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Undernews is the online report of the Progressive Review, edited by Sam Smith, who has covered Washington during all or part of one quarter of America's presidencies and edited alternative journals since 1964. The Review has been on the web since 1995. See main page for full contents

March 10, 2009

HOW ISRAEL SPIES ON THE U.S.

Christopher Ketcham, AlterNet - Scratch a counterintelligence officer in the US government and they'll tell you that Israel is not a friend to the United States. This is because Israel runs one of the most aggressive and damaging espionage networks targeting the US. The fact of Israeli penetration into the country is not a subject oft-discussed in the media or in the circles of governance, due to the extreme sensitivity of the US-Israel relationship coupled with the burden of the Israel lobby, which punishes legislators who dare to criticize the Jewish state. . .

When the FBI produces its annual report to Congress concerning "Foreign Economic Collection and Industrial Espionage," Israel and its intelligence services often feature prominently as a threat second only to China. In 2005 the FBI noted, for example, that Israel maintains "an active program to gather proprietary information within the United States." A key Israeli method, said the FBI report, is computer intrusion. In 1996, the Defense Intelligence Service, a branch of the Pentagon, issued a warning that "the collection of scientific intelligence in the United States [is] the third highest priority of Israeli Intelligence after information on its Arab neighbors and information on secret US policies or decisions relating to Israel." In 1979, the Central Intelligence Agency produced a scathing survey of Israeli intelligence activities that targeted the US government. Like any worthy spy service, Israeli intelligence early on employed wiretaps as an effective tool, according to the CIA report. In 1954, the US Ambassador in Tel Aviv discovered in his office a hidden microphone "planted by the Israelis," and two years later telephone taps were found in the residence of the US military attaché. In a telegram to Washington, the ambassador at the time cabled a warning: "Department must assume that all conversations [in] my office are known to the Israelis." The former ambassador to Qatar, Andrew Killgore, who also served as a foreign officer in Jerusalem and Beirut, told me Israeli taps of US missions and embassies in the Middle East were part of a "standard operating procedure."

According to the 1979 CIA report, the Israelis, while targeting political secrets, also devote "a considerable portion of their covert operations to obtaining scientific and technical intelligence." These operations involved, among other machinations, "attempts to penetrate certain classified defense projects in the United States." The penetrations, according to the CIA report, were effected using "deep cover enterprises," which the report described as "firms and organizations, some specifically created for, or adaptable to, a specific objective." . . .

In 2004, the authoritative Jane's Intelligence Group noted that Israel's intelligence organizations "have been spying on the US and running clandestine operations since Israel was established." The former deputy director of counterintelligence at FBI, Harry B. Brandon, last year told Congressional Quarterly magazine that "the Israelis are interested in commercial as much as military secrets."

1 Comments:

Anonymous m said...

The topic of Israeli spying on the US is indeed taboo. The ostensibly progressive/liberal site TruthDig.org has blacklisted the Alternet article referenced above. In attempting to use the URL as a reference in a comment, my comment was refused with the following screen from Truthdig. The article was a straight news story, it had nothing hateful in it.

Action Denied: Blacklisted Item Found
http://www.alternet.org/audits/130891/breaking_the_taboo_on_israel%27s_spying_efforts_on_the_united_states/?page=3

Even an attempt to question the Truthdig editor by means of an email on the blacklisting was blacklisted. Inserting a few *s into the URL got it past the blacklisting censor for the email. This occurred about 08:30 on 11Mar09.

March 11, 2009 9:05 AM  

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