Skip to comments.Jew who loses security clearance blames anti-Semitism in the military
Posted on 10/30/2001 10:44:50 AM PST by AshleyMontagu
Jew who loses security clearance
blames anti-Semitism in the military
By Sharon Samber
WASHINGTON, Oct. 29 (JTA) A Jewish reserve officer says the U.S. Army stripped him of his security clearance and forced him to give up command of an intelligence unit because of his ties to Israel.
Maj. Shawn Pine, commander of the 300th Military Intelligence Company of Austin, Texas, holds dual U.S.-Israeli citizenship and received his top security clearance in 1990 until it was revoked this summer.
While Pine says the reasons are rooted in anti-Semitism, the army says it's just implementing a simple rules change.
Pine's story, which first appeared in the Jerusalem Post, brings up concerns of heightened sensitivity in the U.S. armed forces to officers with Israel connections.
Pine was born in the United States and immigrated to Israel with his family in the late 1970s. Like other Israeli citizens, he entered the Israel Defense Force, serving in the elite Golani Brigade.
After his discharge, Pine returned to the United States to attend Georgetown University. He later chose a military career and served nine years as an officer in the U.S. Army.
In 1995, Pine returned to Israel to study international relations at the Hebrew University, simultaneously doing his occasional IDF reserve duty.
Pine says he discussed his Israel connection with the U.S. Army when his security clearance came up for a routine update. He even agreed to the unusual step of taking a polygraph test, Pine says, saying it seemed fair because he had "a lot of interaction with Israel."
But now Pine says his career is ruined, as it's unlikely that private companies that get government contracts for security-related work would hire him without a security clearance.
Pine claims there is a "blatant" connection between his case and that of Lt. Col. Jeremiah Mattysse, a senior intelligence officer who converted to Judaism and went AWOL in Israel last year. There was speculation that Mattysse had passed on military intelligence to the Jewish state, but he eventually was cleared.
Pine was contacted about his security clearance update only a month after the Mattysse incident.
"They're looking for Jewish officers," he said.
The Army Reserves says it is implementing new rules that prevent anyone who holds dual citizenship from having top security clearance.
Pine is "not the only one caught up in the rules change," said Joe Hanley, a spokesman for the U.S. Army Reserve Command.
"This is not a punitive action," agreed Steve Stromvall, another spokesman.
A research associate at the Ariel Center for Policy Research in Israel, Pine has published many articles on military and strategic affairs in the Middle East. His writings have appeared in Israel Affairs, The International Journal of Intelligence and Counterintelligence and the Jerusalem Post.
The Anti-Defamation League's Houston office said it had been contacted by Pine and is investigating the case.
Jewish sensitivity to accusations of dual loyalty has increased since the infamous case of Jonathan Pollard.
A former analyst for U.S. Navy intelligence, Pollard was convicted of espionage in 1985 for passing secret U.S. military information to Israel, and was sentenced to life in prison.
Anti-Israel feelings may be "endemic" in the U.S. Army's intelligence community, Pine believes.
"When they see a Jew, they see a Jonathan Pollard," he said.
There is no doubt that certain quarters of the U.S. intelligence community harbor an underlying suspicion of Jews with connections to Israel, attorney Neal Sher said.
Sher represented former intelligence officer Adam Ciralsky, who charged that the CIA placed him on leave in 1997 because of his ties with Israel. Ciralsky sued the CIA last year, claiming that rampant anti-Semitism within the agency destroyed his career.
Sher said he does not know the details of Pine's case, but said it is reasonable that anti-Semitism and anti-Israel animus could have played a role.
"The organized Jewish community should take this very seriously," he said.
And how can you honestly, praytell, accuse me of being a liar? I believe the only fact I may have been unsure about was whether or not the U.S. allows for dual citizenship, and I therefore qualified my remark by saying "to my knowledge". The rest of my post was my own opinion about those with dual citizenship, which makes no special allowances for Americans who also hold Israeli citizenship. Thanks for the links, which I gave a quick perusal, but I have no need to become an expert on immigration and naturalization law. It doesn't change my opinion, which is that, especially when it comes to military secrets, people who have accepted another country's citizenship status, for whatever reason, are a security risk. The Army reserves has made the right decision. It's just scary that it was ever allowed in the first place.
