was eerie to actually see the scene of a
story I have written about on more
than one occasion, to
see and hear the people I had only read about and, vaguely, imagined. On Friday
night, the ABC News program 20/20 broadcast "The
White Van," which told the story of 5 young Israeli men apprehended in New
Jersey hours after the World Trade Center was hit. They had been observed on 9/11
watching the burning of the World Trade Center from their vantage point in Liberty
State Park, New Jersey, photographing each other as they rejoiced against the
backdrop of the WTC aflame in the distance. Writing on March 15, I envisioned
the scene, described in
news stories and conjured in my mind's eye:
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?"
why a shiver of deja-vu passed through me as I watched the 20/20
news report. Listening to the New Jersey housewife who spotted the cheering Israelis
from her highrise apartment, watching the baffled look on her face as she described
the young Israelis:
were like happy, you know
They didn't look shocked to me. I thought it was very
was like seeing a made-for-tv movie adaptation of a novel
I'd read many times. Familiar but strangely truncated in certain
key areas, abbreviated to conform to the supposedly short
attention span of its audience, and, in true Hollywood style,
not only bowdlerized but completely vulgarized. The result
is a fairly interesting story studded with nuggets of new
information, and saddled with a tacked-on indeed, downright
counterintuitive moral at the end, as intoned by Baba Wawa:
hope we've put all these woomers to west."
of the ABC report confirms my basic contention, and the contention of many others,
that there was indeed, as Fox News reporter Carl Cameron puts it, a "vast Israeli
spy operation" in the US in full operational mode prior to 9/11, engaged in watching
the pro-Arab support network that operates in many major American cities.
the 20/20 report amounts to is the Israelis' second line of defense, which basically
boils down to this: well, yeah, they were Israeli spies, but they were
just here defending Israel's interests and had no pre-knowledge of 9/11. In the
process of spinning this new rationale, however, we have a series of damning admissions,
as spun by ABC terrorism "expert" Vince Cannistraro, a "former chief of operations
for counterterrorism with the CIA."
arrested men's names were found in a search of a national intelligence database.
We are also told by Cannistraro as if we don't already know that Urban Moving
Systems was probably a Mossad front. Duh-uh! Gee, I guess that's why, shortly
cops raided their New Jersey office, the Urban Movers got a move on, with
owner Dominick Suter fleeing the country. The purpose of this spy nest, we are
told in a reassuring tone, was
an intelligence operation against radical Islamists in the area, particularly
in the New Jersey-New York area."
runs this "sure they were spies, but
" explanation up the flagpole in the hope
that, awed by Cannistraro's "expertise" and connections, everyone will salute:
this scenario, the alleged spying operation was not aimed against the United States,
but at penetrating or monitoring radical fund-raising and support networks in
Muslim communities like Paterson, N.J., which was one of the places where several
of the hijackers lived in the months prior to Sept. 11."
problem with this fallback story is that penetrating or monitoring New Jersey
Muslims and having foreknowledge of 9/11 are not mutually exclusive. Indeed, such
surveillance to the degree it was successful would have increased the likelihood
that the Israelis would gain some knowledge of the 9/11 plot. If not all
the details, at least a strong indication that 9/11 was bound to be a special
day one they would celebrate, shamelessly and carelessly, in full sight of others,
unable to restrain their joy at the sight of the WTC emitting a black cloud over
September 14 New York Times round-up
of the nationwide investigation into the terrorist attacks seemed to imply not
just foreknowledge, in the case of the 5 Israelis, but some form of collaboration:
New Jersey, where officials believe that the hijackers received assistance
from accomplices, Sherri Evanina, a spokeswoman for the FBI. in Newark, said
that five men were detained late Tuesday after the van in which they were driving
was stopped on Route 3 in East Rutherford. She said witnesses had reported seeing
the men celebrating the attack on the World Trade Center earlier in the day in
Union City. 'They were seen leaving the location after they were celebrating,'
Agent Evanina said. 'They were watching the entire event from their location.'"
the best comedy is unintentional, then "The White Van" is chock full of yucks.
The following had me rolling on the floor:
the FBI, deciphering the truth from the five Israelis proved to be difficult.
