailing with the Freedom Flotilla. I am not at liberty to say much more for fear of even further reprisals on innocent people. But as you should by now be aware, the Israeli machine specialises in collective punishment. This week a spokesman in the US said live on air that ‘Children in Gaza were under siege because their parents voted Hamas.’ Too much to say on that, so I’ll leave it hanging for you to take in

Last night in London, as in so many cities this week, Freedom flotilla passengers addressed a packed open meeting. At the Conway Hall in Central London half a dozen British survivors, looked in turns spaced out and hardened by their experience, eleven days ago (is that all it is? How the world turns!).

Jamal El Shayyal, is the Al Jazeera reporter who kept broadcasting as gun shots rang out behind him on the upper decks of the Mavi Marmara. I honestly thought I had heard, read and seen the worst about the Israeli attack on the fleet’s passengers. I hadn’t. Believe me, nor have you. Those three minutes clips, miraculously broadcast live or smuggled out beneath tongues, reveal the merest inkling of the horrors these brave people witnessed. And suffered.

El Shayyal, told an utterly silent audience he ‘had been invited by IHH to film every inch of the ship.’ So he did. From the bowels of the hull to the uppermost decks he filmed.

‘I checked and filmed’ he said ‘there was not 1 weapon onboard. Not one gun. no lethal artillery. The most lethal thing on the ship was fruit and vegetables.’

When the Israeli commandos attack began Jamal was wearing his pyjamas under a life jacket as were so many of the allegedly ‘prepared terrorists on board.’ Helicopters caused a near hurricane on the decks, all satellite phones were jammed (deliberately to stop SOS calls to the rest of the world). And, so the IDF hoped, any factual reports of what was about to occur.

At this point, just after four thirty am, Jamal saw a Turkish passenger shot in the top of his head. He spoke slowly and clearly to make sure he was understood by us all in the hall.

‘No Soldier was on the ship at this time’.

Quickly another passenger removed a white t-shirt from a bag and used it as a white flat of surrender. When gun shots rang out, greater numbers fell. It was clear calls for mercy were to be ignored. That a shoot to kill policy was in place.

An Israeli member of the Knesset and Lubna (an activist who also speaks Hebrew) took turns making announcements over the tannoy in English and then Hebrew. Announcements made atleast 8 times;

‘We have critically injured people here, please can you come and get them. We are NOT armed. We SURRENDER!’

Soon the tannoy connection was cut off.

Sarah Colborne of the PSC and another passenger negotiated with soldiers for the evacuation of some atleast of the mounting injured. Many of the bleeding would not go with the Israeli’s. Fearing they would be less safe getting ‘treatment’ from the troops, than below decks being operated on without anaesthetic.

‘The Israelis were asked for a stretcher’ continued Jamal ‘for a man with severe internal bleeding to be moved. Use a sleeping bag we were told.’ The man was moved in agony on a blanket no doubt increasing his injuries. And his immense pain. Did he survive? We’ll never know.

As the shooting gave way to the enforced imprisonment of the passengers, or, let’s give it its right name – kidnapping, Jamal was pushed to the floor, cuffed and beaten. His posessions taken from him. It was morning on a bright, sunny, summer’s day by now. Hundreds of shocked men were taken on deck, hands bound behind their backs. Three, then four hours passed. Pleas were made to use the toilet. No water was given, they were kicked, spat at and punched by soldiers who passed by every few minutes. Eventually Jamal pursuaded one soldier to let him go to the toilet, ‘with my hands still bound behind my back.’ One man in his eighties trying to get back to his family in Gaza, was jeered by soldiers, in his discomfort. After many hours, he suffered the indignity of urinating on himself, in front of both friends and fiends.

At some point Jamal was taken back downstairs. The area had been thoroughly ransacked.

‘There was no respect for human rights or dignity. Holy books of all faiths had been thrown about, possessions strewn everywhere”.

He remembers one quietly spoken Muslim brother asking soldiers gently several times for his cuffs to be loosened, just slightly. The third time he asked one of them tightened them so much that ‘he gave a scream of agony that made us all feel sick to our stomachs.’

In the afternoon the ship was forced into Ashdod port. Pushed ashore by armed guards Jamal was greeted with the words; ‘Welcome to Israel. Are you enjoying your time here?’

The Al Jazeera journalist wanted us all to understand something very clearly. That the civilian passengers were not ‘detained’ nor ‘arrested.’ They were plainly and in every legal definition of the word ‘Kidnapped, abducted.’

In Beersheva prison, he was placed in a cell, with a leader from the Turkish human rights group, IHH. They had no food for 24 hours, just a few sips of water. They had no idea if the world knew where they were – or what had happened. In other parts of the prison, consular reps from Greece, France, Spain and Macedonia could be heard shouting at the Israeli captors demanding the release of their compatriots. Yelling that rights were not being respected, yelling for food, water, access to legal representation. From the British consul.

Nothing.

Finally when every other consul had visited the abducted civilians, a British rep turned up. Jamal described the obsequious nature of the visit in termas that make one cringe. Bowing and scraping to the Israelis, the British diplomat didn’t even push for the right to see the victims in a private area. A legal imperative for all detainees during such visits. He didn’t demand water, or food, or a release time for those he was supposedly representing. Under the gaze of Israeli soldiers he asked just two questions ; ‘what is your name and what is your home number in the UK.’ Then our citizens were left. Wondering about their fate and that of their comrades; hungry, afraid, shocked, alone.

When the Israeli’s knew the game was up, that the world had indeed seen clips of their murderous attack, the Turkish abductees were given the chance to leave quickly, in an hour.

Did they go? No. They refused point blank to leave ‘before every other nationality has left before us.’ We salute them.

