Israeli nukes are finally newsworthy– as US gov’t both releases and gags info

Middle East

One of the side effects of the Iran Deal debate is that Israel’s nukes are also being discussed. There are signs of pressure on Israeli nukes inside the US media and government. In this article, Phil Weiss will summarize the recent news, and Grant Smith, the lead investigator of the Institute for Research Middle East Policy, follows with a report on a gag order affecting disclosure of US federal information about the Israeli nuclear program. Weiss first.

Last week the State Department released historical documents that detail Nixon-era attempts to get Israel to join the Nuclear Non Proliferation Treaty.

The Jerusalem Post speculated on the State Department’s fascinating timing in a piece saying that Israel is said to have as many as 100 nuclear warheads (maybe more, others say).

The State Department’s publication of documents on Tuesday detailing US-Israel discussions on the Jewish state’s nuclear program comes amid public disagreement between the allies over the Iran nuclear deal….

The publication of the documents comes as part of a routine release of historical information by the State Department. However, the timing of the revelations against the background of the disagreement between Israel and the US over the nuclear deal with Iran, lends them extra meaning.

There are those who would claim that the timing of the release is not a coincidence, and is in fact intended to embarrass Israel, which staunchly opposes the deal with Iran, and embarrass Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, who continues his efforts to challenge the Obama administration and influence Congress to reject the deal.

According to the documents, which cover events from 1969 to 1972, Israel was asked to provide a written obligation neither to arm its [ten newly produced] missiles with nuclear warheads nor to deploy them.

The documents show that Israel was trying to skirt American demands re its nuclear program, and the U.S. was going in on the hypocrisy. It was leaving Israeli actions up to the Israelis’ “conscience,” according to this report to President Nixon from national security adviser Henry Kissinger in 1969:

The Israelis had promised in signing the Phantom contract “not to be the first to introduce nuclear weapons into the Middle East.” [Ambassador to the U.S. Yitzhak] Rabin had informally defined “introduce” to mean“not test and not publicize.” [Under Secretary of State] Elliot Richardson on July 29 asked him to accept our definition of “not introduce” as “not possess.” … [Richardson] defined “possess” for our own internal purposes as “Israeli activity short of as- sembly of a completed nuclear explosive device.” In short, we tried to put ourselves in a position where we could act as if we assumed the Israelis do not have completed weapons while leaving to the Israelis’ conscience the stage short of completion where they would stop… Instead of accepting our words “not possess,” Rabin simply says they “prefer” to say they will “not become a nuclear power. When I asked how a state could become a “nuclear power” without “possessing” nuclear weapons, he simply said they “prefer” their formulation.

Last week, too, Lobelog published “The Next Middle East Nuclear Challenge: Israel,” an eloquent piece by Peter Jenkins, a career British diplomat, saying that the P5+1 should now start working to get Israel to give up its nukes.

[T]he five permanent members of the UN Security Council and the EU High Representative, fresh from their diplomatic achievement of consolidating Iran’s commitment to the NPT, embark on a similar process of engagement with Israel.

The goal of the process would be to define an action plan that would enable Israel to feel confident that acceding to the NPT would not entail any compromise to Israeli security.

The Israeli government may well say that it does not wish to engage the P5 and EU on such an issue. If so, the P5+1 would be wrong to take “no” for an answer. They pride themselves on having “brought Iran to the negotiating table.” They should look for ways of bringing Israel to the table. It would be surprising if they needed to resort to measures as drastic as those employed in Iran’s case.

Middle East states deserve the security that NWFZs [nuclear weapon free zones] have brought to Latin America, Africa, South East Asia, the Pacific, and Central Asia.

Two weeks back Grant Smith’s Institute for Research Middle East Policy continued its effort to undermine the official hypocrisy, picking up a radio interview in which Colorado Congressman Jared Polis said, “everybody knows [Israel] they have nuclear capabilities, not declared for some technical reason.” Polis is undeclared on the Iran Deal.

And last March, William Greider echoed Smith’s exasperation over the hypocrisy in the Nation:

While the Washington press corps obsessed over Hillary Clinton’s emails at the State Department, reporters were missing a far more important story about government secrets. After five decades of pretending otherwise, the Pentagon has reluctantly confirmed that Israel does indeed possess nuclear bombs, as well as awesome weapons technology similar to America’s.

Early last month the Department of Defense released a secret report done in 1987 by the Pentagon funded Institute for Defense Analysis that essentially confirms the existence of Israel’s nukes. DOD was responding to a Freedom of Information lawsuit filed by Grant Smith, an investigative reporter and author who heads the Institute for Research: Middle East Policy. Smith said he thinks this is the first time the US government has ever provided official recognition of the longstanding reality.

Now here is Grant Smith’s report on his experience: “The secret federal gag order that prohibits informed debate about Israel’s nukes”

On August 20, 2015 the Department of Energy released under the Freedom of Information Act its “Guidance on Release of Information Relating to the Potential for an Israeli Nuclear Capability.” (PDF)  The Orwellian title of the year 2012 document, designated WNP-136, seems to suggest that Israel might not yet even have nuclear weapons.  This is in stark contrast to the public opinion of 63.9 percent of Americans polled who believe it does.   Interestingly, it covers only Israel and not the other non-signatories to the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty such as India, North Korea and South Sudan.

