Ed Koch Calls Jeremy Scahill a Terrorist Supporter for Defending Children

Onscreen, Ed Koch’s stupidest statement in this interview was when he responded to Jeremy Scahill’s question about how a goat or a horse or a children’s toy would be used as rocket to hit Israel by saying only, “that’s nonsense.” Or maybe when Koch said, in response to Scahill’s question whether Hamas’ refusal to recognize Israel justified strangling children, “Don’t tell me children!”

But his most troubling comment came during the commercial break–apparently Koch was too chicken to say it publicly.

During the break on MSNBC, Ed Koch called me a “terrorist supporter” I said, “Say it on the air.”

Update: Here’s Scahill’s post on the exchange, including a link to the list of items prohibited by the blockade, including:

  • sage
  • cardamom
  • cumin
  • coriander
  • ginger
  • nutmeg
  • chocolate
  • seeds and nuts
  • fishing rods
  • various fishing nets
  • fabric (for clothing)
  • sewing machines and spare parts
  • size A4 paper
  • writing implements
  • notebooks
  • razors
  • toys
158 replies
  1. BoxTurtle says:

    I’d make Kock define terrorist. The law is vague enough, you could be charged with support for donating to your neighborhood mosque.

    Boxturtle (But NOT for donating to your neighborhood protestant Kill The Abortionists church)

      • GulfCoastPirate says:

        What’s going on with you? Get finished with school?

        I don;t know if he is a buffoon but he is certainly a despicable man. Some of these people are so good at lying and have been doing it for so long I think they actually believe some of what they say.

        I was kind of surprised MSNBC left Scahill on that long.

    • Leen says:

      “If you tell a lie big enough and keep repeating it, people will eventually come to believe it. The lie can be maintained only for such time as the State can shield the people from the political, economic and/or military consequences of the lie. It thus becomes vitally important for the State to use all of its powers to repress dissent, for the truth is the mortal enemy of the lie, and thus by extension, the truth is the greatest enemy of the State.”

      Koch “this was a set up”

      that aid off those boats is no where to be found

      • GulfCoastPirate says:

        I guess we’ll eventually see if the lying works. I’m hoping Turkey goes through with its threat to send their Navy down there. Let the Israelis attack and let Turkey invoke Article 5.

  2. cregan says:

    To me, there is stupidity on both sides.

    Koch, of course, but also Scahill.

    Obviously, toys are not a problem. And, the ships were told that. Everything on board that was of that nature, toys, food, etc. would be transported to Gaza once inspected.

    But, as we all know, toys were not the point. The point was to end the blockade. Not so that toys could come in; they already can. More so that weapons can come in with more advanced capabilities and in larger numbers.

    If no such weapons shipments had been attempted in the recent past, the “toy” argument would have a point. But, there have been a number. Were they not intercepted, they would be in Gaza now.

    And, as is well known now, all the supplies from the boats were in fact trucked to Gaza.

    In addition, today we read that videos showing soldiers attacking the passengers were found on the boat which had the trouble. Ah ha! you say. Now we have the evidence!

    Wrong. the videos were shot in the day time. Sadly, the activists did not plan on a night boarding, so their staged videos were of no value.

    I am sure they will learn that lesson and shoot videos at all times of day for the next time.

    • brendanx says:

      But, as we all know, toys were not the point. The point was to end the blockade. Not so that toys could come in; they already can. More so that weapons can come in with more advanced capabilities and in larger numbers.

      Your false dichotomy between toys and weapons is sophomoric. Try again. There was lots of stuff in between on those five big boats. Like cement.

      And, as is well known now, all the supplies from the boats were in fact trucked to Gaza.

      “As is well known” often betrays bullshit. Call Netanyahu’s press office so they can give you a link for that.

      • cregan says:

        You are missing the forest for the trees.

        Toys are not the point. And Scahill knows this.

        The point is the blockade. It is not that toys are not being let in (if that is the truth).

        The point is what would happen were the blockade to be dropped.

        The flotilla is a charade. They want the blockade ended so that weapons can be brought in with greater numbers and capabilities.

        • PJEvans says:

          If I were living in Gaza, I’d want some weapons myself – because the Israelis would be doing their best to make sure I die, either with their weapons or by starvation/disease.

          What part of illegal blockade do you not understand?

          • cregan says:

            What part of the Hamas charter don’t you understand. Clearly, plainly, it calls for the destruction of Israel. And it isn’t just words.

            Somebody vows to destroy me, I don’t think I’m going to help them.

            Maybe you would. I don’t know.

        • brendanx says:

          Another goal against yourself.

          If stopping weapons were the only reason, why would the Israelis care about the toys, or the cardamom, or what kind of tomato is allowed in. Answer: it wouldn’t make a difference.

          You haven’t addressed the actual effect of the blockade: malnutrition and absence of medical care and adequate housing. You are indifferent to it.

          Look, cregan. Forget the touchy-feely stuff about the malnourished kids, who are denied toys, to boot. I’ve just never understood the mentality of people who fall all over themselves to actively misinform themselves in order to make excuses for powerful people when they abuse that power. It must be explained by an emotional need. It’s not something I can debate.

          • cregan says:

            OK, am I wrong that Hamas has as official policy to destroy Israel?

            Am I misinformed about that?

            • brendanx says:

              OK, am I wrong that Hamas has as official policy to destroy Israel?

              Am I misinformed about that?

              I can’t do your thinking, or even your reading for you. Start this way: entertain the possibility that you can’t believe everything you read or watch on tv when it comes to this or any subject, then find out what Hamas’ “official policy” actually is.

              Then apply some context: try to remember that Netanyahu got where he is today by goading the Israeli right to assassinate a major Israeli statesman (and military hero), Rabin; he climbed over Rabin’s dead body to power. This is the scumbag you’re jumping to defend. The justification for killing Rabin? He, too, the useful idiot, was negotatiating with people who had “an official policy to destroy Israel”.

