The news of the arrest of Stewart David Nozette, a top government scientist, on charges of spying for Israel had barely hit when none other than Steve Rosen, former top AIPAC official and accused Israeli spy, piped up in Nozette’s defense.  Some character witness!  Rosen was recorded culling state secrets from Larry Franklin, formerly the Pentagon’s top Iran analyst, but the Department of Justice, under political pressure to drop the charges and up against a judge who gave the defense everything they asked for and more, chose not to go ahead with the trial—over the objections of the agents who had worked on the case.  Notably, however, the department never retracted the charges.

In the Jerusalem Post, Rosen decried Nozette’s arrest as yet another example of antisemitic persecution in the FBI’s counterintelligence unit, which is supposedly part of a “faction” that is “obsessed” with Israeli spying:

One of the things that our case revealed is the very extreme views that are held by some in counterintelligence agencies of the CIA and FBI about Israel . . . They believe that the Mossad spied on the US on a huge scale and they believe that the Pollard case was the tip of some sort of iceberg.


Pollard didn’t act alone.  We know this because he knew just which documents to pilfer, seeking them by name or serial number—information that only someone at the policymaking level, perhaps in the Cabinet, would have.  In 1997, as reported in the Washington Post, the National Security Agency (NSA) picked up a conversation between an Israeli agent and his boss in Tel Aviv that revealed the existence of a highly placed Mossad agent code-named “Mega.”  None of this matters to Rosen, naturally, since he could care less about the national security of the United States.  His allegiance lies elsewhere:

When you keep repeating that the Mossad is spying on America, Israel is harming the United States, of course it harms the alliance between Israel and the US. . . . The current case is even more peculiar because the government of Israel did nothing.


It’s revealing that they used Israel for the sting . . . They could have used China, or others.  But they chose Israel.


These comments were made less than 24 hours after Nozette’s arrest, and they demonstrate the dangers of jumping the gun before all the facts are in.  Yes, it’s true that the feds nabbed Nozette in a “sting” or “false flag” operation: An agent of the FBI phoned Nozette, arranged a meeting, and told his quarry the Mossad wanted to partake of his services.  Nozette, a top government scientist with “Q clearance”—which gave him access to our most closely guarded secrets, including nuclear-weapons data and advanced space technology—replied, “How can I be of assistance?”

Yet it wasn’t a cold call that facilitated this particular sale.  An investigation in 2006 into Nozette’s nonprofit company, the Alliance for Competitive Technology, was originally provoked by suspicion that he had padded his expense account under a government contract, but it turned up evidence of greater crimes.  A few hours after Rosen’s comments were cited by the Jerusalem Post, the Associated Press reported that,

In probing Nozette’s finances in that case, investigators found indications he might be working for a foreign government, and they launched a national security investigation that eventually led to the undercover FBI sting, the official said.


In addition, the affidavit accompanying the criminal complaint shows Nozette worked as a consultant to “an aerospace company wholly owned by the Israeli government,” and the Israeli newspaper Ha’aretz reveals this to be Israel Aerospace Industries—the same company Pollard’s Israeli handler, Yosef Yagur, used as a cover.

For over a decade, starting in 1998, Nozette agreed to monthly questioning, or “taskings,” by company officials and was paid a total of $225,000 for his trouble.  During this same period, he was working in government labs, including Lawrence-Livermore, and for DARPA (the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency, a branch of the U.S. Department of Defense), where he enjoyed virtually unrestricted access to U.S. secrets.

“They could have used China”?  Only if they were deaf, dumb, and blind.

The affidavit is a bit of a hoot, as it contains verbatim transcripts of conversations between Nozette, who alternates between greed and hubris, and the undercover cop.  My favorite howler:

Nozette: I don’t get recruited by the Mossad every day.  I knew this day would come, by the way.



Agent: How’s that?


Nozette: (Laughs) I just had a feeling one of these days.

Agent: Really?


Nozette: I knew you guys would show up.


The agent exhibits surprise, and Nozette continues: “I thought I was working for you already.  I mean that’s what I always thought, [Israel Aerospace Industries] was just a front.”

No, it wasn’t every day Nozette was recruited into betraying his country—because twice in a lifetime was enough.

The complaint also contains an intriguing bit of information.  Nozette recently took a trip to “foreign country A.”  Already under surveillance, he was searched before boarding the plane, and two thumb drives were found on his person.  Upon his return, some three weeks later, he was again searched by TSA employees: There was no sign of the thumb drives.

