Newspaper logo  
 
 
Local Stories, Events

Ref. : Civic Events

Ref. : Arts & Education Events

Ref. : Public Service Notices

Books, Films, Arts & Education

07.11 7,000+ Colleges and Universities Declare Climate Emergency and Unveil Three-Point Plan to Combat It [Fox News and Betsy DeVos never talk about this stuff so it must be Bull Shit, right?]

Letters

Ref. : Letters to the editor

Health Care & Environment

07.17 ‘Off-the-charts’ heat to affect millions in U.S. in coming decades

07.17 Planned Parenthood president Leana Wen forced out by board [Given that states have lost abortion rights on political grounds recently, Wen's philosophical approach to protect abortion rights based on ‘health care’ was smarter – therefore it was that smarter strategy that was killed at the secret meeting.]

07.17 Billions of air pollution particles found in hearts of city dwellers

07.17 What is happening in America's Cancertown is tragic, immoral and evil [Niggardly white government policies could change to produce better students, better jobs and net revenue instead of costs. But it seems they enjoy more cruelty—like Trump.]

07.16 US aid cuts to UN agency will hurt vulnerable women and children, critics say

07.16 Trump abortion restrictions in effect for taxpayer-funded clinics

07.15 The response to DRC’s Ebola crisis isn’t working. Here’s what we need to do

07.15 Extinction Rebellion protests block traffic in five UK cities [Non-corporate human animals make their annoying bleating sounds...]

07.14 A Glacier the Size of Florida Is Becoming Unstable. It Has Dire Implications for Global Sea Levels [The willfully ignorant needn't read more, Trump]

07.13 'Climate Despair' Is Making People Give Up on Life [Willfully ignorant governments—having fired many of their best scientists—have made themselves too stupid to despair]

07.13 Trump administration to approve pesticide that may harm bees [The worst government money can buy!]

07.12 These solar panels don’t just generate power—they produce drinking water

07.12 David Attenborough: polluting planet may become as reviled as slavery [1:34 video]

07.10 Plastic Has A Big Carbon Footprint — But That Isn't The Whole Story [Fixing our world begins by educating your consciousness with the best truth from trustworthy news sources—so you'll then insist truly bad things will get fixed. But if instead you are educated by untrustworthy news sources—then your consciousness could be warped to where you are hating and fighting with your best friends. Clue: untrustworthy news sources never seriously report news about the world's most critical emergency—Global warming.]

07.10 Molly Scott Cato: ‘It’s the wealthy who are causing climate change’

07.09 Judge reinstates Madrid's low emissions zone [Yeh!]

07.07 How Solar Panels Work (And Why They're Taking Over the World) [Hope they leave space between panels for wild flowers to grow so birds and butterflies can flourish!]

07.05 Tree planting 'has mind-blowing potential' to tackle climate crisis

07.04 On reflection: how the 'albedo effect' is melting the Antarctic

07.04 US produces far more waste and recycles far less of it than other developed countries [As expected—and made worse by Trump—the U.S. is best at being the worst]07.03 Booming LNG industry could be as bad for climate as coal, experts warn

07.03 Deep-sea mining to turn oceans into ‘new industrial frontier’

07.03 Caravan of Americans battling diabetes heads to Canada for affordable insulin [3:36 video; Like Central Americans flee for their lives from criminal drug gangs, Americans flee for their lives for affordable pharmaceutical drugs]

News Media Matters

07.18 In Sinclair's New 'Must-Run' Segment, Former Trump Adviser Tries to Defend Racist Attacks on 'the Squad'

Daily: FAIR Blog
The Daily Howler

US Politics, Policy & 'Culture'

07.18 Deadly Delays in Jail Construction Cost Lives and Dollars Across California

07.18 Inside Trump's DC hotel, where allies and lobbyists flock to peddle their interests [Also, too much ignored by media, the $millions "donated" corrupting moderate Democrats and Republicans every election cycle must stop]

07.18 This Republican's Case for Medicare for All [A well-informed Republican is rare, so let's hold him in the light so others may learn]

07.18 Trump rally crowd chants 'send her back' after president attacks Ilhan Omar [1:03 video shows Trump pandering to his ignorant idolaters, and together they're making America a greater shit-hole country]

07.18 "Can't Change a Corrupt System by Taking Its Money": Sanders Urges All 2020 Democrats to Reject Insurance, Big Pharma Cash [48:58 video]

07.17 Why Democrats’ oversight machine is moving so slowly against Trump

07.17 Here's the real reason Trump is attacking 'the squad': he's scared of their politics

07.17 'Good,' Says Elizabeth Warren, After Billionaire Right-Winger Peter Thiel Says She's 2020 Democrat He Is 'Most Scared By'

07.17 The American Right Defines Patriotism As Complacency About Racism

07.17 This is what today's America looks like. The squad is us

07.16 As Trump Sows Discord, Chief of Staff Mulvaney Reportedly Focused on 'Building Empire for the Right Wing' [And the South shall rise again...]

