REAL NEWS

REAL NEWS
UNCENSORED NEWS

Thursday, August 28, 2014

WILL THEY PRIVATIZE THE IRA ?


Using false-flag terror, 

they are,


reshaping our world, our country,


into a global gulag. A nation-less,


lawless contrivance, run by their


corporations, using privatized 

armies and police, drug running, 


privatize fiat banking, space-based 


weaponry, missile shield, drones, 


HAARP, wars of pillage, control of 


our food, its distribution and 


corporate media brainwashing, to 


force us all into slavery.




10 Frightening Facts About Private Military Companies

PAULI POISUO 
Private military companies are essentially armies that are controlled by no one but their shareholders and whoever pays them the most. They’re not about to go anywhere, either—on the contrary, as capitalism marches on, there are more and more of these private armies running around the globe.
Let’s take a look at what they do.

10Discount Soldiers

137216301

The thing about private military companies is that (like any other company) they can come from literally anywhere. Defion Internacional, for instance, hails from Peru, South America. This may not seem like the most obvious place for a frightening private army—that is, until you realize that Peru suffered a 20-year internal conflict that ended as recently as 2000 and is still trying to pick up the pieces.
The country is full of men who grew up in a state of constant conflict, and are now struggling to support their families in a poor economy. As such, Defion Internacional has been able to hire their personnel with as little as US$1000 per month. Of course, these men think it is a fairly good salary for them, as typical monthly wages in Peru (if they manage to get work) is only around $200 a month.
Defion Internacional specializes in dangerous security assignments in the Middle East, but also has other lines of business such as food and medical services, English teaching, and (most frighteningly) insurance. The company has been given missions in Iraq by the US Department of State, meaning that these underpaid Peruvians have actually worked with the US Military. They have also worked for a larger US private military company called Triple Canopy Inc., although these days the latter prefers to do their own hiring in Peru. Hey, speaking of Triple Canopy . . .

9A Private Army Guards US Officials Abroad

Triple-Canopy-Security-Guards
Triple Canopy, like Defion Internacional, is known to employ discount South American soldiers. However, that’s just a small fraction of their business. Founded by ex-members of the US Army Special Forces, Triple Canopy is a mercenary force that works mainly for the US government in Iraq. Their employees include former Navy SEALs, Rangers, Special Operations personnel and police officers.
Although it specializes in security and escort operations, Triple Canopy has been responsible for some of the toughest missions a mercenary company can undertake. After Saddam Hussein’s fall, the company found employment in Iraq, guarding and escorting US officials and performing other high-risk duties. As a company that works closely with the military, some have dubbed them the “other army” of the United States.

8Rise Of The German Mercenaries

Darman
For years, Germans (who for obvious reasons have tried to lead a conflict-free life since World War II) scoffed at the American private militaries that were causing trouble all over the world’s conflict zones. In 2007, they received some troubling news of their own: A former German officer called Thomas Kaltegärtner had founded a mercenary company of his own.
Kaltegärtner’s company, Asgaard German, then went on to cause further gray hairs to German politicians by signing a deal to provide security services for Galadid Abdinur Ahmad Darman, the President of Somalia. Apparently, their mission is no less than restoring security in the war-ravaged area.
This may not sound like such a bad thing, except for one thing: Darman happens to be a self-appointed president—one of many Somali warlords who’ve claimed that title and refuse to recognize the authority of the official, United Nations-appointed transition government of the country. One can only imagine what “security services” for such a person might entail, and how he is planning to “restore peace in the area.”
And now he has a bunch of highly trained German soldiers to help him.

7Image Issues

book
These days, private military companies are very keen on maintaining a positive, professional reputation. After all, the Information Age has made sure that every single gaffe companies make eventually finds its way to the eyes of the world. A prime example of this new, shiny veneer is Sandline International, the now-defunct British company closely associated with Aegis Defence, whose mercenaries saw action in war-torn Sierra Leone and Papua New Guinea, among other places.
Sandline had an advisor and public spokesman called Michael Grunberg, who smilingly fed the media the same kind of corporate buzzword talk that a tech company CEO might sprout: According to Grunberg, his company and its horde of privately paid soldiers are “established entities, have established sets of principles and employ professional people.” Sandline also handled bad publicity just as awkwardly as any other company: For instance, when a book that criticized the company came out (Mercenaries: An African Security Dilemmathey responded by publishing a massive list of flaws in the writing, nitpicking the book’s details to death without really responding to any of the more serious accusations.

