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 AIPAC, Espionage, and Legal Sabotage

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Rang: Administrateur

Nombre de messages : 8069
Localisation : Washington D.C.
Date d'inscription : 28/05/2005

MessageAIPAC, Espionage, and Legal Sabotage

AIPAC, Espionage, and Legal Sabotage

Published on Monday, November 05, 2007.

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By Justin Raimondo

Has the AIPAC spy trial been derailed?

CBS broke the story three years ago: a high-ranking Pentagon analyst had
been caught handing over highly classified information to a foreign
government – sensitive intelligence about al-Qaeda, U.S. policy
deliberations regarding Iran, and other top-secret information of
particular interest to his two American
handlers. The spy's native-born confederates, top officials of one of Washington's most powerful lobbying groups, passed America's most closely guarded secrets directly to
foreign government officials in hurried meetings in empty restaurants,
outside a train station, and over the phone, whispering their treason
in some of Washington's darkest corners so as not to leave a paper
trail of purloined documents.

clever as they were, however, these spymasters apparently outwitted
themselves, because the FBI's counterintelligence unit was on to them
from the very beginning: the two core members of the
spy nest had been under surveillance for years, along with the foreign officials who
operated out of their Washington embassy. The FBI had everything on
tape, and they let the Pentagon mole weave enough rope to hang himself
with until they moved in on him: confronted with his treason, the mole
– the Pentagon's
top Iran analyst, working directly under then-undersecretary of defense for policy Douglas J. Feith – agreed to wear a wire to future meetings with his handlers. An extensive record of treason was documented, until indictments were
issued and charges brought against all three. When the news first
broke, it was a national scandal – and then the story sank like a
stone, for three solid years, while the
extensive litigation surrounding the case played out.
The analyst pled guilty to espionage and was sentenced to 13 years in
prison and a substantial fine – with time off for his cooperation in
the future trial of his two ex-cohorts. The trial, as I've said, has
been delayed for nearly three years and is scheduled to finally begin
Jan. 14.
But I wouldn't count on that happening: the trial has been delayed on
several occasions through the years, and recent developments augur ill
for the speedy resolution of this case.

might think this is odd: after all, it seems like an open-and-shut
case. With so much evidence accumulated by government prosecutors, one
would think this would be a cakewalk. And it would be, if the recipient
of this stolen intelligence weren't Israel. It would be, except the two
key figures in this cloak and dagger episode were top officials of
AIPAC, the American Israel Public Affairs Committee, a Washington powerhouse whose former chief lobbyist once boasted to
the New Yorker's Jeffrey Goldberg: "You see this napkin? In twenty-four
hours, we could have the signatures of seventy senators on this

So said Steve Rosen,
the spark plug behind AIPAC's legendary lobbying success – the very
same Steve Rosen indicted for espionage, along with his top Iran
Keith Weissman, on Aug. 4, 2005, and whose trial is scheduled for Jan. 14, 2008.
and Weissman contacted, cultivated, and befriended Pentagon analyst
Larry Franklin for the specific purpose of culling classified
information from him. They even
promised to put in a good word for him with top Washington officials as a partial reward for his betrayal. However, Franklin, a committed neoconservative
ideologue, didn't need much material incentive: he was convinced that
U.S. policy in the Middle East wasn't nearly as pro-Israel as it ought
to be, and he was particularly concerned about Iran.

in the late summer of 2002 and continuing until the late summer of
2004, these three spun their web of subversion, gathering vital
intelligence and passing it on to Israeli embassy officials. And the
FBI has a great deal of this on its surveillance tapes, so much of it –
"four years of tracking AIPAC staffers,"
according to the Jerusalem Post – that the footage could be made into a reality show with a unique "spy versus spy" theme.
The defense, in what would normally be an open-and-shut case, has been struggling frantically [.pdf]
to avoid a trial at all costs. That's understandable: after all, the
FBI has the whole thing – the entire course of their crimes against
America – on record. The verbal transmission of classified information,
the elaborate arrangements to avoid detection, the open boasting of the
analyst's two handlers that they had a live one on the hook,
it's all there:
raw, naked treason. Rather than come up against the incontrovertible
facts, the defense has tried hard to divert the energies of the court
away from actually bringing this to trial, in the hopes that the
administration will back down and drop the charges.

The defense strategy has been to constantly up the ante,
daring government prosecutors to present the full scope of the recorded
evidence in open court – and thus compromise the sources and methods of
U.S. clandestine services, such as the FBI's counterintelligence unit.
In addition, the nature and specific contents of various U.S. secrets
stolen by the Rosen-Weissman-Franklin spy ring and transmitted to the
Israelis could come out in open court.

