Six of the nine passengers killed in an Israeli raid on an aid convoy bound for Gaza were shot by a single Israeli commando, who is being considered for a medal of valour for saving his injured comrades as passengers attacked them with clubs, knives and even guns they had taken from downed Navy Seals. Fresh details of the controversial raid, which has led to accusations of “piracy” and “state terrorism” being levelled against Israel, and which wrecked its strategic partnership with Turkey, emerged yesterday. There were reports that passengers who attacked the Israeli boarding party had been dragging three captured commandos into the hold of the ship when the shooting broke out. CNN: Autopsies released for 9 activists who were killed by Israeli commandos, 5 died from head shot wounds, one shot at extremely close range.
The Israeli commando assault on a flotilla bringing aid to Gaza which killed at least nine civilians should be a wake-up call for those who want to believe that Prime Minister Bibi Netanyahu’s government is capable of making rational decisions. The flotilla, consisting of nationals from as many as twenty countries, was unarmed and carrying relief supplies that had been carefully inspected by the Turkish authorities. It is now only three days after the Israeli attack and it is clear that the good old hasbara spin machine is working overtime. The story of what actually happened is already vanishing from the newspapers. Instead we are seeing and will continue to see articles, letters, and opinion pieces justifying what Israel did. TPV/Stephen Lendman: US Media's Pro-Israeli Bias: Response to the Freedom Flotilla Slaughter. SOTT: Turkish Prime Minister To Israel: International Community Is "Sick Of Your Lies".
Salon/Glen Greenwald: How Israeli propaganda shaped U.S. media coverage of the flotilla attack. It was clear from the moment news of the flotilla attack emerged that Israel was taking extreme steps to suppress all evidence about what happened other than its own official version. They detained all passengers on the ship and barred the media from speaking with them, thus, as The NYT put it, "refusing to permit journalists access to witnesses who might contradict Israel's version of events." They detained the journalists who were on the ship for days and seized their film, video and cameras. And worst of all, the IDF -- while still refusing to disclose the full, unedited, raw footage of the incident -- quickly released an extremely edited video of their commandos landing on the ship, which failed even to address, let alone refute, the claim of the passengers: that the Israelis were shooting at the ship before the commandos were on board. This campaign of suppression and propaganda worked to shape American media coverage (as state propaganda campaigns virtually always work on the gullible, authority-revering American media).
The Guardian: Israel accused of spinning flotilla story with confiscated video footage. The Committee to Protect Journalists has denounced Israel's editing and distribution of footage confiscated from foreign journalists aboard the Gaza-bound flotilla. The New York-based press watchdog accuses the Israeli defence force of releasing edited portions of confiscated video on YouTube that fail to get across the reality. It refers to claims by the Foreign Press Association in Israel that the military "is selectively using footage to bolster its claims that commandos opened fire only after being attacked." The CPJ has called on the Israeli government to return all equipment, notes, and footage confiscated from journalists.
FINAL AUTOPSY I.
Wayne Madsen: On March 26th 2010, The ROKS Cheonan, a Pohang-class corvette of the Republic of Korea Navy was sunk. This class of ship was designed for coastal defense and anti-submarine warfare(ASW), and Republic of Korea(south) officials have announced that the Cheonan was sunk by a North Korean submarine. The Democratic People's Republic of Korea(north) denies any involvement. Reuters and a South Korean news agency Yonhap News, have reported that ROK officials said, "The metallic debris and chemical residue appear to be consistent with a type of torpedo made in Germany, indicating the North may have been trying to disguise its involvement by avoiding arms made by allies China and Russia.". They identified the torpedo as German made. Further comparrison of this torpedo on display and German DM2 series torpedoes, show that the torpedo supposedly fired by the North may very well be a DM2A3 or DM2A4 heavyweight torpedo. The DM2 series is made in Germany for export to countries including, Norway, Israel, Portugal, Spain, Greece, and South Korea.
What is US foreign policy in the Middle East all about – and for whose benefit is it being conducted? In two short paragraphs, this news story says it all:
"The U.S. confirmed that an American citizen, identified as 19-year-old Furkan Dogan, was killed by multiple gunshots during the Israeli raid on a flotilla carrying activists attempting to run a blockade of the Gaza Strip. "State Department spokesman Philip J. Crowley said the U.S. has made no decision on a response to Dogan’s death."
