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Sep-20-2010 04:01printcommentsVideo

Ken O'Keefe Arrives in Northwest

In addition to helping out with Ken's Northwest tour, Salem-News.com is shooting a documentary to counter the BBC Panorama's 'Death in the Med'.

Salem-News.com photo by Tim King
Pat Johnson, Eileen Fleming and Ken O'Keefe at the Portland International Airport. Salem-News.com photo by Tim King

(PORTLAND, Ore.) - Ken O'Keefe, a former U.S. Marine who battled Israeli commandos last May when they raided the Gaza Freedom Flotilla, arrived in Portland tonight. He went through scrutiny from Homeland Security, but this peace activist that Israel dubbed a terrorist, was treated well by U.S. authorities, unlike his experience with Israel's.

He was met by his mom Pat Johnson, who had not seen Ken since the tragic attack last May that left nine of his fellow crew members dead from Israeli bullets, including one U.S. citizen.

Ken is a Salem-News.com contributing writer and one of the central figures in the world in the fight to free the people of Gaza from poverty and terrible, inhumane conditions imposed by an Israeli blockade deemed illegal by the United Nations.

Author Eileen Fleming, also a Salem-News.com contributor, and Founder of WeAreWideAwake.org, is also here for the speaking tour Ken will be conducting over the coming days.

Documentary Reshoot

In addition to helping out with Ken's Northwest tour, Salem-News.com is shooting a documentary to counter a very poor use of information in a program that was highly disingenuous; the BBC Panorama series program titled, 'Death in the Med'.

The BBC has gone to much effort to portray Ken's role in the flotilla incident as something it wasn't, and the same goes for the rest of the activists. The BBC portray the crew of the Mavi Marmara as dangerous toward Israeli commandos, when the commandos raided the ship in international waters killing nine and losing none, which according to maritime law, is piracy.

Ken O'Keefe's tour through the Northwest begins immediately, the schedule is included below.

Week One of Ken O’Keefe’s Tour:

MON. Sept 20 @ 7 pm, Harris Hall, 8th & Oak, Eugene, OR.

TUES. Sept. 21 @ 3PM Tsunami Books, 2585 Willamette St. EUGENE, OR.

WED. Sept. 22 @ 7PM Corvallis Odd Fellows Hall, 223 SW 2nd Street, CORVALLIS, OR.

FRI. Sept. 24 @ 6PM 777 NW Beach Dr., 2nd Floor, Nye Beach/NEWPORT, OR.

SAT. Oct. 2 @ 7:15 AM KCXF 90.3 FM SEATTLE, WA.

SAT. Oct. 2 @ time TBA VFP 92 SEATTLE, WA.

If you have questions or want to have Ken speak to your group about his background, goals and aspirations, please send an email to: newsroom@salem-news.com


About Ken O'Keefe

Ken is a former U.S. Marine who served in the 1991 Gulf War and subsequently spoke out about the use of depleted uranium as a "crime against humanity" and the US military using soldiers as "human guinea pigs" with experimental drugs that were directly linked to Gulf War syndrome. He is also a social entrepreneur utilizing direct action marine conservation, he is more widely known for leading the human shield action to Iraq and as a survivor of the Israeli attack on the MV Mavi Marmara in which he participated in "defending the ship" and "disarming two Israeli Commandos". On January 7, 2004, O'Keefe burned his US passport in protest of "American Imperialism" and called for US troops to immediately withdrawal from Iraq. He replaced his US passport with a "World Passport", subsequently proclaiming himself a "Citizen of the World" with “ultimate allegiance to my entire human family and to planet Earth." His is also legal citizen of Ireland and Palestine citizenship. Read Ken O'Keefe's Biography, you can also visit Ken's Ken's Website alohapalestine.com

Note: Salem-News.com Writer Eileen Fleming has spent the last several years chronicling the life of Israeli Nuclear Whistleblower Mordechai Vanunu, and is promoting a new book on this major world level story.

