Guest Post by Mara Zebest
Snowden leaked documents known as the ‘Black Budget’ in which it suggests Israel is on the list of spy threats. That’s weird… you know who else thinks of Israel as a spy threat? … Islam.
That aside, this does appear to be a serious leak which weakens the U.S. It’s almost like Snowden is connected to someone rather far up the political chain who is feeding him the access to these documents.
TheHill reports the following:
The Obama administration views Israel as one of the top spying threats facing its intelligence services, leaked documents reveal.
A secret budget request obtained by The Washington Post from former NSA contractor Edward Snowden lumps Israel alongside U.S. foes Iran and Cuba as “key targets” for U.S. counterintelligence efforts. The document suggests Israel does not believe U.S. assurances that its interests are aligned with Israel’s on crucial issues such as Iran and peace talks with the Palestinians.
“To further safeguard our classified networks, we continue to strengthen insider threat detection capabilities across the Community,” reads the FY 2013 congressional budget justification for intelligence programs. “In addition, we are investing in target surveillance and offensive CI [counterintelligence] against key targets, such as China, Russia, Iran, Israel, Pakistan and Cuba.”
The White House and the Israeli Embassy did not respond to requests for comment. [...]
The issues of continued Israeli settlement construction and Obama’s strong interest in reaching a negotiated settlement to avoid a confrontation with Iran over its nuclear program, Pillar said, are two issues where U.S. and Israeli interests “certainly diverge,” he said. Spying, he said, could give Israel “warning indicators” before any public decisions, and enable the country to put its “political machine in action” and get the United States to reconsider.
“If I were in [Prime Minister Benjamin] Netanyahu’s shoes and had his perspective,” Pillar said, “I would spare no effort to try to collect every bit of intelligence I could, in secret as well as openly.” [...]
Read more here.
Additional ‘Black Budget’ information revealed by Snowden can be found in the WaPo article here.