Published on Spiegel Online International, by Ronen Bergman and Juliane von Mittelstaedt, November 8, 2011.
… Growing Speculation:
The ongoing debate in Israel over whether to launch an attack is more open than it ever has been. This debate cannot be part of a bluff because it doesn’t help the prime minister when the general public suddenly wants to have a say in such matters. Of course, journalists have always speculated on an attack, but now politicians, military leaders and intelligence officials are also joining in the chorus of people issuing public warnings.
Israeli Interior Minister Eli Yishai said this operation is keeping him awake at night — though he retracted the statement the next day. The Israeli daily Yedioth Ahronoth published a story under the headline “Atomic Pressure.” The first sentence suggestively asked: “Have the prime minister and the defense minister decided among themselves to attack Iran’s nuclear facilities?”
A Sudden, Terrifying Warning:
Indeed, that is the key question. And the answer could lie with Meir Dagan, the man who moved this debate from the backrooms of the intelligence agencies and into the public limelight.
For over eight years, Dagan was Israel’s most tight-lipped man — the top-ranking spook at the Mossad, where he was known as “the man with the knife between his teeth.” His special expertise is the “separation of an Arab from his head,” then-Prime Minister Ariel Sharon is reported to have said around the time he appointed Dagan to run the Mossad. But since Jan. 6, 2011, Dagan has been speaking openly.
On his last day in office, Dagan invited Israeli journalists for the first time ever to the Mossad’s headquarters, which has no official address and is not marked on any map. Then he announced that the Iranians would develop a nuclear bomb by the middle of the decade, at the earliest, but only if nothing and no one got in their way. He said it would take an additional three years before Iran developed a nuclear warhead. That would roughly put it in 2018, a date that would seem to make any attack now senseless.
Even if Israel attacked immediately, Dagan argued, it wouldn’t halt Iran’s nuclear program. On the contrary, the Iranians would be more motivated than ever to arm themselves and pursue a military course, while Israel would undoubtedly “pay a terrible, unbearable price.” He said that Iran and Syria, along with Hamas and Hezbollah, the terror militias they financially back, would rain missiles on the country from north to south, killing thousands. “How can we defend ourselves against such an attack?” Dagan asked, adding: “I have no answer to that.”
A Public Warning:
Israel’s top military censor sat next to Dagan, and when the presentation was over, the official told the journalists that they weren’t allowed to publish anything they’d heard. This time it wasn’t the Mossad chief who had to be protected from the public. Instead, it was the public that had to be protected from the Mossad chief … (full long text).
Mexiko: Netzaktivisten wollen korrupte Beamte outen, Christian Stöcker, 10. November 2011: In einem neuen drastischen Video prangert Anonymous Korruption und Gewalt in Mexiko an. Man werde jetzt Gegenmaßnahmen ergreifen, kündigt die Netzbewegung an. Offenbar haben die Aktivisten einen Trumpf in der Hand: Zehntausende abgefangene E-Mails aus Behörden …