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The federal bust of a supposed Israeli spy who actually had no links whatsoever to Israeli agents reflects the infiltrator-driven "terrorism" cases that the media have uncritically hyped.

In case after case since 9-11, the feds have have created specious terror scares by recruiting marginal wing-nuts for fictitious conspiracies through the use infiltrators (read: provocateurs) posing as al-Qaeda operatives—and the media have utterly failed to challenge this unscrupulous entrapment. Now exactly the same tactic has been used against a veteran technician at NASA's Goddard Space Flight Center and the Energy Department's Livermore Labs who is accused of espionage—even though the guy who lured him to pass on information was himself a federal agent! And the foreign government in this pseudo-plot wasn't Iran or North Korea, but our supposed ally Israel. From Bloomberg, Oct. 19:

Maryland Man Arrested on Attempted Espionage Charge
A Maryland scientist who had worked for U.S. defense, space and energy agencies was arrested on charges of attempting to pass classified information to Israel, according to the Justice Department.

A criminal complaint unsealed today in Washington accuses Stewart David Nozette, 52, of Chevy Chase, of attempted espionage. Nozette allegedly attempted to deliver U.S. defense secrets to an undercover FBI agent posing as an Israeli intelligence officer in exchange for money, the Justice Department said in a statement.

Nozette held security clearances as high as top secret and had access to information related to national defense, according to the Justice Department. He developed a radar experiment that purportedly discovered water on the south pole of the moon and designed "highly advanced" technology at the Energy Department, according to the statement.

"This case reflects our firm resolve to hold accountable any individual who betrays the public trust by compromising our national security for his or her own personal gain," said Channing D. Phillips, acting U.S. attorney for the District of Columbia.

Nozette was arrested today by the Federal Bureau of Investigation and is due to appear tomorrow in U.S. District Court in Washington, according to the statement. The government's complaint doesn’t allege that Israel or anyone acting on its behalf committed a crime.

Cute, huh? In other words, there was no "betrayal" in this case whatsoever—no more than there is a "threat" in the fictitious terror cases concocted by federal infiltrators. This hapless Nozette may have wanted to sell government secrets to the Israelis. But, as we have asked before, is wanting to a crime? The similarity of tactics used in the pseudo-terror cases (which inevitably target immigrants from the Islamic world) and this pseudo-espionage case is further evidence that anti-Semitism and Islamophobia are genetically linked phenomena. If you need any more, recall that last year, when octogenarian former US Army mechanical engineer Ben-Ami Kadish was arrested for espionage supposedly committed as part of the Jonathan Pollard affair back in the '80s, a federal prosecutor warned of Israeli "sleeper cells" in America!

And yet—count on it—those (on the left and right) who complain the loudest about cynical hyping of the Muslim terrorist threat will applaud that the US is finally cracking down on the supposed Israeli threat. And, contrariwise, those who wax the most histrionic about the supposed Muslim terrorist threat will be the first to rush to the defense of Nozette as the victim of anti-Semitic witch-hunt.

Did you ever ask yourself—Why is that?

Cross-post to World War 4 Report.

Originally posted to World War 4 Report on Mon Oct 19, 2009 at 09:28 PM PDT.

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Comment Preferences

  •  Is this diary a joke? (9+ / 0-)
    1.  Mary and the Piggly Wiggly is not the one who works to ferret out potential spies -- that is the job of the FBI; and
    1.  No betrayal?

    Nozette allegedly attempted to deliver U.S. defense secrets to an undercover FBI agent posing as an Israeli intelligence officer in exchange for money, the Justice Department said in a statement.

    is our government supposed to wait until defense secrets are actually delivered to the Israelis or any  other government?

    This diary is crap.

    •  they need to (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Sandino, kurt

      approach every man woman and child in America offering them large sums of money for various acts of betrayal. Why stop at espionage and terrorism, let's ferret out those who could potentially shoplift, or jaywalk, or take illicit drugs. Once the evildoers reveal themselves by falling into our clever trap, the pure American race will be invincible.

      Of course we will have Fascism in America, but we will call it Democracy. - Senator Huey Long

      by Marcion on Mon Oct 19, 2009 at 09:37:26 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  Read the whole article. (2+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        soms, sricki

        The excerpted part doesn't come close to telling the whole story.

        •  in my neck of the woods (0+ / 0-)

          they have a "bike sting" unit. They put out a $1200 bike, no chain, and sit 8 men in a van, for hours on end, until somebody tries to take it. Keeping America safe from bike thieves, for mere tens thousands of dollars per case.

