Washington Whitewashes Israeli Murder

Why not. It whitewashes its own. Washington is a rogue terror state. So is Israel. It denigrates non-Jews. It’s waged war on Palestine for decades. It’s guilty of high crimes and misdemeanors. Its rap sheet makes serial killers look saintly.

On May 31, 2010, Israeli commandos committed premeditated murder. They killed nine humanitarian activists. They did so in cold blood. They executed them in international waters. Doing so also constituted piracy.

Activists were trying to bring vitally needed aid to besieged Gazans. It included food, medicines, medical supplies, clothing, educational and construction materials, kitchen utensils, mattresses, toys for children, and other items.

Eighteen-year old Turkish-American Furkan Dogan was on board. Israel marked him for death. A UN Human Rights Council (HRC) investigation determined that he and eight other Turkish nationals were murdered in cold blood.

Israeli commandos did it execution-style. They did so “at point blank range,” it said. He was “lying on the deck in a conscious or semi-conscious state for some time.”

He was shot in the face. His body was riddled with bullets. The autopsy report was damning. Weeks later, Turkey gave it to the US embassy. It went to the Justice Department. It was done to decide if an investigation was warranted. Whitewash followed.

A State Department official spoke on condition of anonymity, saying:

HRC’s “tone and conclusions (were) unbalanced. We urge that this report not be used for actions that could disrupt direct negotiations between Israel and Palestine that are now underway or actions that would make it not possible for Israel and Turkey to move beyond the recent strains in their traditional strong relationship.”

In mid-June, White House Press Secretary Robert Gibbs said Israel ”should be allowed to undertake an investigation into events that involve its national security.”

Its military justice system “meets international standards and is capable of conducting a serious and credible investigation.”

Official Israeli policy is coverup and denial. Whitewash followed. Justice was systematically denied.

On May 24, 2011, the Center for Constitutional Rights (CCR) filed a FOIA lawsuit.

It sought “immediate release of documents that the United States government has refused to provide regarding its knowledge of and role in the deadly May 31, 2010 attack by Israeli commandos on a Gaza-bound aid flotilla.”

Center for Constitutional Rights v. Department of Defense, et al was filed in the Southern District of New York. Initial FOIA requests were submitted nearly 11 months earlier. Only two federal agencies responded. Both were inadequate.

CCR Senior Staff Attorney Katherine Gallagher said:

“One year after the deadly attack on the humanitarian flotilla, the American public has been told nothing about what actions, if any, the United States undertook to ensure that US citizens and other civilians were protected when they sailed towards Gaza.”

“A US citizen was killed and the US has not conducted an independent investigation into his killing in international waters by a foreign military.”

“Indeed, the State Department did not even mention the killing of Furkan Dogan in its recently released Human Rights report on Israel.”

“We need to know what our government is doing to protect us – and hold those to account who harm US citizens.”

Co-counsel University of Virginia International Human Rights Law Clinic’s Jessica Lee added:

Israel’s blockade “cannot be reconciled with principles of international law.”

“Regardless of how one determines Israel’s legal obligations with respect to Gaza, civilians have the right to receive food and medical supplies.”

“And United States citizens who participate in non-violent humanitarian missions have the right to know what protections they can expect their government to provide in international waters.”

CCR’s legal complaint in part said:

“On May 31, 2010, a six-boat flotilla, carrying more than 700 civilians from almost 40 countries seeking to bring humanitarian and rebuilding supplies to the Gaza Strip as well as to break the Israeli blockade of Gaza, was overtaken by Israeli commandos in international waters.”

“Nine passengers were killed, including one Turkish-American citizen.”

“The underlying blockade and the attack on the Gaza Freedom Flotilla both constitute serious violations of international law.”

“Through advocacy, legal analysis and educational materials, and Freedom of Information Act requests, CCR is seeking information regarding these breaches of international law, answers about the US role in and knowledge of the attack and its position vis-à-vis the continued blockade, and an end to the illegal policies and practices that result in the ‘collective punishment’ of the people of Gaza and attacks on civilians seeking to assist Palestinians in Gaza.”

Furkan and 15 other US citizens were on board. Many were beaten and injured. Pathology Professor Ahmet Dogan is Ferkan’s father. He seeks justice, saying:

“Furkan was an American citizen of Turkish origin, and the American government hasn’t done anything for him.”

