By Wayne Madsen
Israeli spy was central cog in nuclear weapons proliferation alliance
The U.S. Intelligence Community and defense establishment was told to come up with a strategy to combat the expected strong opposition to the nomination of the critical of Israel Hagel by that nation’s lobby in the United States.
The pro-Hagel circles needed a secret weapon to counteract the Israel supporters who would stress that Hagel was not supportive of the «special relationship» between the United States and Israel.
There was no better way to demonstrate that Israel was no special ally of the United States but a longtime hostile intelligence threat to America by declassifying a large part of the Central Intelligence Agency’s Damage Report arising from the intense espionage carried out by one-time U.S. Naval Intelligence spy Jonathan Jay Pollard on behalf of Israel.
The declassification of the long-classified Pollard report was made on December 16, 2012. However, the first substantial media reports on the report began around December 26.
The Jewish media, including Yeshiva World, Tablet Magazine, and Jewish Week, contended the report only showed that Pollard disclosed classified information on Arab and Soviet military capabilities, ignoring the fact that Pollard’s disclosures revealed the nature of U.S. intelligence sources and methods in obtaining such information, thereby putting U.S. civilian and military assets in extreme jeopardy.
The one major explosive revelation in the declassified report is Pollards’ involvement in a highly-classified Israeli-South African program to test a nuclear weapon in the South Atlantic/South Indian Ocean region in September 1979.
The Pollard Damage Assessment was prepared by the Director of Central Intelligence’s Foreign Denial and Deception Analysis Committee and issued on October 30, 1987.
The report reveals for the first time that Pollard began working as a U.S. naval intelligence watch officer the same month that Israel and South Africa, possibly with the financial support of Taiwan, detonated a nuclear device in the South Atlantic/South Indian Ocean near South Africa’s Prince Edward Islands.
The un-redacted damage assessment report also provides details of Pollard’s espionage work for South Africa before or at the same time he was spying for Israel.
Pollard’s espionage for Israel and South Africa provide evidence of his a key role in providing faulty intelligence to higher U.S. intelligence echelons concerning the nuclear test. Pollard’s mission was clear: his Israeli handlers wanted the details of the nuclear test kept secret.
>If it were proven that Israel was violating South African sanctions, the Symington Amendment would have required the United States to cut off all military and economic assistance to Israel. Even the powerful Jewish Lobby could not get around what was U.S. law.
The report describes Pollard’s work in September 1979 in the Navy Field Operational Intelligence Office (NFOIO) in Suitland, Maryland, outside of Washington, DC. The report states:
“He began work as an Intelligence Research Specialist assigned to the Naval Ocean Surveillance Information Center (NOSIC} of the Navy Field Operational Intelligence Office in September 1979.” The report also states that during the same month of the South African-Israeli nuclear test Pollard “admitted that he had attended a clandestine meeting with the South African Defense Attaché.”
In July 1980 Pollard admitted to his superiors that he lied about his contacts with South African intelligence. However, this ‘admission’ was to cover up what Pollard knew about the successful nuclear test the previous year.
This was after Pollard and, presumably other Israeli moles, tainted U.S. intelligence into believing that the double flash normally associated with a nuclear detonation spotted on September 22, 1979 by the bhangmeter photo sensors on U.S. VELA 6911 nuclear detection satellite, orbiting over the South Atlantic at one-third the distance to the moon, was nothing more than a meteor entering the atmosphere or some other natural event.
Pollard failed to highlight several key indicators from his ocean surveillance duties that would have prompted U.S. intelligence assets to turn their attention toward South African extended waters on September 22, 1979.
The entire South African Navy was placed on alert for the entire week surrounding September 22 and the Simonstown and Saldanha naval bases were placed under tight security that same week, But Pollard sat on the information and likely deep sixed analysis reports from co-workers on South Atlantic/South Indian Ocean operations during the fateful week.
