Dual Loyalties

My opinion on the people who shape our world

Tuesday, January 04, 2005

Scandal Grows: AIPAC Wolfowitz, Perle, Feith Spy Ring Replaced Jonathan Pollard

AIPAC Comes Under Scrutiny as FBI Continues Israel Espionage Probe: "AIPAC Comes Under Scrutiny as FBI Continues Israel Espionage Probe
By Allan C. Brownfeld
It has been widely reported that the FBI is investigating the possibility that Lawrence Franklin, a Pentagon analyst, passed classified material to the American Israel Public Affairs Committee (AIPAC), which then handed the information over to the Israeli Embassy in Washington (see November 2004 Washington Report, p. 26).

Reported the Sept. 4 Economist: “The unfolding saga surrounding Lawrence Franklin is...that he gave classified documents on Iran to Israel. But there is growing speculation that the FBI investigation of Mr. Franklin is the tip of an iceberg. The reported anger of federal agents at the leaking of the story indicates a bigger probe that may have been under way for at least a year...Mr. Franklin allegedly passed draft documents on American policy toward Iran to AIPAC, a hugely influential lobbying group in Washington, which in turn allegedly passed them to Israeli officials. Both AIPAC and Israel have denied any wrongdoing. The Israelis maintain that they have been ultra-careful since the huge embarrassment in l985 when Jonathan Pollard, an American intelligence analyst, was caught spying for Israel...The scandal is difficult for Israel, which wields considerable influence on American foreign policy...It is hard to put a positive spin on a spy in the Pentagon, even if he is talking to your friends.”

Janes Intelligence Digest noted on Sept. 10 that, “Shortly before he retired in June as CIA director, George Tenet alleged on more than one occasion that an Israeli agent was operating in Washington. Tenet was challenged to identify the agent, but for reasons that were never explained he did not do so. Nonetheless, the episode underlined growing unease in some quarters in Washington about the influence Israel’s right wing has in the Bush administration through the pro-Likud neoconservatives—largely in the Pentagon—and the powerful American Israel Public Affairs Committee (AIPAC) and its associated organizations such as the Washington Institute for Near East Policy.”

The document alleged to have been passed to AIPAC and the Israelis relates to U.S. policy toward Iran. According to Jane’s, “U.S. officials are concerned because that document was being debated by policymakers at the time, possibly putting the Israeli government lobbyists in a position to influence the final directive. U.S. policy toward Iran is crucial to the Israelis, who have drawn up plans to launch pre-emptive strikes against Iran’s nuclear installations to prevent the Islamic Republic acquiring nuclear weapons that could be used against Israel.”

Four of the leading neoconservatives have been accused in the past of illegally providing classified information to Israel.
Philip Giraldi, a former CIA officer, wrote in the Oct. 11 issue of The American Conservative that, “The Franklin case stems from investigations of Israeli diplomats that developed from the prosecution of spy Jonathan Pollard. Pollard’s conviction in l987 provided little in the way of a resolution: the Israeli government never cooperated in the inquiry and did not provide an inventory of the documents that Pollard had stolen. The FBI also knew that a second spy, believed to be in the Pentagon, passed Pollard classified file numbers that were desired by the Israelis. Hoping to catch the second spy, the FBI continued its probe. Two years ago, the investigators began to suspect that highly sensitive National Security Agency documents were winding up in Israeli hands, possibly with the connivance of AIPAC. In the judgment of counterintelligence specialists, the Israelis did not wish a repeat of the Pollard case, so they decided against recruiting another U.S. official and turning him into a salaried spy. Instead, they opted to establish relationships with friends in the government who would voluntarily provide information...AIPAC would have served as a useful intermediary or ‘cut out’ in such an arrangement, limiting the contact between the American government official and the Israeli Embassy.”

Four of the leading neoconservatives have been accused in the past of illegally providing classified information to Israel, though none was ever prosecuted. In l970, the FBI recorded Richard Perle discussing classified information with an Israeli Embassy official. Stephen Bryen, then a Senate Foreign Relations Committee staff member and later Perle’s deputy at the Department of Defense, narrowly avoided indictment in l979 after he was overheard offering classified documents to an Israeli Embassy official. Douglas Feith, who in a position paper prepared for Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu called for a “clean break from the peace process,” was fired in l982 from the National Security Council on suspicion of passing confidential documents to the Israeli Embassy. He was immediately re-hired by Richard Perle at the Pentagon. Paul Wolfowitz was investigated in l978 over charges that he had provided a classified document to the Israeli Embassy by way of AIPAC.

While AIPAC has long been viewed as one of Washington’s most effective lobbying groups, it has become increasingly controversial, both within the Jewish community and in the larger society. Many have objected to its close ties to the Likud Party. In one widely publicized exchange, Israeli Prime Minister Yitzhak Rabin asked AIPAC to concentrate on lobbying Congress and leave policymaking and the White House alone.

The current affair, wrote Ori Nir in the Sept. 3 Forward, “has cast light on the fine line that AIPAC walks between advocating a strong American-Israeli alliance and as acting as the representative of a foreign government. Both activities are legal, but serving a foreign government requires registration with the Department of Justice and entails severe legal restrictions, not applied to pro-Israel groups, including AIPAC.…AIPAC enjoys the support, admiration and even awe of Jewish organizational officials, many of whom raced to AIPAC’s defense. Still, some pro-Israel activists in Washington are privately suggesting that the current scandal provides AIPAC with a chance, in the words of one communal official, for ‘some soul-searching and reappraisal’ regarding its general modes of operation.”

According to Nir, “Critics also have accused AIPAC of adopting an agenda that too clearly mirrors the hawkish agenda of neoconservatives in the Bush administration, thereby fueling conspiratorial notions that President Bush was duped into invading Iraq in order to advance Israeli interests. Now, critics say, with its increasing focus on Iran, AIPAC risks fueling the claims of those who would accuse the Jewish community of working with Washington neoconservatives to convince the White House to pursue regime change in Tehran.”

Several Jewish communal leaders complain that AIPAC officials have not done enough to maintain a clear wall between the lobbying group and Israel. AIPAC officials have left the organization to serve in the Israeli government. Lenny Ben-David, formerly known as Leonard Davis, for example, worked at AIPAC for 25 years—first in Washington, then in Jerusalem—before he was tapped by Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu in l998 to be the deputy chief of mission in Israel’s Washington Embassy.

AIPAC and some of its supporters have suggested that the FBI and the CIA are pursuing a vendetta against Israel, the Pentagon, neoconservatives, and possibly Jews in general. The neoconservatives have lashed out in a memo drafted by Michael Rubin of the American Enterprise Institute, alleging that the probe is motivated by anti-Semitism. The memo criticizes the White House for not refuting press reports on the FBI investigation. “If there is any truth to any of the accusations, why doesn’t the White House demand that they bring on the evidence? On the record,” the memo stated. “There’s an increasing anti-Semitic witch hunt.”

