By Susanna Speier
Denver Private Investigator Blogger
It is not surprising that Harvey Weinstein hired a team of spies and private investigators to gather information about and intimidate his victims given the severity of the crimes, the money and power at his disposal and the fact his entire career was at stake. Black Cube, the international former Israeli intelligence officer run agency he hired, was even instructed to dig stuff up on the journalists trying to expose stories of Weinstein's sexual misconduct. Enter, the apology.
According to ABC, "Prof. Asher Tishler, a Black Cube advisory board member, said in an interview with Israel's Channel 2 TV network that the company was unaware of Weinstein's intentions, and had they known, 'we would never – God forbid – have taken this job.' Tishler also apologized to anybody who was impacted by the investigation."
"People were wronged because someone was helped who maybe planned to hurt these women in one way or another," he said. "In this context, something went wrong. And I'm sorry this job was taken. At the time we took the job, we didn't know this was happening.”
A CBS update posted from Jerusalem stated that proceeds from the Weinstein assignment will be donated to women's groups. "Of course we apologize to those hurt by this. Of course women were hurt. Now, in retrospect, it's a shame this we took this job," Tishler even acknowledged.
Ethics experts weigh in on NBC detailing how Black Cube employed former Israeli spies for its information-gathering operations and how information was not only gathered on the accusers but attempts were made to dig up embarrassing stories on the journalists, presumably to blackmail them into silence.
Ronan Farrow's New Yorker story revealed how how David Boies, a high-profile trial attorney and partner at the law firm of Boies, Schiller and Flexner, signed off on a contract with the international investigative agency, Black Cube. The agency is run by former Israeli intelligence officers.
A follow-up NPR story to Farrow's NPR story delved into thehigh-level, corporate espionage tactics Farrow discussed in the article and includes an interview with an Israeli journalist that provides great supplementary material on Black Cube's strengths as well as its limitations.
Are you buying black cubes apology? We would like to hear from private investigators and intelligence experts. Please tweet us your thoughts or post responses in the comment below for possible inclusion in a follow up post.
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