Indigenous Peoples and Human Rights 2020

Thursday, June 3, 2010

Reporter's Notebook: Searching for Ann Wright

Ann Wright Released from Israeli Prison

The search for Ann Wright
By Brenda Norrell
Censored News

Every hour, all day every day, after the Freedom Flotilla, humanitarian aid ships to Palestine, were attacked by Israel on Monday, I searched Google News in hopes of finding out what had happened to Ann Wright. It was not until today, on Thursday afternoon, that I finally found an article saying she was released from an Israeli prison and on her way home.

A few years ago, Ann came to Tucson to speak out during gatherings against US torture and the torture training at the Army base at Fort Huachuca, the torture training that led to torture in Abu-Ghraib.

I was too tired to go to the program that night, but a friend came to my home and insisted. It was this chance meeting that led me to spend the past four days looking for news of what had happened to Ann Wright, a retired Army Reserves Col. and State Dept. official, who resigned in protest of the Iraq war. More recently, she was denied entrance into Canada, a sure sign that she was on the right track.

As I searched for news of Ann each day, the horrifying events of the attack on the Turkish aid ship to Palestine unfolded. Equally horrifying was the twisted and distorted news coverage, President Obama's silence and the United States pressure on the United Nations to protect Israel and halt an independent investigation of the facts.

It was clear that playing politics was more important than human life to Obama. This became clearer when the news came that a 19-year-old US citizen, Furkan Dogan, had been shot in the forehead by an Israeli soldier. Surely Obama would break his silence. But at the same time that wounded and dead US citizens were arriving in Turkey and Greece, Obama was frolicking with Paul McCartney in the White House.
An Israeli politician on board the flotilla said activists were executed by soldiers and left to bleed to death. British and Australian women said they were tasered and beaten by Israeli soldiers. Dozens of activists were shot, nine died from being shot at close range.

At this point, Obama's silence became the crime of complicity.

Tonight, I send out a thank you to my friend who insisted I go to hear Ann Wright that night in Tucson. I send out a thank you to the 700 activists on the Freedom Flotilla who have the courage that the rest of us lack.

I send out condolences to the families and loved ones of those who were murdered, shot and beaten.
I send out my own regret to you that the President of the United States and the US media have failed to honor your truth and your personal sacrifices.
But each drop of blood, and every moment spent in prison suffering from this injustice, will surely ignite a light in the darkness of this world for the people of Palestine and all of humanity.

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