I KNEW THIS WAS COMING ….

They whine, they scream, but they forget that the man is GUILTY OF TREASON.

They whine, they scream, but they forget that the bastard is GUILTY OF TREASON.

The Zionist Organization of America (ZOA) sharply condemned US President Barack Obama for this week freeing three convicted Cuban agents who spied for an enemy regime in exchange for Alan Gross, while leaving Jonathan Pollard behind bars over charges of spying for an American ally, Israel.

The answer is in the question ….  Spying for an American ally, Israel.

For that he will rot in jail!

‘Obama Freed Three Hostile Cuban Spies, Why Not Pollard?’

Zionist Organization of America slams Obama decision to free Cuban spies – one murdered an American – while leaving Pollard in jail.

By Ari Yashar FOR

Jonathan Pollard

Jonathan Pollard Yehuda Glick

The Zionist Organization of America (ZOA) sharply condemned US President Barack Obama for this week freeing three convicted Cuban agents who spied for an enemy regime in exchange for Alan Gross, while leaving Jonathan Pollard behind bars over charges of spying for an American ally, Israel.

One of the three Cuban spies freed by Obama murdered an American citizen, and all three have only served 13 years – by contrast, 60-year-old Pollard is now in his 30th year in prison amid failing health on charges of passing information on regional threats to Israel.

“It is remarkable that President Obama, who has been repeatedly urged by US officials who held responsibility at the time for national security and intelligence matters to free Jonathan Pollard, has refused to do so,” said ZOA national president Morton A. Klein.

Klein continued “conversely, he has shown himself, this week, to be willing to free three convicted men who spied for a long-term enemy state, Cuba, including one man who was responsible for death of an American national. Where is the logic and justice in that?”

“Jonathan Pollard passed on classified information to Israel, a US ally, not a US enemy. There was, thus, no treason involved. Pollard pled guilty to the charges and apologized for his crimes. His crimes did not lead to the death of Americans, as was once claimed, but rather the espionage activities of Aldrich Ames and Robert Hanssen, whose actions came to light only after the Pollard sentencing, were shown to be responsible for those results,” noted Klein.

“Despite, having pled guilty as part of a plea bargain, Pollard was shown no leniency and was given the maximum sentence, comparable to that of Aldrich Ames, the chief of CIA counterintelligence in Eastern Europe, who passed critical defense secrets to the Soviet Union during the Cold War, and was found responsible for the deaths of at least 11 US agents!” headded.

Pollard has been suffering failing health and earlier this month was hospitalized before being returned to jail; he apparently will need another surgery soon.

Just before Pollard entered his 30th year in a US jail last month he had a parole request denied. Eight senior US officials wrote to Obama at the time, decrying the warped justice in the decision and calling it “deeply flawed.”

“Jonathan Pollard has already served nearly three decades behind bars, which is by far the harshest sentence ever meted out for the offense he committed – the average term for which is a fine or two to four years’ imprisonment,” said Klein. “If President Obama can free three spies for ahostile state like Cuba, including a murderer, he can certainly pardon Jonathan Pollard. He should do so without further delay.”

WE WAITED 30 YEARS FOR THESE ‘CHARGES’ ABOUT POLLARD’S IMPRISONMENT

Many have argued that Pollard’s ongoing incarceration is anti-Semitic, a charge made by Former CIA Director James Woolsey and Abraham Foxman, National Director of the Anti-Defamation League (ADL) among others.

Pollard3

UNBELIEVABLE RUBBISH! (FROM)

Netanyahu Demands Release for Pollard After Hospitalization

Pollard released from hospital – and back into his jail cell, apparently needs surgery. PM to Kerry: ‘Pollard’s life is in danger.’
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Jonathan Pollard

Jonathan Pollard Yehuda Glick

After losing consciousness and being hospitalized last Friday, 60-year-old Jonathan Pollard has emerged from the imminent danger posed to his health – and been returned to his jail cell, where he has been incarcerated for the past 30 years.

Pollard’s wife Esther was informed of his release from the hospital. Apparently he will need to undergo surgery in the near future.

Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu spoke with US Secretary of State John Kerry on Saturday night, and during the conversation said “Pollard’s life is in danger, and after 30 years in jail the time has come for him to be released and live the rest of his years as a free man.”

Pollard, who has been jailed on charges of passing classified information to Israel on regional threats to the country, has suffered multiple health problems over the years, for which he was finally hospitalized in March and underwent a surgery then.

At the time his wife Esther noted the conditions he is held in are not conducive for healing from his health problems. Those conditions are said to be dire, with his basic needs barely being met.

Late last month, as Pollard started his 30th year in a US jail, the Parole Board of the US Justice Department rejected Pollard’s parole, with senior US officials involved in the case writing to US President Barack Obama to complain that the decision was “deeply flawed.”

They noted that the length of his sentence was unprecedented compared to others who were held on similar charges of spying for an ally nation, and that the legal justifications for the decision were based on clear mistakes.

Last Friday with Pollard’s hospitalization the Conference of Presidents of Major American Jewish Organizations Chairman Robert G. Sugarman, and Executive Vice Chairman Malcolm Hoenlein, wrote of “the need for immediate action for his release.”

“It is regrettable and inexplicable that the Parole Board denied his application after serving 30 years, much of it in solitary confinement, far beyond anyone accused of a comparable crime,” wrote the two, backing the letter sent by senior officials to Obama.

The letter written by the two added that “underscoring the misguided decision regarding his parole was that he was given the highest score for suitability for release. There are many other factors that make clear that his unconditional release is long overdue.”

“We urge President Obama, especially in this holiday season and given Mr. Pollard’s worsening health, to take steps immediately to expedite gain Mr. Pollard’s release and to commute his life sentence to the more than 29 years he has already served,” concluded the two.

Many have argued that Pollard’s ongoing incarceration is anti-Semitic, a charge made by Former CIA Director James Woolsey and Abraham Foxman, National Director of the Anti-Defamation League (ADL) among others.

 

EVEN THE ISRAELI SKY HAS BECOME AN ENEMY OF PALESTINE

Police have been flying surveillance balloons over the city’s eastern sector and Old City — the location of its most sensitive holy sites — to monitor protests and move in on them quickly. They say the puffy white balloons, which carry a rotating spherical camera pod, have greatly helped quell the unrest. But the eyes in the sky are unnerving Palestinians.

Our onetime friend in the sky

Our onetime friend in the sky

When I was a youngster we looked forward to the Goodyear Blimp flying over our homes …. it was our friend in the sky.

Today in Israel, it is definitely not the case … our onetime friend is now working for Public Enemy #1, the government. In the name of security it has now become an instrument of espionage and a threat to our privacy, especially that of the Palestinians among us.

Yet another American spies for Israel

Yet another American spies for Israel

An Israeli surveillance blimp hovers over the Dome of the Rock mosque and the Al-Aqsa mosque in east Jerusalem.

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Here’s what’s happening …

Spy balloons soar above Jerusalem

Police use surveillance blimps to monitor protests, raising concerns about privacy in Israeli capital.

Israeli police are watching from above in their attempts to keep control in Jerusalem in the face of the city’s worst wave of violence in nearly a decade.

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Police have been flying surveillance balloons over the city’s eastern sector and Old City — the location of its most sensitive holy sites — to monitor protests and move in on them quickly. They say the puffy white balloons, which carry a rotating spherical camera pod, have greatly helped quell the unrest. But the eyes in the sky are unnerving Palestinians.

Photo credit: APPhoto credit: AP

“They want to discover everything that’s going on. (They see) who is going, who is coming, who is that person,” said Imad Muna, who works at a local bookstore.

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The Israeli company that makes the Skystar 180 aerostat system says the balloons can stay in the air for 72 hours and carry highly sensitive cameras.

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Rami Shmueli, the CEO of RT LTA Systems Ltd, said his company gives police a “third dimension” in their quest to quell tensions in east Jerusalem, where they have been clashing regularly with masked youths hurling rocks and firebombs.

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“We give them an aerial view of the streets and those people who are throwing stones, we can detect them even if they hide behind buildings or in gardens,” said Shmueli. “When we see them and when we see their activity, we can direct the police forces to their location. And even if they escape we can follow them and make sure that police catch them.”

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Over the past month, 11 people have been killed in Palestinian attacks, including a deadly assault last week on a Jerusalem synagogue that killed five people. Most of the violence has occurred in Jerusalem, along with deadly attacks in Tel Aviv and the West Bank.

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The violence has been connected in large part to continuing unrest at Jerusalem’s most sensitive holy site – a hilltop compound revered by Jews as the Temple Mount and by Muslims as the Noble Sanctuary. The Temple Mount, home to the ancient Hebrew temples, is the most sacred site in Judaism. Today, it is the site of the Al Aqsa Mosque and the gold-topped Dome of the Rock, the third-holiest place in Islam.

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Jews are allowed to visit the site, but under a longstanding arrangement, they are barred from praying there. A growing number of visits by Jewish worshippers – some of whom seek to pray or want to rebuild the Jewish Temple there – has sparked rumors that Israel is plotting to take over the site – a charge Israel denies – and prompted violent riots by Palestinian youths. Israeli crackdowns and restrictions on Muslim access to the site, imposed as a security measure, have further enflamed tensions.

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The helium-filled balloons were successfully used in Israel’s war in the Gaza Strip last summer. While various types of surveillance blimps have been used in the Jerusalem area for years, police spokesman Micky Rosenfeld said a strategic decision was recently made to increase their use as part of a broader effort to use the latest technologies.

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He said police currently have four surveillance balloons deployed over Jerusalem, including one that monitors the Old City and its volatile holy sites, and others over Arab neighborhoods that have experienced unrest. Since the aerial deployment, he said there has been a marked decrease in street violence.

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“It is tremendously important and gives us gives a 360-degree view of what is going on,” Rosenfeld said. “Our units can respond a lot quicker, a lot faster and much more effectively.”

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The Skystar system is currently also deployed in Afghanistan, Mexico, Thailand, Canada, Russia, in various countries in Africa and was used for security at the World Cup in Brazil, the company says.

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The balloons are part of a broad collection of surveillance equipment that includes security cameras throughout the city, including 320 of them in the Old City – as well as undercover units, riot-control forces and intelligence gathering.

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Police have arrested some 1,000 protesters since the summer, when the violence erupted following the killing of a 16-year-old Palestinian boy by Jewish extremists in a revenge attack for the earlier killing of three Israeli teens in the West Bank.

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Sheik Ikrima Sabri, the imam of the Al Aqsa Mosque, said Palestinians are well accustomed to the aerial surveillance of mass prayers each Friday. But he said the new surveillance over residential areas is a problem.

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“It is practically over the houses. It violates the privacy of people. There are women in the houses and these machines can photograph them,” he said.

