by Ari Lieberman
Despite malevolent efforts by Valerie Plame and her Jew-hating cohorts.
In the Pre-dawn hours of January 3, 2002, Israeli naval commandos boarded the Karine A, a Palestinian Authority cargo ship laden with 50 tons of military equipment destined for Yassir Arafat’s terrorist gangs. The ship was boarded in the Red Sea some 500 km from Israel’s shoreline. It was a complex and daring operation that required precise intelligence and perfect execution for successful completion and the Israelis pulled it off in textbook fashion.
During the course of the operation, Israeli intelligence officials elicited the assistance of the United States Central Intelligence Agency because Israel’s own intelligence services lost track of the ship. The CIA delivered. On December 17, 2001 a senior CIA official informed Israeli naval intelligence of the ship’s whereabouts and assured the Israelis that they would continue to monitor the ship’s movements.
The seizure of the Karine A, with its deadly cargo was a military and political triumph for Israel but represented a severe setback for Arafat’s Palestinian Authority. Aside from the seizure of badly needed weapons, Arafat had been exposed to the world as a congenital liar. He was talking peace but at the same time, importing weapons banned under the Oslo Accords. Moreover, the seizure of the Karine A revealed a shadowy nexus between Arafat and the Islamic Republic of Iran as the weapons came directly from Iranian stocks. Arafat was instantly transformed into a political pariah.
The Karine A affair resulted in triumph for Israel but could have just as easily ended in failure. The CIA’s involvement was instrumental in the operation’s successful outcome and also reveals the close nature of cooperation existing between Israeli and American intelligence services. This mutually beneficial level of cooperation is spurred by a confluence of strategic interests and shared values.
Despite excellent relations, there are rogue elements within the CIA and other branches of government that wish to inflict harm on the U.S.-Israel alliance. Much of their animus toward Israel is driven by deep-seated anti-Semitism. Often, their writings are featured in neo-Nazi or pro-Palestinian blogs where conspiracy theories abound.
One such rancid individual is Valerie Plame-Wilson, an ex-CIA operative who revealed her true feelings by posting a virulently anti-Semitic canard on Twitter on the Jewish New Year no less! She claimed that Jews were driving America’s wars and then linked her post to an article authored by ex-CIA case officer and rabid Jew-hater, Philip Giraldi. The article was liberally laced with typical anti-Semitic tropes and conspiracy theories reminiscent of Goebbels-style propaganda. Indeed, Giraldi’s articles and views are frequently featured on neo-Nazi websites and Iranian propaganda outlets.
But while Giraldi is a somewhat obscure character regulated to the marginal fringes, Plame is a minor celebrity of sorts. In 2003, her CIA cover was ironically blown by anti-war columnist Robert Novak. Following her departure from the CIA, she authored a best-selling memoir titled, “Fair Game.” A flattering Hollywood movie adaptation by the same name followed soon after. Meanwhile, the left deified her for her criticism of the Bush administration and opposition to Operation Iraqi Freedom.
Plame’s tweet met with instant negative backlash. Recognizing her error, she first offered a rather half-hearted apology in which she still attempted to defend Giraldi’s drivel. Plame’s initial awkward response sent her sinking further into the abyss. After continued negative coverage, she finally acknowledged her error and issued unreserved apology but by then, it was too little, too late; the damage had already been done and was irreversible. Plame instantly transformed herself from hero to zero. She resigned (more likely asked to leave) from Ploughshares Fund, where she served as a board member. The Ploughshares Fund had strongly advocated for Obama’s Iran deal.
Plame’s final apology should be viewed warily, and not exclusively due to its halting and belated nature. According to New York Magazine/HuffPost Contributor Yashar Ali, Plame linked to articles from the same anti-Semitic website on no less than eight occasions. One of those articles contained 9-11 truther overtones and implied Israeli involvement in the attacks while another was titled, “Why I Dislike Israel.”
If Plame is genuinely sorry, it’s only because she was caught red handed, her xenophobia exposed for the world to see. More troubling than Plame’s bald-faced anti-Semitism however, is the fact that the left was all too willing to embrace her despite her rancid, conspiracy-laced views, which based on her public twitter feed, were well known.
Plame’s sordid story is not unlike Michael Scheuer’s, another ex-CIA case officer who rose to stardom in 2004 but whose career, overtaken by his extreme hatred of Jews, tanked. By 2014, he was toxic. Like Plame, Scheuer was highly critical of the Bush administration and the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan and like Plame that was sufficient for him to become the darling of the left. But Scheuer began to obsessively direct his criticism toward Israel, the “neo-cons” and ultimately, the Jews, claiming not unlike Plame, that they were driving America’s wars and maintained dual loyalties. Scheuer has thankfully been regulated to the marginal fringes where his drivel now appears on conspiracy sites and hopefully, the same just fate awaits Plame.
Irrespective of the efforts of marginal and unhinged racist characters like Plame, Scheuer and Giraldi, the bonds between the U.S. and Israeli intelligence services remain excellent. The two nations share the same strategic threats and core values. On everything from the Islamic Republic to ISIS, Israel’s and America’s views are aligned. The Trump administration’s appointment of Mike Pompeo – who has a strong and solid record on Israel – as CIA director ensures that intelligence ties between the United States and Israel will continue to remain strong and broaden.
Ari Lieberman is an attorney and former prosecutor who has authored numerous articles and publications on matters concerning the Middle East and is considered an authority on geo-political and military developments affecting the region.
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