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4 September 2004 -- MER is Free
News, Views, & Analysis Governments, Lobbies, & the
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MER Special Weekend Reading:

ALL ABOUT THE WASHINGTON NEO-CONS

Everything you should know whether you want to or not
* HOW and why they made the war in Iraq
* HOW they 'lobby' and 'spy' for Israel
* HOW they empowered Chalabi, imposed Bremer,
and provoked the 'insurgency'

* HOW they prevented a Palestinian State and propelled the Intifada
* Their neo-imperialist and extreme militant ideology
* Their incestuous interconnections with each other and with
Israeli-connected lobbying and pressure groups
* Jewish Zionists aligned for power with Christian Evangelicals



AIPAC OFFICIALS BREAK OFF FBI
TALKS TO HIRE LAWYERS


MER - Mid-East Realities - MiddleEast.Org - Washington - 4 Sept 04:

For years in Washington the subject of the 'neocons'...the Jewish neocons...the Jewish neocons and Israel...has been whispered, rumored, occassionally partially outed, but rarely dissected in depth and never in the mainstream media really directly focused upon and clearly exposed. Washington is a corporate town of government careerists, lobbyists, opportunists and power-maniacs; much of the establishment press is intertwined in one way or another with powerful pro-Israel interests; much of the mainstream media has powerful pro-Israeli Jews in key ownership or editorial positions like Blitzer at CNN, Crystal at PBS, Zuckerman, Bronfman, Peretz, Perlman, Eisner; and the multi-faceted Israeli/Jewish lobby has a reputation for taking no prisoners and protecting/advancing its own.
These are known realities to Washington insiders; but they creep into print only once and awhile, now and then, here and there. Only with the latest Israeli spy scandal that broke into public view on the CBS Evening news last week has the focus on the Jewish Zionist neocons (though they are not actually called that in print) been on the political and journalistic radar screen in a significant way; and even so the two major parties and the two major candidates have continued to avoid this highly-charged third-rail of Washington politics as always. Yet, in a significant first, the Los Angeles Times yesterday, a week after the latest Israeli spy scandal came into public view, went with an unusually candid story headlined:
"Israel Has Long Spied on U.S., Say Officials" -- a story though heavy on Israel while light on American Jews (see MiddleEast.Org of course for this and other significant breaking stories with crucial background and context).
This then is the overall context in which these three articles with considerable details about the neocons, how they came to be, what they are all about, and how they are linked to Israel and to the latest Israeli spy scandal should be read and pondered. And this is the context in which the FBI 'interviewing' and 'hard disk copying' in the offices of the American Israel Public Affairs Committee (AIPAC) on Capitol Hill, the lead public organization in what we have called for some time the Israeli/
/Jewish lobby, should be understood as a potentially -- emphasis on the world potentially -- important development.
For there are those in Washington and in the media who know very well that it was the Israelis and the Jewish neocons, working in tandem, who worked relentlessly to push the U.S. into the invasion and occupation of Iraq. And there are those who are well aware that the Israelis and the Jewish neocons are now working in tandem to push and cajole the U.S. to take on Iran, Syria, and all who stand in the way of their plans for the U.S. and Israel in partnership to control the Middle East strategically, politically, and economically.

* "Serving Two Flags - Neo-cons, Israel, and the Bush
Administration" -
Stephen Green in Counterpunch

* "Spy probe scans neo-con's Israel ties" - Jim Lobe
in Asia Times


* "Israeli spy nest in the U.S. Ashcroft says: 'Don't
arrest them!' " -
Justin Raimondo in Antiwar.com





Serving Two Flags

Neo-Cons, Israel and the Bush Administration

By Stephen Green*

[Feb 28, 2004]: Since 9-11, a small group of "neo- conservatives" in the Administration have effectively gutted--they would say reformed--traditional American foreign and security policy. Notable features of the new Bush doctrine include the pre-emptive use of unilateral force, and the undermining of the United Nations and the principle instruments and institutions of international law....all in the cause of fighting terrorism and promoting homeland security.

Some skeptics, noting the neo-cons' past academic and professional associations, writings and public utterances, have suggested that their underlying agenda is the alignment of U.S. foreign and security policies with those of Ariel Sharon and the Israeli right wing. The administration's new hard line on the Israeli-Palestinian conflict certainly suggests that, as perhaps does the destruction, with U.S. soldiers and funds, of the military capacity of Iraq, and the current belligerent neo-con campaign against the other two countries which constitute a remaining counterforce to Israeli military hegemony in the region--Iran and Syria.

Have the neo-conservatives--many of whom are senior officials in the Defense Department, National Security Council and Office of the Vice President--had dual agendas, while professing to work for the internal security of the United States against its terrorist enemies?

A review of the internal security backgrounds of some of the best known among them strongly suggests the answer.


Dr. Stephen Bryen and Colleagues

In April of 1979, Deputy Assistant Attorney General Robert Keuch recommended in writing that Bryen, then a staff member of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, undergo a grand jury hearing to establish the basis for a prosecution for espionage. John Davitt, then Chief of the Justice Department's Internal Security Division, concurred.