07.16 George Will's startling assessment of Donald Trump

07.16 Describing 'Future We Want to Live In' Scores of Groups Unveil New Blueprint for Reproductive Rights

07.16 'Do not take the bait': congresswomen denounce racist Trump attack [3:50 video]

07.16 Money Laundering Scandal Forces Puerto Rico’s Governor to Cut His Vacation Short — Just in Time for Another Scandal

07.16 Turnstile teaching [The problem is NOT the color of students skin, as our fake President reflexively thinks. The problem is the lax attitude and deficient funding by government to always do a much better job for a better future.]

Justice Matters

07.16 Contempt [Variations of frequent loss & theft of property title by organized legal efforts against black owners]

07.15 Australia 'deeply concerned' about China's treatment of Uighur people [What are the reasons, exactly, that justify harsh imprisonment of a million people?]

07.15 Zuma tells South Africa corruption inquiry he is victim of foreign plot [Unaccountable corrupt governments are so in fashion these days...]

07.14 Warren vows to probe U.S. crimes on immigrants if elected [Can you imagine living in a nation with a working Justice System? How far we've fallen!]

High Crimes
Economics & Corrupt Capitalism

07.18 Corporate tax cuts blocked at least 15,000 affordable homes in California. Here’s how

07.15 China’s Economic Growth Hits 27-Year Low as Trade War Stings

International & Futurism

07.18 There are 16 million slaves around the world making our stuff

07.18 ‘No rioters, only a tyrannical regime’: Thousands of Hong Kong seniors march in support of young extradition law protesters [Most people around the world have more in common with these Hong Kong Chinese protestors than with the ignorant people at Trump rallies]

07.18 Dozens Arrested as Over 1,000 Jewish Activists and Allies Shut Down Entrances to ICE Headquarters Demanding Closure of Trump Detention Camps [Obviously these are not the immoral and less educated right-wing jews who support Netanyahu, Trump and ICE, and who slowly exterminate Palestinians when no one is looking]

07.17 Trump Murdered the Iran Deal—And Europe Isn’t Too Happy About It [Only psychopathic Saudi Arabia and Russia are U.S. ’allies’ now...]

07.17 Trump’s Unlawful Asylum Policy Is a Jab at Mexico

07.16 Trump’s race fantasy is clear: the US as home for whites fleeing Europe [1:09 video]

07.15 India’s Terrifying Water Crisis

07.15 Australia now has the highest minimum wage in the world [From 1960 to 2018 – the U.S. has fallen from 1st place to below the tenth place and off the chart]

07.14 Kasich: The chilling effect of British ambassador's leaked memos

07.14 'Just a matter of when': the $20bn plan to power Singapore with Australian solar

07.14 At least 24 Yellow Vests lost eyes in violent protests. Now they're more determined than ever [Protests of all kinds will continue until systemic inequality loses political dominance]

07.13 New Zealand Begins Gun Buyback Prompted by Mosque Attacks

07.13 After a Police Shooting, Ethiopian Israelis Seek a ‘Black Lives Matter’ Reckoning [Since so-called modern humans evolved there have been 10,000 generations of people. It is extremely far-fetched to think anyone is racially pure. SO ALL THIS HATE IS INCREDIBLY STUPID.]

07.13 After a Police Shooting, Ethiopian Israelis Seek a ‘Black Lives Matter’ Reckoning

07.13 Brazil’s President May Appoint Son, Friend to the Trumps, as Ambassador to U.S. [Friend of the Trumps, so we know they're all brain-dead except about near-term profits. They are clear-cutting the Amazon Rain Forest to feed-then-butcher millions of methane farting cows, over and over. Yep, that's there business plan. So therefore the rest of the world will hopefully plant billions of trees elsewhere to sequester CO2 to offset what the Bolsonaro family and investors are destroying. What's wrong with this picture?]

07.13 Trump’s Cruelty and Mexico’s Duty [Our president is immoral to his core and reacts to things like a child, not understanding that his actions are often crueler than they should be. And that cruelty will never completely be excused or forgotten—the people's hatred of Trump is growing, like the Texan's hatred when President General Santa Anna laid seige to the Alamo, which was Mexico's territory at the time...]