The official reason for promulgating the gag order, its history and development, bureaucratic champions and most of its redacted contents remain unclear.   What is clear is that it is one of the reasons federal employees and government contractors, and sometimes even the President, equivocate and run for the exits whenever they are asked to make substantive remarks.  The Israel nuclear gag order answers the question posed last week by McClatchy, “Why is Israel’s nuclear arsenal not mentioned in Iran deal debate?” Because any federal employee who does can be summarily fired and possibly go to prison.

Los Alamos National Laboratory nuclear analyst James Doyle wrote candidly about Israel’s nuclear weapons for a magazine in 2013. After a congressional staffer read the article, which had passed a classification review, it was referred to classification officials for a second review. Doyle’s pay was then cut, his home computer searched, and he was fired.

Aside from prohibiting any informed input in the run-up to the September congressional vote on the Iran nuclear deal, the secret gag order has a far more costly function—it makes enforcement of the Symington and Glenn Amendments to the 1961 Foreign Aid Act impossible.

Time has cracked the edifice of silence.  State Department documents (PDF) released this week add color to previous accounts about the maneuvering of Henry Kissinger in the early 1970s, functioning as Israel’s lawyer, to secretly exempt the arsenal from safeguards demands the US and international community imposed on others—as well as Nixon’s intense fear of an Israel-lobby backlash.

In February this year the Pentagon released its chartered study from 1987 about how Israel’s nuclear weapons development facilities already paralleled American national laboratories even as the country raced for hydrogen bomb capabilities. However the gag order outlaws any current releases about the true nuclear balance of power in the Middle East when it would matter most.  This buttresses Israel and its lobby’s attempts to keep a focus on Iran, but harms Americans positioned outside of the Israel affinity ecosystem.

The Symington and Glenn laws prohibit US foreign aid to any country found trafficking in nuclear weapons technology outside the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty.  An estimated (considering inflation and assumed value of US intelligence support) $234 billion in taxpayer-funded aid has been delivered to Israel since their passage.  But absent unencumbered, informed and authoritative public information from the federal government on the state of Israel’s nuclear weapons infrastructure, the law is impossible to enforce.

Whether such subversion of taxpayer rights and foreign aid laws is the gag order’s core intent remains to be seen in the upcoming FOIA appeal and public interest legal actions.

Grant Smith is now undertaking that FOIA appeal process.

Thanks to Annie Robbins and Rula Jebreal and Josh Ruebner.

About Philip Weiss

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

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52 Responses

  1. Boomer
    August 26, 2015, 11:37 am

    Thanks. I didn’t know about the gag order, though it has been obvious that American officials and press refrain from saying what everyone who reads the news knows. Most American officials refrain, anyway, while they are in office. In 2008 former President Jimmie Carter said that Israel had about 150 nuclear warheads. http://www.foxnews.com/story/2008/05/27/report-jimmy-carter-says-israel-has-150-nuclear-weapons.html

    Evidently Israel didn’t think that was enough. In 2014 Mr. Carter cited a number twice that.
    https://www.middleeastmonitor.com/news/americas/10883-carter-says-israel-posses-more-than-300-nuclear-warheads

  2. Krauss
    August 26, 2015, 11:45 am

    There will never be any pressure on Israel to join the NPT or give up its nukes. This goes beyond the lobby.

    This is arguably an issue where the national interest of the U.S. coincides with Israel’s. Say what you will but they have been a responsible nuclear power for many decades. Nobody is concerned about nuclear proliferation from Israel to rogue groups or nations.

    Second, having the only nuclear power in the Middle East being a major U.S. ally is a slam dunk for America.

    One could make the argument that giving Israel an exception gives an incentive to other powers to develop their own nukes. That’s true, but that has also been true for decades. And the reality is that Israel has often acted when the U.S. has not on the nuclear programs in other nations(Iraq, Syria).

    The only reason why they didn’t bomb Iran yet is because they don’t have the capability, despite all the propaganda and FUD contrary pushed in their media.

    Forcing Israel to give up its nukes would hardly make it easier to make other nations give up theirs. Look at the subterfuge from Turkey, attacking the PKK under the guise of going after ISIS.

    Turkey, a NATO ally, is de facto giving implicit support to ISIS and other Islamist groups in Syria and at the same time is dealing with China to buy weapons.

    Israel is doing similar stuff. Treating Islamist(non-ISIS) fighters in their hospitals and also pushing for Chinese arms deals.

    The U.S. probably shouldn’t have any allies in that region, but it’s better if it has the sole nuclear power under its umbrella than being non-aligned with a bunch of failed states all racing to get nukes.

    • lysias
      August 26, 2015, 2:23 pm

      Nobody is concerned about nuclear proliferation from Israel to rogue groups or nations.

      Have you forgotten that Israel provided nukes to apartheid South Africa?

      • Krauss
        August 27, 2015, 4:17 am

        No, but you have to remember that during the Cold War, Apartheid South Africa was staunchly anti-communist and the de facto closest ally to the U.S. on the African continent, even if the offical tone/rhetoric was more neutral.

        That’s why I spoke about the national interest. During the Cold War, SA was not a rogue nation from that perspective and a de facto ally. Of course it was a rogue nation in moral terms, but so is Israel today, so is Egypy, Saudi Arabia and lots of other countries with close ties to America.

        Doesn’t prevent them from getting preferential treatment from America as long as they play along. (Naturally Israel is a special case due to the lobby, but even without it, it’d be hard to see a situation where it and the U.S. were antagonistic. Israel would also be forced to be much more diplomatic to cover the loss of political capital so you wouldn’t see the same behaviour as today).

