Archive for May, 2011
Official: Khalid Sheikh Mohammed, 9/11 conspirators to be re-charged for tribunal
Khalid Sheik Mohammed is re-charged in Sept. 11 attacks
May 30, 2011
First National Demonstration
Move Over, AIPAC
By HARRY CLARK
The annual conference of the American-Israel Public Affairs Committee, took place in Washington the weekend of May 21-22 and the following week. As usual, the top of the federal government paid tribute—President Obama addressed the 6,000 strong delegates, and over 350 senators and representatives attended. The Rapture may have failed to appear that weekend as scheduled by evangelist Harold Camping, but it descended on Capitol Hill Tuesday, when Israeli Prime Minister Bibi Netanyahu addressed a joint session of Congress. Congress applauded almost every paragraph of Netanyahu’s speech.
For the first time ever, elements of the left, namely, Code Pink, organized a conference and a national demonstration against AIPAC, Move Over AIPAC; see http://www.moveoveraipac.org/. The conference featured Professors John Mearsheimer and Steven Walt, authors of The Israel Lobby, which mainstreamed the idea, as well as perennial critics such as journalist Jeffrey Blankfort, Janet McMahon, of Washington Report on Middle East Affairs, and Grant Smith, author of several books on AIPAC based on documents obtained through the Freedom of Information Act.
Several hundreds of demonstrators greeted the AIPAC delegates as they entered and exited the Washington convention center; some groups gained admittance and staged impromptu demos, to be muscled out like Communists from a Nazi rally. Rae Abileah, one of the chief organizers of the weekend, who emceed much of it, was admitted to the visitors’ gallery in Congress. Upon unfurling a banner and denouncing Israel’s war crimes, she was assaulted by AIPAC minions before being hustled out by police. She was hospitalized with neck and shoulder injuries and arrested on her sickbed.
Apart from such heroism and the prodigious work to organize it, the
MoveOver conference was weak in my jaded view, basically because the left has been running from the “Israel lobby” issue for 40 years. The first false step was buckling to liberal Jewish pressure and letting Helen Thomas bow out. The 90-yr old dean of the White House press corps lost her journalistic career after criticizing the colonial nature of Zionism; more recently she compounded the offense by blunt talk about the power of the Jewish community. One would think Thomas an ideal figure to speak
at a rally opposing AIPAC. Her absence sacrificed media attention and weakened the protest.
There was an “upstairs, downstairs” feel to the discussion of AIPAC. Upstairs, at the plenary session, Professors Mearsheimer and Walt gave their familiar talk. Their book was important, and they mainstreamed the
question of the “Israel lobby”, but in the most narrow terms, which they reinforce with each appearance, the price they feel they have to pay to retain mainstream credibility. The left bears a large share of responsibility for this defensiveness, by not making the argument itself.
For example, Mearsheimer and Walt invariably say that AIPAC is just another interest group doing its job. It is nothing of the sort; it is a criminal organization which has operated at the edge of and beyond the law since its inception. Inter alia, Grant Smith has shown this in half a dozen books based on documents unearthed with FOIA.
Grant Smith, with Jeff Blankfort and Janet McMahon of Washington Report on Middle East Affairs, spoke downstairs, after the plenary, at a crowded workshop on AIPAC. Alison Weir of If Americans Knew, moderated. Code Pink had contacted her about speakers. She tried to
get some workshop speakers onto the plenary upstairs, but failed. She had also recommended Stephen Sniegoski, author of The Transparent Cabal, about neoconservative influence on foreign policy, but he was rejected.
To their credit, Professors Mearsheimer and Walt spoke to a meeting assembled by Code Pink, supporting democratic as well as elite outreach. Ambassador Chas Freeman, former diplomat in Arab countries, whose candidacy for a position in the Obama Administration was vetoed by AIPAC, appeared on an authors’ panel.
The US has lost national sovereignty to Israel and its US supporters, chiefly the organized Jewish community. Defense Secretary Gates can visit West Point and proclaim that the days of land wars in Asia are over. He cannot say that the US-Israel relationship is over. The foreign policy “realists” and Arabist establishment are deeply alarmed by that and must be embraced as allies.