There’s been a bit of speculation as to the identity of “foreign country A,” and one blogger at Talking Points Memo has suggested India as a possibility, based on Nozette’s collaboration with the Indians on their recent space mission.  My own best guess is Turkey—which, as readers of the last installment of this column will note, is a major player in the nuclear black market, as alleged by whistle-blower Sibel Edmonds.  While working for the NSA, she translated intercepts that detailed a flourishing trade in nuclear and other high-tech secrets at U.S. military installations and government labs, with cooperative scientists being placed in key positions by government insiders, and the wholesale theft of secrets taking place with the collusion of higher-ups.

So far, the story is that Nozette was in it for the money, and yet the amount involved—he was paid a total of $11,000 by the undercover agent before the feds busted him—seems disproportionately small in relation to the scale of his crime.  The complaint gives details of the sensitivity of the information he sold for the equivalent of 30 pieces of silver: advanced nuclear-weapons design and satellite technology.  Indeed, Nozette boasted of his top-grade security clearance—revoked in 2006, by the way, after the investigation into his nonprofit commenced—and said he was privy to more than 20 “special access programs,” U.S. government secrets so sensitive that only a very few Cabinet-level and other need-to-know officials were familiar with them.

He told the undercover agent he would be glad to reconstruct these from memory, but, as there was a lot of material involved, it would take some time: It would be best if he went to Israel to do it.  “Both my parents are Jewish,” he told the agent and invoked the “right of return,” saying he would like, as part of his payment, an Israeli passport—just to keep his options open.

Abe Foxman is predictably outraged at Nozette’s arrest, averring that he sees a “disturbing pattern” of accusations of “dual loyalty” against Jews in government employ.  Yet according to news reports, including one in Ha’aretz, locals in Chevy Chase, Maryland, where Nozette resides, were surprised at the charges, confessing that they didn’t know he was Jewish, because he hardly wore his religious-ethnic affiliation on his sleeve.

“What I find troubling and perplexing is that our government seems only interested in investigating people who are connected to Israel,” babbles Foxman.  Why don’t we pay attention to “commercial” espionage engaged in by the Chinese, French, Russians, and others?  But of course we have paid attention to the Chinese: Bloomberg News reports that “more than 50 people have been prosecuted in the U.S. since 2006 for allegedly transporting restricted technology, stealing trade secrets or conducting business espionage for China, according to the U.S. Justice Department.”  What happened to the Anti-Defamation League’s fabled research department?  Are they so busy smearing anyone who looks cockeyed at Bibi Netanyahu that they can’t give Foxman better talking points?  As for the Russians, do the names Aldrich Ames, Harold James Nicholson, Earl Pitts, Robert Hanssen, and George Trofimoff ring a bell?  All were prosecuted relatively recently by the U.S. Department of Justice on charges of spying for the Kremlin.  The French, I’m afraid, have been rather lax in this field.  Perhaps they have a hard time acknowledging that we have anything worth stealing.

Foxman’s victimological whining demonstrates his complete disinterest in the seriousness of Nozette’s crimes.  Without denying the traitor’s guilt, he says that, in effect, everybody does it, so why pick on the poor little Israelis, who are just going along with the crowd?  A more pathetic—and revealing—“defense” of treachery has yet to be uttered.

Why did Nozette—an acclaimed scientist, known for his brilliant success in the Clementine Moon mission—betray his country?  After all, he had everything to lose—and what did he really gain?  The idea that Nozette did it purely for money doesn’t fit in with all the facts: less than $250,000 over a ten-year period?  Chicken feed.  There is an ideological factor here: According to Laura Rozen, the foreign-affairs blogger recently hired by Politico, Nozette once wrote speeches for Dan Quayle—and quit after an embarrassing appearance by Quayle in which he garbled the talking points he’d been given.  Gee, I wonder how he got that job?  In addition, as Democratic bloggers immediately noted, he made several campaign contributions to Republican candidates.  Yes, but he’s no conservative, apparently: Most of his donations went to RINOs like Olympia Snowe and Jim Kolbe.

As more details about this case come out, and Nozette goes on trial, expect to hear even more outrageous apologias coming from the usual suspects.  What ought to irk readers of Chronicles is that most, if not all, of these excuses will be coming not from the “anti-American” left but from the ranks of ostensible “conservatives.”  And if that isn’t a depressing measure of the American right’s moral and political degeneration, I don’t know what is.