The evidence was strong. Bryen had been overheard in the Madison Hotel Coffee Shop, offering classified documents to an official of the Israeli Embassy in the presence of the director of AIPAC, the American-Israel Public Affairs Committee. It was later determined that the Embassy official was Zvi Rafiah, the Mossad station chief in Washington. Bryen refused to be poly-graphed by the FBI on the purpose and details of the meeting; whereas the person who'd witnessed it agreed to be poly-graphed and passed the test.

The Bureau also had testimony from a second person, a staff member of the Foreign Relations Committee, that she had witnessed Bryen in his Senate office with Rafiah, discussing classified documents that were spread out on a table in front of an open safe in which the documents were supposed to be secured. Not long after this second witness came forward, Bryen's fingerprints were found on classified documents he'd stated in writing to the FBI he'd never had in his possession....the ones he'd allegedly offered to Rafiah.

Nevertheless, following the refusal of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee to grant access by Justice Department officials to files which were key to the investigation, Keuch's recommendation for a grand jury hearing, and ultimately the investigation itself, were shut down. This decision, taken by Philip Heymann, Chief of Justice's Criminal Division, was a bitter disappointment to Davitt and to Joel Lisker, the lead investigator on the case, as expressed to this writer. A complicating factor in the outcome was that Heymann was a former schoolmate and fellow U.S. Supreme Court Clerk of Bryen's attorney, Nathan Lewin.

Bryen was asked to resign from his Foreign Relations Committee post shortly before the investigation was concluded in late 1979. For the following year and a half, he served as Executive Director of the Jewish Institute for National Security Affairs (JINSA), and provided consulting services to AIPAC.

In April, 1981, the FBI received an application by the Defense Department for a Top Secret security clearance for Dr. Bryen . Richard Perle, who had just been nominated as Assistant Secretary of Defense for International Security Policy, was proposing Bryen as his Deputy Assistant Secretary! Within six months, with Perle pushing hard, Bryen received both Top Secret-SCI (sensitive compartmented information) and Top Secret-"NATO/COSMIC" clearances.

<>
Loyalty, Patriotism and Character

The Bryen investigation became in fact the most contentious issue in Perle's own confirmation hearings in July, 1981. Under aggressive questioning from Sen. Jeremiah Denton, Perle held his ground: "I consider Dr. Bryen to be an individual impeccable integrity....I have the highest confidence in [his] loyalty, patriotism and character."

Several years later in early 1988, Israel was in the final stages of development of a prototype of its ground based "Arrow" anti-ballistic missile. One element the program lacked was "klystrons", small microwave amplifiers which are critical components in the missile's high frequency, radar-based target acquisition system which locks on to in-coming missiles. In 1988, klystrons were among the most advanced developments in American weapons research, and their export was of course strictly proscribed.

The DOD office involved in control of defense technology exports was the Defense Technology Security Administration (DTSA) within Richard Perle's ISP office. The Director (and founder) of DTSA was Perle's Deputy, Dr. Stephen Bryen. In May of 1988, Bryen sent a standard form to Richard Levine, a Navy tech transfer official, informing him of intent to approve a license for Varian Associates, Inc. of Beverly, Massachusetts to export to Israel four klystrons. This was done without the usual consultations with the tech transfer officials of the Army and Air Force, or ISA (International Security Affairs) or DSAA (Defense Security Assistance Agency.

The answer from Levine was "no". He opposed granting the license, and asked for a meeting on the matter of the appropriate (above listed) offices. At the meeting, all of the officials present opposed the license. Bryen responded by suggesting that he go back to the Israelis to ask why these particular items were needed for their defense. Later, after the Israeli Government came back with what one DOD staffer described as "a little bullshit answer", Bryen simply notified the meeting attendees that an acceptable answer had been received, the license granted, and the klystrons released.

By now, however, the dogs were awake. Then Assistant Secretary of Defense for ISA, (and now Deputy Secretary of State) Richard Armitage sent Dr. Bryen a letter stating that the State Department (which issues the export licenses) should be informed of DOD's "uniformly negative" reaction to the export of klystrons to Israel. Bryen did as instructed , and the license was withdrawn.

In July, Varian Associates became the first U.S. corporation formally precluded from contracting with the Defense Department. Two senior colleague in DOD who wish to remain anonymous have confirmed that this attempt by Bryen to obtain klystrons for his friends was not unusual, and was in fact "standard operating procedure" for him, recalling numerous instances when U.S. companies were denied licenses to export sensitive technology, only to learn later that Israeli companies subsequently exported similar (U.S. derived) weapons and technology to the intended customers/governments.

In late1988, Bryen resigned from his DOD post, and for a period worked in the
private sector with a variety of defense technology consulting firms.

Bryen and the China Commission

In 1997, "Defense Week" reported (05/27/97) that, ...." the U.S. Office of Naval Intelligence reaffirmed that U.S.- derived technology from the cancelled [Israeli] Lavi fighter project is being used on China's new F-10 fighter." The following year, "Jane's Intelligence Review" reported (11/01/98) the transfer by Israel to China of the Phalcon airborne early warning and control system, the Python air-combat missile, and the F-10 fighter aircraft, containing "state-of-the-art U.S. electronics."

