My Mideast Punchlines: Spy vs. Spy redux!

Biggest story of the day is a Wall St. Journal report (click via Google News), that Israel managed to eavesdrop on the nuclear talks and then used the info to undermine US diplomacy by sharing its findings with US Congressmen. It’s all based on “anonymous sources.”

Small FistNo, I can assure you that it wasn’t me, But what was far more interesting was that the White House discovered the operation when U.S. intelligence agencies spying on Israel intercepted communications among Israeli officials that carried details the U.S. believed could have come only from access to the confidential talks, officials briefed on the matter said. For readers of a certain age, this brought back memories of a regular feature of the classic Mad Magazine, which was required reading in the 60s and 70s. Yes, I’m talking about Spy vs Spy. The cartoon shenanigans then relied mainly on the Cold War enmity between the US and the Soviets. Now it seems de rigeur for friends and allies to spy on each other. Spy vs. Spy redux, you might say.

Israeli officials denied spying directly on U.S. negotiators and said they received their information through other means, including close surveillance of Iranian leaders receiving the latest U.S. and European offers. European officials, particularly the French, also have been more transparent with Israel about the closed-door discussions than the Americans, Israeli and U.S. officials said.

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