Legal history was made last week in a Washington D.C. Federal Court when several senior U.S. Government figures—including Barack Obama—were named as respondents in a suit filed over America’s ongoing illegal “aid” to Israel.
The billions of dollars of “aid” which the U.S. provides to Israel is illegal in terms of a 1976 law which forbids aid to any nuclear-armed state which has not signed the Non-Proliferation Treaty (NPT).
Israel is not a signatory to the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty, but is a known nuclear power and recipient of U.S. aid.
Submitted by Grant Smith, director of the Institute for Research: Middle Eastern Policy (IRMEP), a D.C. nonprofit organization, the lawsuit says that the United States has given Israel an estimated $234 billion in foreign aid since Congress passed the “International Security Assistance and Arms Export Control Act” of 1976.
The IRMEP lawsuit comes just before the Obama regime signs a new “deal” that will boost U.S. “aid” to the Jews-only state by between $1 billion and $2 billion per year over a decade. Israel already gets $3 billion a year in U.S. “aid.”
The 33-page suit—and 122 pages of evidence—details how the U.S. Government has a long-standing policy of keeping silent on the existence of Israel’s nuclear weapons program, using the term “nuclear ambiguity.”
Apart from the U.S. Government, the lawsuit names John O. Brennan, Director of the Central Intelligence Agency, Secretary of Defense Ashton Carter, Secretary of State John Kerry, Secretary of U.S. Treasury Jack Lew, Secretary of the U.S. Department of Energy Ernest Moniz, and Secretary of the U.S. Department of Commerce, Penny Pritzker.
“This lawsuit is not about foreign policy. It is about the rule of law, presidential power, the structural limits of the U.S. Constitution, and the right of the public to understand the functions of government and informed petition of the government for redress,” the suit says.
“To accomplish this, the President and many key agencies will follow the precedent of every administration since Gerald Ford by violating two longstanding amendments to the Foreign Aid Act of 1961, called the Symington & Glenn Amendments.
“Symington & Glenn prohibit U.S. foreign aid transfers to certain foreign states with nuclear weapons programs absent mandatory executive actions.
“Federal agencies such as the Department of Treasury, the Department of Defense, the Department of State, the Central Intelligence Agency and the Department of Commerce have acted unlawfully and in concert to help thwart Symington & Glenn,” the suit says, going on to provide pages of evidence for this assertion.
“The Department of Energy in 2012 even created what amounts to a law criminalizing informed public federal agency discussions and analysis of the Israeli nuclear program in furtherance of undermining Symington and Glenn.”
The defendants have “collectively engaged in a violation of administrative procedure and the Take Care Clause by unlawful failure to act upon facts long in their possession.”
At the same time, the defendants have taken measures “prohibiting the release of official government information about Israel’s nuclear weapons program, particularly ongoing illicit transfers of nuclear weapons material and technology from the U.S. to Israel.”
“These violations manifest in
– gagging and prosecuting federal officials and contractors who publicly acknowledge Israel’s nuclear weapons program,
– imposing punitive economic costs on public interest researchers who attempt to educate the public about the functions of government,
– refusing to make bona fide responses to journalists, and
– consistently failing to act on credible information available in the government and public domain.”
In its summary of the facts, the IMREP suit states that in 1976, the “Ford Administration and Congress addressed growing concerns about the proliferation of nuclear weapons materials and technology undermining the U.S.-led worldwide implementation of the Nuclear Non-proliferation Treaty (NPT).”
To this end, Senator Stuart Symington held hearings in 1975 and 1976 as chair of the Subcommittee on Arms Control, International Organizations and Security Agreements. The already existing International Security Assistance and Arms Export Control Act of 1976 prohibited U.S. aid to any non-NPT signatory building up a nuclear weapons program by acquiring the necessary equipment and materials outside International Atomic Energy Agency safeguards, and/or transferring such equipment to other states.
