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Caltech prof says Israeli scientist passed NASA rocket secrets to his government

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A physics professor at Caltech says that an Israeli scientist at the school shared secrets from NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory at the school with a top Israeli government rocket scientist in violation of federal law, but that when she reported the matter to Caltech authorities, she was punished for the disclosure. Sandra Troian is suing Caltech for her mistreatment.

The case is big news in southern California, and was covered late this week here  and here, mostly with the Israel angle way down in the story. Though the Pasadena Star-News says, “Caltech professor claims Israeli spy infiltrated JPL.” While KCAL TV quotes Troian:

Right under [CalTech’s] nose is possible espionage.

In a lawsuit filed Thursday morning, Troian says she repeatedly brought her concerns to Caltech in 2010, but the school did nothing. Then the FBI approached her about the matter, and she talked to two agents about violations of ITAR, the International Traffic in Arms Regulations; and that’s what set Caltech off. It’s not clear from the lawsuit or coverage if the FBI did anything about the case. The alleged spy is now back in Israel, at the country’s leading institute of technology.

Amir Gat

Amir Gat

You can read the lawsuit here. Some excerpts. Notice the use of a computer virus to hijack files:

Dr. Troian is, and at all relevant times was, employed as a tenured Full Professor at Caltech’s principal place of business in Pasadena..

Dr. Troian is also a contractor and holds research privileges at the Jet Propulsion Laboratory (“JPL”), which is a federally-funded research and development facility managed by Caltech on behalf of the National Aeronautics and Space Administration (“NASA”)….

In March 2010, Dr. Troian became Principal Investigator (“PI”) on an export controlled project at JPL known as the Electrospray Thruster Array Technology Feasibility Study Project (“Electrospray Project”). The goal of the Electrospray Project was to design a new type of space micropropulsion system.

Dr. Troian hired Dr. Amir Gat to work with her on the Electrospray Project as a postdoctoral research scholar in March of 2010. Dr. Gat is an Israeli foreign national, who, at the time, had recently
earned his Ph.D. in Aerospace Engineering from the Technion – Israel Institute of Technology (“ITT”)….
On May 25, 2010, a virus attacked Dr. Troian’s computer network at Caltech, causing hundreds of project files to be uploaded in rapid succession to an unknown IP address outside of Caltech and causing Caltech to disable Dr. Troian’s network for several days. Dr. Troian traced the virus that caused the network problems to Dr. Gat’s computer, and notified Caltech officials of this fact…
On May 28, 2010, Dr. Gat admitted to Dr. Troian that he had been sharing details of the Electrospray Project with Dr. Daniel Weihs, his Ph.D. advisor at ITT in Israel, without proper U.S. government approval. Dr. Gat refused to disclose to Dr. Troian the substance or extent of his transfer of information. ..Dr. Weihs was a member of Israel’s National Steering Committee for Space Infrastructure of the Ministry of Science, Chair of Israel’s National Committee for Space Research, and Chief Scientist at the Ministry of Science and Technology.
On June 3, 2010, Dr. Troian found Dr. Gat wandering alone, unauthorized, in one of her access-restricted experimental laboratories. Dr. Gat explained that Dr. Weihs had recommended that he “look around” to see what other aerospace projects were ongoing at Caltech in collaboration with JPL. Dr. Gat said that he was hoping that the Israel Institute of Technology would hire him in the future, after he left the United States and returned to Israel…

Today Gat is back at the Technion.

To Dr. Troian’s knowledge, Caltech did not investigate Dr. Gat or otherwise take action in response to Dr. Troian’s or other JPL supervisors’ complaints of Dr. Gat’s…violations….

Morteza Gharib, the Caltech vice provost for research, told Dr. Troian “It’s not my business.” Weihs was Morteza’s “best friend,” he said; and he then hired Gat at his own lab.

Here come the feds.

On June 28, 2012, Kelly M. Sullivan and David Tsang, FBI agents with the Los Angeles County Counterintelligence Division, approached Dr. Troian and told her that there had been several security breaches at JPL. They told her that Dr. Gat was a focus of a larger investigation involving ITAR violations and possibly espionage, and asked her for information pertaining to his activities at JPL and Caltech…
Dr. Troian responded to all of the FBI agents’ questions truthfully. She responded that she believed Dr. Gat had, in fact, violated federal export control laws while at Caltech. The agents asked Dr. Troian if she had ever reported Dr. Gat and to whom, and she replied that she had repeatedly voiced her concerns to Caltech officials, including Drs. Gharib and [Ares] Rosakis, and to JPL supervisors, but Caltech had failed to investigate Dr. Gat…
The agents urged Dr. Troian to execute an affidavit containing this information about Drs. Gat, Rosakis, and Gharib. Dr. Troian voiced her fear of retaliation by Caltech if she were to execute an affidavit, and declined to do so…

She feared retaliation if she signed anything, she says. But after that, Gharib and Rosakis warned Troian that her behavior was becoming “dangerous” for Caltech, she alleges. And the retaliation began. It included harassment and an accusation that she had misappropriated a colleague’s research. She is suing in part for compensation for suffering:

Caltech’s four years of retaliation and harassment have also caused Dr. Troian severe anxiety, stress, sadness and depression, sleep disturbances and other
physical ailments…
Based on Dr. Troian’s disclosures of Dr. Gat’s apparent illegal activity, Caltech engaged in a campaign of retaliation against Dr. Troian in an effort to drive her out of Caltech and ruin her career. The retaliation included, inter alia, placing multiple false letters of discipline in her file; threatening to bar her from hiring future postdoctorate students; falsely accusing her of research misconduct; refusing to follow the Handbook’s procedure for investigating research misconduct and instituting sham proceedings that violated her rights as a faculty member; issuing false findings of wrongdoing against her and imposing discipline against her; falsely accusing her of misappropriating lab equipment; thwarting her participation in campus committees, events, and lectures; denying her over a million dollars in grant funds; causing her to waste significant time and money to fight Caltech’s baseless allegations against her; and generally intimidating her and threatening her employment at Caltech.

About Philip Weiss

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

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95 Responses

  1. American
    November 15, 2014, 9:12 am

    Why did Troian hire an Israeli to begin with?
    Her whining over this now rings a bit hollow to me…..everyone on the frigging earth knows a Israeli is going to steal info if he can.

    • John O
      November 15, 2014, 9:36 am

      On Earth maybe, but not on Planet America.

    • oldgeezer
      November 15, 2014, 9:41 am

      Why hire any foreign national when a project is subject to concerns regarding the spread of knowledge/technology. And why was he kept on after he admitted sharing information with someone back in Israel. It’s not like he should have been trusted after that point in time (if ever)

    • Krauss
      November 15, 2014, 7:10 pm

      Why did Troian hire an Israeli to begin with?
      Her whining over this now rings a bit hollow to me…..everyone on the frigging earth knows a Israeli is going to steal info if he can.