              The arguments for bulldozing and starving the Palestinians off their land are always going to be the same, and there will always be Netanyahus, and lesser yahoos like you, cregan, to parrot them.

            • brendanx says:

              OK, am I wrong that Hamas has as official policy to destroy Israel?

              Am I misinformed about that?

              Of course, you’re changing the subject again, though it’s touching that you seem to be grasping for answers.

              The Israelis didn’t massacre Hamas members. The boats weren’t carrying arms.

              Though they may be able to smuggle them in inside cardamom pods if the Israelis let them!

            • Hmmm says:

              OK, am I wrong that Hamas has as official policy to destroy Israel?

              Am I misinformed about that?

              Whether you’re right or wrong about that is irrelevant since the Gazan people are not coterminous with Hamas. It is a violation of international law for any country to sequester and punish a sub-population for any reason, there is no permission slip allowing it when the elected leadership of the imprisoned group has a belligerent policy. (Not to mention that the balance of offensive capability between Israel and the Gazans is so far beyond comically lopsided that the meaning of the policy is nil in terms of practical threat. The policy should be seen and weighed for what it is: a cry of self-definition and of defiant condemnation, made in the face of imminent wrongful annihilation by a vastly more powerful oppressor.) Bmaz got there first, but I too feel obligated to point out that starving a captive population is in no way distinguishable from genocide. To defend the blockade is to defend that.

              • DWBartoo says:

                Excellent elaboration and truly well said.

                There is no defense for genocide, especially when done by a people whose sympathy in the world arises from its own experience … of genocide. Such people, such human beings, should take the time, the care, and the decency, to remember.

                To claim victimhood is pathetic, delusional and despicable from ANY oppressor. For Israel to do this, is akin to America forsaking the Constitution for world domination, which President Obama would have us believe is not mere empire, but something better, something noble.

                Hypocrisy abounds. And too much, of both reason and humanity, is silent.

                Thank you, Hmmm, for speaking for truth and for justice, as they are in grave need of friends and allies.


        • BoxTurtle says:

          The point is what would happen were the blockade to be dropped.

          Here, we agree.

          But it’s not like Hamas isn’t getting the weapons they want via the tunnels under the Egyptian border. Those tunnels support the arms trade just fine. But after that, there’s little room for the goods Gazan’s need for just everyday living.

          The opening of Gaza, even a little bit, is an admission that the seal ’em off and grind ’em into the dust strategy that Egypt, Israel, and America are following wrt Hamas has failed. And that would have unacceptable political repercussions in all three countries.

          Trying to push supplies through the blockade is foolish, Israel will just hit back harder. You break that blockade by getting Israel to agree to drop it. And there’s only one lever for that, the cash transfer from us to them.

          Boxturtle (*sound of dead horse being beaten*)

        • bmaz says:

          They are actually probably much more concerned about food, building materials and water purification and storage materials, machine parts, equipment and the like so they might could actually make and existence for themselves before being starved to death by the belligerently oppressive Israelis. What Israel is doing to the Palestinians is nothing short of slow genocide.

          • DWBartoo says:

            “What Israel is doing to the Palestinians is nothing short of slow genocide.”


            Would that be considered a crime against humanity? Should it be so considered?

            Soon, the Israelis will have but one ally, which practices the same sort of behavior.

            Someday, the majority of the rest of the international community of human beings, will not tolerate the hypocrisy or behavior of either of those two “nations”.

            Until that day, there will neither law, nor justice, and the powerful, the heartless, the greedy … all of the other international sociopaths, following “our” example … will will make us, who choose to remain human, dream … and hope … of both.

            What “pragmatism” will rule that day?


        • GulfCoastPirate says:

          Well duh. Of course they want the blockade ended and of course they want arms. If you had a neighbor like Israel wouldn’t you?

          I suggest you look at a map and learn a little about technology. If the Israelis don’t make a peace deal they’re essentially finished and it will be by their own choice. They don’t need arms in Gaza. Once Mubarak passes Egypt will go and Jordan won’t be able to go along with the West any longer. In 10 years there will be so many small rockets (of increasing accuracy and payload) surrounding Israel in places the Israelis can’t get to that Israelis will be scrambling to get out of there as fast as they can. Israel went the big stick, aircraft and nuke route while the Arabs finally wised up and went the smaller route. How do you foresee the Israelis surviving? Their nukes are useless unless they intend to hold the West hostage, their aircraft have failed to get anyone to submit in either Lebanon or Gaza and after the beating they took at the hands of Hezbollah in Lebanon their ground forces wouldn’t even go into Gaza unless they were walking behind a tank.

          They better get a deal and get it fast before its too late.

          • Hmmm says:

            I understand Florida is about to become vacant, think Israeli leadership’d be up for a move?

            • GulfCoastPirate says:

              Based on recent history if I were Georgia and Alabama I’d lock and load now.

        • emptywheel says:

          No, toys–and more importantly fishing equipment and seeds–ARE the point. Because once you look at the list of banned items, it becomes clear Israel’s point is NOT military, but instead the economic subjugation of almost 2 million people.

          And the entire world except the US and Israel knows this. Hell, Stephen Hadley was on TV today saying this. If Stephen Hadley believes this is a humanitarian crisis, it’s not just propaganda that supports the argument but hard data.

    • BoxTurtle says:

      Actually, the Israeli’s have only released some supplies. They are holding all the building supplies (mainly cement) and fuel at least.

      Hamas has refused delivery of the supplies because the Isreali’s have held on to part of them. They really just don’t want to give the Israeli’s the press “victory”.

