Moon of Alabama Brecht quote
August 09, 2006

Jonathan Pollard jun.

When I read about the case of one Ariel Weinmann a few days ago, my first thought was "terrorism". Why else would the U.S. Navy secretly hold one of its sailors for four month in a Norfolk brig?

But then - the name, did not fit and there is a espionage charge involved.

A petty officer has been in the Norfolk Naval Station brig for more than four months facing espionage, desertion and other charges, but the Navy has refused to release details of the case.

The case against Fire Control Technician 3rd Class Ariel J. Weinmann is indicative of the secrecy surrounding the Navy military court here ..
A docket listing Weinmann's preliminary hearing, called an Article 32, was never produced. The Navy would not disclose when the hearing was held.
Weinmann had been serving aboard the submarine Albuquerque until he deserted in July 2005, according to Brown. Weinmann enlisted in July 2003, he said.

The submarine Albuquerque is a Los Angeles class nuclear fast attack boat. A Fire Control Technician is:

responsible for all operational and administrative aspects of the submarine's computer and control mechanisms used in weapons systems and related programs.

Mr. Weinmann had a low level, but sensitive job. Still this does not explain the unusual four month secrecy around the sailors preliminary hearing.

Today a report in The Virginian-Pilot reveals a bit more:

The Navy's charges depict Petty Officer 3rd Class Ariel J. Weinmann as a sailor who stole a Navy laptop computer, deserted his ship for more than eight months and traveled the globe, both attempting to give and actually delivering classified defense information to an undisclosed foreign government.
Arguably the most serious charges are three counts of espionage in violation of the Uniform Code of Military Justice. The first count alleges that in March 2005, in or near Manama, Bahrain, Weinmann did "attempt to communicate, deliver or transmit" classified information relating to national defense to "a representative, officer, agent or employee of a foreign government."

The two subsequent charges allege that months later - after purportedly deserting his Connecticut-based submarine - Weinmann did "communicate, deliver or transmit" information classified as confidential and secret to a representative of a foreign government.

According to the charges, those events occurred in Vienna, Austria, around Oct. 19, 2005, and around March 19, near Mexico City, Mexico.

Weinmann was picked up at the Dallas/Fort Worth International Airport days after the incident in Mexico, according to the charges. Brown said the Naval Criminal Investigative Service was involved in the case.

It is interesting to note that the SSN-706 Albuquerque was in or near Manama, Bahrain around March 2005.

Another bit of the secrecy veil was lifted Monday in the Saudi daily Al-Watan and reported today by the Jerusalem Post:

A US Navy sailor, Ariel J. Weinmann, is suspected of spying for Israel and has been held in prison for four months, according to an article published Monday in the Saudi daily Al-Watan. It reported that Weinmann is being held at a military base in Virginia on suspicion of espionage and desertion.

According to the navy, Weinmann was apprehended on March 26 "after it was learned that he had been listed as a deserter by his command." Though initial information released by the navy makes no mention of it, Al-Watan reported that he was returning from an undisclosed "foreign country." American sources close to the Defense Department told Al-Watan that Israel was the country in question.

Al-Watan speaks of "sources" and Weinmann spying for Israel could make some sense. Israel does have Dolphin submarines with the capacity to launch cruise missiles. It is suspected that these could be armed with nuclear warheads. Some software specifics on the U.S. lauch and control systems could be of dear interest to the IOF.

But then the Virginian WAVY TV News website speculates about Russian involvement:

Navy officials say Weinmann visited Bahrain, Austria and Mexico, but they aren't saying if he was dealing with those governments.

But a source tells us, one of the countries involved is Russia.

Now I admit that Russia could be the foreign country involved here, but I wonder why a spy case with Russian involvement would be kept secret for so long. Such a case would be perfect to put some diplomatic pressure on Russia in the case of the Iran UN resolution or other issues.

An espionage case against an Israeli spy is a different challenge. While Israel and the U.S. are together creating Ledeen's cauldron of a "New Middle East", another Pollard case, even a small one, might not be welcome news to some.

Posted by b on August 9, 2006 at 14:51 UTC | Permalink


It is also possible, based on the sources you used, that everything could be the reverse of what it seems. He could be planting stuff, instead of selling. Spy/Mole. Who's to know. He could be spending four months reading spy novels and having his back massaged, forall we know.

The connection between US, Russia and Israel, Israeli spys, and Israel's interests, and its fellow Russian citizens who now reside in Israel, is a very complex and fascinating issue. I'm sure that it is a world filled with spys, counter-spys, and moles, of at least the concentration seen during the cold war.

Some good thrillers will get written about this, if we live long enough.

Posted by: Malooga | Aug 9 2006 15:44 utc | 1

Depending on who this spook actually works for this could be OT if it not Mr. Olmert.

Cyber-Commandoes for Israel.

Posted by: Cloned Poster | Aug 9 2006 16:48 utc | 2

The NY Times editorial Revenge of the Irate Moderates is dead on.

The GOP, Corporate Media and Washington DC Democrats are desperately trying to obtuse the obvious that evangelical Christians and fundamentalist Jews have gotten the USA right in the middle of a Holy War in Lebanon, Palestine, Iraq and Afghanistan with Syria and Iran next on their roadmap to Armageddon.

