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White House leaks Netanyahu's Spying on US Iran Negotiations
US intelligence rates Israeli intelligence as one of the most "hostile foreign intelligence services" inimical to US interests.

I'm really enjoying watching the Obama v Netanyahu rumble in the jungle. For me there can only be one winner, but let's wait and see, punch by punch.



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Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu yesterday vehemently denied aWall Street Journal report, leaked by the Obama White House, that Israel spied on U.S. negotiations with Iran and then fed the intelligence to Congressional Republicans. His office's denial was categorical and absolute, extending beyond this specific story to U.S.-targeted spying generally, claiming: "The state of Israel does not conduct espionage against the United States or Israel's other allies."
Israel's claim is not only incredible on its face. It is also squarely contradicted by top-secret NSA documents, which state that Israel targets the U.S. government for invasive electronic surveillance, and does so more aggressively and threateningly than almost any other country in the world. Indeed, so concerted and aggressive are Israeli efforts against the U.S. that some key U.S. government documents including the top secret 2013 intelligence budget list Israel among the U.S.'s most threatening cyber-adversaries and as a "hostile" foreign intelligence service.
One top-secret 2008 document features an interview with the NSA's Global Capabilities Manager for Countering Foreign Intelligence, entitled "Which Foreign Intelligence Service Is the Biggest Threat to the US?" He repeatedly names Israel as one of the key threats.
While noting that Russia and China do the most effective spying on U.S., he says that "Israel also targets us." He explains that "A NIE [National Intelligence Estimate] ranked [Israel] as the third most aggressive intelligence service against the US." While praising the surveillance relationship with Israel as highly valuable, he added: "One of NSA's biggest threats is actually from friendly intelligence services, like Israel." Specifically, the Israelis "target us to learn our positions on Middle East problems."
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Other NSA documents voice the grievance that Israel gets far more out of the intelligence-sharing relationship than the U.S. does. One top-secret 2007 document, entitled "History of the US Israel SIGINT Relationship, post 1992," describes the cooperation that takes place as highly productive and valuable, and, indeed, top-secret documents previously reported by The Intercept and the Guardian leave no doubt about the very active intelligence-sharing relationship that takes place between the two countries. Yet that same document complains that the relationship even after 9/11 was almost entirely one-sided in favor of serving Israeli rather than U.S. interests:
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The U.S. perception of Israel as a threat as much as an ally is also evidenced by the so-called "black budget" of 2013, previously referencedby The Washington Post, which lists Israel in multiple places as a key intelligence "target" and even a "hostile foreign intelligence service" among several other countries typically thought of as the U.S.'s most entrenched adversaries:
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The same budget document reveals that the CIA regards Israel along with Russia, China, Iran, Pakistan and Cuba as a "priority threat country," one against which it "conduct[s] offensive [counter-intelligence] operations in collaboration with DoD":
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One particular source of concern for U.S. intelligence are the means used by Israel to "influence anti-regime elements in Iran," including its use of "propaganda and other active measures":
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What is most striking about all of this is the massive gap between (a) how American national security officials talk privately about the Israelis and (b) how they have talked for decades about the Israelis for public consumption at least until the recent change in public rhetoric from Obama officials about Israel, which merely brings publicly expressed American views more in line with how U.S. government officials have long privately regarded their "ally." The NSA refused to comment for this article.
Previously reported stories on Israeli spying, by themselves, leave no doubt how false Netanyahu's statement is. A Der Spiegel article from last fall revealed that "Israeli intelligence eavesdropped on US Secretary of State John Kerry during Middle East peace negotiations." A Le Mondearticle described how NSA documents strongly suggest that a massive computer hack of the French presidential palace in 2012 was likely carried about by the Israelis. A 2014 article from Newsweek's Jeff Stein revealed that when it comes to surveillance, "the Jewish state's primary target" is "America's industrial and technical secrets" and that "Israel's espionage activities in America are unrivaled and unseemly."
All of these stories, along with these new documents, leave no doubt that, at least as the NSA and other parts of the U.S. National Security State see it, Netanyahu's denials are entirely false: The Israelis engage in active and aggressive espionage against the U.S., even as the U.S. feeds the Israelis billions of dollars every year in U.S. taxpayer funds and protects every Israeli action at the U.N. Because of the U.S. perception of Israel as a "threat" and even a "hostile" foreign intelligence service facts they discuss only privately, never publicly the U.S. targets Israel for all sorts of espionage as well.
The Intercept
The shadow is a moral problem that challenges the whole ego-personality, for no one can become conscious of the shadow without considerable moral effort. To become conscious of it involves recognizing the dark aspects of the personality as present and real. This act is the essential condition for any kind of self-knowledge.
Carl Jung - Aion (1951). CW 9, Part II: P.14
I can't get at the original WSJ article as it's locked behind a paywall - and I'm not paying...

