“Until it is deemed once again safe to return to meeting as a group, Southeast Michigan Mensa will be presenting a series of lectures on Zoom. These programs are “members only” events, and not open to the public. Members should consult this month’s newsletter to register. If you are not a member, why not join us? See how at the “Join Now” tab above.”
For David Tenenbaum, an Orthodox Jew, life has not been the same since February 1997. That’s when he was suspended from his job of 13 years as an engineer at the Army’s Tank Automotive and Armaments Command (TACOM) headquarters in Warren, and the media reported that he was suspected of being a spy for Israel.
Some of those involved in the investigation characterized Tenenbaum as another Jonathan Pollard, a Navy analyst sentenced to a life term for giving classified material to Israel in the 1980’s and paroled in 2015. Mr. Tenenbaum was interrogated at length by the FBI and Army intelligence, polygraphed, placed (along with his wife) under 24-hour surveillance and his home was searched. Items collected as evidence in the FBI’s search of his home included a drawing by one of his children of some Hebrew letters, which the FBI suspected to be a coded message.
After more than a year of investigation, the FBI officially closed the case. The U.S. Attorney’s office declined to prosecute, stating: “There is no question that if evidence existed which would prove this case, then these agents would have found it.”
Mr. Tenenbaum returned to work at TACOM and his security clearance was eventually restored. Yet despite having never been charged, some of his colleagues still shunned him on both a personal and professional level, fearing guilt by association, and/or believing him to have evaded prosecution due only to a lack of evidence, and that he was, in fact, a traitor.
In 2008 the Department of Defense’s Inspector General issued a scathing condemnation of the investigation, and ruled the allegations against Tenenbaum were “both false and initiated with a discriminatory intent.”
Twenty-two years after the investigation ended, David Tennenbaum is still involved in litigation, but the Army steadfastly refuses to make Tenenbaum whole and compensate him for the false accusations against him.
Join us on Saturday, November 21 to learn what Mr. Tenenbaum actually did to merit such intense scrutiny by the government, if the investigation actually was motivated by prejudice, and the personal toll of the government’s actions on an American family. The Zoom window will open at 630pm for mingling. The program starts at 7pm.