Mordechai Vanunu to be released on April 21st

after 18 years in prison, mostly solitary confinement, for leaking the existence of the Israeli nuclear weapons program to the Sunday Times. Wikipedia has a detailed entry on Vanunu, including details of his amazing kidnapping in Rome by Mossad. He communicated the details of his abduction by writing it on th epalm of his hand and flashing it to media as he was led away to trial.

He will seek to renounce his Israeli citizenship upon release in an attempt to be permitted to leave the country, but I think it's unlikely that he will ever escape house arrest. There likely isn't much that Vanunu can tell about the Israeli WMD program that isn't already widely known.

The most interesting aspect of Vanunu's impending release (assuming there isn't a last minute change in his status to "enemy combatant") is the timing. Who could have predicted, 18 years ago, that his release date would be smack in the middle of a US invasion and occupation of Iraq, sold to the American people as a pre-emptive strike against a madman's WMD? The coincidences seem astonishing.

Sometimes, real life really is drama. Fiction struggles to keep up.

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