Bless You, Justin Raimondo


Over at, Justin Raimondo has taken on Christopher Hitchens, and, egad, has even called him a ?drunk.? That?s okay, Justin also attacked me last week for an article I had written for Reason, and my muddleheadedness was apparently the result of my smoking a bit too much Lebanese hash. I wish.

Apparently one of Hitchens? many transgressions is that he doesn?t provide links in his Slate stories ?except, on occasion, to his own pieces, and other articles in Slate? (JR has even linked his reference to ?Lebanese hash?, and to Hitch?s drunkenness?good boy).

The preposterousness of such an accusation is delightful, and I must confess Raimondo entertains me to no end. Most of his statements about my piece were based on a savvy misreading of my text, but when he wrote ?Damascus is the root of all the evil in Young?s world [why the unnecessary 'the' JR?], sitting as he is in Beirut, but surely he takes his Syria-phobia a bit too far?, I was touched that innocent Justine should have invited himself into my world.

Come little ?un, now that you?re here have a cream soda ? with a doddering fan.

NEXT: The market really does produce rational results!

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  1. David, since you're "against poorly sourced conspiracy-mongering that has a nasty ethnic edge," I trust you have a few words to say about the case that was made to invade Iraq in aftermath of 9/11.

  2. David,

    I didn't say that you were pro-war. You can't possibly read:

    and call it "poorly sourced". Instead of playing the race card, yet again, try informing your self. Also, if you have a belief that political conspiracies don't happen; your ability to apprehend s political realities will be crippled.

  3. Rick,

    Are you seriously asking me to refute the theory that the Israeli government had prior knowledge of 9/11?

  4. joe,

    I'm against poorly sourced conspiracy-mongering that has a nasty ethnic edge WHEREVER it occurs.

    I find the Bush Administration's case for the war to have been terribly weak, and the way they've handled the war and its aftermath, appalling.

    And I can do this, as could Raimondo, without stubbornly pursuing a ridiculous story about Israeli art students as spys who knew that 9/11 was going to occur.

  5. The extra "the" suggests Young's evil is different from generally accepted evil, and therefore implies that Young is a wacko.

    Now why didn't Rick articulate this defense of Raimondo's nuance?

  6. "Now why didn't Rick articulate this defense of Raimondo's nuance?"

    because he doesn't want to get fired?

  7. Steve,

    The evidence that the Israeli government had prior knowledge of 9/11 is so strong that it goes beyond the characterization of only a "theory":

    There are however speculations surrounding the situation like; why didn't they tell us?

  8. In this piece, Raimondo opines that the Mossad just might be after him:

    It's based on this piece:

    That piece is largely based on anonymous (and uncheckable) sources.

    I think it's illustrative of the sort of links Raimondo does provide on his stories about the Israeli connection. They go, ultimately, into an evidential black hole.

  9. David,

    What?? ABC news, Fox news, Die Zeit, Haaretz and all the rest that have provided information about the Israeli government's prior knowledge of 9/11 can't possibly be characterized as an "evidential black hole".

  10. Yes, some of those stories simply repeat what other poorly sourced stories say. None of these stories I've read have produced any hard evidence of what you're talking about.

    For instance, that ABC story concludes, contra the "conspiracy", that

    "Despite the denials, sources tell ABCNEWS there is still debate within the FBI over whether or not the young men were spies. Many U.S. government officials still believe that some of them were on a mission for Israeli intelligence. But the FBI told ABCNEWS, "To date, this investigation has not identified anybody who in this country had pre-knowledge of the events of 9/11."

    Sources also said that even if the men were spies, there is no evidence to conclude they had advance knowledge of the terrorist attacks on Sept. 11. The 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," Cannistraro ["a former chief of operations for counterterrorism with the CIA who is now a consultant for ABCNEWS"] noted."

  11. The veracity of this report is supported by the fact that the Republicans control congress; this is a good thing for other reason's as well.

  12. Sorry; the last post was belongs two threads up. My bad.

  13. Let's be fair. Justin is probably not an anti-semite. They just pay his bills.

  14. David,

    This is not, "contra the conspiracy":

    Despite the denials, sources tell ABCNEWS there is still debate within the FBI over whether or not the young men were spies. Many U.S. government officials still believe that some of them were on a mission for Israeli intelligence.

