Friday, August 15, 2008

PAUL FINDLEY They Dare to Speak Out 10

"Exchanges" That Work Only in One Direction
The Israelis are particularly adept at exploiting sympathetic officials, as a former Pentagon officer explained:
We have people sympathizing with Israel in about every office in the Pen­tagon. A lot of military personnel have been in Israel, and some served there, making friends—and, of course, a number of Israeli personnel study in U.S. military schools. The guts, the energy, the skill of the Israelis are much admired in the Pentagon. Israelis are very good at passing back to us their performance records using our equipment. Throughout our military schools are always a large number of Israeli students. They develop great professional rapport with our people.
For years, the United States and Israel have exchanged military per­sonnel. On paper, it works both ways. In practice, Israel is the major beneficiary. The reason is more one of culture than anything clandestine. Israeli officers generally speak English, so its no problem for them to come to the United States and quickly establish rapport with U.S. offi­cers. On the other hand, hardly any U.S. officers speak Hebrew.
Language disparity is not the only problem. Of equal gravity is the American laxity in enforcing its security regulations. Many Israeli offi­cers spend a year in a sensitive area—one of the U.S. training com­mands, or a research and development laboratory. At the start they are told they cannot enter certain restricted areas. Then, little by little, the rules are relaxed. A former Defense Department official explained:
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The young Israeli speaks good English. He is likeable. You know how Amer­icans are: they take him in, and he's their buddy. First thing you know, the restrictions are forgotten, and the Israeli officers are admitted to everything in our laboratories, our training facilities, our operational bases.
The former official quickly added that rules are seldom relaxed in Israel:
This means that the officer training exchange is really a one-way street. Israel does not permit our officers, whether they speak Hebrew or not, to serve in sensitive military facilities in Israel. Many areas are totally off lim­its. They are very strict about that. Our officers cannot be present even when U.S.-supplied equipment and weapons are being delivered for the first time. U.S. officers on exchange programs in Israel are, more often than not, given a desk in an office down the hall, and assigned just enough to do to keep them busy and prevent them from being too frustrated. Without knowledge of Hebrew, they have almost no way to know what is going on.6
Camaraderie is also an element. Many employees in the executive branch, Jewish and non-Jewish, feel that the United States and Israel are somehow "in this together" and therefore cooperate without limit. Many also believe that Israel is a strategic asset and that weapons and other technology provided to Israel serve U.S. purposes. These feelings some­times cause official restrictions on sharing of information to be modified or conveniently forgotten. As one Defense official put it, the rules get "placed deeper and deeper into the file":
A sensitive document is picked up by an Israeli officer while his friend, a Defense Department official, deliberately looks the other way. Nothing is said. Nothing is written. And the U.S. official probably does not feel he has done anything wrong. Meanwhile, the Israelis ask for more and more.
"Like Sending a Weather Report"
Despite such openhanded generosity by the United States, the flow of information—like the unbalanced U.S.-Israel officer "exchanges"—is a one-way exchange. The September 1990 publication of Victor Ostrov-sky s By Way of Deception did much to broaden awareness of what goes on in the realm of Israeli perfidy.
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The shocking expose, written by a former Israeli spy, reports that the Mossad, Israels intelligence agency, failed to relay to the United States early data about the 1983 suicide bombing that killed 241 U.S. Marines who were asleep in a barracks at the Beirut airport.
An informant had told the Mossad that a large truck was being fit­ted by Shi'ite Muslims with spaces that could hold bombs of exceptional size. Local agents concluded that the marine barracks was among the most likely targets, but, according to Ostrovsky, the Mossad chief in Tel Aviv made a conscious decision not to warn the U.S. government, declar­ing: "Were not there to protect Americans." Accordingly, only a routine notice went to the CIA, which Ostrovsky writes "was like sending a weather report."
In an attempt to cover up this and other damning information, the government of Israel requested—and a New York judge ordered—that Ostrovsky s book be banned in the United States. The New York Post headlined: "Israelis muzzle spy author." The New York Times summed up the books allegation: the Mossad failed to warn the CIA because it wanted "to poison American relations with Arab countries." When the ban was overturned by a higher court the next day, the book enjoyed a second round of nationwide publicity. Overnight, it became a bestseller.
In addition to withholding valuable intelligence information from its number one benefactor, Israel does not hesitate to obtain United States classified information through all-out espionage, a process that the American government has been unable to halt.
The Mossad's Role in the Network
Exactly three U.S. government employees have been punished for leak­ing classified information to Israel. The first was Fred Waller, a career foreign service officer in charge of the Israel-Jordan desk at the State Department, who in 1954 read in a classified document that revealed that a friend on the staff of the Israeli embassy—under suspicion for espionage—was being recommended by the FBI for expulsion from the United States.
Waller told associates that he considered the charges "unjustified" and, according to allegations, tipped off his friend at the Israeli embassy. For this, Waller was the first person ever marked for dismissal, but he
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was later permitted simply to retire. "They wanted to throw him out without a nickel," states Don Bergus, who succeeded Waller in the State Department assignment. During those years of McCarthyism, Bergus recalls, "the FBI was recommending that a lot of people be declared persona non grata. They were so happy with themselves in doing this. They knew damned well their recommendations wouldn't be acted upon."
Bergus recalled that Israel obtained a lot of information without resorting to espionage: "A lot of the information was volunteered. The apples were put on the table, and I don't blame Israel for taking them."
The investigation of Waller occurred during the high point of our government's concern over Israeli intelligence activities in the United States. Because the Eisenhower administtation was trying to withhold weapons from Israel, as well as other states in the Middle East, a major attempt was made to bring leaks of classified information under con­trol. A veteran diplomat recalled the crisis: "Employees in State and Defense were being suborned and bribed on a wide scale, and our gov­ernment went to Israel and demanded that it stop."
After high-level negotiations following the Waller affair, the United States and Israel entered into an unwritten agreement to share a larger volume of classified information and, at the same time, to sharply restrict the clandestine operations each conducted in the other's territory. The diplomat explained that it was supposed to be a two-way street: "The deal provided that we would get more from them too, and it was hoped the arrangement would end the thievery and payoff of U.S. employees."
The understanding with Israel did not end the problem, however, as the Israelis were not content to let the United States decide what classi­fied information it would receive. Israel did not live up to the tetms of the agreement and continued to broadly engage in espionage activities throughout the United States.
This was still true more than twenty years after the Waller episode, during the tenure of Atlanta mayor Andrew Young as U.S. ambassador to the United Nations during the Carter administration. Young recalled, "I operated on the assumption that the Israelis would learn just about everything instantly. I just always assumed that everything was moni­tored, and that there was a pretty formal network."7
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Young resigned as ambassador in August 1979 after it was revealed that he had met with Zuhdi Terzi, the PLO's UN observer, in violation of the U.S. pledge to Israel not to talk to the PLO.8 Press reports on Young's episode said Israeli intelligence learned of the meeting and that Israeli officials then leaked the information to the press, precipitating the diplomatic wrangle that led to Young's resignation.
Israel denied that its agents had learned of the Young-Terzi meeting. The press counselor at the Israeli embassy went so far as to tell the Wash­ington Star, "We do not conduct any kind of intelligence activities in the United States." This denial must have been amusing to U.S. intelli­gence experts, one of whom talked with Newsweek magazine about the Mossad's activities here: "They have penetrations all through the U.S. government.9 They do better than the KGB," said the expert, whom the magazine did not identify.