Jamal, Osama, Alexandra, Sarah, Kevin, and four hundred other internationals were released ONLY because of Turkish support for them. Not because the international community stepped in. Not because of action by the UN or (God forbid), the UK government. Because of the Turkey government.

In all his time as a prisoner, some forty hours plus, Jamal, like all the other Brits, had no legal visit, no phone call home and no proper British representation.

Finally at Ben Gurion airport being deported from a place he never wanted to enter in the first place. Jamal was given a piece of paper with a photo of himself on it and Hebrew writing.

His interrogator smirked at him and led him towards the plane ‘Congratulations’ the man said. ‘This is your new passport.’

‘I want my old passport!’ Said Jamal.

‘Sue me!’ Came the reply.

There was more much more from the survivors, which was videotaped and I will post as soon as it comes online. But let’s get back to the Zio-bots now. For alongside Press TV cameras and PSC workers filming the testimonies, there was the compulsory, sulky faced Zionist, shooting footage of the event for some organization opposed to justice, and free speech. Curiously, as the survivors described their horrors in depth, this woman’s camera was aimed NOT at the stage. But at my Press TV colleagues.

I went outside for a cigarette and there she was again. Instantly recognisable as a tight lipped Proto Zionist. She asked if I was with Press TV and would I speak to her for “Israeli TV?” Clearly she was not from any broadcaster – as no valid news channel accepts shaky, amateur hand held footage of the sort she was producing. Curious about her real intentions, I said ‘with pleasure.’

‘So do you think Press TV has done enough to give the Israeli side of events concerning the flotilla?’

Did I pause? It felt like a must have, just to have the time to process that after an hour of harrowing testimony about a massacre, this woman, had heard and felt – nothing.

‘The BBC has given Mark Regev enough space for your cause don’t you think..” I replied

‘Yes but don’t you think Press TV ought to….’ and then it happened. The white rage. I heard children crying in Gaza, saw fishermen being shot along the coast, phosphorous plummeting onto schools and UNWRA food stores. I saw the massacre on the Freedom Fleet, the torture, the needless, avoidable death..

‘Go fuck yourself’ I heard myself saying. And to make sure I couldn’t be misquoted I added.

‘Just fuck off.’ Source

Added July 13 2019

Gaza Flotilla: Lawyers from 60 Countries to Sue Israel

2.5 million Iraqi women were widowed by Iraq war


Filmmaker: Rashed Radwan

Zahra, a Shia, and her husband, Ammar, a Sunni from Baghdad were at home with their two children when a group of men knocked at the door.

Ammar was forced at gunpoint into a car which disappeared down the street at high speed. Since that day he has apparently vanished from the face of the earth.

“Doing some research for a story about orphans in Iraq we came across some shocking figures: 2.5 million Iraqi women were widowed by the war. At first our idea was to do a film just about the widows, but further we looked, we found that the Iraqi widows were living a double tragedy. For many, their husbands had just vanished without a trace and now categorised as ‘death without news’.” Carmen Marques, the producer of City of Widows said.

Kidnapping is rife in Iraq since the fall of Saddam Hussein. Official figures that about 40 people were kidnapped every day during 2007.

Generally it is straightforward criminal activity, though it is often confused with the routine hostage taking by both sides in the Shia-Sunni conflict.

Usually though, some hours after the kidnapping, the family will receive a phone call asking for a ransom. But if no call comes the chances are the body will soon turn up, dumped in a street or rubbish tip somewhere in the neighborhood.

Zahra never received such a phone call but, after four years, she still has no doubt that her husband is alive.

“It was very difficult to organise the filming with Zahra. Legally she is not a widow, but in the absence of her husband, her family and neighbours consider her as one.
This means she has a certain social conduct to follow. For this film we needed to follow her on her outings and in the Iraqi society this is not appropriate for a woman in her situation,” Carmen said.

“We had to negotiate long and hard with her brothers prior to the filming and the key was to make them understand that Zahra’s story could help the world understand that there are many human stories of suffering behind the daily news from Iraq. Regardless, her children had to be with us every time we went out of her house as otherwise she would have been seen as a bad woman.”

With ransoms ranging from a few thousand dollars to more than a million and with the police often unwilling or unable to even register such cases, kidnapping has become an increasingly lucrative business in Iraq. It is estimated that about 22,000 Iraqis are missing without trace since the beginning of the war in 2003.

Rashed Radwan followed Zahra on her searches across Baghdad as day after day, she travels round police stations, hospitals and morgues in a desperate search for her husband, and in the face of disapproval from a society where widows are still expected to stay, invisible, at home.

“Our main intention doing this film was to show that people and their tragedies are much more than numbers we see in the media that behind each headline about the dead and missing in Iraq there is a wife, a son or a brother suffering the consequences.

“With the war in Iraq we got used to see and hear about numbers, how many died in bombing, how many were detained and how many lost their lives in crossfire. We forgot that behind these numbers and statistics there are people, Zahra is much more than just a statistic.” Source

//

Blair was warned in 2000 Iraq war was illegal

Progress Report: Is stealing public money the real reason for invasion? The Spoils of War: Billions Over Baghdad

After the money arrived, oversight and control evaporated. Of the $12 billion delivered to Iraq in 2003 and 2004, at least $9 billion cannot be accounted for.

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Published in: on March 1, 2010 at 5:55 am  Comments Off on 2.5 million Iraqi women were widowed by Iraq war  
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What the World Needs to know about Mordechai Vanunu

By Eileen Fleming

I’m not a traitor.  I’m a man with a conscience who did what he did out of a deep belief after much thought and many doubts.  But I knew that I had to do it, that I had no choice…somebody had to do it…I contributed my share by making public what the public ought to know and they shut my mouth behind the prison walls.Mordechai Vanunu

December 14, 2009

Mordechai Vanunu was released from Ashkelon prison to open air captivity in east Jerusalem on April 21, 2004 after 18 years-most all in solitary-on April 21, 2004.

