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

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Old 06-11-2008   #1
bourbon
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Default Israel & intelligence (merged thread)

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This thread was created today from five separate threads and renamed. Given the significance of 'The Gatekeepers' documentary in 2013, I have copied most of the relevant posts - nineteen of them - to here.

This thread should be read alongside Watching the IDF (catch all) in particular (ends).


The Spy Who Loves Us: Pay no mind to the Mossad agent on the line, by Philip Giraldi. The American Conservative, June 2, 2008.

Everything you want to know about Israeli espionage in The United States but were afraid to ask. Well not everything, but a very insightful if not controversial article by Phil Giraldi. This article is not by a mere journalist either, Giraldi served sixteen years in the DO.

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Whether the movers and the art students had jointly pieced together enough information to provide a preview of 9/11 remains hidden in intelligence files in Tel Aviv, but the proximity of both groups to 15 of the hijackers in Hollywood, Florida and to five others in northern New Jersey is suggestive.

Speculation about 9/11 aside, it is certain that Urban Moving was involved in an intelligence-collection operation against Arabs living in the United States, possibly involving electronic surveillance of phone calls and other communications. When they were arrested, the five Israelis working for Urban Moving had multiple passports and nearly $5,000 in cash. They were held for 71 days, failed a number of polygraph exams, and were finally allowed to return to Israel after Tel Aviv admitted that they were Mossad and apologized.

Between 55 and 95 other Israelis were also arrested in the weeks following 9/11, and a number were reported to be active-duty military personnel. The FBI came under intense pressure from several congressmen and various pro-Israel groups to release the detainees. The order to free them came from Judge Michael Mukasey, now the U.S. attorney general. An FBI investigator noted, “Leads were not fully investigated” due to pressure from “higher echelons.” According to one source, the White House may have made the final decision to terminate the inquiry. Though the investigation could have gone much farther, the FBI identified two of the Weehawken movers as Israeli intelligence officers and confirmed that Urban Moving was a front for Mossad to “spy on local Arabs.” One CIA officer involved in the investigation concluded, “The Israelis likely had a huge spy operation.”
The movers and art-students issues appears to be consigned to the dustbin of history by the powers that be. I suggest retired international lawyer Gerald Shea's memo (PDF) to the HPSCI and SSCI, which includes the DEA memo in the appendix, for those interested in the matter. As well as Christopher Ketcham's shorter article (PDF) in Counterpunch.

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Old 06-11-2008   #2
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Given the stakes involved, it would be reasonable for the United States to quietly offer Israel’s leaders a choice. They can continue to receive billions of dollars in aid, or they can persist in spying against their greatest benefactor. They should not be permitted to do both.
Agreed. But with both presidential candidates seemingly required to go before AIPAC as a validation exercise--AIPAC of course being involved in this espionage--I fear we will continue to pay cash for getting screwed.

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Old 06-12-2008   #3
William F. Owen
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I feel compelled to point out a few things that trickle down from all this stuff.

a.) There are 740,000 Israeli citizens outside of Israel in any given month. About 40% are in the US. Not all are spies. That's from a population of 6,000,000 plus.

b.) The allegation that "X is an Israeli and he/she probably works for Mossad" is a very commonly heard allegation, against almost all Israelis travelling/working abroad. My wife is continually accused of working for the Mossad, as are most of her friends and work colleagues, - and so am I.

c.) The clear implication here is that Israel should not conduct intelligence operations in the US, or against the US. Why so? The UK thinks it's OK to have SIS running around Gaza. I'm know the US has/does conduct Intelligence operations against Israel's national interest - as do a lot of NATO countries. Do we want to argue about who started it?

To place anything to do with Intelligence in the moral realm is obviously laughable, but for those who do, should we run tallies on how many Israelis have died / are dieing doing stuff for the US in places the US didn't want to go - or vice versa?

...and yes you have a legitimate right to be upset that Israel spies on the US, if you are American. If you have to ask "Why would Israel do this," then you clearly don't understand Israelis or Israel.
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Old 06-12-2008   #4
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Wilf

The Israeli lobby has more influence on the American political process than any other single organization in the US. We give Israel over $3B a year in aid.