Jeez, you are hypersensitive! I'm no Israel basher, but I'm also not going to wrap it up in cotton and treat it with kid gloves, either. So, to reiterate my opinion, no one with dual citizenship should ever get a security clearance. If it would make you feel any better, I would feel the same about any American who also claimed British, Canadian, Irish or Australian citizenship. It's not all about Israel, you know. But even so, the old Jerry-Seinfeld's-uncle "you're an anti-semite" accusation is a bit whiny and way out of line in this guy's case.
"To my knowledge" is not the same as "in my opinion"
By the way, as to your opinion: you are also wrong. I am a dual national. Do you think if in order to serve the US I was forced to renounce my Israeli citizenship, I would be any less pro-Israel. Would you deny the US my services if they were needed. Pollard was not a dual citizen. Neither was Hansen.
Do you know that it is virtually impossible for an Israeli to renounce Israeli citizenship if one has any intention of ever again visiting Israel.
The honestly and loyalty of a dual citizen has nothing to do with their citizenship, but with the person- as it would be with a person with sole citizenship.
All sorts of people, particularly in the Judiciary, encounter conflicts of interests every day. Honest people recuse themselves from those particular issues.
There is nothing that says that where this officer rendered valuable service to the United States for many years any of it had anything to do with Israel.
Some of your buddies beat you to it. Yawn
I think you have the cart before the horse. The adversary of Israel is that very evil one that our president keeps referring to. All who hate Israel shall perish when the Messiah comes.
Shhh, all those patriots in the kingdom trading riyals for dollars care not a wit about what happens to our nation. They just want to be paid off.
Guess what, Ashley was there, at #99, so he must have had a very good reason for posting this again.
Isn't this rather basic? I can tell that many people have come to this post with long-standing agendas. I don't think I have ever posted on Israel-related topics. I am generally pro-Israel, but only within the context of supporting America's enlightened self-interest. I can't understand, however, why this fellow's case is even an issue. How can somebody with dual citizenship expect to get a top U.S. security clearance? It is simply mind-boggling.
And what would that reason be, IsraeliAmerican? And don't distort the truth so much. That is a completely different article than the one I posted. You know that, but chose to decieve. Why?
Gee, so sensitive. This news account is from a Jewish news organization guys. Complain to them about being anti-Semitic.
You just made my point for me. I don't have a problem with people with dual citizenship under normal circumstances, only when it comes to U.S. security. The U.S. is first and last for me. Let me put this hypothetical case to you: Let's pretend that you're just a regular non-military person and you found, or somehow accidentally stumbled upon, a briefcase full of documents marked "US GOVERNMENT TOP SECRET", and let's say you look at one or two of the documents, and in them, you find information that would be vital to Israeli security (such as, the U.S. has knowledge that a high-level Israeli military official is selling secrets to the Palestinians--something that would be really mind-boggling, but let's pretend just for the sake of argument). A US government official tracks down the briefcase and retrieves it from you and you are told not to reveal to anyone anything you may have seen in the briefcase, as it is top secret information belonging to the U.S. government.
So, what do you do? The information belongs to the U.S., and you have no idea what they are going to do with it. As a loyal American, it would be your duty not to reveal U.S. top secret information to any country. I have no problem with it, since I have allegiance to no other country but the U.S. I would keep my mouth shut. You, on the other hand, would be in a quandary. So, it would be interesting to know how you solved that quandary.
When it comes to U.S. security and dealing with top secret information, I'm afraid I must disagree with you. While I agree with you in one respect, not having dual citizenship is no guarantee of loyalty (Pollard, Hansen), people with dual citizenship, by the very fact that they have not renounced their previous citizenship or, if they are native born Americans, have accepted the citizenship of a second country, have publicly stated their loyalty to a second country. The very fact of possessing citizenship is a statement, or action, of loyalty (or it should be). It doesn't necessarily mean that a dual citizen would be disloyal to the U.S., but I for one want to minimize all possibilities or opportunities of disloyalty in the realm of U.S. security. If someone hasn't renounced all non-U.S. allegiance by the time they get to the position in the military or intelligence community where they would ordinarily qualify for a security clearance, that says something about that person. It says, "I am under obligation to two countries."
By the way, do you question the loyalties of Israeli Arabs? Do Israeli Arabs get top security clearances in the Israeli military? Are they even allowed to be in the Israeli military? (I'm not being smart-aleck--I don't know how it works over there.)