One of them, Paul Kurzberg, refused to take a lie-detector test for 10 weeks
then failed it, according to his awyer. Another of his lawyers told us Kurzberg
had been reluctant to take the test because he had once worked for Israeli intelligence
in another country."
the FBI, it seems, deciphering anything that isn't completely spelled out for
them is well nigh impossible. So he wouldn't take the test for weeks, then took
it and failed and then denied working for the Mossad in this country,
at any rate. As John Stossel, Barbara Walters' 20/20 colleague, ceaselessly
reiterates: "Gimme a break!"
in this case, is it so hard for the FBI to discover the truth when they're being
practically hit over the head with it? It's pathetic, really, to contemplate the
utter cluelessness of our chief federal law enforcement agency, and the reporters
who take their denials seriously. As 20/20 reports:
the denials, sources tell ABC News there is still debate within the FBI over whether
or not the young men were spies."
wonder Mohamed Atta and his fellow ghouls managed to sidestep our Keystone Kops
so easily. If these jokers are still "debating" the obvious, then our government
officials are right when they tell us that another massive terrorist attack is
"inevitable." With these retards on guard duty, I'm surprised it hasn't happened
tone-deaf 20/20 reporter, John Miller, blathers on, oddly oblivious to
the jarring effect of a conclusion that seems to contradict much of what came
before. Okay, so "many U.S. government officials" concede the Urban Movers were
Mossad spies, in the area on a specific mission, but don't worry, folks, because
the FBI is telling us "To date, this investigation has not identified anybody
who in this country had pre-knowledge of the events of 9/11." Note the curiously
tentative nature of this disclaimer: to date, indeed
20/20 technique is merely to drag Cannistraro out, who references mysterious
"sources" to conclude that those lost little Israelis were just having some good
clean fun that day, protecting Israel against terrorism (in New Jersey!):
investigation, at the end of the day, after all the polygraphs, all of the field
work, all the cross-checking, the intelligence work, concluded that they probably
did not have advance knowledge of 9/11."
along. Nothing to see here. Take it from me, the Expert. After all, would I lie
tale of the White Van, as told by 20/20, raises more questions than it
settles. For what about those polygraphs? We are told that some of the
Israeli detainees "were given as many as seven lie-detector tests." Why so many?
The five were detained for over two months, 40 days of it in solitary confinement,
time and opportunity enough for an awful lot of questions. Perhaps some of the
answers contain a clue to help unravel the central unsolved mystery of 9/11, which
in Gehenna did a rag-tag bunch of Islamist nutballs, who were hoping
to finance their terrorist plot with a US government loan, manage to pull
off the biggest, deadliest, most spectacularly coordinated act of super-sabotage
in modern history without state support, all on their own?
revelations by ex-FBI wiretap translator Sibel Edmonds of an unnamed "Middle
Eastern country" with agents inside the FBI obstructing, mistranslating, and misdirecting
official investigations make the question of "foreknowledge," "pre-knowledge,"
or whatever you want to call it moot. As I pointed out in
my last column, the Edmonds allegations raise the ante considerably, from
passive foreknowledge of 9/11 to the sinister possibility of Israel's active facilitation.
As Edmonds wrote in a March letter to the inspector general's office:
are being compromised. Incorrect or misleading translations are being sent to
agents in the field. Translations are being blocked and circumvented."
will take more than Baba Wawa and her babbling yes-man to circumvent the facts and "spin" the Israelis
out of this one. For what 20/20 conveniently left out was the entire context
of the larger Israeli spy story,
as uncovered by Carl Cameron in his
4-part series on Fox News, and since widely discussed both here and abroad.
are supposed to look at five guys in a van, dancing for joy in the shadow of the
burning WTC, in isolation, apart from the hundreds of Israeli "art students" who
took such an ardent interest in entering government buildings in the months and
weeks prior to 9/11.
absurdly, we are supposed to ignore a Federal Bureau of Investigation riddled
with spies who owe their allegiance to a certain "Middle Eastern" country with
an interest in compromising investigations, circulating misleading translations
of wiretaps, and blocking what can't be botched. If all that is true today, then
it was even truer prior to 9/11 and now are you beginning to solve the
central mystery of 9/11?
intrepid reporters over at 20/20 look like they went
to a lot of trouble to check out this story. They tracked
down one of the original witnesses, went all the way to Israel
to hear the young Israelis' denials, and hauled out ABC's
highly-paid pet "expert" to spin away the obvious.
But, somehow, they failed to do the elementary sort of research
that would've mandated only a trip to their local library.
There they might have read this astonishing
story that appeared in the [September 12, 2001] Bergen
Record, which describes the 5 Israeli detainees picked
up 8 hours after the WTC attack as "carrying maps linking
them to the blasts":
close to the investigation said they found other evidence linking the men to the
bombing plot. 'There are maps of the city in the car with certain places highlighted,'
the source said. 'It looked like they're hooked in with this. It looked like they
knew what was going to happen when they were at Liberty State Park.'"
Baba Wawa's whitewash won't wash. Those "woomers" are still circulating
and with good reason. We won't know what really happened that fateful day until
and unless Congress takes seriously its responsibility to investigate. For starters,
let's take a look at those highlighted maps and then drag the rest of Israel's
spy operation out into the full light of day. Then and only then can we answer
an increasingly important question about the background to 9/11: What did the
Israelis know and how did they know it?
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