Tom Diaz

Archive for the ‘Nuclear Weapons’ Category

A BRILLIANT BLOG POST ON HEZBOLLAH

In bad manners, Intelligence and Counter-Intelligence, Nuclear Weapons, Terrorism, Terrorism and counter-terrorism on November 2, 2009 at 7:10 pm
nasrallah-hassan-1~s600x600

Hezbollah's Leader Sayyid Hassan Nasrallah: Teaching the World a Thing or Two

Whatever you think about Hezbollah, you ought to read this blog post: The Hidden Army: Hezbollah Teaches the World How to Fight, by Ian Welsh.  Here is an excerpt:

Hezbollah’s army is a secret one. It’s like an old fashioned spy agency.

It doesn’t exist.

If you’re enrolled in it, you don’t tell anyone. The war was rife with stories of soldiers being killed, and their families finding out for the first time that they were even in Hezbollah’s army. This, of course, is to make it impossible to use assassination, mostly aerial assassination, to take out key leaders.

Hezbollah is an almost perfect Darwinian organization. Israel uses informants and assassination? Great – we’ll keep even our membership secret. Israel uses air power? We’ll dig tunnels and set up aerial blinds for our missile launchers. Israel doesn’t like taking heavy infantry casualties – fine then, we’ll set up overlapping bunkers which simply cannot be cleared without taking losses.

Hezbollah has created the new model army, and a new model state. Call it the Hidden Army. An army that blends in with the population, that moves only when it cannot be seen, that sets up in the expectation of surveillance. An army that knows all the high tech games, and spent the time to figure out how to nullify them. It sounds like a guerrilla army, and it is, but it’s also much more: it’s an army capable of engaging in strategic warfare and an army capable of engaging in full on attrition defense warfare against Israeli main battle forces. It’s hard to overstate how impressive this is.

There is more at the post, including a string of unusually lucid give and take comments.  One need not agree with the totality of this posting to get that it is one of the best things recently posted on Hezbollah.

STEWART DAVID NOZETTE, WOULD-BE ISRAELI SPY, WAS GENEROUS GIVER TO GOP CANDIDATES IN 1999-2000

In bad manners, Crime, Intelligence and Counter-Intelligence, Nuclear Weapons, undercover investigations on October 20, 2009 at 3:21 am
Stewart David Nozette--Stung By FBI--Wanted to Spyt for Israel

Stewart David Nozette--Stung By FBI--Wanted to Spy for Israel

Dr. Stewart David Nozette of Chevy Chase, Maryland, has been accused in a criminal complaint filed in support of an arrest warrant of  having attempted to sell highly classified secrets to an FBI agent posing as a representative of the Israeli government. (Affidavit in Support of a Criminal Complaint and Arrest Warrant, filed in United States v. Stewart David Nozette, U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia, Case No. 09-0565M, October 16, 2009.)

Nozette was born in Chicago on May 20, 1957.  He won a Ph.D in Planetary Science from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology in 1983, and worked in a variety of super-sensitive positions with the highest of security clearances, according to the affidavit.  His jobs included a stint on the White House’s National Space Council in 1989-1990 (during the George H.W. Bush administration), and work on nuclear weapons and satellite technology in other positions.  These included tours at the Department of Energy’s Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory, where he held a “Q” clearance to work on atomic or nuclear-related materials, the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA), the U.S. Naval Research Laboratory (NRL), and the National Aeronautics and Space Administration’s Goddard Space Flight Center.

Nozette fell for a classic FBI undercover sting operation (very similar to one the FBI used recently to nail a husband and wife who had “retired” after having spied for Cuba for years from various perchs in and around the U.S. Department of State).  Reduced to its simplest terms, an FBI agent simply called up Nozette and said (paraphrasing here) “Hi, I’m from Mossad.  Wanna work for us?”

Nozette was primed and took off like a rocket after the bait.  He told his supposed “contact” that he wanted cash (preferably in amounts under $10,000 to avoid bank reporting rules), because, he said, he knew “how to handle cash … you buy consumables … cash is good for anything … you eat, drink it or screw it.”

Note to would be spies: duh-uh.  Do you really think an agent of a foreign power just calls you and blurts out his or her affiliation?  And by the way, suppose this offer had really come under a “false flag,” say on behalf of Iran or its sinister appendage, the terrorist para-state Hezbollah?  This rapacious clown would have been none the wiser.

