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Double Standards on Foreign Owners

Amdocs vs. DP World

by LILA RAJIVA

In December 2001, Fox TV broadcast a four part investigation on Israeli espionage by Carl Cameron, which the Israeli embassy in Washington, JINSA (Jewish Institute for National Security Affairs), and AIPAC (American Israeli Political Action Committee) immediately denied and attacked. (1)

One and a half days after its posting, all the material related to the investigation was taken off the Fox website. The facts stayed alive thereafter only on the Internet.

Forget the Israeli art student espionage story which Cameron unearthed and which has never been seriously investigated. Forget any of the other highly credible accounts of Israeli espionage before and during 9-11 which have been conveniently reclassified without investigation as urban legends.

Focus only on what Cameron reported on Amdocs, a company which has contracts with the twenty-five largest telephone companies in the US to handle all their directory assistance, calling records, and billing work. This gives Amdocs access to data on nearly every telephone call dialed in the country. According to Cameron, Amdocs has been investigated on several occasions for suspected ties to the Israeli mafia and for espionage.

Reportedly, in 1999 a Top Secret Sensitive Compartmentalized Information report (TS/SCI) warned that records of calls in the US were getting into foreign hands, Israeli in particular.

Yet this story garnered nary a peep from the mainstream media, so vocal in free-speech defense of race-baiting cartoons.

And it got not much more even in the alternative press, daintily leery of being branded anti-Semitic.

And it got nothing at all from grandstanding pols like Chuck Schumer, waxing indignant today about DP Worlds:

"America’s busiest ports are vital to our economy and to the international economy, and that is why they remain top terrorist targets," quoth Schumer. "Just as we would not outsource military operations or law enforcement duties, we should be very careful before we outsource such sensitive homeland security duties." (2)

Indeed.

Of course, it could be argued that Israel is such a close ally that its ownership does not count as foreign ownership.

And it could be argued that numerous US government officials in the highest and most powerful positions in the land including–but not limited to–Michael Chertoff (Homeland Security chief), Paul Wolfowitz (former Deputy Defense Secretary), Richard Perle (former head of the Defense Policy Board), Douglas Feith (former Undersecretary for Defense) and Dov Zakheim (former Comptroller for Defense), (reportedly) hold both US and Israeli citizenship……. and what’s wrong with that? (3)

Some of the dual citizens have even worked in both the Israeli and US government.

In fact, in both US and Israeli defense.

And it could be argued–what’s wrong with that, either?

It could also, of course, be argued that the CIA and the Mossad are not really distinct at all and that Israeli interests are locked in impassioned coitus with US interests.

Those certainly are valid arguments.

But if so, aren’t they arguments that someone ought to have made openly to the American public by now?

Or what’s a first amendment for?

LILA RAJIVA is a free-lance journalist and author of "The Language of Empire: Abu Ghraib and the American media," (Monthly Review Press). She can be reached at: lrajiva@hotmail.com

Notes

(1) Carl Cameron Investigates: Israel Is Spying In and On the US?" Parts 1-4, Carl Cameron, Fox News, December 12, 2001. Another company Cameron was investigating was Comverse Infosys, a subsidiary of an Israeli-run private telecom that works closely with the Israeli government and has offices all over the U.S. Comverse provides wiretapping equipment to law enforcement and under some programs, gets funded for its R&D by the Israeli Ministry of Industry and Trade. DEA, INS and FBI personnel all told Fox that to even imply Israeli spying through Comverse would end their careers. The pages removed from the Fox site can be viewed cached at
http://www.informationclearinghouse.info/article7545.htm

(2) United Arab Emirates Firm May Oversee 6 U.S. Ports, Ted Bridis, Associated Press, February 12, 2006. I am indebted to CP-er Niranjan Ramakrishnan for pointing out Schumer’s quote, http://njn-blogogram.blogspot.com/2006/02/starboard-side.html and also other Israeli communications firms in sensitive operations. Quote:

"Abramoff also allegedly convinced Congressman Robert Ney, House Administrative Committee chairman, to award a contract worth $3 million to a startup Israeli telecommunications firm called Foxcom Wireless. The contract was for the installation of antennas in House of Representatives buildings to improve cell-phone reception. Not surprisingly, such equipment can be designed to have what is known as a ‘back door’ to enable a third party, in this case Mossad, to listen in."

(3) On dual citizenship, "Accountability: Why Not Start at the Top?" Michael Scheuer, Antiwar, March 17, 2005. Scheuer points out the unconstitutionality of dual citizenship and claims that a conflict of interest in inevitable. That might be debated but where is the transparency needed for a debate?