      Boxturtle (Attn Hamas: You can’t eat a press victory. Take the darn supplies)

    • brendanx says:

      In addition, today we read that videos showing soldiers attacking the passengers were found on the boat which had the trouble. Ah ha! you say. Now we have the evidence! Wrong….

      The imbecility, not to mention the callousness, of this imagined gotcha is profound. Video evidence of this precise circumstances are almost beside the point beside the indisputable evidence of at least nine dead bodies from a boat in interanational waters on which none of the passengers were armed.

      The Israelis massacred them — whether out of bloodthirstiness or ineptitude is still open to dispute (the Israeli press is quite energetically pursuing at least the latter possibility). So, to put it charitably, your argument about how much the passengers resisted a violent and illegal boarding is an academic one. You’re desperately trying to change the subject; I get it. You’re a good eager beaver, but you’re only scoring debating points against yourself.

      • cregan says:

        I think you need to read more closely.

        OK, yes, most people understand the meaning of the videos, but I will explain to you.

        The videos were made prior to any boarding. They were staged. They were made to be released at some point to show they were being attacked. Showing they were attacked first.

        The problem was they made them during the day. The raid was at night, so all their effort was in vain.

        It also shows the real intention of the flotilla.

        It is so obvious from other videos that the soldiers were attacked before they even hit the deck. The “passengers” were not provoked, they intended to attack the soldiers all along no matter what happened.

        And, they paid a price for it. They have no one to blame but themselves.

        The other five boats did exactly what 99% of all boats boarded at sea by customs, police, navy, etc. do. They cooperated, allowed an inspection or escort, and they were unharmed.

        The same would have happened on the 6th boat, but that was clearly and obviously not the passengers intention.

        The “videos” they made demonstrate that. They thought they were going to beat the shit out of the commandos and then release videos showing them being attacked first.

        But, they F’d up.

        • whitewidow says:

          Israel should have no problem releasing all of the tapes in full, then, to prove the truth once and for all.

          By the way, did you know that “hands” are lethal weapons when wielded against the IDF?

        • brendanx says:

          I looked at the most rankly propagandistic rag I could think of, The Jerusalem Post, and found nothing about these marvelous videos. It goes without saying that legitimate newspapers, even the Israeli Haaretz, had nothing.

          So, again, call Netanyahu’s press office so we dupes can have a link.

        • Mary says:

          “The other five boats did exactly what 99% of all boats boarded at sea by customs, police, navy, etc. do. They cooperated, allowed an inspection or escort, and they were unharmed”

          Oh please, this was not Israel operating within its waters. It wasn’t even Israel operating within it’s embargoed waters. It was 70+ miles out. And where was the “permission to board” request?

          You cannot establish a rule that when armed commandos assault a ship at sea, those on board cannot try to fight them off. What you are saying is that it’s illegal to fight back against pirates – that the passengers on the Achille Lauro would have been criminals if they had grabbed bats and sticks. THat’s wrong – wrong wrong wrong. Wrong on law, wrong on logic, wrong on sense, wrong on sensiblity – just wrong.

          What you had was a kidnapping on the high seas. Some people went along peacefully with the kidnappers, some fought, but in both instances, the parties in the wrong were the armed assault commandos who were kidnapping on international waters.

    • john in sacramento says:


      Usually I tend to give you the benefit of the doubt by thinking that if we were neighbors, or related to each other we could agree to disagree, but this comment is a caricature of a talk radio host or fox “news” analyst

      Most of the comment is a statement of made up facts with no supporting evidence

      Obviously, toys are not a problem. And, the ships were told that. Everything on board that was of that nature, toys, food, etc. would be transported to Gaza once inspected.

      See Marcy’s update

      I’m tempted to go through paragraph by paragraph … but honestly, I keep asking myself why I need to. You’re a smart person, and I know you care

      Do you want to see the real reason why people want to end the blockade?

      Click here. Supporting link at the first comment

    • JTMinIA says:

      Koch is on TV because filming of The Hobbit has been canceled, so Koch has spare time.

      (If you didn’t know, The Hobbit was being filmed live-action, without computer graphics. Koch was Gollum.)

  3. Styve says:

    What was the thing at the bottom of the screen saying “HK – Heckler and Koch vs. Colt” all about?

    Poor sputtering Ed Koch! Talk about a mismatch! Scahill wiped the floor with the senile old guy…

  4. brendanx says:


    But his most troubling comment…

    Why “troubling”? Or did you just mean typically slimy?

      • klynn says:

        Very true! And I am lucky for that!


        I assumed a long time ago that EW, bmaz and Jane were on my team! Forgive me for any omission!

        What Koch fails to realize is that any “legit” claims Israel may have had in the past are moot now due to their illegal and barbaric behavior.

        Again, to Mr. Ed I offer the solution of UN peace keeping troops being the neutral party to examine humanitarian aid coming in to Gaza; not Israeli troops, not Egyptian troops. Not even U.S. troops.

        I want Koch to face everyone on the flotillas and tell them they are terrorist supporters on the air.

        • brendanx says:

          I want Koch to face everyone on the flotillas and tell them they are terrorist supporters on the air.

          Why do you want Koch on the air again?

          Kidding aside, that he’s invited to opine on the subject is already indicative of half the problem.

        • Petrocelli says:

          Sorry for not being more clear, my comment was going to be, “Luckily for us, Scahill, Greenwald & Marcy are on our team !”

  5. brendanx says:

    “sage, cardamom, etc.”

    The three wise men would have to run the blockade. Not really a joke, considering the way the Israelis treat Palestinian Christians along with the rest.

    • emptywheel says:

      I keep thinking of Jesus reaching out to the fishermen. No Gazans need apply to be Jesus’ disciples, since they can’t have fishing equipment.