Continued Rubin, a former member of the Pentagon’s policy planning staff who dealt with Iran policy: “I feel like I’m in Paris, not Washington. I’m disappointed at the lack of leadership that let things get where they are, and which is allowing these bureaucrats to spin out of control.”

The role played by AIPAC has produced some soul-searching within the organized Jewish community. “Several Jewish activists, speaking on condition of anonymity, cautioned against what they described as a defiant reaction on the part of some communal leaders who raised the specter of anti-Semitic conspiracy,” the Sept. 10 Forward reported. “‘If every single time we get into trouble we cry anti-Semitism, no one is going to believe us when we confront the real problem of anti-Semitism,’ a senior official of a Jewish organization said. Another organizational official said: ‘It’s ridiculous to react like that before you know what happened there. In the absence of accurate knowledge, any comment is just silly.’”

The fallout for AIPAC, wrote Doug Bloomfield in the Sept. 9 Washington Jewish Week, could be serious: “There have been persistent charges...that AIPAC directs the network of pro-Israel political action committees (PACs), campaign finance bundlers and individual contributors. AIPAC has successfully fought such accusations all the way to the Supreme Court to avoid being designated a PAC because of the impact that would have on the way it operates and raises money. The current probe could renew calls from the organization’s critics for new investigations by the Federal Elections Commission (FEC) and demands to know what has been uncovered by the FBI...There will be questions about AIPAC’s operations and internal accountability. A penchant for hubris and institutional mindset of secrecy—reflected in its hostile and contentious relationship with the media—add to the suspicion that there is something to hide...”

Shortsighted Strategies
The problems facing AIPAC come not only from its enemies, argued the Sept. 3 Forward, but also are “partly a result of shortsighted strategic decisions by Israel’s advocates. Faced with a shifting landscape, they have gambled on a risky strategy that may be blowing up in their faces. For years, Israel’s friends in this country have operated on the principle that Israel could not be held responsible for its troubles. They have maintained that whatever Israel’s mistakes, Palestinian hostility could not be blamed on Israel’s policies. More recently, they’ve broadened the principle to insist that Arab and Muslim hostility to the U.S. cannot be blamed on its support for Israel. Both positions are becoming hard to maintain. Growing numbers of Israelis, up to and including the military chief of staff, are openly acknowledging that Israeli actions can raise and lower the level of Palestinian rage and violence. As for the global terror war, the idea that it is related in part to America’s relationship to Israel is now thoroughly mainstream. You can read it in the report of the 9/ll Commission...As the urgency of discussion grows, resentment seems to mount against those who declare the discussion illegitimate. It’s a dangerous position to be in.”

AIPAC’s role has been controversial for many years. In l995, Jonathan Mitchell, regional vice president for Southern California AIPAC, chastised a senior Israeli official for arguing that Congress and American Jews should not concern themselves with Palestinian behavior. Mitchell called Deputy Israeli Foreign Minister Yossi Beilin “absurd and arrogant” for comments he made in Jerusalem at a meeting with the Conference of Presidents of Major American Jewish Organizations. Beilin countered by accusing Mitchell of “trying to be more Israeli than the Israelis.” Beilin was critical of those who urged an end to aid to the PLO, and said, “It is not the business of Jewish organizations, not AIPAC’s, not the American Jewish Congress’ and not of any other country in the world except the State of Israel. The kind of people who are trying to be more Israeli than the Israelis themselves are causing damage to the pure national interests of the State of Israel.”

In March 2003, about 5,000 AIPAC activists met in Washington and embarked upon a lobbying blitz against the Bush administration’s “road map” for Middle East peace. AIPAC was not happy with speeches at its meeting by National Security Adviser Condoleezza Rice and Secretary of State Colin Powell declaring that Israel must freeze settlement activity in the territories once the Palestinian Authority takes serious steps to curb terrorism. “Settlement activity is simply inconsistent with President Bush’s two-state vision,” Powell said, drawing jeers from some AIPAC members.

A number of Jewish leaders spoke in support of the Middle East peace plan and in criticism of AIPAC and other groups who were opposing it. In a letter to Congress, these leaders said they wanted to “express our concern over recent efforts to sidetrack implementation of the ‘road map.’ While the plan is neither perfect nor a panacea, as passionate supporters of Israel, we also know that the Jewish state needs this kind of energetic American diplomacy.”

Among those signing this statement were Edgar M. Bronfman, president of the World Jewish Congress, and current past presidents of the national United Jewish Appeal and its successor the United Jewish Communities, including Stanley Chesley, Lester Crown, Irwin Field, Alex Grass, Marvin Lender, Peggy Tishman and Larry Zucklin.

Henry Siegman, once a leader in the American Jewish Congress and now a senior fellow at the Council on Foreign Relations, charges that many American Jewish organizations, such as AIPAC, have substituted blind support for Israel for the traditional Jewish search for truth and justice.

“We have lost much in American Jewish organizational life,” Siegman says. “I was a student and admirer of Rabbi Abraham Heschel. I read his books. We were friends. We marched together in the South during the civil rights movement. He helped me understand the prophetic passion for truth and justice as the keystone of Judaism. This is not, however, an understanding that now animates the American Jewish community...American Jewish organizations confuse support for the State of Israel and its people with uncritical endorsement of the actions of Israeli governments, even when these governments do things that in an American context these Jewish organizations would never tolerate. It was inconceivable that a Jewish leader in America 20 or 30 years ago would be silent if a political party in the Israeli government called for the transfer of Palestinians—in other words, ethnic cleansing. Today, there are at least three such parties, but there has never been a word of criticism from American Jewish organizations.”

The fact that many Jewish groups and leaders are rushing to AIPAC’s defense before all of the facts are known is hardly unexpected. These same groups have campaigned for many years on behalf of convicted spy Jonathan Pollard, whose guilt is well known—and was admitted.

While AIPAC’s guilt or innocence in this particular case remains to be seen, the probe is moving forward. A federal grand jury is expected to begin interviewing people in connection to the investigation. What we do know is that AIPAC has used its considerable influence to shape U.S. foreign policy in a manner that appears to have been harmful to long-term U.S. interests in the Middle East and harmful, as well, to prospects for peace between Israel and the Palestinians.

Whether AIPAC is guilty of espionage or not, it must bear responsibility for advancing a narrow agenda which may be pleasing to Israel’s right wing, but which misrepresents the views of both the majority of Israelis and the majority of American Jews. American Jewish groups would be wise to wait until all the facts are in before rising to AIPAC’s defense—something they seem reluctant to do. The evidence that AIPAC is not worthy of such support is widespread—and growing.

