Biden Wants Arms Deals With Israel to Be Done in Complete Secrecy

In a highly unusual move, the White House has requested for it to be able to conduct arms deals with Israel in complete secrecy, without oversight from Congress or the public — in a time when the U.S. is supporting a military that experts say has been committing war crimes in Gaza and beyond.

The White House made the request within a $106 billion supplemental defense funding request sent on October 20. As reported by Women for Weapons Trade Transparency for In These Times, the White House is asking for up to $3.5 billion in military funding for Israel to be able to purchase weapons and other equipment, from sources like the U.S. military or U.S. defense contractors, without the spending having to be approved by or even disclosed to Congress.

Crucially, such notifications to Congress are also logged in the Federal Register, where they are viewable to the public — but the White House is trying to get rid of that transparency for Israel for funding through September 2025 and potentially beyond if Israel chooses to set aside funding before then.

That is common in US foreign policy. It is steered by the executive and not bogged down in Congress. You will find Congress glad it is not bogged down with them.

I get you want to roll over every rock and find the problems. The only problem is very crazy indoctrination by dictators of people who want freedom in the Arab lands.

It would be best to work for the dictators in the Middle East to be overturned. They cost us far too much.

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What experts? If you are talking about terrorists than I would say you are correct. I can’t believe Jaagu that you would support a group that would kill and take hostages.

Who supports Israel, Ukraine and any country that has been attacked.


You are totally wrong!

Jaagu, have you heard of copyright and the limitations of copying here on the Fool?



Everything can be disagreed upon but getting it right eludes you.

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Experts have said that the move is alarming and rare. “I’ve never seen anything like it,” Josh Paul, the former director of congressional and public affairs for the Bureau of Political-Military Affairs in the State Department, told In These Times. Within the State Department, where he worked for 11 years, Paul helped the bureau in its work on arms deals and resigned in protest of a push to increase arms sales to Israel amid its genocidal siege on Gaza.

​“A proposal in a legislative request to Congress to waive Congressional notification entirely for [Foreign Military Financing ]-funded Foreign Military Sales or Direct Commercial Contracts is unprecedented in my experience,” Paul said. “Frankly, [it’s] an insult to Congressional oversight prerogatives.”

Paul added that the White House is already allowed to unilaterally approve foreign military transactions in “emergency” situations but still has to notify Congress. The move, then, seems calculated to specifically create opacity around Israel sales. “This doesn’t actually reduce the time, it just reduces the oversight,” he said.

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John Ramming Chappell, advocacy and legal fellow on U.S. issues for the Center for Civilians in Conflict, told In These Times that Congress should reject the White House’s request. “The waiver would further undermine meaningful scrutiny of weapons sales on Capitol Hill at a time when U.S. support is enabling bombings that have killed thousands of civilians,” Chappell said.

The request comes as the Biden administration has sought to crush dissent on its support of Israel, even within its own ranks. A new report by HuffPost published Thursday found that Biden officials are sidelining work within the State Department on the atrocities that Israel is committing in Gaza, seeking to seemingly cover up the issue and disallow employees from speaking up against the genocide.

Citing Paul and five workers within the agency, the outlet reports that State Department staff have been told by higher ups that they are not going to be able to move the needle on the executive branch’s approach to Israel, no matter their credentials or the horrific things they report coming out of Gaza.

The workers say work from staff on conditions in Gaza is being ignored — perhaps like a recent internal State Department report finding that over 80,000 babies under six months and pregnant people in Gaza are being forced to drink contaminated or brackish water due to Israel’s blockade.

Rather, State Department staff told HuffPost, the administration seems to be sweeping aside evidence of the humanitarian crisis and genocide, even from its own staff, in favor of fealty to Israel’s fascistic military and leaders. At listening sessions within the agency, discussion about the genocide is redirected to fears of antisemitism, while some staff, particularly Muslim workers, say that they feel like they have to censor themselves.

