grant smith, version one million

AIPAC Still Our Biggest Foreign Agent
Grant F Smith, Antiwar.com, Jul 18 2017

Alleged Russian meddling in the Pindo electoral process will be the subject of a Senate Judiciary Hearing on Wednesday. The hearing is titled “Oversight of the Justice Dept’s (Non) Enforcement of FARA: Lessons from the Obama Administration and Current Compliance Practices.” In 1938, Congress passed FARA to mandate disclosure of the activities of non-diplomatic foreign agents in Pindostan propagandizing for war, swinging public opinion, and obtaining foreign aid and other economic benefits through congressional lobbying without disclosing that their activities were conducted on behalf of foreign principals. The first panel of witnesses for Wednesday’s Senate hearing will include Deputy Asst AG of the National Security Division of the Justice Dept Adam Hickey, Asst Director of the Counter-Intelligence Division of the FBI Bill Priestap, and IG of the Justice Dept Michael Horowitz. Second panel witnesses include Glenn Simpson of Fusion GPS, an outfit which circulated the now infamous dossier of allegations made against Donald Trump by a British spy. William Browder, a Russian market investment expert from Hermitage Capital Management, who has now deemed Russia “absolutely uninvestable,” will also testify. According to reports, Browder knows Natalia Veslnitskaya, the Russian lawyer who met with Donald Trump Jr to peddle opposition research on Hillary Clinton. Panel Chairman Chuck Grassley may ultimately conclude that FARA has failed and that unregistered Russian foreign agents are taking over Pindostan. If so, he will be half right, but not the first such senator to express concern. Grassley should consider what happened after a more extensive Senate FARA inquiry was launched 55 years ago. Senate Foreign Relations Committee Chairman J W Fulbright became convinced that unregistered Israeli foreign agents were a serious matter in 1961. A classified staff report worried:

In recent years there has been an increasing number of incidents involving attempts by foreign governments, or their agents, to influence the conduct of Pindosi foreign policy by techniques outside normal diplomatic channels. There have been occasions when representatives of other governments have been privately accused of engaging in covert activities within Pindostan and elsewhere, for the purpose of influencing Pindosi Policy (the Lavon Affair).

The Lavon Affair referred to Israeli false-flag terror attacks on Pindosi facilities in Egypt, in the interest of preventing the handover of the Suez Canal to Egyptian control. The Israeli spies were caught and prosecuted by Egypt, while the disclosure of the attacks created a diplomatic crisis. During the course of the 1960s Senate and Justice Dept investigations, it was revealed that Israel was funneling millions of dollars to unregistered foreign agents in Pindostan to lobby for foreign aid to Israel, set up think-tanks, engage in Madison Avenue PR, fund lobbying newsletters, and establish an umbrella organization called the American Zionist Council (AZC). Within the AZC was an unincorporated unit that lobbied congress called the “American Israel Public Affairs Committee.” On Nov 21 1962, the DoJ ordered the AZC to begin registering as an Israeli foreign agent. This touched off an intense battle between the DoJ and the AZC which outlasted both JFK and RFK. The bloodied and bruised DoJ hid away its files on the affair until they were finally declassified and released in 2008.

The effort to register Israel’s foreign agents clearly failed. Just 42 days after the Justice Dept order, the American Israel Public Affairs Committee incorporated itself in Washington and took over the AZC’s functions. Since the year it was ordered to register as part of the AZC, AIPAC has extracted an inflation-adjusted $250b from Pindosi taxpayers for its foreign principals. Influencing the conduct of Pindo policy “by techniques outside normal diplomatic channels” has never stopped. If AIPAC had complied with the 1962 FARA order, by now it would have filed 109 required biennial reports (1963-2017) of its activities. It would have had to detail joint efforts with Israeli operatives. These include a 1975 incident in which AIPAC Director Morris Amitay circulated classified information about a proposed Hawk missile sale to Jordan. AIPAC’s FARA file would have had to detail AIPAC staffers Steven Rosen, Douglas Bloomfield and Ester Kurz 1984 receipt of stolen classified information taken from industry groups opposed to allowing duty-free imports from Israel into Pindostan. Of course, the FARA disclosure would include details on two AIPAC executives, Steven Rosen and Keith Weissman, who from 2002-2004 solicited and received stolen classified national defense information from Col Lawrence Franklin about Iran and other matters which they passed to the Israeli embassy. The pair attempted to contextualize and place the stolen classified national defense information in the WaPo to precipitate a Pindosi attack on Iran. AIPAC is not complying with the 1962 DoJ order. The Grassley panel might want to invite the FARA Section Head Heather Hunt, who knows all about the AZC-AIPAC incident, to testify why. In 2009 Hunt, along with other members of the FARA division, received a two-hour briefing with the unsubtle title of “The American Israel Public Affairs Committee is an Unregistered Foreign Agent of the Israeli Government.

If Grassley does not believe Israeli foreign agent activity to be important, he might want to invite as a star witness Stephanie Schriock, who has publicly claimed (above) that as a high-powered campaign fundraiser for major candidates across the country, the first step in obtaining seed funding for a political campaign was always to circulate a position paper on Israel to AIPAC regional officials. Only then could candidates obtain funds from willing pro-Israel donors sufficient to launch a serious campaign. The Israel lobby’s oversized role in Pindosi campaign finance on Israel’s behalf has now made regional peace and productive innovation in Pindo policy impossible, and war all but inevitable. Grassley might also engage in the following thought experiment as he ponders his upcoming hearing. “What happens to a candidate or incumbent if they loudly criticize Russia or Pindo policy toward Russia?” He should then swap out “Russia” for “Israel.” Today, AIPAC may obtain most of its lobbying budget from a relatively small but wealthy group of Pindosi donors, but that does not mean it is not an Israeli foreign agent, for three reasons. The first observable sign, listed on the DoJ FARA webpage, is that AIPAC is so obviously devoted to the sole purpose of channeling Pindo taxpayer funds to a foreign country. Such breaks, though DoJ lists sugar quotas as an example, is the major red flag. Despite changes in its PR framing, AIPAC’s primary business is the same as when founder Si Kenen first conceived it. He wrote:

The lobby for Israel, known as the American Israel Public Affairs Committee (AIPAC) since 1959, came into existence in 1951. It was established at that time because Israel needed Pindosi economic assistance.

The second is that AIPAC was incontrovertibly established with foreign seed funding, including to Kenen, nestled inside the AZC. The third is that, as an unincorporated unit within the AZC, AIPAC was clearly covered by the order to register as an Israeli foreign agent. AIPAC’s top priorities include maneuvering Pindostan to attack Iran, keeping Pindo forces in the region as a buffer, protecting Israeli nuclear hegemony, and making criticism and boycotts of Israel in Pindostan impossible. Pindosis overwhelmingly oppose all that, as well as unconditional aid to Israel. Sen Grassley should therefore ignore for a moment the flap over Russia, and his own top 25 position as a recipient of pro-Israel PAC money, and should then look seriously at the longest-running unresolved foreign agent problem and ask what action would be best for Pindostan.

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