General UK Media

A flotilla witness condemned by her own words

This is a guest post by AKUS

One of the concerns Israel has about an investigation, which I do not share, is that it will be biased against Israel in the same way as the Goldstone report was with respect to Cast Lead. The video evidence is so compelling, and the reports by witnesses so revealing of what actually happened, that Israel should be heading the demands for an investigation.

Here is one example:

This radio interview reveals a “witness”, U.S. Army Colonel (ret.), Ann Wright, squirming, wriggling, humming and hawing as it gradually emerges that like Sergeant Shultz from the program Hogan’s Heroes she heard and saw nothing. She finally admits she wasn’t even on the Mavi Marmara after retelling what happened there!

‘Witness’ to Flotilla ‘Murder’ Admits She Was on Another Boat

Lerner: Col. Wright I just want to make sure again – so you actually were on a different boat and did not witness the attack firsthand.

Wright: That’s correct.

Lerner: So your witnessing is based on the information that you are getting from the other folks who were there.

Wright: My witness will be specifically what happened on our ship, the Challenger. And then I can comment on what happened in the very first three or four minutes as the Israeli commandos were trying to board the ship. We saw that from the stern of the ship. But after that that’s when my witnessing from my own eyes of what happened on that ship would end.

She must be the only person in the world with an interest in this matter, apparently eager to give evidence in an investigation, who can claim that she has not seen the videos of the preparations by the IHH to attack the Israeli SEALs. Nevertheless, she is on a speaking tour of sorts for “Code Pink”, and being interviewed on a program connected to “Code Pink” designed to vilify Israel. Listen to her on this video clip at 4:28 as she explains to a gullible interviewer exactly what happened – she claims the Captain of the Mavi Marmara and the leader of the IHH group tried to prevent the violence inflicted on the SEALs – except that, of course,

1. She was not on the Mavi Marmara to see what she recounts as fact;
2. She is at best parroting the stories told by passengers on the ship who the IHH had herded below so that they could not witness what was happening and could then claim that they saw no preparations for violence;
3. The Captain and Chief Officer, who were there, in their debrief to Israeli intelligence, tell exactly the opposite story – that the IHH prepared for and instigated the violence despite their efforts to persuade the IHH not to attack the SEALs

I doubt the “prosecution” will be calling U.S. Army Colonel (ret.), Ann Wright as a reliable witness. Moreover, this imaginative witness is a disgrace to the U.S. Army.

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29 replies »

  1. “that Israel should be heading the demands for an investigation.”

    that’s what I have been after since Thursday morning last week – I probably never said it in AKUS’ unmistakeable words but I can sincerely claim that I tried

  2. AKUS, when it’s about Israel, it doesn’t matter if a “witness” witnessed anything at all. Remember the many “witnesses” that “witnessed” the Jenin “massacre”? Including a heartbroken father, who claimed that his 9 children were all gone? Of course, he found them all shortly after he gave his tearful performance to the media, but that wasn’t newsworthy.
    Same with the “Breaking the Silence” witnesses on IDF “atrocities” in Gaza: these “witnesses” hadn’t been anywhere near the scenes they claimed to have “witnessed”, but they got big headlines in the international press. The list goes on and on.

  3. People give Eyewitness reports too much importance , it was proven that what a person thinks he saw/heard is rarely what actually happened .

  4. AKUS, it’s very logical to think that Israel should be demanding an investigation, given what we know the evidence shows and how poor the “witnesses” are.

    But look at the Goldstone “investigation”–it either devalued or completely ignored witnesses that supported the Israeli position (for example, they refused to even listen to Col. Kemp), while accepting at face value anyone who spoke against Israel.

    I’m afraid the evidence doesn’t matter. Israel will be judged guilty. The only question is, are they committing war crimes or are they committing crimes against humanity? No other option is available–with the possible exception of them being in league with the devil. (At the moment my last comment is a joke, but I fear it will be less funny if this trend continues for another five or ten years.)

