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View Diary: UK Times: Brewster Jennings outed by 'treasonous' US govt official in 2001, not 2003 (191 comments)

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    •  Israeli connection (13+ / 0-)

      I keep seeing references to an Israeli connection...but never any details.

      Any specifics, names, roles, etc, concerning the Israeli connection?

      •  background (17+ / 0-)

        There's some background here

        Basically there were parallel investigations, one with ATC and Turkish Embassy, and a similar one with Israeli Embassy and AIPAC (which is where Larry Franklin comes in)

      •  Here are the specifics that Luke refers to: (13+ / 0-)


        In 2004, Knight Ridder's Warren Strobel and Jonathon Landay confirmed that the 'AIPAC case' was much more serious than anything that has seen the light of day so far:

        "Several U.S. officials and law-enforcement sources said yesterday that the scope of the FBI probe of Pentagon intelligence activities appeared to go well beyond the Franklin matter.

        FBI agents have briefed top White House, Pentagon and State Department officials on the probe. Based on those briefings, officials said, the bureau appears to be looking into other controversies that have roiled the Bush administration, some of which also touch Feith's office.

        They include how the Iraqi National Congress, a former exile group backed by the Pentagon, allegedly received highly classified U.S. intelligence on Iran; the leaking of the name of CIA officer Valerie Plame to reporters; and the production of bogus documents suggesting that Iraq tried to buy uranium for nuclear weapons from the African country of Niger. Bush repeated the Niger claim in making the case for war against Iraq.

        "The whole ball of wax" was how one U.S. official privy to the briefings described the inquiry."

        Keep in mind that the FBI operation against AIPAC et al goes back to at least 1999 - so they were watching all of the relevant characters throughout this period. In fact, you'll note that Strobel refers to "the FBI probe of Pentagon intelligence activities" - apparently the Pentagon, particularly Doug Feith's Office of Special Plans, was itself the 'target' of the investigation.

        Investigations shut down.

        What happened to that Pentagon investigation? Why aren't Doug Feith, Richard Perle and others in prison? I can only presume that this particular investigation was shut down, just like so many other investigations into these criminals.

        In a recent interview Sibel described some cases that were shut down. The case referred to in this excerpt is apparently an Israeli counter-intelligence case:

        "There are other cases we are not hearing about that I'm aware of that have to do with similar cases, maybe having to do with other countries. For example, again this is another relevant case, an outside case, the Larry Franklin case, with the espionage case that they pursued with AIPAC. And what the American public doesn’t know is the fact that there were other counter-intelligence operations within the FBI that obtained far more information not only limited to Mr. Franklin, that were similarly shut down in 2000 and 2001 because they ended up going to higher levels and involving maybe way too many people, US persons. I’m talking about individuals who are breaking the law, misusing the trust and abusing their power, and in some cases I would even say engaging in treason."

        And here Sibel describes the same thing taking place within Turkish counter-intelligence:

        Now the same thing was about to take place with Turkish counter-intelligence. In the main portion of the documented — wiretapped or paper — operations that I translated verbatim (not only for the Washington Field Office but also for the Chicago and New Jersey offices), they were obtained before 2001. If we were to put a date on it you’re looking at end of 1996 to 2001. Now, in 1998 and 1999, there were so many pieces of evidence of U.S. individuals’ involvement. We’re talking about people with official positions, whether they were in the State Department or the Pentagon or the U.S. Congress that forced the Justice Dept, and the good agents who did the right thing, they started a parallel investigation that targeted these individuals who were possibly committing acts of treason.

        However, as I was told by first-source agents I was working with, this was put on hold in 1999 because President Clinton was then going through the Lewinsky scandal. After the current administration came into power and after I was working there, the agents were told to shut down.

        Similar allegations

        Sibel isn't the only person who claims that investigations like this have been shut down. For example, in Kill The Messenger, ex-CIA agent Phil Giraldi says:

        All of these people (Richard Perle, Doug Feith) have been investigated by the FBI at one point or another for passing secret information to Israel. In no cases, were any of them convicted. The prosecutions were dropped... in my opinion because of political pressure not to get into this kind of case that involves Israel and espionage.

        Similarly, Laura Rozen and Jason Vest reported in Prospect:

        "Since the Pollard case, U.S. intelligence and law-enforcement sources have revealed to the Prospect that at least six sealed indictments have been issued against individuals for espionage on Israel's behalf. It's a testament to the unique relationship between the United States and Israel that those cases were never prosecuted; according to the same sources, both governments ultimately addressed them through diplomatic and intelligence channels rather than air the dirty laundry. A number of career Justice Department and intelligence officials who have worked on Israeli counterespionage told the Prospect of long-standing frustration among investigators and prosecutors who feel that cases that could have been made successfully against Israeli spies were never brought to trial, or that the investigations were shut down prematurely."

