Dual Loyalties

My opinion on the people who shape our world

Thursday, May 19, 2005

Jerusalem Post Condoleezza Rice Was Source of AIPAC Spy Scandal Investigation

Jerusalem Post | Breaking News from Israel, the Middle East and the Jewish World: "May. 19, 2005 3:25 | Updated May. 19, 2005 13:35
Probe of former AIPAC staffers centers around Iraq

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Just as prosecuting a journalist for mining a source for classified information could chill reporting, prosecuting Rosen and Weissman could crimp lobbyists and advocates for Jewish organizations and others.

The coin of a successful lobbyist is inside information, and Rosen's success in his 23 years at AIPAC was his vast array of contacts, valued by AIPAC board members, members of Congress and officials in four administrations.

Many Jewish organizational leaders meet routinely with Israeli officials and relay information they might not even know is classified.

Indeed, it may be less the quality of the information Rosen and Weissman gathered and more their closeness with power that drew the FBI's attention. Sources close to the case say the evidence suggests that the FBI targeted Rosen starting in early September 2001, when The New York Times reported that President Bush was contemplating a meeting with the late Palestinian Authority president, Yasser Arafat.

Condoleezza Rice, then Bush's national security adviser, was furious at the leak and demanded a clampdown on leakers. The administration's determination to keep its deliberations secret intensified after the terrorist attacks days later on New York and Washington.

That, say sources, drew investigators to Rosen, who in the early 1980s had transformed AIPAC from primarily a congressional lobby to one that excelled in access to the executive branch.

AIPAC has returned to its congressional roots since the case broke, sources say, but supporters worry that its effectiveness in lobbying any branch of government could be impaired if the case goes to trial."


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