      Because everyone is not aware of this. Troian was simply naïve from what I’ve read in the stories, although the guy who did the spying seems just as naïve and clueless as her. He didn’t come across as a very good spy, which is why I think she eventually caught him, because she seems terrible at sniffing out danger, too. My guess is that this Amit guy was basically just doing what he was being told by his superiors and doing it badly and clumsily. I guess he probably feels used and doesn’t like being under investigation. Can he now visit America without being arrested? They should arrest his superiors instead, as well as the trojan horse inside Caltech, Gharib.

      And that’s really what is more troubling about this, the fact that Gharib felt it more important to protect his friendships even if it was someone who was actively spying on America, than to protect the country. If Gharib has that kind of moral compass, or lack thereof, who knows how many secerets he has peddled to various countries?

      I hope Troian gets her lawsuit through and I commend her for fightning and not just letting this go. She seems like a strong woman and even if she won’t win, the case is bringing a lot more light to both the notorious Israeli spying on America as well as the corruption at Caltech, by the likes of Gharib. Hopefully we can smash two flies in one go.

      • Abierno
        November 16, 2014, 1:04 pm

        Troian needs to be widely praised for her actions. Her research is in micro and nano systems with widespread military, medical and space applications. One of the most important components of this work is the development of lithographic techniques for fabricating optical and photonic microarrays in which the growth of nano structures is controlled by patterned gradient force fields. (Troian Research).

        This is no small theft – the commercial applications are worth millions if not more. It’s also unclear how much more Gat stole from Cal Tech.
        The school is desperate to cover up because a full and comprehensive investigation could identify further breeches of federal technology transfer policies by not only post doctoral researchers but also professors.

        These thefts directly threaten the military and economic security of the US. Readers of this site should press for extradition of Gat from Israel (Israeli refusal and lauding of Gat for his daring theft could be expected to raise serious issues regarding of Israeli researchers being given high level security clearances.) Also posting Mr. Weiss’ excellent article widely is important since these thefts have not been covered by the mainstream media.

    • CigarGod
      November 17, 2014, 9:10 am

      Did you read the article? She has been “whining about it”…for four years.

  2. pabelmont
    November 15, 2014, 10:11 am

    Many people know that various nations — Israel and China come to mind — are or were energetic industrial spies in the USA. (I wouldn’t doubt that the USA does the same elsewhere.) I worked in government related computer programming in the 1970’s and 1980’s and well recall a visit by an Israeli inquiring into details of one of our projects. We were polite and non-disclosing. But I think we had even then a feeling of a sort of national need to “make nice” with Israelis but also to protect our business secrets (no security matters were then involved).

    But, moving on to another question: Where does this disclosure place the Technion/Cornell partnership? Does Cornell wish to be officially associated with an institution which is involved with spying against the USA?

  3. pabelmont
    November 15, 2014, 10:23 am

    The allegation of reprisals and false accusations by CalTech are, (if true) if substantiated, simply dreadful and examples of a sort of McCarthyism. To say nothing of (being an allegation of) an Israeli infiltration of even this important university, similar to the much less egregious IMO UIUC/Salaita affair. Recalls the FBI’s harassment of Martin Luther King Jr. including by sending faked up letters to him (reported on NPR or MNYC this morning). Grotesque misuse of power, if true.

  4. just
    November 15, 2014, 10:25 am

    he’s only following in Netanyahu’s footsteps.

    “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.”
    – See more at: http://mondoweiss.net/2012/07/netanyahu-implicated-in-nuclear-smuggling-from-u-s-big-story-in-israel#sthash.TM0v1KwR.dpuf

    he’s following Pollard’s stinky trail, too.

    please explain why our “special relationship” is a healthy one for us…or the world.

  5. Kay24
    November 15, 2014, 10:41 am

    Next will come the personal, and ugly attacks on Dr. Troian. She will be discredited and made to look even anti-semitic, or self hating (if she is Jewish).

    This is ugly if true. But then the Senator for CA is none other than Israel’s most devoted servant, Barbara Boxer, she will totally “water it down” if there is any credibility in these accusations.

    Imagine if this was say Iran, or some other Muslim nation. The hasbarats would have a field day.

    • Horizontal
      November 15, 2014, 11:04 am

      Boxer, Feinstein. Ugh.

      Two reasons I’m glad I’m no longer in California.

      • Kay24
        November 15, 2014, 5:01 pm

        After watching the movie “the day Israel attacked America” I realized that these scumbags from Israel can get away with anything, murder, espionage, and killing Americans within our nation.
        If these spineless politicians like Boxer and Feinstein, can wean themselves from the motherland, that is not where they live, our nation will have a better chance of extricating themselves from that cursed country, and their devious agents at home.

      • Horizontal
        November 15, 2014, 9:16 pm

        That’s not likely, considering that they are both part of the cult. Can’t vote them out either, as they are both part of the democratic machine. Establishment Jewish money is part of that machine, so forget reform through the ballot box. I guess we’ll have to wait until the grim reaper shows up, but by then, they’ll be another Progressive Except for Israel pol to take their places.

        Depressed yet?

      • Kay24
        November 15, 2014, 10:08 pm

        Horizontal, every day the Palestinians are under occupation, and every day I wake up and realize Israel controls our country, is depressing. The day Congress passes a resolution banning foreign lobbies from interfering in our political system, will be that cold day in Hell. :))

  6. Horizontal
    November 15, 2014, 11:00 am

    One more reason to regard Israel as an enemy nation. One more example that will be ignored by politicians sworn to uphold the Constitution.

    Remember this?

    Israel was singled out in 2007 as a top espionage threat against the U.S. government, including its intelligence services, in a newly published National Security Agency (NSA) document obtained by fugitive leaker Edward Snowden, according to a news report Monday.

    The document also identified Israel, along with North Korea, Cuba and India, as a “leading threat” to the infrastructure of U.S. financial and banking institutions.

    Newsweek

    Yeah, Israel’s in really great company, there. Of course, in the topsy-turvy world of American political wisdom, Snowden is the enemy and Israel is the friend.

  7. seanmcbride
    November 15, 2014, 11:08 am

    email updates (delete this)

    • Annie Robbins
      November 15, 2014, 11:36 am

      i’m curious what this means sean. i wrote you about the several you’ve posted earlier but didn’t hear back from you. i wrote adam that you had left a message in the comments about emails but he said he didn’t get any from you. what email updates are you referencing and who is this message for? i think this is at least the tenth time you’ve left this message. do you want someone to email you an update?

      • Eva Smagacz
        November 15, 2014, 12:14 pm

        I wonder if he is writing the above, or is this software misbehaving. Annie, ask him somewhere else on the website, where he is commenting.

      • seanmcbride
        November 15, 2014, 12:41 pm

        Annie,

        See the checkbox at the bottom of Mondoweiss articles for “NOTIFY ME OF FOLLOW-UP COMMENTS BY EMAIL”?

