Fact Checking the Prisoner X Story

For those not following this story, Ben Zygier, an Israeli-Australian, who worked for the Mossad, turned traitor, was arrested and held anonymously as Prisoner X until he managed to commit suicide. Zygier reportedly attempted to sell the names of other agents to Dubai and was held in a cell with close monitoring, a table, a bed, a chair and a television set. He had access to a lawyer and his family knew where he were.

Naturally this isn’t going to prevent the media from throwing a fit anyway. Since Zygier was originally from Australia, much of the noise around this story is also taking place there. Bob Carr, the Foreign Affairs Minister in Australia, has turned into a rabidly hostile figure when it comes to anything involving Israel.

At the Herald Sun, the invaluable and often censored conservative journalist Andrew Bolt provides a timely fact check of the media hype.

Fact check: Zygier’s family was notified immediately on his arrest and hired a lawyer to defend him.  Israel also briefed Australian diplomats on Zygier’s arrest 10 months before his death and informed them of his alleged ‘’serious offences under Israeli national security legislation’’.

Fact check: ”Complete secrecy” is false, and “disappear them” an exaggeration. True, the public at large did not know of Zygier’s arrest. But his own family did, as did anyone they may have told, including lawyers.

Fact check: Another false allegation by implication.  Zygier had a lawyer, Avigdor Feldman, who met him in jail and was preparing a plea bargain.

Fact check: Zygier’s arrest may not have been raised with Carr, but his department had indeed been told.  Carr has since admitted “The Israeli government … advised the Australian government”.

The Mossad are certainly not saints. Like every intelligence service, they have their toxic aspects. And the Israeli prison system, like every other, has its issues. But there are no serious fact-based allegations being made. Merely hyped up noise being driven by Zygier’s supposed status as Prisoner X on the theory that where there are secrets, there is wrongdoing.

  • http://www.adinakutnicki.com AdinaK

    Look, this IS front page news in Israel, and the yammering from the talking heads (in Hebrew) is giving me a headache!
    Yet the upshot is that it shouldn't be front page news. The fact of the matter is that other interests are involved in bringing this to light, but they are chiefly to drag Israel into revealing state secrets. Foreign hands are ALL over this kerkuffle.
    Firstly, the MK's who "outed" this saga, during the Knesset, are from the far left and Arab parties. They work, night and day, to bring Israel down. Calling them a fifth column is to be generous.
    Moreover, we are dealing with an agent who turned, and this is very clear. The fact that he had a trial, and was then placed in the highest security, meant that his due process was upheld and he was found guilty, as charged.
    Mind you, the Supreme Court, notoriously far left and Arabist in bent – http://honenu.org/articles/justice-in-the-holy-la… – placed a gag order on this case,being that the threat his revelations posed to national security were exceedingly grave.
    Furthermore, it is a fact that he was part of a Marxist group called Shomer Ha'Tzair, a kibbutz movement which is decidedly socialist/Marxist. One has to wonder:what the hell was the Mossad thinking in recruiting someone with such a leftist bent? Clearly, THAT was an operational failure,
    In any case, the fact that he died in prison is a lot less noteworthy, than U.S. run (and other nations) "black ops prisons', where traitors/jihadists are spirited away, never to be heard from again.
    Alas, when it comes to Israel, the world goes into a tailspin, as does the internal left and Arabist parties, all for the "crime" of locking up "Prisoner X", and his dying under suspicious circumstances.
    Double, triple, quadruple standard….

    Adina Kutnicki, Israel – http://adinakutnicki.com/about/

  • http://www.adinakutnicki.com AdinaK

    Guess what? His treachery was so over the top, even the leftist, Arabist bent Supreme Court approved his incarceration (after he had his trial) as "Prisoner X". Mind you, the US runs black ops prisons all over the world (as do other nations) and no one says boo. But according to our internal fifth column (the leftist Mk's and their Arab counterparts) who blurted this onto front page news – how dare they compromise national security – have other priorities, as do other intelligence agencies.
    In any case, justice is decidedly on the side of leftists and Arabs in Israel, so his incarceration was more than necessary. His death is no loss either – http://honenu.org/articles/justice-in-the-holy-la
    His association with a Marxist kibbutz movement should have rendered him unfit for recruitment. THAT was an operational failure.
    Adina kutnicki, Israel http://adinakutnicki.com/about/

  • JacksonPearson

    Sounds like Israel have their Julian Assange leakers as well.