Netanyahu implicated in nuclear smuggling from U.S. — big story in Israel

The Israeli press is picking up Grant Smith’s revelation from FBI documents that Benjamin Netanyahu was part of an Israeli smuggling ring that spirited nuclear triggers out of the U.S. in the 80s and 90s.

Arutz Sheva, the nationalist Israeli press:

Declassified FBI documents from a 1985-2002 investigation implicate Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu in an initiative to illegally purchase United States nuclear technology for Israel’s nuclear program.

Netanyahu was allegedly helped by Arnon Milchan, a Hollywood producer with ties to Israeli prime ministers and U.S. presidents.

The original story was broken by Grant Smith at antiwar.com, “Netanyahu worked inside nuclear smuggling ring”:

On June 27, 2012, the FBI partially declassified and released seven additional pages [.pdf] from a 1985–2002 investigation into how a network of front companies connected to the Israeli Ministry of Defense illegally smuggled nuclear triggers out of the U.S.* The newly released FBI files detail how Richard Kelly Smyth — who was convicted of running a U.S. front company — met with Benjamin Netanyahu in Israel during the smuggling operation. At that time, Netanyahu worked at the Israeli node of the smuggling network, Heli Trading Company. Netanyahu, who currently serves as Israel’s prime minister, recently issued a gag order that the smuggling network’s unindicted ringleader refrain from discussing “Project Pinto.”

The Hebrew paper Ma’ariv, in translation:

According to FBI documents released by the United States, Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, was involved in smuggling in the 70s from the U.S. components of Israeli nuclear program, and assisted by the businessman Arnon Milchan, who according to previous publications was a former Mossad agent.

The documents, declassified in part by the FBI after partial classification removed, describe the findings of the investigation has been performed between the years 1985 to 2002 on about how a network of front companies a U.S. security firm illegally smuggled equipment used for weapons seeds out of the U.S..

About Philip Weiss

Philip Weiss is Founder and Co-Editor of Mondoweiss.net.
Posted in Israel Lobby, Israel/Palestine, Media, US Politics

{ 66 comments... read them below or add one }

    • Mooser says:

      Why? This will make him a big hero to all the rest of the Israelis. Wouldn’t be surprised if they made him King, or Head Rabbi, or whatever it is they got over there.
      He ripped off the US? For an Israeli, what’s not to love about that?

      • i think it is fantastic the Israeli press is picking up any of Grant Smith’s revelations. more please. push the truth!

        • Avi_G. says:

          Annie,

          I’m with Mooser on this one. What “truth” do you think Israelis care about? They don’t care about truth, certainly not any truth that you or I have in mind.

          Like Mooser wrote:

          Why? This will make him a big hero to all the rest of the Israelis.

        • Roya says:

          Actually I’ve heard from quite a few people that the Israeli press is more liberal and openly critical of Israel than the American press. So far none of the mainstream networks here has picked this up (no surprise there) but not even the alternative RT has reported this.

      • MRW says:

        Mooser’s right. This needs traction in the Presbyterian Church. Then you will pour gasoline on this American fire. Israelis couldn’t give a shit. They don’t like Americans, anyway. They call us the friers. And that includes American Jews who think they are exempt. I cannot tell you what I’ve heard from US-based Israelis about Jews here. Extraordinarily ugly and contemptuous. Why don’t people take Danaa at her word about this?
        link to haaretz.com

  1. Oh my! Looks like some of the silenced patriots within the FBI are finally getting to do some unveiling.

    It all goes to show that as resentment builds and is suppressed, the dam will eventually break.

    Stay tuned folks – the show is just about to begin. Stock up on popcorn, we’ll be here for a while!

    • American says:

      For some time now it has looked to me that there are some “like-minded” people operating within some of our agencies against the Israel firsters.

      • Agreed. It has certainly been true of the CIA.

        • fbi too, and homeland security.

        • ToivoS says:

          This is a real dilemma for the lobby. The federal bureaucracy is just too large to fill all of those agencies with Zionist plants. The agencies are too vast for the political appointees to micro manage each section. One patriot at the GS15 level with a loyal staff can make a difference.

        • Ellen says:

          One or two GS15 who still believe their government really does work for the Amercan people can be snuffed out. It will take much more.

          My hope is that Americans — Jewish and non-Jewish — come to the quiet realization that they have been Zuckers for Zionism, and just peacefully walk away from it.

