IRmep Sues NARA for Secret Clinton and Bush Nuclear Pledges to Israel

The Institute for Research: Middle Eastern Policy, IRmep announces a lawsuit has been filed against the National Archives and Records Administration demanding immediate release of presidential letters held by the George W. Bush and William J. Clinton presidential libraries.

The New Yorker in June reported Presidents Bill Clinton, George W. Bush, Barack Obama and Donald Trump all issued letters at the beginning of their terms promising never to pressure the Israeli government into signing the Treaty on the Non-Proliferation of Nuclear Weapons (NPT) or publicly discuss Israel’s nuclear weapons program.

IRmep believes the government of Israel sought the guarantees in order to preempt Arms Export Control Act AECA limitations on U.S. aid to foreign countries with clandestine nuclear weapons programs.

Defendant NARA refused to release the letters to IRmep under the Freedom of Information Act claiming that to even confirm or deny their existence is a classified national security matter. Obama and Trump administration records are unavailable under the Presidential Records Act and FOIA.

Plaintiff argues that the authorities cited in the NARA classification decision under Executive Order 13526 are unlawful since 13526 specifically prohibits classification of information to “conceal violations of law.”

The Symington and Glenn Amendments to the AECA restrict and condition all US foreign aid to nuclear weapons countries that have not signed the NPT.

Multiple IRmep lawsuits argue that US aid to Israel violates the AECA and that secrecy is improperly invoked to conceal that the US has long known Israel is a nuclear power. IRmep is also suing the US Departments of State and Energy to release WNP-136, a “gag order” that severely punishes federal employees that publicly release US government information, speak or write forthrightly about Israel’s nuclear weapons.

Since American presidents first began signing the secret pledges to Israel, inflation-adjusted US aid to Israel has grown to $99.9 billion, not counting “black budgets.” Since the Symington and Glenn Amendments to the AECA became law in 1976, US aid to Israel grew to $222.8 billion. Since 1948, Israel is the largest cumulative US foreign aid recipient.

Information about IRmep lawsuits, email bulletins and how to support IRmep’s Center for Policy and Law is available at:

IRmep is a Washington, DC-based nonprofit corporation researching US Middle East policy formulation since 2002.

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