UK Relations with Israel "in the Deep Freeze" over Dubai Assassination

Those JSOC guys doing America’s assassinating better make sure they don’t get caught using British passports. Because if the Brits’ claimed anger at Israel for giving its Mossad killers UK passports is any indication, it would not help relations.

Britain fired the first shot last night in a potentially explosive diplomatic row with Israel by calling in the country’s ambassador to explain the use of fake British passports by a hit squad who targeted Mabhouh in Dubai last month.

The Israeli ambassador was at the Foreign Office this morning for a brief meeting to “share information” about the assassins’ use of identities stolen from six British citizens living in Israel, as part of the meticulously orchestrated assassination of Mabhouh.

“After receiving an invitation last night, I met with Sir Peter Ricketts, deputy-general of the British foreign minister,” Ron Prosor said after the meeting. “Despite my willingness to co-operate with his request, I could not shed new light on the said matters.”

Britain has stopped short of accusing Israel of involvement, but to signal its displeasure the Foreign Office ignored an Israeli plea to keep the summons secret. “Relations were in the freezer before this. They are in the deep freeze now,” an official told the Guardian.

Of course, the UK is pissed about the passports, not necessarily about the assassination of a top Hamas figure more generally. So maybe Britain is okay with our assassinations squads, too.

But the very public response to the Mahmoud al-Mabhouh killing, as well as certain details like the involvement of the Palestinian Authority, is sure to bring some interesting scrutiny on our own practices (as a number of you have pointed out in comments).

And WTF? Did the clowns who botched the Abu Omar rendition in Italy teach this Mossad squad tradecraft? Or did they just misjudge Dubai’s willingness to play host to assassinations?

Update: Reader cw notes this Robert Fisk story, suggesting that the UAE is getting pissed that countries like the UK haven’t alerted Interpol to the use of these passports.

The United Arab Emirates (UAE) suspect — only suspect, mark you — that Europe’s ‘security collaboration’ with Israel has crossed a line into illegality, where British passports (and those of other EU nations) can be used to send Israeli agents into the Gulf to kill Israel’s enemies.At 3.49pm yesterday (Beirut time, 1.49pm in London), my Lebanese phone rang. It was a source — impeccable, I know him, he spoke with the authority I know he has in Abu Dhabi — to say that “the British passports are real. They are hologram pictures with the biometric stamp. They are not forged or fake. The names were really there. If you can fake a hologram or biometric stamp, what does this mean?”


My source is both angry and insistent. “We have sent out details of the 11 named people to Interpol. Interpol has circulated them to 188 countries — but why hasn’t Britain warned foreign nations that these people are using passports in these names?”

Which is sort of what I meant when I referred to “the Brits’ claimed anger.”

  1. skdadl says:

    I was startled — pleased but startled — by the Dubai reaction. Maybe they’re not so much in someone’s pocket as I’d thought.

    Oh, well. Now Mossad can just go back to faking Canadian passports, as they have done several times in the past for these, ah, adventures. We used to protest, but we have at the moment the most pro-Israel government among UN members. I can think of a couple of ministers who’d probably send invitations.

    • BoxTurtle says:

      The Israeli’s are doing a good job of getting their agents passports. You notice that we never suspect their passports until they’re safely out of the country.

      I often wonder if Canada and America conspire with the Israeli’s to obtain passports for Mossad, then publically condemn them by mutual agreement if they’re caught.

      Boxturtle (I bet we’d be amazed at the number of South African passports held by the Mossad)

    • DWBartoo says:

      It is amazing, though perhaps it ought not be, how easily the “mission” was “accomplished”.

      The reaction of Dubai was also unexpected, as you say, skdadl.

      The further “reaction”, from a number of places, must surely have surprised the calculation behind the “operation”, as well.

      Perhaps the green lights Israel has been driving through, have suddenly turned amber?

      I’m not certain they intend to drive with any more caution, but they might wish to consider how they will be regarded if they speed through red lights.

