US Envoy Writes of Israeli Threats

John Gunther Dean donated his collection of personal papers to the Jimmy Carter Library in Atlanta, Georgia. The collection documents Dean’s career both during and after he left the U.S. State Department’s Foreign Service.

John Gunther Dean  American Ambassador reportedly a target of an Israeli assassination plot. Published in The Nation.


by Barbara Crossett


In the wake of the accusation by Chas Freeman that his nomination to lead the National Intelligence Council was derailed by an “Israeli lobby,” a forthcoming memoir by another distinguished ambassador adds stunning new charges to the debate.

The ambassador, John Gunther Dean, writes that over the years he not only came under pressure from pro-Israeli groups and officials in Washington but also was the target of an Israeli-inspired assassination attempt in 1980 in Lebanon, where he had opened links to the Palestine Liberation Organization.

Dean’s suspicions that Israeli agents may have also been involved in the mysterious plane crash in 1988 that killed Pakistan’s president, General Mohammed Zia ul Haq, led finally to a decision in Washington to declare him mentally unfit, which forced his resignation from the foreign service after a thirty-year career.

After he left public service, he was rehabilitated by the State Department, given a distinguished service medal and eventually encouraged to write his memoirs. Now 82, Dean sees the subsequent positive attention he has received as proof that the insanity charge (he calls it Stalinist) was phony, a supposition later confirmed by a former head of the department’s medical service.

Dean, whose memoir is titled Danger Zones: A Diplomat’s Fight for America’s Interests, was American ambassador in Lebanon in August 1980 when a three-car convoy carrying him and his family was attacked near Beirut.

Dean, whose memoir is titled Danger Zones: A Diplomat’s Fight for America’s Interests, was American ambassador in Lebanon in August 1980 when a three-car convoy carrying him and his family was attacked near Beirut.

“I was the target of an assassination attempt by terrorists using automatic rifles and antitank weapons that had been made in the United States and shipped to Israel,” he wrote.”Weapons financed and given by the United States to Israel were used in an attempt to kill an American diplomat!”

After the event, conspiracy theories abounded in the Middle East about who could have planned the attack, and why. Lebanon was a dangerously factionalized country.

The State Department investigated, Dean said, but he was never told what the conclusion was. He wrote that he “worked the telephone for three weeks” and met only official silence in Washington.

By then Dean had learned from weapons experts in the United States and Lebanon that the guns and ammunition used in the attack had been given by Israelis to a Christian militia allied with them.

“I know as surely as I know anything that Mossad, the Israeli intelligence agency, was somehow involved in the attack,” Dean wrote, describing how he had been under sharp criticism from Israeli politicians and media for his contacts with Palestinians. “Undoubtedly using a proxy, our ally Israel had tried to kill me.”

Dean’s memoir, to be published in May for the Association for Diplomatic Studies and Training Memoir Series by New Academia Publishing under its Vellum imprint, has been read and approved for publication by the State Department with only very minor changes, none affecting Dean’s major points.

Its underlying theme is that American diplomacy should be pursued in American interests, not those of another country, however friendly.

A Jew whose family fled the Holocaust, Dean resented what he saw as an assumption, including by some in Congress, that he would promote Israel’s interests in his ambassadorial work.

Ambassador Chas Freeman

Dean, a fluent French speaker who began his long diplomatic career opening American missions in newly independent West African nations in the early 1960s, served later in Vietnam (where he described himself as a “loyal dissenter”) and was ambassador in Cambodia (where he carried out the American flag as the Khmer Rouge advanced), Denmark, Lebanon, Thailand (where Chas Freeman was his deputy) and India.

He takes credit for averting bloodshed in Laos in the 1970s by negotiating a coalition government shared by communist and non-communist parties.

He was sometimes a disputatious diplomat not afraid to contradict superiors, and he often took–and still holds–contrarian views.

He always believed, for example, that the United States should have attempted to negotiate with the Khmer Rouge rather than let the country be overrun by their brutal horror.

