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13 December 2004 - MiddleEast.Org - MER is Free
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"The FBI were hopping mad. The FBI had been
kicked very hard in their macho. They are very, very macho."

MIDDLEEAST.ORG - MER - Washington - 13 Decembe: Spying, influence-peddling, political blackmail, hard-ball lobbying, and industrial espionage have been going on in Washington with regard to Israel for quite some time. But getting hold of the smoking guns, as was done in the notorious Jonathan Pollard case but wasn't achieved in so many other cases, is very difficult...and very dangerous. For years in fact it has been an unspoken reality in Washington that super secret information the Israelis are known to be interested in should not be shared with some 'Jewish' government officials. With the coming to power first of the Clinton/Gore administration, and then of the Bush/Cheney government, more than ever before key Jewish Zionist personalities, and in some cases people actually considered Israeli operatives long associated with 'the lobby' in one way or another, were brought into power at the highest levels of the Pentagon, the White House, the State Department, and also to a lesser extent the CIA and other not so often mentioned arms of the U.S. government. With Clinton it was the 'liberal' crowd often associated with the Labor Party and the 'Peace Now' wing of the lobby. With Bush it is the hard-line Jewish Neocons associated with Ariel Sharon and the 'JINSA' wing of the lobby, with the best known of the organizations, the American Israel Public Affairs Committtee (AIPAC) usually bending in the wind politically depending on who is in power in Israel.

There are some in Washington who think that the current spy investigations, possibly now expanding further, can be used to put a little pressure on the Israelis when it comes to the political deal making that may lie ahead both in the region and with the Palestinians. But there are others who think the Israelis are far better at this game than the Americans and that their list of Washington skunks and scandals involving many senior government officials now and past is considerably more extensive than what the Americans can pin on them should it ever come to that.

These two further articles have made it into print in recent days.

FBI steps up AIPAC probe

By Richard Sale
UPI Intelligence Correspondent

WASHINGTON - UPI : An FBI investigation into alleged Israeli espionage against the United States and the possibility a pro-Israel lobby group was involved in passing classified U.S data to Tel Aviv has intensified because a confessed Pentagon spy has stopped cooperating with federal law enforcement officials, U.S. government sources said.

Larry Franklin, a Pentagon analyst in the Near East and South Asia office who worked for the Defense Department's Office of Special Plans confessed last August to federal agents he had held meetings with a contact from the Israeli government during which he passed a highly classified document on U.S. policy toward Iran, these sources said. The document advocated support for Iranian dissidents, covert actions to destabilize the Iranian government, arming opponents of the Islamic regime, propaganda broadcasts into Iran, and other programs, these sources said.

The FBI was also interested in finding out if Franklin was involved or could name any Pentagon colleagues who were involved in passing to Israel certain data about National Security Agency intercepts, these sources said.

Franklin was caught quite by accident last summer as part of a larger investigation, these sources said.

In 2001, the FBI discovered new, "massive" Israeli spying operations in the East Coast, including New York and New Jersey, said one former senior U.S. government official. The FBI began intensive surveillance on certain Israeli diplomats and other suspects and was videotaping Naor Gilon, chief of political affairs at the Israeli Embassy in Washington, who was having lunch at a Washington hotel with two lobbyists from the American Israel Public Affairs Committee lobby group. Federal law enforcement officials said they were floored when Franklin came up to their table and sat down.

The FBI confronted Franklin in August 2004, and there seemed to be progress on the case, but after Franklin hired Washington lawyer Plato Cacheris, Franklin's cooperation abruptly ceased, federal law enforcement officials said. The turnabout apparently infuriated the FBI, former federal law enforcement officials said. Franklin could not be reached for comment.

Vince Cannistraro, a former CIA counter-terrorism chief, who has good ties with law enforcement officials said, "The FBI was extremely displeased."

An FBI consultant told United Press International: "The FBI were hopping mad. The FBI had been kicked very hard in their macho. They are very, very macho."

On Dec. 1, FBI agents visited the AIPAC offices in Washington and seized the hard drives and files of Steven Rosen, director of research, and Keith Weissman, deputy director of foreign policy issues.

The FBI also served subpoenas on AIPAC Executive Director Howard Kohr, Managing Director Richard Fishman, Communications Director Renee Rothstein, and Research Director Raphael Danziger.

