August 2020

Indigenous Peoples and Human Rights

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.

US Citizen, 19, shot in the head by Israeli soldiers on aid ship

Associated Press
Furkan Dogan, 19-year-old student born in Troy, N.Y.. was shot in the forehead by Israeli soldiers on the Freedom Flotilla bound with aid to Palestine.
Dogan's father told Turkey's state-run Anatolia News Agency that he had identified his son's body and that he had been shot through the forehead. Still, he said, the family was not sad because they believed Furkan had died with honor.
"I feel my son has been blessed with heaven," he said. "I am hoping to be a father worthy of my son."
Obama failed humanity in response to Israel's attack on aid ships
Updated information on wounded and missing US citizens from ships:

Israeli politician aboard ship: Israeli soldiers executed activists with gunshot wounds to the head and left people to bleed to death:,_accuses_israel_of_intentionally_killing_peace_activists_to_deter_future_flotillas . .
Canadian watched elderly man bleed to death on ship; Israelis fired on ship before boarding:

The Israeli soldiers crimes against humanity -- the murders and the beatings of women and elderly on the aid ships -- is matched by the crime against humanity of Obama's silence, and his refusal to rise in defense of the people. --Brenda Norrell/Censored News

US Citizen Murdered by Israeli Soldiers on Aid Ship to Palestine

US citizen, 19, murdered by Israeli soldiers on aid ship, victims executed at close range

Censored News
Democracy Now! 19-year-old US citizen shot four times in head, once in chest by Israeli soldiers on aid ship:
All Slain Flotilla Victims Suffered Bullet Wounds; 19-Year-Old US Citizen Among Dead
Democracy Now: The bodies of the nine dead activists killed by Israeli troops in the attack on the Gaza aid flotilla have returned to Turkey. Forensic experts have confirmed that all nine were shot with guns. Eight of the victims were Turkish nationals, and one was a US citizen of Turkish origin. The US citizen has been identified as nineteen-year-old Furkan Dogan. He reportedly had four bullet wounds to the head and one to the chest. Some 450 of the remaining activists also arrived in Turkey earlier today after being released from Israeli custody. A number of wounded activists were immediately rushed to Turkish hospitals for medical treatment. Survivors of the assault continue to accuse Israel of firing on the ship before its soldiers rappelled aboard. Al Jazeera cameraman Issam Zatari spoke out on Wednesday after returning home to Belgium.
CENSORED BY FACEBOOK: Facebook is blocking my posts. Please post articles on Facebook. Facebook also blocked this comment: "While the beaten and dead arrived in Turkey and Greece, including US citizens, President Obama entertained Paul McCartney at the White House."
--Brenda Norrell/Censored News/
Israeli soldiers executed activists on aid ships, left them to bleed to death
Israeli politician aboard ship reveals terror: Israeli soldiers executed activists with gunshot wounds to the head and left people to bleed to death:,_accuses_israel_of_intentionally_killing_peace_activists_to_deter_future_flotillas
California piano tuner, 64, beaten by soldiers
--Paul Larudee, 64, piano tuner and linguist from San Francisco area of California was beaten by Israeli soldiers while in detention. He has arrived in Greece:
Update on US citizens from Berkeley Daily Planet:
St. Onge (of California) suffered a gash on his head when kicked by an Israeli soldier as he tried to protect a fellow passenger whom the commandos were beating on the deck of the Sfendoni, he told his wife Jan St. Onge. Kobren was allowed to make a brief phone call to the US from a women's prison unit in Beersheba, Israel, yesterday and reported that she is good health, but all the prisoners' belongings had been taken from them. ... US citizens took part in the Freedom Flotilla under the auspices of other organizations. One, Huwaida Arraf, chair of the Free Gaza Movement, was released Tuesday. The FPM has no confirmed information about the status of the other six: Iara Lee, a filmmaker from San Francisco; Kathy Sheetz, a retired nurse from Richmond, CA, and Woods Hole, MA; Ann Wright, a retired U.S. Army Colonel and a U.S. diplomat until she resigned in opposition to theIraq war; David Schermerhorn, a film producer from Deer Harbor, WA; Fatima Mohammadi, a longtime activist from Chicago; and Khalid Turaani, who was founder and executive director of the former American Muslims for Jerusalem and now lives in Dubai.
Read article at Berkeley Daily Planet:
For more information about the Free Palestine Movement, see
--Australian and British women report they were beaten and tasered by Israeli soldiers.
--Nicaragua first country to sever diplomatic ties with Israel. (See Google News)
Obama: Return your Nobel Peace Prize or earn it.