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2 December 2004 - MiddleEast.Org - MER is Free
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FBI and Israeli-Jewish Lobby Square Off
But Washington Newspapers Hardly Report

MIDDLEEAST.ORG - MER - Washington - 2 December: You'd think that when the Capitol Hill offices of the most important foreign policy/Middle East 'lobby' are invaded by the FBI, computers and files seized and subpoenas served against top officials, this would be important news in Washington.

But when it comes to the super-powerful and extraordinarily well-connected Israeli-Jewish Lobby -- spearheaded on Capitol Hill by AIPAC, the American Israel Public Affairs Committee, whose offices were FBI 'searched' yesterday -- all the usual rules just don't apply. For the Washington Post it was a small notice on the inside pages, Page A7 to be precise. As for The Washington Times, even more notoriously a constant appologist for Israel and it's many lobbying organizations and personalities, looks like the story didn't even make the paper.


In fact, it's all really a little strange.


Some news organizations mistakenly reported the American Jews working for AIPAC were 'Israelis'


Having publicly telegraphed in a very big and public way weeks ago, long before the election, that they were investigating AIPAC for possibly spying for Israel, did the FBI really expect at this late date with so much time to 'prepare' that they were really going to find incriminating evidence still awaiting them at AIPAC HQ?

This is certainly not the way the FBI has handled matters relating to Muslim and Islamic organizations and charities from Washington to Virginia to Texas and L.A. all around the country.

Moreover the latest AIPAC allegations -- for there have been quite a few over the years -- involve highly sensitive 'intelligence' and 'pressures' regarding Iran. And Iran just happens to be the country now the focus of American attack preparations -- the second Middle East 'Axis of Evil' country that other prominent Jewish Washington personalities pushed into George Bush's State of the Union speech a few years ago (namely Richard Perle and David Frum, both now associated with the right-wing neocon think-tank the American Enterprise Institute [AEI]).

With many allegations that key senior Jewish Israeli-connected persons in the Bush/Cheney Administration -- working in tandem with their many friends and comrades in various of the Israeli-lobby organizations -- deliberately hyped the lies and deceptions that got the U.S. to invade and occupy Iraq; and now with similar allegations with regard to Iran; you'd think the media would have learned it's lesson. But that definitely does not appear to be the case.





Subpoenas issued for officials of pro-Israel lobby group




Knight Ridder Newspapers

WASHINGTON - 1 December: FBI agents executed search warrants Wednesday at the headquarters of a leading pro-Israel lobby and delivered grand jury subpoenas in an ongoing probe of alleged espionage for Israel, federal officials and the lobby group said.

The search and the subpoenas for four top officials of the American Israel Public Affairs Committee indicate that the politically charged investigation remains active. No criminal charges have been filed in the case.

AIPAC, one of Washington's most influential lobbies, said in a statement that neither the group nor its employees have broken any law.

"We are fully cooperating with the governmental authorities. We believe any court of law or grand jury will conclude that AIPAC employees have always acted legally, properly and appropriately," it said.

The lobby group said that the FBI, which in August obtained computer files related to two AIPAC employees, returned Wednesday "and requested and obtained additional files relating to the same two AIPAC staff members and delivered subpoenas requiring the appearance of four senior AIPAC staff before a grand jury."

U.S. officials previously have identified the two staff members as Steven Rosen, AIPAC's director of foreign policy issues, and Keith Weissman, his deputy and an Iran expert.

The two men have hired prominent Washington lawyer Abbe Lowell to represent them. Lowell's firm, Chadbourne & Park, had no comment.

The FBI investigation, which has been under way for more than two years, became public in August with news reports that authorities were looking into the handling of classified information by Pentagon employee Lawrence A. Franklin.

Current and former U.S. officials have said that authorities are investigating whether Franklin shared a highly classified draft presidential policy document on Iran with AIPAC staffers, who in turn passed it to Israel.

Investigators have interviewed people at the White House, State Department and Pentagon, the current and former officials said. They also have asked questions about whether Ahmad Chalabi, a prominent Iraqi exile backed by the Pentagon who provided bogus intelligence on Iraq, improperly received highly classified U.S. intelligence about Iran.

Franklin, an analyst in the office of Undersecretary of Defense for Policy Douglas Feith, hasn't been charged with wrongdoing. His lawyer, prominent Washington defense attorney Plato Cacheris, didn't immediately return a phone call Wednesday.

The Israeli government has vehemently denied that it spied on the United States. Israel says all such activities were halted following the 1985 arrest of Navy analyst Jonathan Pollard, who later was convicted of selling U.S. secrets to Israel.

Federal law enforcement officials declined Wednesday to provide details of what the FBI agents were searching for at AIPAC's offices, a few blocks from the U.S. Capitol. The search warrant is sealed.

"The investigation is continuing," said one official, speaking on condition of anonymity. "This is normal procedure in a case like this."

A spokesman for Paul McNulty, the U.S. attorney in the Eastern District of Virginia, whose office is handling the case, declined to comment.






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Source: http://www.middleeast.org/articles/2004/12/1222.htm