More mainstream snark over NSA sharing info with Israel

Israel/Palestine
on 41 Comments

As we noted yesterday, the New York Times doesn’t think it’s news that the National Security Agency is sharing intelligence data it collects on Americans with Israel. But the story is making waves. Notice the sarcasm in the kicker, from Connor Simpson at the Atlantic Wire:

Brazilian newspaper O Globo reported Tuesday that president Dilma Rousseff was so miffed over the National Security Agency snooping into her communications that she decided to cancel her trip to the White House on October 23…

This is one of the biggest diplomatic backlashes the White House has seen (not involving Russia) since the NSA scandal broke...

As soon as Rousseff’s cancellation was confirmed, the White House announced Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu will visit September 30. Since the NSA shares much of its intelligence with Israel, they probably still have a lot to talk about.

The NSA-Israel story is roiling folks all over. From Scott McConnell at the American Conservative:

The ugly truth we now know is that two months after assuming office, Obama or an underling acting in Obama’s name signed an agreement to transfer Americans’ personal and private information to Israel….

For decades, top American officials have acted almost as if they can’t think for themselves, they see everything in the Mideast through the optic of whether it is “good for Israel.” But this is different than that, and worse. The Americans in Israel’s camp at least think that “what’s good for Israel is good for America”—or at least so they proclaim, publicly. But no one can imagine that feeding Israel eavesdropped information on Americans is good for those Americans—that’s why this ugly program has been kept secret.  We have Edward Snowden to thank, otherwise we might never have known how far the rot has gone.

 

About Philip Weiss

Philip Weiss is Founder and Co-Editor of Mondoweiss.net.

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41 Responses

  1. David Doppler
    September 17, 2013, 4:42 pm

    I for one do not trust the Israeli government not to make access available to Israeli businesses to use for industrial espionage purposes. The politics of helping Israel spy on private US citizens for national security reasons is one thing, allowing Israel access to all that on-line business activity for potential competitive advantage, that’s another. Both are as big as stories get, so, the real story is the MSM’s effort to belittle it.

    • Krauss
      September 18, 2013, 12:45 am

      Israeli high tech is knee-deep in the surveillance state, a lot of of companies have contracts for the most sensitive data.

      Considering that Israel is the 3rd most ‘hostile state’ in intelligence terms, according to the U.S. own intelligence estimates, why would anyone want to give them this massive access? And the short answer is the Israel lobby. Because any politician who wants to create any distance would lose his or her next congressional election.

      Even the intelligence community’s own reports state that Israel is now a burden and a ‘hostile’ state vs America in terms of intelligence gathering.

      If you’re an Arab-American, the things that Israel may know about you already is probably staggering.

    • Citizen
      September 18, 2013, 12:50 am

      @ David Doppler
      America’s very first FTA, in 1985, was with Israel (what a surprise); it was a lop-sided deal, which was the result of spies for Israel obtaining the inside data from the USA’s private industries to be impacted, which had been given to the USA’s negotiating team. The Israeli negotiation team had the inside scoop on the USA’s negotiating strategy, while the reverse was not true. What really sucks, is the US has not taken advantage of the opportunities to make this FTA actually reciprocal. US business pays Israeli customs duties, at Israel’s discretion, but the reverse is not true. Conclusion, the business of the US is no longer business when it comes to Israel, it’s to serve Israel to its own disadvantage.

  2. traintosiberia
    September 17, 2013, 8:08 pm

    Israel can ask for anything and it will have it from US . So why is this sharing?
    This is the product of the Rumsfield ” the unknown unknown ” that American did not know but Israel wanted to find out from American sources.

  3. Ludwig
    September 17, 2013, 8:26 pm

    I agree that what is good for Israel is good for America.

    • just
      September 17, 2013, 8:47 pm

      Wrong, wrong, wrong Ludwig.

      Not even close to the truth.

    • bilal a
      September 17, 2013, 8:56 pm

      Depends on what you mean by Israel and America, they seem like nation states but may have a sovereignty as real as Virginia’s in 1860. Adelson, Bloomberg, Murdoch are merely visible cogs in a larger occult human structure described in the Financial Times and elsewhere. In this regard, Chomsky and others pointing their finger at Israel and America, miss the point entirely.

      Even more extreme, the top 147 transnational corporations control roughly 40% of the entire economic value of the world’s TNCs, forming their own network known as the “super-entity.” The super-entity conglomerates all control each other, and thus control a significant portion of the rest of the world’s corporations with the “core” of the global corporate network consisting primarily of financial corporations and intermediaries.

