November 18, 2002

Official 9/11 commission set to ignore Israeli connection

In the months prior to 9/11 a flurry of activity by Israeli intelligence agents in the U.S. signaled that something big was going on – but the FBI, the CIA, and the myriad of federal agencies charged with protecting this country from terrorism hadn't a clue. Now, why is that?

The answer is hidden in the fog of prevarications, obfuscation, and lame excuses cooked up by our government to explain the unexplainable: how and why did a conspiracy years in the making elude the intelligence chieftains of the American security apparatus? Now the U.S. government, under tremendous pressure from the families of the victims of 9/11, has yielded and agreed to an inquiry into why and how 9/11 happened.

Let the cover-up begin!

The 10-member commission will have 18 months to come up with newer, bigger, and better excuses for why our protectors fell asleep at the wheel. The "National Commission on Terrorist Attacks Upon the United States" (NatComTAUUS) will consist of "nationally recognized American citizens," the New York Times informs us, "with broad experience in national security affairs and law enforcement." They can't be currently in office, since the idea is to mimic what a real citizens' commission (or a grand jury) might look like by limiting membership to "private" individuals," but former office-holders are naturally the leading candidates.

With a chairman hand-picked by the White House, and limited subpoena power, the commission is born crippled, and is further disabled by the powerful influence of Senator John McCain, who has been sucking up to the families and posing as their great champion. But McCain – who gets to choose one of the commissioners, the swing vote in a bipartisan group – is only interested in fodder for his perpetual war on the White House, and in paving the way for a possible presidential run in 2004. If anyone thinks he is going to allow the 9/11 commission to examine what happened in the crucial months and weeks prior to the terrorist attacks, they are deluding themselves.

Another agitator for the creation of this phony commission has been Senator Joseph Lieberman, who has the same sort of political motives. Like McCain, he perhaps has a few other items on his private agenda that might conflict with a desire to actually discover the answer to the crucial question regarding 9/11: what happened that allowed a ragtag band of Islamo-wackos to hijack four airliners and ram them – practically simultaneously—into the two most visible symbols of American power? In spite of previous anti-terrorist studies, safeguards, and innumerable warnings, the alarm system was clearly turned off that day – but by whose hand?

One of my old right-wing favorites, a tract that turned up everywhere you looked back in the 1960s, was called None Dare Call It Treason, and that about sums up the atmosphere surrounding the creation of the NatComTAUUS. The aura of something very rotten in the state of our intelligence and law enforcement agencies at the federal level permeates the air so thickly that it is a veritable soup, and the distinguished commissioners are going to have to use an awful lot of air freshener to drown the stink out in a fine mist of flowery rhetoric.

Coleen Rowley is a veteran FBI agent whose bombshell memo drew attention to official obstructionism that blocked an effective investigation into the terror cells in our midst. Her thinly-veiled implication of treason in high places leaps off the page at the reader:

"During the early aftermath of September 11th, when I happened to be recounting the pre-September 11th events concerning the Moussaoui investigation to other FBI personnel in other divisions or in FBIHQ, almost everyone's first question was "Why? – Why would an FBI agent(s) deliberately sabotage a case? (I know I shouldn't be flippant about this, but jokes were actually made that the key FBIHQ personnel had to be spies or moles, like Robert Hansen, who were actually working for Osama Bin Laden to have so undercut Minneapolis' effort.)"

Rowley backs off immediately from drawing the obvious conclusion, or even considering the option that treason is indeed the reason. Instead, we are told that caution is built-in to any "hierarchical" organization, such as the FBI, and that "career enhancement" means going along to get along. And, of course, the failure is attributed to "recent extreme public and congressional criticism/oversight," which prejudiced the agency against taking any "aggressive" action. But this is clearly nonsense, for surely the desire for "career enhancement" would lead to the exact opposite of over-caution: after all, getting the bad guys would seem to be the surest career-enhancer. Unless, of course, somebody was protecting them – or, at least, protecting secrets deemed central to our national security.

