When we posted yesterday on the Washington Times interview with former Defense Analyst, Larry Franklin, revealed as an FBI double agent in the AIPAC case see here, we observed.
We believe that the FBI cabal was lead by former Associate Director David Szady who had let it be known that the national law enforcement agency was intent on finding an Israeli mole inside the US government, based erroneously, as it turned out in the disastrous AIPAC case. Federal Prosecutors relied heavily on the thin reed of a 90 year Sedition law, questionable evidentiary standards in filed court motions and sought a ‘closed court’ proceeding, which ultimately was quashed by the Richmond Federal Appellate court dismissal rulings. Messrs. Weissman and Rosen were simply doing what Washington journalists, including Gertz, have done which is revealing ex parte conversations with official sources, who don’t want to go on record; i.e., ‘leaking’. However, the Federal judiciary saw through this blatant attempt by the FBI and federal prosecutors effectively stopped the failed AIPAC case in its tracks, relieving former AIPAC seniors officials Weissman and Rosen from standing trial, and reduced Franklin’s prior sentence under a plea bargain.
Today’s edition of the Washington Times has more from the Bill Gertz interview with Franklin, accusation about Anti-Semitism, “EXCLUSIVE: Pro-Israel lobby probe linked to anti-Semitism.”
As you will see remarks of Franklin, FBI special agents and unidentified counterterrorism officials confirm our views.
Franklin on Anti-Semitism animus behind the AIPAC case
Franklin said in that interview that he became disturbed by several apparently anti-Semitic remarks by his FBI handlers. His cooperation with the agency, which involved taping his conversations with officials of AIPAC and the Israeli Embassy, was first reported by the Times on Wednesday.
"One agent said to me, 'How can an Irish Catholic from the Bronx get mixed up with all these ...,' and I finished the sentence for him: 'Jews?' And I proceeded to tell him that Christ and all the Apostles and even his mom were Jewish," Franklin said in the interview.
"So it was that sort of thing. And just sarcastic turns of the phrase from time to time. You know, I felt dirty sometimes," he said.
FBI Assistant Director John Miller declined to address the charges of anti-Semitism.
"We have no way to respond to thirdhand characterizations of partial statements allegedly made by unnamed FBI employees several years ago," Mr. Miller said. "If Mr. Franklin would like to make a formal complaint about the conduct of any FBI employee, there is a process to do."
During the AIPAC probe, Franklin said, FBI agents whom he declined to identify by name "asked me about every Jew I knew in [the office of the secretary of defense]. There was an element of that."
Several Jews held prominent positions in the department at the time, including Deputy Defense Secretary Paul Wolfowitz and Undersecretary of Defense for Policy Douglas Feith.
US Counterintelligence and FBI Special Agents comments about Israeli Intelligence and AIPAC
Former U.S. counterintelligence officials have said the FBI has aggressively pursued Israeli intelligence-gathering in the United States since the arrest of Jonathan Jay Pollard, a Navy intelligence analyst caught during the 1980s passing classified documents to Israel.
The officials said the FBI thinks Pollard, who is serving a life prison term, was part of a larger Israeli spy ring operating inside the U.S. government and that it was led by a "Mr. X." No such spymaster has ever been uncovered.
Former FBI counterintelligence agent and supervisor I.C. Smith said anti-Semitism in pursuing Israeli spying was "not my experience" during a lengthy career in the FBI.
"There was a great deal of frustration within the FBI in dealing with the Israelis," Mr. Smith said. "In my time in the Intelligence Division [later the National Security Division], the Israelis displayed a very real arrogance and with their constant contacts on Capitol Hill, they showed a confidence that they could do just about anything they wanted to do, and they could."
He said the Pollard case, in which Israel ran a clandestine agent in the U.S. intelligence community, was "simply shameful" and not in keeping with Israel's role as a staunch U.S. ally.
In another case, Mr. Smith said, a Jewish presidential appointee was found during an FBI background check to have "very real problems" related to Israeli interests, but the White House ignored the FBI and went ahead with the appointment.
But, he said, "This frustration the FBI had with the Israelis did not cross over into anti-Semitism, at least in my experience."
Mr. Smith also said he was troubled by the FBI using Franklin as an informant and then prosecuting him.
"When I was in the FBI, it was ingrained that one would go to great lengths to protect sources, not prosecute them," he said.
A former U.S. counterintelligence official familiar with the AIPAC case said the case was handled "extremely carefully" from the beginning.
"The case was handled by numerous agents and supervisors over a period of time, so the allegations of anti-Semitism are either wildly out of line, or a large portion of the bureau is anti-Semitic, which would come as a great surprise to a very large number of Jewish agents and analysts," said the former official, who spoke on the condition of anonymity because he is not authorized to discuss the case.
The official said the case was an investigation of "systemic leaking," more than a major Israeli spying case, and that it was influenced by the political clout of AIPAC in Washington.
These comments from FBI special agents and US counterintelligence officials are meant to throw cold water on Franklin’s accusation of Anti-Semitism. They dangerously veer in the direction of professional paranoia about Israeli intelligence activities in the US with allegations about a possible “mole’. They point to the Pollard Affair as evidence of such a cabal. They also impute ‘clout’ to AIPAC, a dangerous aspect of the powerful Jewish lobby arguments of Mearsheimer Walt, that the ADL and others view amounts to anti-Jewish screed. I hearken back to an early post I did on the AIPAC case pointing to a comment relayed to me by Janet Levy Ross about David Szady, the FBI former counterintelligence associate director. Szady told her at the 2005 Intelligence summit, that “he was out to get AIPAC.”
Clearly, despite the FBI and US Counterintelligence officials’ obfuscatory comments on Franklin’s accusations, it would appear that an element of anti-Semitism was indeed behind the tragic AIPAC case. In the wake of the defeat of the government’s case this should give rise to a Department of Justice Inspector General investigation on the conduct by the FBI and federal prosecutors in fomenting what might be deemed as the US version of the 19th and early 20th century Dreyfus Affair in France. The careers and reputations of Franklin and the former senior AIPAC officials, Weissman and Rosen have been sullied and ruined as a result of government misconduct.