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Thread: The CIA considers Israel its No. 1 counterintelligence threat

  1. #1
    Abecedarian Mage
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    The CIA considers Israel its No. 1 counterintelligence threat

    Sever this fraudulent "special relationship";

    http://www.haaretz.com/news/diplomac...hreat-1.454189

    Former U.S. officials say CIA considers Israel to be Mideast's biggest spy threat
    U.S. intelligence agents stationed in Israel report multiple cases of equipment tampering, suspected break ins in recent years; CIA officials tell the Associated Press that Israel may have leaked info that led to the capture of an agent inside Syria's chemical weapons program. The CIA station chief opened the locked box containing the sensitive equipment he used from his home in Tel Aviv, Israel, to communicate with CIA headquarters in Virginia, only to find that someone had tampered with it. He sent word to his superiors about the break-in.

    The incident, described to the Associated Press by three former senior U.S. intelligence officials, might have been dismissed as just another cloak-and-dagger incident in the world of international espionage, except that the same thing had happened to the previous station chief in Israel.

    It was a not-so-subtle reminder that, even in a country friendly to the United States, the CIA was itself being watched.

    In a separate episode, according to another two former U.S. officials speaking to the Associated Press, a CIA officer in Israel came home to find the food in the refrigerator had been rearranged. In all the cases, the U.S. government believes Israel's security services were responsible.

    Such meddling underscores what is widely known but rarely discussed outside intelligence circles: Despite inarguable ties between the U.S. and its closest ally in the Middle East and despite statements from U.S. politicians trumpeting the friendship, U.S. national security officials consider Israel to be, at times, a frustrating ally and a genuine counterintelligence threat.

    In addition to what the former U.S. officials described to AP as intrusions in homes in the past decade, Israel has been implicated in U.S. criminal espionage cases and disciplinary proceedings against CIA officers and blamed in the presumed death of an important spy in Syria for the CIA during the administration of President George W. Bush.

    The CIA considers Israel its No. 1 counterintelligence threat in the agency's Near East Division, the group that oversees spying across the Middle East, according to current and former officials. Counterintelligence is the art of protecting national secrets from spies. This means the CIA believes that U.S. national secrets are safer from other Middle Eastern governments than from Israel.

    Israel employs highly sophisticated, professional spy services that rival American agencies in technical capability and recruiting human sources. Unlike Iran or Syria, for example, Israel as a steadfast U.S. ally enjoys access to the highest levels of the U.S. government in military and intelligence circles.

    The officials spoke to AP on condition of anonymity because they weren't authorized to talk publicly about the sensitive intelligence and diplomatic issues between the two countries.

    The counterintelligence worries continue even as the U.S. relationship with Israel features close cooperation on intelligence programs that reportedly included the Stuxnet computer virus that attacked computers in Iran's main nuclear enrichment facilities. While the alliance is central to the U.S. approach in the Middle East, there is room for intense disagreement, especially in the diplomatic turmoil over Iran's nuclear ambitions.

    "It's a complicated a relationship," Joseph Wippl, a former senior CIA clandestine officer and head of the agency's office of congressional affairs told AP. "They have their interests. We have our interests. For the U.S., it's a balancing act."

    The way Washington characterizes its relationship with Israel is also important to the way the U.S. is regarded by the rest of the world, particularly Muslim countries.

    U.S. political praise has reached a crescendo ahead of Republican presidential candidate Mitt Romney's scheduled meeting Sunday with Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu in Jerusalem. Their relationship spans decades, since their brief overlap in the 1970s at the Boston Consulting Group. Both worked as advisers for the firm early in their careers before Romney co-founded his own private-equity firm. Romney said in a speech this past week that Israel was "one of our fondest friends," and he criticized Obama for what he called the administration's "shabby treatment" of the Jewish state.

    "The people of Israel deserve better than what they've received from the leader of the free world," Romney said in a plain appeal to U.S. Jewish and pro-Israel evangelical voters.

    Obama, who last year was overheard appearing to endorse criticism of Netanyahu from then-French President Nicolas Sarkozy, has defended his work with Israel. "We've gotten a lot of business done with Israel over the last three years," Obama said this year. "I think the prime minister—and certainly the defense minister—would acknowledge that we've never had closer military and intelligence cooperation."

    An Israeli spokesman in Washington, Lior Weintraub, said his country has close ties with the U.S.