The Newsweek at tide continued:
With the help of American Jews in and out of government, the Mossad looks for any softening in U.S. support and tries to get any technical intel­ligence the administration is unwilling to give to Israel. "The Mossad can go to any distinguished American Jew and ask for his help," says a former CIA agent. The appeal is a simple one: "When the call went out and no one heeded it, the Holocaust resulted." The United States tolerates the Mossad's operations on American soil partly because of reluctance to anger the Amer­ican Jewish community.
Another reason cited: the Mossad is often a valuable source of infor­mation for U.S. intelligence.
Penetration by Israel continued at such a high level that a senior State Department official who has held the highest career positions related to the Middle East confides, "I urged several times that the United States quit trying to keep secrets from Israel. Let them have everything. They always get what they want anyway. When we try to keep secrets, it always backfires."
An analysis prepared by the CIA in 1979, twenty-five years after the U.S.—Israeli espionage agreement, gives no hint that the Mossad had in any way restricted its operations within the United States. According to the forty-eight-page secret document, titled Israel: Foreign Intelligence
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and Security Services, the United States continued to be a focus of Mossad operations:
In carrying out its mission to collect positive intelligence, the principal func­tion of the Mossad is to conduct agent operations against the Arab nations and their official representatives and installations throughout the world, particularly in Western Europe and the United States. . . . Objectives in Western countries are equally important (as in the USSR and East Europe) to the Israeli intelligence service. The Mossad collects intelligence regard­ing Western, Vatican, and UN policies toward the Near East; promotes arms deals for the benefit of the IDF; and acquires data for silencing anti-Israel factions in the West [emphasis added].
Under "methods of operation," the CIA booklet described the way in which the Mossad makes use of domestic pro-Israeli groups. It states that "the Mossad over the years has enjoyed some rapport with highly placed persons and government offices in every country of importance to Israel." It adds, "Within Jewish communities in almost every coun­try of the world, there are Zionists and other sympathizers who render strong support to the Israeli intelligence effort." It explained:
Such contacts are carefully nurtured and serve as channels for information, deception material, propaganda, and other purposes. . . . Mossad activities are generally conducted through Israeli official and semiofficial establish­ments—deep cover enterprises in the form of firms and organizations, some especially created for, or adaptable to, a specific objective—and penetra­tions effected within non-Zionist national and international Jewish organi­zations. . . . Official organizations used for cover are: Israeli purchasing missions and Israeli government tourist offices, El Al, and Zim offices. Israeli construction firms, industrial groups and international trade organizations also provide nonofficial cover. Individuals working under deep or illegal cover are normally charged with penetrating objectives that require a long-range, more subtle approach, or with activities in which the Israeli government can never admit complicity. . . .
The Israeli intelligence service depends heavily on the various Jewish com­munities and organizations abroad for recruiting agents and eliciting general information. The aggressively ideological nature of Zionism, which empha­sizes that all Jews belong to Israel and must return to Israel, had had its draw­backs in enlisting support for intelligence operations, however, since there is considerable opposition to Zionism among Jews throughout the world.
Aware of this fact, Israeli intelligence representatives usually operate discreetly within Jewish communities and are under instructions to han­
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die their missions with utmost tact to avoid embarrassment to Israel. They also attempt to penetrate anti-Zionist elements in order to neutralize the opposition.
The theft of scientific data is a major objective of Mossad opera­tions, which is often attempted by trying to recruit local agents:
In addition to the large-scale acquisition of published scientific papers and technical journals from all over the world through overt channels, the Israelis devote a considerable portion of their covert operations to obtain­ing scientific and technical intelligence. This had included attempts to pen­etrate certain classified defense projects in the United States and other Western nations.
The Israeli security authorities (in Israel) also seek evidence of illicit love affairs which can be used as leverage to enlist cooperation. In one instance, Shin Bet (the domestic Israeli intelligence agency) tried to penetrate the U.S. Consulate General in Jerusalem through a clerical employee who was having an affair with a Jerusalem girl. They rigged a fake abortion case against the employee in an unsuccessful effort to recruit him. Before this attempt at blackmail, they had tried to get the Israeli girl to elicit informa­tion from her boyfriend.
Israels espionage activities, according to the CIA, even included "crude efforts to recruit marine guards [at the United States Embassy at Tel Aviv] for monetary reward." It reports that a hidden microphone "planted by the Israelis" was found in the office of the U.S. ambassador in 1954, and that two years later, telephone taps were found connected to two telephones in the residence of the U.S. military attache. Retired diplomat Don Bergus recalls the episode: "Our ambassador, Ed Lawson, reported the bug in a telegram to Washington that went something like this: 'Department must assume that all conversations in my office as well as texts of my telegrams over the last six months are known to the Israelis.' Ed had dictated all telegrams to his secretary."
During the Iranian hostage crisis in 1980, columnist Jack Anderson quoted "U.S. intelligence reports," actually supplied by the Israeli embassy, by way of the American Israel Public Affairs Committee, that the PLO had mined the embassy to frustrate any rescue attempt by the United States. The intelligence reports proved to be bogus.
Asked about the present activities of the Mossad in the United States, a senior official in the Department of State, was candid:
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"No One Needs Trouble Like That"
Leaks of classified information remain a major problem for policy mak­ers. An official whose identity I promised to withhold says that during the Carter administration his colleagues feared even to speak up even in small private meetings. When Israeli requests were turned down at inter­agency meetings attended by, at most, fifteen people—all of whom knew the discussions were to be considered top secret—within hours "the Israeli military attache, the political officer, or the ambassador—or all of them at once—were lodging protests. They knew exactly who said what, even though nothing had been put on paper." He adds, "No one needs trouble like that."
He said that David McGiffert, assistant secretary of defense for inter­national security affairs, was often subjected to pressure. Frequently, the Israeli embassy would demand copies of documents that were still in the draft stage and had not reached his desk.
To counteract these kinds of leaks, some officials have taken theit own precautions.
Although no charges are ever brought, those suspected of leaking information to Israel are sometimes bypassed when classified documents are handed out. The word is forwarded discreetly to drop their names from the disttibution list. One such official served during both the Carter and Reagan administrations. When he occupied a senior position in the Carter administration, his superiors were instructed to "clear nothing" in the way of classified documents related to the Middle East through his office and to use extreme caution when discussing such matters in his pres­
We have to assume that they have wiretaps all over town. In my work I fre­quently pick up highly sensitive information coming back to me in con­versations with people who have no right to have these secrets. I will ask, "I wonder who has the wiretaps out to pick that up," and usually the answer is, "I don't know, but it sure isn't us."
The same official said he never gives any highly sensitive information over his office phone. "You have to respect their ingenuity. The Mossad people know how to get into a system."
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ence. One of his colleagues says, admiringly, "He is brilliant. He belongs in government, but he has a blind spot where Israel is concerned."
