Local Stories, Events
Ref. : Civic Events
Ref. : Arts & Education Events
Ref. : Public Service Notices
Books, Films, Arts & Education
01.21 The DeVos and the Defrauded [Corruption is now banal...]
Ref. : Letters to the editor
Health Care & Environment
01.17 As Planet Heats Further, Even Davos Elite Warns Humanity Is 'Sleepwalking Into Catastrophe' [Intelligent government is desperately needed]
01.17 Could a Green New Deal Save Civilization? [Intelligent government is desperately needed]
01.16 Immediate fossil fuel phaseout could arrest climate change – study [Intelligent government is desperately needed]
01.15 Solar Farms Shine a Ray of Hope on Bees and Butterflies [Wonderful!]
01.14 V.A. Seeks to Redirect Billions of Dollars Into Private Care [The most public and efficient healthcare in America has been demonized and will be destroyed rather than improved, raising total per-capita costs]
01.14 Why thousands of Los Angeles teachers are going on strike [Well at least we got a big tax-cut for the super-rich, that was the most important thing.]
News Media Matters
US Politics, Policy & 'Culture'
01.22 'Medicare for All and Equal Rights Aren't Trends': Ocasio-Cortez Fires Back After Aaron Sorkin Lectures Young Progressives [Morality is not a trend, it is a state of being we should all aspire to]
01.22 White students in MAGA gear crashed the Indigenous Peoples March and harassed participants [3:44 video; we must stop growing/programming more sociopaths]
01.19 Republicans’ lack of alarm over the shutdown reveals a disturbing truth [Sociopaths have little or no conscience, empathy or morality...]
01.19 Arizona: Four women convicted after leaving food and water in desert for migrants [morality is against the law]
Economics, Crony Capitalism
01.17 Trump's economy is great for billionaires, not for working people [chock-full of pesky facts that government and media ignore and distort]
International & Futurism
01.22 Who is more dangerous: El Chapo or Carlos Slim? [Like Drug Gangs, Mafias harm and kill the public too—but slowly and quietly like leeches]
01.22 Martin Luther King was no prophet of unity. He was a radical [He was—and We must be—passionate and pro-active for improving moral conduct in society!]
Gaza Flotilla Massacre: Goldstone Commission II Essential
Thursday, 17 June 2010
Netanyahu's commission will avoid truth, presenting the IDF's sanitized version of events instead, Israel's customary type coverup. It's why an independent investigation is essential.
The Flotilla attack was a well-planned act of premeditated murder in international waters, the Netanyahu government (on June 14) announcing an inquiry commission, which this writer discussed in a same-day article explaining this planned whitewash of a grievous crime against humanity, one Israel mustn't be allowed to get away with despite it being minor by comparison with far greater ones, Cast Lead most prominent recently.
The internal commission is illegitimate, even with international observers (chosen for supporting Israel), nonetheless endorsed by the White House, its paymaster/partner in crime, colluding in the coverup.
Called an Independent Public Commission, Netanyahu said it will demonstrate clearly "to the entire world that the state of Israel acts according to law, transparently and with full responsibility."
In his released statement, White House press secretary Robert Gibbs endorsed the announcement as an "important step forward," saying "the structure and terms of reference of Israel's proposed independent public commission can meet the standard of a prompt, impartial, credible and transparent investigation."
The administration was silent after the May 31 massacre, only saying it regretted the loss of life, its usual boilerplate cover for Israeli belligerence, partnered with our own globally.
Commission Members - Chosen for Coverup
Two voting members include former Israeli Supreme Court Justice, Jacob Tirkel, its head. A conservative jurist, his experience entails handling military court appeals, virtually always favoring Israel over Palestinian plaintiffs.
Amos Horev, the other voting member, is a retired major general, prominent in Israel's military-industrial complex, a reliable choice, like Tirkel, to whitewash IDF crimes.
Two non-voting foreign observers include David Trimble, an Ulster, Northern Ireland unionist allied with its power structure that used death squads during "The Troubles" to kill people for being Catholic. He's also a member of the Netanyahu/Dore Gold-established "Friends of Israel," a "worldwide Christian ministry....fostering solidarity with (the right of) the Jewish people....to live in their ancient homeland, Israel," no matter that for centuries it was historic Palestine.
General Ken Warkin (ret.) was also chosen, former head of Canada's military judiciary, involved in the coverup of the Canadian Airborne Regiment Battle Group's early 1990s Somalia atrocities.
Like past Israeli and Washington commissions, whitewash is assured this time, the bogus investigation to produce lies, distortion, omissions, false conclusions, and exoneration of cold-blooded murder, ordered by top government and military officials who'll walk away scot- free, what Israel planned by appointing an earlier investigation into Operation Cast Lead.
Its conclusion was preordained, on the mind of a Haaretz June 15 editorial writer who said:
A same day Gush Shalom (GS - Israel's "hard core" peace movement) called the commission "toothless and powerless, (its) terms of reference exclude in advance all the main points which should be investigated." GS will petition Israel's High Court to challenge it, though prevailing against supportive justices faces near impossible odds.
The commission's mandate excludes days of cabinet planning to interdict and slaughter designated Flotilla activists, nor will it consider eyewitness accounts from passengers called "terrorists."
Instead, it will rely on IDF testimonies, whitewashing what happened, including fake video footage to show Israel's version of events, not the accurate recording showing commandos firing from helicopters before ever landing aboard, shooting passengers in the head at point blank range, and dumping bodies, and perhaps live activists, overboard to perish at sea, to hide the true death toll, believed to be at least 15, not the official nine reported, though at first Israeli radio said 19.