Allan C. Brownfeld is a syndicated columnist and associate editor of the Lincoln Review, a journal published by the Lincoln Institute for Research and Education, and editor of Issues, the quarterly journal of the American Council for Judaism.
"

Middle East "War": How Did It Come to This?

Our Jerusalem.com - Opinion: "Middle East "War": How Did It Come to This?

By David Wurmser AEI

America’s and Israel’s mistakes in dealing with tyrannical societies in the Middle East have led the entire region to the brink of disaster. To reverse that, the two countries should adopt a coordinated strategy to fatally strike the centers of radicalism in the region.

The unthinkable has happened: a "war" in the Middle East. While it is still a war of attrition along the seam lines dividing Israeli and Palestinian areas of control, it is the first sign of a broad strategic collapse of the United States’s regional position. Both the United States and Israel have misstepped on key policy issues over the past decade. America’s failures on Iraq and Iran have combined with the ill-conceived Arab-Israeli "peace" process to trigger a torrent of anti-American and anti-Israeli rage unprecedented in its breadth and danger in over forty years.

The eruption of violence in autumn 2000 on the Palestinian issue is only the local expression of a regional threat caused ultimately by the combined collapse of America’s regional and Israel’s local standing. The crisis will prove to be a decisive moment in Middle East history. The local upheaval threatens to engulf the entire area in a larger conflagration. To correct this problem, America’s and Israel’s responses must be regional, not local.

Few anti-American outbursts or Arab-Israeli confrontations initially have much to do with Israel’s or America’s behavior; they have more to do with what these two countries are: free societies. These upheavals originate in the conditions of Arab politics, specifically in the requirements of tyrannies to seek external conflict to sustain internal repression. America’s and Israel’s traditionally most violent opponents, such as the PLO, Iraq, Iran, Libya, and Yemen, are such tyrannies. A regime built on opposition to freedom will view free nations, such as the United States and Israel, as mortal threats.

Arab politics is mostly about power and survival—for leaders, families, tribes, sects, ethnic groups, and factions. The strong know they must preserve or increase their strength to defend from constant assault. The weak know they must carefully gauge who is likely to be the winner, take sides, and pray they judged well.

For the worst regional despots, survival demands hostility toward Israel. A wily despot knows that only in war can he enslave and prey upon his own nation and call it "mobilization for a cause." He renames his failures of governance as virtues: Poverty is a "sacrifice," suppression of free speech is a "defense against seditious agents," banning public criticism of the dictator is "protecting a general from treasonous attacks in the heat of battle." At times, radical Arab leaders foster rage against Israel, or even attack it to divert attention from an impending or recent defeat, either in their domestic politics or at the hands of other Arab states. Sometimes, radical Arab leaders will lay a trap for their more moderate neighbors. Heightened conflict with Israel can destabilize and shove a moderate, ill-prepared Arab nation—such as Jordan—into a vise. In the 1967 war, Egypt, which was reeling from its humiliating lack of success in the Yemen war, sought to destabilize Jordan by entangling it in war with Israel.

By the early 1990s, this staple of regime survival for the most radical Arab despots—the hatred of Israel and America—became poisonous. Until the 1980s, Israel defeated armies but did not destabilize its enemies politically. Five times—in 1948, 1956, 1967, 1970, and 1973—Israel left Arab armies smoldering and devastated. Yet, Israel never attached a coherent political concept to war and to the power or influence its victory purchased. These victories instead only led to a series of decade-long truces, no more. But in its sixth war in 1982, Israel departed from its previous policy. It moved to destroy, rather than just damage, the PLO. The result was to exile and isolate Arafat in Tunis, where he found that the PLO had lost its capacity to affect events.

Surrendering Victory

The 1980s saw America revert to its earlier practice of ensuring that an attempt to tangle with the United States proves suicidal. True, for one brief moment, radical Arab nationalists, such as the PLO, clung to a hope given them by Iraq’s Saddam Hussein. But by 1991, the Iraqi hope lay ruined. The Soviet Union had vaporized. Around the globe, all—including Arabs—paid close attention to American ideas now that the American-led coalition emerged so decisively victorious over Iraq.

War is a political act; it serves political aims. By the early 1990s, America’s and Israel’s victories in war began to change the tide and alter the tone of Arab politics. The victory of these two free nations over their despotic foes implicitly discredited the ideas that these tyrants invoked to justify their repression, and so induced their peoples to respect the power of freedom. Privately, Arabs whispered that Israel’s free society, like America’s, was its source of strength. Gingerly, less revolutionary Arab regimes, such as Morocco, Jordan, and Qatar, abandoned the safe shelter of anti-Zionism and dealt with the forbidden foe. Israel and the United States were seen as the forces of the future. Nations queued up to align with the United States and make peace with Israel. Some nations, such as Turkey, sought a strategic alliance with Israel. And the Jordanian-Israeli peace treaty even contained clauses that suggested strategic cooperation as well. The region was defined by this joint American-Israeli victory. In contrast, radical movements—secular Nasserites like the PLO, or Baathists in Iraq and Syria, and religious fundamentalists, like Khomeini’s Iran and Hizballah—were ashamed and quietly crawled to the periphery of Arab and Muslim politics.

Neither Israel nor the United States understood their victory, leading them to surrender it. Instead, both in effect accepted the assertion of the most radical Arab despots that the Palestinian conflict is the root cause of the region’s endemic violence, poverty, instability, corruption, anti-Americanism, and despotism. These issues, they argued, could not be dealt with until after the Palestinian conflict was genuinely solved. That would happen only when Palestinians felt tangible benefits from peace, specifically enhanced sovereignty and economic development. Israel’s concept of a "new Middle East," as formulated by Shimon Peres, was premised on that assumption; treaties had to be followed by economic development.

But the United States also accepted the idea that a failure to solve the Palestinian conflict contributed directly to a regionwide climate of violence and anti-Americanism, which in turn retarded development by inducing leaders to spend precious resources on militaries. The resulting poverty contributed to further regional violence. To break this cycle, the United States worked hard to mobilize aid from Europe and the other Arab regimes to encourage development among Palestinians, and was preparing to do the same for Syria, as a cornerstone for a regionwide effort to secure peace. Washington also often ascribed other regional problems to the failure of the peace process. For example, Madeline Albright openly blamed Israel in 1998 for America’s failure to keep the anti-Iraq coalition together, asserting that Israel’s intransigence fostered anti-Americanism. The region’s despots, of course, encouraged and enjoyed Israel’s and America’s belief in the centrality of the Palestinian issue for regional stability because it helped them deflect criticism of tyranny in their own lands.

Mistakenly, and in contrast to their respective oppositions, officials in Washington and Jerusalem identified their own behavior as the source of anti-Israeli and anti-American violence rather than recognizing that violence as a manifestation of the despotic nature of their attackers. This led both governments to ignore the positive influence of their power. Instead of capitalizing on their victory to champion the idea of freedom and dilute the regional appeal of tyrants, they futilely traded their power for affection. They were lured into a series of neopacifist fantasies that have dramatically weakened both.

