has written an excellent piece on the dangers posed by politicians and administration officials who possess dual citizenship.
When I was very young, we were taught in school that dual citizenship was illegal in the United States. Actually, the law was more complex. Nevertheless, it is true that, in 1958, the Supreme Court ruled that a Mexican-American who voted in a Mexican election had forsaken his US citizenship. That situation has changed: Dual citizenship has become common, and many people vote on both sides of the border.
Nevertheless, I believe that anyone who has ever
held dual citizenship should not be allowed to hold any high-ranking positions within the military, and, except in rare circumstances, should never be granted access to classified information. (Freedom from foreign influence is necessary to pass the government's security background check, which is informally called the "Yankee White." However, there have been occasions in the past when defectors have been granted access to Top Secret files. "Friendly" intelligence services may also access classified data.)
I also believe that dual citizenship should prohibit one from holding a seat in Congress, a cabinet position, or any substantial position in the Executive branch.
Many would find my stance unobjectionable if we were talking about an American who was also a citizen of (say) Russia or Japan or France or Jordan. The sticking point is Israel.
Our laws and our traditions on dual citizenship were rewritten to benefit Israeli-Americans. Many American citizens can vote in elections in Israel; in fact, dual citizens can hold office
in both countries.
This controversial Facebook page
lists American political figures who hold Israeli citizenship. The list -- apparently compiled during the George W. Bush administration -- includes Paul Wolfowitz, Richard Perle, Michael Chertoff, Edward Luttwak, Scooter Libby, Dov Zakheim, and many other prominent figures. Although I have not double-checked every name on the list, initial research indicates that many of these claims are either erroneous or unsubstantiated. Still, some
of the listed figures apparently have loyalties to Israel.
Israel -- sensibly -- prohibits
anyone holding foreign citizenship from taking a seat in the Knesset. Should we not follow the same course?
I know that there are some
out there who will twist my words -- who will try to portray me as someone who wants to keep Jews from holding positions of power in the United States. Nonsense. If Russ Feingold or Al Franken were to run for president, I would happily vote for either man; they are not dual citizens. Neither is Bernie Sanders, despite the recent brouhaha. In my opinion, Sanders would make an excellent president.
The vast majority of Jews born in this country are loyal, first and foremost, to the United States. They can be entrusted with this country's secrets.
Nevertheless, I maintain that anyone who wants to participate in Israel's elections or military should forego American citizenship. (I also believe that Mexican-Americans should vote only on this
side of the border.)
If you want to understand why dual loyalty is such a serious issue, your first stop should be this blockbuster 2009 article by Christopher Ketcham
Scratch a counterintelligence officer in the U.S. government and they’ll tell you that Israel is not a friend to the United States. This is because Israel runs one of the most aggressive and damaging espionage networks targeting the U.S..
Israel’s spying on the U.S., however, is a matter of public record, and neither conspiracy nor theory is needed to present the evidence. When the FBI produces its annual report to Congress concerning "Foreign Economic Collection and Industrial Espionage," Israel and its intelligence services often feature prominently as a threat second only to China. In 2005 the FBI noted, for example, that Israel maintains "an active program to gather proprietary information within the United States." A key Israeli method, said the FBI report, is computer intrusion. In 1996, the Defense Intelligence Service, a branch of the Pentagon, issued a warning that "the collection of scientific intelligence in the United States [is] the third highest priority of Israeli Intelligence after information on its Arab neighbors and information on secret U.S. policies or decisions relating to Israel."
In 1979, the Central Intelligence Agency produced a scathing survey of Israeli intelligence activities that targeted the U.S. government.
AT&T and Verizon, which together manage as much as 90 percent of the nation’s communications traffic, contracted with Israeli firms in order to comply with CALEA. AT&T employed the services of Narus Inc., which was founded in Israel in 1997. It was Narus technology that AT&T whistleblower Mark Klein, a 22-year technician with the company, famously unveiled in a 2006 affidavit that described the operations in AT&T’s secret tapping room at its San Francisco facilities.
According to Jim Bamford, who cites knowledgeable sources, Verizon’s eavesdropping program is run by a competing Israeli firm called Verint, a subsidiary of Comverse Technology, which was founded by a former Israeli intelligence officer in 1984. Incorporated in New York and Tel Aviv, Comverse is effectively an arm of the Israeli government: 50 percent of its R&D costs are reimbursed by the Israeli Ministry of Industry and Trade. The Verint technology deployed throughout Verizon’s network, known as STAR-GATE, boasts an array of Orwellian capabilities. "With STAR-GATE, service providers can access communications on virtually any type of network," according to the company’s literature. "Designed to manage vast numbers of targets, concurrent sessions, call data records, and communications, STAR-GATE transparently accesses targeted communications without alerting subscribers or disrupting service."
