U.S. Secretary of Defence Robert Gates arrived in Israel on Wednesday for talks on regional security that Israeli officials see as laying to rest spats over arms exports to China dating back seven years.
The last Pentagon chief to come to Israel, a top recipient of U.S. defence aid, was William Cohen in 1999 -- shortly before Washington quashed a lucrative Israeli sale of advanced radars to China, citing concern for the safety of its ally Taiwan.
More recently, Israel reshuffled senior Defence Ministry officials and pledged to tighten arms-export regulations after the Pentagon complained about Israeli maintainance work on combat drones sold to the Asian superpower.
Sibel Edmonds, the Turkish FBI translator turned whistleblower who has been subjected to a gag order could provide a major insight into how neoconservatives distort US foreign policy and enrich themselves at the same time. On one level, her story appears straightforward: several Turkish lobbying groups allegedly bribed congressmen to support policies favourable to Ankara. But beyond that, the Edmonds revelations become more serpentine and appear to involve AIPAC, Israel and a number of leading neoconservatives who have profited from the Turkish connection.* Mathieu Verboud:
Someone has to be in the middle to keep the happy affair going, so enter the neocons, intent on securing Israel against all comers and also keen to turn a dollar. In fact the neocons seem to have a deep and abiding interest in Turkey, which, under other circumstances, might be difficult to explain. Doug Feith's International Advisors Inc, a registered agent for Turkey in 1989 - 1994, netted $600,000 per year from Turkey, with Richard Perle taking $48,000 annually as a consultant. Other noted neoconservatives linked to Turkey are former State Department number three, Marc Grossman, current Pentagon Undersecretary of Defense for Policy Eric Edelman, Paul Wolfowitz and former congressman Stephen Solarz. The money involved does not appear to come from the Turkish government, and FBI investigators are trying to determine its source and how it is distributed. Some of it may come from criminal activity, possibly drug trafficking, but much more might come from arms dealing. Contracts in the hundreds of millions, or even billions of dollars provide considerable fat for those well placed to benefit. Investigators are also looking at Israel's particular expertise in the illegal sale of US military technology to countries like China and India. Fraudulent end-user certificates produced by Defense Ministries in Israel and Turkey are all that is needed to divert military technology to other, less benign, consumers. The military-industrial-complex/neocon network is also well attested. Doug Feith has been associated with Northrup Grumman for years, while defense contractors fund many neocon-linked think tanks and "information" services. Feith, Perle and a number of other neocons have long had beneficial relationships with various Israeli defense contractors.
OK, let’s add Perle to this funny picture…. the story is not over yet.
During the 90’s, Loral, a U.S manufacturer of satellite and military electronic systems, was under State Department and Pentagon scrutiny for leaks of embargoed technology to China…. At the time, space systems, satellites, missile technology, avionics were highly ‘sensitive’ stuff… and a major source of interest for Turkey (already a good client of Loral) and Israel, these two countries being, as you know, compulsive buyers of U.S hi-tech weaponry.
Coming back to Loral. Who did Loral retain in 1998 then in 2001 to help settle its dispute with the Pentagon and the State Department? Douglas Feith, always an ardent supporter of ambitious missile defense systems, and Richard Perle.
Wherever they are, these people always end up in a situation of conflict of interest. When it too obvious that they look like the fox in a henhouse, they still have the possibility of planting their friends in the right spots.
Let me give you an unbelievable example of that. In 2000, in the last months of the Clinton Administration, a panel was established by Congress in order to counter "back door" technology leaks to China. This ‘China Commission’ had already established Israel as a supplier to Beijing of radar systems, optical & telecom equipment, drones & flight simulators. OK, guess who was appointed in 2001 to this China Commission, with the support of Deputy Secretary of Defense Paul Wolfowitz ? An ex-assistant to Richard Perle by the name of Stephen Bryen. Bryen was this ex Senate Foreign Relations Committee staffer who had to resign in 1979 after he was overheard in a DC hotel offering confidential documents to top Israeli military officials! Now guess who brought ‘Bryen the fox’ into the hen house by appointing him? Speaker Dennis Hastert!
Update from Starroute in the comments:
And there's this:(thnx starroute)
In 1990, after a decade of work with the State Department in Washington and abroad, Wolfowitz was brought into DoD as Undersecretary for Policy by then Secretary of Defense Richard Cheney. Two years later, in 1992, the first Bush Administration launched a broad inter-departmental investigation into the export of classified technology to China. Of particular concern at the time was the transfer to China by Israel of U.S. Patriot missiles and/or technology. During that investigation, in a situation very reminiscent of the Bryen/Varian Associates/klystrons affair two years earlier, the Pentagon discovered that Wolfowitz's office was promoting the export to Israel of advanced AIM-9M air-to-air missiles.
In this instance, the Joint Chiefs of Staff, aware that Israel had already been caught selling the earlier AIM 9-L version of the missile to China in violation of a written agreement with the U.S. on arms re-sales, intervened to cancel the proposed AIM (-M deal. The Chairman of the Joint Chiefs at the time was General Colin Powell, currently Secretary of State.