      In December of 2011, the former deputy secretary of the Treasury in the Clinton administration, Roger Altman, wrote an article for the Financial Times in which he described financial markets as “a global supra-government” which can “oust entrenched regimes… force austerity, banking bail-outs and other major policy changes.” Altman said bluntly that the influence of this entity “dwarfs multilateral institutions such as the International Monetary Fund” as “they have become the most powerful force on earth.”

      http://www.truth-out.org/news/item/16965-global-power-project-part-1-exposing-the-transnational-capitalist-class

      • pabelmont
        September 18, 2013, 1:04 pm

        In the days of bad King John, the barons were strong men who opposed the king, also a strong man. The barons won that round, and the Anglo-Americans “have” Magna Carta.

        Today, the players are not barons and kings but mega-corporations and nation-states, and the corporations seem to be winning.

        Time for an all-embracing “Occupy” movement, folks.

    • talknic
      September 17, 2013, 10:40 pm

      @ Ludwig “… what is good for Israel is good for America”

      Interesting ….. Maybe you can tell me how… yes?

      • Ludwig
        September 17, 2013, 11:03 pm

        I have the firm belief that if Israel falls, America is next after Europe.

      • Annie Robbins
        September 17, 2013, 11:30 pm

        aside from your beliefs, can you just answer the question.

      • Marco
        September 17, 2013, 11:55 pm

        It’s always fun to have unsubstantiated firm beliefs.

        As it is, apartheid South Africa, America’s right-wing junta allies in South America, Angola’s UNITA regime, South Vietnam, Iran’s Shah, etc. all fell without Europe or America suffering a similar fate.

      • Justpassingby
        September 18, 2013, 4:12 am

        Fall? What does that mean?! If Peru Europe will fall after the US? If Czech republic falls, China is next?

        Keep your islamophobic meme for yourself Ludwig.

      • OlegR
        September 18, 2013, 8:42 am

        Annie how about you ask bilal what he meant by his conspiratorial remark ?

        /Depends on what you mean by Israel and America, they seem like nation states but may have a sovereignty as real as Virginia’s in 1860. Adelson, Bloomberg, Murdoch are merely visible cogs in a larger occult human structure described in the Financial Times and elsewhere/

      • Annie Robbins
        September 18, 2013, 5:04 pm

        oleg, bilal linked to and blockquoted an article. if you want to know what he meant, try reading the article.

    • Citizen
      September 18, 2013, 1:28 am

      @ Ludwig

      Really? Despite all the politicians babbling about Israel and US having the same values and interests, Israel is more suspect than our best allies by Americans really in the know, the US Intelligence community:

      From Anthony Lowenstein’s blog:

      Although Israel is one of America’s closest allies, it is not one of the inner core of countries involved in surveillance sharing with the US – Britain, Australia, Canada and New Zealand. This group is collectively known as Five Eyes.

      The relationship between the US and Israel has been strained at times, both diplomatically and in terms of intelligence. In the top-secret 2013 intelligence community budget request, details of which were disclosed by the Washington Post, Israel is identified alongside Iran and China as a target for US cyberattacks.

      While NSA documents tout the mutually beneficial relationship of Sigint sharing, another report, marked top secret and dated September 2007, states that the relationship, while central to US strategy, has become overwhelmingly one-sided in favor of Israel.

      “Balancing the Sigint exchange equally between US and Israeli needs has been a constant challenge,” states the report, titled ‘History of the US – Israel Sigint Relationship, Post-1992′. “In the last decade, it arguably tilted heavily in favor of Israeli security concerns. 9/11 came, and went, with NSA’s only true Third Party [counter-terrorism] relationship being driven almost totally by the needs of the partner.”

      • Ludwig
        September 18, 2013, 3:11 pm

        Large cut and pastes from biased blogs are not helpful.

      • Annie Robbins
        September 18, 2013, 5:05 pm

        ha! try telling that to miriam, the queen bee of biased blog linkage.

      • miriam6
        September 18, 2013, 5:13 pm

        Annie@;

        ha! try telling that to miriam, the queen bee of biased blog linkage.

        You are claiming you yourself are absolutely unbiased and impartial?

        Really?

        Being an anti Zionist in opposition to an Zionist , let’s say , makes both your and their positions clearly biased and adversarial.

