Flotilla 'Eyewitness' Not On Board

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JERUSALEM, Israel - A retired U.S. army colonel was not aboard the Turkish flotilla flagship when she "witnessed the Israeli attack."

"I witnessed the Israeli attack that killed nine persons and wounded 50 on the Gaza flotilla," said U.S. Army Col. (ret.) Ann Wright, in what she called the "murder" of "nine innocent civilians."

"Tragically, it took another example of disproportionate use of force by the Israeli military that resulted in the deaths of nine innocent civilians to force many governments of the world to call for the Israelis to end the siege of Gaza," Wright wrote in an e-mail for Code Pink: Women for Peace.

"I just returned from the Gaza Freedom Flotilla and started my speaking tour last night in NYC to share what I witnessed aboard the flotilla and what people can do to end the siege," she wrote.

But Wright's remarks in an interview with Dr. Aaron Lerner of IMRA (Independent Media Review and Analysis) don't jibe with her story.

Click here to read the interview.

To begin with, Wright was aboard the Challenger, not the Mavi Marmara, where the confrontation, videotaped using night vision cameras, took place between 4:30 and 5:00 a.m. on May 31.

Following are excerpts from Dr. Lerner's interview with Col. Wright:

Lerner: "You haven't seen the YouTube [video] that shows the rods that had been cut and prepared and the piles of hatchets that were ready?"

Wright: "No, I haven't. I'm still in the process of catching up with all the stuff that's out there," though she said the video she hadn't seen didn't show "the captain of the ship." But "the director of the IHH came out of the wheelhouse and told the guys that were on top 'stop beating these soldiers up," she said.

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 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."

Videotape of the Israeli naval troops boarding the ship show they were met by a well-planned lynch - a different sequence of events than the story Col. Wright told.

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