          Of course we will have Fascism in America, but we will call it Democracy. - Senator Huey Long

          by Marcion on Mon Oct 19, 2009 at 09:50:37 PM PDT

          [ Parent ]

        •  Here's some more info from Haaretz: (0+ / 0-)

          Would-be U.S. spy worked for Israeli arms firm

          Israeli and American sources said on Tuesday that Stewart David Nozette, the former NASA scientist who was arrested for offering to pass along classified information to an FBI agent posing as an Israeli intelligence officer, had business dealings with Israel Aerospace Industries.

          IAI is Israel's largest exporter of defense and aerospace technology.


          A lie can travel half way around the world while the truth is putting on its shoes.

          by Flyswatterbanjo on Tue Oct 20, 2009 at 06:09:58 AM PDT

          [ Parent ]

      •  Like these parts: (3+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        HiBob, Lujane, soms

        From November 1998 through January 2008, Nozette worked as a technical consultant for an aerospace company that was owned by the government of Israel. Once a month, Nozette answered questions posed by the company in return for payments totaling about $225,000 over that period, according to a criminal complaint. Dean Boyd, a Justice Department spokesman, declined to name the company.

        Thumb Drives

        In January, Nozette traveled to an unnamed country carrying two computer thumb drives that were found in his baggage by an airport security inspector, according to the criminal complaint. When he returned to the U.S., he was searched by a customs officer who couldn’t locate the drives, the complaint said.


        Nozette allegedly provided answers to questions about U.S. satellite information and received a $2,000 cash payment, according to the statement. One of the answers provided information classified as secret, and he allegedly offered to reveal additional classified information on nuclear weapons, military spacecraft and other weapons systems, according to the Justice Department.

        I don't know enough about this to make a valid argument pro or con, but the argument being made in this diary as well as your own aren't valid either.

        •  that doesn't make any sense (3+ / 0-)

          If he was already a spy, then why was he so easily duped by the FBI. What would the reaction of an actual Mossad agent be when somebody claiming to work for Mossad tried to recruit them later? These selective comprimising tidbits of private, highly prejudicial information being leaked by the DoJ are sadly another trademark of the new American justice system.

          Of course we will have Fascism in America, but we will call it Democracy. - Senator Huey Long

          by Marcion on Mon Oct 19, 2009 at 09:55:55 PM PDT

          [ Parent ]

          •  Look (2+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            Bulldawg, Everest42

            If you want to make it legal to sell U.S. Government secrets for money so long as you sell them exclusively to Israel, go for it.  Contact Jane Harman and Chuck Shumer and get them to sponsor legislation.  They will probably take you up on it.

            If it came to it, I wouldn't be surprised if Obama would sign such legislation.

            But right now, trying to sell government secrets to a foreign government is a crime.  Yes, even trying to do so is a crime.

            That the government spends its resources trying to catch people who want to pass nuclear secrets as opposed to potential J-walkers appears to me to be a reasonable use of its prosecutorial discretion.

            This aggression will not stand, man.

            by kaleidescope on Mon Oct 19, 2009 at 10:26:31 PM PDT

            [ Parent ]

            •  i'm glad (1+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:

              you're all for the government trying every scheme in the book to get its citizens to commit crimes and then nabbing them. And thank you for reminding us that this guy was JEWISH and that other JEWS will support him and legislation to benefit ISRAEL and allow them to spy on the US. Because Jews are loyal to Israel, and Obama is afraid of their vast power. For a second there, I was just looking at this case as another instance of police entrapment tactics, but let's not forget there's a JEW involved. And although ISRAEL wasn't directly involved, since the FBI was the party buying secrets, it's still good to keep in mind that ISRAEL spies on America all the time and gets away with it with the aid of JEWISH politicians. Terrific.

              Of course we will have Fascism in America, but we will call it Democracy. - Senator Huey Long

              by Marcion on Tue Oct 20, 2009 at 02:03:37 AM PDT

              [ Parent ]

              •  I have no problem... (0+ / 0-)

                ...with their use of this method to ferret out criminals.  It's when the investigations take place over a period of months in the sex offense cases that I worry they may have helped to stoke and condition the criminal intent, particularly if they know the defendant is vulnerable.

                That doesn't seem to be the case here from what I've read so far.  Espionage is a serious offense.  

                Nevertheless, you're right about the parent comment.  I thought this was more about entrapment than anything else, although I think the diarist's conclusion is....interesting, to say the least.  

              •  Oh please. (0+ / 0-)

                THey didn't go after him because he jaywalked, but because he was willing to sell secrets.

