AIPAC strives for political indoctrination for college and El-Hi students
The American Israel Public Affairs Committee (AIPAC) might learn a thing or two from Lyndon Johnson's famous quote about FBI director J. Edgar Hoover, "Its probably better to have him inside the tent pissing out, than outside the tent pissing in." US forgives Israeli spies amid AIPAC heat....
Having received no word back from AIPAC on receiving credentials to cover their annual policy conference at the Washington Convention Center, this editor set out to pick up as many side conversations and abandoned AIPAC literature from the attendees' hotel venues.
This year's AIPAC policy conference's theme is "Relationships Matter."http://www.haaretz.com/hasen/spages/1084656.html
At a luncheon event at the Hyatt Hotel across from the convention center, 193 student government association presidents from colleges and universities across the nation, including a fair number of historically African American universities, were treated to a right-wing message of unbridled U.S. support for Israel. Although AIPAC's website states that College Democrats of America were invited to the luncheon in addition to the College Republican National Committee, the AIPAC message was clearly conservative in nature. One student, upon leaving the luncheon, said to his colleagues that he was encouraged by the luncheon's theme of "spreading the conservative message on campus."
For AIPAC, that message is ensuring that campus student organizations toe a pro-Israel line and that all campus initiatives to disinvest in Israel are defeated.
But it is not just America's college students who are being subjected to AIPAC's right-wing propaganda blitzkrieg. This editor overheard a conversation by another AIPAC attendee about continued non-profit funding for a network of summer camps to stress support for Israel and "Jewishness" among the generation following in the footsteps of college students and the generation following that. Clearly understood in the conversation was that the effort was planning for thirty years into the future.
Speakers already featured at AIPAC's policy conference are those who represent a "Who's Who" of Israel's influence peddling in Washington: former CIA director James Woolsey; Washington Institute for Near East Policy (WINEP) executive director Robert Satloff (who replaced Dennis Ross, who now serves as a Middle East policy adviser to Secretary of State Hillary Clinton); and former Coalition Provisional Authority press spokesman Dan Senor of the Council on Foreign Relations (and the husband of CNN's Campbell Brown. At CNN, with the examples of Campbell Brown and John King, it is best under the tutelage of CNN Washington bureau chief and former AIPAC press spokesman Wolf Blitzer to marry Jewish and convert to Judaism or possible run the risk of losing your job).
Also speaking at AIPAC was Representative Jane Harman (D-CA), who was identified by National Security Agency (NSA) "Stellar Wind" wiretaps trying to get an espionage case dropped against former AIPAC officials Steven Rosen and Keith Weissman in exchange for landing the coveted job as Chairman of the House Permanent Select Committee on Intelligence. The espionage case against Rosen and Weissman was dropped by the Obama administration prior to the AIPAC conference. Harman is but one of Israel's and AIPAC's many water carriers in the U.S. Congress.
Hasidics brave the wet weather to protest at the AIPAC conference: they can be counted on to be there every year. They expected more of their collegues to be arriving from New York in time for the May 4 banquet event.
This editor recently spoke briefly to former Representative Paul Findlay (R-IL), who was driven from office by AIPAC money for refusing to bow down to Israel's dictates. Findlay later wrote a book titled, "They Dare to Speak Out" about the power of the Israel Lobby in Washington. A former top U.S. diplomat recently told this editor that at a luncheon, Rosen once told him that AIPAC was so powerful that by the end of the afternoon, Rosen could have seventy signatures of U.S. senators, with no questions asked, on a napkin he was holding up.
AIPAC conference attendees were greeted by this mobile billboard across from one of the conference hotels.
AIPAC insists that it is a private lobbying organization funded through private donations. From the license plates pulling into the convention center and hotels it appears that much of AIPAC's support comes from New York. However, given the presence of Israel's top government, military, diplomatic, parastatal, and intelligence leadership at the AIPAC policy conference, it appears that AIPAC is running afoul of the Foreign Agents Registration Act (FARA) of 1938, which requires lobbying organizations that represent foreign governments to register with the Justice Department.
FARA was originally enacted to combat Nazi German propaganda in the United States. Given AIPAC's indoctrination of college students, and summer camp-age children in their political dogma, it would appear that the Israelis and their American supporters are taking a page right out of the Nazi playbook that resulted in the passage of FARA. But AIPAC claims FARA does not apply to it. However, FARA was enacted when it became apparent that Berlin was funding the German American Bund and two camps for the indoctrination of young people, Camp Nordland in New Jersey and Camp Siegfried in New York. It all sounds very familiar.