Posted by: Jim S | Aug 9 2006 16:55 utc | 3

@Jim S - If that NYT editorial would have included your paragraph, it would be dead on. As it is, it is lacking quite the center of the problem.

Posted by: b | Aug 9 2006 17:32 utc | 4

@Jim S:

I disagree. Religion is being used by the elite as an excuse to invade other countries. Nobody was trapped. This was planned and war gamed four years ago. The links to all articles can be found here at Moon archives. Even Bush and Bliar do their best to defuse talk of a "Holy War" against Islam, and clarify that it is a war against "Muslim extremism and terrorism." Translation: Anyone who opposes our plans. The planners in the State department and Defense department are level headed guys; ruthless as all hell, but not looking for the rapture by any means. I have a friend was was at a number of the war games. I know whereof I speak.

Posted by: Malooga | Aug 9 2006 18:40 utc | 5

Oh, that I wish you were correct that Palestine, Lebanon, Iraq and Afghanistan were all Imperial Hubris. Then negotiations and pullback are possible; business after all is business. Jewish settlers could be pulled out of the West Bank. US troops could leave Iraq and Afghanistan, as long as oil remains fungible. But, the blank Bush face untouched by deep furrows of worry, guilt and tragedy and a resting heart rate of 46 indicates instead the steadfastness of a true believer.

Posted by: Jim S | Aug 9 2006 19:22 utc | 6

Empires don't negotiate; they create their own reality. In this case, they don't even like the reality they have created.

Jim S:

It is stated US policy to attempt to dominate the entire world militarily. The best presentation I have heard of this was given by Zia Mian at the keynote address at AFSC New England's Empire is Not Healthy for Children and Other Living Things conference on October 10, 2003.

I was there that day, and let me tell you, the hair stood up on the back of my neck just listening to what he is saying. American foreign policy is so Orwellianly chilling that if the average person heard it, they wouldn't believe it. It stands at stark contrast with the myth of the US being a force for good in the world. Your whole world view has to fall apart, very painfully, and reorient itself, just to get a grasp on how the world is actually run. Anyway, if you are interested, Alternative Radio has the whole speech on CD, and is excellent to share with others, who need a little help coming around.

In any event, when the day comes that I hear a political candidate actually discuss the National Security Strategy of the United States, the official document on the White House website, honestly and forthrightly with voters, and not play shell games like Feingold and Lamont, then I will support that candidate wholeheartedly. But, tragically, it seems that politicians in this de facto totalitarian country are only allowed to question tactics for military dominance publicly. Questioning the actual security strategy of the United States is verboten.

I wish more people on this site would read the document critically and think about the implications which Dr. Mian, so frighteningly, draws to our attention.

Posted by: Malooga | Aug 9 2006 21:44 utc | 7

malooga, your second link is not working...

Posted by: Uncle $cam | Aug 9 2006 21:57 utc | 8

The National Security Strategy of the United States

Posted by: Malooga | Aug 9 2006 22:14 utc | 9

Bush doesn't run policy, he sells it to the religious base. Cheney is no fundamentalist, neither is Rumsfeld or the other neocons associated with the empire /total domination plans in the Project for a New American Century.

Posted by: gylangirl | Aug 10 2006 1:21 utc | 10

US Navy says Weinmann was not an Israeli spy

The US Navy has categorically denied that Petty Officer Ariel J. Weinmann was spying for Israel, The Jerusalem Post has learned. According to a Navy official, reports that Weinmann was an Israeli spy are "absolutely not true."

I guess the espionage point will vanish from Weinmannn's indiction after the preliminary hearing...

Posted by: b | Aug 10 2006 6:26 utc | 11

Wayne Madsen adds a few details on the Weinmann case, and reminds us of Jeremiah Matysse (ne' Curtis Banker, Jr.). From this cache copy (scroll down, or do a search for "Matysse") one learns

Matysse was not charged with espionage but for being absent without leave and conduct unbecoming an officer. Some right-wing Israeli politicians demanded that Matysse not be returned to the United States without swapping him for jailed Israeli spy Jonathan Pollard. Matysse's punishment was rather light. He received non-judicial punishment from Fort Knox, Kentucky Commanding General Maj. Gen B. B. Bell and was ordered to the Fort Knox Regional Confinement Facility and he worked in the office of the Fort Knox Judge Advocate General as a legal aide, a strange assignment for someone who had violated Army regulations and, possibly, national security laws.

What top secrets went out the door from Camp Bullis to Israel in 2000?

Matysse's liaisons with the Israelis took place at the same time
that hundreds of Israeli "art students" and "movers" were spotted
casing U.S. military and other sensitive installations across the
United States, particularly in Texas and Florida.

After his return to the United States, there was little follow-up
news about Matysse.

Apparently Jonathan Pollard is destined to remain the only Israeli spy in the U.S. to receive "superstar" status (and significant time in the slammer). By the way, I continue to think that Pollard is guilty as sin, but has served a sufficiently long sentence, and so should be released.

Posted by: Hannah K. O'Luthon | Aug 10 2006 8:23 utc | 12

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