There are some very hard feelings towards the Israelis by many people in the US.
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Old 06-12-2008   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by William F. Owen View Post
I feel compelled to point out a few things that trickle down from all this stuff.

a.) There are 740,000 Israeli citizens outside of Israel in any given month. About 40% are in the US. Not all are spies. That's from a population of 6,000,000 plus.

b.) The allegation that "X is an Israeli and he/she probably works for Mossad" is a very commonly heard allegation, against almost all Israelis travelling/working abroad. My wife is continually accused of working for the Mossad, as are most of her friends and work colleagues, - and so am I.

c.) The clear implication here is that Israel should not conduct intelligence operations in the US, or against the US. Why so? The UK thinks it's OK to have SIS running around Gaza. I'm know the US has/does conduct Intelligence operations against Israel's national interest - as do a lot of NATO countries. Do we want to argue about who started it?

To place anything to do with Intelligence in the moral realm is obviously laughable, but for those who do, should we run tallies on how many Israelis have died / are dieing doing stuff for the US in places the US didn't want to go - or vice versa?

...and yes you have a legitimate right to be upset that Israel spies on the US, if you are American. If you have to ask "Why would Israel do this," then you clearly don't understand Israelis or Israel.
Wilf,

You may feel compelled to respond but I suggest you go easy. As ususal in such cases, you hyped right away with the implicatioin that the article suggested all Israelis are spies. It did not.

On Israelis dying for the US. Give me a break.

On morality and espionage. When Israel funds the US, maybe we can get to the laughable stage. Read Tenet's book concerning Israeli lobbying to get Pollard released. Try looking at technology transfers that I have gone through Israeli industries to China and elsewhere.

Don't tell me as an American that I have the right to question my own country's foreign policy.

Thanks

Tom
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Old 06-12-2008   #6
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I generally feel the same way as Monsieur Odom.
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Old 06-12-2008   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Tom Odom View Post
On morality and espionage. When Israel funds the US, maybe we can get to the laughable stage. Read Tenet's book concerning Israeli lobbying to get Pollard released. Try looking at technology transfers that I have gone through Israeli industries to China and elsewhere.

Don't tell me as an American that I have the right to question my own country's foreign policy.

Thanks

Tom
I seem to recall that at the time Pollard was arrested there was also a fair amount of pressure to let him off easy.

On the whole, the American public doesn't expect US allies to spy on us. Perhaps they're naive, but that's the general mindset. So when Israelis get busted doing this it tends to tick off a segment of the population. Perhaps Israelis need to understand that about Americans....
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Old 06-12-2008   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Tom Odom View Post
Wilf,

You may feel compelled to respond but I suggest you go easy. As ususal in such cases, you hyped right away with the implicatioin that the article suggested all Israelis are spies. It did not.

On Israelis dying for the US. Give me a break.

On morality and espionage. When Israel funds the US, maybe we can get to the laughable stage. Read Tenet's book concerning Israeli lobbying to get Pollard released. Try looking at technology transfers that I have gone through Israeli industries to China and elsewhere.

Don't tell me as an American that I have the right to question my own country's foreign policy.
Well I thought I did go easy – by my standards.

a.) …and to that point, I was not hyping. I was merely drawing any reader’s attention to commonly used anti-Israeli slur that was extremely germane to something mentioned in the article.

b.) You know, as well as I do, that Israel’s intelligence service has strayed way beyond it’s remit, to pursue activities of interest to solely to the US, and this has cost lives, especially in Africa, and few other places far from the Middle-East. I also stated that this was VICE-VERSA. As you are also aware, there are former IDF soldiers serving in the US forces in Iraq, and former US Soldiers plus US citizens serving in the IDF.

c.) The assumption that US funding of Israel (and a lot of other countries as well) should make the US immune to the alleged activities that Israel clearly believes critical to its own interest, even at great risk to US-Israel relationship should tell you something.

d.) I am extremely well aware of the alleged technology transfer issues, by virtue of actually knowing some the folks who fell foul of the Phalcon Project and a few others things. I think our understanding of the facts may differ widely as they would in relation to Project Lavi, the Korean AEW program, and many Israeli defence projects damaged by US “diplomatic” pressure.

e.) I was not aware that I had told you that you had any rights. I merely said (implied) that if I was a US citizen, I’d be a little outraged at Israel’s behavior. I spend a lot of my time strongly criticizing Israel, but I do it in Israel and with Israelis!
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- If we can double the ratio of kills per contact, we will soon put an end to the shooting in Malaya.
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Old 06-12-2008   #9
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Originally Posted by Ski View Post
Wilf

The Israeli lobby has more influence on the American political process than any other single organization in the US. We give Israel over $3B a year in aid.

