Saturday, June 11, 2005

What the Hell Are We Doing?

Apparently, last November -- according to a report in the Jerusalem Post, a mystery sub was caught spying on Israel. Who did it belong to? Apparently it belonged to the US Navy.

Following the incident, reports surfaced late last year that the United States had increased its intelligence operations against Israel as part of an effort to prevent escalation of the conflict with the Palestinians with an invasion of the Gaza Strip following incessant Kassam rocket strikes, or offensive action against Hizbullah in Lebanon or even Syria.

So we're protecting the terrorists now? What the hell is up with that?!

The reports said the United States had increased U.S. satellite monitoring of Israel to determine military movements, import and export of weapons and weapons tests. They also said the Americans had expanded the interception of signals communications from Israeli government and military facilities.

With friends like us... What is our government thinking? Or are they trying to instigate another USS Liberty incident? Hopefully this time we aren't giving what we learn about Israel to her enemies.

24 Comments:

At 3:30 PM, Blogger MissingLink said...

"The reports said the United States had increased U.S. satellite monitoring of Israel to determine military movements, import and export of weapons and weapons tests"

Th US just wants to know (I guess).

 
At 5:55 PM, Blogger Tom Carter said...

No big deal, Esther. Friends have spied on friends since time immemorial. The only thing unusual about this incident is we heard about it. And it isn't anything sinister. Countries act in their own national interest, and even friends don't always tell you what they're up to. As Ronald Reagan said about arms control, "Trust, but verify."

Of course, he also said, "Well, I learned a lot - I went down to Latin America to find out from them and their views. You'd be surprised. They're all individual countries." Oh, well.

 
At 5:57 PM, Blogger Esther said...

I guess, felis. And thanks tom for the perspective. I guess I was sensitive after just watching an annoying special (which left out a crucial piece of info) on the USS Liberty last night.

 
At 7:20 PM, Blogger Rachel Croucher said...

I would have to agree with Tom when he says that friends have spied on friends since time immemorial, I guess the difference is what the US would do with the information they gather, certainly nothing sinister... on that note, even though I don't have any proof at hand I would be certain that Israel have a few inquisitive folk poking about the States!

 
At 8:37 PM, Blogger Esther said...

But I wouldn't blame Israel for having people checking on things. Israel is far more dependent on our friendship than we are on theirs. And we've screwed them in the past. Plus there are certain aspects of our govt (like the State Dept, segments of the FBI, etc.) who aren't exactly friendly towards them. What I am saying is that Israel has for more reason to be wary than the US does.

 
At 12:12 AM, Anonymous Rory said...

Although allies spy on each other all the time, it seems that when Israel is involved, there are elements in the government, as Esther pointed out, that want to use it as a way to weaken the US/Israeli relationship. There've been several American spies in Israel, who've been uncovered, and all that happens is they're quietly and unceremoniously sent out of the country. When it happens in the reverse, it becomes an international incident.

Esther, my advice would be to avoid those so-called documentaries about the Liberty. Believe me, they can really be detrimental to your health. And, while I'm sorry for the loss of American lives, the damned incident happened nearly 40 years ago--in the middle of a war--and it was resolved in an American court. The only reason it keeps coming up is because there are some people in this country with an agenda, who refuse to let it rest.

 
At 12:21 AM, Blogger Mr. Beamish the Instablepundit said...

I find it far more interesting that Israel detected US submarine intelligence gathering. Back to the drawing board...

 
At 2:33 AM, Blogger menachem said...

spying among allies is quite common... it's only a scandal when they get caught.

Israel should have tried to use this sub incident as leverage for pollard's release.

 
At 8:31 AM, Blogger Gindy said...

I have to agree with Tom on this one. They spy on us and we spy on them. That is international politics.

 
At 4:06 PM, Blogger patrickafir said...

Patrick-come-lately... Tom and Rory pretty much summed up my view. Ultimately, I have confidence that the U.S. will always stand by Israel, but Foggy Bottom et al often make it too easy for Israel's detractors.

And definitely take the U.S.S. Liberty reports with a shaker full of salt. It's an example of how easily people concoct and believe anti-Israel agitprop.

 
At 4:42 PM, Blogger Tran Sient said...

'According to the unattributed report'

How do you think they got an unattributed report? Israel is spying on the US as well. Its been going on for decades. Be wary of finding demons where there are only shadows.

