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Day 17

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An Israeli Spy in the Pentagon?

Why Would They Bother?

by RAY HANANIA

When I heard that Israel had a man working in the Pentagon as a spy, providing secret information to its powerful lobbying arm in Washington, I was surprised.

Why does Israel need a spy to steal secret information when it has several key people there already who hold top positions and can share instead of steal sensitive data?

Paul Wolfowitz? Richard Pearle? Paul Bremer?

Didn’t we invade Iraq in part to satisfy the Israeli lobby that pressured the weakling administration of President Bush?

Isn’t American foreign policy in the Middle East already pretty much directed by Israel’s needs and agenda?

If you say that, you are automatically labeled anti-Semitic. That only puts you in the company of such people at Desmond Tutu, Nelson Mandela, most civil rights leaders in the United States who advocate for Palestinian rights and even the Pope who has been forced to say he’s not sure if he did or did not watch Mel Gibson’s movie, "The Passion of the Christ."

I haven’t had time to watch Gibson’s film. I’ve been too busy wondering why the United States is pursuing it’s self-destructive and very pro-Israel foreign policies in the Middle East?

This latest spying incident — given only superficial coverage in many pro-Israel American newspapers — supposedly involves an aide to a top deputy working for Donald Rumsfeld, the secretary of defense.

Normally, spies are immediately identified and "outted," but not this aide.

But who needs to name him anyway? There have been so many Israeli spies.

This "spy," though, supposedly was providing Israel with sensitive information about Iran’s nuclear plant, which Israeli officials have threatened to destroy in a bombing raid. The raids would no doubt rely on American-made fighter jets, American-made missiles and American-trained fighter pilots, strategies, maps and intelligence. Why would they need a spy? Israel has often attacked its Arab neighbors, destroying things it doesn’t like but that it has, like nuclear plants. Iraq has responded if Israel attacks its nuclear plant, Iran will attack Israel’s nuclear plant at Dimona. Israel’s Dimona nuclear facility "secretly" manufactures some 300 nuclear weapons that don’t have to be inspected by the International community because the United States says they don’t have to be not be inspected!

Another reason to wonder why Israel needs to spy on this country.

The whole thing is absurd.

The fact is Israel’s current government has so much influence over America’s current government that it doesn’t need to spy and steal information. It can just ask for it, or just take it.

In fact, it could just change American foreign policy and direct the Bush administration to do Israel’s dirty work, like we already did in Iraq.

Let’s face it. As soon as Bush was elected, his aides told him to ignore the Palestine-Israel conflict, which was teetering on violent conflict but still could have resumed peace talks, and instead concentrate elsewhere.

Former Presidents Jimmy Carter and Bill Clinton both say Bush made a crucial mistake by walking away from the Middle East peace process. But why rely on them when you can get secret information from the Pentagon that would bolster Israel’s new government’s right-wing policies?

You have to give the Israelis credit. The way they brilliantly made it seem that America had to attack and invade Iraq because that’s where Osama Bin Laden was hiding.

Too bad things like the real terrorist threat continue to exist and Bin Laden, as everyone else except in Washington and the Bush administration know, is still hiding somewhere in Afghanistan where he continues to plot major terrorist threats against the United States.

But why invade Afghanistan and capture Bin Laden? He’s too smart to plan attacks against Israel.

RAY HANANIA is a Palestinian American journalist and columnist based in Chicago. His columns are archived on the web at www.hanania.com.