The AIPAC workshop presenters provided absorbing information. For example, Grant Smith has raised the issue of AIPAC’s registration as a foreign agent with the Department of Justice. He met with Heather Hunt, head of the Foreign Agent Registration Act section, and Hunt seemed to warm up to his case and her responsibilities. Smith, Jeff Blankfort, and Hunt and two staffers were sitting at one end of the table. At the other end was an unnamed official, who did not give out his card, and interjected remarks like “AIPAC should have an opportunity to respond to your comments”. Not in court–but as part of the decision to investigate and prosecute. If FARA and FEC law were enforced, AIPAC would be dissolved, in Smith’s view, copiously documented. Smith led a demo at Justice on May 23 with 70-80 people. We marched around the building chanting and wrote letters to Attorney General Holder and Heather Hunt at the main doors on Constitution Avenue.
Smith led another demonstration on Tuesday morning at the US Trade Commission, in support of a suit filed by a group of businesses who’ve been hurt by the US-Israel free trade accord passed in the 1980s. Israel got a copy of the classified document outlining the US negotiating position, full of confidential data from those companies. The US-Israel trade balance has been consistently negative for the US, when most bilateral agreements are neutral. See Smith’s web site http://www.irmep.org/.
Overall, the major drawback was that only a few hundred attended. In June 2007 the US Campaign to End the Occupation organized a protest about the 40th anniversary of “the occupation” that drew 5-6,000, still weak. We were told that Jewish Voice for Peace, United for Peace and Justice, American Friends Service Committee and the American-Arab Anti-Discrimination Committee did most of the work on that. The much weaker turnout for this suggests that some of these groups simply don’t want a national protest directed against AIPAC, despite all the “endorsements”.
In his presentation, Grant Smith cited the American Council for Judaism’s contributions to the hearings on foreign agents convened in 1963 by Senator William Fulbright, chair of the Committee on Foreign Relations. These were an extraordinary, by current standards, investigation of the burgeoning Israel lobby, discussed in Smith’s book Foreign Agents. ACJ was the anti-Zionist group headed by the late, great Rabbi Elmer Berger, whose entire outlook absolutely rejected Zionism and affirmed the obligations of liberal citizenship.
This sense is totally missing from the Jewish scene today, including the “left”, which, no less than the mainstream, is immersed in what Judaic scholar Jacob Neusner called the “Zionism of Jewish peoplehood”. “The Jewish people is my homeland. Wherever Jews live, there I am at home.”
Thus the event featured “young Jewish pride”, singing in Hebrew and baking challah and performing other astounding feats while opposing AIPAC. There were assurances that “AIPAC is bad for the Jews” as if this makes protest permissible, as if protest is not an obligation of US citizens, as if Americans of Jewish background are obligated only as “Jews”, which in secular terms is artificial and willfully constructed, Zionist essentialism.
The left is weak and confused about Palestine for lack of universalist convictions and analysis, recovering which is essential to thinking, let alone acting, at 59 minutes and 57 seconds through the eleventh hour.
Harry Clark may be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Protestor beaten by AIPAC thugs in House gallery arrested at hospital
More on Dr. Stephen Sniegoski’s ‘The Transparent Cabal’ book via http://tinyurl.com/thetransparentcabal
‘Pro-Israel lobby has stranglehold on US political system’
Additional via http://tinyurl.com/AIPACStrangleholdonUS
Americans Demand Justice Dep’t Regulate AIPAC as Israeli Foreign Agent – IRmep
Date: Tuesday, May 31, 2011, 10:11 AM
WASHINGTON, May 31, 2011 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ – On May 23 activists drawn from more than 100 organizations demanded the U.S. Department of Justice regulate the American Israel Public Affairs Committee as an agent of the Israeli Ministry of Foreign Affairs. On May 18, 2011 Heather Hunt, chief of the Registration Unit of the Counterespionage Division, responded to a letter “requesting a meeting with the Attorney General to discuss matters relating to the American Israel Public Affairs Committee (AIPAC), and its possible obligation to register pursuant to the Foreign Agents Registration Act of 1938″ Hunt solicited “additional information” asking that concerned members of the public, “please forward it to us.”
