An ethical person - like a politician, banker or lawyer - may know right from wrong, but unlike many of them, a moral person lives it. An Americanist first already knows that.
Bankers and their government agents will always act in their own best interests. Any residual benefit flowing down to the citizens by happenstance will just be litter.
On September 10, 1968 NUMEC receives a key coordinator of Israel's clandestine nuclear weapons program (Avraham Hermoni) and three undercover Israeli intelligence operatives. NUMEC tells the Atomic Energy Commission the Israeli visitors are "energy specialists."
U.S. Suspected Israeli Involvement in 1960s Missing
Uranium Officials Believed Ally Used Materials Lifted From Pennsylvania Toward
a Weapons Program
By John R. Emshwiller, WSJ, Updated Aug. 6, 2014 7:41 p.m. ET
Declassified documents from the 1970s provide new
evidence that federal officials believed bomb-grade uranium that disappeared
from a Pennsylvania nuclear facility in the 1960s was likely taken for use in a
clandestine Israeli atomic-weapons program.
The documents, obtained earlier this year through
public-records requests by a Washington-based nonprofit group, also indicate
that senior officials wanted to keep the matter under wraps for fear it could
undermine U.S. Middle East peace efforts.
Though the Central Intelligence Agency's case for the
suspected theft wasn't conclusive, it was sufficiently persuasive that "I
do not think that the President has plausible deniability" regarding the
question, said a memo dated July 28, 1977, by a National Security Council
staffer in President Jimmy Carter's administration.
A security council memo to Mr. Carter a few days later
expressed more uncertainty about whether a theft had occurred, but noted that
then-Secretary of State Cyrus Vance had a coming Middle East trip and discussed
the need to keep attention "away from the CIA's information."
The question of whether one of America's closest allies
was involved in the theft of some of its most valuable and dangerous material
in pursuit of nuclear weapons has been one of the enduring mysteries of the
atomic age. The suspected theft has drawn the attention of at least three
presidents and other senior government officials.
The evidence suggested that "something did
transpire," said Zbigniew Brzezinski, Mr. Carter's national-security
adviser, in a recent interview. "But until you have conclusive evidence
you don't want to make an international incident. This is a potentially very
explosive, controversial issue." Besides, he added, even if a theft was
proved, "What are we going to say to the Israelis, 'Give it back?' "
Israel hasn't ever said whether it has nuclear weapons. A
spokeswoman for the Israeli Embassy in Washington, D.C., declined to comment
for this article.
So did a spokeswoman for the Obama administration, which
like past U.S. administrations has declined to say whether it believes Israel
has an atomic arsenal. A CIA spokesman also declined to comment.
Mr. Carter, who said at a 2008 gathering in Britain that
he believes Israel has nuclear weapons, declined through a spokeswoman to be
His diplomatic efforts as president, which helped produce
a peace treaty between Israel and Egypt in 1979, likely wouldn't have been
possible "if there was some huge scandal at the time about this,"
said John Marcum, the staffer who wrote the July 28, 1977, memo, in a recent
The theft suspicions surround events at a now-dismantled
facility in Apollo, Pa., owned by a company called Nuclear Materials &
Equipment Corp., or Numec. In the mid-1960s, some 200 pounds of bomb-grade
uranium--enough possibly for several Hiroshima-sized bombs--couldn't be
accounted for there.
An FBI investigation begun in the late 1960s, which drew
interest from top Nixon administration officials, including the president,
but couldn't determine what happened to the uranium, according to Federal Bureau of
Investigation and other agency documents. But FBI officials did raise questions
about suspected dealings between Numec's founder and president, Zalman Shapiro,
and Israeli intelligence officials, according to government documents.
& Wilcox Co. BWC -0.35% , a
nuclear-technology and energy company that acquired Numec in 1971, declined to
In an interview late last year, the 93-year-old Mr.
Shapiro, who has long argued the material had been lost in the production
process, said that no theft took place. He said his dealings with Israel, where
Numec had commercial activities, were legitimate and to his knowledge never
involved intelligence officials.
Potentially crucial sections of the recently released
documents--obtained by the Institute for Research: Middle Eastern Policy, an
organization that has been critical of Israel--remain classified.
The latest document release underscores the need for the
government to declassify the remaining information about the suspected theft,
some former federal officials say.
"We know the CIA thought the material was stolen. We
want to know why they thought that," said Victor Gilinsky, a former
commissioner of the Nuclear Regulatory Commission.
Government records show that a federal nuclear-enrichment
facility in Ohio sent shipments to Numec containing the highest percentage of
U235, the explosive form of uranium, ever known to have been produced, said
Roger Mattson, another former NRC official.
Did the CIA later find that such uranium had turned up in
Israel, as some documentary evidence suggests? "That's not something
that's declassified," said Jessica Tuchman Mathews, a national-security
official in the Carter administration who wrote or received some of the
recently declassified documents.