the “Ken O’Keefe dispute” calls out all the gatekeepers to silence facts!

Posted: 08/08/2011 by editormary in Uncategorized

Beware the Gatekeepers who shift the focus off facts and onto smear

It seems that one of the issues currently engaging the activist community is still the one about accountability, “trial by blog”, Ken O’Keefe’s narrative and the “new” element thrown into the mix, unsolicited, Conflict Arbitration between activists! Salem News has been censoring the comments. Except in the moments when they use a very unorthodox technique of not allowing the comments to exist on their own, but are “commented on in bold print” by the editor. That itself is a practice that clearly demonstrates the respect that the editor believes the interlocutors deserve, i.e., practically none. Several comments you see on this site never made it, and perhaps this one will not either, but we believe it is a vital contribution to understanding the elements involved in the “Ken Dispute” regarding the investigative article that seems to continue to disturb Salem News, a “news” site which actually never checked once for any accuracy of the reports they made, nor did they listen to any other information (objective or from a counterparty) in order to establish truth. All that seems to matter is for them to justify whatever it is Ken does. He is their hero after all, and they have much invested in him, since they have been pimping his projects and soliciting donations. All we are left with is a distorted form of “truth” when this is the case. In that sense, we reprint this extremely informative response to a comment (in full at the base) by the Dr. M. Dennis Paul.

Christina Baseos wrote:
@ M. Dennis Paul

I hope that your unwillingness to take this further doesn’t mean that I’m deprived from my right to reply to your last. Moreover, I have no reasons, as of this writing, to believe that the moderators are censoring comments and I’m in hope that they will not give me grounds to change my mind on this now!

Before I address your comments, let me just point out that the use of offensive language never strengthens our arguments or proves us right. I sincerely hope that you don’t describe your clients’ arguments as “bullshit”, when you are the mediator in one of the areas of your expertise.

To the point now.
The clause I provided by BIMCO is the Dispute Resolution Clause that is used in shipping. I was clear on that. However, I gave you this example since the main body of this clause is the one that has been adopted worldwide and covers almost 99% of the business market. Of course there are variations depending on the sector, such as the International Chamber of Commerce (ICC), the Sugar-Trade Association, Oil Industry, Grain traders, etc.

I’d like to ask if you could provide a source that people can refer to (i.e. a website) that provides information on the proceedings of a dispute resolution for the organization you propose to be formed? Could you refer the readers to a format of an arbitration/mediation resolution similar to the one you propose? At this stage details such as appointment of the Tribunal, place & law of arbitration/mediation, etc are not important. A source that provides general information for organizations such as the one proposed will suffice.

The “dispute” you are proposing to be brought before ADR is between Ken O’ Keefe and Mary Rizzo, however it still remains unclear as to what it is exactly that they need to resolve. It has to be made clear into which category/specialty/field Mary’s & Ken’s “dispute” falls into. What is the nature of their “dispute” exactly and what would the purpose of an ADR be?
Would the scope of an ADR be to conciliate Ken & Mary? To validate the contents of Mary’s article and verify her evidence/proof? To prove to the donors and generally to the movement that donations have been wisely spent?
I don’t take for granted that all readers have knowledge in arbitration/mediation proceedings, therefore I’m clarifying that ADR is not panacea for every single case and there are several cases that are only brought before a Court of Law, such as murder, theft, embezzlement, fraud, etc.

You keep repeating that you are a specialist. Bravo! Well done! But no matter how many times you repeat it, this will never make you a specialist in everything. Everyone’s knowledge is “limited”. Limited to certain fields. It seems you don’t want to accept this. There are orthopedics and there are pediatricians. Both are doctors, both are specialists, just not in the same field.
So, be a specialist in your field and have the humbleness for others to be specialists in other fields.
Phrases such as “your limited knowledge” , “specialists (such as myself)”, “Your challenge to my expertise fails” only boost your self-esteem. Other than this, they fall on deaf ears.
Disagreements exist also between specialists. Your Galileo example was felicitous, however the problem arises when everyone believes they are Galileo and not one of those who believe that the world is flat.

You say “I have not formally addressed any claims against Mary as, of this moment….”.
“As of this moment”….is that a promise or a threat that you will formally address claims in the future? Whatever it means it certainly shows lack of memory. I suggest you re-read your article and comments.
You say that you have already stated that there may well be issues regarding Ken that deserve review.
I asked you in my previous comment if you have indeed read Mary’s article and the comments that follow it.
I suspect you have not read any of it, because if you had, you would have seen that what you think she “believes” she has in her hands as evidence, actually is uncontested evidence (as opposed to circumstantial), therefore is deemed proof with regards to the “kidnapping” of Ken and the alleged charter of the vessel. I cannot convince you that King Elvis is DEAD and you cannot convince me or any other person, who is prudent and actually uses his brains for critical thinking, how one who was “kidnapped” rejects to be released by his “kidnapper”, when offered so, or denies to testify his “kidnapping” to the police authorities. But these are just technicalities for you, aren’t they?
I forgot that you deny to discuss on the merits of a case, for which case a journalist used her right to write an article about and for which article you then come out of the blue, 9 months later proposing ADR and criticizing Mary Rizzo about the way she decided to write her own piece.

On top of that you criticize people for doing “trial by blog”. I will keep you posted on the trial by LAW, if you wish, in the meantime I’m looking forward to your next article, here in Salem-News or elsewhere, where you will be dealing with the way the opposite party has dealt with this issue through his various blogs and numerous social networks, expecting you to be impartial about the actions and behavior of Ken, when he was issuing “verdicts” and seeking “public hanging” of individuals and/or business entities, by throwing accusations for actions of criminal nature, always of course within the limits of the “civilized society” he’s a member of.
I will read your article carefully as soon as you publish it.

I didn’t ask what common sense dictates as to whether individuals or groups acting outside of the organization are already distanced or not. I asked your opinion of whether you believe that Ken would be accepted in such an organization, if and when such one is formed. It was a simple yes or no question. Opinions are not binding you know, so why not feel free to express them? Maybe if I rephrase the question you will feel more comfortable in answering. Are you of the opinion that Ken has the credentials of becoming a member of such an organization, which ultimately would result in his acceptance by it?

