Clearly it is not only the United States who can 'disappear' people at will. Deep within the bowels of intelligence services the world over, especially those cloaked under the banner of democracy, things get vastly more Kafkaesque.
Israel's Mossad, quite like its CIA counterpart, is virtually immune from criminal actions such as assassinations, kidnapping, torture, secret arrests and convictions without due process, ad infinitum. Democracy was no protection for an Australian citizen who has become one of the most publicized cases of the extreme secrecy and media intimidation surrounding a prisoner that Israel would have preferred to deny ever existed. Ben Zygier was recruited by Mossad and eventually became "Prisoner X."
As the video below highlights, his identity only became known after Zygier committed suicide in 2010 within an ultra-secret prison in Tel-Aviv under a program so confidential that even his guards didn't know who he was or why he was there.
His total lockdown within a "suicide proof cell" apparently didn't afford that protection. Now his lawyer is suggesting that if he did in fact commit suicide, he was driven to it by the interrogation process at Ayalon Prison's Unit 15.
Unit 15 is a "prison within a prison" and although Zygier's lawyer, Avigdor Feldman, says that Zygier appeared stable before his death:
Avigdor Feldman, told Israel's Channel 10 on Thursday that he had seen him the day before his death in 2010 and that he had appeared rational. He had, however, been put under intense emotional pressure by those interrogating him, which Feldman speculated could have contributed to his suicide.
"His interrogators told him he could expect lengthy jail time and be ostracised from his family and the Jewish community. There was no heartstring they did not pull, and I suppose that ultimately brought about the tragic end," he said. (Source)Mossad is certainly not known for wearing kid gloves when dealing with anyone who crosses its path. It is speculated that Zygier intended to double-cross the intelligence service and sell his secrets to another country. Mossad has tortured and killed people for far less.
While the exposure of "Prisoner X" could theoretically have been a legitimate slip-up, it is hard to fathom that one of the world's leading intelligence agencies should make a mistake that reveals a supposedly top-secret unit within a top-secret prison. And why is it being permitted such ongoing attention?
Israel's military censors have made it clear to all news agencies, after total censorship of the story, that a limited investigation will be entertained.
Members of the Israeli parliament in Jerusalem asked justice minister Yaakov Neeman to confirm if the report was true, and demanded to know if other prisoners were being held in secret.
"This matter is not within the jurisdiction of the justice ministry," Mr Neeman responded.
"There is no doubt that if this information is accurate, this is something that ought to be checked."
The state censors allowed news outlets in Israel to report the parliamentary debate, but nothing else. (Source)
This story appears to have all of the hallmarks of a whitewash, where Israel and the Mossad can admit to a certain level of wrongdoing, feign embarrassment at being exposed for such a "rare case" of coverup, but ultimately justify disappearing a man due to state security. And the Israeli and foreign mainstream media have the chance to show their "outrage" over such abusive and secretive state power.
Meanwhile, Israel's horrific human rights violations seem to have no bounds as it continues leveling Gaza with no condemnation from courts, torturing and imprisoning activists who deign to oppose the brutality, and using Mossad to conduct assassinations wherever it pleases.
Many more are sure to die inside and outside Israeli prisons whether they are named or nameless.
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