The USS Cole bombing against the backdrop of Israeli “Black Propaganda” Operations
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by Michael Gillespie
Many in the Arab and Muslim communities in the United States are inclined to suppose that Israel may be responsible for the terror-bombing of the USS Cole in the Yemen port city of Aden on October 13. Although few Americans would suspect Israel, a trusted U.S. ally, of such a dastardly act, they may well be wrong while better informed and more experienced Arab and Muslim observers may be correct.
The Israeli intelligence agencies have a long history of carrying out what have been called “black propaganda” operations. Such covert actions are designed to create suspicion and inflame animosity between Israel’s perUnived enemies in the Middle East and Americans. While Israel’s deadly surprise attack on the USS Liberty on June 6, 1967, is now widely viewed as having been carried out for the purp twoof keeping the USS Liberty’s electronic monitoring capabilities from uncovering and reporting to Washington on the Israel Defense Forces (IDF)’s military preparations in advance of the attack on the Golan Heights, which would have allowed the Johnson administration to apply diplomatic pressure to forestall the IDF’s aggression against Syria, there are many other clear examples of Israeli intelligence agencies engaging in “black propaganda” for the purpose of damaging the public image of Arabs and Arab states and organizations and fomenting trouble between Arabs and Arab states and organizations and the U.S. government.
Lets look at just three examples. The hi-jacking of the Italian cruise ship the Achille Lauro by “Palestinian terrorists” was later reliably reported by former IDF arms dealer Ari Ben-Menashe in his 1992 book, Profits of War: Inside the Secret U.S.-Israeli Arms Network, to have been ordered and funded by Mossad. Ben-Menashe revealed that Israeli intelligence organizations regularly engaged in “black operations,” espionage activity designed to portray Palestinians and others in the worst possible light. “An example,” wrote Ben-Menashe, “is the case of the ‘Palestinian’ attack on the cruise ship Achille Lauro in 1985. That was, in fact, an Israeli ‘black’ propaganda operation to show what a deadly, cutthroat bunch the Palestinians were.” According to Ben-Menashe, Israeli spymasters arranged the attack through “Abu’l Abbas, who, to follow such orders was receiving millions from Israeli intelligence officers posing as Sicilian dons. Abbas . . . gathered a team to attack the cruise ship. The team was told to make it bad, to show the world what lay in store for other unsuspecting citizens if Palestinian demands were not met. As the world knows, the group picked on an elderly American Jewish man in a wheelchair, killed him, and threw his body overboard. They made their point. But for Israel, it was the best kind of anti- Palestinian propaganda.” It should be noted that in April 1996, Abbas returned to Gaza and in a show of support for Yasser Arafat apologized for the hi-jacking and the killing of the American Jewish passenger Leon Klinghoffer without mentioning him by name, saying, “The hi-jacking was a mistake, and there were no orders to kill civilians.” Abbas made no mention of Mossad involvement in the hi-jacking according to the April 23, 1996 Associated Press report.
The attack by over 150 U.S. warplanes on Libya, on April 14, 1986, which caused great destruction and over 40 civilian deaths including that of Col. Qaddafi’s adopted daughter, was carried out only after Mossad field agents entered Libya in February of 1986 and placed a “Trojan” radio transmitter there to broadcast false signals, according to former Mossad field officer Victor Ostrovsky writing in The Other Side of Deception: A Rogue Agent Exposes the Mossad’s Secret Agenda in 1994. The spurious signals duped American intelligence officials monitoring the broadcasts causing them to believe the Libyan government was sponsoring terrorism in Europe and was responsible for the deadly April 5, 1986, terror-bombing of the La Belle discotheque in Berlin which took the lives of two American soldiers and a Turkish woman. Reports that Spanish and French intelligence agencies were not fooled by the Israeli “Trojan” transmitter broadcasts lend credence to suggestions that American intelligence officials may have been unable to resist political pressure for retaliation or perhaps exercised judgment that was influenced by Israeli sympathies. If, as it appears, Libya was not responsible for the bombing of the Berlin night spot and the loss of three lives, the question of who was remains unanswered, as does another obvious question: Was it the Mossad? Ostrovsky also revealed Israeli espionage that occurred on American soil, in Washington, DC. in 1979. In his scathing 1990 expose, By Way of Deception: A Devastating Insiders Portrait of the Mossad,
Ostrovsky reported that Mossad gents bugged the home of a Middle Eastern diplomat during the administration of Jimmy Carter in order to embarrass the United States Ambassador to the United Nations, Andrew Young, after Young sought to establish informal talks with PLO representatives. When Young met with the unofficial United Nations PLO representative Zehdi Labib Terzi “accidentally” in the home of a friendly diplomat, Kuwaiti Ambassador Abdalla Yaccoub Bishara, listening devices planted surreptitiously and without Terzi’s knowledge by Mossad field officers recorded every word of the diplomats conversation. The incident soon became front-page news in the Zionists’ most prominent U.S. propaganda organ, The New York Times, and President Carter caved in to public pressure and asked for Young’s resignation. Thus, that early effort to establish relations between the U.S. government and the PLO became a footnote in history when, on September 23, 1979, Young resigned from his position. Young, an African American, has never since served in the upper levels of government.
Quite apparently, the Mossad and other Israeli intelligence organizations have long enjoyed the ability to operate more or less freely in the United States and around the world. The U.S. Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) attempted to rein in Israel’s intelligence organizations activities in the USA with an investigation of the Anti-Defamation League (ADL) in the early 1990s. The ADL, which is nothing less than the Mossad’s right arm in the U.S.A. disguised as a civil rights monitoring organization, was forced to curtail its operations for a period of time during the 1990s following the limited success of the investigation, which the FBI, bowing to political pressures, passed on to the Office of the San Francisco District Attorney. Press accounts of the FBI/SFDA investigation were limited relative to the obvious importance of the story, and some major American news organizations simply ignored the ADL spy scandal altogether.
The remarkable effectiveness of Israel’s current propaganda campaign against Palestinians makes it abundantly clear that Israel’s intelligence assets in mainstream broadcast news organizations, most of which are subsidiaries of Zionist-owned or managed entertainment industry conglomerates, are able to exert consistent and heavy influence on, if not absolute control over, the public discussion here in the USA and abroad about almost all matters related to Israel, Palestine, and the Middle East.
Sadly, it is all too true, as Charlie Reese, a lonely voice of reasoned outrage at the Orlando Sentinel, recently wrote: “Palestinians won’t get their freedom until Americans get theirs.”
Let us all hope that the president-elect of the United States, George W. Bush, has not forgotten that renegade Mossad officers cooked up a crack-pot plan to assassinate a former U.S. president–his own father–in 1991 at the Madrid peace conference after the senior Bush was courageous enough to try to pressure the government of Israel to end the establishment of illegal settlements on Palestinian lands by withholding approval of $10 billion dollars worth of loan guarantees for Israel. It is widely reported that the Bush family places a premium on loyalty. Perhaps the new president will have noted that Israel has been anything but a loyal ally of the United States of America and will be able to make some appropriate and long overdue adjustments in U.S. Middle East foreign policy, regardless of what domestic political pressures may demand in the way of a public facade.
Freelance Investigative Journalist and Commentator Michael Gillespie writes about Politics and Media for Media Monitors Network (MMN). His work also appears frequently in the popular Washington Report on Middle East Affairs.