Anat Kamm Indictment (English); rolling thread

(Times are Thursday, April 8, GMT+2. Friday updates are here.)

2pm The gag order was finally removed, and now Israelis know what the rest of the world has known of some time – a young journalist, Anat Kamm, is suspected of acquiring as many as 2,000 classified documents, some of which were leaked to Haaretz reporter Uri Blau. The gag order removal was accompanied by the release of an abridged indictment, and a massive assault on Kamm in the media.

We’ll get to the media assault in a second, but first, the indictment. My translation is below. I would highlight a number of issues:

1. The charges are grave in the extreme. Although the documents were delivered by an Israeli soldier to an Israeli journalist, Kamm is charged with grave espionage – among other things, probably thanks to the infamous Shamgar ruling on the Vaanunu appeal, which effectively equated journalists to spies.

2. Apparently Kamm had first offered the documents to Yedioth Ahronoth’s Yossi Yehoshua, but “the delivery did not take place.” Yehoshua is slated to appear as a witness for the prosecution. His decision whether to appear or not, and whether to testify against his source, will be a historic test for dignity and integrity of Israeli journalism.

3. There’s a “third man” – note that she used someone else to copy the documents (3a in the indictment).

4.  The investigation is led by the International Crimes Investigation Unit. It may have to do with the charge – espionage – or may hint she had tried to pass the documents abroad. I guess we’ll know soon enough.

5. Naturally enough, the indictment doesn’t mention the fact some of the documents she leaked contained evidence of war crimes and criminal offences carried out by her superiors.

6. Her home address has been rather sloppily obscured from the indictment and can be easily discerned (I did a better job of concealing it in the Hebrew original I uploaded)

Without further ado:

District Court of Tel Aviv Jaffa

Serious Crime Case 17959-01-10

BEHIND CLOSED DOORS

The State of Israel

vs

Anat Kamm (b. 1987)

(In house arrest since 15 December 2009)

INDICTMENT (for publication)

(Top Secret appendixes to this indictment will be served to the court in a sealed envelope. The court is asked to keep it (sic) in the safe).

A. The facts of the case :

1. Since August 2005 to June 2007, as part of her military service, the accused served as office clerk in the bureau of GOC Central Command (Hence: GOC). She was promoted to assistant head of bureau in April 2006.

2. As part of her work, the accused was exposed to many documents and presentations in various degrees of classification, authored in the various departments of the General Staff, the Chief of Staff’s office, and the various divisions of the command. The documents contained plans of military operations, summaries of discussions within the IDF,  deployment and order of battle (ORBAT) of IDF forces, summaries of internal IDF inquiries, IDF situation estimates, IDF targets, and so on and so forth (hence: documents and presentations).

3.

a. During her military service the accused stored in a special folder the documents and presentations and, near her discharge from the IDF, on or about May 2007, the accused, through another, copied the contents of the file onto two discs, one for documents and the other for presentations.

b. The accused did so out of ideological motivations and with the intent to damage the security of the state, among other means, through publishing the documents to the general public.

4.

a. After copying the files, the accused took the disks and carried the document disk to her home, despite having on authorisation to do so.

b. In or about June 2007, the accused copied the document disk onto the mobile IBM computer at her home.

c. The document disk contained over two thousand documents, 700 of which were classified as “secret” and “top secret.”

d. All the documents as detailed in the document list in the top secret addendum to this indictment (marked – Appendix A).

5. In summer 2008, the accused offered the documents in her possession to journalist Yossi Yehoshua, but the delivery of the documents to Yehoshua never took place.

6. On or about September 2008, the accused, acting without legal authority and with the intention to harm the security of the state, delivered a large amount of documents to journalist Uri Blau (hence: Blau), including documents classified as “top secret” and “secret” (the lists of documents in Appendix B and Appendix C).

7. After delivering the documents to Blau, the accused had an unknown number of conversations with him to clarify, without legal authority and with intention to harm the security of the state, the contents of the documents, including operation names, codes, targets and dates, and so on.

