Yossi Melman reports (Hebrew) at Walla that western and Israeli sources confirm that there are no major advances in the Iranian nuclear program, as was reported widely a few days ago by Barak Ravid in Haaretz thanks to leaks by Ehud Barak and Bibi Netanyahu. Melman says his sources claim that the leaks are a politically-motivated campaign by the prime minister’s and defense minister’s offices. Melman also claims that the U.S. is angry that Barak revealed classified intelligence data. Melman notes, as I wrote here recently, that there is no new report, but rather a partial report shared among various U.S. agencies, presumably before publication. Any serious intelligence official knows that such information is preliminary and subject to change as the various government entities hash out their positions about the data. Judgments are subject to modification and even reversal.
The U.S. administration is none too happy that Barak was only too happy to go blabbing to his journalist friends about the contents of those discussions:
“This is an irresponsible and unprecedented act,” said an American official. “Something like this has never happened…that secret intelligence would be revealed either deliberately or unintentionally to the media. It’s exceedingly rare that a defense minister of a U.S. ally would speak out to the media about the existence of such a report, and bring forth details from it in order to advance his own political agenda.”
Little does he know or understand Barak’s history in such matters. The only thing that matters is self-preservation to which all else is subordinated.
What we have here is one veteran Israeli intelligence correspondent (Melman) calling out both the leaders of the Israeli war camp and indirectly, their trusty stenographers (Ravid and others) in the media who dutifully report the lies and exaggerations they report.
Melman further reports that his sources say that Israeli and U.S. intelligence too have not found any speed-up of the pace of Iranian nuclear development. So in this sense, Barak and Bibi are directly disputing the findings of their own intelligence agency (shades of Bush-Cheney: when has that ever happened before?). Their goal in these leaks is to create the impression in the world at large that there is an urgent new advance in Iran’s nuclear program that requires immediate military intervention on the part of Israel.
The journalist reports that Iran has 11,000 centrifuges enriching uranium, with four tons enriched under 5% and 170 kg enriched up to 20%. If enriched to 90%, this material could produce up to five nuclear devices. But Iran has not yet crossed such a threshhold. And there is no known intensification of, or major change in the Iranian program. Further, Iran’s Supreme Leader has not give any order to proceed to create a nuclear weapon. Iran, according to this account, is at least one and a half to two years or more from being able to do this. But without a suitable missile, it can’t even proceed beyond creating the warhead.
Truly, this is a shameful journalistic performance by Haaretz and its political correspondent, Barak Ravid. A story which should have been retracted has continued making the rounds and the original errors have been amplified by subsequent erroneous reporting in the pages of Israel’s supposedly “liberal,” “left-leaning” paper.
Hahahaha! Was there nobody to laugh this “American official”, no doubt granted anonymity because he “wasn’t authorised to speak with the media”, out of the room?
Richard. Just recently, you took this “veteran Israeli intelligence correspondent” to the woodshed.
“Melman and his co-author, Newsweek reporter Dan Raviv, have done the fantasists one better: he’s taken an ounce of truth and added a pound of unsubstantiated claims and put it between two covers and offered it to a gullible world hungry to hear the heroic exploits of the Ari Ben Canaans of the Israeli spy service”.
So today, when it suits, Melman’s reportage is the ’emeth’.
Richard Silverstein says
Yes, believe it or not there might be a statement you might make that I’d credit as accurate. It wouldn’t happen often, but it’s possible I would. Same thing with Melman. I judge people based on what I know & comparing it to what they write. If they’re wrong I respond accordingly. If they’re right, I respond accordingly. That may be a little too nuanced for your black & white world, but so be it.
So as everybody on the planet already knows, and Yossi Melman is forced to accept to have any credibility at all in the future, that Ehud Barak and Bibi Netanyahu are actively hoaxing the US into war with Iran
How many bites at the apple to these liars get until the sheer weight of their lies and threats causes a miscalculation or Iranian response, which Barak and Bibi can then jump of as incontrovertable truth that Iran is evil/a terrorist state/fighting back? It’s a set-up, a con job, a scam
The Israelis are once again manufacturing a scenario where SOMETHING they can use eventually pops up as sheer probabilities of chance alone – they’re just setting up a duck that they can then knock down.
