Shoot First Diplomacy
It is difficult to imagine what might produce a longing for the good old days of George W. Bush, but the Obama Administration is certainly approaching that tip point. First there was National Intelligence Director Dennis Blair spelling out a policy of assassination of American citizens overseas based on suspicion and secret evidence and then there was last week’s revelation that the Justice Department guidelines for the FBI now permit relatively free searches of all sorts of personal information that once was regarded as private. The searches are without judicial oversight and there does not have to be any evidence that the suspect has committed a crime.
Now we have Hillary Clinton and company opening up the latest free fire zone against other American citizens who have done nothing wrong. The State Department spokeswoman Victoria Nuland, who is married to one of the ubiquitous Kagans, announced that “Groups that seek to break Israel’s maritime blockade of Gaza are taking irresponsible and provocative actions that risk the safety of their passengers.” Please note: per Nuland/Clinton the passengers on the unarmed vessels in international waters, all of whom have signed a pledge of non-violence, are risking their own safety if they get shot by the Israeli military.
Nuland added that Gaza is governed by Hamas, “a designated foreign terrorist organization,” and that aiding such a group “could violate U.S. civil and criminal statutes and could lead to fines and incarceration.” This means that giving a loaf of bread to a child in Gaza is indictable as support of a terrorist organization, since the government is run by Hamas.
Once upon a time the Secretary of State was supposed to protect Americans overseas, particularly when the Americans are not doing anything illegal. But that was before Israel and its Lobby decided what American citizens can and cannot do. A good friend of mine Ray McGovern, who is on the American vessel, is a deeply religious former CIA senior analyst. He has friends on the National Security Council who informed him last week that the US government would let the Israelis do whatever they want to the flotilla and would, in fact, approve of any action taken. In the aftermath, the State Department would do nothing to help any US citizen killed, injured, or arrested. Except possibly have them arrested a second time.
However one feels about the Israel-imposed blockade of Gaza, it is important to remember that the Americans and others involved in the flotilla are doing nothing illegal under international law. Their ships have been inspected and have only relief supplies on board. No one is armed. Their objection is to the Israeli, and American, assumption that Tel Aviv somehow has the right to punish the Gazans in perpetuity and thereby create a continuous humanitarian crisis for the local people because they elected the “wrong” party back in 2006. The Americans and other foreigners on the flotilla have a perfect right to express that view peacefully without being excoriated by Hillary before being executed by an IDF goon.