Tuesday, April 7, 2009

By Way of Deception

"The US President, Barack Obama, has begun a push to rid the world of nuclear arms in a landmark speech that called for a ban on testing and a global summit to prevent criminals or terrorists acquiring nuclear weapons... Mr Obama's initiative tallies with an international commission on nuclear arms prompted by the Prime Minister, Kevin Rudd, who called for a nuclear weapons-free world at Hiroshima last year. Mr Rudd and Mr Obama discussed nuclear arms in Washington last month... and pledged to work jointly on global disarmament. The President said he would seek a treaty to end production of nuclear material and would push Congress to ratify the Comprehensive Nuclear Test Ban Treaty - which bans explosive testing - and pressure the remaining 8 non-signatories such as China, India, Pakistan and Israel." (No nukes, vows Obama, Jonathan Pearlman, Sydney Morning Herald, 6/4/09)

"Pressure... Israel"? You've got to be joking! The last time an American prez tried 'pressuring' Israel over its nukes was in the 1960s. The prez was John F Kennedy and the Israelis, under prime minister David Ben-Gurion, comprehensively creamed him:

"There was one major concession by Washington. Dimona did not have to be inspected by the International Atomic Energy Agency. Ben-Gurion had insisted in his private exchanges with Kennedy that such inspections would violate Israel's sovereignty. The White House eventually agreed to send a specially assembled American inspection team into Dimona. That agreement was further softened by a second concession that, in essence, guaranteed that the whole procedure would be little more than a whitewash, as the President and his senior advisers had to understand: the American inspection team would have to schedule its visits well in advance, and with the full acquiescence of Israel. There would be no spot checks permitted.

"Ben-Gurion took no chances: the American inspectors - most of them experts in nuclear reprocessing - would be provided with a Potemkin Village and never know it.

"The Israeli scheme, based on plans supplied by the French, was simple: a false control room was constructed at Dimona, complete with false control panels and computer-driven measuring devices that seemed to be gauging the thermal output of a twenty-four-megawatt reactor ( as Israel claimed Dimona to be) in full operation. There were extensive practice sessions in the fake control room, as Israeli technicians sought to avoid any slips when the Americans arrived. The goal was to convince the inspectors that no chemical reprocessing plant existed or was possible. One big fear was that the Americans would seek to inspect the core physically, and presumably discover that Dimona was utilizing large amounts of heavy water - much of it illicitly obtained from France and Norway - and obviously operating the reactor at far greater output than the acknowledged twenty-four megawatts. It was agreed that the inspection team would not be permitted to enter the core 'for safety reasons'...

"The American team, following a pattern that would be repeated until the inspections came to an end in 1969, spent days at Dimona, climbing through the various excavations - many facilities had yet to be constructed - but finding nothing. They did not question the fact that the reactor core was off-limits and gave no sign that they were in any way suspicious of the control room. The Israelis even stationed a few engineers in a concealed area in the control room to monitor the machinery and make sure that nothing untoward took place." (The Samson Option, Seymour Hersh, 1991, pp 110-111)

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

"Creamed him?"

An entirely new phrase which gives an entirely new meaning to the old phrase "Dallased him!"