Concern about the continuing transfer of advanced U.S. arms technology to the burgeoning Chinese military program led, in the last months of the Clinton Administration, to the creation of a Congressional consultative body called the United States-China Economic and Security Review Commission. The charter for the "The China Commission", as it is commonly known, states that its purpose is to...."monitor, investigate, and report to the Congress on the national security implications of the bilateral trade and economic relationship between the United States and the Peoples Republic of China." The charter also reflects an awareness of the problem of "back door" technology leaks: "The Commission shall also take into account patterns of trade and transfers through third countries to the extent practicable."

It was almost predictable that in the new Bush Administration, Dr. Stephen Bryen would find his way to the China Commission. In April 2001, with the support of Deputy Secretary of Defense Paul Wolfowitz and Senator Richard Shelby (R-Alabama) Bryen was appointed a Member of the Commission by Speaker of the House Dennis Hastert. Last August, his appointment was extended through December of 2005.

Informed that Bryen had been appointed to the Commission, the reaction of one former
senior FBI counter-intelligence official was: "My God, that must mean he has a "Q
clearance!" (A "Q" clearance, which must be approved by the Department of Energy, is the designation for a Top Secret codeword clearance to access nuclear technology.)


Michael Ledeen, Consultant on Chaos

If Stephen Bryen is the military technology guru in the neo-con pantheon, Michael Ledeen is currently its leading theorist, historian, scholar and writer. It states in the website of his consulting firm, Benador Associates, that he is "...one of the world's leading authorities on intelligence, contemporary history and international affairs" and that...."As Ted Koppel puts it, 'Michael Ledeen is a Renaissance man....in the tradition of Machiavelli.'" Perhaps the following will add some color and texture to this description.

In 1983, on the recommendation of Richard Perle, Ledeen was hired at the Department of Defense as a consultant on terrorism. His immediate supervisor was the Principle Assistant Secretary for International Security Affairs, Noel Koch. Early in their work together, Koch noticed with concern Ledeen's habit of stopping by in his (Koch's) outer office to read classified materials. When the two of them took a trip to Italy, Koch learned from the CIA station there that when Ledeen had lived in Rome previously, as correspondent for The New Republic, he'd been carried in Agency files as an agent of influence of a foreign government: Israel.

Some time after their return from the trip, Ledeen approached his boss with a request for his assistance in obtaining two highly classified CIA reports which he said were held by the FBI. He'd hand written on a piece of paper the identifying "alpha numeric designators". These identifiers were as highly classified as the reports themselves....which raised in Koch's mind the question of who had provided them to Ledeen if he hadn't the clearances to obtain them himself. Koch immediately told his executive assistant that Ledeen was to have no further access to classified materials in the office, and Ledeen just ceased coming to "work".

In early 1986, however, Koch learned that Ledeen had joined NSC as a consultant, and sufficiently concerned about the internal security implications of the behavior of his former aide, arranged to be interviewed by two FBI agents on the matter. After a two hour debriefing, Koch was told that it was only Soviet military intelligence penetration that interested the Bureau. The follow-on interviews that were promised by the agents just never occurred.

Koch thought this strange, coming as it did just months after the arrest of Naval intelligence analyst Jonathan Pollard on charges of espionage for Israel. Frustrated, Koch wrote up in detail the entire saga of Ledeen's DOD consultancy, and sent it to the Office of Senator Charles Grassley, then a member of the Senate Select Committee on Intelligence, which had oversight responsibility for, inter alia, the FBI.

A former senior FBI counter-intelligence official was surprised and somewhat skeptical, when told of Koch's unsuccessful attempts to interest the Bureau in an investigation of Ledeen, noting that in early 1986, the Justice Department was in fact already engaged in several on-going, concurrent investigations of Israeli espionage and theft of American military technology.

<>
Machiavelli in Tel Aviv

Koch's belated attempts to draw official attention to his former assistant were too late, in any event, for within a very few weeks of leaving his DOD consultancy in late 1984, Ledeen had found gainful (classified) employment at the National Security Council (NSC). In fact, according to a now declassified chronology prepared for the Senate/House Iran-
Contra investigation, within calendar 1984 Ledeen was already suggesting to Oliver North, his new boss at NSC...." that Israeli contacts might be useful in obtaining release of the U.S. hostages in Lebanon." Perhaps significantly, that is the first entry in the "Chronology of Events: U.S.- Iran Dialogue", dated November 18,1986, prepared for the Joint House-Senate Hearings in the Iran-Contra Investigations.

What is so striking about the Ledeen-related documents which are part of the Iran-Contra Collection of the National Security Archive, is how thoroughly the judgements of Ledeen's colleagues at NSC mirrored, and validated, Noel Koch's internal security concerns about his consultant.

- on April 9, 1985, NSC Middle East analyst Donald Fortier wrote to National Security Advisor Robert McFarlane that NSC staffers were agreed that Ledeen's role in the scheme should be limited to carrying messages to Israeli Prime Minister Shimon Peres regarding plans to cooperate with Israel on the crisis within Iran, and specifically that he should not be entrusted to ask Peres for detailed operational information;

- on June 6, 1985, Secretary of State George Shultz wrote to McFarlane that, "Israel's record of dealings with Iran since the fall of the Shah and during the hostage crisis [show] that Israel's agenda is not the same as ours. Consequently doubt whether an intelligence relationship such as what Ledeen has in mind would be one which we could fully rely upon and it could seriously skew our own perception and analysis of the Iranian scene."

