The AIPAC Case and Prejudice

[Washington Post] Gary Wasserman - The conspiracy case against two former AIPAC lobbyists came to an inglorious end in May when the government dropped all charges after 3 1/2 years of pre-trial maneuvers. The lobbyists were targets of a bizarre sting in which they were fed false information suggesting that the lives of U.S. and Israeli operatives in Iraq were at risk. The accusation was not that they brokered this information to some foreign enemy but that they offered it to everybody they could, hoping that it might save U.S. lives. In short, even if the two were guilty as charged, they look more like whistle-blowers than spies. But the most curious element of the case is why it was ever brought. Why set up a sting unless you believe there's some underlying pattern of wrongdoing to be exposed? Larry Franklin, the former Pentagon analyst who leaked the bogus tip to the lobbyists, told the Washington Times last month that investigators "asked about every Jew I knew" in his office. Anti-Semitism was "part of this investigation and may have been an initial incitement of this investigation." After years and millions of dollars spent investigating the nefarious "Israel Lobby," the case produced no stolen secrets, no money changing hands, no covert meetings, no high-level, dual-loyal officials, no harm to the national interest and no spies. The writer is a professor of government at the Georgetown University School of Foreign Service in Qatar.

2009-08-10 06:00:00

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