May 21, 2008, - 11:35 am

Because He’s a Joooo: How the Pentagon Persecuted David Tenenbaum

By Debbie Schlussel
**** UPDATE: Read the shocking exhibits and government reports about the Pentagon’s anti-Semitic campaign against David Tenenbaum ****
I remember well the case of David Tenenbaum. An Orthodox Jewish civilian employee of the military, he lives just a 1/2 mile from me. He belongs to the same synagogue as several members of my extended family.
When the Pentagon and feds trumped up charges against him and chose to raid his house on the Jewish Sabbath–and to embarrass him, purposely doing so at the moment throngs of synagogue congregants were walking home and passing by–it was a cause of disgust in our community. We knew he was not a spy for Israel, and it was made even more obvious, when the FBI seized his kid’s coloring books as evidence of “espionage.”


The feds never prosecuted Tenenbaum because they had no case. And for years, he maintained–and we all knew–that they pursued him merely because he’s a Jew. He sued the government in vain to end this endless nightmare against him. The suit was thrown out in the name of the nebulous excuse of “protecting national security interests.”
But now, he and we have the evidence. The Pentagon admits that Tenenbaum’s being Jewish–especially that he was an Orthodox Jew–was the main reason they went after him. Interesting that they’ve never pursued a Muslim this way. Nada Nadim Prouty (a Druze spying on behalf of Muslim terrorist group, Hezbollah) is laughing all the way to the bank (as she writes her check for a $750 fine):

For the past 11 years, Army tank engineer David Tenenbaum has been trying to undo the damage the government did to him in four days in 1997, when he was accused of being a spy for Israel.
It started with a polygraph test administered February 13, where one interrogator yelled epithets about how they knew how to deal with Jews. The next day, Mr. Tenenbaum arrived at work and found his computer gone and his name erased from the classified e-mail system at the Tank Automotive and Armaments Command in Warren, Mich.
He was then asked to enter a conference room, where agents from the FBI informed him he should confess to the crime of espionage. When Mr. Tenenbaum learned he would not be arrested, he walked out of the room and to his Toyota Camry parked on the base outside of Detroit. A guard asked him for his badge and proceeded to use it to scrape away the parking decal on his windshield.
Then the Jewish Sabbath came and the investigators he met in his office the day before began ransacking his home and confiscated this amateur violinist and guitarist’s music books as well as the coloring books that belonged to his 4-and-a-half-year-old daughter.
The ordeal was complete on the following Monday. Mr. Tenenbaum read in the Detroit Free Press that he was an alleged spy and learned later that the FBI had forgotten to seal the court request for the Eastern District Federal Court of Michigan asking for a search warrant of his home. Some newspapers even began to call him the next Jonathan Pollard, the Naval officer who was sentenced to life in prison for stealing technology for Israel in 1986.
“It was like the twilight zone,” Mr. Tenenbaum said. The U.S. attorney ultimately declined to prosecute the case, stating in a letter that the government failed to produce enough evidence to warrant prosecution despite a thorough investigation. This month, new details emerged when an independent watchdog organization called the Project on Government Oversight published new internal documents relating to the Pentagon inspector general’s investigation into the handling of the Tenenbaum case.
Among the documents is a presentation laying out the inspector general’s findings. The presentation’s third slide says, >”Mr. Tenenbaum experienced religious discrimination when his Judaism was weighed as a significant factor in the decision to submit him for an increase in his security clearance.”


David Tenenbaum

The investigation then went on to quote several Pentagon officials involved in the case against Mr. Tenenbaum acknowledging that his religion and his contacts in Israel were grounds at least in part for launching the investigation against him. A discrimination suit brought by Mr. Tenenbaum was thrown out of federal court after the government requested the judge acknowledge that the Army would need to disclose state secrets in order to mount its defense.
According to a sworn affidavit of Mr. Tenenbaum, when he took his first polygraph test in 1997, his questioner said to him: “I have done other Jews before and gotten them to confess and I’ll get you to confess too,” and, “I can tell you are lying by looking into your eyes.” . . .
A former chairman of the Defense Policy Advisory Board and a senior Pentagon official in the Reagan administration, Richard Perle, said, . . . “There is a wholly unjustified suspicion of Jews in sensitive positions, and especially Orthodox Jews.”
Internal Pentagon documents indicate a fight has now broken out between the Pentagon’s lawyers and the Pentagon inspector general that concluded the case against Mr. Tenenbaum exhibited the hallmarks of employment discrimination. That conclusion, a potential embarrassment for the Army, has yet to be published, in part because the Pentagon’s general counsel has launched its own investigation into the case, which the inspector general’s office complained was intended to undermine the findings of the report.
According to the inspector general’s presentation, “OGC objections centered on undermining evidence presented above as either ‘opinion’ or circumstantial (indirect) evidence.”
A spokesman for the Pentagon Thursday declined to comment for the story. . . . Mr. Tenenbaum said he is not surprised that the military would try to suppress the report.
“For almost 12 years I have been fighting for justice,” he said. He added that many of the security officials he regards as his tormentors have been promoted in the military. Meanwhile, he is still seen as something of a pariah in his office. He is no longer allowed to work on his favored project of designing armor for Humvees. In the interim, he has earned a doctorate in chemical engineering.
“For 11 years I have been waiting for vindication,” he said. “You have to imagine this, I was wrongfully accused of espionage. The punishment is either death or life in prison. I believe the only worse crime is assassinating a U.S. president.” He went on: “My father was a Holocaust survivor. He was the only one who survived. He passed away a year before this happened. Can you imagine him seeing his only son being singled out for the same reason he was, being a Jew?”