      Good and honest neighbors do not much appreciate such behaviors.

      And consequence could well attend. As it should and must.


      • BoxTurtle says:

        In the old days, at least the Israelis had to decency to make the hits looks like accidents or to frame a mutual enemy. Gives the host country something to hide behind and another reason to beat on said mutual enemy.

        They’ve gotten too arrogant.

        Boxturtle (I’d have tried to frame Islamic Jihad)

        • MarkH says:

          Are you assuming too quickly that it was Israeli gov’t authorized individuals? What if it was someone who wanted to break up Israeli-Palestinian discussions?

          Considering the state of security these days it’s an interesting story and the rest of it ought to be entertaining.

      • papau says:

        the reaction of Dubai was “too quick” – our CIA may well have known beforehand and at least helped pull the video together – and may have done much more. What video software has near 100% accurate facial recognition in the real world at this time so that Dubai could have purchased it?

        Dubai certainly could not have matched passport to check in to hallway without a little help from friends.

        • Sara says:

          “the reaction of Dubai was “too quick” – our CIA may well have known beforehand and at least helped pull the video together – and may have done much more. What video software has near 100% accurate facial recognition in the real world at this time so that Dubai could have purchased it?”

          You don’t think that a little bitty very rich country that is part of the UAE group, that owns a world wide Television System (Al-Jazzira) knows how to set up top of the line surveillance Cameras? I think this a rather silly assumption. One must remember that a number of International Corporations have moved to Dubai in recent years — Halliburton among them, and I suspect it quite safe to assume they would expect top of the line security in any five star hotel where their personnel might stay.

          • Mary says:

            I agree- Dubai is wanting to be a tourist destination and a grusome murder – maybe a torture murder from the stories of electrical burns (which may or may not be true) was going to get a prompt investigation. I have to think that people crusing into and out of Dubai with 19 hours or less as their turn around time raised some flags.

            The proliferation of surveillance footage these days is another glitch – this was a 5 star hotel, not a jeep in a desert that the CIA was bombing. Footage of the decedent and caught on video with him during the day or so before his death was, IF the host nation wasn’t in the tank, going to get very close attention – if some of those people could be linked to names going in and out of the country on such a short turn around, that had the potential to make pieces fall together very quickly. I’m guessing the biggest lag time wasn’t getting the pieces ready, it was the police chief deciding what he had and what he needed (re: authorizations) to go public.

  2. BoxTurtle says:

    I think that Israel was caught off guard by the fact that somebody outside of hamas or Iran actually cared beyond lip service if anything bad happened to hamas.

    And what I read said they weren’t forged passports, but they were valid passports obtained from real people living in Israel. So now Britan (among others) has some citizens wanted for something they know nothing about and I’ve sure that really fries them as well.

    However, Hamas has made it’s position regarding Israel as clear as AQ has made their position regarding America. It’s tough for me to condemn Israel for targetting one of their key people.

    Boxturtle (But then I’m a member of the “A pox on both their houses” group)

    • Mary says:

      I think that Israel was caught off guard by the fact that somebody outside of hamas or Iran actually cared beyond lip service if anything bad happened to hamas.

      I think that’s a big part of it too.

    • NorskeFlamethrower says:

      Citizen BoxTurtle:

      What’s the reaction of the average Israeli to their government’s use of innocent people and their identities in this way? Sometimes we in this country forget that there is a very large UN-Likud portion of the population and Peace Now and it’s supporters make up a large and gowing part of the population. I think we can look at the way Likud has used “terror” and “terrorism” politically as a tool of social-political control to help us understand how our own fascist permanent government has used it.

      There will be no peace until there is real democracy in Israel.

  3. Sara says:

    Apparently the plane tickets for this venture were purchased on US issued Bank Credit Cards, issued to US citizens or residents. Dubai hasn’t sorted that out yet, as apparently only yesterday did the Us provide the billing details.

