Follow by Email

Wednesday, September 17, 2014

James Bamford, "Israel’s N.S.A. Scandal": The New York Times Continues to Wage War Against Israel

So, you're interested in having a guest opinion piece published in The New York Times? Unless you're Barack Obama, Vladimir Putin or Henry Kissinger, it's not an easy thing to do. On the other hand, if you write an opinion piece - no matter how vapid or inane - excoriating Israel, you're chances of being published improve immeasurably.

In a fatuous guest New York Times op-ed entitled "Israel’s N.S.A. Scandal," James Bamford tells us how he "had the rare opportunity to hang out for three days with Edward J. Snowden" in Moscow this past summer. And apparently during the time that Bamford "hung out" with this American traitor, he was told that "the N.S.A. was routinely passing along the private communications of Americans to a large and very secretive Israeli military organization known as Unit 8200." Bamford informs us:

"Mr. Snowden stressed that the transfer of intercepts to Israel contained the communications — email as well as phone calls — of countless Arab- and Palestinian-Americans whose relatives in Israel and the Palestinian territories could become targets based on the communications. 'I think that’s amazing,' he told me. 'It’s one of the biggest abuses we’ve seen.'

It appears that Mr. Snowden’s fears were warranted. Last week, 43 veterans of Unit 8200 — many still serving in the reserves — accused the organization of startling abuses. In a letter to their commanders, to Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and to the head of the Israeli army, they charged that Israel used information collected against innocent Palestinians for 'political persecution.' In testimonies and interviews given to the media, they specified that data were gathered on Palestinians’ sexual orientations, infidelities, money problems, family medical conditions and other private matters that could be used to coerce Palestinians into becoming collaborators or create divisions in their society."

Oh my goodness, the NSA passes communications from Palestinians to Israeli intelligence. Apparently unbeknownst to Bamford, Israel also shares intelligence with the United States. That's what friendly intel agencies do. (Would Bamford have us believe that the US doesn't share such information with the UK's MI6?)

A violation of privacy? No question about it. However, as Bamford is surely aware, every time you make an overseas call, your conversation is recorded. Say a "magic" word, and your conversation gets "special attention." That's the price we pay in order to attempt to avoid another 9/11. Sure, it's a nasty trade-off, but I personally prefer not to see another 2,600 people incinerated in a skyscraper, and I am willing to sacrifice much of my personal privacy to ensure that this does not happen again.

The Mossad and the Shin Bet make use of information concerning sexual orientations, infidelities and money problems to coerce people into becoming collaborators? Tell me, are there espionage organizations which don't do this?

And if Hamas, which is designated a terrorist organization by the US, is raising money in the US to fund its terror activities, is this of no interest to Israel and the US?

Okay, 43 reservists and former reservists from Unit 8200, from among the thousands of Israelis who have served in this unit, published a letter criticizing Israeli intelligence gathering efforts. Am I supposed to be shocked? Doesn't this speak volumes about the tolerant nature of Israeli society, which allows citizens from a broad spectrum of political views to express their views without fear of imprisonment or corporal punishment? And are we to understand that the thousands of other Israelis who served in Unit 8200 didn't sign the letter because they are stupider than these 43 persons or less moral?

Bamford concludes his opinion piece by observing how Snowden informed him:

"It’s much like how the F.B.I. tried to use Martin Luther King’s infidelity to talk him into killing himself . . . We said those kinds of things were inappropriate back in the ’60s. Why are we doing that now? Why are we getting involved in this again?"

It never occurs to Bamford that unlike Hamas, Martin Luthor King never encouraged suicide bombings, indiscriminately fired thousands of missiles at Israeli population centers, or called for the murder of all Jews.

Only The New York Times would stoop so low as to publish this offensive tripe.


  1. The "'Grey Lady" is senile. Thank you for not leaving her alone.

  2. Excellent column JG! Those 43 of the 8300 ought to lay the blame where it belongs: at the feet of those who blow up and kill 6-year old Jewish boys and children. If it wasn't for that, strong techniques to avert those killings wouldn't be needed. I say to the 8300's 43: speak to the parents of all the dead Jewish children who were *not* saved in time, whose children were killed because *your organization* could *not* "extort" the necessary information in time to save their kid! Now (43), tell me if you still feel guilty about your job description?

    Do those parents feel heartbroken at the minor amounts of manipulation that is required in order to obtain life-saving information????