was pretty exciting there, at least for a while: the Northern
Alliance was closing in on Osama bin Laden, or so we were
told, and the battle of Tora Bora was going to be Al Qaeda's
Gotterdammerung: the Mad Sheik's last stand. They heard Osama's voice
giving commands to his beleaguered troops over the radio,
and brought in specialists to verify his DNA in case he fell
in battle. Pundits argued over whether he should be tried
in one of those special military tribunals, and headlines
screamed: Osama Cornered! Bin Laden Finished! There's No Escape! Closer and closer the US
and its Afghan allies crept, until, at last … victory evaporated
into the mist, along with OBL himself. Welcome to the "new
war," the Surreal War, where nothing including
"victory" is quite what it seems….
we are told, his trail went cold, and our hi-tech, hi-falutin'
multi-billion dollar military machine can't seem to find him
anywhere. Like so
much else in our crazy mixed-up post-9/11 world, what we thought
we knew turns out to have been an illusion. Our great "victory,"
hailed by the pundits, seems equally illusory, dispelled by
the news that the Northern Alliance is letting
the Taliban leaders go free. In a culture which, as one
Pentagon type put it, "has a history built on bartering,"
the disappearance of Mullah Omar along with Osama
is highly suspicious, to say the least.
the Taliban, and Al Qaeda, melt into the wild country of Central
Asia, the triumph of the West seems strangely hollow
particularly to George W. Bush and his political advisors,
who have no doubt seen that poll in which 70-plus percent
say it won't be a real victory unless we get Osama.
are constantly being told how "everything is different
now," but have even the laws of nature changed? Events
no longer seem to have a beginning, a middle, and an end
they simply erupt, and then fade away in our collective memory,
like dreams dimly recalled in the morning. So much about the
post-9/11 world seems oddly inconclusive, like a ball of yarn
made up entirely of loose ends. There was, for example, the
story about the mysterious financial transactions that took
place just prior to 9/11. Unusual amounts of money were bet
on the possibility that airlines and insurance companies would
stand to lose a lot of their value in the coming weeks. Remember that one?
It was a one-day wonder, with several stories telling us that
the whole thing was being "investigated," and then
HURRY UP, ALREADY
next to nothing. Last I heard (Sunday), German computer experts
were still "working 'round the clock to unlock the truth
behind an unexplained
surge in financial transactions made just before"
9/11. But they've been working 'round the clock since practically
The Day After: so what's the big delay?
FRONTIERS FOR WAR PROFITEERS
recall that these lucky or else very knowledgeable investors reaped more
than $2.5 million in profits by trading options on United
Airlines stock, although they never showed up to claim their
profits. It was around the end of September when the story
broke, and we were told that regulators and law-enforcement
agents in the US and Europe were investigating "unusual
patterns" in so-called put-options and "short sales"
financial instruments which amount to placing a bet
that the price of a particular stock or commodity will fall.
It wasn't just airline stocks that were involved, but also
insurance providers and companies resident in the World Trade
Tower: Morgan Stanley Dean Witter and Merrill Lynch, among
others. Such activity skyrocketed in the three trading days
before 9/11. "This smells real bad," said one stock
market maven to the San
FRESH WIND BLOWS
the stench hasn't lingered, at least not in the public consciousness
and the media is too busy transcribing government press
releases with one hand and saluting with the other to bother
following up on the story. The New
York Times reported that the Securities and Exchange Commission
(SEC) had found a "benign" explanation for what
seemed to be "terrorist insider trading," while
the bureaucrats averred that they were "pursuing all
credible leads": and then, like so much else in our oddly
insubstantial post-9/11 universe nothing.
made those investments almost certainly had at least some
foreknowledge of the 9/11 catastrophe. Was it Osama bin Laden's
broker? His wealthy Arab backers'? The Chronicle
piece ended with the speculation of unnamed "experts"
who claimed that all the "likely candidates" just
had to be "affluent Arabs." Why is this necessarily
so? The co-authors of the piece didn't exactly say, asserting
only that it was "presumed." But surely, if we have
learned anything in the past four months, it is that we have
to throw out all the old assumptions and preconceptions in
this, our "new" war.
As related in my
columns, I can think of a few others who might have had
a clue that certain airline stocks were going to take a deep
follow-up article, a Reuters piece by Erick Kirschbaum,
the focus is on the efforts of a German computer company that
specializes in recovering information stored on hard drives.
