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Intelligence What do we know, need to know, and how do we get there?

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Old 01-13-2011   #101
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The Dubai Job, by Ronen Bergman. GQ, January 2011.
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One year ago, an elite Mossad hit squad traveled to Dubai to kill a high-ranking member of Hamas. They completed the mission, but their covers were blown, and Israel was humiliated by the twenty-seven-minute video of their movements that was posted online for all the world to see. Ronen Bergman reveals the intricate, chilling details of the mission and investigates how Israel's vaunted spy agency did things so spectacularly wrong
The Price of Vanity, by Ronen Bergman. The Huffington Post, 7 January 2011.
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Israel, notorious for being the country that turned targeted assassinations into an efficient and ruthless war tactic, has always idolized the men and women who serve in its most secretive intelligence units. In the eyes of the Israeli public, they can do no wrong -- and if they do wrong, they should be pardoned.

The embarrassing Dubai scandal did nothing to change that notion. If anything, it gave the Mossad a PR boost.
I must say that while I can often be critical of Israel, I do appreciate their sense of humor. I got a chuckle at this:
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During the Purim festival, Israel's equivalent of Halloween, one of the most popular costumes was a tennis player with a gun.
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Old 01-14-2012   #102
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Default The Mossad's "False Flag" operations

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A series of CIA memos describes how Israeli Mossad agents posed as American spies to recruit members of the terrorist organization Jundallah to fight their covert war against Iran.
http://www.foreignpolicy.com/article.../13/false_flag

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The CIA took an internal poll not long ago about friendly foreign intelligence agencies. The question, mostly directed to employees of the clandestine service branch, was: Which are the best allies among friendly spy services, in terms of liaison with the CIA, and which are the worst? In other words, who acts like, well, friends?

“Israel came in dead last,” a recently retired CIA official told me the other day.
http://voices.washingtonpost.com/spy...g_us_musl.html
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Old 01-15-2012   #103
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Glad to see this topic getting some air time as the election approaches. I'm getting tired of uninformed politicians making claims about how important our relationship with Israel our great ally is, when they should be discussing how dangerous it is and better define that relationship. They can easily drag us into a conflict with these false flag acts. This particular example is the tip of the ice berg.
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Old 01-16-2012   #104
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F*@k, those f*@king f*@kers. I am sure American’s have been killed as a result of this.

Bob Baer said Jundallah were uncontrollable, so we cut things off with them. Whackos too focused on blowing themselves up to receive any real outside support and tasking; which makes you wonder what the hell the Israeli’s need them for. It sure as hell undermines our efforts to engage with Iran on anything, which is certainly an indirect benefit - if not the intent of this operation.

With “friends” like Israel, who needs enemies?
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Old 01-16-2012   #105
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Originally Posted by bourbon View Post
With “friends” like Israel, who needs enemies?
Sometimes you get what you deserve.
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Old 01-16-2012   #106
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Default Indeed...

Don't we all...
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Old 02-25-2013   #107
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Default The Gatekeepers - Shin Bet Documentary

This film looks very good. Six former heads of Shin Bet site down for a The Fog of War style documentary.

http://www.thegatekeepersfilm.com

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Short Synopsis

For the first time ever, six former heads of Israel’s domestic secret service agency, the Shin Bet, share their insights and reflect publicly on their actions and decisions.

Since the Six Day War in 1967, Israel has failed to transform its crushing military victory into a lasting peace. Throughout that entire period, these heads of the Shin Bet stood at the center of Israel's decision-making process in all matters pertaining to security. They worked closely with every Israeli prime minister, and their assessments and insights had—and continue to have—a profound impact on Israeli policy.

THE GATEKEEPERS offers an exclusive account of the sum of their successes and failures. In the process it sheds light on the controversy surrounding the Occupation in the aftermath of the Six Day War.
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Old 02-25-2013   #108
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Israeli ex-security officials largely favor peace, by Aron Heller. Associated Press, Feb. 20 2013.
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JERUSALEM (AP) — Israel's Academy Award-nominated documentary "The Gatekeepers" has won rave reviews for the candid soul-searching of its chief protagonists — the six living former directors of the country's shadowy domestic spy agency — and their somewhat surprising conclusion: That force has its limits and Israel must ultimately take advantage of its military superiority to seek peace.

It's no surprise, though, in Israel. Top security officials have a long history of favoring dovish political parties and criticizing government policies toward the Palestinians after their retirements. Those who have battled Palestinian violence with the harshest methods possible are oddly those often most amicable to compromise.
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Old 02-26-2013   #109
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Saw it in LA a couple weeks ago, highly recommended. Great interviews with the Shin Bet heads, all of whom are incredibly candid. Some good info in particular about the Rabin assassination and what preceded it. The filmmaker could have been a bit more artful with some of the stuff that brackets the interview, the re-enacted stuff was a little hoky, but that's a minor quibble.
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Old 02-27-2013   #110
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Originally Posted by Granite_State View Post
Saw it in LA a couple weeks ago, highly recommended. Great interviews with the Shin Bet heads, all of whom are incredibly candid. Some good info in particular about the Rabin assassination and what preceded it. The filmmaker could have been a bit more artful with some of the stuff that brackets the interview, the re-enacted stuff was a little hoky, but that's a minor quibble.
Thanks, that is good to hear. They don't by any chance get into Shin Bet's role in the creation and cultivation of Hamas do they?
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Old 02-28-2013   #111
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Default Dror Moreh interview.