Netanyahu's commission will avoid truth, presenting the IDF's sanitized version of events instead, Israel's customary type coverup, why an independent investigation is essential. More on that below.
Internal Findings from Cast Lead Investigations
On April 29, 2009, IDF Chief of Staff, General Gabi Ashkenazi approved and authorized publication of the findings of five investigative teams, headed by colonels and composed of officers, not in the Gaza war's chain of command. They investigated five issues:
At the same time, an overall IDF investigation reviewed the entire operation to "verif(y it) at various levels." In other words, to assure the five investigative teams absolved Israel of any culpability.
Unsurprisingly, they concluded that:
It continued at some length justifying Israeli crimes of war and against humanity, repeated in a sixth investigation and one by Major General Avichai Mandelblit, Military Advocate General, concluding on February 24, 2010 from two investigations into Israel's human shield usage that:
Often far less than impartial, so did Human Rights Watch (HRW) after conducting its own investigation saying:
HRW agreed, calling Israeli attacks "indiscriminate, disproportionate (and) at times seemingly deliberate, in violation of the laws of war," causing vast destruction and large numbers of deaths and injuries - IDF investigations providing cover for serious crimes, bogus "after-action reports....in which an officer in the chain of command interviews soldiers involved, with no testimony from victims or witnesses," that at most results in minor disciplinary action against lower-ranking participants, never the high command, HRW adding:
In other words, the entire process was bogus, the IDF absolving itself and government officials of any culpability, the planned outcome from Netanyahu's commission, its members to deliver judgments he wants, why HRW titled its report, "Turning a Blind Eye," Israel and Washington's exculpatory self-examinations, no matter how compelling the evidence against them.
Calls for an Independent Commission
On June 2, the UN Human Rights Council passed a resolution (32 - 3 with nine abstentions, including Britain, France, Japan and South Korea) calling for an independent fact-finding mission into Israel's Flotilla attack, similar to the one leading to the Goldstone Commission.
Sponsored by Arab states, it harshly condemned Israel "in the strongest terms" for violating international law at sea, also calling on Tel Aviv to lift the Gaza blockade and supply immediate humanitarian aid in the form of food, medicines, fuel, and other essentials.
Other human rights organizations voiced support:
Israel is criminally liable, including for maintaining a genocidal Gaza siege. The 30 organizations also called for its immediate lifting, and urged the International Criminal Court's (ICC) Prosecutor "to make an urgent determination regarding the opening of an investigation into the" OPT situation, and for the UN Secretary-General to use all measures at his disposal to act, not abstain beyond his disingenuous rhetoric, best not said unless followed by specific measures aimed at holding culpable parties accountable and achieving justice for aggrieved victims at long last, something neither he or his predecessors have done.
The following organizations endorsed the statement:
In a separate statement, B'Tselem demanded an "immediate, independent and effective investigation....carried out by a group that is not affiliated with the Israel army - (to include) testimonies of eyewitnesses....who participated in the flotilla."
The Adalah Legal Center for Arab Minority Rights in Israel also called for an immediate independent international investigation, accusing Israel of violating international law by attacking civilians with disproportionate force.
Free Gaza, other Israeli and Palestinian human rights groups, along with others worldwide demand the same thing, saying Israel must be held accountable.
Global nations (including Turkey, Arab states, Venezuela, Cuba, Argentina, Brazil, Sweden, Russia, China and many others) called for appropriate actions in response to Israel's unjustified attack, including an open, independent investigation, an airing of all relevant facts, and accountability for those responsible for crimes in international waters.
Countries only expressing regret for the lives lost included America, Israel, Canada, Britain, Japan, Australia, and several others, including Pope Benedict in the Vatican, a loyal ally of imperial aggression like his predecessors.
Posted on numerous sites, including Palestine Chronicle, Uruknet, Countercurrents and others, writer Ahmed Amr, former NileMedia.com editor, made "The Case For An Impartial Turkish Inquiry," since nine of their citizens were murdered, one a Turkish America, Furkan Dogan, the Obama administration dismissive, though he was shot four times in the head at point blank range, clearly an assassination.
Given Turkey's outrage over the attack, Prime Minister Recep Erdogan calling it "state terrorism," its Foreign Minister, Ahmet Davutoglu, saying it was "banditry and piracy," and their country's street expressing outrage in protest, "A robust inquiry might uncover some uncomfortable truths (and) make the Mediterranean a safe neighborhood for one and all."
Indeed so if regional states had leaders and officials credentials as distinguished as the Free Gaza Movement, one of the Flotilla's organizers.
Its Board of Advisors includes:
Its Advisory Council includes:
Israel and Washington call these noted activists "terrorists." People of conscience call them heroic for years of activism and dedication.
Listen to Lendman's cutting-edge discussions with distinguished guests on the Progressive Radio News Hour on the Progressive Radio Network Thursdays at 10AM US Central time and Saturdays and Sundays at noon. All programs are archived for easy listening.
Mr. Lendman's stories are republished in the Baltimore Chronicle with permission of the author.
Copyright © 2010 The Baltimore News Network. All rights reserved.
Republication or redistribution of Baltimore Chronicle content is expressly prohibited without their prior written consent.
Baltimore News Network, Inc., sponsor of this web site, is a nonprofit organization and does not make political endorsements. The opinions expressed in stories posted on this web site are the authors' own.This story was published on June 17, 2010.