Update on the AIPAC Espionage Case
- Update on the AIPAC Espionage Case
Council for the National Interest Foundation
May 3, 2006
The Institute for Research: Middle Eastern Policy, an independent
Washington-based policy research institute, has addressed three
recent statements to the upcoming trial of former AIPAC officials
Steve Rosen and Keith Weissman who have been indicted for espionage
and giving classified documents to the Israeli government. Larry
Franklin, formerly an analyst with the Defense Intelligence Agency,
has been convicted for his part in these transactions and is
currently serving a 12-year jail term. IRMep's latest press release
regarding a correction it is seeking from the Washington Post neatly
summarizes the state of the Rosen-Weissman indictment.
IRMep has just published a book on "how the Neoconservatives broke
the law to receive America" called "Deadly Dogma." The author is
Grant F. Smith, and it is available from their website,
www.irmep.org. This release is being sent with IRMep's permission.
On Saturday, April 29, 2006 the Washington Post will issue a
correction to a Walter Pincus story about the AIPAC espionage case.
The correction comes at the insistence of IRmep after a one month
process working through the newspaper's Ombudsman office. At first
Ombudsman Deborah Howell was reluctant to issue a correction about
the espionage statutes. At stake was a citation in an AIPAC espionage
trial story in which reporter Walter Pincus misquoted the 1917
Espionage Act. The Act is used to prosecute persons suspected of
relaying classified information which can be used to "the injury of
the United States or to the advantage of a foreign country."
After receiving numerous examples from IRmep of how Pincus' mistake
was being propagated into other stories trivializing AIPAC
lobbyistWeissman and Rosen's alleged criminal activities, yesterday
the Post finally gave in and committed to a correction of the story.
IRmep is still concerned that the Washington Post and other
newspapers of record are trying to portray the prosecution of
Weissman and Rosen as a looming threat to journalists' ability to
cover national security issues. Other Pincus articles have quoted
verbatim the defense team's assertion that prosecuting two lobbyists
for espionage activity is a threat to freedom of speech.
IRmep believes this is nonsense, but the presiding judge in the case,
T.S. Ellis, is still considering a motion to dismiss the charges on
the basis of the freedom of speech argument. He will rule on the
defense team's motion to dismiss on May 23, 2006.
Before that date, IRmep will attempt to file another amicus brief to
the court demonstrating that the Espionage statute functions as a
sort of "regulation FD". Fair Disclosure is the SEC rule that
protects small investors by regulating the disclosure of material
information on publicly traded companies to prevent "insider trading".
By allegedly recruiting former Pentagon official Lawrence Franklin
(sentenced to 12 years in prison) to disclose classified information
in return for a potential job on the National Security Council,
Weissman and Rosen were in no way exercising "freedom of speech", but
rather corrupting US Middle East policy formulation to the detriment
of all Americans.
IRmep considers the Rosen and Weissman criminal trial to be a
potential turning point in overhauling a broken US policy formulation
process. A successful prosecution could mean the permanent removal of
one of the most damaging unregistered foreign agents ever activated
in the United States: the American
Israel Public Affairs Committee (AIPAC).
Removing AIPAC will level the playing field and outlaw trading inside
information for unwarranted influence. After AIPAC a broader array of
important policy voices will be heard in Washington.
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