"Weapons of Mass Deception"


A mole called Mega

The scandal over a suspected Israeli mole in the Pentagon who allegedly passed highly sensitive policy documents on Iran to Israeli agents in Washington has rekindled suspicions long held by the US Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI), and others in Washington, that Israel systematically spies on its strategic ally and benefactor.

The FBI probe currently under way goes far beyond the allegations that a lone analyst was providing the Israelis with US secrets.

Shortly before George Tenet retired as director of the Central Intelligence Agency (CIA) in June, he alleged that an Israeli agent was operating in Washington. Tenet was challenged to identify the agent but for reasons that were never explained apparently did not do so. For years, the FBI has been convinced that there is at least one high-level Israeli mole in Washington.

The Tenet episode underlined growing unease in some quarters in Washington about the influence that Israel's right wing has in US President George W Bush's administration through the pro-Likud neo-conservatives, largely in the Pentagon, and the politically powerful America Israel Public Affairs Committee (AIPAC) and loosely associated organisations, such as the Washington Institute for Near East Policy. The Mossad, Israel's foreign intelligence service, is known to seek out Jews around the world to serve as informal agents, known in Hebrew as sayanim or 'helpers'.

The Israeli government and AIPAC have strenuously denied that they were involved in the current scandal. But Israel's intelligence organisations have been spying on the US and running clandestine operations since Israel was established. These operations range from spiriting an estimated 200 lbs of weapons-grade uranium for its secret nuclear arms programme in the 1960s to widescale industrial espionage.

Much of this is conducted by the secret Scientific Liaison Bureau, known by its Hebrew acronym Lakam, run by the Ministry of Defence and its equally little-known successor, Malmab (the Security Authority for the Ministry of Defence).

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Milton Frihetsson, 09:41


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