Scott Horton Interviews Gareth Porter

Scott Horton, July 17, 2009

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(This interview was recorded on June 22, 2009)

Gareth Porter, independent historian and journalist for Inter Press Service, discusses his 2008 article “Bush’s Iran/Argentina Terror Frame-Up” about the 1994 Buenos Aires Jewish Community Center bombing that was blamed on Hezbollah, the possibility the attack was perpetrated by a group of right-wing antisemitic Argentinians, the “scratches on our minds” effect of sustained propaganda on public perception and how prosecutorial misconduct and weak evidence tainted the Argentinian investigation.

MP3 here. (27:21)

Gareth Porter is an independent historian and journalist. His articles appear on the Huffington Post, Inter Press Service News Agency and on Antiwar.com.

17 Responses to “Gareth Porter”

  1. “Buenos Aires is the most anti-Semitic centres in the world”

    Why?

  2. farfetched.

  3. "Buenos Aires the most antisemitic centre in the world".
    Bull shit. Total bullshit. To say the least.

  4. Someone has to say it: this reeks of Mossad. Iran, Lebanon and Argentina itself take the heat, and once again the Israeli diaspora collects the pity points. Or maybe my mind has been scratched beyond all repair when it comes to our mischievous 51st state.

  5. I think this paragraph from Gareth's article in The Nation is extremely important:

    "In Jan 1995, Telleldin was visited by retired army Capt. Hector Pedro Vergez, a part-time agent for SIDE, the Argentine intelligence agency, who offered him $1m and his freedom if he would identify one of five Lebanese nationals detained in Paraguay in Sep 2004, men the CIA said might be Hezbollah militants, as the person to whom he had sold the van. After Telleldin refused to go along with the scheme, an Argentine judge found that there was no evidence on which to detain the alleged militants."

    This is suppressed in, e.g., "Inquiry on 1994 Blast at Argentina Jewish Center Gets New Life" by Alexei Barrionuevo, NYT, Jul 17 2009, which suggests to me the possibility that the second bribery attempt was merely a red herring to distract from the first.

  6. “Buenos Aires is the most anti-Semitic centres in the world”

    Because it has the highest % of Jews of any city outside Israel proper. Because terrorism in the 1970s was started by Jews like Mario Firmenich and because there still are plenty of neo-Fascists in Argentina (including in the Peronist movements)

  7. "In their 1979 book, The Untold History of Israel, Israeli journalists Jacques Derogy and Hesi Carmel relate that in 1954 Israel's army intelligence section conceived a plan to attack British personnel seconded to King Hussein's government in Jordan. The purpose was to sour relations between Britain and Jordan as well as between both Jordan and Britain on the one hand and Egypt, which would be blamed for such attacks.

    "Shortly afterward, the same Israeli army intelligence organization activated two networks of Egyptian Jews first established in 1948. These young people had been recruited in Egypt, secretly trained in Israel, and then sent back to their homes in Cairo and Alexandria to await orders to carry out acts of sabotage in case of war between Egypt and Israel.

    "Now the networks were to explode small incendiary bombs in American installations in Egypt, presumably to set off a chain of mutual recriminations to spoil the budding Eisenhower-Nasser courtship. After completing their sabotage of American installations, the same networks next were to bomb public places in Cairo and Alexandria, actions that Nasser would attribute to the Muslim Brotherhood, which supported the deposed General Naguib, and thus create a climate of Egyptian instability during the British-Egyptian Canal Zone negotiations."

    - Richard H. Curtiss, "The Lavon Affair: When Israel Firebombed U.S. Installations"

    "By the end of March, the Americans were already intercepting messages broadcast by the Trojan, which was only activated during heavy communication traffic hours. Using the Trojan, the Mossad tried to make it appear that a long series of terrorist orders were being transmitted to various Libyan embassies around the world (or, as they were called by the Libyans, Peoples' Bureaus). As the Mossad had hoped, the transmissions were deciphered by the Americans and construed as ample proof that the Libyans were active sponsors of terrorism. What's more, the Americans pointed out, Mossad reports confirmed it."

    - Victor Ostrovsky, The Other Side of Deception

    Given the Lavon Affair, Operation Trojan and other well-documented cases of Mossad waging war "by way of deception", how could Gareth Porter not have at least entertained the possibility that Israel framed Iran and Hezbollah for the Argentinian bombings?

  8. Argentina is anti-Semitic because of all the former Nazis who migrated there secretly after WW2. You think it is just coincidence that Eichmann was taken from Argentina in the early '60's? There are areas down there where all you see is blond hair and blue eyes, way beyond any random genetic pool you might encounter in, say, Spain.
    Chris Lester: stop drinking Justin's love juice. Pretty soon you'll see Stars of David in your wallpaper.

  9. Your ad-hominem attack on the previous poster was to my surprise followed by a single anecdotal regurgitation remarkable only for its paucity of relevance to the question. The fact that you expected me to be satisfied with such a poor argument reflects nobody’s shortcomings but your own.

    Firstly you refer to Argentina, an entire country, as anti-Semitic. You then back this preposterous notion with not verifiable facts but with one anecdotal story; completely misunderstanding the difference between a valid and poor argument. Even if there were 500 Nazi war criminals in Argentina it does not make Argentina anti-Semitic.

    Maybe you should refrain from reading anymore Leon Uris or Joan Peters and move into reality.

  10. Buenos Aires does indeed have a very deeply rooted anti semitism. We all know that the bulk of the nazi commanders and politicians that escaped over the ocean was welcomed in Argentina and even offered positions of power. These paramilitary extreme right wing groups are heavily influenced by the anti-semitism of the nazis. This is no secret.

