THE SAMSON OPTION: ISRAEL'S NUCLEAR ARSENAL AND AMERICAN FOREIGN POLICY
Chapter 16: Prelude to War
Israel's development as a full-blown nuclear power by 1969 could not have come at a more fortuitous time, in terms of the American presidency. Richard Nixon and Henry Kissinger approached inauguration day on January 20, 1969, convinced that Israel's nuclear ambitions were justified and understandable. Once in office, they went a Step further: they endorsed Israel's nuclear ambitions.
The two American leaders also shared a contempt for the 1968 Nonproliferation Treaty, which had been so ardently endorsed in public by Lyndon Johnson. Nixon, midway in his campaign against Vice President Hubert H. Humphrey, dismayed the arms control community by urging the Senate to delay ratification of the NPT until after the election. He went further a few days later, telling newsmen in Charlotte, North Carolina, that he specifically was concerned about the NPT's failure to permit the transfer of "defensive nuclear weapons," such as mines or antiballistic missile systems, to non- nuclear powers. Government arms controllers were hugely relieved in early February 1969 when Nixon formally requested the Senate to take up the treaty and then stated at a news conference that he would do all he could to urge France and West Germany -- known to have reservations-to sign it: "I will make it clear that I believe that ratification of the treaty by all governments, nuclear and non-nuclear, is in the interest of peace and in the interest of reducing the possibility of nuclear proliferation."
In the secrecy of their offices, however, as only a few in the government knew, Nixon and Kissinger had simultaneously issued a presidential order to the bureaucracy undercutting all that was said in public. The classified document, formally known as National Security Decision Memorandum (NSDM) No. 6, stated that "there should be no efforts by the United States government to pressure other nations, particularly the Federal Government of Germany, to follow suit [and ratify the NPT]. The government, in its public posture, should reflect a tone of optimism that other countries will sign or ratify, while clearly disassociating itself [in private] from any plan to bring pressure on these countries to sign or ratify."
"It was a major change in American policy," recalled Morton H. Halperin, then Kissinger's closest aide on the National Security Council staff. "Henry believed that it was good to spread nuclear weapons around the world. I heard him say that if he were the Israelis, he would get nuclear weapons. He did not believe that the United States should try and talk them out of it." Kissinger also told his staff in the first months of 1969 that Japan, as well as Israel, would be better off with the bomb than without it. He was convinced, said Halperin, that nuclear weapons were essential to the national security of both nations. Kissinger's view was essentially pragmatic, added Halperin: most of the major powers would eventually obtain nuclear weapons, and the United States could benefit the most by helping them to do so rather than by participating in futile exercises in morality, such as the Nonproliferation Treaty.
Kissinger's support for Israel's nuclear weapons program, as spelled out during his 1968 meeting at General Elad Peled's home, was widely known to the Israeli leadership. If an overt sign of the administration's stand was needed, it came quickly, with the decision in 1969 to end the Floyd Culler inspections of Dimona. The inspections, begun in 1962, had long been considered by the American arms control community to be important in principle but in practice to have marginal utility; they dragged on without change, nonetheless, through the Johnson years. Israel resented the inspections as an intrusion on its sovereignty; there also was fear that Culler or one of his team might actually stumble onto something useful, especially as Dimona began gearing up in the late 1960s for the full-scale production of warheads.
Culler's inspection in 1969 seemed to some Americans to be especially pointless, in the wake of President Johnson's last- minute decision to allow Israel to purchase its much-desired F-4S without insisting-as the State Department and Pentagon wanted-on Israeli ratification of the NPT in exchange. "Culler's team came on a Saturday and spent only a few hours," recalled the late Joseph Zurhellen, then senior deputy to Ambassador Wally Barbour in Tel Aviv. "You just can't walk in and take a guided tour. You've got to do an awful lot to determine what's been done to a reactor." Zurhellen had no illusions about what was going on at Dimona: "The French had pulled the wool over our eyes and so had the Israelis." His point, in a memorandum he forwarded to Washington, was essentially one of public relations: the Israelis "could claim that our inspection showed Dimona to be clean, when in fact it showed nothing at all." Such complaints had been voiced before.
