A Book Review & Intelligence Analysis
On former Israeli intelligence officer Ari Ben-Menashe’s account of crime & corruption inside the American and Israeli political & intelligence establishments with notes on Robert Parry’s (mis)reporting (non-fiction.) My analysis, projecting where the events documented by Ben-Menashi have since progressed to, in italics (part two, following this review.)
As a metaphor, it could be said this is a book about cannibalism. Restated, this book is a well organized, compelling narrative, of how intelligence agencies, in process of engineering geopolitics, prey on people. It is a honest narrative of several of the most criminal personalities of our era. It is a story of the organized murders, via arms traffickers in the service of greed & ego (disguised as patriotism) of too many people to count. And, it is a story of Ari Ben-Menache’s naïveté.
Relating to the author’s specific biographical narrative, or personal self-criticism, the book is an honest confessional of how it came to pass a young man (Ari) with a certain sense of ethics, had been drawn into a set of circumstance that saw his better judgement compromised as he becomes involved more deeply in the web of geopolitical intrigue. The confessions in this regard are necessary; to underwrite the veracity of the author’s more important revelations. Assessing the psychology of Ben-Menache, one sees a determination to come clean. This aspect convinces, more so than the many detractors of the book’s content and attacks on the author.
As time goes on, among other assignments, Ben-Menache facilitates illegal arms trafficking on a scale that might be scarcely believable to the uninitiated. Considering his narration is by no means a comprehensive account of international armaments dealing, one might stop and reflect on the enormity of a problem; where arms trafficking has become so entrenched & integral to the economics of modern nations, any realistic moves to curtail the industry must meet with a Faustian dilemma of damage to the western democracies economic engines. Ben-Menache does not stray into this negative philosophical territory but the implication is in the wider view of what he writes about, or the sheer volume of the trade. One is reminded it is not only weapons systems but the vast amounts of munitions required to run those systems, are in play.
Within the macrocosm of this suicidal regency of arms trafficking he so eloquently develops, the threads Ben-Menache pursues are both interesting and damning.
One can plainly see Robert Gates had covertly run the criminal enterprise that is the operations division of the CIA for well over the decade covered by Ben-Menache. Following George H.W. Bush & Robert Gates making a deal with Iran’s ayatollahs to keep the 52 embassy hostages, to insure Jimmy Carter’s electoral defeat in 1980 (see a linked American eyewitness account backing up Ben Menache’s eyewitness account of G.H.W. Bush’s presence at the Paris meeting to conclude the deal), Gates effectively took over the agency with Bill Casey’s stroke in 1981. Casey stayed on as director but Gates was the de facto man in charge. After Casey’s death, during the tenure of William Webster as Director of Central Intelligence, Webster was left out of the loop in operations run by Robert Gates. Webster (as Leon Panetta had in more recent times) served as a fig leaf director … with Robert Gates running the show behind the curtain. It’s not a stretch of the imagination to state Robert Gates (with the blessing of his criminally complicit boss, George H.W. Bush) ran the CIA from 1981 through 1992. The criminality of this tenure, as put forward by Ben-Menache, is nothing short of rank, felonious treason. By the end of Ben-Menache’s narrative, at the close of 1991, when the joint American-Israeli Iran-Contra operation had been wrapped up, there were a pair of “slush funds” totaling no less than 1.5 billion U.S. dollars (over 2.5 billion in 2015, adjusted for inflation), derived in large part from skimming profits off Iran-Contra (among other) arms deals. This money was split evenly between CIA & Israeli intelligence. Related to this, CIA & MOSSAD had been closely cooperating in international narcotics trafficking, responsible for vast amounts of cocaine smuggled into the USA to fund illegal adventures in Latin America (Iran-Contra particularly) behind the backs of, and prohibited by, Congress.
Ben-Menache goes on to describe splits and competitions, fratricide within MOSSAD, how LIKUD ran and benefited from the criminal enterprise he was engaged in, how extra-judicial murders are decided on by the Israeli intelligence chiefs, and much more. Of interest in this set of topics is how the Israeli side of the ‘slush fund’ proceeds are disposed of. Israeli prime Minister Yitzhak Shamir’s LIKUD used the monies for several noticeable purposes; not least buying West Bank land for Jewish settlements. This fund also bought votes and silence from American congressmen via bribes laundered through AIPAC. It should be noted here, the fund was never static; the USD $780 million Israeli share (excluding the CIA’s parallel fund) was RESIDUAL at the end of Ben-Menache’s tenure with Israeli intelligence. Many billions appear to have been cycled through the fund over the course of the ten years of his involvement. There is an impressive ability to raise and spend money demonstrated … all beyond the purview of legitimate institutions of accountability and associated rule of law.
In the midst of what can only be accurately described as a journey through a collective criminal insanity, there are lucid moments. Shamir is an interesting character with a special hate for Americans; for the indefensible act of refusing the Jews of Europe an escape to Palestine by rejecting out of hand any dealings with the Nazis on the issue prior to the ‘final solution.’ However this might overlook the rights (and ensuing plight) of the Palestinians in relation to what became the state of Israel, one can understand his point of view. Ben-Menache also caused me to think about Shamir in relation to the West Bank and particularly Jordan, a creation of the British empire. Colonial era borders have wrecked havoc throughout the world and Palestine is no exception. Shamir’s idea, setting aside all arguments of legitimacy & morality in favor of pragmatic geopolitics, it might have worked, was to turn Jordan into a Palestinian state. Jordan is 70% ethnic Palestinian Arab and there is little question Arafat would have gone along with the plan but the USA was adamantly opposed. If Shamir’s plan HAD been brought off, the likely result would have been a second ‘Nabka’ (my opinion) similar to the partition of India and Pakistan and the mass exodus of Muslims resulting in bitter enemies nonetheless but two functioning states, one Muslim & one Jewish. The wild card in this scenario would have been Jerusalem, where no one religion should have ascendancy over another … for the idea to work would require Jerusalem become an independent, secular city-state and that has never been in the cards. But I digress…
Labor aligned Nobel Laureate Shimon Peres demonstrates he is every bit as criminal as anyone in LIKUD, but not nearly as competent, when he tries to muscle in on the Iran-Contra take controlled by LIKUD politicians and their associates running Israeli intelligence. Shut out of the operation and its immense illicit profits, Peres sets out to open a ‘second channel’ to arm Iran; for purely pecuniary purposes. Organized crime integrated to intelligence agencies arms trafficking platform, and associated profits, is how LIKUD props itself up in Israel. Peres wanted a share for Labor. This is where Ben-Menache’s narrative is at odds with mainstream; but in a sensible way if one puts in context the information he develops. It was the 2nd channel Peres had attempted to open and operate, that took the fall for the entire Iran-Contra operation; these were the people hung out to dry. Meanwhile, the original (1st) channel continued to operate as though nothing had happened. When journalist Robert Parry claims for himself at the consortiumnews website…
“Investigative reporter Robert Parry broke many of the Iran-Contra stories for The Associated Press and Newsweek in the 1980s”
…it is a clear stretch of the imagination or worse. It was the 2nd channel had broken open in the press, all the while the 1st channel was never so much as dented. It is notable that Ben-Menache limits credit to Robert Parry’s journalism to two counts solely; verifying the authenticity of a few documents that were helpful at Ben-Menache’s trial (on trumped up charges) and two presentations for Frontline on PBS. A careful read of Ben-Menache’s narrative brings out what was never reported in mainstream, not in Newsweek and not by the Associated Press; the 2nd channel people were hung out to dry by the 1st channel people and the primary Iran-Contra players never missed a step.
A bomb dropped by Ben-Menache is the fact Robert McFarlane, Reagan’s National Security Adviser, was a spy for Israel. This discovery had been swept under the rug by the Americans to protect the administration (and George H.W. Bush’s presidential aspirations) but raises an interesting question; if the Israelis can own the American president’s National Security Adviser, where does the Israeli & AIPAC’s penetration end? An observation: compare McFarlane’s fate (hustled out of his position with a cover story and slap on the wrist) to that of Jonathan Pollard (imprisoned for life.) Pollard is described as the most damaging Israeli spy -ever- by the USA for media spin, what a laugh.
These preceding are only a taste of a work that methodically exposes the metadata of the American-Israeli intelligence relationship. Clearly Ben-Menache could have done by far more damage than he had, but he does provide a very clear outline of two highly politicized intelligence entities with leadership in what amounts to a dysfunctional marriage … at the top of the food chain the Americans and the Israelis intensely hate each other; even as they cooperate while screwing out of habit.
After Ben-Menache had forced Robert Gates’ hand in Paraguay, he was careless and let himself be ‘danced’ into an American sting that had red flags waving from the beginning. Had he become subliminally tired of his role in some of this world’s greatest criminal acts? In any case, it was the best thing that could have happened … he managed to beat the clumsy American entrapment and at the end of the day he’d set out to recover his humanity and managed it:
“I am a humbler man today than I was in the 1970s when I joined Israeli intelligence. I’ve learned the hard way that everyone makes mistakes, some of them so big that they are irrevocable. I’ve also changed my view of Israel and the Jewish people. When I was young, I shared with many Israelis a deep nationalistic feeling — the self-righteous and arrogant belief that we were right and everyone else was wrong, that it was more important for Jews and Israel to survive than others, that we were — as the Bible says — the chosen people. I still believe that Jews are chosen. But no longer can I accept the premise on which the Iranian arms deals were based: ‘Better that their boys die than ours.’ People are people. We are all chosen” -Ari Ben-Menache
Buy Ben-Menashe’s book online HERE
When Peres sought to open a competing channel to arm Iran via the Iran-Contra business model, he accomplished little more than provide a screen for the 1st channel; in the event the business was to spill into the open. It is my opinion this is why George H.W. Bush and Robert Gates allowed the 2nd (Peres) channel to set itself up in business. From their point of view, it was a prescient move on account of the difficulty of keeping something as big as this had become, under wraps.