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Saleem Mohtaseb, a resident of Shuafat, an Arab neighborhood that has experienced frequent unrest, said the cameras have further frayed people’s nerves. “I asked my wife to close the curtains whenever she sees it in the sky. I know many people who have done the same,” he said.

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Source

I’VE WAITED OVER 60 YEARS FOR THIS OBITUARY

 

So true!

So true!

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It was the most notorious spy case of the Cold War — the conviction and execution of Julius and Ethel Rosenberg for passing atomic secrets to the Soviet Union — and it rested largely on the testimony of Ms. Rosenberg’s brother David Greenglass, whose name to many became synonymous with betrayal.

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David Greenglass at a Senate Internal Security subcommittee hearing about American spying activities in April 1956. CreditHenry Griffin/Associated Press

It was the most notorious spy case of the Cold War — the conviction and execution of Julius and Ethel Rosenberg for passing atomic secrets to the Soviet Union — and it rested largely on the testimony of Ms. Rosenberg’s brother David Greenglass, whose name to many became synonymous with betrayal.

For his role in the conspiracy, Mr. Greenglass, an Army sergeant who had stolen nuclear intelligence from Los Alamos, N.M., went to prison for almost a decade, then changed his name and lived quietly until a journalist tracked him down. He admitted then, nearly a half-century later, that he had lied on the witness stand to save his wife from prosecution, giving testimony that he was never sure about but that nevertheless helped send his sister and her husband to the electric chair in 1953.

Mr. Greenglass died on July 1, a family member confirmed. He was 92. His family did not announce his death; The New York Times learned of it in a call to the nursing home where he had been living under his assumed name. Mr. Greenglass’s wife, Ruth, who had played a minor role in the conspiracy and also gave damning testimony against the Rosenbergs, died in 2008.

Mr. Greenglass, with his sister, Ethel Rosenberg.

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In today’s world, where spying has more to do with greed than ideology, the story of David Greenglass and the Rosenbergs is an enduring time capsule from an age of uncertainties — of world war against fascism, Cold War with the Soviets, and shifting alliances that led some Americans to embrace utopian communism and others to denounce such ideas, and their exponents, as un-American.

Mr. Greenglass, who grew up on the Lower East Side of Manhattan in a household that believed Marxism would save humanity, was an ardent, preachy Communist when drafted by the Army in World War II, but no one in the barracks took him very seriously, much less believed him capable of spying.

He was not well educated, but his skills as a machinist — and pure luck — led to his assignment in 1944 to the Manhattan Project at Los Alamos, where America’s first atomic bombs were being developed. After being picked to replace a soldier who had gone AWOL, he lied on his security clearance report and was assigned to a team making precision molds for high-explosive lenses used to detonate the nuclear core.

When Mr. Rosenberg, already a Soviet spy, learned of his brother-in-law’s work, he recruited him. Security was often lax at Los Alamos, with safes and file cabinets left unlocked and classified documents lying on desks. Mr. Greenglass had no need for Hollywood spy tricks. He kept his eyes and ears open, and in mid-1945 sent Mr. Rosenberg a crude sketch and 12 pages of technical details on the bomb.

That September, after the Japanese cities Hiroshima and Nagasaki were destroyed with atomic bombs, ending the war, David and Ruth Greenglass visited the Rosenbergs’ apartment in New York. What happened there later became a matter of life and death, for as Mr. Greenglass delivered his latest spy notes, a woman — either his wife or his sister — sat at a Remington typewriter and typed them out.

The significance of that act did not become evident for five years. By then the Soviet Union, once America’s ally, had become a Cold War foe, witch hunts for suspected Communists were underway, and spy networks were being broken up. Klaus Fuchs, a physicist who had worked at Los Alamos, was caught, and named Harry Gold as a courier. Mr. Gold then named the Greenglasses and the Rosenbergs, who were arrested in 1950.

Mr. Greenglass admitted passing secrets to Mr. Rosenberg, but refused at first to implicate his sister. But just before the Rosenberg trial, Mr. Greenglass changed his story. Told that Ruth had informed F.B.I. agents that Ethel had typed his notes, he supported his wife’s account and agreed to testify against his sister and her husband.

Ruth Greenglass, wife of Mr. Greenglass, in 1951. She had a supporting role in the conspiracy and gave damning testimony against the Rosenbergs. She died in 2008.CreditThe New York Times

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Mr. Greenglass was under intense pressure. He had not yet been sentenced, and his wife, the mother of his two small children, faced possible prosecution, though her role had been minimal. In federal court in Manhattan in 1951, Mr. Greenglass’s testimony — corroborated by his wife’s — clinched the case against Mr. Rosenberg and implicated Mrs. Rosenberg.

Referring to Ethel Rosenberg in ringing hyperbolic phrases, the chief prosecutor, Irving H. Saypol, declared, “Just so had she, on countless other occasions, sat at that typewriter and struck the keys, blow by blow, against her own country in the interests of the Soviets.”

The jury found the Rosenbergs guilty of espionage conspiracy, and the presiding judge,Irving R. Kaufman, sentenced them to death. Appeals failed, and the Rosenbergs, who rejected all entreaties to name collaborators and insisted they were not guilty, were executed at Sing Sing on June 19, 1953. A co-defendant, Morton Sobell, was also convicted and was imprisoned for 18 years.

Mrs. Greenglass was not prosecuted. Mr. Greenglass was sentenced to 15 years, but was released in 1960 after nine and a half. He rejoined his wife and for decades lived quietly in the New York area, working as a machinist and inventor.

A 1983 book by Ronald Radosh and Joyce Milton, “The Rosenberg File: A Search for the Truth,” rekindled interest, concluding that Mr. Rosenberg was a dedicated spy but that his wife had played only a minor role, and raising questions about the evidence and the government’s tactics in the case. Mr. Radosh and Sol Stern also interviewed Mr. Greenglass for an article in The New Republic.

Sam Roberts, a Times editor and reporter, later found Mr. Greenglass and, after a 13-year effort, obtained 50 hours of interviews that led to a book, “The Brother: The Untold Story of the Rosenberg Case.” In the book, Mr. Greenglass admitted that, to spare his wife from prosecution, he had testified that his sister typed his notes. In fact, he said, he could not recall who had done it.

“I don’t remember that at all,” Mr. Greenglass said. “I frankly think my wife did the typing, but I don’t remember.”

Mr. Greenglass, left, with a United States marshal in 1950. CreditAssociated Press

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He said he had no regrets. “My wife is more important to me than my sister. Or my mother or my father, O.K.? And she was the mother of my children.”

In a 2008 interview with Mr. Roberts, Mr. Sobell admitted that he had given military secrets to the Soviet Union, and concurred in what has become a consensus among historians: that the Greenglass-Rosenberg atomic bomb details were of little value to the Soviets, except to corroborate what they already knew, and that Ethel Rosenberg had played no active role in the conspiracy.

David Greenglass was born on the Lower East Side on March 2, 1922, to immigrants from Russia and Austria. He was 14 when he met Julius Rosenberg, who began courting Ethel, who was seven years older than David, in 1936. The Rosenbergs were married in 1939.

David graduated from Haaren High School in 1940 with only fair grades. He attended Brooklyn Polytechnic Institute, but flunked out.

Mr. Greenglass and Ruth Printz, who had been neighbors, childhood sweethearts and members of the Young Communist League, were married in 1942. They had a son and a daughter, who survive him.

He had several machinist jobs before being drafted in 1943, and the Army put his skills to use. He fixed tank motors, inspected equipment and worked on ordnance in California and Mississippi. He was also assigned to classified work at Oak Ridge, Tenn., where uranium was being enriched for a secret weapon.

To pass his security clearance for the most sensitive work of the war at Los Alamos, Mr. Greenglass disguised or omitted Communist associations in his background. For character and work references, he alerted the writers — all friends — how to respond, and only glowing reports came back. “All evidence indicates subject to be loyal, honest and discreet,” Army intelligence reported.

Everywhere — even at Los Alamos — he preached communism, trying to persuade fellow G.I.s and co-workers that they would someday prosper in a utopian society free of squalor and injustice. Letters to his wife, some signed “Your Comrade,” also sprinkled dialectics among the endearments. “We who understand,” he wrote, “can bring understanding to others because we are in love and have our Marxist outlook.”

The deaths of Mr. and Mrs. Greenglass, like those of the Rosenbergs more than 60 years ago, are unlikely to end public fascination with the case, whose betrayals have been woven into American culture. In Woody Allen’s film “Crimes and Misdemeanors,” the character played by Mr. Allen says dryly that he still has feelings for his vile brother-in-law.

“I love him like a brother,” he says. “David Greenglass.”

A STORM OF DISSENT HAS TAKEN ISRAEL BY SURPRISE

The refusal of 43 men and women to continue their reserve duty in Israel’s elite 8200 intelligence-gathering unit has taken Israel by storm.

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Meet the ‘Good Kids’ Who Refuse To Spy for Israel

By Elisheva Goldberg FOR

Thinkstock

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The refusal of 43 men and women to continue their reserve duty in Israel’s elite 8200 intelligence-gathering unit has taken Israel by storm. The group published a letter on Friday, and it made its way quickly into the Israeli, American, and international headlines. The letter stated that these soldiers and officers are no longer willing to serve in their capacities as occupiers. In their words: “We refuse to take part in actions against Palestinians and refuse to serve as tools in deepening the military control over the Occupied Territories… We cannot continue to serve this system in good conscience, denying the rights of millions of people.”

The response in Israel has been deafening. Members of Knesset who are also former members of the 8200 unit have spoken out. Likud MK and Coalition Leader Yariv Levin announced that “those who refuse to help defend our country cross the line between supporting the Israeli democracy and the freedom it represents to supporting Palestinian terror…” Labor MK and Opposition Leader Isaac Herzog rebuked the letter-writers and emphasized that there were other ways to generate discussion. Not long after it was published, 150 members of Unit 8200 wrote a response letter, calling the move a “cynical use of politics in their legal and moral duty to serve in the reserve unit.”

The question everyone is asking now is — is it? Is this explosive letter a mere political stunt designed to aim more antagonism at a 47-year occupation? Or is it, as the signatories claim, something deeper — an attempt to take responsibility for the unnecessary invasion of privacy of a people who have no civil or legal recourse. It’s hard to tell, and, as with most sticky moral issues, likely a bit of both.

When I sat down with three of the original 43 signatories — a philosophy student, a technology and communications employee, and a computer science doctoral candidate — my first impression was one of earnestness: these were the “good kids.” As an Israeli 18-year-old, you don’t get into Unit 8200 by being a slacker. You get in by doing well in school and by showing flexible thinking, confidence and the ability to work well with others. The hope is that these qualities, plus training, will give these young people enough dexterity and thoughtfulness that they can be trusted with the secrets of Israel’s deep state. Unit 8200 graduates go on to found and power Israel’s innovative start-ups, and these three were likely to be no exception.