        Is there any way to trigger this feature for particular articles without posting a comment? Often one wants to follow comments on articles by email without posting comments.

      • Annie Robbins
        November 15, 2014, 2:21 pm

        i emailed you sean. thanks for responding.

      • W.Jones
        November 15, 2014, 12:42 pm

        Right, Eva. Probably the best way to contact him if his email is acting up is to contact him on Friendfeed.

      • MRW
        November 16, 2014, 5:51 pm

        Is there any way to trigger this feature for particular articles without posting a comment?

        Of course, arrange through your RSS feed.

    • seanmcbride
      November 17, 2014, 9:38 am

      MRW,

      Of course, arrange through your RSS feed.

      Please show us the URL for a working RSS feed for the comments on the article.

  8. Blownaway
    November 15, 2014, 11:14 am

    It’s not spying if the target allows it. It’s Israel after all and spying against America is allowed. He didn’t need to steal anything. Bibi could have just given someone in AIPAC a shopping list and like a personal shopper someone would round up the info put a bow on it and send it off.

    • just
      November 15, 2014, 11:48 am

      you are most probably and absolutely correct, Blownaway.

      how very pitiful and criminal.

      • pabelmont
        November 15, 2014, 1:10 pm

        If you mean the Troian business, it is spying if the transmission is forbidden by “spying” laws, as here. Just because a person hired is allowed to see secrets doesn’t change the law. If deliberately aided illegally, both the spy and the person aiding are guilty.

        As to N’yahu, well. . . .

    • Blownaway
      November 15, 2014, 3:03 pm

      Laws are not meant for Israelis. They even ignore their own Supreme Court rulings. There is only one law in the world and that’s what Israel says it is. The UN resolutions only apply to countries America says they apply to (especially if they are Islamic and never to Israel)

      • pabelmont
        November 15, 2014, 3:37 pm

        Blownaway: The one law in the world for Israelis: not what Israel says (Israel does not speak, though its court does, and is often ignored) but what the rabbis say and like that. “Death to all Arabs” is said, and even something of the sort by some of the rabbis, as I recall, by a “military” rabbi.

        The Israeli humanist Israel Shahak was condemned in Israel for saying that orthodox rabbis interpreted (here I’m remembering, so maybe quite incorrectly) “do not kill” to mean “do not kill Jews”. If this or anything close to it is true (of orthodox teaching), one wonders what “be kind to strangers, for we were strangers in Egypt” might mean.

  9. a blah chick
    November 15, 2014, 1:06 pm

    “Dr. Gat admitted to Dr. Troian that he had been sharing details of the Electrospray Project with Dr. Daniel Weihs, his Ph.D. advisor at ITT in Israel, without proper U.S. government approval. Dr. Gat refused to disclose to Dr. Troian the substance or extent of his transfer of information.”

    Wow, that is one arrogant SOB.

    • Horizontal
      November 15, 2014, 2:31 pm

      I’m certain that the US is “deeply concerned” by these allegations.

    • Sycamores
      November 15, 2014, 4:32 pm

      nevermine Gat who’s covering him is far more worrying.

      two of the harassers of Professor Dr. Sandra M. Troian are Drs. Gharib and Ares Rosakis both have links to to Israel universities and are both are friends of Dr. Daniel Weihs. in itself nothing strange about that.

      but after Dr. Troian dismiss Drs. Gat because of his apparent TCP and ITAR violations, Dr. Gharib rehired Drs. Gat to his department at Caltech as a favor to Dr. Weihs for a further two years until Drs. Gat move to Israel.

      from the lawsuit

      Caltech Officials Accused Dr. Troian of Calling the FBI, and Launched a Campaign of Retaliation and Intimidation Against Her.

      61. On July 18, 2012, two weeks after Dr. Troian’s second conversation with the FBI, Dr. Rosakis, Ms. Epallé, and Dr. Gharib met with Dr. Troian under the pretext of discussing matters related to Dr. Troian’s postdoctoral research scholars.
      62. During the meeting, Drs. Gharib and Rosakis accused Dr. Troian of calling the FBI to Caltech and pressured her to divulge the content of her conversations with the FBI. Dr. Troian explained that the FBI had approached her and asked about Dr. Gat. Drs. Gharib and Rosakis insisted that they knew that Dr. Troian had called the FBI. They demanded: “How did they find out? How did they know? And why him [Dr. Gat]?”
      63. Dr. Troian reiterated that Dr. Gat had likely violated federal export control laws and that Caltech should have fired him immediately, rather than keeping him engaged for more than two years.
      64. Dr. Gharib admitted that he knew Dr. Gat had spoken to Dr. Weihs about the Electrospray Project. He insisted that Dr. Gat had “made a mistake” in violating any laws. He stated that he had asked Dr. Gat about the violations and “he [Dr. Gat] said ‘no’ and we accepted that.”
      65. In this meeting, Drs. Rosakis and Gharib also falsely accused Dr. Troian of mistreating former postdoctoral research scholars who had worked with her, including Dr. Gat and Dr. Anoosheh Niavaranikheiri, a postdoc who worked under Dr. Troian from June 2011 to June 2012.
      66. Drs. Rosakis and Gharib threatened to bar Dr. Troian from hiring future postdoctoral research scholars, which would seriously impede her ability to perform her research.
      67. This was the first time anyone had accused Dr. Troian of mistreating postdoctoral research scholars.
      68. When Dr. Troian pushed Drs. Gharib and Rosakis to reveal the basis for any postdoctoral research scholar complaints against her, they admitted that no formal complaints existed.
      69. The meeting lasted two hours and ended with Drs. Gharib and Rosakis warning Dr. Troian that her behavior was becoming “dangerous” for the Division and for Caltech.

      can you imagine that one of your colleauges dismisses someone for possible espionage and another rehires him, what’s that about?

      other conspirators are Dr. Stolper and Ms. Epallé

      52. On August 19, 2010, Ms. Epallé went to Dr. Gat’s former office and hurriedly put all of his work materials into a cardboard box. Dr. Troian tried to stop Ms. Epallé, telling her that her actions violated ITAR and Caltech protocol for securing such materials. Ms. Epallé responded that she was under direct orders to remove the material and to give it to Dr. Gat. Dr. Troian tried to physically stop Ms. Epallé, but she rushed out of the room with Dr. Gat’s work materials.

      71. At the meeting, Dr. Stolper told Dr. Troian that Caltech did not like its employees calling the authorities. He said repeatedly, “You’re difficult. That’s what you are and you are going to have to live with that.” He told Dr. Troian that he was “feared” on campus.

      stealing evidence and threats if true is serious stuff.

      i’m appalled by the lack of professional conduct among fellow colleagues.

      maybe the FBI investigation might open up a tin of worms at Caltech

      • Horizontal
        November 15, 2014, 4:44 pm

        We can but hope. I don’t ever see much of a day of reckoning when it comes to anything connected to what Israel does. At most, it’s swept under the carpet and ignored as if it never happened, then it’s back to business as usual with our “closest ally in the region.”

