View Full Version : Federal Indictment Urged for AIPAC, Not Just Rosen and Weissman

08-05-2005, 07:23 AM
To: National Desk

Contact: Terry Walz of the Council for the National Interest, 202-863-2951

WASHINGTON, Aug. 4 /U.S. Newswire/ -- Today?s federal indictment of two former employees of the American Israel Public Affairs Committee (AIPAC), a pro-Israel lobbying group, charged with having disclosed classified defense information to Israel, falls short of what?s needed, which is an indictment of AIPAC itself, according to Eugene H. Bird, president of the Council for the National Interest. ?The organization itself should have been indicted, as well as the two officers who were directly involved,? said Bird. ?Let us hope that AIPAC has learned its lesson and will stop intimidating congressmen, administration officials, and the public media, supposedly on behalf of Israel, but in fact destructive to an honest and open relationship between Israel and the United States.?

Bird spoke as court documents were unsealed today and announced in Alexandria, Virginia by U.S. Attorney Paul McNulty, accusing AIPAC?s former policy director Steven Rosen and a former AIPAC Middle East analyst Keith Weissman with illegally receiving classified information about Iran from a Defense department analyst, Lawrence A. Franklin, and with illegally helping Franklin to pass them to Naor Gilon, a political counselor at the Israeli Embassy in Washington, D.C. The federal grand jury also added new charges against Franklin, the source of the secret information on Iran.

The five-count, 26-page indictment of Rosen and Weissman discloses a much broader set of charges against the two men, that they have been passing classified information to Israel as far back as 1999, on topics ranging from Saudi Arabia to Al-Qaeda to Iran. AIPAC fired the two key staff members after first standing by them, later claiming that the group had been misled.

But Bird argued that AIPAC had been disingenuous, saying that ?it is too bad that an organization that has professed to be supporting Israel has changed into an organization that appears to have no boundaries for its actions against the laws of the United States.?

The indictment spells out the details of Franklin?s meetings with Gilon and the two AIPAC staff members, and that Rosen had initially sought out Franklin as a source of expertise on Iran, which has been a special source of national security concern to Israel in recent years.

The Council for the National Interest was founded in 1989 by Paul Findley and Paul ?Pete? McCloskey, both longtime Republican Members of Congress, gravely concerned by the effects of long-term interests of the US in the Middle East. Findley?s book, THEY DARE SPEAK OUT, chronicles how American foreign policy in the Middle East has long been distorted by actions of the powerful Israel lobby.



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