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Netanyahu lays blame for Bulgaria attack ahead of evidence

The investigation into the Burgas terror attack barely got underway when Prime Minister Netanyahu already announced that it was carried out by Iran through its proxy Hezbollah. Whether or not it in fact was, it is the public’s duty to refuse to accept the government’s claims, until they are backed up with solid evidence. 

Returning to his halcyon days as the national inciter, standing near the blood pools of suicide attack victims, the Prime Minister was quick to announce – before the sooty bus in Burgas was even removed – that the responsibility for the attack lies with Iran or its proxies. Given the fact that Israel has been carrying out a series of terror attacks there, and was connected to the Jundallah terrorist organization, a reprisal by Iran is a reasonable assumption, though it is far from certain. This lack of certainty did not prevent Netanyahu from proclaiming Iran’s guilt.

It’s not at all certain those allegations are based on fact. The Bulgarian media claimed, almost certainly because of leaks from their intelligence services, that the suicide bomber is Mehdi Muhammad Ghazali, a Swedish national who was involved in the global Jihad movement and was incarcerated in Gunatanamo Bay. Sweden denies it, as did Bulgarian officials (Hebrew); Sweden, though, says it has no idea where Ghazali is. But Bulgarian intelligence says that while Hezbollah is its main suspect (Hezbollah denies any connection to the attack, for what it’s worth) they are also considering two other possibilities: An Al Qaeda/Global Jihad attack, or an attack by Turkish terrorists, as a reprisal for the Marmara killings. In the meantime, we also learned that the Israeli embassy in Washington had to admit, several hours after Netanyahu’s comments, that “it had no proof that Iran was the instigator of the attack.” Apparently Netanyahu did not share his secret information with his embassy in a major hasbara front. Yesterday we learned (Hebrew) that the Bulgarian police is looking for a second terrorist, an American citizen. Do you know of many U.S. citizens who are Hezbollah members? And yet, the Israeli media, as a rule, did not refer to those other possibilities.

Why? Because Netanyahu framed the story within an hour: Iran, Hezbollah. The point is we don’t know anything certain yet. A “senior Israeli official” told ynet  (Hebrew) on Thursday  that “according to the indications” the Burgas attack was carried out by Hezbollah but “the investigation is still going on and isn’t finished yet.” So, the investigation is not yet concluded, but the Prime Minister declared its results 24 hours prior to this comment.

Again, it’s perfectly possible that the attack was carried out by Hezbollah or Iranian agents. But Netanyahu pulled an intelligence manipulation. Even were we to learn that the attack was carried out by another organization, Israeli intelligence would not be able to inform the public of this without making a liar out of the Prime Minister – or, given that we are speaking of Netanyahu, more of a liar than he already is.

By the very nature of secret intelligence, and given that governments have a monopoly on it, their ability to manipulate it in order to mislead the public is enormous. Therefore, it is the public’s duty to be skeptical and suspicious of any government argument which claims to be based on intelligence – since, by its very nature, such an argument is impossible to debunk. It’s a “trust us, we know better than you” argument, which no government – particularly Netanyahu’s government – should be allowed to get away with.

Abraham Lincoln, protesting the sham arguments which led to the Mexican War, warned against the idea of granting the president extensive powers that rely on secret intelligence:  “Allow the President to invade a neighboring nation, whenever he shall deem it necessary to repel an invasion and you allow him to do so whenever he may choose to say he deems it necessary for such purpose — and you allow him to make war at pleasure. . . . If, today, he should choose to say he thinks it necessary to invade Canada to prevent the British from invading us, how could you stop him? You may say to him, ‘I see no probability of the British invading us’; but he will say to you, ‘Be silent; I see it, if you don’t.'” This is what Netanyahu is trying to tell us: Be silent, I see what you don’t.

The greatest intelligence manipulation of the last decade is the one which tied Saddam Hussein to the 9/11 attacks. According to the testimony of George W. Bush’s czar of counter-terrorism, Richard Clarke, Bush basically ordered him to find such a connection even though Clarke told him the main suspect is Al Qaeda. Thus began the great lie which led the U.S. to war in Iraq. This intelligence manipulation was manifested by disseminating false information to the public, such as the claim that Muhammad Atta met a representative of Iraqi intelligence in Prague – a claim what was later, much too late for Iraqis and Americans, debunked.

Naturally, this won’t be the first intelligence manipulation by an Israeli government. The Ben-Gurion government faked terrorist attacks prior to the Sinai War. The Begin government went to the First Lebanon War knowing full well the PLO was not responsible for the assassination attempt on Ambassador Argov. And Netanyahu’s government claimed the attack near Eilat was carried out by Gazans – which legitimized, it said, its own attacks on Gaza – while it was actually carried out by terrorists from Sinai.

