FBI Papers Suggest Israeli PM Netanyahu Connected to Nuke
IRemp, Al-Jazeerah, CCUN, December 10, 2012
Rush Transcript by IRemp:
Nuclear Israel: the secret that is not
Announcer: the United
Nations General Assembly is pressing Israel to reveal its nuclear arsenal.
Israel has lashed out against the overwhelming approval of the resolution
which calls for international inspectors be allowed to inspect its atomic
program, and its foreign minister said the vote was meaningless.
country also rejected a UN-backed conference on a nuke-free Middle East.
Israel denies it has nuclear weapons, but refuses to provide proof that it
doesn't. RT's Paula Slier tried to lift the veil surrounding Israel's
Paula Slier: It's a story that has all the
ingredients and intrigue of a Hollywood blockbuster. Nuclear
smuggling, a Hollywood producer, and an Israeli prime minister. It's a
story that here in Tel Aviv the authorities don't want to talk about.
But two Israeli-Americans have put pen to paper.
Gelman, coauthor with Meir Doran, of the book Confidential: The Life of
Secret Agent Turned Hollywood Tycoon- Arnon Milchan: It's probably the least
best-kept secret in the world.
Paula Slier: On center
stage is Arnon Milchan, a Hollywood producer and Israeli undercover agent
who is alleged to have smuggled nuclear triggers from the United States into
Israel. A Californian engineer, Richard Kelley Smyth, says he was
recruited by Milchan in the early 1970's. Smyth was later convicted in
the United States of running an American front-company to help Milchan.
The story first surfaced in FBI files released [to IRmep] at the
end of last year, and in Joseph Gelman's tell-all book "Confidential."
Gelman: This was a very limited operation. In fact, when the Lakam,
which is the Hebrew acronym for science liaison burea was established, even
the Mossad was unaware of its existence. Basically, it was created
behind the backs of Israel's security establishment.
Paula Slier: Earlier this year, the FBI released these
documents from a seven-year investigation which began in 1985. They
show how a network of front companies connected to the Israeli Defense
Ministry smuggled nuclear triggers out of the United States to Israel.
Grant F. Smith, IRmep research director: What's apparent in the documents is
that the Israeli Ministry of Defense would place an order for prohibited
items with an Israeli company called Heli Trading. Heli Trading is
where Benjamin Netanyahu worked and would meet with Richard Kelly Smyth when
he visited Israel. Then they would transfer the order to an
organization called Milco in California to fulfill the order, violating the
[Arms] Export Control Act, and shipping the triggers out of the United
Paula Slier: They called the operation
"Project Pinto." All of the allegations are based on Smyth's testimony, and
many have been surprised by their detail.
Grant F. Smith: If
you take a look at the documents, Netanyahu is definitely mentioned in the
document. And that#s what surprised us, because typically you get two
types of [Freedom of Information Act} censors of this type of document.
Sometimes they'll block off an entire page. Sometimes they'll just
block off a name. In this case, Netanyahu's name is clearly stated in
Paula Slier: In the documents it is
alleged that Netanyahu asked Milchan, the Hollywood producer, not to discuss
the matter publicly. In a written response to RT, the Israeli Foreign
Ministry denied all allegations, which is hardly a surprise, as Tel Aviv's
official position is neither to confirm nor deny possession of nuclear arms.
Relatively few people have knowledge of the overall Israeli nuclear program,
and there are few leaks. The last time an Israeli insider leaked
confidential information was way back in 1986.
Mordecai Vanunu was subsequently kidnapped by Israeli agents in Italy and
brought back to faced trial, convicted and served 18 years of jail
time--much of it in solitary confinement.
And that operation went on for many years and Israel successfully achieved
the technologies and materials necessary to obtain the nuclear deterrent
arsenal that it has today, probably the fifth largest arsenal in the world.
Paula Slier: On the other side of the story, aside from the
leaked documents, Washington too is keeping quiet. Israeli nuclear
capabilities are some of the most guarded secrets the US government holds.
Far more secret, some would argue, than information it has about Iran.
But for the forseeable future, the book on Israel's nuclear secrets is
closed. Paula Slier, RT, Israel.