« Welcome, 2016! | Main | An alternative foreign policy - BTH »

01 January 2016


Feed You can follow this conversation by subscribing to the comment feed for this post.


"... the US need Russia and even Iran to clean up the mess in Middle East. A mess which was created by the US and their allies in Middle East when they started to arm anti-Assad forces to confront the Assad regime. Now, ISIS is out of control. However, the Americans had enough troubles with the attrition wars in Iraq and Afghanistan. They wouldn't risk further mess by bringing 'boots on the ground' to confront ISIS. The recent deal with Iran, concerning its nuclear program, is not accidental."



Two things:

1/. This is going to give the Oval Office an excellent hold over those domestic opponents and critics (Republicans AND Democrats) who are most likely to attempt to derail any Syrian peace deal or Palestinian/Israeli settlement. "If you cause us trouble or again deal with Israel we will name you."

2/. I don't understand why it is a Murdoch rag which is exposing this. Creepy Uncle Rupe normally vetoes ANY anti-Israeli stories.


cp, badly proofread. Are your emotions showing? Among us Germans, if you allow?
It really started with the first paragraph. Communicatively short sentences make a lot of sense.

Gutes Neues Jahr. ;)

Old Microbiologist

Anyone in the US, or for that matter the world, who thinks that any communications are sacrosanct is either delusional or an idiot.

William R. Cumming

A clear and present danger? IMO yes!


Suspect he sees this (or wants to portray it) as Obama being anti-Israeli.


One thing that is always at the forefront when I read or hear anything regarding the Israeli Government:

1. June 8 1967, Israeli government's intentional attack on the USS Liberty murdering U.S. Military personnel.

2. Beirut Barracks bombing where Israeli Mossad knew in advance that it was going to happen, and did nothing to let the U.S. know of the imminent attack, in effect intentionally murdering U.S. Military personnel.

3. Israeli government's Pollard spy operation taking and giving away U.S.'s Nuclear shield information to the former Soviet Union that put every American man, women, and child at grave risk.


"Obama is telling the Israelis and the lobby that he knows what they are doing and that he is watching."

And will continue to do absolutely nothing to counter it. So, why even bother to spy on the Israelis.


That interpretation sure is what to expect.

I saw one particularly vile right wing headline phrasing the meme as 'Jew-Hating Obama Administration Strikes Again. They Monitored CONGRESS To Target Israel.' Not only disgusting it is also quite wrong on the facts:

Obama targeted Israel, because of the Netayahoo's unprecendeted attempt to get congress to torpedo administration policy, and because of that, the NSA ended up listening to what the Izzies were talking to congress about.


Frohes neues zurück, and I have revisited the introcuction and it makes for somewhat easier reading now.



There have been in the past well publicized instances
of court approved monitoring of communications that
ensnared members of the Executive, Legislative and Judicial
branches and resulted in criminal proceedings.
It is not hard for me to imagine that the operation you
are writing about resulted in evidence of a wide range
of unethical,embarrassing or even clearly illegal activity
by the authorized targets and the people they were communicating
with.[Logan Act, Foreign Agent Registration Act,Espionage Act,
Bribery, Conspiracy,various tax code violations, are a few possibles
that come to mind].
A little cui bono/timing analysis of this leak suggests to me that
the "take" was really "hot" and that a lot of opponents to the Iran
Nuclear agreement are going to adjust their remarks/behavior
during the implementation phase.

USMC 65-72
FBI 72-96

alba etie

I disagree I suspect there is a lot of behind the scenes pushback by the Obama administration against the NeoCons and their Izzie allies . The Iran deal still stands .



to further your question,

Given that, other than a few specific names, nothing revealed is a surprise to SST (and its truly obvious re:talking points, etc.), so why spy in a way that includes congress? I only can think other useful details of blackmail potential of congress arose (and will continue to do so).

alba etie

Disagree the Obama administration is pushing back against the Neocons & their Izzie allies- the Iran deal still stands .

