Anti-Israel blogger Richard Silverstein’s latest post in his crusade to demonize Israel is that of Prisoner X, which ABC Australia claims was an Australian national. As Silverstein posts (and one assumes hopes):
The case will also drive further wedges between Australia and Israel in that it will show that the Mossad continues to abuse the passports of its allies. Israel also, according to Australian authorities neglected to notify it that an Australian citizen was jailed and had died in Israeli custody. This is a minimal standard that all nations adhere to in such circumstances.
I am not going to deal with the actual story here. What I will deal with is how this story, if true, once again demonstrates Silverstein’s unreliability.
You see, Silverstein posted one of his infamous ‘scoops” a few years ago, exposing the identity of Prisoner X as former Iranian Revolutionary Guard general Ali-Reza Asgari.
This blog was the first to report last year that authorities at Israel’s Ayalon prison noted the existence of a prisoner about whom even they knew nothing, who received no visitors, was held incommnicado, had no lawyer, and was a virtual mystery. A censored Israeli news report called him “Mr. X,” a story I brokelast June. Until today, we didn’t know who he is. But through a confidential Israeli source I have exposed his identity. He is a former Iranian Revolutionary Guard general and government minister under former President Khatami named Ali-Reza Asgari.
Until now we didn’t know Asgari was Prisoner X, which means we know where he is being held by Israel as well. Until now, we also did not have confirmation from an Israeli source that that country held Asgari. My information would seem to give the lie to the claim of defection. A man who defects isn’t held in a maximum security prison cell. If in fact at one time Asgari was a defector, it would appear that he is not one now. I doubt he is being held incommunicado by the Israelis for his health.
UPDATE: Another Israeli academic I know with ties to a prominent Israeli reporter who he would not name, who it turn has close ties with the Mossad, claims Asgari is not in Ayalon Prison. While there is a possibility my source was provided with false information upon which this story is based, I strongly doubt it and stand by the story. Not the least of the reasons for my doubt of the Israeli reporter, who claims to know who REALLY is in Ayalon Prison’s Unit 15, is that he won’t come forward with that information, while my source will.
And how does Silverstein now deal with his error? By blaming the source of the “disinformation.”
A word now about the error in my own reporting. My source was told by an Israeli intelligence official that the dead man was Ali Reza Asgari. In hindsight, it appears this was a ruse designed to throw the media off the scent of the real story. A similar thing happened recently with the Fordo story, which also turned out to be a diversion to cover up Israel’s planned attack against Syria. The Asgari red herring was a particularly dumb diversion since it elicited a furious response from Iran, which threatened to bring the matter before the United Nations. In fact, Yossi Melman was furious with me for my role saying I’d endangered the security of Israel by drumming up needless hostility with Iran. What he didn’t know was that it was an Israeli intelligence source who’d done this and was to blame.
Notice how Silverstein takes no responsibility for his sloppy “reporting.” As I’ve shown on here time and again, he rushes to get a scoop, based on nothing more than the word of anonymous sources, and posts the information if it suits his anti-Israel agenda. In fact, I personally exposed his modus operandi when I set up an anonymous source to feed Silverstein wrong information about my identity. And sure enough, he bit.
Not only does Silverstein take no responsibility for his error, but he even has the chutzpah to beg for donations, pointing to this latest post as showing the importance of what he’s doing!
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When a commenter points out that ABC broke the story and (rightly) questions what Silverstein’s role was in bringing it to light, Silverstein responds:
Did you forget that I have sources ABC doesn’t have in both Israel & Australia? ANd there is information in my post that isn’t in the documentary?
Yes. Entirely false information.
Note also Silverstein’s false indignation to Yossie Melman’s accusation he endangered Israel’s security. Silverstein has regularly shown he is not just indifferent to Israel’s security. He seems to be doing what he can to undermine it.
Update: Silverstein demonstrated more sloppiness in the post itself, describing Bob Carr as Australian former foreign minister, only to be corrected by some of his commenters.