                BTW, Canada and Britain spy on us all the time (and we on them).  They are our closest allies, but if we caught a Canadian spy, he'd be prosecuted too.

                I used to be an angry young man. Now I'm just a bitter old fart!- Bulldawg

                by Bulldawg on Tue Oct 20, 2009 at 06:37:24 AM PDT

                [ Parent ]

              •  What You Remind Me Of (0+ / 0-)

                Woody Allen in Annie Hall.  When someone asked him, "d'you eat?" he thought they were saying, "Jew eat."

                This aggression will not stand, man.

                by kaleidescope on Tue Oct 20, 2009 at 07:20:44 AM PDT

                [ Parent ]

          •  Straw man. No claim that he is Mossad. (0+ / 0-)

            A person that Mossad targets to get information is not a Mossad-trained superspy. He's just the guy who has the info Mossad wants. HUGE difference.

            _Karl Rove is an outside agitator._

            by susanala on Tue Oct 20, 2009 at 07:14:02 AM PDT

            [ Parent ]

  •  at some point (4+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    szilard, Sandino, kurt, wondering if

    you have so many secret agents that they must manufacture their targets or they'll have nothing to do. Very reminiscent of the dying days of the European empires, when the majority of the violent opposition were actually government agents provocateurs.

    Of course we will have Fascism in America, but we will call it Democracy. - Senator Huey Long

    by Marcion on Mon Oct 19, 2009 at 09:35:18 PM PDT

  •  Before this arrest gets blow up into diatribes (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:

    against Israel, please confirm that this case involves an arrested (not convicted) American scientist who is accused of trying to sell classified information to a FBI agent posing as an Israeli intelligence officer. Israel, then, had no role in soliciting the information and no Israeli personnel were involved. Right?    

  •  That's a nonsense argument (3+ / 0-)

    By your logic anyone who attempts to hire a contract killer to kill his wife, but actually sets up a meeting with an FBI officer is not really guilty of anything.  Anyone attempting to find underage kids to have sex with, but meets an undercover police officer (or Chris Hansen) is not guilty of anything.  Further, could it be possible that Nozzette contacted the Israeli Embassy and they alerted the FBI?

  •  Hat-trick Fail (4+ / 0-)

    1st: this diary leaves out some other interesting details related to this case, for example

    Again, authorities say, Nozette was videotaped leaving a manila envelope in the post office box. FBI agents retrieved it and found a second set of answers. The responses contained information classified as both top secret and secret, on U.S. satellites, early warning systems, means of defense or retaliation against large-scale attack, communications intelligence information, and major elements of defense strategy.


    2nd: the guy was doing this for money, not out of some perceived altruism

    3rd: regardless of whether the diarist feels there's no harm in passing secret information to an Israeli  agent, another moral of this story is that you don't know for sure that it's an Israeli agent, do ya? In this case, of course, it wasn't (and I've seen no indication that Israel is involved in this in any way). Instead of an FBI agent receiving the manila envelope, for all this traitor knew, it could have been Mullah Omar. If people passing on classified documents get a pass because they think the recipient is Israeli, why wouldn't everyone with hostile intent just start using this tactic?

  •  Just imagine if they found someone (3+ / 0-)

    who wanted to sell nuclear secrets to (FBI agents posing as) Iranian intelligence agents. This would be front page news. Faux "News" would hyperventilate about it nonstop for weeks.  

    'We risk consigning future generations to an irreversible catastrophe' -Barack Obama on Global Warming

    by Lefty Coaster on Mon Oct 19, 2009 at 10:18:18 PM PDT

  •  Wanting to Isn't a Crime (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Bulldawg, G2geek, Lujane

    But taking a next step -- ANY next step, such as to accept money or to gather together information -- IS a crime.  How do you think thousands of "dope dealers" have been nailed?  They tried to sell drugs to the police.

    This aggression will not stand, man.

    by kaleidescope on Mon Oct 19, 2009 at 10:19:28 PM PDT

  •  I'm sure there is a reason why this deserves... (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    bigchin, canadian gal

    ...three diaries.  Sadly, none of the three diaries have explained it.

    The urge to save humanity is almost always a false face for the urge to rule it. ~ H.L. Mencken

    by Jay Elias on Mon Oct 19, 2009 at 10:25:17 PM PDT

  •  It would be neat if the Diarist engaged (4+ / 0-)

    in discussion.

    The diarist  seems to be saying, from what I can glean, that despite the clear fact that Israel had no part in this, some will use this event to smear both Israel and Jews in general as "enemies".

