What are state secrets worth to a NASA scientist? In the case of Stewart David Nozette, undercover agents posing as Israeli intel were able to get the price down to around $10 grand. What a bargain!
Stewart Nozette, 52, was arrested this afternoon at the Mayflower Hotel in downtown Washington by counterespionage agents from the FBI's on suspicion that he was meeting with agents from the Israeli intel group known as the Mossad. The Mayflower has quite a lovely history, it's also where former New York governor Elliot Spitzer took Ashley Dupre to have her reveal her own state secrets.
Nozette had met with undercover feds back in September of this year where he told them "I haven't been…involved in a classified work for the last couple of years…but I had everything…all the way to Top Secret SCI [sensitive compartmentalized information], I had nuclear."
An 18-page FBI affidavit, signed by Special Agent Leslie G. Martell, says Nozette in January 2009 told a colleague "that if the United States government tried to put him in jail" on an unrelated matter, Nozette would move to Israel or another unidentified foreign country and "tell them everything" he knows. The document also stated that Nozette was a technical consultant from 1998 until early 2008, and received total payments of $225,000 while working "for an aerospace company that was wholly owned by the government of the state of Israel."
Nozette helped develop the lunar Mini-RF probe which recently helped confirm the presence of water on the moon. He's responsible for bombing the moon, folks! Didn't seem like such a big deal at the time, sure we all had fun making our little twitter quips about it, well whose laughing now?
If we were willing to let this guy have the keys to hurl projectiles at our lunar little brother, who knows what else we could have allowed him to blow up next. Pluto? Uranus?
The universe sleeps a bit more soundly tonight with this modern day Lex Luthor behind bars.