Sunday, June 02, 2019

High anxiety

"Israel Hated American Ban on Sharing Intel for Assassinations, so U.S. Made New Rules" (Hussain) (it is a little bit rich that the NSA was perturbed their information would be used for targeted assassinations!):
". . . Israeli officials experienced “high anxiety” and were heavily reliant on the NSA for support during the 2006 war with Hezbollah. A slide titled “What Did ISNU Want?” indicated that the Israelis sought information on kidnapped soldiers in Lebanon, Iran’s role in those kidnappings, electronic signals intelligence, and geolocational data. A handwritten note on the margins of the slide — affixed by an unknown person — described this last point as a “problem area.”

The presentation also appraised the war effort, noting that Hezbollah was well-prepared for the conflict and enjoyed logistical support from Iran and Syria. The group operated in civilian neighborhoods, and the Israelis were receiving “bad world press” — presumably a reference to critical news stories about the destruction wrought on Lebanon during the war. As the SIDToday documents noted, life in Tel Aviv carried on more or less normally during the fighting, with hotels and restaurants packed with customers. The presentation also observed that there was “little sympathy for civilian non-Israeli casualties from man-on-the-street.”

The widespread civilian harm caused by the fighting also makes the details of U.S. intelligence cooperation with Israel controversial. Human Rights Watch estimated that over 1,100 Lebanese were killed over the course of the war, largely as a result of Israeli airstrikes and shelling in southern Lebanon."
and (Khazars = animals, except that's an insult to animals; remember this is an attack specifically directed at civilians for the sole purpose of theft, with the grimly amusing spectacle that the Khazars are so unable to control their rampant kleptomania they are unable to stop a process which may lead to their own destruction):
"Israeli officials’ own statements seemed to back up human rights groups’ allegations that the IDF had deliberately targeted civilian infrastructure as a means of deterrence. Israeli officials later publicly dubbed this strategy the “Dahiyeh Doctrine,” a name taken from a south Beirut neighborhood that suffered catastrophic destruction during the fighting. Despite employing such tactics, the IDF was largely seen to have lost the war — or at least been fought to a draw by Hezbollah. Two points on the NSA slide presentation stated that, in the aftermath of the war, “public confidence in the IDF erodes” and “military morale/confidence low.”

There are ominous signs that Israel and Lebanon are nearing another confrontation, during which the ISNU may again lean on the NSA for support. Although Israeli intelligence-gathering capabilities are believed to have improved since the last war, Hezbollah has also reportedly acquired significant new arms and fortified areas under its control in southern Lebanon. The IDF recently carried out operations near the Lebanese border to uncover tunnels said to have been dug by Hezbollah, and the Israeli Air Force periodically strikes Hezbollah targets in neighboring Syria.

Over the past several years, Hezbollah leaders claimed to have received “game-changing” weapons that would alter the course of any future war with Israel. For their part, Israeli officials have issued a steady drumbeat of statements emphasizing the level of destruction that Lebanon would suffer during another war, specifically highlighting the grievous harm that would be caused not just to Hezbollah, but also to Lebanese civilians and infrastructure.

“If the next war indeed breaks out, it will be rough. But, first and foremost, it will be rough for the other side,” IDF Maj. Gen. Nitzan Alon warned in an interview last year. “I don’t think any Israeli citizen would want to switch places with a Lebanese citizen during the next war.”"
 "‘Most valued partner’: NSA fed Israel intel for targeted assassinations, leaked docs show":
"Frustrated by a legal ban on sharing intelligence with Israeli operatives conducting targeted assassinations against Hezbollah, the NSA crafted a loophole giving them total access even to US citizens' data, leaked documents show.
The Israeli SIGINT National Unit (ISNU), the NSA's counterpart in Tel Aviv, convinced the Americans to circumvent the legal prohibition on providing surveillance data for targeted assassinations during Israel's 2006 war with Lebanon, according to the newest revelation from the archives obtained by whistleblower Edward Snowden.
Using the familiar rationale of "terrorism" to excuse cooperation they knew was illegal, the NSA and ISNU found a workaround using the Office of the Director of National Intelligence that provided the Israelis with all the intel they needed, according to an October 2006 article in the NSA's internal publication.
"To ISNU, this prohibition [on sharing data for targeted killings] was contrary not only to supporting Israel in its fight against Hizballah but overall, to support the US Global War on Terrorism," said an article in SIDToday.
Its author, whose name is redacted, details the "late-night, sometimes tense discussions" he had with ISNU officials who believed they deserved an exemption from the US prohibition on abetting targeted killings.
The documents don't include details of what "arrangement" was eventually worked out with the ODNI, but the Israeli military used American data to lay waste to Lebanon's civilian population, much like the tech-enhanced US troops in Afghanistan and Iraq, whose kill-counts swelled with civilian victims after they received access to NSA targeting data."
and:
"Apparently unsatisfied with the legal loophole the Americans had created for them, the Israelis sought and received full access to the NSA's massive surveillance data troves after the war. A 2009 memorandum of understanding officially gave ISNU unrestricted access to the NSA's raw intelligence data – including the phone and internet records of American citizens and citizens of third-party countries. Only American officials' data was excluded, on an honor-system basis (with ISNU instructed to "destroy upon recognition" any records originating with a government official). Almost no strings were attached to this bonanza – the Israelis could even release the identities of Americans whose information had been scooped up in the dragnet, as long as they asked the NSA for permission first, and could pass the data on to anyone at all if the names were redacted."
Archimedes Group:  "Facebook bans major fake news operation run from Israel" (Abunimah).

"WhatsApp fixes Israeli spyware breach" (Abunimah).

From 2018:  "Rick Gates Sought Online Manipulation Plans From Israeli Intelligence Firm for Trump Campaign".

Also (NSO Group):
  1. "Google discovers 'Israeli' spy app designed to hack smartphones" (Cohen);
  2. "Pegasus (spyware)";
  3. "Israeli Software Helped Saudis Spy on Khashoggi, Lawsuit Says" (Kirkpatrick); and
  4. "Revealed: Israel's Cyber-spy Industry Helps World Dictators Hunt Dissidents and Gays" (Shezaf/Jacobson).
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