This manipulation is purposeful: It promotes Netanyahu’s vision of war with Iran. Should Israeli intelligence find that Netanyahu lied, and that the Burgas attack was carried out by someone else, it is the duty of its chiefs to announce it to the public – which would necessarily require their resignation. I am doubtful that the civic sense of our intelligence chiefs is high enough, given they will have to leave their jobs and be dubbed traitors by Netanyahu’s smear machine – see what it did to Meir Dagan and Yuval Diskin for much, much less. It is, therefore, our duty to be extra vigilant, and refuse to accept the government’s claims, until they are backed up with solid evidence.

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    1. dingdang

      I agree very much with you… but…

      you wrote: “Even were we to learn that the attack was carried out by another organization, Israeli intelligence would not be able to inform the public of this without making a liar out of the Prime Minister….”

      Actually you forgot, its an Bulgarian investigation and interpol and other european experts got involved as well…

      Does Netanyahu know, that no other/conclusive evidence will be found on this? He MUST, otherwise he hadnt stated this so quickly.

      This is not an Israeli (lead) investigation!

      You guys over there are really over the edge, you too, sort of…

      Reply to Comment
    2. Jack

      Isnt it racism to blame every ill on a ethnic group of people? This man is not only a warmonger he is hatemonger.

      Reply to Comment
    3. Richard Witty

      No retaliation for the assault has occurred.

      It is helpful to scrupulously use the term “suspected”. But, even the New York Times yesterday temporarily reported the assailant as “confirmed” as associated with a Hezbollah cell (not a chain of command relationship), but then pulled that from their reporting.

      Iran condemned the attack.

      Some claim that Hezbollah is a model resistance movement, undertaking no terror in fact. Others claim that it maintains active terror cells, poised to strike, upon some cue from Iran or Hezbollah in Lebanon.

      Protection is the theme of the day, not retribution.

      Reply to Comment
    4. aristeides

      As Gurvitz points out, Israeli history and Netanyahu history both have to leave open the possibility that such attacks might have been carried out by the Mossad or other Israeli agencies to provide a casus belli for attacking Iran. The instant jump to lay blame on Iran doesn’t dispel this suspicion.

      Even if, as in this case, there seems to be no evidence whatsoever that this is the case, still the suspicion will always be alive.

      Reply to Comment
    5. Canadian

      Israel has a long history of false flag attacks; the fact that Nethanyahu pretends to know who is guilty of the crime before the investigation even began, makes this all the more likely.

      Reply to Comment
    6. Jack

      According to some israeli news sites, an alleged al qaeda off shoot have taken responbility for the attack.

      Reply to Comment
    7. Canadian

      I would also like to add that there is something very fishy in the structure of the attack:

      The terrorist looks just like all other Israeli tourists; he puts his baggages containing the bomb in the luggage compartment just like everyone else, and then ??boards?? the bus just like everyone else? And the bomb only weighs 3kg.

      Could this be a case of someone planting a bomb in the suitcase of the tourist, or maybe in one item (such as a speaker) of his luggage… Just like many international drug smugglers have done many times to unsuspecting tourists.

      Reply to Comment
    8. max

      @aristeides, Somehow, I’m of the opinion that blaming HA for what may not be their deed is a lesser travesty of truth than blaming a government for murdering its own people, based on what YG says…
      It’s cheap – in more than one meaning – to come up with conspiracy theories. Will we see an acknowledgement when this theory is proven wrong? Of course not, conspiracy is immune to truth.

      Reply to Comment
    9. aristeides

      Max – You’re missing the point. I’m not blaming Israel for this one. As I said, I have no evidence that suggests they did it.

      The point is an extension of what Gurvitz it saying: that Israel’s credibility in these matters is low, and the behavior of its politicians in casting instant blame is part of the reason. It’s a conclusion it would be easy to believe, IF there were evidence.

      Reply to Comment
    10. Bradfordian

      Then why the fake passport? I think that it is much more likely that it was him, and that it was Iran, Hezbollah or a Jihadist group that planned it.
      The fact that this man isn’t acting oddly probably means that he knew what he was doing. If he’d left his luggage behind or tried to get it into the cabin of the bus, he would have surely appeared suspicious. If your intention is to kill as many people as possible, getting amongst them without raising suspicions is paramount.
      I do think that Netanyahu & co are behaving like opportunistic politicians with an agenda to sell. Assigning blame while the investigation has barely begun is at best reckless. Of course, it is possible that they knew about the attack in advance and either allowed it to happen or were powerless to stop it in time, in which case swiftly attributing blame is to be expected.