We are a non-profit Internet-only newspaper publication founded in 1973. Your donation is essential to our survival.

You can also mail a check to:
Baltimore News Network, Inc.
P.O. Box 42581
Baltimore, MD 21284-2581
Google
This site Web
  Print view: Investigating the Freedom Flotilla Attack
SOME "INVESTIGATIVE REPORTS" ARE TO COVERUP:

Investigating the Freedom Flotilla Attack

by Stephen Lendman
Thursday, 29 July 2010
Whenever abuses are too great to hide, coverup reports blame one or more low-level soldiers to absolve chain of command crimes and high-level civilian leaders. This is how Israel, America and other nations duck responsibility for lawless acts of violence, ones carefully planned in advance.

On June 2, the UN Human Rights Council (HRC) approved formation of an international committee (like the Goldstone Commission) to probe the Flotilla attack, saying it will include lawyers and international law and human rights experts, its findings to be presented in September (during the Council's three week session in Geneva) after visiting Gaza and contacting Israel, Turkey, Greece, and the Freedom Flotilla coalition.

HRC's panel includes:

  • Desmond de Silva, a UK lawyer and former chief prosecutor for the Sierra Leone Special Court investigation into widespread killings there;
  • Karl Hudson-Phillips, a former International Criminal Court (ICC) judge and former Trinidad and Tobago attorney general and parliament member; and
  • Malaysia's Mary Shanthi Dairiam, active in gender equality issues, including on the UN Development Program's gender equity task force.

In emergency session, the HCR criticized Israel's "outrageous attack on aid ships attempting to breach a blockade on the Gaza Strip," calling it "piracy, (an) act of aggression, (a) brutal massacre, (an) act of terrorism, (a) war crime, (a) crime against humanity -unprovoked....unwarranted....atrocious, (and) brutal," calling activists "peaceful...innocent...noble...unarmed, (and) defenseless," setting the tone for what's to come, HRC president Sihasak Phuangketkeow saying:

"This is not about finger-pointing. It's about establishing the facts of what took place because the incident was a humanitarian tragedy and it's in the interests of everyone. So I'm hopeful and I'm urging all the parties concerned to render their full cooperation, because it is in their interests and it's in the interests of the international community as a whole."

"The expertise, independence and impartiality of the members of the mission will be devoted to clarifying the events which took place that day and their legality."

Israel's response was expected, a foreign ministry official saying the HRC acted in haste as part of its "obsession against Israel. The Israeli probe, conducted with transparency, makes the organization's probe completely unnecessary."

Israel, of course, won't cooperate, and plans a whitewash like its July 20 Gaza Operational Investigations: Second Update, responding to the Goldstone Commission and other reports of widespread Cast Lead crimes of war and against humanity.

No serious investigation was conducted, the report citing only four criminal indictments - two for using a minor as a human shield, one regarding an attack on a family waving a white flag, and the other for credit card theft.

Hundreds of other serious crimes weren't addressed, including high level culpability, a few low-level soldiers marginally hung out to dry to absolve government and IDF officials - Israel's usual coverup of appalling war crimes.

Evidence of the Report's Whitewash

On January 4, 2009, the Abu Hajjaj family was attacked, despite carrying clearly visible white flags, resulting in two deaths, Majeda Abu Hajjaj and Raya Abu Hajjaj, mother and sister. Yet Israel "found gaps between (soldiers and Palestinian) testimonies," making it "impossible to make a criminal connection between the described incident," relying instead on soldier versions to whitewash the crime's severity. In addition, investigators gave no credibility to complainants' sworn affidavits, or requested corroborating evidence to confirm them.

Willfully killing civilians is murder, a grave Fourth Geneva violation. One soldier was charged with manslaughter for shooting a "man," yet none were killed, only a mother and her sister.

On January 3, Israeli forces attacked the Al-Maqadma mosque near the Jabalia camp, an air-to-ground anti-personnel missile carrying small cube-shaped fragments for maximum effect killing 15 civilians and injuring 40 others. Israel claimed it targeted a "terror operative" spotted firing rockets.

Yet sworn affidavits and investigations showed no hostilities or military activity in the area, a conclusion Israel didn't contest, saying collateral casualties were unintentional. However, both the attack's timing, shortly after sunset prayers, and the weapon used disproves the IDF's claim, the Goldstone Commission concurring, another grave Fourth Geneva violation.

Yet the officer in charge was merely disciplined even though he willfully attacked a mosque at prayer time.

