These are bad times for Israeli spy operations. It wasn’t enough that the
American Israel Public Affairs Committee (AIPAC) was outed, last week, as a
major supplier of U.S. secrets to Tel Aviv: on Monday, Israel’s spy
satellite – meant to keep an eye on Iran’s nuclear ambitions – went kaput
on lift-off. Measured in time, money, and diplomatic blowback, the loss of
the satellite is a hard blow to the Jewish state – but the AIPAC affair
could deliver a knockout punch to one of Washington’s most powerful, and
feared, lobbying groups. Not only that, it could also destroy the
neoconservative wing of the Republican foreign policy establishment by
demonstrating, in a court of law, the key link between neoconservatism and

Attempts to minimize the damage, mostly conducted in the pages of the
Jerusalem Post, and the New York Times – which has published “news” stories
on the subject consisting almost entirely of the neocons’ outraged denials
– have so far downplayed the significance of the documents allegedly given
to AIPAC officials by Pentagon analyst Lawrence A. Franklin, and then
passed on to Israel. The Amen Corner always refers to a draft of a
presidential directive on Iran, and then goes on to scoff at the
seriousness of the alleged transmission: everybody does it, goes the
argument, and what are some “draft” policy papers between such good
friends? No notice is ever taken of the “other documents” frequently
mentioned, albeit in passing, in various news accounts. But what are we
talking about, here: secret codes? the names of American agents abroad?
America’s war plans in Iraq? It could be any or all of the above…


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