The Limits of Christopher Ketcham's / Counterpunch's Israeli Hangout

Crimes of the State


CounterPunch, infamous for its attacks on the very idea of 9/11 government complicity, has published an article detailing some old news about Israeli spying in connection with the 9/11 attacks. The Christopher Ketcham article "What Did Israel Know in Advance of the 9/11 Attacks?" is from its title onward, a confined and limited interpretation of the available information. It's limited to a debate about foreknowledge of 9/11, therefore Israeli participation in the attacks is strictly off-limits.

This is in part because it was written for mainstream publication, with the corollary that one must accept the official story of 9/11 in its broad strokes, and selectively edit the data to conform to that narrative.

Ketcham's conclusions are that Israel was basically on the right side, spying on "Al Qaeda" perhaps as a sub-contractor for CIA, because CIA isn't supposed to do that here, and the CIA didn't have enough Arab linguists anyway.

Of the 11,000 words Ketcham devotes to this mainly rehash compilation piece, several words cannot be found at all: "demolition," "explosives" or "ordnance." That's odd, because other reports have already put these words out in the public sphere. The Creative Loafing piece cites the 60 page DEA report:

"Perhaps most intriguing, the Israelis' military and intelligence specialties are listed: "special forces," "intelligence officer," "demolition/explosive ordnance specialist," "bodyguard to head of Israeli army," "electronic intercept operator" -- even "son of a two-star (Israeli) army general."

In Counterpunch/Ketcham world, one would get the idea that Israel has never engaged in false flag terrorism before, since they can only be suspected of having information, never of carrying out operational malfeasance. This is in spite of the Lavon Affair, the brazen attack on the USS Liberty, the Berlin nightclub bombing falsely pinned on Libya, and more recently the attempted bombing with dynamite of the Mexican Congress building less than one month after 9/11:

"On October 10, 2001, two Israelis, one a former Israeli Army Colonel and the other a Mossad agent, were arrested in the Mexican Congress with 9mm pistols and dynamite. According to the Mexican Justice Department official web site “the head of Congressional Security Salvador Alarc'n verified that the Israelis had in their possession nine hand grenades, sticks of dynamite, detonators, wiring and two 9mm ‘Glock’ automatics.” The Israelis were subsequently released after the intervention of the Israeli embassy in Mexico City." --Madsen, “La PGR Informa Sobre La Situaci'n De Los Sujetos Detenidos En La C'mara De Diputados,” Justice Department of Mexico, October 12, 2001.

Why did Israel commit this outrageous act of war against the sovereign nation of Mexico? And why isn't it being discussed? Was fake "Al Qaeda" supposed to attack Mexico and enrage the populace there so they would join in the great terror war and volunteer en masse to serve in the military?

Former NSA officer Wayne Madsen's piece "The Israeli Art Students and Movers Story" contains much more detail than the Ketcham piece. Madsen not only names all the detained Israelis, but also follows up on continuing Israeli spy operations on secure US military bases, as well as traces of explosives found in vans driven by Israeli agents inside the United States.

Convenient for Ketcham: explosives are irrelevant to 9/11 in Counterpunchland. In Alexander Cockburn's fiefdom, the Twin Towers could only have fallen from fire, according to their own insider from Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory (US Govt. military lab). Why Counterpunch needs to go to secure US government military laboratories for a defense of the official World Trade Center theory is anybody's guess. The arguments they have come up with, however, are complete nonsense.

That's because the Twin Towers most likely were controlled demolitions, and not collapses from fire. Fire collapses are not symmetrical through 100 stories of mostly undamaged steel and concrete, at near free fall speed into the building's footprint. The fire explanation cannot be defended without resorting to nonsensical arguments that violate the laws of physics.

Here's a bit of information which the American public might find interesting that did not end up in Counterpunch/Ketcham:

"When the FBI developed the photos taken by the Israelis of the World Trade Center carnage, one photo depicted Kurzburg [MOSSAD agent] flicking a cigarette lighter in a celebratory manner with the burning buildings in the background." --Madsen, Globe and Mail (Toronto), Doug Saunders, Dec. 17, 2001

Of more interest was what the FBI found at the Urban Moving Systems warehouse.

"...FBI, upon searching the warehouse, discovered fertilizer, other chemicals for making explosives, pipes, caps, and traces of anthrax." --Madsen

If the World Trade Center buildings were demolished by pre-placed explosive charges, these Israelis are the prime suspects.

"After anthrax was discovered, investigators wearing hazardous material suits went through the warehouse. Residents around Urban Moving Systems who had connections to the local police also reported that helicopters with infrared radar swooped in over the warehouse on several occasions." --Madsen

The anthrax issue is corroborated by none other than Dick Cheney's medical staff, who administered the anthrax drug Cipro to Cheney and entourage as they left for Camp David on the evening of 9/11.

