(WMR)—Being disingenuous, like the storied cat who ate the canary, comes natural to Israeli Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu, especially in light of his current propaganda blitz designed to convince the world that Iranian centrist President Hasan Rouhani is not to be believed. Netanyahu and his global propaganda network of sayanim collaborators are working overtime to paint Rouhani as a fabulist when it comes to Iran’s willingness to scale back uranium enrichment, open up Iran’s nuclear facilities to unannounced inspections by teams from the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA), and other moves designed to ease crippling Western economic sanctions on Iran.
Netanyahu, of course, would never entertain having his own country’s nuclear weapons arsenal and production operations put under an international inspection regime similar to that being imposed on Iran. The U.S. has consistently, along with such powerhouses as Palau, Micronesia, and the Marshall Islands, joined Israel in voting against repeated UN General Assembly resolutions urging Israel to become a party to the nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty and create a nuclear-free zone in the volatile Middle East.
Throughout the 1960s and 70s, there were multiple reports of the disappearance of weapons-grade uranium and plutonium from U.S. sources. By 1977, the Justice Department and FBI were certain that Israel’s Mossad and its agents of influence in the United States were responsible for the thefts of some 8,000 pounds of highly-enriched uranium and plutonium from the United States from a time period beginning in the 1950s—when Israel’s nuclear weapons program began in utmost secrecy—to 1977.
Israel’s global propaganda system responded to claims of Israeli theft of U.S. nuclear materials by pushing the deceptive meme that stolen American uranium and plutonium could have fallen into the hands of terrorist groups like the Palestine Liberation Organization or the West German Baader-Meinhoff group.
The CIA was convinced that Israel was the ultimate source of a significant amount of nuclear materials stolen from Nuclear Fuel Services, Inc. of Erwin, Tennessee. The company provided nuclear materials for the U.S. Navy’s nuclear submarine force. When news of the theft hit the media, Israel’s friends in the Jimmy Carter administration spiked the CIA’s intelligence implicating Israel and stressed that the uranium and plutonium missing from Tennessee was never stolen but merely “lost” in the manufacturing process. Two of Carter’s Cabinet officials with direct control over America’s nuclear materials, Defense Secretary Harold Brown and Energy Secretary James Schlesinger, were avid supporters of Israel. Carter, who did not want anything to adversely affect his mediation efforts between Israeli Prime Minister Menachem Begin and Egyptian President Anwar Sadat, kept quiet about the Israeli nuclear smuggling from the United States.
During the Johnson administration, covert approval was extended by the White House to Israeli nuclear smuggling operations centered on the Nuclear Materials and Equipment Corporation (NUMEC) of Apollo, Pennsylvania. Up to 600 pounds of highly-enriched uranium were smuggled from the firm to Israel. The reputed “loss” of uranium was the largest in U.S. history. The NUMEC smuggling operation was largely the work of NUMEC’s president, Zalman Shapiro, who worked with the father of the U.S. Navy’s nuclear submarine fleet, Admiral Hyman Rickover, to develop the first nuclear submarine, the USS Nautilus. Shapiro coordinated his uranium smuggling operations with Mossad spy chief for U.S. activities, Rafi Eitan. Eitan would later run Israeli spy Jonathan Pollard. Pennsylvania Senator Arlen Specter constantly badgered the Nuclear Regulatory Commission to clear Shapiro’s name but it remained adamantly opposed in light of overwhelming evidence that Shapiro smuggled uranium to Israel. No charges were filed against Shapiro because of the general double standard applied by the Department of Justice to spies for Israel.
Wilbur (Bill) Eveland, who had been CIA director Allen Dulles’s personal “eyes and ears” in the Middle East in the 1950s, wrote a book, titled Ropes of Sand: America’s Failure in the Middle East. Eveland, who was a personal friend of Egyptian President Gamal Abdel Nasser and Lebanese President Camille Chamoun, charged that the CIA’s counterintelligence chief, James Angleton, had conspired secretly with the Mossad and the Lyndon Johnson administration to ship U.S. nuclear materials to Israel. President John F. Kennedy had prohibited U.S.-Israeli nuclear technology exchanges after their embryonic and extremely covert beginnings during the Dwight Eisenhower administration.
Eveland believed the U.S. fell into an Israeli trap. Mossad, through Angleton, provided the CIA and Eisenhower administration with exaggerated intelligence about Communist and Nasserite penetration of Arab countries in return for U.S. acquiescence to the smuggling of uranium and plutonium from U.S. stockpiles to Israel. Eveland claimed that many in the CIA were aware that the Israeli intelligence on the Arab countries was intentionally biased to keep open the covert American nuclear supply channels to Israel.
The CIA’s fears were confirmed when, on September 22, 1979, Israel and South Africa, along with Taiwanese observers, jointly tested a nuclear weapon between South Africa and Antarctica. The nuclear explosion was detected by a U.S. Vela satellite. For the CIA, there was no other explanation: Israel and South Africa had joined the nuclear club and Taiwan was also likely in the club.
The Carter administration denied that the dual flashes detected by Vela was a nuclear test. It claimed that a search for technical evidence of a nuclear explosion produced only “ambiguous data.” However, that “ambiguous data” included low frequency acoustic harmonics from U.S. Air Force Technical Applications Center (AFTAC) hydro-acoustic systems operated in conjunction with the U.S. Navy’s Sound Surveillance System (SOSUS). Air Force and Navy sensors in the North Atlantic connected to Navy facilities in Keflavik, Iceland and Brawdy, Wales registered low-level—less than one hertz—seismic acoustic signatures representative of a nuclear test. In addition, infrasonic monitoring stations of the Atomic Energy Detection System (AEDS) maintained by AFTAC detected low-frequency airborne acoustic waves indicative of a nuclear blast.
The reports on the Vela nuclear detection were highly-classified and found in two separate special compartments—the satellite detection of the flash was classified as VELA HOTEL and the hydroacoustic data was classified as VELA SIERRA. Access was based on a strict need-to-know.
The CIA was forced to admit that its intelligence collection could not confirm a clandestine nuclear weapons test even though it had a wealth of intelligence to the contrary. The CIA’s own intelligence, including that from human intelligence sources, proved that the three international pariah nations had been involved in a joint nuclear test in the South Atlantic.
The Carter administration came up with ludicrous explanations for the twin nuclear flashes. It blamed the flashes detected by the Vela bird on two simultaneous and coincidental events: a meteoroid breaking up in the atmosphere at the same time that a tropical storm in the sub-polar South Atlantic region near South Africa’s Prince Edward Islands triggered a lightning flash.
As seen with Israel’s decades-long persecution of former Israeli nuclear scientist-turned-whistleblower, Mordechai Vanunu, when it comes to explaining its own development of a nuclear arsenal, the Israeli government adheres to the policy of “do as I say, not as I do.” A full accounting of how Israel obtained its own nuclear weapons would prove embarrassing for a number of Americans who themselves or their deceased forbearers displayed divided loyalties.
Previously published in the Wayne Madsen Report.
Copyright © 2013 WayneMadenReport.com
Wayne Madsen is a Washington, DC-based investigative journalist and nationally-distributed columnist. He is the editor and publisher of the Wayne Madsen Report (subscription required).