        Therefore you can hardly claim to be free of bias yourself

      • Cliff
        September 18, 2013, 7:12 pm

        Concern-trolling from ‘Ludwig’ is not helpful.

      • RoHa
        September 18, 2013, 10:07 pm

        “biased blogs”

        It doesn’t matter whether they are biased or not. The important question is whether or not what they say is true.

      • traintosiberia
        September 18, 2013, 10:09 pm

        “Wildcard ,ruthless and cunning.Has capability to target US forces and make it look like a Palestine/Arab act” Army Studies of Advanced Military Studies
        on Mossad
        By Rowan Scarborough in Washitgton Times sept 10 ,2001

      • Annie Robbins
        September 19, 2013, 3:03 am

        You are claiming you yourself are absolutely unbiased and impartial? Really?

        obviously i am not unbiased miriam, and never claimed to be. i have a clear bias towards truth and justice vs apartheid and ethnic cleansing.

        Being an anti Zionist in opposition to an Zionist , let’s say , makes both your and their positions clearly biased and adversarial.

        i do not self identified, or claimed to be, an anti zionist. you should do your homework. you’re out of your league.

        so the balls back in ludwig’s court, if he’s going after those linking to biased blogs you’ve got a big fat target on your back w/your constant hack links.

        i’d have no problem w/zionism if jews weren’t doing it in palestine, or any place that required ethnically cleansing the indigenous people. go do it on some vacant mountaintop in alaska, i could give a f.

      • miriam6
        September 19, 2013, 3:38 am

        Annie@;

        So basically you are placing yourself above the business of actual politics by aiming for the high moral ground – as though to imply, because YOU are so terribly moral and wholesome that I am immoral/ amoral and I support apartheid and ethnic cleansing.

        I certainly do not support such things at all.

        Explain – what are these hack links you are referring to?

        Again bias comes with politics as well as simple minded moralising.

        Other than that Annie..what I have to say to you is..

        Ooh temper, temper Annie!

      • talknic
        September 19, 2013, 4:46 am

        @Ludwig “Large cut and pastes from biased blogs are not helpful”

        Anything you can actually dispute?

        Some folk are biased and honest.
        Some folk are biased and blatant liars.
        Apologists for Israel’s illegal behaviour are biased and willfully repeat the blatant lies of the Hasbara. I’ve yet to meet one who is actually honest.

      • Cliff
        September 19, 2013, 5:40 am

        Miriam6,

        Being a Jewish nationalist/Zionist/colonist and thief, makes all your opinions biased and adversarial.

        Therefore you can hardly claim to be free of bias yourself.

      • miriam6
        September 19, 2013, 4:59 pm

        Cliff@;

        Being a Jewish nationalist/Zionist/colonist and thief, makes all your opinions biased and adversarial.
        Therefore you can hardly claim to be free of bias yourself.

        Cliffy , I am a British citizen – I am not colonising anyone nor am I a thief.
        I am not a Jewish nationalist either.

        I look at the population of six million Jews within the territory of Israel and those outside it in the OPT and I simply want to see them remain a safe , secure, viable , prosperous and growing population in the future also.

        If they can achieve those goals within the structure of a secular fully democratic one state scenario I would support that.

        However , it is for Palestinians and Israeli’s to decide their future and to work it out.

        Attempts to impose so called solutions in the manner and detail that Oslo was imposed , simply served to drive Israelis and Palestinians further apart.

        To go back to the other part of your comment , to re-iterate , I said people with opposing views engaging in debate means that that debate is inherently adversarial and all participants are therefore biased.

        So that would apply to me also.

        It is better to have adversarial debates because otherwise if everyone thought the same thing nothing would ever change and society would stagnate.

        So let people engage in adversarial biased debate and just trust that the best argument will out in the end.

        And if that supposed best argument about the way forward doesn’t work out , then that just means people must return to adversarial debate once again.

      • RoHa
        September 19, 2013, 8:37 pm

        “i have a clear bias towards truth and justice vs apartheid and ethnic cleansing.”

        Anti-Semite.

  4. Clif Brown
    September 17, 2013, 11:12 pm

    As promised, I ended my 12 year subscription to the NYT today and the conversation was quite prolonged. I clearly stated my reason for the termination – the outrageous omission of coverage of the NSA-Israel story and then the explanation, insulting to any intelligent reader, that it wasn’t a significant story.

    I explained that I had borne the pro-Israel spin on stories for many years, but this was too much, admitting that the Lustick piece was a step in the direction of balance, though buried in the Sunday Review.