- on 20 August, 1985, the Office of the Undersecretary of Defense informed Ledeen by memorandum that his security clearance had been downgraded from Top Secret-SCI to Secret.

<>- on 16 January, 1986, Oliver North recommended to John Poindexter "for [the] security of the Iran initiative" that Ledeen be asked to take periodic polygraph examinations.

- later in January, on the 24th, North wrote to Poindexter of his suspicion that Ledeen, along with Adolph Schwimmer and Manucher Ghorbanifar, might be making money personally on the sale of arms to Iran, through Israel.

During the June 23-25, 1987 joint hearings of the House and Senate select committees' investigation of Iran-Contra, Noel Koch testified that he became suspicious when he learned that the price which Ledeen had negotiated for the sale to the Israeli Government of basic TOW missiles was $2,500 each.

Upon inquiring with his DOD colleagues, he learned the lowest price the U.S. had ever received for the sale of TOWs to a foreign government had been a previous sale to Israel for $6,800 per copy. Koch, professing in his testimony that he and his colleagues at DOD were not in favor of the sale to begin with, determined that he--Koch--should renegotiate the $2,500 price so that it could be defended by the "defense management system." In a clandestine meeting on a Sunday in the first class lounge of the TWA section of National Airport, Koch met over a cup of coffee with an official from the Israeli purchasing mission in New York, and agreed on a price of $4,500 per missile, nearly twice what Ledeen had "negotiated" in Israel.

There are two possibilities here--one would be a kickback, as suspected by his NSC colleagues, and the other would be that Michael Ledeen was effectively negotiating for Israel, not the U.S.

Like his friend Stephen Bryen (they've long served together on the JINSA Board of Advisors) Ledeen has been out of government service since the late1980s....until the present Bush Administration. He, like Bryen, is presently a serving member on the China Commission and, with the support of DOD Undersecretary for Policy Douglas Feith, he
has since 2001 been employed as a consultant for the Office of Special Plans OSP). Both involve the handling of classified materials and require high-level security clearances.

<>
The Principals: Perle, Wolfowitz and Feith

One might wonder how, with security histories like these, Messrs. Bryen and Ledeen have managed to get second and third chances to return to government in highly classified positions.

And the explanation is that they, along with other like-minded neo-conservatives, have in the current Bush Administration friends in very high places. In particular, Bryen and Ledeen have been repeatedly boosted into defense/security posts by former Defense Policy Council member and chairman Richard Perle (he just quietly resigned his position), Deputy Defense Secretary Paul Wolfowitz, and Under Secretary of Defense for Policy Douglas Feith.

As previously mentioned, Perle in 1981 as DOD Assistant Secretary for International Security Policy (ISP) hired Bryen as his Deputy. That same year, Wolfowitz as head of the State Department Policy Planning Staff hired Ledeen as a Special Advisor. In 2001 Douglas Feith as DOD Under Secretary for Policy hired, or approved the hiring of Ledeen as a consultant for the Office of Special Plans.

The principals have also assisted each other down through the years. Frequently. In 1973 Richard Perle used his (and Senator Henry "Scoop" Jackson's) influence as a senior staff member of the Senate Armed Services Committee to help Wolfowitz obtain a job with the Arms Control and Disarmament Agency. In 1982, Perle hired Feith in ISP as his Special Counsel, and then as Deputy Assistant Secretary for Negotiations Policy. In 2001, DOD Deputy Secretary Wolfowitz helped Feith obtain his appointment as Undersecretary for Policy. Feith then appointed Perle as Chairman of the Defense Policy Board. In some cases, this mutual assistance carries risks, as for instance when Perle's hiring of Bryen as his Deputy in ISP became an extremely contentious issue in Perle's own Senate appointment hearings as Assistant Secretary.

Every appointment/hiring listed above involved classified work for which high-level security clearances and associated background checks by the FBI were required. When the level of the clearance is not above generic Top Secret, however, the results of that background check are only seen by the hiring authority. And in the event, if the appointee were Bryen or Ledeen and the hiring authority were Perle, Wolfowitz or Feith, the appointee(s) need not have worried about the findings of the background check. In the case of Perle hiring Bryen as his deputy in 1981, for instance, documents released in 1983 under the Freedom of Information Act indicate that the Department provided extraordinarily high clearances for Bryen without having reviewed more than a small portion of his 1978-79 FBI investigation file.

<>
RICHARD PERLE: A HABIT OF LEAKING

Perle came to Washington for the first time in early 1969, at the age of 28, to work for a neo-con think tank called the "Committee to Maintain a Prudent Defense Policy." Within months, Senator Henry "Scoop" Jackson offered Perle a position on his staff, working with the Senate Foreign Relations Committee. And within months after that--less than a year--Perle was embroiled in an affair involving the leaking of a classified CIA report on alleged past Soviet treaty violations.

The leaker (and author of the report) was CIA analyst David Sullivan, and the leakee was Richard Perle. CIA Director Stansfield Turner was incensed at the unauthorized disclosure, but before he could fire Sullivan, the latter quit. Turner urged Sen. Jackson to fire Perle, but he was let off with a reprimand. Jackson then added insult to injury by immediately hiring Sullivan to his staff. Sullivan and Perle became close friends and co-conspirators, and together established an informal right-wing network which they called "the Madison Group," after their usual meeting place in--you might have guessed--the Madison Hotel Coffee Shop.

Perle's second brush with the law occurred a year later in 1970. An FBI wiretap authorized for the Israeli Embassy picked up Perle discussing with an Embassy official classified information which he said had been supplied to by a staff member on the National Security Council. An NSC/FBI investigation was launched to identify the staff member, and quickly focused upon Helmut Sonnenfeldt. The latter had been previously investigated in 1967 while a staff member of the State Department's Bureau of Intelligence and Research, for suspected unauthorized transmission to an Israeli Government official of a classified document concerning the commencement of the 1967 war in the Middle East.

<>In 1981, shortly before being appointed Assistant Secretary of Defense for International Security Policy (ISP)--with responsibility, inter alia, for monitoring of U.S. defense technology exports, Richard Perle was paid a substantial consulting fee by arms manufacturer Tamares, Ltd. of Israel. Shortly after assuming that post, Perle wrote a letter to the Secretary of the Army urging evaluation and purchase of 155 mm. shells manufactured by Soltam, Ltd. After leaving the ISP job in 1987, he worked for Soltam.

PAUL WOLFOWITZ : A WELL PLACED FRIEND

In 1973, in the dying days of the Nixon Administration, Wolfowitz was recruited to work for the Arms Control and Disarmament Agency (ACDA). There was a certain irony in the appointment, for in the late 1960's, as a graduate student at the University of Chicago, Wolfowitz had been a student and protege of Albert Wohlstetter, an influential, vehement opponent of any form of arms control or disarmament, vis a vis the Soviets. Wolfowitz also brought to ACDA a strong attachment to Israel's security, and a certain confusion about his obligation to U.S. national security.

In 1978, he was investigated for providing a classified document on the proposed sale of U.S. weapons to an Arab government, to an Israel Government official, through an AIPAC intermediary. An inquiry was launched and dropped, however, and Wolfowitz continued to work at ACDA until 1980.

In 1990, after a decade of work with the State Department in Washington and abroad, Wolfowitz was brought into DoD as Undersecretary for Policy by then Secretary of Defense Richard Cheney. Two years later, in 1992, the first Bush Administration launched a broad inter-departmental investigation into the export of classified technology to China. O particular concern at the time was the transfer to China by Israel of U.S. Patriot missiles and/or technology. During that investigation, in a situation very reminiscent of the Bryen/Varian Associates/klystrons affair two years earlier, the Pentagon discovered that Wolfowitz's office was promoting the export to Israel of advanced AIM-9M air-to-air missiles.

In this instance, the Joint Chiefs of Staff, aware that Israel had already been caught selling the earlier AIM 9-L version of the missile to China in violation of a written agreement with the U.S. on arms re-sales, intervened to cancel the proposed AIM (-M deal. The Chairman of the Joint Chiefs at the time was General Colin Powell, currently Secretary of State.

Wolfowitz continued to serve as DoD Undersecretary for Policy until 1993, well into the Clinton Administration. After that, however, like most of the other prominent neo-conservatives, he was relegated to trying to assist Israel from the sidelines for the remainder of Clinton's two terms. In 1998, Wolfowitz was a co-signer of a public letter to the President organized by the "Project for the New American Century." The letter, citing Saddam Hussein's continued possession of "weapons of mass destruction," argued for military action to achieve regime change and demilitarization of Iraq. Clinton wasn't impressed, but a more gullible fellow would soon come along.

<>And indeed, when George W. Bush assumed the Presidency in early 2001, Wolfowitz got his opportunity. Picked as Donald Rumsfeld's Deputy Secretary at DoD, he prevailed upon his boss to appoint Douglas Feith as Undersecretary for Policy. On the day after the destruction of the World Trade Center, September 12, Rumsfeld and Wolfowitz raised the possibility of an immediate attack on Iraq during an emergency NSC meeting. The following day, Wolfowitz conducted the Pentagon press briefing, and interpreted the
President's statement on "ending states who sponsor terrorism" as a call for regime change in Iraq. Israel wasn't mentioned.

Douglas Feith: Hardliner, Security Risk

Bush's appointment of Douglas Feith as DoD Undersecretary for Policy in early 2001 must have come as a surprise, and a harbinger, even to conservative veterans of the Reagan and George H.W. Bush Administration. Like Michael Ledeen, Feith is a prolific writer and well-known radical conservative. Moreover, he was not being hired as a DoD consultant, like Ledeen, but as the third most senior United States Defense Department official. Feith was certainly the first, and probably the last high Pentagon official to have publicly opposed the Biological Weapons Convention (in 1986), the Intermediate Nuclear Forces Treaty (in 1988), the Chemical Weapons Convention (in 1997), the Anti-Ballistic Missile Treaty (in 2000), and all of the various Middle East Peace agreements, including Oslo (in 2000).

Even more revealing perhaps, had the transition team known of it, was Feith's view of "technology cooperation," as expressed in a 1992 Commentary article: "It is in the interest of U.S. and Israel to remove needless impediments to technological cooperation between them. Technologies in the hands of responsible, friendly countries facing military threats, countries like Israel, serve to deter aggression, enhance regional stability and promote peace thereby."