        Barf.

      • Walid
        November 16, 2014, 3:45 pm

        What provoked the arrival on the scene by the FBI? The agency supposedly interrogated Troian in an investigation of Gat, but something must have tipped them to come knocking at her door.

    • Walid
      November 16, 2014, 3:52 pm

      “Wow, that is one arrogant SOB.”

      abc, that SOB is aware that Israeli spies enjoy some kind of immunity from prosecution in the US and that makes them grow really big ones and become arrogant in their actions. In essence, the SOB answered Troian to F-off. After that virus-transfer incident, he went on to snoop in off-limits labs, which he arrogantly described as being done under instructions from a guy at the Technion in Israel.

  10. bilal a
    November 15, 2014, 1:56 pm

    Its called shumpting the Shiksa America ( This type of Infiltration and exploitation apparently was some kind of payback born of hatred, according to Phillip Roth) :

    “Yes, I was one happy yiddel down there in Washington, a little Stern gang of my own, busily exploding Charlie’s honor and integrity, while simultaneously becoming lover to that aristocratic Yankee beauty whose forebears arrived on these shores in the seventeenth century. Phenomenon known as Hating Your Goy and Eating One Too.”

  11. 666
    November 15, 2014, 5:05 pm

    v2 rocket stolen

    wow

  12. ivri
    November 15, 2014, 5:12 pm

    Excuse me but NASA is not a military enterprise, the academic world is about shared knowledge and the US and Israel, as close allies, share, regularly, sensitive and confidential information . I sense a Trojan horse here…

    • Annie Robbins
      November 15, 2014, 7:41 pm

      ivri, if you read the articles phil links to you would learn that it is a top secret program and you have to sign agreements w/the gov that you won’t pass on any information (especially to foreign entities) without getting express permission from the government just to work on it. here’s more:

      in 2012, FBI agents approached her about security breaches at JPL and she told them her experience. She said the FBI told her that Gat was the subject of an investigation that might involve espionage and violations of International Traffic in Arms Regulations (ITAR).

      http://www.allgov.com/usa/ca/news/unusual-news/caltech-prof-files-whistleblower-suit-against-school-over-alleged-spying-141114?news=854815

    • straightline
      November 15, 2014, 8:56 pm

      @ivri: As is indicated in this NASA manual, NASA works at various levels of security clearance.

      http://hspd12jpl.org/files/SuitabilitySecurityDeskGuide.pdf

      As to sharing of confidential information, that is true but only up to a point.

      http://www.haaretz.com/news/diplomacy-defense/former-u-s-officials-say-cia-considers-israel-to-be-mideast-s-biggest-spy-threat-1.454189
      To quote:
      “Despite inarguable ties between the U.S. and its closest ally in the Middle East and despite statements from U.S. politicians trumpeting the friendship, U.S. national security officials consider Israel to be, at times, a frustrating ally and a genuine counterintelligence threat.”

      Finally this appears to be an ITAR issue – not a military security issue. The ITAR program:

      http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/International_Traffic_in_Arms_Regulations

      is run out of the State Dept, not the Defense Dept. ITAR applies to exports of certain kinds of materiel and expertise to any foreign entities – whether they be Israeli, British, Australian, Canadian or …

      There are many programs in US Universities that are ITAR restricted. Non-US nationals/permanent residents working on them have to have an ITAR waiver, under which they agree not to pass information to other non-nationals. Dr Gat would have signed such an agreement before being allowed to work on an ITAR restricted program.

      • ritzl
        November 16, 2014, 3:03 pm

        Thanks straightline.

        In my experience knowing/willful violation of the ITAR regs is a prima facie cause for denial of a security clearance.

        As a person in the rocket biz, with secrets, I find the “negotiability” of this case simply astounding.

        On the prospective front, am I now to preclude any Jewish candidate with an Israeli bent, or simply any Israeli from consideration as a collegue? I think the answer is yes, but how do I ask that question? Or do I simply ask it (question being: Will you transfer what you are working on to a foreign country.)

        There’s a middle ground, again in my experience, of taking the experiential tools and thought processes developed from a project , away from that project, but this case seems to be direct transfer/espionage.

      • ritzl
        November 16, 2014, 3:09 pm

        I would also think that DIS would be VERY interested in these practices at JPL/Caltech as a whole. It’s just black letter wrong.

        Unless the whole system is corrupt, which may be the case.

      • Walid
        November 16, 2014, 3:40 pm

        “Unless the whole system is corrupt, which may be the case. ”

        Impossible, ritzl, the director of the JPL and VP of Cal-Tech is Lebanese, not Israeli.

      • ritzl
        November 16, 2014, 5:23 pm

        I understand that. Walid. And glad you raised that point.

        Why is a Lebanese-American violating the ITAR law on the behalf of israel? What hold does Israel have on him?

        If this was a straight forward decision, it would be a no brainer. He would have brought JPL/Caltech into the sunlight…. immediately, if not sooner. His whole institution has been put at risk by this clear subterfuge.

        Why?

      • Bumblebye
        November 16, 2014, 5:53 pm

        @ritzl
        A couple of years ago I was surprised to find out that the UK has Israelis working at Porton Down. (Cliquish and not much liked or trusted)

      • straightline
        November 17, 2014, 5:09 pm

        @ritzl: Violation of ITAR regulations even by US nationals can result in very hefty fines and/or long prison sentences. And it is a personal responsibility – not an institutional one as far as I am aware – there is no defence of “I was just doing what I was required to do by the institution.” Who knows what would happen to a non-US national engaging in such activities.

        Re your point about “Jewish candidate with an Israeli bent” That is an interesting question – if you might end up as the meat in the sandwich (or is it the ham in the matzah) between federal authorities and your university administration, it might be better not to collaborate with such a colleague.

      • lysias
        February 4, 2015, 7:00 pm

        For those who do not know, Porton Down is the UK military facility where research is conducted into such things as chemical and biological warfare.

    • Horizontal
      November 15, 2014, 9:24 pm

      There are those magic words again. Close allies. I keep hearing those words, but where do they come from? Certainly not from the action of Israel towards the United States. Certainly not how your prime minister treats our president, our vice president, our secretary of state, or our citizens. Those, you kill with no remorse. You regularly ignore us. You spy on us. you cost us — in international respect and in money. Lots and lots of money.

      Frankly, I’m not seeing the close ally part.

      But like in some fairy tail, if you just keep repeating the words “close ally” enough, it magically is supposed to come true.

      But I’m not buying it.

      • ivri
        November 16, 2014, 4:16 am

        @Horizontal
        Come on, everything is relative. In THIS world what you have between the US and Israel, in many modes and forms, amply qualifies for the “close allies” characterization. As a comparison: Turkey is called a close ally too, but have you seen what they did there last week to US soldiers in the street there? Have you read the polls that the vast majority of Turks dislike the US and saw how the US is treated there in much of the media? Can its Islamist oriented dictatorial-inclined leader be trusted? Now try to compare that with the kind of relations with Israel.

