Another Tack: Loose lips sink ships

Anat Kamm may have been exploited by the unscrupulous media, but her offense wasn’t about freedom of the press.

anat kam 311 (photo credit: Channel 2)
anat kam 311
(photo credit: Channel 2)
In herself Anat Kamm could not be more unimportant. As a symptom of the psycho-political ills that plague Western democracies Anat Kamm could not be more important.
The malaise her pseudo-intellectual narcissism mirrors can obviously be least afforded in beleaguered Israel, but it’s not only endemic here.
Moreover, it’s lauded as the epitome of politically correct bon ton not only by this country’s homegrown left-leaning media.
True, Israel can also least afford the damage inflicted by left-wing popularized misrepresentations – far more pervasive here than anywhere else due to the incomparable dominance of local leftist opinion-molders, who are particularly aggressive in the Kamm case. After all, they are covering their exposed rear ends.
And for this purpose it suits them to parade Kamm as a selfless journalist, standing her ground courageously in desperate defense of freedom of information. This, their basic contention, already constitutes a gross cock-and-bull narrative. One must either be mulishly gullible or uninformed in the extreme to consider Kamm a crusading journalist and portray her offense as inspired by allegiance to journalistic ethics.
OF LATE Kamm found employment as a gossip purveyor on an Internet site.
It’s quite a stretch to consider the 23-year-old philosophy student a professional in the forefront of investigative reporting. Besides, she broke the law long before her Web site connection. She wasn’t remotely in journalism when, as a young conscript, she worked in the OC Central Command’s office, duplicated 2,200 documents, hid her haul and hung on to it long after her 2007 discharge.
That she later postured as a newswoman cannot retroactively justify her larceny. Would Kamm’s thievery be reckoned more reprehensible had she earned her living at a supermarket check-out counter?
Kamm basically emptied everything in her commander’s computer. She wasn’t selective. She didn’t home in on a particular issue (which would have been bad enough). Unlike a whistleblower, which she claims to be, Kamm snatched everything indiscriminately. That was an unmitigated breach of her oath.
Like every recruit, Kamm swore “to maintain loyalty to the State of Israel, its laws and legally authorized government, to accept without condition or reservation the discipline of the Israel Defense Forces, to obey all orders and instructions by authorized commanders and to devote all my energies and even sacrifice my life in the defense of the homeland and the freedom of Israel.”
Not only did Kamm thumb her nose at all the above, her cheerleaders now tell us that she did so out of conviction that she knew best what is better for us.
We could kiss our entire national defense good-bye if each and every soldier would do likewise with no guideline but his/her own youthful hubris. If each soldier were to decide that he/she is empowered to determine national policies and/or subvert endeavors not to his/her liking, the IDF would essentially have to shut down. So would any military hierarchy anywhere.
That may be precisely what assorted varieties of leftist anarchists fervently desire. Their goal is to destabilize, even abolish all authority.
To that end, Kamm achieved a glorious feat by swiping Israel’s most guarded military secrets.
IT MATTERS little that Kamm didn’t pass the contraband to outright enemy agents but handed it over to like-minded news-merchants – Uri Blau and his Haaretz confederates. All that matters is that she held on to material she shouldn’t have purloined and transmitted it to others who had no business getting it. The touchiest IDF documents – including detailed battle plans that literally put lives at risk – thereby fell into unauthorized hands. In Blau’s custody, and with Haaretz abetting him, they might have ended up anywhere.
Espionage’s bottom line is obtaining confidential information without permission from the legal proprietors of said information. That the secrets reached Blau’s possession, rather than Hamas’s, is no consolation. Top secrets on the loose can wreak havoc.
Secrets can be blown not only via the slipping of concealed microfilms to shady agents in secluded corners as per spy fiction. Careless blabber or reckless publication are treasure troves for enemy intelligence analysts.
This is why Americans were cautioned incessantly during WWII that “loose lips sink ships.” They do. It doesn’t help the casualties to know that they were backstabbed in the name of a high-minded cause.
Kamm betrayed the inordinate trust placed in her and released secrets that can help the enemy kill Israelis. For that she must pay. She would pay heavily in any of the shining sterling democracies whose pen-pushers now gloatingly lecture to us and compare Israel to Iran and North Korea. Neither the American military nor any European army – in countries no way existentially threatened like Israel – would for a minute countenance what Kamm did. See how mercilessly the US keeps punishing Jonathan Pollard, who never compromised American lives.
Nor should the claim that Kamm wasn’t motivated by antagonism but by altruism sway us. Some of the worst offenses were committed in the service of political creeds. The famous Cambridge Four – Kim Philby, Donald Maclean, Guy Burgess and Anthony Blunt – were all fueled by ideology. So were a string of fellow-travelers and “useful fools,” including Mordechai Vanunu and the still-mysterious Israel Beer, who assumed they were entitled to impose upon Israel’s democratic collective what they deem overridingly moral. Kamm’s innocent little girl looks don’t make her an innocent little girl.
Nor do Blau’s studied nonconformist looks make his hoarding of illicit material forgivable. Haaretz’s depiction of Blau as a martyr to safeguarding source-confidentiality cannot be more ludicrous. Indeed, were it not for Blau’s slapdash revelations and pretentiousness, Kamm’s role in supplying him with classified information would have never been discovered.
Rather than keep her secret, Blau, his editor and publisher all served Kamm’s head on a newspaper-lined platter. Haaretz’s former editor Hanoch Marmari said as much.
When the spin is stripped of sanctimonious malarkey, we’re left with an insolent soldier who considered herself licensed to steal and unconscionably endanger fellow soldiers. She may have been exploited by the unscrupulous media, but her offense wasn’t about freedom of the press.
This should get us thinking long and hard about what skewed values steer significant segments of our media. Kamm’s most avid boosters shrilly decry the reluctance of some IDF soldiers to uproot dedicated brethren from their homes. Sometimes, to hear leftists hectoring, obeying orders is the be-all and end-all. Suddenly, though, they aver that sabotage of IDF operations is admirably principled.
Were Kamm, heaven forfend, a teenaged (even preteen) settler who daredhoist a homemade placard at a sit-in, she’d be dragged, roughed-up,jailed and demonized. Kamm is under house arrest and coddled bycommentators.
But this isn’t a matter of disloyalty being in the eye of the beholder.
Right-wingers want to strengthen the Jewish state rather than battlefellow Jews. That is radically not the agenda of Kamm and comrades.