My “prerequisite premise continues” with my “incessant need” for transparency, as opposed to cover-up. I’m sorry but you give the impression that there is a rough sea in your brain. My exact sentence was:
“I second that, however given the prerequisite that justice and truth are fundamental principles of the organization and that these values will be served no matter what. Without this prerequisite both justice & truth are at risk of being sacrificed in the name of the organization’s scopes, widely known also as “cover-up”.”
I do wonder though why you have the “incessant need” to not comment on the issue of transparency since you make no mention whatsoever about it. On the contrary, you are twaddling on sociological behaviors that belong in the middle ages.
And what happens when truth and justice are not obtained? What happens when there is no transparency? Would you care to share with the rest of the world what you believe SHOULD be done instead of repeating what you think should NOT be done?

I don’t try Ken by blog. I assure you that the competent judicial system is dealing with this. I only take privilege of my right to reply to numerous unsubstantiated accusations and numerous information spread by Ken, which is deliberately presented falsely. I only make use of my personal knowledge, evidence and proof I’m in possession of, to refute Ken’s lies and debunk his unjustified claims & allegations regarding the “kidnapping” and the fiasco that followed it.

You say that Ken appropriately is NOT giving answers. Not everyone shares your point of view though and especially not the donors.
Then again I wonder if I should expect to hear something different, when it’s crystal clear that you don’t seek transparency.
I couldn’t have more supportive proof than your own writings making reference to my last paragraph of my previous comment, where I stated that lack of transparency is what discourages people from joining movements and that silence in perpetuity is was actually causes harm.
It is yourself who wrote what your actual belief on transparency & silence is:
“The remainder of your final paragraphs are nothing but more bullshit.”
Is that so? I will put aside, just for a moment, the case of the fake “kidnapping” and each & every article, blogpost, FB post, tweet, TV appearance, interviews, etc made by Ken, Mary, myself, members of the convoy, people involved directly or indirectly to this case, in other words hundreds of people. Let’s assume that none of this ever happened and nothing ever came out in the media.
You say you are a veteran activist and that you are “one who has witnessed and become embroiled in controversies within a variety of activist organizations”.
In light of this, surely you know how things run in activism and surely you know that a big part of it depends on donations.
The “kidnapping” took place in Libya, while RTH’s convoy was there. A ship was required for the transportation of the convoy’s vehicles to Egypt. The charterer of the vessel had to pay a freight. RTH asked for people to donate money in order for the freight of the vessel to be paid. The money was gathered. According to RTH and Ken, who was the convoy’s leader, the freight was paid to the shipowner.
The exact amount of freight paid still remains a mystery though, since according to Ken’s writings one time it was $55,000, the other $75,000 and the third $82,500. Whatever the exact amount they allegedly paid (and this is where the term “allegedly” needs to be used since the burden of proof, i.e. the payment or wire receipt of the money paid to the shipowning company still lies with RTH & Ken up to this date), we are still talking about a 5-digit number, which was raised from DONATIONS.
At some point RTH & Ken said that the money was safely recovered….whatever that means.


First, what is the exact amount of money recovered? Second, what happened to the money?
RTH & Ken wrote and promised that RTH would go through an internal review with regards to this whole incident. The outcome of the review remains unknown, as of this writing, and a considerable number of donors is still not informed as to whatever happened to the money they donated for a humanitarian cause.
It still remains a mystery to what happened to a 5-digit amount of dollars.

According to you, Dennis, the indefeasible right of every donor for transparency is “bullshit”!!!
According to you, investigative journalism, by an activist, on a humanitarian organization and a convoy’s leader, who had undertaken the task of delivering aid to Palestine, which aid had been gathered through donations and who have failed to be transparent as to how they dealt with donations of thousands of dollars is “bullshit”!!!
According to you, taking things to the media, whilst you’re ostentatiously ignoring the fact of who took things to the media first and for how long, “is not practical” and “serves no worthy resolution”. Instead, takings things before ADR and behind closed doors is the “proper venue”.
So, for argument’s sake, if one adopts your way of thinking, should someone come to the conclusion that Bernstein and Woodward, who revealed the Watergate scandal, should never have applied investigative journalism to bring things to the media, instead they should have referred the case to ADR “to act upon that to the benefit of” of democracy or the political party’s “mission”?

My only motive, and it surely isn’t “confused” as you are wishfully thinking, is that when it comes to other people’s money that transparency is ensured. And that should be yours as well.
Your sudden appearance out of nowhere, wearing the mask of the peacemaker and consultant, with an article about a person with proven track record in journalism & activism, makes people question your true motives. For as long as you are not treating everyone fairly and squarely in a “dispute”, but instead you choose to target the person whose article was actually “damaging” to Ken (not my words, Tim King’s words) and choose to not equally address “whoever else are attempting to conduct trial by blog” , your motives are the ones questioned..
This only looks like part of a strategic plan of diverting attention. Who is the person who “damaged” Ken most in his RTH fiasco? Mary Rizzo (again not my words, Tim King’s words). What is Ken facing the past days? Doubts & concerns raised by specific people about the Trade-Not-Aid project. Why not take some preventive actions and divert the focus to Mary Rizzo, in a hopeless effort to prevent her from writing another investigative article on Ken’s latest saga.

Let’s call a spade a spade. Everyone on this planet is judged for their actions. Everyone. Why not activists as well? People who want to be called activists and advocates of truth, justice & peace should not have the audacity to demand their actions not be criticized. Especially, when their actions depended on other people’s money. When either an individual or an organization ask for donations, automatically they are bound to be transparent, accountable and truthful to everyone. Let alone that being transparent is an ethical obligation. Suspicions are raised when someone constantly denies to give answers. It’s not humiliating to give answers. Not to mention that if one has nothing to hide, when providing answers, he will gain more support and respect. Unless of course the ultimate purpose of an activist is not to offer his services for a humanitarian cause but to just create an image about himself, create a persona and remain in the limelight. One marketing strategy is creating negative publicity. It might be negative, but it’s still publicity. If these are the ultimate goals of someone, who wants to call himself an “activist”, then so be it. But then, he will have to deal with the consequences as well.