But now Washington found it convenient to end the charade, and the inspections ended. They were never to be reinstated, as the Nixon administration made a judgment that would become American policy for the next two decades: Israel had gone nu" clear, and there was nothing that the United States could-or wanted to -- do about it.
The new policy soon worked its way through the bureaucracy, which reacted as the bureaucracy always did: it followed orders -with varying degrees of resentment. Charles N. Van Doren, who was deputy general counsel of the Arms Control and Disarmament Agency in the Nixon administration, was convinced that Israel was the "Achilles heel" of America's NPT policy: "We were winking at it." Van Doren, who persevered for nineteen years in the arms control bureaucracy, recalled he had repeatedly tried under Nixon and Kissinger "to get the NPT on the agenda for talks on the Middle East, but I was told there was too much on the table." He understood the underlying reason, of course: "An order had gone out that no nuclear information on Israeli proliferation was to be put out. It was very frustrating." 
The Nixon and Kissinger tolerance for a nuclear Israel also was reflected by the media. In July 1970, Carl Duckett's intelligence report on Israel's nuclear arsenal, which had been initially suppressed in 1968 by Lyndon Johnson and later by Richard Helms, the CIA director, finally made its way onto the front page of the New York Times -- and nobody cared. The Times story, written by Washington correspondent Hedrick Smith, provided the American public with its first account of the CIA's assessment of the Israeli nuclear arsenal, beginning with its lead sentence: "For at least two years the United States Government has been conducting its Middle East policy on the assumption that Israel either possesses an atomic bomb or has component parts available for quick assembly." The Smith story also described Israel's progress in developing its Jericho I missile system and revealed that a manufacturing plant had been set up near Tel Aviv for the production of solid propellants and engines for the missiles. Smith recalled trying for two years to get the article published in the Times, and failing because I just didn't have it hard enough." He was given a boost that July by Senator Stuart Symington, the Missouri Democrat, who acknowledged on a Sunday television interview show that there was "no question that Israel is doing its best to develop nuclear weapons." The Symington peg helped Smith get the story published a few days later; the reporter, experienced in covering diplomatic affairs, awaited the attention he was sure the article would attract from others in the media and the Congress. Nothing happened. "I was astonished," Smith said. "Nobody could get near it. The networks didn't go for it." Neither did any of the Times's newspaper competitors, who found it impossible to confirm the story. "I had a sense of being way out in front of the field," said Smith. The reporter did hear from the Israeli embassy in Washington; there was a subsequent meeting with a "very upset" Ambassador Yitzhak Rabin. "He repeated the standard line that Israel would not be the first to use it," said Smith, who recalled asking Rabin if he was specifically denying the story: "Rabin would not answer."
By mid-197', the White House's permissive attitude toward the Israeli bomb made it possible for even those officials responsible for monitoring the shipment of sensitive materials to look the other way. Glenn R. Cella, a foreign service officer, was assigned that summer to handle political-military affairs on the State Department's Israeli desk; he also was named the department's representative on the Middle East Task Force, an interagency group whose main mission was to monitor American arms transfer policies. Cella, who had served in Morocco, Algeria, and Egypt, began asking about the Israeli bomb and quickly learned of Duckett's suppressed estimate. He also learned that if there was going to be any pressure on Israel to stop its nuclear weapons program, it would not come from the task force or the State Department. Israel was then pushing for the immediate shipment of more F-4s, and the State Department's Bureau of Intelligence and Research (INR) had been ordered to make a study of the military balance in the region. The study, when completed, made no mention of Israeli nuclear capability, to Cella's dismay. "I thought we ought to face up to the fact that they had it," Cella said, "but nobody was allowed to talk about it."
A few months later, Cella was notified that an Israeli request for the sale of krytrons had been routinely approved by his Pentagon counterpart on the task force. Krytrons, the inquisitive Cella was informed, were sensitive electronic timing devices used to trigger strobe lights. "I remember calling up [the Pentagon task force member] and being told, in essence, that you could buy this thing in a Hechinger's [a popular Washington chain of hardware stores]," recalled Cella. "I wasn't told it was a central part in nuclear weaponry. Then I learned krytrons triggered nuclear bombs." The high-speed device, whose export usually is closely monitored, is essential for the precise detonation of the chemical explosives that cause implosion in a nuclear weapon-facts that should have been known to the Pentagon official.