In 1986, Mordechai Vanunu was clubbed, drugged, bound and kidnapped from Rome by the Mossad because he told the truth and provided the photographic proof of their clandestine 7 story underground WMD facility in the Negev.

In the case of Mordechai Vanunu, Americans and the World need to know that the restrictions that have held him captive in Jerusalem come from the Emergency Defense Regulations which were implemented by Britain against Palestinians and Jews after World War II.

After WW II, Attorney Yaccov Shapiro, who later became Israel’s Minister Of Justice, described the Emergency Defense Regulations as “unparalleled in any civilized country: there were no such laws in Nazi Germany.”

During one of my seven trips to Jerusalem since 2005, I asked Vanunu, “If the British Mandate has expired why not the British Mandate’s Emergency Defense Regulations?”

Vaunu replied, “The reason given is security but it is because Israel is not a democracy unless you are a Jew. This administration tells me I am not allowed to speak to foreigners, the Media, and the world. But I do because that is how I prove my true humanity to the world. My freedom of speech trial began January 25, 2006 for speaking to the media, the same day as the Palestinian elections…When I decided to expose Israel’s nuclear weapons I acted out of conscience and to warn the world to prevent a nuclear holocaust.”

In 1963, Peres was Israel’s Deputy Minister of Defense when he met with President Kennedy at the White House. Kennedy told Peres, “You know that we follow very closely the discovery of any nuclear development in the region. This could create a very dangerous situation. For this reason we monitor your nuclear effort. What could you tell me about this?”

Peres replied, “I can tell you most clearly that we will not introduce nuclear weapons to the region, and certainly we will not be the first.”

In 2005, Vanunu told me, “President Kennedy tried to stop Israel from building atomic weapons. In 1963, he forced Prime Minister Ben Guirion to admit the Dimona was not a textile plant, as the sign outside proclaimed, but a nuclear plant. The Prime Minister said, ‘The nuclear reactor is only for peace.’

“Kennedy insisted on an open internal inspection. He wrote letters demanding that Ben Guirion open up the Dimona for inspection. The French were responsible for the actual building of the Dimona. The Germans gave the money; they were feeling guilty for the Holocaust, and tried to pay their way out. Everything inside was written in French, when I was there, almost twenty years ago.

“Back then, the Dimona descended seven floors underground. In 1955, Perez and Guirion met with the French to agree they would get a nuclear reactor if they fought against Egypt to control the Sinai and Suez Canal. That was the war of 1956. Eisenhower demanded that Israel leave the Sinai, but the reactor plant deal continued on.

“When Johnson became president, he made an agreement with Israel that two senators would come every year to inspect. Before the senators would visit, the Israelis would build a wall to block the underground elevators and stairways. From 1963 to ’69, the senators came, but they never knew about the wall that hid the rest of the Dimona from them.

“Nixon stopped the inspections and agreed to ignore the situation. As a result, Israel increased production. In 1986, there were over two hundred bombs. Today, they may have enough plutonium for ten bombs a year.”

On January 25, 2006, after nearly two years of speaking to hundreds of foreigners since his release from prison, Vanunu was convicted by the Jerusalem Magistrates Court of 15 violations of a military order that had prohibited him from talking to non-Israelis and because he attempted to “leave the state” by taking a cab from Jerusalem to Bethlehem to attend Christmas Eve mass at the Church of the Nativity in 2004. The original indictment included 22 different violations; Vanunu was charged with 19 and acquitted of four. He was acquitted of speaking to foreign nationals on the internet and via video and voice chats.

Just prior to the taping of “30 Minutes with Vanunu” on March 26, 2006, Vanunu told me, “Many journalists come here to the American Colony, from CNN and NY Times. They all want to cover my story, but their EDITORS say no…CNN wants to interview me; but they say they can’t do it because they don’t want problems with the Israeli censor. BBC is doing the same thing. Sixty Minutes from the United States from the beginning they wanted to do a program, but because of the censor situation they decide not to do it.”

On July 2, 2007, Israel sentenced Vanunu to six more months in jail for speaking to foreign media in 2004. On September 23, 2008, the Jerusalem District Court reduced Vanunu’s sentence to three months, “In light of (Vanunu’s) ailing health and the absence of claims that his actions put the country’s security in jeopardy.”

On June 14, 2009, Vanunu told me, “The Central Commander of the General Army testified in court that it is OK if I speak in public as long as I do not talk about nuclear weapons.”

Vanunu’s restrictions will be reviewed again by the Israeli High Court after Dec. 21, 2009. On July 6, 2009, the Supreme Court stated, “pending a review of his conduct, Vanunu will be able to ask for the restrictions to be lifted and be allowed to travel abroad…The state’s representative noted that six months may be too short a time period to determine a change in Vanunu’s behavior and that the state will reconsider the restrictions based not only on Vanunu’s behavior but a host of other considerations, including the time that had lapsed since he divulged state secrets to the British paper.” [1]

It will soon be twenty-four years since Vanunu “divulged state secrets” and as Vanunu told me, “All the secrets I had were published in 1989 in an important book, by [Nuclear Physicist] Frank Barnaby, The Invisible Bomb: Nuclear Arms Race in the Middle East.” [2]

Regarding Israeli behavior towards Vanunu, Americans need to know that in 1986, Israel kidnapped him from Rome but Article 9 of the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights states: “No one shall he subjected to arbitrary arrest or detention”, including abduction of a person by agents of one state to another state.