Beware! There Are Jews in This Town!

How interesting that the feds, including the Pentagon, are bowing down to kiss the butts of anti-American Muslims so fervently, that saying things like “jihad” and “Islamofascism” is verboten. Yet this anti-Semitic stuff is the de facto M.O. and A-OK. How interesting that Islamists at the Pentagon get dedicated counterterrorism officials fired, and this kind of stuff happens to a guy just because he’s Jewish. Guh-reat priorities.
Like I said, Nada Prouty is laughing, as are other legit spies–spying for the enemy–who get away with it, while David Tenenbaum has been tormented by this abuse.
Given these reports, I hope the courts allow him to reinstate his original lawsuit, which was timely filed. Clearly, the only “state secret” here was that the Pentagon doesn’t like Jews a whole lot. And that’s hardly a secret.
But even if David Tenenbaum finally gets justice after 11 years or more, he will have to ask the same question that ex-Reagan Labor Secretary Raymond Donovan asked when he was cleared of charges:

Where do I go to get my reputation back?

13 Responses

There’s deep seated anti-Semitism in the Pentagon and FBI. The same people there who go after Jews in federal service on trumped-up charges look the other way when Islamists betray this country. David Tenenbaum should receive justice and an apology from his own government. But he won’t and we all know why.

NormanF on May 21, 2008 at 12:18 pm

There is never real satisfaction to be had out of being found innocent when someone has been put through the wringer for b.s.

samurai on May 21, 2008 at 12:26 pm

WOW. The feds are out of control and the real enemy gets a FREE PASS? Our country is on the brink of disaster due to the incompetence, arrogance and vindictiveness of the federal bureaucrats.

ParaLyzer on May 21, 2008 at 12:42 pm

Anti-semitism extends throughout the Government bureaucracy. Look at the State Department — 100 + years of anti-semitism even when it meant Jewish deaths during the World War II era. There was a book written about 10 years ago about the Army’s shameful anti-Semitic history. And this tells us more about the anti-Semitism of groups such as the ACLU; if they were really interested in civil liberties, why didn’t they defend Mr. Tennebaum? Much less the Jewish Federation?

c f on May 21, 2008 at 1:05 pm

Debbie, I don’t know how you stand it. This story makes me physically ill and I’m not even jewish. I am ashamed of our government.

dms on May 21, 2008 at 5:15 pm

It shows that the persecution of Jews is not something that only happens elsewhere.

Worry01 on May 21, 2008 at 6:47 pm

Like Sherlock Holmes’ dog in the nighttime, Maxwell Audacious is significant in his absence.

DocLiberty on May 21, 2008 at 8:19 pm

Doesn’t Tenenbaum have a lawyer? Does his Congressman know what’s been going on? What about his Senators? Why are we just now hearing about this? He should have called Michael Savage. Where’s the idiotic JCRC when you need them?

lexi on May 21, 2008 at 9:06 pm

And nowhere in the NY Sun article is mentioned which administration and which party controlled the exec branch at that time.

chsw on May 21, 2008 at 10:22 pm

Debbie, this happens all the time in military and security agencies, where Jews are singled out for harassment. It’s kind of odd given the number of Jewish Congressmen, but most of them are into getting along and going along, not worrying about a few Jews left on the side of the road. And Jewish authorities can generally be counted on to assist us when it’s time to line up, board trains, take showers, etc.

Anonymous1 on May 22, 2008 at 12:02 am

This is sickening. I wonder what sort of God they pray to in the Pentagon. It’s not the same one as my dad (he’s a Baptist minister), that’s for certain. Wait until he reads this post in the morning; he’ll have a conniption fit!

mplumb on May 22, 2008 at 1:10 am

The sign says:
“Vorsicht! Juden im Ort”
I speak German, and that translates as:
“Beware! There are Jews in this town”

Max Kuenkel on May 22, 2008 at 10:26 pm

Debbie, Thank you for reporting on, and keeping us updated about, this case.
Does David have a website or email address where he can receive messages of support, etc.?

Ben-Yehudah on May 23, 2008 at 6:00 am

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