Friday, November 12, 2004

Mordechai Vanunu

Yesterday Israeli police detained Mordechai Vanunu.

The nuclear whistleblower was arrested on suspicion of leaking “national secrets” in a police operation during which armed officers stormed the walled compound of the Anglican Cathedral in East Jerusalem.

An Israeli police spokesman said that he was under investigation for violating the terms of his release, which include bans on leaving Israel for one year, speaking to foreigners or journalists, discussing nuclear secrets and approaching foreign embassies and Israel’s borders or exit points.
Does anyone seriously believe the Israeli nuclear weapons program (ie. their weapons-of-mass-destruction program) would still be secret if not for Mordechai Vanunu’s newspaper article? Of course not. And the idea that - despite being incarcerated for 18 years - Vanunu might still have information to spill about weapons technology is even more ludicrous: why would he have kept it back, and more importantly, what the hell would it matter now anyway? Anything he learned at Dimona would now be hopelessly out of date.

I think his arrest suggests either:
a) petty vindictiveness on the part of Israeli security forces or
b) fear that Vanunu knows more than he’s said about who is helping Israel in its weapons development (and would we need more than three guesses to jump to the right conclusion anyway?)

They should let him go. The man's a hero.