There are some very hard feelings towards the Israelis by many people in the US.
So they say. If that really is true, (and I'm not saying it isn't) then I'd say there is a problem with US democracy and not a problem with the Jews.

Money that comes with considerable strings attached. The IDF cannot buy Israeli made equipment with it. It has to buy US. This works against IDF interests and means good cost effective projects don't get funded. I can write a very long list of examples if you want - and in 2006 Israel exported $1 Billion worth of weaponry to the US Government, very little of which the IDF ever gets to see. All the good stuff gets exported. This is set to rise/continue.

Also you may want to check Israel's record on supporting the US in the UN and a few other forums, versus all the countries the US gives funding to. - and the the anti-US/Western Insurgents who get fed on US Aid around the world!

plus, unlike most US Allies Israel doesn't expect you to fight for them, so I think those dollars may be well spent in comparison to some.
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- The job of the British Army out here is to kill or capture Communist Terrorists in Malaya.
- If we can double the ratio of kills per contact, we will soon put an end to the shooting in Malaya.
Sir Gerald Templer, foreword to the "Conduct of Anti-Terrorist Operations in Malaya," 1958 Edition
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Old 06-12-2008   #10
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Quote:
and yes you have a legitimate right to be upset that Israel spies on the US, if you are American. If you have to ask "Why would Israel do this," then you clearly don't understand Israelis or Israel.
So much for your disclaimer "I was not aware that I had told you that you had any rights." As for understanding Israelis, we will have to disagree on that.

Quote:
b.) You know, as well as I do, that Israel’s intelligence service has strayed way beyond it’s remit, to pursue activities of interest to solely to the US, and this has cost lives, especially in Africa, and few other places far from the Middle-East. I also stated that this was VICE-VERSA. As you are also aware, there are former IDF soldiers serving in the US forces in Iraq, and former US Soldiers plus US citizens serving in the IDF.
I know that Israeli intelligence has gone far abroad. In those cases whee you imply such efforts were at the US behest, I would say the Israel was pursuing its own interests. That is your defense of Israeli espionage efforts in the US is it not?

As for dual citizens that would be an individual choice.

Quote:
The assumption that US funding of Israel (and a lot of other countries as well) should make the US immune to the alleged activities that Israel clearly believes critical to its own interest, even at great risk to US-Israel relationship should tell you something.
It does. Simply that Israel pursues its own policies and ends. Period. From that it means that evaluation the relationship in that light. As for funding other countries--no country gets more funding from the US than Israel. That too should be evaluated.

Quote:
I am extremely well aware of the alleged technology transfer issues, by virtue of actually knowing some the folks who fell foul of the Phalcon Project and a few others things. I think our understanding of the facts may differ widely as they would in relation to Project Lavi, the Korean AEW program, and many Israeli defence projects damaged by US “diplomatic” pressure.
Use of alleged is out of place. As for the Lavi, I was in Israel when we the US said enough and watched the buses bring in the demonstrators. As for damage to Israeli denese projects, Wilf we fund a lot of them. As in the case of the Lavi, that funding was cut off for a lot of reasons.

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Old 06-12-2008   #11
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Our government is what it is - whether it good for Jews or not is completely irrelevant.

The money should be shut off today, along with the multiple billions we pony up to Egypt.

Israel, as far as I am concerned, is just another foreign country. Neutral at best.



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Originally Posted by William F. Owen View Post
So they say. If that really is true, (and I'm not saying it isn't) then I'd say there is a problem with US democracy and not a problem with the Jews.

Money that comes with considerable strings attached. The IDF cannot buy Israeli made equipment with it. It has to buy US. This works against IDF interests and means good cost effective projects don't get funded. I can write a very long list of examples if you want - and in 2006 Israel exported $1 Billion worth of weaponry to the US Government, very little of which the IDF ever gets to see. All the good stuff gets exported. This is set to rise/continue.