    Even if the Israelis captured in New Jersey "probably did not have advance knowledge" this, of course, does not absolve the whole operation that was at work in our country


    The significance of what the Israelis were doing didn?t emerge until after September 11, 2001, when a report by a French intelligence agency noted ?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 French intelligence report says the leader of the Mossad cell in Florida rented apartments ?right near the apartment of Atta and al-Shehi?.: read the whole thing:


    Next Door to Mohammed Atta
    Israeli agents were living in Florida and tailing the future death pilots ? until their cover was blown.
    by Oliver Schr?m
    read the whole article:

  15. The first glimmerings of an Israeli spying exercise in the USA came to light in spring 2001, when the FBI sent a warning to other federal agencies alerting them to be wary of visitors calling themselves ?Israeli art students? and attempting to bypass security at federal buildings in order to sell paintings.


  16. And, there is this story from the Israeli paper, Haaaretz

    Odigo says workers were warned of attack

    By Yuval Dror

    Odigo, the instant messaging service, says that two of its workers received messages two hours before the Twin Towers attack on September 11 predicting the attack would happen, and the company has been cooperating with Israeli and American law enforcement, including the FBI, in trying to find the original sender of the message predicting the attack.

    The whole thing is here:

  17. We should tell congress to investigate this. If it all turns out to be an incredible coincidence; that would be great. But, I don't think that it was. Whatever the case, we should all know what the truth is. Tell congress:

  18. There are however speculations surrounding the situation like; why didn't they tell us?

    And, why didn't we do more investigation when this was happening? However, IIRC, one of the articles I read about the art students said someone did try to warn us, but we wouldn't listen.

  19. Rick,

    You give credulity a bad name. Take an aspirin.

  20. The Lonewacko Blog aka "warbot", πŸ˜‰

    There is this:

    Put together, the facts do appear to indicate that Israel knew that 9/11, or at least a large-scale terror attack, was about to take place on American soil, but did nothing to warn the USA. But that?s not quite true. In August 2001, the Israelis handed over a list of terrorist suspects ? on it were the names of four of the September 11 hijackers. Significantly, however, the warning said the terrorists were planning an attack ?outside the United States?.


  21. "Rick Barton" is, in fact, the creation of the neocons to make the anti-war side seem insane

  22. I long for the good old days when the CIA focused its efforts on pot producing countries.

    The blond Lebanese, the black Afghani, the Thai on a stick.

    Now they just put their efforts into hard drug places. And it shows in the kind of drugs available in America.

    And Raimondo? - entertainingly delusional.

  23. There is a nuclear power plant in Zion, Illinois.

    You would think they would avoid being so obvious.

  24. David,

    Sure, and whenever anyone criticizes Jesse Jackson for anything, "it's always the black man."

    Those playing the "Jew card" to deflect criticism, just as much as those playing the "race card," do so either out of stupidity or disingenuousness. And it's getting just as tiresome either way.

  25. "Come little ?un, now that you?re here have a cream soda ? with a doddering fan."

    Awesome! I really nailed Raimondo by making myself sound like a pedophile.

  26. Kevin,

    I'm not playing "the Jew card," and I'm not Jewish. I honestly think that Raimondo (and Barton) are peddling conspiracy theories that fit so perfectly with the nastiest anti-Semitism that they are either anti-Semites, or inexusably ignorant of the implications of what they're saying.

    I know we're not going to agree on this, but I'd like you to at least consider the nature of the charge being made here -- Raimondo and Barton are saying that the Israeli government had prior knowledge of the 9/11 and didn't tell us. Why? Well, Raimondo writes that the Israelis are conducting "a secret war against us on our own soil." I suppose we haven't heard more about this because of the power of the "Israel lobby" in our media and government.

    Now, you can't prove a negative, and I can't prove that this isn't true. But the stories Barton links to certainly don't prove that it is. Even if you believe that the Israelis were tracking some of the hijackers (big if), it doesn't follow that they knew about 9/11. The U.S. government also had some of the names on terrorist watch lists, but that didn't help us predict 9/11.