To conclude, in your various attempts to make people understand what arbitration/mediation is, you failed to make clear that applying double standards is absolutely prohibited for a mediator.
So, until you come clean and until we all read an article of yours of the same nature about Ken, pointing out his wrongdoings and mishandlings of this case, making it clear through your writings that Ken should not have tried anyone by blog or tweets or FB posts and that he should now choose ADR as the “proper venue” for the resolution of the conflict, instead of the media, it would be wise to refrain yourself from further exposure that only makes your integrity as a professional questionable.
I’m in sincere hope that your article on Ken’s actions of taking things to the media will come out soon, as he surely needs advice to take things to ADR with regards to the latest saga of Trade-Not-Aid & Samouni Project. If you are so concerned in resolving conflicts by taking them before ADR, I suggest you do not wait for another 9 months to criticize Mary Rizzo or Mary Poppins, if and when they write an article on Ken’s latest fiasco. It will be too little too late.

Over & out.

from Salem News:
M. Dennis Paul, Ph.D. August 7, 2011 8:47 am (Pacific time)


I will address each paragraph in order and then we will be done with this.

Apology accepted.

Your example of BIMCO is of no particular value here. BIMCO has accepted a particular format for itself. Other industries, businesses or groups will select their own which may or may not be similar. Mediation and/or arbitration do not follow a standard formula or approach across all interests. There are a wide variety of formats and formulas which are used. Various businesses and organizations will establish an arbitration clause based upon the model they choose. Typically, that model is one that best suits the expected areas of conflict particular to the business or org. Depending upon the State or nation of origin (jurisdiction), certain aspects of the clause, for it to elicit enforceable decision or memorandum, must conform to specific laws or regulations. However, if you read clauses carefully, in many ADR formats, the conflicted parties may agree to altering any aspect of the format and degree of enforceability (ie Binding/non-binding, monetary/censure, etc). ADR is, and will likely remain, a fluid area for resolution of conflict. Now, your limited knowledge regarding this aside, your initial proposal was the impartiality of the mediator/arbiter. So let’s return to that. There exists a school of thought, far more honest with regard to ADR, that being human, the specialist cannot be truly impartial in most every situation. Therefor, specialists (such as myself) address this at the onset and explain further the genuine process of ADR and how any personal bias is both attempted to be restrained and properly addressed when it arises. With that in mind, my example of initial rule of order is presented.

Should there be need for a separate ADR proposed with regard to the ship owner and activists, something we were not previously addressing here, that is an entirely different matter. I am glad that BIMCO keeps up with the awards as this does open them to more advanced alternatives to explore in reaching settlements. It has, however, absolutely nothing to do with our exchange. Your challenge to my expertise fails, Christina, and I am not the one doing the barking.

I have not formally addressed any claims against Mary as, of this moment, no one has proposed any to address beyond their beliefs that many of her allegations against Ken are false. I have already stated there may well be some issues regarding Ken that deserve review. The same for Mary. Further, I have stated that this is not the appropriate format for so doing. You fail in this effort to draw me into the unproductive banter. I accept that Mary believes she has irrefutable evidence against Ken. I do not need to contact her directly in that regard. Evidence, Christina, is not proof and this is something that you, Mary, and numerous others fail to take into account. In the minds of many, there existed evidence that the world was flat. That evidence, upon examination and review, was determined not credible. Mary could well have used alleged in the matter to which you refer. This, again, is covered in the above regarding evidence. You persist in trial by blog as opposed to a format for resolution you alternately claim would be of proper value. Please make up your mind. I’ve no intention of returning to this mode of exchange with you.

I appreciate that you find my proposal attractive. There is no way for me to hypothesize the acceptance of Ken, Mary, you or anyone else in an organization that seeks to unify the various platforms of a multitude of groups seeking the freedom for Palestine. That is a pointed question on your part and not at all helpful in the discourse. Common sense, however, should tell you that whatever structure emerges to unify such groups, those individuals or groups that act outside of the organization, for whatever reason, are already distanced from the organization. Should their acts be detrimental to the freeing of Palestine, it is concretely deniable, by the organization that they are, in any way, associated with such groups or acts.

It is not a requirement in all offers or referrals to mediation/arbitration that both parties accept the ADR specialist(s). Some businesses refer all matters, as defined in a signed employment clause or purchase /use clause, to either an internal ADR program or third party program. Some allow for mutual determination of specialist. Certainly, where someone has offered services it would be appropriate that both parties have right to agree or disagree to the intermediary. Your point is lost as I have not offered to facilitate such an endeavor. I have offered to serve in an advisory capacity to any organization should one form. I reiterate, that in my position, I have clearly stated there may be cause for review of charges and behaviours of both parties. I also reiterate that my offer extends only to the area I have clearly stated.. and NOT as a “possible future” mediator/arbiter. Try your best to create argument outside of these facts and you continue to look a provocateur as opposed to someone genuinely seeking resolution.

Your “prerequisite” premise continues with your incessant need to publicize with the supposition that your case is already proven. In reality, Christina, thousands upon thousands of decisions by judges, mediators, arbiters and others are never publicized. Certainly the effort is made to obtain some sense of truth and justice (however, this is not the case in most court systems throughout the world -but I will not address this now) and to act upon that to the benefit of the organization’s mission. Civilized societies have no need to castigate errant individuals by pillory in the public square. In so many cases, it is not even essential to effect censure or banishment as sincere intent often is discovered in the course of review and only correction is necessary. I suspect both you and Mary seek a public hanging.

Ken is appropriately NOT giving answers in this case. Mary, you and whoever else are attempting to conduct trial by blog establishing yourselves as prime investigator, prosecutor, judge and jury. This was the whole point of proposing ADR. Your continuance in attempting to trial him in this manner belies any genuine belief on your part that ADR would be the appropriate venue. You are constantly pulling down your own pants and either blaming the manufacturer for your embarrassment or the neighborhood bully. Make up your mind, Christina. The nature of claims against Ken is not resolved by opinions or consensus regarding offered “evidence”. You truly seem incapable of grasping this. Media play of evidence and counter is not practical, for many reasons that should be apparent, and serves no worthy resolution.

I have “implied “ nothing. I have clearly stated that the proper venue for addressing her claims and “evidence” is ADR. To do otherwise and continue pushing the issue in media without genuine desire for resolve (other than a desire for conviction based upon beliefs that the evidence is irrefutable) is splitting at its very best and absolutely harms the movement. Mary simply needs to offer resolution as opposed to trial by blog, Ken needs to agree, and both parties need to seek out a skilled specialist to carry it forth. Then all this bullshit ends and we get back to doing beneficial work.

The remainder of your final paragraphs are nothing but more bullshit. Things neither stated nor implied by me but used in your attempt to continue your very confused motives. With regard to the pictures accompanying the articles, I do not choose those although I may have some control over this in the future.

