One of my favorite antiwar writers and foreign policy analysts, Justin Raimondo, passed away last month at age 67, of lung cancer. He was probably the most consistent and profound antiwar writers out there.
A founder of “Antiwar.com,” Justin was no leftist (like of the “Code Pink” variety). No, he was a champion of the “Old Right,” promoting the views of Republicans like Sen. Robert Taft.
In more recent years Raimondo had been a Trump supporting “America First” nationalist. I don’t know if he would describe himself as such, but his articles and twitter statements had shown that. I don’t particularly agree with that point of view, as I am more along the lines of “freedom first” rather than “America first.”
This extensive obituary of Justin on Antiwar.com tells a lot about him and his earlier years that I knew nothing about. Justin grew up in Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez’s hometown of Yorktown Heights, New York, right near New York City, a place that according to Wikipedia was “of strategic importance during the American Revolution, with the Pines Bridge crossing of the Croton River guarded by the 1st Rhode Island Regiment…”
Justin was a revolutionary in his own way.
The obituary also notes that because he was a rambunctious little kid, he was forced to have to see a psychiatrist. I guess even in those years there were people who viewed little boys showing a lot of energy (i.e. acting normally) as having some sort of disorder. And the psychiatrist, Dr. Robert Soblen, turned out to be a Soviet spy of all things. Not good.
Justin had met Ayn Rand at the age of 14, and was politically active at an early age and co-founded the Libertarian Party Radical Caucus.
Justin was also gay and was actively involved in gay liberation and gay rights. Yet at the same time he supported the very conservative Pat Buchanan for President in three elections, 1992, 1996 and 2000.
I enjoyed reading Justin’s columns because he was a great writer, and because he effectively promoted the foreign policy views of many of America’s founders: policies of non-interventionism.
From the Antiwar.com obituary:
His two most important books were his 1993 Reclaiming the American Right: The Lost Legacy of the Conservative Movement, published by the Center for Libertarian Studies and reissued in 2008 by the Intercollegiate Studies Institute with a Foreword by Pat Buchanan and an introduction by George W. Carey, and his 2000 biography, An Enemy of the State: The Life of Murray N. Rothbard, published by Prometheus Books.
Justin also certainly had an understanding of the U.S. Constitution and the Bill of Rights. When the gangsters and thugs of the U.S. Congress were considering the NDAA provisions in which Americans could be detained and imprisoned for life without charges or trial, he saw exactly where that was going:
Sen. Lindsey Graham (R-S.C.) exults that the bill will “basically say in law for the first time that the homeland is part of the battlefield” and anyone can be imprisoned without charge or trial “American citizen or not.” Graham doesn’t care about any of that sissy constitutional stuff, and never did – throw ‘em in the brig! Sen. Kelly Ayotte, a Republican from the “Live Free or Die” state, doesn’t care that she’s destroying the American republic and our constitutional liberties by voting for this draconian measure because, she says, “America is part of the battlefield.”
Nothing illustrates the longstanding warning from antiwar advocates that “war is the health of the state” than this ominous development. The principle that war leads inevitably to the erosion and eventual destruction of our constitutional form of government is being dramatized on the floor of Congress even as I write these words.
The real purpose of the Levin-McCain provisions is entirely unrelated to “terrorism,” either by al-Qaeda or any known domestic outfit. It was put in there to codify a number of important “legal” precedents, which make it possible for the President to declare an American citizen an “enemy combatant” and hold him or her indefinitely without charges. This is the final step in a process that will enable the President to establish a de facto military dictatorship: it’s the “unitary presidency” meets the global economic crisis.
“America is part of the battlefield,” says Sen. Ayotte, quite accurately – and Americans are the target. Resistance is “terrorism”: dissent is a crime, and you’d better shut up and take it if you know what’s good for you. That’s the message they’re sending – and how, one wonders, will Americans respond?
Well, Obama responded by signing that NDAA bill into law, with those provisions in place. (Obama wasn’t exactly a friend of civil liberties, you know.) But then a federal judge struck down those provisions to indefinitely detain Americans, Obama appealed that ruling, the ruling was then given a temporary stay by another judge, but that ruling was finally itself struck down by an all-Democrat-appointed three-judge panel, and that was the end of that. Obama and the Democrats got their way, the legal ability to use the military to detain or jail those who dissented from the Regime’s diktats.
And all this was after Justin had been the target of FBI harassment, so he was rightfully concerned about where the Regime in Washington was headed.