To strike back at government officials considered to be unsympa­thetic to Israeli needs, the pro-Israel lobby singles them out for personal attack and even the wrecking of their careers. In January 1977 a broad-scale purge was attempted immediately after the inauguration of Presi­dent Carter. The perpetrator was Senator Richard Stone of Florida, a Democrat, a passionate supporter of Israel.10 When he was newly installed as chairman of the Senate Subcommittee on the Middle East, he brought along with him a "hit list." In his view, fifteen officials were not sufficiently supportive of Israel and its weapons needs, and he wanted them transferred to positions where their views would create no problems for Israel. Marked for removal were William Quandt, Brzezin-ski's assistant for Middle East matters, and Les Janka, who had served on the National Security Council under Ford. The others were career mil­itary officers, most of them colonels. Stone's demands were rejected by Brzezinski. According to a senior White House official, "after pressing reasonably hard for several days," the senator gave up. Although unsuc­cessful, his demands caused a stir. One officer says, "I find it very ironic that a U.S. senator goes to a U.S. president's national security adviser and tells him to fire Americans for insufficient loyalty to another country."
Leaks Disrupt American Foreign Policy
At least four times in recent years, major leaks of information to Israel caused serious setbacks in our relations with Israel's neighbors. The first destroyed an arrangement with Jordan that had been serving U.S. secu­rity interests successfully for years.
Under a long-standing secret agreement, Jordan's King Hussein received secret financial support from the CIA. This was a carryover of a normal support system developed by the British. Under it, moderate leaders such as Hussein received payments in exchange for helpful ser­vices, which enabled them to maintain their political base without hav­ing to account to anyone locally.
Early in the Carter administration, a White House review was ordered of all covert operations, including, of course, the CIA payments
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to the Middle East. Nineteen people attended the review meeting in early February 1977. One of the senior officials who attended recalled: "I feared at the time that leaks were certain to occur." A few days later, the Washington Post headlined a story "CIA Paid Millions to Jordan's King Hussein."1' Written by Bob Woodward, the article said that over a period of twenty years the CIA had made "secret annual payments total­ing millions of dollars" to Hussein. It said the payment in 1976 was $750,000. The disclosure provoked wide international controversy.
When he read Woodward's Washington Post article, Senator James G. Abourezk of South Dakota called in Harold Saunders, then an official of the National Security Council, and received confirmarion that Israel, as well as Jordan, was receiving secret payments from the CIA.12 Abourezk recalled that Saunders estimated that during the same period Hussein received about $10 million, more than $70 million went to Israel. The payments helped Israel support its own burgeoning foreign aid program in Africa, and Abourezk believed that the payments still continued. Hussein used the funds to maintain a strong relationship with the Bedouin tribes of his desert kingdom.
After confirming the information, Abourezk called Woodward and asked if he was aware of the CIA's aid to Israel when he wrote about the payments to Jordan. Abourezk recalls, "Woodward admitted knowledge of the payments to Israel, but said he thought the circumstances were dif­ferent, and that was why he did not write about them." Abourezk recalls being so outraged at this explanation and Woodward's "selective" cover­age of the news that he shouted over the phone, "It seems to me that sort of judgment is better left up to the readers of the Post. "
Abourezk tried unsuccessfully for several months to interest Wash­ington journalists in the news that Israel too received CIA payments.13 Months later, after the furor over Jordan had died down, Jack Anderson mentioned the payments to Israel in his syndicated column. There was no public outcry.
The CIA arrangement with Jordan was viewed by Zbigniew Brzezin-ski, Cartel s national security adviser, as "very valuable" to the United States. But as a result of the publicity, he recalls, the arrangement had to be canceled, Hussein was embarrassed, and the Unired Srates suffered a setback in its relations with the Arab world.
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The next leak so embarrassed U.S.-Saudi relarions that a career intel­ligence officer was ordered out of Saudi Arabia. After the fall of the Shah of Iran in 1979, there was speculation that the Saudi regime also might fall. The CIA station chief in Saudi Arabia reported this information to Washington in a secret cable, citing it as only a tumor, not a forecast. On the basis of this and other reports and analysis in Washington, the CIA produced a paper that was given restricted circulation in the official pol­icy community. That paper discussed the stability of the Saudi regime. A report was leaked to news services, which erroneously stated that the CIA station chief in Saudi Arabia predicted the fall of the Saudi gov­ernment within six months.
John C. West, former governor of South Carolina, was the U.S. ambassador to Saudi Arabia at the time. West tecalls the CIA story: "Of course, there was no such prediction that the Saudi government would fall, but that's the way it was printed." The episode caused deep resent­ment in the Saudi capital, and the station chief was asked to leave.14
West had other problems with leaks. On another occasion, this time in 1980, a government employee's leak of secret information destroyed a sensitive mission to Saudi Arabia and, in West's opinion, led to a costly confrontation between the president and the Senate. The leak came from a secret White House meeting, where West and a small group of high offi­cials discussed several Saudi requests to buy military equipment. "The arms package was of very, very great concern to the Saudis," West recalled:
It was essential that they, as serious customers, not be embarrassed. As we went over the items, I said, "Whatever we do, we must not say no to the Saudis on any of these. Its very important that we avoid a flat turndown."
The group agreed to approve four of the requests, but found the other two highly controversial. The Saudis wanted to buy high technol­ogy AWACS intelligence-gathering aircraft and special bomb racks for F-15 fighter planes they already owned. These sales would cause an uproar in neighboring Israel, and the Carter administration did not want to offend either government.
West worked out solutions to both problems. "Let's do this," he advised the group:
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The bomb racks haven't yet been adopted as a part of the U.S. system. There are still some bugs that need to be worked out. Let's explain that we won't make a decision until we decide the bomb racks are right and meet our own requirements. Given that explanation, the Saudis will go along.
Regarding the AWACS dilemma, West predicted that the Saudis would withdraw their request to buy the planes if the United States would resume a practice that had been initiated during the tense period following the fall of the Shah of Iran. At that time, he says, "The United States met Saudi intelligence needs by operating AWACS planes from Saudi bases and supplying to the Saudi government the information accumulated on these flights." West told the group, "I will explain to the Saudis that the United States cant deliver the new planes until 1985, and by then the technology will probably be outdated."
Wests recommendations were accepted. The Saudis would be per­mitted to buy the four noncontroversial items, and the other two requests would be set aside in a way that would cause no offense. West says, "I was instructed to explain the decisions personally when I returned to Saudi Arabia."
But once again, sensitive information was leaked in a twisted form. West recalled:
The very day I left for Saudi Arabia, the New York Times published a story headlined: "Carter Is Said to Refuse Saudi Request for Arms." Other news services reported that at a high level meeting the White House decided to turn down the Saudi request, and after debating for several days on how to break the news, West was instructed simply to tell them no.15
I knew nothing of the leak until I landed in Saudi Arabia, ready to meet Saudi officials in appointments already scheduled. The news story hit me in the face when I got off the plane. It was terrible.
The Times story delivered the blunt negative answer that West had warned must be avoided at all cost. "It destroyed all chance of success in my diplomatic mission."
West does not know how the newspapers got the damaging report. Only a few had attended the meeting in the White House, but notes were taken, memos prepared. He speculates that the story, with deliber­ate inaccuracies, was leaked by "someone determined to worsen relations between the United States and Saudi Arabia."