As with the Narus system, the point is to be able to tap into communications unobtrusively, in real time, all the time. A Verint spinoff firm, PerSay, takes the tap to the next stage, deploying "advanced voice mining," which singles out "a target’s voice within a large volume of intercepted calls, regardless of the conversation content or method of communication."
What troubles Bamford is that executives and directors at companies like Narus and Verint formerly worked at or maintain close connections with the Israeli intelligence services, including Mossad; the internal security agency Shin Bet; and the Israeli version of the NSA, Unit 8200, an arm of the Israeli Defense Forces Intelligence Corps.
Formed in 1986 by seven veterans of Unit 8200, NICE software "captures voice, email, chat, screen activity, and essential call details," while offering "audio compression technology that performs continuous recordings of up to thousands of analog and digital telephone lines and radio channels." NICE Systems has on at least one occasion shown up on the radar of U.S. counterintelligence...
That tale ties directly into the Israeli "art student" operation, which we have touched on (rather too briefly) in previous posts.
In 2000, the Canadian intelligence service, the Royal Canadian Mounted Police, conducted "a probe related to allegations that [Israeli] spies used rigged software to hack into Canada’s top secret intelligence files," according to an article in the Toronto Star. Several sources in the U.S. intelligence community told me the Canadians liaised with their American counterparts to try to understand the problem.
According to the Bush administration official who spoke with me, "the Dutch also had come to the CIA very concerned about what the Israelis were doing with this." The Dutch intelligence service, under contract with Verint, "had discovered strange things were going on — there was activity on the network, the Israelis uploading and downloading stuff out of the switches, remotely, and apparently using it for their own wiretap purposes. The CIA was very embarrassed to say, ‘We have the same problem.’
I could go on, but the point is made. I strongly urge you to read the entire piece, if you have not read it before.
It is time for us to admit one simple fact: Increasingly, the Israeli population has taken an adversarial stance toward America. They view "the west" as The Other.
Let's return to Raimondo's article
Increasingly isolated internationally, as well as increasingly hostile to the United States – Israeli bigwigs openly booed Treasury Secretary Jack Lew in Jerusalem the other day – Israel’s political class (and Israeli society in general) have taken a very sharp rightward turn. A virulent form of ultra-nationalism dominates Israeli politics these days, and anti-Americanism is on the rise. After all, these are a people who named a public square in Jerusalem – overlooked by the American consulate – after Jonathan Pollard, the Israeli spy imprisoned for life in the United States for stealing US secrets.
And that calculated insult occurred in 2007, right before then President George W. Bush – surely one of the most pro-Israel presidents in American history – was scheduled to visit. Since then, the tension between Washington and Tel Aviv has increased a hundred-fold.
Aggressive Israeli spying on – and in – the US is not a “conspiracy theory,” it’s a reality, and the danger it poses is heightened by the presence of a powerful lobby that seeks to deny and/or excuse that aggression at every turn. No responsible American observer can look on it with indifference, and measures must be taken to counteract it, just as we would seek to obstruct similar intrusions by, say, China or Russia.
As for the issue of dual citizenship, particularly involving federal officials and specifically members of Congress, the direct relation of this matter to our national security is underscored by the case of Jane Harman. While serving in Congress, Harman was caught out by the National Security Agency having a conversation with an Israeli official in which she agreed to intercede on behalf of two AIPAC lobbyists who had been brought up on espionage charges. Steve Rosen and Keith Weissman, two longtime members of the powerful pro-Israel lobbying group, had been accused of procuring sensitive information purloined from the Pentagon on Israel’s behalf.
Harman was angling, at the time, to chair the House Intelligence Committee, and the New York Times reported that “One official who has seen transcripts of several wiretapped calls said she appeared to agree to intercede in exchange for help in persuading party leaders to give her the powerful post.” Those transcripts, according to the official, revealed that the Israeli caller “promised her that a wealthy California donor – the media mogul Haim Saban – would threaten to withhold campaign contributions to Representative Nancy Pelosi, the California Democrat who was expected to become House speaker after the 2006 election, if she did not select Ms. Harman for the intelligence post.”
Rather than run for reelection under this cloud, Harman retired from Congress.
Saban is, of course, the most important backer of Hillary Clinton. I don't know how many similar conversations have taken place behind-the-scenes, but the Harman incident cannot have been a "one-off."
Israel and the United States are two very different nations with different interests. Many Israelis mistrust us. Increasingly, they hate
us -- and they seem perversely welcoming of the world's contempt. The Israelis have chosen a delusional and disastrous path, and we must not follow.