    Yes, it does matter that these accusations are being made against Jews, because these are the same things that anti-Semites have said about Jews for hundreds of years. "A secret war"? Come on.

  27. Did you hear about the two Israelis arrested at Kings Bay naval base in a moving van a few weeks ago?

    Suspicious moving van prompt Kings Bay lockdown
    Military scare

    Associated Press

    ST. MARYS - Military officials locked down Kings Bay Naval Submarine Base for security reasons after two men were detained for questioning.

    Two Israeli men working for a moving-and-storage company attempted to enter the base about 10:30 a.m. Friday to pick up some items in base housing, said base spokesman Ed Buczek.

    One of them was unable to provide security personnel with proper credentials, so base personnel and bomb-sniffing dogs inspected the van.

    ''The military dogs were alerted to a scent in the cab of the truck,'' Buczek said. ''Guards closed access to the base and notified the Georgia Bureau of Investigation, the Federal Bureau of Investigation and the Naval Criminal Investigative Service.''

    St. Marys police closed access to an area one-half mile surrounding the base and called in a bomb squad, Buczek said.

    Nothing was found in the van, but both men, whose names were not released, were later taken into custody by federal immigration officers for possible deportation, he said.

    Kings Bay is near Sea Island, which will host the G-8 Summit next month.

    Published in the Athens Banner-Herald on Sunday, May 23, 2004

    Here's more info:

  28. Raimondo and Barton are saying that the Israeli government had prior knowledge of the 9/11 and didn't tell us. Why?

    I'm not saying the conspiracy theories are true, but they do deserve more investigation.

    As to the "why?" surely you can review history and find instances where a third party has tried to get parties one and two fighting in order to advance its agenda. If you wanted to start a GWOT, what better way than to allow the future prosecutor of the GWOT to be attacked? Not saying that's what happened, but theoretically speaking that would be one answer to "Why?"

  29. You nailed him alright, with that unnecessary "the"

  30. He entertains you? He is shrill and gives me a headache.

    There are many anti war positions I can sympathize with, even if I think they in net don't balance the need to exercise force in this case. These include the cost in lives and money, the distancing of the US from its allies, and even the idea that there might be a way to achieve security without employing tax dollars to wage a war.

    Raimondo is the champion of the notion that, well, since obviously there is no conceivable purpose in deposing Saddam by force, we should roll out the conspiracy wagon. Oh, and yell "Lies! Lies! Liiiieeesss!"

  31. "Justin Raimondo" is, in fact, the creation of the neocons to make the anti-war side seem insane.

  32. Steve,

    It is a simple fact that Israel has much larger domestic support in the United State than just about any other country in the world. You can call it antisemitic to acknowledge it; you could just as easily call it anti-dispensationalist. And given the degree to which Israel has depended on military aid from the U.S., it's not much of a stretch to think the Israeli government would have a vested interest in manipulating the political process here. All governments hire lobbyists, but not many of them compare in influence to AIPAC. And the PNAC and OSP people who play a large role in U.S. Middle East policy have a history of strong ideological affinity toward Israel. Ricard Perle, until lately of the Defense Policy Review Board, leaked military intelligence to the Mossad when he was on Scoop Jackson's staff.

  33. For whatever it's worth, even by the hopeless standards of the blogosphere, this is a little too self-referential, a little too "inside baseball" for my tastes.

    But, having said that, I thought that JR's sentence construction was fine. I had no problem whatsoever with his use of "the" and didn't consider it unnecessary or redundant.

  34. Never mind Raimondo's sponsoring of hysterical antisemitic conspiracy-mongering about 9/11 and the War with Iraq:

  35. Clearly PNAC and the corporations are calling the shots at Reason, as this post was obviously a plot by the warmongering neocons to force Raimondo to come to this forum and troll - which will make the anti-war movement look bad.

    Yes, I am talking about You-know-whos here folks and their insidious plot for world domination. Part of this is to discredit the legitimate anti-war movement by leaving Justin no choice but to make an ass of himself.