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A few months later, the Carter administration resumed AWACS operations based in Saudi Arabia. Nonetheless, embarrassed by the ear­lier headlines, Saudi officials decided to insist on buying their own AWACS planes and launched a public relations campaign in the United States that culminated in a costly, bruising showdown two years later in the U.S. Senate. Without the leak, West believed, the Saudis would have accepted the Carter administration decision, and the AWACS controversy would never have surfaced. If so, the U.S. taxpayers might have been spared an extra $1.2 billion in aid to Israel—the price Israel's lobby demanded as compensation when it lost the AWACS vote in the Senate.16
West recalled that leaks to Israel were so frequent that he imposed strict rules on communications:
I would never put anything in any cable that was critical of Israel. Still, because of the grapevine, there was never any secret from the government of Israel. The Israelis knew everything, usually by the time it got to Wash­ington. I can say that without qualification.
West added that if he wanted to communicate any information that was in any way critical of Israel, he felt more confident using an open telephone line than a top-secret cable.
West's problems with the lobby did not end with his departure from diplomatic service. Before leaving his post in 1981, in an interview in Jeddah, he told a reporter that the "most difficult question" he encoun­tered during his work as ambassador was trying to explain why talks between the United States and the PLO were not permitted.17
This mild comment caused trouble when West returned to private life. His appointment as distinguished professor of Middle East studies at the University of South Carolina brought a strong protest from a group of South Carolina Jews, led by State Senator Hyman Rubin. "The group charged bias," West recalls, "and the protest so disturbed the university administration that public announcement of my appointment was delayed for more than a year." When he learned of the protest, West asked Rubin to arrange a meeting with his group. The result was a can­did two-hour discussion between twenty critics and the ambassador-turned-professor. In its wake, West said, "The controversy subsided," and he assumed his post.
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In 1983 the Israeli embassy itself directly arranged a news leak that effectively blocked U.S. support for a Jordanian rapid deployment force, although the embassy concealed its own role in the event. The White House was privately considering a proposal under which the United States would help Jordan establish an airborne unit that would be able to provide swift help if nearby Arab states were threatened. A White House official explained:
When the Bahrainis asked for help during the Iranian crisis, Jordan wanted to help but had no way to get there. The Jordanian force idea is sound. Arabs need to be able to defend their own territory. Instead of having an American rapid deployment force going to the Persian Gulf, it would be bet­ter for Arabs to do the job themselves. Better to have Muslims defending Muslim territory than American boys.
L. Dean Brown, former ambassador to Jordan, says the proposal would have been a "godsend" to the small countries of the gulf.18 "What Jordan needed was C-130 transport planes in order to move light weapons by air."
At first, Israel raised no objection. Told of the plan while he was still Israel's ambassador to the United States, Moshe Arens simply listened. A White House official close to the project recalled, "We told Arens that we were going to have Israeli interests in mind, but we were going ahead. We would proceed in a way that would not harm Israel."
The noncommittal Israeli reaction was mistaken as a green light, and, after getting clearance from the intelligence committees of Con­gress, the Reagan administration proceeded with secret negotiations.
After Arens left to become Israel's defense minister, the proposal ran into trouble. Briefed on the progress of the project by Secretary of State George Shultz, Meir Rosenne, Israel's new ambassador, suddenly raised objections. The Israeli embassy tipped off a reporter for an Israeli radio station about the issue, suggesting he go to Congressman Clarence Long, chairman of the House Appropriations Subcommittee that handles aid to Israel, saying "he will tell you the whole story." Long cooperated, Israeli radio broke the story, and with controversy swirling in Israel, AIPAC joined the fray with its own salvos.
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A White House official recalled the effect. "Once this became pub­lic," he said, "King Hussein of Jordan backed away too. He didn't want to be seen as a tool of the Americans." The official says his colleagues at the White House were convinced that the whole thing was a carefully engineered leak by the Israeli embassy. It was delayed only until Arens left Washington. "It was a carom shot, bounced through Doc Long and Israeli radio in such a way that it would not be traced back to the embassy." Former U.S. Defense Secretary Harold Brown described the leak by the Israelis as "purposeful."
"The State Department Leaks Like a Sieve"
A leak got Talcott Seelye, ambassador to Syria, in hot water in 1981 when he sent a classified cable from Syria to the State Department protesting a resolution just introduced in the House of Representatives by Stephen Solarz, a member of the Foreign Affairs Committee. Solarz represents a New York district in which Jews of Syrian origin are numer­ous, and his resolution criticized Syria for not permitting more Jews to leave that country.
In the cable Seelye warned that approval of the resolution would make Syria less cooperative, not more. Seelye explained, "My cable said that if Solarz was sincere and serious about getting the Jews out of Syria, he would not go ahead with this resolution; on the other hand, if he merely wanted to make points with the voters, he should do something else." The cable was leaked to Solarz, who called Secretary of State Vance and demanded, "Look, you've got to get Seelye out of there." Vance was furious over the leak.
Seelye kept his job, but the State Department did little to defeat the resolution. When the resolution was taken up in the House, only one "no" vote was heard.
The employee guilty of leaking the cable to Solarz worked under Ed Sanders, Carter's official liaison with the Jewish community, who then had an office in the State Department as well as in the White House. No punishment was imposed; the employee was simply trans­ferred to a different job. The leak confirmed rhe fears of diplomats who
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had strongly opposed locating a Jewish liaison office in the State Depart­ment. One diplomat of the period describes Sanders as "a very decent human being, and he was there to do his job at the request of the pres­ident. At the same time, some of the stuff we were doing should not get out of the building to anybody."
Harold Saunders, a scholarly career Middle East specialist who occa­sionally got in hot water by noting Atab concerns, was then assistant secretary of state.19 He voiced his feelings to Vance: "How would you like having somebody from U.S. Steel sitting in our Economic Bureau's tar­iff office?" Vance, too, opposed the arrangement, but Sanders's State Department office was not closed for months.
Seelye pinpointed a very mundane reason for the wave of leaks: the prevalence of copying machines.20 He says that, as ambassador to Syria, he operated on the assumption that the Israelis would learn everything he sent to Washington. He said, "The trouble with our system of classi­fication is that even when we limit distribution, say, to just twenty copies for the whole government, one of the offices on the list will make a dozen extra copies for their own use, and so on. It's hard to control."
Veterans in government lay the blame for much of the leaking on political appointees holding important positions in the State Depart­ment and not on career diplomats. In the early months of the Reagan Administration, National Security Adviser Richard Allen was viewed as highly sympathetic to Israeli interests and, in fact, as the de facto clear­ance officer, encouraging the placement of personnel who were accept­able to the state of Israel in key positions. After Allen's departure from government, a senior officer of the State Department recalled, "No one was needed to replace him, as people with pro-Israeli interests—we call them mail carriers—are spotted in every important office."
A senior diplomat, now on leave, says: "The leaks are almost never traced to professional foreign service officers. In my experience, leaks are normally by staff members brought in by political appointees, and every administration brings in a lot of them. They seem to be all over the place." He says these "loose-tongued amateurs" are prominent on the seventh floor, where offices of senior State Department officials are located, and on the staff for policy planning, as well as in the White House. This gives them ready access to sensitive matetial. "Unfortu­
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nately," he added, "they do not have the same idea of discipline and sense of loyalty as the professionals."