          Israel will then have to figure out its place in the world. That would mean getting over itself, making peace with it’s neighbors and becoming a normal country instead of a US military base filled with paranoid gun-toting zealots.

    • MRW says:

      Grant Smith has no traction. Yet. Watch it coming.

    • MRW says:

      They didn’t do it voluntarily, C&D.

  2. From Wikipedia:

    An apocalypse (Greek: ἀποκάλυψις apocálypsis, meaning ‘un-covering’) is a revelation of something hidden. In religious contexts it is usually a revelation of hidden meaning – hidden from mankind in an era dominated by falsehood and misconception.

    The apocalypse is upon us. 2012 will be a year to remember.

    • Citizen says:

      Well, C & D, I think Trump, of all people, has already revealed Obama will attack Iran before November to secure his re-election if the race is tight as summer wans–Trump has not revealed that if Mitt wins, Iran will be attacked shortly thereafter. In either case, the apocalypse will be the same (WW3–in big window view, making a straight line of causation), with US attack on Iran being condition precedent to Obama’s reelection, or if he does not attack, and loses to Mitt, attack on Iran being a condition subsequent to Mitt’s first term as POTUS. The very small guy, Truman would understand; after all, he started the Zionist takeover ball rolling in the first place against the advice of the Realists of the time. The current US campaign finance system is not geared to produce an American First POTUS when it comes to anything Israel. All US hopefuls check their integrity at AIPAC’s door. That’s the price of successful personal political ambition in America.

      • MRW says:

        Obama will lose the election if he bombs Iran, Citizen. You’re not hearing what I’m hearing.

        • Citizen says:

          Gee, I thought Americans have a record of getting behind their POTUS when he’s strapped on his battle gear. A false flag is not unheard of as to getting things rolling. Have the sanctions hit the central bank of Iran yet? I hear the Iranian people are suffering a lot under the current array of sanctions.

        • Obama will lose the election if he bombs Iran, Citizen. You’re not hearing what I’m hearing.

          Yes, but are the sayanim that surround him letting him hear the same thing?

        • Roya says:

          @MRW: I’m not so sure Obama won’t attack Iran before the election. Ostensibly, Iran hasn’t yet closed the Strait of Hormoz for fear of an American/Israeli attack, but the EU embargo changed their priorities–according to Press TV, as of this week Iran is pushing to close the Strait of Hormoz, and the United States of Israel is not likely to respond kindly to that. If Iran closes the Strait and Obama attacks Iran, the government and its media cronies are likely going to sell it as a “patriotic attack” to preserve the inalienable rights of barrels of oil to move freely or something crazier than that and as usual the American sheeple who still have faith in the government will devour it.

          link to presstv.ir

        • ColinWright says:

          Who exactly will he lose to?

          I stand second to no man in my unqualified contempt for Obama. And yet, what’s the alternative? I’m probably going to vote for him.

  3. Woody Tanaka says:

    Time to indict and demand he be turned over to US custody to stand trial and, if found guilty, to go to prison.

  4. Ismail says:

    Look, Israel murdered a bunch of US military personnel and nearly sunk their ship at a time when there was a hint of diversity in US official opinion re the US’ relations with that pirate nation. Johnson actually had to ignore or threaten countervailing and discordant voices to quash the investigation.

    Now, with a harmonized choir of castrati at the helm, how likely is it that anyone will be distressed Netanyahu’s decades-old treachery?

    I don’t know how to relate to the conviction held by so many of the site’s regulars that we’re at a turning point vis a vis US/Israel relations. Sometimes I’m heartened by the positivity, sometimes it seems naive.

    If this story picks up one tiny particle of traction in the mainstream US press, and if it eventuates in even a burble of official action (from, you know, a government which acknowledges without shame its inconsistent standards re Israel and everyone else), I’ll fold my cynicism t-shirt neatly and put in on the back shelf.

  5. Nevada Ned says:

    Why is the *Israeli* press picking up the story?
    My two guesses: (1) Netanyahu had made a lot of political enemies over the decades, and his enemies are eager for anti-Netanyahu information, true if possible.
    (2) His enemies fear that Netanyahu plans to attack Iran, which they think would be a disaster for everybody, including Israel. So they’re trying to step back from the brink.

    These two guesses are not mutually exclusive.

