The other day the Washington Post’s ombudsman, Patrick Pexton, published a brave column asking, What about Israel’s nuclear weapons? Pexton wondered why there is such a bar on addressing the arsenal in our press. Grant Smith, of the Institute for Research: Middle Eastern Policy, explains the ramifications of this blackout in a letter he sent to Pexton:
Israel’s nuclear arsenal is primarily used to coerce the United States to provide enough benefits that they will never have to be used. If the Washington Post chose to better serve its readers, this analysis would become an integral part of the Iran crisis story.
For instance, Smith has written, Israel’s nuclear program, and the secrecy surrounding it, have allowed Israel to avoid making any deals with the Palestinians to end the conflict. And I have long maintained that Obama caved on the settlements issue because Israel presented him with far bigger fish to fry: they were threatening to attack Iran, and that’s the last thing Obama wanted.
Smith’s letter to Pexton, which he shared with us:
Dear Mr. Pexton,
Information about the Israeli nuclear weapons program is emerging at a quicker pace. For instance, as noted by one of your commenters, my organization obtained FBI documents showing that a younger Benjamin Netanyahu was personally involved in a smuggling ring that obtained nuclear triggers from the United States. This story was broken by Antiwar.com on the Fourth of July.
The implications of this single revelation are enormous, and both the New York Times and Washington Post received copies of key documents. However, not surprising to anyone who works in alternative media, only the Israeli press has expressed any interest.
As understood by the CIA back in the early 1960s, Israel’s nuclear arsenal is primarily used to coerce the United States to provide enough benefits that they will never have to be used. If the Washington Post chose to better serve its readers, this analysis would become an integral part of the Iran crisis story. The ongoing clandestine movement of material and technology out of the U.S. may mean America has violated Article 1 of the NNPT, since according to the GAO it has never apparently taken successful efforts to stem the flow. Also, through declassified documents about nuclear espionage and funding, the story of how the Weizmann Institute for Science has long funded Israel’s nuclear weapons research program from U.S. donors is now available to alternative press readers.
Currently, a significant number of documents about the Israeli nuclear weapons program are moving out of presidential libraries and into the ISCAP [Interagency Security Classification Appeals Panel] for review. Not a single one of these long term declassification and release efforts is being driven by an establishment news organization. The general feeling among many is that the news conglomerates are now too much a part of the Israel lobby or cheering section to do any useful, relevant reporting on such a timely and important topic. The Washington Post in particular seems to want to play a role in shoring up the decrepit policy of “strategic ambiguity” than enlighten readers about the true role of Israel’s arsenal in US and Iranian relations.