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AIPAC Spy Nest Exposed

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    New indictments implicate unnamed government officials and reporters AIPAC Spy Nest Exposed by Justin Raimondo August 5, 2005
    Message 1 of 1 , Aug 6, 2005
      New indictments implicate unnamed government officials and reporters

      AIPAC Spy Nest Exposed
      by Justin Raimondo
      August 5, 2005

      The other shoe has finally dropped in the case of the spy scandal
      involving the American Israeli Public Affairs Committee (AIPAC). In
      addition to five espionage-related charges filed against former
      Pentagon analyst Larry Franklin, two counts of conspiracy to
      communicate classified information to a foreign power have been lodged
      against former AIPAC foreign policy director Steve Rosen, and a single
      count of conspiracy against Rosen's assistant, former AIPAC Iran
      specialist Keith Weissman. The latest indictment [.pdf] reads like a
      spy thriller, and, while some of the elements were already known,
      there is much that is surprising, including the information that Rosen
      has apparently been under surveillance since at least 1999.

      On April 13, 1999, Rosen had a conversation with someone identified as
      "Foreign Official 1" (FO-1): the AIPAC director told FO-1 that he
      (Rosen) had "picked up an extremely sensitive piece of intelligence"
      described by Rosen as "codeword protected intelligence." According to
      the indictment, "Rosen then disclosed to FO-1 national defense
      information concerning terrorist activities in Central Asia."

      While the identity of "Foreign Official 1" is not yet known, there is
      no doubt about what foreign country we're talking about: it is Israel,
      and without doubt the individuals being observed were officials of the
      Israel embassy. One of these has already been identified in the media
      as Naor Gilon, the embassy's chief political officer, recently
      recalled home; the FBI is seeking to interview him, and other Israeli
      officials who may have been part of the spy cell. Three are mentioned
      in the indictment.

      What is striking is that the FBI – or whoever – was hot on the trail
      of AIPAC and "FO-1" even at this early date, listening in on their
      phone calls and following them around as they met for lunch over
      spilled beans. Yet in order to get authorization for wiretaps,
      especially of an American citizen, law enforcement must go to a
      federal judge for authorization – and, remember, this was before 9/11,
      when the legal bar was set far higher. So they had a good reason to be
      listening in on Israeli officials and their American sock puppets, and
      shadowing their movements. The discovery that AIPAC officials were in
      possession of highly classified top-secret information procured from
      U.S. government officials was apparently part and parcel of an ongoing
      investigation – but into what? Sparked by what?

      We don't yet know the answers to those questions, but what we do know
      is this: the idea, floated by some writers on this subject, that the
      investigation was initiated by Condoleezza Rice in response to Israeli
      efforts to stop a proposed meeting between President George Bush and
      Yasser Arafat, is flat out wrong. The roots of this probe go much
      deeper. As I wrote in The American Conservative in June:

      "Like a dorsal fin poking just above the water, the Franklin spy trial
      promises us a glimpse of a creature much larger than appears at first

      However, not even I imagined the monstrous scale of this submerged
      giant: the earliest I could trace its movements was back to just
      before 9/11, based on the reporting of UPI's Richard Sale. But 1999?
      Who woulda thought? And it isn't just the timeline that's disturbing:
      it seems that a number of apparently senior U.S. government officials
      are about to be dragged into this imbroglio of trouble and treason.

      AIPAC was pretty busy that summer, particularly Rosen and Weissman;
      not only were they picking up "codeword protected" intelligence and
      passing it on to Israeli officials, but the latter was also telling
      "FO-1" about a "secret FBI, classified FBI report" (the indictment
      cites snippets of wiretapped conversations throughout) about the
      Khobar Towers bombing. Weissman was boasting to his Israeli handler
      that he had gotten the information from "three different sources,
      including United States government officials."

      The indictment fails to name names, but at the trial – if it comes to
      that – all will be revealed. These officials will be "outed," and
      perhaps face charges themselves. The only question now is: how far up
      the totem pole will the indictments go?

