Thursday, April 08, 2010

Will 'Anat Kam' scandal lead to demise of Haaretz and Shoken?

One can only hope. If the investigators can find evidence of direct involvement of higher ranks and owners of Haaretz/Walla in stealing secret documents from IDF - can the state, or will it - follow through and shut it down?


Soldier secretary steals 2000 documents, partner journalist escapes country
Media reports everything from a perspective that the journalist and traitor are victims of an anti-democracy forces. I disagree, those individuals, and the organization they worked for should be severely punished.
Lawyer for Anat Kam, who allegedly gave 2,000 classified files to Haaretz journalist for "ideological reasons", says client "denies damage to State of Israel."

Hours after the media gag was lifted on information relating to former IDF soldier Anat Kam, who is accused of handing over highly sensitive military information to Haaretz journalist Uri Blau, Kam’s attorney responded to the media frenzy on Thursday, saying that the case was damaging to democracy.

“I would like to apologize for our inability to respond to all the charges (against Kam), however all evidence and materials which have been brought to the prosecution have yet to be brought to the defense, which is highly unusual,” Eitan Lehman, Kam’s attorney said in a press conference.

“Anat denies that any damage was done to the security of the State of Israel or that it was ever her intention to do so,” Lehman added. “All articles published by Blau were approved by the military censor before their publication.”

Lehman added that he felt the indictment against his client was unusually harsh, and if the court wished to adopt the attitude of the district attorney, “it would be damaging to the democratic status of the State of Israel."

On October 28, 2008, an article was published in Ha’aretz that accused the IDF of defying an Israeli Supreme Court ruling against killing wanted Palestinian terrorist who could have been captured alive. A November 2008 story suggested the military had unilaterally loosened its rules of engagement and marked terrorists for assassination.

Following the publication, IDF Chief of General Staff Lt.-Gen. Gabi Ashkenazi – with permission from then-Attorney General Menahem Mazuz asked the Shin Bet (Israel Security Agency) and police to launch an investigation in order to discover who had leaked the documents cited by Blau in his articles.

The purpose of the probe was twofold – on the one hand, to discover the identity of the source, and secondly, to recover all the documents that were believed to be in the journalists possession. In early 2009 the IDF’s field security unit, together with the Shin Bet, began the investigation.

According to the Shin Bet, close to 2,000 documents were copied by Anat Kam when she served as the assistant to the bureau chief of OC Central Command Maj.-Gen. Yair Naveh between 2005 and 2007. The documents contained top secret information concerning General Staff orders, personnel numbers in the Central Command, intelligence information, information on the IDF doctrine and data pertaining to central sensitive military exercises, weaponry and military platforms. The files also contained details on what the Central Command does in the event of a major escalation – how it deploys forces to the West Bank and where it stations them there.

The leak “posed a direct and real threat to the lives of IDF soldiers and Israeli citizens,” Shin-Bet Chief Yuval Diskin said Thursday. He added that throughout the entire investigation, the Shin Bet operated with utmost sensitivity due to Blau’s involvement. Every procedure throughout every step of investigation, he said, was taken with permission from Mazuz and State Prosecutor’s Office.

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