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|Israel and 9/11|
|11/28/01 at 10:54:35|
|[url] http://www.antiwar.com/justin/justincol.html [/url]|
The comparison between Pollard and M. Abu Jamal is ridiculous ofcourse, but at least a non-Muslim is pointing fingers at Israel!
|Re: Israel and 9/11|
|12/14/01 at 09:59:03|
|[url] http://www.antiwar.com/justin/justincol.html [/url]|
Behind the Headlines
by Justin Raimondo
December 14, 2001
ET TU, ISRAEL?
Did the Israelis have advance notice of 9/11? Probably.
I couldn't help but laugh as I read the following entry in Andrew Sullivan's weblog:
"People ask why Americans tend to sympathize more with Israelis than Palestinians. It's not racism. It's a recognition that, for all their failings, the Israelis live in the same moral universe as we do. The Palestinians palpably, brazenly do not."
OUR MORAL UNIVERSE, AND THEIRS
Sullivan is a bloated bag of wind begging to be punctured, and his delusions about Israeli benevolence certainly have been pricked by the news that the 60 or so Israelis being held by the US since 9/11 are what Fox News calls "part of a long-running effort to spy on American government officials." And that's not all: while "there is no indication the Israelis were involved in the Sept. 11 attacks," we are told, "investigators suspect that they may have gathered intelligence about the attacks in advance and not shared it." If the Israelis had foreknowledge of the 9/11 attacks, and failed to inform us, then just what moral universe are they living in? Surely one many light-years from our own.
YOU READ IT HERE FIRST
When the news first broke that not only Arabs are being held in the wake of 9/11, to my knowledge I was the only columnist to deal with the subject of the mysterious Israelis in custody: "Israel and 9/11 Feds holding 60 Israelis in connection with 9/11 Why?" While the Washington Post assured us that the Israeli detainees were only "observing a time-honored tradition in their country touring the world after their mandatory service in the Israeli military," I was more than a little skeptical:
"Something tells me these guys are no ordinary tourists, but since the US Government is keeping mum about everything connected with this investigation, we just don't know."
THE PLOT SICKENS
Ah, but now some government officials are talking, and we know a lot more. We know that some of the detainees have been identified as Israeli military or intelligence agents, and that some failed polygraph tests when asked whether they had engaged in covert operations "against and in the United States." We also know, courtesy of Fox News, that as many as 140 Israeli agents may have been rounded up in the US before 9/11: the extent of Israel's covert action operation is described as "sprawling."
A GOOD GUESS
What were they doing here? Besides infiltrating a whole laundry list of government agencies, including the DEA, the FBI, military bases, and even targeting the private homes of government officials, they were also conducting surveillance on a group of Arab immigrants in California that authorities believe have connections to the 9/11 plot. I'll admit that the following was sheer speculation on my part, but it looks like I was dead right. As I wrote in November:
"In rounding up untold hundreds of mostly Arab Muslim men, and interviewing thousands more, the Ashcroft Sweep is clearly designed to gather information that might lead them to the remaining conspirators. It could be that the Israelis, or at least some of them, fall into this category: while not being directly involved, maybe they know something."
What did they know, and when did they know it? That is the question that must now be answered, and pronto. For remember what the President said: "You are either with us, or you are with the terrorists." If the Israelis had advance notice of 9/11 via their spy network in the US, which kept the hijackers and their associates under surveillance then this is "harboring" terrorists, by any definition of the term. Look what happened to the Taliban when they harbored bin Laden. If Israel did indeed betray us, and let 3,500 people die at the World Trade Center, then they deserve what the Afghanis got plus a little bit more.
WITH FRIENDS LIKE THESE
At least Mullah Omar and the Taliban never made any bones about the depth of their contempt for the US. Israel, on the other hand, pretends to be our staunchest ally, more royalist than the king when it comes to confronting the declared enemies of the West. Yet an undeclared enemy, posing as a friend, is in many ways a greater potential threat as, perhaps, we are beginning to learn.
CLASSIFIED AND CONFIRMED
When asked for details about the detention of the Israelis, a highly placed investigator huffed that "Evidence linking these Israelis to 9-11 is classified, I cannot tell you about evidence that has been gathered. It is classified information." Aside from affirming that such evidence exists, this same source admitted to the Los Angeles Times that there were certain "tie-ins" with 9/11. Some patriotic law enforcement officials seem to have leaked just enough information to practically confirm our worst suspicions. As Brit Hume put it in his lead-in to the first of Carl Cameron's four-part investigative report, top US law enforcement officials now believe the Israelis "may have known things they didn't tell us before September 11."