    The operator offered me 12 weeks at half price, then 24 weeks at half price, then a promise that my objections would be made known to those in charge with a note that I was on the verge of cancellation – but I held out and insisted that the strongest message I could send would be not a threat to cancel, but the completed action itself.

    I hope others have done the same – we little people have to do what we can.

    And now I’m off to read the WaPo with a Kindle subscription. Come on, Jeff, let’s see some good journalism!

    • Marco
      September 17, 2013, 11:59 pm

      That’s fantastic. It wouldn’t take many long-time subscribers of the New York Times for them to be forced to reconsider their Israel coverage.

      One of the edifying effects of the Syria situation is that it demonstrated how powerful a simple phone call could be. The same is probably true for a principled cancellation of subscription to a periodical like the Times.

  5. sandhillexit
    September 18, 2013, 12:25 am

    “he tells me he is horrified: ‘There seems to be no limit to the violations to their hard-won liberties that Americans will put up with in the catchall name of counter terror.'”
    John le Carre interview by Philippe Sands, The Financial Times, Sept 7.

    “There is no basis for democracy except in a dogma about the divine origin of man….

    “America is the only nation in the world that is founded on a creed. That creed is set forth with dogmatic and even theological lucidity in the Declaration of Independence; perhaps the only piece of practical politics that is also theoretical politics and also great literature. It enunciates that all men are equal in their claim to justice, that governments exist to give them that justice, and that their authority is for that reason just. It certainly does condemn anarchism, and it does also by inference condemn atheism, since it clearly names the Creator as the ultimate authority from whom these equal rights are derived.” Chesterton, “What I Saw in America” quotes.

    • RoHa
      September 18, 2013, 3:09 am

      “it does also by inference condemn atheism, since it clearly names the Creator as the ultimate authority from whom these equal rights are derived”

      Since it only refers to “Nature’s God” and “their Creator”, it can hardly be said to “clearly name” them. Of course, we know that the DofI was drafted by a Deist, and it is reasonable to assume that the god of the Deists is the one referred to, but a determined atheist could interpret “Nature’s God” as meaning the physical laws and “their Creator” as the universe that runs according to those laws.

      I prefer to think they refer to Doctor Who.

      • sandhillexit
        September 18, 2013, 10:55 am

        Israel cannot “walk point” for America if they violate our creed. Our creed is the very reason we have respect in the world, even still. It is the reason American boys fight. America is not Rome, though those empire forces are at play. And remember it only took 60 years to go from Augustus to Caligula.

      • eljay
        September 18, 2013, 11:20 am

        >> It enunciates that all men are equal in their claim to justice, that governments exist to give them that justice, and that their authority is for that reason just.

        If all men are equal in their claims to justice, then the role of government is to uphold that equality, not to give to men something that is supposedly already theirs.

        >> … it clearly names the Creator as the ultimate authority from whom these equal rights are derived.

        Men created the “Creator” and men created the Declaration of Independence. There’s nothing magical about it.

        >> Israel cannot “walk point” for America if they violate our creed.

        Neither can America “walk point” for America, which routinely and grossly violates its own creed.

    • Woody Tanaka
      September 18, 2013, 12:07 pm

      Chesterton’s analysis of the DoI is quite underwhelming, as it misses the forest for the trees. That section, with all it’s poetic language, had nothing to do with condemning atheism or anarchism. It existed to rebut the then-accepted (and bible-based) notion of the divine right of kings. Faced with the fact that they proposed to replace the king that God (or so many people at the time believed) put above them, the colonials put the rabbit in the hat and, voila, established by fiat that their revolt against God’s own monarch was not only just, but was following God’s plan. That’s pretty much all that section was designed to do, but because we’ve pretty much accepted Enlightenment thinking to the core, we miss that, because the alternative (that God, himself, appoints people like Elizabeth Windsor and her spawn to rule over the good people of, e.g., Tuvalu, Jamaica, UK and so forth) seems so ridiculous to us that we look for other meanings.

      • RoHa
        September 18, 2013, 7:31 pm

        “the alternative (that God, himself, appoints people like Elizabeth Windsor and her spawn to rule over the good people of, e.g., Tuvalu, Jamaica, UK and so forth) seems so ridiculous to us”

        Particularly since both Henry VIII and Queen Victoria established that English monarchs outrank God.

