Jerome's Reviews > Gideon's Spies: The Secret History of the Mossad

Gideon's Spies by Gordon Thomas
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's review
Jun 12, 2012

it was ok

Where to begin, lets start with the writing, its bad. The author has a tendency to start making a point and then meandering off for two pages before returning to his original point, its hard to believe this guy writes for a living. Lets turn to content, how do you write a CREDIBLE non-fiction book without footnotes? None of the events described in this book are sourced, except for the author's vague assurances that they were based on his extensive interviews. Give me a break! Any first year college student would get an F if he/she submitted a paper sourced like this book is. The book's cause is not helped by the fact that known fabricators such as Arie Ben-Menashe are quoted at length. The fables Ben-Menashe spins are presented as fact in this book, for sure that spells trouble. The most egregious error in this book, though, comes about when the author describes the 1972 take-over of the Israeli embassy in Bangkok. The reader is treated to an account where Israeli leaders agonize over their options thinking back to the Raid on Entebbe as one possible solution that is ultimately disregarded. Of course the raid on Entebbe took place in 1976 FOUR YEARS IN THE FUTURE. The Israelis are good, but time travel, please.

I have a hard time believing that Osama Bin Laden has close relationships with the Chinese given that they are now a secular consumerist society- something which Bin Laden is against. Yet, according to the book, he visited Beijing in 2005?!

The Mossad supposedly knew that a truck bomb was going to be used against the marines in Lebanon, but didn't tell them. The Israeli Prime Minister (Shamir) supposedly gave Pollard's spy material to the Russians because he hated America. The Mossad supposedly didn't lift a finger to save William Buckley, who was tortured and killed in Lebanon. The famous Mr. Maxwell, who looted his employee's pension funds, supposedly gave those funds to the Mossad.

I became suspicious when I saw listed on his acknowledgments page the contact name Barry Chamish. Barry is well known for his "creative" conspiracy theories. And for writing about UFO sightings in Israel.

The author credits the North Koreans with having SSN-6 nuclear submarines. No, they have diesel submarines. They have SSN-6 missiles. Later he credits the Israeli navy of having nuclear submarines---again, wrong. They have diesel submarines built by Germany.

The final straws were when the author writes of an Israeli helicopter that uses "silent mode" to enter enemy territory.I can assure you that is laughable, and I could no longer take the book seriously after that. A few pages later he references Pope Air Force Base in Georgia. A simple internet search would show you that Pope Air Force Base is not located in Georgia, but North Carolina.

Thomas is a conspiracy theorist who relies on innuendo and rumor to justify mindless theories and meaningless concepts, all in lieu of research and facts to tell what is an incredible story on its own. From little things, like referring to the Echelon surveillance system operated by the National Security Agency as monitoring every conversation between every individual virtually anywhere in the world (Echelon monitors electronic conversations, not every possible conversation) to secondhand references to the late William Casey, the then-director of the CIA, as suggesting that Mossad supplied arms to Hezbollah in the early 1980's when Israel invaded Lebanon, Thomas studiously avoids anything approaching professionalism or reasoned analysis.
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Comments (showing 1-2 of 2) (2 new)

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Dmitry Merener You are absolutely correct. It took me 415 pages to get to two sentences that made me distrust this author completely. He described a CIA/MOB drug link to the "Gotti Family" and sometimes the Gambino's and Colombo's. John Gotti did not have a "family" but was rather in the Gambino Crime family. On the very next page, the author writes about a Chicago suburb named Cicero, which he states as fact is the birth place of Al Capone. It is common knowledge that Al Capone was actually born in Brooklyn. So if the author does not do research and check out his "facts" researching a simple biography of Al Capone, how can a reader trust any other story. Also, he makes it quiet clear that "whistleblowers" are in constant danger of assassination, yet he is exposing Mossad's "secrets" and publishing them without a problem? Makes no sense. Good review Jerome.

message 2: by Max (new)

Max Labunsky Yes, I agree as well. I picked this book up after reading the much more serious "The Sword and the Shield" by Christopher Andrew. I became somewhat skeptical about his accuracy and seriousness when he mentioned that ECHELON can monitor "any conversation anyone is having in the world" and after a number of other laughable statements over the course of the next 200 pages (some of which you've detailed), I decided to put the book aside and find something more credible on the Mossad.

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