You are here

Nixon papers suggest israel stole nuclear material from US in 1965

Surprise, surprise - another knife in the back from our 'closest ally in the Middle East."

In July 1969, while the world was spellbound by the Apollo 11 mission to the moon, President Richard M. Nixon and his close advisers were quietly fretting about a possible nuclear arms race in the Middle East. Their main worry was not a potential enemy of the United States, but one of America’s closest friends.

“The Israelis, who are one of the few peoples whose survival is genuinely threatened, are probably more likely than almost any other country to actually use their nuclear weapons,” Henry A. Kissinger, the national security adviser, warned President Nixon in a memorandum dated July 19, 1969.

Israel’s nuclear arms program was believed to have begun at least several years before, but it was causing special fallout for the young Nixon administration. For one thing, President Nixon was getting ready for a visit by Prime Minister Golda Meir of Israel, who was also in her first year in office and whose toughness was already legendary.

Should Washington insist that Israel rein in its development of nuclear weapons? What would the United States do if Israel refused? Perhaps the solution lay in deliberate ambiguity, or simply pretending that America did not know what Israel was up to. These were some of the options that Mr. Kissinger laid out for President Nixon on that day before men first walked on the moon.

The Nixon White House’s concerns over Israel’s weapons were recalled in documents held by the Nixon Presidential Library that were released today by the National Archives. They provide insights into America’s close, but by no means problem-free, relationship with Israel. They also serve as a reminder that concerns over nuclear arms proliferation in the Middle East, currently focused on Iran, are decades-old.

The papers also allude to a campaign by friends of W. Mark Felt, who was then the second-ranking F.B.I. official, to have him succeed J. Edgar Hoover as director of the bureau in 1972. President Nixon, of course, did not take the advice, choosing L. Patrick Gray instead, and Mr. Felt later became the famous anonymous source “Deep Throat,” whose Watergate-scandal revelations helped to topple the president.

There are also snippets about Washington’s desire to manipulate relations with Saudi Arabia, so that the Saudis might help to broker a peace in the Mideast; discussion of possibly supporting a Kurdish uprising in Iraq; and a 1970 incident in which four Israeli fighters shot down four Russian Mig-21’s over eastern Egypt, even though the Israelis were outnumbered two-to-one in the battle.

But perhaps the most interesting material released today, and the most pertinent given the just-completed Mideast peace conference in Annapolis, concerns Israel and its relations with its neighbors, as well as with the United States.

“There is circumstantial evidence that some fissionable material available for Israel’s weapons development was illegally obtained from the United States about 1965,” Mr. Kissinger noted in his long memorandum.

One problem with trying to persuade Israel to freeze its nuclear program is that inspections would be useless, Mr. Kissinger said, conceding that “we could never cover all conceivable Israeli hiding places.”

“This is one program on which the Israelis have persistently deceived us,” Mr. Kissinger said, “and may even have stolen from us.”

Israel has never officially acknowledged that it has nuclear weapons, but scientists and arms experts have almost no doubt that it does. The United States’s reluctance to press Israel to disarm has made America vulnerable to accusations that it is a preacher with a double standard when it comes to stopping the spread of weapons of mass destruction in the Middle East.

Mr. Kissinger’s memo, written barely two years after the Six-Day War and while memories of the Holocaust were still vivid among the first Israelis, implicitly acknowledged Israel’s right to defend itself, as subsequent American administrations have done.

After President Nixon met Prime Minister Meir at the White House in late September 1969, he said: “The problems in the Mideast go back centuries. They are not susceptible to easy solution. We do not expect them to be susceptible to instant diplomacy.”

Bullshit.

As usual, the NYT puts its best zionist spin on the article, reminding readers of israel's so-called 'unconditional right to self-defense.'

But, what struck me most from the memo was that even back then the biggest dilemma Nixon faced concerning whether or not to pressure israel to abandon its nuclear ambitions was governed by his FEAR of what the Israel Lobby could do to him if he threatend to withhold something from them.

The Dilemma We Face

Our problem is that israel will not take us seriously on the nuclear issue unless they believe we are prepared to withhold something they very much need -- the Phantom, or even more, their whole military supply relationship with us.

On the other hand, if we withhold the Phantoms and they make this fact public in the United States, enormous political pressure will be mounted on us. We will be in an indefensible position if we cannot state why we are withholding the planes. Yet if we explain our position publicly, we will be the ones to make Israel's possession of nuclear weapons public with all the international consequences this entails.

Read the memo (PDF) yourself.

I'm interested to see what the other documents hold. The NYT can't be trusted to reveal everything we need to know.

Comments

President Kennedy, who was opposed to Israel getting nukes, was murdered in 1963.

In 1967, the USS Liberty is savagely attacked by Israel and 37 of its crew murdered.

