Obama's Most Dangerous Israel Leak

Obama's Most Dangerous Israel Leak

The boss has put together an extraordinary rundown of Obama administration leaks showing a trend that is sabotaging Israel’s ability to strike at Iran’s nuclear facilities. The trend is quite revealing because, as Richard Helms, former director of central intelligence, once explained to Michael Ledeen: “Leaks will stop the minute the top people want them to stop…I was ordered several times by a president to find the source of a leak. We found it every time. And most of the time it was his secretary of state or secretary of defense, or chief of staff, or some other very important person. Nothing was ever done.” 

There is, however, a long forgotten leak, one that was done right out in the open, that is this administration’s most dangerous yet: the public acknowledgment of Israel’s nuclear arsenal.

On May 6, 2009, Eli Lake of the Washington Times reported:

Assistant Secretary of State Rose Gottemoeller, speaking Tuesday at a U.N. meeting on the nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty (NPT), said Israel should join the treaty, which would require Israel to declare and relinquish its nuclear arsenal.

“Universal adherence to the NPT itself, including by India, Israel, Pakistan and North Korea, … remains a fundamental objective of the United States,” Ms. Gottemoeller told the meeting, according to Reuters.

This was a radical break from the past, which “threate[d] to expose and derail a 40-year-old secret U.S. agreement to shield Israel’s nuclear weapons from international scrutiny,” wrote Lake. In a sidebar that same day, Lake went into some of the history of the accord:

The origins of the U.S. shield of Israel’s nuclear program date to a 1969 summit between President Nixon and Israeli Prime Minister Golda Meir, documents released in the past few years show.

There is no one piece of paper that actually describes the accord. However, the closest acknowledgment of the deal came in 2007, when the Nixon Library declassified many of the papers of former National Security Adviser Henry Kissinger. A July 7, 1969, memorandum to Mr. Nixon titled, “Israeli Nuclear Program,” said that by the end of 1970, Israel would likely have 24 to 30 French surface-to-surface missiles, 10 of which would have nuclear warheads.

Mr. Kissinger, who later became secretary of state, wrote that ideally, the U.S. would prefer Israel to have no nuclear weapons, but that was not attainable.

He added that “public knowledge is almost as dangerous as possession itself,” arguing that an Israeli announcement of its arsenal or a nuclear test could prompt the Soviet Union to offer Arab states a nuclear guarantee.

“What this means is that: While we might ideally like to halt actual Israeli possession, what we really want at a minimum may be just to keep Israeli possession from becoming an established international fact,” Mr. Kissinger wrote.

If there is any wonder why this was and continues to be important, listen to Ion Mihai Pacepa, the highest ranking intelligence officer to have defected from the Soviet bloc, tell an unsurprising little secret:

I spent two decades of my other life as a Communist spy chief, struggling to transform the U.N. into a kind of international socialist republic. The Communist bloc threw millions of dollars and thousands of people into that gigantic project. According to the U.S. Senate Select Committee on Intelligence, all employees from Eastern Bloc nations were involved in espionage. The task of this espionage army was not to steal secrets but to use the U.N. to convert the historical Arab and Islamic hatred of the Jews into a new hatred for Israel’s main supporter, the United States. The U.N. became our petri dish, in which we nurtured a virulent strain of hatred for America, grown from the bacteria of Communism, anti-Semitism, nationalism, jingoism, and victimology.

During the years I was Nicolae Ceausescu’s national-security adviser I learned that petty tyrants cannot be handled with kid gloves. You need an iron fist.

John Bolton not only acts forcefully, he also gets results. He singlehandedly brought about the repeal of U.N. Resolution 3379 of 1975, which stigmatized Zionism as “a form of racism and racial discrimination.” That resolution was the Soviet bloc’s first major “victory” at the U.N. Soon after it was adopted, the Communists unleashed a vitriolic disinformation campaign portraying the U.S. as a rapacious Zionist country run by a greedy “Council of the Elders of Zion” (a derisive epithet for the U.S. Congress) that was plotting to transform the rest of the world into a Jewish fiefdom.

U.N. Resolution 3379 lasted 16 years-until Bolton came along. In December 1991, this unknown undersecretary of State had the guts to tell the General Assembly of the U.N. that it had been manipulated by the Communists, and to ask its members to wake up. Bolton was so well-armed with documentation, so bold, and so straightforward that he forced the U.N. to repeal its own resolution by the great margin of 111 to 25. Even my native Romania, until then the epitome of Communism, voted with Bolton.

Bolton’s success did not last long. Although the Cold War was pronounced “kaput,” it did not end with a formal act of surrender, like other wars, or with the defeated enemy throwing down his weapons.