On January 5, Israeli forces fired two tank shells with flechette darts at a condolence ceremony, killing five civilians and injuring 17 others. Yet according to the commander and his forces, no civilians were present, just "visually identified....terrorist operatives," attacked while loading a "Grad rocket" on "open terrain."

None were there, just a clearly identifiable condolence tent on a sidewalk about 10 meters wide on a road around 22 miles long in a residential area, not "open terrain" as claimed. Many civilians were present, ones soldiers claimed weren't seen, saying combatants were attacked - a bald-faced lie, proved by dead and injured civilians, one of hundreds of grave Fourth Geneva violations during Cast Lead, preceded and succeeded seamlessly by many others.

Yet no investigations were conducted, no assailants charged, and no justice rendered, including by Israel's whitewash investigation, the same kind examining the Flotilla massacre.

Israeli Cast Lead Coverup

The Goldstone Commission exposed and condemned numerous Israeli war crimes, concluding that:

"the Israeli military operation was directed at the people of Gaza as a whole, in furtherance of an overall and continuing policy aimed at punishing the (entire) population, and in a deliberate policy of disproportionate force aimed at (civilians. These are war crimes because) no justifiable military objective" was pursued.

Yet on July 6, IDF Military Advocate General, Maj. Gen. Avichai Mendelblit reported only the following:

  • a Lt. Colonel was summoned to a disciplinary hearing "for having deviated from military directives pertaining to the prohibition on the use of civilians for operational activity;" a mild reprimand resulted despite serious Fourth Geneva breaches;
  • a staff sergeant was indicted for manslaughter, absolving him of cold-blooded murder; his punishment will be minimal;
  • a criminal investigation was ordered "to clarify the circumstances of a specific incident;" expect no prosecutions to result; and
  • a captain was disciplined for "his failed professional judgment in authorizing an attack against a (claimed) terror operative," killing and injuring only civilians.

Gen. Mendelblit claimed over 150 incidents were examined and nearly 50 investigations launched since Cast Lead's conclusion.

Only mild disciplinary actions resulted besides one manslaughter indictment, despite a 23 day rampage, committing extensive crimes of war and against humanity, killing over 1,400, injuring over 5,000, many permanently disabled, (civilians in most cases affected), and inflicting massive destruction and devastation, unaddressed or relieved under siege. Gen. Mendelblit instead said:

"Operation Cast Lead was limited in the scope of fire and forces used. IDF soldiers operated in crowded urban areas while Hamas made deliberate and cynical use of the Palestinian population (they were protecting), creating a complex security situation. Hamas operated from within civilian homes, schools, kindergartens, mosques, hospitals and UN facilities (bald-faced lies) while the population in the Gaza Strip was made hostage" - not by Hamas, its legitimate government, by Israeli marauders, rampaging, killing and destroying lawlessly, omitted from the general's account.

Israel's Inquiry Commission - Whitewashing the Flotilla Massacre

On June 14, Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu announced its formation, an internal probe to suppress truths, its members including:

  • former Israeli Supreme Court Justice, Jacob Turkel, heading it, a man with little inquiry commission experience;
  • Amos Horev, a retired Israeli major general, a prominent military-industrial complex figure; and two non-voting foreign observers:
  • David Trimble, head of Northern Ireland's Ulster Unionist Party, First Minister of the Good Friday Agreement's power-sharing government, Conservative Party life peer, earlier involved with loyalist death squads and Royal Ulster Constabulary killers (RUC); and
  • Former Canadian General Ken Watkin, earlier involved in whitewashing Canada's role in committing Somalia atrocities in the early 1990s.

A June 15 Haaretz editorial was unimpressed, saying:

"....the committees membership nor its authority is suited to meet the challenges posed by the affair. (It's more) a public relations tool (than a body appointed) to bring justice to bear on those found responsible. It would have....been better if the (committee) had never been born, sparing us the deceptive appearance of a real investigation," what the commission will scrupulously avoid, its findings to be willful coverup, blaming the victims, not their assassins or culpable high-level officials.

An Israeli military inquiry was also conducted, headed by retired Major General Giora Eiland, his released July 12 findings calling the Flotilla attack justified, according to an official summary made public - Eiland submitting a classified 150 page report to IDF Chief of the General Staff, Lt. Gen. Gabi Ashkenazi, and Ehud Barak, Israel's Defense Minister. Its conclusions were as follows:

Claim:

"....there were no wrongdoings and no negligences in any fundamental areas during a complicated and complex operation."

