Absent greater transparency, Americans should assume the worst
by Grant F. Smith, IRmep
In 1968 Director of Central Intelligence Richard Helms wrote urgently to Attorney General Ramsey Clark and President Lyndon B. Johnson that some highly enriched uranium fueling Israel’s Dimona nuclear reactor was stolen from America. LBJ reportedly uttered, “Don’t tell anyone else, even [Secretary of State] Dean Rusk and [Defense Secretary] Robert McNamara.” The FBI immediately launched a deep investigationinto the inexplicably heavy losses at the Nuclear Materials and Equipment Corporation NUMEC in Pennsylvania and the highly suspicious activities and Israeli connections of the Americans running it. The CIA was tasked to find out what was going on in Israel, and compiledthousands of documents about the incident. (PDF) Although CIA officials in a position to know unofficially went on record claiming a diversion had occurred, for decades the CIA has thwarted declassification and release of the LBJ memos. On October 18, 2013 the only appeals panel with the power to overrule the CIA—the Interagency Security Classification Appeals Panel ISCAP—sent notification that Americans are not yet ready to know the contents of the memos (ISCAP decision PDF). This denial of public release of decades-old secrets concerning U.S.-Israel relations is far from unique. Although the Obama administration promised unprecedented transparency, it has emasculated the public’s ability to give informed consent on a wide range of key foreign policy issues. A review of ten particularly toxic U.S. secrets about Israel suggests stakeholders should start assuming the worst but most logical explanation.
2. Eisenhower and the Lavon Affair. In 1954, the Israeli government launched its “Operation Susannah” false flag terrorist attack on U.S. facilities in Egypt. Israel’s operatives were quickly arrested when bombs exploded prematurely. The operation’s utter failure resulted in a political crisis known as the Lavon Affair. President Dwight D. Eisenhower, periodically swarmed by American Zionist Council lobbyists urging him to send money and arms to Israel, must have learned some very hard lessons about U.S.-Israel relations from the incident. Yet the Eisenhower presidential archive—which is not subject to FOIA—has never released anything revelatory about the administration’s reaction to the attempted false flag attack. A narrow request for such files yielded only a single non-specific declassified opinion that the commander-in-chief believed the Israelis were “fanatics.” (National Security Council PDF) Yet the false flag operation’s objective, attacking to keep U.S. troops stationed in the Suez Canal Zone to respond to “Egyptian militants,” seemed entirely rational to Israel, and possibly to some of its U.S. supporters who struggled for years afterwards to minimize the importance of the affair. Today Eisenhower library archivists claim that huge quantities of Eisenhower’s papers are still “unprocessed,” but may hold some private reflections or lessons learned.
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