America’s and Israel’s mistakes have led the region to the brink of disaster. The United States has failed in its efforts to contain Saddam Hussein. America stumbled in 1995 by abandoning a viable insurgency led by the Iraqi National Congress (INC) just as it was scoring significant victories against Saddam, achievements that went unrecognized in Washington—such as the March 1995 offensive, which helped foment the Dulaym’s tribe revolt against Saddam in June 1995. The INC also helped organize the defection of top Iraqi nuclear scientists. Once the INC was abandoned by Washington, Saddam could and did effectively counter it and turn his attention to the other great threat to his absolute power, UNSCOM, the UN commission charged with finding and destroying Iraq’s deadliest weaponry.

Failed Diplomatic Strategies

In 1998 the United States aligned itself with UN secretary general Kofi Annan to create a diplomatic disguise for its humiliating retreat. Despite strong bipartisan pressure from Congress—as demonstrated by the near unanimous congressional vote for the 1998 Iraq Liberation Act—the Clinton administration was unwilling
to change its policy in time to reverse Saddam’s resurrection as a regional threat. When the United States bombed Iraq in December 1998, it appeared that it served more to divert attention from its failure than to advance a coherent strategy to topple Saddam. Even before conflict erupted in the West Bank and Gaza in October 2000, the UN sanctions, designed to prevent Saddam from acquiring the means to rebuild his military, had all but collapsed, almost without notice.

In Iran, an apparent reformist, Ayatollah Khatemi, was elected president in 1997. He sent signals suggesting the United States enter a dialogue with Tehran. Buoyed by the prospects of American-Iranian reconciliation, President Clinton himself apologized in little-noted remarks in April 1999 to Iran’s mullahs, not only for the evils the United States allegedly did to Iran the twentieth century, but for evils its allies, such as Britain, supposedly did in the nineteenth! Secretary of State Albright offered an even more explicit apology six months later. This practice of diplomacy-by-apology invited the very hard-line backlash that these statements were meant to avoid. The apologies did not convince the mullahs of America’s good intentions and did not persuade them to ease their internal repression. When the United States acknowledged responsibility for the hostility between it and the Iranian government, it validated Tehran’s harshest anti-American rhetoric. This demoralized the fledgling opposition movement.

And as has recently been revealed, the United States also intimated to Libya’s Qaddafi that his government would not be challenged and that sanctions would be lifted in exchange for extraditing two low-level operatives allegedly involved in the Pan Am 103 bombing in December 1988.

The Oslo "peace" process, for which both Israel and America share blame, revived and encouraged actors who had been orphaned by the Soviet Union’s collapse and weakened by decades of humiliating defeats at Israel’s hands to again threaten war against Israel. Israel stumbled into the abyss first. Immersed in an internal, theoretical dialogue over the morality of its behavior, mostly about the evils of being powerful, it was tempted by the vision of the regional utopia it expected to arrive when the Palestinian issue was resolved. It never soberly contemplated preserving its power as a prerequisite for survival. It also failed to imagine how its superior power, which some Israelis regarded with disgust and horror, could have been employed to shake the foundations of radical Arab nationalism and Islamic fundamentalism. Instead, Israel was determined to show that it was so open-minded that it would traffic with the most radical Arab tyrants to win explicit recognition of its legitimacy.

Israel’s blunder was abetted by Washington’s embrace of a fantasy called "conflict resolution"—the proposition that all conflicts can be resolved by using an incremental process that would improve communication and encourage reciprocal concessions. This concept suited the theoretical constructs of American academics. But it was haughty and inappropriate advice to offer Israel, a nation that held genuine principles and pursued serious national interests while facing foes who practiced duplicity or harbored evil intentions.

There are times when an opponent lays siege to r demands the surrender of things so dear that if surrendered, they pave the way to national collapse and destruction. At those moments, compromise is inappropriate, and intransigence—even if it means war—is justified. Israel reached that moment at the Camp David talks in August 2000—but failed to recognize it. The PLO had for some time conducted a campaign to delegitimize the foundations of Israel’s existence and sever the historic connection of the Jewish people to the land of Israel by denying the Jewish people’s ties to the Bible and by denying the existence of the Jewish Temple or of ancient Israel. The PLO demanded that Israel confirm its own illegitimacy and acquiesce in its destruction by ceding control over Jerusalem and surrendering the Temple Mount. The PLO even rejected an offer to give it sovereignty over the area in exchange for allowing a small Jewish sanctuary to be designated there; it feared that this would confirm some Jewish connection to the area.

War and diplomacy are means to achieve a political victory; the PLO had used both to force Israel by autumn 2000 into a choice: fight or die. Israel chose to fight—and survive. The more the United States clings to the fantasy of conflict resolution, the more it endangers the very existence of its key regional ally by undercutting its ability to fight.

Reasserting the Power of Freedom

The Clinton administration lacked the imagination to understand that firmness in defense of a besieged democracy can calm, rather than inflame, an entire region. Such firmness would not only establish the United States as a solid, consistent friend, but also would demonstrate how seriously America takes the idea of freedom. In fact, the Clinton administration’s "even-handedness" has devastated U.S. credibility.

These were horrible turns of events for those who sided with the United States—Egypt, Jordan, Morocco, Qatar—and made peace with Israel. Israel and America had chosen strategic self-mutilation, amusing their adversaries. Now, Israel is besieged on its borders as well as by the international community, while UN controls on Iraq are crumbling. Saddam, Arafat, Qaddafi, and Khomeini now set the tone of the region. And they have scores to settle, starting with replacing the last "American" decade with a new "radical" decade of revenge by upheavals, the first of which erupted in October 2000.

Crises can be opportunities. Israel must avoid letting Arafat prolong the intermittent war of attrition in West Bank towns. Arafat wants that war; Israel cannot win it. Instead, Israel and the United States should adopt a coordinated strategy to regain the initiative and reverse their regionwide strategic retreat. They should broaden the conflict to strike fatally, not merely disarm, the centers of radicalism in the region—the regimes of Damascus, Baghdad, Tripoli, Tehran, and Gaza. That would reestablish the recognition that fighting with either the United States or Israel is suicidal.

Many in the Middle East will then understand the merits of being an American ally and of making peace with Israel. They will even discuss again how powerful freedom is, as they did early in the 1990s"

Asia Times - Wurmser on Syria, Links To Harold Rhode. Perle, and Chalabi

Asia Times - Asia's most trusted news source for the Middle East: "Cheney's new adviser has sights on Syria
By Jim Lobe

WASHINGTON - A neo-conservative strategist who has long called for the United States and Israel to work together to "roll back" the Ba'ath-led government in Syria, has been quietly appointed as a Middle East adviser to Vice President Dick Cheney.

