Wednesday, April 4, 2007
Why is the Wall Street Journal in favor of espionage?
By Justin Raimondo
"The title of Dorothy Rabinowitz's Wall Street Journal screed defending two accused spies, "First They Came for the Jews," telegraphs the strategy apologists for Steve Rosen and Keith Weissman will be using when the two AIPAC officials' trial on charges of espionage, scheduled for June 4, finally begins. It is also a smear so outrageous it almost defies belief. What that headline communicates is the warped conception that the U.S. government, in prosecuting two prominent lobbyists on behalf of Israel for handing over sensitive classified information to Israeli officials, is the equivalent of the Nazi regime.......
The defenders of Rosen and Weissman argue that this is a First Amendment case, but there is no First Amendment right to engage in espionage – or else why aren't the Rosenbergs considered martyrs to the principle of "free speech"? This isn't just about passing information to Israel. Franklin is an associate of neoconservative guru Michael Ledeen and fellow Pentagon analyst Harold Rhode, with whom he traveled to Rome in 2001 to attend an unauthorized meeting with Iranian "dissidents" and the scamster Manucher Ghorbanifar, of Iran-Contra fame (which Ledeen also played a key role in, as Israel's go-between). The Senate Intelligence Committee was supposed to be looking into this, along with the FBI, but somehow that investigation got stalled. Will the Democratic majority now take it up with alacrity? Don't bet the farm on it. The Lobby is a bipartisan powerhouse, and any hopes that the Democrats will take time out from embarrassing Alberto Gonzales to pull some really grisly skeletons out of the closet are dim, at best. Besides which, this is a nonpartisan scandal, one that – as we examine the unusually long timeline of the investigation into the Lobby's underground activities – implicates Democrats as well as Republicans.
It seems hardly surprising that the War Party would team up with agents of a foreign power in order to advance the cause of "regime change" throughout the Middle East. Especially in the case of Iran, Israeli patriots with American citizenship could easily convince themselves that Washington's interests and Tel Aviv's are perfectly consonant, even identical. That's why we get this odd "patriotic" theme from Rabinowitz – so blinded by ideology that she sees reason where there is only treason.
Franklin is being touted as a man who was simply ahead of his time: he saw the alleged danger to American soldiers in Iraq from Iranian operatives and went to AIPAC in order to do something about it. That he and his confreres in Feith's policy shop were engaged in provoking such a confrontation, and otherwise setting up a series of tripwires aimed at Tehran, is what will come out at the trial. Before they could do that, however, the Israelis had to gather as much intelligence about the U.S. government's internal deliberations – and the state of our own intelligence on Iran – as possible. Then and only then could they win the internecine war taking place between the neocons and the State Department "realists" – basically the same configuration of forces that fought it out in the prelude to war with Iraq.
It now appears that, having won, the neocons are reaping the fruits of the AIPAC spy ring's treason, as accusations fly of Iranian interference in Iraq and the next border incident could provoke an all-out conflict. The June trial (scheduled for the same day that, in 1986, Israeli spy Jonathan Pollard entered a guilty plea) will reveal much about how we got to this point – and, perhaps, open up the possibility of halting our headlong rush to war. That is, if the shooting hasn't already started…"