  6. Leen says:

    Koch repeated almost every Israeli and I lobby talking point

    “this was a set up”
    “will not recognize Israel’s very existence”
    “two shells”
    “engage in war” this flotilla was not engaged in war
    “power of Hamas, will not give up violence, will not recognize the existence of Israel”
    “they hate Israel, the Muslims hate Israel”

    Willie “focusing on the free flow of donkey’s that is what we are looking at” What an asshole. Willie needs to take at trip to the Gaza. What an arrogant asshole.

    Hamas on recognizing Israel…67 border

    Koch was successful at turning the focus of the flotilla over to a they all hate Israel rant

    • jdmckay0 says:

      I heard that as well… nauseating. Particularly claims of “no medical” and “no food” shortages.

      It’s befuddled me for a long time, by what means US media burps up hard line Israeli propaganda, word for word, uncritically… it’s almost like a secret handshake.

      That hardline Zionist leaders (Netanyahu/Sharon) elected since Oslo, have turned back the clock, and generally been explicit in belief (or propaganda) that Palestinians are un-redeemable devil’s spawn… Always reminds me of Southerner’s justification for slavery (“We treat our n**gers good.”).

      In the time span Israel has not only maintained occupation but expanded settlement and generally increased constraints (and not just GAZA BTW):
      * East/West Germany has integrated successfully (something most western “experts” said had no chance).
      * The “wall” has come down.
      * Russia transformed from Soviet state w/bloodless coup, satellite nations regained autonomy

      Yet, on every border, Israel has not only maintained hostility, it has of late increased it. And I think what pisses me off the most: of all the $$ we dump in there, I am aware of nothing they have done to improve the plight of poverty/development (etc.) amongst their neighbors… eg. they have never really tried.

      • harpie says:

        Agree 100%.

        Glenn Greenwald [and Anonymous Liberal] wrt US politicians shoveling Israeli propaganda:

        Relatedly: here is another first-hand account from a flotilla passenger about what happened which you will barely, if at all, hear on American television. As Anonymous Liberal put it — in response to my request to all television journalists that they interview journalist Jamal Elshayyal about what he witnessed on the ship — “why do that when you can interview some U.S. politician who wasn’t on the ship but knows what Israel said happened?” And I would add: “or watch highly edited videos from the IDF, which spent days blocking access to witnesses and journalists and continues to conceal the full, unedited videos”? But that’s American “journalism” for you in a nutshell.

        The Israeli flotilla attack: victimhood, aggression and tribalism [Update III]; 6/3/10

      • GulfCoastPirate says:

        Did anyone else think that speech was for US consumption? Why would he reference an old US TV show?

        • Hmmm says:

          Think old US TV’s pretty much been a global presence for a long time. National and regional programming was slow to get started in a lot of places and US content vaults filled an awful lot of hours of airtime. “Foreigns” is a small but significant operation within many content companies.

        • Leen says:

          Total U.S. consumption. Koch fit in all of Israel’s and the I lobbies talking points.

          Micheal Oren did the same thing on the Diane Rehm show the other day. One talking point after the next.

        • prostratedragon says:

          To your first question, yes. To your second, I think it’s methodological, i.e. exploiting meme-lets that are widely known specifically through American popular culture, the lower the common denominator the better.

          After all, we see that kind of thing here too, right?

  7. Phoenix Woman says:

    Sometimes I think Ed Koch says outrageous garbage like that so he can bait people into slugging him in order for him to have a reason to sue them. You know, the Fred Phelps playbook.

    • harpie says:

      There is a comment by “Alex” at 6:44pm on the thread to that article which says:

      According to the shipping register (which is updated daily) the Mavi Marmara is Turkish flagged. MV Rachel Corrie did not come up on search.

      I haven’t checked the link.

  8. whitewidow says:

    The Israeli hardliners and apologists are revealing themselves every time they open their mouths. The massacre itself, and the sick, blatant lies and propaganda being used to defend it, are doing more to harm Israel than anything Hamas has done. (Not to mention the blockade itself, settlement expansions, bombing Gaza and Lebanon, trying to start a war with Iran.)

    Will the blatancy of lies like “there is no humanitarian crisis in Gaza” finally open some eyes? I guess that’s true if you don’t consider Palestinians to be human.

    I cannot believe that Koch actually said “don’t tell me children”. That is a “let them eat cake/have you no decency” moment if I’ve ever seen one. But then, nobody in a position to do anything about it seemed to care much about putting Gazans “on a diet”, so I guess my outrage meter needs an adjustment to live in this world.

  9. harpie says:

    O/T but generally of interest:

    At What Cost Intelligence?; Scott Horton; 6/3/10

    In an article just out in Military Review, (PDF) Major Douglas Pryer describes the struggle of the TF 1AD, an elite military intelligence unit serving in Iraq, with Bush-era torture techniques: […]

    As Pryer notes, the intelligence officers managing the task force’s operations decided to take guidance from the standards laid out by General George Washington during the Revolutionary War, starting with his injunction to “treat prisoners with humanity.” […]”

    Military Review article (pdf):
    At What Cost Intelligence?; Major Douglas A. Pryor, US Army

  10. harpie says:

    Why San Remo Does Not Apply; Craig Murray; 6/3/10

    Every comments thread on every internet site on the world which has discussed the Israeli naval murders, has been inundated by organised ZIonist commenters stating that the Israeli action was legal under the San Remo Manual of International Law Applicable to Armed Conflicts at Sea.

    They ignore those parts of San Remo that specifically state that it is illegal to enforce a general blockade on an entire population. But even apart from that, San Remo simply does not apply.
    The manual relates specifically to legal practice in time of war. With whom is Israel at war?

    There is no war. […]”

      • bmaz says:

        As I’ve pointed out elsewhere, the only way this is legal is if Israel has suddenly recognized Gaza as an independent state.