    • MRW says:

      Check Mooser’s remark above. It will help Netanyahu get re-relected forever.

      • ColinWright says:

        “It will help Netanyahu get re-relected forever.”

        Well this is good. Ideally, Israel would elect someone like Yishai or Lieberman, but Netanyahu should suffice for my purposes.

  6. radii says:

    and he should be arrested the next time he enters any U.S. territory and taken to trial, then executed as a foreign spy who did material harm to the U.S.

    but, instead, because the israeli lobby controls our country (especially our slavish Congress) – he is feted with honors and allowed to publicly bully us

    let me say it again – israel has long been and currently is the greatest Clear and Present Danger to the United States and its national interests

  7. Sin Nombre says:

    What difference does it make if the media guys in the Israel First mafia don’t want it to exist?

    As the song says, you might as well be walking on the sun.

  8. I’ve written a letter to U.S. Senators Lisa Murkowski and Mark Begich, requesting they investigate Netanyahu’s espionage activities:

    link to my.firedoglake.com

  9. Will POTUS Obama be brave enough to use this to bar Bibi’s ever-annoying presence in the USA?

  10. Les says:

    Israel will agree to turn Netanyahu over to the US provided we give them Pollard.

    • MRW says:

      What a dumb exchange idea. There are nearly 5,000,000 active military. The military brass are adamant about what Pollard did to destroy the US. You need to read their blogs. There isn’t one single military blog that backs Pollard. None. Name one.

  11. Let’s keep track and get as many politicians on record about this matter as possible.

    The “Free Pollard” crowd should all be asked about this matter, as should the leaders of the big Jewish orgs.

    • ColinWright says:

      It’s a win-win-win. Either…

      (a) they ignore you, thus leaving your choice of words unchallenged,

      or (b), they attempt to justify Netanyahu’s behavior, which is going to wind up sounding like saying seducing the fourteen-year old baby sitter isn’t really child abuse,

      or (c), they attempt to call you a liar, which is readily refuted.

  12. Roya says:

    So, umm, where’s the arrest warrant for Arnon Milchan?

  13. RoHa says:

    Stop making such a fuss.

    So your bestest ever allies who have sent their troops to fight alongside yours in – how many wars? a million, is it? – forgot to ask when they borrowed a little bit of your technology. So what? You were busy at the time, and they didn’t want to bother you.

    And anyway, think of all those shared values and the invention of the cherry tomato and things. Where would you be without Israel?

    And remember the Holocaust, you anti-Semites.

  14. RE: “illegally smuggled equipment used for weapons seeds out of the U.S…” ~ translation from Hebrew

    MY COMMENT: Instead of “seeds” it should probably be triggers.

    FROM GRANT SMITH’S ARTICLE AT ANTIWAR.COM, 7/04/12:

    (excerpts) . . . In July 2001, Smyth was arrested in Spain by Interpol and returned to the U.S., and in November, he was convicted of exporting 800 nuclear triggers (called krytrons). . .
    . . . During the 2002 Smyth counterintelligence debriefing, the FBI learned that the Ministry of Defense ordered and paid Heli Trading for krytrons. Heli in turn sourced them from MILCO in a clandestine operation codenamed Project Pinto. The report reveals how MILCO illegally shipped prohibited articles under general Commerce Department export licenses rather than smuggling them out via Israeli diplomatic pouches. The last time Smyth saw Milchan was in 1985. The Ministry of Defense issued a burn notice on Smyth after discussions with U.S. officials about the krytron smuggling. According to the FBI report, “Shortly thereafter, [Smyth] fled the United States.” . . .

    SOURCE – link to original.antiwar.com

    • P.S. RE: “. . . In July 2001, Smyth was arrested in Spain by Interpol and returned to the U.S., and in November, he was convicted of exporting 800 nuclear triggers (called krytrons). . .” ~ from Grant Smith’s article excerpted above)

      ALSO SEE: “Israel’s Nuclear Triggers”, by Grant Smith, Antiwar.com, 3/22/12

      [EXCERPT] . . . Like the NUMEC case, the krytron caper benefited from flawed elite news coverage that today seems superficial if not suspicious. Among the final pages of the FBI’s file is a clipping of Thomas Friedman’s May 1985 New York Times interview with Milchan, who had suddenly decamped for Jerusalem after the Smyth indictments. Milchan said he had only recently learned “that a krytron was a small little gizmo which anyone can go buy freely in the United States. You can use them or all kinds of things, including, incidentally, making cholent.” Friedman clarified for readers that “Cholent is a stew of beans, carrots, potatoes and beef that is a traditional Jewish dish prepared on Friday night for eating on the Sabbath. Mr. Milchan said that with a krytron timer a stove could be set to turn on automatically to heat up cholent on the Sabbath without anyone working to light the fire.”* . . .

