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Clueless in Seattle: Richard Silverstein’s ‘fantasy’ source

This guy couldn’t see the truth if it bit him in the ass. Don't believe me? Ask NPR

Sigh. Richard Silverstein is still sticking to his guns. The Seattle-based anti-Israel blogger continues to claim that the document provided him by his secret source, a former high-ranking minister in a past Israeli government, is in fact an Israeli government plan for an attack on Iran. He continues to claim that this documents was provided to his source by an officer in the IDF and he continues to claim that he vetted the document with both Israeli and US National Security experts. He also claims that the document was leaked to a moderator in a forum on the Israeli website Fresh who then altered it and claimed that he had written it himself. For no apparent reason. As to why such a seemingly important document would be leaked to a forum where most of the discussions center on video games, movies and TV shows? Silverstein has no response. Did his ministerial source ask the IDF officer about his motivations? Apparently not.

And now NPR has interviewed a number of real experts regarding this leak. What’s interesting is that NPR never mentioned Silverstein on air. It merely linked to his post on its website. So, what did the experts say?

John Bumgarner, chief technology officer at the US Cyber Consequences Unit, says the plan does make sense, at least in theory. “Israel has very good cybercapabilities. Some of the best computer scientists in the world come out of the Israeli military and intelligence branch,” he says. “Some of the best cybertools that are currently used in the world come out of Israel.” But could the Israelis actually pull off a nationwide cyberattack in Iran? Bumgarner is skeptical. “Maybe they could carry out the attack against certain nodes in the country, like, you know, Tehran,” he says. “But to carry it out across the whole country would be very difficult.”

Security analyst Jeffrey Carr, the author of “Inside Cyber Warfare,” didn’t mince his words:

…he doubts the Israelis could even take down Iran’s power grid, let alone its entire high-tech sector. A grid, Carr points out, is made up of multiple power plants, each with its own network configuration. “An attacker has to map out the network before it can plan an attack. The scenario that’s been described on this war plan, or whatever you would call this, is just fantasy,” he says. “There’s no way that anyone could create a piece of software or weaponized malware that could just wipe out multiple power plants and multiple grids with one strike. It’s nonsense.”

So there you have it. Nonsense and fantasy. Motivated perhaps by a desire to discredit the Netanyahu government with a poorly thought out plan that involves cyber capabilities that only exist in movies. Specialized bombs — which Israel does not possess (that no one possesses) — that can penetrate deeply buried, reinforced Iranian targets? The bunker-buster bombs Israel does possess, which can be dropped by F-15s, aren’t big enough to do the job in Iran. The ones the US possesses that can do the job have to be dropped by a large bomber, like a B-52 or a B-1. Israel does not have large bombers. Or is Silverstein a Mossad stooge, being used to disseminate disinformation, pressuring the US and the world to increase sanctions against Iran or launch an attack in order to prevent Tehran’s acquisition of a nuclear bomb? That’s the scenario some on the left have been positing. I doubt that’s the case because, once again, why leak the document to Fresh?

(via Jewlicious)

What is clear is that Silverstein and his vaunted ministerial source are idiots. Delusional morons. A person who was once an Israeli minister was fooled by an obvious forgery. A blogger who claims to be a journalist is so blinded by his ideological bias that he couldn’t see the truth if it bit him in the ass. Not sure I’m right? Well, let’s see what Richard Silverstein and his secret source have been up to today.

News sources are reporting that a Sinai-based terrorist died after being blown up. Silverstein claims, and he is being backed up by his secret Israeli source, that the explosion was the result of an Israeli drone attack deep in Egyptian territory. Now, Silverstein was not the first to report this. He links to a Channel 10 News video that doesn’t at all claim Israel was responsible. Afterward, we are subjected to his maudlin, faux-macho prose criticizing Israel ad nauseum. What do real journalists say? Well, it turns out Lebanon’s Daily Star has different eyewitness accounts culled from a number of news agencies, staffed by actual real reporters — not Interweb posers:

Egyptian security officials and witnesses said a man was killed in an explosion near the border with Israel Sunday, with some accounts saying he was trying to fire a rocket into Israel. Witnesses said he was killed in an explosion as he tried to fire a rocket, and as an Israeli military drone hovered in the sky above its side of the border.

Even Ma’an News had the integrity to mention that there were at the very least conflicting reports. Spokespersons for the IDF deny involvement in this incident, but Secret Minister Man told Silverstein “Israel decided that what has worked successfully in Sudan will work in Sinai also.”

Huh? The 2009 weapons convoy in Sudan bound for Hamas-controlled Gaza wasn’t destroyed by drones. It was destroyed by the Israeli Air Force. After their first bombing run, the Israeli pilots released drones from their planes to photograph the convoy and make sure that it had been completely destroyed. Not quite the same. But I guess Mr. Secret Minister Man doesn’t read Time Magazine. Nor does he understand how far Sudan is from Israel. And how far drones carrying powerful rockets capable of knocking out a convoy can fly. Go ahead, stupids. Look it up. I’ll wait.

The point is that, given conflicting reports, it’s too soon to make definitive statements. But Silverstein doesn’t even mention alternatives. He just goes on his ideologically tinged rampage. Anyone who cares about the truth and relies on Silverstein is going to be disappointed. That’s for sure.


This post was originally published at Jewlicious.

About the Author
David Abitbol is a resident of Jerusalem and the founder of Notorious for terrorizing drivers and pedestrians alike on his mountain bike.