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Indybay FeatureRelated Categories: Palestine | International | U.S. | Anti-War
Secret US Construction in Israel
Secret US Construction in Israel
by Stephen Lendman
Washington and Israel partner in jointly planned imperial wars and related activities.
Walter Pincus reports on national security issues for the Washington Post. He's been at it many years. In late December he'll turn 80.
On November 28, he headlined "US overseeing mysterious construction project in Israel," saying:
"The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers plans to supervise construction of a five-story underground facility for an Israel Defense Forces complex…."
It's called "Site 911." It'll be built at an Israeli air force base near Tel Aviv. Construction will take two years or longer. Time frames are often extended. Cost is expected to be about $100 million. Before completion, double that amount or more wouldn't surprise.
Washington's Baghdad embassy was originally projected to cost $592 million. When completed, cost overruns spiraled the total over $2 billion some believe.
The Israeli facility will "have classrooms on Level 1, an auditorium on Level 3, a laboratory, shock-resistant doors, protection from non-ionizing radiation, and very tight security."
"Clearances will be required for all construction workers. Guards will be at the fence, and barriers will separate it from the rest of the base."
Construction bids are due by December 3. Only US firms are involved.
Under the Foreign Military Sales (FMS) program, Washington supplies weapons, munitions, and other defense related services to other nations and international organizations.
Sometimes they're sold. Other times they're given. The Defense Security Cooperation Agency (DSCA) administers FMS.
Washington was involved in many previous construction projects for Israel's IDF. They're undertaken under FMS.
About half a billion dollars in US military construction for Israel followed its 1998 Wye River Memorandum with Palestine. Another half billion went for Israeli security measures. Palestine got smaller amounts.
Both sides agreed to terms. At issue was finalizing the September 1995 Interim Agreement on the West Bank and Gaza Strip (Oslo II).
Israel reneged like it always does. Palestine was blamed. Netanyahu was prime minister at the time.
Pincus omitted those inconvenient facts. Israeli construction was done in the Negev. IDF forces got three new bases. Supposedly it was to facilitate redeploying forces from West Bank locations.
Israel's Nevatim air base was built at the time. It's one of Israel's largest. The Corps of Engineers constructed extensive facilities. Other ones were built earlier.
They included "underground hangers for Israeli fighter-bombers, facilities for handling nuclear weapons….command centers, training bases, intelligence facilities and simulators."
Washington provides Israel more aid than all other nations combined. It's very generous with US tax dollars for its imperial ally.
The Corps maintains three facilities in Israel. In the past two years, it built Nevatim hangers. They cost $30 million.
It also "supervised a $20 million project to build maintenance shops, hangers, and headquarters to support Israel's large Eitan" UAV program.
Site 911 will be built elsewhere. It appears to be one of the Corps' largest projects. Three underground floors will be roughly 41,000 feet each.
Two others below them will be smaller. They'll store equipment. Security is high. So is secrecy. Non-Israeli workers will only come from America, "Canada, Western Europe countries, Poland, Moldavia, Thailand, Philippines, Venezuela, Romania and China."
Palestinians are excluded. According to security considerations, the site "shall have one gate only for both entering and exiting the site."
"No exit or entrance to the site shall be allowed during work hours except for supply trucks."
Guards will only be Israeli citizens with air force experience. "The collection of information of any type whatsoever related to base activities is prohibited."
Israeli architectural firm Ada Karmi-Melamede is involved. Eventual site employees will be provided amenities.
Mezuzahs are parchments with inscribed Hebrew verses. Usually they're contained in decorative cases.
The facility will have special ones. They'll be "written in inerasable ink on….uncoated leather parchment." They'll be handwritten by a 'scribe' "holding a written authorization according to Jewish law."
They'll "be proof-read by a computer at an authorized institution for Mezuzah inspection, as well as manually…for the form of the letters by a proof-reader authorized by the Chief Rabbinate."
Mystery surrounds the site. Pentagon and Israeli Defense Ministry spokesmen said little. Pincus said bids another secret Israeli project costing about $100 million for starters is scheduled to be awarded next summer.
It will involve "a complex facility with site development challenges." Services required will include "electrical, communication, mechanical/HVAC, and plumbing."
The US contractor chosen must have secret US/Israeli clearance. Two years of construction are likely. Pincus guesses it's for a "secure command center." What's planned for Site 911 "is far less clear."
What's ongoing nearer-term matters most. Iran's in focus. Washington and Israel want regime change.
Previous articles explained lawless sanctions, sabotage, subversion, cyber attacks, assassinations, saber rattling, falsified IAEA hype, Netanyahu bluster, US warmongering, spurious accusations, manipulated to fail P5+1 talks, and inflammatory headlines.
Will Obama attack in 2013? Will Israel ride shotgun? Netanyahu will likely be reelected in January. Expect him to head a new coalition government.
It may be more hardline than the current one. Prospects for peace aren't good. Washington and Israel deplore it.
Heading into the new year, look for propaganda to intensify. An Iranian threat will again make headlines. Perhaps a major false flag is planned. Put nothing behind extremists in charge in both countries.
Direct US-led NATO intervention in Syria perhaps looms. Washington won't quit until the entire country is destroyed. Libya 2.0 may be planned.
Death squad mercenaries need air power. Installing US-controlled Patriot missiles in Turkey on Syria's border ups the ante. At issue is providing no-fly zone protection. Doing so is an act of war.
Reports suggest Obama plans "deeper intervention." "Responsibility to protect (R2P)" slaughter and mass destruction may follow.
Post-election, Obama is unrestrained. Hawks want him to act. He needs little pushing. Full-scale intervention could come anytime. It won't stop until Syria is entirely ravaged.
Perhaps Pillar of Cloud was act one. Terror-bombing Syria may follow. Hezbollah may be next. Then Iran if plans to isolate the Islamic Republic succeed.
Post-holiday tidings are worrisome. The entire region may be ravaged. At stake are more monstrous crimes. No end of them loom.
Stephen Lendman lives in Chicago and can be reached at lendmanstephen [at] sbcglobal.net.
His new book is titled "How Wall Street Fleeces America: Privatized Banking, Government Collusion and Class War"
Visit his blog site at sjlendman.blogspot.com and listen to cutting-edge discussions with distinguished guests on the Progressive Radio News Hour on the Progressive Radio Network Thursdays at 10AM US Central time and Saturdays and Sundays at noon. All programs are archived for easy listening.