September 17, 2007

I had to laugh, on the morning of the sixth anniversary of 9/11, when Fox News did a program that was supposed to “debunk those crazy 9/11 conspiracy myths once and for all,” as Fox & Friends host Steve Doocy put it. What followed was a “debunking” of the most absurd theories anyone has ever concocted, including one that claims the whole thing was a put-up job, the towers were never hit by any plane, and they fell because of a “controlled demolition”—yeah, right! Of course, the only controlled demolition I know about is this particular program, which knocked down a whole slew of straw horses—yet, oddly, never acknowledged that Fox News is the purveyor of the most credible of all the 9/11 “conspiracy theories.” Indeed, they never even mentioned this four-part series, reported by Carl Cameron on Fox News, which started out with a bang:

BRIT HUME, HOST: It has been more than 16 years since a civilian working for the Navy was charged with passing secrets to Israel. Jonathan Pollard pled guilty to conspiracy to commit espionage and is serving a life sentence. At first, Israeli leaders claimed Pollard was part of a rogue operation, but later took responsibility for his work.

“Now Fox News has learned some U.S. investigators believe that there are Israelis again very much engaged in spying in and on the U.S., who may have known things they didn’t tell us before Sept. 11. Fox News correspondent Carl Cameron has details in the first of a four-part series.


“CARL CAMERON, FOX NEWS CORRESPONDENT: Since Sept. 11, more than 60 Israelis have been arrested or detained, either under the new patriot anti-terrorism law, or for immigration violations. A handful of active Israeli military were among those detained, according to investigators, who say some of the detainees also failed polygraph questions when asked about alleged surveillance activities against and in the United States.

“There is no indication that the Israelis were involved in the 9/11 attacks, but investigators suspect that they Israelis may have gathered intelligence about the attacks in advance, and not shared it. A highly placed investigator said there are ‘tie-ins.’ But when asked for details, he flatly refused to describe them, saying, ‘evidence linking these Israelis to 9/11 is classified. I cannot tell you about evidence that has been gathered. It’s classified information.’”

Neither Fox News nor Carl Cameron has ever retracted a single statement made in this report: indeed, even after the series was attacked by the Amen Corner, Cameron stood by his story—although Fox did take the story down from its web site after a few days. The video, however, has found its way onto the Internet:

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For the rest, go here (Part II), here (Part III), and here (Part IV).

Naturally, the Israelis denied everything, but what I want to know is this: how come this story disappeared down the Memory Hole? The “debunkers” do their best to conflate this Fox News report with another, typically Arab conspiracy theory, to the effect that “the Jews” were warned about 9/11 in advance and so didn’t show up for work at the World Trade Center that day—obviously a nutty idea, which it doesn’t require even a second thought for the rational to disregard as quintessentially crackpot. Yet this has nothing to do with the Fox News report, which is credible on its face: after all, it makes perfect sense that the Israelis would be watching Arab radicals in the US, and that they might indeed have caught more than a whiff of what was coming down on 9/11. So, why didn’t they tell us?

C’mon—do you even have to ask?


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