Cella stayed on the Middle East desk for two years and quickly became marked, he said, as an Arabist -- "which I resented." He'd learned his lesson, however. A year later the U.S. budget somehow included funds earmarked for the supply of two supercomputers to the Weizmann Institute. The computers' function, Cella knew, included nuclear simulation. "It was clear what they were for," he said, "but I didn't even try to fight it."
The atmosphere wasn't much better at CIA headquarters. Richard Helms, the consummate bureaucrat, continued to please his superiors by stifling significant intelligence about the Israeli bomb. He'd also come to a personal conclusion about Israeli intelligence, repeatedly telling his deputies and aides that he was convinced Israel was funneling American satellite information to the Soviet Union. "The CIA got a copy of the Israeli [intelligence] requirements list in late 1972," Carl Duckett explained. "The Israelis were asking their contacts [in America] for overhead [satellite} intelligence. Helms was convinced the Israelis were doing it on behalf of the Soviets. He thought Israel was an open pipeline for pumping intelligence to Moscow." There was, of course, a much more direct explanation, one that Duckett and Helms could not envision in the early 1970s: Israel wanted the satellite imagery of the Soviet Union because of its own nuclear targeting needs. 
The men and women in the bureaucracy understood, as did Helms, that the Israeli nuclear issue was taboo. "The issue had never been dealt with at the working level in State," explained David E. Long, a State Department Near East expert. Those State Department and Pentagon staff officers who in the early 1970s wanted to learn more about Israel's nuclear weapons could not, Long added, because such intelligence carried the highest order of classification: "Whenever you moved an inch in that direction, you had to decide whether you wanted to make a crusade or get on with your job." On the other hand, Long said that he and others were constantly being informally questioned about Israel's nuclear arms by diplomats from the Middle East: "My response was to say that we don't know anything and here is what the Israelis say." Long recalled once being asked by a superior to put that response in writing, in a formal diplomatic note to a Middle Eastern nation. He refused. "I backed away and argued that we just should say 'No comment,' " he recalled. "I thought that delivering a deliberately false impression went beyond subterfuge. I wasn't a crusader. I just asked that someone else deliver the note. And they did." Curtis F. Jones similarly spent his career as a Middle East expert in the Foreign Service; his final assignment from 1971 to 1975 was as director of Near East, North African, and South Asian affairs for the Bureau of Intelligence and Research. "Stopping Israeli nuclear weapons was never an issue for the U.S. government, for as long as I was there," Jones said. "We never sat down and talked about it."
The easing of the pressure from Washington removed any constraints on Dimona and the Israeli leadership, which correctly interpreted the end of the Culler inspections as an American carte blanche. The technicians and scientists at Dimona began operating in the early 1970s exactly as their American and Soviet counter-parts had done in the first days of the Cold War -- the Israelis made as many bombs as possible. 
By 1973, according to former Israeli government officials, the Israeli nuclear arsenal totaled at least twenty warheads, with three or more missile launchers in place and operational at Hirbat Zachariah; Israel also had an unknown number of mobile Jericho I missile launchers that had been manufactured as part of Project 700. The missiles had been capable since 1971 of hitting targets in southern Russia, including Tbilisi, near the Soviet oil fields, and Baku, off the coast of the Caspian Sea, as well as Arab capitals. There also was a squadron of nuclear-capable F-4 fighters on twenty-four-hour alert in underground revetments at the Tel Nof air base near Rehovot. The specially trained F-4 pilots were the elite of the Israeli Air Force and were forbidden to discuss their mission with any outsider. The long-range F-4S were capable of flying one-way to Moscow with a nuclear bomb; the daring pilots would have to be resupplied by an airborne tanker to make it home.