  5. It appears that there is a new commandment
    Thou shalt be permitted to lie about Israel – it’s in a good cause.

    or NOT?

  6. AKUS, well done.

    As regards these people, we are back in Humpty Dumpty – where the meaning of language is perverted, and written and spoken words mean exactly what the speakers may want them to mean at any moment.

  7. AKUS

    “The video evidence is so compelling, and the reports by witnesses so revealing of what actually happened, that Israel should be heading the demands for an investigation.”

    This is a warm and quite sweet thing to say. Your lack of scrutiny ..your rosy and happy view is just so naive.

    Israel cannot in any way take part in an investigation…regardless of who attacked who…the action was illegal. Israel used force on the high seas. I repeat..the blockade may be morally justified…it may be appropriate ..but only blockades with UN support can be enforced ..hence it was an illegitimate action. Therefore they will come out as the bad guys.

    You are so used to talking to each other that you are becoming isolated and self righteous.. thus any analysis will be reflective of this.

    There will be no inquiry.

  8. howdy Davy or whoever

    reading your exquisite choice of words in your last post somehow reminded me of a guy named Schiller who came up with this so very fitting metaphor that your post reminded me off:

    Die Milch der frommen Denkungsart

    during the rest of the monologue he finds equally compelling images which might fit you more but which you consistently and unsuccessfully try to hide from us.
    And just to be clear I do not equate you with Tell of course not because I believe if you could live your dream you’d be like Geßler wouldn’t you? Seeing people between Scally and Charybdis does give you a kick, doesn’t it? come on, fess up to Mommie

  9. THH is correct.

    There have been many studies (by criminologists, psychologists, lawyers etc) over the years showing that that there are many problems with associated wth eye witness testimony. See this study here for example:
    The Problem with Eyewitness Testimony

    Bias creeps into memory without our knowledge, without our awareness. While confidence and accuracy are generally correlated, when misleading information is given, witness confidence is often higher for the incorrect information than for the correct information. This leads many to question the competence of the average person to determine credibility issues. Juries are the fact-finders, and credibility issues are to be determined by juries. The issue then arises whether juries are equipped to make these determinations. Expert testimony may not be helpful. Indeed, since the very act of forming a memory creates distortion, how can anyone uncover the “truth” behind a person’s statements? Perhaps it is the terrible truth that in many cases we are simply not capable of determining what happened, yet are duty-bound to so determine.

  10. THH, not exactly so. Eyewitness accounts, whilst not being completely reliable, are useful when comparing notes. In other words, eye-witness accounts of the same incident by several people may differ in minute detail but it’s still possible to synthesise what actually happened by examining all the accounts and comparing them.

    This woman is lying through her teeth because she was never at the scene. My main concerns are around the sense of rectitude and absolute certainty often conveyed by such people, which I believe to be almost pathological, but which, I also believe, has the power, if repeated often enough, to sway even apparently disinterested audiences. It is, in effect, a variation on Goebbels’ Big Lie.

    Serendipity, it concerns me a lot that far too often “Humpty Dumpty Land” explanations of events, where they are argued to mean exactly what the observer says they mean, however divorced they are from what actually happened, are accepted apparently without question.

  11. John, I agree that where there are gaps in our making sense of what we perceive we may revert to a sort of template of an explanation for that event that makes more sense to us, but which may be far from the truth of what actually happened and reflect more what we expected to happen.

    This is why eye-witness testimony, when taken literally and from one person alone, can often be suspect – several eye-witness testimonies which have a common theme are often better but even then are rarely definitive.

    That being the case, police or others who question eye witnesses have to be especially skilled to help them recall what they saw in minute detail but without leading them in any way. What they saw is then open to cross-examination.

    Berchmans, Israel should lead the investigation, just as every other nation which has to examine its conduct in war does. Why should Israel alone be singled out (again) for “special treatment” in the international arena?