8. Using the information revealed in some of the documents given to Blau by the accused, Blau published, beginning in November 2008, a number of stories in the Haaretz newspaper.

9. By her acts listed above the accused collected, held over two years and divulged secret information, without having the authority to do so, and all with the intention to harm the security of the state.

B. The charges against the accused:

1. Grave Espionage (divulging secret information with the intent to harm the security of the state) – an offence against clause 13b of the Penal Law 1977 (hence: The law).

2. Grave Espionage (gathering secret information with the intention to harm the security of the state) – an offence against clause 113c of the law.

C. Prosecution Witnesses

1-8 Officers of the National International Crime Investigation Unit [Due to time constraints I’ll publish the names of these witnesses later on today]

9. “Shaykeh” – Shin Bet (to be invited through the Tel Aviv District Prosecution)

10. Rani – Shin Bet (to be invited through the Tel Aviv District Prosecution)

11. “Steve” – Shin Bet (to be invited through the Tel Aviv District Prosecution)

12. Yossi Yehoshua, of 23 Hagalgal Street, Ramat Gan 52392

THE WITNESS LIST IS NOT FINAL.

7 April 2010, Tel Aviv

Hadas Forrer-Gafni

Senior Deputy A at Tel Aviv District Criminal Prosecution

Update 3pm: According to Shin Bet Chief Yuval Diskin, there had been an agreement between Blau and the Shin Bet: Blau would return the classified documents he used for his story, the computer on which he kept them will be physically destroyed (!) in his presence, and the state will provide him with a new computer. All this was carried out in December, but Blau “broke the agreement” and fled abroad with some documents still in his possession. Haaretz denied any wrongful conduct on part of Blau. I hope as hell Blau wasn’t naive enough to use a computer offered to him by the Shin Bet for his daily work.

Update 3:15pm: Kamm’s “associates” (probably friends, family or former employers) point out there are serious gaps between how the prosecution presents the leaked documents and their actual content. The fact that the court released Kamm to house arrest and allowed her to keep working as a journalist speaks for itself, they say.

Update 3:30pm: Predictably enough both the indictment and the media are trying to pin political, anti-state motives on what Kamm has done (“She’s left of Gideon Levy”, says Channel 10-owned Nana#mce_temp_url#). It’s important to stress Kamm’s politics are actually quite centrist and mainstream; consider, for instance, the scathing op-ed (titled “Refusnik, I’m ashamed of you!“) she wrote against her former schoolmate, conscientous objector and protest organiser Sahar Vardi.

To my mind, Kamm appears to be an earnestly patriotic woman who had faith in her country and trusted its authorities to follow the rules. In her military service, that very basic sense of decency was affronted by the fact the authorities couldn’t care less about the rules, and vigorously engaged gross violations of Israeli and international law; this is  especially true about her superior, Brig Gen Yair Naveh. She decided to act on it, and did the most democratic thing she could have done: She yanked at the alarm bell. People coming from sincere faith to a rude awakening often become the most damning accusers.

With this in mind, I’d like to echo the words of analyst Noam Sheizaf, who writes today:

Anat Kamm did Israeli democracy a great service. She exposed the fact that senior IDF generals, including Chief of Staff Gabi Ashkenazi, knowingly violated our own supreme court ruling by ordering the assassinations of Palestinians even when it was possible to arrest them, and when it was known innocent people might be killed. Again, this is not about Left or Right. It is about generals defying court orders.

The IDF and Shin Beit want the world to forget this. This is why they wanted to keep this case in the dark, and this is why they will work twice as hard to turn the public against Anat.

Let’s make sure we never forget who’s the criminal and who’s the whistleblower in all of this.

(Times are Thursday, April 8, GMT+2. Friday updates are here.)

35 Comments

Filed under Blog, Reporting

35 responses to “Anat Kamm Indictment (English); rolling thread

  1. Smithy

    She copied an 2000 files classified as “Top Secret” and “Secret”, this is in addition to the 2 which the article was based on. So this is much greater issue.

