back to article Spookception: US spied on Israel spying on US-Iran nuke talks

Israel spied on the recent US-Iran nuclear talks, alleges America. And the US knows enough about it to say it publicly because the NSA is spying on Israel, along with everyone else. The Wall Street Journal reports that Israel handed over confidential information from the negotiations to friendly members of the US Congress in a …

  1. Anonymous Coward
    Mushroom

    Pot...kettle...etc...

    So it's only OK when the US does this to another country ?

    1. Dan Paul

      Re: Pot...kettle...etc...

      According to Obama it is. One rule for the US Government and another rule for the rest of the world. And you wonder why he's so well liked.

      1. Tom 13

        Re: Pot...kettle...etc...

        I wouldn't even say it's "one rule for the US Government as far as The Big 0 is concerned. It's one rule for HIS appointees and a different set for everybody else, especially elected Republicans.

    2. ratfox

      Re: Pot...kettle...etc...

      I suspect they still accept it better when it is done by professionals from other countries, instead of amateurs who're just gonna leak their secrets.

    3. FuzzyTheBear Silver badge

      Re: Pot...kettle...etc...

      The big big big difference here is for a foreign power to forward their intel to political personnel in a foreign country to derail the internal politics of a country. This type of interference is totally unwelcomed anywhere in the world and what's surprising is that the senators did not immediately pick the phone and call in the President to inform him of this affairs. Interference of this type should have led to a total break in diplomatic relations and an immediate suspension of all aid to Israel . But the USA is a weak country and not a leader anymore. They are dying a slow death furthered by the republicans actions. Too bad , the USA used to be a place to look up to , now laughing stock of the world.

      1. Tom Womack

        Re: Pot...kettle...etc...

        That's one of the main points of espionage.

        If the Ruritanians have learned something that would be of great interest to the Potslavian opposition, and that would derail Potslavian plans in a way to the advantage of the Ruritanians were the opposition to learn it, of course they should inform the Potslavian opposition - you can't do this directly, but you might well be able toinform the Wallachian allies of the Potslavian opposition, who would cause the Potslavians to know the information through a reasonably deniable conduit.

        That's exactly how diplomacy is supposed to work! Derailing the internal politics of other countries in ways that cause advantage to your own is what foreign offices are *for*.

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  3. Dan Paul

    Wall Street Journal links

    It's kind of useless to keep linking to the Wall Street Journal paywall. At least warn that there is no content unless you have subscribed.

    1. elDog

      Re: Wall Street Journal links

      And frequently there is no relevant content even if you've climbed over the paywall. Another Murdoch mouthpiece, altho there are still a few independent voices.

  4. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Finally something that everyone in the Middle East can agree on!

    "It wasn't us"

  5. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Let them go.

    The sooner the West cuts the ties with Israel the better. They seemingly like to conduct themselves as a proxy between the Western world and the middle East, but they really just start shit with everyone. If they stood on their own, truly on their own, they'd just come crawling back crying how they need the West to help regain their holy city...again. Don't mistake my words for hatred of Jews, it's the Israele government that is my problem. Their government is no better than mine (USA), they just present themselves as holier than thou, or really holier than all.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Let them go.

      Yes, let's jettison Israel and go with Iran. They have a much better track record for democracy, human rights, all that stuff. And we can certainly rest easy when Iran gets the bomb. Should "balance" Israel's might nicely, what?

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: Let them go.

        You added you're own touch to it, I like that. Speaking of Iran, for the last few decades we've been trying to get Iran "in", but it has been a struggle. Of course, what happens if we do, rainbows or just more spy vs. spy? I think an anti-trust membership card comes with the Western worlds "in" club today, and that club is already too big, maybe it's time we kick some out. To state the obvious, revocations have happened before and will happen again.

  6. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Isn't there a grand treason there somewhere?

    FFS, there is a grand treason in this somewhere.

    Failing that, at the very least there is a violation of quite a few laws regarding access and handling of classified documents.

    1. Someone Else Silver badge
      Devil

      Re: Isn't there a grand treason there somewhere?

      Here's an idea to get the Loretta Lynch nomination to sail through the Senate: Have Eric Holder start making loud and repeated noises about "investigating" the Congresscritters that received this information, that "subpoenas" will be issued, which could lead to "criminal charges" for violating "Federal statutes", and so on. Then, he'll need to file a few papers of various sorts.

      I guarantee you, Lynch will be confirmed by the weekend.

      1. Tom 13

        Re: Here's an idea to get the Loretta Lynch nomination

        Oh, please, please please let the damn fool take your advice.

        Such action is about the ONLY thing I can think of that would actually get those lazy bastages off their incompetent butts and impeach, convict, and remove the SoB the way they should have after Fast and Furious, or the IRS scandal, or his incitement to riot in Ferguson, or Benghazi.