ALEXANDRIA, Va. – Federal prosecutors moved Friday to dismiss espionage-related charges against two former pro-Israel lobbyists accused of disclosing classified U.S. defense information, ending a tortuous inside-the-Beltway legal battle rife with national security intrigue.
Critics of the prosecution of Steven Rosen and Keith Weissman of the American Israel Public Affairs Committee accused the federal government of trying to criminalize the sort of back-channel discussions between government officials, lobbyists and reporters that are commonplace in the nation's capital. AIPAC is an influential pro-Israel lobbying group.
Acting U.S. Attorney Dana Boente said the government moved to dismiss the charges in the drawn-out case after concluding that pretrial rulings would make it too difficult for the government to prove its case.
Boente also said he was worried that classified information would be disclosed at trial.
U.S. District Judge T.S. Ellis III had made several legal rulings that prosecutors worried would make it almost impossible to obtain a guilty verdict. Among them was a requirement that the government would have to prove that Rosen and Weissman knew they were harming the United States by trading in sensitive national defense information.
The defense had also been prepared to put on a strong case that the information obtained by Rosen and Weissman, while technically classified, was not truly secret and that its disclosure was irrelevant to the nation's security.
The federal government's former arbiter of classification, J. William Leonard, was prepared to testify for the defense that the government overuses classification and applies the label to information that by any practical measure does not need to be secret. The government had sought to bar Leonard's testimony.
The trial had been scheduled to start June 2 in a case first brought in 2005.
Rosen and Weissman had not been charged with actual espionage, although the charges did fall under provisions of the 1917 Espionage Act, a rarely used World War I-era law that had never before been applied to lobbyists.
Weissman's lawyer, Baruch Weiss, called the dismissal a "huge victory for the First Amendment." Had Rosen and Weissman been convicted, he said it would have set a precedent for prosecuting reporters any time they obtained information from government officials that was later deemed too sensitive to be disclosed.
While Weissman was overjoyed to learn the charges will be dismissed, Weiss said that the four-year prosecution "has been a tremendous hardship for both Rosen and Weissman," who have been unable to work while the charges have hung over their head and they faced the prospect of a lengthy jail term.
A former Defense Department official, Lawrence A. Franklin, previously pleaded guilty to providing Rosen and Weissman classified defense information and was sentenced to more than 12 years in prison.
Had the case gone to trial, Rosen and Weissman had won the right to subpoena former Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice and other top Bush administration officials. The defense believed their testimony would support the claim that the United States regularly uses AIPAC to send back-channel communications to Israel. Prosecutors had sought unsuccessfully to quash the subpoenas.
The indictment had alleged that Rosen and Weissman conspired to obtain and then disclosed classified information on U.S. policy toward Iran, as well as information on the al-Qaida terror network and the bombing of the Khobar Towers dormitory in Saudi Arabia, which killed 19 U.S. Air Force personnel.
It will be up to Ellis to formally dismiss the charges, but it would be highly unlikely that he would refuse the government's request for dismissal.
AIPAC spokesman Patrick Dorton said the organization is "pleased that the Justice Department has dismissed the charges. This is a great day for Steve Rosen, Keith Weissman and their families."
AIPAC fired Rosen and Weissman in April 2005, when they were under investigation but had not yet been charged. Dorton declined to comment on whether AIPAC still thinks Rosen and Weissman acted improperly.
The government's decision also won praise from the American Jewish Committee.
"The Department of Justice has now reaffirmed that the law of the United States protects citizens who engage in the everyday and essential work of political advocacy," said AJC Executive Director David Harris.
Criminal Neo-conservatives up the creek without a paddle? Not necessarily.
The neo-conservatives started out as liberals and socialists in the Democratic Party. They were never really that conservative on economic policy, only belligerent in foreign and defense policies. And in those two latter policy areas, the Democratic Party is still dominated by their close cousins, the liberal Wilsonian interventionists. Although the liberal Wilsonians—such as Hillary Clinton, Richard Holbrooke, and Madeleine Albright—are less unilateralist than the neo-conservatives and are much more in love with international organizations, they share the neo-conservatives’ passion for armed social work and nation-building. Besides, when you’re deep in the wilderness and your horse is dying, you can’t be too concerned with pimples on your new steed. The neo-conservatives will probably eventually realize that the Republican Party is dying, and will seamlessly re-infest the Democratic mother ship to preserve themselves. And again, they will probably severely debilitate their host....