        My point stands.

      • lysias
        August 27, 2015, 11:24 am

        Is it really so inconceivable that Israel might supply a mininuke to the jihadist groups in Syria, the Al Nusra front and ISIS, that Israel has secretly (although it’s a pretty open secret) been providing support to?

      • lysias
        August 27, 2015, 11:29 am

        South Africa may have been a de facto ally of the West during the Cold War, but I wonder if it’s accurate to say that it was the West’s closest ally on the African continent during the Cold War. Remember that the U.S. had listening stations in places like Morocco and Ethiopia.

      • JLewisDickerson
        August 27, 2015, 1:29 pm

        RE: This is arguably an issue where the national interest of the U.S. coincides with Israel’s. Say what you will but they have been a responsible nuclear power for many decades. Nobody is concerned about nuclear proliferation from Israel to rogue groups or nations.” ~ Krauss

        MY COMMENT: What about Israel’s having used its nukes against the U.S. for purposes of extortion back in 1973? *

        * FROM WIKIPEDIA (Nuclear weapons and Israel):

        . . . On October 8, 1973, just after the start of the Yom Kippur War, Golda Meir and her closest aides decided to put eight nuclear armed F-4s at Tel Nof Airbase on 24-hour alert and as many nuclear missile launchers at Sedot Mikha Airbase operational as possible. Seymour Hersh adds that the initial target list that night “included the Egyptian and Syrian military headquarters near Cairo and Damascus”.[192] This nuclear alert was meant not only as a means of precaution, but to push the Soviets to restrain the Arab offensive and to convince the US to begin sending supplies. One later report said that a Soviet intelligence officer did warn the Egyptian chief of staff, and colleagues of US National Security Advisor Henry Kissinger said that the threat of a nuclear exchange caused him to urge for a massive Israeli resupply.[193] Hersh points out that before Israel obtained its own satellite capability, it engaged in espionage against the United States to obtain nuclear targeting information on Soviet targets.[194] . . .

      • JLewisDickerson
        August 27, 2015, 1:54 pm

        P.S. ALSO FROM WIKIPEDIA [Samson Option, as of 5/25/12]:

        [EXCERPTS] The Samson Option is a term used to describe Israel’s alleged deterrence strategy of massive retaliation with nuclear weapons as a “last resort” against nations whose military attacks threaten its existence, and possibly against other targets as well.[1] . . .
        . . . Some have written about the “Samson Option” as a retaliation strategy. In 2002, the Los Angeles Times published an opinion piece by Louisiana State University professor David Perlmutter which has been seen as justifying a Samson Option approach.[19] He wrote:

        “Israel has been building nuclear weapons for 30 years. The Jews understand what passive and powerless acceptance of doom has meant for them in the past, and they have ensured against it. Masada was not an example to follow—it hurt the Romans not a whit, but Samson in Gaza? What would serve the Jew-hating world better in repayment for thousands of years of massacres but a Nuclear Winter. . .[20]

        . . . In 2003, Martin van Creveld [professor of military history at the Hebrew University in Jerusalem – J.L.D.] thought that the Al-Aqsa Intifada then in progress threatened Israel’s existence.[21] Van Creveld was quoted in David Hirst’s “The Gun and the Olive Branch” (2003) as saying:

        “We possess several hundred atomic warheads and rockets and can launch them at targets in all directions, perhaps even at Rome. Most European capitals are targets for our air force. . . Our armed forces, however, are not the thirtieth strongest in the world, but rather the second or third. We have the capability to take the world down with us. And I can assure you that that will happen before Israel goes under.”[22]

        Ron Rosenbaum writes in his 2012 book How the End Begins: The Road to a Nuclear World War III that in the “aftermath of a second Holocaust” Israel’s surviving Dophin-class nuclear missile submarines would retaliate not only against Israel’s attackers, but “bring down the pillars of the world (attack Moscow and European capitals for instance)” as well as the “holy places of Islam.” He writes that “abandonment of proportionality is the essence” of the Samson Option.[23] . . .

        SOURCE – http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Samson_Option

      • JLewisDickerson
        August 27, 2015, 1:58 pm

        P.P.S. AND SEE: “Operation Samson; Israel’s Deployment of Nuclear Missiles on Subs from Germany”, by Der Speigel, 6/04/12