        1. Someone Else Silver badge
          WTF?

          Re: Here's an idea to get the Loretta Lynch nomination

          Oh, please, please please let the damn fool take your advice.

          Such action is about the ONLY thing I can think of that would actually get those lazy bastages off their incompetent butts and impeach, convict, and remove the SoB the way they should have after Fast and Furious, or the IRS scandal, or his incitement to riot in Ferguson, or Benghazi.

          Geez, Tom! Even for you, this is a new nadir of incoherent and incompetent blather. It'd be instructive (and amusing) to see the Gordian knot you'll tie yourself into trying to explain how investigating the #47Traitors would have anything to do with impeaching...anyone. But go for it! I need a chuckle.

    2. Tom 13

      Re: Isn't there a grand treason there somewhere?

      Actually, there is no violation of the law for handling classified documents, even if you assume the reports from the liars in the WH are true.

      If you assume Israel was spying on the US negotiations, Israel developed the information on their own. No violation of handling the documents. Since Israel controls the classification and disclosure of their intel, it was not illegal for them to reveal the information to anyone they choose, including John Boehner. Assuming Boehner saw the Israeli documents, since they weren't US documents, he didn't mishandle US documents. That's before we get to any sitting legislator being exempt from the law. No, really they are: They shall in all Cases, except Treason, Felony and Breach of the Peace, be privileged from Arrest during their Attendance at the Session of their respective Houses... Yes, there is an exception for felonies, but the courts have held that as the ability of the President to press such charges interferes with the legislative process, all such charges must go through the a committee designated in the appropriate chamber. Given the overview authority Congress has on the Executive Branch, any charges that receiving such documents is tantamount to Treason wouldn't get very far in court.

      1. Someone Else Silver badge
        Boffin

        Re: Isn't there a grand treason there somewhere?

        Actually, there is no violation of the law for handling classified documents, even if you assume the reports from the liars in the WH are true.

        Your snot-nosed assertion aside, there actually is a law (actually, several) regarding taking possession of classified documents, and dissemination classified information. You'd know this if you actually knew anything about classified information, but since your clearance level is dumber-than-soup, they probably didn't cover that in your briefing.

  7. Harry the Bastard

    one day

    the the usa will wake up to the fact that it's really not in their best interests (nor the rest of the world's for that matter) for the usa to be at the beck and call of israel's rightwing nutters

    1. Someone Else Silver badge
      Megaphone

      Re: one day

      "From your mouth to God's ear."

  8. Crazy Operations Guy

    So only Israel is allowed to have Nukes?

    Even if Iran does build nukes, they aren't going to use them, they aren't stupid enough to risk the US's response just to wipe out Israel, which would turn the entire country into vapor and the land to glass. But I tend to believe that Iran is intending to use its nuclear program to build power reactors for the simple reason that doing such would free up more oil for export and thus more money in their coffers (which, at the very worst, means they have the money to wipe out Israel with conventional weapons which reduces the risk of everyone dying horribly in atomic fire)

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: So only Israel is allowed to have Nukes?

      "..they aren't stupid enough to risk the US's response just to wipe out Israel.."

      ..they aren't stupid enough to worry about Obama's response when they nuke Israel..

      There, fixed it for you.

    2. Mark 85 Silver badge

      Re: So only Israel is allowed to have Nukes?

      You make an interesting point. As I understood it from years ago, Iran has no refining capability. I'm not sure why, but all their fuel has to be imported. I'll have to research and find out if that is still true. If so, it explains nukes and power plants.

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: So only Israel is allowed to have Nukes?

        "If so, it explains nukes and power plants."

        Not really. Building nuke power plants doesn't help you with a petrol/gas shortage, and if electricity shortages are a problem then they could easily sort that out by building a few CCGT power plants (and if the Iranians would give up on nuclear power the US would certainly lift sanctions on conventional power plants.

        Make no mistake about it, the Iranian interest in nuclear is about weapons. But if you were the Iranians, and had an unconstrained, aggressive regional power (Israel) waving nuclear weapons at you, and the US arming your opponents, what would you be doing? They're also thinking that Pakistan have the bomb, India have the bomb, the Norks have the bomb. They know enemies like Saudi are busy with nuclear power programmes (whilst denying weapons ambitions) as are intermediate regional players like Egypt and Jordan. And unfortunately the US has persistently taught the world a vital lesson about carrying a big stick. Another lesson the US taught the world was that Saddam and Gaddafi were deposed because they didn't have WMD, not because they did, lies to the contrary not withstanding in the Iraqi case.

        Ignore the fact that you probably don't like the Iranian government, imagine you are the Iranian president, consider the threats and challenges to your power, consider the fact that the US are continuously pouring billions of dollars in advanced conventional weapons into the hands of your enemies, and ask why you'd consider putting aside your nuclear weapon ambitions for one moment?