All are suspected of having acted as "cut outs" or intermediaries who passed highly sensitive U.S. data from high-level Pentagon and administration officials to Israel, said one former federal law enforcement official.

One current FBI consultant said Rosen's name had first been given to the FBI in 1986, along with 70 possible incidents of Israeli espionage against the United States. No action was taken against him, this source said. Rosen's attorney did not return phone calls.

AIPAC has consistently denied any wrongdoing in the affair. In a public statement, the group said its continuing access to the White House and senior administration officials would be "inconceivable...if any shred of evidence of disloyalty or even negligence on AIPAC's part" had been discovered.

At the time of Franklin's arrest, Israeli Ambassador Daniel Ayalon, repeated his government's denials, saying on CNN: "I can tell you here, very authoritatively, very categorically, Israel does not spy on the United States."

Another Israeli government statement referred to America as "a deeply cherished ally."

But a former federal law enforcement official said Israeli spying against the United States had been "widespread" for many years, and that during the Cold War, Israeli penetration of U.S. operations was second "only to the Soviet Union."

"Few people realize that the Israeli Counterintelligence Desk at the Bureau was second in size only to the CI Soviet desk," he said.

A former very senior CIA counterintelligence official told UPI that in 1998-99, the CIA discovered an Israeli couple, who were subcontracted to a U.S. phone company, were working for Mossad, the Israeli intelligence service.

"They did incredible damage -- they got incredibly sensitive data, including key words identifying individuals or projects," this source said, adding he himself gave the case to the FBI.

Perhaps the most notorious Israeli operation was the recruitment of Jonathan Jay Pollard, a former U.S. Navy analyst, who was convicted in U.S. federal court and sentenced to life in prison for selling military documents to Israel. UPI reported in 1987, quoting FBI officials, the FBI had traced stolen Pollard data up into the Eastern Bloc where it was traded in return for the Soviet Union raising the emigration of Soviet Jews to Israel. UPI - 9 December 2004

FBI investigating Israelis for military-industrial espionage

TEL AVIV The FBI is investigating Israelis in New York suspected of conducting inustrial espionage, according to officals with Israel's defense ministry.

The FBI has refused to say whether it was investigating any Israelis.

Israeli officials said diplomats and defense representatives were being urged to exercise caution in dealing with their U.S. counterparts, Middle East Newsline reported. They said the defense representatives were ordered to be less aggressive in seeking details of U.S. military platforms and systems.

Officials said the FBI has been investigating Israeli behavior. They said the FBI suspects that Israeli representatives, particularly those from the Defense Ministry legation in New York, were involved in industrial espionage.

The Defense Ministry said most of the allegations were based on a misunderstanding of Israeli culture. The ministry said in all of the cases, Israeli representatives were seeking details of unclassified material.

"For the past three years, the MoD has been engaged in a comprehensive training program aimed at training Israeli officials and industry members in the American way of thinking, in order to prevent misunderstandings that stem from different cultures and codes of behavior," a ministry statement said. "Accordingly, numerous briefings have taken place in the ministry, at army bases and in the industries in order to clarify the rules of 'do' and 'don't do.'"

Israel has issued new regulations for its representatives in the United States in an effort to avoid complaints of industrial espionage.

The regulations were issued in response to complaints from the U.S. government that Israeli officials were engaged in industrial espionage. The complaints cited the behavior by Israeli representatives during recent U.S. military tours and defense exhibitions.

The latest seminar was held the Defense Ministry's mission in New York in November. Ministry spokeswoman Rachel Neidek-Ashkenazi said Israeli officials sought details of what the United States termed "unclassified controlled information."

"From our perspective, unclassified is unclassified, and this type of information is open to everybody," Ms. Neidek-Ashkenazi said. "It is permitted to ask questions regarding this information. But with the Americans, there is another level of information that is unclassified but under control and if [an Israeli] continues to ask questions [pertaining to this category], he may be perceived of having crossed the line."

So far, officials said, the U.S. government has not relayed formal charges of industrial espionage against any Israeli. The FBI has refused to say whether it was investigating any Israelis.

Officials have acknowledged that Israeli representatives routinely attend U.S. defense exhibitions and seek information of displayed platforms.

They said Israeli representatives are also often invited to tours by the U.S. military or Pentagon. Monday, December 13, 2004 - worldtribune.com

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