    Not only are the hyperventionist policies directly causing terrorism, they are also causing Justin and the other Rothbardians to appear to be imbeciles.

    But don't worry. The Truth is out there and the Vanguard will still lead us to libertopia. The neocon plot will be exposed.

  36. Didn't he accuse Andrew Sullivan (?) of having brain damage from AIDS?

    Justin is a real class act. Just wait, he will drop by in a few minutes to show you.

  37. Criticizing Raimondo for criticizing Hitchen's not providing links is a pretty feeble complaint against Raimondo's piece which makes many good and telling points. Any way, Hitch often does seem reticent to back up his posturing with citations.


    If you actually bothered to read the articles in the link that you cited:
    you would find that there is overwhelming evidence that the Israeli government had prior knowledge of the 9/11 attacks. These articles are from a wide variety of sources including ABC news, Fox news, Die Zeit and Haaretz.

    Raimondo has written a compelling book about this disturbing situation:

    David, your characterizing the investigation of this situation as "anti-Semitic" is ridiculous and ugly. Your use of the term " conspiracy-mongering" reveals a poverty of intellect.

  38. Jason, as you may recall, my opposition to the war has always revolved around the positions you sympathize with, along with my judgement that the appalling sleaziness, moral cowardice, and incompetence of the administration would make failure and blowback virtual certainties. The fact that filthy conspiracies are continually documented surrounding this admin and its Iraq policies serves only to confirm my judgement regarding the character of those characters.

    Turns out the Clinton hunters were right; character counts.

    Go Kerry!

  39. Also, it's been speculated that, as opposed to the folks that swallowed the excuses for the war- hook, line and WMD; so many of Raimondo's predictions concerning Iraq, that he made pre-invasion, have come true that the new age types are probably going to start claiming he's clairvoyant.

  40. Spoken like a true disciple, Rick. So when really bad things happen, it's always the Jews. Please.

    Raimondo writes such things as:

    "The story of Israel?s underground apparatus in the US, and the secret war conducted against the US on our own soil, has been covered here on since late November, 2001."

    The "secret war"? Justin needs to stop with the hashish already.

  41. Shit! I was hoping to get here before Rick Barton so I could predict his sycophantic defense of Raimondo.

    Justin Raimondo deserves to be taken slightly less seriously than Ann Coulter.

    "Free Slobo!"

  42. David, your playing the race card can't hold up against the evidence. Maybe you will want to take the Al Sharpton refresher course but it won't help you.

    The Israeli government has a lot to answer for in this matter. It needs to be investigated by congress.

    Speaking of which...jump a couple of threads up:

    The commission investigating the Sept. 11 attacks found "no credible evidence" of a link between Iraq and al-Qaida in attacks against the United Statee

    A certain libertarian named Raimondo was saying this a long time ago.

  43. petty bickering

  44. Why is it "preposterous" to expect online writers to back up their otherwise arbitrary assertions with links?

  45. Who says I'm pro-war, Rick?

    I'm just against poorly sourced conspiracy-mongering that has a nasty ethnic edge.

  46. Steve,

    Your characterization of a defense as "sycophantic" is one thing, but not issuing a good refutation, or issuing any refutation for that matter, is more telling.

  47. Come on John, you know that putting Raimondo, or Chomsky, for that matter, into the same "crowd" as Art Bell is clearly an unfair "guilt by association" smear. Raimondo is a serious scholar and a libertarian activist.

    I am appreciative, Rick, that at least you didn?t refer to Chomsky as a serious scholar. Other than that, we'll just have to agree to disagree. Peddling the ?Israelis knew? story just looks to me to be something out of Weekly World News, not something worthy of a ?serious scholar? or a ?libertarian activist? whose activism is truly intended to accomplish something of value in the cause of freedom, rather than to pose and make a splash.

  48. Chomsky is serious his day job.

  49. I presume you mean as a linguist?

  50. Damn you, Michael Young, for as much as inviting the kook patrol back onto Hit and Run.

    This is the kind of nonsense that is embarrassing and shrinking the libertarian movement, not strengthening it. Plenty of issues, the war on terror certainly among them, are worthy of legitimate debate and strenuous disagreement among free-marketeers. But when you let the Art Bell/Raimondo/Chomsky crowd encroach into the discussion and engage in their usual rhetorical expectoration without all sides offering the appropriate dismissive response, you don?t get insight or influence the broader political debate.