      The indictment outlines a series of meetings between Rosen, Weissman,
      and U.S. government officials ("USGO-1" and "USGO-2") about
      "classified United States strategy against a Middle Eastern country"
      and top-secret intelligence regarding al-Qaeda, which the AIPAC
      officials related to various individuals identified as "a foreign
      national" and "Foreign Official 2 (FO-2)." These meetings spanned a
      time frame from the winter of 2000 to the winter of 2002.

      Much of the timeline related in this superseding indictment was
      detailed in the first indictment [.pdf], but there is much new
      material, such as the information that the Rosen-Weissman spy team was
      dealing with at least two Israeli embassy officials, not just Gilon.
      These interactions are fascinating, as they give an inside account of
      the relationship between AIPAC and Israeli embassy personnel, with the
      former as the foot soldiers doing reconnaissance and the latter as
      generals directing the action behind the scenes.

      The indictment describes a March 13, 2002, breakfast meeting between
      Rosen and "Foreign Official 2" in which Rosen disclosed information
      about a classified U.S. government internal document on U.S. policy
      toward Iran – which had been provided courtesy of Franklin. After that
      breakfast, Rosen called "FO-1" – the Big Cheese – "who was from the
      same embassy as FO-2." Rosen asked FO-1 if he had heard, from FO-2,
      "the interesting report" about the draft policy document. Rosen then
      discussed the specifics of the document, and the two of them talked
      about "whether a specific United States government official was aware
      of this information and how the deliberations would proceed."

      This was all about factional warfare going on inside the
      administration over U.S. policy toward Iran, and "how the
      deliberations would proceed" was and still is of vital interest to the
      Israelis. Pushing the Americans toward a confrontation with Tehran,
      Israel and its American amen corner could care less how many laws they
      have to break in order to make sure they prevail. Trading in
      classified information, and leaking to "reporters for a national news
      organization" and even "a senior fellow at a Washington, D.C.,
      thinktank," was all part of the game, and no doubt still is: what none
      of them realized, however, was that the feds were listening in on the
      other end.

      Israel's fifth column in Washington acted as a two-way transmission
      belt, vacuuming up tidbits of classified information, including
      top-secret documents (which Franklin stored in his home and office)
      and leaking information to the media in order to score whatever
      Brownie points were to be toted up that day. These methods are
      becoming familiar to us as the media's role in the Rove-gate affair –
      and particularly the role played by New York Times reporter Judith
      Miller – comes to light. They used the media not only to strike out at
      their enemies, but also to launder their stolen secrets. The
      indictment relates an incident that took place on May 21, 2004, in
      which Franklin

      "Verbally provided to reporters from a national news organization Top
      Secret/SCI national defense information concerning meetings involving
      two Middle Eastern officials."

      This was followed by a news report detailing the meetings, quoting
      Franklin as an anonymous source specifying that the U.S. government
      "had obtained intelligence pertaining to these meetings" and reporting
      such details as had been related by Franklin. Franklin, a committed
      neoconservative ideologue, didn't care if he betrayed our sources and
      methods, and possibly endangered agents in the field, and neither did
      his handlers at AIPAC: all they cared about was giving some advantage
      to Israel, and if that had to be gained at America's expense, well
      then tough.

      The authorities gave Franklin enough rope to hang himself with, and
      then quietly reeled him in – in mid-July 2004, when they confronted
      him and got him to cooperate in the investigation. They wired him up
      and sent him on his way. He met with Rosen and Weissman and emphasized
      the top secret nature of the information he imparted, explicitly
      warning them not to use it. Whereupon they blabbed it all over town,
      including to members of the media.

      The FBI then contacted Rosen and Weissman, both blithely unaware of
      their former cohort's betrayal. They denied having received any
      classified information from Franklin. Incredibly, this very strong
      indication that the feds were on to their game did nothing to deter
      the AIPAC spy cabal from continuing to spill U.S. secrets to further
      Israel's agenda. On Aug. 20, 2004, less than two weeks after being
      visited by the FBI, Weissman got in touch with "another member of the
      media and disclosed to that person classified national defense
      information obtained on July 21, 2004, from Franklin. Weissman," the
      indictment continues, "further advised that he was trying to arrange a
      meeting between Franklin and another member of the media." The AIPAC
      gang is nothing if not brazen.