Vanunu was charged with and convicted of treason and espionage. According to Section 99 of the Israeli Penal Code, treason is defined as “an act calculated to assist (an enemy) in time of war…delivering information with the intention that it fall into the hands of the enemy.”

Section 113 defines aggravated espionage as “deliver(ing) any secret information without being authorized to do so and with intent to impair the security of the state” and a sub-clause provides for a penalty of seven years for the unauthorized collection, preparation, recording or holding of secret information; if this is done with intent to impair the security of the state and then, the penalty is increased to 15 years.

Vanunu got 18 years and was also rendered defenseless when the court ruled that his motivations were not ideological and they refused to allow Vanunu’s own statements regarding his intentions to be considered in his defense.

A few days before Vanunu was lured from London to Rome, where he was clubbed, drugged and kidnapped by the Mossad, he spent three days being interviewed by Nuclear Physicist, Frank Barnaby.

Barnaby had been employed by the London Sunday Times to review the 57 photos Vanunu had obtained at various restricted locations in the Dimona and he also went to Jerusalem to provide expert testimony at Vanunu’s closed door trial.

Barnaby testified, “I found the fact that Vanunu was able to smuggle a camera and films into and out of Dimona and photograph highly sensitive areas in the establishment astonishing. I very vigorously cross-examined Vanunu, relentlessly asking the same questions in a number of different ways and at different times…I found Vanunu very straightforward about his motives for violating Israel’s secrecy laws he explained to me that he believed that both the Israeli and the world public had the right to know about the information he passed on. He seemed to me to be acting ideologically.

“Israel’s political leaders have, he said, consistently lied about Israel’s nuclear-weapons programme and he found this unacceptable in a democracy. The knowledge that Vanunu had about Isreal’s nuclear weapons, about the operations at Dimona, and about security at Dimona could not be of any use to anyone today. He left Dimona in October 1985 and the design of today’s Israeli nuclear weapons will have been considerably changed since then…Modern nuclear weapons bear little relationship to those of the mid-1980.”[3]

A total of 1,200 pages of transcript of that closed door trial have been released and Vanunu told the court: “I wanted to confirm what everyone knew, I didn’t want Israel to go on denying that it had nuclear weapons, and Shimon Peres to go on lying to (then US president) Ronald Reagan, saying that we didn’t have a nuclear arsenal. I also wanted controls to be placed on these weapons.” [4]

Defense witness and the Sunday Times journalist who broke Vanunu’s story, Peter Hounam, stated, “It is clear that, as far as Vanunu’s accusers are concerned, the trial is not only about whether this decision to reveal the secrets of Israel’s atom bomb amounted to treason and espionage, it is also about whether his decision to become a Christian was at the root of his alleged treachery”.

Hounam also testified that “We did not pay him money, but only covered his expenses… Money did not motivate him.” [5]

Sunday Times journalist Wendy Robbins wrote, “Mordechai never asked for nor received a single penny for his information… he blurted out the whole tale without first setting out any financial preconditions. Mordechai got nothing out of the whole episode.   He never `sold’ Israel’s secrets — he told them.”

In the 80’s, Vanunu was transported to and from his closed door trial in a crash helmet, handcuffs and leg-irons, inside a van with blacked out windows that blasted noise to assure Vanunu would not communicate with journalists or supporters. During the court hearings, two Israeli security agents flanked him at all times in order to be able to cover his mouth if he began to reveal anything they deemed secret. The public, the press and all observers-even Amnesty International- were excluded from the hearings and the court’s judgment was censored before publication.

On January 25, 2006, the first day of a freedom of speech trial in Israel only two reporters from minor media showed up for Vanunu’s historic court case. Not one was in the court room on February 22, 2006, when it was revealed that Israel had gotten Microsoft to hand over all the details of Vanunu’s Hotmail account before a court order had been obtained by eluding that he was being charged for espionage.

Vanunu wrote, “Microsoft obeyed the orders and gave them all the details…three months before I was arrested and my computers were confiscated…it is strange to ask Microsoft to give this information before obtaining the court order to listen to my private conversations. It means they wanted to go through my emails in secret, or maybe, with the help of the secret services, the Shaback, Mossad…Sfard [Vanunu’s attorney] proved that the police had misled the judges who gave the orders to arrest me: to search my room, to go through my email, to confiscate my computers and that they misled Microsoft to believe they are helping in a case of espionage. The State came to the court with two special secret Government orders; Hisaion [documents or information that are deemed confidential by the government and kept from the court, the defendant, and lawyers.] This allows the prosecution to keep documents related to my court hearing secret. One was from the Minister for Interior Security and one from the Minister of Defense.”

Americans need to know that Vanunu’s secretly taped police interrogations, his 2004 Christmas Eve arrest for “attempting to leave the country” when he attempted to celebrate his first Christmas out of prison at the Church of the Nativity in Bethlehem and the confiscation of his private property by thirty Israeli Forces that stormed into his room at St. George’s Cathedral in 2004, according to Vanunu had all “been done…under the false and misleading statements to the courts of ‘suspicion of espionage’, and yet they are not charging me with spy crimes… and the fact is that I have not committed any crimes.”