Apparently official Washington is torn between issuing a mild protest, and thanking them. "Protecting the welfare of American citizens is a fundamental responsibility of our government," Hillary Clinton assured the media, "and one that we take very seriously" – but not seriously enough to issue an official protest. "We are in constant contact with the Israeli government attempting to obtain more information about our citizens." Do they want to know how many holes the IDF put in Furkan Dogan’s head before they make a decision on a response? In reality, the US already made a response in the form of Vice President Joe "Loose Cannon" Biden, who, when asked about the attack on the flotilla, said: "So what’s the big deal here?" Uruknet: Putting Names To Faces.
Planes carrying 520 aid volunteers and nine dead bodies of activists killed by Israeli security forces on Monday returned home on Thursday, with many claiming mistreatment at the hands of Israeli military officers and other officials and additional allegations that not everyone has returned. Activists say some people who were initially on the flotilla are missing. They are also telling stories of horror, carnage and pure barbarism at the hands of Israeli officials. In a shocking account, Humanitarian Aid Foundation (İHH) President Bülent Yıldırım, who returned on Thursday, said a photographer, whose first name was Cevdet, was shot in the forehead by a soldier one meter away from him. “Our Cevdet [Kılıçlar], he is a press member. He has become a martyr. All he was doing was taking pictures. They smashed his skull into pieces. We soon made out that these were real bullets they were firing. Rubber bullets also kill because you shoot at very close range, between one-and-a-half and two meters.” US Daily: Activists describe "bloodbath" on Gaza-bound ship. The Independent (Ireland): Elderly activist shot and 'let bleed to death'. WaPo: American teenager among those killed in Israeli raid of aid flotilla. Mondoweiss: ‘Al Jazeera’ reporter says Israelis fired from helicopter [Al Jazeera's Jamal ElShayyal]
SOTT: Israeli Arab MP who travelled with flotilla faces death threats, confirms that Israeli commandos shot first, asked questions later. While other activists from the Gaza aid flotilla have returned home, one is left facing death threats and abuse in Israel. Haneen Zuabi, a Palestinian member of the Israeli Knesset who was aboard the Mavi Marmara, is now under armed protection after nearly 500 people signed up to a Facebook page calling for her execution. During a heated parliamentary session yesterday Zuabi was sworn at and then shoved out of the chamber amid shouts of "Go to Gaza, traitor". The 41-year-old member of the Arab nationalist party Balad has also received death threats by phone and mail. "I am not scared," she said, speaking from her home town of Nazareth in northern Israel. "This is inherent here, it is not something that started yesterday. It is just harder and harsher now."
NPR: Activist's Account Of Raid Differs From Israeli Version (Audio). One of the passengers on the Marmara, raided Monday by Israeli naval commandos in international waters off the coast of the Gaza Strip, gives her account of the battle on board the Turkish ship that left nine dead and dozens wounded. It differs sharply from Israeli accounts. The pro-Palestinian activists who organized the flotilla to deliver aid to Gaza say they have succeeded in putting the Israeli blockade of the coastal territory back in the headlines.
“The president furthered the oil industry’s plans to drill at depths at which current technology makes mistakes irreparable.” Corporate media pretend to measure degrees of presidential “engagement” with the Gulf crisis – an “oceanic version of Chernobyl.” Such superficial reporting is totally disengaged from the truth that screams from the depths of the sea: “Huge corporations are empowered to seek profits with absolutely no regard for the consequences to Earth or Man.” For purposes of assigning culpability, Obama was fully engaged in setting the stage for the atrocity from the moment of his campaign reversal on off-shore drilling in August, 2008 – after he had the nomination locked up. "My interest is in making sure we've got the kind of comprehensive energy policy that can bring down gas prices," said candidate Obama. "If, in order to get that passed, we have to compromise in terms of a careful, well-thought-out drilling strategy that was carefully circumscribed to avoid significant environmental damage -- I don't want to be so rigid that we can't get something done." So Obama bent over like a contortionist to pleasure the oil barons. The full scope of Obama’s “compromise” was announced almost two years later, on March 31. The White House gave Big Oil virtually everything it wanted that was politically possible, with no protections for the public or Mother Earth in the form of a “well-thought-out drilling strategy that was carefully circumscribed to avoid significant environmental damage.”