This culture of silence is happening even as senior agency officials may acknowledge in private that Israel is committing war crimes, according to the report. “Over the past weeks, as I have heard from numerous officials across both the executive and legislative branches, it has become clear to me that many senior leaders not only fully understand how Israel is currently using U.S.-provided arms in Gaza, but are even, behind closed doors, willing to acknowledge that these actions include ‘war crimes,’” Paul told HuffPost. “The fact that none are willing to do so publicly … points to a deep moral rot in our system.”[quote=“jaagu, post:8, topic:98064”]
enabling bombings that have killed thousands of civilians,”

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Israeli officials are making it very difficult for the US to provide the support it has historically given to Israel.

Tidbits I have seen on the news today:

ABC News, on a free streaming service I receive, interviewed an Israeli official, unfortunately I did not catch her name or office, because I did not know ahead of time what she would say was so inflammatory. Recall how Israeli officials urged Pal civilians to move south of Wadi Gaza, to get out of harm’s way, but then Israel continued to bomb all of Gaza, right up to the border at Rafah, were people have been stacked up, trying to get out? Today, this official said words to the effect “people in Gaza need to go to Egypt to be safe”.

BBC News, tonight, quoted “Bibi” as saying that, after the war, Israel will be providing “security” in Gaza.

Amanpour noted the Israeli Finance Minister has stopped financial transactions with the Palestinian Authority, claiming that the PA is siding with Hamas.

Also on Amanpour, a piece on settler encroachment in the west bank. Some 20,000 more Israelis have moved to the west bank since 2019. Since Oct 7, settlers, and, perhaps some Israeli military, have taken to terrorizing Pal villagers, like breaking into their homes at night. In some cases, Pals have started to pack up and abandon their homes and land, to be rid of the terror by the settlers.

In searching for a piece confirming what the Finance Minister said about the PA, I found this piece, where the same minister is calling for an additional land grab on the west bank, to provide 'buffer zones" around the settlements.

This is all reminiscent of the US’ leverage of 9/11 to implement the PNAC plan. 10/7 appears to be leveraged for an ethnic cleansing operation, which will not solve the underlying problem.


You know more about Israel than Ukraine. Perhaps with such a focus we can give up on Ukraine and focus more on Israeli wins.

Seriously a blog called Truthout is your source? What about trying Truthin?

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Article about Netanyahu asserting Israel’s future “security” operation, ie military occupation, in Gaza.

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Not entirely surprising that he would make that announcement. There has been considerable pressure on Israel to state what they think will happen on “the day after” in Gaza - what happens if they are successful in their military aim of destroying Hamas.

If Hamas is out, then who gets put in charge of Gaza? A thorny question, because Hamas murdered most of their political opponents after taking power in Gaza. There is no “alternative” political faction in Gaza, the remnants of Fatah having been killed or driven out back in the day.

So there were only a handful of even possible alternatives: i) Israel controls; ii) the PA controls; iii) a multi-national group controls; iv) Egypt controls; or v) no one controls, and Gaza descends into “failed state” territory with no governance. No one’s interested in iii) or iv) - most of the regional players can’t afford to be seen by their public as accommodating Israel, and the UN knows there’s no way to ever get to a positive outcome for them. A failed state would be horrible for both the Palestinians and Israel. I don’t think there’s many who thinks the PA is up to the job. So if Hamas isn’t going to be in charge of Gaza, there’s no one else on the list but Israel unless/until a new political faction arises there. Again, since Hamas has killed pretty much all of the folks that might serve as the nucleus of any new political parties there, that will take some time.


Given their results in the occupied West Bank (i.e. none), that’s not surprising.

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It is important for him to state. It means a commitment of time. What happens in the coming years can easily change that later but for now all of this takes time. The statement changes the nature of the dialog internationally. There is an element of logic to it that is undeniable.

An elite Mossad member has described the attack in English as a 911. A huge tragedy on 911 there was a difference. The event ended. This won’t end.

POTUS does not agree!

The White House cautioned Israel on Tuesday against reoccupying Gaza after Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu suggested that his country could hold a security role there “for an indefinite period” once the war is over.

“We’re having active discussions with our Israeli counterparts about what post-conflict Gaza looks like,” John Kirby, the White House national security spokesman, told reporters. “The president maintains his position that reoccupation by Israeli forces is not the right thing to do.”

Tell that story to the Arab nations and you will get the finger.