6Academi

blw
Academi is probably the most harmless-sounding name on this list, but don’t be fooled: The company is actually none other than the infamous Blackwater. The company’s history of atrocities runs so far and deep that there are entire websites solely dedicated to listing their various shady activities: For a while, they were even involved in a CIA death squad.”
The name “Academi,” which has been in use since 2011, marks the second time the company has attempted to whitewash its name in five years. It’s first name change was to “XE Services,” which lasted only two years, until yet another “corporate restructuring” took place. So far, this strategy seems to work for them, as their new name is yet to be too tarnished. Then again, judging by the fact that they have already been forced to admit to at least 17federal criminal charges and pay millions of dollars in fines, it seems like it’s just a matter of time before they have to come up with an even less threatening name. Though with their reputation at this point, there probably is no name that could soften their public image.

5Executive Outcomes

159201991
In the other end of the sliding scale of terrifying private militaries, we haveExecutive Outcomes, known to their friends as EO (if they have any). This South African company has been sighted in most African war zones, where it is said to hold high influence. Executive Outcomes mercenaries have been seen in Sierra Leone, Angola, Uganda, Botswana, Zambia, Ethiopia, Namibia, Lesotho and, of course, South Africa. Although they officially state their only mission is bringing peace, they have been suspected of several shady activities ranging from Sierra Leone-based oil company shenanigans todiamond dealings with the jewel giant De Beers.
The company is notorious for targeting the client country’s mineral-rich regions, often regaining and securing control of gold, oil and diamond regions before paying attention to other matters. Some whisper they don’t always get around to returning these possessions to the country. Executive Outcomes is said to own gold mines in Uganda, oil drilling facilities in Ethiopia and a variety of other peacetime business ventures in the other countries it has fought for.

4The Case Of Jamie Leigh Jones

gty_jamie_leigh_jones_nt_110929_wg
In 2007, Jamie Leigh Jones, an employee of private military contractor Halliburton/KBR, claimed she was gang-raped by several of her co-workers. This traumatic experience was just the beginning of her struggles with the private military company. Her employer then decided to cover up the incident by locking her in a shipping container with no food or water for 24 hours. This was followed with a warning: They’d immediately fire her if she left Iraq to seek medical treatment.
Unsurprisingly, Jones sued. However, the court proceedings proved problematic. KBR’s employee contract stipulated that Jones’s claims be heard without jury, judge, public record, or transcripts, which made it extremely difficult to prove whether or not anything had happened. Finally, after 15 months of much-publicized fighting, Jones was allowed to take KBR to court. When the case finally came to trial in 2011, KBR wheeled out evidence that had been completely ignored by the media. Jones had a history of manipulation and lying and had wildly changed her story multiple times. One of these changes included the claim that her pectoral muscle had been torn and her chest had been injured to the point of disfigurement, but she “could not produce a single witness from Iraq” who could confirm that she’d even claimed to have a chest injury. In fact, her flight out of Iraq required her to put on a very heavy bulletproof jacket, which doctors pointed out would have been literally impossible with the specific injuries she claimed to have. She eventually lost the case, despite maintaining to the end that her story was true.
Although we may never find out for sure what exactly happened to Jones and how it was initially dealt with by the company, it did bring to light KBR’s unethical employment contract, which banned employees from pressing sexual assault charges in court. Since the incident, the US governmentpassed an amendment to the Defense Appropriations bill, which prevented the government from dealing with companies who have that clause in their employment contracts, and so KBR was forced to change it.

