fired by AIPAC
The Jewish Telegraphic Agency reports the electrifying news that AIPAC has fired Steve Rosen and Keith Weissman after steadfastly maintaining for many months that they did not hand over U.S. government documents to Israel which they obtained from Pentagon official, Larry Franklin. What a remarkable and terribly embarrassing turnabout for the consummate Jewish political powerhouse group.
As for my headline, I know it appears a bit strong, but after you read this story I don’t think you’ll find it too strong:
Sources say the FBI moved against AIPAC after FBI agents observed Larry Franklin, a mid-level Iran analyst at the Pentagon, exchanging information with Rosen and Weissman at a restaurant in Arlington, Va., in 2003. It´s not clear whether the FBI observers at the time were targeting Franklin or the AIPAC staffers.
However, several reports subsequently said that the FBI threatened Franklin with prosecution unless he mounted a sting against the two AIPAC staffers, giving them false information about an imminent threat to Israeli agents in Kurdistan.
Once Rosen and Weissman relayed that information to Israel, according to those accounts, the FBI moved in, confiscating files from their offices in August and December. Franklin reportedly since has returned to work for the Pentagon, albeit in a nonsensitive post.
To be entirely fair, the "sources say" and "several reports" phrases above are not exactly the most reliable means of telling precisely what Rosen and Weissman are accused of doing. But given AIPAC’s former dogged defense of the two and their current firing, it’s safe to say that AIPAC now hews closer to the FBI’s line than to their own former line on what happened.
Furthermore, after Abbe Lowell (defending Rosen, Weissman and that other sleazy ultimate inside Jewish player, Jack Abramoff) issued a statement maintaining that his clients did not violate U.S. law or AIPAC policy, the Washington Post reports the following reply from AIPAC:
"The statement made by Rosen and Weissman represents solely their view of the facts," said AIPAC spokesman Patrick Dorton. "The action that AIPAC has taken was done in consultation with counsel after careful consideration of recently learned information and the conduct AIPAC expects of its employees."
What both publications leave out of their stories unfortunately is Israel’s role in this affair. Surely, Israel engaged in some sort of sub rosa (read espionage) relationship with Rosen and Weissman. If so, that raises further red flags regarding Israel’s trustworthiness and reliability as a strategic partner. It also reminds us Israel has learned nothing from previous attempts to infiltrate U.S. intelligence agencies using the likes of Jonathan Pollard. At the time of that disastrous incident, Israel swore practically on its own mother that it would never do such a thing, it would never spy on an ally, etc. It was bulls(*& then and it was bulls(*& when they made the same statements regarding Rosen and Weissman. Just to remind you the nature of those lies, here’s what Steven Erlanger wrote about the Israeli government position on the case back in September, 2004 when the AIPAC-Franklin story first broke:
After the hugely embarrassing spying scandal of 1985, when Jonathan Pollard, an American intelligence analyst, was arrested and convicted of spying for Israel, the Israeli government made a firm decision to stop all clandestine spying in the United States, Yuval Steinitz, the chairman of the foreign and defense committee in Parliament, said Saturday.
Mr. Steinitz is chairman of the most powerful committee in Parliament, with oversight of all Israeli military and intelligence agencies, and is chairman of the subcommittee on intelligence. He says he has access to as much secret information as Prime Minister Ariel Sharon.
"This was a firm decision," Mr. Steinitz said, "and I’m 100 percent confident – not 99 percent, but 100 percent – that Israel is not spying in the United States. We have no agents there and we are not gathering intelligence there, unlike probably every other country in the world, including some of America’s best friends in Europe."
Yeah right. In my post at the time I wrote the following:
Steinitz’ comment beggars belief. Who in their right mind believes that Israel stopped snooping on the U.S. after the Pollard incident?? I simply don’t believe it. It’s part of the smoke and mirrors show Israel is attempting to mount to make themselves look pure as the driven snow.
Again at that time, Steinitz tried to argue when he coyly said: " "People leak sometimes when they shouldn’t, that goes on everywhere, but that’s a different matter," that the Franklin documents might have gotten into Israel’s hands through a leak, but not through espionage. I guess the FBI has persuaded AIPAC of the falsity of this defense.
I think both AIPAC and Israel deserve the deepest of black eyes for this terrible breach of U.S. security. AIPAC’s donors should think twice before they give to an organization whose staff place Israel’s perceived interests above those of their own country. I’m not arguing that Israel’s interests should not be represented in Washington. I AM arguing that AIPAC with its strong-arming and ham-handed tactics that oftentimes teeter over the edge of propriety and even legality as in this case, do credit neither to Israel nor American Jewry in the eyes of the American public.
To read more about the background of this story, take a look at earlier posts I’ve written: