debkafile Exclusive: Israel’s spy agencies will balk at granting Strategic Threats Minister Lieberman access to secret Iranian nuclear documents

Rolling up his sleeves to start work, the incoming minister put his hand in a hornet’s nest by announcing he must first “master the intelligence material” on the Iranian nuclear issue.
No way, say heads of the Mossad, military intelligence- AMAN, the Shin Bet and the undercover bodies in the foreign and defense ministries with one voice; Olmert’s new man had better forget about access to their most closely-guarded secret documents relating to Iran’s nuclear plans, its procurement networks for nuclear materials and technology, ballistic missile know-how, Tehran’s nuclear ties with Russia, and interaction with terrorist organizations. If he insists, the newcomer will get the runaround: The Mossad and Shin Bet will refer him to the prime minister and AMAN, to the defense minister.
Both ministers will tell the services to open their files for Lieberman. The spy chiefs will nod, but continue to sit tight on the hard stuff. The most he can expect is an overview briefing by Mossad chief Meir Dagan and AMAN head Maj.-Gen Amos Yadlin. The really sensitive documents will remain invisible.
The Israeli prime minister has also, according to our sources, received requests from a number of Western security services, which share intelligence on the nuclear question with Israel, not to permit persons outside their known Israeli contacts access to the shared input. They implied that exposure to others outside this tight circle would have consequences: some of the secret materials made available to their Israeli colleagues might dry up.
Above and beyond the issue of sensitive Iranian nuclear data, Israel’s intelligence chiefs fear Olmert wants Lieberman to act as a political overlord to keep tabs on their work on his behalf. They won’t take this lying down.
The incoming minister could try to get around this wall of resistance by appointing a trusted liaison officer to bridge his contacts with the intelligence community. Israel Hasson, the Knesset Member from his own party, is a former deputy Shin Bet director. He is respected by his former colleagues at home and aboard. Hasson could also work well with the new head of the National Security Council, a former Mossad official Eliahu Mizrahi, on the Iranian nuclear file.
But Hasson would have to agree to this role. For the moment, Lieberman is inclined to bypass the closed-files obstacle by the time-honored device of broad travel to foreign capitals to promote Israel’s case against Iran. Here too he may be walking on coals: Foreign minister Tzipi Livni will have something to say on the matter of crossed paths.

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