This just in from UPI’s Intelligence Watch, authored by John C.K. Daly and Martin Sieff:
Turmoil rocks politicized Mossad
The CIA is not the only major intelligence agency rocked by resignations of senior veteran officials and charges of politicization. Disgruntled veteran spooks of Israel’s famous Mossad intelligence service are now going public with their complaints too.
Israel’s Channel 2 has run a documentary claiming that no less than 200 agents including seven department chiefs have resigned in recent months.
They were furious, the documentary claimed because the Mossad’s current chief Meir Dagan, a long time close friend of Prime Minister Ariel Sharon, was politicizing the agency and massively downgrading the Mossad’s traditional low expertise in humint, human intelligence, gathering and its analysis in favor of the currently fashionable war against Islamic terrorism.
Dagan, according to the claims, has put the emphasis on carrying the war against terror to previously secure strongholds of Islamist militant organizations in Arab countries. The September assassination of a Hamas senior official in Damascus is believed to have been one of the first successful operations carried out under this policy.
Dagan’s purge of the Mossad, carried out with Sharon’s full approval has striking parallels with the turmoil now shaking the discreet corridors of CIA headquarters in Langley, Va. Porter Goss, President George W. Bush’s recent pick to replace George Tenet as Director of Central Intelligence, distrusted the old intelligence establishment as liberal wimps, the same attitude Dagan has shown to old-time spymasters in the Mossad.
At least one charge that Dagan’s critics have made against him looks like falling by the wayside: They told Channel 2 that relations with the CIA deteriorated badly on his watch. But with Goss making the same kind of shake-up at Langley that Dagan has been carrying out in Tel Aviv, and pushing the same macho priorities that Sharon and Dagan favor, the two services will very likely soon be on the same page again.
However, Dagan’s neglecting of humint could have serious repercussions for the United States, too. Over the past 30 years, the CIA has greatly relied on the Mossad’s traditional expertise in running deep cover moles throughout the Middle East to compensate for its own miserable lack of them in the region. Under Dagan’s policies, Israel’s loss may be America’s, too.
The new reality is that our government — here and in Israel it seems — is bent on manufacturing its own reality, glossing over inconvenient feedback and data, and turning civil servants into political hacks.
Not good at all — neither for Red Americans (and Israelis) nor Blue.
— Steve Clemons