  2. Pingback: Promised Land » Blog Archive » Now that the gag order is lifted, we should remember what’s at the heart of the Kamm affair

  3. M.

    This is not a black/white case and presenting it as “freedom of the press” is very much misleading.
    A democracy (unlike anarchy) is a system where the individual is accepting on himself limitation to his personal freedom, these limitations are known as “the law”. Once anyone, press or plain simple citizen is taking the liberty to break the laws whenever he/she wants it presents a threat to democracy in no lesser manner then if the government is breaking the law for it’s own purposes .
    As someone living in Israel, demonizing the authorities, or flattening this case into some kind of a battle against a “dark regime” sounds absurd and feels more like raising a political agenda then a “democratic rights” one.
    It can only harm the real issues of building a correct mechanism which will enable the press to criticize and publish misconducts of the government without breaking the law .

  4. Jerry Haber

    M,

    Have you read a newspaper lately? Newspapers, and democracies, constantly print leaks, and many of those leaks involve violations of laws. Haaretz and Yediot have continually been able to cast doubt on the IDF’s version of events by quoting “informed sources” and those sources, by leaking, are breaking the law. And, of course, there are also leaks from police investigations (all the time), and from governmental offices (all the time.)

    I will give you an example — the use of White Phosphorus. We know that two officers who gave the order were disciplined for exceeding their authority. But Haaretz published what exactly that meant — they authorized the use of White Phosphorus as an incendiary device in a civilian zone, which is a war crime — which the IDF still denies. Publishing that leak from closed proceedings can only be considered an infraction of the law. Is Israel less secure or more secure for it? Or how about the published Uri Blau articles, all of which passed military censorship? Is Israel less secure or more secure knowing that the IDF lied and covered-up about targeted assassinations.

    If Anat Kam broke the law, and there are no laws protecting her, she should be convicted and sit in jail for, say, two years. But a society that considers leaking embarrassing documents to a journalist spying is not an enlightened society.

    Have you heard of Daniel Ellsberg and the Pentagon Papers.?

  5. kejad

    Could the prosecutors not have charged her with a lesser offense? Her charges require them to prove that she committed crimes “with the intent to harm the security of the state”. Unless I’m missing something really, really big, her intent seems to have been to try to expose criminal activity.

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  9. M.

    Jerry,
    you’re totally missing the point here.

    a. i was exactly referring to the law here, that does not formulate the right balance between the obligation to keep the law and at the same time to outline those special places where press should be protected. (see Kremintzer’s article on “The 7th eye” (http://www.the7eye.org.il/DailyColumn/Pages/060410_Legal_issues_of_the_censored_case.aspx)
    You need a legal framework or else what you actually doing is opening a door to everyone (press or not) , based on their moral values/ideology/whatever, to decide which law they respect and which not. You think that’s a good receipt for a democracy?

    b. It’s not only about the IDF cover-up.
    Just to make it clear, i think that whoever broke the law in IDF should be punished.period.
    But.. it didn’t end here, there are (allegedly) other 200 docs which include sensitive information and find it really hard to justify it as exposing “embarrassing information”, having a journalist travel around the world with such info make Israel less secure, and i am very sorry if i sound “non-enlightened” by your standards, but it’s me, or my kids that will be facing the consequences of that.

    As i said, it’s not a black or white case, nothing in our region is.

  10. Pingback: Israel Breaks Kam Gag: Floodgates Open | Tikun Olam-תקון עולם: Make the World a Better Place

  11. Bob

    Has nothing to do with the articles, but that fact she stole other classified data (relating to security of Israel). No one in Israel cares Israel killed terrorists (which the that article was about), didn’t Obama just announce his #1 “target”, those drones are not arresting people either.

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  13. Pingback: ZIONIST REGIME GAG ORDER LIFTED « Shoah

  14. Pingback: ‘Anat Kam’ account hacked, emails erased « Dimi’s notes

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  16. Pingback: Promised Land » Blog Archive » Internal Security violated agreement with Haaretz to get to Anat Kamm

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