    Thanks to the opinion formers like your friends in the Guardian and other barely ethical newspapers, no-one has the capability to examine the evidence from an unbiased perspective.

    To deny Israel the right afforded to every other nation is to discriminate against her.

    You are not a lawyer so you cannot know what is illegal and what is not, but international law is on Israel’s side in this, which you would know if you could retain facts for more than a few seconds.

    Berchmans, I have tried not to insult you in spite of your antisemitism and some of the more reprehensible posts you made here. I cannot for the life of me understand why you are allowed to continue to post here, insulting and ignorant as you are, but hear this: you have absolutely no right to comment on how the people here view themselves or to pass opinions about them, given the nastiness and hatred you have been allowed to have published at the other place.

    The people here tower above you in intellect and in the way they conduct themselves for the most part, in spite of great provocation. You cannot hope to aspire to their intellectual prowess or their knowledge about the Middle East – you are too far behind.

    So know your place, speak only what you do know about, and stop making a fool of yourself.

  12. The video evidence has caused The Guardian to suddenly seek other avenues to attack Israel.

    The ‘Hate Israel’ crowd are now falling back on one of the following – The videos have been edited by Israel, OR, The videos are forged OR The confiscated videos from the ‘peace activists’ show a completely different picture.

    It is nice to see some of the ‘honest’ peace activists have to eat their words. Their ‘eye-witness’ accounts are being exposed as lies.

    They have devalued the word ‘peace activist’.

    I saw one commentary where the ‘peace activists’ claimed that they were giving medical attention to wounded Israeli commandos who were then’returned’ to ….. whatever.

    Soon these shining examples of ‘peace activists’ will be denying that they were even on the flotilla as more and more of their rank lies are exposed in the public domain.

  13. Israel cannot in any way take part in an investigation…regardless of who attacked who…the action was illegal.

    Israel is guilty until proven guilty according to Berchamns and others.

    What’s the feckin’ point of any “investigation” if the Berchamns of this world have already made their minds up and are already ignoring the evidence in Israel’s defence.

    Do everybody a favour Berchans, FOAD!

  14. Those typos should of course all read BERCHMANS. Must get his name right so it can be forever erased!

  15. Mitnaged

    “Berchmans, Israel should lead the investigation, ”

    Your honour my client pleads “not guilty” asks that you yourself step aside so he may decide whether or not this is the case.

    Do you use the expression “laughable ” on your planet?

  16. Mitnaged

    “Berchmans, I have tried not to insult you in spite of your antisemitism”

    Brilliant. I really dont think you see the irony in this. This is a cheap and horrific thing to say to someone . I am inured to it now.. but was gobsmacked when I first saw this.

    You have made tortuously linked and totally groundless accusations against me …simply because I criticise Israel …you keep suggesting that Jewish people cannot be hated.. in a profoundly dangerous and eerily discriminatory manner ..which says more about your dismissal of criticism rather than my alleged hatred of Jewish people.

    Yes Hawkeye could easily ban me and I am as amazed as you are that he hasnt… seeing as many people have called for this everytime they havent understood one of my posts….or were unable to answer them. Maybe he actually believes in free speech ..who knows?

  17. Berchmans

    I can’t speak in Hawkeye’s name but I guess he is not banning you because you are a precious asset for CifWatch. You are demonstrating with every word of you all characteristics of a classic antisemite – moral bankruptcy, laughable ignorance, proving yourself being a pathological liar, allying yourself with Fascists, having a seriously distorted personality and the total lack of understanding reality. I would be disappointed seeing you banned, you are supplying an important public service here. Please keep up posting!

  18. peterthehungarian

    “You are demonstrating with every word of you all characteristics of a classic antisemite – moral bankruptcy, laughable ignorance Please keep up posting ”

    Thank you for your support Peter.