David Wurmser, who had been working for the undersecretary of state for arms control and international security, John Bolton, joined Cheney's staff under its powerful national security director, I Lewis "Scooter" Libby, in mid-September, according to Cheney's office.

The move is significant, not only because Cheney is seen increasingly as the dominant foreign policy influence on President George W Bush, but also because it adds to the notion that neo-conservatives remain a formidable force under Bush, despite the sharp plunge in public confidence in Bush's handling of post-war Iraq resulting from the faulty assumptions propagated by the neo-cons before the war.

Given the recent intensification of tensions between Washington and Damascus - touched off by this month's US veto of a United Nations Security Council resolution deploring an Israeli air attack on an alleged Palestinian camp outside Damascus - Wurmser's rise takes on added significance.

The move also follows House of Representatives' approval of a bill that would impose new economic and diplomatic sanctions against Syria.

Wurmser's status as a favored protege of arch-hawk and former Defense Policy Board chairman Richard Perle at the American Enterprise Institute (AEI) also speaks loudly to Middle East specialists, who note Perle's long-time close association with Cheney, Pentagon chief Donald Rumsfeld and Rumsfeld's chief deputy Paul Wolfowitz.

Wolfowitz was the first senior administration official to suggest that Washington might take action against Syria amid reports in April that Damascus was sheltering senior Iraqi leaders and weapons of mass destruction in the wake of the US invasion.

"There's got to be a change in Syria," Wolfowitz said, accusing the government of President Bashar Assad of "extreme ruthlessness". Rumsfeld subsequently accused Syria of permitting Islamic "jihadis" to infiltrate Iraq to fight US troops.

Perle, who last week was in Israel to receive a special award from the Jerusalem Summit, an international group of right wing Jews and Christian Zionists who describe themselves as defenders of "civilization" against "Islamic fundamentalism", has made no secret of his own desire to confront Damascus.

In a series of interviews, Perle applauded Israel's attack on Syrian territory - the first since 1967 - in alleged retaliation for a Palestinian suicide bombing in Israel. "I am happy to see the message was delivered to Syria by the Israeli Air Force, and I hope it is the first of many such messages," he said.

Perle said he hoped the US would itself take action against Damascus, particularly if it turned out that Syria was acting as a financial or recruiting base for the insurgency in Iraq. "Syria is itself a terrorist organization," he asserted, insisting that Washington would not find it difficult to send troops to Damascus despite its commitment in Iraq. "Syria is militarily very weak," added Perle.

Damascus has been in Wurmser's sights at least since he began working with Perle at the AEI in the mid-1990s.

For the latter part of the decade, he wrote frequently to support a joint US-Israeli effort to undermine then president Hafez Assad, in hopes of destroying Ba'ath rule and hastening the creation of a new order in the Levant to be dominated by "tribal, familial and clan unions under limited governments".

Indeed, it was precisely because of the strategic importance of the Levant that Wurmser advocated overthrowing Saddam Hussein in favor of an Iraqi National Congress (INC) closely tied to the Hashemite monarchy in Jordan.

"Whoever inherits Iraq dominates the entire Levant strategically," he wrote in one 1996 paper for the Jerusalem-based Institute for Advanced Strategic and Political Studies (IASPS).

Wurmser, whose Israeli-born spouse Meyrav Wurmser heads Middle East studies at the neo-conservative Hudson Institute, was the main author of a 1996 report by a task force convened by the IASPS and headed by Perle, called the Study Group on a New Israeli Strategy Toward 2000.

The paper, called "A Clean Break: A New Strategy for Securing the Realm", was directed to incoming Israeli prime minister Benjamin Netanyahu.

It featured a series of recommendations designed to end the process of Israel trading "land for peace" by transforming the "balance of power" in the Middle East in favor of an axis consisting of Israel, Turkey and Jordan.

To do so, it called for ousting Saddam and installing a Hashemite leader in Baghdad. From that point, the strategy would be largely focused on Syria and, at the least, to reducing its influence in Lebanon.

Among other steps, the report called for Israeli sponsorship of attacks on Syrian territory by "Israeli proxy forces" based in Lebanon and "striking Syrian military targets in Lebanon, and should that prove insufficient, striking at select targets in Syria proper".

"Israel can shape its strategic environment, in cooperation with Turkey and Jordan, by weakening, containing, even rolling back Syria," the report argued, to create a "natural axis" between Israel, Jordan, a Hashemite Iraq and Turkey that "would squeeze and detach Syria from the Saudi Peninsula".

"For Syria, this could be the prelude to a redrawing of the map of the Middle East, which could threaten Syria's territorial integrity," it suggested.

A follow-up report by Wurmser titled "Coping with Crumbling States", also favored a substantial redrawing of the Middle East along tribal and familial lines in light of what he called an "emerging phenomenon - the crumbling of Arab secular-nationalist nations".

The penchant of Washington and the West in general for backing secular-nationalist states against the threat of militant Islamic fundamentalism was a strategic error, warned Wurmser in the second study, a conclusion he repeated in a 1999 book, Tyranny's Ally, which included a laudatory foreword by Perle and was published by the AEI.

While the book focused on Iraq, not Syria, it elaborated on Wurmser's previous arguments by attacking regional specialists in US universities, the State Department and the Central Intelligence Agency (CIA) who, according to him, were too wedded to strong secular states in the Arab world as the preferred guarantors of regional stability.

"Our Middle East scholarly and policy elite are informed by bad ideas about the region that lead them to bad policies," he charged, echoing a position often taken by Perle.

In the book's acknowledgments, Wurmser praised those who most influenced his work, a veritable "who's who" of those neo-cons most closely tied to Israel's far right, including Perle himself, another AEI scholar, Michael Ledeen and undersecretary of defense for policy and the man in charge of post-Iraq war planning, Douglas Feith.

Wurmser listed former CIA director James Woolsey, who has called the conflict in Syria the early stages of "World War IV", Harold Rhode, a Feith aide who has also called himself Wolfowitz's "Islamic affairs adviser" and INC leader Ahmed Chalabi.

Wurmser also gave thanks to Irving Moskowitz, a major casino operator and long-time funder of Israel's settlement movement, whom he described as a "gentle man whose generous support of AEI allows me to be here"."

The Saudi Connection by David Wurmser

The Saudi Connection: "The Saudi Connection
The Weekly Standard ^ | 10/29/2001 | David Wurmser

Osama bin Laden's a lot closer to the Saudi royal family than you think.

TWO QUESTIONS have been raised about Osama bin Laden. First, if bin Laden opposes the Saudi regime, why has he never struck Saudi targets? Second, if he threatens Saudi Arabia, why has the Saudi government taken the lead in recognizing and funding the Taliban government of Afghanistan, which is entwined with bin Laden's al Qaeda organization? The answer is: The bin Laden problem is deeply embedded both in Saudi religious and dynastic politics and in an effort by Iraq and Syria to shift the balance of power in the Middle East.