In her tribute to Justin Raimondo on The American Conservative, Kelley Vlahos included the story of how the FBI were investigating Justin and Antiwar.com co-founder Eric Garris, and here is an excerpt from her tribute on that fiasco:
The government had opened secret files on Garris and Raimondo, and at one point the FBI agent writing the April 30, 2004 memo on Antiwar.com recommended further monitoring of the website in the form of a “preliminary investigation …to determine if [redaction] are engaging in, or have engaged in, activities which constitute a threat to national security.”
Why? You can read in detail here, but much of it was because of Antiwar.com’s mission to criticize U.S. war policies, its linking to government watch lists at the time, and Justin’s writing, particularly on five Israelis who were detained by the FBI in New Jersey after they were spotted by witnesses on a rooftop celebrating and taking pictures in sight of the burning NYC towers on 9/11 and later deported.
The ACLU had taken up their case, rightly, as an example of the government’s hostile attitude against the 1st Amendment. The government had taken advantage of its new 9/11 authorities and the country’s war-time footing to spy and harass dissidents just like the old days. Garris and Raimondo won, but their efforts to have all of the government records expunged is still tied up in appeals. Garris said Justin was at least able to see the latest June 12 hearing in the Ninth Circuit.
And the Antiwar.com obituary notes:
One of the last pleasures Justin had as part of his Antiwar.com activities was seeing, on June 12, three judges of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit, in 18-15416 Dennis Raimondo v. FBI, roundly rebuke the pathetic Department of Justice lawyer who claimed that the court should have no say in how the FBI held on to evidence when it was clear that no crime was committed.
You see, the FBI and government spooks and goons don’t like it when others expose and shine a light on such apparatchiks’ incompetence, buffoonery, corruption and criminality, so they investigate and harass the ones who do the exposing and/or whistleblowing.
Regarding the aforementioned Israelis, in his September 10, 2010 column, The ‘Meaning’ of 9/11, Justin wrote:
The craziness that ensued in the wake of the 9/11 terrorist attacks had to be sustained if Israel was to take full advantage of the moment – a moment their intelligence operatives anticipated, according to Fox News, in a four-part series [link no longer working, here is another one at YouTube] by their topnotch journalist Carl Cameron, which started out as follows:
“Since September 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.’”
Fox News has never retracted a word of this story, although they did – after pressure from the Israel lobby – delete it from their web site. It was never mentioned again, at least in “respectable” quarters, and, to be sure, it was never forgotten, thanks to the Internet, where Carl Cameron will be exposing the Israeli connection to the 9/11 terrorist attacks unto eternity.
Cameron’s noting that “more than sixty” Israelis had been arrested immediately after 9/11, along with and under the same legal rubric as thousands of Arabs, had also been noted here in this space, before the Fox News broadcasts. Why, I asked in a column, was the US government rounding up Israelis, of all people – unless there was some kind of Israeli connection to the attacks? The answer came in Cameron’s reporting, and subsequent stories in the “mainstream” media: the Israelis, whose intelligence services had been very active on our soil in the months leading up to 9/11, had been following the hijackers, shadowing their every move, without telling us – almost as if they were protecting them rather than trying to stop them.
According to this Salon story on the “Israeli art students,” which Justin linked to and which also refers to Carl Cameron’s report that caught the attention of the DEA and DoD, the Washington Post attempted to put the story to rest, “quoting anonymous officials” (or “unnamed sources,” or “unnamed anonymous government officials,” etc., etc., which is what the news media usually do when they make things up, or are too lazy to do any actual investigative research).
Former CIA agent Philip Giraldi has written about the Americans caught spying on the U.S. for Israel but mostly getting away with it, as well as a possible Israeli spy in the U.S. getting too chummy with U.S. national security officials including the Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff.
But we dare not tell the truth about such taboo subjects. Except, Justin Raimondo dared and he wasn’t afraid to tell the truth.
In November of 2013 Justin wrote about a new nuclear agreement between the “P5+1” (China, France, Russia, the U.K., the U.S., “plus” Germany) and Iran.
An Israeli attack on Iran, however, would be Bibi’s last resort: the Israelis are good at agitating for other nations to go to war on their behalf, but when it comes to actually doing the fighting themselves – and losing some of their own people – their enthusiasm tends to cool down a bit. Before they attack Iran, the Israelis will do everything in their power to derail the agreement – and no one should underestimate what they’re capable of.