        Sibel often makes the same point. The FBI agents in the field are doing a great job, however:

        The people who made that decision (to shut down the investigation) were not the Justice Department or the FBI, and that’s what I try to emphasize all the time — they were pressured, they were forced by higher-up forces within the Pentagon and the State Department.

        That is, the guilty parties at the Pentagon and State Dept have the power to stomp on investigations into their own illegal activities. And as Sibel says, these people were involved in criminal activity, not just simple state-based espionage.

        As reported in Vanity Fair:

        "In fact, much of what Edmonds reportedly heard seemed to concern not state espionage but criminal activity. There was talk, she told investigators, of laundering the profits of large-scale drug deals and of selling classified military technologies to the highest bidder."

        Once we understand that simple fact, this report from Washington Post makes more sense:

        "Reports on the investigation have baffled foreign policy analysts and U.S. officials because the Bush administration and the government of Prime Minister Ariel Sharon already cooperate on intelligence matters and share policy views. Despite some rocky moments, the relationship has been among the United States' closest in both policy and intelligence sharing since Israel was founded almost six decades ago."

        •  I think part of the reason for the reticence (1+ / 0-)
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          … to investigate too closely "espionage on Israel's behalf" is that there's been this covert relationship involving defense and intelligence sharing that goes deeper even than the semi-acknowleged activities that the Washington Post article refers to. I imagine the transactions alleged by Ms Edmonds et al were carried out using networks built up through this relationship in much the same fashion as those involved in the Edwin Wilson saga.

          In both cases, you have the possibility of fallout damaging valuable existing operations should the allegations be too carefully investigated. Obviously, if this is the case, somebody's got some explaining to do WRT why these people weren't quietly shut down, at the very least.

          One of the things about digging into all of the assorted incompetence, underhandedness, and general shitbaggery that has come to pass with this administration is that it always points back to what these cretins were keeping busy with between terms in power. When they bought the White House, in 2000, the filth rose to the top quickly and they worked their little scams¹ for all they were worth. And this increased activity, I think, has flushed a lot of it into the open.

          Now, if the media would acknowledge it …

          ¹ And were worked upon, themselves. One can imagine how certain Turks, for instance, would have been quite delighted to have their contacts suddenly at the top levels of the US administration.

          "People who say I'm dystopian are middle class pussies!" – William Gibson

          by subtropolis on Sun Jan 27, 2008 at 10:47:22 AM PST

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        •  another example: (1+ / 0-)
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          From the WTF? dept.:

          The Israeli "art student" mystery

          (google cache link. You might need to temporarily disable javascript in order to use the links to keep from being intercepted by Salon/Yahoo's irritating login screen.)

          For almost two years, hundreds of young Israelis falsely claiming to be art students haunted federal offices — in particular, the DEA. No one knows why — and no one seems to want to find out.

          May 7, 2002 | In January 2001, the security branch of the U.S. Drug Enforcement Agency began to receive a number of peculiar reports from DEA field offices across the country. According to the reports, young Israelis claiming to be art students and offering artwork for sale had been attempting to penetrate DEA offices for over a year. The Israelis had also attempted to penetrate the offices of other law enforcement and Department of Defense agencies. Strangest of all, the "students" had visited the homes of numerous DEA officers and other senior federal officials.

          As a pattern slowly emerged, the DEA appeared to have been targeted in what it called an "organized intelligence gathering activity." But to what end, and for whom, no one knew.

          "People who say I'm dystopian are middle class pussies!" – William Gibson

          by subtropolis on Sun Jan 27, 2008 at 11:01:40 AM PST

          [ Parent ]

          •  Still interesting.. (1+ / 0-)
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            here is the actual story, salon may intercept it, but I searched 'Israeli art students ' and it came up, all 6 pages, a good read, and a good synopsis of the difficulty in reporting, discussing, and acting on any Israel linked issues.
             At the end, it says the story was corrected, but the link is dead to the correction.

            Some of the same pressures that keep government officials from criticizing Israel may also explain why the media has failed to pursue the art student enigma. Media outlets that run stories even mildly critical of Israel often find themselves targeted by organized campaigns, including form-letter e-mails, the cancellation of subscriptions, and denunciations of the organization and its reporters and editors as anti-Semites. Cameron, for example, was excoriated by various pro-Israel lobbying groups for his exposé. Representatives of the Jewish Institute for National Security Affairs (JINSA), the Anti-Defamation League (ADL), and the Committee for Accuracy in Middle East Reporting in America (CAMERA) argued that the Fox report cited only unnamed sources, provided no direct evidence, and moreover had been publicly denied by spokesmen for the FBI and others (the last, of course, is not really an argument).

