Top U.S. Officials, Mossad Conspired to Steal ‘PROMIS’

Now defunct ‘Spotlight’ was first on scene

By Michael Collins Piper

In the early 1990s – much to the dismay of certain corrupt Justice Department officials and other high-level power brokers – the now defunct Spotlight was the one widely read national media voice providing detailed coverage of the now-infamous Inslaw scandal.

The Spotlight exposed corruption by Justice Department officials and other high-level power-brokers who helped facilitate the theft of sophisticated surveillance software (known as PROMIS) that ended up in the hands of Israel’s Mossad and other foreign intelligence services.

Even The Washington Post Magazine was ultimately moved to comment on June 14, 1992, that “if the claims that have been made [about the lnslaw affair] are true, they add to a scandal of monstrous proportions.”

Bill and Nancy Hamilton, the owners of lnslaw, a small Washington, D.C.-based firm, charged that department officials had illegally conspired to steal their PROMIS software.

Then, in 1987, after then-federal Bankruptcy Judge George S. Bason, Jr., ruled against the Justice Department and in favor of the Hamiltons, saying Justice had stolen the PROMIS software through “trickery, fraud and deceit,” Bason was denied reappointment.

Bason later charged, in testimony before Congress, and in an exclusive interview with The Spotlight’s weekly talk forum, Radio Free America, that the Justice Department had conspired to force him off the bench in retaliation for his ruling against the department. Aside from Judge Bason’s political assassination, there have been 13 mysterious deaths directly connected to Inslaw.

Facilitating the theft of PROMIS by the Justice Department was S. Martin Teel, a functionary of that agency. For his services, Teel was appointed to Judge Bason’s position. Teel then went on to conspire with California Judge Runston G. Maino to close down Liberty Lobby and The Spotlight.

The truth is that the fine hand of Israeli intelligence and its influence at the highest levels in Washington is the common thread running through the web of the Inslaw affair.

It all began in March 1982 when Bill and Nancy Hamilton of Inslaw won a $10 million three-year contract with the Justice Department, which planned to install the PROMIS software, developed by Mr. Hamilton, in the 22 largest U.S. attorneys’ offices and a word-processor version in 72 others.

In the meantime, however, Dr. Earl Brian, a longtime crony of then-Attorney General Edwin Meese, began using his political clout to interfere with the Hamiltons’ contract in order to win the contract for a company he owned after the Hamiltons refused Brian’s offer to purchase Inslaw. Brian, with wide-ranging international contacts, was widely believed to be a longtime CIA asset.

In early 1983 the Justice Department arranged with the Hamiltons to demonstrate PROMIS to an Israeli who called himself “Dr. Ben Orr” and who purported to be representing the Israeli Ministry of Justice. “Ben Orr” said he was most impressed with PROMIS, but, to the Hamiltons’ surprise, he never bought the product.

It was only later the Hamiltons learned why: Using his contacts inside the Justice Department, Brian had illicitly provided the software to LAKAM, a top-secret signals intelligence unit of the Israeli Defense Force. The head of LAKAM was longtime Mossad operative Rafael “Dirty Rafi” Eitan who had visited the Hamiltons under the disguised name of “Dr. Ben Orr.”

It was later revealed that Eitan was also the Mossad official directing the American spying operations of Israeli spy Jonathan Pollard.

Eitan’s LAKAM operations had been covertly funded by a series of off-shore corporations in the Bahamas that had been set in place some years before by the law firm of Burns and Summit.

This just happened to be the firm of Deputy Attorney General Arnold Burns, the key player in the campaign to dislodge Federal Bankruptcy Judge Bason who had ruled against the Justice Department.

A powerful attorney with longstanding ties to the Anti-Defamation League (ADL) of B’nai B’rith, Burns is also a founder of “Nesher,” a quietly influential group of some 300 high-ranking federal officials and bureaucrats who meet informally, bound together by a desire to advance Israel’s cause.

Israeli intelligence operative Ari Ben-Menashe has said that PROMIS was perfect software for use by Israeli intelligence in tracking the Palestinian and political dissidents critical of Israel.

He said: “PROMIS was... probably the most important issue of the 1980s because it just changed the whole intelligence outlook.”

Brian also sold PROMIS to the Royal Canadian Mounted Police, the Canadian Security and Intelligence Service and to Jordanian military intelligence, among many, many other places. In truth, the full extent of Brian’s intrigue in dealing PROMIS worldwide has yet to be told.

Thanks to the efforts of independent journalists such as Harry Martin of the Napa (California) Sentinel and The Spotlight and its talk forum, Radio Free America, hosted by Tom Valentine, the beleaguered Hamiltons of Inslaw received some media attention.

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