What Douglas Feith had neglected to say, in this last article, was that he thought that individuals could decide on their own whether the sharing of classified information was "technical cooperation," an unauthorized disclosure, or a violation of U.S. Code 794c, the "Espionage Act."

Ten years prior to writing the Commentary piece, Feith had made such a decision on his own. At the time, March of 1972, Feith was a Middle East analyst in the Near East and South Asian Affairs section of the National Security Council. Two months before, in January, Judge William Clark had replaced Richard Allen as National Security Advisor, with the intention to clean house. A total of nine NSC staff members were fired, including Feith, who'd only been with the NSC for a year. But Feith was fired because he'd been the object of an inquiry into whether he'd provided classified material to an official of the Israeli Embassy in Washington. The FBI had opened the inquiry. And Clark, who had served in U.S. Army counterintelligence in the 1950's, took such matters very seriously.....more seriously, apparently, than had Richard Allen.

Feith did not remain unemployed for long, however. Richard Perle, who was in 1982 serving in the Pentagon as Assistant secretary for International Security Policy, hired him on the spot as his "Special Counsel," and then as his Deputy. Feith worked at ISP until 1986, when he left government service to form a small but influential law firm, then based in Israel.

In 2001, Douglas Feith returned to DoD as Donald Rumsfeld's Undersecretary for Policy, and it was in his office that "OSP", the Office of Special Plans, was created. It was OSP that originated--some say from whole cloth--much of the intelligence that Bush, Cheney and Rumsfeld have used to justify the attack on Iraq, to miss-plan the post-war reconstruction there, and then to point an accusing finger at Iran and Syria.....all to the absolute delight of Prime Minister Ariel Sharon.


Reason for Concern

Many individuals with strong attachments to foreign countries have served the U.S. Government with honor and distinction, and will certainly do so in the future. The highest officials in our executive and legislative branches should, however, take great care when appointments are made to posts involving sensitive national security matters. Appointees should be rejected who have demonstrated, in their previous government service, a willingness to sacrifice U.S. national security interests for those of another country, or an inability to distinguish one from the other.

* Stephen Green is a freelance journalist living in Vermont who has written two important books about the connections between the U.S. and Israel including "Taking Sides: America's Secret Relations with a Militant Israel."






Spy probe scans neo-cons' Israel ties
By Jim Lobe

[Asia Times - 2 September]: The growing scandal over claims that a Pentagon official passed highly classified secrets to a Zionist lobby group appears to be part of a much broader set of Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) and Pentagon investigations of close collaboration between prominent US neo-conservatives and Israel dating back some 30 years.

According to knowledgeable sources, who asked to not be identified, the FBI has been intensively reviewing a series of past counter-intelligence probes that were started against several high-profile neo-cons, but which were never followed up with prosecutions, to the great frustration of counter-intelligence officers, in some cases.

Some of these past investigations involve top current officials, including Deputy Secretary of Defense Paul Wolfowitz; Under Secretary of Defense for Policy Douglas Feith, whose office appears to be the focus of the most recently disclosed inquiry; and Richard Perle, who resigned as Defense Policy Board (DPB) chairman last year.

All three were the subject of a lengthy investigative story by Stephen Green, published by Counterpunch in February. Green is the author of two books on US-Israeli relations, including Taking Sides: America's Secret Relations with a Militant Israel, which relies heavily on interviews with former Pentagon and counter-intelligence officials.

At the same time, another Pentagon office concerned with the transfer of sensitive military and dual-use technologies has been examining the acquisition, modification and sales of key hi-tech military equipment by Israel obtained from the US, in some cases with the help of prominent neo-conservatives who were then serving in the government.

Some of that equipment has been sold by Israel - which in the past 20 years has become a top exporter of the world's most sophisticated hi-tech information and weapons technology - or by Israeli middlemen, to Russia, China and other potential US strategic rivals. Some of it has also found its way onto the black market, where terrorist groups - possibly including al-Qaeda - obtained bootlegged copies, according to these sources.

Of particular interest in that connection are derivatives of a powerful case-management software called Promis that was produced by Inslaw, Inc in the early 1980s and acquired by Israel's Mossad intelligence agency, which then sold its own versions to other foreign intelligence agencies in the Middle East, Asia and Eastern Europe.

But these versions were modified with a "trap door" that permitted the seller to spy on the buyers' own intelligence files, according to a number of published reports.

A modified version of the software, which is used to monitor and track files on a multitude of databases, is believed to have been acquired by al-Qaeda on the black market in the late 1990s, possibly facilitating the group's global banking and money-laundering schemes, according to a Washington Times story of June 2001.

According to one source, Pentagon investigators believe it possible that al-Qaeda used the software to spy on various US agencies that could have detected or foiled the September 11, 2001 attacks.

The FBI is reportedly also involved in the Pentagon's investigation, which is overseen by Deputy Under Secretary of Defense for International Technology Security John A "Jack" Shaw, with the explicit support of Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld.

The latest incident is based on allegations that a Defense Intelligence Agency (DIA) career officer, Larry Franklin - who was assigned in 2001 to work in a special office dealing with Iraq and Iran under Feith - provided highly classified information, including a draft on US policy towards Iran, to two staff members of the American Israel Public Affairs Committee (AIPAC), one of Washington's most powerful lobby groups. One or both of the recipients allegedly passed the material to the Israeli Embassy.

