A friend told me today that during a recent visit to Tel Aviv she saw graffiti from the gag-order period,encouraging pedestrians to "Google Anat Kamm": a way to spread the word as widely as possible. Yet it's becoming increasingly clear that the original story was false: long long ago, say, early last week, the line was that the entire story was well known outside Israel but gagged at home. By now it's clear that what was widely known abroad was a selective, carefully tailored story disseminated by Kamm's ideological fans, who were feeding foreign sources with the story they wished everyone to believe; once the authorities began releasing their version the story changed significantly.
Yesterday we saw the publishing of a court decision from February, when Kamm was sent to house arrest. This document contains various points of interest. Kamm is under mere house arrest, for example, not because the allegations aren't serious but because the assumption is that shorn of her special access to secret documents she isn't dangerous. If she's eventually convicted, she'll go to jail. She made two disks of copied documents, one of which she lost, and the other someone else lost (we aren't told who). The security measures in the general's office were so shabby as to be criminal; after having copied thousands of documents in a folder, Kamm simply asked a colleague to burn them onto disks, and it was done.
On the matter of her intent, it seems I was wrong. My initial reading was that she was out to promote her investigative abilities; apparently, she really did see herself as a whistle-blower - though on this point the story still seems to support both versions.
Regarding the prosecution's contention that Kamm intended to harm state security, the judge wrote that a high probability of harm to state security was enough to attribute such intent.This is an interesting comment: when the probability of an outcome is plausible, the law sees action towards it as intent. Ponder that for a moment, because it isn't obviously so; one could easily argue that a plausible outcome is not enough to tell of intent to reach it; nor is the matter trivial. Any criminal proceeding that requires intent for conviction - and there are many such - will be influenced by it.
On the other hand, the judge cites Kamm's own words telling about her intent to uncover wrong-doing:
Hammer also referred to Kam's testimony regarding her motives to give material to Blau. He quoted her as saying, "there were aspects of the [Israel Defense Forces'] activity in the territories that I thought should be brought to the knowledge of the public."From Kamm's perspective, the tragic part of the story is that she broke the law to warn Israelis their generals were breaking the law, when they weren't, but she was. She was so immersed in the lefty political narrative whereby Israel's military authorities are mostly wrong when dealing with Palestinians, that she was incapable of understanding that the actions she was warning about were in no way illegal. On the contrary. She was merely supplying documentation that the IDF indeed is acting within the law. She's now facing jail for bravely warning us from a danger that was invented by her friends and political colleagues, but which was never there at all.
"[When] I copied the materials I thought that as far as history is concerned, people who have warned of war crimes, they are forgiven .... I hadn't managed to sufficiently change enough of the things that were important to me at the time of my army service, and I thought exposing them would bring about change, so it was important to me to bring the IDF's policy in the territories to the knowledge of the public."
She said she contacted Israeli journalists because she assumed the military censor "would not allow publication of any material that was especially highly classified or [involved] danger in their publication." The judge noted that under questioning, Kamm had admitted that she knew of the practice of Israeli journalists to circumvent censorship by leaking information to the foreign media. (My italics: so she gave it to an Israeli journalist, knowing full well it might not go through the censor. So much for that argument).