LOBBYISTS FOR ISRAEL CHARGED WITH SPYING
Read the Wasington Times account, then read the report from Doug Ireland. All of this is courtesy of Undernews--Pete
JERRY SEPER, WASHINGTON TIMES - Two former employees of a pro-Israel lobbying group were indicted yesterday by a federal grand jury in Virginia on charges of illegally receiving and disclosing classified U.S. defense information they obtained from a veteran Pentagon analyst -- who was arrested in May on charges of leaking secret documents. Steven J. Rosen, of Silver Spring, a 63-year-old former director of foreign policy issues for the American Israel Public Affairs Committee, and Keith Weissman, of Bethesda, a 53-year-old former senior Iran analyst at the organization, were accused of receiving national defense information and giving it to unauthorized persons, including an agent of a foreign government. The analyst, Lawrence A. Franklin, 58, of Kearneysville, W. Va., was arrested by the FBI on charges of illegally disclosing classified information -- nearly two years after he first was
identified as suspected of having passed national security documents involving Iran to AIPAC. Mr. Franklin, who has pleaded not guilty in the case, has been a Defense Department employee since 1979 and held a "top secret" security clearance. . .
The indictment said Mr. Rosen and Mr. Weissman, in an effort to "influence persons within and outside the United States," cultivated relationships with Mr. Franklin and others "to gather sensitive U.S. government information, including classified information relating to the national defense." . . . The surveillance is thought to have targeted Naor Gilon, a political adviser at the Israeli Embassy in the District.
DOUG IRELAND: PLAN INVOLVED ISRAELI ATTACK ON IRAN
DOUG IRELAND, DIRELAND - Here's what the stories in today's Washington Post and New York Times on the new indictments of the two AIPAC spies aren't telling you: their espionage was principally about helping to prepare an attack by Israel on Iran. And one of the Israeli embassy officials who knows all about AIPAC's role in helping plan the attack on Iran has been whisked out of the country and out of the reach of U.S. prosecutors, the Israeli daily Ha'aretz reports this morning.
The neo-cons in the Pentagon had long been arguing for an attack on Iran to take out its nuclear facilities that had the potential to be converted for development of nuclear weapons. Wolfie's man Doug Feith had been particularly assiduous in pressing the case for a "forward strategy" against Iran. Feith's views are madly extremist. . .
When, for purely electoral reasons with the Iraq occupation going so disastrously, the White House decided against a direct attack by the U.S. on Iran, the neo-cons went to Plan B -- an attack on Iran by proxy, from Israel. The principal classified documents leaked to Israel through AIPAC -- the leaks that that began the investigation of the AIPAC spy ring, which has been going on now for over a year -- concerned Iran. They were leaked by Feith's deputy, Larry Franklin, also now under a five-count indictment for spying.
The plan for an Israeli attack on Iran has been long envisioned -- both in Washington and by Sharon's government -- but this attack is now in a highy advanced state of planning and could come as quickly as Sharon snaps his fingers to order it. Back on March 13, the London Times -- in a report that was largely ignored in the U.S. -- reported that: "The inner cabinet of Ariel Sharon, the Israeli prime minister, gave 'initial authorization' for an attack at a private meeting last month on his ranch in the Negev desert,"
The London Times went on to describe how "Israeli forces have used a mock-up of Iran’s Natanz uranium enrichment plant in the desert to practise destroying it. Their tactics include raids by Israel’s elite Shaldag (Kingfisher) commando unit and airstrikes by F-15 jets from 69 Squadron, using bunker-busting bombs to penetrate underground facilities. The plans have been discussed with American officials who are said to have indicated provisionally that they would not stand in Israel’s way if all international efforts to halt Iranian nuclear projects failed...." And, the Times added, "US officials warned last week that a military strike on Iranian nuclear facilities by Israeli or American forces had not been ruled out should the issue become deadlocked at the United Nations."
Just a few weeks before that revelation of the concretization of Israeli plans for the Iran attack, Bush let the cat out of the bag in an off-the-cuff remark captured by London's Daily Telegraph, in a February 18 article headlined, "AMERICA WOULD BACK ISRAEL ATTACK ON IRAN." The Telegraph reported that Bush said: "Clearly, if I was the leader of Israel and I'd listened to some of the statements by the Iranian ayatollahs that regarded the security of my country, I'd be concerned about Iran having a nuclear weapon as well. And in that Israel is our ally, and in that we've made a very strong commitment to support Israel, we will support Israel if her security is threatened."