        [EXCERPTS] The pride of the Israeli navy is rocking gently in the swells of the Mediterranean, with the silhouette of the Carmel mountain range reflected on the water’s surface. To reach the Tekumah, you have to walk across a wooden jetty at the pier in the port of Haifa, and then climb into a tunnel shaft leading to the submarine’s interior. The navy officer in charge of visitors, a brawny man in his 40s with his eyes hidden behind a pair of Ray-Ban sunglasses, bounces down the steps. When he reaches the lower deck, he turns around and says: “Welcome on board the Tekumah. Welcome to my toy.”
        He pushes back a bolt and opens the refrigerator, revealing zucchini, a pallet of yoghurt cups and a two-liter bottle of low-calorie cola. The Tekumah has just returned from a secret mission in the early morning hours.
        The navy officer, whose name the military censorship office wants to keep secret, leads the visitors past a pair of bunks and along a steel frame. The air smells stale, not unlike the air in the living room of an apartment occupied solely by men. At the middle of the ship, the corridor widens and merges into a command center, with work stations grouped around a periscope. The officer stands still and points to a row of monitors, with signs bearing the names of German electronics giant Siemens and Atlas, a Bremen-based electronics company, screwed to the wall next to them.
        The “Combat Information Center,” as the Israelis call the command center, is the heart of the submarine, the place where all information comes together and all the operations are led. The ship is controlled from two leather chairs. It looks as if it could be in the cockpit of a small aircraft. A display lit up in red shows that the vessel’s keel is currently located 7.15 meters (23.45 feet) below sea level.
        “This was all built in Germany, according to Israeli specifications,” the navy officer says,”and so were the weapons systems.” The Tekumah, 57 meters long and 7 meters wide, is a showpiece of precision engineering, painted in blue and made in Germany. To be more precise, it is a piece of precision engineering made in Germany that is suitable for equipping with nuclear weapons.
        • No Room for Doubt
        Deep in their interiors, on decks 2 and 3, the submarines contain a secret that even in Israel is only known to a few insiders: nuclear warheads, small enough to be mounted on a cruise missile, but explosive enough to execute a nuclear strike that would cause devastating results. This secret is considered one of the best kept in modern military history. Anyone who speaks openly about it in Israel runs the risk of being sentenced to a lengthy prison term.
        Research SPIEGEL has conducted in Germany, Israel and the United States, among current and past government ministers, military officials, defense engineers and intelligence agents, no longer leaves any room for doubt: With the help of German maritime technology, Israel has managed to create for itself a floating nuclear weapon arsenal: submarines equipped with nuclear capability. . .

        ENTIRE ARTICLE – http://www.spiegel.de/international/world/israel-deploys-nuclear-weapons-on-german-built-submarines-a-836784.html

      • Bumblebye
        August 27, 2015, 3:00 pm

        Lysias, it’s only a few weeks since the Israelis themselves held an exercise to supposedly test what would happen if a mininuke went off. It’s one of those incidents where the news flits across one or two bulletins, then completely disappears, and can’t be found again!

    • RoHa
      August 27, 2015, 5:16 am

      Which irresponsible nuclear power has allowed proliferation of nukes to rogue groups or nations?

    • JLewisDickerson
      August 27, 2015, 1:00 pm

      RE: “Nobody is concerned about nuclear proliferation from Israel to rogue groups or nations.” ~ Krauss

      SEE – “Revealed: how Israel offered to sell South Africa nuclear weapons”, by Chris McGreal in Washington, theguardian.com, 5/23/10
      Exclusive: Secret apartheid-era papers give first official evidence of Israeli nuclear weapons

      [EXCERPTS] Secret South African documents reveal that Israel offered to sell nuclear warheads to the apartheid regime, providing the first official documentary evidence of the state’s possession of nuclear weapons.
      The “top secret” minutes of meetings between senior officials from the two countries in 1975 show that South Africa’s defence minister, PW Botha, asked for the warheads and Shimon Peres, then Israel’s defence minister and now its president, responded by offering them “in three sizes”.
      The two men also signed a broad-ranging agreement governing military ties between the two countries that included a clause declaring that “the very existence of this agreement” was to remain secret. . .
      . . . The Israeli authorities tried to stop South Africa’s post-apartheid government declassifying the documents at Polakow-Suransky’s request and the revelations will be an embarrassment, particularly as this week’s nuclear non-proliferation talks in New York focus on the Middle East.
      They will also undermine Israel’s attempts to suggest that, if it has nuclear weapons, it is a “responsible” power that would not misuse them, whereas countries such as Iran cannot be trusted.
      A spokeswoman for Peres today said the report was baseless and there were “never any negotiations” between the two countries. She did not comment on the authenticity of the documents. . .
      . . . The documents show both sides met on 31 March 1975. Polakow-Suransky writes in his book published in the US this week, “The Unspoken Alliance: Israel’s secret alliance with apartheid South Africa”. At the talks Israeli officials “formally offered to sell South Africa some of the nuclear-capable Jericho missiles in its arsenal”.
      Among those attending the meeting was the South African military chief of staff, Lieutenant General RF Armstrong. He immediately drew up a memo in which he laid out the benefits of South Africa obtaining the Jericho missiles but only if they were fitted with nuclear weapons.
      The memo, marked “top secret” and dated the same day as the meeting with the Israelis, has previously been revealed but its context was not fully understood because it was not known to be directly linked to the Israeli offer on the same day and that it was the basis for a direct request to Israel. In it, Armstrong writes: “In considering the merits of a weapon system such as the one being offered, certain assumptions have been made: a) That the missiles will be armed with nuclear warheads manufactured in RSA (Republic of South Africa) or acquired elsewhere.”
      But South Africa was years from being able to build atomic weapons. A little more than two months later, on 4 June, Peres and Botha met in Zurich. By then the Jericho project had the codename Chalet.
      The top secret minutes of the meeting record that: “Minister Botha expressed interest in a limited number of units of Chalet subject to the correct payload being available.” The document then records: “Minister Peres said the correct payload was available in three sizes. Minister Botha expressed his appreciation and said that he would ask for advice.” The “three sizes” are believed to refer to the conventional, chemical and nuclear weapons.
      The use of a euphemism, the “correct payload”, reflects Israeli sensitivity over the nuclear issue and would not have been used had it been referring to conventional weapons. It can also only have meant nuclear warheads as Armstrong’s memorandum makes clear South Africa was interested in the Jericho missiles solely as a means of delivering nuclear weapons.