        And that Israel is in a legally recognized state of war with.

      • harpie says:

        Yeah. The conversation at that point just reminded me of the bit about “every comment thread”…

      • Mary says:

        US fast and loose, one from column A, two from column B, torture then either i)hide the victim; ii) take the victim to courts to be legally killed, iii) make up a military commissions proceedings out of whole cloth, or iv) if none of that works, just detain away, anyway, and maybe ship around to somewhere like Bagram to that you can start back at i).

        Even if Israel was in a valid state of war with the independent state of Gaza, I don’t think much of the law of the seas truly supports and allows for an armed assault in international waters of a flotilla of ships without so much as a permission to come aboard. The need to try to defend an area and search for suspected contrabrand on a non-hostile flagged ship in international waters does not equate to an ability to commit assault and piracy and kidnap and transport of non-aligned parties into a nation at war and then accuse them of being in the country illegally and making them sign off that they were illegally in Israeli waters before “deporting” them, etc. etc.

        The thing is – I am a support of Israel. I want it to survive and thrive and I absolutely and firmly believe it lives in a very precarious situation with lots of real risks. I won’t lie – I have a much stronger affinity for the citizens of Israel than I do for the citizens of many other Muslim countries.

        But this isn’t about supporting Israel in the abstract, it’s about bad policies and criminal acts (war or civilian). It’s like loving America and being devasted by, and unsupportive of, Obama’s pro-Executive torture, pro-war, big pharma hand offs and his assassinations and assassinations “gone wrong” – his policies and criminal acts.

        • Hmmm says:

          …and then accuse them of being in the country illegally…

          Well, I’m no lawyer, but since IIUC the flotilla was about 70 nautical miles outside Israel’s territorial waters at the time of the interception, they weren’t in the country by any stretch of the imagination — illegally, legally voluntarily nor involuntarily — until such time as the IDF forcibly and involuntarily took them into the country.

          • pdaly says:

            Did you see the Salon article about the 64 year old American Paul Larudee? “Captured and detained by Israel, an American tells his story” by Anika Anand.

            I’ll summarize below (read the original, too).
            He jumped into the water after he was tasered by the Israeli soldiers whom had rappelled onto his ship. He was beaten after they retrieved him from the water. He was tied to the mast in soaking clothes and left in the sun for 4 hours but he refused to tell his captors his name. Eventually he was untied and brought below deck after agreeing to give out his name. Once on land and after being taken to the “processing center” he refused to sign the form documenting that he had entered Israel illegally. He was beaten again.

            He was placed in an Israeli prison (hospital ward) and on day 2 he was allowed a 10 minute meeting with a U.S. embassy ‘representative’, but it was a Greek embassy official who arranged for Larudee’s transport out of Israel. (what?!! The US did not arrange the release?) The article is vague about where he stayed on day 3 and after. Was he a guest in the Greek embassy? living on the streets of Israel? In any case, at the airport, Larudee was beaten again for refusing Israeli authorities’ demand that he fly to Istanbul (Larudee was under the impression he was going to Athens, Greece) and then sign ‘a release.’ Greece intervened again and now he’s recuperating in Greece.

            Tasers, beatings, enhanced interrogation techniques, beatings, prison without access to lawyer, beatings again of a noncombatant American. Greek embassy steps in to help. Sounds like American embassy again wants to remain hands off when it comes to helping its citizens. I’m thinking about the noticeable absence of outrage by American officials over the Israeli soldiers murdering the American-Turkish teenager (gunshots to the head x 4 and chest x 1) on the other ship in the flotilla in International waters.

            • Leen says:

              Read that. The nightmare stories are going to keep coming. been going on for the Palestinians for decades

          • Mary says:

            Exactly – so no part of the “law of seas” allows them to be kidnapped and drug into Israel and forced to sign off on documentation saying they were in Israel illegally.

          • Mary says:

            You mean the al-libi option? Or more to the point, the options that were used for some of the 80 or so unaccounted for “high value detainees” that Hayden admits they had – but no one knows anything about now.

              • Mary says:

                I remembered them – but on the thread that has Obamaco authorizing the use of forever detentions based on “family members” being associated with terrorism.

                KSM’s children and wife, Aafia Siddiqui’s children – they have cover now, don’t they?

      • DWBartoo says:

        An independent state … with whom Israel claims to be at “war” … a war recognized as such by the international community.


  11. harpie says:

    The Hypocrisy of Netanyahu; Juan Cole; 6/3/10
    [Emphasis added]

    The sloppy Israeli propaganda effort against the Free Gaza humanitarian flotilla has been so bad that the pictures released by the Israeli army have been tagged by alert bloggers as forgeries […]

    The defiant speech on Wednesday of Israeli Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu [..] displayed all the problems with hyper-nationalist Israeli discourse, of inappropriate analogies, factual errors, propaganda, and magical thinking. These fallacies have dominated the narrative presented by members of the Netanyahu government and those who support it.

    The first fallacy is to identify all the people of Gaza with the Hamas party-militia, dismissing them all as “terrorists.” […]”

    The link:

  12. Mary says:

    I can’t listen to the clip just now, but I wonder if anyone has asked Koch whether or not it is going to be ok for armed commandos to assault and kill the Irish on the Irish flagged Rachel Corrie?

  13. harpie says:

    ICRC statement; 6/1/10

    […] Gazans continue to suffer the effects of siege-induced poverty and warfare. The closure imposed on Gaza three years ago and the effects of Israel’s military operation in the Strip in January 2009 are crippling the entire economy. Humanitarian aid alone cannot address the massive needs in Gaza, where civilians are paying the price of the blockade and ongoing hostilities.