Out of the rubble of the World Trade Center nearly 40 disk
drives have been found remarkably intact, their contents retrieved
100 percent by the German company, Convar.
Investigators hope to answer the question asked in the article:
"Were criminals responsible for the sharp rise in credit
card transactions that moved through some computer systems
at the WTC shortly before the planes hit the twin towers?"
TERRORISM TO CREDIT CARD FRAUD?
is an entirely new angle: we are off the suspicious pattern
of short selling, and onto something else a credit
card scam that would sound fairly ordinary if it wasn't tied
up with the worst terrorist attack in American history. Is
this something an Islamist fanatic would plan, or does it
seem more like a more prosaic rip-off thought up by some organized
OF THE FAST-MOVING MILLIONS
any case, according to Reuters, the key to the mystery of
who profited from foreknowledge of 9/11 is supposedly contained
in these damaged hard drives. Richard Wagner, a data retrieval
expert at Convar, the company contracted to recover this vital
data, says "illegal transfers of more than $100 million
might have been made immediately before and during the disaster."
This must mean the massive wave of stock option purchases
and short-selling. Furthermore, he says:
is a suspicion that some people had advance knowledge of the
approximate time of the plane crashes in order to move out
amounts exceeding $100 million. They thought that the records
of their transactions could not be traced after the main frames
what about the promised
SEC investigation, and that agency's reportedly "benign"
explanation for all these financial shenanigans? The bureaucrats
have yet to share their explanation with the rest of us. Meanwhile,
their investigation appears to have been abandoned early on,
and then, strangely, privatized, i.e. taken over by certain unnamed private companies,
and narrowly focused on the unusually high volume of suspicious
transactions which took place that fateful morning. Yet the
crime of the century was planned and executed over a period
of at least five years, according to various "experts"
and government officials, plenty of time to build up a highly
profitable post-9/11 portfolio. While there may be important
clues lodged in yet-to-be-recovered hard drives or
forever lost in the rubble the record of the market
in the weeks and months preceding 9/11 is surely just as valuable,
if not more so.
GUARDING THE HEN-HOUSE?
why isn't it being followed up? Where oh where are our much-vaunted
government "regulators," who according to
the liberal-leftie myth are supposed to be guarding
the market and protecting us from the alleged evils of unregulated
capitalism or is this a case of the fox "guarding"
the new world, everything is wrapped in the near impenetrable
mist of a San Francisco morning. Call it "the fog of
war," or a smokescreen, depending on your politics and
proclivities, but whatever it is, it blurs the edges off facts
and gives life in wartime a certain surrealistic air. Remember
how the President told us we might not always hear about the
real action in this new and different kind
of war. Everything important is a secret, and the apparent
ease and even inevitability of our glorious victory overseas
is muted by a sense of all-pervasive fear at home. The alarm
is sounded, suddenly in the night, but never do we hear the
"all clear." What silent battles are taking place
on the home front as we celebrate the taking of Tora Bora?
I'm almost afraid to find out….
COVER OF NIGHT
in mystery as the post-9/11 world seems, a few details stand
out in sharp relief, and sometimes the sun even breaks through,
for a moment, throwing light on the sort of people who do
their best work under cover of darkness. Part four of Carl
Cameron's Fox News special report on Israeli undercover operations
in the US is one such a beam of illumination.
ON THE TRUTH
Cameron we learn that nearly 200 Israelis have been rounded
up by law enforcement because they are "suspected of
belonging to an 'organized intelligence-gathering operation.'"
Most, we are told, have since been deported to Israel, but
"some" are still in custody. In this, the final
segment of this amazing expose, we learn how law enforcement
stumbled on the Israeli spy operation in the midst of a routine
1997, the feds were ready to swoop down on a drug gang based
in Los Angeles. The target was run by an Israeli organized
crime syndicate with branches in New York, Miami, Las Vegas,
Canada, Israel, and even Egypt. Their specialty: coke, ecstasy,
and "sophisticated white-collar credit card and computer
fraud." But there's a problem: the feds' plan has gone
awry, the bad guys remain elusive, and no one can figure out
why. At least, not until the feds discovered that the Israeli
Mafia had bugged their communications, and had each and every
one of them under surveillance even home phones. In
what is perhaps a bit of an understatement, classified documents
uncovered by Fox News aver that
compromised law enforcement communications between LAPD detectives
and other assigned law enforcement officers working various
aspects of the case. The
organization discovered communications between organized crime
intelligence division detectives, the FBI and the Secret Service."