      In addition, the only payload the South Africans would have needed to obtain from Israel was nuclear. The South Africans were capable of putting together other warheads.
      Botha did not go ahead with the deal in part because of the cost. In addition, any deal would have to have had final approval by Israel’s prime minister and it is uncertain it would have been forthcoming.
      South Africa eventually built its own nuclear bombs, albeit possibly with Israeli assistance. But the collaboration on military technology only grew over the following years. South Africa also provided much of the yellowcake uranium that Israel required to develop its weapons.
      The documents confirm accounts by a former South African naval commander, Dieter Gerhardt – jailed in 1983 for spying for the Soviet Union. After his release with the collapse of apartheid, Gerhardt said there was an agreement between Israel and South Africa called Chalet which involved an offer by the Jewish state to arm eight Jericho missiles with “special warheads”. Gerhardt said these were atomic bombs. But until now there has been no documentary evidence of the offer. . .

      ENTIRE ARTICLE – http://www.theguardian.com/world/2010/may/23/israel-south-africa-nuclear-weapons

    • brokebook
      August 27, 2015, 2:30 pm

      “This is arguably an issue where the national interest of the U.S. coincides with Israel’s”

      Whether a U.S. president was assassinated because of his documented opposition to an Israeli nuclear weapons is an open question, but the fact is that he was not alone in that opposition. ‘Common interests’ were ushered in by the lobby.

    • traintosiberia
      August 28, 2015, 8:30 am

      Turkey is committing a crime against Kurd because Turkey has been forced to join in another crime by America : fight against Assad in 2011 . Turkey dint initially try to get involved. It even sent feelers to Syria to start working on some democratic changes.
      Syria has been under attack from US and Israel from 2003 . Other countries joined the fray because what they would see be the effects of disintegrating Syria and Lebanon on them. Once the potential upheaval manifested ,Shia angle became factor which was then used as an explanation by western media for the murderous behaviors of Saudi.
      {Hizbollah have thrown out Israel from Lebanon and Israel dint dare attack Syria ( until 2003) . Iran was their support . Nobody back then panicked at some Shia crescent . }
      By fighting against Syria,Turkey was essentially singing up for fight against Kurd.

      Israeli nukes have never been endorsed or supported by US until the crazies in Bush gov took over . Israel was portrayed as an ally and indispensable friend ,a stable one,only after 2001 . Before that there was open discussion about putting American or UN army to maintain and separate Palestinian and Israel using Oslo as the blueprint for eventual state.

      No failed countries are trying to pursue nuclear program. Those Arab countries like Iraq ,Libya,and Syria were not failed state when they were pursuing . They were made into failed state by the neocons . Syrian crisis started in Harriri massacre whose origin possibly could be graced to Israel.

      If allowing nukes to Israel were such a great American project to maintain peace and advance American interest ,then the obvious and traumatic failures should now persuade the policy makers to throw the self misguided liars out and bring back the realists . America has more leverage on Israel that it has on any other country . But again the very same people who call Israel an indispensable ally also spread the falsehood that America has no leverage on Israel.
      No one country has threatened west with nukes but Israel has . That threat also has been raised by the expert while the morons looking for Sheldon’s money refer to the threat to West from non existent Arab or Iranian threat to US .

      America never allowed or persuaded Taiwan nor Indonesia to become nuclear power in 1970 when communism fear was very evident in American thinking . Even after 1974 it did not allow Pakistan to pursue despite avidly pro Russian India’s successful detonation in 1974.

      S Africa was targeted by Israel not because S Africa could be potential anti communist country from American point but because that where the mutual- S African and Zionist’s ideologies ,political isolation,and e economic opportunities coalesced .

    • traintosiberia
      August 28, 2015, 10:21 am

      I have never heard of any country that ever. Tried transferring technologies to rogue state.
      But then did Israel transfer any technology to any country against explicit US ‘s objection? Like China ?
      Did Zionis transfer data and plannings or mi,itary secrets to Soviet before and after Israel were manufactured on the deceptive lies ,threats,and blackmailing of UN member countries? Did it even make a threat on the life of American ambassador using the potent force much more powerfull than nuclear bomb itself : America and hurting the prestige of America?

      On another vein – what is a rogue nation? Who is rogue?
      CheneysAmerica? Netanyahu’s Israel?
      Who decides again ? Does Netnyahu ,does Cheney decide?
      Wasn’t Israel an illegitimate nation when Kennedy was trying hard not to allow? Wasn’t Israel already a rogue nation in 1980 when Netanyahu was stealing nuclear material from US? Somebody in US was helping him transfer .

      Now why didn’t Saddam transfer any WMD to terrorist ? Sure he had none Thats why. But that’s not the validation of the ideas,concepts,evolving narrative of the neocon. They still use same stupid argument. Why Saddam will transfer to somebody else instead of using it against the invading army of US?
      ( I have even heard that if Iraq tried ,it would be vaporized by US . That was 1991 when Iraq were more resourceful that it was in 2003)
      Americans have been shaped by the neocon to simultaneously hold and defend two opposite contrasting concepts on the same problem and on the nature of responses to the same problem. So America can believe Iraq or today Iran could not and would not hurt America because they knew or know the expression’ return to stone age’ but they would hurt America if America didn’t attack them now.
      It is not that Americans did not see the inherent stupidities and inconsistency in this argument. They saw . But like the medieval peasant in Europe,they knew better . They could not survive emotionally,financially,socially in society and sometimes physically ,they knew if they ever drew attention to the deception.