By this time, Dimona had solved many of the basic problems of weapons miniaturization; the smaller warheads provided Israeli weapons designers with an array of options that included the development of low-yield tactical weapons for battlefield use. The United States had done its part by approving the sale of long-range 175mm and 203mm cannons to the Israeli Defense Force in the early 1970s; those weapons, capable of striking targets twenty-five miles away, also became part of the Israeli nuclear option. American intelligence later learned that Israel had experimented by fusing together two long-range artillery barrels to produce a cannon capable of hurling a shell more than forty-five miles.
The Israelis also had contracted with Dr. Gerald Bull, a controversial Canadian arms designer, for the supply of specially configured artillery shells whose range was extended as much as 25 percent.  There were some American weapons experts who understood what Israel's real goal had to be, given the inaccuracy of an artillery shell fired at such long range. "If you're going forty-five miles and precision is three percent of range," explained one expert, "what would you hit with an HE [high explosive] shell? Nothing much. You'd need a nuclear weapon." This American, who was a senior official at one of the U.S. Army's weapons testing facilities, had visited Israel in 1973 and had been told of the intended use of the long-range cannons, information he dutifully reported to U.S. intelligence. There also were suggestions, added the American, that Israel had targeted Damascus, Syria's capital, with the special cannons during the Yom Kippur War. Washington got the message. A senior State Department intelligence official recalled widespread concern in the early 1970s over the ambitious Israeli artillery program. "Our supposition was that they'd developed a miniaturized [nuclear] artillery shell and wanted to test it," the official said.
As the Israeli weapons program prospered, there was a new element of caution inside the Israeli government and the military commands. The political struggles and infighting were put aside as the new weapon became standardized for battlefield use. There was doctrine to write and training to get done. The Israeli leadership had to work out procedures for the actual use of the bomb; at one early stage it was agreed that no nuclear weapon could be armed and fired without authorization from the prime minister, minister of defense, and army chief of staff. The rules of engagement subsequently were modified to include the head of the Israeli Air Force; the air force's warheads were reportedly maintained in preassembled units in special secure boxes that could be opened only with three keys, to be supplied by representatives of the top civilian and military leadership. Other fail-safe mechanisms, if any, could not be learned. "The day we had enough bombs to feel comfortable," one Israeli military officer explained, "we stopped talking about it. People realized the moment that the bomb was upon us that we'd become targets, too."
The increased security of the early 1970s had one immediate casualty: Minister of Defense Moshe Dayan. Dayan's standing among his peers in the military and the upper echelons of the Israeli government was far lower than among the public; he was considered overrated as a military leader and suspect because of his incessant womanizing and his financial wheeling and dealing-there was categorical evidence, never officially acted upon, of his appropriation of excavated antiquities for personal use, in direct violation of Israeli law.  The main complaint bout Dayan, however, was over his propensity to talk: one close army associate declared that "he had the biggest mouth in the world." The Israeli added: "The feeling was that he was a loose cannon at a time when Israel was in a very precarious situation. We wanted the Arabs to know what we had"-without explicitly saying too much. Dayan, with his public statements and leaks to the press, blurred that tactic. There was another problem, the Israeli added: "Dayan went to bed with everything that moved"-not that unusual a trait among aggressive Israeli military men-"but he was totally capable of meeting a good-looking woman and telling her about Dimona. He and Peres felt like they were almost parents" of the nuclear complex. While Dayan lost no authority, it was eventually made clear to him, the Israeli said, that he was no longer welcome at Dimona; he no longer had a military need to know anything about the Israeli nuclear program, which was being managed out of the prime minister's office.
Tragedy struck the program in May 1972, when Aharon Katzir, the innovative physicist in charge of Dimona, was killed in a Japanese Red Army terrorist attack at Lod Airport near Tel Aviv; there is no evidence that Katzir was specifically targeted. His replacement, Shalheveth Freier, was a nuclear physicist with impeccable credentials; he had served as scientific counselor to the Israeli embassy in Paris in the critical days of the 195os, when the Israeli-French nuclear understanding was reached. Freier also enjoyed high standing among international scientists and was particularly well known to American nuclear weapons designers, many of whom understood exactly what he did.
