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Obama furious Israel found out Iran nuke deal secrets and told Congress

Obama furious Israel found out Iran nuke deal secrets and told Congress

Wall Street Journal reports: The back story emerges — Obama hid negotiations and details, from Israel and Congress.

The Obama administration has vented its fury at Israel based on Benjamin Netanyahu’s speech to Congress, and pre-election statements.

None of those issues justified the complete fury coming from the administration. It just didn’t add up.

Now The Wall Street Journal reveals the back story — one in which the Israelis found out about secret negotiations and secret details concealed from Congress, and told Congress. Now the administration is promising long-term damage to Israel that will last beyond this administration.

It also becomes obvious that the meme that Netanyahu has been acting to help his reelection is wrong. There is a long history of Israel trying to stop a disastrous deal being negotiated in secret. Netanyahu’s opposition has been based on security concerns for years, not the recent election.

The Wall Street Journal’s article is titled Israel Spied on Iran Talks.

That title, however, is not really the story. The story is that Israel learned not only that Obama was hiding secret Iran nuclear negotiations from Israel, but also later found out details that Israel shared with Congress. The article is lengthy, and behind the paywall.

Here is the intro:

Soon after the U.S. and other major powers entered negotiations last year to curtail Iran’s nuclear program, senior White House officials learned Israel was spying on the closed-door talks….

In addition to eavesdropping, Israel acquired information from confidential U.S. briefings, informants and diplomatic contacts in Europe, the officials said.

The espionage didn’t upset the White House as much as Israel’s sharing of inside information with U.S. lawmakers and others to drain support from a high-stakes deal intended to limit Iran’s nuclear program, current and former officials said.

“It is one thing for the U.S. and Israel to spy on each other. It is another thing for Israel to steal U.S. secrets and play them back to U.S. legislators to undermine U.S. diplomacy,” said a senior U.S. official briefed on the matter.

The U.S. and Israel, longtime allies who routinely swap information on security threats, sometimes operate behind the scenes like spy-versus-spy rivals. The White House has largely tolerated Israeli snooping on U.S. policy makers—a posture Israel takes when the tables are turned.

The White House discovered the operation, in fact, when U.S. intelligence agencies spying on Israel intercepted communications among Israeli officials that carried details the U.S. believed could have come only from access to the confidential talks, officials briefed on the matter said.

Israeli officials denied spying directly on U.S. negotiators and said they received their information through other means, including close surveillance of Iranian leaders receiving the latest U.S. and European offers. European officials, particularly the French, also have been more transparent with Israel about the closed-door discussions than the Americans, Israeli and U.S. officials said.

What really set off Obama was that Israel later found out details that Israel shared with Congress, that the Obama administration had not:

As secret talks with Iran progressed into 2013, U.S. intelligence agencies monitored Israel’s communications to see if the country knew of the negotiations. Mr. Obama didn’t tell Mr. Netanyahu until September 2013.

Israeli officials, who said they had already learned about the talks through their own channels, told their U.S. counterparts they were upset about being excluded. “ ‘Did the administration really believe we wouldn’t find out?’ ” Israeli officials said, according to a former U.S. official.

The episode cemented Mr. Netanyahu’s concern that Mr. Obama was bent on clinching a deal with Iran whether or not it served Israel’s best interests, Israeli officials said. Obama administration officials said the president was committed to preventing Iran from developing nuclear weapons.

Mr. Dermer started lobbying U.S. lawmakers just before the U.S. and other powers signed an interim agreement with Iran in November 2013. Mr. Netanyahu and Mr. Dermer went to Congress after seeing they had little influence on the White House.

Before the interim deal was made public, Mr. Dermer gave lawmakers Israel’s analysis: The U.S. offer would dramatically undermine economic sanctions on Iran, according to congressional officials who took part.

Israel apparently shared more information with Congress than the administration, though Israel denies sharing any information that was classified:

The information in the briefings, Israeli officials said, was widely known among the countries participating in the negotiations.

When asked in February during one briefing where Israel got its inside information, the Israeli officials said their sources included the French and British governments, as well as their own intelligence, according to people there.

“Ambassador Dermer never shared confidential intelligence information with members of Congress,” Mr. Sagui said. “His briefings did not include specific details from the negotiations, including the length of the agreement or the number of centrifuges Iran would be able to keep.”

Current and former U.S. officials confirmed that the number and type of centrifuges cited in the briefings were part of the discussions. But they said the briefings were misleading because Israeli officials didn’t disclose concessions asked of Iran. Those included giving up stockpiles of nuclear material, as well as modifying the advanced centrifuges to slow output, these officials said.

The administration didn’t brief lawmakers on the centrifuge numbers and other details at the time because the information was classified and the details were still in flux, current and former U.S. officials said.

