In a deeply flawed report aired December 11th on Brit Hume’s Special Report, Fox News correspondent Carl Cameron alleged, without naming a single source, that some of the roughly 60 Israelis arrested in law enforcement sweeps since the September terror attacks are suspected of being intelligence operatives engaged, among other things, in spying on Arabs living in the United States.
Cameron also alleged that US intelligence officials believe some of the plotters involved in the September 11 attacks were based in California and were being watched there by Israeli agents, and that Israel therefore “must have known” of their plans, but nonetheless failed to issue any warnings to the US.
These charges are arrant nonsense unworthy of the usually reliable Fox News. This is especially true because Cameron was well aware that similar allegations against detained Israelis have been shot down as baseless by no less an authority than Attorney General John Ashcroft.
As noted by the New York Times (Nov. 21), the Washington Post (Nov. 23), and most recently the Jerusalem Post(Dec. 7), of the roughly 60 Israelis arrested, none have been criminally charged, and most have been released and deported back to Israel. The eight still being held are expected to be “released and deported later this month,” according to the Jerusalem Post article. Since spying is illegal, and none of the detained Israelis had diplomatic immunity, why, if they were spies, did the US release and deport them? Rather than answering this clearly crucial question, Cameron instead keeps from viewers that most of the Israelis have been, or will soon be, released.
In addition, the Times and Washington Post reports noted that an Ohio immigration judge criticized the government’s continued detention of Israelis there. Judge Elizabeth Hacker found that the government “failed to submit any evidence of terrorist activity or of a threat to national security. There is no evidence of the risk of harm to the community.”
In another deceptive omission, Cameron neglected to mention the judge’s finding, instead portraying the young Israelis – who were working in mall kiosks selling cheap wind-up helicopter toys – as nefarious Mossad spies.
After press reports that kiosk workers were being detained, most of the Israelis quite reasonably abandoned their jobs(leaving the pushcart company with no workers) and tried to keep a low profile, the better to avoid detention for working illegally. Cameron however, claimed that “investigators” believed the kiosk jobs to be “fronts,” and darkly portrayed the disappearance of the Israeli workers as proof that they were actually spies.
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