GIANT GRAIN OF TRUTH
more to this grain than meets the eye, however. As we cut
through the "spin" – oh no, they just couldn’t have
been spying against the US government, could they?
this much is clear: Carl
Cameron of Fox News was right when he reported that Israeli
intelligence operatives were watching Al Qaeda’s American
cells in the weeks and days prior to 9/11. As to what they
knew, and when they knew it: Cameron’s sources in law enforcement
are saying that the Mossad had "foreknowledge" of the 9/11
terror attacks, and my regular readers are no doubt familiar
with my own views on this subject but why don’t we
leave it to a congressional investigation to discover the
interesting to note the phraseology here: "The Forward
has learned" … from whom? They don’t say, but it’s
fair to guess that this information is coming directly from
the primary source by way of an admission. Of course, only
nutballs of a certain sort believe The Forward and
other Jewish publications have a direct line to the Mossad,
but it’s logical that the Israelis would pick such a venue
to "spin" the truth and minimize the damage. They weren’t
spying on the US, you see, but on "a common enemy," blah blah
blah. Yeah, but they were doing it in America, presumably
without our knowledge, and this admission gives us a new perspective
not only on the events of 9/11 but also on the aftermath of
war and furious diplomatic maneuvering in the Middle East.
News reported on "a vast Israeli spy operation" in the US,
and the vastness of it no doubt exceeds the dimensions measured
so far by Carl Cameron, LeMonde,
present writer. But even what we know, or think we know,
now gives us an outline of a truly massive Israeli underground
operation in the US, a two-pronged assault on
US Government, specifically seeking to penetrate law enforcement
agencies, such as the INS, the DEA, the FBI, as well as
military facilities, such as Tinker Air Force Base, and
Qaeda, with its cells incubating in Florida, California,
North Carolina, and god knows where else.
important to realize, however, that there is no evidence –
so far that the Israelis took any action other than strictly
observing. They watched, and only in the immediate aftermath
of the terror that struck Manhattan did they act ….
FOR JOY ON 9/11
column I told the story of how, hours after the hijackers
struck the World Trade Center, the police picked up a van
full of Israelis who been reported as jumping for joy at the
sight of the twin towers burning. They were spotted in Liberty
State Park, overlooking Manhattan, where they had a good view
of the catastrophe. As smoke billowed up into the pellucid
sky, obscuring the sun, they laughed and joked and took pictures
of each other against a backdrop of unspeakable horror. Outraged
witnesses called the cops, who swooped down and picked them
up. These "Middle Eastern-looking men," as witnesses described
them, turned out to be Israelis: they were found with box
cutters in their van, $4,000 in cash, and multiple passports.
The van was registered as the property of "Urban Moving Systems."
Police interrogated them for hours, and transferred them to
a maximum security facility. A raid on the Urban Moving Systems
warehouse (whose owner, Dominik
Suter, has since fled to Israel) yielded computers, documents,
and other evidence of what?
The Forward reports these guys were "subjected to an
unusual number of polygraph tests and interrogated by a series
of government agencies including the FBI's counterintelligence
division, which by some reports remains convinced that Israel
was conducting an intelligence operation." Furthermore:
to one former high-ranking American intelligence official,
who asked not to be named, the FBI came to the conclusion
at the end of its investigation that the five Israelis arrested
in New Jersey last September were conducting a Mossad surveillance
mission and that their employer, Urban Moving Systems of Weehawken,
N.J., served as a front."
wonder what Daniel
Pipes has to say now: is The Forward spreading
an "urban myth" with "anti-Semitic" overtones? Will the insufferably
Taranto, who thinks "the best evidence" that "there’s
nothing to this story" is that I have "seized on it"
now admit that he was wrong, wrong, wrong and perform
an appropriate act of contrition like kissing my (OO)?
LINE OF DEFENSE
that their spy nest has been exposed, and denials no longer
work, the Israelis have been driven back to their second line
of defense: Yes, we were watching Al Qaeda, "our common
enemy," but, as The Forward is quick to add:
emphasized that the release of all the Israelis under investigation
indicates that they were cleared of any suspicion that they
had prior knowledge of the September 11 attacks, as some anti-Israel
media outlets have suggested."