To begin to unravel this murky business, it is necessary to go back to the mid 1990s, when a succession struggle was beginning in Saudi Arabia. This struggle pits the octogenarian king, Fahd bin Abdel-Aziz, and his full brothers in the Sudairi branch of the family (especially the defense minister, Prince Sultan) against their half-brother, Crown Prince Abdallah. King Fahd and the Sudairis favor close ties to the United States, while Crown Prince Abdallah prefers Syria and is generally more enamored of pan-Islamic and pan-Arab ideas. All of these contenders are old. Whoever succeeds in securing the crown after Fahd will anoint the next generation of royal heirs and determine Saudi Arabia's future course--either toward the West or toward Syria, Iraq, and others who challenge the position of the United States in the region.

Abdallah is closely allied with the puritanical Wahhabi religious establishment that has underpinned the Saudi government for over a century. The Wahhabis are strident and hostile to a continued American presence in the Middle East. They made this explicit in 1990 in a pronouncement known as the Muzkara an-Nasiha, originated by Osama bin Laden and signed by virtually every sheikh in the Wahhabi establishment. It condemned Saudi Arabia's decision to allow U.S. troops into the kingdom for the purpose of resisting Saddam.

Crown Prince Abdallah has long challenged the Sudairi branch by pushing an anti-Western agenda. In mid 1995, numerous Arab newspapers reported that the crown prince was working with Syria and Egypt to sabotage Jordanian-Saudi rapprochement. The same year, the Turkish weekly Nokta reported that Abdallah had blocked Turkish-Saudi ties by ordering the execution of some Turks, incarcerated for drug-dealing, after King Fahd had assured Turkish emissaries that they would be spared.

In late 1995, King Fahd became ill and feeble, passing power temporarily to Abdallah. When shortly afterwards Abdallah briefly visited a neighboring state, his Sudairi rival, Prince Sultan, asserted power in Riyadh. Abdallah returned to reclaim his dominance, but to do so he employed his wife's close family ties to the Assad clan and invited Syrian intelligence operatives into the kingdom. Then the problems began.

ABDALLAH'S QUEST to secure the succession--leading as it did to his strategic relationship with Syrian president Hafez Assad, and their joint willingness to cooperate with Iraq--is essential background to the major terrorist attacks of recent years, including Khobar Towers, the USS Cole, and September 11. When Abdallah invited Syrian intelligence into Saudi Arabia, he created an opportunity for Syria to foster a terror network on Saudi soil. Its handiwork surfaced first in a minor attack on an American bus in Jeddah in 1995, then in the major attack on Khobar in June 1996 in which 19 U.S. servicemen died. The Washington Post reported that the Khobar bomb had originated in Syrian-controlled Lebanon, and just this month, members of the Syrian-backed Hezbollah were indicted in a U.S. court for this attack.

Sober strategic considerations brought Abdallah, Syria, and Iraq together. The years 1995 and 1996 were watershed years in the Middle East. Before then, hopeful developments (from the American point of view) had seemed afoot in the region. Between 1992 and 1995, Israel had formed a strategic relationship with Turkey; Jordan and Israel had signed a peace treaty with strategic cooperation clauses; Saddam had faced a viable, advancing opposition movement; and Jordan had become the vanguard of an anti-Saddam grouping after the defection in Amman of Saddam's son-in-law, Hussein Kamal. Pro-Western elements of the Saudi royal family pushed to reestablish Jordanian-Saudi ties, solidify Saudi-Turkish ties, and anchor Saudi Arabia in this emerging, powerful, pro-Western regional bloc.

This was a time when the Palestine Liberation Organization averted near collapse only by the generosity of Israel. And the Iranian revolution was floundering. The memory of America's twin victories in the Gulf War and the Cold War was fresh, and Israel's image of invulnerability earned in half a dozen wars still loomed large. Syria, Iraq, and the PLO faced the prospect of a loose-knit pro-American coalition of Turkey, a post-Saddam Iraq, Jordan, Israel, and Saudi Arabia. But tyrants like Saddam and Assad, and tyrannical regimes like Iran's and the PLO's, never accept defeat, which can mean only disgrace or death.

Survival demanded action. It took many forms but crystallized when Syria and Iraq turned from enemies to bedfellows against America; when the Palestinian Authority became sufficiently established to host a smorgasbord of terror groups; and when Abdallah invited Syria into the kingdom. The bin Laden network developed inside this Wahhabi/Abdallah-Syria-Iraq-PLO strategic bloc and became its terrorist skeleton, unifying hitherto separate, isolated, and strategically uncoordinated groups.

While al Qaeda from the start was rooted in the Wahhabi religious establishment, it sprouted and flourished parasitically wherever Iraqi intelligence felt secure: Sudan, then Yemen and Qatar. Bin Laden himself left Saudi Arabia in 1991 for Sudan, where he lived until his removal, via Yemen and Qatar, to Afghanistan in 1996.

For Syria, the new terrorist super-network had the virtue of absorbing and channeling Sunni fundamentalist fervor. Energies that might have been turned against the regime were directed instead against American targets and into Saudi politics. Within the terror network, Shiite and Sunni--who otherwise would never have countenanced working together--could join forces, as could secular Palestinians and Islamic extremists, all the while deflecting their attention from Damascus.

For Iraq, the network offered a way to defeat America. It would be a grave mistake to imagine that Saddam's animus against Saudi Arabia or his secular disposition would prevent him from working with the Wahhabi religious establishment or Abdallah if he found this could advance his designs against King Fahd, the Sudairis, or their American patrons. Sure enough, travelers from Iraq report that Saddam's regime has lately encouraged the rise, in Iraq's northern safe haven, of Salafism, a puritanical sect tied to Wahhabism that hitherto had been alien to Iraq. It is no surprise, then, that one of these Salafi movements inside Iraq, the Jund al-Islami, turns out to be a front for bin Laden.



AT ITS CORE, al Qaeda is a product of Saudi dynastic politics. Its purpose is to swing Saudi politics toward the Wahhabi establishment and Crown Prince Abdallah, but not necessarily to destroy the royal family, at least not at first. The most virulent of Saudi dissident groups, such as al-Masari's Committee for the Defense of Legal Rights, call for violence, but they pointedly direct their wrath against the Sudairis, the only targets they mention by name. Bin Laden seeks to destroy the Sudairis indirectly, by separating them from America.