In between 1963 and 1967, Israel obtains nuclear fissile material from the United States.

From 1967 on, the U.S. showers Israel with money and weapons so it can terrorize its neighbors and complete the Palestinian Genocide.

Just a series of coincidences, huh?

Greg Bacon

Samson Option, when Israel perceive its mere existence is mortally threatened.

They are very selfish, self-centered and paranoid, and America paid the price in appeasing Israel even after Israel betray America repeatedly.

What is it that American politicians and other power players love Israel so much even after the betrayal, letting the theft of nuclear weapons slip like it doesn't matter as long as Israel is an ally?

This reminds me of the hairworm that borne its parasite inside the grasshopper and control the victim to jump into water to drown in self-induced suicide so the hairworm frees itself from the water-logged body of the insect.

The Zionists are sick parasites who cannot get enough and want more & more until they control the world's resources through blackmail and crying "anti-Semitism" & endless Holocaust reparations.

Despite doubts, Shapiro maintains innocence

By Mary Ann Thomas and Ramesh Santanam
VALLEY NEWS DISPATCH
Monday, August 26, 2002

Editor's note: This is the second of three parts regarding the history of the Nuclear Materials and Equipment Corp. and allegations of uranium missing from the company.

Seventeen days after four Israelis - all with ties to that country's military or intelligence agencies - visited NUMEC, the men also met with NUMEC's president Zalman Shapiro and four others.

Their discussions, according to Bruce Rice, NUMEC's security manager, "concerned the possibility of developing plutonium-fueled, thermo-electric generator systems in the 5- and 50-milliwatt power level."

story continues below

The Israelis were particularly interested in 10 generators in the 5-milliwatt range, which would be fueled by about 2 grams of plutonium.

"We are proceeding to make a proposal to these gentlemen for this work using, of course, only unclassified information, which is already in the public domain," Rice wrote to Atomic Energy Commission (AEC) security director Harry Walsh.

During a meeting with then-U.S. Rep. Morris Udall, D-Ariz., Shapiro said he didn't recall Avraham Hermoni, one of the four Israelis, visiting Apollo, but acknowledged he met on his own with Hermoni "probably less than half a dozen times" to discuss ISORAD and because Hermoni "was interested in technical assistance from time to time."

It wasn't the only visit Shapiro told Congressional investigators he didn't remember. Shapiro said he did not remember a visit to NUMEC by Ephraim Lahav, scientific counselor to the Israeli embassy.

"There were people who visited us, but I don't recall Lahav," he said. "It was not unusual for the scientific counselor to come to NUMEC."

Later, when questioned about a June 1969 meeting with an Israeli scientific counselor at the Pittsburgh airport, Shapiro said, "I think his name was Ephraim Lahav."

They met, Shapiro told congressional investigators, to discuss a delinquent payment owed to NUMEC for some equipment provided to Israel.

However, the man Shapiro met was not Lahav, but another Israeli scientific attache, Jeruham Kafkafi.

The late Carl Duckett, former CIA deputy director, found it "hard to reconcile (Shapiro) not recalling Lahav when the matter was first raised, but subsequently thinking he was the man he met in Pittsburgh," Duckett wrote in a letter to Henry Myers, former Udall aide, in response to Shapiro's unsworn testimony during an informal meeting with Udall's subcommittee in 1978.

Shapiro also said he met the head of Israel's military intelligence during his trips there. But, Shapiro said, he had no knowledge of Israel's nuclear weapons capabilities.

"My discussions with the military intelligence people pertained to a long-lived battery to be used in intrusion detection," he said, according to documents in the University of Arizona library.

Again, Duckett doubted Shapiro.

Given Shapiro's background, his interest in Israel and "his contacts with senior Israeli officials concerned with nuclear matters, ... it is difficult to comprehend a situation where the possibilities of an Israeli nuclear weapons program would not have crossed his mind," Duckett wrote.

In an interview with the Valley News Dispatch, Shapiro, 82, of Pittsburgh's Squirrel Hill neighborhood declined to discuss any of the controversy surrounding NUMEC.

Continuing speculation

After about a decade of investigations, federal authorities could not find significant evidence that Shapiro diverted uranium to the Israelis.

But that didn't end speculation.

Even authors who wrote about the NUMEC affair could not agree on whether uranium was illegally smuggled to Israel.

While the authors Andrew and Leslie Cockburn wrote about the possibility of NUMEC diverting uranium to Israel in their book "Dangerous Liaison," Pulitzer Prize-winning writer Seymour Hersh refuted that assertion in his 1991 book, "The Samson Option."

Hersh wrote the government's evidence against Shapiro "seemed to be his Jewishness and the fact that one of the major investors in NUMEC (David Lowenthal) shared his support for Israel."