The researchers at Dimona and the Weizmann Institute continued to produce superb work. In 1973> two Israeli scientists caused a stir in the academic and intelligence world by receiving a West German patent for a laser process that, as they claimed, could cheaply produce as much as seven grams of uranium enriched to 60 percent U-235 in twenty-four hours. The research paid off six years later, according to Mordecai Vanunu, when Dimona opened a special Machon for the production of laser-enriched uranium.
The burgeoning nuclear bastion at Dimona may have officially remained a secret to the world, but the Israeli intelligence community discovered in the early 1970s that the Soviet KGB had penetrated the top offices of the defense ministry and intelligence establishment and was relaying the essentials of major strategic decisions to Moscow and its allies in the Middle East. The unraveling of the Soviet operation was initiated by one of the most secret units in the Israeli military, Detachment 515 (later redesignated Detachment 8200), which is in charge of signals intelligence and code-breaking-the Israeli equivalent of the U.S. National Security Agency.
One of the detachment's most senior officers was Reuven (Rudi) Yerdor, an accomplished linguist who had cracked a Soviet code-for which he later received Israel's highest defense medal-that had masked the communications between KGB headquarters in Moscow and its regional base in Cyprus. The Israelis began poring over the backlog of undeciphered Soviet message traffic and discovered that many of the major secret decisions of the Israeli defense ministry, including those dealing with nuclear weapons, were being reported to Moscow within, in some cases, twelve hours. "They went apeshit," re called a former Israeli intelligence officer, "and set up a special team to begin an investigation." The team was headed by Shin Beth, Israel's internal security agency, and included members from Mossad and Prime Minister Meir's office. Yet it was unable to find out how the KGB, which continued its spying during the secret inquiry, was able to transmit its intelligence out of Israel. The investigators were able, however, to determine that only a small number of Israeli officials had access to all the material that had been funneled to the KGB-including at least one of Golda Meir's personal aides. A few of the suspects, including the aide, cleared themselves by passing lie detector tests; others chose not to take the test, and the matter was left unresolved, to the acute frustration of the investigators. 
There was an ironic twist to the spy scandal, for the senior leadership of the Israeli government understood from the moment of the first collaboration with the French that the Soviets not only were the primary targets of the nuclear arsenal but would be among the first to be told of its existence. By 1973, Dimona's success in miniaturization enabled its technicians to build warheads small enough to fit into a suitcase; word of the bomb in a suitcase was relayed to the Soviet Union, according to a former Israeli intelligence official, during one of what apparently was a regular series of meetings in Europe between representatives of Mossad and the KGB. The Soviets understood that no amount of surveillance could prevent Israeli agents from smuggling nuclear bombs across the border in automobiles, aircraft, or commercial ships.
Israel's leadership, especially Moshe Dayan, had nothing but contempt for the Arab combat ability in the early 1970s. In their view, Israel's main antagonist in the Middle East was and would continue to be the Soviet Union. Dimona's arsenal, known by the Kremlin to be targeted as much as possible at Soviet cities, theoretically would deter the Soviets from supporting an all-out Arab attack on Israel; the bombs also would give pause to any Egyptian or Syrian invasion plans.
These were years of status quo for Israeli diplomacy. Israel had a steady flow of American arms and American acquiescence in its continued control of the occupied territories, where settlements were systematically being constructed. Those territories, and the land they added to the national borders, had done nothing to diminish Israel's hunger for more advanced weapons-defense spending rose by 500 percent between 1966 and 1972..
The death of Nasser in September 1970 had not altered the basic equation in the Middle East; his successor, Anwar Sadat, was, in the view of Prime Minister Golda Meir and her cabinet, nothing more than yet another unyielding threat to Jews. The new Egyptian leader had been jailed by the British authorities during much of World War II because of his openly pro-German stance and his public endorsement of Hitler; the fact that his actions were more anti-British than pro- German was of little solace to the Israeli leadership. Sadat, however, broke new ground by offering the Israelis a peace agreement shortly after taking office-the first Arab leader willing even to discuss such a commitment. In return, the Israelis were to withdraw to the 1967 borders. The Sadat offer was rejected out of hand by Golda Meir (only Dayan urged that it be explored); she viewed the compromise as nothing more than a starting point for extended negotiations.