In August 2001, King Fahd fired his director of intelligence, Prince Turki al Faisal. It was a blow to bin Laden. The bin Laden and Faisal families have longstanding ties: Osama's father helped install King Faisal, who reigned from 1964 to 1975. Since the mid 1990s, Turki had anchored the Abdallah faction, and under his leadership Saudi intelligence had become difficult to distinguish from al Qaeda. In particular, Saudi intelligence had served as bin Laden's nexus to the Wahhabi network of charities, foundations, and other funding sources.

Here too family ties are important. Thus, Turki's brother heads a key Saudi "philanthropic" organization (originally headed by Osama) that funds the Taliban and al Qaeda, according to the Lebanese weekly East-West Review. And the Central Asia operations officer in Saudi intelligence is the brother of bin Laden's chief case officer on Saudi Arabia, according to a former CIA official in Iraq. The same former official also reports that Turki was instrumental in arranging a meeting in Kandahar, Afghanistan, between the head of Iraq's terror network, Faruk Hejazi, and bin Laden in December 1998. More recently, Turki bin Faisal's full brother, Saudi foreign minister Saud bin Faisal, unleashed his diplomats to write shrill and caustic attacks on the United States, such as the article a few weeks ago by Saudi Arabia's ambassador in London, Ghazi al Qusaibi, calling President Bush mentally unstable.

But like Frankenstein's monster, bin Laden is becoming a problem for his creators. It is unclear whether Saudi royal factions now control al Qaeda, or bin Laden has become a kingmaker--or aspiring king. Many young princes who face bleak prospects in a gilded, top-heavy royal structure are enamored of bin Laden. This is true even of some Sudairis. Indeed, bin Laden's lieutenants, far from hailing from the margins of society, are products of its elite, with whom they maintain relations. The mastermind of Arab terrorism in the 1980s and '90s, Imad Mughniyeh, a godfather-like figure with links to the PLO, Hezbollah, and al Qaeda, comes from an illustrious family. His father was a cleric renowned among Shiites. And bin Laden's second in command, the Egyptian al-Zawahiri, is the grandson of the head of al-Azhar mosque in Egypt. Syria too, meanwhile, may be feeling the pressure of bin Laden's growing power. Damascus recently had to put down a Wahhabi-inspired revolt in Lebanon's Akkar mountains led by bin Laden associate Bassam Kanj.

It is impossible to avoid concluding, then, that the bin Laden phenomenon is about politics and conflicts within and among states. Some states in the region--such as Jordan and Kuwait--can truthfully deny employing and abetting terror. But many Arab states refuse to consent to America's expanding the war beyond Afghanistan because they know the trail of terror will eventually lead to them. They have trafficked in terror, believing they could harness it and use it to their advantage--none more than Saudi Arabia. This is why the Saudis blocked the American investigation into the Khobar attack, never investigated the December 2000 hijacking of a plane from Jeddah to Baghdad by two men from Abdallah's security forces, and now, according to press reports, lag in providing access to possible culprits and relevant documents.

Bin Laden emerged from a dangerous strategic shift underway since 1995 that was driven by dynastic rivalries. Now, al Qaeda must be dealt with not only in Afghanistan, but also at its source--in the strategic triangle of Syria, Iraq, and the Wahhabi/Abdallah alliance whose interests it serves and whose structures and politics brought it to life. To fail to strike at the roots of al Qaeda will only lengthen the war and make it more deadly.


David Wurmser is director of Middle East studies at the American Enterprise Institute."

David Wurmser

David Wurmser: "David Wurmser
Research Fellow
--------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Research Areas Middle East


Professional
Experience Director, Research in Strategy and Politics Program, Institute for Advanced Strategic
and Political Studies, 1996
Director, Institutional Grants, Washington Institute for Near East Policy, 1994-1996
Project officer, U.S. Institute of Peace, 1988-1994


Books Battle Cry of Tyranny: Anti-Americanism and Anti-Zionism in the Middle East, forthcoming
Tyranny's Ally: America's Failure to Defeat Saddam Hussein, 1999
A Look at "The End of History," editor, 1990
Is It Feasible to Negotiate Biological and Chemical Weapons Control?, editor, 1990
The Meaning of Munich after Fifty Years, editor, 1989


Articles Wall Street Journal
Wall Street Journal Europe
Washington Times
Weekly Standard
New Republic
SAIS Review

Middle East Quarterly
Perspectives on Political Science
Strategic Review
Jobs & Capital
The World and I
TV and Radio NPR All Things Considered
MSNBC Midday News
FOX Evening News
CNBC Morning News
CBS Face to Face
Voice of America Meet the West and Dialogue with the West
Maryland Public Television Inside Maryland
BBC Television


Public Speaking Speaks nationwide to committees on foreign relations


Education Ph.D., international relations, Johns Hopkins University
M.A., international relations, Johns Hopkins University
B.A., Johns Hopkins University


Contact
Information Office phone
Office fax
E-mail 202.862.5832
202.862.7177
dwurmser@aei.org"

Adam Ciralsky - Many people seem to think he is a SPY

JTA Print News: "Official heading AIPAC probe
linked to anti-Semitism case
By Edwin Black
WASHINGTON, Sept. 20 (JTA) — David Szady, the senior FBI counterintelligence official currently heading the controversial investigation of the American Israel Public Affairs Committee, is well-known to senior Jewish communal officials, who assert he has targeted Jews in the past.
Now, an investigation reveals that Szady was involved in a well-publicized case involving a Jewish former CIA staff attorney who sued the FBI, the CIA and its top officials for religious discrimination.

Although not named in the suit, Szady headed the elite department that former CIA Director George Tenet admitted in 1999 was involved with “insensitive, unprofessional and highly inappropriate” language regarding the case of the attorney, Adam Ciralsky.

The AIPAC investigation, which CBS broke last month on the eve of the Republican convention, is believed to focus on a Pentagon official suspected of passing a classified draft policy statement on Iran to AIPAC, the pro-Israel lobby, which allegedly then passed it on to Israel.

AIPAC denies any wrongdoing and has called the alleged charges “baseless.” But the case cast a spotlight on the venerable lobbying organization and has sent shock waves through the Jewish community.

Jewish communal officials and members of Congress have protested the investigation and the media frenzy around it, calling for an investigation into who leaked the investigation and for what purpose.

Many questions remain unresolved, including who initiated the investigation, believed to have begun two years ago, and why.

Szady, who was appointed by President Bush in 2001 to head a little-known intelligence interagency unit known as the National Counter Intelligence Policy Board, returned to the FBI about two years ago, becoming assistant director for counterintelligence.

Jewish communal officials familiar with Szady assert he has targeted Jews, blocked or slowed their clearances and squeezed minor security violators.

“He’s bad, very bad,” declared one senior Jewish organizational executive, who like all those familiar with Szady declined to speak for the record.

According to exclusively obtained documents, Szady was directly involved in the Ciralsky case. He is identified in the documents as the chief of the CIA’s Counterespionage Group, known as CEG, which was later accused of targeting Ciralsky for being Jewish and a supporter of Israel.