    The ICRC urges Israel to lift the closure and calls upon States, political authorities and the organized armed groups concerned to do what is necessary to reopen the Gaza Strip and safeguard the life and dignity of its civilian population.

    ICRC continuing coverage of their work in Gaza and the West Bank

  14. harpie says:

    American Citizen Killed by Israeli Navy; 6/3/10; Juan Cole
    [emphasis in original]

    Hey, Tea Party. A foreign navy boarded an unarmed ship flying the flag of a NATO member in international waters and shot dead an American citizen with four bullets to the head and one in the chest on Memorial Day. It did this while the head of the belligerent state was on his way to a state visit to Washington, DC, to be awarded a further $200 million in aid on top of the $3 billion of American taxpayer money the US gives away to him every year.

    If you are not upset by this, your tea is weak, man. Weak.


    • DWBartoo says:

      It is not merely the tea of the Party which is weak, the political class is hawking near-beer as the real thing, and the Administration is blowing the bubbles that carbonate the mix.

      It’s all kool-aide. Or, possibly, tangy orange-colored trickle …?

      (Besides, the young man’s parents it is implied, owe their allegiance to Turkey. Fortunately, no highly placed members of America’s ruling political class have conflicted allegiances, or “we” might appear hypocritical to neutral observers …)

      Baffle garb, eleven-speak is blaring from the White House speakers, what matters the static of palinated lip-stiffed sea tippers?

      Or something like that.


      • harpie says:

        I agree:

        Baffle garb, eleven-speak is blaring from the White House speakers, what matters the static of palinated lip-stiffed sea tippers?

        The Tea Party is only a distraction.

        The Ruling Elite is the problem.

  15. Mary says:

    I’ve not stayed up on everything coming out on this, so I guess I’m the last to realize, but one of the ships boarded and taken was US flagged.

    What I am finding is that the “flotilla” included the Challenger 1, a US flagged ship; the Eleftheri Mesogeios, a Greek flagged ship; the Sfendoni, a Greek flagged ship; the MS Sofia, a Swedish flagged ship; the Mavi Mara (maybe Cormos maybe Turkish); the Defne Y, a Kirbati (?) flagged ship; and the Gazze, a Turkish flagged ship.

    Disabled on the way were the Rachel Corrie, maybe Cambodian maybe Irish flagged ship; and the Challenge II, also a US flagged ship. Both the Rachel Corrie and Challenge II were sabotaged and the Rachel Corrie has been repaired and is ready to leave from Malta (home of my favorite pseudo-Maltan, Kmiec) and Challenge II is still undergoing repairs in Cyprus.

  16. Mary says:

    One of the passengers on the Sfendoni (where Peck was a passenger) was a US citizen, El Cerrito resident, linquistics professor and former Fulbright Scholar, Paul Larudee and he was beaten badly and tasered as he tried to escape kidnappers.


    It’s so hard to pull up links to stories about the people who were injured in the kidnappings that if I hadn’t already had other computer issus, I’d be suspicious of the DNS failures.

    As it is, my first 4 tries to get links that would pull upon Larudee failed. I’ll see what happens with trying to get links for the Aussies who were tasered.

  17. Mary says:

    Aussie photographer Kate Geraghty tasered on the US flagged Challenger I


    She confirmed reports that she had been ”Tasered” by the Israelis.

    The Israeli attack was “pretty full on”, Geraghty said.

    “Three of the soldiers on the deck were Australian-Israelis, I couldn’t believe it.

    ”It (the Taser attack) hurt and it made me feel sick.”

    Geraghty had been trying to send out photographs before the boat she was on – the US-flagged vessel Challenger 1 – was taken over.

    More on the US ships and Rachel Corrie that appear to have been sabotaged:

    Challenger I started taking on water after its bilge pump broke down, said Greta Berlin, founder and spokeswoman of the Free Gaza Movement, which organized the flotilla of ships that sailed from ports around the Mediterranean for the rendezvous off Cyprus.

    She said an inspection turned up “very suspicious faults.”

    Challenger II suffered steering problems and had to put into port in Turkish-controlled northern Cyprus to repair hydraulic lines.

    It transferred its contingent of pro-Palestinian activists to the Mavi Marmara, which was subsequently attacked by Israeli naval forces in international waters off Cyprus as it led five other ships toward Gaza.

    If there was sabotage and it was done through infiltration, then it looks like there’s a good possiblity the infiltrator/saboteur(s) were then transferred to the Marmara.

    • Leen says:

      One of my friends has gone to live with the Palestinians for at least the last 15 winters. He comes back with eye witness story after story of outrageous abuses. Settlers knocking Palestinians and activist over the heads, spitting on people, pushing, he has seen settlers spit on Palestinian children two times. He has also been spit on, pushed, hit by ball bats. Many of the settlers are vicious.

      Our MSM has ignored this abuse the killing the humiliation of the Palestinians for decades.

  18. Mary says:

    Death threats against Israeli MP Zuabai who was on the flotilla, and who apparently had to translate as the armed assault didn’t include the right language skills.

    Zuabi – known in Israel as an articulate Hebrew speaker – said that soldiers specifically asked her to translatetheir instructions. At first, she refused. “I shouted back, ‘Why didn’t you ask for my help before you murdered these people?'”

    But she realised that such assistance could prevent further violence. “My fear was that miscommunication and panic could lead to more deaths,” she said. “Everyone on the boat was terrified, screaming and crying and I felt a sense of responsibility towards them.”

    Zuabi spent the next few hours conveying the Israeli soldiers’ instructions to the passengers as they were searched, while also relaying concern over injured passengers and requests for water, medicine or to pray.

    She describes soldiers refusing medical assistance to two wounded, who then died.

    Abseiling in the night by armed commandos who couldn’t give instructions in a language the kidnap victims would understand – what could go wrong with that?