  6. irmep
    September 18, 2013, 7:21 am

    “As we noted yesterday, the New York Times doesn’t think it’s news that the National Security Agency is sharing intelligence data it collects on Americans with Israel. ”

    There are other Israel-related subjects the NYT doesn’t cover:

    1. The Israeli nuclear weapons program (including clandestine funding, proliferation, waste issues).
    2. Misuse of U.S. foreign aid to Israel, including loan guarantees, funds to the Jewish Agency.
    3. Israel payola to U.S. journalists and academics (including the NYTimes).

    A careful review of many New York Times stories reveals that often, when they break a story, it is incredibly misleading, yet never corrected. Other times, they have been more truthful overseas than to U.S. readers (not so much these Internet days). Consider the NUMEC diversion to Israel story:

    9/18/1966 Paris Edition, New York Times “US Plant Loses 100 kilos of U-235”
    9/17/1966 US Edition, New York Times “Uranium Losses Spur Drive for Tighter US Control of Fissionable Materials”

    It’s simply not in the NYT’s DNA to provide straight coverage about Israel.

  7. traintosiberia
    September 18, 2013, 9:58 am

    http://www.counterpunch.org/2007/06/23/usa-today-and-the-uss-liberty/print
    Alison Weir is reporting the( 2003) collective silence of the US and UK media across the board and complete shameless neglect of the consensus opinion of the body made of former Marine general, Navy rear admiral, navy 4 star admiral and of UN ambassador
    putting the US S liberty massacre of 3 hours on the shoulder of the Israel . It was a motivated,calculated attack with plan to shape the outcome of the 1967 Israeli initiated war
    One of the many reasons that Israel is viewed with a filtered prism by the west to make the rainbow adorn the limitless sky of the wonderful Israel under siege by the barbarians around it.

    Even today despite the admission by Dayan and later by Begin of Isarel, reporters and. Commentators throw the lie at the audience regularly that it wasArab ( Egypt) that initiated the attack on peace seeking Israel.
    It was the same maneuver that is at play when Syria or Lebanon try to respond sometimes to continuous ,regular,unprovoked attack on those countries as documented by numerous sources including US media and UK outlet and by UN .but these discussion and reporting are framed in a way as if Israeli incursions,bombings,and outright invasion were legitimate and legal .It would be tinged with one of these excuses 1 we have no leverage over Israel
    2. Israel is doing what west should have done or being doing
    3 Israel is the little satan under attack today, we the big satan would be tomorrow if Israel did not stop the terror network
    4 The Shia crescent is engulfing the whole region including the moderate ( Saudi and Kuqati, Watari ) and Israel is doing something that would be appreciated by the Arab thought they can’t say so for the STREET of Arab would burst in flames
    5 Axis of Evil is seeing that US is a paper tiger after our dismal record in Kabul and Baghdad and poor responses to Africa and to Indonesian terror or to Phillipino terror
    and Israel knows that it can’t rely on US or the UN
    So Israel should have and thankfully for the bipartisan effort has the full unyielding support of US public . Support for Israel is in US DNA according to theses numerous media and think tank occupying decaying cells parasitized by the Israeli 5 th columns.

  8. weindeb
    September 18, 2013, 10:17 am

    A few more staunch little allies like Israel, and we might as well throw in the towel. Yes, by all means, let’s destroy Iran. After all, it’s been 60 years to the year that, along with another ally, we annihilated that work in progress, Iranian democracy, replacing it with a royal dictatorship. Then we helped our one-time de facto ally, Saddam Hussein, kill countless thousands of Iranians, so it seems it’s time, certainly at the very least for auld lang syne, to go after those Iranians once again. Interesting and ironic all this, when you consider that Israel, a nuclear weapons power, remains a non-signatory to the Nuclear Non-proliferation Treaty, unlike Iran, and thus is not subject to inspection by the UN’s International Atomic Energy Agency. It all makes the whackiest of episodes in Alice In Wonderland seem extraordinarily normal.

  9. Citizen
    September 18, 2013, 12:24 pm

    On the upside, and a slap in the face to Obama and all his neoliberal PEP and neocon sidekicks, the European Parliament has nominated Snowden for a high humanitarian prize: http://www.nytimes.com/2013/09/18/world/europe/snowden-nominated-for-human-rights-award.html?emc=edit_tnt_20130917&tntemail0=y&_r=0

    • just
      September 18, 2013, 5:12 pm

      Now, that is precious! Yeah!

      Wish I had a vote…

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