It is clear that certain intelligence quarters in the U.S. Navy began feeding false intelligence on the double nuclear flash to the CIA. The CIA decided to hire the contractor firm MITRE to analyze recorded acoustic data gathered by the Navy’s Sound Surveillance System (SOSUS) and the Air Force Technical Applications Center (AFTAC) less than one-hertz acoustic monitoring systems that piggybacked off the Navy’s SOSUS acoustic hydrophone arrays extending from Bermuda, Wales, and Iceland.
The tests revealed that there was a 2-4 kiloton nuclear bomb test in the South Atlantic with acoustic intelligence confirming concussive blast low-level harmonics from Navy and Air Force sonar arrays.
An auroral flash normally associated with nuclear blasts was detected by meteorological stations on Norway’s Bouvet Island, France’s île de la Possession in the nearby Crozet Islands, and at the Japanese Showa station in Antarctica.
Further intelligence supporting the nuclear blast event was compiled by the Defense Intelligence Agency, the Naval Research Laboratory, and Los Alamos National Laboratory including increased radiation found in sheep downwind of the blast site in Western Australia, Tasmania, and Victoria and in ionospheric disturbances detected by the Arecibo radio telescope in Puerto Rico.
Someone within the ranks of Navy intelligence was preparing incorrect intelligence reports and covering for Israel’s and South Africa’s involvement in a nuclear test. One of those suspected is Pollard, whose job was to monitor naval operations around the world the day the nuclear test was conducted in the South Atlantic.
The report’s description of Pollard’s early association with South Africa, which some authors of the damage report attempted to debunk, at the same time Israel and the apartheid regime were cooperating on nuclear weapons development is as follows:
“The following factors that have come to light about his employment with the Navy indicate that Pollard was unsuited for access to sensitive national security information:
– False claims concerning professional qualifications. Pollard falsely stated on his naval employment application that he had a ‘provisional’ M.A. degree from the Fletcher School of Law and Diplomacy. Moreover, in February 1980 during an interview with Task Force 168, the intelligence element charged with HUMINT collection, Pollard falsely claimed to have an M.A. degree, to be proficient in Afrikaans, and to have applied for a commission in the naval reserve. Pollard made another, more farfetched statement to his immediate supervisor in NOSIC: he said he had key South African contacts who could provide him with valuable information, and that he had known South African citizens for many years because his father bad been the CIA Station Chief in South Africa.”
The report also states: “Pollard claimed in a post-arrest debriefing that he had come very close to volunteering to commit espionage while holding a conversation in Hebrew with the Israeli Naval Attaché during a U.S.-Israeli intelligence exchange in 1983. Although it is not clear exactly when Pollard first began to consider espionage, we believe it was at least as early as 1980-81.”
The damage report’s Executive Summary is surprisingly soft on Israel’s use of Pollard as a spy. The summary states that Pollard’s “short but intensive espionage career on behalf of Israel lasted from June 1984 until his arrest on 21 November 1985.”
However, other sections of the report state that Pollard considered spying for Israel at least as early as 1980-81.
Other parts of the report indicate that Pollard’s espionage for both Israel and South Africa began much earlier and that even as a teen Pollard was a committed Zionist who placed loyalty to Israel above the United States.
Of course, it is this sort of hard intelligence that can be used to show that Israel has long been an adversary of the United States and a dangerous espionage center for anti-U.S. operations.
At the time of the South African-Israeli nuclear test, the administration of President Jimmy Carter was actively enforcing military sanctions against South Africa imposed by UN Security Council resolution 418 of 1977.
Two years before Pollard was arrested by the FBI after trying to seek political asylum in the Israeli embassy in Washington, the FBI arrested in New York South African Navy Commodore Dieter Gerhardt and his East German spy wife, Ruth, based on a tip from a Soviet defector code named ‘Farewell’.