        Petrol and electricity generation really have nothing to do with it at all.

    3. Anonymous Coward
      Mushroom

      Re: So only Israel is allowed to have Nukes?

      @ Crazy Operations Guy

      I doubt Israel is going to take any comfort in the idea that after Iran destroys them, the U.S. will (or may) destroy Iran. Given the obvious sensitivity of Jews to potential genocide, the big worry is that Israel will go on hair trigger and help provoke a nuclear war, or react to an attack by Iran by nuking Iran, plus every Arab nation for 1000 miles in all directions.

  9. Someone Else Silver badge
    Big Brother

    Spying is all part of the grand game but what seems to have particularly narked the American [sic] is the use of stolen intelligence to brief Congress in a bid to sabotage the ongoing talks.

    And nobody receiving this classified information reported it, in clear violation of the law. Of course, we all know that the "law" doesn't apply to oligarchs and plutocrats.

    Seems like maybe the number in that hash-tag was vastly under-counted....

  10. Anonymous Coward
    Joke

    Let's see if I've got this right...

    Snoops, snooping on known snoopers got snooped by the snoopers

  11. Mark 85 Silver badge
    Unhappy

    I'm just disgusted

    While I am conservative, I'm disgusted beyond belief by the CongressCritters and the games being played by the spymasters to manipulate the CongressCritters. There's layers upon layers of games and powerplays being done in our (the citizens) name that do nothing except degrade us. The concept of "statesman" went out the window many years ago by these clowns who still use the term and have no concept of the meaning. Politicos.... bah!!!!!!!!!

    1. Tom 13

      Re: I'm just disgusted

      You shouldn't lie like that. Conservatives everywhere would expect, and in this particular case applaud the Israeli's for taking the alleged action. The Big 0 has made it clear that he will not facilitate the Constitutionally mandated oversight of treaties. So Congress needs to avail itself of whatever means it can to obtain the appropriate information.

  12. boba1l0s2k9

    False flag

    Another day, another counterintelligence program.

  13. GSystems

    Awe....

    These guys are having so much fun wit their toys...

  14. T. F. M. Reader Silver badge

    I am sure everyone spies

    I don't even mind it, as long as the spying is for a country's security and/or political (von Clausewitz, etc.) needs and not mass surveillance of the country's own citizens or of foreigners. There are at least 7 parties to the Iran nuclear talks, and all of them are legitimate targets for spy agencies everywhere, including Israelis, Saudis, Turks, you name it.

    In this case something on the surface smells inconsistent. If I recall correctly, Obama promised, on numerous occasions, that Israel would be continuously and thoroughly updated on the ongoing Iran nuclear talks (I can't be a***d to Google the precise quotes, but it was quite unequivocal). By alleging that the Israelis obtained information about the talks that they should not have had, aren't the Americans admitting that the President has broken his very public promise?

    Yes, yes, realpolitik, yada-yada. We are all adults here. Not so sure about the White House though - they seem to behave like little kids sometimes. Diplomatically, it seems a serious blunder on their part. Someone else called it a tantrum, and, frankly, it does look like it. But maybe they are not concerned - someone may notice, so what? Just like spying...

  15. Paul Crawford Silver badge

    France?

    "...biggest threats outside of Russia, China and France."

    When and how did France become a major threat to the USA?

    Did they threaten to take away their French fries? Shrug and set about cooking good food in a sophisticated plot to topple McDonalds?

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: France?

      "When and how did France become a major threat to the USA?"

      Simply by being French. The UK and other Anglophone countries are poodles for the Yanks. You've covered off China and Russia. The Germans and Japanese are quite introverted in foreign policy, which leaves France strutting its stuff on the international stage. From a US point of view, the threat isn't necessarily military, it is anything that might challenge their hegemony, which they believe to be a natural and enduring position, as of right.

      1. Tom 13

        Re: they believe to be a natural and enduring position, as of right.

        Not quite. It is necessary that it being an enduring position. Because every time we've tried to step back from it, you louts have f*cked it up. After you've f*cked it up, we've had to come in with OUR military and clean up YOUR mess at the cost of hundreds of thousands dead with twice or treble that number wounded.

        You want us to back off? Prove you're up to the job. Frankly, we don't WANT the job. But nobody else seems capable of doing it.

        1. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          Re: they believe to be a natural and enduring position, as of right.

          most amusing, not terribly historically accurate but most amusing. I always think Philip K Dick's Man in the High Castle had it right about what would have happend to the USof A but thats fiction much like your rant.

          Heres for troll feeding - dont want them going hungry do we?

    2. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: France?

      Because they're the only ones (and the UK, but that doesn't count since it's an ally) who have ballistic nuclear missiles on submarines (India is also getting there)

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