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Blogger offers army deal: Release information, and I'll go to prison willingly

Eishton, the blogger who was recently interrogated and asked to give up sources, is offering authorities an interesting deal: if the army releases all the information that it says is “out in the open” on soldier deaths – Eishton will confess to all charges brought in his interrogation, and will agree to sit in prison.

The interrogation of the anonymous blogger was conducted due to a series of posts he published, examining who exactly are the 126 soldiers who “died while protecting their country” between April 2011-2012, as officially pronounced on Memorial Day. Following thorough research and thanks to a leak from within the system, Eiston exposed that only three soldiers were actually killed in the line of duty, while others committed suicide, were involved in accidents or died of illness, and in many cases – did not even die in the year in question but several years before.

Following the interrogation and the journalistic interest it attracted, and after army spokespeople declared that information was out in the open, Eishton published a challenge to authorities last night on his Facebook account:

I keep being interrogated for minor technical felonies, and even if you don’t agree with the way I worked you must see the difference between the ‘felony’ I allegedly committed and the outrage and lack of information on the side of the state.

It is now Monday, 24.12.12, 21:30, seven months after Memorial Day, when you declared there were 126 fallen soldiers. Take 24 hours. If by tomorrow evening you release a list with 126 names, dates and causes of death, commit to releasing the lists regarding the fallen since 1948 within a week and release a statement by the Ministry of Defense saying that from now on you will release all lists – I shall admit to the charges brought against me and sit in prison without filing an appeal (although I am not guilty). I swear by my word.

I shall go to prison, the information goes free – seems like a fair price to me.

Update, 25.12, 23:00: So far authorities have not responded to Eishton’s offer and did not publish the full list of names and causes of death of the 126 fallen soldiers, thus failing to meet his deadline. Eishton says on his Facebook page that he continues calling upon the army to publish the lists

Update 2, 27.12.: The army on Wednesday published figures on the numbers of IDF suicides that took place in recent years. Eishton emphasized in a response that it wasn’t figures he demanded, but rather the identities of the 126 fallen soldiers, and their causes of death. It could be said that the response of the army, and their reception by the media as a victory for Eishton, are effectively a distraction from the blogger’s main questions mourning and commemoration in Israel.

Read also:
Blogger interrogated, asked to give up army source

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    1. This is bizarre. Eishton is, I believe from what your last post said, under a gag order over the felony charges he is being threatened with. This in itself violates common law due process. Nor has the IDF publically declared why it should have jurisdiction over a citizen.

      What the IDF wants to do is break his credibility. If Eishton is willing to be jailed for crimes he did not commit, he might as well go public, using his name. In any case, if his relatives and others have been questioned by the IDF or police, it is only a matter of time until his name comes into the public domain. Might as well use that event oneself, declaring oneself protected as a journalist.

      The IDF doesn’t really care about the dead list, save to suppress error on their part. What they want to do is prevent such an event from happening again. They are not going to play his game; they want everyone to see him squirm. If he goes public, the game changes; Israeli journalistic society can come to his aid. Otherwise, he stands alone–and no one should have to do that.

      There may be other, personal, reasons for staying anonymous–but that veil is going to be stripped in any case. Indeed, if may well be the IDF who eventually leaks his name. Take control now.

      Reply to Comment
    2. The Trespasser

      I am really not able to grasp what’s this bloggers issue.

      126 suicides among some 300 000 men and women, spanned over two years is absolutely normal number, well withing any mean statistics.

      Some mentally unstable people have finisher their useless lives. By what standard is it bad?

      Reply to Comment
      • I’ve noticed that you have a tendency to accuse people who disagree with you as being mentally ill, which is a pretty clear indicator of how you perceive mental health problems. The welfare of people who feel suicidal is therefore probably not going to be a concern for you, but that doesn’t mean that it’s of no concern to anybody else.

        The fudged numbers are definitely an issue, especially the fact that we still don’t actually know the total number of suicides in the army or how the army decides which figures to use in the list of the ‘fallen’. Given that we don’t even know the overall prevalence, we also can’t know which demographic of soldiers are most at risk for suicide, which makes preventative work difficult. Much as I’d like to believe that the army is making full productive use of that data, that would be optimistic to the point of idiocy, and if Eishton’s blog post can force them into patching up a few inadequacies in the psychological healthcare system then it will have done some good. The deception of the Israeli public is not the only problem here.

        Reply to Comment
        • If the State can lie here, it will lie elsewhere. IDF command ordering this investigation, on its own terms, does not care about the suicides; they care about information control, and maintaining immunity from independent oversight. In several areas, the IDF is becoming dislodged from the Israeli “unwritten constitution” by asserting its own brand of immunity. The WAY this attack on Eishton is unfolding is another assertion of immunity.

          Reply to Comment
    3. annie

      trespass, if soldiers who committed suicide are used by the state in a statistic “died while protecting their country,” at least one citizens wants to know who they are.

      it appears to me as tho the state is purposely bloating the figure of people who died while protecting israel.

      Reply to Comment

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