When Vanunu next faces the Israeli Supreme Court, the world will know more about Israeli democracy and Justice. Until then, learn more @ http://vanunu.com/ and see and hear Vanunu in 2005, 2006, 2008 video interviews freely streaming @ VANUNU ARCHIVES: http://wearewideawake.org/

1.      http://www.jpost.com/servlet/Satellite?cid=1246443734213&pagename=JPost%2FJPArticle%2FShowFull

2.      http://www.wearewideawake.org/index.php?option=com_content&task=view&id=1370&Itemid=223

3.      http://www.fas.org/nuke/guide/israel/barnaby.pdf

4.      http://www.converge.org.nz/pma/onvan.htm

5.      http://www.toysatellite.org/babel/vanunu/vaninfo.html#top

Eileen Fleming, Founder of WeAreWideAwake.org A Feature Correspondent for Arabisto.com Author of “Keep Hope Alive” and “Memoirs of a Nice Irish American ‘Girl’s’ Life in Occupied Territory”  Producer “30 Minutes with Vanunu” and “13 Minutes with Vanunu”

Source

Perils of criticizing Israel

Seem you get a lot of e-mail some of it being hate mail. I think all media who receives  mountains of mail should keep it and publish it so the readers can see just what happens.

And /Or Do what this organization has done.

Supporters of U.S. Chamber of Commerce Make Violent Threats Against VR

So they Contacted the FBI

To the FBI

Re: Request for criminal investigation of death threats and use intimidation and violent threats

Enough with the hate and intimidation. All Israel wants to do is remove our Freedom of Speech and remove the Freedom of the Press. They want us all kept in the dark.

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US Refuses To Allow Monitoring Of WMD, President Obama rejected inspection protocol for US biological weapons

Israel: Attempting to take away Canadians Freedom of Speech

A Jewish Defector Warns America

“We will have to kill them all”: Israeli Effie Eitam

Jewish town, Mitzpeh Kamon, won’t let Arab build home on his own land

Israeli settlers attack mosque in West Bank

West Bank Rabbi: Jews can kill Gentiles who threaten Israel including Children and even Babies

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Related

Israel’s Dirty Nuclear Secrets, Human Experiments  and WMD

Israel abducted over 5,000 people and put them in prison

February 1 2009

In Palestine, Israeli forces continued to raid towns and villages, arresting more Palestinians. On January 25, Israeli forces seized 334 Palestinians in Israel who were working without permit. They also arrested 16 Israelis for employing them. That same day, Israeli troops stormed homes and restaurants in several neighborhoods in Ramallah and Al-Bireh, but with no reported arrests. However, they did arrest four Palestinians at a checkpoint in Nablus. The next day, Israeli forces Israeli forces raided homes in Husam near Bethlehem, while army bulldozers dug up the main roads linking the village with neighboring areas. Israeli border guards also seized another 250 Palestinian workers in Israel, accusing them of staying in Israel without permits. Most of those detained are West Bank residents. On January 28, Israeli forces imposed a curfew on Zabuba, near Jenin, and seized eight Palestinians in dawn raids. On January 29, another 14 Palestinians were seized in raids in Bethlehem, Hebron, and Beit Suweif. In Beit Ummar, two Palestinians were injured and two others seized when Israeli troops opened fire at a house belonging to 63-year-old Fathi Jamal Al-Alamah, injuring him in the chest. His 55-year-old wife Fahima was injured in the leg. Israeli troops also detained eight men in Hijjah near Qalqiliya before dawn on January 30. That same day, 17 Palestinians were injured when Israeli soldiers opened fire with live ammunition on Palestinian demonstrators in Israeli-occupied Hebron.

Israeli settlers have been busy this week, when on January 25, protected by soldiers, they seized new land south of Hebron. After erecting a metal fence on the land, they prevented the owners and local Palestinian residents from approaching it. This comes as a disturbing new report was published on January 28 by Peace Now claiming that Israel has accelerated construction in illegal settlements in the West Bank during 2008 by nearly 60%. Roughly 1,257 new structures were built within settlements during 2008, compared to 800 in 2007. Building more than doubled in “outposts,” — unauthorized settlements that are not officially recognized by the Israeli government — with 261 structures built, compared to 98 the year before.

Source

In the past three weeks, more than 135 Hamas supporters and members have been rounded up. Among the detainees are journalists, university professors and students and preachers. In some cases, Hamas supporters who were released by the IDF were arrested hours later by the PA security forces.

The crackdown has also included intimidation of reporters and critics. Several Palestinian reporters have been “advised” by Abbas’s top aides not to report on the massive anti-Hamas crackdown. Samir Khawireh, a journalist from Nablus, found himself in a prison cell earlier this week for reporting about the torching of a car belonging to Prof. Abdel Sattar Kassam, a long-time outspoken critic of financial corruption in the PA.

No freedom of Speech allowed.

Israel to release 231 detainees instead of 250

December 08, 2008
By Saed Bannoura

The office of the outgoing Israeli Prime Minister, Ehud Olmert, issued a press release stating that Israel will release 231 Palestinians detainees instead of 250 after it canceled the names of 19 detainees from the Gaza Strip.

All of the detainees who would be freed are from the West Bank and are members of Fateh movement and other “non-Islamic factions”.

Olmert’s office said that the detainees who would be freed “do not have bloody hands” and that freeing them is a “gesture of good will to the Palestinian Authority”.

Meanwhile, Ziad Abu Ein, in charge of the Palestinian Ministry of Detainees, said that the Israeli Prison Administration started transferring the detainees to Ofer prison in preparation for their release before the end of this week.

The Palestinian Ministry of Detainees and Freed Detainees, in Gaza, said that in November Israel abducted more than 390 Palestinians in 300 invasions carried out in the Gaza Strip.

The Ministry added that the army abducted more than 5,000 Palestinians since the beginning of this year.

Also, the Ministry stated that more than two months ago, Israel released 198 detainees, but none of them were from the Gaza Strip.

Approximately 10,000 Palestinians, including hundreds of women, children and elderly, are imprisoned by Israel. Hundreds of detainees were kidnapped by Israel before Israel and the Palestinian Liberation Organization singed the first Oslo agreement in August 1993.