Eileen Fleming is the Producer of "30 Minutes with Vanunu" and "13 Minutes with Vanunu" Founder of WeAreWideAwake.org, Eileen is a Feature Correspondent for Arabisto.com, Author of "Keep Hope Alive" and "Memoirs of a Nice Irish American 'Girl's' Life in Occupied Territory" and the soon to be released "BEYOND NUCLEAR: Some of my Experiences of Mordechai Vanunu and the Holy Land: 2005-2010" youtube.com/user/eileenfleming. Eileen is a unique leader in her state and she intends to run for a Florida Congressional seat in the future, to help speed the process of change that is so demanded today. Like many who walk in similar steps, Eileen, like other writers at Salem-News.com, is an outspoken advocate for humanity and she has no tolerance for the oppressive forces of the world.

You can send Eileen Fleming an email at this address: ecumei@gmail.com

Tim King: Salem-News.com Editor and WriterTim King is a former U.S. Marine with twenty years of experience on the west coast as a television news producer, photojournalist, reporter and assignment editor. In addition to his role as a war correspondent, this Los Angeles native serves as Salem-News.com's Executive News Editor. Tim spent the winter of 2006/07 covering the war in Afghanistan, and he was in Iraq over the summer of 2008, reporting from the war while embedded with both the U.S. Army and the Marines.

Tim holds numerous awards for reporting, photography, writing and editing, including the Oregon AP Award for Spot News Photographer of the Year (2004), first place Electronic Media Award in Spot News, Las Vegas, (1998), Oregon AP Cooperation Award (1991); and several others including the 2005 Red Cross Good Neighborhood Award for reporting. Tim has several years of experience in network affiliate news TV stations, having worked as a reporter and photographer at NBC, ABC and FOX stations in Arizona, Nevada and Oregon. Serving the community in very real terms, Salem-News.com is the nation's only truly independent high traffic news Website. As News Editor, Tim among other things, is responsible for publishing the original content of 65 Salem-News.com writers. He reminds viewers that emails are easily missed and urges those trying to reach him, to please send a second email if the first goes unanswered. You can send Tim an email at this address: newsroom@salem-news.com




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David R. Evans September 23, 2010 12:47 pm (Pacific time)

Douglas Benson presents a very real concern. We are focused on the smaller issues and various conflicts. The root of the problems of worldwide disarray is the vertical power structure. ALL governments control from top-down; and THEY are controlled from top-down by a group of people whose numbers would fit comfortably in a small apartment complex. WE are 7 billion strong, but we are unorganized and we cede power to our governments which are pawns also. Control of money, and our debts, are what keep us passive and compliant. Those of us who know this, and who do have the courage to defy the system are targeted by The State, as a threat to status quo. This is why regimes, including ours, regularly arrest and torture people. Much of the violence against US troops and citizens abroad is righteous violence against oppression coming from this power structure. Religion is a tool that is utilized by both the oppressors and the oppressed to fill the ranks of armies and militias. Anyone who learns this and applies their knowledge in a meaningful way will, no doubt, be detained as Douglass fears.


David R. Evans September 23, 2010 12:29 pm (Pacific time)

David Blum,
It is you who needs to research. Israel has been the belligerant for more than 6 decades. Palestinians, those who survived the 1948 massacres and purges, have been legitimately resisting occupying Israel. For insight into why you believe the falsehoods that you believe, may I suggest this brief documentary:
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=eCL6WdnuNp4


Also, for a brief look at the source of this conflict:

http://www.ccmep.org/delegations/maps/palestine.html

You speak of Israeli restraint. I suggest you read just the summary of the 565 page UN Goldstone Report:

http://www.scribd.com/doc/21219870/goldstone-report-executive-summary

You also may want to consider this, when apologizing for Israel's murderous unwarranted attack on Gaza:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zfFMZ7Y-s_c

Any further in-depth study of the Israeli/Palestinian Occupation/Resistance (It's not a 'conflict", as the word 'conflict" implies balance, when this issue is about a totally unbalanced purging and murder of unarmed, innocent people by the 4th most power military on the planet) go to:


http://www.ifamericansknew.org/


The Mavi Marmara attack was murder and piracy in international waters. Ken 'O'Keefe was defending their ship as it was being pirated by war criminals. The three IDF soldier were fortunate that they were freed by their captors who, under international maritime law, had every right to have killed them.

Editor: Thank you for this David.