    "Israel's intelligence and security agencies maintain close, broad and continuous cooperation with their U.S. counterparts," Weintraub said. "They are our partners in confronting many mutual challenges. Any suggestion otherwise is baseless and contrary to the spirit and practice of the security cooperation between our two countries."

    The CIA declined comment.

    The Prime Minister's Office said in response that the report was false.

    The tension exists on both sides.

    The National Security Agency historically has kept tabs on Israel. The U.S., for instance, does not want to be caught off guard if Israel launches a surprise attack that could plunge the region into war and jeopardize oil supplies, putting American soldiers at risk.

    Matthew Aid, the author of "The Secret Sentry," about the NSA, said the U.S. started spying on Israel even before the state was created in 1948. Aid said the U.S. had a station on Cyprus dedicated to spying on Israel until 1974. Today, teams of Hebrew linguists are stationed at Fort Meade, Md., at the NSA, listening to intercepts of Israeli communications, he said.

    CIA policy generally forbids its officers in Tel Aviv from recruiting Israeli government sources, officials said. To do so would require approval from senior CIA leaders, two former senior officials said. During the Bush administration, the approval had to come from the White House.

    Israel is not America's closest ally, at least when it comes to whom Washington trusts with the most sensitive national security information. That distinction belongs to a group of nations known informally as the "Five Eyes." Under that umbrella, the United States, Britain, Australia, Canada and New Zealand agree to share intelligence and not to spy on one another. Often, U.S. intelligence officers work directly alongside counterparts from these countries to handle highly classified information not shared with anyone else.

    Israel is part of by a second-tier relationship known by another informal name, "Friends on Friends." It comes from the phrase "Friends don't spy on friends," and the arrangement dates back decades. But Israel's foreign intelligence service, the Mossad, and its FBI equivalent, the Shin Bet, both considered among the best in the world, have been suspected of recruiting U.S. officials and trying to steal American secrets.

    Around 2004 or 2005, the CIA fired two female officers for having unreported contact with Israelis. One of the women acknowledged during a polygraph exam that she had been in a relationship with an Israeli who worked in the Foreign Ministry, a former U.S. official said. The CIA learned the Israeli introduced the woman to his "uncle." That person worked for Shin Bet.

    Jonathan Pollard, who worked for the Navy as a civilian intelligence analyst, was convicted of spying for Israel in 1987 when the Friends on Friends agreement was in effect. He was sentenced to life in prison. The Israelis for years have tried to win his release. In January 2011, Netanyahu asked Obama to free Pollard and acknowledged that Israel's actions in the case were "wrong and wholly unacceptable."

    Ronald Olive, a former senior supervisor with the Naval Criminal Investigative Service who investigated Pollard, said that after the arrest, the U.S. formed a task force to determine what government records Pollard had taken. Olive said Israel turned over so few that it represented "a speck in the sand."

    In the wake of Pollard, the Israelis promised not to operate intelligence agents on U.S. soil.

    A former Army mechanical engineer, Ben-Ami Kadish, pleaded guilty in 2008 to passing classified secrets to the Israelis during the 1980s. His case officer was the same one who handled Pollard. Kadish let the Israelis photograph documents about nuclear weapons, a modified version of an F-15 fighter jet and the U.S. Patriot missile air defense system. Kadish, who was 85 years old when he was arrested, avoided prison and was ordered to pay a $50,000 fine. He told the judge that, "I thought I was helping the state of Israel without harming the United States."

    In 2006, a former Defense Department analyst was sentenced to more than 12 years in prison for giving classified information to an Israeli diplomat and two pro-Israel lobbyists.

    Despite the Pollard case and others, Olive said he believes the two countries need to maintain close ties "but do we still have to be vigilant? Absolutely. The Israelis are good at what they do."

    During the Bush administration, the CIA ranked some of the world's intelligence agencies in order of their willingness to help in the U.S.-led fight against terrorism. One former U.S. intelligence official who saw the completed list said Israel, which hadn't been directly targeted in attacks by al-Qaida, fell below Libya, which recently had agreed to abandon its nuclear weapons program.

    The espionage incidents have done little to slow the billions of dollars in money and weapons from the United States to Israel. Since Pollard's arrest, Israel has received more than $60 billion in U.S. aid, mostly in the form of military assistance, according to the Congressional Research Service. The U.S. has supplied Israel with Patriot missiles, helped pay for an anti-missile defense program and provided sensitive radar equipment to track Iranian missile threats.

