1. Victor Ostrovsky
2. Mordechai Vanunu
Ostrovsky, Victor, and Claire Hoy. By Way of Deception: The Making and Unmaking of a Mossad Officer. New York: St. Martin's, 1990. 1991. [pb] By Way of Deception: A Devastating Insider's Portrait of the Mossad. Toronto: Stoddart, 1990.
Surveillant 2.1 notes that this autobiography by an ex-Mossad case-officer is full of case histories. According to I&NS 8.4, this book "should not be overestimated." NameBase says that this is "the first book to offer some major dirty laundry" about Israeli intelligence. "Among other things, it charges that Mossad had advance knowledge of the 1983 truck bombing in Lebanon..., but refused to warn the American authorities for policy reasons."
To Winslow, The Nation, 22 Oct. 1990, Ostrovsky's book is "a saucy, chatty firsthand account of being trained by the Mossad and a largely secondhand account of the agency's involvement in events of worldwide renown, which includes some spectacular allegations." This review also includes some details on the tribulations (including court cases in Canada and the United States) that the publishers went through in getting the book onto the market.
The following excerpts are taken from a review posted by Charles Gillen to the alt.politics.org.cia Internet newsgroup: "I ... wish to recommend his book for several reasons. [Ostrovsky's] detailed description of his training is persuasive that no other intel service in the world provides its regular case officers with training as intense in the areas of street tradecraft, operational security, and cover. Any reader with the slightest personal experience of some other intelligence or security service is bound to be left feeling strictly amateurish. Perhaps more significantly, Ostrovsky is not shy about stating that such training turns out amoral, glib confidence men continually seeking to sink hooks into the next mark who turns up. He also acknowledges that as a case officer he himself experienced a certain undeniable 'high' from operating in alias to manipulate unsuspecting civilians. And of course this sort of deceptive manipulation went on inside the MOSSAD as well as outside. These factors do much to explain the problems which seem endemic to humint services."
Ostrovsky, Victor. The Other Side of Deception: A Rogue Agent Exposes the Mossad's Secret Agenda. New York: HarperCollins, 1994. 1995. [pb]
According to Quandt, FA 73.4 (Jul.-Aug. 1994), this book "suffers from some of the same flaws" as By Way of Deception. "[T]here is almost no way of checking the truth of his assertions.... No doubt some of this book is true, but to sort out fact from deception is extremely difficult. A common thread ... is the author's high opinion of himself." Surveillant 4.1 notes that Ostrovsky "suggests that a rightwing faction of Israel's intelligence organization plotted to kill U.S. President George Bush at the 1991 Madrid peace conference." The book includes a number of other "eye-opening claims," including assassinations and biological experimentation on Palestinians and Soweto blacks.
Namebase sees this book as "more autobiographical" than By Way of Deception. The book follows "a rough chronology, diary-style, from 1986 to 1991, and includes much reconstructed dialogue." Ostrovsky says "the following deaths were all Mossad hits, and includes new details: British publisher Robert Maxwell, Canadian scientist Gerald Bull, German official Uwe Barschel, and Iran-contra figure Ian Spiro."
CNN. "Israeli Nuclear Spy Released." 21 Apr. 2004. [http://www.cnn.com]
"A defiant Mordechai Vanunu has calmly walked out prison after serving 18 years for spilling Israeli nuclear secrets to a British newspaper.... Vanunu was convicted of treason and espionage and spent most of his term in solitary confinement after providing the UK's The Sunday Times with information and pictures of Israel's secret nuclear reactor in the desert town of Dimona."
Gaffney, Mark. Dimona - The Third Temple: The Story Behind the Vanunu Revelation. [US]: Amana, 1989. [pb] [Surveillant 1.4]
Gilling, Tom, and John McKnight. The Mordechai Vanunu Story. [UK]: Monarch, 1991. Trial and Error: Mordechai Vanunu and Israel's Nuclear Bomb. North Geelong, Victoria, Australia: Monarch/Christian Marketing, 1991.
Surveillant 1.4 calls this a "[f]actual account," while Surveillant 1.6, adds that "Vanunu, visiting Australia on holiday, claims to have revealed his pro-Arab sentiments to his new acquaintance, clergyman McKnight, who promptly converted him to Christianity and encouraged him to prove his new faith and interest in world peace by exposing Israel's clandestine nuclear activities."
Hockstader, Lee. "In Word Only, Israeli Spy Resurfaces: Published Testimony Recalls Furor Over 1986 Nuclear Case." Washington Post, 25 Nov. 1999, A30. [http://www. washingtonpost.com]
Tried in secret and sentenced to 18 years in prison, Mordechai Vanunu "has long been kept in solitary confinement and barred from giving interviews and making phone calls.... So when the newspaper Yedioth Ahronoth published 11 pages of previously undisclosed court testimony and articles based on Vanunu's 1987 trial [on 24 November 1999], the impact here was sensational, even if the material was somewhat threadbare." See also, Deborah Sontag, "Israel Eases Secrecy Over Nuclear Whistle-Blower's Trial," New York Times, 25 Nov. 1999.
Toscano, Louis. Triple Cross: Israel, the Atomic Bomb and the Man Who Spilled the Secrets. New York: Birch Lane Press, 1990. [pb] Knightsbridge, 1991.
Rich, FILS 12.3, calls this a "slight book.... The only notable aspect of Mordechai Vanunu's sad life is that he managed to photograph Israel's Dimona nuclear bomb plant." For Moss, Bulletin of the Atomic Scientists 47.1, Toscano is telling two stories. One story is that of Vanunu's life and beliefs, in which Vanunu "emerges as a sympathetic but confused individual." The other story concerns the Israel government's reactions to Vanunu's disclosures.
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