    Also — Dubai has turned over to Interpol the Iris scans from the assumed hit squad. In theory, these scans work more or less like fingerprints, and Interpol should be able to supply an identity to the scans.

    And yes, apparently the British Passports, issued to dual citizen UK/Israelis, were cloned, meaning everything in them is legit except for the picture. However the cloning was done on passports that do not have the now required imbedded micro-chip, which would have triggered both the Iris scan comparison, or the photograph comparison.

    Evidentially all the parts of the system are not yet in place.

    • maryo2 says:

      I wonder if the bank is one that was implicated in laundering JSOC funds for Blackwater to pay bribes for the cross-funding of Al Qaeda and Taliban.

      Similarly, I wonder if the recent assistance from Pakistan is a result of Obama Admin change in policy regarding using Blackwater to pay bribes in order to keep the CIA fully funded in the Pentagin budget.

      • DWBartoo says:

        Thank you, BoxTurtle, for the linkerage (and thank you, Sara, as well).

        Juan Cole’s post is very good indeed.

        And most timely and very necessary, for perspective, as well.


    • klynn says:

      I appreciated Juan Cole writing about this. After Marcy’s post on the WaPo retraction, layered with this assassination story, layered with a number of issues in the Bush Admin… I had questions and saw connections. Juan put words and solid conclusions to my questions.


      Thanks for this post. We have to watch this story develop.

      Boy would I pay bucks to hear/read what Plame thinks of this.

      Relations were in the freezer before this. They are in the deep freeze now,” an official told the Guardian.

      Especially after that quote in the Guardian. THAT quote has many layers.

  4. Elliott says:

    Hooray for the UK to stand up to the Mossad. I hope the focus on the passports is just the public face of the UK’s outrage, although I doubt the number of defenestrations will not fall.

    So glad the assassins were plastered all over the television, more klieg lights please.

    • warpublican says:

      Hooray for the UK? had it not been for the fucking UK – and their middle eastern meddling, perhaps the Middle East might not be such a fucking mess as it is today! Hooray for the UK? Hooray for their empire and the tragedy they sowed the world over…

  5. Mary says:

    Or did they just misjudge Dubai’s willingness to play host to assassinations?

    This is it imo. I think there’s a lot of mythology around the ubergreat “tradecraft” of government assassains. IMO, it’s not that they are so wonderfully tradecrafty, it’s that the fix is generally in vis a vis the governments of the countries where they are carrying out their assassinations. Let’s not forget the basically consequence free assassination of even the “wrong targets” like Ahmed Bouchiki, the Moroccan waiter murdered in Norway.

    Now that all the “be afraids” have advocated for so much state surveillance, though, some of it can come back to bite in the butt when someone in law enforcement who isn’t in the tank with the assassains shows up -whether a Spataro in Italy or the police chief in Dubai. (I hadn’t heard about the iris scans – how did they get iris scans?)

    This really is going to present a policy problem for Obama. On the one hand, he has to contemplate telling Britain that if they don’t cooperate with assassination squads like they’ve cooperated with torture, we may just sit on info about terrorist attacks in London. But on the other hand, he may want to consider simply coming out as backing assassains and assassinations, without necessarily criticizing Britain any further (hey, a big shout out to all you assassains out there, when you finish up your current gig we have some ME scientists and Muslim children and Americans we we’d like you to off too – it’s part of our stimulus-jobs package).

    On the other other hand, he has to consider the pragmatism of backing Hamas and Dubai efforts to bomb the homes in Israel of the now “known” terrorists. Oh, sure, it may be a bit like the Khalid el-Masri thingy and they may blow up the “wrong” guy, but they’d be using a level of evidence and tactics right in line with America – becoming a part of the *coalition of the willing to bomb the wrong guy and all the civlians around them* forces.

    On the other other other hand, he’s got to be willing to just come out and tell Dubai that the Western World is allowed to come in and murder without check or restraint and if they want to get lippy, he’ll just nuke them, or at least support Israel nuking them. /s

    Decisions decisions – it’s not easy being a Changling.

