[coldwarcomms] re: any insights? no pun intended
Another person I discussed this with pointed me to an item in Saturday's
FBI Spying Probe Came Up Empty
Saturday, May 6, 2000; Page A12
The FBI investigated an allegation that Israeli spies had penetrated the
White House and other government telephone systems, but more than a year of
extensive work found no evidence of any breach, two senior federal law
enforcement officials said yesterday.
The two officials, who requested anonymity, said the FBI had identified no
one to arrest during its investigation. One said the investigation is now
"There was extensive investigation, and there are just no facts to support
the allegation," one of the officials said. This official said the
investigation had "100 percent complete support from the Justice Department
and every other government agency" that would be needed to check such an
The probe is technically not closed, this official said. But it was
described as being in the "pending inactive state because the allegation is
so serious and in case something develops."
At the White House, a senior official said the White House had no
indication that its phone system was compromised.
Mark Regev, a spokesman for the Israeli Embassy, said, "I don't listen even
to the phone conversations of my wife." He called the allegation outrageous
and said, "Israel does not spy on the United States."
A former civilian intelligence analyst for the Navy, Jonathan Jay Pollard,
was convicted during the 1980s of extensive spying for Israel. Israel has
sought unsuccessfully since then for a presidential pardon of Pollard.
On Capitol Hill, Republican sources said the allegation centered on a
© Copyright 2000 The Associated Press
Assuming the AP's sources are correct, I'm wondering if the Insight article
may have begun with a small grain of truth, and become exaggerated
intentionally and/or through journalists' misunderstanding of telecom
Specifically, the mention of a telephone billing software makes me think
the original investigation may have focused on a possible compromise of
White House call-accounting data (numbers dialed, duration of call), which
would certainly be serious but not as dramatic as real-time monitoring of