OLD FRIEND AMDOCS
The feds went into a state of panic, and immediately turned
to what many had considered the potential source of a major
security breach to begin with: our old friend Amdocs, the
Israeli-owned company that, for all practical purposes, generates
billing for all the calls made in this country. While the
company protests its innocence, Cameron echoes many in law
enforcement who think Amdocs' secrets somehow got into the
AND TERROR: THE DRUG CONNECTION
of Israeli drug gangs that specialize in coke, ecstasy, and
marijuana, what about the six members of an international
drug ring nabbed in the shadow of the World Trade Center even
as it burned? When firefighters went into 300 Albany Street,
two blocks north of the WTC, two hours after the towers fell,
they discovered Zwi Haim Harris, who for some reason was intent
on sticking around. The firefighters turned him over to the
cops, because they thought he was acting "suspiciously."
the cops arrived, Harris told them he lived there, and led
them to an apartment. The police saw marijuana on a table,
and, upon further investigation, found more than 3,000 ecstasy
pills, hashish, marijuana, and all kinds of drug paraphernalia.
also raided other locations, and rounded up more members of
the gang, including Yigal Dobakrov, 37, of Brooklyn, in possession
of 50,000 ecstasy pills worth $1.25 million. Dobakrov is an
Israeli citizen whose role is depicted by Manhattan district
attorney Robert Morganthau as overseeing drug importation
to America and seeing to it that the money is shipped back
to Israel. The Dobakrov gang has been indicted
on drug-related charges, but, in the context of Cameron's
report, their apprehension that day could
be seen in a new light.
UP LOOSE ENDS
don't want to seem obsessive about this or anything, but a
good number of these loose ends in the story of how 9/11 was
allowed to happen center around a shadowy Israeli connection
to the horrific events of 9/11. The above raises a good number
of questions, but, like a scene glimpsed on a foggy day, a
few details standing out in stark relief only suggest a much
OF THE ART STUDENTS
odd detail is the story about those bands of Israeli "art students"
who suddenly appeared at government buildings, and even defense
installations, in the wake of 9/11. On October 1, Houston's
KHOU TV reported that "Federal Buildings could be in
jeopardy, in Houston and nationally." The 11 News "Defenders"
investigative team uncovered evidence of "a curious pattern
of behavior" by groups of students claiming to be Israeli
"artists." They showed up at the Houston headquarters
of the Drug Enforcement Administration, the federal building,
the federal prosecutor's office, loaded down with artwork
for sale: but that, law enforcement sources said, appeared
to be a cover for casing these buildings. In some cases, these
"students" tried to enter secure areas, unobserved,
and they even showed up at the homes of federal employees.
here we have yet another massive breach of security by "Middle
Eastern-looking men," all claiming to be Israelis. It
sounds like something out of some cheap paperback thriller,
or, perhaps, the Theater
of the Absurd: such is life in the nightmare world of
the new millennium. Gee, when they told us "everything
has changed," they weren't kidding, were they?
to an email obtained by KHOU TV and sent by an official of
the Federal Protective Service, federal sites around the nation
"experienced an inundation of art solicitations at office
buildings by students claiming to be selling Israeli art."
The pattern, it seemed, had occurred a few weeks previously
in Atlanta, Georgia. The Houston reporters also cite another
federal memo revealing that the same thing happened in New
York, Florida, and six other states: "and, even more
worrisome, at 36 Department of Defense sites." So what,
as they say, is up with that?
far as I know, this report was never followed up not
by the Houston TV station, not by the national media, not
by anybody anywhere. It is like a mugging carried out under
cover of night: the sweeping headlights of a passing car may
briefly illuminate the crime scene, but the street is soon
swallowed up in darkness. We get, at best, only a hurried
glimpse of the perpetrators, who skulk off undetected.
MAFIA, AND OURS
makes perfect sense that a foreign intelligence agency would
ally itself with criminal elements in this country, particularly
if they share a national allegiance. The US cooperated with
the American Mafia, in going after Castro, so why shouldn't
the Israelis recruit their own gangsters to do their dirty
work? Carl Cameron's report, while fragmentary, provides the
basis for tying together a lot of these loose ends. The Israeli
"art students," the Dobakrov gang (which specializes
in computer and credit card "white collar crime"
as well as drugs), the byzantine financial intrigues that
took place prior to 9/11, the penetration of our communications
system by Israeli agents and Israeli organized crime; the 200 Israeli
detainees it all adds up to a covert Israeli operation
whose role is, at this point, indeterminate but almost
certainly not entirely benevolent.