  19. Mary says:

    Swedish novelist Mankell’s account of what happened on the Sofia


    “The idea was not to make any resistance,” Mankell said. “They were carrying machine guns. They came to the bridge and told us we had to go down. Some older people were a bit slower. One of them was attacked by an electric gun in his arm, very painful. Another was shot with a rubber bullet.”

  20. harpie says:

    Did it annoy anyone else that Koch put his hand on Scahill’s arm a couple of times? That would have really angered me. I don’t believe I’ve seen that before.

    • john in sacramento says:

      JAWAG (just a wild assed guess) but I think it’s an alpha-male-get-in-your-personal-space-domination-tactic (I’m sure there’s a psychological word for it)

      Think of the stories of LBJ leaning into somebody, or grabbing their arm, or touching them somehow to show his dominance as he was trying to get them do something he wanted, or vote the way he wanted

      • harpie says:

        I agree. I thought of LBJ too…there’s a famous series of photos of him in action. It’s a little different, imo, because that was not a public display, like this.

    • harpie says:

      Here’s one by Stephen Kinzer. [It’s at The Daily Beast, which I don’t know anything about.]

      Treat Israel Like Iran“; 6/2/10

      Scott Horton thinks:

      The comparison falls down on a number of points, most prominently including Tehran’s increasingly weakening claim to be a democracy. Still, Kinzer gets an amazing amount of distance out of this, and the sheer craziness of government rhetoric and arrogant indifference to international law is a point on which the leaders in Tehran and Jerusalem seem to be united. So, Kinzer asks, why does the United States have such radically different policies towards these two countries?

  21. SaltinWound says:

    Apologies if this has been covered: so much money goes into black ops and propaganda. If we accept the possibility that some of the ships were sabotaged, it is also possible that the groups themselves were infiltrated. And so even the bit of resistance we saw could have been spurred on or instigated by infiltrators.

  22. pdaly says:

    No toys! Reminds me of that Christmas special with Kris Kringle having to sneak into town at night to bring toys to the children–against the ridiculous proclamations of the Burgermeister Meisterburger:

    “I hate toys! And toys hate me! Either they are going or I am going and I definitely am not going!”

  23. Leen says:

    Norman makes some interesting points

    Norman Finkelstein “Israel is now a lunatic state”

    Finkelstein “What happened with the Gaza flotilla was not an accident. You have to remember that the Israeli cabinet metfor fully a week. All the cabinet members discussed and deliberated how they would handle the flotilla. There were numerous reports in the Israeli press, numerous suggestions, numerous recommendations about what to do.

    At the end of the day they decided on a night time armed commando raid on a humanitarian convoy. Israel is now a lunatic state. It’s a lunatic state with between 2 and 300 nuclear devices. It is threatening war daily against Iran, and against Hezbollah in Lebanon. Hezbollah in Lebanon has all ready stated on several occasions that if Israel attacks it will retaliate in kind. Things are getting out of control. We have to ask ourselves a simple basic fundamental question. Can a lunatic state like Israel be trusted with 2 to 300 nuclear devices, when it is now threatening its neighbors Iran and Lebanon with an attack? These are serious issues!”

  24. Leen says:

    Flynt and Hillary Mann Leverett hit another nail on the head
    “Turkey’s deepening engagement in the region is an extremely important catalyst for change. Of course, this is not a new or suddenly breaking news story. Turkey’s refusal to allow U.S. forces to invade Iraq from Turkish territory in 2003—not long after Prime Minister Erdoğan and the AKP had come to power–should have been a wake-up call. At the time, though, Turkey’s decision was dismissed by the Washington establishment with a mix of disbelief and a refusal to appreciate how popular Erdoğan’s decision was in Turkey and how much political capital he would garner for having taken it. “

  25. PJEvans says:

    The captive-audience screen in the elevator at work said, when I was leaving, that the Corrie had delayed to add satellite transmitters and video equipment.

    This time, the IDF will be on film at 11. Or they’ll have to sink the ship with all aboard, and go from frying-pan to fire.

  26. MadDog says:

    OT – From Karen DeYoung and Greg Jaffe on the WaPo:

    U.S. ‘secret war’ expands globally as Special Operations forces take larger role

    Beneath its commitment to soft-spoken diplomacy and beyond the combat zones of Afghanistan and Iraq, the Obama administration has significantly expanded a largely secret U.S. war against al-Qaeda and other radical groups, according to senior military and administration officials.

    Special Operations forces have grown both in numbers and budget, and are deployed in 75 countries, compared with about 60 at the beginning of last year. In addition to units that have spent years in the Philippines and Colombia, teams are operating in Yemen and elsewhere in the Middle East, Africa and Central Asia…


    …Obama, one senior military official said, has allowed “things that the previous administration did not.”

    ‘More access’

    Special Operations commanders have also become a far more regular presence at the White House than they were under the Bush administration, when most briefings on potential future operations were run through the Pentagon chain of command and were conducted by the defense secretary or the chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff.

    “We have a lot more access,” a second military official said. “They are talking publicly much less but they are acting more. They are willing to get aggressive much more quickly.”

    The White House, he said, is “asking for ideas and plans . . . calling us in and saying, ‘Tell me what you can do. Tell me how you do these things…’

    • DWBartoo says:

      75 countries (and, obviously, “growing”). The “battlefield” IS everywhere.

      (What will we do when “it” becomes “us”?)

      Obviously, again, whatever Bush Co. could “do”, Obama Co. can “do better”.

      (It’s ‘cuz they are so articulate, transparent and aboveboard, proving that “nuance” do matter.)

      Ah, MadDog,’tis a MadWorld, that’s what the madder is.