The first thing R, G and Y told me was that there were rules that I would need to abide by: first, that the army required I not use their full first names, second, that they wouldn’t be able to tell me much beyond the Information Security-approved testimonies they had already sent me, and that they’d have to check on whether or not I was allowed publish these rules (they did, and it was fine). Then, after explaining the rules, they stuck to them.

I asked questions — “what were some of the extortionist tactics you used against Palestinians?” and “You mention in one of the testimonies that there was a particular instance that ‘shocked’ you, can you expand?” and “What does intelligence gathering look like around Palestinian citizens of Israel?” — but their answer was often a shy and sheepish “we can’t answer that.”

What was clear is that they were not there to expose 8200, the IDF, or the State of Israel as the bad guy — they were there to expose the occupation as the bad guy. R made this point to me: “We’re not deluding ourselves — intelligence is a dirty business, we know that. The point is that in this specific instance, we’re holding millions of people under military rule that isn’t necessary. It’s a [policy of] choice… We, on a moral level, are refusing to take part in that.”

Here, some context is necessary: Unit 8200 is the army’s signal intelligence gatherer and interpreter. It’s a spying operation. Unit 8200, in its original manifestation, was responsible for gathering only external intelligence. This was helpful defense information about enemy countries, and it was clearly distinct from the internal intelligence agency, the Shin Bet. This division of powers existed to protect Israeli citizens who were, by law, entitled to privacy. However, when the Oslo process began in the 1990s, 8200 began gathering intelligence on Palestinians — after all, they were about to become a sovereign entity, a potentially enemy state.

Two decades later, the Palestinians remain stateless non-citizens, and Unit 8200 is still gathering (sometimes very personal) information about them. One motivator behind the letter was that “there is no procedure in place to determine whether the violation of the individual’s rights is necessarily justifiable.” And there can’t be. To paraphrase Dr. Hillel Ben Sasson, a Research Fellow and Program Manager at Molad: The Center for the Renewal of Israel Democracy (full disclosure: Hillel was a colleague at Molad and is a friend):

This is a gray area, and this gray area is not only dangerous but it also puts IDF soldiers in situations that they are not meant to be in. The Letter of Refusal that was published this weekend is another symptom of Israel’s stale political status quo. The country’s leadership needs to decide: Annex the territories and transfer the intelligence authority to the Shin Bet, or generate a two-state solution and have the intelligence authority rest with the Army. Until then, the soldiers of 8200 who deal with the Palestinians are no different from soldiers who stand at a checkpoint — both have been sent by a feeble leadership to engage in activities they were never meant to engage in. As long as these young people remain trapped like this, it is only a matter of time until the next refusal [to serve]…

Refusal — “insubordination” — and particularly this elite refusal, is not something Israelis take lightly, nor should they. Barak Ravid, Haaretz’s diplomatic correspondent and a Unit 8200 alum, went on Army Radio yesterday morning to explain his strong opposition to the letter. One of the reasons he gave for why this letter troubled him was because “none of them [the signatories] had the guts to be the Snowden of Israel.” In other words, instead of going after a very specific problem like Snowden — say, Unit 8200’s raw data sharing program with the United States — they went after the far more general “occupation,” which, Ravid said, is “a part” of Israel. “If the problem is really the occupation,” he said, “then your taxes are also a problem — they fund the soldier at the checkpoint, the education system… and 8200 is a great spin.”

Both Ben Sasson and Ravid are right. Both point out that the occupation has put Israel in an incredibly tight spot, both morally and technically.

Even if refusal is unconscionable to the vast majority of Israelis — for reasons of security, social configurations, or integrity — this refusal will not be forgotten quickly. These Unit 8200 reservists have generated a tremor that is being felt under our feet, if not heard above ground. Americans who refused to serve in Vietnam were few at first, but their numbers quickly swelled, and a fringe movement morphed into a force that could not be ignored. Israel is nowhere near that yet, but if some of the “good kids” are already saying no, Israel’s fissures are only likely to deepen further in the days and wars ahead.

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Related From The New York Times

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The Letter …

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Prime Minister, Mr Benjamin Netanyahu

Chief of General Staff, Benny Gantz

Military Intelligence Director, Major General Aviv Kochavi

Commander of Unit 8200

We, veterans of Unit 8200, reserve soldiers both past and present, declare that we refuse to take part in actions against Palestinians and refuse to continue serving as tools in deepening the military control over the Occupied Territories.

It is commonly thought that the service in military intelligence is free of moral dilemmas and solely contributes to the reduction of violence and harm to innocent people. However, our military service has taught us that intelligence is an integral part of Israel‘s military occupation over the territories. The Palestinian population under military rule is completely exposed to espionage and surveillance by Israeli intelligence. While there are severe limitations on the surveillance of Israeli citizens, the Palestinians are not afforded this protection. There’s no distinction between Palestinians who are, and are not, involved in violence. Information that is collected and stored harms innocent people. It is used for political persecution and to create divisions within Palestinian society by recruiting collaborators and driving parts of Palestinian society against itself. In many cases, intelligence prevents defendants from receiving a fair trial in military courts, as the evidence against them is not revealed. Intelligence allows for the continued control over millions of people through thorough and intrusive supervision and invasion of most areas of life. This does not allow for people to lead normal lives, and fuels more violence further distancing us from the end of the conflict.

Millions of Palestinians have been living under Israeli military rule for over 47 years. This regime denies the basic rights and expropriates extensive tracts of land for Jewish settlements subject to separate and different legal systems, jurisdiction and law enforcement. This reality is not an inevitable result of the state’s efforts to protect itself but rather the result of choice. Settlement expansion has nothing to do with national security. The same goes for restrictions on construction and development, economic exploitation of the West Bank, collective punishment of inhabitants of the Gaza Strip, and the actual route of the separation barrier.

In light of all this, we have concluded that as individuals who served in Unit 8200, we must take responsibility for our part in this situation and it is our moral duty to act. We cannot continue to serve this system in good conscience, denying the rights of millions of people. Therefore, those among us who are reservists, refuse to take part in the state’s actions against Palestinians. We call for all soldiers serving in the Intelligence Corps, present and future, along with all the citizens of Israel, to speak out against these injustices and to take action to bring them to an end. We believe that Israel’s future depends on it.

Senior Academic Officer Or

First Sergeant Ori

Sergeant Ella

Sergeant ***

Sergeant First Class Amitai

Captain Assaf

Lieutenant Assaf

First Sergeant Ariel

First Sergeant Guy

Sergeant First Class Galia

Lieutenant Gilad

First Sergeant Doron

Captain D

Professional Academic Officer H

First Sergeant T

First Sergeant Tal

Sergeant First Class Yair

First Sergeant Yoav

First Sergeant Yuval

Lieutenant Yonatan

Sergeant First Class Lior

Sergeant Liron

Sergeant Maya

Sergeant Michal

First Sergeant Menahem

First Sergeant Nadav

Sergeant Noa

First Sergeant Sa’ar

First Sergeant Eden

Sergeant Idan

Professional Academic Officer Amir

First Sergeant Amit

Sergeant K

Sergeant Keren

Sergeant First Class Regev

First Sergeant Roi

Sergeant R

First Sergeant Rotem

First Sergeant Shira

Major Shmulik

First Sergeant Schraga

Sergeant Sheri

Senior Academic Officer Tomer

EIGHT REASONS WHY POLLARD SHOULD NEVER BE RELEASED

pollard-obama

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Needless to say, the zionists that penned the following in The Jerusalem Post use those very reasons as to why he should be released.

The crime he committed was a heinous one and his punishment is a just one!

In a word, it is precisely for standing injustices like this – and where the justice system has failed – that the US Constitution has vested in the president, the power of executive clemency.

In another word, the President is responsible to protect its citizens from the enemy …. which in this case is the State of Israel!

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Pollard’s release is a matter of justice

By ALAN DERSHOWITZ, IRWIN COTLER

We trust that President Obama, in concert with Attorney-General Holder, will exercise this power in the pursuit of justice, the rule of law and simple humanity.

 

obama

US President Barack Obama Photo: REUTERS
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US President Barack Obama’s response to President Shimon Peres’s request for executive clemency for Jonathan Pollard was to refer the matter to US Attorney-General Eric Holder.

Indeed, as it happens, a group of American constitutional and criminal law scholars and practitioners, including six Harvard law school professors, Obama’s alma mater, have written to the president (full disclosure – we are two of the signatories and organizers of the letter) requesting the commutation of Pollard’s sentence to time served. In our letter we argue that “such commutation is more than warranted if the ends of justice are to be served, the rules of law respected and simple humanity secured.”

Our letter sets forth 10 compelling legal considerations for the exercise of executive clemency by Obama – and which should commend themselves to Attorney-General Holder – including: First, Pollard was charged with, and pleaded guilty to, one count of conveying classified information to a foreign government, in this instance, Israel, an ally of the US.

The usual sentence for this offense is no more than six or eight years, with actual jail time before release averaging two to four years. Pollard is now serving his 29th year of an unprecedented life sentence – an excessive, grossly disproportionate, unfair and unjust sentence.

Second, the sentence of life imprisonment was itself a breach of the plea bargain wherein the prosecution agreed not to seek life imprisonment in return for Pollard’s guilty plea, his cooperation with the authorities and his agreement to waive his right to trial by jury. This plea bargain also saved the government much time, money and prospective embarrassment of conducting a trial involving highly sensitive information, and where Pollard might well have been acquitted of the more serious charges. Indeed, Judge Stephen F. Williams of the US Court of Appeals for the First District later referred to the government’s breach of the plea bargain as a “complete and gross miscarriage of justice.”

Third, the life sentence was itself secured as a result of the submission – after the plea bargain and in violation of it – of a prejudicial ex parte affidavit to the sentencing judge by then-secretary of defense Caspar Weinberger, to the effect that Pollard had compromised American national security and was guilty of “treason,” and should never be released. However, in a 2004 interview, Weinberger himself admitted that, in retrospect, the Pollard matter was “comparatively minor,” and it is not even referenced in his memoirs.

Fourth, Pollard has not only been excessively and disproportionately punished for the crime he did commit, but has been effectively punished and maligned for the crime he never committed – nor was ever charged with– namely, “treason.”

Yet, regrettably, prosecutorial “sources” in the Central Intelligence Agency, and the Defense, State and Justice departments, continued to maintain, long after the plea bargain, that Pollard was guilty of treason.

Fifth, Pollard was also falsely accused over the years of having compromised US security and American lives in Eastern Europe, when it was Aldridge Ames, the head of the CIA’s Soviet/Eastern Europe Division, who had himself been both the architect of those treasonable acts, and the original source of the false allegations against Pollard.