Boston.com: Caught in the oil. A short entry - AP Photographer Charlie Riedel just filed the following images of seabirds caught in the oil slick on a beach on Louisiana's East Grand Terre Island. As BP engineers continue their efforts to cap the underwater flow of oil, landfall is becoming more frequent, and the effects more evident. (8 photos total)
Biden: "USA and Israel have never been closer." US vice president tells Charlie Rose it's legitimate for Israel to say 'I don't know what's on that ship. Hamas is dropping 3,000 rockets on my people'; reiterates support for impartial investigation into flotilla raid. US Vice President Joe Biden on Wednesday backed Israel's right to board ships bound for Gaza to prevent weapons smuggling, but said Washington remained "concerned" about the plight of Palestinians there. Haaretz: Biden: Israel right to stop Gaza flotilla from breaking blockade. AntiWar: Biden: Israel Right to Stop Gaza Aid Ship --AIPAC Lauds Biden for Support of Israel. + Analysis: Israeli raid may not change US policies. Politico: AIPAC embraces Biden statement. CBS News: Politicians from Both Parties Rally Behind Israel Following Raid.
Craig Murray: June 3, 2010: Why Was the Mavi Marmara Reflagged Just Before Sailing? -Contrary to virtually all media reports to date, it appears the Mavi Marmara was reflagged from Turkey to the Comoros Islands around 20 May, shortly before heading the peace flotilla. This is very important. While the Israeli attack remains illegal, it means that the injured party - and the party with legal jurisdiction over the event - is the incapable Comoros Islands rather than the highly capable Turkey. It also greatly reduces the NATO angle, unless other attacked ships were flying the Turkish flag. But the question must be why on earth was the flag changed just before sailing, and who instigated it? None of this masks the illegality of Israel attacking a ship under any foregin flag in international waters. But bluntly, it was a stupid decision in practice by the protestors to set sail in a Comoros flagged ship. Fortunately the MV Rachel Corrie is Irish registered, and the flag state (Ireland) has already shown it takes its duty seriously by telling the Israeli government it expects the Rachel Corrie to pass unhindered. [ + Why 'San Remo' Does Not Apply]
Craig Murray: May 31, 2010: The Legal Position on the Israeli Attack A word on the legal position, which is very plain. To attack a foreign flagged vessel in international waters is illegal. It is not piracy, as the Israeli vessels carried a military commission. It is rather an act of illegal warfare. Because the incident took place on the high seas does not mean however that international law is the only applicable law. The Law of the Sea is quite plain that, when an incident takes place on a ship on the high seas (outside anybody's territorial waters) the applicable law is that of the flag state of the ship on which the incident occurred. In legal terms, the Turkish ship was Turkish territory. [Emphasis added] PEJ: Israel is in violation of the Maritime Convention (Turkey is also a signatory and should file a case against Israel in the International Court of Justice.)
Dandelion Salad: Israeli International Aggression: White House Thumbs Up To State Terror and Murder. Here it comes – the White House whitewash of Israel’s bloodied hands – an odious act of complicity that flouts international law and sets the scene for more state terrorism and murder of civilians.
The central issue is this: armed forces of the Israeli state forcibly boarded vessels that are the property of foreign countries while these same vessels were in international waters, some 150 kilometres off the Gazan coast; these ships were flying a white flag and had declared themselves to be a civilian convoy carrying humanitarian aid to the suffering citizens of Gaza; the convoy presented no infringement on Israel’s security and did not, nor intended, to enter Israeli waters.
This is the primary and only point worthy of attention – a crime of international aggression perpetrated by Israel. Even if the civilians onboard those ships did respond in the way that Israel claims they did, that does not make an iota of difference. Under international law, they have the right to self-defence in the face of unprovoked armed aggression. What is needed therefore is not an international inquiry, much less an Israeli-controlled inquiry, but rather a legal trial of prosecution against Israeli state terrorism.
