This isn’t a surprise. The only surprise is that Obama’s people chose to further escalate his conflict with Israel by planting this now in the Wall Street Journal.
The WSJ/White House piece claims to contain assorted unpublished details about Israeli operations and plans for targeting Iran, past and present. It’s a rather clearly hostile act by a hostile administration.
While the piece contains some interesting details, it is very clearly Obama’s spin on the story containing plenty of misrepresentations, e.g. Obama ever being serious about Iran, and attacks on Israel, and you can’t trust much of the content which reads in places like a Seymour Hersch fantasy complete with an Israeli commando raid on an Iranian nuclear reactor.
The U.S. closely monitored Israel’s military bases and eavesdropped on secret communications in 2012, fearing its longtime ally might try to carry out a strike on Fordow, Iran’s most heavily fortified nuclear facility.
Nerves frayed at the White House after senior officials learned Israeli aircraft had flown in and out of Iran in what some believed was a dry run for a commando raid on the site. Worried that Israel might ignite a regional war, the White House sent a second aircraft carrier to the region and readied attack aircraft, a senior U.S. official said, “in case all hell broke loose.”
Some have speculated that the aircraft would have been used to intercept an Israeli attack, but the WSJ obviously doesn’t say that. Nor would it be expected to as its story is purely White House spin.
This story is Obama’s story. So I’ll strip out the assorted White House narratives on how terrible and silly Netanyahu and Israel are to focus on the spying.
Mossad leaders compared the covert campaign to a 10-floor building: The higher the floor, they said, the more invasive the operation. CIA and Mossad worked together on operations on the lower floors. But the Americans made clear they had no interest in moving higher—Israeli proposals to bring down Iran’s financial system, for example, or even its regime
Not surprising, as Obama was supportive of the regime. But Obama kept spying on the Israelis in order to protect Iran and its nuclear program.
In early 2012, U.S. spy agencies told the White House about a flurry of meetings that Mr. Netanyahu convened with top security advisers. The meetings covered everything from mission logistics to the political implications of a military strike, Israeli officials said…
U.S. spy agencies stepped up satellite surveillance of Israeli aircraft movements. They detected when Israeli pilots were put on alert and identified moonless nights, which would give the Israelis better cover for an attack. They watched the Israelis practice strike missions and learned they were probing Iran’s air defenses, looking for ways to fly in undetected, U.S. officials said.
If only Obama had put in as much effort into spying on America’s enemies as he did on its allies.
U.S. spy agencies were monitoring Israeli communications to see if the Israelis had caught wind of the secret talks..
As talks began in 2014 on a final accord, U.S. intelligence agencies alerted White House officials that Israelis were spying on the negotiations. Israel denied any espionage against the U.S. Israeli officials said they could learn details, in part, by spying on Iran, an explanation U.S. officials didn’t believe.
This was a big story back then, though it turns out that Obama was spying on Israel.
Now obviously allies do spy on each other, the trouble was that Obama was spying on an ally in support of an enemy. And that’s the bottom line here.