Douglas Benson September 23, 2010 9:37 am (Pacific time)

I went and totally enjoyed meeting everyone . I should have spent some time to better formulate my question for Ken though . While the plight of the palestinians is a very real and important issue ,I feel its a tool in a much larger picture . First it creats more "terrorist" activity ,giving an excuse to take by force resources and gain absolute control of the world at large. Second it gets our military used to fighting "insurgents" and when they are done overseas what makes anyone think that we wont be the next target . Allready we are seeing the term terrorist organization being used against political dissenters here . What happens when they try to round people up, contain us in mass , surround neighborhoods and take our firearms ,or search for terrorists etc. here under any number of excuses and people start fighting back . I guess what I am saying is we might find ourselves in the same plight that they are in if we continue to support mass punishment and the fight against the invisible enemy that is being fed us. Mabey Im just paranoid but we are seeing real signs of just that as a real possibility .Im out .Peace


Daniel Mark September 21, 2010 12:16 pm (Pacific time)

The Zionist disinfo agents are all around us. The ideals America is supposedly based on would obviously support the Palestinians and not the murderous Zionists. Zionism is indeed a cancer that must eradicated!


grandmother of fourteen September 20, 2010 7:55 pm (Pacific time)

Mr. Blum, I am a (over fifty year old) American. I have watched the videos of the taking of the Mavi Marmara. Do you really think all Americans are as stupid as you wish we were? I still remember the 1967 B.S. related to Israel and Palestine. Israel is proof positive that 'politics makes strange bedfellows'. I will make sure my fourteen grandchildren watch the videos what the Israeli commandos did to the ship passengers of the Mavi Marmara; Nothing short of capitalist, religious, racist, B. S. Shalom.

Editor: Thanks for your comment.


Josh Akers September 20, 2010 7:44 pm (Pacific time)

Don't have much gas money or money for a bus ticket. Anyone from Salem willing to car-pool me to see Ken, for a few bucks? I really need to see this dude speak. Email gonzoender@gmail.com


Mulligan September 20, 2010 6:24 pm (Pacific time)

Editor you have got your facts wrong. First there has been a military exchange program between the United States and Israel for over 60 years. The existing automatic dual citizenship that exists between America and Israel citizens, coupled with a strong cross-training of both our military forces has generated a very large population of former American soldiers serving in the Israeli military. In fact the largest single demographic group serving in the Israeli military are Americans. Think! Where does most of their military hardware come from? Who do you think provides their training with our equipment? The replacement parts? Who has the only democracy in the Middle East? How many Jews in the U.S. Congress? Ken O'Keefe is very lucky to be walking and talking. They are fools trying to run a blockade. With Russia selling advanced arms to Syria, Israel is getting backed into a corner. Who do you think America will help? Israel or various countries filled with radicals who also want our destruction? History is easily manipulated for the softer brains. In closing I'm no friend of Israel, for we should have "glassed" them in 1967, during my warrior days.


David Blum/ American September 20, 2010 2:14 pm (Pacific time)

Mr. O'Keefe did not battle with any Israeli military. Had he, he would not be in the states at this time; let's be honest with your readers. By the way the Israeli military is full of highly trained military personnel that are not only veterans of the U.S. military who have fought in all America's conflicts going back to 1948 (Korean War on/1950), but also recent combat veterans who have served in special op units like Special Forces, Marine Force Recon, Seals, Delta Force and all other types of military positions in the American military. They are also American citizens. I am glad Mr. O'Keefe came home safe and sound, but it was not because of his fighting ability, but because of restraint shown to a belligerent force whose end game intention is to kill every Jew on the planet. I would strongly advise Mr. O'Keefe to do some research on those he supports. Likewise for the rest of you. Peace to all who want peace, and for those of you who do not, then we will be dialing up our defensive posture.

Editor: First, this is a commenter that constantly uses different names while posting under the same IP.  Second, we are talking about the Israeli Defense Force, not the US military.  There are a handful of Jewish American veterans in the IDF, but that is a rare thing.  Most people in the US who are IDF veterans moved to the US after serving in Israel.  Israel utilized American tax revenue to wage a genocide campaign.  Ken O'Keefe stood up to the IDF the night they raided the Mavi Marmara and we are very glad to be able to introduce him to the NW.  

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