A new study by researchers at the Karolinska Insitutet in Sweden has revealed a strong similarity between dopamine production in healthy, “highly creative” brains with that of schizophrenics. Previous research has shown that high creative skills are more common in people with mental illness in the family, and creativity is also linked to a higher risk of the development of schizophrenia and bipolar disorders. Previous research has also found that certain psychological traits, like making unusual associations, are also shared by schizophrenics and those with a healthy, highly creative brain.
Now, new research has shown that the brain’s dopamine D2 receptors in a healthy, creative brain are strikingly similar to that of a person suffering with schizophrenia. It is unknown exactly to just which brain mechanisms are responsible for this correlation, but according to Doctor Fredrick Ullén of the Karolinska Institutet, the functioning systems of the brain utilizing dopamine mean may be the key. Studies have shown that genes of dopamine receptors are linked to the ability for divergent thought. Dr. Ullén carried forth a study that measured the creativity of healthy individuals using divergent psychological tests with the task of finding many different solutions to a problem.
BREAKING: The Rachel Corrie, an aid ship headed to Gaza, has turned around in international waters to dock at "a port", Adam Shapiro of the Free Gaza Movement said Thursday. Shapiro declined to identify the port but said the ship will be back on the water within a week. [They intend to install special eletronic, monitoring & video equipment plus satellite gear to document the next Israeli attack.]
A Press TV journalist detained on the Gaza Freedom Flotilla describes mistreatment of activists attacked on the aid convoy and his own ordeal in Israeli custody. Still suffering from a lack of sleep, Hassan Ghani explained how Israeli navy forces suddenly encircled the Turkish-flagged vessel he was traveling on and launched an attack on the aid Flotilla. "We were some 90 miles off the Israeli coast and we were by no means within the so-called military exclusion area, which was originally 20 miles but later extended to 68 miles," Ghani told Press TV on Thursday. He described measures taken by the campaigners onboard the ships for repelling the invaders, saying water hoses were used to drive back the Israelis. Meanwhile, helicopters belonging to the Israeli army landed on the deck and a number of frigates approached the vessel from either side. Ghani added that Israeli commandos, each armed with at least two weapons, landed on the ship eventually. "They came down and we heard gunfire... at this stage we did not know if they were rubber bullets or live ammunition but we heard gunfire," he said, adding that the activists used objects at hand and mostly their bare hands to defend themselves. Sydney Morning Herald: I was 'Tasered' by Israelis, says Herald photographer. The Guardian: Israelis opened fire before boarding Gaza flotilla, say released activists -"They came up and used plastic bullets, we had beatings, we had electric shocks, any method we can think of, they used." Daily Telegraph: Gaza flotilla attack: British activists tell of abuse by Israelis. AlterNet: Israeli Legislator Reveals Her Terror on Ship, Accuses Israel of Intentionally Killing Peace Activists to Deter Future Flotillas.
PressTV: IHH: Israel shoots Gaza activists dead. Turkish organizers of the Gaza Freedom Flotilla attacked by Israeli naval commandos accuse Israel of shooting activists dead at a close range. Bulent Yildirm, who heads the Foundation of Humanitarian Relief (IHH), told reporters at Istanbul airport how a journalist called Cevdet was killed by Israeli soldiers for no good reason. "He was just taking pictures. He was shot at from no more than a meter and his brain exploded ... one of our friends was shot even after he had surrendered," AFP quoted Yildrim as saying. He accused Israeli naval forces of killing "whoever they laid hands on" and even throwing some activists into the sea. "We were given the bodies of nine martyrs, but we have a longer list. There are missing people. Our doctors handed over 38 injured, on our return they (the Israelis) said there were only 21 injured."
DN.se: Gardell: Israel begick överlagt mord. Swedish Ship to Gaza participant Mattias Gardell University professor was aboard the boat where the deaths occurred, says: Premeditated Murder , two people killed by shoot to forehead, one shoot in back of head. [DsV: Israel har använt massivt militärt övervåld mot en fredlig hjälpinsats. De har begått överlagt mord och gjort sig skyldiga till sjöröveri, säger Mattias Gardell, som var ombord på det fartyg där nio människor dog.] [GOOGLE Translate]
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