3Trophy Videos


In 2005, a “trophy video” featuring presumably Scottish or Irish menrandomly shooting Iraqi civilians was uploaded on a site that was unofficially affiliated with Aegis Defence Services—a private military company that incidentally employs both Scots and Irishmen. The incident caused considerable outcry in news media all over the world, and sparked dialogue about the state of Iraqi defense. At that point, over 25,000 private security contractors were stationed in the country. They were widely hated and had a reputation for abusing and even killing civilians at the slightest provocation. None of them had ever been brought to law, because the local law enforcement had been specifically forbidden to prosecute them.
Despite video footage, this case was not an exception. Upon carefully reviewing the available material, US Army’s Criminal Investigation Division eventually concluded that they are not going to press charges. Meanwhile, Aegis Defence is keeping its own internal investigations carefully under wraps. None of the incident’s investigative files have been released to the public.

2The Founder, David Stirling

stirling
Although mercenary armies have been around more or less since war was invented, the creation of the modern private military company is usually attributed to Colonel David Stirling. Stirling was a Scottish Laird and a skillful military man to the very core: Even before he started dabbling in the mercenary business, he had created a little something called the SAS, which you may know as one of the most elite special force units in the world.
After Stirling left the army following World War II, he moved to Africa and founded Capricorn Africa, a society for promoting racial harmony. However, destiny had chosen another path for him. Before long, he was running Watchguard International Ltd., a commercial company that helped train security units for several Arab and African countries. Watchguard, established in the 1960s, is usually attributed as the first modern private military company.

1Sex Trafficking

bosnia
DynCorp is one of the most powerful private military companies in the world, with most of its several-billion dollar revenue coming directly from the US government. Sadly, allegations have been made that the company’s code of conduct leaves something to be desired—to say the least.
In the late 1990s, two whistleblowers (independently from each other) came forward and alleged that DynCorp employees stationed in Bosnia were routinely abusing civilians. According to their accusations, DynCorp people engaged in sex with minors, and had even sold civilians to each other as slaves.
The company immediately reacted to the terrifying news . . . by firing both of the whistleblowers. One of them in particular, Kathryn Bolkovac, had already been facing severe difficulties before the firing: Despite the fact that she had uncovered a network of brothels and bars at which kidnapped women were forced to entertain peacekeepers, her attempts to report the issue through the chain of command were constantly sabotaged and people even threatened her life.
However, Kathryn persevered. She, along with the other whistleblower, took DynCorp to court. The company lost both cases, and the antics of its employees were revealed to the world so hard that Hollywood even made amajor motion picture out of Bolkovac’s story.

+Sharp End International

147258862
Despite living in a continent that is mainly made of deadly spiders (or maybe because of it), Australians have an uncanny ability to bring their own peculiar sense of humor in almost any situation. Private military business is no different: With its joking name that is in sharp contrast with its no-nonsense webpage, it’s no surprise that Sharp End International hails from Australia. Another clue is that they actually have a Facebook fan page.
Sharp End is a relatively tiny company, as private military hordes go. This is because it’s a highly specialized organization: A private military force thattrains other military forces. Its special operatives are experts at providing training for government and corporate troops, which means that they actually show other private militaries how things are done. This makes them a potentially highly dangerous entity—luckily, they seem to have a fairly strict code of conduct and won’t train just anyone.


Blackwater four 'made corpses of innocents'

Prosecution tells US jury security contractors shot dead 14 Iraqi civilians in 2007 for no reason, as trial nears end.

Last updated: 28 Aug 2014 02:31
Email Article
 
Print Article
 
Share article
 
Send Feedback
The aftermath of the 2007 shooting in Baghdad [AP]


