Sigh. Richard Silverstein is still sticking to his guns. He continues to claim that the document provided to him by his secret source, a former high ranking minister in a past Israeli government, is in fact an Israeli government plan for an attack on Iran. He continues to claim that this documents was provided to his source by an officer in the IDF and he continues to claim that he vetted the document with both Israeli and US National Security experts. He also claims that the document was also leaked to a moderator on Fresh who then altered it and claimed that he had written it himself. For no apparent reason. As to why such a seemingly important document would be leaked to a forum where most of the discussions center on video games, movies and TV shows? Silverstein has no response. Did his ministerial source ask the IDF officer about his motivations? Apparently not.

And now NPR has interviewed a number of real experts regarding this leak. What’s interesting is that NPR never mentioned Silverstein on air. They merely linked to his post on their Web site. And what did the experts say?

John Bumgarner, chief technology officer at the U.S. Cyber Consequences Unit, says the plan does make sense, at least in theory. “Israel has very good cybercapabilities. Some of the best computer scientists in the world come out of the Israeli military and intelligence branch,” he says. “Some of the best cybertools that are currently used in the world come out of Israel.” But could the Israelis actually pull off a nationwide cyberattack in Iran? Bumgarner is skeptical. “Maybe they could carry out the attack against certain nodes in the country, like, you know, Tehran,” he says. “But to carry it out across the whole country would be very difficult.”

Security analyst Jeffrey Carr, the author of Inside Cyber Warfare didn’t mince his words:

…he doubts the Israelis could even take down Iran’s power grid, let alone its entire high-tech sector. A grid, Carr points out, is made up of multiple power plants, each with its own network configuration. “An attacker has to map out the network before it can plan an attack. The scenario that’s been described on this war plan, or whatever you would call this, is just fantasy,” he says. “There’s no way that anyone could create a piece of software or weaponized malware that could just wipe out multiple power plants and multiple grids with one strike. It’s nonsense.”

So there you have it. Nonsense and fantasy. Motivated perhaps by a desire to discredit the Netanyahu government with a poorly thought out plan that involves cyber capabilities that only exist in movies? Specialized bombs, that Israel does not possess (that no one possesses) that can penetrate deeply buried, reinforced Iranian targets? The bunker buster bombs Israel does possess that can be dropped by F-14s aren’t big enough to do the job in Iran. The ones that the US has that can do the job have to be dropped by a large bomber, like a B-52 or B-1. Israel does not have large bombers. Or is Silverstein a Mossad stooge, being used to disseminate disinformation, pressuring the US and the world to increase sanctions against Iran or launch an attack in order to prevent their acquisition of a nuclear bomb? That’s the scenario some on the left have been positing. I doubt that’s the case because, once again, why leak the document to Fresh?

What is clear is that Silverstein and his vaunted ministerial source are idiots. Delusional morons. A person who was once an Israeli Minister was fooled by an obvious forgery. A blogger who claims to be a journalist is so blinded by his ideological bias that he couldn’t see the truth if it bit him in the ass. Not sure I’m right? Well, let’s see what Richard Silverstein and his secret source are up to today!

News sources are reporting that a Sinai based terrorist died after being blown up. Silverstein claims, and he is being backed up by his secret Israeli source, that the explosion was the result of an Israeli drone attack deep in Egyptian territory. Now, Silverstein was not the first to report this. He links to a Channel 10 video that doesn’t at all claim Israel was responsible. Afterward, we are subjected to his maudlin, fauix-macho prose criticizing Israel ad nauseum. What do real journalists say? Well, it turns out Lebanon’s Daily Star has different eyewitness accounts culled from a number of news agencies, staffed by actual real reporters, not Interweb posers:

CAIRO/ EL-ARISH, Egypt: Egyptian security officials and witnesses said a man was killed in an explosion near the border with Israel Sunday, with some accounts saying he was trying to fire a rocket into Israel. Witnesses said he was killed in an explosion as he tried to fire a rocket, and as an Israeli military drone hovered in the sky above its side of the border.

Even Ma’an News had the integrity to mention that there were at the very least conflicting reports. Spokespersons for the IDF deny involvement in this incident, but secret Minister man told Silverstein “Israel decided that what has worked successfully in Sudan will work in Sinai also.”

Huh? The 2009 weapons convoy in Sudan bound for Hamas controlled Gaza wasn’t destroyed by drones. They were destroyed by the Israeli Air Force. After their first run, they released drones from their planes to photograph the convoy and make sure that it had been completely destroyed. Not quite the same. But I guess Mr. Secret Minister Man doesn’t read Time Magazine. Nor does he understand how far Sudan is from Israel. And how far drones carrying powerful rockets capable of knocking out a convoy can fly. Go ahead stupids. Look it up. I’ll wait.

The point is that given conflicting reports, it’s too soon to make definitive statements. But Silverstein doesn’t even mention alternatives. He just goes on his ideologically tinged rampage. Anyone who cares about the truth and relies on Silverstein is going to be disappointed. That’s for sure.