      Reply to Comment
    11. ginger

      Bibi is appearing on the US Sunday talk shows tomorrow (Fox and CBS) to no doubt hype his phony clairvoyance. You know the script … Iran, Terror, must bomb, bomb, bomb Iran. Rinse and Repeat the hoax on America
      Does everybody know the FBI found out that Netanyahu was directly involved in smuggling 800 Krytron nuclear bomb triggers out of the US and into Israel?
      For a 17 min heads up, here’s a great interview and synopsis:
      “Netanyahu Worked Inside Nuclear Smuggling Ring;”
      Grant Smith interviewed by Scott Horton@
      Tikun Olam is running the story as well

      Reply to Comment
    12. klang

      Perhaps someone on the 972 staph or readership will claim responsibility for the Bulgaria bombing.

      Reply to Comment
    13. Well, I’m out of my conspriacy range here. Which doesn’t mean there are not conspriacies. I’m just out of my depth. I would say, though, that
      1) Neither Hezbollah nor Iran are monolithic entities at the moment. There have been, I guess, about 3 or 4 apparent anti Israel terrorist attempts in the recent past; this last leading to results. But the others seemed rather ill formed. I think it possible that some subgroup of the above two “entities” may have gone rouge, in that approval at whatever counts as highest level was not given. Both Hezbollah and Iran are facing the active loss of a major ally in a most unfriendly world–Syria. I can see some of either entity trying to escalte matters to enhance their wing’s standing in their respective organization. So I can well believe the Iran foregin ministry condemning this attack, perhaps even afraid someone in the Guards helped actualize it. As I said elsewhere here, this could be a hysterical act even if you find real evidence of Hezbollah or Iran. What should a State rationally do then?
      2)The truth often doesn’t mean very much in long term sporadic conflict. Yossi was lightning quick to see the Siani attack wasn’t likely some umberla committee in Gaza (I believe even Israeli intelligence people said, anonymously, that it was quite unlikely that group would be waiting to be blown up in a single room, as they indeed were, if they had ordered the attack, knowing as they must have Israel’s response pattern). Bibi announced it was said umbrela group quite quick and then said the perpatrators “were no longer among the living.” There is a social economy of terror and response (you pick whose what) that just wants institutional legitimacy. Even if you kill the wrong guys, you’ve shown you can, and everybody is afraid or impressed. This institutional pressure tempts one to place blanket labels over what might otherwise be seen as splinter or rouge events. Indeed, it can be useful, considering the escalation consequences, to decide an event is somewhat rouge to at least limit what may be an inevitable institutional response.
      My bet is that the Syrian crisis, which has been fuming and now is flaming during all these recent terrorist attempts, has lead to underlings producing a new fact (the attack) in an attempt to force the chain of command, such as it may be, to move towards the “rouge”‘s thinking. And yes, I suspect that after the assassinations in Iran, setting up potential retaliation avenues was authorized; does not Israel do this all the time? But these are real people who think in terms of hate and fear; I can see one latent plan going rouge. To say again: how do you rationally deal with such a scenario? I doubt Bibi knows; maybe Americans do. Now, I’ve shown myself a conspiracy freak. I need help.
      3) Quoting Abraham Linclon can be tricky. He violated the Constitution several times while President (the Congress always approved his actions after the fact, but they were mostly Radical Republcians by then). Jefferson, whose mind I truly admire, abandoned several early core principles when President: while he thought Habeus Corpus should never be suspended, he asked Congress to do so against Burr (they said no); while he praised the life of Native Americans, he ordered that those Natives unwilling to convert to farming should be pushed byeond the Mississippi (I have no idea how effective that order was in the early 1800’s). In both the case of Linclon and Jefferson, their earlier selves became something different once President. I think the same can be said of Obamma to some extent. Power controls us more than we it.
      Fortitude to you Yossi Gurvitz, once again on the front line. May you never have power. I think you get my meaning.

      Reply to Comment
    14. Jennifer

      Rushing to blame your favourite enemy for any outrage is a very obvious temptation for politicians, and one that they seem unable to resist even though there are some well known examples of unexpected perpetrators.Do the dates 19th April 1995, 11th March 2004 & 22nd July 2011 ring any bells? The original perpetrators for the events of these days were proclaimed to be Islamic terrorists, ETA & Islamic terrorists. Actual perpetrators were Tim McVeigh, Moroccan terroeists & Anders Breivik.
      Perhaps Bibi should keep in mind that the Madrid train bombings, which the then Spanish government was so keen to blame on ETA, were ultimatly responsible for the electoral defeat of that government.

      Reply to Comment
    15. dindan

      It cant be ruled out, that the blue-hat-attacker didnt really plan to kill himself. why should he have sat in the bus, after he put the backpack into the compartment? the bomb can have had either a remote or time trigger, if not, then it was a suicide attack… reports say, that the bomb is checked atm… faik, it was 3kg TNT extract, the bomb may have been more heavy – the backpack was very bulky and he had another bag around the hip…

      Reply to Comment
    16. Comment deleted and user banned

      Reply to Comment

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