Boom! Yet Another Bombshell ...
While the whole world is reflecting on the horrors of Hiroshima some sixty years ago, this absolutely amazing revelation comes to light.
How the UK gave Israel the bombNow -- is that a bombshell -- or is that a bomshell?
Documents reveal that Britain supplied heavy water without safeguards against military use, enabling the production of nuclear weapons
David Leigh Thursday August 4, 2005
Britain secretly supplied the 20 tons of heavy water to Israel nearly half a century ago which enabled it to make nuclear weapons, according to Whitehall documents which have been discovered at the Public Records Office.
Well, it's certainly come as news to most of us, including quite a few fine fellows like these.
Historians and politicians have been startled by the discovery, which sheds new light on the process by which Israel was able to circumvent attempts to restrict membership of the "nuclear club" to the great powers.Someone else was startled too.
A nuclear specialist, Frank Barnaby, said: "I had no idea at all the British were involved."Talk about shock and awe, eh?
Even this special man was surprised.
When Robert McNamara became the US defence secretary in 1961, he and President Kennedy strived to stop Israel from going on to build nuclear weapons. He told Newsnight last night that he had never known of Britain's behaviour at the time.Unusually, The Guardian gave plenty of precious extra space to this story by running a related piece in tandem. Such was it's stature, I suppose. Here's the opening excerpt from the second story.
"The fact Israel was trying to develop a nuclear bomb should not have come as a surprise but that Britain should have supplied it with heavy water was indeed a surprise to me," he said.
"It's very surprising to me that we weren't told because we shared information about the nuclear bomb very closely with the British."
Boom, boom, you might say - what a bloomin' double-whammy!
US kept in the dark as secret nuclear deal was struck
David Leigh Thursday August 4, 2005
Israel's acquisition of nuclear bombs has been one of the most sustained pieces of deceit in recent history. The project was guarded with such passion that in the 1980s the technician Mordechai Vanunu was kidnapped and spent 11 years in solitary
confinement for blowing some of its secrets.
It is remarkable then, that documents lying unnoticed in the public records office at Kew should reveal Britain's hitherto unknown role 47 years ago in deceiving the US and supplying Israel with the means to go nuclear.
But grab tight hold of your hats -- 'cos there's much, much more to come.
At the Foreign Office, Alexander Stirling suggested: "We might make the gesture of informing the Americans ... unless there was any risk of a US firm stealing the Israeli orders."Well, if you still need convincing that this is one hell of a mind-blowing, gob-smacking tale of intrigue, deceit and plain old greed -- try getting your heads round this.
He was rapidly overruled by Douglas Cape, first secretary at the FCO in charge of nuclear security, in terms that made it clear the fear was the US would demand too many safeguards: "I would prefer not to mention this to the Americans lest it lead them to ask us to take up what would in fact be an untenable position vis-a-vis the Norwegians."
The cover story was that the heavy water was "understood to be required by Israel for peaceful use in a reactor connected with desert irrigation".
A US spyplane, the U2, had been taking high-level photos of the activities in the Negev desert. US intelligence had become suspicious, and summoned the Israeli ambassador in Washington to question him.So, what do you think of the smelly show, so far?
In December 1960, a story was planted in the British press, via the Daily Express veteran defence correspondent Chapman Pincher, that Israel was trying to make atomic bombs.
Okay, teasing time's over. You know the drill by now. Read the rest via the two links below.