Symington proposed an amendment—which eventually took his name—that permitted the president to provide U.S. foreign aid to violators of this law “only if within 30 days he determines and certifies in writing to the Speaker of the House of Representatives and the Committee on Foreign Relations of the Senate that
- a) The termination of such assistance would have a serious adverse effect on vital United States interest; and
- b) he has received reliable assurances that the country in question will not acquire or develop nuclear weapons or assist other nations in doing so.”
Furthermore, the suit states, according to “formerly classified, heavily redacted CIA files released to the Plaintiff in related litigation on November 4, 2015, Senator John Glenn in 1977 became extremely concerned that Israel was stealing and diverting U.S. government-owned weapons-grade uranium from the Nuclear Materials and Equipment Corporation or NUMEC, a U.S. government contractor that processed nuclear fuel for the U.S. Navy, into its own nuclear weapons program at Dimona.”
Hundreds of kilograms of highly enriched uranium disappeared from the NUMEC facility, traces of which were later found outside of Israel’s Dimona nuclear facility.
Under Glenn’s leadership, Congress enacted the Nuclear Enrichment and Reprocessing Transfers; Nuclear Detonations, popularly known as the “Glenn Amendment” which extended the Symington Act’s prohibitions over U.S. aid to non-NPT signatory states engaged in weapons program activities.
The two amendments have been invoked numerous times before—but never against Israel, the suit adds.
“Sanctions were imposed by President William J. Clinton against India on May 13, 1998. This was two days after India broke a self-imposed 24-year moratorium on nuclear testing.
“President William J. Clinton invoked similar sanctions against Pakistan on May 30, 1998 following six Pakistani nuclear tests between May 28 and 30.
“The U.S. President also issued the required waivers for continued aid to violators of Symington & Glenn on at least six occasions. However, none of these sanctions or waivers have ever been properly invoked over Israel’s activities.”
The suit also points out that the U.S. Government cannot claim to know that Israel does not have nuclear weapons, as its own intelligence agencies have repeatedly submitted reports stating so—for decades.
A satellite image of the Dimona nuclear facility in Israel. A U.S. law, the Kyl-Bingaman Amendment to the National Defense Authorization Act of 1997, prohibits American commercial satellite companies from collecting and releasing imagery of Israel at a resolution more precise than that which is routinely commercially available worldwide. In order to comply with Kyl-Bingaman, all commercially-available images of Dimona (and the rest of Israel) are always downgraded from one meter to two meters.
“Among the most authoritative and complete recently released status updates about Israel’s nuclear weapons program was contained in Critical Technology Assessment in Israel and NATO Nations, a report chartered by the U.S. Department of Defense, prepared for the Office of the Under Secretary of Defense and presented in April of 1987,” the suit states.
The report was publicly released through an “unnecessarily arduous” Freedom of Information Act lawsuit before this court on February 10, 2015. The report revealed the advanced state of Israel’s program in 1987:
“The SOREQ and the Dimona/Beer Shiva facilities are the equivalent of our Los Alamos, Lawrence Livermore and Oak Ridge National Laboratories. The SOREQ center runs the full nuclear gamut of activities from engineering, administration and non-destructive testing to electro-optics, pulsed power, process engineering and chemistry and nuclear research and safety. This is the technology base required for nuclear weapons design and fabrication.”
Israel’s nuclear weapons facilities’ were essentially a scaled-down version of U.S. facilities says the report: “The capability of SOREQ to support SDIO and nuclear technologies is almost an exact parallel of the capability currently existing at our National Laboratories.”
Israel’s ambitions were not limited to simple gun-type Hiroshima bombs, but also the “kind of codes which will enable them to make hydrogen bombs. That is, codes which detail fission and fusion processes on a microscopic and macroscopic level.”
Israel’s activities “should trigger sanctions or waivers under Symington & Glenn Amendment provisions in force at the time,” the suit continues, before going into detail about how Israel has “continually set up front organizations in the United States to build up its copycat nuclear weapons program facilities.”
