his wife, Sara, who, claiming to followrnthe example of Hillary Rodham Clinton’srninterest in the CIA, particularly interestedrnherself in details of PresidentrnClinton’s sexual activities. This offliandrnnon-point is made early to foreshadowrnthe revelation that the Mossad interceptedrnphone-sex calls between the Presidentrnof the United States and Miss Lewinskyrn— as Clinton himself indicated tornLewinsky, referring to a “foreign embassy,”rnas is confirmed in the Starr report.rnBut this bombshell about the portly pepperpotrnis itself contained within the largerrnstory of how the Mossad protectedrn”Mega,” the second Israeli spv, highlvrnplaced in the White House, who hadrnhelped handle Jonathan Pollard.rnThomas does not say that the Lewinskyrntapes were used to blackmail the Presidentrnor to protect Mega, but he has takenrncare to establish the possibility of such arnthing, as well as to imply that Mega is stillrnactive. He has also shown, without notingrnthe point, precisely why the Lewinskyrnmatter was an impeachable offense, inrnaddihon to offering a hint at why that offenserndid not in fact lead to impeachment.rnThus we can see that discussion of thernMossad leads to all kinds of problems ofrnfocus, spying being by definition entangledrnwith complicated politics. No wonder,rnthen, that Cordon Thomas was challengedrnin his exposition. But if we regardrnGideons Spies as a problem in readingrnrather than in writing, we have less of arndifficultv than the author did. For myrnown part, I hae found that the comic orrnai^surdist reading is the most comfortablernand useful approach. Perhaps a couplernof small examples will show the merits ofrnthe angle I am suggesting.rnWe can easily imagine that a reader’srnthreshold of exasperation might berncrossed in his attempt to absorb the materialrnhaving to do with the Mossad’s disinformationrncampaign that distorted therntreatment of the TWA Flight 800 disasterrnof July 17, 1996. Thomas has indicatedrnthat the LP, the Mossad’s Departmentrnof Psychological Warfare, using a “globalrnnetvork of media contacts,” interfered inrnthe FBI investigation of the crash. Asrnspeculation spun wildly, the LAP mountedrna campaign in the media to blamernIran and Iraq, those inveterate enemies ofrnIsrael. After extensive investigations andrnmuch wasted time following false leadsrnsuggested by the Mossad, the P’Bl ruledrnout any terrorist bomb. Similarly, when arnbomb went off during the Olympics inrnAtlanta, the LAP raised and broadcast thernspecter of terrorism associated withrnLebanese bombmakers; again, the storyrncame to nothing after a considerablernwaste of time, energy, and monev. Perhapsrnthese small examples suffice to showrnthat it is better to laugh at the spectacle ofrnthe Mossad pursuing its own agendarnthrough media contacts, confusingrnAmerican investigations of disasters onrnAmerican territory, than it is to choke onrnthe reflection that such acts of sabotagernwere and are subvented by hefty infusionsrnof American tax dollars. Think insteadrnof those FBI agents and grieving relativesrnand a nervous public —all of themrnbeing made fools of by those sly but lovablernrascals of the Mossad. Couldn’trnHollj’wood do something with this comicrnmaterial? Maybe a special on HBO?rnThis thing has potential. It has legs. Irnwonder why more has not been donernwith it already.rnOnce the reader understands how tornapproach Gideon’s Spies, he is in arnposition positively to enjoy tales more importantrnthan little ones about wasting thernFBI’s time and money and manipulatingrnthe anxieties of the American public.rnCordon Thomas, like the Mossad, hasrnbigger fish to fr)’. One of those big fishrnhas to do with Lebanon in the earl 80’s,rnand the subsequent Irangate fiasco. Mr.rnThomas is entirely credible as he describesrnhis interview in 1986 with a deterioratingrnWilliam Casey, the 13th headrnof the CIA, who recounts the betrayal byrnthe Mossad of William Buckley, the C L rnagent kidnapped and murdered inrnBeirut. Nahum Admoni, the head of thernMossad at that time, had prontised tornhelp, but was “in bed with that thug,rnCemayel.” The Mossad deceived thernCIA, indicating that the PLO was behindrnthe kidnapping:rnWhat we didn’t know was thatrnMossad had also been playing realrndirt}’ pool—supplying the Hezbollahrnwith arms to kill the Christiansrnwhile at the same time giving thernChristians more guns to kill thernPalestinians.rnThe comic element of this story is enhancedrnnot only by the awareness that Israelrnwas undercutting its ally as well as itsrnown best long-term interests, but by consciousnessrnof the even richer jest thatrnAmerica and Israel would soon be partiesrntogether to the clandestine operationrnknown as the Iran-Contra affair! The betrayalrnof Buckley and the gross deceptionrnof American intelligence did not holdrnPresident Reagan or his advisors back.rnNeither had the Mossad’s foreknowledgernand monitoring of the truck-bombing ofrn241 U.S. Marines in 1983. Victor Ostiovsky,rna former officer of the Mossad, saidrnthe attitude was that “They wanted tornstick their nose in this Lebanon thing, letrnthem pay the price.” The complicit}’ inrnthe murder of Buckley was another integerrnadded to an imposing toll, but nothingrncould stop the party. Israel’s successfulrnpolicy was to get the United States outrnof Lebanon, but not so far out of thernMiddle East as to cease to be altogetherrnuseful—or so far awav that those checksrnwould bounce.rnMr. Thomas relates numerous rivetingrnstories of cloak-and-dagger episodes. I appreciate,rnfor instance, the way that hernshows the destruction of the Egyptian airrnforce on the ground in 1967 to have beenrnas luuch a triumph of intelligence as itrnwas a feat of arms. Other stories arernrather less satisfying to contemplate. Thernaccount of the late British publisherrnRobert Maxwell shows him to have beenrnnot only a corrupt and irresponsible manrnbut an agent of the Mossad who, as hernspun out of control, was finally targetedrnfor termination. Maxwell looted the pensionrnfunds of his employees to supportrnthe Mossad, which finally turned onrnhim. At Maxwell’s fmieral on the Mountrnof Olives in Jerusalem, the prime ministerrnof Israel, Yitzhak Shannr, declared,rn”He has done more for Israel than can todayrnbe said.” What Israel had done tornhim could not be said eiflier, of course.rnNor, finally, what is implied by the presencernof such a grotesque and deceptivernman as a major figure in journalism.rnAgain and again, the manipulation ofrnthe media recurs as a theme in Thomas’srnshidy. Cozy images crafted for public relationsrnare not among those supplied byrnCordon Thomas. Take, for example,rnwhat he has to say of Yitzhak Shamir. Accordingrnto Thomas’s account, Shamirrnpersonally authorized the transfer to thernSoviet Union of some of the documentsrnstolen by Jonathan Pollard, in part becausernof his hatred of the United States.rnShamir believed that, because Rooseveltrnhad failed to come to terms with Hitler,rnthe United States was partially responsiblernfor the holocaust—a belief which,rnwhatever its merits (though not exactiyrnbefitting an ally), is perfect neverthelessrnin the context of the absurdist soap operarnOCTOBER 1999/25rnrnrn