Israel’s fifth column in Congress caught with pants down

by Justin Raimondo
January 01, 2016
Antiwar.com

Once again, a scandal involving spying and the state of Israel is rocking Capitol Hill, with one big difference. This time, instead of the usual scenario where Israel is spying on us, the tables are turned and it’s those usually hapless Americans who have been secretly looking over the shoulder of their “ally.” The Wall Street Journal reports that the National Security Agency (NSA) not only eavesdropped on the private communications of Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, but that

“The National Security Agency’s targeting of Israeli leaders and officials also swept up the contents of some of their private conversations with U.S. lawmakers and American-Jewish groups. That raised fears – an ‘Oh-s – moment’ one senior US official said – that the executive branch would be accused of spying on Congress.”

At the time, Netanyahu and his government were engaged in an all-out campaign to torpedo the nuclear agreement with Iran, and that effort wasn’t limited to using their American fifth column to put pressure on Congress and the Obama administration. Israeli intelligence planted malware in the hotel computers where US negotiators were staying during the negotiations in Switzerland: they intercepted highly sensitive inside information on the talks, and leaked it. Did they leak to members of Congress opposed to the Iran deal? It no doubt occurred to the US intelligence community to ask this question, and answering it was a matter of national security. As the Journal reports:

“Stepped-up NSA eavesdropping revealed to the White House how Mr. Netanyahu and his advisers had leaked details of the U.S.-Iran negotiations – learned through Israeli spying operations – to undermine the talks; coordinated talking points with Jewish-American groups against the deal; and asked undecided lawmakers what it would take to win their votes, according to current and former officials familiar with the intercepts.”

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