NOW… TO MARY RIZZO: Putting aside your snarky comments which continue to reflect poorly upon you, a very simple yes or no is all that is required in response to the following.

Are you willing to place this matter before ADR (my services not offered here) and seek a genuine, sincere resolve?

  1. Mary Rizzo says:

    this comment was not allowed to be printed on Salem “news”… obstensibly with the excuse that it is long! They also denied publishing other comments that we copied for ourselves and published here. Salem “Censorship” is the name!
    DO NOT trust them! they are not interested in facts, truth, discourse… only in their club!

  2. jayn0t says:

    Salem News comments policy is indeed strange. Partly, it’s technological incompetence – it doesn’t say ‘your comment is awating moderation’, it just disappears, then, maybe, reappears, maybe with comments by the editor. All sites must have some censorship, but the principles should be transparent. There is no clear policy which Salem News follows. It’s at the editor’s whim.

  3. M. Dennis Paul, Ph.D. says:

    Too many false allegations, misrepresentations and clearly slanted misinterpretations by both Mary and Christina have been applied to what I have written. I am not interested in enjoining them in continuance of such a shoddy approach to communication. However, if Christina truly wishes, I will effort to point out each and every distortion she has presented in her recent response. Even when purposely taking my comments out of context, her arguments fall flat and, in many cases, border on the absurd. Just let me know, Christina.

    I have clearly stated that both parties have issues which might warrant review in ADR. Clearly, I have never made any statement to the effect that “evidence” should not be heard, reviewed, or otherwise considered. That either Mary or Christina would suggest, or state, that I have suggested or stated so is pure fabrication and lie. They dishonor themselves and all their readers, sycophants or not through their subterfuge and lies..

    I have also NOT stated or implied that Mary has no right to publish whatever she likes. Intelligent people, I am sure, realize this and recognize that what I HAVE stated is my opinion that her diatribe and attempt to trial Ken by blog is inappropriate and not conducive to resolving any issues. I have reiterated this point numerous times as well my belief that, should she have sincere desire to resolve these issues, ADR would be an appropriate venue. I have stated numerous reasons for suggesting this, most important being to end the splitting and negative reflection upon the movement.

    Clearly, both Mary and Christina are of the belief that Ken absolutely must respond to Mary and her “evidence” in Mary’s blog or accept that their conviction of him is 100%. The reference to Woodward and Bernstein, used in respect to Journalists and ADR, is actually a good reference in counter argument to both Mary and Christina. Woodward and Bernstein, if both have actually read their effort, appropriately used the term “alleged” in providing their “evidence” and commentary. They also did not dream up some absolute requirement that Nixon and his crew respond directly to them in their venue or, by failing or refusing to do so, be deemed guilty on all allegations. Further, Woodward and Bernstein made it clear that what they had uncovered was NOT unassailable “evidence” and they expected that some portion would be dismissed as either personal interpretation not fully substantive, out of context, inaccurate or false. Many of their allegations did, in fact, fail to hold up. The issues presented by both made up a reasonable portion of the case against the President and his crew. More information, detail, and evidence accrued as time passed. Brought before both committee and Justice, settlements and convictions occurred. To date, the public has never witnessed the entire denouement of the cases brought before committee and Justice. The charges were largely felonies which are not brought before ADR venues although settlement discussions might and did.

    Both Mary and Christina attempt to disqualify my opinions by claiming I have not read her diatribe or the responses to it. I have, in fact, done so. Had I not, it would have been quite difficult to offer the opinions/comments I have thus far offered. The accusations, faux inferences, aspersions and allegations… as well as some blatantly ludicrous remarks… are tiring and reflect so poorly upon both Mary and Christina. I suggest that the repetitious and invective laden nature of the responses offered by both are more likely the reason has not printed some. I note that Mary felt it important to cast further aspersions regarding the technology of the site and further insult to the Publisher. All of which accomplishes nothing.

    To Christina’s comments and statements regarding ADR, I can state that from what she has so far offered she has a very limited grasp on the field and the variety of formats used worldwide. Her statements regarding BIMCO are still lost on me. There are basic tents of ADR that are nearly universal. Agreed. What, exactly was her point? Her attempts to discredit me are nothing but subterfuge. On the one hand, she addresses ADR as appropriate in this current dispute and then, on the other hand, gives appearance that she feels otherwise. It is difficult to keep track of where her thinking is at any given moment.

    Her request for a specific site for an ADR format used in a social movement is something I do not have at hand. As a consultant, advisor, my job would be to work with the organization in creating a format most suitable to their particular operation. I have done this for a variety of business interests, courts, non-profits, etc and no two formats were identical (though many aspects were alike or similar). Realistically, such an organization would be likely to use facilitation at the onset, refer to mediation in ideological differences and arbitration for areas of dysfunction and offense. So whatever program was designed, would likely carry specific outlines for each.

    Christina wonders if it is acceptable to use the term “bullshit” in ADR (really just more attempt to discredit and more subterfuge). Yes.. it is in the right place. Yes, I have used it, along with other comments. Real human language does get used in real life ADR situations. I have been called all manner of things by opposing parties. It’s expected. Some situations are quite volatile. Some can be quite humorous. When parties are being purposefully disengenuous, I do call them on it.

    Christina asks many specifics regarding the potential of ADR in resolving issues between Ken and Mary and what sorts of resolution might be sought. These appear to be honest questions but also naive at this point. Were I to hazard a guess, I would expect that the format would be Arbitration as opposed to Mediation. Through discovery, it might come to pass that donor representation would be required along with representation of the group/groups having interest. Dependent upon any legal charges against any party, determination would have to be made whether these were state charges or private and then a willingness to resolve the private ones through the process. All parties would be requested to provide a bulleted list of disputed items and provide all tangible evidence. From there, each party would respectively and respectfully approach each item of contention. Bouts of reframing for clarification, followed by mediative approaches to eliminate, through agreement, as many issues as possible. Revisits to evidence and claims unresolved. Process, process and more process until exhausted and then the Arbiter takes matters under advisement and the parties await a decision. This is a bones description. It is actually considerably more elaborate.