“I want the United States to demand justice for its citizen, and support decisions related to this (injustice) at the UN.”

“We are very disappointed by the way the US has handled the events until now, because in theory the US is supposed to view all of its citizens equally.”

“What if this was Barack Obama or Hillary Clinton’s child? Would there be an American investigation into the matter?”

“As far as they are concerned, their ties with Israel are more important than my son, and he was an American citizen.”

“If my son was an Israeli who was shot by Turks in international waters, how would the US react? That is what I would like to ask the Americans.”

Dogan condemned Israel’s internal investigation. It “was full of lies,” he said. “It pandered to the Israeli and American publics.”

Furkan just finished high school. He was “granted a place at the medical school of a prestigious university. Why was such a young, successful boy killed by Israeli soldiers in the middle of the night?”

“When he applied to go on the Mavi Marmara, he asked me for permission. It was a very difficult moment for me.”

“But we let him go because he cared and wanted to help. He was a very moral boy. I think that no parent could say no to such a request.”

“Besides….we did not expect Israelis to attack the ship….We thought (at worst they’d intern it at) Ashdod, and because my son was an American citizen and there is a close relationship between Israel and the US, they would not do anything to him.”

“He had big plans. He was very ambitious…How would you feel if it happened to your son?”

Dogan “want(s) those responsible….to face justice.” Nothing less is acceptable. So far it’s been denied.

CCR recently received documents its FOIA suit sought. They contain new information on Washington’s involvement. It reflects complicity with Israel, coverup, and denial.

Emails between US officials in Istanbul and Washington were exchanged. Ankara’s US Consul General Richard Appleton confirmed America’s knowledge of Furkan’s death.

“Here is what we know,” he said. “Turkish-American Furkan DOGAN DOB 20OCT91 was one of the killed in the Gaza Flotilla event.”

In a separate email he said “his family had been calling at least twice a day for several days….Before we contact we are going to get confirmation thru” Israel’s Foreign Ministry.

These and other emails confirmed Washington’s complicity with Israel. America abandoned one of its own. It’s longstanding policy. Israel matters more. Its worst crimes are supported and financed.

In February, CCR headlined “Gaza Flotilla FOIA Production Guide: the US Passengers.” It discusses FOIA documents. It includes emails between Appleton and Washington.

Other information revealed FBI involvement. Counterterrorism agents investigated 561 flotilla participants. Details were largely redacted. So was other material throughout the report.

Co-counsel Lee said those related to Furkan “reveal that the US has an unquestioning deference to” Israel. It’s true “even when the life of an American teenager is at stake.”

“Despite this barbaric murder,” Washington declined to investigate. Dorgan’s demands went unaddressed.

On February 23, 2011, he met with Deputy Assistant Secretary of State for Overseas Citizens Services James Pettit. Months earlier, documents showed Israel “provided (no) detailed information.”

Pettit told Dorgan that Washington wouldn’t investigate Furkan’s death. “As a rule,” he said, America doesn’t do so for its citizens overseas.

In June 2010, then State Department spokesman PJ Crowley said “we have the option of evaluating the circumstances, and if we think a crimes (was) committed, then working with the host government we have the option of our own investigation.”

Dorgan told Pettit about the UN’s damning report. It said Furkan and eight others were executed at point blank range. An internal Turkish investigation produced similar conclusions.

Pettit was dismissive. He called the UN report “rushed.” US government documents discussed consular official Eve Zukerman. Her training includes identifying remains of deceased victims.

She visited Israel’s morgue. CCR said “instead of viewing the bodies of the deceased passengers, she was shown what she was told were photos of nine men killed during the attack, which were frontal photos from the shoulders up.”

“None of photos of the deceased showed evidence of bullet wounds, damage, or distortion, except for bruises and hematomas.”

At America’s Tel Aviv embassy, she viewed Furkan’s photo. She saw no one in Israel’s morgue resembling him. Israeli officials tried suppressing his murder.

FOIA documents also contain information pertaining to electronic equipment Israel seized. It includes Furkan’s video camera. He filmed Israel’s assault.

CCR said: “As of February 2013, property belonging to the US passengers aboard the 2010 Gaza flotilla remains missing, presumably within Israeli custody.”

Washington did nothing to get it returned. Failure provides more evidence of complicity and coverup. Justice remains denied.

Stephen Lendman lives in Chicago and can be reached at lendmanstephen@sbcglobal.net.

