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AIPAC's Tactics Questioned

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    FBI PROBE OF AIPAC SAID TO GO BEYOND ALLEGED MOLE Haaretz, 9/2/04 http://www.haaretzdaily.com/hasen/spages/472644.html In a report that hinted of possible
    Message 1 of 1 , Sep 4, 2004
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      FBI PROBE OF AIPAC SAID TO GO BEYOND ALLEGED MOLE
      Haaretz, 9/2/04
      http://www.haaretzdaily.com/hasen/spages/472644.html

      In a report that hinted of possible security breaches beyond the
      allegations that Pentagon analyst Lawrence Franklin passed
      information to Israel via AIPAC, the Washington Post reported
      Thursday that classified intelligence from the National Security may
      have been passed to the Jewish state.

      Quoting unnamed U.S. officials and other sources, the paper said that
      the FBI had been investigating for more than two years whether the
      AIPAC pro-Israel lobbying group has been passing classified
      intelligence data to Israel.

      "The counterintelligence probe, which is different from a criminal
      investigation, focuses on a possible transfer of intelligence more
      extensive than whether Franklin passed on a draft presidential
      directive on U.S. policy toward Iran, the sources said. The FBI is
      examining whether highly classified material from the National
      Security Agency, which conducts electronic intercepts of
      communications, was also forwarded to Israel," the paper said,

      Israel responded that the characterization of the probe was
      speculative. "We are aware of all the speculation, but that is all it
      is. We have not heard anything official, and U.S.-Israeli relations
      remain as strong as ever and, as far as we are concerned, it's
      business as usual," said David Siegel, spokesman of the Israeli
      Embassy here.

      AIPAC has forcefully denied that any of its personnel received
      classified information.

      "National security adviser Condoleezza Rice and her deputy, Stephen
      J. Hadley, were apprised of the FBI counterintelligence investigation
      of AIPAC as a possible conduit for information to Israel more than
      two years ago, a senior U.S. official said late yesterday. That
      official and other sources would discuss the investigation only on
      the condition of anonymity because it involves classified information
      and is highly sensitive," the Post report said.

      ALSO SEE:

      PRO-ISRAEL GROUP'S POSSIBLE ROLE AT ISSUE
      Susan Schmidt and Robin Wright, Washington Post, 9/2/04
      http://www.washingtonpost.com/ac2/wp-dyn/A54494-2004Sep1?
      language=printer

      For more than two years, the FBI has been investigating whether
      classified intelligence has been passed to Israel by the American
      Israel Political Action Committee, an influential U.S. lobbying
      group, in a probe that extends beyond the case of Pentagon employee
      Lawrence A. Franklin, according to senior U.S. officials and other
      sources.

      The counterintelligence probe, which is different from a criminal
      investigation, focuses on a possible transfer of intelligence more
      extensive than whether Franklin passed on a draft presidential
      directive on U.S. policy toward Iran, the sources said. The FBI is
      examining whether highly classified material from the National
      Security Agency, which conducts electronic intercepts of
      communications, was also forwarded to Israel, they said.

      Israel said the characterization of the probe is speculative. "We are
      aware of all the speculation, but that is all it is. We have not
      heard anything official, and U.S.-Israeli relations remain as strong
      as ever and, as far as we are concerned, it's business as usual,"
      said David Siegel, spokesman of the Israeli Embassy here.

      AIPAC has forcefully denied that any of its personnel received
      classified information.

      National security adviser Condoleezza Rice and her deputy, Stephen J.
      Hadley, were apprised of the FBI counterintelligence investigation of
      AIPAC as a possible conduit for information to Israel more than two
      years ago, a senior U.S. official said late yesterday. That official
      and other sources would discuss the investigation only on the
      condition of anonymity because it involves classified information and
      is highly sensitive...

      ---

      QUESTIONS RAISED OVER AIPAC'S TACTICS
      Ori Nir, Forward, 9/3/04
      http://www.forward.com/main/article.php?ref=nir20040901935

      WASHINGTON — The FBI investigation of the American Israel Public
      Affairs Committee has cast light on the fine line that the
      organization walks between advocating a strong American-Israeli
      alliance and acting as the representative of a foreign government.

      Both activities are legal, but serving a foreign government requires
      registration with the Department of Justice and entails severe legal
      restrictions, not applied to pro-Israel groups, including Aipac.

      Aipac's defenders, both in congressional and Jewish communal circles,
      insist that no evidence has emerged suggesting that Aipac either
      violated American espionage laws or even crossed the line requiring
      it to register as a representative of a foreign agent. Aipac enjoys
      the support, admiration and even awe of Jewish organizational
      officials, many of whom raced to Aipac's defense this week.

      Still, some pro-Israel activists in Washington are privately
      suggesting that the current scandal provides Aipac with a chance, in
      the words of one communal official, for "some soul-searching and
      reappraisal" regarding its general modes of operation. In recent
      years a growing minority of pro-Israel activists have expressed
      criticism of the lobbying powerhouse's conduct.

      Some critics in the Jewish community say that Aipac's leadership is
      too closely identified with Israel's ruling Likud party, an
      accusation that the organization's executives reject strongly,
      arguing that the lobbying group always has supported the
      democratically elected Israeli government, no matter which party is
      in power.

      Critics also have accused Aipac of adopting an agenda that too
      closely mirrors the hawkish agenda of neoconservatives in the Bush
      administration, thereby fueling conspiratorial notions that President
      Bush was duped into invading Iraq in order to advance Israeli
      interests...

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