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About the author


Founder and Publisher of Jewlicious, David Abitbol lives in Jerusalem with his wife, newborn daughter and toddler son. Blogging as "ck" he's been blocked on twitter by the right and the left, so he's doing something right.


  • In the blog about this story by the blogger who said she’s also making a documentary about Silverstein, the final comment is by the Fresh guy who posted the story.

    He writes:

    מאת יוסיפון:
    20 באוגוסט 2012 בשעה 21:49

    (שלום לכולם, שנים שלא הייתי כאן!)

    בחייאת, דבורית!
    אם יש לך “עניינים” עם נפורום שאני מנהל, יש לך את המייל ומס’ הנייד שלי. את תמיד יכולה להתקשר.

    מאחר שאני יודע מי בדיוק כתב את הטקסט, מכיר היטב את הטעויות (ואת הסיבות שבגללן הן נמצאות בטקסט, חלקו נשתלו שם בכוונה!) ומתי הטקסט הוקלד. אני גם יודע שאין שום סיכוי שבעולם, שסילברסטיין יכול היה לראות את הטקסט לפני שסירפד פרסם אותו בפרש. לא מהכותב של הטקסט ולא מאף אחד אחר!

    סילברסטיין יכול היה להיחשף אל הטקסט רק אחרי הפרסום בפורום, כלומר אחרי 11.8.12 17:44 שעון ישראל.

    אגב, ההיטפלות שלך לטעויות מפגרות.
    במסמך ששמור אצלי על המחשב הנוסח והעיצוב שונים מעט: הטקסט נכתב בנרקיס, הכותרת בחיים שמן אדום עם הצללה, יש משנה ובוקסות, בכמה מקומות ×””א הידיעה התחלפה עם שי”ן הזיקה, רמזים שנשתלו בטקסט שפורסם בפורום הפכו לשמות מפורשים, “הדגים משארת אדם” שופרו ונכתבו ×›”יותר דקים משיערות אדם”, “השנאה” היו ל”שַנָאים”. “שורות” חזרו להיות “שנים” ועוד ועוד.

    זו לא פעם ראשונה שמידע “לא מדויק” (בלשון המעטה) נשתל אצל סילברסטיין. גד ציפורי הזכיר כאן למעלה את מקרה אשראף אל-בלאדי בן ×”16 וסמיר חובייזה שנרצחו ×¢”×™ המוחבראת, המשטרה החשאית הישראלית בכפר סכנין שבצפון פלסטין.
    הנה פעם נוספת קישורים אל הפוסטים אצל סילברסטיין:

    חשבתי שאת מכירה את המקרה הזה ואולי כדאי שתכניסי אותו לסרט שלך. ככל הזכור לי דברנו טלפונית על כך שהמידע הזה מושתל בזמן ההתרחשות.

    גם במקרה אחר:
    הצלחנו לשתול אצל סילברסטיין טעויות. ביום של פרסום הפוסט שלו את ואני דיברנו והתכתבנו והעדפתי אז (וגם היום) לא לתקן אותן.

    אגב, גם אז סילברסטיין לקח מידע ולא הודה בכך.
    ראו כאן:
    (תאריך פרסום הידיעה והסריקה מופיעים בURL)


    The most important part of what he writes, after qualifying that the original document is saved in his own computer, is: “I know there is no possibility in the world that Silverstein could have published this piece before it was published by Sarpad in Fresh.”

    He then adds that there isn’t any possibility that anybody else (in other words, Silverstein’s mysterious source) could have seen the document either.

    Now we know this is an authentic person and we know he’s the guy from Fresh because the blogger, Dvorit, does not challenge who he claims to be and she was an active participant in the entire discussion.

    In addition, Yosiphon also mentions that this isn’t the first time articles with mistakes planted in them have been replicated by Silverstein (without attribution) and he provides links. Put the above in Google Translate and follow the links. It’s fun and good for your diet!

  • Ink is definitely cheap around this time of year.

    Why are you bashing ? would be leaked to a forum where most of the discussions center on video games, movies and TV shows They have many forums, some are moderated very well with longtime valuable members. I also think you’re giving too much credit to anonymous bloggers instead of questioning their credibility as well. I’m also surprised of your extensive knowledge of Israeli military capabilities and inventory, including cyber, and why you are questioning the prowess of the IDF and Jewish minds that are responsible for dreaming up contingency plans. I have no doubt that any attack plan, if ever carried out, will be brilliant no matter what the outcome.

    Given that, thanks for both of the debunking of RS articles. It really is pathetic how low journalism goes these days to quote idiots like this and run with stories they also do not bother to confirm. Are there any journalists left?

    FWIW, I’ve always loved the Fresh news feed.

    • No disrespect meant to Fresh at all Josh. None whatsoever. It’s a great and lively community. The point was more that Richard Silverstein is a stupid douche bag. I think we can all agree on that 🙂

  • During our history, some of the greatest tzaddikim were found to have been total ignoramus. There is something about being totally empty, becoming religious, and then filling that void (this guy obvioulsy has a lot of void and needs ‘tzumi’ – Israeli slang for attention) and becoming tzaddikim. RS has a pretty good sounding name. If only he’d go tshuva and become a rabbi.