His new book is titled “Banker Occupation: Waging Financial War on Humanity.”

http://www.claritypress.com/LendmanII.html

Visit his blog site at sjlendman.blogspot.com and listen to 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.

Washington Backs Syrian Anti-Goverment Terrorism

Make no mistake. Syria is Washington’s war. It was planned years ago. Regime change is policy. At issue is replacing Assad’s government with a pro-Western puppet one.

Washington tolerates no independent governments. It demands subservience to US policies. Outliers are targeted for removal. Options include war.

Mass slaughter and destruction don’t matter. Unchallenged dominance is policy. It’s longstanding, ruthless and lawless.

Western-recruited death squads ravage Syria. They’ve done so for two years. They’re imported from abroad. Rules of engagement include mass murder, torture, and other atrocities.

Pro-Assad loyalists are prime targets. Innocent civilians are massacred. Doing so is official US policy. Imperial wars are called liberating ones. Terrorism is what they do, not us.

Syria was peaceful before US proxies invaded. So was Libya in 2011. It was ravaged and destroyed. It remains unstable and violent. Libya 2.0 looms.

Syria may become NATO’s latest charnel house. It’s well along the way already. Countries are ravaged on the pretext of liberating them. Empires never say they’re sorry. Policy isn’t pretty. It’s violent and lawless.

It reflects state terrorism. It proliferates death and destruction. It prioritizes wealth, power, privilege and dominance. Direct and proxy wars are waged.

Cutthroat killers are used. They’re recruited abroad. They’re heavily armed, trained, funded and directed. They’re ordered to commit mass murder. Obama bears full responsibility. He’s a war criminal multiple times over.

On February 22, the Syrian Arab News Agency (SANA) headlined “Fifty-Three Civilians Martyred, 235 Others Injured so far in Terrorist Bombing in al-Thawra Street in Damascus.”

Attacks struck central Damascus’ Mazraa neighborhood. Health Minister, Dr. Saad al-Nayef, said “terrorist bombing reflects the criminal nature of its perpetrators.”

Innocent men, women, children, the elderly and infirm were massacred. Syria continues to be ravaged and destabilized.

Al-Hayat Hospital and Abdullah Bin al-Zubir school were heavily damaged. So was Russia’s embassy. Itar Tass quoted a diplomat saying “The building has really been damaged. The windows are shattered.”

Other car bombs struck Damascus’ Barzeh neighborhood. A police station, telecommunications facility, and drug enforcement agency were targeted.

Mortar fire hit Syria’s Army General staff headquarters, Tishreen Sports City and residential buildings. Authorities said a car loaded with tons of explosives was stopped before it exploded.

Perhaps the terrorist group Jabhat al-Nusra was involved. It’s become Washington’s lead belligerent. It vows to “liberate” Damascus. It claims responsibility for 17 or more February Damascus area terrorist attacks. They included at least seven bombings.

Syrian communities abroad, Russia, China, Iran and Hezbollah condemned Thursday’s bombings.

Russian Foreign Ministry spokesman Alexander Lukashevich said:

“Once again, we call upon all countries and parties, which might influence the extremists and radicals, to pressure them and demand immediate stop of such terrorist acts and armed violence in order to create appropriate atmosphere to hold a Syrian dialogue that is based on Geneva statement issued last June, 2010.”

UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon showed which side he supports. He’s an imperial tool. He shames the office he holds. He violates UN Charter provisions. He urged both sides to show restraint. He called for ending Syria’s crisis politically.

Syria’s Foreign and Expatriates Ministry addressed two identical letters to the Security Council president and Ban. They condemned Thursday’s bombings. They called them cowardly acts.

They targeted crowded civilian areas. They followed previous ones conducted by Al Qaeda linked groups. They get “financial and logistic support and media and political coverage from regional and (Western) countries.”

SANA said:

“The Ministry added that the credibility of combating terrorism which has always been a matter of concern for the international community is now under unprecedented test as the most disgusting form of terrorism hit the Syrian civilians with no mercy or differentiating between an elderly man or a child.”

“The letters added that Syria, in its previous letters to the UN Security Council and the UN Secretary General, called for firm and clear condemnation of these heinous terrorist crimes by the UN member states and for holding countries which support such acts as responsible, whatsoever the form of such support was.”

“The Ministry said that Syria hopes the UN Security Council now will be able to adopt a firm stance which proves its commitment to combating terrorism regardless of its timing or place.”