Le Mensonge peut courir un an, la vérité le rattrape en un jour, dit le sage Haoussa
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AIPAC, Espionage, and Legal Sabotage :: Commentaires

This is why the government has made several attempts to
mask the evidence, proposing that testimony made available to the
public would be presented in a kind of code, but that was rejected
byJudge T.S. Ellis, for the most part. A mediation process was set up,
and for months the lawyers have been haggling over what is admissible
evidence and what has to be kept secret in the national interest – with
the defense constantly pressuring the court to be as liberal as
possible, and government prosecutors arguing for secrecy.

there has been a major development on this front. No one took seriously
the defense's motion, made a few months ago, that they be allowed to
subpoena Condoleezza Rice, Paul Wolfowitz, National Security Council
chief Stephen Hadley, and a whole platoon of government officials and
former officials. The motion was made on the grounds that
these officials,
too, had transmitted classified information to AIPAC, and that this is
proof that such behavior was and is routine, part of the normal way of
doing business in the world of Washington lobbyists. The defendants'
case has always been that they have a
First Amendment right to commit espionage, and that their indictment amounted to a government assault on their right to "free speech." Gee, too bad the Rosenbergs never
thought of this unique rationalization for treason, although I doubt it
would've gotten them anywhere. The AIPAC defendants, however, may have
more luck in this department…

judge had ever allowed such a thing, at least in recent memory, and no
one expected Judge Ellis to look favorably on this request. That he
granted the defense motion in all but a few cases is bad news for the government – and good news for the Israel lobby, which may just be spared the embarrassment of having its essential nature as a fifth column for Israel exposed to the light of day.
In addition to Rice, Wolfowitz, and Hadley, the following can expect to be served with a summons to appear at a trial that may never happen: Larry Franklin's boss, Douglas J. Feith, former undersecretary of defense for policy; Elliott Abrams,
neocon par excellence and Iran-Contra alumnus, who served as Bush's
"deputy national security adviser for global democracy strategy";
Kenneth Pollack, a former National Security Council adviser to Bill Clinton and author of the now infamously influential book The Threatening Storm, which convinced so many liberal Democrats to support the invasion of Iraq; Marc Grossman, former undersecretary of state for political affairs; Marc Sievers, chief political affairs officer at the U.S. embassy in Tel Aviv and one of Rice's chief advisers on Iraqi affairs; David Satterfield, a political officer at our Tel Aviv embassy; William Burns, the American ambassador to Russia; Lawrence Silverman, currently a deputy chief at the American embassy in the Slovak Republic; Matthew Bryza, a deputy assistant secretary of state; and Michael Makovsky, a former staff member of the Office of Special Plans, the policy shop where the "intelligence" pointing to Saddam Hussein's fabled "weapons of mass destruction" was cooked up into talking points. Franklin also served in that policy shop.
idea that the U.S. government is going to allow this is absurd. Rather
than expose the entire Israeli covert operation in its midst and permit
testimony that would dramatize how much access the Israelis already
have to our officials and the policy-making process, the Bush
administration now has an ideal excuse to shut this case down. Rice
wouldn't even show up to
a congressional hearing to answer questions about prewar intelligence,
and she similarly tried to defy the 9/11 Commission on the grounds of "
executive privilege." In spite of her expressed willingness to "cooperate with our legal system," I fully expect her to show the same disdain for Judge Ellis' court.
The recent book by John J. Mearsheimer and Stephen Walt documenting
the existence of a powerful Israel lobby has generated a storm of
controversy, with the Lobby's advocates smearing the two professors as "
and the more reasonable members of the foreign policy community at
least open to the argument that undue reverence for the Lobby – and its
political clout – has distorted the policy-making process, perhaps
fatally. Yet even Mearsheimer and Walt
go out of their way to
emphasize that the Lobby is "not a cabal" and "not a conspiracy," and,
although they mention the AIPAC spy case briefly, they draw no
conclusions from it. Perhaps they thought they had enough of a burden
in making the case they did make, without sinking the knife in deeper.
Yet this case shows that at the very core of the Lobby a cabal was
operating, which was – and, for all we know, still is – engaged in a
conspiracy to commit espionage on behalf of a foreign power.

This is
undeniable to anyone who has followed the details of this case, and the
embarrassment of a public trial would have rendered it irrefutable in
the public mind: AIPAC would be ruined, its name and image forever
associated with the stealing of U.S. secrets. Almost certainly a trial
would force AIPAC to register as an agent of a foreign power,
namely Israel, in which case its political effectiveness would be seriously impaired, and for all intents and purposes ended.
is going to be tremendous pressure now, coming from the White House as
well as the Lobby, to quash this trial before it ruins them all. The
odds are that this effort will succeed, if only because the case has
slipped beneath the media's radar. It has been going on, after all, for
nearly three long years, during which time the original memory of the
two raids on
AIPAC's Washington office and the sensational confession and conviction
of Franklin have faded in the public mind. Even the nearly
unprecedented news that a judge has ordered such a personage as Rice to
give testimony in this case hasn't garnered all that much
If the case dies, it will die a largely silent death. If it ever comes
to trial, however, it will be the show of the decade, much more
entertaining than anything remotely promised by the trial of
Scooter Libby.
refusal to testify, and similar refusals by some or all of the
currently serving U.S. officials, could torpedo the trial once and for
all, or at least delay it indefinitely as the government appeals the
judge's decision. Douglas Feith will never be asked
why he was in such a hurry to resign, and Wolfowitz and Hadley will
be spared the embarrassment of having to explain how Israeli agents
managed to penetrate the Pentagon. The Lobby can breathe a sigh of
relief, as can the White House – and, most importantly, from the
Israeli point of view, their
spy nest can continue to operate without further ado.
all, you don't really believe that Franklin is the only neocon fish
caught in AIPAC's web of espionage, do you? The existence of one spy
implies the presence of others, and, in this case, it's
a virtual certainty.
A public trial would expose the whole network to the blinding light of
day, an ugly scene that both Washington and the Israelis would much
rather avoid. To obscure the implications of their espionage, the Lobby
has done its best to sabotage this case – and it looks like they may
have succeeded.

AIPAC, Espionage, and Legal Sabotage

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