    What outcomes might be expected? Can’t really speculate. Could well be that some or all charges are either founded or unfounded. Could be that some or all parties find conciliation or not. Could be that compensations are required or not. Could be that ideological corrections are required or not. Could be that boundaries and separations are required or not. Could be that censure is necessary or not. The ultimate goal would be to put the matter to rest and move forward in whatever way is in the best interest of the movement. It would absolutely not be to the end of executing anyone publicly. That doesn’t mean that such an outcome won’t happen.

    I want to make it clear that while I regard Ken quite highly, should it come to pass that his motives and actions are actually proven to be intentionally harmful to the movement, I will not hesitate to admit as such and distance myself from him (not that we are actually connected in any way worth noting).

    However, by Mary’s own refusal to engage in ADR, the issue now becomes mute. I can’t understand why she would refuse to have third party review of the issues, investigation and validation or disqualification of her evidence and Ken’s, assist in attempting a degree of reconciliation or respectful disengagement, remediation where applicable, and punitive resolves where applicable. If, as she says, she is all about the movement, it would seem, to me, that this would be in the best interest of the movement. Both parties have something to offer the people of Palestine. It is a shame that so much doubt now exists about either. I suggest that Mary’s refusal now casts further doubt upon her and hope that she might reconsider. .

  4. Christina Baseos says:

    It’s very satisfactory that in WWWWL, unlike other websites, the truth isn’t subject to length restrictions.
    Who would have thought! SIZE, after all, DOES count!

    Repeating over & over that arguments brought up in a discussion are false or pure allegations or misrepresentations doesn’t actually debunk the arguments provided and certainly this repetition can hardly be considered as counterargument.
    We have all been reading what Dennis has NOT stated, NOT implied, NOT suggested, NOT offered. Clear. Some people though get things the first time. No need to repeat what you do NOT say. It would be less tiring & time consuming for you to be straight-forward and let the world know what you DO state.
    Your impression that I address ADR as appropriate in this “dispute” and then give the appearance that I feel otherwise is the outcome of you applying inductive logic the wrong way.
    In your effort to, once again, let the world know of your in-depth knowledge in ADR, you have briefly described the process of it together with the possible outcomes. I’m positive that the readers who are not familiar with ADR will appreciate your effort, however you failed to actually describe the alleged dispute, you actually believe exists between Ken & Mary.
    When presenting a proposal/offer, a full description of it is required. You cannot expect consideration of an offer, when the offer itself is incomplete and unspecified. It’s of no merit to propose ways/methods/means of dispute resolution, without prior duly describing the “dispute” itself. Are you able to describe Ken’s & Mary’s alleged “dispute” that the Tribunal would be asked to rule upon?

    Yes, the charges in the Watergate scandal were largely felonies, which are not brought before ADR. Lest you forget, Nixon’s resignation was part of the settlements & agreements reached in order for him not to be impeached. Interesting that you brought up the term of settlement, because I surely didn’t when I brought up the Watergate scandal as an example.

  5. M. Dennis Paul, Ph.D. says:

    Your penchant for distortion is really quite amazing. There is actually a psychopathology ascribed to such. If your purported “arguments” are based upon, or are actually only statements of, your or Mary’s claims that I have stated something which clearly I have not, there exists no argument requiring counter argument. Your statements are nothing more than blatant lies. Therefore, there is only the reiteration that the claims are false, misleading, disingenuous, lies. The onus is upon you to prove otherwise. If such things (my reiterating that your claims are lies) are “clear” and that some people, as you state, get them the first time, please explain why you and Mary do not. Please explain why you continue to offer these lies to the readers, here, and in Salem-news. The following is a perfect example:

    Mary Rizzo says:
    08/08/2011 at 19:38

    and the doctor insists that ignoring evidence is the way to go… I rest my case on his usefulness in arbitration!


    your statement from above: “According to you, Dennis, the indefeasible right of every donor for transparency is “bullshit”!!!”

    Please demonstrate through direct quote and entirely in context where I have stated that “ignoring evidence is the way to go”. & “..the indefeasible right of every donor for transparency is “bullshit”!!!” These lies, among a mounting array of other blatant lies are the measure of “truth” you (Christina and Mary) shamelessly offer and, thus, you expose your own lack of credibility and distance from truth. I am quite serious about my expectations for retraction of all such comments. Show where I have made such statements or retract them immediately. Many of these are libelous statements on your, and Mary’s part, effecting a professional business practice and are, therefore, provable in court for damages without demonstration of actual monetary loss..

    You have reached deep into the realm of absurdity with your comment that I should “let the world know” what I do say. You are truly amazing. The only response to this is reiteration of what I have , several times, clearly stated. But then, you claim that some people get it the first time.

    Far from any “wrong” application of inductive logic, your vacillations are obvious.

    I responded to your direct questions concerning an hypothetical ADR between Ken and Mary. Color that however you wish with baseless commentary about me or my knowledge of ADR, the fact remains that it was in response to your questions. I did not “fail” to state the dispute between the two parties. The factors that determine a premise for initial investigatory work in ADR regarding Ken and Mary have been established through Mary’s blog and any counter claims by Ken in other venues. Both parties (but now I am reiterating prior explanations) will set their bulleted agendas for review and then argument. Since I am neither Ken nor Mary nor the arbiter, I am not the one who establishes the scope of ADR in this case. But you should know this, Christina, as you have so very much to say about what ADR is or is not and how it should be conducted.

    “When presenting a proposal/offer, a full description of it is required.” Oh, really?? By whom?? Please tell me what mediations/arbitrations between conflicted media or movement individuals you have been involved with where everything was so clearly defined prior to discovery! Discovery is where such definition begins to gel. Prior to this is the perceived beefs the parties expound which are often not the full or even valid disputes adjudicated in the end. This is not a BIMCO case, Christina. It is something completely different.

    Lest I forget??? I did not forget about Nixon’s settlement to avoid impeachment. “Interesting that you brought up the term of settlement, because I surely didn’t when I brought up the Watergate scandal as an example.” Really?? And just why is it interesting that I brought this up??. Let’s return to the point which was your query as to whether Woodward and Bernstein should have kept silent and referred their data to ADR. My response is that they actually employed investigative journalism appropriately by their use of “alleged” and the absence of a ridiculous supposition that it would be appropriate for those alleged to respond in Woodward & Bernstein’s chosen venue. Further (but here I go reiterating those things people get the first time) they acknowledged that their “evidence” was fallible, inconclusive, etc. They did not assert their evidence was concrete proof of any offense they alleged to have occurred. They were genuine journalists who knew the meaning of libel and avoided it very carefully, knew the basic tenets of quality journalism and followed them, and made no attempt to trial the president.

