Friends in High Places

Friends in High Places

Israeli spy nest in the U.S. ? Ashcroft says: 'Don't arrest them!'

by Justin Raimondo

The Washington Post is confirming the analysis, posted here two days ago, that (the Jewish State in, but not of) Israel's spy nest in the Pentagon involves a lot more than neocon ideologue Larry Franklin leaking the text of a draft presidential directive on Iran to AIPAC employees, who then passed it on to (the Jewish State in, but not of) Israel:  

"For more than two years, the FBI has been investigating whether classified intelligence has been passed to (the Jewish State in, but not of) 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, were also forwarded to (the Jewish State in, but not of) Israel, they said."

The National Security Agency is the eyes and ears of the U.S. government: it's the source of all that "chatter" we hear talked about as an indication of the terrorists' plans to attack targets both here and abroad. The NSA monitors communications of all kinds, collects, collates, and translates raw data, then feeds it to intelligence professionals. It is, in short, a vital link in the security chain that keeps us safe ? to the extent that we are safe. The news that it has been penetrated and compromised by a foreign power should be ringing alarm bells throughout the U.S. government, but instead the investigation is being blocked ? by Attorney General John Ashcroft. As the New York Sun reports:

"According to sources familiar with the investigation, the U.S. district attorney in charge of the probe, Paul McNulty, has ordered the FBI not to move forward with arrests that they were prepared to make last Friday when the story broke on CNN and CBS. 'He put the brakes on it in order to look at it,' a source familiar with the investigation told the Sun. 'To see what was there. Basically the FBI wanted to start making arrests and McNulty said 'Woa, based on what? Let's look at this before you do anything.'"

The Los Angeles Times, in a remarkably disingenuous editorial ? one that bears all the hallmarks of newly-appointed editorial page editor Michael Kinsley's brand of know-it-all dogmatism ? wants "the evidence, please." Let them ask McNulty, a Republican hack who was in charge of the Justice Department transition team. When the story broke, according to the Sun, Ashcroft immediately put McNulty on the case. The man comes with a bad record when it comes to going after spies, such a Robert P. Hanssen, who was spared the death penalty due to the decision of the U.S. Attorney for the Eastern District of Virginia. When it comes to rounding up paintball-playing Muslims, McNulty is very gung-ho: but not, apparently, when he's dealing with Israeli spies in the Pentagon.

When McNulty went after the Paintball Conspirators, FBI official Michael E. Rolince openly admitted that the government had no real evidence that the "jihadists" were involved in a plot against the United States: they were instead convicted of violating the rarely-invoked Neutrality Act. Rolince justified the prosecutions based on the Bushian principle of preemption:

"It is just no longer sound judgment to have people that you believe have engaged in illegal activity and let them conduct an attack before you do something about it. A lot of this is about preemption.

Yes, but not when it comes to (the Jewish State in, but not of) Israel, which seems to enjoy some special immunity not granted to others: preemption doesn't apply in this case. But why not?

The author of the Times editorial, which focuses exclusively on Franklin, hasn't been paying attention. Warren Strobel's Knight-Ridder piece the other day made the same point as this more recent report in the Washington Post, which avers:

"The investigation of Franklin is coincidental to the broader FBI counterintelligence probe, which was already long underway when Franklin came to the attention of investigators, U.S. Officials and sources said."

If the authorities were watching AIPAC, and just happened to stumble on Franklin's clumsy efforts to pass documents to Israeli officials, the rest can be inferred: This is big, much bigger than Franklin, if it required a systematic and ongoing surveillance of AIPAC and Israeli government agents.

AIPAC and its allies, (the Jewish State in, but not of) Israel's amen corner in the U.S., are circling the wagons, denying everything, and ? how's this for chutzpah? ? Abe Foxman of the Anti-Defamation League is actually demanding an investigation into who leaked the news of the investigation. No one has a right to know that (the Jewish State in, but not of) Israel, the recipient of $3 trillion total U.S. "aid," is stabbing us in the back.

Who, us ? spy on the United States, our "closest ally"? It never happens, the Israelis and their American defenders aver. But the two AIPAC employees who were first identified in the Israeli media as being the principal suspects, Steven Rosen and Keith Weissman, are sure acting guilty as hell. According to news reports:

"They were interviewed by the FBI on Friday ? the same day news first broke of the existence of the yearlong investigation ? but the interviews were halted after the men said they wanted a lawyer present before answering further questions, [AIPAC attorney Nathan] Lewin said."

