YNetNews By: Ronen Bergman
The reports about the US spying on the prime minister did not surprise Robert, a former American intelligence officer who was exposed to the most classified information on Israel; ‘Obama ordered to stop spying against friendly heads of state, but to continue spying on Netanyahu. We all understood what that meant,’ he says.
BERLIN – We met on Wednesday in a cafe in Berlin, near the Brandenburg Gate, where preparations were underway for the fireworks display on New Year’s Eve. I can’t reveal his real name, so in this story I will call him “Robert.” He’s a former senior official in the American intelligence community, and during his service he was exposed to highly classified material concerning Israel – the kind that originated from the deep intelligence cooperation between the intelligence agencies of both countries, and the kind that the United States obtained without Israel’s knowledge by using advanced spying measures.
I’ve known Robert for a few years, since he retired from his job, and have interviewed him for a new book on the history of the Mossad. In several of our meetings he hinted that the United States knows much more about Israel than we think it does, but refused to elaborate further. In our meeting this week, he finally agreed to get into the details.
“Throughout the years we’ve been wondering about what we perceived to be a kind of Israeli naiveté, or a certain kind of complacency, when discussing highly classified secrets on encrypted communication systems,” Robert says. “After all, the ISNU (Israeli Sigint National Unit, the nickname given to IDF Intelligence Unit 8200 by the American intelligence community – RB) managed to break so many measures considered safe by your enemies, that you should know that anything that could be decrypted. You’re a lot more vulnerable and transparent than you think.”