      • Mooser
        November 16, 2014, 2:58 pm

        All of a sudden, “ivri” is all for assimilation. After all, “infiltration” is not a very nice word..

      • Walid
        November 16, 2014, 3:57 pm

        “… “infiltration” is not a very nice word..”

        Mooser, you can use “penetration” as an alternate.

    • Don
      November 15, 2014, 11:01 pm

      So, Ivri, if scientists from Iran contacted scientists at the Technion, and asked for information (of whatever kind…doesn’t matter since it is academic and supposed to be shared)…would the Technion scientsist oblige the request?

      Any thoughts you have about this would be most appreciated.

    • MRW
      November 16, 2014, 5:57 pm

      ivri,

      And what info has Israel shared with the US? Hmmn? What so-called brilliance does Israel have? Not much. The difference between Dubai, which was an actual sandbox in 1972, and what Israel has created since 1948 is glaring. Those little Muslims leave you in their wake.

  13. David Doppler
    November 15, 2014, 7:39 pm

    Thanks for publicizing this, Phil. It’s an important development, and even more important is the apparent ambiguity as to whether it is news (absolutely) and something our Congresspersons, FBI, State Department, Obama, should take up in dealing with Israel and its lobby (again, no question).

    The ambiguity results from a clear conflict between the tried and true American value: “we are a nation of laws, not men,” versus the contrasting tradition that on hard questions the rabbis and elders get together and agree to do what’s best for the community, and everyone else goes along.

    Americans need to take a stand, or be relieved of their responsibilities in Government and in elite roles in media and academia. Nothing less than the future of the Republic is at stake.

    Now is the time for an elected US official to channel the recent Australian and Irish representatives who come out strongly for principled opposition to Israeli lawlessness, to express righteous indignation, to let the smears roll off like water, and above all focus on enforcing our laws against those who break them, and those who try to bend the rules to protect private or foreign interests. I suspect such a person will be surprised at the breadth of support.

    • straightline
      November 15, 2014, 9:08 pm

      Unfortunately, David, the support by Australian representatives for Israeli lawlessness is stronger than ever. It was an ex-representative (former Foreign Minister, Bob Carr) who voiced support for Palestine, and he has been slapped down by the current representatives and the Australian media – including the use of the “a-s” word.

      • Horizontal
        November 15, 2014, 9:30 pm

        Antisemitism now currently describes a good thing as well as a bad thing. It’s completely lost its meaning, thanks to overuse by the zionists. Maybe the phrase should just be retired for the duration.

    • Mooser
      November 16, 2014, 3:00 pm

      “contrasting tradition that on hard questions the rabbis and elders get together and agree to do what’s best for the community, and everyone else goes along.”

      Oh my. Oh, my, my. How far we have come, that this can be written without any self-consciousness.

      • MRW
        November 16, 2014, 5:59 pm

        Why, Mooser? Isn’t it true?

      • Mooser
        November 17, 2014, 3:38 pm

        “Why, Mooser? Isn’t it true?”

        I doubt it. I doubt there is any meeting of Rabbis and “elders” getting the protocols together, but you use what ever imagery you like.

    • Keith
      November 16, 2014, 7:40 pm

      DAVID DOPPLER- “The ambiguity results from a clear conflict between the tried and true American value: “we are a nation of laws, not men….”

      Are you Joking? Apparently you place much greater emphasis on words than on actual deeds.

      “Nothing less than the future of the Republic is at stake.”

      I hate to break it to you, but the republic hasn’t existed for quite some time. We are part of a business run empire and behave accordingly. Lawlessness is an intrinsic part of the political economy. You weren’t aware? Seriously?

  14. Brewer
    November 16, 2014, 1:45 am

    Off-topic but I have searched in vain for a way to bring this into the Mondo of Weiss, not because it is Earth-shattering news but the quiet reason expressed is balm in Gilead. My little country at the bottom of the World is privileged to have Richard Falk visiting at the moment.

    http://www.radionz.co.nz/audio/player/20157436

  15. Walid
    November 16, 2014, 8:13 am

    I was in Troian’s corner up to the point where she refused to sign the affidavit for the FBI, which would have provided her with the necessary cover to block harassment by her colleagues. After her failure to do so, the harassment actually increased and still no affidavit that the FBI needed to take their investigation to the next level. There is no doubt whatever about the Israeli guy spying; spying against the US as it’s in the Israelis’ nature to do so. But there is something obscure in her story. In spite of her several bad moves, she’s coming across as a being totally innocent of any wrongdoing.

    • straightline
      November 17, 2014, 8:55 pm

      I believe that Dr Troian is personally responsible in this situation. If she believes there was a breach of ITAR regulations “on her watch”, nothing her institution would or would not do will protect her. She should have, at once, notified the State Dept in addition to her university administration. I agree, Walid, that she should have signed the affidavit if it represented her understanding of the situation.

    • ddeprogrammer
      February 3, 2015, 10:35 pm

      You should still be in her corner, if you still think she is telling the truth about what happened. It can be fearful territory going against your employer.

  16. Marshall
    November 16, 2014, 1:37 pm

    If this story is true, it’s potentially bigger than Prof. Salaita’s (with apologies to the wronged, excellent man himself). First of all, this involves US security technology developed under contract with the federal government, and second, this is the government of Israel (and its offshoot Technion) as perps, not assorted Zionistical machers in the Illinois Jewish establishment. The allegation is that a university operating this long-term program (well over $1 billion/year) on behalf of the defense establishment thought that the greater danger lay in its being revealed as enabling Israeli spying, as opposed to actually enabling Israeli spying. It shows a remarkable assessment of the defense establishment’s priorities on the part of Caltech.

    • Marshall
      November 16, 2014, 2:14 pm

      in other words, the Higher Ed establishment isn’t just trading off free speech in exchange for Zionist cred; it’s also trading off American national security in the same deal, and it believes the US govt would make the same tradeoff.

    • Annie Robbins
      November 16, 2014, 8:31 pm

      i agree marshal it is potentially huge. in fact i wrote phil before it was published that i thought it was a huge story.

  17. John Fearey
    November 16, 2014, 2:58 pm

    This story would seem to me to have enormous national implications and devastating for US support of Israel. Israel is both a competitor of and irritant to the US arms industry, plus (one of) the US military’s suppliers. See http://www.bits.de/public/briefingnote/bn02-3.htm. To be engaged in theft of US technology whether from industry, universities or the military itself would seem likely to violate more than a few federal laws (at least I hope it would be) and be impossible for federal prosecutors to ignore now that there is a civil action on the books. Plus this report from Mondoweiss (be careful Phil and Professor Troian, I’ll bet these guys don’t fool around). Exactly how big and deep is this spying operation? The arrogance displayed by the bad actors at Caltech suggests deep. What about other university research departments.?My guess is that the good professor and Caltech will come under some serious pressure to settle very quickly. I hope Prof. Troian (and her attorneys) get a lot of money. She deserves it and she’s done her job by taking this public. Will Congress investigate???? When hell freezes over. (Written on an IPad by an old man with failing eyesight, please excuse typos.)