Source

Why is is OK for Israel to just kidnap 5,000 people and never be charged with kidnapping. “WHY?” They abduct farmers, fishermen, women, men, and children , anyone they just feel like kidnapping. Then throw them in prison. No reason necessary.  They just do.  They did before and still do it.

How many are in prison today I wonder??????????

Israeli Court Sentences PFLP Secretary-General to 30 Years Imprisonment

December 26, 2008 by Saed Bannoura

Israeli online daily, Haaretz, reported on Thursday that the Ofer Israeli military court sentenced the Secretary-general of the Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine (PFLP), Ahmad Sa’adat, to thirty years imprisonment, even though he was acquitted of planning the assassination of the Israeli Tourism Minister, Rehavam Ze’evi in 2001.

The Israeli court said that Sa’adat was sentenced for other attacks dating, according to claims by the Israeli Army, to the time when he was kidnapped by Israeli soldiers in 2006.

The PFLP claimed responsibility for assassinating Ze’evi at a hotel in Jerusalem.

On Monday, December 1, 2008, the Israeli central Court in Jerusalem sentenced the head of the armed wing of the PFLP, Ahed Ghalama, to one life-term, and an additional five years for the assassination of Ze’evi.

The court claimed that Ghlama supervised the cell that assassinated Zeevi in 2001 in retaliation to the assassination of the PFLP secretary-general Abu Ali Mustafa. Mustafa was assassinated by the Israeli air force while he was in his office in the central West Bank city of Ramallah, several months before Zeevi was killed.

Ghalama, age 40, is from Beit Forik village, near the northern West Bank city of Nablus. He was initially imprisoned by the Palestinian Authority at the Jericho Prison in 2002. The Israeli army broke into the prison, which was guarded by European guards that had fled the scene shortly before the army attacked it.

Ghalama, along with the secretary-general of the PFLP, Ahmad Saadat, and several other PFLP members and the financial official of the Palestinian Liberation Organization (PLO), including Fuad Shobaky, were kidnapped by the Israeli Army.

On Thursday Palestinian official, Dr. Saeb Erekat, slammed the Israeli court ruling against Sa’adat, and said that Sa’adat is an elected member of the Palestinian Parliament.

Hamas, the ruling party in Gaza, said that the name of Sa’adat will be among the first names of detainees it will demand to be released in exchange for releasing the captured Israeli soldier, Gilad Shalit, Haaretz said.

The PFLP issued a press release denouncing the Israeli court ruling against Sa’adat, and called on international human right groups to intervene for the release of the political leader.

Nasser Abu Aziz, member of the political bureau of the PFLP, said that this ruling is illegitimate as it is a ruling of a court that resembles the occupation, and considered the trial a trial against the human rights of all Palestinians.

Abu Aziz called on the Palestinian Authority to place this file of detainees on the top of its agenda, and called for wide public support for Sa’adat and all political detainees in Israeli prisons.

Source

Why is it if a Palestinian assassinates someone they are charged,  but if the Israelis assassinates someone it is OK and charges are never laid against them? “WHY?” This not a stupid question because as well as the assassination of the Palestinian, more times then not innocent civilians are killed as well. Israels justification for this, is based on lies of course.

These are crimes Israel has been committing for years.

If they Israeli’s assassinate anyone it is just as much of crime, as if a Palestinian assassinates someone.

When one retaliates is it really a crime or self defense. The Palestinians have the right to defend themselves.

Palestinian Detainee Dies Due to Medical Negligence in al-Ramah Israeli Prison

December 24, 2008
By Saed Bannoura

The Palestinian Prisoners Society reported on Wednesday that detainee Jom’a Ismail Mousa, 65, from Shu’fat refugee camp in East Jerusalem, died as a result of medical negligence on the part of the Israeli Prison Services.

The detainee spent most of his time in the al-Ramla prison hospital, which lacks the basic medical equipment.

Mousa was sentenced to one life-term, and an additional ten years. The Israeli Prison Authorities claimed that the police are investigating his death, and that “he died while receiving medical treatment at the prison hospital”.

Fares Abu Hasan, head of the International Solidarity Institution for Human Rights in Palestine, held the Israeli occupation responsible for the death of Mousa because Israel ignored calls by several human rights groups, demanding the immediate release of Mousa in order to receive proper medical attention and treatment.

Palestinian researcher and specialist in detainees’ affairs, Abdul-Naser Farwana, said that the number of detainees who died due to medical negligence since 1967 is now 49, and that a total of 196 detainees due to medical negligence and torture, while some of them were killed by Israeli soldiers after being kidnapped.

Mousa is the second detainee who died in Israeli prisons in 2008. Detainee Fadil Shahin, from Gaza, died in an Israeli prison on February 29.

The Waed Society for Detainees and Freed Detainees slammed the Israeli violations of human rights.

The Society’s head, Legislator Fathi Hammad, said that the Israeli Prison Administration continuously violates the human rights of detainees.

Detainee Jom’a Ismail Mousa was born in 1943. He was kidnapped by the Israeli army on March 29, 1993. He suffered from a heart disease, high blood pressure and diabetes.

Currently, there are thirty detainees hospitalized at the al-Ramla prison hospital, and could meet the same fate if they do not receive the needed medical treatment.

Source

He is not the first there have been others.

193 detainees died in Israeli prisons since 1967

December 31, 2007

Abdul-Nasser Farawna, head of the Census Department at the Palestinian Ministry of Detainees, specialized researcher in the issue of detainees, stated on Saturday that 193 Palestinian detainees died in Israeli prisons and detention facilities since 1967.

