A comprehensive look at NUMEC:

What Lies Beneath


John Hadden, a former station chief in Tel Aviv, would even suggest that NUMEC was an Israeli operation “from the beginning,” a detail reported in Dangerous Liaison, a 1991 book about the U.S.-Israel relationship. (Hadden died in 2013.) However, the AEC’s efforts to quash investigations had largely succeeded, and no conclusive evidence of wrongdoing had come to light. Even as a few strident individuals tried to push the case forward, from the late 1960s to the mid-1970s, the NUMEC controversy lost momentum…

In July 1977, evidence suggests that Ted Shackley, then CIA associate deputy director for covert operations, briefed senior energy officials about the environmental samples from Dimona. For many, this was the key piece of missing evidence against Shapiro and NUMEC. Hadden, of the CIA, told the BBC in a 1978 interview, after news about the samples broke, “Just imagine to yourself how much easier it would be to remove a pound or two of this or that [inert material] at any one time … as opposed to removing, all at one blow, 150 pounds of [a] shouting and kicking Eichmann. You see, [the Israelis] are pretty good at removing things.” (Stockton said he met Hadden in the late 1970s and early 1980s in safe houses in Washington’s Georgetown neighborhood. The CIA official would pull out a 2.5-foot makeshift scroll of paper that contained his case against NUMEC. “This was before computers, and the thing was long and pasted together, and that was his evidence,” Stockton said. “We’d sit there in the safe house, and he’d read me portions of it.”)