      However, as Labor Day weekend 2004, drew near, they started to panic:
      Rosen got in touch with his Israeli superiors and, declining to talk
      about the specifics over the phone, indicated the need for an urgent
      meeting. The authorities were listening to every word as the spy ring
      scrambled to cover its tracks, following their targets through the
      streets of the Beltway, as they met outside the train station, and in
      one day changed restaurants three times in order to evade any possible
      surveillance. You can almost hear The Man From U.N.C.L.E. theme song
      in the background...

      The new indictment adds more serious charges to those already lodged
      against Franklin, including conspiracy to communicate classified
      information to an agent of a foreign government, a violation of this
      statute as well as this one. He could wind up with a 50-year sentence.

      Rosen is charged with two counts, good for 20 years, and Weissman is
      hit with one count that carries a 10-year maximum, but the unindicted
      co-conspirator here is AIPAC itself.

      What emerges from this indictment is AIPAC's role as an organization
      that functioned as a lot more than a mere Washington lobbying group,
      but rather one whose primary objective is intelligence-gathering on
      behalf of Israel. Rosen, the man who more than anyone else embodied
      AIPAC, had served as its foreign policy director and main spark plug
      since 1982, and it is clear from the indictment that the FBI's
      counterintelligence crew has been watching him since at least 1999. If
      that doesn't make AIPAC an accessory to Rosen's crimes, then one
      wonders what would.

      Rosen used AIPAC's resources, both financial and political, to carry
      out a sophisticated spy operation inside the Pentagon, involving not
      only Franklin but an entire subterranean network of informants and
      other assets, government officials who regularly provided information
      and pushed Israel's agenda inside the administration. AIPAC
      functioned, in effect, as an organized conspiracy on behalf of a
      foreign power, a funnel that not only poured money into pro-Israel
      candidates in both major parties and lobbied furiously on behalf of
      Tel Aviv, but also operated as a virtual clearinghouse of classified
      information, laundering it through the media – and, of course,
      funneling it back to their Israeli handlers.

      As the issue of Iran's alleged push to procure nuclear weapons takes
      center stage, AIPAC's efforts to sway U.S. policy – including stealing
      and leaking U.S. secrets in the service of their pro-Israel agenda –
      could not have been exposed at a more opportune time. Franklin's trial
      is scheduled for Sept. 6, although this new indictment could delay
      matters, but one thing is clear: When these people are finally brought
      to trial, it is the War Party that will be put in the dock. All those
      mysterious government officials, not identified by name in the
      indictment, will be called to testify under oath: the same goes for
      reporters who laundered Franklin's ill-gotten secrets. The whole
      network of Israel Firsters will be pulled up by its roots, and you can
      expect the high-pitched screams to start shortly.

      One can safely ignore outlandish claims that it's
      Kristallnacht-on-the-Potomac, and I wouldn't put too much credence in
      the conspiracy theory that attributes these indictments to a cabal of
      neo-Nazis inside the Justice Department and the FBI. Instead, I'm
      getting out the popcorn, laying out some serious guacamole and chips,
      and settling down for a good, long soap-operatic trial. I can hardly
      wait to find out who "GO-1" and "GO-2" turn out to be! Will Franklin's
      Israeli handlers be extradited and hauled into court? Can we expect
      more charges, more indictments, and possibly a few more defendants?

      Stay tuned!

      UPDATE: Via Joshua Marshall, this news just in: the Jewish Telegraphic
      Agency is reporting:

      "A source close to the defense said that one of the U.S. officials
      involved, who has not been indicted, was recently appointed to a
      senior Bush administration post. The source, who asked not to be
      identified, would not name the official."

      Could it be this guy? [Bolton] Or this guy? [Flory] The suspense is
      killing me! Inquiring minds need to know.

      also see this:



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