      Rogue state as an idea is the similar product of similar mindset .

      Those neocon can get away with stupidities because they have been allowed by the coward and the corrupted.

  3. lysias
    August 26, 2015, 11:48 am

    I guess they broke that commitment not to test when there was that mysterious nuclear explosion in the Southern Hemisphere, which is thought to have been a joint Israeli-South African nuclear test.

  4. lysias
    August 26, 2015, 11:50 am

    Someone else who has broken the taboo on mentioning Israel’s nukes is the Washington Post’s national security columnist Walter Pincus, in a couple of recent columns. Since he has long been used as a mouthpiece for the military and intelligence agencies, these columns were surely authorized.

  5. pabelmont
    August 26, 2015, 12:11 pm

    There is no gag order on discussing the gag order itself, nor on discussing (or proposing) legislation to remove the gag order. Perhaps one of the pro-Iran-deal Senators can be persuaded to introduce the following draft legislation:

    Any previously enacted legislation or previously issued presidential order notwithstanding, after the enactment hereof it shall not be illegal for any American, whether or not he or she shall be a government employee or government contractor, to discuss the nuclear programs and ambitions of any country. Nevertheless, properly classified secret government material shall continue to be subject to the secrecy laws of the United States.

    Alternatively, some Senator could propose draft legislation to make it illegal for any government employee or contractor to discuss the nuclear programs and ambitions of ANY country. Wouldn’t THAT be fun as the Iran “deal” moves forward!

  6. marc b.
    August 26, 2015, 1:15 pm

    “After five decades of pretending otherwise, the Pentagon has reluctantly confirmed that Israel does indeed possess nuclear bombs, as well as awesome weapons technology similar to America’s.”

    So says Bill Greider, leaving unanswered the question ‘how did Israel’s ‘awesome weapons technology’ come to be so similar to America’s’?

    • ivri
      August 26, 2015, 4:02 pm

      @marc b.
      That`s a good point. Perhaps the answer to this lies in how generally advanced the defense industry of Israel is. What happened is that a small country like Israel cannot sustain state-of-the-art position in this, technologically, hugely advanced industrial sector. While Israel has the people and the research capabilities it cannot have the huge money needed. So, not wishing to rely entirely on the US, which can always evolve into attached strings, the only way left, was to turn into an export industry, which will finance it. Once that happened – Israel is now in the top club there – everything became feasible. Of course the many collaborative ventures with the US also helped a lot.

    • Keith
      August 26, 2015, 5:41 pm

      MARC B- “‘how did Israel’s ‘awesome weapons technology’ come to be so similar to America’s’?”

      Meritocracy.

  7. Citizen
    August 26, 2015, 1:43 pm

    JFK was striving hard to keep Israel from getting nuke stockpile when he was coincidentally killed. This seldom mentioned in the usual discussions of JFK’s death. Johnson ended JFK’s quest at same time he stopped saving USS Liberty crew & muzzled its survivors. That’s the little discussed other, dark side of LBJ coin benefiting civil rights in USA. LBJ’s Nam war was losing him popularity fast, so he allowed himself to be bribed into being a traitor just to get some Jewish media support & Israel Lobby support–refraining from criticizing him.

    • lysias
      August 26, 2015, 2:24 pm

      The reactor at Dimona went critical on Dec. 26, 1963. Interesting date.

      LBJ, who was always attached to Israel throughout his career, was in no position to thwart Israel in this or any matter. Israel was aware of how the JFK assassination happened, and of LBJ’s role certainly in the cover-up, and very likely also in the assassination conspiracy.

      • Citizen
        August 26, 2015, 2:26 pm

        JFK killed Nov. 22, 1963.

      • Citizen
        August 26, 2015, 2:43 pm

        Hersh says that the Israelis misled American inspectors at the site, which had gone “critical” in 1962 with the help of the French. And some members of Congress undercut Kennedy’s policy in private communications with the Israelis.

        – See more at: http://mondoweiss.net/2015/07/president-inspections-facility#sthash.NGyBfRMy.dpuf

      • lysias
        August 26, 2015, 3:18 pm

        A State Department memo dated Feb. 11, 1964 (and presumably still classified at the time Hersh wrote his book) gives the Dec. 26, 1963 date.

      • Citizen
        August 27, 2015, 3:29 am

        OK, thanks lysias

      • RoHa
        August 27, 2015, 5:22 am

        Annie has revealed that LBJ was attached to Israel because he and Golda Meir were the same person.

      • lysias
        August 27, 2015, 2:39 pm

        Hersh was no fan of JFK. His whole book The Dark Side of Camelot reads like a long justification by sources in CIA and the Secret Service of the assassination of JFK because of his sexual and other misdeeds.

      • lysias
        August 27, 2015, 2:44 pm

        If the gear of Israel’s nuclear submarines was made in Germany, that means there was an opportunity to install in that gear bugs that might make it possible to render the nuclear weapons inoperative.

    • JWalters
      August 26, 2015, 6:17 pm

      America’s top political and media establishment people, who all depend on Big Money, are all afraid to talk about Israel’s crimes, despite the voluminous information readily available to anyone who seeks it out.

      They are also afraid to talk about the mountain of information on the JFK assassination which has come out since to the Warren Commission report, and which contradicts that report, despite its also being readily available to anyone who seeks it out.