Now it’s all making sense. The Israelis saw Obama acting deceptively, hiding negotiations that would affect Israel’s existence, and giving away the store to the Iranians.

Netanyahu saw no choice but to go to Congress both through the Israeli ambassador and the speech to Congress, knowing that it would harm Israel with the administration.

This was not something done for election purposes.

The feelings in the Obama administration have gone beyond bitter:

“People feel personally sold out,” a senior administration official said. “That’s where the Israelis really better be careful because a lot of these people will not only be around for this administration but possibly the next one as well.” …

“If you’re wondering whether something serious has shifted here, the answer is yes,” a senior U.S. official said. “These things leave scars.”


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Yeah, God forbid the Israelis find out details through spying on Iran and share that information with America’s enemies, by which I mean congressional legislators…

    Estragon in reply to JBourque. | March 24, 2015 at 1:00 am

    While Israel no doubt has better spying on Iran than we do, anyone who involved four European governments in a negotiation and expected everything to stay secret is just nuts.

    There was plenty we didn’t tell our Allies in WWII, as well – for good reasons.

Maybe I can begin to understand how President Beneš and Prime Minister Milan Hodža of Czechoslovakia felt as their country was partitioned and negotiated off map to the Nazis. Israel’s future is mostly, at least in this Neville Chamberline moment, left to politicians who will have no life altering event should they fail… or in the case of the President of the US… if He doesn’t fail to win the hearts of the Iranian Regime. What are a few mushroom clouds over Tel Aviv or Haifa when the trade winds bring a cool flower scented air through the lanai of the retired BHO’s Hawaiian veranda?

    geoih in reply to alaskabob. | March 24, 2015 at 6:56 am

    In Hawaii, it’s called a lanai.

    davod in reply to alaskabob. | March 24, 2015 at 6:04 pm

    Caroline Glick outlines why we should be heartened to know that the current US negotiator with the Iranians is Wendy Sherman.

    “Sherman negotiated the US’s nuclear pact with North Korea in the 1990s. The North Koreans used the deal as a smokescreen behind which they developed nuclear weapons while receiving financial assistance from the US which paid off the regime for signing the deal.

    Once Pyongyang was ready to come out as a nuclear power, it threw out the nuclear inspectors, opened the sealed nuclear sites, vacated its signature on the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty and began testing nuclear bombs.

    Sherman is now the US’s chief negotiator in the P5+1 nuclear talks with Iran.”

legacyrepublican | March 23, 2015 at 11:48 pm

Obama, the Betrayer of Hope for Israel.

Well, Obama has treated Israel as an enemy for so long, I guess Bibi just took him at his word and started acting accordingly. Can’t say I blame him.

So…. the administration is pissed off that Israel told a co-equal branch of the US government what they were up to?

How long is it going to take us to get these thugs out of government?

Let’s see…

Barracula was formulating a plan to give Iran nukes, and remove legal sanctions illegally by some end-run around Congress.

The Israelis had good enough intel to know this.

The Israelis vouchsafed this information to Congress…and presumably others (think military)…without Barracula knowing.

Barracula is highly pissed his scheme is busted.

So, who’s our friend here, and who’s the enemy…???

    mariner in reply to Ragspierre. | March 24, 2015 at 12:28 am

    Rags, you could have condensed that post to:



    and it would still have been obvious which is America’s friend and which is its enemy.

    And this is simply obama’s secret plan for Israel, one of America’s former allies. As the months roll by we will see more of obama’s plans to destroy America.

*I* as a U.S. Citizen and patriot, am FURIOUS.

If it was up to me, this CRIMINAL would have been locked up in some off the books prison on a steady diet of bread and water and forgotten about for the next 30-50 years.

It is LONG past time that this fraudster got impeached, tarred, and feathered. Make that tar extra hot so “Uncle Joe” and the rest of the crooks get the message loud and clear.

This bastard just ticks me off more and more every day.

Doug Wright Old Grouchy | March 24, 2015 at 12:38 am

The only words I can think to say are not ones I want to say. Obama is going well beyond the pale and will the US even exist as we know it now by January 21, 2017? Obama’s own words were ignored by many prior to his election in 2008 and they have clearly defined what he is doing to the US.

WWII was considered to be an existential event, one we were destined to survive yet at a great cost in blood and treasure. Obama’s presidency is even much more of such an event and will the US survive his presidency as a Republic? I’m really beginning to doubt that but the effort must be made. That human cost is not yet even possible to be estimated!

Who says it’s easy to set off a nuke? Do few remember when north korea blew up seven miles of train track on a failed attempt years ago?

Right now iran is limited to scientists. (Where there was an explosion underground that took out men and machines.) Seems to get around underground the iranians use trains. (More trains than they have above ground!)