Some leaks originate from a few members of Congress and their staff. A former Defense Department official recalled:
There were individuals on Capitol Hill that the Pentagon viewed as conduits to Israel. No question about it. A number of times we would get requests from congressmen or senators for intelligence materials. We knew damn well that these materials were not for their own edification. The informa­tion would be passed to Israel. For example, we would get a letter from a congressman, stating he had heard the Pentagon had done a study on the military balance between Israel and its Arab neighbors. He would like to have a copy of it. We would respond, "We can't give you a copy, but we can give you an oral briefing." The usual answer is, "Sorry, we are not interested in an oral briefing."
The Case of Stephen Bryen
In the opinion of all these sources, Israeli penetration of State and Defense departments reached an all-time high during the Reagan admin­istration. In 1984 people known to have intimate links with Israel were employed in offices throughout the bureaucracy, particularly in the Defense Department, where top-secret weapons technology and other sensitive matters are routinely handled.
The bureaucracy was then headed by Fred Ikle, undersecretary of defense for international security. The three personalities of greatest impor­tance in his area were Richard Perle, Ikle s assistant for international secu­rity policy; Stephen Bryen, Perle's principal deputy, whose assigned specialty was technology transfer; and Noel Koch, principal deputy to Richard Armitage, assistant secretary for international security affairs. Koch was formerly employed by the Zionist Organization of America. Perle previously served on the staff of Democratic Senator Henry Jackson of Washington, one of Israel's most ardent boosters, and had the reputa­tion of being a conduit of information to the Israeli government. Stephen Bryen came to the administration under the darkest cloud of all.
Bryen's office had representatives on the interagency unit, known as the National Disclosure Policy Commission, which approves technology
5 They Dare to Speak Out
transfers related to weapons systems. The commission includes represen­tatives of the State and Defense departments, National Security Council, and the intelligence services. Bryen was publicly accused in 1978 of offer­ing a top-secret document on Saudi air bases to a group of visiting Israeli officials.21
The accusation arose from an incident reported by Michael Saba, a journalist and former employee of the National Association of Arab Americans. Saba, who readily agreed to a lie detector test by the FBI, said he overheard Bryen make the offer while having breakfast in a Wash­ington restaurant. At the time, Bryen was on the staff of the Senate For­eign Relations Committee. A senior career diplomat expressed the problem that State Department officials encountered during that period: "Whenever Bryen was in the room we always had to use extreme cau­tion." During the controversy, Bryen was suspended from the commit­tee staff, but he was later reinstated.22 He later left the committee position and became executive director of the Jewish Institute for National Secu­rity Affairs (JINSA), an organization founded—according to The Jew­ish Week—to "convince people that the security of Israel and the United States is interlinked."23 When Bryen moved to a position in the Defense Department, his wife, Shoshona, replaced him at JINSA.
After nine months, the investigating attorneys recommended that a grand jury be impanelled to consider the evidence against Bryen. Accord­ing to the Justice Department, other witnesses testified to Bryen's Israeli contacts. Indeed, a Justice Department memorandum dated January 26, 1979, discussed "unresolved questions thus far, which suggest that Bryen is (a) gathering classified informations for the Israelis, (b) acting as their unregistered agent and (c) lying about it. . . ."24 The Justice Department studied the complaint for two years. Although it found that Btyen had an "unusually close relationship with Israel," it made no charges, and in late 1979 it closed the file. Early in 1981 Bryen was hired as Richard Perle's chief deputy in the Pentagon. He remained in that highly respon­sible position for several years, and was twice awarded the Defense Department's highest civilian honor, the Distinguished Public Service Medal. Apparently forgetting (or ignoring) the suspicions surrounding Bryen, President Ronald Reagan once insisted that Bryen "made lasting contributions to our national defense that have earned him the respect and admiration of his colleagues and the gratitude of all Americans."25
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Bryen's former boss, Richard Perle, was also the subject of an Israel-related controversy. An FBI summary of a 1970 wiretap described Perle discussing classified information with someone at the Israeli embassy.26 He came under fire in 1983 when newspapers reported he received sub­stantial payments to represent the interests of an Israeli weapons com­pany. Perle denied a conflict of interest, insisting that, although he received payment for these services after he had assumed his position in the Defense Department, he was between government jobs when he worked for the Israeli firm.
Because of these controversies, both Perle and Bryen were given assignments in the Reagan administration that—it was expected—would keep them isolated from issues relating to Israel. But, observed a State Department official, it did not work out that way. Sensitive questions of technology transfer, that affect Israeli interests, were often settled in the offices of Perle and Bryen.
Despite the investigation, Bryen held one of the highest possible security classifications at the Department of Defense. It is a top secret code word classification, which gave him access to documents and data anywhere in the government, almost without limit. A high official in the Department of State explained the significance of Bryen's access: "With this classification, Bryen can keep up to date not only on what the United States has in the way of technology, but on what we hope to have in the future as the result of secret research and development."
'Til Take Care of the Congress"
Admiral Thomas Moorer recalls a dramatic example of Israeli lobby power from his days as chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff.27 At the time of the 1973 Arab-Israeli war, Mordecai Gur, the defense attache at the Israeli embassy who later became commander-in-chief of Israeli forces, came to Moorer demanding that the United States provide Israel with aircraft that were equipped with a high technology air-to-surface anti-tank missile called the Maverick. At the time, the U.S. had only one squadron so equipped. Moorer recalled telling Gur:
I can't let you have those aircraft. We have just one squadron. Besides, we've been testifying before the Congress, convincing them we need this
5 They Dare to Speak Out
equipment. If we gave you our only squadron, Congress would raise hell with us.
Moorer looked at me with a steady, piercing gaze that must have kept a generation of ensigns trembling in their boots. "And do you know what he said? Gur told me, 'You get us the airplanes; I'll take care of the Congress.'" Moorer paused, then added, "And he did." America's only squadron equipped with Mavericks went to Israel.
Moorer, speaking in his office in Washington as a senior counselor at the Georgetown University Center for Strategic and International Studies, said he strongly opposed the transfer but was overruled by "polit­ical expediency at the presidential level." He notes that President Richard Nixon was then in the throes of Watergate. "But," he added:
I've never seen a president—I don't care who he is—stand up to them [the Israelis]. It just boggles your mind. They always get what they want. The Israelis know what is going on all the time. I got to the point where I wasn't writing anything down. If the American people understood what a grip those people have got on our government, they would rise up in arms. Our citizens don't have any idea what goes on.
On another occasion, fear of lobby pressure caused a fundamental decision regarding further military sales to Israel to be deliberately pigeonholed. It involved the general consensus of professionals in the Pentagon that Israel had enough military power for any need as of 1975. By then it had reached a level of regional superiority that was over­whelming. In December 1976 the Middle East Arms Transfer Panel wrote a report to Secretary of Defense Donald Rumsfeld, concluding that no additional arms sales to Israel were necessary. Rumsfeld did not send the report to the State Department, however. It was the closing days of the Ford administration, and its transmission as an official doc­ument and subsequent leakage would have given the Democrats a par­tisan edge with the Israeli lobby.