It is going to be hard, however, for the NatComTAUUS to conduct a complete whitewash as long as Americans have access to the foreign press. Although our own media has yet to cover the most recent revelations about the crucial period leading up to 9/11, German and British reporters have uncovered the extent to which the hijackers were closely monitored by the Mossad during their sojourn in the U.S. Die Zeit, a respected German weekly, and the BBC, among others, have carried the story. I reported all this in a previous column that I will not repeat here except to say this:

Israeli agents, picked up by the U.S. authorities in the weeks prior to and after 9/11, lived "Next Door to Mohammed Atta," as the headline in Die Zeit put it, and had them under surveillance 24/7:

"Not until after the attacks of September 11 did the consequences of the spy ring become clear. Apparently the agents were not interested in military or industrial facilities, but were shadowing a number of suspects, who were later involved in the terrorist attacks against the US. According to a report of the French intelligence agency that Die Zeit examined, "according to the FBI, Arab terrorists and suspected terror cells lived in Phoenix, Arizona, as well as in Miami and Hollywood, Florida from December 2000 to April 2001 in direct proximity to the Israeli spy cells."

The Israelis have an alibi. They say they warned us – but that wasn't until August, and even then the warning was nonspecific. They also handed over a list of 19 suspected terrorists, Atta and his associates, but this somehow never made it into the right hands until it was too late.

What did they know, and when did they know it?

Will the NatComTAUUS even attempt to answer this question? Absolutely not. Our government is committed to the lie that this is all an "urban myth," and that any implication of Israeli foreknowledge of 9/11 is "anti-Semitism" akin to the frenetic ravings of the "poet" Amiri Baraka. Political correctness demands that any examination of Israel's role in an event that gave it tremendous political and diplomatic leverage is impermissible. And it sure helps to have clowns like Baraka around to delegitimize an impartial fact-oriented inquiry.

We've been covering the story of the Israeli-9/11 connection since November of last year, and I have watched it snowball from a mere suspicion on my part, at first, into a near-certainty as the evidence accumulated. For the past year, you've read about it, not only in this space, but in the "mainstream" outlets that investigated the Israeli "art student" spy operation, and eventually uncovered its strange synchronicity with the Islamist terrorist apparatus that executed the 9/11 attacks.

I'm proud that played a catalytic role in giving the pioneering efforts of Carl Cameron, of Fox News, Christopher Ketcham, and John Sugg, among others, a much wider circulation, and now it's time to push it even further. What is needed is a grassroots movement to demand that the aforementioned commission take up the question of Israel's role in 9/11.

Not that a commission controlled by the political parties will ever agree to any such demand – but agitation around this issue will underscore what's wrong with the commission. The fix is in, and the truth will not even be approached by this claque of political appointees—in spite of purported closed testimony before a committee of Congress detailing Mossad activities in this country related to the 9/11 investigation. But why not?

The power of the Israeli lobby, while considerable, could hardly quash conclusive evidence that the Israelis knew key details of the 9/11 plot in advance and somehow neglected to tell us. Somebody high up is covering his ass, and, while this is admittedly speculation, the following theory fits into the known facts.

If we assume that American intelligence and federal law enforcement agents really did obey strictures against domestic spying – a huge assumption – as they aver, then it is logical to assume they would try to figure out some way around it. What better way than to subcontract out to the Israelis? After all, what are friends for, anyway: a little mutual back-scratching is nothing between those who enjoy a "special relationship." The problem is, maybe the subcontractors didn't follow their contract to the letter, and might have even had their own agenda – one that didn't necessarily coincide with the best interests and safety of the United States.

What started out as a routine effort by government officials to get around the barriers imposed by legislated guidelines ended up as the biggest intelligence failure in American history – and, by the way, a turning point in that history.

The 9/11 attacks unleashed a wave of hatred against any and all Muslims that had the effect of aligning the U.S. with Israel against the entire Arab world. The U.S. is now moving to do in the Middle East at large what the Israelis have done in miniature in the West Bank and Gaza. The conquest and occupation of Iraq will soon be followed by other wars of "liberation." The overthrow of the regional governments, one by one, will either be engineered by a "revolution" in the Panamanian tradition (i.e. one bought and paid for by the U.S.) or, in the event of a shortage of suitable Quislings, achieved by outright conquest and subsequent occupation. These wars will last until a vast MacArthur Regency is established by American force of arms, from Cairo to Kabul, and southward to Yemen, and the oil-rich fields of the Saudi peninsula.

And all of this will have been achieved on the momentum of a single, seminal event: the fury unleashed by 9/11, having leveled the Arab world, may not be assuaged even then.

