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09 Feb

People Are Asking the Wrong Questions About Netanyahu’s Upcoming DC Address

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People Are Asking the Wrong Questions About Netanyahu’s Upcoming DC Address

By: EdwardTeller.

Netanyahu wanted poster

The questions shouldn’t be:1)  Is this a breach of protocol by the House Speaker, to invite a foreign Prime Minister to address a joint session of Congress?2)  Is it too close to the Israeli elections to select one of many candidates for the spotlight and likely accolades such an appearance will garner for this particular politician?The question should be:Why hasn’t he been declared a Persona non Grata for his espionage activities against the United Sates, long before he entered politics?

On June 27, 2012, the FBI partially declassified and released seven additional pages[.pdf] from a 1985–2002 investigation into how a network of front companies connected to the Israeli Ministry of Defense illegally smuggled nuclear triggers out of the U.S.* The newly released FBI files detail how Richard Kelly Smyth — who was convicted of running a U.S. front company — met with Benjamin Netanyahu in Israel during the smuggling operation. At that time, Netanyahu worked at the Israeli node of the smuggling network, Heli Trading Company. Netanyahu, who currently serves as Israel’s prime minister, recently issued a gag order that the smuggling network’s unindicted ringleader refrain from discussing “Project Pinto.”

As revealed in previously released FBI files and the tell-all book Confidential: The Life of Secret Agent Turned Hollywood Tycoon Arnon Milchan, the Hollywood producer was recruited into Israel’s economic espionage division (LAKAM) in his 20s and learned how to establish front companies and secret bank accounts for smuggling operations. Arnon Milchan encouraged Smyth, a California engineer, to incorporate MILCO in 1972 and serve as a front for the Israel-based Heli Trading’s (also known as Milchan Limited) acquisitions of sensitive military technologies on behalf of the Ministry of Defense. Smyth fled the U.S. after being indicted for violating the Arms Export Control Act in the mid-1980s. In July 2001, Smyth was arrested in Spain by Interpol and returned to the U.S., and in November, he was convicted of exporting 800 nuclear triggers (called krytrons).

FBI agents interviewed Smyth on April 16-17, 2002, at the U.S. attorney’s office in Los Angeles. The secret interview report details how during a trip to Israel Smyth was “spotted” by Milchan, who claimed he worked as an exclusive purchasing agent for the Ministry of Defense. Smyth was introduced around to high military officials including then-general Ariel Sharon. Smyth was also put in contact with Benjamin Netanyahu, who worked at Heli Trading Company. According to the FBI report, “Smyth and [Netanyahu] would meet in restaurants in Tel Aviv and in [Netanyahu’s] home and/or business.

I’ve written about this at firedoglake before.  I wrote to Alaska’s U.S. Senators at that time, Mark Begich and Lisa Murkowski, urging them to request an investigation.  My answer from Begich was pap.  I got nothing back from Sen. Murkowski.I even created a WANTED poster, posted at the top of this essay.In response to Rep. Boehner’s invitation to Prime Minister Netanyahu, I have once again written to our Alaskan D.C. delegation.  Here is one of the three letters:

January 29, 2015

The Honorable Lisa Murkowski

709 Hart Senate Building

Washington, DC 20510

Dear Sen. Murkowski,

U.S. House Speaker, John Boehner, has invited Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu to address a joint session of the U.S. Congress in March.  This would only be the second time in our history that a sitting foreign leader has been bestowed such an honor three times.  The other person to be so honored was British Prime Minister, Winston Churchill.

Mr. Churchill’s appearances were pre-cleared by the executive branch of the U.S. Government, as have been all such appearances before a Joint Session by foreign leaders.  However, Speaker Boehner has broken with precedent, and has possibly violated the Logan Act, by extending this current invitation in a unilateral manner.

In the 1980s. as part of his involvement with the illegal front company, MILCO, Benjamin Netanyahu directly participated in efforts to illegally obtain and transport high tech kryton switches and other nuclear-related materials from the United States to a foreign government.  The resulting nuclear weapons were then offered for sale to the apartheid government of the Union of South Africa.  These acts were prejudicial to the interests of the people of the United States of America and to your constituents.  They also violated several U.S. laws, and were serious felonies.

I urge you to call for an investigation of Mr. Netanyahu’s involvement in espionage against the American people.  Short of that, I urge you to not attend his address.

Sincerely,

Philip Munger

It has been almost two weeks.  No response yet….Meanwhile, the Institute for Research: Middle East Policy conducted a survey.  The main question was:  Netanyahu should be investigated for nuclear weapons tech smuggling before US visit.The results were:

When informed of the incident, most Americans (54.9 percent) indicate that Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu should be investigated by the FBI before an upcoming U.S. visit.

Importantly:

Only 25.8 percent of Americans polled believe Netanyahu should be allowed to freely visit the U.S. while 15.9 percent say said he should neither be investigated nor allowed to enter the U.S.

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