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Saturday, June 13, 2015

Is "dual loyalty" a legitimate concern? Yes. Here's why...

Justin Raimondo 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.
Is that the Luttwak who wrote "Coup d'Etat: A Practical Handbook"?

I would only quibble on congressmen: anyone who can muster the votes ought to be able to hold elected office. You ought to be able to elect the first horse-American to be President if you want to, as long as you can get it a plurality of the vote. It would be perfectly legal for someone to found a "Destroy Mankind Party", after all, and they could kill all humans if they could get enough votes.
I totally, 100% agree. Also, same thing for this so-called Christian Dominionism. Do you belong to a church that believes Jesus will piss on the US Constitution and Bill of Rights? Then there shouldn't be any security clearance or govt job for you.

You might find the Twitter feed of SC Rep Alan Clemmons -- a Mormon -- interesting for his pro-Israeli activism. He is the proud sponsor of an anti-BDS bill enacted in the SC General Assembly.

"Nevertheless, I believe that anyone who has ever held dual citizenship should not be allowed to hold any high-ranking positions within the military..."

So you'd let foreign countries' laws determine who leads the US military? A US citizen is a citizen of another country if -- and only if-- a foreign law says he is. Neither a US citizen nor the US government can't control what other countries decide their rules of citizenship should be.
US citizens joined the fascist cabinet in the Ukraine.

Ukraine itself recently appointed a former prime minister of Georgia as governor of the Ukrainian city of Odessa.

The Georgian cabinet contained Israelis in two key positions at the time of the 2008 war, a conflict for which Georgia was armed by Israel. One of the cabinet ministers had gone to an Israeli weapons factory to agree a weapons deal for Georgia. Nice work if you can get it. (It's illegal for an Israeli citizen to enter Israel on a non-Israeli passport. Ask the wife of the guy who was president of Iceland when it crashed.)

I question the statement that the vast majority of US Jews are loyal first and foremost to the US. Friends who are ex-Jews or who have Jewish parents tell me that most people in Britain who view themselves as Jewish are Jews first. They also report that the phrase 'don't be a shanda fur die goyim' is going strong. (As for the orthodox, it's a case of British - Shmitish?)

Which isn't to say they are fanatical partisans for Israel, forever with their binoculars out noting down car registration numbers outside their local pro-Palestinian meeting or beavering away 'responding' on websites; nor that they all welcome pushy Israelis or Britain-based Zionists trying to order them about - especially when the command is to donate money. Many of them don't. Many of them don't give much of a toss what happens in Israel.

But if Zionist or Orthodox dirty deed doers came to their attention they wouldn't be especially keen on dobbing them in to the British police, customs or MI5 either. And if someone says something about the Jews, whether positive, negative or neutral, it interests them far more than if someone says something about the British.

Of course all of this could be further nuanced. I don't want to sound like those Scottish nationalists who sold a survey which found that most Scots are Scots before they are British as meaning that most Scots don't see themselves as British or don't want to be British. But a loyalty to Britain first and foremost for the vast majority of British Jews? I don't think so.
I don't follow your logic, anonymous. By your reasoning a citizen of China or North Korea could sit in the US Cabinet. What is citizenship? A flag of convenience? An extraterritorial claim by a foreign nation over US nationals? Since 2009 Greece has had nine month military conscription for all males between 19 and 45. Greek citizens who have been living constantly abroad since their eleventh birthday and whose parents are not employed by the Greek state are required to serve three months. Now, I imagine that is only enforceable if the person returns to Greece, but it makes my point -- that foreign citizenship can impose legal, military and other obligations upon US citizens living in the US -- and these may impinge on people's capacity and willingness to act fully as US citizens if elected to public office. In the case of a politically activist government like Israel the situation is beyond debate. US-Israeli citizens holding positions of public office have been acting directly in the interests of Israel and against what most Americans see as their own interests. Some statutory restraints are required to limit these abuses.
It would be fun to have a list of congresscritters that have 2. When the new congresscritters make the trip to israel to be brain washed maybe it's at that time the receive club membership.

The birth certificate narrative derailed the legitimate concern of Obama's being dual, triple, or even quadruple (if his step-father arranged that) nationality. Obama himself mentioned being British via his father's Kenyan nationality.
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