AIPAC Case Collapses

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Friday, May 01, 2009 at 12:04 pm

The Obama Justice Department has asked a judge to dismiss charges against two former American Israel Public Affairs Committee lobbyists accused of receiving classified information from the Bush Pentagon and passing it on to journalists and Israeli government officials. Good.

Put aside whatever you may feel about AIPAC. The case amounted to the criminalization of extremely routine practices in Washington: acquiring and distributing information that’s overclassified.

Technically, I published classified information last Monday when I reported that there was an undisclosed classified Office of Legal Counsel memorandum on torture from 2007. There’s a widespread recognition that way too much information is needlessly classified. Indeed, “Ninety-five percent of what we do shouldn’t be classified at all, or it should be a much lower level of classification,” Joan Dempsey, a former senior CIA and Pentagon official, recently estimated, according to Secrecy News. Neither Steve Rosen nor Keith Weissman, the AIPAC lobbyists in question, were government employees. Even if we’re to take the Justice Department’s former line that the leak itself was felonious, they were never accused of being the sources of it, since they couldn’t have been. (That was a guy named Larry Franklin.)

During the Chas Freeman affair, when Steve Rosen was leading the charge against Freeman’s appointment to be chairman of the National Intelligence Council for alleged hostility to Israel, alleged disinterest in human rights, and insinuated nefarious loyalties to China and Saudi Arabia, I remarked that Rosen shouldn’t have gone after another pro-Israel lobbyist with whom he disagreed over Freeman while being wrapped up in the case. I shouldn’t have said that Rosen was under indictment for spying for Israel, since that was a misstatement of the case. The point that I should have made is that someone who was railroaded in this case, with its intimations of dual loyalty, should be circumspect about flinging such charges against other people. Maybe we can all take a deep breath here — doubtful, but maybe — and reflect that it’s good for everyone who desires openness in government that the flimsy charges against Weissman and Rosen are on their way out, regardless of the politics of the accused.

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Comments

6 Comments

Sam
Comment posted May 1, 2009 @ 10:18 am

What a nice legal trick. The government is saying it can't go ahead with prosecution because that would risk disclosure of classified information. (Which is apparently fine whenever it can make Republicans look bad but is a no no if it makes a Democrat look bad). Harman sure came through on her promise to get leniency for these guys. You should have heard her being interviewed about this. She said, “We don't know what was in the phone conversations.” The NPR interviewer kept saying, “Well, the public doesn't know but you were the one having the conversations.” She kept dodging every question. That worked out well for her. So we have a member of Congress eager to help foreign spies who gets to keep her seat uninvestigated because heaven forbid the Democrats not having a super-majority in Congress.


Dropping The Charges « Around The Sphere
Pingback posted May 1, 2009 @ 3:13 pm

[...] Spencer Ackerman in Washington Independent: [...]


George Washington
Comment posted May 1, 2009 @ 3:20 pm

George Washington on Israel

“A passionate attachment of one nation for another produces a variety of evils. Sympathy for the favorite nation, facilitating the illusion of an imaginary common interest in cases where no real common interest exists, and infusing into one the enmities of the other, betrays the former into a participation in the quarrels and wars of the latter without adequate inducement or justification.” ~George Washington Farewell Address

“The nation which indulges toward another habitual hatred or habitual fondness is in some degree a slave. It is a slave to its animosity or to its affection, either of which is sufficient to lead it astray from its duty and its interests.” ~ George Washington

“Peace, commerce and honest friendship with all nations; entangling alliances with none.” ~ Thomas Jefferson


Commentary » Blog Archive » J. Edgar Yglesias
Pingback posted May 3, 2009 @ 2:35 am

[...] like apologize for accusing an innocent man of being guilty of the crime he did not commit (save Spencer Ackerman’s “tendentious” [...]


GIMPE
Comment posted May 3, 2009 @ 8:45 am

IF THESE TWO TERRORISTS SPIES (PARASITES) HAD BEEN MUSLIM THEY WOULD HAVE BEEN TRIED…CONVICTED… SENT TO PRISON FOR LIFE… ZIONIST JEWS CONTROL THE EXECUTIVE… JUDICIAL AND BOTH BRANCHES OF CONGRESS… THEY OWN WALL STREET AND GAVE THE WORLD A GLOBAL RECESSION..

Israel is a terrorist State just like the USA IS THE WORLDS BULLY…Zionist Jews are crybaby blood sucking parasites!

Why does the USA taxpayer have to send my tax dollars to JewSylvania?

What do I as an American get in return? Endless war… why don't we move all you SCARED Zionist

Jews to the Baja Peninsula south of California it has …sand… oceans and plenty of cheep Mexican labor. You can pretend that the ground there is Holy like you pretend that GOD is real….You Zionist do like cheap shit right.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Baja_California_Pe… According to the Christian science Monitor the USA taxpayer has forked over $1.3 trillion of our money to you since 1948 when we stole the land that you now squat on.


GIMPE
Comment posted May 3, 2009 @ 3:45 pm

IF THESE TWO TERRORISTS SPIES (PARASITES) HAD BEEN MUSLIM THEY WOULD HAVE BEEN TRIED…CONVICTED… SENT TO PRISON FOR LIFE… ZIONIST JEWS CONTROL THE EXECUTIVE… JUDICIAL AND BOTH BRANCHES OF CONGRESS… THEY OWN WALL STREET AND GAVE THE WORLD A GLOBAL RECESSION..

Israel is a terrorist State just like the USA IS THE WORLDS BULLY…Zionist Jews are crybaby blood sucking parasites!

Why does the USA taxpayer have to send my tax dollars to JewSylvania?

What do I as an American get in return? Endless war… why don't we move all you SCARED Zionist

Jews to the Baja Peninsula south of California it has …sand… oceans and plenty of cheep Mexican labor. You can pretend that the ground there is Holy like you pretend that GOD is real….You Zionist do like cheap shit right.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Baja_California_Pe… According to the Christian science Monitor the USA taxpayer has forked over $1.3 trillion of our money to you since 1948 when we stole the land that you now squat on.


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