Fact Check:

Nonviolent unarmed activists were delivering humanitarian aid to besieged Gazans. In an operation planned weeks in advance, they were willfully attacked in international waters, up to 15 murdered in cold blood, commandos given names and photos of targets, incriminating evidence found on board the mother ship, the Mavi Marmarra.

Claim:

"But on the other hand, there were mistakes that were made in decisions, including some taken at relatively high levels, which meant that the result was not as had been initially anticipated."

Fact Check:

The "anticipated" result was hostile interdiction, assassinating nonviolent activists, seizing their cargo, arresting participants on board, treating them harshly in detention, expelling them from Israel, concealing murder and barbarism in international waters, and blaming victims for their attackers' crimes.

Assassinations and related violence were carried out as planned, using commandos, trained killers as the assault force, not Israel's equivalent of America's Coast Guard, charged with maritime law enforcement, search, rescue, and other non-combat functions.

Claim:

"not all possible intelligence gathering methods were fully implemented and (the) coordination between Navy Intelligence and the Israeli Defense Intelligence was insufficient." In addition, "the anticipated level of violence used against the forces was underestimated."

Fact Check:

Faced with worldwide condemnation, the inquiry blamed intelligence failures, not a well-rehearsed operation conducted as planned.

Claim:

"the operation relied excessively on a single course of action." No other was prepared for in "the event of more dangerous scenarios."

Fact Check:

The attack was carried out as planned, every detail rehearsed for precision, including the pre-attack filming on a ship resembling the Mavi Marmarra, showing commandos were attacked, not activists - fiction, not fact.

Claim:

"....as far as is currently known, no country in the world holds the ability to stop a vessel at sea in a non hostile manner."

Fact Check:

The US Coast Guard and comparable agencies elsewhere do it routinely as necessary, seldom encountering violence and not initiating it themselves.

Claim:

"....alternative courses of action could have existed had the process of preparation begun enough time in advance...."

Fact Check:

Preparations began weeks in advance, including detailed intelligence on the number of ships and activists, their names and home countries, photos of targets to be assassinated, dates of departure and expected arrival, and a well-rehearsed commando interdiction operation.

Claim:

The inquiry "determined that the Navy Commando soldiers operated properly, with professionalism, bravery and resourcefulness and that the commanders exhibited correct decision making....the use of live fire was justified and that the entire operation is estimable."

Fact Check:

Commandos are elite combat forces trained to kill "professionally." They followed precise orders assassinating nonviolent activists in international waters - a lawless cowardly act against unarmed civilians.

Claim:

The inquiry "noted with favor the various stages of medical evacuation of the injured by air and by sea, including the injured passengers of the Mavi Marmarra."

Fact Check:

Commandos treated activists harshly, firing from helicopters before boarding, followed by gas bombs, other weapons, beatings, and dumping some bodies overboard. There was no provocation and no warning given. The attack was premeditated and vicious, some passengers shot multiple times in the head at point blank range.

Dozens were injured, at least 20 seriously. Everyone was taken prisoner. The few commandos hurt were treated by the ship's doctor. He was shot in the arm while aiding victims. Wounded passengers were searched and handcuffed like the others. Throughout the ordeal, soldiers were hostile and abusive, injured activists further mistreated, kicked, struck with weapons, and in some cases shot again.

No compassion whatever was shown. Some wounded passengers weren't taken to the hospital on arrival at Israel's Ashdod Port. Although hurt, bleeding and needing treatment, they were kept on board, doctors prevented from helping them.

From interdiction to assault to seizure to detention to deportation, the entire procedure was harsh, demeaning, and degrading, the slightest reaction met by blows, some unharmed activists injured en route to the airport for deportation. Others, before and during detention, were seriously beaten, some tortured. Five stayed behind hospitalized, too injured to leave. The whereabouts of some remains unknown.

General Eiland said "the issue should be viewed with perspective," believing Israel won't incur long-term damage, saying:

"....there's a tendency to draw general conclusions based on a single incident....(In addition), the fact that the IDF examines itself and others do not, results in that only the 'errors' of the IDF are publicized."

America, Britain and other nations do self-examine, as shamelessly as the above account using coverup to suppress the truth and avoid accountability. And when abuses are too great to hide, one or more low-level soldiers are charged to absolve chain of command crimes, including high-level civilians, how Israel, America and other nations duck responsibility for lawless acts of violence, ones carefully planned in advance.


Stephen Lendman

Stephen Lendman lives in Chicago and can be reached at lendmanstephen@sbcglobal.net. His blog is sjlendman.blogspot.com.

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 July 29, 2010.
 



Public Service Ads:
Verifiable Voting in Maryland