"anti-Israel media outlets" are never named, but whom
could they possible mean? The predictably right-wing Fox News?
I don’t think so. LeMonde? The day after the prominent
French newspaper printed a story about the "Israeli art students"
who tried to penetrate the DEA and other agencies, and were
arrested en masse, the same paper ran an editorial which one
correspondent of mine, conversant in French, describes in
the train back from Paris last night, I found a splendid commentary
piece in Le Monde by the same Sylvain Cypel, back-pedaling
furiously and raucously denouncing the ‘anti-Semitic fantasies’
of those who think that the Israelis could have been involved
in the events of 9/11. As you know, Le Monde is so
politically correct that it makes the New York Times
look like Der Stuermer."
LeMonde is out: perhaps they mean OnlineIntelligence.com.
But its editor, Guillaume
Dasquie, has previously pushed a
theory that would seem to benefit the Israelis,
and which echoes the neoconservative line that the whole conspiracy
against America can be traced back to Wahabism and the government
of Saudi Arabia. So Dasquie, not known for his anti-Israel
views, is also out. That leaves the numerous newspapers and
as Insight, that reported on this story after it broke
(for the second time): the Associated
Press, the British
papers, and most of the American media. But Insight,
published by the staunchly pro-Israel Washington Times,
can hardly be described as an "anti-Israel media outlet,"
and, as for the others – is The Forward saying that
most of the American media is "anti-Israel"? I suppose it’s
possible they believe that, but then again it seems more likely
they are referring to the well-known "media outlet" where
this story originated right here in this space,
would differ, of course: we are not "anti-Israel,"
but merely pro-American – and pro-truth. We think our government
should pursue a foreign policy that puts America first, not
Israel, and believe the interests of the two longtime allies
have radically diverged – as the story of the Israeli spy
operation in the US makes all too clear.
interesting aspect of The Forward piece is that it
raises the really fascinating question of how the Israeli
spy scandal is having an effect on US-Israeli relations –
and to what extent it is a factor in setting the pace and
direction of the diplomatic dance now taking place over the
resulting tensions between Washington and Jerusalem, sources
told The Forward, arose not because of the operations'
targets but because Israel reportedly violated a secret gentlemen's
agreement between the two countries under which espionage
on each other's soil is to be coordinated in advance."
do you think the Bush administration is denying
Israel that "extra" $800 mil, suddenly proposing
a UN resolution endorsing a Palestinian state, and barring
"foreign nationals" (i.e.
Israelis) from "sensitive" jobs? Colin Powell’s chastisement
of Israel is not
too surprising, but, as the New York Times reports,
the President now seems to agree:
it's not helpful, what Israel has recently done,’ Mr. Bush
said at an afternoon news conference. At another point, the
president said he hoped that Prime Minister Ariel Sharon of
Israel was concerned about the loss of ‘innocent life’ in
the region. ‘It breaks my heart,’ Mr. Bush said."
BREAK ME UP
best confirmation of the Israeli spy story is the rapid evolution
of US policy on the Palestinian question in the last week
or so. America’s stance toward Israel has taken a decidedly
adversarial turn, and it isn’t because Dubya’s heart is breaking.
What’s breaking is the real story of 9/11 – and, perhaps,
America’s unconditional support to a troublesome and deceptively
Bush administration has done everything
possible to bury
this story, because what it means is that, while the Israelis
were watching Al Qaeda, we weren’t. Naturally, the
FBI will deny this story ‘til the cows come home, because
it makes them look as clueless as they are. By revealing at
least a small part of the truth, now, The Forward piece
not only spins the story the "right" way, but is also payback
for the administration’s new policy direction.