    I have to be honest, here, with regard to your responses, Christina. It is challenging to me to not assess them from a counselor’s perspective rather than from a party actually interested in seeing a resolve to these issues. The psychopathology is so compelling. Since Mary has already made it clear she is NOT amenable to the potential of a sincere and genuine resolve of these issues through ADR, which would likely bring about some remediation effecting donors, participants, sycophants on all sides, etc, there is little more to offer other than that this truly does reflect poorly upon her contentions regarding being all about the movement and brings further doubt upon the credibility of what she offers as “truth”. I think this will be the pat response to any other missives from either you or Mary as it is the only point that matters now. She is not interested in bringing this to a respectful end. Perhaps now, out of boredom, I will compose an article about this remarkable psychopathology!

    \All values are relative” and \no values
    are relative”.

    If someone believes something is right,
    then it is not wrong.

    The suspect believed stealing is right

    It is not the case that \stealing is

    Either \stealing is wrong” or \I am the
    Queen of England”.

    \I am the Queen of England”.

  6. Salem News has been censoring the comments, therefore I do appreciate the opportunity you are giving us to put our point of views & opinion in this regard in full freedom of speech as it supposed to be RESPECTED for real..

    As for the Salem News to reply on my comment while waving with the Zionist labeling card & TelAviv as sources for all CRITICISM or OBJECTION on his holiness KOK.. that was major UNFORGIVEN mistake.. even in the holly month of RAMADAN.. why ?.. simply because when they accuse a concerned PALESTINIAN like me Without batting an eyelash that is so ZIONIST technique.. so BE OBJECTIVE.. LOGICAL & drop the Troll’s technique .. its so pathetic & naive.. I wished you learned something more useful than their dirty ways to practice on us .. the Palestinians!!.. SHAME on YOU Tim KING & KOK CULT..

    A FRIEND runs a nonprofit — our “assets” are things like computers (which do not belong to me – even tho I am director), furniture, etc. IF we had vehicles that were registered in our org’s name and intended for purely organizational use – sure, they would be assets, But if they are registered in one of our volunteer’s names then we have no legal claim on them – and people would Certainly wonder why we used donations to purchase vehicles and put them in a volunteer’s – or staff’s name. Legally we would be going against our mission statement which is to provide assistance to *target group*, If we purchased vehicles to give to someone in our target recipients, the vehicle might first be registered in our PROJECT name and then signed over to recipient. It would not be considered an “asset” — so KOK never intended these vehicles to go to the Samounis??? Its all so muddy because he has these three orgs intertwined and hard to make sense of what role each plays with the other. Not to mention funds not going through usual organizational channels. MESS

  7. Mary Rizzo says:

    Doctor, haven’t read your “diatribe”, using your word, because your tone is extremely offensive at best and contentwise, utterly self-referential and self-agrandising so as to be practically useless as discourse about an issue that does not even regard you. I do however note even on a strictly cursory reading of the first comment that tendentially you like COVER UP instead of investigative journalism or peer review: as you write-
    The nature of claims against Ken is not resolved by opinions or consensus regarding offered “evidence”. You truly seem incapable of grasping this. Media play of evidence and counter is not practical, for many reasons that should be apparent, and serves no worthy resolution.

    Honestly, people DO care about evidence of acts that they consider unorthodox / unethical or at best “muddled”. I have never met anyone prior to you who has a different preference! They do NOT care about the journalist and the person being investigated making nice for some “benefit” that is clear only to some outside “arbitrator” who is not even present in the community of pro-Palestine activism. You seem to not understand our community at all, and are more interested in keeping all the ex-mils out of any negative spotlight.

  8. Mary Rizzo says:

    the Doctor continues: Clearly, both Mary and Christina are of the belief that Ken absolutely must respond to Mary and her “evidence” in Mary’s blog or accept that their conviction of him is 100%

    Mary: clearly WHERE? quotes please!!!

  9. Mary Rizzo says:

    Doctor, it is very hard to read your boring prose. Not only is it almost completely off topic most of the time, as well as needlessly rude, you fail to understand a VERY basic point: no one asked you to be anyone’s judge, nor to mediate between me and Ken! No one asked Ken to own up to what he cliams, except now the dozens of donors demanding their money back because his own colleagues will not continue to operate in a regime of absolute power without accountability and many of them questioned not only that DISSENT is not allowed, but that dissenters were smeared as working for Tel Aviv. This kind of character assassination is a Ken Trademark, and it seems that he will answer to no one, just kind of keep the namecalling going for as long as he can. I certainly did not demand Ken to give me answers! He refused to be interviewed after he initially agreed? That is interesting, and for one who says he is “for the truth, always” he ought to be willing to speak and clarify any questions in an interview format where his words would be recorded or transcribed (I offered him either option). But as we know, he pulled out. It’s not my problem, nor did I ask him to address the content. He claims he never even read it, but now he also claims I make his mother in law cry. I guess he isn’t ignoring it too much, but it certainly has nothing to do with me insisting or demanding anything from him! Others have priority, they gave him money!

  10. Mary Rizzo says:

    Salem “news” issued a new comment by the featured Doctor. I reprint it and respond hereinbelow, since it is likely that it will not appear there:

    It is regrettable that Mary Rizzo has determined she will not attempt ADR (Alternative Dispute Resolution)to bring about a suitable resolve to the claims she has leveled against Ken O’Keefe and those Ken has leveled. Truly, it would be in the best interest of all involved that some manner of resolution occur as this matter has done considerable damage to both individuals and the movement. Sadly, at this point, it is remarkable that Mary, through her refusal, has cast further doubt upon her credibility with regard to her article, claims against Ken and her contention that she is all about the movement. In her response, Mary has made numerous blatantly false statements with regard to comments I am alleged to have made. She has been served notice that I fully expect retraction of all such statements. The same applies to Christina. These claims are, besides being obvious lies, further testament to the lack of credibility with which either can be regarded. It is interesting to read all their comments about “truth” being so important and witness the mountain of lies and distortions they offer in tandem. At this point, I will cease responding to them beyond a reiteration that the failure to resolve these issues through a most honorable method and in a manner affording possible remediation rests upon Mary’s shoulders and a cautionary reminder that full retractions to their blatant, shameless and harmful lies (libel) are expected. They may wish to check with council as it is not essential that such libel produce monetary harms and my region is not covered by SLAPP regulations.