Anyway, this story is already wall-to-wall on the main-stream media and national security blogs.

Fairly Civil’s paltry contribution is this little noticed (as of this posting) fact:  Nozette was an active contributor to Republican candidates in 1999 and 2000, according to CampaignMoney.com.  The website lists gifts from Chevy Chase, Md. resident “Stewart Nozette,” and “Stewart D. Nozette” as follows:

  • McCain 2000 — $1,000
  • Kolbe 2000 — $250
  • Snowe for Senate (2000) — $250
  • Gordon Smith for Senate (2000) — $1,000
  • Whitman for U.S. Senate (1999) — $650
  • Snowe for Senate (1999) — $500
  • Snowe for Senate (1999) — $500
  • Whitman for U.S. Senate (1999) — $1,000
  • Christopher Cox Congressional Committee (2000) — $500
  • Lazio 2000 Inc. (2000) — $1,000
  • Bush for President, Inc. (1999) — $1,000
  • Bush-Cheney 2000 Compliance Committee, Inc. (2000) — $1,000
  • Bush-Cheney 2000 Compliance Committee, Inc. (2000) — $1, 925
  • Republican National Committee (2000)  — $500

Go figure.  Not exactly a case of deeply shared values, apparently.

Belch.com asks the cogent question: “Why don’t we execute traitors anymore?”

Good question. A traitor is worse than the skankiest, vilest, most murderous gangster, rapist, or child molester, because a traitor puts every man, woman, and child in America — still the greatest country in the world for whatever faults we have — at risk. Especially, as is clear in this case, selling out information about weapons of truly mass destruction to satisfy unbounded greed.

ABOUT THOSE PAKISTANI NUKES — ATOMIC SCIENTISTS SAY “RELAX”

In Nuclear Weapons, Terrorism, Terrorism and counter-terrorism on June 2, 2009 at 4:50 pm
NuclearExplosion

Last refuge of All Desperate Arguments

If you’re worried that the Taliban or some other equally malevolent group of half-baked nitwits are going to seize power and stuff a suitcase full of Pakistani nuclear weapons, you can relax.

Pakistani Army Gen. Ashfaq Kayani, chief of army staff

Pakistani Army Gen. Ashfaq Kayani, chief of army staff

According to Lawrence Korb, writing in the Bulletin of the Atomic Scientists, the Pakistani armed forces have the situation well under control.  Korb was Assistant Secretary of Defense in the Reagan Administration from 1981-1985 and is now senior fellow at the Center for American Progress.  Here is an excerpt, or you can read the whole article here:

Pakistan has a great many political, economic, and social problems that prevent it from achieving its full potential. But the majority of the population wants the duly constituted government to fulfill its responsibilities to promote the general welfare and provide for the common defense. They aren’t looking to some outside force such as the Taliban to assume control of the country and solve these problems. Unlike Afghanistan in the 1990s, the Taliban in Pakistan isn’t seen as a group capable of imposing order on a chaotic situation. Rather, the Taliban is seen as an organization trying to upset the existing order. For instance, the majority of the Pakistani population urged the government to take forceful action against the Taliban when it reneged on its agreement in the Swat District.

Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff Navy Adm. Mike Mullen reviews Pakistani troops during a ceremony honoring Mullen's arrival to Islamabad, Pakistan, Feb. 9, 2008.

Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff Navy Adm. Mike Mullen reviews Pakistani troops during a ceremony honoring Mullen's arrival to Islamabad, Pakistan, Feb. 9, 2008.

Moreover, at this time, the Pakistani Army has no desire to seize political power, nor will it let the Taliban take control of Pakistan proper or seize Pakistan’s nuclear weapons. The Pakistani Army jealously guards its reputation. In fact, it places a higher priority on its reputation and its interest than that of the country. The army knows that if it staged a coup at this time, it would become responsible for all of the country’s economic and social problems.

Likewise, the Pakistani military, which numbers about 1 million soldiers, has enough brute force to prevent the Taliban from breaking out of the rural areas of the frontier provinces and into the heart of Pakistan, even if it keeps a large contingent on the border with India. Since the army knows that the collateral damage–including creating refugees–would be significant if it uses force, it won’t take action until ordered to do so by the prime minister and the Parliament.

The security of Pakistan’s nuclear arsenal By Lawrence J. Korb, 19 May 2009

There.  Feel better?

Not Convinced -- More Waterboarding!

Not Convinced -- More Waterboarding!

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