Four Blackwater guards accused of killing 14 Iraqi civilians turned "innocent people ... into bullet-riddled corpses" for no reason, the prosecution has told their US trial as it neared its conclusion.
A federal court in Washington heard on Wednesday the events of September 16, 2007 in Nisour Square, Baghdad, when the four men opened fire while guarding a US diplomatic convoy.
The gunfire killed 14 Iraqis and injured another 18.
At the close of the two-and-a-half-month trial, prosecutor Anthony Asuncion asked simply what had motivated Paul Slough, Evan Liberty, Dustin Heard and Nicholas Slatten, to fire on the civilians.
"Why fire on so many innocent people? Why? Why shoot all of these people who are running away, who are trying to get away from these men? Why shoot women and children who are unarmed?" he asked.
"There's no reason. What they did was criminal.
"People who could laugh, who could love, were turned into bloodied, bullet-riddled corpses, people who were not legitimate targets ... who were no real threat to them."
After showing images of the faces of those killed and wounded, the prosecutor asked the jury to find the four guilty.
Slatten, 32, is charged with the first-degree murder of a civilian and faces life in prison if convicted. Slough, Liberty and Heard are accused of voluntary manslaughter of the 13 other victims. All deny the charges.
'Terrible threats'
Earlier in the trial, defence lawyer Bill Heberlig stressed that security was facing terrible threats after the September 11 strikes on the US.
"This was Baghdad, Iraq," Heberlig said, insisting Slatten "fired under control at a limited number of legitimate threats. He acted in self-defense, he committed no crime that day."
Blackwater, whose licence to work in Iraq was revoked by Baghdad, was renamed Xe Services in 2009 and then Academi in 2011.
The jury was expected to begin deliberations on Thursday.

Wednesday, August 27, 2014

IRISH SALUTE TO ALL THE BRAVE PALESTINIAN FALLEN




VICTORY TO THE PALESTINIAN PEOPLE


"Self government is our right, a thing born to us at birth a thing no more to be doled out to us by another people then the right to life itself then the right to feel the sun or smell the flowers or to love our kind."
 Roger Casement

Israel agrees to open Gaza crossings, to allow humanitarian aid and construction material, according  to senior Hamas leader Mousa Abu Marzouq, saying that three more Gaza crossings will be operational, in addition to the Kerem Shalom and Erez crossings. He said that Gaza fishermen will be allowed, as far as 6 nautical miles, this would be increased gradually, until it is 12 nautical miles by the end of 2014.

Reconstruction of the Gaza Strip will be discussed at a conference in Egypt next month. The Palestinian national consensus government, will be in charge. The Hamas spokesperson added, that the ceasefire agreement was sponsored and will be monitored by Egypt only. More negotiations next month to discuss unresolved issues,  he said. Israeli, European and American restrictions to money transfers to Gaza for salaries for employees of the former Hamas-led government in Gaza are now cancelled. 

Abu Marzouq stated that Israel agreed, to stop targeted assassinations of resistance activists. With regard to the Rafah crossing, Egyptian and Palestinian officials would meet to discuss opening the crossing permanently. The Gaza buffer zone has also been removed.

Tuesday, August 26, 2014

Monday, August 25, 2014

ISRAELI NUCLEAR ROGUE BULLY TERRORIST STATE THREATENS THE WORLD




Nuclear-Weapon States:
The nuclear-weapon states (NWS) are the five states—China, France, Russia, United Kingdom, and the United States—officially recognized as possessing nuclear weapons by the NPT. Although the treaty legitimizes these states’ nuclear arsenals, it also establishes that they are not supposed to build and maintain such weapons in perpetuity. Article VI of the treaty holds that each state-party is to “pursue negotiations in good faith on effective measures relating to cessation of the nuclear arms race at an early date and to nuclear disarmament.” In 2000, the five NWS committed themselves to an “unequivocal undertaking…to accomplish the total elimination of their nuclear arsenals.” But for now, the five continue to retain the bulk of their nuclear forces. Because of the secretive nature with which most governments treat information about their nuclear arsenals, most of the figures below are best estimates of each nuclear-weapon state’s nuclear holdings, including both strategic warheads and lower-yield devices referred to as tactical weapons. Russia and the United States also retain thousands of retired warheads planned for dismantlement, not included here.
China: About 250 total warheads. 
France: Fewer than 300 operational warheads. 
Russia: Approximately 1,512 strategic warheads deployed on 498 ICBMs, SLBMs, and strategic bombers [1]. The Federation of American Scientists estimates Russia has another 1,000 nondeployed strategic warheads and approximately 2,000 tactical nuclear warheads. Additional thousands are awaiting dismantlement.
United Kingdom: Fewer than 160 deployed strategic warheads, total stockpile of up to 225.
United States: 4,804 nuclear warheads as of September 2013 [2], including tactical, strategic, and nondeployed weapons. According to the latest official New START declaration, the United States has1,585 strategic nuclear warheads deployed on 778 ICBMs, SLBMs, and strategic bombers [1]. The Federation of American Scientists estimates that the United States' nondeployed strategic arsenal is approximately 2,800 warheads and the U.S. tactical nuclear arsenal numbers 500 warheads. Additional warheads are retired and await dismantlement.