  6. Mary says:

    Some additional interesting info coming from Ireland:

    Irish Foreign Minister Micheal Martin has said the three Irish passports did have valid numbers but were issued to people with different names than those made public by Dubai.

    He said the Foreign Ministry had contacted two people with the same passport numbers and found they had not lost their passports or had any stolen. The assassins apparently had access to pre-2005 passports that lacked biometric information, Martin said.

    There’s also some info on two Palestinians in custody, but the article isn’t clear about whether there are 5 others also in custody or 5 other suspects (“two Palestinians in Dubai custody and five others, including one woman who was caught on video surveillance” ?) and whether it is those 2 Palestinians, the 5 others, or some of the overall suspect pool that is tied to this:

    The official gave no further details on the Palestinians or the five other suspects.

    But the official said that some of the suspects used the false passports to open credit card accounts at U.S. banks, but also gave no additional information.

    I wish that was all edited with a bit more clarity.

    It also reminds of other episodes:

    … the failed attempt to kill Hamas leader Khaled Mashaal in 1997. Two Mossad agents posing as Canadian tourists were captured after injecting Mashaal with poison, and Israel was forced to send an antidote that saved Mashaal’s life. Today Mashaal is Hamas’ supreme leader.

    New Zealand convicted and jailed two Israelis in 2005 for trying to fraudulently obtain New Zealand passports

  7. prostratedragon says:

    Passing thought: These tales from the files of Halfwits [Temporarily] Anonymous are grist to the paranoia mills of those who think they have been somehow undone by jealous and superceding incompetents.

  8. chetnolian says:

    Hey while you are busy using this to get at Britain, do you want to give some time to the equal anger of the Irish, whose passpports were faked as well, or doesn’t that fit the argument?

  9. Seymour Friendly says:

    One big consequence of the botched assassination – specifically a big consequence of the media exposure of the Mossad operatives and the fact that this was a Mossad action – is going to be the Hamas response. Israel must have taken a stupid pill, because now Hamas will be (rightfully) alienated from any de-escalation talks on the future of Gaza. Israel just basically provoked Hamas to do something. Hamas’ military wing is well-known for responding to provocations from Israel. Presumably, in the coming weeks or months, there will be at least more rockets fired from Gaza, or conceivably a bombing in Israel. Even if cooler heads prevail on the Hamas side of the line, and there is no eye-for-an-eye violence, there will certainly be no political possibility whatsoever of Hamas reducing its stance with Israel.

    And if it is true that the former Palestinian Authority (now “Abu Mazen’s Home for Palestinian Quislings”) was involved in the killing of the Hamas figure, then Abu Mazen doesn’t just have a deepened popularity problem with the Palestinians in the West Bank and Gaza he now has a security problem. The last time Fat’h and Hamas fought Hamas won. Presumably, Hamas would find it easy to reach into the West Bank with an attack on Fat’h.

    • NorskeFlamethrower says:

      Citizen Symour Friendly:

      “…Hamas will be (rightfully) alienated from any de-escalation talks…”

      But isn’t that and hasn’t that been the whole motivation behind Israel’s terroism whether “botched” or not? Look at the history of the last 25 years and at moments when there have been signs of movement or threats of positive action from Palitinians we get a provocation like this. Also take a look at the role Israel played in the initial rise of Hamas as a foil against the PLO…Israel funded Hamas (some say with American tax payer’s money) in order to keep the endless war goin’.

      • Seymour Friendly says:

        Valid comments to say the least. The history of Israel, Palestine, Fat’h, and Hamas is a tortured one even in the lay understanding (in English, even) that I have myself.

        I guess the lesson of Israel to learn is that violence and extremism never beget peace and moderation.