Don’t believe everything you read!

But ya know what? IF you’re reading about it … it’s a cover for what isn’t there! Iran just wants you spooked.

    9thDistrictNeighbor in reply to Carol Herman. | March 24, 2015 at 7:31 am

    This is naieve.

    Ragspierre in reply to Carol Herman. | March 24, 2015 at 2:02 pm

    That was remarkably stupid.

    India and Pakistan have working bombs, and not a few. Both developed them when they were in the depths of grinding poverty.

    Iran is quite a bit more capable of developing a serviceable bomb. Plus, there are LOTS of very talented scientists and technicians they can buy on the world market.

You know, today, McCain went in front of the cameras and said: “If the UN passes a resolution creating a palestinian state, then the US will defund the UN.

Maybe, diplomats are just stupid people? Maybe, they’re happy to get out of their countries and come to NYC. Where they don’t need language skills. Because the UN has a bevy full of translators. And, if Congress were to cut their budget, they’d have to move to cheaper real estate.

Well, John McCain did tell obama to get over his temper tantrum. Which will leave him “peanuts” for a legacy.

    Skookum in reply to Carol Herman. | March 24, 2015 at 3:10 am

    The Islamic Palestinian state already exists — it’s called Jordan.

    After the Gaza give-back debacle, Israel would be foolish to give back any further land. They should adopt the truth that Israel/Jordan was and is the two-state solution.

      BrendaK in reply to Skookum. | March 24, 2015 at 10:16 am

      Like every other nation in the ME, Jordan doesn’t want them either. If they were capable of self-governance, a Palestinian state would be an excellent idea (from a bit lopped off of Jordan, NOT Israel)…sadly, they are not.

        JusticeDelivered in reply to BrendaK. | March 24, 2015 at 12:15 pm

        Ops, I accidentally got the down vote when aiming for reply. As I recall, wasn’t Gaza and the West Bank supposed to be part of Israel? How about kicking everyone out of those two areas, drive then into Iran and let Iran take care of the problem.

      Cicero in reply to Skookum. | March 24, 2015 at 12:21 pm

      After the 1967 Six Day War, Jordan renounced its sovereignty over the west bank. The existence of all those refugees was complicating Jordanian politics. Since Jordan renounced its de jure sovereignty over the west bank, there is no legal sovereign in the west bank. Israel, the “occupying” power is the de facto sovereign over the west bank. As for an independent state in Palestine, other than modern Israel, there hasn’t been once since ancient Israel. The Romans/Byzantines ruled for centuries, then various much wider arab caliphates, then the Ottomans and the British mandate. Why should the Israelis create an armed, militant state bordering their narrow land mass and openly dedicated to wiping them out?

    “You know, today, McCain went in front of the cameras and said: “If the UN passes a resolution creating a palestinian state, then the US will defund the UN.”

    This something the UN does take note of, and it is something that the Congress can also use to tamp down the Obama administration’s actions in the UN.

    Of course, the huge omnibus spending bill which funded the government thru September probably includes the UN funding.

Obama has a track record of deception to get his way. This adds to it.

Pajama Boy is one-upped once again!

I love seeing Obama pwned!

    RITaxpayer in reply to snopercod. | March 24, 2015 at 7:53 am

    Whenever I read that Obama’s ‘furious’ or ‘outraged’ about anything, it brings a smile to my face. Maybe I really do hate our king.
    I hope he’s furious a lot more in the months that remain of his realm.

CaliforniaJimbo | March 24, 2015 at 7:55 am

There is talk about how difficult it is to create a nuclear bomb. Iran doesn’t have to create a supercritical mass for the mushroom cloud experience. All they need is enough fissionable material for a dirty bomb. Setting off one of those in a crowded Israeli marketplace will gain them the publicity they desire (and make parts of the country uninhabitable).
The regime in Iran is evil. They want to wipe Israel off the map. That should be enough to not negotiate with the mad mullah’s Overthrow them and let the Persian people reclaim their country sans islamic extremists (if there are any left…)

“The story is that Israel learned not only that Obama was hiding secret Iran nuclear negotiations from Israel”

I’m sorry, why are we supposed to tell a foreign government everything about our sensitive negotiations with another foreign government? In this day and age, the President is tasked with conducting foreign policy, including negotiations. Israel has no seat at our foreign policy table unless the President wishes it to have one. Congress also has no seat until the President wishes to make a treaty.

Israel can just wait until we announce the results of the negotiations like everyone else.

    BrendaK in reply to anoNY. | March 24, 2015 at 10:25 am

    And Israel has the right and obligation to monitor those treaty efforts in order to protect their own best interests. The rub here, apparently, is that Israel let our own Congress know what Obama was up to. I propose to you that our Congress rightfully should have oversight into these matters, and Obama was in the wrong for hiding the negotiation details from our Congress.

