By John Friend —
SAN DIEGO, Calif.—Ken O’Keefe, an internationally renowned anti-war activist and outspoken critic of America’s disastrous neoconservative-driven foreign policy, gave two colorful and inspiring speeches recently in San Diego, the former United States Marine and Gulf War vet’s hometown. AMERICAN FREE PRESS was in attendance to cover the event and speak with him and the local activists who organized the well-attended events.
In late 2002, O’Keefe was instrumental in organizing the human shield action to Iraq, which aimed to prevent the disastrous military invasion of that Middle Eastern nation. O’Keefe and others traveled to Iraq and attempted to act as human shields to prevent the war, which was formally launched in March 2003.
On February 27, O’Keefe gave a passionate speech denouncing American military aggression in the Middle East and the corrupt political establishment serving the Israeli and neoconservative agenda in the region.
The morning after O’Keefe’s first presentation, a fundraiser brunch was held, which was followed by another speech by O’Keefe focusing on his latest project, World Citizen Solutions. An extensive question and answer session followed each of the speeches, with many local residents expressing their disgust with the endless wars in the Middle East and America’s foreign policy.
O’Keefe’s speaking events were sponsored by the San Diegans for 9/11 Truth, one of the most active and dedicated 9-11 truth groups in the country. The activist group organizes regular monthly meetings, often featuring some of the top 9-11 researchers and activists in the world. The group also regularly engages in public activism and outreach, raising awareness about the very serious problems with the official conspiracy theory explaining the events of 9-11 promoted by the mass media and political establishment.
O’Keefe is also a 9-11 skeptic who is quick to point out the central role played by the state of Israel and the dual citizens who held key positions in the Bush administration in organizing and benefiting from the terrorist attack.
Nelisse Muga, a leading member of the San Diegans for 9/11 Truth group, played a key role in setting up O’Keefe’s speaking events in San Diego. Mrs. Muga originally contacted O’Keefe, who promptly replied accepting the invitation to speak in “America’s finest city.”
“Ken answered immediately saying he had no intention of ever returning to the U.S. However, he explained he would be in Acapulco in February and might consider stopping for the weekend to speak publicly if we could come up with his travel expenses,” Mrs. Muga explained to AFP. “Because of everyone in our group working together to make it possible, we had two very successful events here in Ken’s hometown.”
Due to O’Keefe’s unique experiences both living in the Middle East and engaging in activism, Mrs. Muga thought he would be a perfect speaker for the 9-11 truth group.
“He has lived in the Middle East and knows from his experiences being there the atrocities that our country is committing by funding and supporting the Israeli military and pouring our tax money into weapons for war on people who are no threat to us,” Mrs. Muga noted.
O’Keefe renounced his American citizenship in 2001 and now holds dual Irish and Palestinian citizenship. He is perhaps best known for his involvement in the MV Mavi Marmara incident in June 2010. The prominent anti-war activist and supporter of the Palestinian struggle was on board the Turkish vessel, which was attempting to break the Israeli blockade of the Gaza Strip in occupied Palestine, when it was besieged by Israeli military commandos. During the incident, O’Keefe helped defend the ship and its occupants, an experience he described in great detail during his second speech on Sunday morning. During the Israeli assault on the civilian vessel, O’Keefe helped disarm two Israeli commandos.
“Ken is an inspirational speaker against the Zionist/NWO/Judeo-corporate empire,” Norm Kepler, another leading organizer with the San Diegans for 9/11 Truth, told AFP. “He has talked the talk, but also has walked the walk, putting himself willingly into harm’s way for truth and justice. He is a ‘super hero’ for everything we believe in.”
John Friend is a California-based writer who maintains a blog.