Facing growing anger from their own people, Arab countries are intensifying their appeals to the United States to pressure Israel to implement an immediate cease-fire in Gaza or risk sabotaging the security of the entire Middle East.

Saudi Arabia, Jordan and Egypt have all implored American officials, including Secretary of State Antony J. Blinken, to get Israel to halt its military assault.

“The whole region is sinking in a sea of hatred that will define generations to come,” the Jordanian foreign minister, Ayman Safadi, warned at a news conference this weekend.

This weekend, Arab countries will gather in the Saudi capital, Riyadh, for a summit where the conflict — and their response to it — will top the agenda.

Saudi Arabia will also host an extraordinary meeting of the Organization of Islamic Cooperation that President Ebrahim Raisi of Iran is expected to attend — his first trip to the kingdom since Saudi Arabia and Iran restored diplomatic ties earlier this year. His visit would be another sign of how the war has united disparate voices across the Muslim world in solidarity with the Palestinians.

Even officials in the United Arab Emirates — which led a push for Arab countries to build ties with Israel in 2020 — have condemned Israel’s conduct in the war.

It is also reported in other media:

JOSH PAUL: Yeah. So, we provide Israel with $3.3 billion a year in foreign military financing, which is the State Department and U.S. government’s primary functional — primary mechanism for funding the sale of arms to other countries. Of note, you know, we typically provide — setting aside Ukraine — about $6 billion a year in foreign military financing around the world. So Israel already gets more than half of that.

The language in the supplemental request that the Biden administration set up — sent up would remove the requirement to notify Congress of any arms sales conducted under that funding. Typically, there is a process where, for any major defense sale, Congress is notified of it. And there’s actually a process prior to the formal notification where Congress gets to ask questions, poke, prod, delay, and then, if it wishes to oppose the sale, can raise a joint resolution of disapproval on the floor. What this proposal would do is, essentially, destroy all of that, remove all of that, remove that congressional oversight, remove that congressional ability to object. It is unprecedented. I have never seen anything like it. And I cannot imagine that the committees of jurisdiction are viewing it very favorably, because it is just such a damaging approach that also sets horrible precedent for other countries with whom future administrations may decide they don’t want Congress to be involved.

AMY GOODMAN: Since you were in charge of arms sales, what does this $14 billion that — well, it looks like both houses want to send it to Israel.


It is a long interview. Much more detail.

ONE MONTH SINCE Hamas’s surprise attack, little is known about the weapons the U.S. has provided to Israel. Whereas the Biden administration released a three-page itemized list of weapons provided to Ukraine, down to the exact number of rounds, the information released about weapons sent to Israel could fit in a single sentence.

National Security Council spokesperson John Kirby acknowledged the secrecy in an October 23 press briefing, saying that while U.S. security assistance “on a near-daily basis,” he continued, “We’re being careful not to quantify or get into too much detail about what they’re getting — for their own operational security purposes, of course.”

“The notion that it would in any way harm the Israeli military’s operational security to provide more information is a cover story.”

The argument that transparency would imperil Israel’s operational security — somehow not a concern with Ukraine — is misleading, experts told The Intercept.

“The notion that it would in any way harm the Israeli military’s operational security to provide more information is a cover story for efforts to reduce information on the types of weapons being supplied to Israel and how they are being used,” William Hartung, a fellow at the Quincy Institute for Responsible Statecraft and expert on weapons sales, told The Intercept. “I think the purposeful lack of transparency over what weapons the U.S. is supplying to Israel ‘on a daily basis’ is tied to the larger administration policy of downplaying the extent to which Israel will use those weapons to commit war crimes and kill civilians in Gaza.”

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Also not surprising. Having Israel control Gaza is not a good thing!

But I note that neither the Administration nor you have suggested any alternatives for who should be in charge of Gaza if Hamas is destroyed. There are no “domestic” political groups in Gaza any more, as Hamas murdered all their political rivals. It’s pretty unlikely that the PA or Fatah could actually exercise power there (unless backed up by the Israeli army, which neither party will likely want). Israel exercising control for a while is a bad option…but it may be the least bad option.

So what’s your suggestion for who should be in charge “the day after” in Gaza?