If Rep. Condit Is a Threat To National Security So Was President Clinton
Those who are making the argument or even hinting at the possibility that Rep. Condit's compromised position makes him a threat to national security may have a point. But for some of those arguing in this manner, it is peculiar that they were not willing or able to make the same arguments about President Clinton during the Monica Lewinsky controversy.
Minister Farrakhan made that very argument in late 1998 – that Clinton's compromised position made him vulnerable to being influenced on foreign policy matters in a matter that was not in the United States' best interest. He referred to the fact that he heard CNN's Jeff Greenfield, on national television, raise that very possibility; that somehow President Clinton may be susceptible to manipulation by a foreign power due to his affair with Ms. Lewinsky.
Here is what the Minister said in an interview with the Final Call newspaper posted on September 18, 1998, well before American media reports quietly supported his position:
FC: President Clinton recently has come under tremendousattack for his part in the Monica Lewinsky affair. How does such an attack affect the Office of the presidency as an institution?
MLF: The institution of the presidency has been badly damaged by this personal attack on Mr. Clinton. Years ago, the Honorable Elijah Muhammad told Malcolm X, when he repeated slander given to him by a reporter on Martin Luther King Jr., that he should never make an attack personal; that he should criticize that person's program or the principles on which he or she stands. In this case, the personal attack on President Clinton and his moral lapse has done irreparable damage to that office as the moral leader of the United States America.
President Clinton has made several glaring errors, in my judgment. When we are wrong we have to admit it, we have to acknowledge it, confess it, repent of it, atone for it, then reconciliation and forgiveness would be the natural consequences of an honest confession and honest, sincere repentance. I don't think the President did that. But deeper than this, in the Jerusalem Report, a writer said that in times when Israel was threatened there were women who always rose to defend Israel. Such a woman was Deborah; such a woman was Queen Esther; such a woman is Monica Lewinsky. On reading this, and looking at President Clinton's desire to put pressure on Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu to give up more land on the West Bank to the Palestinians, the Zionists, in my judgment, used what they know of the weakness of President Clinton, and Monica Lewinsky was introduced. I look at all of the Zionists that are a part of the insertion of the woman, the taping of her phone conversations, the manifestation of what was on that tape by certain magazines and newspapers, the timing of its coming out just as the Pope was visiting Cuba in an historic visit, and then Yassar Arafat sitting in the White House with President Clinton when this
bombshell was dropped. There's no doubt in my mind that it has weakened the Presidency. I hope that President Clinton will see that his moral character, or weakness, was used by people who are very skillful, whose desire, I believe, is to destroy the Presidency of the United States.
Many outright dismissed what the Minister said, others ignored it; and to a far greater number of people, the possibility of what Minister Farrakhan stated did not even occur to them.
But in 1999 it became obvious that Minister Farrakhan was more than on to something when he suggested that President Clinton's moral lapse made him vulnerable to manipulation by a foreign power, Israel.
And for a few days, in early 1999 a book entitled, Gideon's Spies, by Gordon Thomas, received national attention. The book added even more details to the possibility outlined by Minister Farrakhan months prior.
The book caught the attention of a few in the media, like Christopher Hitchens, who focused on a portion of the book that detailed how Israel's intelligence agency, Mossad, was aware of Clinton's relationship with Ms. Lewinsky and worked to use that relationship against the President.
For those who worry about Rep. Condit's handling of highly sensitive files, as a member of the House Intelligence Committee, Thomas' description of Mossad's work against Clinton should provide support for that concern. For those who dismiss such a possibility Thomas' account should be sobering. And the question does remain to be asked: Why was the account of Mossad's work against President Clinton described in Thomas' book, published by St. Martin's Press, and which received critical acclaim – not a front-page story warranting a Congressional investigation?
Here is the excerpt that details how Mossad, according to Thomas, worked to use the President of the United States' relationship with an intern, to serve Israel's national interests:
Then, in April 1997, Rafi Eitan's name began to surface in connection with a Mossad spy in Washington whom the FBI identified and code-named "Mega."
His own well-placed source within Mossad had told Rafi Eitan that the FBI had begun to explore the role Mega could have had in the way Jonathan Pollard had been run. Had Mega been the source for some of the ultrasecret material Pollard had passed on? The FBI had recently reinterviewed Pollard in prison and he had admitted that even his high security clearance had not been enough to obtain some of the documents his handler, the funereal Yagur, had requested. The FBI knew such documents had a special code word through which they had to be accessed, which changed frequently, sometimes even on a daily basis. Yet Yagur had seemed to know the code within a matter of hours to give to Pollard. Had Mega provided it? Was Mega the second Israeli spy in Washington the FBI had long suspected? How close had he been to Rafi Eitan?
These were the dangerous questions now being asked in Washington that could shatter the relationship between Washington and Tel Aviv.