Jewish groups in the United States are often pressed into service to soften up the secretary of state and other officials, especially in advance of a visit to the United States by the Israeli prime minister. A senior Defense Department official explained, "Israel would always have a long shopping list for the prime minister to take up. We would decide which items were
Penetrating the Defenses at Defense and State 5
worth making into an issue and which were not. We would try to work things out in advance." There was the constant threat that the prime min­ister might take an arms issue straight to the president, and the tendency was to clear the agenda of everything possible. "We might decide that we don't want this chickenshit electronic black box to be an issue between the president and prime minister, [so] we would approve it in advance."
On one such occasion, Ed Sanders, President Carter's adviser on Jew­ish affairs, brought a complaint to the National Security Council offices: "I'm getting a lot of flack from Jewish Congressmen on the ALQ 95-J. What is this thing? And why are we being so nasty about it? Shouldn't we let Israel have it? The president is getting a lot of abuse because the Pentagon won't turn it loose." It was a high technology radar jamming device, and soon it was approved for shipment to Israel.
In advance of Carter's decision to provide a high technology missile to Israel, a procession of Jewish groups came, one after another, to say:
Please explain to us why the Pentagon is refusing to sell AIM 9-L missiles to Israel. Don't you know what this means? This missile is necessary so the Israelis will be able to shoot down the counterpart missile on the Mig 21, which carries the Eight Ball 935.
A former high-ranking official in security affairs cited the intimi­dating effect of this procession on career specialists:
When you have to explain your position day after day, week after week, to American Jewish groups—first, say, from Kansas City, then Chicago, then East Overshoe—you see what you are up against. These are people from dif­ferent parts of the country, but they come in with the very same informa­tion, the same set of questions, the same criticism. They know what you have done even in private meetings. They will say, "Mr. Smith, we under­stand that in interagency meetings, you frequently take a hard line against technology transfers to Israel. Wed like you to explain yourself." They keep you on the defensive. They treat you as if you are the long pole in the anti-Israeli tent no matter how modest the position you have taken.
Jewish groups in turn press Capitol Hill into action:
We'll get letters from congressmen: "We need an explanation. We're hear­ing from constituents that Israel's security is threatened by the refusal of the
5 They Dare to Speak Out
Pentagon to release the AIM 9-L missile. Please, Mr. Secretary, can you give me your rationale for the refusal?"
The certainty of such lobby pressure can be costly to taxpayers. In one instance, it kept the United States from trying to recover U.S.-supplied arms, which Israel captured from Lebanon. During Israels inva­sion of Lebanon in 1982, its forces overran and captured tons of equip­ment of all sorts, including weapons supplied by the United States to the government forces in that country. Knowledge of this came to light in an unusual way a year later.
During a visit to Lebanon, the Reverend George Crossley of Del-tona, Florida, was shown cases of U.S.-made M-16 rifles, which Israeli officials said were captured from Palestinian forces.28 Crossley noted that they carried a Saudi insignia, and he wrote down the serial numbers. Saudi Arabia, of course, had no forces involved in the fighting in Leba­non, and the clergyman jumped to the conclusion that rifles, sold by the United States to Saudi Arabia, had been turned over to PLO forces in Lebanon, then captured by the Israelis. If true, this would have been a violation of a U.S. law that prohibits transfer of U.S.-supplied weapons to another country without permission.
Crossley wrote to his congressman, Bill Chappell, Jr., who asked the State Department to explain. A check of records showed that the United States had never sold M-16 rifles to the Saudis, who prefer a German make. The rifles in question were provided directly to forces of the Lebanese government.29
The episode got public attention at a time when the U.S. govern­ment, at great expense, was once again equipping Lebanese forces. A White House official, reading accounts of the Crossley affair, asked the desk officer at the Pentagon why the United States didn't demand that the Israelis give back these rifles and all other equipment they had taken from the Lebanese army. The Pentagon had an accurate list of what the United States had supplied. Surely, he argued, the Israeli government could be forced to cooperate, and this would ease United States' costs substantially.
The desk officer exploded: "Are you kidding? No way in hell! Who needs that? I answer maybe one hundred letters a month for the secretary of defense in reply to congressmen who bitch and complain about our mis­
Penetrating the Defenses at Defense and State 5
treatment of Israel. Do you think that I want to increase my workload answering more shitty letters? Do you think I am going to recommend action that will increase the flow of problem letters to my boss? Be serious."
Every official of prominence in the State and Defense departments proceeds on the assumption—and certainty—that at least once a week he will have to deal with a group from the Jewish community. One of them summarized:
One has to keep in mind the constant character of this pressure. The pub­lic affairs staff of the Near East Bureau in the State Department figures it will spend about 75 percent of its time dealing with Jewish groups. Hun­dreds of such groups get appointments in the executive branch each year.
In acting to influence U.S. policy in the Middle East, the Israeli lobby has the field virtually to itself. Other interest groups and individ­uals who might provide some measure of counterbalancing pressure have only begun to get organized. Americans of Arab ancestry, for example, remain divided. A diplomat who formerly served in a high position in the State Department gave this example:
When a group concerned about U.S. bias favoring Israel would come in for an appointment, more often than not those in the group start arguing among themselves. One person will object to a heavy focus on Palestinian problems. Another will want Lebanon's problems to be central to the dis­cussion. I would just sit back and listen. They had not worked out in advance what they wanted to say.
Les Janka had similar experiences.30 In a commentary at a gathering sponsored by the American Enterprise Institute, he recalled visits by groups who were sympathetic to Arab problems:
Their complaints tended to be fairly general. They would say, "We want the United States to be more evenhanded, more balanced," or "We want you to be more interested in the Palestinians." Nothing specific. In contrast, the Jewish groups come in with a very specific list of demands.
On all kinds of foreign policy issues the American people just don't make their voices heard. Jewish groups are the exceptions. They are pre­pared, superbly briefed. They have their act together. It is hard for bureau­crats not to respond.
5 They Dare to Speak Out
Aid Dollars Into the Pockets of Traitors
The first nationwide shockwave that revealed Israel in an untrustworthy posture emanated from a bizarre spy case, one of the most extraordinary in American history. Jonathan Jay Pollard, Jr., thirty-one, a navy coun­terintelligence analyst, was arrested in November 1985 for stealing clas­sified documents as a paid spy for Israel.
"We have a moral problem," a former Mossad member said when he learned of the arrest. "You can't take the money of the United States, and then use that money to buy information about that country." Immoral or not, that is exactly what happened.
Before the arrest, the prosecution of those involved in Israeli espi­onage had been taboo at the Federal Bureau of Investigation, despite long-standing evidence that placed other federal employees under suspi­cion. Like officials at the State Department, where a senior diplomat describes as "fantastic" the level of spying for Israel, FBI officials habit­ually chose to look the other way, viewing pro-Israel political influence as great enough to make attempted prosecution an exercise in futility.
The FBI "knew of at least a dozen incidents in which American offi­cials transferred classified information to the Israelis," according ro Ray­mond W. Wannal, Jr., a former assistant director of the FBI. None was prosecuted. The files gathered dust.
John Davitt, a career official and former chief of the Justice Depart­ment's internal security section, said: "When the Pollard case broke, the general media and public perception was that this was the first time this had ever happened. No, that's not true at all." He adds that, during his tenure, only the Soviet Union did more spying in the United States than Israel.
Pollard's thievery, however, was so gross and frequent it could not be ignored. On several occasions he took large boxes of classified docu­ments from the Pentagon, flagrantly abusing his "coutier" clearance.