After funneling over $90 billion into the Israeli settler state, making enemies of the entire Arab world, and sticking by Israel through thick and thin, is this our reward a stab in the back? If true, this story is a devastating blow to the Israel First crowd in the US, one from which it may never recover. Americans quickly forgot the sinking of the USS Liberty, and those who remembered were for the most part willing to forgive. The average person has probably never heard of Jonathan Pollard, the CIA agent who spied for Israel. Pollard severely compromised US intelligence sources and methods, which eventually wound up in Soviet hands and yet our alliance with Israel survived. But this the withholding of information that could have prevented the 9/11 mass murder is well nigh unforgivable.
A McCAIN MOMENT
This story is also a devastating blow to the War Party and its plans for an all-out attack on Iraq. To understand why, we have only to listen to Senator John McCain the most belligerent and tireless of the warmongers going up against a skeptical Chris Matthews, who wanted to know if the Senator thought we should conquer Iraq and set up a military occupation. McCain looked pained, and replied: "I don't pretend to prescribe the exact strategy." Scott McConnell captured this McCain Moment well in a column for Antiwar.com:
"Then he fell back to what he believed to be his Maginot Line, the argument that trumps all arguments. My nightmare I have several nightmares about Saddam Hussein, but one of them is the that SCUD missile which he has. . . that's in the view of most, aimed at Israel. Aimed at Israel."
Well then, said Matthews, why doesn't Israel take them out?
McCain, stunned, hemmed and hawed for a moment, and finally said:
"Because I'm not sure we should ask the Israelis to do to take care of a threat to the United States of America."
Matthews: "But you just said it was a threat to Israel."
McCain: "Well to world peace, I think."
Matthews: "No you said it was a threat to Israel. Why should the United States deal with a threat to Israel? Why don't we let Israel we've been giving them $3 billion a year to defend themselves. Why don't we say, Defend yourselves. You've got a clear fight. Go take Saddam out'?"
McCain: "Because I think it's our job. I think we're the world's leader and I. . ."
Matthews: "Our job is to defend Israel?"
Equating our "national interest" with the defense of Israel, McCain's answer was, essentially, yes. But no one said this was a mutual defense pact. Israel wants us to defend them: yet who, pray tell, will defend us from the Israelis?
BETTER LATE THAN NEVER
It was Pat Buchanan, during the first Gulf war, who dared speak truth to power, and was smeared for it: the war on Iraq, he said, serves the interests of the Israeli Defense Ministry and its amen corner in the US, while the US has nothing to gain. We are glad to see that Chris Matthews has finally caught on.
NOW I GET IT!
Back in November I made note of a rather curious news report about the arrest of five Israelis who were caught videotaping the World Trade Center as it burned, all the while laughing and joking uproariously. This odd group was turned in by suspicious neighbors, and all five were jailed for two months, then deported back to Israel. This story, when first reported, was baffling: what, I wondered, were they laughing about? Today, the likely answer seems all too horrifically clear.
If and when it comes out that the Israelis stood by and watched as the terrorists took down the twin towers and the Pentagon, they are finished as our principal ally in the Middle East. As Americans begin to realize the enormity of the Israeli betrayal, and more details of the "sprawling" Israeli spy operation are revealed, the Israeli lobby will be in roughly the same position as the Arab-American community in the wake of 9/11. The backlash will be a tidal wave of anger, and it could get ugly. The same bullies who turned on their fellow Americans of Arab descent could just as easily turn on Jewish Americans, collectively condemning them as a "fifth column" in classic anti-Semitic style and a grave injustice will be compounded.
From all this, Americans will relearn an important lesson, one originally taught to us by George Washington in his "Farewell Address" and long since forgotten, especially where Israel is concerned:
"A passionate attachment of one nation for another produces a variety of evils. Sympathy for the favorite nation, facilitating the illusion of an imaginary common interest in cases where no real common interest exists, and infusing into one the enmities of the other, betrays the former into a participation in the quarrels and wars of the latter without adequate inducement or justification. It leads also to concessions to the favorite nation of privileges denied to others which is apt doubly to injure the nation making the concessions; by unnecessarily parting with what ought to have been retained, and by exciting jealousy, ill-will, and a disposition to retaliate, in the parties from whom equal privileges are withheld."