Sixth, a largely ignored December 2012 declassification of a 1987 CIA damage assessment concerning Pollard shows Pollard had co-operated fully and in good faith with governmental authorities, while acknowledging Pollard did not divulge the most sensitive US national security programs. Yet CIA officials continued to knowingly and falsely accuse Pollard of actions prejudicial to US national security.

Seventh, Pollard was himself deprived of the right to effective legal counsel and defense as his attorney neglected to file a notice of intent to appeal following the prejudicial sentencing hearing, and Pollard was therefore forever deprived of his right to a direct appeal against his life sentence.

Eighth, in particular, virtually everyone who was in a high position of government – and dealt with the ramifications of what Pollard did at the time – now support his release, including secretary of state George Shultz, FBI director and subsequent CIA director William Webster, chairman of Senate Intelligence David Durenberger, and chairman of House Intelligence Lee Hamilton.

It is important to recall, as we write in our letter, “that Pollard fully honored the plea agreement that the government violated; that he fully cooperated with the authorities; that he has been a model prisoner; that he has apologized and expressed remorse for his actions; that he has been falsely accused over the years – by those in a position to know better – of compromising American security if not American lives; that his sentence and imprisonment is as unjust as it is unprecedented; that Pollard is aging, in deteriorating health and deserving of release.”

As Lawrence Korb, former assistant secretary of defense under Weinberger put it, “We believe that commuting Pollard’s sentence to time served is the right and compassionate thing to do. We believe that his continued incarceration constitutes a travesty of justice and a stain on the American system of justice.”

In a word, it is precisely for standing injustices like this – and where the justice system has failed – that the US Constitution has vested in the president, the power of executive clemency.

We trust that President Obama, in concert with Attorney-General Holder, will exercise this power in the pursuit of justice, the rule of law and simple humanity.

Irwin Cotler, a member of the Canadian parliament and emeritus law professor (McGill University), is the former minister of justice and attorney- general of Canada.

Alan Dershowitz is Felix Frankfurter Professor of Law at Harvard University.

JUNE 19th,1953 ~~ WAITING FOR THE LIGHTS TO DIM

America watched it live …

For Michael and Robbie ….

Then …

Robert and Michael Rosenberg sons of Julius and Ethel

Now …

fami_meeropols

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Sketches of Ethel and Julius Rosenberg presented to their sons by the artist Pablo Picasso
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Looking back at the day ..

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By Steve Amsel
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It was a Friday evening, 61 years ago today, that I sat in my bedroom waiting for the lights to dim. Ethel and Julius Rosenberg were about to be electrocuted in Sing Sing Prison and I imagined the powerful surge of power causing a brown out in our own home. When that didn’t happen, I thought to myself that perhaps there was a stay of execution …. but I was wrong. Despite the protests, despite the appeals from world leaders, the couple was put to death just one minute before the Sabbath entered, as not to violate the sanctity of the day. It was a reminder of Christ’s execution, also rushed as not to violate the Sabbath.
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Many of us were told that they were innocent of the charges of espionage. We were told that they were the ‘first victims of American fascism’. We were told decades later that this might not have been the case.
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They left behind two young sons, Michael and Robert, one my age and the other two years younger. I could not imagine what these two were going through and could not comprehend how the government rendered them orphans with the flick of a switch.
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June 20, 1953

By Michael Kaufman (FROM)

 

We’re at Aunt Sadye and Uncle Joe’s house in Far Rockaway. A lot of the other uncles and aunts on my father’s side are there. The grownups all have serious looks on their faces. I can’t hear most of what they’re saying because they are talking more quietly than usual… but every once in a while one of them gets angry and the voices get louder. No one notices me in the next room reading the Daily Mirror newspaper.

I am 7 years old and a good reader. But I am disappointed because Aunt Sadye forgot to give me cookies and milk like she always does when we go there. I love the milk at their house because they keep it so much colder in their Frigidaire than we keep it at our house.

“This wouldn’t have happened if they weren’t Jewish,” I hear my father say just as I noticed a picture of the two boys, Michael and Robert. Robert is 7. Like me. He has a crewcut like mine and, hey, he even looks like me. Michael is 9. He has a crewcut too. The words under the picture say the boys are “playing quietly” but their faces look sad.

I look at the picture of the lady. She reminds me a little of my mom. Dark eyes, dark hair, even the look on her face. The man with the mustache doesn’t look like my father… more like my Uncle Joe. I hear a grownup — maybe my father or Uncle Willie — ask, “Did you read the Reuben book?”

“Not yet, but it won’t change my mind… they’re guilty alright.” Was it Uncle Joe who said that? Sidney? But as I read the words on the page, the talking and arguing in the next room becomes an unintelligible buzz.

 

First they put the man, Julius, in the electric chair… and he was dead. Then they put the lady, Ethel, but she did not die. It says a “wisp of smoke” came out of the top of her head but she was still alive. I look at her picture and try to imagine how she might look with smoke coming out of her head. Then another jolt of electricity and more smoke from her head… and she still didn’t die! It took three more jolts and more than five minutes to kill the lady who reminds me of my mother. The newspaper says they were “red spies.”

89rose27I don’t say anything to my parents during the drive home to Oceanside in the 1952 Buick. They don’t say much either. I feel sad for Michael and Robert. I feel bad about what happened to their parents, especially about the way their mother died. I wonder if my parents are red spies and if they will get put in the electric chair someday like the Rosenbergs.

 

Michael Kaufman of Warwick, NY has been a sportswriter, investigative reporter, and medical writer for more than thirty years. His work has appeared in SportCrawdaddyBlack SortsHockeyWoman’s WorldHealth, and the Daily World (writing as “Michael Jay”), and in several anthologies and textbooks. He is a regular contributor to the blog Zest of Orange.

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From Jewish Currents*

June 19: The Rosenbergs Are Executed

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Happier Times …

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Julius and Ethel Rosenberg were executed by electric chair in Ossining, New York on this date in 1953, despite worldwide appeals for clemency. Their two-year trial for conspiracy to commit atomic espionage on behalf of the USSR was a media sensation that heightened both American anti-communism and the fear and paranoia of American communists — some third of whom were Jewish, like the Rosenbergs — to fever pitch. The deeds for which the Rosenbergs were convicted took place during World War II, when the U.S. and the USSR were military allies in the anti-Nazi struggle — and while independent investigations and Soviet-era secret cables did indicate, decades later, that Julius Rosenberg participated in espionage, his wife Ethel was, at worst, a witness to her husband’s deeds rather than an active participant. Nevertheless, trial judge Irving Kaufman declared them both to be responsible for “putting into the hands of the Russians the A-Bomb years before our best scientists predicted Russia would perfect the bomb” and therefore responsible for “the Communist aggression in Korea, with the resultant casualties exceeding 50,000 and who knows but that millions more of innocent people may pay the price of your treason.” The Rosenbergs’ young sons were orphaned by the execution and were then adopted by songwriter Abel Meeropol and his wife Anne. To read Ethel’s final letter to her sons, as well as her letter about refusing to confess to any crimes, as well as contemporaneous commentary by newspapers, international personages, and writers for Jewish Currents, click here.

“I continue to maintain my innocence for the sole reason that I am not guilty of the charge.” —Ethel Rosenberg, letter to their attorney, June 8, 1953

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A song written by Abel Meeropol from another bygone era …

THE PASSION OF VANUNU

passion-of-vanunu

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Vanunu committed a crime and served his time …. 

BUT …..

The harassment continues and it’s time to stop!

 

Vanunu has repeatedly said he had revealed all he knew about Israel’s alleged nuclear arsenal, and his lawyers have also noted the information he exposed in the 80s has now long become public knowledge.

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Amnesty International: Lift ‘ludicrous, vindictive’ restrictions on Vanunu

Human rights NGO says restrictions on former Israeli nuclear technician are ‘arbitrary, unnecessary'; Vanunu spent 18 years in prison for disclosing information on Israel’s alleged atom program to British press.

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Amnesty International is calling on Israel to lift “ludicrous” and “vindictive” restrictions imposed on whistleblower Mordechai Vanunu that “arbitrarily infringe on his freedom of movement, expression and association,” a statement released on Wednesday said.

Vanunu, a former nuclear technician at the Dimona reactor, spent 18 years in prison for disclosing information to British newspaper The Sunday Times about Israel’s alleged nuclear program in 1986.

Following his release from prison in 2004, he was placed under police supervision and was the subject of a number of restrictions on his speech and movement, placed in order to prevent him from revealing further information about Israel’s alleged nuclear program.

Among other things, Vanunu is banned from leaving Israel and participating in internet chats, and must request permission to speak to any foreign nationals, including journalists.

He was arrested several times for violating these restrictions, and imprisoned again in May 2010 for attempting to leave the country, and giving interviews to foreign journalists.

“The restrictions on Mordechai Vanunu are arbitrary, unnecessary and have no grounds in international law. The continuing restrictions on his liberty have placed a severe strain on his mental and physical health and should immediately be lifted,” Avner Godron, Senior Policy Adviser at Amnesty International, said.

Vanunu has repeatedly said he had revealed all he knew about Israel’s alleged nuclear arsenal, and his lawyers have also noted the information he exposed in the 80s has now long become public knowledge.

His lawyers have repeatedly appealed these restrictions and consequent arrests that followed breaches of these restrictions, to no avail.

The High Court of Justice ruled in December to uphold the restrictions imposed on Vanunu. These restrictions are due for renewal next month.

 

Source

ZION AGAINST POLLARD’S PARDON

 Surly a strange turn of events …

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Pollard “copied, delivered and sold scientific, technical and military information about U.S. ship positions, aircraft stations, tactics and training operations; classified analyses of Soviet missile systems, three separate categories of daily message or cable traffic and intelligence on military hardware still in development at the time. The information he shared revealed the way in which the United States collected intelligence, revealed the names of human sources and exposed the identities of numerous U.S. intelligence officers and analysts.”

For all this, Pollard was handsomely paid, with the promise of more. And even when pleading guilty, he never expressed remorse.

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Don’t Pardon Jonathan Pollard

Editorial FROM

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It’s not clear whether the idea was leaked by the Obama administration or advanced by Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu. But the very suggestion that convicted spy Jonathan J. Pollard may be released from his North Carolina prison as part of an effort to resuscitate the flailing Israeli-Palestinian negotiations has accomplished something rare in Mideast disputes:

It has united people on the right, on the left and in the middle. In condemnation.

Nobody seems to think that it’s a wise idea to sew Pollard into the fraying fabric of these negotiations. We agree. We side with those who further believe that, while he may deserve release on humanitarian grounds, pardoning this convicted, unrepentant spy is similarly unwise.

