Former U.S. Vice President Al Gore's bathroom in a Jerusalem hotel room 16 years ago has become the literal protagonist in an ongoing comic press version of the PBS series "Masterpiece Mystery." It all started with allegations by Newsweek writer Jeff Stein that a spy had camped out in the air ducts of the vice president's bathroom.
“The Secret Service had secured [Gore’s] room in advance and they all left except for one agent, who decided to take a long, slow time on the pot,” a source cited as a senior former U.S. intelligence operative told the magazine.
“So the room was all quiet, he was just meditating on his toes, and he hears a noise in the vent. And he sees the vent clips being moved from the inside. And then he sees a guy starting to exit the vent into the room,” said the anonymous former operative.
Then, the guy “kind of coughed and the guy went back into the vents," the source said.
Admittedly, no credible evidence has been put forth yet to either prove or disprove Newsweek's claims. Meanwhile, Israel's response to the alleged 1998 incident is akin to painting the incident as a "Scary Movie" type satire.
"Newsweek is relying on anonymous testimony with historic stories from the War of Independence,” Major General (ret.) Amos Yadlin told Channel 2.
Newsweek's article "proves a fact familiar to anyone who ever worked in Washington and was in contact with the government—the American interpretation of the facts or events relating to foreigners is often distorted and incorrect," wrote military and security analyst Ron Ben-Yishai for Yedioth Ahronoth.
U.S. "security and intelligence personnel have the tendency to judge the actions of others' as if they were conducted by Americans," and hence these allegations are like the pot calling the kettle black, Ben-Yishai wrote.
"Anyone who is knowledgeable in the issue knows that if Israeli intelligence wanted to spy after Gore, it could have done so in various ways, especially in the base country of the intelligence services," he added.
It's more likely that the embarrassing incident involved a maintenance man at the hotel who was checking the air conditioning system, according to Ben-Yishai—although the manager of Jerusalem's King David Hotel, the presumed site of the incident, on Monday denied that possibility.
The air duct is "so small that even a cat cannot walk in it," the manager told the The Algemeiner.
If it's indeed too small, then a human spy wouldn't be able to fit in there either.
Does "Who Framed Roger Rabbit?" ring a bell?