DON'T SAY I DIDN'T WARN YOU
Since this is one of those "don't say I didn't warn you" columns, I want to note that on the same day [December 11] the report on the Israeli spy operation came out, we also heard the news of Irv Rubin's arrest in a plot to blow up a large Los Angeles mosque and the office of Congressman Darrel Issa. Rubin is the self-styled "international chairman" of the Jewish Defense League (JDL), a group of violent nutballs responsible for several bombings over the years. The JDL was founded by the infamous racist and fascist Meir Kahane, whose Kach movement is outlawed as a violent hate group in Israel.
Kahane held that the Arabs are subhuman, and therefore it's okay to expel them from the territory of a Greater Israel: indeed, for Kahane and his followers, ethnic cleansing amounts to a religious duty. When Rubin, who has been arrested more than 40 times, was touted by the Libertarian Party as its latest recruit, and a big spread boasting of this glorious achievement was featured on the front page of the Libertarian Party News, I wrote a column partially devoted to warning of the possible consequences: "This guy is a walking time bomb," I opined, "just waiting to go off."
Don't say I didn't warn you and, remember, you read it here first .
|Re: Israel and 9/11|
|12/17/01 at 02:10:36|
December 17, 2001
9/11 What Was Israel's Role?
Fox News revelations point to an ominous conclusion
When is American foreign policy going to start putting America first? The US had nothing to gain, and everything to lose, by vetoing a UN resolution condemning violence on all sides in the Israeli-Palestinian conflict. The resolution condemned terrorism, no matter what the source, called for the creation of a "monitoring mechanism" to prevent violence, denounced executions without trial, and said the destruction of property must cease. You gotta problem with that?
This administration does: John Negroponte, American ambassador to the UN, justified the US veto by averring that the resolution aimed to "isolate politically one of the parties to the conflict through an attempt to throw the weight of the Council behind the other party.'' The resolution, said Negroponte, was unsatisfactory because it didn't specifically mention "recent acts of terrorism'' against Israelis. Naturally, this scuttled the whole thing, as it was intended to do.
THE VICTIMOLOGICAL OLYMPICS
For this argument, if carried on long enough, would lead to an infinite regression of victimological examples: the pro-Arab bloc would insist on specifically mentioning the supposedly accidental killing of five Palestinian children by an Israeli booby-trap bomb planted near a school. This would be the cue for the Israeli side to come up with a Hamas-Hizbollah atrocity that merits inclusion and, before you know it, we're all the way back to 1948 with the pro-Arabists demanding the inclusion of the massacre at Deir Yassein, and, naturally, the Zionist bloc doing them one better by moving for some mention of the Roman conquest and persecution of the Jews.
THE WAR AGAINST THE WORLD
The US veto undermines the war effort, and makes the Americans seem as if they are waging a war not only on Islam, but against the entire world on behalf of Israel. After decades of trying to prove its bona fides as an honest broker of peace in the region, it is the US that is effectively isolated. The resolution was cosponsored (or amended) by France and the Security Council vote was 12-1, with Britain and Norway abstaining. Whatever credibility the US had in the Arab world very little, I'm afraid was lost with that one arrogant gesture. So much for the grand "coalition" that Colin Powell has been building: the Israeli lobby in the US has demolished it with a single blow.
THE LAST LAUGH
Is that the demonic laughter of the Mad Sheik I hear, chortling in his cave at this act of American self-sabotage? It may be Osama bin Laden is not long for this world. Yet he will die happy in the knowledge that the US is sowing the seeds of his future warrior army, who will spring like Muslim Myrmidons out of Palestine's blood-soaked earth.
Speaking of sabotage, the story of the gigantic Israeli spy operation in the US and its mysterious activities in the weeks prior to 9/11 continues to amaze and shock even me. When I wrote, a few weeks ago, that the detention of some 60 Israelis in connection with 9/11 was "ominous" little did I realize just how much of an understatement that would turn out to be. It is often said that, post-9/11, the US is going through what the Israelis have had to endure for decades. The series of Fox News special reports on Israeli penetration of US intelligence assets puts this insight in an entirely new light. For it appears, from what we are learning, that the struggle between two desert tribes in a far away land has truly been brought home to the US: America, we are discovering to our horror, has become a battleground for both sides in that ancient conflict.