If the Security Council turns a blind eye, “it will deepen doubts in its seriousness in combating terrorism and its commitment to implementing its resolutions in this regard, in addition to the fact this will be considered as a kind of political concealment of these crimes.”

The international community’s credibility “is at test,” it added. Failure to condemn this type terrorism is morally unconscionable.

It provides evidence of Western double standard duplicity. It reflects support for “organized terrorism.” Doing so won’t deter government forces from defending its citizens. Assad is committed to do so.

On February 21, Washington vetoed a Russian draft statement. It condemned Wednesday’s terrorist attacks. Moscow denounced US policy. It reflects support for what demands condemnation.

Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov left no doubt where Russia stands, saying:

“This opposition by our American partners….is not the first time in which they seek a form that justifies those who fight the Syrian regime.”

“Russia sees in the American position an application of double standards and a dangerous approach in terms of the Americans moving away from the main principle of condemning terrorism in all its forms.”

Russia’s UN mission issued a statement saying:

“It is obvious that by doing so, the US delegation encourages those who have been repeatedly targeting American interests, including US diplomatic missions.”

It’s not the first time Washington obstructed responsible policy, it added. Moscow called doing so unacceptable. It reflects support for mass murder. It’s official US policy.

It threatens Lebanon. Free Syrian Army General Selim Idriss accused Hezbollah of shelling villages around Qusayr in Homs Governorate.

He issued an ultimatum. He threatened to respond if attacks don’t stop in 48 hours. He accused Hezbollah of sending combatants to Syria.

“As soon as the ultimatum ends,” he added, “we will start responding to the sources of fire.”

Hezbollah’s Hassan Nasrallah categorically denies sending fighters to Syria. At the same time, he said party members may be acting individually. He added that around 30,000 Shitte Lebanese inhabit 22 Syrian villages. Volunteers defend them against terrorist attacks.

On February 21, Lebanon’s Daily Star headlined “FSA claim of strikes on Lebanon false.”

An FSA statement claimed otherwise. It said one of its battalions targeted two Hezbollah bases. It struck with mortars, “machine guns and anti-tank missiles.” It did so near the Syrian/Lebanon border. It vowed more “surprises” ahead.

Longstanding Washington/Israeli policy prioritizes destabilizing Lebanon. At issue is replacing Hezbollah with pro-Western puppets, toppling Assad, isolating Iran, and solidifying US regional control.

Lebanon is small and vulnerable. From 1975 – 1989, it was wracked by internal conflict. From 1982 – 2000, Israel occupied southern Lebanon.

Hezbollah arose out of Israel’s 1982 invasion. It’s falsely called a terrorist organization. It’s for political reasons. It’s part of Lebanon’s government. It’s also a social, charitable, educational, and medical organization.

It provides essential social services. It’s military wing is defensive. It threatens no one. It’s prepared to respond forcefully if attacked. Israel learned the hard way in 2006. Its forces were outfoxed and humiliated. Israel yearns for revenge.

Involving Lebanon in Syria’s war may be planned. Obama and Netanyahu may have that in mind.

On February 21, Mossad-connected DEBKAfile (DF) headlined “Hizbollah on high alert, jockeys for a role in potential Syrian peace accord,” saying:

Its forces went on alert after the FSA’s ultimatum expired. Will its Beqaa Valley serve Assad, DF asked? Will its forces get involved? Are ceasefire talks credible?

According to DF, Assad’s military largely controls most of Syria. Ties to Hezbollah and Iran are firm. Each ally helps the others.

At the same time, FSA fighters may escalate conflict. They may conduct cross-border attacks. They’re no match for Hezbollah’s “far more organized and professional capabilities.”

“If they decide to go on the offensive, they are liable to suffer heavy losses.” Of greater concern is widening Syria’s conflict.

Israel’s currently involved. Last fall, IDF tanks shelled Syrian mortar batteries. Washington OK’d Israeli air strikes. Several targets were struck.

Israeli warplanes invade Lebanese airspace multiple times daily. They do so without permission. Policy is longstanding. It violates international law. Perhaps escalated conflict is planned.

It shouldn’t surprise. Washington and Israel partner in imperial lawlessness. Syria, Hezbollah, Hamas, and Iran are prime targets. Regional conflict may follow. What’s possible bears watching. Future updates will discuss more.