"Good buddy" CIA

Summer, 1995 - Bruce Brill - Unpublished

Alon Pinkas writes in the Jerusalem Post of June 2, 1995 ["The battle over the Golan teeters on borders"], that, "Israel will undoubtedly insist that the US compensate it for the withdrawal [from the Golan] by providing access to high-resolution satellite information." Already on January 26, the CIA said it would provide Israel with intelligence were she to relinquish the Golan to Syria.

Just prior to this offer, the CIA published findings that listed Syrian complicity in taking Western hostages, bombing the American Embassy in Beirut, killing 250 American peacekeepers in the Beirut marine compound, torturing and killing American and UN officers, and sabotaging the Israel-Lebanon peace treaty and theTaif agreement. This scathing CIA report about Israel's traditional enemy and the CIA's offer to provide Israel with compensatory intelligence suggests that the CIA is without question Israel's friend.

Most hold that the almost-fatal blunder of misreading Syrian and Egyptian intentions in 1973 was a rigid 'conception' about enemy intentions. Israel's Chief of Intelligence in 1973, General Eli Zeira, however, insists that his bureau's job was evaluating enemy preparations, not intentions. The question, then, naturally arises, from where did the Israeli leadership get their conception of enemy intentions?

Both Golda Meir and Moshe Dayan wrote that US intelligence was providing the Israelis with constant input about enemy intentions prior to the 1973 Yom Kippur Surprise. Then-general-staffer General Arie Brown reported, the Americans forwarded information a week and a half prior to Yom Kippur 1973 about Arab intentions to attack Israel at some unspecified time in the future. Yet, the updated US evaluations passed to the Israelis during the ten days prior to the Yom Kippur Surprise was that the Arabs had no intention of launching an attack on or before Yom Kippur. Even on the morning of Yom Kippur American input to Israel's highest echelons served to convince the Israeli leadership that there would be no attack. If American intelligence had in fact known true Arab intentions and passed on misinformation that served to dupe the Israelis into complacency, this would be duplicity of the highest order. In fact, this was precisely the case.

At the National Security Agency, Arab intentions to launch a surprise invasion of Israel were known almost two days in advance. I, working there as a Mideast analyst at the time, personally knew 41 hours before the invasion commenced. And, finally, we knew that the surprise invasion was scheduled for Yom Kippur day.

Israel's almost-fatal blunder in 1973, then, had less to do with rigid conceptions of enemy intentions, than the hidden intentions of her "good buddy," US intelligence.

We are reminded, had Israel relied solely on American intelligence, she would have been caught unprepared for what Saddam Hussein had in store for her by the early 1990's. Just ask Jonathan Pollard, who saw his supervisors suppressing information vital to Israel about Saddam's non-conventional warfare capabilities.

Have we forgotten that real-time information about Scud launchings during the Gulf War were denied Israel by US intelligence, putting Israel's civil defence at a significant disadvantage? The same sophisticated US spy satellites that monitor every housing start in Judea and Samaria, had somehow managed to lose a Scud-laden vessel bound for Iran from North Korea on the open seas after the Gulf War.

Most importantly, the nonadmittance of American Jews to certain Middle East departments in the US intelligence community, disclosed by this writer, has to be addressed. Clearly, Israel would be making a terrible --perhaps fatal-- blunder by relinquishing the strategic Golan Heights for security assurances from such a good buddy.

  • Return to other articles by Bruce Brill