Robert Parry’s journalism notwithstanding, the authentic facts of Iran-Contra were never reported on in mainstream. What had been reported as the most salient facts were essentially a smokescreen. This is reinforced by the fact Newsweek had virulently attacked Ben-Menache’s narrative on publication; not long after presenting Robert Parry’s reporting on Iran-Contra as fact. These are irreconcilable phenomena except in the case of Ben-Menache’s considerably expanded account, undermining the limited picture spoon fed to the public by the press, is correct. The Iran-Contra ‘cover’ story had to be protected, investigations were ongoing and the CIA had engineered damage control. North and Poindexter et al, as complicit and stupid as they were, were nonetheless patsies. Robert Parry’s reporting over the ensuing years reinforces the idea his role, all along, has been that of a disinformation asset, whether willing or unwitting, for the CIA. Parry has moved on to pervert American constitutional history in contradiction of (one could say smearing) the anti-federalists intentions relating to checks on a central government, he puts a lot of energy into being an apologist for the inexcusable Obama and, not least, Parry denies the incontrovertible fact the official 9/11 report white-washed the actual circumstance of the collapse of WTC 7 on the afternoon of 11 September, 2001.
Recalling Robert McFarlane, Ronald Reagan’s National Security Adviser, had been working for Israeli intelligence, there is practically no position in American government cannot be construed to be at risk of penetration and compromise via AIPAC. How this might play in the events of 9/11 is open to conjecture; Ariel Sharon, the Israeli prime minister on 9/11, was a man possessed of the necessary character to murder three thousand people in a gambit to get the USA to fight Israel’s wars, this much is clear. Whether MOSSAD had co-opted enough key people in the USA security apparatus to bring it off, is not. At odds with the Israelis’ initiating the attacks is the fact of Dick Cheney ordering the New York area air defense shut down for the morning of 11 September, while a ‘coincidental’ exercise was to be run simulating a ‘terrorist attack’ with jet liners crashing into New York sky-scrapers. Could Cheney’s team all have been Israeli assets? It seems unlikely. On the other hand, it is classic Israeli style to use their enemies, wherever possible, to take care of their most dirty work. And America is LIKUD’s enemy in a cold political calculation. Related to this, however MOSSAD and Saudi intelligence might cooperate in common geopolitical interests, most certainly Israel and Saudi Arabia are not friends. Utilizing al-Qaida as a front to initiate the attacks, or utilizing Saudis as patsies for a false-flag ‘terrorist’ attack, either one, is consistent with Israeli style; in the past MOSSAD has laundered operations through the PLO for purpose of everything from terrorism for propaganda purposes, to political murders. A second or alternative possibility is the Israelis duping the USA’s people into assisting with their operation. The Israelis may have/had the necessary access and certainly the motivation; whereas the Americans have repeatedly demonstrated they are guilty of that particular brand of hubris that is blinding. Another possible scenario is the USA’s geopolitical intelligence engineers having penetrated an Israeli operation and opened doors for the 9/11 actors, basically rolling out the red carpet for an Israeli run operation, unbeknownst to the Israelis, a covert co-option if you will. A fourth possibility is a joint venture. A fifth possibility is the Bush criminal syndicate responsible for 9/11, taking care to frame the Israelis in case the operation were to unravel. In any of these hypothesis, Rudy Guiliani having located his disaster headquarters in WTC Building 7, is key. What’s almost certain is, Al-Qaida was a minor actor, a dupe and cover story, and was not primarily responsible for 9/11. Insofar as responsibility & accountability, there is none. These agencies or actors, with the likely exception of al-Qaida, would have access to tactical nuclear weapons or ‘suitcase nukes’ for purpose of false-flag terrorism, were it to come to the likes of a Bibi Netanyahu, or Robert Gates & minions determination to up the ante as opposed to face accountability.
In the history of intelligence agencies narcotics trafficking, what is mentioned in Ben-Menache’s book is nothing new but is important confirmation this is a leopard will never shed its spots. Previous to Iran-Contra, the CIA had been big narco-traffickers in southeast Asia. Subsequent to Ben-Menashe’s narrative, during Robert Gates tenure as Secretary of Defense under George W. Bush, carried on into the Obama administration, heroin trafficking has boomed throughout the American occupation of Afghanistan.
It cannot be construed to be an accident Robert Gates had been instrumental in dramatically enlarging the USA’s special operations forces in numbers and increasing integration of those special operations forces to CIA clandestine operations, under Obama. Since the electoral coup d’état of 1980, the real power of the Bush family cabal, the CIA covert operations branch (run from behind the scene by ‘family capo’ Robert Gates) has been strengthened & consolidated.
Related essays on Robert Parry’s false flag journalism:
Poison Fruit Supports the official 9/11 narrative (and more)
Poison Fruit Encore 1 Flight MH-17 disinformation
Poison Fruit Encore 2 Flight MH-17 disinformation (and more)