Non-NPT Nuclear Weapons Possessors:
Three states—India, Israel, and Pakistan—never joined the NPT and are known to possess nuclear weapons. Claiming its nuclear program was for peaceful purposes, India first tested a nuclear explosive device in 1974. That test spurred Pakistan to ramp up work on its secret nuclear weapons program. India and Pakistan both publicly demonstrated their nuclear weapon capabilities with a round of tit-for-tat nuclear tests in May 1998. Israel has not publicly conducted a nuclear test, does not admit to or deny having nuclear weapons, and states that it will not be the first to introduce nuclear weapons in the Middle East. Nevertheless, Israel is universally believed to possess nuclear arms. The following arsenal estimates are based on the amount of fissile material—highly enriched uranium and plutonium—that each of the states is estimated to have produced. Fissile material is the key element for making nuclear weapons. India and Israel are believed to use plutonium in their weapons, while Pakistan is thought to use highly enriched uranium.
India: Between 90-110 nuclear warheads.
Israel: Between 75 to 200 nuclear warheads.
Pakistan: Between 100 to 120 nuclear warheads.



The truth about Israel's secret nuclear arsenal

Israel has been stealing nuclear secrets and covertly making bombs since the 1950s. And western governments, including Britain and the US, turn a blind eye. But how can we expect Iran to curb its nuclear ambitions if the Israelis won't come clean?
Israel's nuclear reactor at Dimona.
Israel's nuclear reactor at Dimona. Photograph: Getty Images
Deep beneath desert sands, an embattled Middle Eastern state has built a covert nuclear bomb, using technology and materials provided by friendly powers or stolen by a clandestine network of agents. It is the stuff of pulp thrillers and the sort of narrative often used to characterise the worst fears about the Iranian nuclear programme. In reality, though, neither US nor British intelligence believe Tehran has decided to build a bomb, and Iran's atomic projects are under constant international monitoring.
The exotic tale of the bomb hidden in the desert is a true story, though. It's just one that applies to another country. In an extraordinary feat of subterfuge, Israel managed to assemble an entire underground nuclear arsenal – now estimated at 80 warheads, on a par with India and Pakistan – and even tested a bomb nearly half a century ago, with a minimum of international outcry or even much public awareness of what it was doing.
Despite the fact that the Israel's nuclear programme has been an open secret since a disgruntled technician, Mordechai Vanunu, blew the whistle on it in 1986, the official Israeli position is still never to confirm or deny its existence.
When the former speaker of the Knesset, Avraham Burg, broke the taboo last month, declaring Israeli possession of both nuclear and chemical weapons and describing the official non-disclosure policy as "outdated and childish" a rightwing group formally called for a police investigation for treason.
Meanwhile, western governments have played along with the policy of "opacity" by avoiding all mention of the issue. In 2009, when a veteran Washington reporter, Helen Thomas, asked Barack Obama in the first month of his presidency if he knew of any country in the Middle East withnuclear weapons, he dodged the trapdoor by saying only that he did not wish to "speculate".
UK governments have generally followed suit. Asked in the House of Lords in November about Israeli nuclear weapons, Baroness Warsianswered tangentially. "Israel has not declared a nuclear weapons programme. We have regular discussions with the government of Israel on a range of nuclear-related issues," the minister said. "The government of Israel is in no doubt as to our views. We encourage Israel to become a state party to the nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty [NPT]."
But through the cracks in this stone wall, more and more details continue to emerge of how Israel built its nuclear weapons from smuggled parts and pilfered technology.
The tale serves as a historical counterpoint to today's drawn-out struggle over Iran's nuclear ambitions. The parallels are not exact – Israel, unlike Iran, never signed up to the 1968 NPT so could not violate it. But it almost certainly broke a treaty banning nuclear tests, as well as countless national and international laws restricting the traffic in nuclear materials and technology.
The list of nations that secretly sold Israel the material and expertise to make nuclear warheads, or who turned a blind eye to its theft, include today's staunchest campaigners against proliferation: the US, France, Germany, Britain and even Norway.
Whistleblower Mordechai Vanunu. Whistleblower Mordechai Vanunu. Photograph: AP