David Habakkuk

johnf, steve, CP,

Actually, although his media empire is almost all of the time fanatically – indeed absurdly – neocon, Murdoch has odd moments when he appears to, as it were, 'bite the hand which feeds him' – or at least has fed him.

So it was in a 'Sunday Times' series, aborted half way, that the claims by Sibel Edmonds – which were absolutely explosive in their implications, not least in relation to the Israeli lobby – made it into the 'mainstream media'.

(See http://www.boilingfrogspost.com/2013/05/17/breaking-news-how-the-sunday-times-investigative-series-on-sibel-edmonds-us-ties-to-al-qaeda-chief-was-spiked/ .)

It may indeed be that the WSJ report is an attempt to portray Obama as being 'anti-Israeli'. But it may also be that what is happening is stranger.

Whatever else can be said about him, Murdoch has the 'nose' of a popular press journalist, in abundant measure. That has been part of the basis of his success.

It seems to me quite possible that he would be fully aware that this story is far more likely to do Israel and its 'amen corner' in the U.S. and elsewhere harm than good.

But likewise, if I was a Zionist, I would no more trust Murdoch than I would David Cameron. You never quite know what mixed-up and contorted emotions are lurking beneath the surface in such people.

The Twisted Genius


" why spy in a way that includes congress? "

The Congress critters shouldn't be conspiring with a foreign power to subvert our national policy. It's bound to draw artillery fire, or in this case, NSA surveillance.

alba etie

Col Lang
Did not mean to post this twice ( I know the rules.. )


Please specify.


Serious action would be: 1) blackmailing those members of Congress who were recorded conspiring with a foreign power against the White House; 2) releasing the recordings and thereby strike a blow against both the Israeli lobby and Netanyahu. Sure, just continuing to seek a positive congressional vote doesn't constitute bravery or decisiveness. I also surely would want to hear which legislators were saying what about me. The stakes are high; yet Obama behaves as if he were playing a game of tiddly-winks. We know too well that his inhibition has had nothing to do with ethics; he simply lacks the stomach for the rough-and-tumble and does not acknowledge what those stakes are.

robt willmann

The posting by CP takes the position that the Obama administration leaked this Wall Street Journal story itself. One interpretation is that Obama has issued a warning to Congress, the presidential candidates, and Israel that he has information they would not like to see made public, surveillance is going on, and they had better not try to destroy the Iran nuclear deal which is getting underway. By leaking the story, Obama is doing a little intimidation and blackmail.

However, I am not convinced that the Obama administration is behind the story and leaked it. Although "sending a message" very publicly is a common method of intimidation, the number of people Obama wants to affect is quite small, and most of the time in politics intimidation and blackmail are hinted at in oblique, non-specific ways that the target will still understand. If Obama leaked the story to try to blunt the effect of the Israel lobby on the upcoming elections and generate some public opinion against Israel's activities, I'm not sure if it accomplishes that, especially since domestic propaganda has poisoned quite a large number of people to be against the Iran nuclear deal, and Trump is using that selling point all the time. Moreover, even a mild backlash in Congress is still not useful to Obama; for example, the letter sent to the NSA has a three and a third page attachment that details how the information from the NSA is to be compiled for the Congressional committee and includes definitions to head off the vocabulary game--


Why would the Obama administration want the NSA to have to go through the hassle of producing the information referred to in that letter?

I think it is more likely that the story was done very publicly in the Wall Street Journal to tip off members of the Israel lobby, Congress, U.S. Jewish organizations that seek to influence politicians, and Israeli officials to what was going on and to be a lot more careful in the future, especially in the words they use. I mean, the quote of what Israel's pitch included is pretty damning: "How can we get your vote? What's it going to take?" The story is telling the influence peddlers to stop using such brazen language.

The story includes a disclosure that the NSA has a "cyber implant in Israeli networks that gave the NSA access to communications within the Israeli prime minister's office". Does anyone think that the "regular" and patriotic members of the U.S. government and NSA leaked that revealing bit of information?