      So here we have two HUGE stories being covered up by the same people, who are financially beholden to the same other people. The dam is going to break on this cesspool of crimes and corruption, and it ain’t gonna be pretty. Who controls the Pulitzer Prize committee?

    • RoHa
      August 27, 2015, 5:20 am

      Coincidentally indeed, Citizen.

      No connection between the events.

      No, siree!

      Perish the thought!

  8. Citizen
    August 26, 2015, 3:07 pm

    Recent discussion here on Israel’s nukes: http://mondoweiss.net/2015/07/president-inspections-facility

  9. US Citizen
    August 26, 2015, 10:03 pm

    Israel and the AIPAC driven fear mongering that is allowed to happen in the US media are the ones trumpeting the so called Iran threat.

    Iran is not threat to the US. The Iran issue is 100% Israeli created.

    When Iranian nukes are mentioned the double standard with Israel should be immedietly pointed out.I

    Unlike Iran, Israel simply has way too much to hide and wants to keep it that way.

    Silence about Israelis nuclear weapons and lack of membership to the NPT while maintaining such harsh rhetoric towards Iran’s nuclear program, which is legally allowed to enrich uranium as a NPT member is an example of the kind of outright double standard BS that the United States has been following in its foreign policy.

    When will Obama hold Israel to the same standards that Israel is demanding of Iran and anyone else who threatens Israel’s hegemonic agenda? Level the nuclear playing field or get rid of it.

    It is in line with Israeli rhetoric to demonize Iran. It takes the focus off them and it’s their intention to agitate elsewhere so the world does not focus on their ulterior hegemonic motives.

    Let’s not forget, whatever Israel accuses another country of doing you can bet they themselves have already done it.

    To wit, Mordecai Vanunu provided info and photos to the London Sunday Times in 1986 about Dimona.

    During the Kennedy years,Israel allowed American nuke scientists to make ‘visits’ to Dimona but these proved to be so ineffective they were eventually discontinued.

    When the scientists were allowed into the plant they were rushed through and never allowed to see what they needed to see to confirm that Israel was not developing nuclear weapons.

    Of course, a full inspection of the Dimona plant would have revealed that this was exactly what Israel was doing.

    Tel Aviv needs to be dealt with before Tehran.

  10. jaime1007
    August 26, 2015, 11:53 pm

    More than a debate, to the crazy religious messianic, it is just what they really want:

    holy-land Armageddon:

    Then the Jews will be converted !

    Praise the Lord…

    keep that oiled machine AIPAC-Evangelicals nuts and Zionist settlers alive.

  11. Lazarus
    August 27, 2015, 2:39 am

    To those that are interested, Veterans Today has published much information on tactical, micro-nuclear weapons that have been used; about 50, yes fifty, so far. The latest micro-nuke exploded in Tianjin, China. Previously a micro-nuke in Yemen in May 2015 and a micro-nuke in Syria in March 2013.
    These are fusion type devices, therefore little radiation, which most radiation dissipates after ~ 72 hours. The micro-nukes weigh around 50 lbs and are therefore easily transportable.
    Regarding Dimona, I’ve read previously that a fake control room was set up prior to inspections and the real control room walled off with new brickwork.
    Regards, Lazarus

    • lysias
      August 27, 2015, 11:18 am

      I’ve read suggestions that one or more micronukes were used on 9/11. I lack the expertise to be able to judge whether these suggestions are reasonable or not.

    • Boo
      August 27, 2015, 12:52 pm

      I’m not going to put much credence in this unless I can get my hands on some technical information about the design of these micro-nukes. Conventional nuclear physics says it’s impossible to create a clean fusion bomb that is the size of a soccer ball and weighs only 50 pounds. In fact the amount of uranium required to achieve criticality weighs more than that.

      An explosive force of “1 to 40 tons of TNT” would require a heavily tamped device that would be extremely inefficient, no lighter than a conventional nuke, and create a large amount of radioactive fission products that would be easily detectable after the fact.

      Any links that provide credible details to refute conventional physics and a viable theory for such a micro-nuke would be much appreciated.

    • JLewisDickerson
      August 27, 2015, 2:04 pm

      RE: “Regarding Dimona, I’ve read previously that a fake control room was set up prior to inspections and the real control room walled off with new brickwork.” ~ Lazarus

      SEE: “How Israel Out-Foxed US Presidents”, By Morgan Strong (A Special Report), ConsortiumNews.com, 5/31/10

      [EXCERPT] ● Secret Nukes and JFK
      . . . Even as it backed down in the Sinai [following its invasion in 1956], Israel was involved in another monumental deception, a plan for building its own nuclear arsenal.
      In 1956, Israel had concluded an agreement with France to build a nuclear reactor in the Negev desert. Israel also signed a secret agreement with France to build an adjacent plutonium reprocessing plant.
      Israel began constructing its nuclear plant in 1958. However, French President Charles de Gaulle was worried about nuclear weapons destabilizing the Middle East and insisted that Israel not develop a nuclear bomb from the plutonium processing plant. Prime Minister Ben-Gurion assured de Gaulle that the processing plant was for peaceful purposes only.