On December 28, one detainee identified as Fadi Abdul-Latif Abu Al Rob, from Qabatia town north of the northern West Bank city of Jenin died of medical negligence.

Farwana stated that 73 detainees died in Israeli prisons in the period between 1967 and December 1987, 120 detainees died in Israeli prisons during the first Intifada in the period between 1987 and December 1994, eight more detainees died in the period between 1994 and 2000.

70 more detainees died during the Al Aqsa Intifada in the period between September 28, 2000 and December 2007.

Farwana also stated that 70 of the deceased detainees died of torture, 47 detainees died of medical negligence, in addition to 76 were practically executed after arrest; the latest casualty of execution after arrest is detainee Mohammad Al Ashram who was shot and killed while in detention.

Commenting on the geographical distribution of the deceased detainees, Farawna said that 111 (57.5%) detainees are from the West Bank 61 (31.6%) are from the Gaza Strip and 14 (7.3%) are from Jerusalem and Arab cities and towns in Israel.

Farwana also added that among the detainees, who died during the Al Aqsa Intifada, 51 were executed after arrest, 3 died of torture, and 16 died of medical negligence; seven of them died in 2007.

He added that Israeli prisons and detention facilities lack the basic health facilities and equipment and considered the medical negligence policy in Israeli prisons as a policy of slow death and execution against the detainees, especially those who need urgent surgeries or serious illnesses that required ongoing monitoring.

Farwana held the Israeli government responsible for the lives of hundreds of detainees who are in immediate need for medical attention, and called for the formation of a neutral committee to be in charge or probing the deaths of the detainees in Israeli prisons and detention facilities.

He appealed the Red Cross, and other international human rights groups, to intervene and oblige Israel to abide by the international law.

Source

The following interrogation centers, are probably still functioning.

The Russian Compound Interrogation Center “ Mosqubiyeh” located in west Jerusalem. There are solitary confinement cells interrogation section and sections for Palestinian Collaborating with The Israeli Intelligent Service (Asafeer).

Beitah Tikva interrogation section in Beitah Tikva City near Ramleh city inside Israel.

Jalameh Interrogation section located to the south of Haifa City inside Israel.  The section has a solitary confinement wing, interrogation wing and a wing for Asafeer.

Beit Eil located near El-Bireh city in The Palestinian National areas and is considered a temporary lock up for Palestinians pending transfer to other facilities.  It contains solitary confinement sections, and interrogations section as well as a Court and a Police Station.

Hiwarah Military Camp near Hiwarah Village in Nablus district in The Palestinian National areas and is considered a temporary lock up for Palestinians pending transfer to other facilities.  It contains solitary confinement sections, and interrogations section.

Kadomim Military Camp near Kufor Kaddom village in Qalqilya District of The Palestinian National areas and is considered a temporary lock up for Palestinians pending transfer to other facilities.  It contains solitary confinement sections, and interrogations section.

Kfar Atsyoun Military Camp located near El-Aroub Refugee Camp/ Hebron District in The Palestinian National areas and is considered a temporary lock up for Palestinians pending transfer to other facilities.  It contains solitary confinement sections, and interrogations section.


Prisoners’ Needs:

Detainees inside Israeli detention facilities are nearly deprived from family visits. Even if such visits are conducted, then with strict conditions and is limited to nuclear family members.

It had happened that some single detainees have their parents dead, their brothers and sisters are over 16 years of age, thus most likely to be prevented from visiting their brothers for Israeli “security reasons”. Therefore, ending with no family visits.

Usually detainees are in need to the following items:

1- Training suites, clothes and underwear.

2- Medication and medical supporting equipments.

3- Hygiene items.

4- Cantina: – Tea, Coffee, sugar, Sweets and cigarettes.

5- Books

Administrative detention in the Occupied Territories

Israel has claimed that it uses administrative detention only as a necessary security measure and that the decision to administratively detain an individual is made only when normal legal measures or less severe administrative measures will not attain the objective and there is no other way to ensure security. In practice, however, the authorities apply administrative detention in violation of international law. They misuse the powers granted to military commanders in the military order:

  1. Administrative Detention as an Alternative to Criminal Proceedings: The authorities use administrative detention as a quick and efficient alternative to criminal trial, primarily when they do not have sufficient evidence to charge the individual, or when they do not want to reveal their evidence. This use of administrative detention is absolutely prohibited and totally blurs the distinction between preventive and punitive detention. The only legal justification for administrative detention is in exceptional circumstances where a person is deemed to pose an immediate danger and no other measures have proven effective to avert it. Past actions of the detainee are therefore irrelevant, except insofar as they indicate the future danger the detainee may pose.
  2. Detention of Political Opponents: Israel administratively detains Palestinians for their political opinions and non-violent political activity. Following the signing of the Oslo Accords, Israel also administratively detained Palestinians who opposed the peace process. In this way, the authorities expand greatly the meaning of danger to “security of the area” by flagrantly violating freedom of expression and opinion, which are guaranteed under international law.
  3. Lack of Due Process: In some cases, the detainee does not receive the administrative detention order upon arrest and is transferred directly to a detention center. Administrative detainees are not given the reasons for their detention or any opportunity to refute the suspicions against them. In most cases, the only explanation given to the detainee is that he is “a senior activist in the PFLP” (or Hamas, etc.). Although the detainee ostensibly can appeal the detention, in practice he is not given a meaningful opportunity to defend himself because the evidence against him is not revealed to him or his attorney. The general rule is that the evidence is classified, and, to the best of our knowledge, in no case has a military court or the Supreme Court ordered any of the classified evidence to be revealed. The reliance on secret evidence demonstrates a total, unquestioning trust in the General Security Service and its judgment. This trust was not dampened by the many known cases in which GSS interrogators have misled and lied to judges. The systematic and extensive reliance on classified information constitutes one of the most problematic aspects of administrative detention and contradicts a principle fundamental to due process.
  4. Extending Administrative Detention: Military commanders are authorized to detain persons for up to six months. However, the commander can extend the detention for additional six-month periods indefinitely. From the time of the signing of the Declaration of Principles in September 1993 to the middle of 1998, military commanders repeatedly extended the period of administrative detention. Some Palestinians were administratively detained for years. The use of administrative detention has fallen sharply recently, but the law remains in effect, and Israel may theoretically return to its earlier policy.
  5. Holding Administrative Detainees inside Israel: Holding Palestinian administrative detainees inside Israel is a flagrant breach of international law which prohibits the transfer of detainees outside of occupied territory. Prior to the transfer of some of the territory to the Palestinian Authority, some of the detainees were held in the Occupied Territories, but they were subsequently transferred to detention facilities inside Israel. As a result, the closure imposed on the Occupied Territories severely harmed the right of detainees to family visitation and to meet with their attorney.