Another convenient omission in the Ketcham/Counterpunch piece was easy to spot:

"'The Telegraph quoted a 'senior Israeli security official' as saying the Mossad experts had 'no specific information about what was being planned'. Still, the official told the Telegraph, the Mossad contacts had 'linked the plot to Osama bin Laden'".

While taking Israel's word about bin Laden, this quote conveniently ignores the rest of that sentence in the Telegraph article, which reads in full:

"They had no specific information about what was being planned but linked the plot to Osama bin Laden and told the Americans that there were strong grounds for suspecting Iraqi involvement,' said a senior Israeli security official." -UK Telegraph

You would expect an outfit like Counterpunch to hit the brakes and throw up a red flag at the notion of "Iraqi involvement" in September 11th, but that's exactly what this unnamed "Israeli security official" is peddling. His testimony is suspect, not sacrosanct.

So what happened to the Israelis?

"After serving two and a half months in prison and after a barrage of official complaints from the Israeli government, the five Israeli 'movers' (Kurzberg, his brother Paul Kurzberg, Yaron Shmuel, Oded Elner, and Omer Marmari) were released over the objections of the CIA and permitted to return home." --Madsen

The MOSSAD spies actually had the brass balls to sue the US for "wrongful arrest and imprisonment." And yes, they returned "home" to Israel, where the owner of the fraudulent "moving company" had fled immediately after being questioned by FBI.

We can see a pattern here of unaccountability, where Israeli agents are routinely released, and therefore face no consequences for their actions on United States soil, or in Mexico apparently.

This brings us to Michael Chertoff who is also unmentioned in the Ketcham piece. Chertoff is a known Zionist (his Mother was MOSSAD and helped create the state of Israel; his wife was a chairperson in the ADL). Michael Chertoff was the head of the Criminal Division of the Justice Department (sic) on September 11th.

So just how does this Israeli matter become "classified" and as many as 200 Israeli agents "released" despite the protests of the CIA?(!) We should look to the Justice Department, and to the head of the Criminal Division for an explanation.

Chertoff also has a questionable past. In private practice as a lawyer he actually defended an Osama bin Laden financier, Dr. Magdy ElAmir, who had embezzled $3 million from a NJ HMO and sent most of the money off to Al Qaeda. Quite an odd gig for a Zionist? No? How does one go from defending bin Laden's money men to heading the US Department of Homeland Security?

You'd have to be a pretty good "friend to Israel" to get away with that kind of activity. Chertoff was confirmed 98-0 for the Homeland Security post in the Senate, and no major news media would say a word about his successful defense of a bin Laden funder. This is the reality we live in, a strange and deceitful place where things don't appear to make much sense at first glance.

On that note, Ketcham does address the odd behavior of the Art Students as inconsistent with covert operations. Quoting John Sugg, "the bumbling aspect of the art student thing was intentional."

But, being limited in his understanding of September 11th, Ketcham cannot consider all the possibilities for why it was intentional. Limiting the explanation to one of deliberate distraction, he cannot consider that the Israelis may have wanted the US government to know that Israel was somehow involved with the upcoming 9/11 operation (which was not a secret, and there were many warnings over the spring/summer of 2001, including Israeli warnings).

Was this simply to put out a cover story that the MOSSAD were "tailing the hijackers," as Counterpunch and others now contend?

Or were the Israelis preemptively calling for a coverup of 9/11, ensuring a clampdown on information and vigorous secrecy?

The Congress has no motivation whatsoever to investigate Israel or its many crimes, and the Israelis could have been signalling not to look too carefully at the 9/11 attacks. Since this is in essence what actually happened, it should be considered carefully.

Ketcham also gives an incomplete treatment to the Hazmi and Al Mihdhar story while pushing the CIA is inadequate (not enough humint) story. Ketcham may have never seen the FBI's own Inspector General report on this, but it is quite illuminating:

"CIA cables contemporaneously discussed Mihdhar’s travel and the fact that he had a US visa in his Saudi passport. So intensive was the surveillance that agents obtained a photocopy of the passport and visa stamp and delivered it to CIA headquarters in Langley, Virginia. Two months later, the Bangkok CIA station identified Hazmi as Mihdhar’s traveling companion and reported that he had traveled on from Bangkok to Los Angeles on January 15, 2000. The most critical information about Mihdhar and Hazmi was withheld from the FBI for more than a year and a half. The FBI was informed about the Malaysia meeting as soon as it happened, and even about Mihdhar’s presence at it. But there was no mention of his passport with a multiple-entry US visa, giving him easy access to American territory, where the FBI had the principal responsibility for counterterrorism. Nor did the CIA tell the FBI that Hazmi had actually entered the country, which would certainly have triggered an alert. The CIA itself did not put either man on any other security watch list. ... [Hazmi and Al Mihdhar] conducted themselves, not as underground conspirators, trying to keep one step ahead of the most powerful spy apparatus in the world, but as men seemingly indifferent to threats to their security. ... The CIA finally told the FBI what it knew about Mihdhar and Hazmi on August 27, 2001, five days after the FBI had discovered independently, on August 22, that Mihdhar might be in the US, and the agency had opened its own investigation. ... The FBI inspector general’s report reveals for the first time that the CIA not only failed to inform the FBI about Mihdhar, but that CIA officials intervened to suppress a memorandum drafted by an FBI agent detailed to the CIA-run Counter-Terrorism Center (CTC), who wanted to notify the FBI
about the suspected terrorist with a US visa." --Patrick Martin, FBI inspector general’s report: more evidence of government complicity in 9/11 attacks