      After John F. Kennedy became President, he also wrote to Ben-Gurion explicitly calling on Israel not to join the nuclear-weapons club, drawing another pledge from Ben-Gurion that Israel had no such intention.
      Nevertheless, Kennedy continued to press, forcing the Israelis to let U.S. scientists inspect the nuclear reactor at Dimona. But the Israelis first built a fake control room while bricking up and otherwise disguising parts of the building that housed the plutonium processing plant.
      In return for allowing inspectors into Dimona, Ben-Gurion also demanded that the United States sell Hawk surface-to-air missiles to the Israeli military. Kennedy agreed to the sale as a show of good faith.
      Subsequently, however, the CIA got wind of the Dimona deception and leaked to the press that Israel was secretly building a nuclear bomb.
      After Kennedy’s assassination, President Lyndon Johnson also grew concerned over Israel’s acquiring nuclear weapons. He asked then-Prime Minister Levi Eshkol to sign the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty.
      Eshkol assured Johnson that Israel was studying the matter and would sign the treaty in due course. However, Israel has never signed the treaty
      and never has admitted that it developed nuclear weapons. [For details, See “Israel and The Bomb” by Avner Cohen.] . . .

      ENTIRE REPORT – http://www.consortiumnews.com/2010/053110.htm

      P.S. ALSO SEE: “How Israel Hid Its Secret Nuclear Weapons Program”, By Avner Cohen and William Burr, Politico.com, April 15, 2015
      An exclusive look inside newly declassified documents shows how Israel blocked U.S. efforts to uncover its secret nuclear reactor.
      LINK – http://www.politico.com/magazine/story/2015/04/israel-nuclear-weapons-117014.html#.VTAsifnF98E

      • Boomer
        August 27, 2015, 6:21 pm

        re “An exclusive look inside newly declassified documents shows how Israel blocked U.S. efforts to uncover its secret nuclear reactor.”

        Fascinating story. I knew that France helped, but didn’t know a lot of the other details. Thanks for the link.

    • Citizen
      August 29, 2015, 7:26 am

      I also read that Israel set up a fake control room and the real one was bricked off when the American inspectors came to visit.

  12. Kay24
    August 27, 2015, 7:45 am

    It seems Israelis are realizing that the US is not as supportive of it as it thinks. They have to blame Netty for this, he forced many Americans to make a choice, and he does not like the results. I am not sure how this Iran vote in congress will turn out, but nutty Netty has made things worse. He deserves any backlash that is coming.

    The Illusion of Unconditional American Support

    Netanyahu believed that he could turn his back on liberal values of Democratic America and still win its automatic support; his dramatic defeat over the Iran deal is a wake-up call.
    read more: http://www.haaretz.com/opinion/.premium-1.673149

  13. MRW
    August 28, 2015, 2:03 am

    Los Alamos National Laboratory nuclear analyst James Doyle wrote candidly about Israel’s nuclear weapons for a magazine in 2013. After a congressional staffer read the article, which had passed a classification review, it was referred to classification officials for a second review. Doyle’s pay was then cut, his home computer searched, and he was fired.

    Makes my blood boil.

  14. traintosiberia
    August 28, 2015, 9:09 am

    “The Israelis had promised in signing the Phantom contract “not to be the first to introduce nuclear weapons into the Middle East.” [Ambassador to the U.S. Yitzhak] Rabin had informally defined “introduce” to mean“not test a—
    “not possess,” Rabin simply says they “prefer” to say they will “not become —

    become a “nuclear power” without “possessing” nuclear weapons, he simply said they “prefer” their formulation. – See more at: http://mondoweiss.net/2015/08/israeli-mentioned-releases#sthash.NoKxWQWk.dpuf

    This kind of linguistic exercise and playing footsie with phrases under the transparent table remind me of the struggle of early Catholics Father to define the Trinity. and attempts to define the divinity of Jesus while disavowing any for Mary . It was tough . So was the concept of Jewish Democratic State . How one could steal,build,store,and control the nuclear weapons but not introduce or possess is as difficult to understand as it is to figure out how the democracy could be introduced on the premise of ingrained inequality and on the basis of the undeclared constitution that declares supremacy of one ethnic group over bother.
    But then words have no relevance in Zionist ‘s parlance . It is always Alice in the Wonderland . Meaning is ad hoc and post hoc,arbitrary and considered ,arrived after knee jerk response after marathon meetings depending on the context and the audience .
    This is why neocons see Iran as destabilizing while Israel introduces the destabilizing factors and attacks neighbors even threatens US ally.
    This is why Israel is called an ally while it undermines and hurts America from within and out.
    This is why we hear of the practice of the worship of the death cult among Palestine trying save their lives while Israel unleashes depleted Uranium siphons water,scatters sewage,dismantles school destroys hospital and kills children playing on the beach. The same folks who support Israel and shake in their boots in front of neocons despite these recurring events and ignore the damages done to US by arrogant Israel and neocons ,claim that America are no longer respected by the rest of the world.
    W
    When words lose meaning,emotion does as well . Very soon the conscience follows suit . It all starts with communication under fear,threat,and duress . Open fearless communication doesn’t allow this kind of lingual psychological contortions. Lobby and money and possible threat to life or prestige make it possible for Israel to get away with the lies. But deep within America knew that Silver again would pound on the table of the president and threaten to ‘ run him out of town’ if not given in.

    • Citizen
      August 29, 2015, 7:31 am

      US lawyers are schooled in both creating and spotting weasel words; if Israel was allowed such interpretation it was because our government lawyer team’s boss or other higher up wanted to let Israel off the hook; it’s always this way.

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