        I speculate that Hamas will need to make a big response, given the amount of visibility the assassination now has, and how it is clear that Israel and Fat’h were working together to kill a Hamas leader. I suspect that Fat’h is going to take an unpleasant hit and that Israel will probably face rocket fire from Gaza, which is the easiest thing for Hamas to manage, but could even see a more direct action from Hamas. Whatever the case, Hamas will now need to appear responsive in front of its supporters, responsive and effectual. They will need to fully exploit the involvement of Fat’h to further weaken Fat’h in the West Bank.

        • NorskeFlamethrower says:

          Citizen Seymour Friendly:

          And Obama is in a box right now with the trouble he has with our home-grown fascist movement…God I wish we had a real Secretary of State! At another political moment, an American President could use this as an opportunity to isolate the Israeli fascists and create a real internal politcal problem for Likud…but that’s been the story of unending war in the Middle East, the relationship between the American corporate oligarchy and the government of Israel since 1967.

          • Seymour Friendly says:

            My guess is that right now the presidential administration is focused on the election year and probably will make no public announcement on the assassination issue, unless there is further trouble as a result.

  10. papau says:

    Israel??? – – but the only two people in custody are members of Fatah-the rival organization of Hamas.

    Of course once “interrogated” the two will probably admit to being rabbis

    Hamas wants vengeance – but Fatah as devil is not allowed given current push to act nice with Fatah

    But Hamas still can’t be certain that Israel did this – especially when all they have are Fatah folks as the hit men.

    Mabhouh wasn’t expecting vengeance for his murder of the the two Israelis – at least not in Dubai – and Dubai wasn’t really concerned about that either, were they?

  11. Seymour Friendly says:

    ” … The Israeli newspaper Haaretz named the two Palestinians as Ahmad Hasnin, a Palestinian intelligence operative, and Anwar Shekhaiber, an employee of the Palestinian Authority in Ramallah. They were arrested in the Jordanian capital, Amman, and extradited to Dubai. Both worked for a property company in Dubai belonging to a senior official of Fatah, the political faction headed by the Palestinian president, Mahmoud Abbas, the paper reported …” from the Guardian report

    Fat’h now has a very unpleasant security problem on its hands …

  12. Sara says:

    While it is an older book, last summer (2009) St Martin’s Press brought out an updated and revised edition of Gordon Thomas’s History of Mossad, “Gideon’s Spies”. This is really the “Bible” on Israeli Intelligence operations over the years, and last night I noticed the Globe and Mail had a fascinating piece by Gordon Thomas picking apart what has so far become public about this operation, and essentially indexing this to the discussions of tradecraft in his book. In watching this story unfold, I would suggest paying attention to any comments from Gordon Thomas who probably will mostly be quoted in the Globe and Mail.

    I know EW has read Gideon’s Spies — both of us find some of the Mossad stories a bit “fantastic” — but who knows.

    At the operational level there seems to be considerable bad blood between US Intelligence Agencies, and Mossad. For lots of reasons, they don’t play well with each other, you can credit that to Pollard Affair, all the underhanded efforts to spring Pollard from Federal Prison, etc., Franklin’s spying, and though I can’t remember the name, another big case in Maryland that was taken down last fall. So as we watch this unfold, one needs to keep in mind that Mossad and CIA-DIA, etc., don’t necessarily play in the same sandboxes. Mossad (and Israel) like to lasso in pieces of US Intelligence into their operations and not necessarily with US approval. That is what I am looking at in this case — using US Credit Cards to pay the hotel and plane ticket bills for the operation. This lassoing in characteristic tends to end up with the US having to “share the blame” for busted operations, even though they may have had nothing at all to do with them. Given the Obama Administration’s interest in building better cooperative relations with Arab and Muslim intelligence services — see recent arrests of Taliban operatives in Pakistan as an example of such cooperation, — for the US operational agencies to share blame and responsibility for busted Mossad operations is very much a slap in the face. Israel wants US interests to seem congruent with their own, whereas US Interests are really very different, and in this respect, Israel has interests in opposing many expressions of US Interests in which they do not share. Right now, Israel is focused intensely on Iran — but Obama is far more focused on Afghanistan-Pakistan. It is a basic conflict which will, I think, emerge from this story.