[ Editors Note: This was Vladimir Ippolitovich Vetrov (Russian: Владимир Ипполитович Ветров) 10 October 1932 – 23 January 1985, a catch by the French and later burned about 250 Soviet tech spies based out of embassies around the world. This put a big hole in the Soviet effort and created a situation for the Israelis to move in and help them out, which they did. Successive American administrations have been hiding this from the American people as it would reveal we have had a policy of unconditional support to a proven enemy, whom we support financially and militarily, with our Congress tripping over each other to show their subservience…Jim W. Dean ]
Gerhardt was the commander of the South African Navy’s Simonstown naval base and had access to signals intelligence intercepts from South Africa’s secret Silvermine listening post near Cape Town, South Africa, and the U.S.U.K. signals intelligence alliance shared some intelligence at a low level during this time frame.
Gerhardt’s role as a possible liaison to Pollard and Israeli intelligence in the United States becomes apparent when Gerhardt’s own admission: that he was an important liaison in South African – Israeli military cooperation. Gerhardt later revealed that he was aware of the South African-Israeli nuclear test in the South Atlantic, which he said was code named Operation Phoenix.
Gerhardt’s later admission also revealed that the nuclear test was a «clean» blast, an indication that South Africa and Israel had tested a neutron bomb. Israel’s possession of neutron bombs is one of the Jewish state’s most closely-guarded secrets.
The Israeli Lobby’s unofficial conspiracy debunking journal, Popular Mechanics, which ruled out any official U.S. or Israeli government involvement in the 9/11 attack, stated that there was no nuclear explosion and that Gerhardt lacked credibility.
The Pollard Damage Report and other revelations have substantiated Gerhardt’s claims. Pollard also was dealing with both the South Africans and Soviets. Moreover, it was later determined that Israel later swapped some of Pollard’s classified information with the Soviets in return for an increase in exit visas for Soviet Jews to Israel.
After Gerhardt was sentenced to life imprisonment in South Africa, and Gerhardt’s wife received a ten year sentence, South African President P. W. Botha offered amnesty to some prisoners in 1988, including Nelson Mandela. Ruth Gerhardt applied for the amnesty.
The request was turned down by none other than Justice Richard Goldstone, the self-proclaimed Zionist who has run hot and cold on Israeli atrocities in Gaza. Goldstone in 1988 was obviously acting under orders from Israel to keep Ruth Gerhardt under lock and key.
In 1985, Israeli nuclear technician Mordechai Vanunu began passing secrets on Israel’s nuclear weapons program to the media, including the fact that South African uclear scientists were frequent guests at the top secret Israeli nuclear facility at Dimona in the Negev Desert.
In 1986, Vanunu was forcibly kidnapped by Israeli agents in Rome after he was lured into a Mossad ‘honey trap’ and imprisoned in Israel.
Efforts by some in U.S. intelligence to trade Vanunu for Pollard were met with stony silence from Israeli officials. In 1988, Israel was trying to get Pollard released from the life prison sentence handed down in 1987 and Goldstone was under pressure to ensure that the Gerhardts remained silent, especially after Vanunu’s embarrassing disclosures about Israeli nuclear weapons and South Africa.
Ruth was released in 1990 and her husband was released in 1992. In 1999, Gerhardt received amnesty and his rank of Rear Admiral was restored. Vanunu was eventually released but his ‘freedom’ has largely consisted of virtual house arrest in Israel.
Later, Deputy South African Foreign Minister Aziz Pahad and former CIA Pretoria station officer Tyler Drumheller confirmed that Israel and South Africa jointly tested the South Atlantic nuclear weapon.
The Pollard deception continues to haunt the world today. One of the key players in the Israel-South African nuclear weapons research was Israeli arms smuggler Shaul Eisenberg, the head of the Israel Corporation and a provider of military hardware to China, North Korea, and the Khmer Rouge in Cambodia.
Eisenberg, whose Wikipedia entry has been re-written by Israeli propagandists, controlled Israel Aircraft Industries and Zim Israel Navigation Shipping Company. Eisenberg was able to provide needed nuclear weapons components from Operation Phoenix to China and two of its major allies, North Korea and Pakistan.
It is with this knowledge of Israel’s destructive actions against America that Hagel and his supporters prepare to do battle with the nefarious Israel Lobby during the expected heated Senate confirmation hearings.
Editing: Jim W. Dean