Meanwhile, Israeli agents charged with buying fissile material and state-of-the-art technology found their way into some of the most sensitive industrial establishments in the world. This daring and remarkably successful spy ring, known as Lakam, the Hebrew acronym for the innocuous-sounding Science Liaison Bureau, included such colourful figures as Arnon Milchan, a billionaire Hollywood producer behind such hits as Pretty Woman, LA Confidential and 12 Years a Slave, who finally admitted his role last month.
"Do you know what it's like to be a twentysomething-year-old kid [and] his country lets him be James Bond? Wow! The action! That was exciting," he said in an Israeli documentary.
Milchan's life story is colourful, and unlikely enough to be the subject of one of the blockbusters he bankrolls. In the documentary, Robert de Niro recalls discussing Milchan's role in the illicit purchase of nuclear-warhead triggers. "At some point I was asking something about that, being friends, but not in an accusatory way. I just wanted to know," De Niro says. "And he said: yeah I did that. Israel's my country."
Milchan was not shy about using Hollywood connections to help his shadowy second career. At one point, he admits in the documentary, he used the lure of a visit to actor Richard Dreyfuss's home to get a top US nuclear scientist, Arthur Biehl, to join the board of one of his companies.
According to Milchan's biography, by Israeli journalists Meir Doron and Joseph Gelman, he was recruited in 1965 by Israel's current president, Shimon Peres, who he met in a Tel Aviv nightclub (called Mandy's, named after the hostess and owner's wife Mandy Rice-Davies, freshly notorious for her role in the Profumo sex scandal). Milchan, who then ran the family fertiliser company, never looked back, playing a central role in Israel's clandestine acquisition programme.
He was responsible for securing vital uranium-enrichment technology, photographing centrifuge blueprints that a German executive had been bribed into temporarily "mislaying" in his kitchen. The same blueprints, belonging to the European uranium enrichment consortium, Urenco, were stolen a second time by a Pakistani employee, Abdul Qadeer Khan, who used them to found his country's enrichment programme and to set up a global nuclear smuggling business, selling the design to Libya, North Korea and Iran.
For that reason, Israel's centrifuges are near-identical to Iran's, a convergence that allowed Israeli to try out a computer worm, codenamed Stuxnet, on its own centrifuges before unleashing it on Iran in 2010.
Arguably, Lakam's exploits were even more daring than Khan's. In 1968, it organised the disappearance of an entire freighter full of uranium ore in the middle of the Mediterranean. In what became known as the Plumbat affair, the Israelis used a web of front companies to buy a consignment of uranium oxide, known as yellowcake, in Antwerp. The yellowcake was concealed in drums labelled "plumbat", a lead derivative, and loaded onto a freighter leased by a phony Liberian company. The sale was camouflaged as a transaction between German and Italian companies with help from German officials, reportedly in return for an Israeli offer to help the Germans with centrifuge technology.
When the ship, the Scheersberg A, docked in Rotterdam, the entire crew was dismissed on the pretext that the vessel had been sold and an Israeli crew took their place. The ship sailed into the Mediterranean where, under Israeli naval guard, the cargo was transferred to another vessel.
US and British documents declassified last year also revealed a previously unknown Israeli purchase of about 100 tons of yellowcake from Argentina in 1963 or 1964, without the safeguards typically used in nuclear transactions to prevent the material being used in weapons.
Israel had few qualms about proliferating nuclear weapons knowhow and materials, giving South Africa's apartheid regime help in developing its own bomb in the 1970s in return for 600 tons of yellowcake.
Pictures of the secret Dimona nuclear reactor in Israel, showing where the plant has allegedly been Pictures of the secret Dimona nuclear reactor in Israel, showing where the plant has allegedly been camouflaged. Photograph: space imaging
Israel's nuclear reactor also required deuterium oxide, also known as heavy water, to moderate the fissile reaction. For that, Israel turned to Norway and Britain. In 1959, Israel managed to buy 20 tons of heavy water that Norway had sold to the UK but was surplus to requirements for the British nuclear programme. Both governments were suspicious that the material would be used to make weapons, but decided to look the other way. In documents seen by the BBC in 2005 British officials argued it would be "over-zealous" to impose safeguards. For its part, Norway carried out only one inspection visit, in 1961.
