Sunday, February 28, 2010

Technology Has Made It Impossible To Conduct Assassinations In The Shadows

Some of the identity photographs of suspects in the killing of Mahmoud al Mabhouh released by the Dubai police on Wednesday. Agence France-Presse/Getty Images

A Perfectly Framed Assassination -- Wall Street Journal

Stepped-up surveillance technology may be tipping the scales in the cat-and-mouse game between spies and their targets. Robert Baer on the current state of spycraft.

It was a little after 9 p.m. when a Palestine Liberation Organization official stepped out of the elevator into the lobby of Paris's Le Meridien Montparnasse, a modern luxury hotel that caters to businessmen and well-heeled tourists. The PLO official was going to dinner with a friend, who was waiting by the front desk. As they pushed out the Meridien's front door, they both noticed a man on a divan looking intently at them. It was odd enough that at dinner they called a contact in the French police. The policeman advised the PLO official to go directly back to the hotel after dinner and stay put. The police would look into it in the morning.

Read more ....

My Comment: I am sure that many intelligence agencies will be spending a lot of time in understanding what went right ... and what went wrong .... in this assassination hit. Robert Baer gives some insight on what they are up against.


Solomon said...

I don't think that the Israeli's wanted to avoid being 'accused'. After reading your article I did a quick Google search and found this
I'm sure more advanced electronics are available and the issue with the phone calls---that is childishly stupid for an organization as reputable as the Mossad.

In the end I think they wanted their fingerprints all over this, much like the CIA did with the capture of the terrorist in Pakistan.

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It is Israel's fears, not a nuclear Iran, that we must tameIsraelis must resist Netanyahu's rhetoric. An attack on Iran will bring certain disaster, to forestall one that might never come

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Hey, let's go old school we'll get Bob Lazar a job as a technician at the site, he'll reveal all sorts of sensational secrets stored under the site George Knapp after he gets fired (maybe 'ol Bob will have a couple new degrees by now!). The Gene Huff will get involved... Hmmm, I guess not, we've already lived through that soap opera...

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Jim Fallows has once again done a service to humanity (or at least the slice of humanity that reads The Atlantic) by framing some of the key questions about the Iranian-Israeli conundrum. You should read his entire post before you read what I'm about to say. But in essence, Jim is asking a straightforward question: Are the odds of an Israeli strike on Iran's nuclear facilities lower today than they were a month ago? Jim points to various developments, including and especially the P5 + 1 talks between the major powers and Iran that have not yet borne fruit, but have not yet not borne fruit, either, as well as statements from various Israeli security leaders (and others) who have been critical of what they see as Benjamin Netanyahu's rush to unilateral military action

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Jim writes, "Please tell me that my 'war is not at hand' inference is correct. Or, if you can't in good conscience do that, please tell me how you read this recent news."

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1) These ex-security chiefs are saying what they are saying because they believe that Netanyahu (and the defense minister, Ehud Barak), are dead serious about a strike on Iran. There's no reason for them to come out the way hey have if they thought Netanyahu was bluffing. Whenever one of them launches a public attack on the current government, I assume (perhaps wrongly) that they have specific information, or at least a good sense, that Netanyahu and Barak have moved closer to a decision, and so are trying to stop them from advancing toward a strike. So, from a certain perspective, this should make you nervous.

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It doesn't matter that much what they say. Ehud Olmert is a disgraced ex-prime minister, who unlike Netanyahu, has taken Israel into controversial wars. As for the ex-security chiefs, think about this in the American context for a minute.

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