Source

Many of their prisoners are Children?

Like the prisoners in Guantanamo, I find it hard to believe these people would ever get a fair trial and most that are locked up have not committed any crime whatsoever.

Israel can do anything it wants to the Palestinians and get away with it.

There is no statute of limitations on War crimes or Crimes Against  Humanity.

If Israel had not committed crimes against Palestinians in the first place,  stolen their land, tortured, kidnapped, assassinated, executed, imprisoned innocent victims, bulldozed their homes, pillaged and plundered their natural resources, , murdered, starved, bombed, crippled, humiliate,  forced them into refugee camps, destroyed their lives repeatedly,  from day one, of the conception of the  Zionist State,  the Palestinians would not have retaliated in the first place. “Apartheid 101”

Israel is guilty,  not the Palestinians.  Israel is the cause.

History should be enlightening people of the truth, but they seem to blindly believe everything they are told about  Israel. Well if you go through history you will find the truth but most just believe the lies and propaganda, dished out by the main stream  media. They treat their prisoners the same as those from Iraq were treated by the US. The US as we all well know, committed War Crimes as well. Israel’s crimes are just as horrific.


Interview: Adam Shapiro, co-founder of the ISM/UN Reports: Gaza  destruction/ US Aid to Israel 6. 5 million a day

Spain: Judicial probe looks at 2002 Gaza War Crimes Claims

Letting AP in on the Secret: Israeli Strip Searches are “Torture” “this desrves attention” Israel still Tortures people

Why Americans get a distorted View of the Conflict between

Gaza detainee treatment ‘inhuman’

Israeli troops fire warning shots at European diplomats

Israel Broke Ceasefire From Day One

Information Wanted by the International Criminal Court/ UN: Falk Likens Gaza to Warsaw Ghetto

Indexed List of all Stories in Archives

Gaza detainee treatment ‘inhuman’

Gaza detainee treatment ‘inhuman’

Israeli reservists enter Gaza, 12 Jan 2008

It is not known how many Palestinians were detained during the operation

Palestinians seized during Israel’s operation in Gaza faced “appalling” conditions and “inhuman” treatment, Israeli human rights groups have said.

The seven groups say they have gathered 20 testimonies which indicate detainees were kept in pits without shelter, toilets or adequate food and water.

Some detainees also said they had been held “near tanks” and in combat areas, the groups said.

The Israeli military says it is investigating the allegations.

The accounts were gathered by the Public Committee Against Torture in Israel (PCATI) and Hamoked, the Center for the Defense of the Individual, from Palestinians now being held in Israel.

‘Gross violation’

“The reports indicate that… many detainees – minors as well as adults – were held for many hours – sometimes for days – in pits dug in the ground, exposed to bitter cold and harsh weather, handcuffed and blindfolded,” the groups said in a statement.

“These pits lacked basic sanitary facilities… while food and shelter, when provided, were limited, and the detainees went hungry,” it said.

The groups accused the military of “gross violation of international humanitarian law” by holding some of the detainees close to tanks.

Incidents involving “extreme violence and humiliation by soldiers and interrogators” were also reported, the statement said, without giving details.

“We were handcuffed and blindfolded. They put us in a three-meter deep ditch with some 70 other people,” Majdi Muhammad Ayid al-Atar, 43, from northern Gaza described, in one of the testimonies.

“We spent two days there without any food, water or blankets. They also didn’t let us go to the toilet. Afterwards they moved us to another ditch. The soldiers kept beating anyone who dared ask for anything,” he was quoted as saying.

Lengthy preparation

The groups have addressed a written complaint to the Military Judge Advocate General, and Israel’s Attorney General, Meni Mazuz.

Attorney Bana Shoughry-Badarne, Legal Director of PCATI, said the findings were “particularly objectionable” as the Israeli military had repeatedly stressed that it “prepared at length for the Gaza operation”.

“It seems that, during these lengthy preparations, the basic rights of the detainees and captives were completely forgotten,” she said.

She said the groups had the names of 29 people who had been detained, 25 of whom were still being held.

The other groups were the Association for Civil Rights in Israel, Physicians for Human Rights, B’Tselem, Yesh Din and Adalah.

Source

They were using the detainees as “Human Shields”. This of course is what they said Hamas was doing, but of course Israel itself was doing it.

Seems Israel does everything, it says Hamas is doing.

One has to wonder how many detainees they have in their prisons?

Considering many people have been kidnapped from Gaza in the past, the number may be very high. One can bet they are being tortured as well.

I wonder how many “Guantanamo prisons”  there are in Israel?

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