VETERANS TODAY WRITER Ken O’Keefe ON BBC “HARD TALK”
WATCH THE SPARKS FLY….
For those Americans that don’t know, Ken O’Keefe is the United States Marine combat veteran who captured two Israeli’s suspected of the murder of a Turkish photojournalist during the battle on the Mavi Marmara. Veterans Today staff writer, O’Keefe was captured, taken to Israel and beaten, tortured for two days before being released. Israeli’s claimed O’Keefe was planning to set up a training school for terrorists inside Gaza while on the ill fated relief mission attacked in international waters by 24 Israeli ships and dozens of American built Blackhawk and Apache helicopters. As many as 6,500 Israelis are believed to have taken part in the operation, deemed a “war crime” by maritime law experts with the British government.
Nine are known to have died, with autopsies showing “execution style ” killings and many more are still missing, fate unknown. Verified witness reports indicate that Israeli soldiers threw four wounded humanitarian workers overboard to their deaths, victims not listed on the official tally. Other victims are unaccounted for, either killed in Israeli custody, dead from lack of medical care for wounds or being held in secret detention facilities. It is believed these names were withheld because the victims had no affiliations with any Islamic organization and one or more may have been American citizens.
Over the weeks since the dramatic Mediterranean confrontation between the Freedom Flotilla and Israeli “sort of” commandos, Ken O’Keefe and I have developed a friendship. Veterans Today is always glad to bring another Marine onboard as a writer as we are overloaded with retired spies, Army people or even worse. I talked extensively with Ken prior to his famous televised interview on BBC. Ken has become representative of a large group of, what is to us younger veterans who are sick of the American policy, now increasingly discredited, of believing anything Israel says and supporting everything they do. Our contention is that Israel has suffered a coup, a military take-over which has left their democratic government as little more than a debating society while extremists are running amok, as Israeli Ambassador Oren calls them, “rogue groups.”
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Increasingly, our Israeli based writers, such as former Irgun and IDF fighter, Uri Avnery, have come under physical attack, some inside Israel, some out. Ken O’Keefe was attacked in London this week. Others, many, have received death threats and more, such as Noam Chomsky, have been refused travel restrictions. Israeli nuclear whistleblower Mordechai Vanunu was arrested in Tel Aviv and put in solitary confinement and more have been subjected to cars stolen, laptops seized and homes broken into by “black bag” crews in areas as remote as Sudan and even in the US and Western Europe.
The surprise announcement by Israel through Ambassador Michael Oren that they have lost control of violent groups of right wing Likudists responsible for acts, as Oren admits, including spying on the United States, caught Mid-East observers off balance. Attempts to get information on other operations, such as the Dubai assassination or the London Bombings of 7/7, which could possibly be attributed to this ultra-nationalist cabal referred to by Ambassador Oren have been stonewalled.
This O’Keefe interview, an unsuccessful attempt at an “ambush” by a BBC “Rush Limbaugh clone” fails at its task. Continual interruptions, misstatements and eventually outright propagandizing by the BBC pundit with an embarrassing pro-Israeli agenda isn’t enough to get O’Keefe to walk away. Veterans Today thanks the BBC for allowing Ken O’Keefe an opportunity to show, not only how transparent their bias is but why underestimating United States Marines has been a foolish endeavor since November 10, 1775.
Gordon Duff is a Marine Vietnam veteran. A 100% disabled vet. He has been a featured commentator on TV and radio including Al Jazeera and his articles have been carried by news services around the world. He has been a UN Diplomat, defense contractor and is a widely published expert on military and defense issues. This article first appeared in Veterans and Foreign Affairs Journal.