There’s a déjà vu quality to the swirling rumors, harkening back to 1998, when then President Bill Clinton was prepared to release Pollard during the Wye River summit at the urging of then Prime Minister Netanyahu. But American intelligence officials vehemently protested and, when the CIA chief threatened to resign, the deal was scuttled.

A dispassionate examination of Pollard’s case makes it clear why those intelligence officials reacted the way they did. As Dafna Linzer wrote yesterday on msnbc.com: “The U.S. government wasn’t exaggerating when it claimed in court that ‘the breadth and scope of classified information compromised by Mr. Pollard is among the greatest of any espionage operations uncovered by federal authorities.’”

Pollard was sentenced in 1987 to life in prison after pleading guilty to giving U.S. military and intelligence secrets to Israel. Since he was caught spying for an ally, since he is now old and sickly, his supporters in the U.S. and Israel have maintained a consistent, determined campaign for his freedom, painting him as a victim of anti-Semitism and anti-Zionist politics.

He is older and, evidently, unwell. He has served time for decades. He certainly deserves consideration for early release on humanitarian grounds before his next chance for parole.

But a pardon wipes the slate clean, effectively announces that it was all a mistake, he did no wrong, and he is excused. That is a far more problematic statement.

American intelligence officials contend to this day that Pollard did more than simply give Israel a stack of documents that, by his own estimation, would have measured six-by-six feet and stood ten-feet high. According to internal government documents cited by msnbc.com, Pollard “copied, delivered and sold scientific, technical and military information about U.S. ship positions, aircraft stations, tactics and training operations; classified analyses of Soviet missile systems, three separate categories of daily message or cable traffic and intelligence on military hardware still in development at the time. The information he shared revealed the way in which the United States collected intelligence, revealed the names of human sources and exposed the identities of numerous U.S. intelligence officers and analysts.”

For all this, Pollard was handsomely paid, with the promise of more. And even when pleading guilty, he never expressed remorse.

But since he has become a cause celebre for many Israeli and American Jewish leaders — why, even Gilad Shalit, who suffered for years as a prisoner in Gaza, recently pleaded for his release — his name is now bandied about as some sort of sweetener to counteract the distinct souring of negotiations in the last few days.

Tying this complicated spy case to the fate of the two-state solution of the Israeli-Palestinian conflict is all wrong. Worse, it inserts the United States directly into what ought to be, indeed must be, a bilateral agreement. The U.S. can be the mediator, the nudge, the guarantor and, probably, the banker if such an agreement ever comes to pass. But it should not be offering its own concessions.

In the end, as Secretary of State John Kerry is learning the very hard way, Israeli and Palestinian leaders have to want to resolve this conflict. Pardoning an American who spied will not hasten that day. Unfortunately, it’s not clear what will.

 

BACKROOM BLACKMAIL WILL FREE POLLARD

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Convicted spy for Israel Jonathan Pollard will be freed from a US jail before Passover, which begins April 14, a senior Israeli source familiar with ongoing peace negotiations with the Palestinians said Tuesday. The deal would also see hundreds of Palestinian prisoners released by Israel and the Palestinians agreeing to extend talks into 2015. 

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The shame of it all!

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Israeli source: Pollard to go free in return for hundreds of Palestinians

Source says spy to be released before Passover; Kerry meets with Netanyahu as talks teeter on brink of collapse, said set to return Wednesday for Abbas meeting.

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Convicted spy for Israel Jonathan Pollard will be freed from a US jail before Passover, which begins April 14, a senior Israeli source familiar with ongoing peace negotiations with the Palestinians said Tuesday. The deal would also see hundreds of Palestinian prisoners released by Israel and the Palestinians agreeing to extend talks into 2015.

The steps are part of a new proposal by Secretary of State John Kerry to resuscitate the US-brokered negotiations between Israel and the Palestinians.

According to the details of the proposal, published Tuesday by the Palestinian news agency Ma’an, Israel will expand the currently on-hold fourth and final release of Palestinian prisoners from 26 to several hundred, including senior Palestinian officials jailed in Israel. The four releases, each of 26 long-term prisoners involved in deadly terrorist attacks against Israelis, were a goodwill gesture by Israel announced at the start of the talks last summer.

Ma’an also said that Israel would agree to a “quiet freeze” in settlement construction in the West Bank, although not in Jerusalem, which would hold until the end of this year.

Kerry met with Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu on Tuesday morning for the second time in less than 12 hours, in an effort salvage the stalled peace talks.

Kerry broke into his travel schedule on Monday for a flying visit to Jerusalem and headed back to Europe again after his early morning discussions with Netanyahu.

A Palestinian official said Kerry might return to the region once more late Wednesday to see Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas. Their scheduled late-night meeting Monday was cancelled after the Netanyahu talks dragged on too late, US officials said, with Kerry instead meeting at his Jerusalem hotel with Palestinian chief negotiator Saeb Erekat.

The negotiations appeared on the brink of collapse at the weekend, when Israel chose not to press ahead with the promised release of the 26 Palestinian prisoners. Israel wanted assurances the Palestinians would not abandon the talks, when the initial deadline for an accord expires on April 29.

 

 

Source

 

POLLARD WILL ROT IN PRISON

Despite Israeli blackmail attempts, their SuperSpy will live out his days behind bars

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“There are no plans to release Jonathan Pollard at the moment,” said State Department spokeswoman Jen Psaki on Wednesday. “Jonathan Pollard was convicted of espionage against the United States – a very serious crime. He was sentenced to life and is currently serving his sentence.”

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US: No plans to free Jonathan Pollard

Recent headlines in Israel have suggested that Obama administration is reportedly considering freeing convicted spy in bid to keep negotiations, prisoners release afloat.

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The United States on Wednesday downplayed recent speculation that it could free convicted spy Jonathan Pollard in return for Israel agreeing to release a fourth and final batch of Palestinian prisoners.

“There are no plans to release Jonathan Pollard at the moment,” said State Department spokeswoman Jen Psaki on Wednesday. “Jonathan Pollard was convicted of espionage against the United States – a very serious crime. He was sentenced to life and is currently serving his sentence.”

The possibility that the US would free Pollard as part of its efforts to keep the Israeli-Palestinian peace process afloat has resurfaced in headlines in recent days.

According to the latest reports in Israel, including an item Wednesday morning on Army Radio, the potential step could be a vital move to ensure the fourth and final stage of Israel’s release of long-term Palestinian terrorists as a goodwill gesture, which this time includes Israeli Arabs.

The Knesset Internal Affairs and Environment Committee was to meet Wednesday morning to discuss the Palestinian prisoner release.

While Pollard’s release has been consistently ruled out by consecutive US administrations, media outlets speculated that the US could free him after almost 30 years in jail in a bid to prevent the looming implosion of the current US-brokered peace negotiations, and ensure Israel’s release of the prisoners as demanded by Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas, .

“There is a range of options, including the possibility of freeing Pollard in return for the Israeli Arab prisoners and the continuation of the negotiations,” said a source in Jerusalem, ahead of the US announcement Wednesday.

“It’s something that has been on the table for a long time and is back in the headlines because we are reaching zero hour. The issue depends primarily on the Americans. They’re passed the buck in the past, but it’s not clear where it stands right now.”

 

Source

VANUNU RESENTENCED TO ‘LIFE IN ISRAEL’ FOR WHISTLE BLOWING

Image by Bendib

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The borders of the state are his prison bars …..

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He is prohibited from leaving Israel, including travel over the Green Line, from communicating with foreigners and from conducting online communications without written permission.
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Court restricts nuclear whistleblower Vanunu’s movement for seventh time

He’s still collecting classified information and planning to disseminate it, High Court rules.

By Revital Hovel
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Mordechai Vanunu in court.
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Mordechai Vanunu in court, 2010. Photo by Tomer Appelbaum
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Nuclear spy Mordechai Vanunu will have to spend another year in Israel, following the dismissal Sunday by the High Court of Justice of his petition against the extension of restrictions on his movement and behavior.

It was the seventh time the restrictions have been extended, since they were imposed when Vanunu was released from prison in 2004. The country’s security agencies and attorney general argued in favor of the restrictions.

Vanunu served 18 years in prison for revealing classified information about Israel’s nuclear program, garnered during his employment at the Nuclear Research Center in Dimona.

He is prohibited from leaving Israel, including travel over the Green Line, from communicating with foreigners and from conducting online communications without written permission. He is also prohibited from revealing any classified information that came to his attention during his work in DImona, including information that he had previously revealed. In 2007 he was sentenced to three months’ imprisonment for violating the restrictions.

In his latest petition, filed by attorneys Avigdor Feldman and Michael Sfard, Vanunu argued that a considerable amount of time had passed since he had worked in the Dimona center and committed the offenses for which he was convicted, and that not enough weight was being given to this passage of time. Vanunu also claimed that information about Israel’s nuclear capabilities published since his release “immeasurably exceeds” what he could add today. He added that the restrictions imposed on him represent a disproportionate violation of several fundamental rights, and constitute additional punishment even though he has served his sentence.

The state countered through lawyers Dan Eldad and Aner Helman that Vanunu still possesses unpublished classified information and that he is trying to get the information published. To this end, the state’s lawyers presented classified material that was not made public.

In the decision, written by Supreme Court President Asher Grunis on behalf of himself and justices Miriam Naor and Isaac Amit, the court said that “after examining the extensive material submitted to the court, we are convinced that there is no reason to intervene in the decision of the respondents to extend the validity of the orders for another year.”

Grunis added, “One cannot say that the orders constitute a means of punishment, as claimed by the petitioner. The orders were designed to prevent future dissemination of classified information. In recent years, the court has examined several times the necessity of the orders, and has been convinced, time after time, that they are needed to protect national security.”

Grunis said that from the privileged material shown to the justices it emerges that Vanunu “is still collecting classified information and has not backed down from his plans to disseminate the information.”

 

 

Source

EDWARD SNOWDEN’S ALTERNATIVE CHRISTMAS MESSAGE

https://i1.wp.com/www.newsyaps.com/wp-content/uploads/2013/06/Edward-Snowden.png

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“Asking is always cheaper than spying”.
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Edward Snowden’s alternative Christmas message

NSA whistelblower Edward Snowden has broadcast a Christmas message to the world. This is the first time he has made a public statement and it was aired as the ‘Alternative Christmas Message’ on the UK’s Channel 4 network. In the 1 minute 43 second video, Snowden spoke about the erosion of privacy in the world and that there was a “concert of governments” that has created a worldwide surveillance network. He goes on to state that a child born in today’s society will never know anything about privacy and that this was what writer George Orwell warned us about. He calls for both the public and government to work together in order to restore privacy, end mass surveillance, and find that perfect balance: “Asking is always cheaper than spying”.