    You just get wet.

  51. I find and Raimondo to be valuable sources of information. I also find that Raimondo hyperventilates at times, and the Hitchens article is an example of Raimondo at his worst.

    I really don't care in the slightest whether some pundit like Hitchens is a drunkard - I care about whether he's right on the issues! When Raimondo resorts to ad-homs instead of sticking to policy-relevant facts, it merely serves to reduce Raimondo's own credibility.

    Of course, the same is true of people making ad-hom attacks against pundits like Raimondo. πŸ˜‰

    As for the whole "Israeli art student" thing, I have it filed away in the back of my mind for future reference. It's evidence, but I know how evidence can be colored, and I've seen Raimondo misreading (in my opinion) evidence before. It'll take quite a bit more evidence on the Israeli 9/11 connection to convince me. In general, I feel lots of people resort to conspiracy theories far too readily, when the real explanation is simple bureaucratic incompetence.

    I do feel that the Israeli lobby in the U.S. is wayyyyy too powerful, the U.S. has no real national security interest in supporting Israel, and the Israeli government has engaged in some pretty serious war crimes. (The palestinians aren't exactly angels either, but I do feel terror tactics are somewhat more understandable from the oppressed than from the oppressors).

    IMHO, the best way to enhance U.S. national security in the mideast is to declare a pox on both their houses, stop working for or against anyone in that part of the world, and simply buy oil from whatever governments wield power. It may benefit us in the short run to prop up Musharraf and Mubarak and the house of Saud, but those rulers won't last in power forever. In the long run, we're setting ourselves up for more Iran-style situations, where our support of the Shah guaranteed us the enmity of the people who overthrew him.

    The only reason we're terrorist targets is because of meddlesome U.S. policies. When did anyone last hear of radical Islamists railing against Switzerland? πŸ˜‰

  52. Come on John, you know that putting Raimondo, or Chomsky, for that matter, into the same "crowd" as Art Bell is clearly an unfair "guilt by association" smear. Raimondo is a serious scholar and a libertarian activist.

  53. "Steve":

    "they are either anti-Semites, or inexusably ignorant of the implications of what they're saying."

    Your accusations are ridiculous and shamefully irresponsible. Justin Raimondo has a well-known past of having persons who are Jews as both allies and friends. When he writes about anti-Semites, he gives them a thrashing that all racists deserve.

    I have attacked and had direct confrontations with persons expressing anti-Jewish bigotry in threads on this blog. I despise all racism because it diminishes recognition of the individual and I concur with Ayn Rand that: "Racism is the most primitive form of collectivism".

    Also, honest people do not ignore evidence because of some "implications" having to do with it fitting into racial stereotypes.

    "Even if you believe that the Israelis were tracking some of the hijackers (big if), it doesn't follow that they knew about 9/11."

    What?? Your making accusations of racism but you don't even know anything about the story itself!

    At least you should familiarize yourself with the material:

    The only explanation consistent with the Israeli agents not tracking some of the hijackers is that it was just by coincidence that they were living next to them.

    If not prior knowledge; who warned the Israeli company, Odigo, in the WTC? from the Israeli paper Haaretz:

    Jim Margolin, an FBI spokesman in New York, implied that the public would never know the truth, saying: ?If we found evidence of unauthorized intelligence operations that would be classified material.? Yet, Israel has long been known, according to US administration sources, for ?conducting the most aggressive espionage operations against the US of any US ally?:

    Read Raimondo's book:

    Terror Enigma: 9/11 And the Israeli Connection

  54. I meant to add that; Raimondo's books include a history of the Old Right and a biography of Rothbard.

  55. Bramblyspam,

    Good point. The chief exporter of pornography into the Arab world is Scandinavia (mainly Sweden). The Islamic clerics complain bitterly about it, but of course there were no 9/11 attacks on Sweden or Denmark.

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