Thursday, February 18, 2010

According to Foreign Media Reports

If the killing of Mahmoud al-Mabhouh in Dubai was done by the Mossad, they have done an unbelievably bad job at covering their tracks: using fake passports of seven Israeli citizens for some of the hit squad members and dressing in "false beards, wigs and glasses, in almost comical attempts at disguise." (See Israelis Share Suspicions in Hamas Leader’s Killing).

Amir Oren in today's Haaretz writes:
If the perpetrators were from the Mossad (AFMR, of course), Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu must be walking around with an acute sense of deja vu. Once again, an assassination of a senior Hamas leader in a friendly Arab country; once again, an operation designed to kill someone quietly and inconspicuously; once again, a diplomatic mess; and once again, it is all happening on Netanyahu's watch. In 1997, it was Khaled Meshal in Jordan. This time, it's Mabhouh in Dubai.
I had forgotten that the attempted assassination of Meshal occurred during Netanyahu's previous prime ministership - it was only one of the many things that he botched then.
The United Kingdom and Ireland were used once again, and this time, a French connection topped it off. It is as if Israeli governments had never apologized to London for using British documentation; as if they had not promised solemnly, when passports of Her Majesty's subjects were found in a certain phone booth, that this would never happen again....

Using the identities of real, living, innocent Israelis for operational documentation is against the law. This kind of abuse also causes innocent civilians to suffer the evil that already plagues ministers and officers: being prevented from traveling abroad for fear of being arrested by Interpol on suspicion of being the Dubai assassins.

Former Mossad chief Efraim Halevy pushed for a Mossad Law to be legislated that would enshrine the state's obligation to defend its agents caught breaking laws abroad. The initiative never got off the ground: A state can't legitimize illegality. But neither can it allow one of its institutions to arbitrarily harm civilians not the police, not the tax authority, not the Shin Bet security service and not the Mossad.

Attorney General Yehuda Weinstein was asked yesterday whether an investigation will be opened following the public complaints of those whose identities were stolen from them, and whose lives and liberty are therefore now threatened. Weinstein has not yet had time to study the issue. He has some superficial knowledge of Dagan's character, but no prejudice.

Netanyahu played deaf to the warnings and extended Dagan's tenure for an eighth year, a decision as hasty as it was unnecessary. But the Mossad, like the Jerusalem District Attorney's Office, cannot hinge upon one man, without whom everything would collapse.

What is needed now is a swift decision to terminate Dagan's contract and to appoint a new Mossad chief - one of the current department heads, one of their predecessors, or a talented Israel Defense Forces general. There's no disease (AFMR) without a cure: An easel in Rosh Pina is yearning for pensioner Dagan to come home.
(AMFR means: According to Foreign Media Reports. This circumlocution is used by the Israeli press to write about topics that the military censor will not allow them to report directly, like Israeli nuclear weapons).

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