EVEN THE US CALLS ISRAEL’S MOTIVES ‘CHUTZPAH’ IN THE POLLARD AFFAIR

chutzpah
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First read THIS ….
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Former US official: Demand to free Pollard is Israeli ‘chutzpah’

Israel is hypocritical asking to stop US spying on country but to release its own spy, says former US Homeland Security officer Stewart Baker*

Officials: Pollard release to be part of peace negotiations

PM Netanyahu will include release of Israeli spy from American prison as part of talks with Palestinians, according to Israeli officials. Ministers push for spy’s release after disclosure of US tapping on Israel

Following the exposure of US surveillance on top Israeli leaders, Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu  is expected to demand the release of Jonathan Pollard, who has been jailed in US prison for nearly three decades, from American prison as part of negotiation efforts with the Palestinians, Israeli officials estimated.

“With regard to things published in the past few days, I have asked for an examination of the matter,” Netanyahu said in broadcast remarks, in a clear reference to the alleged espionage.

According to undisclosed Israeli officials, Netanyahu’s demand for the release of the Israeli spy through the platform of peace talks with the Palestinians could be executed in one of two ways: A release of the Israeli spy as part of an Israeli-Palestinian agreement pushed by the Americans for next month, or through a deal aimed at releasing Arab-Israeli prisoners.

PM Netanyahu meets with Israeli spy’s wife Esther Pollard (Video: PMO)

Documents leaked on Friday by former US National Security Agency contractor Edward Snowden showed the NSA and its British counterpart GCHQ had in 2009 targeted an email address listed as belonging to then-Israeli Prime Minister Ehud Olmert and monitored emails of senior defense officials.

“In the close ties between Israel  and the United States, there are things that must not be done and that are not acceptable to us,” Netanyahu said, speaking during a Likud party faction meeting.

On Sunday, several Israeli cabinet members and lawmakers said disclosure of US spying on Israel was an opportunity to press Washington to free jailed Israeli agent Jonathan Pollard. Netanyahu informed Likud party members on Monday that he had met with Pollard’s wife Ester “and updated her on our unceasing efforts to free Jonathan.”

Pollard was sentenced to a life term in 1987 in the United States for spying for Israel. A succession of US presidents have spurned Israeli calls for his pardon.

Source

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See my post from yesterday dealing with this HERE

IT’S OK FOR POLLARD TO SPY ON AMERICA, BUT …

It’s a NO NO for the US to do the same to Israel!

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In what appeared to be an attempt to calm the clamor, Netanyahu said on Sunday that Israel had constantly sought Pollard’s release and did not need any “special occasion” to discuss his case with Washington: “I just met with Esther Pollard and updated her on our unceasing efforts to free Jonathan.”
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PM: US spying on Israel unacceptable

Netanyahu slams reports regarding NSA’s interception of Israeli prime ministers’ emails, saying ‘In the close ties between Israel and the United States, there are things that must not be done and that are not acceptable to us’

Reuters

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Prime Minister Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu commenting on allegations the United States had spied on Israel’s leaders, said on Monday such activity was unacceptable and had no place in the allies’ close relationship.

Documents leaked on Friday by former US National Security Agency contractor Edward Snowden showed the NSA and its British counterpart GCHQ had in 2009 targeted an email address listed as belonging to then-Israeli Prime Minister Ehud Olmert and monitored emails of senior defense officials.

Reports also said that spy organizations rented an apartment next to then Defense Minister Israel intended to ask Washington for clarifications.

“In the close ties between Israel and the United States, there are things that must not be done and that are not acceptable to us,” Netanyahu said, speaking during a Likud party faction meeting.

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PM meets with Pollard's wife, slams US spying (Photo: Kobe Gideon, GPO)
PM meets with Pollard’s wife, slams US spying (Photo: Kobe Gideon, GPO)
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On Sunday, several Israeli cabinet members and lawmakers said disclosure of US spying on Israel was an opportunity to press Washington to free jailed Israeli agent Jonathan Pollard.

Pollard was sentenced to a life term in 1987 in the United States for spying for Israel. A succession of US presidents have spurned Israeli calls for his pardon.

In what appeared to be an attempt to calm the clamor, Netanyahu said on Sunday that Israel had constantly sought Pollard’s release and did not need any “special occasion” to discuss his case with Washington: “I just met with Esther Pollard and updated her on our unceasing efforts to free Jonathan.”

Netanyahu added, “He should have been released long ago. This is understood by everyone here and I believe is understood by a growing number of people in the United States.”

Israeli officials have played down the importance of any information the United States may have gleaned from its alleged espionage activities.

Strategic Affairs Minister Yuval Steinitz said Israel had always assumed that even its allies spied on it. A statement issued by Olmert’s office, said the reports, if accurate, referred to a public email address and that chances that any security or intelligence damage had been caused were minuscule.

From

 

HAS JONATHAN POLLARD BEEN HOLDING SECRET CLASSES FROM HIS CELL?

At one time, Big Brother used to watch you …. Now he’s listening in as well.
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Israeli super-spy Jonathan Pollard is glowing with pride these days …. seems he’s been giving classes to his captors on new ‘how to’ techniques in the international spy business …. Could this be the reason they refuse to release him?
Here’s the latest;
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The NSA first eavesdropped on Merkel’s predecessor Gerhard Schroeder after he refused to support President George W. Bush‘s war in Iraq and was extended when Merkel took over in 2005, the paper said.
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US officials admit: NSA spied on world leaders, Obama ended program

American officials tell WSJ that NSA ended program that involved surveillance of Merkel, 35 other world leaders after operation was uncovered in Obama administration review that began this summer. German paper says Obama knew US was monitoring Merkel as early as 2010, but failed to put stop to program

Reuters

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The Wall Street Journal reported on Sunday that the National Security Agency (NSA) ended the program that involved bugging German Chancellor Angela Merkel’s private mobile phone after the operation was uncovered in an Obama administration review that began this summer. But a German report claims that Obama knew of the surveillance beforehand.

The program also involved as many as 35 other world leaders, some of whom were still being monitored, according to the report, which was attributed to US officials.

In response to the WSJ report, National Security Council spokeswoman Caitlin Hayden noted in a statement that Obama had ordered a review of US surveillance capabilities.

“Through this review, led by the White House, the United States is reviewing the way that we gather intelligence to ensure that we properly account for the security concerns of our citizens and allies and the privacy concerns that all people share,” Hayden said, adding that she was not in a position to discuss the details.

Citing a source in Merkel’s office, some German media have reported that Obama apologized to Merkel when she called him on Wednesday, and told her that he would have stopped the bugging happening had he known about it.

But Bild am Sonntag, citing a “US intelligence worker involved in the NSA operation against Merkel”, said NSA chief General Keith Alexander informed Obama in person about it in 2010.

Obama didn’t trust Germans

“Obama didn’t stop the operation back then but let it continue,” the mass-market paper quoted the source as saying.

The NSA said, however, that Alexander had never discussed any intelligence operations involving Merkel with Obama.

“(General) Alexander did not discuss with President Obama in 2010 an alleged foreign intelligence operation involving German Chancellor Merkel, nor has he ever discussed alleged operations involving Chancellor Merkel”, NSA spokeswoman Vanee Vines said in an emailed statement.

“News reports claiming otherwise are not true.”

Bild am Sonntag said Obama in fact wanted more material on Merkel, and ordered the NSA to compile a “comprehensive dossier” on her. “Obama, according to the NSA man, did not trust Merkel and wanted to know everything about the German,” the paper said.

White House spokeswoman Caitlin Hayden declined to comment and reiterated the standard policy line that the United States gathers foreign intelligence of the type gathered by all nations.

Bild said the NSA had increased its surveillance, including the contents of Merkel’s text messages and phone calls, on Obama’s initiative and had started tapping a new, supposedly bug-proof mobile she acquired this summer, a sign the spying continued into the “recent past”.

The NSA first eavesdropped on Merkel’s predecessor Gerhard Schroeder after he refused to support President George W. Bush‘s war in Iraq and was extended when Merkel took over in 2005, the paper said.

Eighteen NSA staff working in the US embassy, some 800 metres (yards) from Merkel’s office, sent their findings straight to the White House, rather than to NSA headquarters, the paper said. Only Merkel’s encrypted landline in her office in the Chancellery had not been tapped, it added.

Bild said some NSA officials were becoming annoyed with the White House for creating the impression that US spies had gone beyond what they had been ordered to do.

Merkel has said she uses one mobile phone and that all state-related calls are made from encrypted lines.

The rift over US surveillance activities first emerged this year with reports that Washington had bugged European Union offices and tapped half a billion phone calls, emails and text messages in Germany in a typical month.

Merkel’s government said in August – just weeks before a German election – that the United States had given sufficient assurances it was complying with German law.

This week’s news has reignited criticism of the U.S. surveillance. Volker Kauder, head of Merkel’s party in parliament, called it a “grave breach of trust” and said the United States should drop its “global power demeanor”.

Kauder said, however, that he was against halting negotiations on a European free trade agreement with the United States, a call made by Social Democrats and some of Merkel’s Bavarian allies.

Interior Minister Hans-Peter Friedrich told Bild am Sonntag: “Bugging is a crime and those responsible for it must be held to account.”

The Social Democrats, with whom Merkel is holding talks to form a new government, have joined calls from two smaller opposition parties for a parliamentary investigation into the U.S. surveillance, but Kauder has rejected the idea.

SPD parliamentary whip Thomas Oppermann said former NSA contractor Edward Snowden, who leaked many of the sensitive documents, could be called as a witness. Snowden is living in Russia, out of reach of US attempts to arrest him.

Source

TWEETING FOR ZION

“In light of the success in the battle for awareness during the Pillar of Defense Operation [the Israeli military operation against the Gaza Strip in November of last year] and the experience gained in activating a large number of situation rooms on university campuses and work with students in general, it was decided to establish a permanent structure of activity on the Internet through the students at academic institutions in the country.”
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Israel setting up “covert units” to tweet, Facebook government propaganda

 Ali Abunimah
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Screenshot shows Israelis in an organized digital “war” room posting tweets against the flotilla to Gaza in the summer of 2011. (Source)

The Israeli prime minister’s office is organizing Israeli students in “covert” and “semi-military” style units to tweet and post pro-Israel messages on social media without revealing they are doing it as part of a government propaganda campaign, Israeli media reported today.

But as The Electronic Intifada has previously revealed, this effort is not entirely new.

Haaretz reports today:

The Prime Minister’s Office is planning to form, in collaboration with the National Union of Israeli Students, “covert units” within Israel’s seven universities that will engage in online public diplomacy (hasbara).

