Tuesday, October 24, 2006

death of the lobby

* atrios:
"Supporting this war wasn't just about supporting the war, but "supporting the supporters" who, by the time the bombs dropped at least, had clearly demonstrated that they were very bad people who were not acting in good faith."

* raimondo:
"Yet I have to wonder: is there really anyone who believes that occupations aren't brutal? We have at least some evidence that they knew it and gloried in it. The Ledeen Doctrine has its adherents. But this alone doesn't adequately answer the question of why – if it wasn't those "weapons of mass destruction," or Saddam's fabled "links" to al-Qaeda, or even the prospect of a drone attack on Passaic, New Jersey, as the president once implied, then what was it? Why did we ignore the best advice of our generals and the lessons of history to embark on a crusade that couldn't ever have been anything other than futile? Amid widespread bafflement, there are few plausible theories.
What Gen. William E. Odom calls the "biggest military disaster in United States history" was indeed an inside job, one carried out at the highest levels of American policymaking in spite of the alarm bells that were going off in the national security and intelligence apparatus. It was a good job of breaking and entering, a burglary of world-historic significance, in which American foreign policy was hijacked. In effect, a political coup took place right under our noses."

* raimondo:
"Now we learn that none other than Rep. Jane Harman (D-Calif.), a Democratic hawk who is the highest-ranking Democrat on the House Intelligence Committee, is under investigation as part of the AIPAC spy probe. One of her aides has already been suspended by the head of the House committee for reportedly leaking the National Intelligence Estimate on Iraq to the New York Times just in time for the election. However, the question raised by the Harman-AIPAC story is, who else did her office leak classified information to, and for what purpose?

The second part of that question is at least partially answered by the Time magazine story on the Harman investigation: with House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi looking to replace Harman on the committee, the hawkish Democrat undertook a campaign that enlisted AIPAC and such pro-Israel heavyweights as Haim Saban, who weighed in with a phone call urging Harman's retention. It isn't clear from the Time story exactly what the FBI's interest in all this is: on the surface, it seems like an ordinary lobbying effort. Yet if AIPAC is seen as an instrument of Israel's covert activities in the U.S., including gathering classified information, then it isn't hard to imagine under what circumstances someone in Harman's office managed to persuade AIPAC to go to bat for the congresswoman. A simple trade: classified intelligence for political support.

AIPAC's defenders have alleged that the prosecution of Rosen and Weissman amounts to "persecution," that the two were just exercising their First Amendment rights. Oh, they say, "everybody does it" – and therefore passing classified U.S. government memos around as if they were baseball cards ought not be prosecuted. With the revelations of the Harman investigation, what "everyone" is doing, with AIPAC's assistance, is beginning to crystallize. And it isn't pretty. If "everybody" does it, then "everybody" deserves a stiff jail term.

The Lobby isn't just in the business of peddling a glorified, largely fictional portrait of Israel as America's valiant little "democratic" ally, which deserves unconditional support as it tyrannizes its Palestinian helots and rampages through Lebanon and occupied Palestine. It is clearly also performing another service for the state of Israel, namely espionage. Before the AIPAC investigation is through, it could cut a wide swath through the world of Washington politics, ensnaring members of both parties and exposing the true extent of Israel's fifth column in America.

I have to add that this new revelation, like the initial exposure of the AIPAC investigation, looks to me like a preemptive leak, a "controlled burn," undertaken to obstruct the investigation and give the guilty some opportunity to cover their tracks. These guys are professionals, and they're resisting exposure every inch of the way. However, it looks to me like we haven't heard the last of the Harman-AIPAC-espionage connection, and there's lots more to come."
death of the lobby


noise said...

AIPAC fits into this puzzle for sure. IMO, Israel does not dictate US foreign policy.

Raimondo is fixated on Israel. No mention of Big Oil, Halliburton, Bechtel. No mention of the Iraq occupation destabilizing the region, thus potentially putting Israel at greater risk.

The Mossad is alleged to be one of the best intelligence agencies in the world. Yet, we are supposed to believe some Mossad agents were caught videotaping the attacks on the WTC towers and celebrating.

Do bankrobbers sit outside the bank and eat a sandwich before making their getaway?

This account doesn't make sense.

lukery said...

i think it's a mistake to conflate israel and AIPAC. There is a criminal conspiracy that has white-anted AIPAC - AIPAC is basically just a vehicle that they use - just as they use the ATC.

starroute said...

noise -- bank robbers actually are notoriously dumb.

For example, I was once privileged to witness the arrest of one known locally as the Motorcycle Bandit. It seems his motorcycle was in the shop for repairs that week, so after robbing the bank he hung around in the parking lot of the adjacent Dunkin' Donuts, wating for the bus, until the police showed up. Dumb, dumb, dumb.

There was another local case, though I only read about that one in the paper, where a couple of bank robbers went into a restaurant in the same shopping center as the bank they'd just robbed and were still there eating when the cops arrived.

Presumably Mossad is better than that -- but you never know. The suggestion I've seen is that a lot of young Israelis finish off their period of national service with some Mossad work in the US, and t a lot of the more bizarre stories we see involving cheap paintings or white vans are their doing. Not all Israeli spies are necessarily highly-trained professionals.

lukery said...

starroute - that's funny.