    • ritzl
      November 16, 2014, 3:22 pm

      Totally agree, John Fearey. The implications of this are HUGE and real. It could be any foreign country, not just Israel.

      Whether they will be acted upon is a completely separate question.

    • Walid
      November 16, 2014, 3:36 pm

      “… She deserves it and she’s done her job by taking this public -”

      Maybe, John Fearey, but why now after having supposedly started blowing the whistle on the bad guys 4 years ago? Is she taking this publicly out of a sudden surge of civic responsibility or because the guys at work have been short-changing her? I guess we’ll have to wait for the trial to get the full story of what really happened.

      As to Israel’s spying on its best friend and stealing its industrial and military secrets, Israel has a long track record of these misdeeds that go unpunished except for the token guy in jail, Jonathan Pollard; all other caught spies are released and sent on their way to Israel where they probably become heroes, like the spy Gat at the Technion..

      • John Fearey
        November 16, 2014, 6:06 pm

        A four year wait might have been for any number of reasons. mightn’t it. Bringing a law suit is no fun and very expensive of course, even for the wealthiest. I would say that people’s backs have to be really against the wall before they take on a major institution, corporation, government or really anyone? How do you pay the lawyers if you lose and she’s going to be spending hours and hours in depositions and with her lawyers and her work will suffer terribly I expect. I bet victims of abuse of whatever nature aren’t flocking to court. The important thing is that she file before the statutes of limitation run out. Please call me John. Only my mother. bless her departed soul. ever called me “John Fearey” and it was never a good sign.

      • ritzl
        November 16, 2014, 6:19 pm

        +1. John.

      • ddeprogrammer
        February 4, 2015, 1:50 am

        @John
        +1 more.

        @Walid
        Dr Troian I suspect was savvy enough to know spying when she saw it and how to report it within Caltech. But, she was clearly not politically savvy enough to realize that once she backed down from signing the FBI affidavit, the boys running Caltech would not leave her alone. Instead, they were emboldened by her trepidation. Perhaps as John says, her back is against the wall, and she feels she has nothing to lose by taking her best shot at the creeps.

      • Walid
        February 4, 2015, 12:44 pm

        Ddeprogrammer, first trial date set for February 24th and a hearing on May 14th in which CALTECH will be trying to short-circuit her.

        Further developments on the story in ICH/ If Americans Knew:

        Two hearings are currently scheduled in Los Angeles Superior Court:

        “… A trial setting conference will be held is on February 24, 2015 at 9:30 am in department 82 at 111 North Hill Street, Los Angeles, CA 90012.

        A hearing to consider a motion by Caltech for bifurcation is scheduled for the same location on May 14, 2015. Caltech claims that some of Troian’s claims are not appropriate for legal action because she has not yet exhausted internal remedies.

        Below is an excerpt from Troian’s legal complaint, with photos added of the cast of characters. Troian is demanding a jury trial…”

        http://www.informationclearinghouse.info/article40722.htm

  18. MHughes976
    November 16, 2014, 4:14 pm

    I’m a veteran of many university disputes, though I was never in national security territory, and I’d be surprised if this ever came to a trial, rather than to a discreet settlement. The institution, if pressed, would say that this is a personal dispute that got out of hand and was represented as involving national security only long after the fact.
    This might be quite untrue but Professor Troian hasn’t put herself in a strong position to refute it. Surely it was her duty as a citizen of the United States to report breaches of national security immediately – not just within the institution but to the relevant government agencies – if evidence of them came to hand.

    • MRW
      November 16, 2014, 6:02 pm

      Yeah, wasn’t this complaint used against Edward Snowden? That he could use the provided channels without retaliation? Look what happens. She should go toGlenn Greenwald. Hope she’s reading this column, and takes the hint.

    • John Fearey
      November 16, 2014, 6:16 pm

      I think she should have fulfilled her job to the country when she reported up the chain. And didn’t the FBI contact her or something. Anyway. I hope she gets adequate compensation and her career is unharmed. Cheers.
      John

    • straightline
      November 17, 2014, 9:33 pm

      I agree with your last sentence – she should have reported it to the federal agency, but I cannot see how this potential crime by Dr Gat can be ignored or result in a “discreet settlement”. If the article is correct, a federal offence has been committed and the FBI has a duty to investigate it and bring it before the courts. The question is not whether this is a national security risk, it is whether ITAR regulations have been breached and on the evidence presented that does seem to be the case. Discussion of the research, as Dr Gat has apparently done, with a non-US national (or perhaps dual national) with no involvement in the program is contrary to the regulations – period!

      There is no generic ITAR waiver even for countries like Australia and the UK and this has been the subject of much diplomatic activity over such programs as the Joint Strike Fighter.

      The Wikipedia page is pretty good in explaining this:

      http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/International_Traffic_in_Arms_Regulations#Restrictions_on_Retransfer_to_Dual_Nationals_and_Third_Country_Nationals

      • MHughes976
        November 21, 2014, 12:30 pm

        There are several different issues, I suppose. Gat is a bird long since flown. The university authorities have, it seems, behaved badly while important laws were being flouted but I don’t believe that the authorities would have the stomach for a fight with these very honourable men – in the Shakespeare/Mark Antony sense. Professor Troian will come under enormous pressure to take some money and retire with some grace but no apology. I think that it’s mildly encouraging, though, that she has felt able to make public statements in which Israeli behaviour is not treated as sacrosanct. That’s a small step forward.

    • ddeprogrammer
      February 3, 2015, 10:48 pm

      The courageous thing to do would be come right out and say something in support of Dr Troian, who has clearly been ignored and then bullied, instead of “Monday morning quarterbacking” her actions which led to where she is now.

      As a veteran of many university disputes, have you been in her position before, or were you in the opposite position? Are you a female academic working in a male-dominated discipline?

      • Annie Robbins
        February 4, 2015, 12:10 am

        dde, you don’t have to quote yourself if you think mhughes is monday morning quarterbacking.

        speaking of courage, although it would probably put her position at the university at great risk (as does this lawsuit no doubt) i too wish she had cooperated with the fbi because they are the federal authority that deals with spies and it does appear gat, at a minimum, was in violation of ITAR. she wasn’t ignored by the fbi and she could have been ignored by caltech because they, Gharib and Rosakis , were complicit.

        “Dr. Troian voiced her fear of retaliation by Caltech if she were to execute an affidavit, and declined to do so…She feared retaliation if she signed anything, she says.”

        so while i sympathize with her plight, possibly it is she who lacked courage. if the university was unresponsive and her primary concern was the theft of state resources, she should have bypassed caltech taken it to a higher authority.

        either way, it doesn’t take courage to write an opinion on a blog. i’m sure what she’s going thru is very difficult and challenging. and i wish her success.