    I reply:
    first of all the Doctor, in his role as judge of only particular parties here, and 9 months after my article was published, and when a new and more grievous “anti-Ken” campaign is in full force, involving his own associates and team, strikes me as odd, especially as he implies (without demonstrating it) that it has caused both Ken and me considerable damage, as well as to the movement. Speaking for myself, this is untrue. The Movement is dynamic and has always encouraged accountability and self-monitoring, so unless he can assess the damage in an objective way, his is merely his own opinion.

    This heretofore unknown entity comes from out of the blue and decides to now address Rizzo, morphed into Baseos and Rizzo, who he claims have made “numerous blatantly false statements with regards to comments (he is) alleged to have made” when they are quite clearly and quite within their rights, expressing their disagreement with his view and their non acceptance of the solution he determines is the proper one to keep good order – ie, keep things out of the public eye, but only things that come in one direction, it seems) and none other. I wonder why he does not include as a party that is fueling the “media war” the very venue here which insinuates, in a totally unsubstantiated way aside from stating I wrote “a slanderous false expository” or somesuch, but then does not do anything that might be a service, such as going through the evidence presented and thus prove them as FALSE. There was no contract for the ship, the freight company did not receive funding and indeed, Ken sent me the document where the broker tells them he sent the money back to Ken and his group, and they can stomp and shout all they want, but without that, jumping on a ship and claiming to be kidnapped doesn’t make it true, no matter how many times anyone repeats it. I stated months before o’Keefe was forced to admit it by pressure from his fans, that he was indeed still a USA citizen and still enjoyed rights reserved exclusively for USA citizens, and it seems that the issue of truth and accountability in order to create a public persona are not minor issues if one has a motto with Truth in it and has used his citizenship issue as an advertising point. Apparently and quite publicly, his former best friends are all protesting things he has done and claimed which they previously denied vehemently without actually having evidence to support their defence, aside from just believing Ken.

    If Salem News calls my report false, then it is logical to expect them to counter it with specific facts that disprove what has been presented, or else they themselves are offending me and libeling me. I did not set out to “get Ken”. He is a little fish in the big pond of activism, and as others before him, myself included, he will fade in the background if his actions are not beneficial to Palestinians. They do have a tendency to spit out what they do not want, and if he is not what he claims to be and if his work is considered by them to be about him and not about them, they will act as they have to others like him. Many I know appreciate the work my sites have done to seek clarity in confused situations.

    Yet, you will see that I in the end believe in freedom, so I do not put pressure, knowing that people can judge for themselves based on what they are PERMITTED to see, and thus understand the usage of the heavy censorship here on this site and the internal comments by the editor in bold so that the commenter is not granted the dignity of his own thought. Even names of persons are insulted… I think this sort of thing is clear to anyone. I notice that my comments are not printed, that comments from my site are not referred to, yet it is insinuated I am libeling the author of a piece meant to merely berate me, and I also see that he is using his own expectation that a prerequisite for me to be considered as reliable is to enter into some form of RESOLUTION with Ken. Ken has all the opportunity in the world to address what was written, to come up with a contract, to present the evidence that the shipper was paid, to cancel off all the photos he published with life jackets, food, radio transmitters, cell phones and lowering row boats off the ship sides which actually contradict the statements issued by himself and the RTH spokespersons. It is his free choice to express his views on it, which he has, and which I find satisfactory in their desire to not address a single point therein but to merely insinuate that the writer is driven by hatred and jealousy of Ken, none of this verifiable and more in the realm of picking at straws to find a justification outside of the stated reasons in the article: to keep our activism ethical and honest. To my eyes, his way of handling it so emotively casts doubt upon his credibility. And just look at some of the things on this site that are simply GONE:Nov-12-2010: DRAMATIC VIDEO Gaza Activists Taken to Sea Against Their Will Now Held at Gunpoint in Greece – Tim King could it be because it was not true that they were held at Gunpoint?

    I do not understand what i need to retract. That I disagree with the Doctor? That I find his tone insulting in the post and in his comments? That I see no purpose in taking the issue outside of its natural forum which is legal between Ken and his donors and former partners, since they are the parties that are making complaints to him and demanding that he be distanced from the action they all were involved in as a group, or the activism community which demands standards of accountability for us to continue our work. Would I have a right to demand a public apology for this comment by Tim King? “We constantly have Israelis here blabbering away about how bad we all are, but to have people who consider themselves ‘inside the movement’ doing it… oh wait, you guys are in no possible way inside the movement. No possible way. You are all working for the other side.” I believe this is clear libel and a statement that infers he has information that substantiates it, and I ask that he present evidence of such libel. Having been active in the movement in a public way for 3 decades, I have continually demonstrated my position, and his accusation is damaging to me. Rather than advise me to seek professional opinion, what is the Doctor’s view on my rights regarding the previous accusation, (one of many similar over the course of 9 months, similar to character assassination to the common reader).

    Furthermore, I would like to point out the paradox that to me seems apparent, perhaps not to the Doctor. He writes:

    “It is interesting to read all their comments about “truth” being so important and witness the mountain of lies and distortions they offer in tandem.”

    He is urging Salem’s readers to read OUR comments about the truth. Which comments? The comments that have been CENSORED? One comment has been censored due to length, which, by the way, offering an editorial tip, they could make a note in their website letting people know the max. characters allowed in the comments section, thus they could conform to this standard, which is now hidden and leads to total censorship of the content. The other two comments, one of mine addressing the Doctor and one by Christina Baseos addressing Tim King, which in no way can be considered as long.

    At one point the Doctor writes:

    “Mary simply needs to offer resolution as opposed to trial by blog, Ken needs to agree,….”

    First of all, the offer for a resolution is being made by the party who considers itself offended by the opposing party. That party certainly isn’t myself.

    So the Doctor should make this proposal to Ken instead of me. And while he’s at it, it might be a good idea to clarify and describe the “conflict” that he thinks there is between Ken and myself.
    And just to keep the readers in the loop, the Doctor should inform us of Ken’s reply to his “proposal”.

    Last but not least, quite a few are keenly looking forward to reading Ken’s reply to the Doctor’s statement, when he said that during the arbitration process:

    “Through discovery, it might come to pass that donor representation would be required along with representation of the group/groups having interest.”

