The Israeli source who conveyed to me the crisis in Israel’s drone fleet has added that the Iranians have hacked Azerbaijan’s Israeli-made drone fleet as well:
Using [a nearly identical drone] to the fallen Hermes 450, several months ago IAF…drones also failed in Azerbaijan. [They were] using the Azery Hermes control units with some temporary modifications [paralleling those of] Israeli drones signals. The training exercise failed after similar concerns of successful Iranian penetration were raised.
Iran’s media even crowed about the failure. It could put a dent in the billions of dollars Azerbaijan’s dictator is spending on Israeli military hardware and depress (ever so slightly) the revenue forecast for Israel’s weapons industry.
The Azeri failure means that virtually none of the drones Israel has stationed in countries like Saudi Arabia, Turkmenistan, Azerbaijan and elsewhere are likely to be able to attack Iran should Israel decide to do so. As this source wrote in my last published post, this means that Israel cannot neutralize Iran’s anti-aircraft systems using its drone force as it had planned to do. While Israel may have other means to try to do this, it was relying on its drones to do the primary heavy-lifting.
A reminder that you won’t see this story in the MSM. You won’t see it in the Israeli media. It’s likely concealed so deep by the military censor that it can never see the light of day. As for foreign reporters and publications: they refuse to report an Israel-based story unless it’s done by conventional means (which means spoon-fed by government officials and security services). So please be inclined to make a contribution to support reporting you won’t find anywhere else in the world media or blogosphere.
Fresh? Not So Much.
I mentioned in my last post that the Israeli security-related news/gossip site, Fresh, had “pinned” my first drone story to the top of one of its main sections. There it received scores of comments and sent hundreds of Fresh readers to my site. Israeli news portals like Fresh are heavily oriented to the security services. So even though much of my reporting comes directly or indirectly from Israeli security sources, members of these forums are intensely hostile to my work. They view it as treasonous or worse, to Israeli security interests. Which of course is laughable because if that was so, no security source would open his mouth to me.
Fresh’s resident goon, Sirpad, took exception to the note I added to the post about Fresh. He wrote several comments here denying my post was pinned because it was viewed as credible. But rather, just the opposite was true: it was pinned because it was viewed as ridiculous. First, I’ve NEVER seen any forum pin a post to the top of the thread because the item was viewed with derision. As a forum admin, if you pin a post it means you believe it’s important. Why else would you give it such prominence? Second, the person who actually pinned my post published it without adding any negative comment. If what Sirpad claimed was true, the Admin who posted the link to my post would’ve certainly added a nasty comment, which he didn’t.
After I posted here about Fresh pinning my post, Sirpad and his goons, to mitigate their earlier decision, announced that the post was fabricated. They offered no proof either that it was a hoax or even to disprove its contents. In fact, in the comment thread of my last post, you’ll find another avowed Fresh member who claims to know a great deal about the subject of drones, but who finds the report so ridiculous that he can’t even begin to point out why. That’s quite a credible line or argument.
As I explained earlier, Sirpad and I both published an important Israeli document conveying Israel’s battle plan for an Iran attack. I noted that it was official (a briefing paper for Bibi to use with recalcitrant cabinet ministers who doubted the utility of attacking). Sirpad claimed that the person who conveyed it to him intended it as a fictional account of an Israeli attack. Which begs the question: why would a news portal devoted to publishing scoops, publish a self-declared fiction? The idea is preposterous. With news/gossip sites like Fresh, scoops are the currency of the realm. And scoops are based on facts and true stories. Any news portal that begins publishing fiction or fantasy will soon lose its cache.
I also note that Sirpad originally claimed that I copied the Iran battle plan from Fresh and passed it off as my own original reporting. In the comment threads to my last post, I reminded him that he and I both know the source who conveyed the document to both of us. Both he and I know the battle plan was real and not fictional. He never repeated his earlier claim that I’d plagiarized the report from his Fresh post.
In short, Sirpad is, like many such security-obsessed Israeli rightists, willing to stretch truth on behalf of Israel’s imagined security interests.
Shabak and Levi Eshkol’s ‘Back Pages’
Another scoop (Hebrew) marginally related to this subject: Israel’s national archivist, Yaakov Lazownik, reported at a conference that in the past decade, the Shabak broke into the official (though private) archive of former Prime Minister Levi Eshkol and stole top-secret documents. They then conveyed them to the government’s secret vaults, where there is no danger they can ever be seen by anyone.
Anyone reading this blog knows of my mantra of Israel as a national security state; a state in which secrets are king. This incident is a perfect example. The security services at first demanded that the documents from the Eshkol archive be turned over to the government. When the Eshkol family refused, the Shabak simply broke into the archives and took what they wanted.
Given military censorship, the news report did not reveal the nature of the documents stolen. But my Israeli source (not the same as the source who conveyed the drone story) tells me that they related to Israel’s nuclear program. Eshkol was a senior minister and prime minister during the entire period that covered Israel’s development of its nuclear weapons program, which began in 1956-57 and gathered force in the 1960s. These documents might’ve related to the building of Dimona and the activities that were used to create Israel’s bomb. There are secrets enough there to fill many books.
Silverstein has published Tikun Olam since 2003, It exposes the secrets of the Israeli national security state. He lives in Seattle, but his heart is in the east. He publishes regularly at Middle East Eye, the New Arab, and Jacobin Magazine. His work has also appeared in Al Jazeera English, The Nation, Truthout and other outlets.