      • oldgeezer
        February 4, 2015, 12:30 am

        @Annie

        I actually think she was quite courageous. She bucked the institution and the system. Did she do so immediately. Perhaps not. Most of us have some degree of faith in the process and our institutions. She reacted in the same way most normal people would when the deck is stacked against us. Not out of fear but out of faith that the right thing will be done.

        She was wrong about that but didn’t let it go.

        In my opinion, ideally, there are a number of individuals who attempted to sweep this under the rug in favour of a foreign state. They should not merely be removed from their positions but be facing criminal charges for aiding and abetting spying and theft of state secrets. In short they were traitors to their country in the true meaning of the word.

      • ddeprogrammer
        February 4, 2015, 1:33 am

        @Annie

        Following the rules in the Chicago Book of Style is not required in an Internet comment thread, otherwise you would capitalize the first letter after a period and proper nouns. Just saying you should walk the walk, if you talk the talk.

        Unless you have been in the position of having to decide whether or not to blow the whistle on your employer, and I have, you really have very little to say about who has courage and who hasn’t. The nitpicking in this comment thread has much to do with the reason why so many people fear the consequences of blowing the whistle. Nearly everyone wants a hero to appear, while standing on the sidelines kibbutzing, but few want to be one.

        You don’t sound very supportive despite your last sentence.

      • Annie Robbins
        February 4, 2015, 3:03 am

        well i am intrigued. a first time commenter saying something in support of Dr Troian is “courageous” (how odd, i rarely consider anything i state here as requiring any courage) and then lecturing me on my typing! lol. well, that won’t be happening but i will take the backhanded compliment none the less.

        Unless you have been in the position of having to decide whether or not to blow the whistle on your employer, and I have, you really have very little to say about who has courage and who hasn’t.

        actually, in reality, i have as much to say as i care to say.

        You don’t sound very supportive despite your last sentence.

        i already stated in this thread i think the case is “potentially huge”, i also assisted in the research of the article which i would not have done had i not thought it was very important. however, my primary concern, as an american and a global citizen, is the continued spying and theft of american intel by israel which, like trojan, i suspect has been compromised.

        in the context of a woman standing up to her employer “female academic working in a male-dominated discipline” and her suffering the slings and arrows of ensuing retributions and taking them to court then yes, i do think that takes courage, of course, and i applaud her for doing so. perhaps my phrasing of “lacked courage” implied i thought she was not courageous which was not my intent.

        the opportunity to expose and bust an israeli spy, ultimately, i feel, is more important on a national scale. as you stated yourself she knew “spying when she saw it and how to report it within Caltech”, she also spoke with the FBI when she was approached which is a good thing. she was in an extraordinary situation most of us would never find ourselves in and i agree with old geezer “She reacted in the same way most normal people would when the deck is stacked against us. Not out of fear but out of faith that the right thing will be done.”

        unfortunately the right thing wasn’t done.

        it takes an extraordinary person to risk ones personal life and job to serve the greater good.

        anyway, we do a lot of monday morning quarterbacking here (sorry you don’t like that). my wish is that a lot becomes exposed in the course of this trial and investigation which prevents anything like this from ever happening again.

      • ddeprogrammer
        February 4, 2015, 4:48 am

        Annie,

        First time commenter or not, I don’t appreciate being corrected on my use of parentheses. By your response, it’s clear you don’t like being corrected on your choice of punctuation either. A topic best left behind, I’m sure.

        The first mention I heard of this story was on a gold and silver investing Web-site. I Googled the keywords: Dr Troian Caltech, and there was practically nothing to be found. One short story in the Pasadena Star News, one on Mondoweiss, one link to another brief article on Facebook, not much really. I wanted to post something supportive of the good doctor, but I could find no major media where I would ordinarily post covering the story. Not surprising for a story that has real potential to give Israel a public relations black eye in the US. The comments section in PSN would not open up for me. So, I decided to subscribe and write here. A quick check on Mondoweiss’ reputation led to a blog by a certain Professor William D. Rubinstein, who does not like what he has learned about M and is currently fishing for more dirt on the same, but that did not deter me.

        What I found odd scrolling down the comments was that, seeing how little courage it takes to say something courageous-sounding in a comment thread, there were so many with so little courageous-sounding to say. If our so-called intellectual leaders and administrators at an institution such as Cal Tech are not going to act when a whistle-blower provides evidence of spying by a foreign nation, it’s the least we can do – it seems to me – in our own uncourageous way, to at least try to sound a teensy bit courageous in support of the beleaguered professor.

        Which it sounds like you are, more than I gave you credit for in my previous post. For my part, I came here specifically to applaud the good doctor and wish the creeps at CalTech get everything they so richly deserve in court. Hopefully, they come to rue the days they kept harassing her instead of doing their jobs as they were supposed to. Dr Troian, if you are reading this, give them hell in court!

      • Annie Robbins
        February 4, 2015, 2:11 pm

        i’m not bothered by you lecturing me over my typing in the least, as i mentioned before i find it intriguing.

        I don’t appreciate being corrected

        what’s good for the goose is good for the gander. although you state you came here to “to applaud the good doctor and wish the creeps at CalTech get everything they so richly deserve in court” that’s not what you did. you entered this site by criticizing a valuable opinion (“Professor Troian hasn’t put herself in a strong position to refute it. Surely it was her duty as a citizen of the United States to report breaches of national security immediately – not just within the institution but to the relevant government agencies”), not on its own merits but by implying it somehow lacked courage (whether one agrees with it or not). as if our purpose here is not to share our opinions (which, thus far, you have simultaneously characterized as “monday morning quarterbacking” “nitpicking” and “sidelines kibbutzing”)

        and while i completely agree with you this “story that has real potential to give Israel a public relations black eye in the US”, i can’t help wondering if potentially if it could have been so much more. for while i do feel caltech are culprits and of course hope they suffer retributions i feel the worse culprit could get away scott free with only ‘a pr black-eye’. if a real crime was committed and our national security compromised by a breach of ITAR (which i believe it has been) then ultimately trojan may have placed herself in a weakened position because as you say “once she backed down from signing the FBI affidavit … they were emboldened by her trepidation”.

        now keeping in mind it’s often in hindsight we see these circumstances in another light once we step back and view from a wider lense which is much different than being there in the middle of events and making those immediate choices as trojan found herself in, she did forged ahead which i applaud.

        anyway, we’re not just a cheering section here at mondoweiss (albeit i do do a lot of cheering on occasion). my advice to you as a new commenter here, whether you take it or not, would be to find the value of a comment and critique it for its argument as opposed to setting yourself up as if in a position to lecture people on their roles here (as i said before, i don’t think it takes any courage whatsoever to comment here, whether cheering people on or offering sobering critique). but if you come in swinging then expect to get punched back…and there was a lot more than merely the surrounding quotesmarks about your quarterbacking comment i found problematic.

        and on another note, i too found it hard to get info on this story pre publication. for your convenience there are 7 links available in the text above. btw, not sure if you’ve heard but ifamericansknew have come to the defense of trojan. she couldn’t be in better hands. here’s rooting for the home team and i hope they knock one out of the ballpark.

