חשיפה: הטייס שקידומו בוטל בשל סיווג בטחוני הוא סא”ל עודד אורון, שאחיו היה הממונה על נשק גרעיני בחיל האוויר
Israeli media have reported that two senior officers were refused promotions to major new posts after problems developed in their security checks by the Shin Bet. In one case, an officer failed a polygraph test by denying he’d used drugs.
In another case, the Shin Bet disqualified an officer being promoted to command an Apache helicopter squadron (considered a highly prestigious posting). The reason offered was an unspecified “personal” offense. This case was different from the first because the Air Force apologized publicly to the officer for his disqualification. It apparently has questioned the findings and refused to cashier the officer. In the Yediot article, a fellow officer objected to the move saying the IAF commander should tell the Shabak chief that “you don’t cancel promotions based on trivialities.” The air force has promised to put him forward for another promotion in the expectation he will pass the next time. This appears to be a highly unusual development as failing a security clearance is usually a career-ending phenomenon.
The IDF’s explanation for the problem is that the officer “did not complete” the process of security clearance review. Because of this, he will be allowed to reopen his security clearance process for a different position.
The military censor has prohibited publication of the name of the second officer. They’ve called him Lt. Col. “O.” An Israeli source informs me that this individual is Lt. Col. Oded Oron. He is a special case because his father, Chaim Oron, was a decorated officer and served in the Knesset and chaired the Meretz, left-Zionist party. He was also one of the founders of Peace Now and helped launch the Geneva Accord peace initiative.
The younger Oron’s older brother, Uri, is now chief of IAF intelligence. I wrote an earlier post which revealed his then-secret posting as chief of the IAF nuclear weapons command (the equivalent of the USAF SAC). In the Israeli context, it’s not considered the least problematic or contradictory that the father has been a leading dove advocating peace with Palestinians, while his sons command weapons that could easily destroy all Palestinians and half the Middle East if used.
Oded’s predicament is especially sensitive because of his brother’s senior IAF command. But the Israeli media has pointedly noted that Uri distanced himself from his brother’s case so as not to prejudge the matter. Both brother’s names were suppressed by the censor.
Oded Oron is apparently popular among his fellow officers and subordinates. And the air force was shocked at his disqualification. Reading between the lines, it appears the IAF and possibly the Shin Bet itself, believe the disqualification to be unjustified. It appears that his career will continue and he will be eligible for future commands.