In the wake of Pollard's arrest, William Safire, a columnist who rarely ctiticizes Israel, warned, "The stark fact is that if the espionage charges hold up in court, American aid dollars will have been channeled by Israel into the pockets of American traitors. That will blow up, not over." From the day of his arrest until the present, aspects of the scan­dal have appeared frequently in nationwide headlines and newscasts.
Penetrating the Defenses at Defense anil State 5
As it came to light, the Pollard case had all the trappings of a fiction thriller—free luxury trips to faraway places, expensive gifts for the spy's wife, shady spymasters who handled the cash and stolen documents, dashes to elude surveillance teams, and finally, arrest just steps away from political asylum—in the Israeli embassy.
The spy deal was cut in the summer of 1984 when Pollard, an ardent Zionist, met Aviem Sella, an Israeli aviation hero who doubled as an espionage agent. He promised Sella military secrets in return for $1,500 a month. The process began with a flourish. Pollard and his wife, Anne, twenty-six, traveled first class to Paris for a luxury holiday and meetings with Sella, as well as with Rafael Eitan, the famous Israeli Nazi-hunter and spymaster, who gave the Pollards $10,000 to cover expenses. Anne received a sapphire ring worth $7,000 from their hosts. They were also introduced to Joseph Yagur, a member of the Israeli embassy staff in Washington who subsequently became Pollard's main "handler."
Returning to Washington, Pollard stole documents from U.S. mili­tary files about three times a week and delivered them for copying to either Yagur or Irit Erb, another embassy employee.
The next spring, the Pollards enjoyed another $10,000 luxury trip— this time to Israel, where Jonathan received an Israeli passport under a new name, a raise in pay to $2,500 a month, and a promise that the pay would continue for the next nine years. He was informed that a Swiss bank account had been established in his name.
Six months later—just over a year after the espionage began—the operation fell apart. FBI agents stopped Pollard for questioning in the parking lot near his Washington work station. Pollard broke away long enough to telephone his wife and, with the code word "cactus," warned her to remove all stolen documents from their apartment. While he returned for further questioning by the agents, Anne gathered up the papers and took them in a suitcase to Erb's residence.
Shaken by the interview, Pollard asked Yagur for guidance. He sug­gested that the Pollards "lay low" for a while, elude FBI surveillance, and then find political asylum at the Israeli embassy. On November 21, 1985, they made the break, but failed to shake their surveillance. They were refused asylum just inside the embassy gates and arrested as they left the property. Meanwhile, Yagur and Erb left for Israel.
5 They Dare to Speak Out
After Pollatd's arrest, embarrassed Israeli officials apologized for the spying. They denounced it as an unauthorized "rogue" operation unknown by anyone at cabinet level, and offered full cooperation in a U.S. investigation. They pledged that "those responsible will be brought to account."
Secretary of State George Shultz warmly accepted the apology, and the State Department quickly attempted a cover-up. Shultz sent a team headed by legal adviser Abraham Sofaer, an ardent Zionist who main­tained a home in Israel, on a brief investigation there. Returning, Sofaer falsely reported that Israel had provided "full access" to all persons with knowledge of the facts. Within a month of the arrest, the department announced that Israel had returned all stolen documents and that the United States had resumed sharing intelligence with Israel "in all fields." The matter, for the State Department, was now closed.
More Damage Than Terrorists Could Dream Of
Elsewhere, the matter was far from closed. At the Justice Department, U.S. Attorney Joseph E. DiGenova pressed the prosecution vigorously, and the case remained in the headlines for more than three years, giv­ing the American people frequent reason to question Israel's coopera­tion and reliability, especially since the Pollard spy ring—far from being a "rogue" operation—had reported to the highest levels of the Israeli government, including the Defense Ministry.
In addition, the "return" of stolen documents was a mockery. Of the thousands copied by the Pollatds, Israel bothered to return only 163 and, given its appetite for top secrets, surely retained extra copies of these as well.
Instead of cooperating, Israel stonewalled attempts by the U.S. Jus­tice Department to investigate the spy ring, refusing to permit key offi­cials to be intetviewed in eithet the United States or Israel. One U.S. official, reflecting on the Sofaer mission, said, "The question is whether we got the truth. Quite frankly, we didn't."
The two Israelis who had the most prominent roles in the spy episode were "brought to account" by the Israeli governmenr in a curi­ous way: each won a higher position. Colonel Aviem Sella, identified by Pollard as his first principal "handler" and later indicted by a U.S. court for complicity with Pollard, was promoted to commander of Israel's Tel
Penetrating the Defenses at Defense and State 5
Nof air base, usually the last rung in the command ladder before becom­ing air force commander. As a further reward, Israel refused to permit Sella to return to the United States for prosecution. Rafael Eitan, the man who headed the spy program, received similar "punishment"— appointment as the chief executive officer of Israel's largest state-owned company.
The promotions inspired embarrassing headlines, and a delegation of American Jews flew to Israel, urging the government to rescind the deci­sions. In the face of these protests, Sella resigned as air base commander but later quietly assumed a posh job at Electro-Optic, a major defense corporation. When they learned of this latest salute to Sella, the out­raged editors of Defense News called for a $200 million cut in Israeli aid each year until the U.S. government recovered the full cost of the Sella-Pollard espionage.
The case returned to prime news coverage on June 4, 1986, when Jonathan Pollard, after engaging in extensive plea-bargaining interviews, pleaded guilty to conspiring to provide U.S. military secrets to the Israelis, and his wife, Anne, pleaded guilty to conspiring to receive and embezzle government property.
In return for Jonathan Pollard's cooperation, the prosecution did not ask for a life sentence. Judge Aubrey Robinson, impressed by a forty-six-page memorandum from Secretary of Defense Caspar Weinberger, selected that punishment anyway. He sentenced Anne Pollard to five years.
Weinberger wrote that the thievery caused "substantial and irrevo­cable harm," risked the lives of U.S. agents, and created the danger that "U.S. combat forces, wherever they are deployed in the world, could be unacceptably endangered through successful exploitation of this data." He added that Pollard had "both damaged and destroyed policies and national assets which have taken many years, great effort, and enormous national resources to secure."
In the wake of sentencing, Israel doubled Pollard's pay. The same government that had earlier denounced the affair as an unauthorized "rogue" operation began depositing in Pollard's bank account $5,000 each month, assuring him a comfortable life in Israel if he is ever released for good behavior.
Pollard became a cause celebre in both the United States and Israel, where public protests against his sentence were organized and legal
5 They Dare to Speak Out
defense funds raised. These funds were only a pittance; the Israeli gov­ernment provided most of the $200,000 that American lawyers for the two Pollards collected.
Alan Dershowitz, a Harvard professor and an attorney for Pollard, cited Weinberger's assessment of U.S. security damage as the main rea­son the court ordered a life sentence. Dershowitz considered the sen­tence excessive, and he challenged Weinberger to prove that Pollard's thievery actually harmed U.S. security.