It’s a fools game to let them run a scam like this – year after year – instead of just stopping them and stopping them cold.
Israel is a clear and present danger to the security of the United States as an Israeli attack on Iran will destroy the American economy, LET ALONE dragging the US into the war itself. As such a NO FLY ZONE should be set up around Israel and any Israel jet trying to overfly Turkey, Jordan, Syria, Lebanon, Egypt or Iraq challenged and if not forced back then forced down.
Instead of Turkey sending Stingers to Syria – the US should be sending Stingers and advanced Patriot batteries to all the nations above, along with S300/S400 Russian antiaircraft missiles to Iran and Syria to PREVENT and if necessary STOP an Israeli attack on Iran
sure, because Turkey, Jordan, Egypt or Iraq would just love to see Iran with nuclear weapons.
Don’t know much about the middle east, do you?
Richard Silverstein says
They want Iran to have nukes as much as they like Israel having them.
And that’s exactly why they wouldn’t object to Israel’s attack on Iran’s nuke.
shoot down Israeli jets on their way to Iran?
they would throw rice and candy at them if it was possible.
Delusion at its best. You’re in for a really nasty surprise when the dust finally settles…
Richard Silverstein says
If they were smart they would realize that any Israeli jet that attacks Iran could just as easily turn around one day and attack them (and indeed would if Israel ever determined that they posed a threat of any sort).
they probably know that.
but they DO want the Iranian nuclear program to be shut down, not less than Israel does, and they would prefer to let Israel do the dirty work, loose men and hardware, get the political flame and not do a damn thing, besides voting “yes” on the condemnation vote in the UN that will follow.
Similar to the 1981 attack in Iraq and 2007 attack in Syria*.
*In the attack on Syria, a nuclear facility could not have been attacked because the idea of Syria developing nuclear capabilities with the help of experts North Korea is totally preposterous.
Fred Plester says
If the White House actually ordered the Joint Chiefs to stop Israel attacking Iran, they would destroy Israel’s (American supplied) strike forces on the ground rather than try and build a fifty billion dollar wall of SAM batteries around the Middle East. The Virginia Class boats could accomplish this with a minimum of help from B2s and B1Bs.
The problem is, though, the extent to which Israel has “agents of influence” in American and Canadian society, and indeed the governments, to prevent any such order being even contemplated. The Director General of CSIS has acknowledged that agents of influence are a problem, the FBI acknowledges Israeli spying but not the agents of influence issue.
Nazi Germany used to have a White List, of persons in the United Kingdom who they thought would cooperate with a Nazi puppet regime in the event of conquest or (more probably) coup. They also had a Black List, of persons to be rounded up and shot as swiftly as possible. Some of the names on the White List were wishful thinking, but they were probably right about two thirds of them. The Black List was “better safe than sorry” and rather longer in consequence.
It’s pretty obvious that John Adelson and Cyril Reitman are not just on Israel’s White List: they are agents of influence who probably help compile the White List. The question then arises: does Israel have a Black List, of US and Canadian citizens who probably won’t cooperate with or even tolerate Israel’s attempted hijack of the North American political process?
Given Mr Reitman’s past experience in “helping” both the FBI and the RCMP with their counter-subversion work, even if CSIS now believe that he invented and organized plots that he could help the FBI and RCMP uncover, he would be a prime candidate for author of any Israeli blacklist of North American citizens who might need to be compromised or eliminated in the event of any serious attempt by Israel to control American political decisions in a major crisis.
Such a list might include a lot of names put there by spite rather than necessity; there are Gestapo documents from about 1944 suggesting that they thought that they thought the majority of people they had arrested in occupied Europe and Germany could have been left alone and had been fingered out of personal prejudice.
Which is a long-winded way of saying that if there was a move in America towards actually stopping Israel, Prof. Silverstein would need to check his wheel arches before starting his car, and weigh his shaver a bit thoughtfully before shaving.
What’s at stake here isn’t just peace in the Middle East, but American and Canadian Sovereignty. Tampering with this will either prove to be Israel’s masterstroke, or its means of suicide.