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To: wimpycat
I'm strictly going by the information you've provided, but it sounds to me as if the CIA was acting on a tip that gave them reason believe there was a traitor among their observant Jewish agents…

They intercepted a cable referring to an Israeli spy. I’m not aware of any more detailed info, the CIA wouldn’t release it anyway. However this wasn’t an isolated incident, and it does have some history. The FBI has acknowledged keeping separate lists of their Jewish employees up until about 1995. Ciralsky claimed there were about ten other agents reassigned or denied clearances. No way of knowing if this is true. Probably the most notorious similar case is the one of David Tenenbaum's, an engineer who lost his clearance and job under similar circumstances. From his supervisor, “…Mr. Tenenbaum had been singled out for investigation at least partly because he is Jewish, speaks Hebrew, wears a yarmulke and had an "obvious love" for Israel.” That test effectively eliminates Jews from employment in the defense industry.

You said you didn't think they found the agent they were looking for. Are you sure? And if they did, would they let you know? They may be settling the case only to avoid publicly revealing sensitive information.

I suspect the case was settled, but I don’t know. The CIA got a lot of bad publicity out of this (60 minutes, multiple news outlets) and it reemerged during the presidential campaign.

I don’t know if the found the agent. I don’t remember any information that was developed that would even point to Ciralsky as a suspect. He had ties to the Jewish community (in America), he flunked a fraudulent polygraph test (FBI agents have referred to his case in congressional testimony as an example of the unreliability of polygraphs) after passing two, and his security clearance was pulled. I think the concept that an orthodox Jew is a greater risk than a reform Jew, both much worse than a non-practicing Jew is ridiculous. Most of the people in these (dual citizenship) cases had long employment histories (and usually win their clearances back) which could have been relied on.

There's a fine line between discrimination and legitimate profiling (I don't think 'pre-emptive' profiling is legitimate), but if my suspect walks like a duck and quacks like a duck, dagonnit, I'm not going to be looking for chickens.

Pre-emptive profiling is exactly what you are dealing with here. The CIA assumed that it would be easier to recruit spies from religious Jews, and purged them. Remember, the CIA doesn’t claim Ciralsky is a spy. I think the time they spent on him was wasted.

Do you know how many intelligence officials this affects anyway? How many Jewish Americans with dual citizenship or naturalized citizens are in the CIA/FBI/Senior military? Are we talking a lot of people?

I don’t know how many are affected. Remember you are talking about defense contractors as well so I’m sure it’s significant. I think you overstate the dual-citizenship issue. The issue is really dual loyalty. Many people acquire this passively (birth, parents). Can it be renounced? In most cases. But it’s a time consuming process and does make travel to Israel difficult (impossible). And I don’t think Israel will accept it from someone of draft age. But unless we are applying a litmus test (which we haven’t in the past and it’s unclear if we are now) why would anyone loyal to this country bother? I think pursuing people over dual citizenship, rather the loyalty, is a lot of wasted effort.

107 posted on 10/31/2001 2:27:49 PM PST by SJackson
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To: SJackson; Sabramerican
I think loyalty is the larger issue, of course. After touting the loyalty of my naturalized American husband, I debated him on the issue and put the same question to him that I put to Sabramerican, and I fear I must stand corrected as to what he would do, but what he said only reinforces my take on the whole loyalty issue. If he were to come across top secret info as a private citizen that Peru was going to bomb Chile, then as a private citizen he confesses he would sing like a canary, because he says that you always feel a certain loyalty to your home country, especially if you have family there. (He also said he would take whatever punishment resulted from his revealing the information with good grace). If he were in the CIA or still in the military, or if he were in some other agency that would make him officially privy to the same information, however, he says he wouldn't talk, because it would be necessary for his job, and he would be under formal obligation to protect U.S. secrets. When I asked him what's the difference to his loyalty issues or sense of moral obligation between being a private citizen vs. a U.S. govt. official, he was vague on that, and didn't give a clear answer.

But, he says, no one should ever be put in the position to where their loyalty is tested in such a way. He would expect someone with emotional ties to another country would be sorely tested (and rightly so, if that person has any feeling or sense of family) in certain situations, and it isn't worth the risk, knowing that not all of them would pass the test. He says that no naturalized American citizen, or any native-born citizen exercising the citizenship of another country, should have top security clearances in order to avoid creating such situations. That goes much further than I would, I confess. He cited the WWII example of sending our Japanese-American soldiers to fight in Europe rather than the Pacific, not only because it would be easier for us to distinguish friend from foe, but also out of sensitivity to the feelings of our guys that would completely naturally arise in that situation. Another example is a spouse not being forced to testify against spouse.

This isn't a normal employment situation we're talking about. Any position that requires a top security clearance isn't just a guy drawing a paycheck. I think that now, more than ever, our national security interests should be paramount. That may present a conflict with current employment laws or the 14th amendment, but I'm sure there's ways to legally rectify any conflicts that may arise and still ensure our secrets remain air-tight and under lock and key and cut down to a minimum any temptations to betray our country.

108 posted on 10/31/2001 3:55:19 PM PST by wimpycat
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