It was a limp challenge, as the public record already disclosed over­whelming evidence of damage. Items stolen by Pollard included photo­graphs of security-related installations taken by high-flying U.S. surveillance planes, sensitive data on laser technology and U.S. weapons, secret information on naval forces, mines, and port facilities in the Mid­dle East, and the text of a large handbook, nicknamed the "bible," which contained strategies the U.S. Navy would use if attacked. The stolen documents were voluminous enough, the court was told, to fill a box six by six by ten feet in dimension.
Israel made quick use of the secrets. Information provided by Pol­lard enabled Israeli warplanes to evade U.S. naval and air surveillance in the Mediterranean during their October 1985 air strike against the Tunis headquarters of the Palestine Liberation Organization. The precision­like attack, dismissed by President Ronald Reagan as "legitimate self-defense" but later denounced by other administration officials, left nearly one hundred dead, mostly Tunisian civilians, and the PLO headquarters in shambles.
The gravest harm to U.S. interests at the time occurred when the Soviet Union acquired documents stolen by Pollard, perhaps all of them. The Soviets acquired the data through two separate secret channels. Israel opened one of them ditectly, offering U.S. secrets in an attempt to influ­ence Moscow's policy on Jewish emigration. Using some of these same contacts, the KGB, Moscow's intelligence service, opened the other chan­nel without the knowledge of Israeli leadership, establishing a spy net­work within the Mossad.
These shocking revelations came in a news report distributed by United Press International on December 13, 1987. The author, Richard Sale, reported that the Soviet Union had breached Israeli intelligence and that information stolen by Pollard "was traded to the Soviets in return for
Penetrating the Defenses at Defense and State 5
promises to increase emigration of Soviet Jews to Israel." A State Depart­ment source told Sale, "It began as a straight data-for-people deal," but through it the Soviets "penetrated the Israeli defense establishment at a high level."
This new scandal belied Pollard's excuse that, in helping Israel, he did not hurt the United States. U.S. intelligence sources said stolen docu­ments reaching Moscow by this route included "sensitive U.S. weapons technology and strategic information about the defense forces of Turkey, Pakistan, and moderate Arab countries, including Saudi Arabia."
Soviet acquisition of documents stolen by Pollard was discussed dur­ing an urgent review of the scandal by the CIA, FBI, and other U.S. intelligence officials: "One of the guys was commenting that if Pollard had stolen the stuff, at least it was going to a U.S. ally, but a CIA guy spoke up and said that if the Mossad was involved it meant that copies of everything were going to [the KGB's] Moscow center."
The Israel-Moscow spy link enabled highly placed Soviet moles to penetrate the Mossad, the most serious blow to Israeli intelligence in twenty years. One U.S. intelligence analyst fixed the blame on "right-wing Jews" in Israel. U.S. agents first learned of the Israeli—Moscow spy link when information stolen by Pollard was "traced to the Eastern bloc."
The reported diversion of stolen documents to Moscow made head­lines in nine newspapers, but competing news services and television networks ignored it. The New York Times and the Washington Post printed not a word.
In yet another episode, Israel used data stolen by Pollard as the basis for a proposed military strike. Alarmed by the possibility that Pakistan might be building its own nuclear weapons—a concern that was shared by India—and armed with satellite photographs, stolen by Pollard, that showed a secret nuclear facility, Israel officials approached New Delhi in June 1985 with a daring plan. They urged that the two governments destroy the facility in a joint air attack. India refused.
The Pollard case continued to make headlines: In April 1988, Israel refused to let Howard Katz, an Israeli lawyer who had been associated with Pollard, visit the United States for questioning. In June, two com­mittees of the Israeli parliament, previously ciring "lies, whitewash, and contradictions," closed their official reporr on the Pollard affair by blam­ing senior officials of both the Labor and Likud parties, but recommended
5 They Dare to Speak Out
no action. On several occasions in the 1990s, President Bill Clinton was approached with proposals to grant Pollard clemency—proposals the pres­ident greeted with warmth until drastic actions by senior staff members (such as the threatened resignation of CIA director George Tenet) con­vinced him otherwise.
By 1995, CNN correspondent and former AIPAC employee Wolf Blitzer estimated that the Pollards were due around $600,000 in deferred payments from Israel—or would be, had Jonathan not divorced Anne immediately after she served her five years in prison, hence cutting her off from further payments. The money, therefore, is all Jonathan's, although Anne, who lives in Israel, continued to profit from the incident by opening a nightclub in Tel Aviv called "Pollard's Place."31
Finally, despite Israels claims that the Pollard affair was part of a "rogue operation," on the tenth anniversary of his arrest Israel granted Jonathan Pollard full Israeli citizenship. In May 1998, after denying for thirteen years that Pollard was an Israeli spy, Israel officially recognized Pollard as its agent, in an unsuccessful attempt to negotiate his release. From all this, columnist Safire concludes, "The Pollards, in America, and their spymasters in Israel, have done more damage to their respec­tive countries than any terrorists could dream of doing."
"Ml I Cn tell hi..."
The imprisonment of the Pollards did not end Israeli espionage in the United States. In 1997, forty-year-old U.S. Army Tank Automotive and Armaments Command (TACOM) engineer David Tenenbaum was sus­pended from his employment without pay and had his credentials con­fiscated by U.S. authorities after admitting to divulging "non-releasable classified information to every Israeli liasion officer assigned to TACOM over the last ten years."
Widespread speculation that the Tenenbaum case might develop into another Pollard affair caused the FBI to make very little information about the new incident public. The Detroit Jewish News reported in June 1998 that Tenenbaum had been cleared of all charges; however, FBI agents refused to confirm that report. Instead, said one:
All I can tell you is a two-sentence statement. The case is closed. No crim­inal charges have been filed.
Penetrating the Defenses at Defense and State 18 5
Of course, the question that remains is whether Tenenbaum was charged and formally acquitted or if, as the FBI agents statement sug­gests, the investigation was dropped entirely. A spokesman for TACOM noted that Tenenbaum was back at work, although not at his previous job—a fact that caused some to seriously question Tenenbaum's inno­cence. "If the FBI investigation found that Tenenbaum is innocent," one colleague asked, "why isn't he back at his previous job?"32
An Unofficial Network
In a 1986 statement to the press, Israeli Embassy spokesman Yossi Gal said:
The Pollard affair was an unauthorized deviation from the clear-cut Israeli policy of not conducting any espionage activity whatsoever in the United States or activities against the interests of the United States, given that the United States is a true friend of Israel.33
Numerous bits of evidence suggest otherwise, as time and again indi­viduals accused of passing classified information to Israel are allowed to disappear, or worse, receive promotions and financial compensation. Still, most of the secret information passed onto Israel is furnished by U.S. citizens without compensation of any kind. As one official com­plains, "The Mossad is the most active foreign intelligence service on U.S. soil."
For years, Israel has been able to learn virtually every secret about U.S. foreign policy in the Middle East. Reporter Charles Babcock of the Washington Post, basing his estimate on a 1979 CIA report and recent interviews with more than two dozen active or former U.S. intelligence officials, concluded, "This remarkable intelligence harvest is provided largely not by paid agents, but by an unofficial network of sympathetic American officials who work in the Pentagon, the State Department, congressional offices, the National Security Council, and even the U.S. intelligence agencies." A 1996 U.S. government report stated the prob­lem more explicitly: Israel "conducts the most aggressive espionage oper­ation against the United States of any U.S. ally."34
The Assault on Assault

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