Reprinted from www.libertylobby.org, home of The SPOTLIGHT archive
Israeli Spy Agency Caught
By Martin Mann
After interminable official denials, the hard facts of what may be the most outrageous national security scandal of the Clinton era are coming to light with new evidence confirming that alien espionage agents have intercepted secret electronic communications of the White House, the State Department and other agencies for years.
A well-researched story by two well-known Washington investigative writers, J. Michael Waller and Paul M. Rodriguez, reported in Insight magazine that "FBI counterintelligence is tracking a daring operation to spy on high-level U.S. officials by hacking into supposedly secure telephone networks."
The espionage operation "may have serious ramifications because the FBI has identified Israel as the culprit," revealed the two newsmen. "It risks undermining U.S. public support for the Jewish state at a time when Israel is seeking more billions of dollars [in U.S. 'aid'] for the return of land to Syria."
The discovery that the Mossad, Israel's secret service, has been eavesdropping on the confidential phone conversations of top Washington national security officials is not news in itself.
During the Clinton impeachment hear ings, this populist newspaper reported that Mossad operatives had acquired electronic intercepts of Clinton's lascivious "phone sex" chats with his secret paramour, Monica Lewinsky. Mossad agents used them as bargaining chips to extort various concessions from the White House.
Foreign envoys in Washington and at the UN in New York have long complained to this populist newspaper's diplomatic correspondent that Israeli espionage had the ability to come up with real time accounts of "secure phone" exchanges between Islamic diplomats and American policymakers.
SPYING AT HIGHEST LEVEL
But the most recent report by Waller and Rodriguez broadens the scope of this unprecedented breach of U.S. national security.
"More than two dozen U.S. intelligence, counterintelligence, law enforcement and other officials have told us that the FBI believes Israel has intercepted telephone and modem communications on some of the most sensitive lines of the U.S. government on an ongoing basis," the two experienced newsmen related.
The FBI, moreover, faces the thorny problem of "damage control," of "how to deal with the potentially sweeping espionage penetration of key U.S. telecommunications systems, allowing foreign eavesdropping on calls to and from the White House, the National Security Coun cil (NSC), the Pentagon and the State Department," Waller and Rodri guez explained.
For nearly a year, FBI agents have been tracking an Israeli businessman working for a local phone company. The man's wife is alleged to be a Mossad officer under diplomatic cover at the Israeli embassy in Washington, investigators found.
According to the report, this suspect and other Mossad operatives used telephone company equipment at remote sites to track calls placed to or received from high-ranking government officials, including the president himself. A key method used was to utilize a private company that provides record-keeping software and other support services for major telephone utilities in the United States.
The FBI uncovered what appears to be highly sophisticated means enabling Israeli agents to not just listen in on classified conversations in Washington, but to transmit them live directly to Mossad eavesdroppers in Tel Aviv, the two investigative writers revealed.
"It's a huge security nightmare," a top U.S. counterintelligence official acknowledged.
Other sources warned that in Washington, "everything involving Israel on this particular matter is off limits. It's that hot."
Israel itself "appeared stunned" by the Waller-Rodriguez report, according to a late dispatch in the Middle East News line of The World Tribune.
Revealingly, there were no immediate, categorical denials from senior Israeli officials. Instead, they claimed that the story of Mossad wiretapping was "leaked by Clinton administration officials as part of a pressure campaign to stop Israeli arms sales to China."
In Washington, seasoned counterintelligence officials were not unduly surprised.
"The Israelis conduct intelligence as if they are at war," confirmed David Major, a retired FBI supervisory special agent, who also served as director of counter-intelligence at the NSC. "That's something we have to realize, but it doesn't excuse it."
Ironically, Israel has solemnly pledged for decades that it will never conduct espionage operations in or against the U.S., a covenant occasionally cited in wist ful tones by White House spokesmen.
"If anything, this case has settled the question of just what Israel's word is worth," commented James Hanrahan, a former FBI inspector of embassies.
The Associated Press quoted an un named source in the Janet Reno Justice Department saying there is no Israeli spying. AP quoted an Israeli official as denying any spying. Israel is still trying to get convicted spy Jonathan Pollard out of prison.