Israeli intelligence was watching, overseeing, collaborating
with or combating the Bin Ladenites is an open question, at
least until our own government comes clean with (or discovers)
the facts. That the Israelis had some significant foreknowledge
and involvement in the events preceding 9/11 seems beyond
dispute. And here's the clincher….
a September 13 New York
Times column, "Inside the Bunker,"
William Safire related a conversation with an unnamed "high
White House official," who told him that "a threatening
message received by the Secret Service was relayed to the
agents with the president that 'Air Force One is next.' According
to the high official, American code words were used showing
a knowledge of procedures that made the threat credible."
Safire claims this information was confirmed by Carl Rove,
who told him Bush was going to return to Washington before
the Secret Service "informed him that the threat contained
language that was evidence that the terrorists had knowledge
of his procedures and whereabouts."
the Bin Ladenites knew that much in the same way those West Coast Israeli gangsters
knew every move the feds were going to make before they made
it then how did they know it without the help of a
foreign intelligence agency? And which foreign intelligence agency has penetrated
even the supposedly "secure" White House phone system
so that they no doubt had recordings of the "phone
sex" that went on between Clinton and his odalisque?
MANY EVIL ONES?
we know about the real story of September 11, 2001, seems
so much more interesting than the mythological tale being
promoted by the War Party, which needs a story of Evil Ones
and a Nation Caught Unawares to justify a war of vengeance.
But who and what is the Evil One? Is there only one, or is the world literally swarming
with bad guys, evil ones who would stop at nothing to advance
their national cause at the expense of the US?
I can hear the chorus of yelping even now "Why,
this is nothing but a conspiracy
theory!" Yet the horror of 9/11 was conceived and
carried out by a Bin Ladenite conspiracy, one utilizing the
same methods as the Israeli Mafia in penetrating supposedly
"secure" US Government communications systems. Given
what we know, it is not unreasonable to suspect that these
two groups acted in some sort of collusion, or at least in
tandem with each other, in what could have been a provocation,
or a sting operation, that got out of hand: we heard Bin Laden
say on the famous captured video that he didn't expect the
twin towers to completely disintegrate, and was pleasantly
surprised when that happened.
a rogue element of Israeli intelligence driven to desperation
by what they viewed as America's abandonment of Israel
have advance notice of the 9/11 terror blitz? I wouldn't be
surprised in the least would you? At this point nothing
surprises me: and that is what I think they mean when they
say "everything has changed." Yes, the times they
are a-changin' and I don't like it any better than
is not only a "conspiracy theory," my critics will
cry, it is "anti-Semitic"
as well," one that, absurdly, seeks to blame the Jewish
state for the destruction of the World Trade Center and the
attack on the Pentagon. The issue of blame is settled: clearly,
Bin Laden and his associates are responsible. But there are
degrees of blame, and, as it turns out, it wasn't just the
top leadership of Al Qaeda who had September 11 marked on
their calendars. My contention is that the role of the Israelis
in all this, whatever it turns out to have been, was not determined by their Jewishness but
by their interests as a state. Every
state acts to preserve itself, that is, it acts in accordance
with what policymakers define as the national interest, Israel
included perhaps more than most. This general rule
ought to include
the United States, although, unfortunately, this is not always
the case. Especially, one might add, when it comes to Israel.
is Congress in all this? They are too busy scrambling to get
onboard the war profits bandwagon and making sure their home
districts and pet constituencies get their "fair share"
of the loot to notice that their country is being sold down
is the media and why are they hiding this story under
a barrel? Our valiant scribes are too busy blaming John Lindh
Walker's ditzy hot-tubbing New Age-y parents for his rejection
of Western hedonism in favor of faith, family values, and
country the country of the Taliban, that is.
YOUR LOCAL POLICE
is law enforcement? Ah, finally, help may be on the way. While
political appointees in Washington are trying to keep a lid
on this smoldering cauldron of intrigue, the pot is already
boiling over: patriots in law enforcement are whispering frantically
in Carl Cameron's ear, using him as a megaphone to get out
their message: There's
more to the mystery of 9/11 than meets the eye.
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