Dual Loyalties

My opinion on the people who shape our world

Friday, September 10, 2004

Herald.com | 09/08/2004 | Are any U.S. spies sharing sensitive information with Israel?

Herald.com | 09/08/2004 | Are any U.S. spies sharing sensitive information with Israel?: "Are any U.S. spies sharing sensitive information with Israel?



In 1987, Jonathan Pollard, a U.S. Navy intelligence analyst, was imprisoned for life for selling a roomful of U.S. secret documents to Israel. Tel Aviv refused to return them. At the Clinton-Netanyahu summit at Wye River, Pollard became a subject of contention.

Then-Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu wanted to fly the American traitor back to Israel, where he is a hero. Clinton balked. CIA's George Tenet would resign, Clinton told Netanyahu, if he pardoned Pollard.

This history is recalled for a reason. Washington today is rife with reports that the FBI has been investigating whether or not a nest of Pollardites inside the Pentagon has been funneling secrets, through the Israeli lobby AIPAC, to the Reno Road embassy and on to Prime Minister Ariel Sharon.

Suspected mole Larry Franklin, a Pentagon Iranian analyst, was reportedly sighted trying to hand over to an AIPAC official a draft copy of a National Security Presidential Directive on Iran. With the mullahs apparently pursuing atomic bombs, Israel wants the United States to attack, denuclearize and bring down its No. 1 enemy, the regime in Tehran.

Franklin popped up on FBI radar when he joined a breakfast meeting between an AIPAC man and an Israeli diplomat. AIPAC had been under FBI surveillance for more than two years as a probable conduit to Israel of the fruits of espionage against the United States.

Franklin, a devout Catholic and hawk on Iran, is now said to be cooperating with the FBI. His boss, William Luti, is the deputy to the Pentagon's No. 3, Douglas Feith, who has close ties to the Likud Party.

According to The Washington Post, the FBI is now interviewing current and former officials from Dick Cheney's office and the Pentagon as to whether Feith, Richard Perle, David Wurmser and Paul Wolfowitz might have leaked U.S. security secrets to Israel, AIPAC or Ahmed Chalabi.

Chalabi, once the Pentagon's candidate to succeed Saddam Hussein, has lately fallen from favor. Reportedly, he was caught telling Iran's intelligence station chief in Baghdad that friends in the Pentagon informed him that they had broken Iran's code and were listening in on Iran's secret communications between Baghdad and Tehran .

AIPAC and the Israelis deny any spying. Cooperation between the Bush and Sharon governments is so close, they insist, that there is no need to commit espionage or thieve U.S. documents. Perhaps, but the men about whom the FBI is inquiring have old, deep and questionable ties to Israel and Sharon's Likud Party.

• In 1970, Perle was picked up on an FBI wiretap discussing NSC secrets with the Israeli Embassy. In 1981, as assistant secretary of defense, Perle got a top-secret security clearance for his chosen deputy Stephen Bryen, who is said to have narrowly eluded indictment for offering top-secret documents to Mossad's man in Washington.

• In 1982, Feith was the object of an inquiry as to whether he had given secret documents to the Israeli Embassy. Fired from the National Security Council, he was hired by Perle. Feith left the Pentagon in 1986 to form a law firm -- in Israel. Hired by Donald Rumsfeld in 2001, Feith set up the Office of Special Plans, which cherry-picked the intelligence to the White House that turned out to be false but facilitated the war on Iraq.

• In 1996, Perle, Feith and Wurmser co-authored a paper for Netanyahu calling for ditching Oslo, reoccupying the West Bank and overthrowing Hussein as ``an important Israeli strategic objective.''

• In 1998, Wolfowitz and Perle signed an open letter from the neoconservative front group PNAC to President Bill Clinton, urging him to ditch diplomacy and wage war on Iraq and pledging their full support.

• On Jan. 1, 2001, eight months before 9/11, Wurmser, at AEI, called for joint U.S.-Israeli air strikes on Iraq, Iran, Syria and Libya.

• According to White House anti-terror chief Richard Clarke, in April 2001 Wolfowitz wanted Osama bin Laden put on a back burner and for us to go after Iraq. In the first hours after 9/11, according to Bob Woodward and Clarke, Wolfowitz wanted Iraq, not Afghanistan, invaded. For his role in steering us into war, Wolfowitz was named Man of the Year -- by The Jerusalem Post.

In my new book, Where the Right Went Wrong, there is a line that now appears prophetic: ``America needs a Middle East policy made in the USA, not in Tel Aviv, or at AIPAC or AEI.''

Having promised him a cakewalk to Baghdad and a rose garden thereafter, neoconservatives misled President Bush. He should have fired the lot of them. Having failed to do so, he ought, in his own interests as well as our nation's, name Patrick ''Bulldog'' Fitzgerald, now heading up the investigation into the Valerie Plame leak, to head up the investigation of Israeli espionage against the United States.

If there has been a recurrence of Pollardism at the Pentagon, we need to know, and Bush needs to act, as Harry Truman did not with Alger Hiss and Harry Dexter White."


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