      ENTIRE ARTICLE – link to original.antiwar.com

      * P.P.S. So you see, it is anti-Semitic not to allow the Israelis unfettered access to krytrons (nuclear triggers) so that they can be used to automatically heat up cholent on the Sabbath without anyone working to light the fire!

    • Avi_G. says:

      Dickerson,

      The Hebrew word for “seed” and “nuclear” (nucleus) is the same, it’s Gar’een.

      Neshek Gar’ini is “nuclear weapon”. It would appear that Google Translate is not sophisticated enough to translate in context.

      By the way, sunflower seeds and pumpkin seeds are popular in Israel, and in fact throughout the Middle East. In Hebrew, someone engaged in the act of eating them is said to be, Mehfatzayakh (Meh-fuh-ttze-yakh) Gar’inim, a seed cracker (cracking seeds).

      Anyway, end of lecture.

      • Thanks for explaining where the “seeds” came from.
        Yes, the non-human translations can be very poor, especially when you are not dealing with English, Spanish, French, German or Italian. The translations from Arabic to English are particularly bad.

  15. RE: “Netanyahu implicated in nuclear smuggling from U.S. — big story in Israel” ~ Weiss

    MY SNARK: “Membership [or not] has its privileges!”™

    ALSO SEE: “Report: Secret Document Affirms U.S.-Israel Nuclear Partnership”, by Haaretz Service, Barak Ravid and Reuters, Haaretz, 7/07/12
    According to Army Radio, the U.S. has reportedly pledged to sell Israel materials used to produce electricity, as well as nuclear technology and other supplies.

    [EXCERPT] Israel’s Army Radio reported on Wednesday that the United States has sent Israel a secret document committing to nuclear cooperation between the two countries.
    According to Army Radio, the U.S. has reportedly pledged to sell Israel materials used to produce electricity, as well as nuclear technology and other supplies, despite the fact that Israel is not a signatory of the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty.
    Other countries have refused to cooperate with Israel on nuclear matters because it has not signed the NPT
    , and there has been increasing international pressure for Israel to be more transparent about its nuclear arsenal.
    Army Radio’s diplomatic correspondent said the reported offer could put Israel on a par with India, another NPT holdout which is openly nuclear-armed but in 2008 secured a U.S.-led deal granting it civilian nuclear imports.
    During Tuesday’s meeting between Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and U.S. President Barack Obama, the two leaders discussed the global challenge of nuclear proliferation and the need to strengthen the nonproliferation system. . .

    ENTIRE ARTICLE – link to commondreams.org

    • MRW says:

      Haaretz is not Chairman of JCOS General Martin Dempsey.

    • P.S RE: “Netanyahu implicated in nuclear smuggling from U.S…” ~ Weiss

      ALSO SEE: “The Real Nuclear Outlaws: How the US and Israel are Shredding the NPT”, by Carl Boggs, Counterpunch, 4/04/12