So the Gruniard's take on it


US accuses Israel of spying on nuclear talks with Iran

Israel denies Wall Street Journal reports that it shared confidential information from talks with members of the US Congress in attempt to derail any deal

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[/URL] The Israeli foreign minister, Avigdor Lieberman, denied the Wall Street Journal report: We reached a decision a long time ago not to spy on the US.' Photograph: Hazem Bader/AFP/Getty ImagesJulian BorgerDiplomatic editor,Mairav Zonszeinin Tel Aviv, andSabrina Siddiquiin New York
Tuesday 24 March 201514.50 GMTLast modified on Wednesday 25 March 201500.07 GMT

The US has accused Israel of spying on international negotiations over Iran's nuclear programme and using the intelligence gathered to persuade Congress to undermine the talks, according to a report on Tuesday.
The Wall Street Journal cited senior administration officials as saying the Israeli espionage operation began soon after the US opened up a secret channel of communications with Tehran in 2012, aimed at resolving the decade-long standoff over Iran's nuclear aspirations.
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Iranian nuclear talks: spies around the table

Read more

The apparent decision by the White House to leak the allegations is the latest symptom of the growing gulf between Barack Obama's administration and Binyamin Netanyahu's government over the Irantalks, in which the Israeli leader suspects US officials of being ready to make too many concessions at the expense of Israeli security. Intelligence analysts suggested that the leak reflects the degree of anger in Washington at Netanyahu's actions, and could mark a more serious blow to the already tottering relationship.

The leak has come exactly a week before a deadline for the US-Iranian negotiations in Lausanne to produce a framework agreement.

According to the report, the US has long been aware that Israel is among the shortlist of countries with the most aggressive intelligence operations targeting America, alongside Russia, China and France. It said American diplomats attending the talks in Austria and Switzerland were briefed by US counterintelligence officials about the threat of Israeli eavesdropping. It also raised the possibility that Israel gathered intelligence about the US position by spying on other participants in the negotiations, from western Europe, Russia, China or Iran. US intelligence had previously provided help to the Israelis to spy on the Iranians, the report said.
The US also conducts intelligence operations against Israel, and learned of the Israeli spying operation when it intercepted communication between Israeli officials exchanging classified information that US intelligence believed could only have been acquired by espionage.
However, what appears to have upset administration officials more than the spying is the use of the classified intelligence acquired to brief members of the US Congress and to persuade them to torpedo the talks. After Netanyahu addressed Congress this month, 47 Republican senators wrote an open letter to the Iranian leadership, warning it that a successor to Obama could refuse to honour any agreement reached.
"It is one thing for the US and Israel to spy on each other. It is another thing for Israel to steal US secrets and play them back to US legislators to undermine US diplomacy," the Wall Street Journal quoted a senior US official as saying.
Israel has categorically denied the allegations that it spied on closed-door nuclear negotiations between Iran and the US, however it did not deny that such information had been obtained.
"I think the report is wrong, it is inaccurate," the outgoing Israeli foreign minister, Avigdor Lieberman, told the country's Army Radio on Tuesday morning. "The State of Israel obviously has various security interests and we have excellent intelligence services, but we are not engaged in espionage against the United States." He did not, however, deny information was obtained. Lieberman said: "All the information we gathered was from another entity, not the US." He added: "We reached a decision a long time ago not to spy on the US and I haven't come across anyone who has violated that instruction in several decades."
Ronen Bergman, an expert on the country's intelligence agencies at the Yedioth Ahronoth newspaper, said: "Whatever you think of Netanyahu's position on the Iran talks, if he thinks that Israel's national security is at stake, he has the right to order the intelligence community to find out what is happening."
But Bergman whose book, A History of the Israeli Mossad, will be published next year added: "What worries me and what should be of high concern to the leaders of Israel is that this is ample proof that the relations at large between the US and Israel are sustaining an earthquake. The fact that it is happening is less worrying than that it was leaked. Also, any intervention by Israel in the inner working of American politics is wrong. If this report is true and Netanyahu's intervention used intelligence material, then it is just making it worse."
Yuval Steinitz, the strategic affairs minister and close Netanyahu aide, told Israel's Channel 2 that the reports were "intended to damage the strong ties between the US and Israel, despite our differences on the Iran issue".
The Speaker of the House of Representatives, John Boehner, said he was "baffled" by the report and denied having received any information from Israel.

"I read that story this morning, and frankly, I was a bit shocked, because there's no information revealed to me whatsoever," Boehner, a Republican from Ohio, told reporters at a press briefing. "I was shocked by the fact that there were reports in this press article that information was being passed on from the Israelis to members of Congress. I'm not aware of that at all. I'm baffled by it."
Other lawmakers also pleaded ignorance when asked about the allegations, which marked the latest front in the escalating row between Netanyahu and Barack Obama. Members of both parties insisted they are regularly briefed on the Irannegotiations by the administration and no one else.
"No one from Israel's ever briefed me about the agreement," the South Carolina senator Lindsey Graham, a Republican, told reporters. "If they're spying, they're not telling me about it."

The shadow is a moral problem that challenges the whole ego-personality, for no one can become conscious of the shadow without considerable moral effort. To become conscious of it involves recognizing the dark aspects of the personality as present and real. This act is the essential condition for any kind of self-knowledge.
Carl Jung - Aion (1951). CW 9, Part II: P.14

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