The students participating in the project, who would post on social media networks such as Facebook and Twitter on Israel’s behalf, will be part of the public diplomacy arm of the PMO [prime minister’s office], but would not identify themselves as official government representatives.

It is clear that the Israeli government views universities and students as tools in its international propaganda, as a government document, cited by Haaretz, reveals:

“In light of the success in the battle for awareness during the Pillar of Defense Operation [the Israeli military operation against the Gaza Strip in November of last year] and the experience gained in activating a large number of situation rooms on university campuses and work with students in general, it was decided to establish a permanent structure of activity on the Internet through the students at academic institutions in the country.”

Haaretz adds that it is apparent from the document “that a diplomacy group will be set up at each university and structured in a semi-military fashion.” The person in charge of the initiative is Daniel Seaman, former director of the Government Press Office, who has used his personal Facebook page to post racist, Islamophobic and violent material.

Israel’s covert use of social media not new

But this effort is not new. Last year, The Electronic Intifada revealed that the National Union of Israeli Students was already a full-time partner in Israeli government propaganda and set up a project to pay Israeli university students up to $2,000 to spread propaganda online.

As The Electronic Intifada also reported, the National Union of Israeli Students sent its members for government propaganda training and described students as Israel’s “pretty face,” to be deployed as a propaganda auxiliary force.

The union set as one of its organizational goals, working “in cooperation with government ministries and additional organizations, to improve the explanation [hasbara] of Israel’s position around the world.”

At the time, the Electronic Frontier Foundation’s Jillian C. York compared Israel’s online propaganda efforts to those of China, Syria and Bahrain.

“I have seen considerable efforts, both by Israeli companies like Ahava and–apparently–government-supported groups, to utilize some of the same techniques as Syria and Bahrain, particularly on Twitter,” York also previously wrote.

Such Israeli government efforts, which attempt to disguise official propaganda as the work of ordinary concerned citizens and students, date back at least to December 2008, during Israel’s Operation Cast Lead assault on Gaza.

Every computer user is a “kind of soldier”

At that time Israeli social media strategist Niv Calderon wrote that he was hired by the foreign ministry for a first of its kind effort to create a digital “war room” to promote Israel’s propaganda message internationally.

Calderon was later involved in similar organized social media efforts to discredit the Gaza flotillas, and in one report on Israeli TV from June 2011, Calderon can be seen managing a social media “war room” working against that summer’s flotilla to Gaza

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“There is a media war here,” Calderon explains, “and every citizen, every computer user, is a kind of soldier.”

“Equipped with laptops and iPhones,” the report says, government social media propagandists go to war using “tweets as their weapons.”

The report even shows social media propagandists being trained to find random images of market places in Gaza to post online to obscure the fact that Israel’s siege has caused severe hardship to the civilian population there.

Calderon has also previously worked on the social media campaigns of the anti-Palestinian group StandWithUs.

Desperate

The new “covert” social media push comes as surveys confirm Israel’s status as one of the most negatively viewed countries in the world.

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu shrugged off these findings, declaring, “it’s not about the facts, it’s about the defamation of Israel and our portrayal as peace rejecters, war mongers instead of an enlightened nation that is fighting against aims to destroy us.”

Netanyahu, like the Israelis behind these various covert schemes, seems to think Israel can still market, sell, cheat and tweet its way out of being seen, rightly, as an apartheid-practicing, colonizing occupier, violently depriving millions of Palestinians of their most fundamental rights.

One obstacle the Israeli campaigns must overcome is the fact that Israel’s biggest social media hits have been entirely negative – a result of the tendency of many Israelis, especially soldiers, to post violent, hateful and outright racist material on their social media accounts, especially on Facebook and Instagram.

Strengthens case for academic boycott

The recruitment of universities and their complicity in government propaganda efforts aimed at justifying Israeli violations of Palestinian rights will likely strengthen arguments in favor of the Palestinian call for the boycott of Israeli academic institutions.

This call received a boost this week – unrelated to these social media campaigns – from dozens of international faculty calling on their peers to boycott an upcoming conference on oral history at the Hebrew University.

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C I A: WHEN THEY WEREN’T KILLING PRESIDENTS IN CHILE THEY WERE SPYING ON AMERICANS

cia-loves-u-760208
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“What was frightening in the ‘60s into early ‘70s was not so much spying as the domestic terror operations, COINTELPRO,” Chomsky said, referring to the FBI’s program to discredit and infiltrate domestic political organizations. “And also the lack of interest when they were exposed.”
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Report: CIA ‘admits’ to gathering info on Chomsky

Memo obtained by Foreign Policy magazine reveals US intel agency kept file on prominent Jewish anti-war academic in 1970s. Chomsky in response: Systems of power typically try to extend their power in any way they can think of

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WASHINGTON – After years of denials, the Central Intelligence Agency has revealed that in the 1970s it kept a file on prominent Jewish-American linguist and anti-war academic Noam Chomsky, but the files may have illegally been destroyed, the Foreign Policy reported Tuesday.

According to the magazine, the CIA had previously denied that it gathered information on the 84-year-old Massachusetts Institute of Technology professor, well-known for his anti-war activism in the Vietnam era. But now, after a freedom of information request, attorney Kel McClanahan received a memo that confirms the agency gathered records on the American leftist icon, the Foreign Policy reports.

In the document – dated June 1970 – a CIA official asks colleagues from the FBI for information about an upcoming trip of a group of anti-war activists to North Vietnam. The official says in the memo, which was obtained by Foreign Policy, that the trip had “the endorsement of Noam Chomsky.”

Professor Athan Theoharis, an expert on FBI-CIA cooperation and information-gathering, told Foreign Policy that “the June 1970 CIA communication confirms that the CIA created a file on Chomsky. That file, at a minimum, contained a copy of their communication to the FBI and the report on Chomsky that the FBI prepared in response to this request.”

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‘Lack of interest.’ Chomsky (Photo: AP) 

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According to the expert, earlier CIA responses to requests about Chomsky files indicate that the records were destroyed “at an unknown time.” Additionally, that might have been done in violation of the law, which requires that all federal agencies get approval from the national Archives before eliminating federal records.

“It is important to learn when the CIA decided to destroy the Chomsky file and why they decided that it should be destroyed,” Theoharis is quoted as saying by Foreign Policy. He also alleges the Chomsky file was not the only record scrubbed from archives.

When asked about the alleged CIA file, Chomsky told The Cable “some day it will be realized that systems of power typically try to extend their power in any way they can think of.”

“What was frightening in the ‘60s into early ‘70s was not so much spying as the domestic terror operations, COINTELPRO,” Chomsky said, referring to the FBI’s program to discredit and infiltrate domestic political organizations. “And also the lack of interest when they were exposed.”

In May Chomsky, an outspokenIsrael critic, made headlines in the Jewish state when The Guardian reported he was among a group of 20 academics who lobbied British physicist StephenHawking to boycott the President’s Conference in Jerusalem.

During a visit to Gaza last year, Chomsky called “to end the Israeli siege” on the Hamas-ruled territory. “The Palestinian people have a right to live peacefully and in freedom,” he was quoted as saying.

In May 2010, Israel barred Chomsky from entering the West Bank, where he was to deliver a lecture. He finally broadcast his speech by video link from Jordan.

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ROSENBERG CHILDREN SPEAK OF THEIR PARENT’S EXECUTION 60 YEARS AGO TODAY

Sixty years ago today, Ethel and Julius Rosenberg were legally murdered by the United States government. Today, their children see that horror as a force for good …
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Today, the US government asserts that danger from the international terrorist conspiracy and their weapons of mass destruction justifies massive surveillance, indefinite detention and even torture. Authorities say we must guard national secrets even more securely to avoid destruction. Today, the issues raised by the Rosenberg case resonate from the Oval Office of the White House to Bradley Manning, who is being tried under the Espionage Act of 1917, as were Ethel and Julius.
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Out of the horror of the Rosenbergs’ executions, a force for good

Our relatives’ trial for espionage marked a nadir of cold war paranoia. Now, 60 years on, we have our ‘constructive revenge’
Robert Meeropol and Jenn Meeropol
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Julius-and-Ethel-Rosenber-007

 Julius and Ethel Rosenberg during their trial for espionage in New York in 1951. The couple were executed in 1953 after being found guilty of spying for the Soviet Union. Photograph: AP

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We are Robert and Jenn Meeropol, son and granddaughter of Ethel and Julius Rosenberg. We are acutely aware of the political lessons to be drawn from the conviction and execution of the Rosenbergs at the height of the McCarthy period. The charge was conspiracy to commit espionage, but our family members were presented as traitors who gave the Soviet Union the secret of the atomic bomb.

The US government used the Rosenberg case to attempt to prove to the public that the international communist conspiracy threatened the American way of life, and claimed fighting communism required that human rights and civil liberties take a back seat to national security.

Today, the US government asserts that danger from the international terrorist conspiracy and their weapons of mass destruction justifies massive surveillance, indefinite detention and even torture. Authorities say we must guard national secrets even more securely to avoid destruction. Today, the issues raised by the Rosenberg case resonate from the Oval Office of the White House to Bradley Manning, who is being tried under the Espionage Act of 1917, as were Ethel and Julius.

But there are other, more personal, lessons to draw as well.

From the ages of three to seven, I, Robert, lived a nightmare. After my parents’ arrest, relatives were too frightened to take my brother Michael and me into their homes, so we were dumped in a shelter. After the executions, we were thrown out of the New Jersey state school system when local residents found out about our parentage.

In 1954, in a politically motivated attempt to separate us from Rosenberg supporters, Michael and I were seized by New York City police from the home of our prospective adoptive parents and placed in an orphanage. But Abel and Anne Meeropol won the ensuing custody battle, our last name was changed to theirs, and we dropped from public sight for almost two decades. During those growing-up years, I dreamed of revenge.

I, Jenn, was two years old when my father and uncle decided to reclaim their heritage by mounting a public campaign to force the US government to release secret files relating to the Rosenbergs case. My dad worried that his actions might expose me to trauma and fear, similarly to his childhood experience. I was safe in my family but profoundly aware of what had happened to my grandparents. I grew up with sadness and anger about what was done to Ethel and Julius, as well as a fierce pride in who they were and what they stood for.

As I entered college in 1990, my father started the Rosenberg Fund for Children (RFC), a public foundation to help children who are experiencing similar nightmares to what he lived through as a child. The RFC is a way to transform the destruction placed on his family into a positive force to benefit a new generation of families, the way a community of support rallied to aid him and his brother after their parents were killed.

As a young adult, I watched the RFC help hundreds of children who grew up with political targeting in their families. I realized that they probably endured a similar stew of emotions – sorrow and anger, pride and obligation – to my dad’s, and my own. Growing up, I also dreamed of getting retribution from the forces that killed my grandparents before I could know them.