    Just on Friday, Obama said he was releasing an additional $70 million in military aid, a previously announced move that appeared timed to upstage Romney's trip, and he spoke of America's "unshakable commitment to Israel." The money will go to help Israel expand production of a short-range rocket defense system.

    Some CIA officials still bristle over the disappearance of a Syrian scientist who during the Bush administration was the CIA's only spy inside Syria's military program to develop chemical and biological weapons. The scientist was providing the agency with extraordinary information about pathogens used in the program, former U.S. officials said about the previously unknown intelligence operation.

    At the time, there was pressure to share information about weapons of mass destruction, and the CIA provided its intelligence to Israel. A former official with direct knowledge of the case said details about Syria's program were published in the media. Although the CIA never formally concluded that Israel was responsible, CIA officials complained to Israel about their belief that Israelis were leaking the information to pressure Syria to abandon the program. The Syrians pieced together who had access to the sensitive information and eventually identified the scientist as a traitor.

    Before he disappeared and was presumed killed, the scientist told his CIA handler that Syrian Military Intelligence was focusing on him.
    HOGMUTT-
    Here's S'aaks new crib
    A bunch of malcontents from Whore gamer tried to start ma new forum and S'aak killed it before it got off the ground.
    How stupid do you have to be to believe this shit? It's stunning.

  2. #2
    Abecedarian Mage
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    http://wakeupfromyourslumber.com/blo...ology-impunity


    Sat, 2012-03-31 11:55

    Israel Pilfers US Nuclear Technology with Impunity

    FBI files detailing Israel’s stealth acquisition of U.S. nuclear triggers were declassified and released on Dec. 28, 2011. The FBI’s secret Portland and Los Angeles inter-office communications were originally scheduled for release in the year 2036. Their availability today reveals how Israel’s elite spy networks acquire U.S. nuclear technologies while evading criminal and diplomatic consequences.

    A kryton is a gas-filled tube used as a high-speed switch. U.S. State Department munitions licenses are needed to export krytons because they can be used as triggers for nuclear weapons. California-based MILCO International Inc. shipped 15 orders totaling 800 krytons through an intermediary to the Israeli Ministry of Defense between 1979 and 1983. MILCO obtained the krytons from EG&G Inc. After the U.S. government rejected several requests for kryton export licenses to Israel, Arnon Milchan’s Heli Trading Company brokered the transactions with MILCO. Milchan is an Israeli movie producer who became successful in Hollywood for such movies as Brazil, JFK, and Pretty Woman.

    The FBI file reveals that after the illicit kryton exports were discovered, a U.S. attorney tried to flip MILCO President Richard Kelly Smyth to implicate Milchan during intense plea bargaining. The gambit failed, and in May 1984 Smyth was indicted on 30 counts of smuggling and making false statements. Smyth and his wife promptly fled to Israel and remained at large until captured in Malaga, Spain, in July 2001 after Richard Smyth applied for Social Security benefits. INTERPOL arrested Smyth and extradited him to the United States, where he pleaded guilty to violating the U.S. Arms Export Control Act. In November 2001, Smyth was sentenced to 40 years in prison and fined $20,000, though he was freed within four years because of his advancing age.

    In 1985, a federal grand jury was convened in Los Angeles to investigate potentially related Atomic Energy Act and Arms Export Control Act violations, but no charges were ever filed against Milchan or those who secretly helped Smyth flee and who covered his living expenses abroad. A 2011 biography called Confidential: The Life of Secret Agent Turned Hollywood Tycoon Arnon Milchan claims that Milchan was recruited into Israel’s LAKAM economic espionage unit in his 20s and became a key operative for Benjamin Blumberg (head of LAKAM) and Rafi Eitan (who ran Jonathan Pollard and infiltrated NUMEC). Milchan is also the close confidant of Shimon Peres and Benjamin Netanyahu. According to the book, Blumberg himself taught Milchan how to establish front companies and secret bank accounts to launder millions in commissions obtained during LAKAM and Mossad arms transactions. In turn, it was Milchan who encouraged Smyth in 1972 to incorporate MILCO and share profits on export sales to his Tel Aviv–based Milchan Brothers company. Milchan Brothers received purchase orders from Blumberg and sent them on via secure telex to Smyth. MILCO did 80% of its business with Milchan, including shipments of other dual-use technologies useful to Israel’s clandestine nuclear weapons program such as gyroscopes, neutron generators, high-speed oscilloscopes, and computerized flight control systems. According to the book, after Smyth was ordered to appear before a federal prosecutor in Los Angeles, LAKAM issued a burn notice. Milchan claimed, “I felt bad, but I was ordered to cut all contact with Smyth.” Milchan still officially denies any involvement in MILCO/Heli’s kryton smuggling

