Sunday, May 3, 2009

The AIPAC Case

Even to the casual observer this prosecution should have been noted as a political move, not one of justice.

The AIPAC Case Fallout Israel
Israel, 'espionage,' and a now-failed political prosecution.

Four years, millions in legal fees and a half-dozen conspiracy theories later, the Justice Department dropped its case yesterday against the two former staffers of the American Israel Public Affairs Committee (Aipac) indicted in 2005 on espionage-related charges. Now where do Steve Rosen and Keith Weissman -- and everyone else besmirched, including California Democrat Jane Harman -- apply to get their reputations back?

Attorney General Eric Holder deserves credit for dropping the charges, though we wish he had also announced that the case should never have been brought. Instead, the prosecution acted only after adverse judicial rulings made the case virtually impossible to win. Among the tests imposed on the prosecution by a federal judge was whether the "secrets" Messrs. Rosen and Weissman supposedly disseminated to colleagues, journalists and an Israeli embassy official were closely held, and whether the pair relayed them in bad faith.

This is a good read right up to the end.

Mr. Holder should also re-examine the Aipac case from start to finish. The real scandal in this case starts with the attempted criminalization of policy differences and legitimate lobbying, and ends up in the wiretapping of Congress and the wrecked careers of Messrs. Rosen, Weissman and Franklin. This smacks of abuse of power, and somebody at Justice should be held to account.