As ambassador in India in the 1980s he supported then-Prime Minister Rajiv Gandhi’s policy of seeking some kind of neutral coalition in Afghanistan that would keep the American- and Pakistani-armed mujahedeen from establishing a fundamentalist Islamic state.

For several years after the Soviet withdrawal, India continued to back Najibullah, a thuggish communist security chief whom the retreating Soviet troops left behind.

After the mujahedeen moved toward Kabul, Najibullah refused a United Nations offer of safe passage to India. He was slaughtered and left hanging on a lamppost.

Former Secretary of State George Shultz wrote a letter to U.S. President Barack Obama, urging him to free Jonathan Pollard, the Washington Post revealed..

It was in the midst of this Soviet endgame in Afghanistan that Dean fell afoul of the State Department for the last time.

After the death of General Zia in August 1988, in a plane crash that also killed the American ambassador in Pakistan, Arnold Raphel, Dean was told in New Delhi by high-ranking officials that Mossad was a possible instigator of the accident, in which the plane’s pilot and co-pilot were apparently disabled or otherwise lost control.

There was also some suspicion that elements of India’s Research and Analysis Wing, its equivalent of the CIA, may have played a part. India and Israel were alarmed by Pakistan’s work on a nuclear weapon–the “Islamic bomb.”

Dean was so concerned about these reports, and the attempt by the State Department to block a full FBI investigation of the crash in Pakistan, that he decided to return to Washington for direct consultations.

Instead of the meetings he was promised, he was told his service in India was over. He was sent into virtual house arrest in Switzerland at a home belonging to the family of his French wife, Martine Duphenieux.

Six weeks later, he was allowed to return to New Delhi to pack his belongings and return to Washington, where he resigned.

Suddenly his health record was cleared and his security clearance restored. He was presented with the Distinguished Service Award and received a warm letter of praise from Secretary of State George Shultz.

“Years later,” he wrote in his memoir, “I learned who had ordered the bogus diagnosis of mental incapacity against me. It was the same man who had so effusively praised me once I was gone–George Shultz.”

Asked in a telephone conversation last week from his home in Paris why Shultz had done this to him, Dean would say only, “He was forced to.”

Source: The Nation

Barbara Crossette is The Nation’s United Nations correspondent. A former foreign correspondent for the New York Times, she is the author of several books on Asia, including So Close to Heaven: The Vanishing Buddhist Kingdoms of the Himalayas, published by Alfred A. Knopf in 1995 and in paperback by Random House/Vintage Destinations in 1996, and a collection of travel essays about colonial resort towns that are still attracting visitors more than a century after their creation, The Great Hill Stations of Asia, published by Westview Press in 1998 and in paperback by Basic Books in 1999. In 2000, she wrote a survey of India and Indian-American relations, India: Old Civilization in a New World, for the Foreign Policy Association in New York. She is also the author of India Facing the 21st Century, published by Indiana University Press in 1993.

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Editing: Debbie Menon

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10 Responses to "US Envoy Writes of Israeli Threats"

  1. Richard Braverman  February 1, 2012 at 7:22 am

    august 1980 – john gunther dean’s attempted MURDER by agents of MOSSAD
    march 1981 – george bush and NWO thugs attempt to MURDER ronald reagan
    january 1982 – secretary of state alexander haig warns of imminent Israeli invasion of lebanon
    april 1982 – UK-Argentina falklands war – cover for new militarism
    6 june 1982 – israel invades lebanon
    25 june 1982 – haig forced to resign due to “domestic pressure and disputes over policy”
    july 1982 – george shultz (zionist) replaces haig
    october 1983 – marine corps barracks bombing – 241 Marines MURDERED in Lebanon – Israeli foreknowledge
    1985-1986 – Iran-Contra with israel deep in the double dealing, money making, and humiliation of reagan
    august 1988 – murder of zia ul haq and US ambassador raphel
    october 1988 – john gunther dean blackballed by shultz for talking tooooooo much
    ….summary israel always wins
    ….because cowards infest the us government
    ….and real men are either cast aside or murdered.
    ……want more evidence …
    1947-1949 secretary of defense james forrestal opposes the creation and recognition of the state of israel
    may 1949 James Forrestal MURDERED pushed out of window at Bethesda Naval Hospital

    …wake up
    …wake up
    …wake up
    …wake up

  2. The Rahnameh  January 31, 2012 at 9:05 pm

    *brakes screeching*

    Hold up.