I joined the RFC’s staff in 2007 as granting coordinator. Now, during this 60th anniversary year of my grandparents’ execution, my father will retire as executive director and I will take over the helm of the organization he founded.

We both think of the RFC as our revenge – our constructive revenge. When bad things happen to people, to families and communities, it is natural to want to strike back, to settle the score. The wish to avoid being a passive victim is healthy, but revenge itself is usually destructive. For us, harnessing our desire to strike back and focusing it on creating a positive response is personally satisfying, and our contribution to making a positive difference in the world.

Written FOR

MEET BIG BROTHER’S LITTLE ISRAELI BROTHERS

The New Big Brother ‘Copyleft’ by Carlos Latuff
eua-espionam-o-mundo (1)
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The recent exposure of National Security Agency monitoring of Americans’ emails, live voice communications and stored data cast suspicion once again on private surveillance contractors linked to Israeli intelligence services. One firm called Narus has provided the NSA with technology for almost a decade that enabled it to obtain and analyze at least 80 percent of communications made by Americans over online and telecom channels. What was Narus’ role in the latest scandal, and how far back does its history of spying go?
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Meet the Israeli-linked firm that sold Big Brother machines to Mubarak, Qaddafi – and Washington

by Max Blumenthal 
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prism slide 2
A slide from the National Security Agency powerpoint presentation on the PRISM program. (Image: 
Washington Post)

The recent exposure of National Security Agency monitoring of Americans’ emails, live voice communications and stored data cast suspicion once again on private surveillance contractors linked to Israeli intelligence services. One firm called Narus has provided the NSA with technology for almost a decade that enabled it to obtain and analyze at least 80 percent of communications made by Americans over online and telecom channels. What was Narus’ role in the latest scandal, and how far back does its history of spying go?

Deep Packet Inspection

Back in 2011, when Egyptian President Hosni Mubarak attempted to quell the Tahrir Square uprising by ordering telecommunications companies to shut down the Internet, the Obama administration slammed his regime, demanding that it immediately open up social media channels. The US also took the opportunity to promote the State Department’s $30 million Internet freedom project, which was aimed at providing dissidents with technology to stifle online surveillance in repressive states.

Tim Karr, the campaign director for the online freedom advocacy group Free Press, wondered what tools the Mubarak regime was using to target online dissidents. He discovered that Egypt had purchased Deep Packet Inspection (DPI) technology from Narus, a Silicon Valley-based high tech firm.

DPI is a computer network packet filtering system that allows administrators to collect any data that passes through an inspection point. Governments around the world rely on it to conduct spying and data mining on a massive level. “[DPI] is often called dual use because it can be used for legitimate purposes, by cops to ID terrorists, or for commercial purposes,” Karr told me. “But in the wrong hands it can be a tool that can be used to suppress online dissent, identify dissidents and even hunt them down.”

The information about Narus’ sales to Egypt was not hard to find; Karr discovered it right on the company’s website. Narus has also boasted about sales of DPI technology to serial human rights violators like the governments of Pakistan, Saudi Arabia, and telecom subsidiaries of the Chinese government. Through a third party reseller, Narus was in negotiations to provide spying devices to the Qaddafi regime, but the deal fell through when Qaddafi was overthrown by the very people he had sought to monitor.

nss
A diagram from a Narus demo showing its network management product, which can be used to manage network traffic or provide surveillance over all network activity.
(Image: 
The Berkman Center for Internet & Society)

The exposure this month of the US National Security Agency’s Prism program, which uses DPI technology to monitor the phone and online communications of American citizens, eroded the credibility of US calls for Internet freedom abroad. “The Obama administration has tried to play both sides of this equation and the rhetoric it used during Arab Spring doesn’t square with our practices domestically in spying on our own citizenry,” Karr remarked. “There seems to be a double standard here.”

He added, “When people fear that their communications are being monitored, there is a chilling effect. So this is not just about privacy, it’s a freedom speech issue.”

Room 641A

In 2006, an AT&T technician named Mark Klein discovered a secret room inside the company’s windowless “Folsom Street Facility” in downtown San Francisco that was bristling with Narus machines. The now notorious Room 641A was controlled by the NSA, which was using it to collect AT&T customer data for data mining and real-time analysis. Thanks to the powerful NarusInsight system, the NSA was able to monitor 108 billion emails from AT&T customers per day.

 

att micurs ccsa 20
AT&T’s windowless Folsom Street Facility in downtown
San Francisco, the home of Room 641A where the NSA
used Narus machines to spy on millions of Americans.

 

The revelations set off a national scandal, confirming that the US government was spying on millions of citizens, and that major telecom and service providers were complicit. But no one was held accountable. Following a lawsuit filed against AT&T by the Electronic Freedom Foundation, Congress passed the FISA Amendments Act in July 2008, giving retroactive immunity to telecom corporations that assisted the NSA, and relieving them of any consequences for spying on Americans.

Cass Sunstein, an informal advisor to Barack Obama’s 2008 presidential campaign who now heads the Office of Information and Regulatory Affairs, and who has urgedfederal law enforcement to “cognitively infiltrate” anti-government groups, was anoutspoken supporter of the retroactive immunity bill. With Sunstein by his side, Obama reversed his initial objections to the NSA’s domestic spying operations, voting as a Senator for retroactive immunity.

The vote allowed the NSA to expand its domestic spying operations, clearing the legal hurdles obstructing the creation of PRISM. The stage was set for the second term scandal that would leave Obama reeling.

“You have to demonize the source”

Well before Edward Snowden was a household name, there was William Binney, a high level NSA official who resigned in protest on October 31, 2001 after learning of the birth of a massive, post-9/11 domestic spying operation. I spoke to Binney three days after Snowden revealed himself as the latest NSA whistleblower.

“I couldn’t stay there [at the NSA] and be a party to that collecting data and spying on American citizens,” Binney told me. “And that court order from Verizon [that revealed the PRISM program] is a continuation of that.”

Like Snowden, who has been roundly demonized by pundits and Obama supporters, and may face an extradition order, Binney encountered a severe backlash when he resigned. “They want to avoid facing up to what the government was doing so you have to demonize the source,” Binney said. “We [NSA whistleblowers past and present] were all attacked. They attempted to indict us and frame us, they raided us with the FBI, they attempted to discredit us with all the standard tactics they use. It went nowhere but it allowed them continue doing what they were doing. And that’s the problem – they refused to recognize there even was a problem and now we won’t solve it.”

Binney told me that throughout the United States there are currently as many as 20 NSA black sites like Room 641A. Narus devices, he said, have been placed at fiber-optic convergence points, allowing the NSA to retrieve about 80 percent of data carried through telecom and online service providers. Binney emphasized that the devices do not only retrieve so-called metadata, which only offers general records of data, but that they gather the actual content of emails and calls. (“We can reconstruct all of their e-mails along with attachments, see what web pages they clicked on; we can reconstruct their (Voice Over Internet) calls,” said Steve Bannerman, the marketing director of Narus).

Thanks to PRISM, the NSA bas been able to “fill in the gaps,” Binney explained, gathering bulk data from communications the NSA might have missed with the NarusInsight system, especially those made between Americans and foreign countries.

The Israeli Connection

Binney told me that while he worked at the NSA in 1998, a freebooting agency colleague with pronounced pro-Israel views “shared” DPI technology with Israeli intelligence agencies. At the time, Binney was the chairman of the NSA’s Foreign Relations Advisory Council (FRAC), a board charged with reviewing the transfer of technology to foreign allies. To his chagrin, he was only made aware of the transfer to Israel after the fact.

“Usually when you share things you discuss them and have approval from FRAC – you have an agreement,” Binney said. “I was supposed to know about all the sharing that goes on. So when I found out about this I said, ‘Hey, if we’re gonna share it with Israel we should share it with other allies too and save them the money of having to develop it on their own. I didn’t have a problem with it, and I don’t know how he did it, but we had a process and he circumvented it.”

Enter Narus, the company named for the Latin word for “all knowing.” Founded in the Silicon Valley in 1997 by Israeli expatriates with alleged ties to Israel’s intelligence services, Ori Cohen and Stas Khirman, Narus has been shrouded in mystery since its inception.

A 2006 investigation by Haaretz into Cohen’s background was unable to establish a clear portrait of its subject, concluding that he was “hard to pin down.” Khirman, according to journalist James Bamford, worked in the past for Elta Systems, a subsidiary of Israel Aerospace Industries that specialized in advanced eavesdropping systems for Israel’s military-intelligence apparatus. (In 2010, Narus was sold to the Boeing Company, a multinational defense corporation that clearly saw a future in the online surveillance industry).

Sometime around 2002, Narus pioneered state-of-the-art DPI devices. “The timeline shows [DPI technology] was shared with Israel about five years before Narus came out with its devices,” Binney commented. “It certainly was a suspicious timing sequence.”

Another Israeli-linked tech company, Verint, is a subsidiary of the Israeli firm Comverse, which boasts a reputation as “the world’s leading provider… of communications intercept and analysis” technology. Among the many Comverse executives plucked from the ranks of Israeli army intelligence is the company’s founder, Jacob “Kobi” Alexander, an ex-Israeli intelligence agent who cashed in through Israel’s high-tech surveillance industry. Alexander’s lucrative careercollapsed in dramatic fashion when he was arrested for fraud in Namibia in 2006 after an international manhunt, and wound up handing over bank accounts worth $46 million to US authorities.

Just as AT&T relied on Narus systems, Verint’s DPI devices have been used to fulfill NSA requests for data from Verizon’s subscribers. And as Bamford explained in his 2008 book on the NSA, “Shadow Factory,” much of the data Verint and other private Israeli contractors gather from can be remotely accessed from Israel. “The greatest potential beneficiaries of this marriage between the Israeli eavesdroppers and America’s increasingly centralized telecom grid are Israel’s intelligence agencies,” Bamford wrote.

Journalist Christopher Ketcham speculated in a 2008 article that Israeli-linked firms like Verint and Narus could have implanted Trojan spy technology into their devices, providing Israeli intelligence services with a backdoor means of reviewing and analyzing data stored in secure NSA systems. Boaz Guttmann, an Israeli national police cybercrimes investigator, told Ketcham, “Trojan horse espionage is part of the way of life of companies in Israel. It’s a culture of spying.”

However, Binney dismissed the possibility of backdoor Trojan spying. “With any foreign equipment we bought we would make sure that there wasn’t anything planted in it like backdoors,” he told me. “I don’t think backdoors are a problem since they don’t have the bandwidth capacity and if it started happening it would have immediately showed up in service providers records.”

But no matter how much control the NSA exerts over the spying technology it procures from private contractors, there is little guarantee it can control the thousands of people who work in their offices. To understand how acute the problem could be, look no further than Edward Snowden.

 

 

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