    According to Gordon Thomas (and much other reporting) Mossad only does these assassinations on the direct command of the Israeli Prime Minister, and busted operations in the past have led to the demise of several Israeli Prime Ministers. Clearly no lost love between Obama (and Senator Mitchell and his mission) and Netanyahu. Thus probably no overflowing bowls of tears in DC or Langley if Beebe finds himself in a tough corner.

    • papau says:

      I do not credit anything to Pollard re CIA not playing well – indeed it is the other way around with the CIA’s not playing nice with Israel giving motivation to Pollard. I see no reason to believe – or dis-believe -Gordon Thomas’s conjectures, and while interesting and plausible I do not see them as definitive.

      But still interesting.

      • Sara says:

        “indeed it is the other way around with the CIA’s not playing nice with Israel giving motivation to Pollard.”

        Well, not exactly. Pollard’s espionage did not involve anything even close to the CIA. His interests were technical defense systems, with most of them sited in the US Navy where Pollard had access. The extreme allergy to Pollard, and any attempt to spring him from the Federal lock up where he currently resides, cross-cuts the entire Intelligence Community. Many of the technical systems he stole during his espionage career were sold by Israel to China and the Soviet Union for replication and reverse engineering, in effect putting parts of the US Military in the bull’s eye. He and his sponsors are viewed as the worst sort of traitor across the entire Intelligence Community.

    • Leen says:

      Have read numerous articles over the years about how many U.S. intelligence officers have been upset for years about how many investigations into Israel’s spying and investigations into alleged Israeli operatives in different administrations.

      Ketchum covers some decades in this article

      Full-Spectrum Penetration

      Israeli Spying in the United States


      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..

      The fact of Israeli penetration into the country is not a subject oft-discussed in the media or in the circles of governance, due to the extreme sensitivity of the U.S.-Israel relationship coupled with the burden of the Israel lobby, which punishes legislators who dare to criticize the Jewish state. The void where the facts should sit is filled instead with the hallucinations of conspiracy theory — the kind in which, for example, agents of the Mossad, Israel’s top intelligence agency, engineer the 9/11 attacks, while 4,000 Israelis in the Twin Towers somehow all get word to escape before the planes hit. The effect, as disturbing as it is ironic, is that the less the truth is addressed, the more noxious the falsity that spreads.


      Stephen Green

      A CounterPunch Special Report

      Serving Two Flags

      Neo-Cons, Israel and the Bush Administration


      Since 9-11, a small group of “neo-conservatives” in the Administration have effectively gutted–they would say reformed–traditional American foreign and security policy. Notable features of the new Bush doctrine include the pre-emptive use of unilateral force, and the undermining of the United Nations and the principle instruments and institutions of international law….all in the cause of fighting terrorism and promoting homeland security.

      Some skeptics, noting the neo-cons’ past academic and professional associations, writings and public utterances, have suggested that their underlying agenda is the alignment of U.S. foreign and security policies with those of Ariel Sharon and the Israeli right wing. The administration’s new hard line on the Israeli-Palestinian conflict certainly suggests that, as perhaps does the destruction, with U.S. soldiers and funds, of the military capacity of Iraq, and the current belligerent neo-con campaign against the other two countries which constitute a remaining counterforce to Israeli military hegemony in the region–Iran and Syria.

      Have the neo-conservatives–many of whom are senior officials in the Defense Department, National Security Council and Office of the Vice President–had dual agendas, while professing to work for the internal security of the United States against its terrorist enemies


      Julian Borger has written a fair amount about this issue

      The spies who pushed for warJulian Borger reports on the shadow rightwing intelligence network set up in Washington to second-guess the CIA and deliver a justification for toppling Saddam Hussein by force

      Buzz up!