Director Dror Moreh is going to be the guest on Fresh Air today (28 February 2013).
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Old 03-31-2013   #112
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I caught The Gatekeepers at a matinée yesterday and much enjoyed it. I would not have minded it being a bit shorter but I did not find it tiresome. And it is not just a collection of talking heads as some reviews have suggested.
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Old 04-01-2013   #113
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Great documentary. Very talented!!!

They must be connected to Goldman Sachs and the Israel Lobby...what you say?
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Old 04-01-2013   #114
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Quote:
Originally Posted by parvati View Post
They must be connected to Goldman Sachs and the Israel Lobby...what you say?
FWIW, I do believe I was the only goy in attendance at the showing! There were thirteen of us in the theater for a 1:40 showing in a rural New England town. Not a bad crowd for that kind of film under the circumstances, if you ask me!

I thought the decision to hold off showing any blood and guts visuals until near the end (with the photos from Yahya Ayyash's funeral and the aerial view of the bombed bus full of mangled bodies) had an interesting effect as opposed to showing some of that upfront and letting it set the tone. But Israeli and Palestinian viewers are so inured to that sort of footage that I have to assume it made little difference to them.
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Old 07-04-2013   #115
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Ah damn!

This came to my home town, I went and saw it, and I never posted a review here!

I found it immensely interesting. I appreciated that the interviewer was willing to ask tough questions, and definitely put some of the subjects on the spot. It's always tempting to slide past poor choices or failures, but that didn't happen here.

I found the 3D animation pretty enough, but largely unnecessary. There were a few times where "recreated footage" could have been slightly mis-represented as original source footage. It was vague to the viewer, which I'm not a fan of.

Most valuable of all: my girlfriend, who has only the vaguest idea of the middle east and its organizations, was able to watch, follow, and thoroughly enjoy the film.

For her: the assassination of Yitzhak Rabin was a surprise twist.

Overall, its something that I would buy and re-watch. Definitely.
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Old 07-10-2013   #116
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Default My review

The Gatekeepers is superb, well worth watching and it is amazing that six Shin Bet (internal security agency) directors agreed to be interviewed on film. Several times being pressed gently, notably over two PLO prisoners being murdered a long time ago.

Yes the reconstruction(s) of incidents, like the murder, are hard to quickly distinguish from actual footage - some of which is grim, notably of blown-up buses in 'The Second Intifda'. The use of overhead imagery, slides, file cards, maps etc is well done, although could be disconcerting - are you watching real images.

Fascinating remarks on the post-1967 Six Day War situation, with 1m Palestinians in Gaza and the West Bank to monitor. Conduct a census and obtain a 'richer picture', supplemented by informants and arrests etc.

The morality of Shin Bet, if not Israeli actions is a constant theme. One director starkly stated "There is no morality dealing with terrorism".

The unexpected murder of Prime Minister Rabin by a Jewish extremist was a great institutional shock; the then director resigned and IIRC was replaced by an outsider, a senior naval officer. I'd forgotten the bombing campaign by Jewish extremists; those convicted effectively being released quickly after public and political pressure.

HUMINT was the key factor at the start, but after the Oslo Agreement gave the Palestinians Gaza and much of the West Bank Shin Bet became far more desk-bound watching screens.

At the end several directors admitted Israel was in a far more insecure position, one agreed it was fulfilling a "worst case" prediction as an "occupation state".
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Old 07-16-2013   #117
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Quote:
At the end several directors admitted Israel was in a far more insecure position, one agreed it was fulfilling a "worst case" prediction as an "occupation state".
Most of the directors interviewed seemed eerily willing to admit certain failures and how things had shifted away from what they wanted.

Not common in most western intelligence agencies according to the docs I've seen.
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Old 07-17-2013   #118
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Bibi apparently refuses to watch the film (which may actually mean that he refuses to acknowledge having watched it). Par for the course.
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Old 08-20-2013   #119
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Default Late commer

I finally had a chance to watch it tonight as my wife, who generally controls the TV, was out for the night.

First, I would say that every 2LT ought to watch it for no other reason than to see how sometimes the military and security forces have to find solutions without clear guidance from the politicians - and those choices can have long range ramifications.

Second, I was reminded at the end of the documentary of one of the culminating lines of the first "War Games". It created a feeling that the War on Terrorism is a lot like Global Thermal Nuclear War - "the only winning move is ... not to play".
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Old 08-20-2013   #120
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Its also available through Amazon.com

The Gatekeepers
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