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Friday, May 01, 2009

Breaking: 'Spy' case against AIPAC staffers dropped

Jewish Telegraphic Agency reports that the US Federal government has dropped its case against Keith Weissman and Steven Rosen - former staffers of the American Israel Public Affairs Committee - who had been charged under the 1917 Espionage Act with disclosing closely held defense information to a foreign agent.
A source with intimate knowledge of the case against two ex-AIPAC staffers accused of passing along classified information says the case has been dropped.

Keith Weissman, the American Israel Public Affairs Committee's former Iran analyst, and Steve Rosen, its former foreign policy chief, were charged under a rarely used section of the 1917 Espionage Act that makes it a crime for civilians to receive and distribute closely held defense information. Both men were later dismissed by AIPAC, with the organization claiming the two had violated its rules; Rosen, in turn has filed a multi-million dollar lawsuit against AIPAC.

Federal prosecutors reportedly had been considering dropping the criminal case in the wake of a number of recent judicial decisions that make the prosecution more difficult.
Ten days ago, I reported that this was likely to happen and posited that charges against California Democrat Jane Harman for having sought 'leniencies' for the two were likely connected to the case being dropped.

There's an interview with Harman here.


At 5:10 PM, Blogger NormanF said...

It had no legal merit as a case; the political point delivered was far more effective: to chill pro-Israel advocacy in America. Its hard to imagine any reason to bring the case against AIPAC save for the so-called "double loyalty" canard. All this means for the future is that anti-Israel forces within the US government will be more careful to get all their ducks in a row before proceeding with a case against a pro-Israel organization.

At 9:35 PM, Blogger J. Lichty said...

NormanF - our own Dreyfuss Affair.

I agree that while this is a great victory in the battle against unfair targettig of Jews, the war has just begun.

The "israel lobby conspiracy" crowd was strengthened by this result even more than it would have been by a guilty verdict.

"Just look how powerful the lobby it - it got its spies against the US off scott free with the help of a congressperson in their pocket."

While I rejoice at the individual's freedom, I am still saddened by the whole affair.


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