      Digg it

      Julian Borger The Guardian, Thursday 17 July 2003 08.45 BST As the CIA director, George Tenet, arrived at the Senate yesterday to give secret testimony on the Niger uranium affair, it was becoming increasingly clear in Washington that the scandal was only a small, well-documented symptom of a complete breakdown in US intelligence that helped steer America into war.

      It represents the Bush administration’s second catastrophic intelligence failure. But the CIA and FBI’s inability to prevent the September 11 attacks was largely due to internal institutional weaknesses.

      This time the implications are far more damaging for the White House, which stands accused of politicising and contaminating its own source of intelligence.

      According to former Bush officials, all defence and intelligence sources, senior administration figures created a shadow agency of Pentagon analysts staffed mainly by ideological amateurs to compete with the CIA and its military counterpart, the Defence Intelligence Agency.

  13. robspierre says:

    The biometrics and holograms are interesting. Their presence doesn’t mean that the passports weren’t forged. It only means that biometrics and holograms aren’t the foolproof guarantors of identity that they are made out to be. The problem with ever more sophisticated and restrictive ID schemes is that they make the payoff from defeating them ever greater.

    The advocates for police-state security tactics love the idea of the single national identity card. They narrow the number of acceptable ID documents every chance they get.

    But depending on one technically sophisticated document just means that we are all the more vulnerable when it is faked. Faking it is, moreover, easier in some respects, because the forger does not have to forge the full range of overlapping IDs and cover stories that were once needed when establishing identity. The subject just has to flash the foolproof credential.

    The converse is that, once the subject ditches the credential, he is effectively nobody–untraceable. The trail ends in Britain with documents that don’t identify and in Israel with identities that aren’t.

    By abandoning the traditional Anglo-American liberties, we’ve effectively restricted the movements of the law abiding while giving complete freedom to those who are prepared to act outside our laws.

    • DWBartoo says:

      Agreeing with skdadl @ 42.

      In five well-considered paragraphs, robspierre, you have debunked the fear-driven assault on civil liberties which the American government, among others, has determined to pursue, quite regardless of the clearly mounting evidence that such policies do not and CAN NOT achieve the results which, we are told, are intended. In fact, such policies merely encourage a false sense of “security” while eroding the freedoms of the people as well as the trust which people must have in their government’s capacity to make wise AND effective policy.

  14. klynn says:

    Okay, when I was in Geneva I was informed to be diligent in my knowledge of pop culture and the classics in order to know when a spook might be talking to me or not.

    This Tweet story smells bad.

    If Tweets could wink.

      • klynn says:

        I agree. I should have added my snark/disgust tag.

        Thanks for the link. Great article. Found the following quote interesting in light of the Tweet:

        The Mossad assassins could have felt only satisfaction when the news broke that they had succeeded in killing Mahmoud al-Mabhouh, a top Hamas military commander, in Dubai last month.

        • skdadl says:

          Oh, yes, klynn — I could tell you didn’t like the tweet. There’s something about the mean triumphalism that I just can’t take. I don’t want to believe the world still works that way, but I guess a lot of it do.

  15. Mary says:

    The “Dagger Unit?”

    An Israeli analyst gives ABC the less snarky take on Western World government assassinations:

    One told the Haaretz newspaper Friday: “Israel is not the only country dealing with this phenomenon. All western states threatened by terror use similar methods, hence the silent agreement and understandings between them


    And Israel ups the ante for Brits intel guys:

    Friday’s London Daily Mail even claims that despite the public criticism British authorities received a tipoff from Israel that British passports were going to be used in a Mossad operation, something the British Foreign Office denies.

    The paper quotes what it calls a reliable source saying a serving Mossad agent told him: “The British Government was told very briefly before the operation was going to happen. There was no British involvement and they didn’t know the name of the target. But they were told these people were travelling on UK passports.”

    nonsequitor – but does the woman in that photo really look like a woman to you guys – I don’t have good radar for that, but she strikes me more as looking like a female impersonator, but then again, I would have picked Ann Coulter as a female impersonator too.