Point of Interest: the Liberty was in international waters.

 
At 4:48 PM, Blogger Esther said...

Yep, it was in International waters....giving away Israeli troop movements to Egypt.

 
At 5:19 PM, Blogger Tran Sient said...

'giving away Israeli troop movements to Egypt.'

Just curious, what is your source for that?

 
At 6:52 PM, Blogger Esther said...

The Secret War Against The Jews by Loftus and Aarons (neither are Jews, btw). (page 259 gives the bullet points) They talk about the US giving Israeli troop movements (via the Liberty) to British Intelligence (this is after the CIA betrayed Israel and told of the pre-emptive strike), who in turn gave it to the Arabs. All of this was pretty much done to curry favor with the oil-producting Arabs.

 
At 7:39 PM, Blogger Tran Sient said...

Esther, I am going to extract myself from this conversation because I feel a disagreement coming on. I would like to say that there are many serious flaws with that text, as well as multiple anonymous sources and just plain wrong statements declared as facts. In any case, I don't want to damage our friendship.

 
At 7:45 PM, Blogger Esther said...

Good lord, TS. I'm sorry if I've given you the impression that I'm a delicate flower who can't take a difference of opinion. Hopefully Jonathan can let you know how far from the truth that is. :) Bring it on. Just be respectful, which I'm sure you will be, and we'll be fine.

I'm not married to that book. If you have better info, tell me about it. There were certain things that seemed suspect but that particular chapter seemed to make so much sense. As for anonymous sources, a lot of them were old spies who can't reveal their identity.

 
At 9:12 AM, Blogger Sergeant America said...

Later than Pat ...

Heck, the US spies on everybody ... even ourselves?

Personally, I wish the metaphysical "debate" in regard to the U.S.S. Liberty could be placed into history. ;)

 
At 9:32 AM, Blogger Tom Carter said...

I had a friend, a guy I knew well, who was a young officer in the Liberty when it was attacked and who was pretty seriously wounded. From the human perspective of a guy on board, all politics aside, it was a pretty horrific experience.

I don't know about this business of we passed info to the Brits who passed it to the Arabs. Sounds fishy. I'm sure we wouldn't have intended it, and I'd be surprised if the Brits did it and didn't tell us. Remember, conspiracy theories abound.

 
At 10:30 AM, Anonymous Jonathan said...

Has anyone been following the story about Israel's sale of "dual use" military technology to China? It's one thing to support Israel, but we have to resist the temptation to say Israel is always right in everything it does. Israel and the United States have been spying on each other for years. This China story (see today's J-Post) helps explain why.

 
At 10:36 AM, Anonymous Jonathan said...

Sorry, forgot to mention one thing. T.S., Esther definitely can handle opposing points of view. I wouldn't hold back for fear of insulting her, so long as it's not a personal attack (which I know is not your style). I have had many disagreements with Esther, and am the better for our exchanges. Have at it.

 
At 10:44 AM, Blogger Esther said...

Thanks Jonathan! :)

SA, it should...but with the History Channel repeating specials on it...sigh...

Tom, my heart goes out to your friend. It must have been a horribly scary time. As for conspiracy theory, I hear what you're saying, Tom, but it just makes sense. Why else wouldn't Congress have investigated the incident (and told everyone on the ship never to speak of the incident) unless they knew we had done something to possibly deserve that attack. While I don't think the government as a whole was against Israel, I do think there were elements who sided with oil.

jonathan, I don't mean to give the impression that I think Israel is always right. Dealing with China is not something I approve of. But I wonder if they're doing so as a bargaining chip? "We'll stop doing that if you stop doing [fill in the blank]." I have no proof of this -- just a guess.

 
At 2:07 PM, Blogger Batya said...

Honestly, nor surprise.

 
At 6:23 AM, Blogger Tom Carter said...

Esther, there were investigations and after-action reports dealing with the Liberty attack. There was also at least one book, as I remember. I've read a number of the reports in the past, some of them classified, and I'm pretty comfortable that it was sufficiently investigated.

 
At 9:04 AM, Blogger Esther said...

Thanks Tom. I'm sure it was investigated (even though the complaint of the men, according to that special I saw, on the ship was that it wasn't) or if it wasn't, it's because the people in charge knew what went down out there. I'm sure there are people who know exactly what was going on. Whether or not we will ever get told the exact truth is the question.

 

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