Shin Bet

01.04.13

A Brutal Leak from Israeli Security

Kobi Gideon/GPO via Getty Images ()

And we used to think the CIA leaked against George W. Bush!

The head of the Israeli security agency Shin Bet has just taken a huge, odiferous dump atop the heads of two former prime ministers.

In an interview conducted by Dror Moreh, director of the new documentary The Gatekeepers, published Friday morning in Yedioth Ahronoth, Diskin paints a picture of recklessness in the government's highly sensitive security discussions. Among other things, Diskin, who served as Shin Bet chief from 2005 - 2011, enumerates alcohol consumption, cigar smoking and the fact that Netanyahu is "possessed" by Iran.

"Netanyahu is scared, fickle and shirking responsibility," Diskin says in the interview. "There is a crisis of leadership here, a crisis of values and total contempt for the public. Maybe people will think I'm exaggerating, but I’m telling you: From close up it looks even worse."

Diskin details Netanyahu and Barak's behavior during one of the meetings: "We are conducting an important discussion about Iran, in a closed forum that includes a group of ministers and the heads of security and their assistants, and then you have Netanyahu, Barak and Lieberman, sitting and smoking cigars in front of everyone.

The defense minister gets up and walks over to a corner and pours himself a little drink from time to time. In the middle of such a sensitive, confidential meeting, he is standing with a drink in one hand and a cigar in the other, in front of the IDF's officers and intelligence officials. This is the scene. I'm telling you, a picture is worth a thousand words. In the midst of this deep and significant meeting, there is a feeling of total disrespect for the people there. I don't even know how to explain the feeling we experienced in that moment."

Diskin continues: "The feeling many of us had about Barak was that, whether under Olmert or Netanyahu, the question of who will claim credit for specific moves may lead to bizarre decisions or recommendations. I can't disclose more than that. But these recommendations left the participants in these closed-door discussions open-mouthed more than once. When I look at Netanyahu and Barak, I don't see an iota of leadership qualities in either of them. Rabin, Peres, Sharon and Olmert knew how to put the national interest before everything else. I didn't feel this way with Netanyahu or Barak. I don't think others did either. "