    The FBI records reveal ongoing interest in Milchan into the mid-1990s. In 1992, a confidential informant relayed details of Milchan’s ties to Smyth. The declassified but heavily redacted “secret” communications reveal the Bureau’s fascination with Milchan, from his 1996 entry in Who’s Who to A-list associates such as Robert De Niro and an unsavory Iran-Contra operative.

    Like the NUMEC case, the kryton caper benefited from flawed elite news coverage that today seems superficial if not suspicious. Among the final pages of the FBI’s file is a clipping of Thomas Friedman’s May 1985 New York Times interview with Milchan, who had suddenly decamped for Jerusalem after the Smyth indictments. Milchan said he had only recently learned “that a kryton was a small little gizmo which anyone can go buy freely in the United States. You can use them or all kinds of things, including, incidentally, making cholent.” Friedman clarified for readers that “Cholent is a stew of beans, carrots, potatoes and beef that is a traditional Jewish dish prepared on Friday night for eating on the Sabbath. Mr. Milchan said that with a kryton timer a stove could be set to turn on automatically to heat up cholent on the Sabbath without anyone working to light the fire.”

    The FBI’s news clipping file contains far less credulous accounts of frantic State Department attempts to secure the return of the krytons or at least verify that they were not being deployed into Israel’s secret nuclear arsenal. Unlike most U.S. government agencies, the FBI didn’t muzzle itself under “strategic ambiguity” protocols but instead spoke candidly of Israel’s nukes. “At the time of disappearance, the U.S. did not have any reliable information that the Israelis were enriching uranium via uranium hexafluoride. That information did not surface for another year until an individual named detailed drawings and photographs of Dimona, Israel’s nuclear research center, to the London Times.”

    The declassified details of Smyth’s and Milchan’s flight, elite influence networks, and near complete lack of accountability over the kryton case fits neatly into a larger emerging set of attributes common to many major Israeli espionage efforts in the United States. As happened during NUMEC’s diversion of weapons-grade nuclear material to Israel, apparently more time was spent exploring Milchan’s elite connections than figuring out how to indict LAKAM’s nuclear technology operative. As in the case of the Lawrence Franklin AIPAC espionage affair, the mysterious figures who offered to spirit the main operative out of the United States to overseas safe houses were never apprehended or even publicly identified.

    In America today, open financial support for Israel’s clandestine nuclear program is becoming more brazen even as many of its supporters and lobbyists demand U.S. military attacks on Iran’s nuclear program. The American Committee for the Weizmann Institute raises millions in tax-deductible funding for its Israeli parent organization, which was found in a 1987 Pentagon-sponsored study to have developed a cutting-edge high-energy physics and hydrodynamics program “needed for nuclear bomb design.” The Weizmann Institute advanced methods for enriching uranium to weapons-grade through the use of lasers even as the United States worried that Weizmann’s networked supercomputers were being used to reduce the size of warheads. Despite public calls for an IRS review of its tax-exempt status, the American Committee plows on announcing new corporate grants, ever confident that its elite overlapping board, which has included such luminaries as AIPAC/WINEP chairman emeritus Robert Asher, will back Weizmann, ensuring that nuclear funding continues to flow.

    Perhaps trying not to be outdone, President Barack Obama announced at AIPAC’s Washington conference that he will soon take center stage in the Israeli nuclear Théâtre de l’Absurde. According to author Avner Cohen, Israeli President Shimon Peres was a key architect of Israel’s nuclear weapons program from its very beginning. In 2010, scholar Sasha Polakow-Suransky released secret documents revealing how Peres even offered to sell nuclear-tipped Jericho missiles to the foundering apartheid regime in South Africa. That is why this summer, when Obama personally awards Peres a Presidential Medal of Freedom, he’ll be conferring America’s highest civilian award to the Middle East’s most notorious nuclear proliferator.
    HOGMUTT-
    Here's S'aaks new crib
    A bunch of malcontents from Whore gamer tried to start ma new forum and S'aak killed it before it got off the ground.
    How stupid do you have to be to believe this shit? It's stunning.

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