After the FBI had identified him as the puppet master behind Pollard, Rafi Eitan had accepted that his time in Israel intelligence was finally over. He had looked forward to ending his days facing no greater risk than scorched from the blowtorch he wielded when forming his sculptures.
Instinctively he knew that events in Washington posed a threat not only to him – a CIA snatch squad could try to grab as he came and went from Cuba and bring him to Washington for questioning, and there was no way of telling what would happen then; but the discovery of Mega's existence would also be exercising minds in the upper echelons of the Israeli intelligence community's Va'adat Rashei Hesherytin – the Committee of the Heads of Service whose primary function is to coordinate all intelligence and security activities at home and abroad.
But even they knew nothing about who Mega was. All they had been told was that he was highly placed in the Clinton administration. Whether the president had inherited him from the Bush government was another carefully guarded secret. Only the incumbent Mossad memune knew how long Mega had been in place.
The committee members did, however, know that the FBI's counterintelligence division finally believed that the lack of action against Mossad was due to the power of the Jewish lobby in Washington, and the reluctance of successive administrations to confront it. Once more that lobby could be called upon to dampen the firestorm building since Mega had first been discovered by the FBI. On February 16, 1997, the National Security Agency (NSA) had provided the FBI with an intercept of a late-night telephone conversation from the Israeli embassy between a Mossad intelligence officer identified only as Dov, and his superior in Tel Aviv, whose name had not been revealed during the short conversation.
Dov had asked "for guidance" as to whether he "should go to Mega" for a copy of a letter written by Warren Christopher, then secretary of state, to PLO chairman Yasser Arafat. The letter contained a set of assurances given to Arafat by Christopher on January 16 about the withdrawal of Israeli troops from the West Bank city of Hebron. Dov was restricted by the voice in Tel Aviv "to forget the letter. This is not something we use Mega for."
The brief conversation had been the first clue the FBI had of the importance of Mega. The code name had not been heard before in its around-the-clock surveillance of the Israeli embassy and its diplomats. Using state-of-the-art computers, the FBI narrowed the urgent search for the identity of Mega to someone who either worked there or had access to a senior official employed by the National Security Council, the body that advises the president on intelligence and defense matters. Its office is in the White House, and its members include the vice-president and the secretaries of state and defense. The director of Central Intelligence and the chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff serve in an advisory role. The permanent staff is headed by the president's national security adviser.
How the Israeli embassy had learned its secure communications channel with Tel Aviv had been breached still remained as closely guarded as the identity of Mega. Like all Israeli missions, the Washington embassy was constantly updated with more sophisticated systems for encryption and burst transmissions: a significant portion of this equipment has been adapted from stolen U.S. blueprints.
On February 27, 1997, a pleasant spring morning in Tel Aviv, the members of the Committee of the Heads of Services drove from their various offices around the city along the broad road called Rehov Shaul Jamalehu to a guarded gate in a high blank wall tipped with barbed wire. All that could be seen of what lay behind the wall were the roofs of buildings. Rising above them was a massive concrete tower visible all over Tel Aviv. At various heights were unslightly clusters of electronic antennae. The tower was the centerpiece of the headquarters of the Israel Defense Forces. The complex is known as the Kirya, which simply means "place."
At a little before 11:00 A.M., the intelligence chiefs used their swipe cards to access a building near the tower. Like most Israeli government offices, the conference room they entered was shabby.
The meeting was chaired by Danny Yatom, who had recently been appointed as Mossad's latest chief by Prime Minister Benyamin Netanyahu. The Tel Aviv rumor mills had it that the new Mossad chief had "baby-sat" the embattled prime minister when Netanyahu's colorful private life threatened his career. The men around the cedarwood conference table listened attentively as Yatom outlined the strategy to be adopted should the "situation" with Mega become a full-blown crisis.
Israel would deliver a strongly worded protest that its Washington embassy’s diplomatic status had been violated by the bugging - a move that would undoubtedly cause embarrassment to the Clinton administration. Next sayanim connected to the U.S. media should be instructed to plant stories that Mega was an incorrect decoding of the Hebrew slang Elga, which had long been Mossad-speak for the CIA. Further, the word Mega was part of one well-known to U.S. intelligence. Megawatt was a code name it had until recently used jointly with Mossad to describe shared intelligence. For good measure sayanim should add that another word, Kilowatt, was used for commonly shared terrorist data.
But, for the moment, nothing would be done, Yatom concluded. In March 1997, on receipt of information from Mossad’s katsa in Washington, Yatom took action. He send a yahalomin team to Washington to follow-up on the katsa’s report that President Clinton was repeatedly indulging in phone-sex calls with a former White House aide, Monica Lewinsky. He was making the calls from the Oval Office to her apartment in the Watergate complex. Knowing that the White House was totally protected by electronic counter-measures, the yahalomin team focused on Lewinsky’s apartment. They began to intercept explicit phone calls from the president to Lewinsky. The recordings were couriered by diplomatic bag to Tel Aviv.