Their first line of attack is through Congress, where the Israel lobby holds a dominant position. Even before the agreement was signed, the lobby’s congressional contingent was already being lined up to introduce new sanctions on Iran. Prominent Democrats, including Majority leader Harry Reid, New York’s Chuck Schumer, and Bob Menendez of New Jersey have already endorsed the new sanctions bill, and the usual Republican suspects are already denouncing the agreement as “another Munich.”
The second line of attack is a possible provocation engineered by the Israelis: this could involve an incident between the US and Iran in international waters in the Gulf, as has happened before, or it could be a simple exposure of an alleged Iranian violation of the terms of the interim agreement. This latter course could be carried out by Israel’s regional allies, including the Mujahideen-e-Khalq (MEK), a neo-Marxist cult that has long been an instrument in Israeli hands and has a history of pushing disinformation about Iran’s alleged nuclear activities. Nor should we rule out Israeli collaboration with hardliner elements within Iran: although they are ostensibly in irreconcilable opposition, both Israeli and Iranian hardliners are united in their opposition to a nuclear deal.
The third line of attack would be direct Israeli action against the US – no, not military action (don’t be silly), but some kind of covert action that would inflict enough damage to impact our ability to make the interim agreement permanent.
This isn’t pure speculation: in 1954, the Israelis recruited a group of Egyptians to plant bombs in Western targets, including the American information center, in major Egyptian cities. The idea was to blame the attacks on Islamists and Nasserites, and cause the British government to keep its troops in the Suez Canal zone. The plan failed, but only because the Israeli scheme was exposed: after years of denying the affair, the Israeli government finally owned up to it by awarding their agents medals of appreciation, bestowed on the surviving spies by President Moshe Katzav in 2005.
For years the Israelis have been saying their country faces an “existential” crisis on account of Iran’s nuclear program: another Holocaust, they have said, is imminent unless the Iranians are stopped. And Tehran, they aver, is intent on breaking any agreement they make with the West: the Iranians are determined to acquire nuclear weapons, and will stop at nothing in their drive to destroy Israel.
Justin wasn’t afraid to tell the truth, and he wasn’t afraid of Israel’s “Amen Corner” in the U.S. I think a lot of people believe many false narratives, including about Israel, because they hear nothing but the propaganda over and over from media and pop culture. So most people believe the propaganda about Israel, and that’s just the way it is.
Similarly, many also believe the propaganda about “Trump collusions with Russia to interfere with the 2016 election,” none of which actually happened. It was all made up.
Justin was on to the “Trump-Russia collusions” propaganda from the very beginning. In his November 28, 2016 article, The Witch Hunters: Washington Post pushes campaign to censor alternative media, he discussed the Washington Post‘s post-election article that called non-Hillary-supporting Internet or media outlets “fake news.” In actuality, the Post‘s article, titled, “Russian propaganda effort helped spread ‘fake news’ during election, experts say,” was itself propaganda and the beginning of a crusade to call the actual truth-tellers “fake news.”
In fact, the Washington Post already began with its “Russian hacking the election” false narrative months before the election, in June of 2016, as soon as Trump’s nomination for President was secured. The Post‘s June 14, 2016 article, titled, “Russian government hackers penetrated DNC, stole opposition research on Trump,” goes on and on with this or that detail. But, according to former NSA tech expert William Binney and former CIA analyst Ray McGovern, the DNC computers couldn’t have been remotely hacked, but were accessed locally, with possibly a USB flash drive.
Binney and McGovern debunked the Post‘s evidence-free claims. And of course by July of 2016, Justin Raimondo’s “BS-ometer” was already going off quite loudly, regarding the Washington Post‘s claims of Russia hacking the DNC.
So when the DNC hack made headlines, the anti-Trump media – i.e. the entire “mainstream” media – pushed the Kremlin conspiracy narrative hard. But what is the technical evidence for such a charge? As it turns out, it is thin-to-nonexistent.
What’s striking is that for all this subjective “analysis” and cyber-sleuthing, no one is pointing to what should be the first suspicion in such a case: that the hacking of the DNC server was an inside job.
An “inside job” and not a hack, by the way, has been further backed up most recently by more evidence. The DNC insider who leaked to WikiLeaks is again said to be the murdered Seth Rich. Eventually, that whole “Russia hacking the 2016 election” and “Trump-Russia collusions” conspiracy theory, promoted by the fake news media and believed by millions, will be thrown into the dustbin of history, thanks to investigative researchers and writers like Justin Raimondo.
So, Justin was like Radar O’Reilly on M*A*S*H, who could hear the choppers from far away before anyone else could. Justin could sense and expose the “BS” and the “fake news” before most others, and he will be missed.