Sadat waited for Washington to intervene. That did not happen, and the bitterly disappointed Egyptian president, in trouble at home and ridiculed by many of his Middle Eastern peers, tried again in mid-1972 to get Washington's respect; he abruptly ordered Soviet troops and advisers out of Egypt to demonstrate, in part, that Egypt was not pro-Communist. Nixon and Kissinger were astonished, as was the rest of the world, at the Soviet ouster, but they mistakenly viewed it as only reaffirmation of their policy of support for Israel. Kissinger went further and' privately reviled Sadat as a fool who, by acting unilaterally and emotionally, had thrown away an opportunity to use the Soviet expulsion as a bargaining tool. Sadat ended up with no diplomatic gains from the West and eventually concluded that the only way he-and Egypt-would be taken seriously was to go to war with Israel.
Israel, preoccupied by the Soviet threat, saw the expulsion as diminishing any real chance of war. On paper, Israel's army and air force were more than a match for even the combined forces of the Arab Middle East. Without Soviet backing, no Arab nation would dare to initiate a fight. There would be no peace, perhaps, but there was no immediate threat to continued Israeli control of the captured territories. This message came through loud and clear in the late summer of 1973 to Kenneth B. Keating, a former Republican senator from New York who was Wally Barbour's replacement as U.S. ambassador to Israel. In August, Keating and his deputy, Nicholas A. Veliotes, paid a courtesy call on Moshe Dayan, whom they found to be not just confident, but swaggering. There had been constant talk that summer of an impending Arab attack, Veliotes recalls, and the embassy had been put on a higher alert. Dayan was asked if he was worried. His response, recalled Veliotes, was "'Don't worry.' He described the Arab armies in the desert as 'rusty ships slowly sinking'- as if the desert were a sea. It was very arrogant." Dayan's comments were accepted without challenge at the time, said Veliotes: "We had a great belief that the Israelis knew more than we did. We also were mesmerized by 1967" -- the Six- Day War.
Israel wasn't ready when Sadat attacked across the Sinai and Syria invaded the Golan Heights on Saturday, October 6, 1973 -Yom Kippur, the Day of Atonement, the holiest day of the year for a Jew. The first days were a stunning rout. Israeli soldiers were being killed as never before; some units simply fled in disarray from battle. Five hundred tanks and forty-nine aircraft, including fourteen F-4 Phantoms, were lost in the first three days. In the Sinai, Egyptian forces, equipped with missiles and electronic defenses, blasted through the Bar-Lev defense line along the eastern bank of the canal and soon had two large armies on the eastern bank. The initial Israeli counterattacks by three tank divisions were beaten off. On the Golan Heights, Syrian forces, bolstered by fourteen hundred tanks, rolled through Israeli defenses and moved to the edge of Galillee. Only a few Israeli tanks stood between the Syrians and the heavily populated Hulla Valley. Haifa was just hours away.
Many Israelis thought it was all over -- that, as Moshe Dayan said, "this is the end of the Third Temple." The extent of Dayan's panic on Monday, October 8, has never been fully reported, but it is widely known among Israelis. One of Dayan's functions as defense minister was to provide the censored media and their editors-in-chief with a daily briefing on the war -- in essence, to control what they wrote. One journalist, a retired army general, who attended the Monday session, recalled Dayan's assessment: "The situation is desperate. Everything is lost. We must withdraw." There was talk in a later meeting of appeals to world Jewry, distribution of antitank weapons to every citizen, and last-ditch resistance in the civilian population centers. It was Israel's darkest hour, but no withdrawal was ordered.
Instead, Israel called its first nuclear alert and began arming its nuclear arsenal. And it used that alert to blackmail Washington into a major policy change.