ENDS & MEANS
As I related last week, the first part of this astonishing four-part series by Fox News reporter Carl Cameron presents credible evidence suggesting Israeli intelligence had foreknowledge of the 9/11 attacks. The second and third parts show they had the means to acquire this knowledge. According to Cameron,
"Fox News has learned that some American terrorist investigators fear certain suspects in the Sept. 11 attacks may have managed to stay ahead of them, by knowing who and when investigators are calling on the telephone."
ALL ROADS LEAD TO AMDOCS
Cameron takes us through an explanation of how and why virtually all telephone calls in the US are billed by a single company, Amdocs Ltd., which just happens to be headquartered in Israel. Chances are that when you make a call, the record of the call and the billing is done through Amdocs. With a virtual monopoly in the US, and tentacles worldwide, Cameron reports that "it is virtually impossible to make a call on normal phones without generating an Amdocs record of it." Amdocs denies any wrongdoing, but sources tell Fox News that, in 1999,
"The super secret national security agency, headquartered in northern Maryland, issued what's called a Top Secret sensitive compartmentalized information report, TS/SCI, warning that records of calls in the United States were getting into foreign hands in Israel, in particular."
SPIES IN THE WOODWORK
It's not that anyone is listening in on all these calls, but that these methods are a way to know who is calling whom, when, and for how long vital information in and of itself. Cameron assures us that the White House and the Pentagon are immune from such surveillance, but an article in Insight, the magazine put out by the Washington Times, showed how Israeli intelligence had thoroughly penetrated the communications system at the Clinton White House. According to co-authors J. Michael Waller and Paul M. Rodriguez, writing in May of last year, the FBI was
"Probing an explosive foreign-espionage operation that could dwarf the other spy scandals plaguing the U.S. government. Insight has learned that FBI counterintelligence is tracking a daring operation to spy on high-level US officials by hacking into supposedly secure telephone networks. The espionage was facilitated, federal officials say, by lax telephone-security procedures at the White House, State Department and other high-level government offices and by a Justice Department unwillingness to seek an indictment against a suspect."
"The espionage operation may have serious ramifications," wrote Waller and Rodriguez, "because the FBI has identified Israel as the culprit."
MONICA TELLS ALL
Dozens of officials confirmed the story, telling the authors of this fascinating piece how the Israelis had managed to penetrate not only State Department telephone lines, but also those in the White House, the Defense Department, and the Justice Department. That the President knew this at the time is beyond doubt; it came out, you'll remember, during l'affaire Lewinsky, when Monica testified that, on March 29, 1997, she and Clinton were desecrating the Oval Office and she specifically remembered it because, as the Starr Report put it:
"He suspected that a foreign embassy was tapping his telephones, and he proposed cover stories. If ever questioned, she should say that the two of them were just friends. If anyone ever asked about their phone sex, she should say that they knew their calls were being monitored all along, and the phone sex was just a put on."
LITTLE DID THEY KNOW
That "foreign embassy" was the Israelis'. It is spooky, in retrospect, to read the comments of the American intelligence and law enforcement officials who sourced this pioneering Insight piece (which, for some reason, is no longer available on their website but is still available, thanks to the miracle of Google). "It's a huge security nightmare," said one senior US official. "The implications are severe," another unnamed official chimed in. "We're not even sure we know the extent of it," said a third high-ranking intelligence official. "All I can tell you is that we think we know how it was done. That alone is serious enough, but it's the unknown that has such deep consequences."
OUT OF THE MURK
Ah, but the deepness of these consequences is just beginning to be known. As the Fox News revelations make all too clear, they are a lot deeper than anyone, including Waller and Rodriguez, could possibly have imagined last year. The picture that is beginning to emerge out of the murk is this: the Israelis were watching the hijackers and/or their associates, and they very possibly had access to a complete set of the conspirators' phone records, if not direct access to the content of their conversations. In the months prior to the attacks, the Israelis did indeed issue a warning of "massive" terrorist attacks, but, in an effort to protect both their sources and methods, their warning gave no details and was therefore practically useless.
THE COMVERSE CONNECTION
The third part of the Fox series shows how the Israelis had access, not only to phone records, but also to the wiretaps being conducted by US law enforcement agencies. This access could have easily been provided, Cameron points out, by yet another hi-tech Israeli communications company, Comverse, which operates as practically a branch of the Israeli government, and enjoys near monopolistic status here in the US.