Franklin has not commented on the allegation, and Israel and AIPAC have strongly denied any involvement and say they are cooperating fully with FBI investigators.

The office in which Franklin has worked since 2001 is dominated by staunch neo-conservatives, including Feith himself. Headed by William Luti, a retired navy officer who worked for DPB member Newt Gingrich when he was speaker of the House of Representatives, it played a central role in building the case for war in Iraq.

Part of the office's strategy included working closely with the Iraqi National Congress (INC) led by now-disgraced exile Ahmad Chalabi, and the DPB members in developing and selectively leaking intelligence analyses that supported the now-discredited thesis that former Iraqi president Saddam Hussein had close ties to al-Qaeda.

Feith's office enjoyed especially close links with Vice President Dick Cheney's chief of staff, I Lewis Libby, to whom it "stovepiped" its analyses without having them vetted by professional intelligence analysts in the Central Intelligence Agency (CIA), the DIA, or the State Department Bureau for Intelligence of Research (INR).

Since the Iraq war, Feith's office has also lobbied hard within the US government for a confrontational posture vis-a-vis Iran and Syria, including actions aimed at destabilizing both governments - policies which, in addition to the ousting of Saddam, have been strongly and publicly urged by prominent, hardline neo-conservatives, such as Perle, Feith and Perle's associate at the American Enterprise Institute (AEI), Michael Ledeen, among others.

Despite his status as a career officer, Franklin, who is an Iran specialist, is considered both personally and ideologically close to several other prominent neo-conservatives, who have also acted in various consultancy roles at the Pentagon, including Ledeen and Harold Rhode, who once described himself as Deputy Secretary of State Paul Wolfowitz's chief adviser on Islam.

In December 2001, Rhode and Franklin met in Europe with a shadowy Iranian arms dealer, Manichur Ghorbanifar, who, along with Ledeen, played a central role in the arms-for-hostages deal involving the Reagan administration, Israel and Iran in the mid-1980s that became known as the "Iran-Contra Affair".

Ledeen set up the more recent meetings that apparently triggered the FBI to launch its investigation, which has intensified in recent months amid reports that Chalabi's INC, which has long been championed by the neo-conservatives, has been passing sensitive intelligence to Iran.

Feith has long been an outspoken supporter of Israel's Likud Party, and his former law partner Marc Zell has served as a spokesman in Israel for the Jewish settler movement on the occupied West Bank. He, Perle and several other like-minded hardliners participated in a task force that called for then-Israeli prime minister Binyamin Netanyahu to work for the installation of a friendly government in Baghdad as a means of permanently altering the balance of power in the Middle East in Israel's favor, permitting it to abandon the Oslo peace process, which Feith had publicly opposed.

Previously, Feith served as a Middle East analyst in the National Security Council in the administration of former president Ronald Reagan (1981-89), but was summarily removed from that position in March 1982 because he had been the object of a FBI inquiry into whether he had provided classified material to an official of the Israeli Embassy in Washington, according to Green's account.

But Perle, who was then serving as assistant secretary of defense for international security policy, which, among other responsibilities, had an important say in approving or denying licenses to export sensitive military or dual-use technology abroad, hired Feith as his "special counsel" and later as his deputy, where he served until 1986, when he left for his law practice with Zell, who had by then moved to Israel.

Also serving under Perle during these years was Stephen Bryen, a former staff member of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee and the subject of a major FBI investigation in the late 1970s for offering classified documents to an Israeli intelligence officer in the presence of AIPAC's director, according to Green's account, which is backed up by some 500 pages of investigation documents released under a Freedom of Information request some 15 years ago.

Although political appointees decided against prosecution, Bryen was reportedly asked to leave the committee and, until his appointment by Perle in 1981, served as head of the Jewish Institute for National Security Affairs (JINSA), a group dedicated to promoting strategic ties between the US and Israel and one in which Perle, Feith and Ledeen have long been active.

In his position as Perle's deputy, Bryen created the Defense Technology Security Administration, which enforced regulations regarding technology transfer to foreign countries.

During his tenure, according to one source with personal knowledge of Bryen's work, "The US shut down transfers to Western Europe and Japan [which were depicted as too ready to sell them to Moscow] and opened up a back door to Israel." This is a pattern that became embarrassingly evident after Perle left office and the current deputy secretary of state, Richard Armitage, took over in 1987. Soon, Armitage was raising serious questions about Bryen's approval of sensitive exports to Israel without appropriate vetting by other agencies.

"It is in the interest of the US and Israel to remove needless impediments to technological cooperation between them," Feith wrote in "Commentary" in 1992. "Technologies in the hands of responsible, friendly countries facing military threats, countries like Israel, serve to deter aggression, enhance regional stability and promote peace thereby."

Perle, Ledeen, and Wolfowitz have also been the subject of FBI inquiries, according to Green's account. In 1970, one year after he was hired by Senator Henry "Scoop" Jackson, an FBI wiretap authorized for the Israeli Embassy picked up Perle discussing classified information with an embassy official, while Wolfowitz was investigated in 1978 for providing a classified document on the proposed sale of a US weapons system to an Arab government to an Israeli official via an AIPAC staffer.