      • ddeprogrammer
        February 4, 2015, 3:33 pm

        Yes Annie, I admit getting side-tracked from my original purpose in coming to this site because I do like to read comments before adding my own, and the tenor of many comments put me off. I would have done better to just add my own original comment and just say what I came to say. Oh well.

        That being said, I think it’s patently obvious that although hindsight always appears to be 20/20, it isn’t always necessarily so. Even though I think the doctor would have done better by cooperating with the FBI, that does not mean it would have turned out that way. There are people in the FBI too, just like the people at CalTech, and getting formally involved with law enforcement officials can lead to its own set of problems, including some rather heavy-handed coercion down the road, if you don’t continue to cooperate with them thereafter in the manner they want.

        It might be that she is actually better off pursuing this on her own, in civil court with her own lawyers that is, where preponderance of the evidence is the rule, rather than trying to do the same after a criminal case or investigation has been quashed or bungled by the FBI, provided that she has scrupulously documented everything that happened for the past four years. Perhaps she was given advice to the effect that, if the FBI investigation failed, that fact would negatively affect her chances in civil court.

        Thanks for the push in the direction of IfAmericansKnew. Just read the piece. Nice list of charges. Looks like she did keep a log of everything that happened. It’s a disgrace that major media are not covering this at all. Seeing the court location and date, theoretically, I could sit in on some of this case. Work will probably not permit it, though.

      • ddeprogrammer
        February 4, 2015, 3:49 pm

        Here’s another possibility. Before agreeing to sign an affidavit for the FBI, the good doctor conferred with a lawyer, who told her that the last person convicted of spying for Israel was Jonathon Pollard in 1987, and with all the hubbub last year over Israel lobbying for his release from prison, there was no way in a hot place that the Government would pursue charges against anyone spying for Israel at CalTech. Simply no way. In which case, she did the smart thing and allowed the creeps at CalTech enough rope to hang themselves. Although, she might not have seen it that way, herself, at the time, and maybe she was just hoping the creeps would eventually leave her alone and let her work.

      • Annie Robbins
        February 4, 2015, 4:22 pm

        possibility…good doctor conferred with a lawyer, who told her that the last person convicted of spying for Israel was Jonathon Pollard in 1987, and with all the hubbub last year over Israel lobbying for his release from prison, there was no way in a hot place that the Government would pursue charges against anyone spying for Israel at CalTech.

        sure, could very well be. however, if the fbi told her they already were investigating and requested she sign an affidavit it means they were in fact (or possibly still are) pursuing a case. technically they are “the government”. but from a legal perspective of a lawyer she very well may have been advised to not sign the affidavit.

        without reviewing all the supporting links and the article above it is my recollection caltech could lose contracts if it was established they were involved in breaching national security. iow, she could putting her own contract and research in jeopardy (acting against her own self interest).

        the way i see it this is really a two pronged story. one between trojan and caltech and one between US and israel interests. while the trial is about the former imho that outcome potentially could result in exposing the latter which (again imho) is the more important story with greater circumstance/consequence. while she’s at the center of the former, as i see it in the big picture she’s actually on the periphery of the latter.

        people are watching this from different points of interests. it seems your primary interest (which is important) is that of her role as whistleblower within the context of caltech..a david vs goliath..a worthy goal. however, others interests (whether research, advocacy or fascination) may lie elsewhere (for example irmep who is very close to IAK). therefor what motivated her or her reasonings for doing what she did are not as important nor at the heart of the matter (for us) as the implications of what could be exposed in the course of the trial. it was her discovery and her fate to be mixed up in this and for that i am grateful. and as you pointed out she may not have done any better going to the FBI.

        anyway, it’s been illuminating chatting with you. i do feel she is a person of integrity which i actually value more than courage because i find it to be a more enduring and essential quality.

        later ~

  19. Qualtrough
    November 17, 2014, 1:47 am

    Some 25 years ago I was in grad school doing a degree in International Affairs. One day I saw a notice saying that the State Department was looking for Asian language translators. Interested, I checked further and found out that there was a strict NOFORN requirement–translators had to be US citizens and could not be in a relationship with a foreign national. Imagine my surprise after reading this story to find that top secret work apparently has no similar requirement.

    • straightline
      November 17, 2014, 5:18 pm

      @Qualtrough: This is not “top secret” as far as I can see or even “secret”. It is ITAR restricted. A US national does not need a clearance to work on such a project, but as I said above, non-US nationals/permanent residents need to have a waiver. And those on the project are precluded from allowing such information to fall into the hands of non-US nationals.

  20. irmep
    November 17, 2014, 6:33 pm

    A 1987 report for the DoD alleged that Technion is a vital node of Israel’s nuclear weapons research and development network.

    On November 19 DoD has to tell a federal court judge why it won’t released the several hundred page long unclassified report.

    http://www.prnewswire.com/news-releases/lawsuit-spotlights-us-charities-that-fund-israels-secret-nuclear-weapons-program-280645892.html

  21. traintosiberia
    November 17, 2014, 11:46 pm

    “http://original.antiwar.com/Atomic_Reporters/2014/11/17/curveballs-sliders-and-the-little-pitches-that-start-big-wars/”
    reporting the orchestrated lying by usual suspects to derail Iran US nuclear detente at UN .
    But the Atomic Reporters obliged the usual suspects by removing the pages from the web that initially probed the nature ,depth,and the interconnected nature of the liars . Its flimsy excuses could have been ignored if it were not pregnant with the worse possible results for real people .
    It says “This tongue-in-cheek effort seeking to illuminate some of the very real disagreements about matters of fact swirling around the Iran nuclear file was deemed too harsh and caused offence and upset to people named in the report, for which we express regret.”

    So west coast is busy burying the news that is harmful and destructive and illegal while east coast is busy manufacturing news that are also harmful ,dangerous and illegal. Both also share same conflict of interest . Will WaPo or NYT report these ? Will the Tea Party show the patriotism ? What about Pamella Geller or Milken ? Will they talk of the sleeper cell ?
    Nah ! Bringing that up will be the end of the career .

  22. traintosiberia
    November 18, 2014, 12:11 am

    Israel will sell it to India to cement the relation between Hindu fanatics and Jewish fanatics . It will also sell it to China.
    Again its time to remember that not so long ago the neocons used to remind America of the possible transfer of technology from Iraq and later Iran to the terrorists in order to justify military strikes . Well China is not seen to be very friendly to US any more.

  23. lysias
    February 4, 2015, 6:45 pm

    Morteza Gharib is apparently originally Iranian. He received his B.S. in Mechanical Engineering from Tehran University in 1975. But his later education and professional career have been in the U.S., starting with an M.S. in 1978.

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