      [EXCERPTS] . . . it is the U.S. and Israel – not Iran – that stand in flagrant violation of the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty (NPT). The real nuclear outlaws are located in Washington and Tel Aviv rather than in Tehran. . .
      . . . Drafted in the late 1960s, the NPT was inspired by efforts to control the spread of doomsday weapons on the world scene. It came into force in March 1970, signed by 189 states including the U.S. and the four other atomic powers. While U.S. leaders endorsed the treaty, beneath the surface they approached it with considerable ambivalence, even hostility. . . </b
      . . . Put simply, U.S. rhetorical opposition to WMD never extended to its own policies or its view of the NPT.
      The NPT called on all parties to fight proliferation while allowing for peaceful atomic development under international monitoring. Article I stated that nuclear powers agree not to assist non-nuclear countries in their nuclear programs, while Article IV affirmed the right of all NPT members to develop nuclear energy and Article VI obliged nuclear states to begin dismantling nukes in “good faith”. . .
      . . . As for Article I, the U.S. (along with France) offered substantial aid and protection to the hyper-secret Israeli nuclear-weapons program going back to the 1950s. Israel has never wanted anything to do with the NPT, fearful of any meddling into its accumulation of between 200 and 400 warheads, thinly concealed behind a façade of “ambiguity”. . .
      . . . Several U.N. resolutions calling for Israel to join the NPT, open up its nuclear facilities to inspection, and agree to a regional nuclear-free zone have been stonewalled by the U.S. and Israel. After the CIA reported that Israel had the Bomb in 1968 (fully 18 years before Mordecai Vanunu’s insider revelations), no outside visits to Israeli military sites have been allowed.
      Meanwhile, India – still a non-NPT state – has long benefitted from a massive transfer of atomic resources and technology from the U.S. . .
      . . . In his book laying out the WMD Commission recommendations, “Why Disarmament Matters” (2008), [Hans] Blix predicted imminent catastrophe in a global setting where the leading nuclear states randomly and brazenly violate the NPT. A question recurs: how can proliferation be reversed when the nuclear outlaws routinely privilege their own military ambitions over international rules and norms? By 2008 efforts to induce Israel, India, and Pakistan to submit to NPT protocols had been effectively abandoned . .

      ENTIRE COMMENTARY – link to counterpunch.org

      • P.S. RE: “The NPT called on all parties to fight proliferation… Article I stated that nuclear powers agree not to assist non-nuclear countries in their nuclear programs… As for Article I, the U.S. (along with France) offered substantial aid and protection to the hyper-secret Israeli nuclear-weapons program going back to the 1950s.” ~ Carl Boggs (above)

        FOR INSTANCE, SEE: “Israel’s Nuclear Triggers”, by Grant Smith, Antiwar.com, 3/22/12

        [EXCERPTS] . . . In America today, open financial support for Israel’s clandestine nuclear program is becoming more brazen even as many of its supporters and lobbyists demand U.S. military attacks on Iran’s nuclear program. The American Committee for the Weizmann Institute raises millions in tax-deductible funding for its Israeli parent organization, which was found in a 1987 Pentagon-sponsored study to have developed a cutting-edge high-energy physics and hydrodynamics program “needed for nuclear bomb design.” The Weizmann Institute advanced methods for enriching uranium to weapons-grade through the use of lasers even as the United States worried that Weizmann’s networked supercomputers were being used to reduce the size of warheads. Despite public calls for an IRS review of its tax-exempt status, the American Committee plows on announcing new corporate grants, ever confident that its elite overlapping board, which has included such luminaries as AIPAC/WINEP chairman emeritus Robert Asher, will back Weizmann, ensuring that nuclear funding continues to flow.
        Perhaps trying not to be outdone, President Barack Obama announced at AIPAC’s Washington conference that he will soon take center stage in the Israeli nuclear Théâtre de l’Absurde. According to author Avner Cohen, Israeli President Shimon Peres was a key architect of Israel’s nuclear weapons program from its very beginning. In 2010, scholar Sasha Polakow-Suransky released secret documents revealing how Peres even offered to sell nuclear-tipped Jericho missiles to the foundering apartheid regime in South Africa. That is why this summer, when Obama personally awards Peres a Presidential Medal of Freedom, he’ll be conferring America’s highest civilian award to the Middle East’s most notorious nuclear proliferator.

        ENTIRE ARTICLE – link to original.antiwar.com

  16. ColinWright says:

    As a note, from the information given, it would seem that ”Benjamin Netanyahu was part of an Israeli smuggling ring that spirited nuclear triggers out of the U.S. in the 80s and 90s’ is technically inaccurate.

    The investigation ran from 1985 to 2002. Netanyahu’s actual involvement seems to have happened in the 1970′s. If one is going to push this, one doesn’t want there to be any inaccuracies in one’s statements.

    I’ll also note that the FBI documents were released on June 27 — but no major US news organizations seem to have picked up on the story yet. People would seem to be sitting on it.

  17. From-http://nationalinterest.org/article/israels-new-politics-the-fate-palestine-7069
    “I know what America is. America is something that can be easily moved. Moved to the right [direction]. . . . They won’t get in our way. They won’t get in our way. . . . So let’s say they say something. So they said it! They said it! 80 percent of the Americans support us.” Netanyahu’s oft-quoted comment