Hersh insisted Shapiro never diverted nuclear material to Israel.

"The nuclear material was not stolen at all - it ended up in the air and water of the city of Apollo as well as in the ducts, tubes and floors of the NUMEC plant," Hersh wrote.

To bolster his argument, Hersh points to the large quantities of uranium found, according to the NRC, when the Apollo plant was decommissioned and taken apart in the 1980s.

"More than 100 kilograms of enriched uranium - the amount allegedly diverted to Israel by Zalman Shapiro - was recovered from the decommissioned plant in 1982, with still more being recovered each year," Hersh wrote.

In an interview with the Valley News Dispatch, former Udall aide Myers, who is not represented in a positive light in Hersh's book, questioned the validity of Hersh's claims and wondered why more people did not criticize the book.

Federal agents also considered the possibility that NUMEC's partnership with Israel on food irradiation made it easier to smuggle uranium out of the country. A NUMEC employee put forth this possibility when he was interviewed by FBI agents.

The worker, whose name is deleted in a November 1968 FBI document, told agents he believed the losses in uranium occurred about the same time NUMEC was involved in developing and manufacturing at least one large irradiator and several smaller units called "Howitzers" and shipping them to Israel.

The employee believed if enriched uranium was to be illegally shipped to Israel, "it would have been a simple matter of placing the material in these food irradiator units in large quantities and shipped to Israel with no questions asked," according to the FBI report.

"Source said these food irradiators were legal shipments and with a notice printed on the side of the container, indicating that the contents contained radioactive material. No one would have opened or examined them or had reason to question their contents."

There also was speculation by the FBI that Shapiro had in his office "a scrambler telephone" that federal agents could not tap and which he used to talk freely with Israeli agents in New York. FBI agents also suspected that there was a special encoding device on his Teletype machine at NUMEC.

Shapiro insisted to Congressional investigators that such a phone did not exist and that the telex machines at NUMEC were ordinary.

"I know of no such system," he said in a statement. "I do not know how I am supposed to refute charges of this sort when I am not even told where and when the device was said to be in operation."

Shapiro insisted the unaccounted-for uranium was not given to Israel but was part of the normal losses during processing. Some of the missing material also was likely buried as waste on the plant site, he said.

"I never diverted any material to anybody," Shapiro told Udall.

Diversion or sloppy records?

Despite suspicions by the FBI that NUMEC was diverting uranium to the Israelis, the AEC hierarchy backed Shapiro.

In February 1966, AEC Chairman Glenn T. Seaborg wrote to U.S. Rep. Chet Holifield, D-Calif., chairman of the Joint Committee on Atomic Energy, claiming a diversion of uranium to Israel was unlikely. Instead, he blamed the problem on sloppy record keeping by NUMEC.

Former AEC official Earle Hightower told the Valley News Dispatch there was truth to Seaborg's statement about NUMEC's record keeping.

"Everybody recognized it was a very sloppy operation," Hightower said. "Everybody complained about it, but you couldn't do anything about it."

The AEC, Seaborg wrote, conducted surveys of NUMEC's inventory and was satisfied nothing illegal occurred.

"In the absence of evidence or suspicion of violation of law, we have determined that an inquiry by the FBI is not now warranted," he wrote.

Seaborg surmised that 61 kilograms of uranium-235 missing from a Westinghouse Astronuclear Laboratory (WANL) contract may have been used by NUMEC to make up for losses in other jobs the company did.

"It is not now possible to establish a point in time, or even a definable period, when the losses may have occurred or whether, in fact, the WANL material was used knowingly or inadvertently to offset losses on other contracts," Seaborg wrote.

"Further, because the NUMEC records system was not set up to provide such data, it is not possible to identify all losses with particular contracts. Therefore, it cannot be said unequivocally that theft or diversion has not taken place."

But Seaborg doubts the diversion theory because of what he believed was a stringent inventory survey done by the AEC and its eight-year history with NUMEC.

"The most probable explanation is that NUMEC consistently underestimated its plant process losses and, that the difference between actual and estimated losses was passed on from completed job to new jobs," he wrote. "Thus, the losses attributable to the WANL contract probably include an accumulation of deferred losses over an eight-year period."

Hightower doesn't buy it.

"We ran a couple of investigations up there," he said. "The losses were certainly not in the tolerable limits. The losses were way beyond what we would have anticipated. We felt that Shapiro was deliberately negligent to cover the losses."

The AEC also investigated Shapiro's claim that the missing uranium was part of buried waste.

News of the buried waste came as a surprise to the AEC, according to an Aug. 2, 1965, memo from AEC Assistant General Manager Howard Brown.