In 1992, when he was serving as under secretary of defense for policy, Pentagon officials looking into the unauthorized export of classified technology to China found that Wolfowitz's office was promoting Israel's export of advanced air-to-air missiles to Beijing in violation of a written agreement with Washington on arms re-sales.

The FBI and the Pentagon are reportedly taking a new look at all of these incidents and others, in the words of a New York Times story on Sunday, to "get a better understanding of the relationships among conservative officials with strong ties to Israel".

It would be a mistake to see Franklin as the chief target of the current investigation, according to sources, but rather he should be viewed as one piece of a much broader puzzle.






Friends in High Places
Israeli spy nest in the U.S. Ashcroft says: 'Don't arrest them!'
by Justin Raimondo - 3 September 2004

The Washington Post is confirming the analysis, posted here two days ago, that 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 Israel:

"For more than two years, the FBI has been investigating whether classified intelligence has been passed to 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 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 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, 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 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 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 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 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 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 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 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 .

The Bush administration has known about this investigation of which the Franklin affair is just a footnote for over two years, according to the latest from Reuters. Yet, addressing AIPAC in May, President Bush called the group "a great asset to our country."

But if AIPAC is involved in the theft of U.S. government secrets, how is it an "asset" to any country other than Israel?

The burgeoning spy scandal, which went from the theft of a draft presidential directive to the appropriation of sensitive NSA intercepts, is fast taking on the complexity and multi-layered levels of meaning of a tale by John LeCarre, one that is all too realistic. On one level, it is the story of how a group of Israel Firsters infiltrated the highest levels of policymaking and utilizing a talent for the well-told lie and a penchant for forgery steered us down the road to war with Iraq. Warren Strobel reports that it isn't just Franklin and his foibles coming under scrutiny:

"The bureau appears to be looking into other controversies that have roiled the Bush administration, some of which also touch [deputy defense secretary for policy Douglas] Feith's office. They include how the Iraqi National Congress, a former exile group backed by the Pentagon, allegedly received highly classified U.S. intelligence on Iran; the leaking of the name of CIA officer Valerie Plame to reporters; and the production of bogus documents suggesting that Iraq tried to buy uranium for nuclear weapons from the African country of Niger. Bush repeated the Niger claim in making the case for war against Iraq."

"'The whole ball of wax' was how one U.S. official privy to the briefings described the inquiry."

On another level, it is a pure spy story about the penetration and subversion of what is arguably the single most valuable asset in America's anti-terrorist arsenal: the NSA, which gathers together the raw materials from which accurate intelligence is derived. This, by the way, is not the first time the NSA's security has been questioned: the story of Sibel Edmonds, a former NSA translator, which I've covered rather extensively in several columns, involves the existence of a mysterious unidentified organization which the FBI was watching that tried to recruit her into not translating certain intercepts. Edmonds was fired for blowing the whistle on these shenanigans, and then muzzled by Ashcroft, who declared that she couldn't say anything to the public about what she knew due to reasons of overriding "national security." A judge backed up Ashcroft's gag order, but you can read her interview with Antiwar.com and 60 Minutes, here and decide for yourself if something fishy is or isn't going on. Where there's this much smoke, there has to be some real fire.

Why is the Justice Department "putting the brakes" on an investigation involving the most sensitive intelligence matters? Ashcroft wasn't hesitant when he went after these other guys, nor were his prosecutors when it came to withholding evidence, a practice that eventually got their convictions thrown out. Why is he treating the AIPAC cabal with kid gloves? What gives?

I'll tell you what gives. A large body of evidence suggests this counterintelligence investigation goes back before 9/11, when U.S. government agencies first began to take notice of Israelis turning up at U.S. government offices, and at government agents' homes, in the guise of "art students" trying to sell or promote their "work." In Salon, an article by Christopher Ketcham suggested that this was an attempt by the Israelis to blow smoke, and divert attention away from something else. And now, it appears, the "art students" are back.

It's just not possible to fully understand what exactly is going on here without reference to my book, The Terror Enigma: 9/11 and the Israeli Connection, which shows that the U.S. government's concern with Israeli spies reached a spike of apprehension in the months prior to the worst terrorist attack in our history. A two year old investigation? Try four, or more.

One final note: The attempt to spin this as a political attack on George W. Bush, emanating from the Democrats, is hogwash, pure and simple. If Kerry says a word about this, I'll throw away my Nader button (the one with Badnarik on the back) and surrender myself to the narcotic effects of Kerry's Kool-Aid.

Kerry's best answer to the "Swift Boat" ads is a few television spots on "Spies in the Pentagon."Giving Zell Miller tit for tat may lose him Florida, but gain him the Midwest, the South, and several key border states in the bargain. I can hear some of the dialogue now:

"There are spies in the Pentagon and they have friends in high places."

It won't happen, of course. If Kerry says anything at all, it's likely to be a defense of AIPAC. He would much rather bypass this golden opportunity to draw Republican blood on the national security issue than offend a vociferous and hypersensitive special interest group. That's one reason why in spite of a wilting "recovery" and an increasingly unpopular war he's in danger of losing big.
Justin Ramono, Antiwar.com - September 3, 2004





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