    Who are these “powerbrokers”? Pencil necks too weak to identify themselves directly. People of small imagination, willing to take shortcuts for gain, and staking their entire worth on nothing but lies. This is the act of the weak, the jealous and the fearful. A people insecure of themselves, so much so that they lash out at the world in a true psychological drama we must all live out. So weak that they cannot achieve what they must by their own means, but by mere deception. The act of taking an earned trust and twisting it around to gain advantage. The equivalent of tugging on someone’s arm right before the finish line of the race because they were before you.

    If life was all about self-gain, these pencil necks would have been long gone. My ancestor, KOUROCHE E BOZORG*, freed the Jews from Babylonian captivity and not only funded, but helped build, the Second Temple so the Hebrews of yore could have their own autonomous province in the Iranian empire. Some decided to settle in Iran and have now lived there for 2,500 years. If life was all about self-gain, Kouroche E Bozorg would have made these captives the whores of his most lowly soldiers. But he was not.

    And life is not about self-gain. So who are these “powerbrokers”? Targets, once identified.

    *Kouroche e Bozorg, or “Koo-roshe the Big” is the real name of “Cyrus the Great”. Cyrus (pronounced see-roos) is another Iranian name (a relative of Kouroche’s). There are a number of misnomers in Western understanding of Iranians that stretch back to Herodotus (“Persian” wtf you stupid malaka) We’ve had to adopt it all because it’s otherwise confusing.

  3. wendydavis  January 31, 2012 at 1:41 pm

    AIPAC is who “they” are. “They” are everywhere.

  4. PhilipShahak  January 31, 2012 at 1:39 pm

    I don’t think anyone ‘forced’ LBJ. According to Michael Collins Piper in ‘Final Judgment’, Johnson was bought and paid for by organised crime boss and sayan Meyer Lansky. The Zionists had their man waiting to step in upon the removal of JFK. In other words LBJ was a mabuah (a gentile who fulfills the same role as a sayan).

  5. ricohands  January 31, 2012 at 11:37 am

    Does not surprise me in the least. Frankly these diplomats only have themselves to blame for cosying up to the devil.

    Even Pres Truman, who was the one who recognized Israel like 14 minutes after it self declared itself in Palestine, was the target of Mossad. In his autobiography written by his daughter, Margaret, she tells us how Mossad often sent letter bombs to her father. They attempted to murder him several times. He simply didn’t do all that they asked of him.

  6. dalethorn  January 30, 2012 at 8:15 pm

    One more reason “The People” need to be able to prosecute government officials in OUR courts. If government officials are to be granted immunity for “sensitive” jobs, then let US grant that immunity in OUR courts, not theirs.

  7. Eileen Fleming  January 30, 2012 at 7:31 pm

    OK, yes I know that but what I meant to address is just WHO are THEY as individuals and that once again because of the failure of The Media to go-seek-report the truth we the people will never know THAT as hypocrites continue to inhabit high places.

  8. Charlotte NC Bill  January 30, 2012 at 7:24 pm

    The same people who “forced” Johnson to call back the planes that were en route to rescue the USS Liberty from Israeli attack..The same people who forced NYPD detectives to put terrorists safely on a plane back to Israel..( the Dancing Israelis and their demo expert colleagues at Urban Moving Systems ).

  9. Eileen Fleming  January 30, 2012 at 6:24 pm

    “He was forced to” BEGS follow up questions: WHO did the forcing? And WHAT are THEY doing today?

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