Israel's nuclear-weapons project could never have got off the ground, though, without an enormous contribution from France. The country that took the toughest line on counter-proliferation when it came to Iran helped lay the foundations of Israel's nuclear weapons programme, driven by by a sense of guilt over letting Israel down in the 1956 Suez conflict, sympathy from French-Jewish scientists, intelligence-sharing over Algeria and a drive to sell French expertise and abroad.
"There was a tendency to try to export and there was a general feeling of support for Israel," Andre Finkelstein, a former deputy commissioner at France's Atomic Energy Commissariat and deputy director general at the International Atomic Energy Agency, told Avner Cohen, an Israeli-American nuclear historian.
France's first reactor went critical as early as 1948 but the decision to build nuclear weapons seems to have been taken in 1954, after Pierre Mendès France made his first trip to Washington as president of the council of ministers of the chaotic Fourth Republic. On the way back he told an aide: "It's exactly like a meeting of gangsters. Everyone is putting his gun on the table, if you have no gun you are nobody. So we must have a nuclear programme."
Mendès France gave the order to start building bombs in December 1954. And as it built its arsenal, Paris solds material assistance to other aspiring weapons states, not just Israel.
"[T]his went on for many, many years until we did some stupid exports, including Iraq and the reprocessing plant in Pakistan, which was crazy," Finkelstein recalled in an interview that can now be read in a collection of Cohen's papers at the Wilson Centre thinktank in Washington. "We have been the most irresponsible country on nonproliferation."
In Dimona, French engineers poured in to help build Israel a nuclear reactor and a far more secret reprocessing plant capable of separating plutonium from spent reactor fuel. This was the real giveaway that Israel's nuclear programme was aimed at producing weapons.
By the end of the 50s, there were 2,500 French citizens living in Dimona, transforming it from a village to a cosmopolitan town, complete with French lycées and streets full of Renaults, and yet the whole endeavour was conducted under a thick veil of secrecy. The American investigative journalist Seymour Hersh wrote in his book The Samson Option: "French workers at Dimona were forbidden to write directly to relatives and friends in France and elsewhere, but sent mail to a phony post-office box in Latin America."
The British were kept out of the loop, being told at different times that the huge construction site was a desert grasslands research institute and a manganese processing plant. The Americans, also kept in the dark by both Israel and France, flew U2 spy planes over Dimona in an attempt to find out what they were up to.
The Israelis admitted to having a reactor but insisted it was for entirely peaceful purposes. The spent fuel was sent to France for reprocessing, they claimed, even providing film footage of it being supposedly being loaded onto French freighters. Throughout the 60s it flatly denied the existence of the underground reprocessing plant in Dimona that was churning out plutonium for bombs.
Producer Arnon Milchan with Brad Pitt and Angelina Jolie at the premiere of Mr and Mrs Smith.Producer Arnon Milchan with Brad Pitt and Angelina Jolie at the premiere of Mr and Mrs Smith. Photograph: L Cohen
Israel refused to countenance visits by the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA), so in the early 1960s President Kennedy demanded they accept American inspectors. US physicists were dispatched to Dimona but were given the run-around from the start. Visits were never twice-yearly as had been agreed with Kennedy and were subject to repeated postponements. The US physicists sent to Dimona were not allowed to bring their own equipment or collect samples. The lead American inspector, Floyd Culler, an expert on plutonium extraction, noted in his reports that there were newly plastered and painted walls in one of the buildings. It turned out that before each American visit, the Israelis had built false walls around the row of lifts that descended six levels to the subterranean reprocessing plant.
As more and more evidence of Israel's weapons programme emerged, the US role progressed from unwitting dupe to reluctant accomplice. In 1968 the CIA director Richard Helms told President Johnson that Israel had indeed managed to build nuclear weapons and that its air force had conducted sorties to practise dropping them.
