Jack Abramoff and Israel
The American Conservative has some comments about Jack Abramoff and his connections to Israel.
One of the more intriguing aspects of the federal investigation into the activities of Washington lobbyist Jack Abramoff is his Israeli connections. His large $2.2 million bail is reported to be due to fears that he would flee to Israel, as some of his business associates have already done, to avoid prosecution. Abramoff, an Orthodox Jew and ardent Zionist, set up a charity called Capital Athletic Foundation, which illegally provided $140,000 worth of weapons and security equipment to hard-line Israeli settlers.
Abramoff also allegedly convinced Congressman Robert Ney, House Administrative Committee chairman, to award a contract worth $3 million to a start-up Israeli telecommunications firm called Foxcom Wireless. The contract was for the installation of antennas in House of Representatives buildings to improve cell-phone reception. Not surprisingly, such equipment can be designed to have what is known as a "back door" to enable a third party, in this case Mossad, to listen in. That an Israeli firm should be given such a contract through a selection process that was described as "deeply flawed and unfair" is explicable, particularly as there were American suppliers of the same equipment, and it suggest that the private conversations of some of our Congressmen might not be so private after all.
In a previous scandal in 2001, FBI investigators strongly suspected that two Israeli companies, AMDOCS and Comverse Infosys, which had been allowed to obtain U.S. government telecommunications contracts, were able to use back-door technology to compromise the security of DEA, Pentagon, and White House phones.