    The same way, he seems to argue, that others use things like the FBI created "Muslim Sleeper Cells/Espionage" to try to gin up an increased fear of all Muslims and or Arabs.

    I think he's absolutely right about that....but I'm not clear if he's trying to make some larger point.

    Yes, Anti-Semitic fuckwads will tend to try to shape all evidence to fit their worldview, as will the Bigots who despise and fear Muslims.

    Now, it seems to me that the diarist is also trying to raise the question of entrapment.

    I simply don't think a person with a Secret or Top Secret security clearance can expect to be safe from being approached by Government agents trying to persuade them to engage in criminal activity.

    Basically, if you decide to fuck around in that world, be on your guard.

    I think that's very, very different than random citizens who may be emotionally or mentally challenged/unstable being "talked into" commiting or plotting crimes (for instance, that group of homeless men in Miami a couple years back).

    "More action, less meta" mahakali overdrive

    by JesseCW on Mon Oct 19, 2009 at 10:31:51 PM PDT

  •  I made this comment earlier (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Bulldawg, Judgment at Nuremberg

    and since no one else has made note of it, I'll link again.

    Prosecutors also quote an unnamed colleague of Nozette who said the scientist said that if the U.S. government ever tried to put him in jail for an unrelated criminal offense, he would go to Israel or another foreign country and "tell them everything" he knows.

    It reads like he was looking for the opportunity to sell to whomever was interested.

    "The human eye is a wonderful device. With a little effort, it can fail to see even the most glaring injustice." Richard K. Morgan

    by sceptical observer on Mon Oct 19, 2009 at 10:32:33 PM PDT

  •  "This hapless Nozette .. " (5+ / 0-)

    hapless (adj): miserable, misfortunate, pathetic,
    piteous, pitiable, pitiful, poor, wretched



    Nozette agreed to provide regular, continuing information and asked for an Israeli passport, the affidavit alleged.


    According to the court papers, Nozette and the undercover agent met soon afterward in the same hotel, where the scientist allegedly said that while he no longer had legal access to any classified information at a U.S. government facility, he could, nonetheless, recall classified information by memory. Nozette allegedly asked when he could expect to receive his first payment, saying he preferred cash amounts "under ten thousand" so he didn't have to report it.


    Nozette allegedly told the agent, "Well, I should tell you my first need is that they should figure out how to pay me ... they don't expect me to do this for free."


    One answer contained information classified as secret, which concerned capabilities of a prototype overhead collection system. Nozette allegedly offered to reveal additional classified information that directly concerned nuclear weaponry, military spacecraft or satellites, and other major weapons systems.

    Slap it. Shoot it. Kaboot it.

    by adios on Mon Oct 19, 2009 at 10:43:12 PM PDT

  •  Instead of finding another reason to tar and (2+ / 0-)

    feather "our supposed ally" (you do know this was a setup ya?):

    Israel: has actual human beings in it.  

  •  Pretty Stupid Diary (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Euroliberal, Bulldawg, JDsg

    You are comparing a career scientist with TOP SECRET CLEARANCE with HOMELESS Muslims who can't even figure out how to get to Chicago.

    FYI... these sting operations are probably normal SOP for these guys.

    Also... Israel does have a track record of spying, don't it?

  •  My question is will he get a trial by jury, (0+ / 0-)

    or is he already in Gitmo confessing?

  •  Its entrapment (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:

    and it used to be illegal. But the guys' a spy who betrayed his country. He deserves to go to jail whether he was delivering to actual foreign agents or fictional ones.

  •  "Is wanting to" a crime? (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:

    Sure it is.  Just how old are you?  Obviously not old enough to remember Abscam or Azscam.  Read your history.  These sorts of scandals have happened in the past to higher ranking officials than a lowly NASA scientist.  Until people can learn to say "no," this type of m.o. for law enforcement will be used.  Crying "anti-Semitism" only makes you look foolish.

    Muslims and tigers and bears, oh my!

    by JDsg on Tue Oct 20, 2009 at 06:23:56 AM PDT

  •  Thier is really nothing you hide these days (0+ / 0-)

    The average american have access to the same satellite image as the  government,Google  Maps have mapped every inch of the world ,even Israel top military sites ,only thing a person need is the gps coordinate ,they can see just about everything to be seen,

  •  Thieir no excuse for the US (0+ / 0-)

    To be hindered  in spying in Afganistan,with all the US satellite and electronics  equiptment,we should know everything that is going on in Pakistan and the tribal areas,even a simple radio scanner can  pick up most electronic communication

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