An additional possibility is that this may not just be "national security" surveillance in the normal course, but is, in whole or in part, court ordered wiretapping. This also means that the NSA may not be the only agency involved. There could be a domestic criminal investigation ongoing, as Nightsticker implies, and also the NSA may not be the only one doing some of the wiretapping and surveillance. If so, the article is even more problematical and duplicitous, with an additional effect on a domestic criminal investigation.

The article -- by saying that Tayyip Erdogan was subject to surveillance -- confirms that the U.S. knows about Tayyip's and Turkey's involvement in the Syrian oil sold and traded by ISIS. No doubt there.


I wonder if the WH briefed Speaker Boehner about the NSA stumbling into dealings among his fellow GOP Congressmen, Bibi, and the lobbiests just before he determined to "screw it, I'm outta here..."? {not suggesting the Speaker was himself trading policy influence for "political support" from a foreign power} The confused steps of the majority party to select the new Speaker was a bit odd, even by current standards.
I have found it interesting that this Prez has yet to find himself a hapless lame duck, compared to previous recent office-holders. They usually start to lose their grip right after the final interim elections. Maybe our national political dynamic is so poor / weak that no one is capable of damaging an even weak prez. Or maybe he (& his political ops team) is a bit better at the game than some think.


robt willmann
"The story includes a disclosure that the NSA has a "cyber implant in Israeli networks that gave the NSA access to communications within the Israeli prime minister's office". Does anyone think that the "regular" and patriotic members of the U.S. government and NSA leaked that revealing bit of information? "

If the Izzies had discovered that item, and removed it, and the source dried up since, there would be no harm to the US disclosing it.

That said, I have thought over the thing and qualifyied it to say that I think they *probably* (because I am in no position to know with certainty) did deliberately leak it and used that GOPer as their outlet. Bipartisan politics still exist in the realm of national security. It wouldn't be undeard of.

William R. Cumming

Let's say Islamic nukes destroyed Israel this year, would history record brought on by Israel self-destructive acts or U.S. FP errors?


"Why would the Obama administration want the NSA to have to go through the hassle of producing the information referred to in that letter?"

Why not? It's an easy exercise in DC to discover if the WH has the goods. The goods are the brake. And I think it's possible that there are sufficient people at the WSJ who still, like the WASPs (or Roman Catholics) who once ran the foreign policy of this country, put America first.

alba etie

Empirically it can be observed that Obama is pushing back against the neocons in the following ways - The administration took the off ramp when the neocons wanted to bomb Syria. Obama asked for that fresh AUMF to bomb Assad over the alleged chemical weapons use knowing full well that the Congress would not vote for that authorization, instead with the help of the UNSC and the Russian & Chinese navy it was removed from Syria . Next in my view the fact that Erdogan did not get his no fly zone over Syria and yet we still have use of Incirlik is evidence of the neocons being pushed back in that part of their 'great game ' . Moreover it would appear that the Green Berets have gone Jedburgh with the Rojava - which in my view the neocons also did not want , look at the ground the YPG is taking and holding. Now the Obama administration is talking openly and frankly about Assad standing for elections and even staying in power -Finally the fact that the Iranian Nuclear Deal was passed even in the face of fierce Izzie opposition- no telling how much AIPAC & others spent trying to kill the deal - is evidence to me that the neocon agenda is being pushed back . Finally it looks to me like the confrontation with Putin over Ukraine has been given a back seat to clear & present danger from ISIL /Daesh - more push back for the neocon agenda. It was pricelss to see Ms "F--ck Europe" Nuland being made to shake hands with Leader Putin at the behest of Secretary of State Kerry . We shall see.

The comments to this entry are closed.

My Photo

February 2021

Sun Mon Tue Wed Thu Fri Sat
  1 2 3 4 5 6
7 8 9 10 11 12 13
14 15 16 17 18 19 20
21 22 23 24 25 26 27
Blog powered by Typepad