There is only one sure way to demolish the War Party, which has been in the ascendant since 9/11, and that is to demythologize what happened that day. According to the soon-to-be-official story, a bunch of really evil guys, who hated America for stuff like strip clubs, drunkenness, and prostitution, lived among us for years, completely undetected – and then, suddenly, out of the blue, ka-boom! The World Trade Center and the Pentagon are reduced to cinders. The Devil made them do it.

But who watched them do it?

My new book, due out from Verso Books next year, blows the lid off this explosive story, and if you thought the intensity of the recent barrage of attacks on and this author was surprising, then just wait until that little volume comes out. In the newest fount of neoconservative vituperations, the Sunday section of the Boston Globe, Ronald Radosh proclaimed yours truly the evil mastermind behind the rise of a "red-brown" alliance against the Iraq war. WorldNutDaily has been frothing at the mouth about us lately, but they're not as coherent (or as vicious) as Radosh, who made a special point of noting:

"As for Israel, last week Raimondo continued to proclaim the myth that 'Israel had foreknowledge of 9/11,' a claim that puts his Web site in league with the most extreme anti-Semitic canards coming from the Arab world, not to mention the poetry of Amiri Baraka."

Is Carl Cameron merely echoing the "poetry" of Baraka? Is pro-Israel pro-war Fox News, the broadcast voice of the conservative wing of the GOP, "in league with the most extreme anti-Semitic canards coming from the Arab world"? Salon, Le Monde, Jane's Intelligence, the wire services, Der Spiegel, Die Zeit, the BBC – all are in on a Vast Anti-Semitic Conspiracy, spreading "canards" in the clever guise of news stories appearing in the mainstream media. Is this what we are supposed to believe?

The intensity of the recent attacks – see this smear job by the wild and crazy Stephen Schwartz, a.k.a. Suleyman Amad, a.k.a. "Comrade Sandalio"—means we're hitting our enemies where it hurts.

It's nice to be hated by the other side, but it's also important to be loved by your friends. And that's where you come in.

The War Party is amply funded, of that you can be sure: all you have to do is take a gander at the tremendous resources made available to just one of our neoconservative detractors, and you can see what we're up against. The recently-formed "Committee for the Liberation of Iraq" is being sponsored by the very same people who pushed for the creation of this phony 9/11 commission: Senators McCain and Lieberman. And you can bet the Committee, as a quasi-governmental organization, will have considerable resources at its disposal. They won't have to worry about their phone bill.

But we do.

Our last fundraising appeal garnered some $15,000 – a large sum, on such short notice, but not enough to get us through the end of the year. Unless we raise another $15,000 in rather short order, we'll have to start cutting back our operations by almost half.

It isn't going to be pretty.

So here's the deal. Every contribution of $250 and over by December 1 will get you an autographed copy of my forthcoming book, The Terror Enigma: 9/11 and the Israeli Connection, before it even hits bookstores outside the United Kingdom.

This book is going to knock the socks off the myth of 9/11. It has the potential to act as a catalyst, radically re-orienting our view of 9/11 – and ultimately leading to a re-thinking of the American response. had a hand in breaking this important story. Just as we led the fight against the lies put out by the Clintonian wing of the War Party during the Kosovo campaign, so we carry on the fight against the Bush wing today. We are reaching millions of readers around the world with our message of a peaceful noninterventionist foreign policy as the American ideal, and you don't want us to stop – or even slow down – now. As the U.S. stands on the brink of the greatest foreign policy disaster ever to befall this country – as we aspire to the role of world hegemon – now is the time for our supporters to come through.

Imagine a world without, and then – quick! – click here to contribute.

Remember: we have precious little time to reach our goal of $15,000. Inside of a little over a month, the lights could begin to go out. – while, over in the posh Washington headquarters of the Committee for the "Liberation" of Iraq's Assets, the lights will be burning late into the night.

– Justin Raimondo

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9/11: What Did Israel Know?

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Justin Raimondo is the editorial director of He is also the author of Reclaiming the American Right: The Lost Legacy of the Conservative Movement (with an Introduction by Patrick J. Buchanan), (1993), and Into the Bosnian Quagmire: The Case Against U.S. Intervention in the Balkans (1996). He is an Adjunct Scholar with the Ludwig von Mises Institute, in Auburn, Alabama, a Senior Fellow at the Center for Libertarian Studies, and writes frequently for Chronicles: A Magazine of American Culture. He is the author of An Enemy of the State: The Life of Murray N. Rothbard.