March 06, 2008

Of course there’s no Israel Lobby, no need to fear it, and the very idea that the Lobby exercises a decisive influence on the American media is bigoted nonsense—or, er, maybe not ….

Or else why or why is there next to absolutely no coverage of the upcoming trial of AIPAC honcho Steve Rosen, and his sidekick Keith Weissman, AIPAC’s former top Iran analyst?

Remember, these guys are charged with espionage: specifically, with handing over top secret classified information to Israeli embassy employees, including material so secret that it has to be kept out of the public record during the trial, utilizing a complex system of references to “country X” and “country Y.”

Oh, but according to the Lobby, the AIPACers didn’t do anything that isn’t “routine” in Washington: “Everybody does it,” they say. Well, if everybody does it, then let’s just declassify everything and be done with it. Let’s make espionage a victimless crime, and call for its abolition, along with laws against pot-smoking and selling liquor on Sundays.

What’s interesting about this case is how and why the media finds it so uninteresting—to the point that they refuse to cover it. And it’s not like it isn’t newsworthy, what with the prospect of having top administration officials subpoenaed and forced to testify, including Condi Rice, Richard Armitage, Stephen Hadley, and a host of others. You’d think this would be news—but you’d be wrong. Only the New York Times has had a catching-up piece on the upcoming trial—scheduled for April 29, after repeated delays—which, naturally, starts off with the “everybody does it” meme:

“Aipac has for decades played an important though informal role in the formation of the United States government’s Middle East policy. As part of Aipac’s mission to lobby the government on behalf of Israel, its officials assiduously maintain contact with senior policymakers, lawmakers, diplomats and journalists. Those conversations are typical of the unseen world of information trading in Washington, where people customarily and insistently ask each other, ‘So, what are you hearing?’”

Yeah, but do these people pass classified information to foreign governments—and, if so, how come they’re not being prosecuted? Well, that’s what the defense team in this case wants to know, which is why Condi and a platoon of government officials and former officials will be called to the stand, confronted with instances in which classified information was passed to AIPAC. and embarrassed in a public forum. A media spectacle to end all media spectacles—right? So why isn’t the case getting more publicity, especially as the trial date approaches?


Sign Up to Receive Our Latest Updates!