    Ken’s comment on the “donor representation” has been the bone of contention with those who currently are keeping the “cyber dispute” going!

  11. M. Dennis Paul, Ph.D. says:


    Let’s just review this portion of your post for the present… “I do not understand what i need to retract. That I disagree with the Doctor? That I find his tone insulting in the post and in his comments?” Hardly, Mary, … and you are intelligent enough to have read and understood the two, of many, comments that I specifically noted. You and Christina were asked to demonstrate where either of these claims were made by me. You have not done so (and quite obviously because you cannot possibly demonstrate that I made them).

    I do regard you as an intelligent individual, Mary. Intelligent enough to know that both you and Christina went too far in attempting to discredit me and the proposal I have offered. Intelligent enough to know that your above quoted statement appears as an attempted deflection, an attempt to move readers away from your having been caught in false and misleading statements. Intelligent enough to know that such blatantly false accusations and inferences made publicly, and with the intent to create an entirely false and disreputable persona, in direct regard to a professional and his/her practice are actionable offenses. In other words, Mary, to tell people through your blog and/or comments that I said something specific, which in truth I did not, (in fact, the exact opposite being the genuine truth), and with clear intent to discredit my ability to practice (Mary Rizzo says: 08/08/2011 at 19:38 “and the doctor insists that ignoring evidence is the way to go… I rest my case on his usefulness in arbitration!”) is *** [The remainder of this response has been sent to Mary privately, perhaps to be published at a future time]

  12. Mary Rizzo says:

    i have not found a remainder Doctor. However you seem to wish to enter into aggressive disputes continally in the hopes that the person “on the receiving end” feels intimidated enough or perhaps even shamed enough by your lengthy and at times incomprehensible prose to acquiesce to whatever it is you seem to be wanting, be it that they renounce their role as activist engaged also in editorial work of public accountability with the activism community or to agree upon some organisation or some procedure you deem as “best” for a “movement” you are clearly not part of.

    you wrote this;
    I suspect both you and Mary seek a public hanging.

    Ken is appropriately NOT giving answers in this case. Mary, you and whoever else are attempting to conduct trial by blog establishing yourselves as prime investigator, prosecutor, judge and jury.

    So, first of all, you do not recognise that I am presenting myself and have always done so as a fellow activist in the Palestine cause, and like many others, have always sought clarity and accountability. It is clear in the RTH fiasco, none of this was forthcoming at the time or even afterwards, despite the fact it was on international journals that there was international crime committed against the “Gaza Ten”. My site was one of the sites that listened to the testimony and gathered evidence from all parties, and cross checked every piece of information presented to me. I fulfilled my duty as an activist and as the editor of a site, as well as a person personally insulted and called to task for insisting publicly (and if you read the article, it is clear that I was calling for people to please check all things prior to public dissemination, for the good of our cause regarding reliabillity.) I therefore did not play the role of judge, jury or prosecutor. The public in various faculties was able and willing to assume responsibility for their acceptance or rejection of the evidence presented. They were entitled to take any of the elements and to debunk them. The only point that I got wrong and amended was that the discharge from the Military was not Dishonourable, but that it was Other Than Honorable for steroids use. I would like to still see the contracts, the proof that there was a swat team, would like a retraction of the treatment given on the ship, seeing the blatant evidence of the contrary in Ken’s own photos, and his aplogies for the false information and panic aroused. This will never happen, so I don’t demand a thing. the public is aware. You however, in the name of the good of the movement, state that Ken is APPROPRIATELY not giving answers. Thus, the logical conclusion that you are appointing me to a role I never assumed, attemptig to discredit MY role and its correct function, while at the same time, stressing that public accountability (which in activism is an absolute priority where donors or volunteers are involved, and moreso when there is not media filtering for fact checking) is detrimental to the movement. Do you now “get it”?

  13. Christina Baseos says:


    If & when you decide to play fair & square, then I might consider addressing your last comments. Not only are you deliberately shifting the focus in this discourse by turning this into a personal matter, you are now also inviting readers in another website to see for themselves the replies and comments I have given, failing however to provide the comments for the readers to see them, either by posting them on Salem-News or by providing the WWWWL link, where the readers can direct themselves.
    Until you do so, I suggest you refrain yourself from using characterizations such as “shameful”, “harmful”, “blatant”, “lies”, “libel”.

  14. Everything I’ve so far seen said by Dennis Paul has been what I consider just more tedious psychobabble to paper over yet another disaster by that deranged “activist” KOK. I’m sure Mr. Paul wouldn’t be interested to know how knowledgeable both Ms. Rizzo and Ms. Baseos really are as to KOK’s actions, and almost more importantly PAST ACTIONS, because this is by no means the first or even the second time, this fellow has used Palestinian suffering to fill his pockets and ego. I sincerely hope that this affair winds up in court. Because that way it will be made clear that this so-called TJP project didn’t just exploit donors in Europe, but the Gazans themselves, who mistakenly thought that they had a saint in their midst. One of the key issues to be clarified was the fact that long after it was well established that no visas would be forthcoming for the Gazan youth, the fundraising went on for it. And all the funds went into KOK’s personal accounts..not into trust. There’s also the matter of drawing wages and/or benefits from the Samouni Project. In such a situation, I don’t think that mediation in the form of counseling is appropriate. What’s needed are a proper audit and lawyers, and sometimes the police.

  15. lancethruster says:

    I’ve found it is consistantly predictable that those practice gatekeeping at any level are those most in need of shaping the perception by trying to ensure the most damning or inconvenient facts from ever seeing the light of day, with further confirmation coming from the increasingly desperate attempts at misdirection as their official narrative starts to unravel. It’s pretty much a dead give-away.

    The final “Hail Mary” [waves](Heil, Mary!!) comes from application of the “180 Rule” whereby the party on shaky ground accuses the side armed with facts with distortions and tactics that the shaky ground side had been relying on from the start. The “180 Rule” functions essentially as a decoder ring in that truth can be most often be established simply by “flipping” the claims made by those with the unsupported argument.

    A common historical example is Israel blaming the bordering state as the aggressor nation guilty of breaking the latest cease-fire, or not negotiating in good faith, or the one committing war crimes, or the ones posing a dire nuclear weapons threat for the region, or the passengers on the Freedom Flotilla shot first, etc., etc., etc.

    Sound familiar?

    TTFN Mary!

    Be well.

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