May 28, 2008
As the video here demonstrates, the talking heads — or maybe that should be airheads — at Faux & Friends are clueless when it comes to history. According to Gretchen Carlson, Steve Doocy, and Brian Kilmeade, former president Carter not only revealed previously unknown history, but he has provided Iran with an excuse to build nukes. "It appears that he’s giving out secret information about Israel and how many nuclear weapons they may have," declared Carlson. "No one’s done it … so why not leave it to a former president, a one-term president like Jimmy Carter? … He said, ‘Well, Israel’s got an arsenal, about 150.’ Excuse me? We never heard that confirmed before. We’ve heard rumors about that," added Kilmeade. Rumors because Kilmeade and Faux are highly selective in reporting historical fact that does not jive with the neocons.
As far back as 1961, British intelligence reported the existence of Israel’s nuclear weapons program. In 1969, U.S. Defense Secretary Melvin Laird said he believed Israel had a nuclear weapon, a suspicion apparently valid enough that Nixon in a meeting with Israeli Prime Minister Golda Meir pressed Israel to "make no visible introduction of nuclear weapons or undertake a nuclear test program," thus maintaining a policy of nuclear ambiguity. The CIA accused Israel of stealing uranium from the U.S. Navy nuclear fuel plant operated by the Nuclear Materials and Equipment Corporation in Apollo, Pennsylvania. So much for the idea that Israel is our friend.
But it would be Mordechai Vanunu, formerly employed at the Negev Nuclear Research Center, a facility located in the Negev desert south of Dimona, who would reveal Israel’s nuclear weapons program. Vanunu provided photographs to back up his assertion. Vanunu’s revelation was published in the Sunday Times on October 5, 1986. For publication of state secrets, he was sentenced to 18 years in prison for treason and espionage. (See video at right.)
And then, in 1998, former Prime Minister Shimon Peres said that Israel "built a nuclear option, not in order to have a Hiroshima but an Oslo," in other words Israel used its nukes to blackmail the Palestinians. Peres, in his capacity as the Director General of the Ministry of Defense in the early 1950s, was responsible for building Israel’s nuclear capability, so he should know, not that we should expect the Faux Friends of Israel to pick up a history book.
Additional detail on the program was provided by award-winning American journalist Seymour Hersh in his book, the Samson Option. According to Hersh, Israel worked jointly with South Africa to develop a bomb and it was Moshe Dayan who gave the go-ahead for starting weapon production in early 1968. A Center for Nonproliferation Studies report lists four separate Israel-South Africa “clandestine nuclear deals.”
"Unlike Iran and North Korea — two countries whose alleged nuclear ambitions have recently come to the fore — Israel has never signed the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty, designed to prevent the global spread of nuclear weapons," the BBC reported on December 22, 2003. "As a result, it is not subject to inspections and the threat of sanctions by the United Nations nuclear watchdog, the International Atomic Energy Agency."
Because of this, Faux & Friends consider Israel’s nuke arsenal a secret and Carter a traitor. Now that Carter has brought this historical information to the forefront, it may be more difficult for the neocons to make the argument that Iran has no right to develop nuclear weapons, not that there is any evidence they are actually doing so.
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