The timing could not have been worse. The NPT, intended to prevent too many nuclear genies from escaping from their bottles, had just been drawn up and if news broke that one of the supposedly non-nuclear-weapons states had secretly made its own bomb, it would have become a dead letter that many countries, especially Arab states, would refuse to sign.
The Johnson White House decided to say nothing, and the decision was formalised at a 1969 meeting between Richard Nixon and Golda Meir, at which the US president agreed to not to pressure Israel into signing the NPT, while the Israeli prime minister agreed her country would not be the first to "introduce" nuclear weapons into the Middle East and not do anything to make their existence public.
In fact, US involvement went deeper than mere silence. At a meeting in 1976 that has only recently become public knowledge, the CIA deputy director Carl Duckett informed a dozen officials from the US Nuclear Regulatory Commission that the agency suspected some of the fissile fuel in Israel's bombs was weapons-grade uranium stolen under America's nose from a processing plant in Pennsylvania.
Not only was an alarming amount of fissile material going missing at the company, Nuclear Materials and Equipment Corporation (Numec), but it had been visited by a veritable who's-who of Israeli intelligence, including Rafael Eitan, described by the firm as an Israeli defence ministry "chemist", but, in fact, a top Mossad operative who went on to head Lakam.
"It was a shock. Everyody was open-mouthed," recalls Victor Gilinsky, who was one of the American nuclear officials briefed by Duckett. "It was one of the most glaring cases of diverted nuclear material but the consequences appeared so awful for the people involved and for the US than nobody really wanted to find out what was going on."
The investigation was shelved and no charges were made.
A few years later, on 22 September 1979, a US satellite, Vela 6911, detected the double-flash typical of a nuclear weapon test off the coast of South Africa. Leonard Weiss, a mathematician and an expert on nuclear proliferation, was working as a Senate advisor at the time and after being briefed on the incident by US intelligence agencies and the country's nuclear weapons laboratories, he became convinced a nuclear test, in contravention to the Limited Test Ban Treaty, had taken place.
It was only after both the Carter and then the Reagan administrations attempted to gag him on the incident and tried to whitewash it with an unconvincing panel of enquiry, that it dawned on Weiss that it was the Israelis, rather than the South Africans, who had carried out the detonation.
"I was told it would create a very serious foreign policy issue for the US, if I said it was a test. Someone had let something off that US didn't want anyone to know about," says Weiss.
Israeli sources told Hersh the flash picked up by the Vela satellite was actually the third of a series of Indian Ocean nuclear tests that Israel conducted in cooperation with South Africa.
"It was a fuck-up," one source told him. "There was a storm and we figured it would block Vela, but there was a gap in the weather – a window – and Vela got blinded by the flash."
The US policy of silence continues to this day, even though Israel appears to be continuing to trade on the nuclear black market, albeit at much reduced volumes. In a paper on the illegal trade in nuclear material and technology published in October, the Washington-based Institute for Science and International Security (ISIS) noted: "Under US pressure in the 1980s and early 1990s, Israel … decided to largely stop its illicit procurement for its nuclear weapons programme. Today, there is evidence that Israel may still make occasional illicit procurements – US sting operations and legal cases show this."
Avner Cohen, the author of two books on Israel's bomb, said that policy of opacity in both Israel and in Washington is kept in place now largely by inertia. "At the political level, no one wants to deal with it for fear of opening a Pandora's box. It has in many ways become a burden for the US, but people in Washington, all the way up to Obama will not touch it, because of the fear it could compromise the very basis of the Israeli-US understanding."
In the Arab world and beyond, there is growing impatience with the skewed nuclear status quo. Egypt in particular has threatened to walk out of the NPT unless there is progress towards creating a nuclear-free zone in the Middle East. The western powers promised to stage a conference on the proposal in 2012 but it was called off, largely at America's behest, to reduce the pressure on Israel to attend and declare its nuclear arsenal.
"Somehow the kabuki goes on," Weiss says. "If it is admitted Israel has nuclear weapons at least you can have an honest discussion. It seems to me it's very difficult to get a resolution of the Iran issue without being honest about that."