    But to insinuate that Iran using Hezbollah would blow up a jewish center in Argentina of all places for no reason what so ever is really grasping for straws

  11. This is my third attempt to post this comment. Third time lucky?

    "In their 1979 book, The Untold History of Israel, Israeli journalists Jacques Derogy and Hesi Carmel relate that in 1954 Israel's army intelligence section conceived a plan to attack British personnel seconded to King Hussein's government in Jordan. The purpose was to sour relations between Britain and Jordan as well as between both Jordan and Britain on the one hand and Egypt, which would be blamed for such attacks.

    "Shortly afterward, the same Israeli army intelligence organization activated two networks of Egyptian Jews first established in 1948. These young people had been recruited in Egypt, secretly trained in Israel, and then sent back to their homes in Cairo and Alexandria to await orders to carry out acts of sabotage in case of war between Egypt and Israel.

    "Now the networks were to explode small incendiary bombs in American installations in Egypt, presumably to set off a chain of mutual recriminations to spoil the budding Eisenhower-Nasser courtship. After completing their sabotage of American installations, the same networks next were to bomb public places in Cairo and Alexandria, actions that Nasser would attribute to the Muslim Brotherhood, which supported the deposed General Naguib, and thus create a climate of Egyptian instability during the British-Egyptian Canal Zone negotiations."

    - Richard H. Curtiss, "The Lavon Affair: The Lavon Affair: When Israel Firebombed U.S. Installations"

    "By the end of March, the Americans were already intercepting messages broadcast by the Trojan, which was only activated during heavy communication traffic hours. Using the Trojan, the Mossad tried to make it appear that a long series of terrorist orders were being transmitted to various Libyan embassies around the world (or, as they were called by the Libyans, Peoples' Bureaus). As the Mossad had hoped, the transmissions were deciphered by the Americans and construed as ample proof that the Libyans were active sponsors of terrorism. What's more, the Americans pointed out, Mossad reports confirmed it."

    - Victor Ostrovsky, The Other Side of Deception

    Considering the Lavon Affair, Operation Trojan and other well-documented cases of Mossad waging war "by way of deception", how could Gareth Porter not have entertained the possibility that Israel had most to gain from implicating Iran and Hezbollah in the Argentinian attacks?

  12. Either the site admins have gone on holiday or Antiwar is censoring my comments about the likelihood of Israeli involvement in the Buenos Aires bombings.

  13. Now that that comment has got through, perhaps this one will too…

    "By the end of March, the Americans were already intercepting messages broadcast by the Trojan, which was only activated during heavy communication traffic hours. Using the Trojan, the Mossad tried to make it appear that a long series of terrorist orders were being transmitted to various Libyan embassies around the world (or, as they were called by the Libyans, Peoples' Bureaus). As the Mossad had hoped, the transmissions were deciphered by the Americans and construed as ample proof that the Libyans were active sponsors of terrorism. What's more, the Americans pointed out, Mossad reports confirmed it."

    - Victor Ostrovsky, The Other Side of Deception

  14. And this one…

    "In their 1979 book, The Untold History of Israel, Israeli journalists Jacques Derogy and Hesi Carmel relate that in 1954 Israel's army intelligence section conceived a plan to attack British personnel seconded to King Hussein's government in Jordan. The purpose was to sour relations between Britain and Jordan as well as between both Jordan and Britain on the one hand and Egypt, which would be blamed for such attacks.

    "Shortly afterward, the same Israeli army intelligence organization activated two networks of Egyptian Jews first established in 1948. These young people had been recruited in Egypt, secretly trained in Israel, and then sent back to their homes in Cairo and Alexandria to await orders to carry out acts of sabotage in case of war between Egypt and Israel.

    "Now the networks were to explode small incendiary bombs in American installations in Egypt, presumably to set off a chain of mutual recriminations to spoil the budding Eisenhower-Nasser courtship. After completing their sabotage of American installations, the same networks next were to bomb public places in Cairo and Alexandria, actions that Nasser would attribute to the Muslim Brotherhood, which supported the deposed General Naguib, and thus create a climate of Egyptian instability during the British-Egyptian Canal Zone negotiations."

    - Richard H. Curtiss, "The Lavon Affair: When Israel Firebombed U.S. Installations"

  15. "Shortly afterward, the same Israeli army intelligence organization activated two networks of Egyptian Jews first established in 1948. These young people had been recruited in Egypt, secretly trained in Israel, and then sent back to their homes in Cairo and Alexandria to await orders to carry out acts of sabotage in case of war between Egypt and Israel.

    "Now the networks were to explode small incendiary bombs in American installations in Egypt, presumably to set off a chain of mutual recriminations to spoil the budding Eisenhower-Nasser courtship. After completing their sabotage of American installations, the same networks next were to bomb public places in Cairo and Alexandria, actions that Nasser would attribute to the Muslim Brotherhood, which supported the deposed General Naguib, and thus create a climate of Egyptian instability during the British-Egyptian Canal Zone negotiations."

    Richard H. Curtiss, "The Lavon Affair: When Israel Firebombed U.S. Installations"

  16. "About 125,000 Jews left Iraq for Israel in the late 1940s and into 1952, mostly because they had been lied to and put into a panic by what I came to learn were Zionist bombs."

    - Naeim Giladi, Ben-Gurion's Scandals: How the Haganah and the Mossad Eliminated Jews

  17. [...] Gareth Porter [...]

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