      Sammy Finkelman in reply to BrendaK. | March 24, 2015 at 4:48 pm

      To give them their due, they also complain that the Israelis didn’t have the quids and the quos matched up properly – that the Obama Administration’s negotiators weren’t or aren’t prepared to give up quite so much in sanctions relief as the Israelis were speculating for so much and so much a restriction on Iran’s nuclear program.

      But the Israelis were entitled to conclude that they might make more concessions to get a deal that the Iranians would accept and also that what they were more readily willing to accept was still terrible.

      And if what the Israelis were saying was wrong, they could tell that to Congress.

    SukieTawdry in reply to anoNY. | March 24, 2015 at 11:55 am

    Perhaps Israel was more concerned about its own survival than with diplomatic niceties. You might ask instead why the Obama administration would want to exclude Israel from “a seat at our foreign policy table” on a matter so vital to its interests.

    Ragspierre in reply to anoNY. | March 24, 2015 at 1:55 pm

    “Israel can just wait until we announce the results of the negotiations like everyone else.”

    Why? See, ya moron, Israel is like the pig contemplating the farmer’s breakfast with the hen.

    For the hen, there is a cost of one of her eggs.

    For the pig, its a total commitment. All in.

    Bibi is not Barracula’s punk, and he will not let his people face destruction.

    He heads a nation, and he did (IF he did) exactly what circumstances called on him to do.

    Suck it.

    Vascaino in reply to anoNY. | March 24, 2015 at 2:52 pm

    ” Israel can just wait until we announce the results of the negotiations like everyone else. ”

    I suppose that Israel did not see the negotiations in the same light as Obamacare; “it has to be passed before one can see what’s in it”!

inspectorudy | March 24, 2015 at 8:36 am

“It is one thing for the U.S. and Israel to spy on each other. It is another thing for Israel to steal U.S. secrets and play them back to U.S. legislators to undermine U.S. diplomacy,” said a senior U.S. official briefed on the matter.
Only someone in this insane administration could think that revealing the details to our own Congress would be treasonous! Where sis these people come from? They are certainly not American.

zombietimeshare | March 24, 2015 at 9:22 am

“Obama hid negotiations and details, from Israel and Congress.”

“The only people who don’t want to disclose the truth are people with something to hide.”
~~Barack Obama

Will the French and the Brits be next on oblahblah’s hit list for sharing info with Israel ? He is probably fantasizing about returning the Statue of Liberty as he did with Churchill’s bust…

““It is one thing for the U.S. and Israel to spy on each other. It is another thing for Israel to steal U.S. secrets and play them back to U.S. legislators to undermine U.S. diplomacy,” said a senior U.S. official briefed on the matter.”

I cackled like Hillary when I read that one. In what perverse universe do these people live?!

There’s nothing a double crosser hates worse than being double crossed.

The Wall Street Journal had the wrong headline. It should have read, “Obama Again Conceals from Congress”. The president acts as though foreign affairs is an exclusive power of the executive branch. Deals with foreign countries should be ratified as treaties but Obama knows he could never get ratification. So, he will make an executive deal. It will not be binding on the next president but will do great damage in the 22 months Obama has left. Where is the outrage though that this president was trying to hide what he is doing from congressional oversight? Israel did right in bringing this data to our Congress, a co-equal branch of the US government.

This makes me think of the movie “Class Action” with Gene Hackman and Mary Elizabeth Mastrantonio.

Mary E Mastrantonio (Bibi) find out there is deception about her company’s part in a trial, so enters evidence into court and through asking questions so that the Judge (Congress) discovers that Donald Moffat and Colin Friels (Obama) are lying to the Judge and Jury (Congress and the American people).

I think the WH needs to back off on this one. Israel has an outstanding intelligence structure and their field craft is known to be among the best of any nation on the planet. I’m sure the Israelis know the whereabouts and activities of many US agents, leaders, and VIPs. If the WH pushes this too far, I’m confident Israel could practically hand over a dozen or more CIA agents, maybe top military leaders stationed abroad, and who knows what or who else, within minutes to the Russians, to ISIS, and others.

Of course the question is, would they?

If the WH keeps pushing, then I’m guessing the answer is yes.

This whole situation is going to take a bad turn.

Henry Hawkins | March 24, 2015 at 7:20 pm

I heard that Obama offered to give Texas to Iran in exchange for a deal, any deal, hell, Iran can write the deal, just gimme a deal, I have GOT to have a deal on this, otherwise progressive-style diplomacy can never make war obsolete like I promised. F**k, this sh*t is HARD.