1. In November 1969. Kissinger and Nixon decided that "budgetary constraints" made it impossible for the United States to underwrite the much-discussed Israeli ambitions for a nuclear desalting plant. Israeli officials subsequently explained the decision not in terms of costs, but as stemming from a concern that the nuclear-powered plant would become too much of a target for Arab terrorism in the wake of the Six-Day War and the renewed War of Attrition with Egypt. Nonetheless, the White House's decision, promulgated as NSDM 32, signed on behalf of the President by Kissinger, effectively ended the dispute over the Johnson administration's insistence on linking financial support for the plant to an Israeli commitment to permit inspection by the IAEA.
2. Helms had no knowledge of science and found it difficult to testify as CIA director on technical nuclear issues before the Joint Atomic Energy Commission, as his position required. To his credit, Duckett said, Helms asked for help, and a series of educational briefings was arranged, amid great secrecy, in his office. At the first session, Helms was asked by his instructor, one of the Agency's leading experts in nuclear fission, whether he'd ever studied physics in high school. The answer was no. "Okay," said the instructor, "we're going to start with the table of elements." Helms eventually spent a day with Duckett and other government officials at the nuclear underground test center in Nevada. After serving nearly eight years as the head of the CIA, he was appointed ambassador to Iran by Richard Nixon in early 1973.
3. Between 1945 and 1985 the United States manufactured an estimated sixty thousand nuclear warheads for u6 weapons systems, an average production rate of four per day. These ranged from huge thermonuclear city busters to an atomic warhead for a jeep-mounted bazooka. In a 1985 essay. three critics of the American arsenal, Robert S. Norris, Thomas B. Cochran, and William M. Arkin, concluded: "Bureaucratic competition and inertia have led to nuclear warheads for every conceivable military mission, arm of service, and geographic theater-all compounded by a technological momentum that overwhelmed what should have been a more sober analysis of what was enough for deterrence. The result is a gigantic nuclear weapons system-laboratories, production facilities, forces, and so on-that has become self-perpetuating, conducting its business out of public view and with little accountability."
4. Bull was killed outside his home in Brussels in March 1990 by assassins widely suspected of working on behalf of the Israelis. At the time of his death, Bull had accomplished for Iraq's artillery what he had done for the Israelis. There was high-level Israel! concern over Bull's success in constructing a "supergun" for the Iraqis-a eapon, as the Israelis knew only too well, that provided Iraq with the ability to threaten Israel with long-range chemical, biological, or conventional high-explosive shells. Bull's initial contracts with Israel phased out in the mid-1970s; his firm, the Space Research Corporation (SRC), later did business with South Africa and China from an eight-thousand-acre compound straddling the Vermont-Canadian border. ull's partners in SRC during much of the 1970s included the Arthur D. Little Company, a highly respected management research firm. Four executives from Arthur D. Little were on the SRC board of directors. The mysterious Bull spent six months in a federal jail after pleading guilty in 1980 to one count of selling cannons, shells, and a radar van to South Africa without a license-although he insisted until his death that his activities on behalf of South Africa had been sanctioned by the American intelligence community.
5. Dayan outraged many of his countrymen after the Six-Day War, when the biblical lands of the West Bank and Gaza were once again open to Israeli academics and archaeologists, by commandeering military units to cordon off areas known to be rich in antiquities. Dayan, with the help of the troops, would then remove artifacts -- many of them invaluable -- for his personal gain. He eventually established an antique garden in the rear of his home in Zahala, an exclusive suburb of Tel Aviv. The minister of defense's activities led to occasional critiques in the Israeli press, but no government investigation. Americans who served as diplomats and military attaches in Israel have acknowledged the purchase of antiques from Dayan, who invariably insisted on payment in American dollars.
6. One of the most nagging questions of the inquiry had to do with the transmission of the intelligence. How did the KGB spies get the information out? At one point, a knowledgeable Israeli said, the investigators turned to the National Security Agency for help, but the NSA was unable to come up with an answer. Years later, an Iranian general spying for the KGB in Iran was arrested and found to be carrying an American satellite communication device, which he had used for filing his intelligence reports. "Once he was caught," the former Israeli officer added, "they said, 'Ah-ha. This explains why no messages [out of Israel] were intercepted.' The Soviets stole the American satcom device and did better with it than we did."