Excerpt from Column One: Why is Jonathan Pollard still in jail?
Caroline Glick - The Jerusalem Post - January 21, 2011
[Original title: Israel as the banana republic]
Two documents reported on this week shed a troubling light on the US government's attitude toward Israel.
The first is a 27-page FBI search warrant affidavit from 2004 targeting then-senior AIPAC lobbyist Steve Rosen, published Wednesday in The Washington Times.
The second is WikiLeaks' leaked secret State Department cablez from October 2008 signed by then-secretary of state Condoleezza Rice directing US officials to spy on Israel.
Both indicate that in certain quarters of the American government, Israel is viewed as at best a banana republic and at worst an enemy of the US.
The text of the FBI affidavit directed against Rosen makes clear that the FBI had no particular reason to suspect that he was an Israeli agent or was harming US national security. Rosen's activities during his tenure as AIPAC's senior lobbyist as described in the affidavit - meeting with government officials, journalists and Israeli diplomats - were precisely the type of activities that lobbyists in Washington routinely engage in.
Despite this, the FBI followed Rosen for five years and indicted him and his AIPAC colleague Keith Weissman on felony charges under the all-but-forgotten 1917 Espionage Act. The FBI probe and subsequent trial harmed AIPAC's reputation, destroyed both men's careers, and did untold damage to the reputation of both the State of Israel and its American Jewish supporters. That it took five years for the Justice Department to drop these outrageous charges is a testament to the strength of the FBI's commitment to criminalizing American Jewish advocates of a strong US-Israel alliance.
And then there is Rice's secret cable. Just days before the 2008 presidential elections, the secretary of state instructed US diplomats in Israel, Lebanon, Jordan, Egypt and Saudi Arabia as well as the Defense Intelligence Agency and the CIA to conduct a massive espionage operation against Israel. The sought-for information covered all aspects of Israel's political system, society, communications infrastructures and the IDF.
Regarding the IDF, for instance, among other things, diplomats and spies were asked to gather intelligence on planned Israeli military operations against the Palestinians, Lebanon and Syria, and to probe the attitudes of military commanders.
They were also told to gather information on "IDF units, equipment, maintenance levels, training, morale, and operational readiness[;] IDF tactics, techniques and procedures for conducting conventional and unconventional counterinsurgency and counterterrorist operations[; and] Israeli assessment of the impact of reserve duty in the territories on IDF readiness."
As for political leaders, among other things, Rice instructed diplomats and spies to provide detailed information about government plans; influences on politicians; how politicians decide to launch military strikes; what Israel's leaders think about the US; and much more.
Rice also sought information about various aspects of Israeli society. She instructed US diplomats and spies to gather information on everything from "Information on and motivations for any increased Israeli population emigration from Israel" to detailed information on Israeli "settlers" in Judea, Samaria and the Golan Heights.
Regarding the "settlers," among other things, Rice wanted information on "Divisions among various settlement groups[;] details on settlement-related budgets and subsidies[;] settlers' relationships with the Israeli political and military establishment including their lobbying and settlement methods."
Rice expressed deep interest as well in all details related to Israel's military and nonmilitary communications infrastructure. For instance, she directed US officials to gather information on "Current specifications, vulnerabilities, capabilities, and planned upgrades to national telecommunications infrastructure, networks, and technologies used by government and military authorities, intelligence and security services, and the public sector."
Finally, Rice wanted personal data on Israeli leaders. She asked for "official and personal phone numbers, fax numbers, and e-mail addresses of principal civilian and military leaders."
TAKEN SIDE-BY-SIDE, the first striking aspect of the US's fabricated Israeli spy scandal on the one hand and its massive espionage operation against Israel on the other hand is the shocking hypocrisy of it all...
J4JP adds: Jonathan Pollard continues to languish in an American prison, now in his 26th year of a life sentence for the one count of passing classified information to an ally which he was charged with -- a charge that usually carries a 2 to 4 year median sentence. On January 4, 2011, for the first time in 26 years, an Israeli Prime Minister summoned up the courage and the integrity to formally, openly publicly ask for Pollard's release from the United States. To date, there has been no response.
View the original article.