The late Alberto Nisman, Argentine Prosecutor investigator
On Monday we posted the recollections of Dr. Charles Jacobs who had interviewed the late Argentine prosecutor, Alberto Nisman in Buenos Aires in 2009, Jewish Hero Found Dead in Buenos Aires. Veteran Iran watcher and author of Dark Forces; The Truth About What Happened in Benghazi, Ken Timmerman, also published an article in Front Page Magazine article, Death of a Prosecutor. Dr. Ronen Bergman, intelligence columnist for Israeli Daily Yedioth Ahronoth had also published on Ynet.com his opinions of Nisman drawn from interviews when the Argentine prosecutor was in Israel in 2007, “Alberto Nisman was a martyr in the fight for justice. Dr. Ronen is the author of The Secret War with Iran: The 30-Year Clandestine Struggle Against the World's Most Dangerous Terrorist Power .
Excerpts from “Death of a Prosecutor” –Ken Timmerman, FrontPage Magazine, January 21, 2015:
I got involved in the AMIA investigation early on, and corresponded with Nisman’s first boss on the case, Judge Juan Jose Galeano, who eventually traveled to Washington, DC to meet with me. When Nisman ultimately took over the case and issued his indictment against the Iranian regime, he cited my evidence on more than a dozen occasions.
Nisman has been under pressure from the Argentinean authorities for years. I contacted him again in 2007 to see if he would be willing to testify before the U.S. District for the Southern District of New York about what he had learned of Iran’s overseas terrorist operations, as part of the Iran-9/11 investigation I was involved in.
After several months of back and forth negotiations, he got back to me to say that his superiors had forbidden him from having any contact with the U.S. court, even though we merely wanted him to present the same evidence he had made public in the AMIA indictment.
Nisman had huge amounts of evidence that has not been made public, including transcripts of intercepts between the Iranian cultural attaché and Iranian expat taxi drivers in Buenos Aires who helped transport explosives used in the bombing, and other intercepts detailing the involvement of the Islamic Republic Shipping Lines and their local agents in conveying the explosives to Argentina.
No one should underestimate the determination of the Iranian regime to use any means at its disposal to achieve its ends. Whether that means dispatching thousands of Revolutionary Guards fighters to Syria to prop up Assad, or murdering Americans in Iraq to hasten our departure, or providing safe haven and logistical assistance to al Qaeda, or funneling arms secretly to ISIS to stoke a fire they can boast to the gullible U.S. officials they are uniquely qualified to put out, the Islamic Republic of Iran is playing for keeps.
They have more case officers working for their intelligence services than we do in the United States, and have developed an entire branch of their military – the Quds Force – to carry out overseas terrorist operations.
They will not hesitate to murder people who get in their way, no matter their nationality or where they might be found.
They are playing hardball, and we are playing tiddlywinks. And yet, successive U.S. administrations have thrown away advantages won by the blood of patriots – both Iranian and American – for empty promises made by known liars, assassins, and cheats.
When will we ever learn?
Nisman, right, and Bergman in Tel Aviv in 2007
Excerpt from “Alberto Nisman was a martyr in the fight for justice” - Ronen Bergman, Yediot Ahronoth, January 21 2015
When we met in Tel Aviv in 2007, I believed that the Argentine prosecutor's determination to expose the Hezbollah and Iranian role in the AMIA bombing was bravado; I was wrong and he paid with his life.
"The most senior officials involved in the prosecution, members of the intelligence service along with my government conspired to disrupt the discovery of the truth about the Iranian connection and avoid bringing those responsible to justice," Dr. Alberto Nisman told me during a meeting at my home in Tel Aviv in December 2007. The discovery of his body is proof of the chilling determination of those people to do everything to prevent the truth being exposed.
Nisman had come to Israel to meet with intelligence officials, from whom he had requested information. In our conversation, he wanted to talk about the investigation he was conducting, and about the information collected during a series of Yedioth Ahronoth investigations about the attacks in Argentina on the Israeli Embassy in 1992 and the AMIA Jewish community center in 1994.
He was determined to settle accounts not only with Hezbollah and Iran, who were behind the attacks, but also with those Argentine officials who tried to whitewash their role. During that meeting, I was sure that this was empty bravado. I was wrong.
Nisman dared. He submitted a series of indictments and did not hesitate to speak out against the most powerful people in his home country who obstructed justice and fabricated evidence, even when it was clear that he was in danger and had to be assigned bodyguards.
Nisman accused President Cristina Kirchner of making a deal behind the backs of the Argentine public to cover up the affair in exchange for fat oil deals with Iran. Ultimately, after an investigation lasting a decade, no one had been convicted of the attack, and the two investigators on the case asked Nisman for help. He was soon named head of the team and for a decade did not let up.
Despite all attempts at a cover-up, Nisman managed to piece together a puzzle from thousands of phone calls, dozens of trips by Iranian diplomats, excessive bank transfers and overwhelming evidence. Under threats and pressure, he authored a comprehensive legal document, and persuaded Interpol to issue arrest warrants against Iranian officials, including former president Rafsanjani, and against [the late Hezbollah terrorist mastermind] Imad Mughniyeh.
Nisman's investigation became a political boomerang that came and went. For Nisman, there was one rebound too many. In our final phone conversation a few weeks ago, he sounded happy and more determined than ever to continue the investigation of his life. "I will keep going until the corrupt are on trial," he said.
This week, he paid for that dedication with his life. It is doubtful whether the investigation will continue after his death. It is more likely that the killers - and I have no doubt that there were killers - achieved their goal.
To me, he was a martyr, a man willing to sacrifice his life for the cause – the cause of justice.
YNET has published excerpts from my 2007 interview with him. Below is the link:
May his memory be blessed.