by Stephen Lendman
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:
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.
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………….