            In a December interview with Salon, CAMERA's associate director, Alex Safian, said that several "Jewish/Israeli groups" were having "conversations" with representatives of Fox News regarding Cameron's piece. Safian said he questioned Cameron's motives in running the story. "I think Fox has always been fair to Israel in its reporting," said Safian. "I think it's just Cameron who has something, personally, about Israel. He was brought up in the Middle East. Maybe that has something to do with it. Maybe he's very sympathetic to the Arab side. One could ask." The implicit suggestion was that Cameron is a bigot; in conversation, Safian would later make the same allegation about the entire editorial helm at Le Monde, which he called an anti-Semitic newspaper.

            Told of Safian's comments, Cameron said, "I'm speechless. I spent several years in Iran growing up because my father was an archaeologist there. That makes me anti-Israel?" The chief Washington correspondent for Fox News, Cameron had never before been attacked for biased coverage of Israel or Israeli-related affairs -- or for biased coverage of Arabs, for that matter. Cameron defends his December reporting, saying he had never received any heat whatsoever from his superiors, nor had he ever been contacted by any dissenting voices in government.

            Oddly, four days after the Cameron investigation ran, all traces of his report -- transcripts, Web links, headlines -- disappeared from the archives. (Normally, Fox leaves a story up for two to three weeks before consigning it to the pay archive.) When Le Monde contacted Fox in March for a copy of the original tapes, Fox News spokesmen said the request posed a problem but would not elaborate. (Fox News now says Le Monde never called.) Asked why the Cameron piece disappeared, spokesman Robert Zimmerman said it was "up there on our Web site for about two or three weeks and then it was taken down because we had to replace it with more breaking news. As you know, in a Web site you've got x amount of bandwidth -- you know, x amount of stuff you can put stuff up on [sic]. So it was replaced. Normal course of business, my friend." (In fact, a text-based story on a Web site takes up a negligible amount of bandwidth.)

            When informed that Cameron's story was gone from the archives, not simply from the headline pages (when you entered the old URL, a Fox screen appeared with the message "This story no longer exists"), Zimmerman replied, "I don't know where it is."

             Interesting that the two well known and liked user's who were questioning this story and Sibel are today absent, in spite of it being on the rec list. They were concern trolling based on the ct problem, but as AIPAC is part of the story, that's to be expected...their current absence is puzzling.
              I agree with Lukery that the story is bigger than just our relationship with Israel.

            •  yeah, i'm aware of the FOX story disappearing (1+ / 0-)
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              I'm not sure who you're referring to in your last comment, Ken, but i think it's pretty reasonable for people to be advising an abundance of caution WRT this story. Personally, i think that there's something to it. What, specifically, we shall see, hopefully.

              "People who say I'm dystopian are middle class pussies!" – William Gibson

              by subtropolis on Sun Jan 27, 2008 at 05:09:16 PM PST

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              •  Abundance of caution.. (0+ / 0-)

                 From the Israeli art student story one can perhaps get a glimpse of the problems of taking anything anybody says wrt Israel , Palestine, 911, AIPAC, the ATC, Plame and on and on without a dose of skeptic salt.
                  For example, because of the history of the I/P , 911, and AIPAC conversations here, anybody who is both skeptical of Sibel (based on Dkos CT 'rules') and who is  also an enthusiastic participant on the I side of the conversation is just not going to persuade me that Sibel is lying or whatever.
                 The conversation about what Sibel has/is doing is complicated from those  other 's views that are suspicious and critical of everything Israel does. Sibel will also attract as supporters those arch critics and their distant anti semitic cousins. I'm not persuaded as to her authenticity by the Israel critics and the real antisemites either...I hope.

                  The combo of Israeli intell and drug smuggling was interesting and unexplored in the article. Why wouldn't their super patriots just consider this just another tax on people who are giving them money anyway? There are also logistical practicalities involved as many of the drug smuggling and spy tradecrafts overlap.....big time.
                 It also occurred to me that the disinformation specialists from the 911 event would get involved in actions and conversations....
                  So many agendas and so little clarity. Good luck, and thanks for the art student link.

    •  We need to pressure US papers to pick this up (18+ / 0-)

      It would be nice if they did their job, but they don't want to upset their corporate masters.

    •  Tony Blair's not blocking the gates anymore? (1+ / 0-)
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      Seems so, yes?

      The Republican Party - Living proof that misery loves company.

      by PatsBard on Sat Jan 26, 2008 at 05:10:42 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

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