When you place a call, it goes through a complicated network of routers and switchers. The way wiretapping works is that customized computers are linked to that network via specialized software, and the system intercepts, records, and stores wiretapped calls. But this system has a "back door" that could have easily been opened by Israeli intelligence. Comverse maintains a link to the wiretapping computers, on the grounds that it is necessary for system "maintenance." Over the opposition of some patriotic law enforcement officers, this process was authorized by the 1994 Communications Assistance for Law Enforcement Act (CALEA). But that wasn't the end of it. According to Fox News,
"Attorney General John Ashcroft and FBI Director Robert Mueller were both warned Oct. 18 in a hand-delivered letter from 15 local, state and federal law enforcement officials, who complained that 'law enforcement's current electronic surveillance capabilipies are less effective today than they were at the time CALEA was enacted.'"
But Ashcroft is too busy rounding up Arabs and closing down their organizations to worry about the wholesale penetration of our communications system including "secure" networks at the White House, the Defense Department, and elsewhere by our wonderful allies, the Israelis. Cameron cites several unnamed law enforcement agents concerned about the ominous implications of the Israeli penetration in light of 9/11 who say that even raising the issue is "career suicide."
I HOPE YOU'RE SITTING DOWN
Okay, so the Israelis have the phone lines over at the White House, the Defense Department, the Justice Department, and, for all we know, your local dogcatcher's office bugged to the max. So they have the capability to know where and when practically every phone call in the US, and large sections of the rest of the world, is made, and to whom. As fantastic as it sounds, given the advance of technology and the reputation of the Mossad, I'm willing to believe it. What's really alarming, however, is that, as Cameron reports:
"On a number of cases, suspects that they had sought to wiretap and survey immediately changed their telecommunications processes. They started acting much differently as soon as those supposedly secret wiretaps went into place."
BEYOND THE BEGUINE
The implications of this stunning news go far beyond my original contention: that the Israelis had foreknowledge of the 9/11 attacks and simply failed to let us know the details. For it all depends on the intended target of the wiretaps: was it the Israelis, or Bin Laden's agents? If the former were acting differently after wiretaps were put in place, it means only that the Israelis were using their sources and methods to protect their own: if the latter, it means the Israelis were using their sources and methods to protect the Bin Ladenites. That is a possibility no one including me wants to contemplate, and, in all truthfulness, I must confess I cannot believe it. I am forced to concede, however, that, given what we now know, it is possible.
INVESTIGATE THE ISRAELI CONNECTION
At the end of his second report, Carl Cameron remarked to Brit Hume that the question of the Israeli connection to 9/11 "came up in the select intelligence committee on Capitol Hill today," and "they intend to look into what we reported last night." Naturally, all this is occurring in secret, with the likelihood of a cover-up all but certain. What is needed is a public investigation, and full disclosure of the Israeli role, if any, in 9/11.
WHERE IS THE MEDIA?
That, of course, is the role of the media and, in this regard, it is interesting to note that Cameron's explosive investigation has not been picked up by a single news outlet, as far as I know (although I would be happy to be proved wrong) or discussed by a single "mainstream" columnist. Yet Fox News is hardly a marginal new source. In a business where scandal and especially spy stories are hot, you would think that a story like this, with its tie-in to 9/11, would have the other networks and the major media falling all over themselves to get a piece of the action. But not this time, at least so far.
FAN MAIL FROM SOME CRANKY FLOUNDER
It's funny, but when I wrote my first column on this subject, I got a whole bunch of nutball letters from anti-Semitic cranks who told me that "the Jews" would never let me get away with it, and that I am now a "marked man." This story, wrote one correspondent, "will go nowhere," because "the Jews" control the media, blah blah blah. I laughed, reading these perfervid notes, most of them WRITTEN IN ALL CAPITAL LETTERS, wondering at the infinite capacity of people to fit reality into ideological categories rather than the other way 'round. After all, the mere fact that the story was broadcast on Fox News, a major media organization, appears to contradict the self-evidently absurd thesis that the "Elders of Zion," sitting in a control room somewhere, determine what news we're allowed to read.
THE TRUTH, AT LAST
It is too soon to say whether or not this story has "legs," as they say, and is going anywhere soon. But one thing's for sure: Fox News has blown the mystery of 9/11 wide open. This isn't going to just go away. On September 11, the American people looked on in disbelief at the sight of not only the World Trade Center going down but the Pentagon the Pentagon, fer chrissake! under attack and apparently defenseless. My first thought, at any rate, was: How could this happen? With these latest surprising developments pointing to an ambiguous Israeli role, at best, in all this I fear we are just beginning to discover the answer to that question.
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