Reprinted from www.libertylobby.org, home of The SPOTLIGHT archive
Israel Benefits From Pullout
By Martin Mann
The dreaded "death ray" laser, the ultimate battlefield weapon developed by the most advanced U.S. defense technology (and first exposed by The SPOTLIGHT on March 8, 1999) will be turned over to Israel this year as part of the reward the Clinton administration is handing the country for ending its long, illegal military occupation of southern Lebanon.
The terrifying laser weapon will permanently blind a soldier, or anyone who gets in its way, in a split second.
Developed by the giant defense contractor TRW at a cost of some $650 million, this highly-classified weapons system has been hidden under a variety of code names over the years, tagged the "Nautilus Project," the "Mid-Infrared Advanced Chemical Laser" (MIRACL) and other covers.
Now designated the High Energy Tactical Laser (HETL) and described by well-placed sources as a megawatt-class, continuous wave deuterium fluoride la ser, the directed-energy ray reportedly has the extraordinary capability of inflicting permanent blindness on an opposing force at distances over 10 miles.
The system was, however, judged "too inhumane" to be deployed under "civilized rules of warfare" and withheld from U.S. armed forces. But under heavy behind-the scenes pressure from the Israeli lobby, the most powerful special-interest group in Washington, the Clin ton administration decided to turn over the HETL laser to Israel as a gift.
Now in the final stages of field tests at the White Sands Proving Grounds in New Mexico, the beam weapon will be installed along Israel's frontier with Lebanon by a task force of U.S. Army engineers in early September, these sources reported.
The official White House explanation for arming the lawless, quarrelsome mini-state with such a terrifying superweapon is that HETL systems can also serve as tactical anti-missile batteries.
"This laser should prove an asset to Israel's front-line defenses because it is also capable of intercepting incoming rounds of so-called 'Katusha' rockets, the kind Hezbollah militants have been firing across the border from their bases in southern Lebanon," Lt. Col. Nancy Burt, a U.S. Army spokesperson, explained laboriously.
But privately, both U.S. and Middle Eastern intelligence sources scoffed at the spokesperson's explanation.
"No sane government, not even the Clinton administration, would spend hundreds of millions of dollars and years of high-tech research just to knock down the few mortar-fired rockets lobbed off now and then by small bands of Muslim militants," said Dr. Rashied Mosten, an arms-control specialist at the Centre des Etudes Transatlantiques (CETRA), the respected international study center.
In addition to installed HETL systems, Israel stands to receive a variety of handouts and concessions for its retreat from Lebanon:
• Despite protests from the Joint Chiefs of Staff, the White House will share the latest real-time U.S. satellite intelligence on the Middle East with the Israeli army, in order to provide "early warning" about Arab troop movements anywhere in the region.
• Israel will get "supplemental" military aid now estimated to run anywhere from $50 million to $150 million to help cover the costs of erecting a new defense line on the border with Lebanon.
• Israel has been treated as a pariah ever since it joined the UN because its application for membership was rejected by every regional organization within the world forum. Membership in a regional organization is a key requirement for privileges enjoyed by full UN members, such as the rotating membership of the powerful Security Council. Now, after intense lobbying by Richard Holbrooke, the U.S. ambassador to the UN, the ministate will reportedly be accepted as a provisional member by a regional organization of the UN known as "Western Europe and Others" (WEOG), a motley group of small European and Far Eastern UN member states.
• The so-called "Memorandum of Understanding," the controversial secret protocol that has given Israel access to high-tech U.S. armaments and weapons designs for more than a decade without the obligation to render an accounting to Congress or the public, will be "upgraded" next year.
Israel has "sacrificed" its occupied zone in Lebanon without "getting anything in return," lamented columnist Charles Krauthammer, an unquestioning Zionist apologist.
But in reality, "Israel has once again managed to turn a so-called 'sacrifice' into a very profitable deal, in which American taxpayers will make the real sacrifices," commented Mosten.