Sunday, 24 February 2013

"Mega"


"...Israel is believed to still have a spy very high up within the US administration, sometimes known as 

"Mega"


The Washington Post reported in a front-page story on May 7th, 1997 that US intelligence had intercepted a conversation in which two Israeli officials had discussed the possibility of getting a confidential letter that then-Secretary of State Warren Christopher had written to Palestinian leader Yasir Arafat. 

One of the Israelis had commented that they may get the letter from "Mega" - apparently a codename for an Israeli agent within the US government.




This revelation has been treated by much of the press as something of an aberration, as Israeli officials have claimed that they do not spy on the US. Israel Foreign Minister David Levy told the Washington Post (5/8/97) that :

"Our diplomats all over the world, and of course specifically in the US, don’t deal with such a thing." 

Prime Minister Netanyahu’s office declared: 

"Israel does not use intelligence agents in the United States. Period."


ISRAEL MINISTRY OF FOREIGN AFFAIRS 


Israeli Government statement on Jonathan Pollard~ 12 May 1998: 




"For the first time since his arrest and I trial and as part of the ongoing efforts to secure Pollard's release,  the  Government of Israel publicly admitted that Jonathan Pollard was an Israeli agent. "


Text:                "Within the framework of intensive government activities to achieve the release of Jonathan Pollard, Pollard's legal counsel has asked that his appeal be cancelled, after the State of Israel reiterated its readiness to recognize  its commitment to and responsibility for him. 


In accordance with the recommendation of the professional team headed by Cabinet Secretary Danny Naveh, the State of Israel has announced that Jonathan Pollard served as an  Israeli agent handled by senior members of the Scientific Liaison Bureau (Lekam). 


It should be noted that this position is consistent with the facts that have already found expression in the publicly issued conclusions of the Knesset Intelligence and Security Services Subcommittee, and by the Rotenstreich-Tzur Commission of Inquiry, established by the Prime Minister in early 1987 Naveh Is expected to meet with Pollard in  prison on Friday."




"Of all the spy cases from 1985, the Pollard case has been the one that has had the longest life in terms of media coverage - in part because of efforts, both by private citizens and the Israeli government to have his life sentence commuted.

Prime Minister Yitzhak Rabin's 1993 appeal to President Bill Clinton resulted in a letter from defense secretary Les Aspin expressing his opposition and stressing three points: the requirement to maintain control over the disclosure of intelligence to foreign governments, the damage done by Pollard's disclosures, and Pollard's alleged inclusion of classified information in letters from prison.

In 1998, in an attempt to facilitate his release, the Israeli government publically acknowledged Pollard's role as an Israeli asset. And, former Director of Central Intelligence, George J. Tenet reports that the subject was raised by the Israeli government in 2006, and he threatened to resign if Pollard was released.


As recently as January 2011, Israeli prime minister Benjamin Netanyahu asked President Barack Obama, without success, to free Pollard.


Richelson, A Century of Spies, pp. 401-402,Ibid., p. 403; George J. Tenet with Bill Harlow, At the Center of the Storm: My Years at the CIA (New York: Harper Collins, 2007), p. 67; M.E. "Spike" Bowman, "The Drumbeats for Clemency for Jonathan Jay Pollard Reverberate Again," Intelligencer, Winter/Spring 2011, pp. 7-10; Jonathan S. Tobin, "The Pollard Spy Case, 25 Years Later," Commentary, March 2011, pp. 37-43.

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