AIPAC, the American Israel Public Affairs Committee, is the most powerful lobbying organization in Washington DC, one that is feared by every politician. AIPAC is also the greatest obstacle to peace in the Middle East. But now, AIPAC is in legal trouble, and embroiled in a $20 million lawsuit brought by Steve Rosen, a former member of its own top staff .
The whole brouhaha started in 2005, when AIPAC was caught red-handed illegally passing classified information to Israel, information which AIPAC had obtained from Congress and/or the Pentagon. Isn't it interesting that when Wikileaks releases classified information, the Pentagon and the White House scream bloody murder, but when the Israel Lobby releases classified information, the politicians, generals, and even the media are very quiet about it?
Two top officers of AIPAC, including Steve Rosen, who was then the number two man in the organization, were charged under the Espionage Act. But AIPAC brought influence to bear behind the scenes, AIPAC's tame congressmen started breathing fire at the Justice Department, and last year the charges against both men were dropped. Back in 2005, apparently as part of some back-room deal, Rosen was fired from his position at AIPAC.
Now AIPAC is fighting back viciously, attempting to deflect criticism from itself by smearing Rosen personally. Their lawyers are going for the usual dirt, "viewing pornography on company computers", etc, (as though that were any rarity in corporate America today).
Ah, but Rosen is fighting back by claiming that "they all did it", another brilliant stroke, sir, and quite an original defense.
The clincher is that Rosen claims to have documents proving that the whole upper management team at AIPAC knew exactly what he was doing when he and Keith Weissman (the other defendant) passed classified information to Israeli intelligence.
There is, my friends, a word for this. The word is schadenfreude, the malicious enjoyment one feels when observing the misfortunes of one's rivals or enemies.
With AIPAC distracted by the dirty consequences of its own slimy misdeeds, perhaps the so-called "Peace Talks" now (sort of) underway might actually have some slim chance of success. Let us earnestly hope and pray that this is so.
Original story at Washington Post here
Original story at AJE here