Szady would not respond directly to a request for an interview, but FBI spokeswoman Cassandra Chandler said, “David Szady has informed me that he has no anti-Semitic views, has never handled a case or investigation based upon an individual’s ethnicity or religious views, and would never do so.”

Of the AIPAC investigation in particular, Chandler said: “Investigations are predicated upon information of possible illegal or intelligence activity. The suggestion that the FBI or any FBI official has influenced this investigation based on moral, ethnic or religious bias is simply unfounded, untrue, and contrary to the very values the FBI holds highest.”

Ciralsky’s problems began as soon as he joined the CIA’s legal staff as a junior member in early December 1996. Within days, CIA security personnel began creating a special file on Ciralsky and his Jewish background, according to the documents.

One Dec. 19, 1996, internal CIA memo on Ciralsky indicated that a CIA supervisor “would like to keep current on developments for damage control purposes.”

By Jan. 15, 1997, the agency had created a four-page annotated “Jewish resume” of Ciralsky, which was classified “secret.” The resume listed Ciralsky’s teenage trips to Israel in 1987 with the Milwaukee federation and for Passover in 1988, his camp counselor stint at the Milwaukee JCC’s day camp, and his minor in Judaic studies at George Washington University. His major in international affairs was not mentioned.

Shortly thereafter, CIA security personnel were asking whether Ciralsky’s nephew might be working with the Israeli government, according to documents; the nephew was only about five months old at the time.

By May 1997, Szady, a 32-year veteran of the FBI, had joined the CIA as chief of the Counterespionage Group, within the CIA’s Counterintelligence Center. A presidential directive mandates that an independent FBI official serve as chief of the CIA’s Counterespionage Group.

Although Szady was not in his post when Ciralsky was hired, shortly after Szady assumed his new position, the counterespionage group appeared determined to terminate Ciralsky.

On June 12, 1997, a memo entitled, “Spot Report-Next Steps in the Adam Ciralsky Case” was circulated by Szady’s department, outlining what would be done to force Ciralsky from the agency.

The report and the routing slips were tagged with classifications such as “sensitive,” “restricted handling” and “eyes only, no registries” thus ensuring that the documents would not end up in any formal and traceable file.

Although Szady’s name is blocked out, his bureaucratic initials, C/CEG/CIC, on two routing pages plus the hand-written acknowledgment next to his initials, show he received the “Spot Report” the day it was written, according to sources with personal knowledge of the case.

By September 1997, unable to find any incriminating information on Ciralsky, Szady’s CEG assigned teams of investigators to ramp up the pressure with multiple interrogations, according to documents.

One CEG investigator’s memo on Sept. 12, 1997, suggests questions for interrogators to ask Ciralsky, such as, “What is your family’s relation with Israeli President Ezer Wizman (sic)?”

This question was based on the fact that Ciralsky is a distant relative of Ezer Weizman, who was Israel’s president at the time.

The Sept. 12, 1997 memo added, “Maybe his family has donated money to Israeli government causes.”

The memo also quotes one of Szady’s investigators, saying “From my experience with rich Jewish friends from college, I would fully expect Adam’s wealthy daddy to support Israeli political/social causes in some form… [such as] Israeli Bonds purchased through the United Jewish Appeal.”

A week later, Sept. 19, 1997, before a security polygraph had even been administered, Szady’s CEG circulated a secret memo, saying that former CIA director “Tenet says this guy is outta here because of lack of candor… Once that’s over, it looks like we’ll be waving goodbye to our friend.”

Szady was third on the distribution list to receive that Sept. 19 memo, according to the routing slip and sources.

A handwritten note on the routing slips comments, “Great job — we should have Ciralsky’s report in the security file… This will definitely…result in termination by cancellation of contract! Thx.”

Ciralsky complained to the CIA’s inspector general, the Office of Equal Employment Opportunity, to senior administration officials and to Malcolm Hoenlein, executive vice chairman of the Conference of Presidents of Major American Jewish Organizations.

After the outlines of the Ciralsky story broke in 1998, the CIA launched an internal and external review of Szady’s department, the CEG, to determine whether it had engaged in anti-Semitism.

As a result of that review, Tenet conceded in a letter to Abraham Foxman, the Anti-Defamation League’s national director, that “some of the language used by some of the investigators in this case was insensitive, unprofessional and highly inappropriate.”

After the review, the CIA hired the ADL to conduct “sensitivity training” within the ranks of Szady’s CEG.

Foxman said, “The sensitivity training in the CIA was not directed at one individual. It was directed at a situation. There was a concern in the agency at that time, that the world was changing and the agency itself needed its staff to be sensitive to diversity.”

After he left the CIA in 1998, when his contract was not renewed, Ciralsky filed a lawsuit against the CIA, the FBI and others, alleging that he was “unjustly singled out for investigation and subsequently interrogated, harassed, surveilled and terminated from employment with the CIA solely because he is a Jew and he practices the Jewish religion,” according to the complaint.

Ciralsky’s case was not isolated within the intelligence community, according to senior officials at Jewish organizations who declined to speak for the record. One Jewish official stated that he knew of as many as 10 other CIA employees who had been harassed or pressured because of their Jewish background, but they were afraid to come forward.

Postings on the CIA’s internal Jewish-only bulletin board — the agency allows various ethnic groups within its ranks to share company tidbits — reflect that numerous employees feel anti-Semitism is rampant. One such posting in 2000, obtained from sources, asks, “Does anyone know how one would go about informing the D/CI [director of central intelligence] “directly that some incidents of anti-Semitism…are tolerated?”

Despite Szady’s direct involvement in the Ciralsky case, Szady was decorated twice by the CIA for distinguished service, once with its Seal Medallion and once with the Donovan Award.

One Jewish communal official said of Szady, “He has never stopped looking for Mr. X,” the elusive individual some FBI officials hypothesized worked with Jonathan Pollard, who was sentenced in 1987 for spying for Israel.

At least one senior Jewish official cautioned against concluding too much. “Szady might just be over-zealous. I know Jews who have been to his house and they assure they saw no evidence of prejudice.”

On Szady’s link to the Ciralsky case, American Jewish Congress chairman Jack Rosen said, “The FBI, in recent years, has been criticized for many things, and if the story is true, I would urge that an outside and independent individual or group come in to investigate.”

Ciralsky, now a TV network newsman, declined to comment on his case. His lawsuit has been caught up in pre-trial legal limbo, hampered by a series of preliminary motions, according to attorneys familiar with the case.


(Award-winning investigative author and reporter Edwin Black has covered allegations of Israeli spying in the United States since the Pollard case. He is the author of the forthcoming book, “Banking on Baghdad” (Wiley), being released October 12, which chronicles 7,000 years of Iraqi history.)"