    Funny…I guess I have been ignorant ..I thought an anti Semite hated Jews…or exaggerated Israels violence …or denied the Jews a homeland… or made ” mendacious, dehumanizing, demonizing, or stereotypical allegations about Jews as such or the power of Jews as collective ”

    Or talked of ” a world Jewish conspiracy or of Jews controlling the media, economy, government or other societal institutions”

    Or ” Accus(ed) Jews as a people of being responsible for real or imagined wrongdoing committed by a single Jewish person or group, or even for acts committed by non-Jews.”

    Or “den(ied) the fact, scope, mechanisms (e.g. gas chambers) or intentionality of the genocide of the Jewish people at the hands of National Socialist Germany and its supporters and accomplices during World War II (the Holocaust).”

    Or “Accus(ed) the Jews as a people, or Israel as a state, of inventing or exaggerating the Holocaust.

    Or ” Accus(ed) Jewish citizens of being more loyal to Israel, or to the alleged priorities of Jews worldwide, than to the interests of their own nations.”

    Nowhere…no where at all in the list… does it say people who consistently criticise Israel ..but criticise the UK way more stringently… are anti Semitic.

    If you can provide any evidence that I have transgressed any of these conditions I would be pleased to see it. Until then have a nice day.

  19. Davy at 11:56

    would you please explain, why Germany is allowed to conduct its Kunduz-investigation (142 dead, by last count 92 civilians) all by herself without any supervision or “neutral” nanny attending? i.e. no attempt at Goldstoning there!!!!

    If I remember correctly as a nation our track record is a tiny tiny wee bit below Israel’s but of course that enhances our trustworthiness for the likes of cute little Davy-Boy.

  20. Davy at 3:24

    right now for me there is only one marker of where ANYbody in the charity business belongs:

    does he/she rat on IHH to us or to (western) authorities.

    whoever does not has chosen sides

    and don’t give me the I truly don’t know – that’s an excuse no German in her right mind will ever accept

  21. Berchmans

    Only one point among hundreds:

    Accus(ed) Jews as a people of being responsible for real or imagined wrongdoing committed by a single Jewish person or group, or even for acts committed by non-Jews

    Yes Berchmans you justified Hamas’ antisemitism saying that they rightfully are hating all Jews because of the “wrongdoings” of Israel.

    I know it was two days ago so this is not valid anymore…

  22. peterthehungarian

    Your example is a total non sequitur as well as a lie. Clearly bottle sizes are of a gargantuan nature over there…

  23. @Berchmans:
    “Lifting the ton of rubble off that school seemed more important”.

    This is an example of disguised anti-Semitism, which, as is almost always the case, cannot be recognised by the perpetrator. A man even vaguely anxious about his moral standing, and conscious of the revulsion likely to accompany a belief that he held opinions similar to those of the Nazis, may find that he can ease this dissonance by convincing himself that it is perfectly proper to hate Jews because they behave so badly. Whilst you would never be so crass or morbidly careless as to let loose the vile insinuations of the blood libel, practised with ease by the diseased minds that hint at stealing body organs, you gently hint that Jews are in the habit of depositing tons of rubble on schools, and the suggestion that they prefer children at their desks when doing so, is eased into the mind of the casual reader.

    The misrepresentation of history that might be excused in the wholly ignorant, incapable of the mental processes necessary for sound reasoning, is a form of anti-Semitism for consistently finding against the Israel is defiance of the truth. When you say there was a massacre in Jenin, you must know that you are lying, for it is not possible to hold such an opinion and retain a claim for truthfulness.

  24. ,i>Your example is a total non sequitur as well as a lie.

    Berchmans you are so thick that you deny what Schachtmann quoted only a day ago!?

    June 12, 2010 at 1:57 pm

    1 Votes
    Also after a comment saying Ahmadinejad was an antisemite Berchmans posted the following reply :

    “##Ahmadinejad is pretty clearly an anti-Semite ##


    Well ..if the Catholics were strangling the Palestinians he’d probably be anti Catholic …what’s your problem with anti Semitism if its earned?


    Speaking about bottle sizes…