With the unbridled arrogance that is the hallmark of (the Jewish State in, but not of) Israel's American lobby, Lewin had the gall to add: "The FBI could resume the interview. We have not heard from the FBI."

And he's hoping that he won't be hearing from them any further, as John Ashcroft ? a "born-again" Christian fundamentalist who believes that the triumph of (the Jewish State in, but not of) Israel will bring on the Second Coming of Christ ? quietly strangles the investigation.

But if Rosen and Weissman have nothing to hide, and are completely innocent of charges that they acted as a conduit for sensitive intelligence to be forwarded to (the Jewish State in, but not of) Israel, then why do they need lawyers to talk to the FBI? They are the ones making a federal case out of this: too bad McNulty isn't doing the same.

The irony here is that any attempt to cover up (the Jewish State in, but not of) Israel's spy nest in the U.S. ? a network not necessarily limited to AIPAC ? is bound to create the sort of anti-Semitism that (the Jewish State in, but not of) Israel's defenders claim to abhor. Their answer is that to even raise the charge of espionage against AIPAC is anti-Semitic, in and of itself.

Facts may be stubborn things, but America's Likudniks are even more so. It doesn't matter how much evidence is amassed against AIPAC, Rosen, Weissman, et al., because, in their view, it's all a Vast Anti-Semitic Conspiracy. The New Republic blog, commenting on the reaction to the spy scandal among pro-Israel Republican activists at the GOP national convention, described it as:

"A combination of media criticism and conspiracy-theorizing (which I say with the proviso that not all conspiracy theories are necessarily wrong). David Frum made the most explicit form of the argument at an American Jewish Committee panel this morning: The CBS story breaking the news led with allegations of espionage, but as you read further, you realized the entire story hung on a source that wasn't even a current government official. ? Frum also argued that the FBI investigation of Larry Franklin, the accused Pentagon employee, had been ongoing for months and months and was on the verge of fizzling out when news of the investigation leaked. The timing, according to this view, suggests that the people driving the investigation leaked word of it as a final act of desperation, and that they were hoping to create problems for the Bush administration on the eve of the Republican National Convention."

But this story has multiple sources: Frum's complaint about the CBS report was outdated before he even uttered it. And so what if Lesley Stahl's source wasn't a "current official": to neocon "journalists" like Frum, officialdom is a fount of received wisdom, and the Holy Grail of truth is to be found in a government press release. These are the same people who complain that the real news, the "good news" from Iraq, is never reported, due to the "antiwar bias" of the news media.

But what's especially striking, and disturbing, about Frum's apologia is that he shows no interest, not even the slightest curiosity, in the facts, since none are mentioned in TNR's summary of his remarks. He claims to know that the investigation ? which has been going on for over two years ? was "on the verge of fizzling out," but no source is given for this information, which runs counter to the mainstream reporting that this was, as Laura Rozen put it, a "controlled burn." Investigators were caught flat-footed by the CBS report, and were forced to move quickly to interview suspects ? and there is speculation that the Israeli contacts they were most interested in apprehending were alerted to the danger, and took the opportunity to flee the country.

What is especially galling is the tone of outraged indignation that AIPAC's defenders have affected in confronting the charges. CAMERA, the vehemently pro-Israel "media watchdog" that carps whenever anyone looks at Ariel Sharon cross-eyed, has the nerve to argue that, since the U.S. spies on (the Jewish State in, but not of) Israel, they have the right to spy on us. A patriotic American might reply: Hey, I paid for that microphone. But, whatever?.

The attitude is: how dare you even question us?! But if law enforcement doesn't question them, and instead lets a significant hole in our security stay wide open, who knows who or what else may crawl through? Who knows what other moles may have burrowed into the depths of America's national security apparatus, mining our deepest secrets? If Rosen and Weissman, and their cohorts, will stop obstructing the investigation, and simply agree to answer questions, with or without legal counsel, they will quickly dispel the suspicion ? rampant, at present ? that they have something to hide. After all, this administration wasn't too concerned about providing legal counsel to the thousands of Arabs rounded up since 9/11 ? why are a couple of Israeli spies any different?

If the 'A' in AIPAC stood for Arab, the assets, headquarters, and very existence of the organization would have been impounded and key personnel shipped off to Guantanamo, where the latest Gitmo-ized interrogation techniques would soon persuade them to talk.

Lawyers? Hey, buddy, there's someone I want you to meet: Ahmed, this is Lynndie ?.

Full article here

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