Arms to Israel leak set to embarrass Obama
Does shock revelation hint at US support for an Israeli attack on Iran?
THE DAILY BEAST website has previewed an exclusive story in its sister magazine Newsweek, due out on Monday, which reveals that President Obama authorised the sale of 55 deep-penetrating bombs to Israel in 2009. Former President George W. Bush had refused the sale in 2005, and military sources informed Newsweek that the deal was considered to be highly sensitive because of its possible implications.
WHAT DOES IT MEAN?
The GBU-28 'bunker-busters' are designed to take out underground targets. They could therefore have been used against Hamas or Hezbollah, enemies of Israel, who are believed to "bury" their rockets underground.
More likely – and more sensitive, given the fragile regional politics – the bombs could have been sold for possible use against Iran’s underground nuclear facilities. The Daily Beast speculates that the sale could therefore have been seen as "a green light for Israel to attack Iran’s secret nuclear sites".
The Newsweek report appears to undermine American statements that, despite providing the Israelis with $3bn worth of military aid a year, they would not "enable" an Israeli attack on Iran.
Indeed, a Democratic congressman, Steve Rothman of New Jersey, is quoted by the Daily Beast as saying that as well as sanctioning the sale, Obama gave "orders to the military to ratchet up the cooperation at every level with Israel".
It all suggests further doublespeak from the Obama administration, following the London Times report of 2010, in which it was claimed the US state department had arranged the use of Saudi airspace for Israeli bombers.
The full Newsweek report will be published on Monday when further revelations concerning "covert efforts by the US military to aid Israel" are promised. The story looks set to raise difficult questions for the White House. What other military deals have been kept secret? Why was Obama comfortable with the deal when Bush was not? Crucially, why is the US military leaking stories to embarrass its commander-in-chief?
Comments are now closed on this article