In Tel Aviv, Mossad’s strategies pondered how to use the highly embarrassing taped conversations; they were the stuff of blackmail - though no one suggested any attempt should be made to blackmail the president of the United States. Some, however, saw the recordings as a potent weapon to be used if Israel found itself with its back to the wall in the Middle East and unable to count on Clinton’s support.
There was common consensus that the FBI must also be aware of the conversations between Clinton and Lewinsky. Some strategists urged Yatom to use “the back-door channel” with Washington and let the FBI know Mossad was aware of the president’s phone calls: it would be a not-very-subtle way of telling the agency to back off in their continuing hunt for Mega. Other analysts urged a wait-and-see policy, arguing that the information would remain explosive whenever it was released. That view prevailed.
In September 1998, the Starr report was published and Yatom had left office. The report contained a short reference to Clinton warning Lewinsky back in March 1997 that his phone was being bugged by a foreign embassy. Starr had not pursued the matter when Lewinsky had given her testimony before the grand jury about her affair with Clinton. However, the FBI could only have seen the revelations as further evidence of their inability to unmask Mega...
To this day, no one has been able to dismiss what the highly esteemed Thomas wrote in Gideon's Spies.
Why strain at Rep. Condit when you ignored President Clinton, we wonder?
August 28, 2001
P.S. Here is a May 21, 2000 article from The London Times which details more of the spying on President Clinton by Israel:
Israeli spies tapped Clinton e-mail
Uzi Mahnaimi, Tel Aviv
MORE than 20 years of Israeli spying
operations in Washington culminated in
the interception of e-mails from
President Bill Clinton, intelligence sources
claimed last week.
The revelations come at a sensitive time
as Ehud Barak, the Israeli prime minister,
is ex-pected to fly to Washington today
for talks with Clinton about the Middle
East peace process.
The latest spying operation is said to have
taken place in 1998 while Benjamin
Netanyahu was Israel's prime minister.
According to the sources, it entailed
hacking into White House computer
systems during intense speculation about
the direction of the peace process.
Sources in Israel say intelligence agents
infiltrated Telrad, a company that had
been subcontracted by Nortel, America's
conglomerate, to help develop a
communications system for the White
Company managers were said to have
been unaware that virtually undetectable
chips installed during manufacture made
it possible for outside agents to tap into
the flow of data from the White House.
Information being sent from the
president to his senior staff in the National
Security Council and outside government
departments could be copied into a
secret Israeli computer in Washington,
the sources said. It was transferred to Tel
Aviv two or three times a week.
One opportunity for Israeli agents to
mount the operation arose when Nortel,
Telrad and another firm won a £33m
contract to replace communications
equipment for the Israeli air force.
Members of the air force were allowed
access to manufacturing areas as a result.
Company and White House Officials last
week denied any knowledge of the
intelligence operation. "We have no
information that our phone system has
been compromised," said Jake Siewert,
the deputy White House press secretary.
An Israeli government official said that
Mossad, the country's intelligence
service, was banned from conducting
illicit surveillance in America. "Spying on
the US is out of the question," he said.
However, the FBI has conducted a highly
classified investigation into previous
claims that Israeli intelligence has
breached White House security.
The inquiry was revealed earlier this
month by the Washington Times Insight
magazine, which reported that Israeli
agents used a software company in
Missouri to intercept telephone
conversations from the White House,
State Department and other
The FBI inquiry began some years ago
after an investigation by the State
Department led to suspicions that Israel
might have the technology to overhear
the conversations of American officials in
It shifted to the White House in September
1998 when Kenneth Starr, the
independent prosecutor, reported that
the Israelis may have listened to amorous
conversations between Clinton and
Monica Lewinsky, the White House
trainee with whom he had an affair. The
allegation was denied by both Israel and
the United States.
Both countries have been wary of the
harm that could be caused by Israeli
intelligence operations since Jonathan
Pollard, a former American navy analyst,
was jailed for spying for Israel in 1986.
Sources familiar with past operations,
however, said penetration of the White
House was considered so secret that even
some members of Mossad's hierarchy
were not informed.
They cited at least three occasions on
which Israel had monitored the White
House, starting shortly after Gerald Ford
became president in 1974.
A source who participated in the
infiltration of Ford's White House said the
Israelis were interested in American
plans to sell the Awacs early warning
aircraft to Saudi Arabia, a prospect that
would have allowed the desert kingdom
to monitor Israeli air force activity
throughout the Middle East.
During the Carter administration, agents
targeted Zbigniew Brzezinski, the
national security adviser, who was
considered anti-Israeli. This operation is
said to have been conducted by a Mossad
burglary unit known as Keshet (Arrow).
A third operation straddled President
Ronald Reagan's second term and the
early years of his successor, George Bush.
The target was James Baker, the former
White House chief of staff and secretary of
state who was considered pro-Arab.
Additional reporting: Tom Rhodes, New
Tuesday, August 28, 2001