Lest anyone think that Counterpunch has found a clue about September 11th, by finally investigating the Israeli spying more than 5 years after it was first exposed, think again.

Lastly, the September 11th attacks were codenamed "The Big Wedding." Could this be some coded dark humor about marrying Israel to the United States? Forever linking their policy goals in a mutual war against Islam? Just throwing that out there for your consideration.



Excellent piece, John. One

Excellent piece, John. One question I have about the Israeli movers/high-fivers is was there any evidence found on them that they were trying to disguise themselves as Arabs? I seem to remember one report that in the vans, along with knives and explosives, were found Arab-type dress.

It's obvious to me the purpose of them celebrating publicly was that they would be mistaken for Arabs and thus Arabs would in effect be framed for such a heinous act as laughing amidst such death and destruction.

To me, a logical continuance of such a technique is the possibility that the hijackers on the planes were more of the same-- dark-skinned Israeli agents, under the assumed identities of Arab patsies, carrying out the hijackings while being mistaken by the passengers for Arabs. The passengers then passed on their mistaken impression of an Arab hijacking via their phone calls and the frame-up job was complete.

The planes...

I cannot say with any firm knowledge what actually happened on any of the planes, or even which planes exactly struck targets on 9/11.

One possibility that isn't discussed that much is the link to Dov Zakheim.

"Rabbi" Zakheim was the comptroller (money man) of the Department of Defense on September 10, 2001 when 2.3 TRILLION DOLLARS was reported missing there.

"During the 2000 presidential campaign, he [Zakheim] served as a senior foreign policy advisor to then-Governor Bush."

And, of course:

" That is, in 2001 Dov was CEO of SPS International, part of System Planning Corporation, a defense contractor majoring in electronic warfare technologies, including remote-controlled aircraft systems, and the notorious Flight Termination System (FTS) technology that could hijack even a hijacked plane and land or crash it wherever."

Following Zakheim and Pentagon trillions to Israel and 9-11

70 Disturbing Facts About 9/11

John Doraemi publishes Crimes of the State Blog

johndoraemi --at--

it's quite telling...

that albanese is over in the open thread arguing about something irrelevant to 9/11 truth. kudos to the team for posting this valuable information. you too, john doraemi, excellent work!

check out for the latest!

I managed to post a link to a Daily Kos diary on the Counterpunch article there in the global warming thread... but I guess you saw that one.


Real Truther a.k.a. Verdadero Verdadero - Harvard Task Force


i think it's time...

for a video to be made that discusses the Israeli angle to 9/11. If we don't do it, you can bet that pretty soon some "neo-nazis" will come out with a GREAT one, except for the fact that it will be incredibly racist and offensive. then CNN will tell the world about the neo-nazi's Israel did it video and everyone who chooses can throw out the baby with the racist bathwater.

this is getting old...


Real Truther a.k.a. Verdadero Verdadero - Harvard Task Force


I agree with you 100% there,

I agree with you 100% there, R.T. I have been brushing up on my own video skills lately, wondering if I'm the one for the job. It would also be nice if there was a web forum solely dedicated to this aspect of the issue.

A short, to-the-point presentation could wake up a lot of people in a hurry. A lot of good people out there really don't believe the OCT, but they've been led to believe that if you don't think Osama did it, then you have to think "we" did it to ourselves. To introduce to them the possiblity that 9/11 was carried out by a third party altogether could cause a tsunami.

here's a very rough cut...

from ryan dawson. anyone wish to collaborate with him? it could use some major editing.

was Mexico supposed to fall in line a la 9/11?

Why did Israel commit this outrageous act of war against the sovereign nation of Mexico? And why isn't it being discussed? Was fake "Al Qaeda" supposed to attack Mexico and enrage the populace there so they would join in the great terror war and volunteer en masse to serve in the military?

Could it have been to push the idea of the NAU? One tenet of the NAU which is already wafting through the air is the idea of common borders shared by the 3 NorthAm countries -- that is, an erasure of the borders between them. The SPP is heading there already.

Want to figure out 9/11? Ponder the 9/11 "Mineta Stone"