A new, and dubious from the start, theory has emerged from the fracas over the death of Australian born “Prisoner X”, Ben Zygier. The allegation is that Zygier was killed for revealing details of Mossad operations to Australian security agencies.
The trouble with any information regarding the intelligence sector is that disinformation is also a currency in this field. Non-information and misleading information are more common than facts. A sort of unhealthy collateral melodrama is also quite normal, often specifically to promote non-information.
Yahoo News citing an AFP report relates how an Australian TV show blew the whistle on the death of Mr Zygier and the upshot in Israel:
Israel's parliament said it would launch an "intensive" inquiry into Zygier's arrest and death after the ABC's Foreign Correspondent programme last week exposed his identity.
Digital Journal readers please note: The link is to a transcript of Foreign Correspondent's coverage. The actual show is currently available on ABC's iView on this link but will only be available for 7 days from the date of this article.
According to the ABC, Zygier was found hanged in his cell in Ayalon prison near Tel Aviv in December 2010, in a case Israel went to extreme lengths to cover up.
It imposed a total media blackout on the case but was forced to ease the restrictions after the story made headlines across the world, rendering the local gag order ineffective.
The Israeli gag order, for the record, is quite similar to US and Australian security law requirements.
The question is how much water this new claim can hold. Mossad isn’t exactly a passive organization. It could reasonably be expected to be less than enthusiastic about any leaks, particularly to a foreign security agency, even a friendly country. It’s very bad practice to divulge methods and operational information at all. An arrest would be likely.
That said, there’s another, nasty issue- Mr Zygier is also being given a reputation in media as a blowhard, someone who boasted of his operations. Essentially, he’s being painted as someone who was a liability by definition, and this image also drastically devalues him as a source of information. This is a very iffy picture. As a rule, those in the intelligence sector who don’t shut up are found out soon enough and dealt with. They certainly don’t spend a few years wandering around shooting their mouths off, particularly if working for a very alert organization like Mossad.
But- The likely reason for Mr Zygier talking to Australian intelligence would be as a result of the forged Australian passports linked to an assassination allegedly carried out by Israeli agents. This was a very sore point between Australia and Israel at the time, and it’s quite likely that Australian security was still keeping its ear to the ground at the time Mr Zygier was arrested.
Leaking to Australian security in most cases wouldn’t be a big deal for Mossad unless the leaks compromised their position regarding the subjects of any leaks. Even in this case, telling Australian security what it already knew couldn’t be described as some sort of information breakthrough for the Australian agencies. So the theory that Mr Zygier was “killed” for passing on this information has a degree of absurdity about it on several levels.
On the other hand, if Mr Zygier gave the Australian agencies information they didn’t have, the question becomes what possible use is killing someone after the damage was done? Particularly when the death has simply done more damage, attracted a lot of attention and done Mossad no favours in the process, that’s a question well worth asking.
This opinion article was written by an independent writer. The opinions and views expressed herein are those of the author and are not necessarily intended to reflect those of DigitalJournal.com