Such activities have included the uncovering by the FBI of a number of front companies smuggling sensitive nuclear weapons technology out of the United States between 1979 and 1983. These included 15 shipments, totaling 800 “krytron” devices which are used as nuclear weapons triggers.
Although the U.S. prosecuted an American for his involvement in the nuclear smuggling operation, none of the Jews involved in the operation—including present-day Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and Hollywood producer Arnon Milchan—were ever indicted, nor were any of the legally required Symington & Glenn sanctions implemented.
The U.S. Government has also actively sought to prosecute any official who dares respond honestly to any FOIA requests concerning Israel’s nuclear arsenal, the suit reveals.
The government does this through “violating the Administrative Procedures Act” by “improper classification, threatening federal employees with fines, imprisonment, unwarranted fees and refusing to properly respond to information requests.”
The U.S. Department of Energy and the U.S. Department of State have furthermore “unlawfully conspired to codify ‘nuclear ambiguity’ through a new secret gag law targeting any U.S. federal government employee or contractor from publicly communicating about Israel’s nuclear weapons program under threat of immediate employment loss, fines and imprisonment,” the suit states.
This gagging rule, contained in an order issued on September 6, 2012, in “Classification Bulletin WNP-136,” and titled “Guidance on Release of Information Relating to the Potential for an Israeli Nuclear Capability” is used to “harshly punish (and therefore deter) any covered party who dares mention or release via government sunshine laws any information officially confirming that Israel is a nuclear weapons state.”
One example of punishment under WPN-136 cited by the suit is of Los Alamos National Laboratory nuclear analyst James Doyle, who “wrote candidly about Israel’s nuclear weapons for a magazine in 2013.”
“After a congressional staffer read the article, which had passed a classification review, it was referred to classification officials for a second review. Doyle’s pay was then cut, his home computer searched, and he was fired.”
The motivation behind “decades of refusals to enforce Symington & Glenn is no great mystery,” the suit adds.
Every year in the U.S. more than 300 organizations that have the advancement of Israel as their top objective raise and distribute approximately $4.0 billion in tax-exempt donations to advance their mission in the United States. By 2020, this number is on track to surpass $6 billion.
The figures do not include the campaign contributions, in-kind, PAC money, dark money, media and public relations support that can accrue to political appointees or elected office holders that take actions to quantifiably advance Israeli interests, including upholding “nuclear ambiguity.”
There is no counterbalancing “special interest.” Under the current system, top officials and their political parties are rewarded for “looking the other way,” doublespeak and delivering annual foreign aid packages of advanced weapons that Israel would otherwise have to (and could, at the expense of its nuclear program) purchase with its own funds.
These officials, by thwarting the law, force taxpayers and public interest watchdogs to pay the very subsidy Senator Symington sought to avoid: that Americans would offset and become unwilling accomplices to Israel’s nuclear weapons development program, undermining the NPT and U.S. credibility in the nonproliferation effort, and undermining a Middle East peace deal.
The suit demands injunctive relief in the form of the U.S. Government being “restrained and enjoined from directly or indirectly disbursing further U.S. foreign aid to Israel.”
Furthermore, the suit demands that “U.S. foreign aid unlawfully provided to Israel since 1978 be clawed back for disgorgement either as a rebate to U.S. taxpayers or for use in legal and legitimate purposes that serve the common good rather than unlawfully subsidizing through offset a foreign nuclear weapons program.”
The suit demands that “all manifestations in the form of continual misrepresentation, gag orders, systemic violations of government sunshine laws and all violations of the Administrative Procedure Act” are declared unlawful.
Finally, the suit demands that the President “be ordered to faithfully uphold Symington & Glenn Amendments in the future” under 28 U.S.C. § 1361, giving the United States district court jurisdiction of “an action in the nature of mandamus to compel an officer or employee of the United States or any agency thereof to perform a duty owed to the plaintiff.”
This is the first time that a Federal Court application of this nature has been made, and its progress—or lack of such—through the court system will serve as a potent indicator of the power of the Jewish lobby in Washington D.C.