WASHINGTON (May. 22)
The State Department and the Israeli Embassy refused to comment today on a report published in the New York Times that the Embassy telephones were tapped by the F.B.I. The report surfaced yesterday in connection with testimony by James McCord at the Senate hearings on Watergate.
McCord claimed that telephone calls he made from his home in Sept. and Oct. 1972 were tapped. Government investigators said he was referring to his calls to the Chilean and Israeli Embassies, the Times reported. According to the Times. “Intelligence officials confirmed the existence of wiretaps on the Israeli Embassy,” under a program code-named “Scope” which was initiated during the Johnson Administration.
The Times said a government source specifically recalled receiving a transcript of a conversation involving Premier Golda Meir and the then Israeli Ambassador Yitzhak Rabin during the Middle East crisis of 1970. “Mrs. Meir was discussing Secretary of State (William P.) Rogers, the source recalled,” the Times reported.
(Addressing a Foreign Press Association luncheon in Jerusalem today. Mrs. Meir dismissed the Times report as unconfirmed. But she added that only a fool doesn’t know that long distance phone calls are listened to somewhere or other and sensible people do not talk secrets on long distance telephone.)