In a recent Antiwar.com article aptly titled “Loose Nukes in Israel,” Grant F. Smith, director of the Institute for Research: Middle Eastern Policy (IRMEP) and author of Spy Trade: How Israel’s Lobby Undermines America’s Economy, shows how “the U.S is a sieve for Israeli nuclear espionage.”
The massive arms smuggling network set up by David Ben-Gurion in the United States in the 1940s had acquired a nuclear branch within a decade, according to Smith. The 1955 purchase of the Apollo Steel Company plant in Pennsylvania was financed by David Lowenthal, a close friend of Israel’s first prime minister and a former member of the Haganah, the precursor to the Israeli army. The following year, Dr. Zalman Shapiro, head of a local Zionist Organization of America chapter, incorporated the Nuclear Materials and Equipment Corporation (NUMEC) at Apollo. Before long, NUMEC was receiving large quantities of highly enriched uranium and plutonium from Westinghouse and the U.S. Navy for nuclear reprocessing.
Israel’s nuclear espionage against the United States didn’t end with its accession to the nuclear club in the late 1960s, however. As former FBI translator Sibel Edmonds revealed, its smuggling network received crucial assistance from three high-ranking officials in the George W. Bush administration. All three have close ties to Israel’s military-industrial complex.
According to the FBI whistleblower, Richard Perle and Douglas Feith provided Marc Grossman, the third highest-ranking official in the State Department, with a list of Department of Defense employees with access to sensitive data, including nuclear technology. The list also included highly sensitive personal details, such as sexual preference, problems with gambling or alcoholism, and how much they owed on their mortgages. Grossman then passed on the information to Israeli and Turkish agents, who used it to “hook” those Pentagon officials. In addition, as Edmonds testified in an Ohio court case, the foreign operatives had recruited people “on almost every major nuclear facility in the United States.”