Forward devotes a whole separate story, "FBI
Probe Defuses Israeli Spying Rumors," to the "Israeli
art students" aspect of the spy apparatus, and tries to
paint a more equivocal picture. The piece starts off with
denials by Israeli and US government officials and ends with
a rather dubious alibi:
former senior U.S. intelligence official offered a different
hypothesis. ‘My guess and the one I heard from people in counterintelligence
is that this could have been an Israeli training exercise,
because they were all young and amateurish,’ he said."
but in seeking to penetrate US government and military facilities,
what were they "training" for? Cells of 20 or so each
around the country, trying to get into DEA offices, trailing
officials to their homes, even trying to get into Tinker Air
Force Base – rather ominous, wouldn’t you say? Even
more ominous is a mid-October report in the Philadelphia
Mercury about two "Middle Easterners" with Israeli-sounding
names picked up by police in Plymouth, Pennsylvania:
men whom police described as Middle Eastern were detained
in [Plymouth] township by federal immigration authorities
after being found with detailed video footage of the Sears
Tower in Chicago."
Elmakias, 30, and Ron Katar, 23, were detained by police.
The cops first approached their parked van, on a report that
the occupants, two "Middle Eastern-looking men," had engaged
in illegal dumping. According to the Mercury, witnesses
"were able to provide township police with the Florida registration
number of the tractor-trailer and said that a sign posted
on the side of the vehicle read ‘Moving Systems Incorporated’
and included a phone number."
police approached, Katar exited the sleeper and told them
the others were across the street. Just then:
and a white female, Ayelet Reisler, 23, were approaching the
vehicle from the dealership, but the female then began walking
in a different direction, acting as if she were not with Elmakias,
according to reports. Reisler was detained and checked for
identification. She had a German passport in her name and
medication in a different name, police said."
David Schmader put it in Seattle’s lively alternative
voice, The Stranger:
alibis can two Middle Eastern men in a stolen truck containing
footage of the Sears Tower provide? They're tourists with
an eye for architecture? They were collecting footage to submit
to FOX TV's America's Funniest Gargantuan Structures? Who
knows? Stay tuned for further details."
there are no "further details." All we know is that
Ms. Reisler was released, and the other two were transferred
to a federal facility "for further investigation." Whomever
is investigating certainly is taking their time about it,
because we have heard neither hide nor hair of these folks
again – they vanished into detention and then simply disappeared.
Whether they were quietly spirited back to Israel, like
their fellow Urban Movers in New York, or else still languish
in federal prisons, is anybody’s guess. One hopes for the
latter, but strongly suspects the former is true.
this "Urban Moving Systems" was a scam – there’s
a whole organization devoted to exposing what a rip-off these
guys were, regularly absconding with their customers’
possessions. Were they really a harmless bunch of Israeli
"students" trying to earn a living? But if these guys were
just scam artists, then why did they make a video that gives
a detailed look at the Sears Tower? And if they were, indeed,
a front for Israeli intelligence, like their New York counterparts,
but just trainees on a practice run as the anonymous
spook cited in The Forward piece avers then
what were they practicing for … and how can we be so
sure it wasn’t the real thing?
FRIENDS, THE ISRAELIS
either with us," says George W. Bush, "or you’re against us,"
there can be no "neutrality" in the never-ending "war on terrorism."
But which side are our friends, the Israelis, on?
are more sides to this battle than the President is letting
on. Beyond the one-dimensional rhetoric of the "war on terrorism,"
the complexity of the struggle comes out in his recent actions
– and is underscored by the stunning implications of this
breaking story. It began with various
and scattered odd accounts of mysterious Israeli "art students"
pushing their way into government offices nationwide, and
a story about the
laughing Israelis, whose delight in the downing of the
twin towers was their undoing. (I hear they
are also now planning to sue the US government for the
ill treatment they received at our hands.) Where it will all
end is impossible to say, but the evidence, as it comes out,
validates and confirms what we have been saying in this space
since late November: a secret war was fought on our soil in
the crucial days leading up to 9/11. To our shocked horror,
the bad guys won out – and I don’t just mean Al Qaeda.
CLEAR THE AIR
is needed is a public investigation by Congress into Israel’s
spy operations in the US, one that zeroes in on their possible
connection to what happened on 9/11 – and what didn’t
happen. Then and only then will the cloud of obfuscation be
lifted, the dark rumors dispelled, and the air cleared once
and for all.
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