Photo Credit: Facebook
Staff Sgt. Oron Shaul, HY"D, killed in Operation Protective Edge.

And that is where the U.S. comes into the picture. Facebook is a U.S. company, and in order to require Facebook to turn over the IP address on its server, a court warrant has to be issued. This is the process on which U.S. prosecutors had begun working, after a request was forwarded from the U.S. Embassy in Israel to the Justice Department.

The Justice Department had to authorize the request, as it is the entity within the U.S. government which handles international terrorism matters. Hamas, of course, is designated by the U.S. government as a foreign terrorist organization. And the use of Facebook by a foreign terrorist organization to promulgate propaganda- the hacking into IDF Sgt. Shaul’s Facebook account – constituted “material support” to a designated terrorist organization.


Upon receiving the request from Israel in Washington on July 21, the FBI immediately issued a “preservation letter” to Facebook, ordering them to preserve all data saved on the server pertaining to Shaul’s account, Emerson explained.

The FBI contacted the U.S. Attorney’s Office to begin the legal process to get a court order to serve Facebook for the IP information on Shaul’s account. Late afternoon on July 21, the U.S. Attorney’s office informed the FBI that it was just about ready to proceed to obtain the court order for Facebook to turn over the information.


Suddenly, and to the shock of the prosecutors working feverishly to obtain the information that possibly could reveal where Shaul (or his body) was being held, a shocking email arrived from the FBI. An email that spelled a death sentence for what many believed to be the best chance of finding Shaul and his kidnappers.

Thank you for your effort, input and assistance. I regret to inform you we have been denied approval to move forward with legal process.

We were told by our management we need a MLAT [Mutual Legal Assistance Treaty] in order to continue to assist our partner with the request in question.

The MLAT requires a standardized process to wind its way through legal and diplomatic protocols and usually take weeks to process. They are used, Emerson explained, for non-pressing legal matters in which the United States or another country is carrying out some legal process, such as a prosecution of a citizen in another country. They are not used in urgent, life-or-death or counter-terrorism scenarios, “especially with a close ally such as Israel,” Emerson was told.

The flat-footed termination of a race to discover vital information regarding terrorist activity and the life or dignity of the remains of a soldier of a close ally was nothing less than shocking, not only for the Israelis, but for the American team originally tasked with obtaining the information.

Three days after the stand down email was sent, the IDF concluded that Oron Shaul was dead. His body has never been recovered. Hamas is interested in using whatever parts of Shaul’s body they claim to have to swap for terrorist prisoners held by Israel.

According to Emerson’s investigation, those involved in the legal procedures in the U.S. believe the stop order was given by the attorney general’s office.

That stand down order was a direct rebuff to a request made by Israel, what at least most members of congress believe to be one of America’s closest allies. There is a paper trail which will reveal who made the decision to shut down the effort to assist Israel in a desperate situation.

Congress should demand to know who gave the order. The U.S. Senate Judiciary committee is the address from which such an inquiry should be made.


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Lori Lowenthal Marcus is a contributor to the A graduate of Harvard Law School, she previously practiced First Amendment law and taught in Philadelphia-area graduate and law schools. You can reach her by email:


  1. You know it came directly from the Oval Office and their little cadre of Jew-haters. They decided that they were going to force Israel to accept the Qatari terms of ceasefire and this was only one part of their little game. Banning flights to Israel and stopping sending armaments was part of the pressure.

  2. Reverends Sharpton, Jackson, Farrackan and Wright are all ass hole buddies with O. All are published Jew baiters. Is there any connection? Has the president been influenced by this quartet? Or is he of the same mind? Such a disgrace to have a president of the United States elevate individuals of such low standards by his association. Shameful, besmirches the glory of the nation!

  3. The people that you should be angry at are the jews themselves. Almost 72% of eligible Jewish voters voted not once but twice for the most anti semitic President ever and on top of that these same Jews donated hundreds of millions of dollars to the Democratic War Chest. These Jews are the people who betrayed Israel, and no one else.

  4. Cody Flecker Oh I am angry at them for their ignorance, refusal to deal with reality and absolute lack of common sense. They also were not the only ones to fund and vote for Obama either. So anyone who voted Democrat is not someone I have any respect for at the moment, especially those who are regretting their vote. The information about the man's incompetence was out there, they simply refused to look. But ultimately the decisions and responsibility for the actions of this government are Obama's not theirs.

  5. THE most despicable, pseudo-leader and greatest deceiver there has ever been. And to be in the top US leadership position? Truly beyond belief and yet, there are those who continue to support the poorest excuse we have ever had as a president.

  6. Cody publishes this same tired diatribe at every opportunity! Yes, any Jew that ever voted for Obama was/is a fool, but their numbers didn't get obama elected and this blame game is not the reason Israel is suffering! It is obamka and his policies! The majority of the people that vote for and contribute to obysmal are gentiles! This is just another blood libel that keeps frothing from Cody Flecker's mouth!

  7. Well, the White House doesn't give a damn about our own marine in Mexico. They only cared about bergdahl who was traded for the release of five terrorists. So sad the White House seems to have turned it's back on our ally. G-d continue to bless and keep Israel.

  8. WE have to thank the US Jews who voted for that Muslim in the WH.
    They were warned NOT TO VOTE FOR OBAMA.

    Now we see the result of that vote.
    Had they voted for Mitt Romney, Israel would have had all the help they needed from, US.
    I hope they find the guilty person and charge him with whatever they can, They must throw the book at him

    Obama must answer to Israel and the US about their treachery during the Gaza war.

  9. Kerry now hates Israel more, because the thought that he would be able to make peace between Israel and the terrorists Abbas & Co. and be awarded the Nobel Peace Prize
    It backfired so now he is out to harm Israel and the Jews.
    Kerry is dangerous.
    One must not forget what those who served with him said. That he was a liar and coward.
    He is lower than shark .

  10. i sincerely hope that someone will find oron shaul IDF soldier from Israel and I think hamas needs to be squashed from their threats to us and Israel. I think also that president Obama is not to be trusted as he supports islam many americans know this already they want him out of office also Obama doesn't really care about anything and as for ISIS its much worse now soon we are preparing for all out war in mid east with ISIS who now got hold of fighter jets and will start bombing against US fighter jets and shoot it down and kill all on ground and in air ISIS I think will or can not ne defeated cause US is too slow before and did not pay attention to whats developing there it happened too late now ISIS got got hold of the middle east countries they are ranging in thousands of Islamic fighters too many to defeat

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