Also you may want to check Israel's record on supporting the US in the UN and a few other forums, versus all the countries the US gives funding to. - and the the anti-US/Western Insurgents who get fed on US Aid around the world!

plus, unlike most US Allies Israel doesn't expect you to fight for them, so I think those dollars may be well spent in comparison to some.
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Old 06-12-2008   #12
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whatever one wants to call a midafternoon break.
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Old 06-13-2008   #13
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Look, everybody spies on everybody. It's been that way throughout history (recent and ancient.) I'm sure the Brit's are spying on us, and we are spying on them. If the US, UK, Israel, Russia, or for that matter anybody didn't spy on everybody they would be derelict. With how we manage to lose our own intelligence "inter" and "intra" agency, I would think that it's the reasonable thing to worry about us sharing appropriate intel. I don't get pissed at anybody when we find out thier spying on us. It's their job and they have to do it. On the other hand, I want to do everything possible to make sure they can't do it. If we catch them, hopefully that means we are doing a good job.

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Old 06-13-2008   #14
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I'm sure the Brit's are spying on us, and we are spying on them.
Our mutual activity would never be called spying by diplomats, politicians and even spymasters. What I do find odd is that on the UK's senior intelligence body, the Joint Intelligence Committee (JIC), the USA has a pernament seat at the table, reportedly filled by the CIA Station chief. Nothing I have seen suggests this is reciprocal, dispite the widely reported "special relationship" in intelligence matters.

Even odder a few years ago an ex-CIA analyst sat (may well still sit) on the UK's leading monetary policy decision making body in the Bank of England. Now to my very limited knowledge no-one from the UK, let alone ex-MI6, ever sat on the equivalent in the Federal Reserve.

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Old 06-13-2008   #15
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Originally Posted by davidbfpo View Post
Our mutual activity would never be called spying by diplomats, politicians and even spymasters. What I do find odd is that on the UK's senior intelligence body, the Joint Intelligence Committee (JIC), the USA has a pernament seat at the table, reportedly filled by the CIA Station chief. Nothing I have seen suggests this is reciprocal, dispite the widely reported "special relationship" in intelligence matters.

Even odder a few years ago an ex-CIA analyst sat (may well still sit) on the UK's leading monetary policy decision making body in the Bank of England. Now to my very limited knowledge no-one from the UK, let alone ex-MI6, ever sat on the equivalent in the Federal Reserve.

davidbfpo
That's Interesting. I'm going to look into that.

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Old 09-30-2008   #16
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Two articles on this sensitive subject. The Ketcham article aggregates numerous stories from over the years, under the tent of CI vulnerabilities in our domestic telecom system. The Elmer article captures exactly why this issue needs to be handled calmly and methodically.
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Old 09-30-2008   #17
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Worth a read on the interaction of Israeli Lobby Groups and U.S. Foreign Policy. Walt and Mearsheimer expanded an article they had written and turned it into a very interesting and informative book. These two are power players in the world of Foreign Policy and theory.

Even though the book starts out by and repeating throughout the right for Israel to exist as a state, they were instantly labeled as anti-semetic and forced to cancel some of their lectures. As you can imagine, the book received instant fire from pro-Israel lobby groups. Really ashame because the book asks some hard questions and can serve as the basis for some really great discussion points.

The Israel Lobby and U.S. Foreign Policy
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Old 09-30-2008   #18
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Worth a read on the interaction of Israeli Lobby Groups and U.S. Foreign Policy. Walt and Mearsheimer expanded an article they had written and turned it into a very interesting and informative book. These two are power players in the world of Foreign Policy and theory.

Even though the book starts out by and repeating throughout the right for Israel to exist as a state, they were instantly labeled as anti-semetic and forced to cancel some of their lectures. As you can imagine, the book received instant fire from pro-Israel lobby groups. Really ashame because the book asks some hard questions and can serve as the basis for some really great discussion points.

The Israel Lobby and U.S. Foreign Policy
I posted the original London Book Review article on here a couple of years ago. It is a ground breaking effort and drew all the expected criticism from the expected sources. At its heart it asks for a hard review of policy versus knee jerk reactions.

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Old 09-30-2008   #19
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Tom,
I figured some had already read it or reviewed it. I agree 100%. While I wasn't surprised at the reactions, it did catch me off guard was the ferocity of some of the attacks. A good, open debate can only help us in the long run, whether the political action committees agree or not.
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Old 10-02-2008   #20
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Default Taking a page from David's playbook

from an earlier thread:

http://www.yale.edu/lawweb/avalon/washing.htm
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