X-Files? Arson Seen in Attack on Ex-Israeli Spy who Leaked Reagan’s October Surprise
I know this may read like a tin-foil hat X-Files alert and I usually don’t buy conspiracies if not for the fact it is by investigative reporter Robert Parry who broke many of the Iran-Contra stories for The Associated Press and Newsweek in the 1980s…..
Ready for a creepy crawly trip that may or may not be what is?
Arson Seen in Attack on Ex-Israeli Spy
December 3, 2012
Exclusive: Suspected arson destroyed the Montreal home of ex-Israeli intelligence officer Ari Ben-Menashe, who says he escaped through a rear door. It’s unclear if the fire was an assassination attempt to finally silence a man who has angered the Israeli government, powerful Republicans and others, writes Robert Parry.
By Robert Parry
Ex-Israeli intelligence officer Ari Ben-Menashe says he narrowly survived a possible assassination attempt Sunday night when his upscale home in Montreal was set ablaze in what Canadian authorities are describing as suspected arson. Police cited how quickly the house was ravaged and noted that a suspicious person was seen fleeing the scene shortly after the fire began.
Ben-Menashe said he believed the fire was set with ‘a Molotov cocktail’ but he had no clear idea who might have tried to kill him. He did acknowledge that he has a number of enemies around the world resulting from his past as an Israeli intelligence officer and his more recent work as an international consultant often working in global hotspots.
Among Ben-Menashe’s enemies are some of his former Israeli superiors who consider him a traitor for exposing senstive Israeli secrets and powerful Republicans, including former President George H.W. Bush whom Ben-Menashe fingered as involved in national security scandals in the 1980s.
Ben-Menashe, who served in Israeli military intelligence in the 1970s and 1980s, was arrested in the United States in 1989 for his involvement in military sales to Iran. He says the Israeli government then urged him to plead guilty to the U.S. charges, but he refused and began disclosing Israeli secrets to journalists, including me in early 1990 when I was a correspondent for Newsweek magazine.
At first, the Israeli government denounced Ben-Menashe as an ‘impostor’ but after I obtained official Israeli letters of reference describing his decade-long work within the External Relations Department of the Israel Defence Forces, Israeli officials changed their story. They labeled him simply ‘a low-level translator.’ But the letters described Ben-Menashe’s service in ‘key positions’ and said he handled ‘complex and sensitive assignments.’
Despite the evidence that Israeli officials had first lied and then retreated to a new cover story, the Bush administration and the Israeli government managed to galvanize friendly journalists who went out of their way to discredit Ben-Menashe as a compulsive liar. [For details about one of the key denouncers of Ben-Menashe, see consortiumnews.com’s ‘Unmasking October Surprise ‘Debunker”.]
However, Ben-Menashe convinced a New York jury that he indeed had been working on official Israeli business in his transactions with Iran. He was acquitted in fall 1990. Ben-Menashe also continued to give interviews and provide testimony about the secret dealings involving Republicans and the Israeli government.
October Surprise Allegations
Perhaps Ben-Menashe’s most controversial claim was that he and other Israeli intelligence officers assisted the Republicans in brokering a deal with Iran’s Islamic regime of Ayatollah Ruhollah Khomeini in 1980 to hold 52 American hostages until after the U.S. election to ensure President Jimmy Carter’s defeat. As a result of this so-called October Surprise caper, the hostages were not released until Jan. 20, 1981, immediately after Ronald Reagan was sworn in as U.S. President, Ben-Menashe said.
After leveling his October Surprise accusations in 1990-1991 – and providing investigative journalist Seymour Hersh information about Israel’s nuclear program for his book The Samson Option – Ben-Menashe was essentially a man on the run from both the Israeli government and the U.S. administration of George H.W. Bush.