Twenty years ago on March 16, the world got a tragic glimpse into what the state of Israel was going to become. Given the green light in the Oval Office by President George W. Bush, then-Prime Minister Ariel Sharon – “a man of peace," Bush said at the time – started the now-inevitable march to apartheid and the murderous treatment of the Palestinians against whom the main battle would be waged.
That glimpse was the senseless murder of a passionate, 23-year-old woman whose laudable purpose at the time was simply the protection of Palestinian homes being bulldozed by the Israeli Defense Force (IDF). On that day, Rachel Corrie, a member of the International Solidarity Movement, was brutally murdered by an IDF armored bulldozer as she tried to interject herself between it and its merciless destruction of yet another Palestinian home in the southern Gaza Strip.
Delinda Hanley: Col. Lawrence Wilkerson is up next, and his bio is incredibly long. He has a lot to talk about, so I’m going to shorten it. He is going to talk about “Is the U.S. Ramping up its Military Presence in Syria and Preparing to Attack Iran for Israel?"
His last position in the government was as Secretary of State Colin Powell’s chief of staff from 2002 to 2005. Okay, I’m really shortening it. Before serving at the State Department, Wilkerson served 31 years in the U.S. Army. He retired from active service in 1997 as a colonel and has taught national security affairs in the Honors Program at George Washington University. You’re currently a distinguished visiting professor of government and public policy at the College of William and Mary in Williamsburg, and you’re working on a book about the first George Bush administration. Welcome.
Lawrence Wilkerson: Thank you. Thank you all for being here. I’m the last speaker. I get that distinction. If this were a military audience, I’d ask you to stand up and do five minutes of calisthenics just to make sure you don’t doze off. I’ve identified myself with the remarks that were just made. Over some 400 students, graduate and undergraduate, in 12 years on two university campuses and six years with about 1,000 students at two of the nation’s most prestigious war colleges, we have determined although it would be probably difficult to prove – and that’s the reason we have covert operations – that Lyndon Johnson not only knew the gory details of the Israeli attack on USS Liberty in the Eastern Mediterranean, he also knew about what was just told you. That’s to say he knew the uranium was being diverted, he knew Israel was building a bomb, and he chose not to do anything about it.