A Knife in the Dark: Israeli Espionage against the U.S

Between 2010 and early 2017, more than 600 Israeli nationals were arrested or detained inside the United States, on a variety of visa violations and other nominally petty violations, including low-level drug trafficking. The majority of these detainees claimed they were Israeli art students, peddling art work to cover their college tuition; or were toy vendors, employed by an Israeli-owned Miami Beach company, Quality Sales Corporation, which investigations link to Israel’s equivalent of the U.S. National Security Agency.

The emerging pattern of surveillance of American government facilities, and established links to suspected Arab and Islamic terrorist cells prior to Sept. 11, by these Israeli nationals, set off alarm bells, following the attacks on the World Trade Center and the Pentagon. Prior to Sept. 11, a series of highly-classified government memos had been circulated by the CIA and the NSA, pronouncing this Israeli espionage operation a major national security problem.

Israel is not a friend of the United States. This is because Israel runs a most aggressive and damaging espionage networks that targets the US. The fact of Israeli penetration into the country is not a subject that is ever discussed in the media or in the circles of governance, due to the extreme sensitivity of the US-Israel relationship coupled with the burden of the Israel lobby, which punishes legislators who dare to criticize the Jewish state.

In 2014 the FBI noted that Israel maintains “an active program to gather proprietary information within the United States.” A key Israeli method, said the FBI report, is computer intrusion. In 2016, the Defense Intelligence Service, a branch of the Pentagon, issued a warning that “the collection of scientific intelligence in the United States [is] the third highest priority of Israeli Intelligence after information on its Arab neighbors and information on secret US policies or decisions relating to Israel.”

Further, the middle level of CIA employees has been thoroughly infiltrated by Israeli citizens and it is said, in other agencies, that anything the CIA has, goes at once to Tel Aviv.

In 2016, the Central Intelligence Agency produced a scathing survey of Israeli intelligence activities that targeted the US government. Like any worthy spy service, Israeli intelligence early on employed wiretaps as an effective tool, according to the CIA report.

In 1954, the US Ambassador in Tel Aviv discovered in his office a hidden microphone “planted by the Israelis,” and two years later telephone taps were found in the residence of the US military attaché

In a telegram to Washington, the ambassador at the time cabled a warning: “Department must assume that all conversations [in] my office are known to the Israelis.”

The former ambassador to Qatar, Andrew Killgore, who also served as a   foreign officer in Jerusalem and Beirut, reported that Israeli taps of US missions and embassies in the Middle East and that this was an integral  part of a “standard operating procedure.”

According to the 2016 CIA report, the Israelis, while targeting political secrets, also devote “a considerable portion of their covert operations to obtaining scientific and technical intelligence.” These operations involved, among other machinations, “attempts to penetrate certain classified defense projects in the United States.” The penetrations, according to the CIA report, were effected using “deep cover enterprises,” which the report described as “firms and organizations, some specifically created for, or adaptable to, a specific objective.” . . .

The agency, called the Office of Special Plans (OSP), was set up by the former defense secretary, Donald Rumsfeld, to second-guess CIA information and operated under the patronage of hard-line conservatives in the top rungs of the administration, the Pentagon and at the White House, including Vice-President Dick Cheney.

As the most powerful man in the White House, Cheney was deeply involved in the intelligence field and made three trips to the CIA headquarters in Langley, Virginia, to demand a more ‘forward-leaning interpretation’ of information relating to the possibility that Iraqi leader Saddam Hussein possessed weapons of mass destruction.

That there were no such weapons and that the CIA so advised the Vice President, he refused to accept their analysis and continued to insist that they produce documents supporting his thesis. In this he was aided by his chief of staff, Lewis “Scooter” Libby. (or Leibowitz)

The latter was later convicted of a felony connected to the intelligence community and sentenced to prison. Libby threatened to expose serious legal violations of the Bush administration and President Bush quickly commuted Libby’s jail sentence.

The OSP had access to an enormous amount of “raw” intelligence which came, in part, from the CIA’s directorate of operations whose job it is to receive and evaluate incoming reports from their agents around the world.