Ten years after Communism collapsed, an operation identical to the one the Communists had plotted in 1975 made its appearance at the United Nations. On August 31, 2001, a U.N. World Conference on Racism, Racial Discrimination, Xenophobia and Related Intolerance opened in Durban, South Africa, to approve ostensibly pre-formulated Arab League declarations asserting that Zionism was a brutal form of racism, and that the United States was its main supporter.

The September 11 terrorist attacks came eight days after the United States had withdrawn its delegation from Durban, stating that this U.N. conference would “stand self-condemned for yielding to extremists.” …

Nowadays it is considered bad manners to point a finger at Communist sources of anti-Americanism, but the truth is that the Soviet bloc’s old U.N. bag of dirty tricks continues to bear fruit. In 2003, the U.N. expelled the U.S. from the Commission on Human Rights by the overwhelming vote of 33 to 3 [and it appointed the tyrannical government of Libya to chair that body]. By that time the United Nations General Assembly had already passed 408 resolutions condemning Israel, the only U.N. member prohibited from holding a seat on the Security Council. The cumulative number of votes cast against Israel since 1967? 55,642.

There is an even bigger–although less obvious–reason Israel wouldn’t want this bunch of hostile bureaucrats snooping around their nuclear facilities: an Israeli nuclear leak once may have started a war (emphasis added):

[Frontpagemag.com]: O.k., so what is your book’s [Foxbats Over Dimona: The Soviets’ Nuclear Gamble in the Six-Day War] main thesis?

[Isabella] Ginor: Our book asserts, and we think it proves, that the Soviet Union, starting at the latest in mid-1966, elaborated with Egypt and Syria a detailed plan for precipitating the crisis. Upon the agreed signal and pretext of a false Soviet warning about Israeli preparations to attack Syria, Egypt was to initiate provocative measures that Israel would have to regard as a casus belli: deployment of the Egyptian army into the demilitarized Sinai, expulsion of the United Nations force posted there since 1956, and a blockade of Israel’s southern port. This was aimed at drawing Israel into a pre-emptive strike, which would then legitimize a direct military intervention by the USSR in favor of its clients once Israel was internationally branded as the aggressor.

In the Soviet estimate, if Israel and its Arab neighbors were allowed to fight it out on their own, they would reach a stalemate. Even a limited Soviet intervention, of which we previously mentioned some components, might thus tip the balance against Israel. While the USSR did not actively seek a superpower clash, it was prepared to assume some risk by probing the envelope. It assumed — quite correctly, as the events proved — that the United States would be less likely to respond in kind if the Israelis struck first, and certainly if the Soviets’ prime motive and target was Israel’s nuclear program.

[Gideon] Remez: This nuclear aspect — the “gamble” referred to in our book’s title — was our latest and most dramatic discovery. It answered the main objection that critics raised to our initial findings: that even a calculated risk of a confrontation with the United States was disproportionate to any regional advantage that the Soviets might gain by helping to inflict a defeat on Israel. This discrepancy was resolved after we read a remarkable memorandum that was included -almost certainly by oversight — in a recently published collection of Soviet Foreign Ministry documents. It relates how in December 1965, Isser Harel, the former Mossad chief who was then an adviser to Prime Minister Levi Eshkol, relayed a message via the leader of Israel’s communist party to the Soviet embassy. The message was that despite its official ambiguity, Israel was bent on developing and procuring nuclear weapons. Our book discusses a wide variety of possible motives for Harel’s extraordinary move, but what matters is that the Soviets took his message as genuine – and acted upon it as a threat to Soviet interests and even to the USSR’s own security.

By 1965 the Soviets were certainly aware of Israel’s nuclear project – which had been a top priority for its spies in Israel. But they may not have known the stage that it had reached. Therefore, the main news for Moscow must have been that the goal of nuclear weapons had not yet been consummated, and that a window of opportunity still existed to prevent its fruition. Moscow was thus posed with a dilemma not unlike the one that Washington now faces in respect of Iran. Indeed, we found that Harel’s message was immediately followed by a spurt of Soviet counteraction. It began with diplomatic efforts to dissuade Israel, but within a few months shifted to military preparations. Besides the joint war plan, these included a nuclear guarantee for Egypt: One of the first elements of the Soviet intervention to be implemented, early in 1967, was the insertion of nuclear missile submarines into the Mediterranean and later into the Red Sea, with orders to fire them on a prearranged code signal, in the event that Israel did possess, and tried to explode, some nuclear device But the Soviets also prepared to assist in a conventional strike at the Israeli nuclear project: their strategic bombers were assigned Dimona as a target. [Dimona being the site of Israel’s Nuclear program]

In other words: If you don’t want to come close to annihilation, then don’t leak your nuclear secrets.

But don’t expect the Obama administration to take the lessons of history seriously.