Sunday, November 21, 2010
Aren't you glad Israel is our closest ally?
Ex-AIPAC official threatens to uncover mass spying at Israel lobby
A former foreign policy chief for the largest Israeli lobby in the US is threatening to provide evidence members of the organization regularly traffic in classified US government information.
The claim comes in the midst of an increasingly ugly lawsuit in which parties have alleged or admitted to mass viewing of pornography among senior staffers at AIPAC as well as extra-marital affairs.
Steve Rosen, who was in charge of foreign policy issues at AIPAC until 2005, is suing his former employer for $20 million, alleging that AIPAC defamed him when they fired him. Rosen and colleague Keith Weissman were charged in 2004 with espionage for allegedly pressuring a Washington Post reporter into running classified US government information they had obtained about Iran. The charges were dropped last year, evidently due to lack of evidence.
But AIPAC fired Rosen years before the charges were dropped, on the grounds that Rosen's "conduct did not comport with what AIPAC would expect of its employees."
But Rosen disputes this, and his lawsuit aims to prove that what he allegedly did was standard practice at AIPAC. The Washington Post's Jeff Stein reports:
Rosen says his actions were common practice at the organization. He said his next move is to show that AIPAC, Washington’s major pro-Israeli lobbying group by far, regularly traffics in sensitive U.S. government information, especially material related to the Middle East.
“I will introduce documentary evidence that AIPAC approved of the receipt of classified information,” he said by e-mail. “Most instances of actual receipt are hard to document, because orally received information rarely comes with classified stamps on it nor records alerts that the information is classified.”
But Rosen said he would produce “statements of AIPAC employees to the FBI, internal documents, deposition statements, public statements and other evidence showing that [the] receipt of classified information by employees other than [himself] ... was condoned … for months prior to being condemned in March 2005 after threats from the prosecutors.”
"Unfortunately for AIPAC, Rosen has 180 documents which could prove that Howard Kohr, AIPAC's executive director, and probably the AIPAC board as well, knew exactly what Rosen was doing," reports M.J. Rosenberg at Al-Jazeera.