NSA May Be Putting Israeli Security Interests Above U.S., New Document Reveals

Journalist Glenn Greenwald's new book, 'No Place to Hide,' includes materials on intelligence relations with Israel.

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Glenn Greenwald speaks at a book discussion in Washington, D.C., May 14, 2014.
Glenn Greenwald speaks at a book discussion in Washington, D.C., May 14, 2014.Credit: AFP

A document suggesting that the U.S. National Security Agency may put the interests of Israel above those of the United States was released Wednesday by journalist Glenn Greenwald.

The document is one of the many slides leaked by NSA defector Edward Snowden, currently a fugitive from American law in Moscow.

Greenwald, who published many of Snowden's revelations over the last year, released his book "No Place to Hide" on Wednesday. Concurrently with the release of the book, Greenwald made public slides that Snowden obtained from the NSA. One of them deals with intelligence relations with Israel.

"Balancing the SIGINT exchange equally between U.S. and Israeli needs has been a constant challenge in the last decade; it arguably tilted heavily in favor of Israeli security concerns. 9/11 came, and went, with NSA's only true Third Party CT relationship being driven almost totally by the needs of the partner," one slide reads.

Another slide states, "The Israelis are extraordinarily good SIGINT partners for us, but they target us to learn our positions on Middle East problems. A NIE [National Intelligence Estimate] ranked them as the third most aggressive intelligence service against the U.S."

These statements imply that the NSA is providing Israel with information much more than Israel is providing the United States with information. Writing in The Guardian last September, Greenwald noted that "the National Security Agency routinely shares raw intelligence data with Israel without first sifting it to remove information about U.S. citizens."

Greenwald also pointed out that while Israel is one of America's closest allies, it is "not one of the inner core of countries involved in surveillance sharing with the U.S. – Britain, Australia, Canada and New Zealand. This group is collectively known as Five Eyes."

At the time, the NSA released a statement published in The Guardian article: "The fact that intelligence services work together under specific and regulated conditions mutually strengthens the security of both nations."

It has yet to be seen how the NSA will respond to the newly released documents made public by Greenwald.

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