  27. YYSyd says:

    Koch is a buffoon. And probably why he’s on the tube. But he got the party line wrong. It’s 8,000 rockets not 7,000. However as far as I can tell, no one ever questions how many deaths or injured from those rockets. I believe lightning strikes are more lethal in the area where the rockets usually fizzle to the ground. I do agree that coriander should be banned forthwith from every border and every plate, but that’s just me.

  28. YYSyd says:

    Oh and I don’t go around insisting that my right to exist is affirmed by my neighbors or else threaten their lifestyles by depriving them of donkeys.

    The trend to absurdity might actually begin to wake some people up. But that would be too optimistic.

  29. timbo says:

    George Bush was a great friend of Israel. He decided that torture was fine. They like that.

    • Leen says:

      Hell according to Janet Karpinski there were Israeli agents at Abu Gharib


      “The former American military chief of the notorious Abu Ghraib prison in Iraq reveals more details about the Israeli involvement in the US-run facility, where hundreds of Iraqi suspects were tortured and sexually abused by US soldiers and interrogators.

      Shedding further light on the scandal that has served as a controversy-magnet for Washington ever since its emergence in 2004, the retired US army colonel Janis Karpinski says that Israeli agents were recruited by the US military at Abu Ghraib to interrogate the prisoners suspected of attacking US forces in Iraq.

      The report by the Lebanese newspaper Al-Akhbar is set to fuel more debate on the matter as Karpinski had, until recently, refused to expound on the Israeli connection at Abu Ghraib despite admitting earlier to the presence of Israeli interrogators in the US-run compound.

      The former high-ranking US military officer in Iraq told the British state broadcaster, the BBC, in 2004 that she had met an Israeli interrogator who was working at a secret facility in Baghdad.

      The prominent American investigative journalist Seymour Hersh brought the issue out in the open on May 10, 2004, when he published the article, “Torture at Abu Ghraib,” in The New Yorker Magazine. The article served to ignite the outpouring of reports and evidences on the alleged “abuse, torture, sodomy and homicide” conducted at the facility by US military and intelligence officers.”

      It was Stephen Cambone who went from Gitmo to Abu Gharib and said “soften them up” Cambone, Feith, Cheney, Ledeen, Rice, Wolfowitz etc all belong in prison.


  30. fatster says:

    Gulf oil spill: BP to go ahead with $10bn shareholder payout
    Tony Hayward to defy calls from politicians to cancel dividend until Deepwater Horizon oil spill is resolved


  31. fatster says:

    Can you spell ‘cahoots’?

    BP and Feds Withheld Videos Showing Massive Scope of Oil Spill
    Coast Guard Told Public Not to ‘Fixate’ On Rate of Spill While Sitting On Video


      • fatster says:

        Oh, PJEvans, when will the people of this country get completely fed up with the lies and start demanding transparency and accountability?

  32. fatster says:

    So now it’s three. Hmmmm. (May 5, 2010 Press Release)

    “BP today announced that it has stopped the flow of oil from one of the three existing leak points on the damaged MC252 oil well and riser in the Gulf of Mexico.”


      • fatster says:

        This story has so many layers to it, twists and turns, that we may have known, but I’m not sure now, either. (At one point we did wonder if their attempts at putting hats, caps, etc., on that one huge gusher might lead to additional leaks.)

    • bobschacht says:

      So now it’s three. Hmmmm. (May 5, 2010 Press Release)

      “BP today announced that it has stopped the flow of oil from one of the three existing leak points on the damaged MC252 oil well and riser in the Gulf of Mexico.”

      Please note the date on the press release. At that time, there were three leaks: One near the base of the riser, where the pipe bent from falling over; another at the far end of the broken riser pipe, where most of the oil was gushing out, and a third at the end of the drill pipe that was inside of the riser pipe. That third leak was the one that was plugged a month ago. When they cut off the riser pipe near its base, that in effect combined all three leaks into one leak, gushing out of the base of the riser pipe on top of the BOP.

      They just did a nice little demo on CNN right now, summarizing what has happened to date. The new elements:

      1) The riser pipe they’ve attached to the cap, which is currently tapping maybe 30% of the outflow: they’re going to attach a floater about 300 feet below the ocean surface so that if bad weather comes, the oil barge presently collecting the oil can detach from the floater and go to safety, then come back later and re-attach to the floater.

      2) In the department of Duh!: remember the valves that they were connecting to in order to pump the junk into the BOP to try to plug it? These are the valves labeled on some BOP diagrams as “choke”, “Mud” etc? Those are two-way valves, so the Big Domes at BP finally had a light bulb go on over their Big Brains and someone said, “Hey! Maybe we could divert oil from the BOP through those valves to the surface!” So apparently they’re going to try that, too. This would collect oil from the BOP before it even gets to the riser.

      Bob in AZ

      • fatster says:

        Oh, shoot! I guess I thought the date was May 30, or sumpthin’. Thanks ever so much for the correction and making the actual date clear for all, Bob.

  33. fatster says:

    Two very different stories.

    Gaza flotilla attack: Israeli ambassador to Madrid tries to play down deaths
    Consul intimates Spain should focus more on domestic road traffic fatalities, and aligns activists with Madrid train bomber


    Erdogan tells Israel in Hebrew: Thou shalt not kill
    Turkish PM defends Hamas, calling them ‘resistance fighters’; Turkey mulls cutting Israel ties to ‘minimum’ over Gaza flotilla


    • Hmmm says:

      Ah Tony, we hardly knew ye… were a sociopathic stock option counting pale shadow of a weasel of an excuse for a human being…

      Oh wait, yeah, actually we did know that about you. Never mind. TTFN.

  34. fatster says:

    Canadian oil companies no longer need to have relief-well plans
    New guidelines don’t mention the wells, which are designed to plug leaks. BP is drilling two in the Gulf of Mexico to halt the massive spill


    Talk about yer bad timing.

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