"Dr. Shapiro disclosed for the first time a new source of waste material at the plant which, he averred, would not only make up the dollar difference on the WANL contract, but would result in AEC owing NUMEC," Brown wrote. "Dr. Shapiro stated this new source of valuable waste was contained in about 800 drums of scraps and cleanup material. buried under four feet of earth on company property."

Asked why he failed to inform the AEC about this, Shapiro "simply said that the situation was embarrassing," Brown wrote.

The buried waste was exhumed in October 1965, but only six kilograms of uranium - 56 kilograms short of what Shaprio said should be there - of nuclear material was recovered.

Meanwhile, some in the CIA were convinced Israel had "the bomb" and that NUMEC likely diverted uranium to that country.

"The clear consensus of CIA was indeed that the most likely case was that indeed NUMEC material had been diverted and had been used by the Israelis in fabricating weapons," said Duckett, the former CIA deputy director, in a 1981 interview on an ABC television program, "Near Armageddon: The Spread of Nuclear Weapons in the Middle East."

A report about the suspicions of diversions from NUMEC to Israel was taken by CIA Director Helms to President Johnson, Duckett said.

"Director Helms told me that President Johnson said, 'Don't tell anybody else. Don't even tell (Secretary of State) Dean Rusk or (Secretary of Defense) Bob McNamara.' The key impression to me was that, indeed, it was taken seriously by the president and obviously he was very concerned that we protect that information."

In "The Samson Option," Hersh discounted Duckett's theories, but former Udall aide Myers believed Duckett.

"Why would Duckett lie? Why was he going public on television?" Myers asked. "He was a very conservative bureaucrat. All this did was get him in trouble in life. The thing about Duckett is he had no reason to lie.

It wasn't that Johnson wanted the matter kept quiet to protect Israel and/or the U.S. government, but that he couldn't afford a scandal at the time, Myers speculated.

"That's the last thing LBJ needed," Myers said. "Here, he was having hell (with Vietnam), so I can see why he told Helms to keep quiet."

---------------------------------------
"Money" has no value - people do.

___________________________

"Money" has no value - people do.

I didn't write this - I just heard it the other night on a Tim Rifat interview, but it rings true. The guy is more astute than anyone else I've heard in matters Rothschild and Russian.

The U.S. has set a very dangerous precedent with it's careless use of depleted uranium in it's "liberation" of Kosovo, Afghanistan, and Iraq. It is now acceptable to contaminate a battle zone with radioactive waste that lasts for centuries.

According to Rifat, the Syrians and the Iranians possess deadly radioactive waste, courtesy of the North Korean nuclear program. Free for the asking, shipped in cement export ships. Tons and tons of it.

Ziostan claims it has Patriot batteries which can destroy incoming Shihabs and Scuds destroying them in midair before they can hit their target, no matter what level of accuracy those missiles possess.

The plan is that if Iran or Syria is attacked, the Iranians and Syrians have loaded thousands of missiles with light charges and heave loads of radioactive waste. The half life of that waste depends on it's base material, but we are talking deadly lethal contamination of ziostan whether the missiles are destroyed in mid flight or they land.

There are worse things than death. Slow death by fallout, living in a radiation suit and gas mask trying to avoid the vomiting and diarrhea might be one of them. This type of scenario for six million inhabitants of ziostan makes any threat of a Samson option mute.

The land of ziostan will be destroyed forever and those still alive will need to be evacuated - to America perhaps, or what is left of it, or some say to their last repose on the island of Tasmania - it really doesn't matter.

And the old talmudic prophecies finally get fulfilled - they return to the mythical promised land six million light.

A couple of missiles on the Dimona nuclear plant -- plus the Ness Ziona germ weapons plant (near Tel Aviv) -- should finish the job nicely.

Unfortunately Palestinians and Bedouins would also be killed, as would countless Lebanese in
Israeli dungeons.

Therefore the targets of choice are Tel Aviv, where most important Israeli facilities are concentrated, and Haifa, which has a naval base, plus a large refinery that will soon receive Kurdish oil.

claymore.jpg

...'deep throat' turned out to be a mongurk. (and mongurk written and starred 'All the President's Men' tried to deflect attentions.)

Kats

As I have stated else where on blogs, I had a cousin named Lynn, who was in the air force during the mid 60s stationed in Thailand. He was an officer and worked in a US supply depot. He came home about 1966, all sheepish about the fact that while he was there 9 to 10 tactical nukes went missing. Everyone who heard this in our extended family was freaked because we didn’t even know the US had nukes in S.E. Asia. According to my cousin the nukes went missing and the investigation into the loss could turn up nothing. Later in life I just assumed the USA had handed them over to Israel. Who knows.

If Von Clausewitz was right that war was a continuation of politics by other means, then that means all politics is merely a prelude to war.

Theme by Danetsoft and Danang Probo Sayekti inspired by Maksimer