The new information was presented in front of the Justice Department on a large presentation board. According to 2010 civil court filings AIPAC obtained classified annual U.S. arms transfer data, secret U.S. policy accords with Saudi Arabia, classified signals intelligence flows that were used in lobbying Congress, National Security Decision Directives, Justice Department investigation files and troves of other government classified information. Petitioners argue that AIPAC is trafficking classified U.S. government secrets for the same reason its parent organization laundered overseas funds into the U.S. during the 1960s–to serve the Israeli Ministry of Foreign Affairs–where AIPAC’s founder worked until 1951.
A 2009 petition filed with Hunt substantiated that the Justice Department ordered the American Zionist Council to register as an Israeli foreign agent in 1962 after it was discovered laundering millions of dollars of Israeli funds into U.S. public relations and lobbying campaigns. The AZC’s lobbying and PR division–AIPAC–quietly incorporated six weeks later without registering. In 1965 the Justice Department–in violation of FARA transparency mandates–agreed to keep the AZC foreign agent order secret. This allowed AIPAC to obtain tax exempt status in 1968–against recommendations of a 1963 Senate Foreign Relations Committee letter to the IRS following a separate three year investigation.
Video may be viewed online at:
Members of the public can personalize petition letters (DOC) to the Justice Department at:
and submit forms urging the IRS to retroactively revoke AIPAC’s tax exempt status (PDF):
Move Over AIPAC is organized by Code Pink and endorsed by more than 100 organizations and partners committed to peace in the Middle East. The Institute for Research: Middle Eastern Policy (IRmep) is a nonprofit organization that studies Middle East policy formulation.
SOURCE Institute for Research: Middle Eastern Policy
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THE HIGH COST OF SUBSERVIENCE TO ISRAEL (by Paul Findley)
by Paul Findley
In the greatest service of his long public life, former President Jimmy Carter warns of the grave consequences of America ’s phenomenal subservience to Israel . In his latest book and recent lectures, he focuses on how Israel ’s cruel occupation, made possible by massive and unconditional U.S. support, has subjected the Palestinian people to terrible suffering for forty long years. Beyond that grave human tragedy, candid observers must cite U.S. complicity in Israeli lawlessness as the major factor that prompted the horror of 9/11 and lured America into launching three costly, wrong-headed, and failing wars—Afghanistan, Iraq and the War on Terror
The linkage is easily identified.
America ’s support of Israel ’s brutality was the main motivation for 9/11. It was the ultimate expression of Arab fury over America ’s double standard that routinely ignores Israeli violations of Arab human rights. Nine-eleven would not have happened if any U.S. president in the last forty years had refused to finance Israel ’s humiliation and destruction of Palestine . Michael Scheuer, a former CIA analyst now a consultant to CBS News, recently told a congressional committee that “our unqualified support of Israel ” was the main reason for 9/11. Marine General Anthony Zinni, President George W. Bush’s first special envoy to the Middle East , has stated that the United States invaded Iraq for Israel and oil. Osama bin Laden repeatedly said it was payback for U.S. support of Israel ’s brutal treatment of Palestinians and other Arabs and for U.S. complicity in 1982 when Israeli forces used U.S.-donated munitions to massacre over 18,000 innocent Arabs in Lebanon .
The U.S. acts of war in Afghanistan and the War on Terror were President Bush’s retaliation for 9/11. Israel —and only Israel —urged the United States to invade Iraq . Israel ’s lobby in Washington pushed hard and prevailed. To our foreign critics, these wars focus on killing people outraged by our pro-Israel bias. Our government has done nothing to redress the grievances of Israel ’s victims.
Despite this grim record, U.S. subservience to the wishes of Israel ’s leaders does not change. Unconditional aid to Israel keeps flowing, as does Israel ’s savage treatment of Palestinians and other Arabs. Moreover, the Bush administration is fully and openly pledged to do whatever is necessary—even acts of war–to halt Iran ’s nuclear program even if its projects are lawfully limited to peaceful purposes. Israel is the only nation urging the United States to attack Iran . The lobby is pushing hard again. If the U.S. assaults Iran it will be on Israel ’s behalf.
Congress, like the rest of America , is totally devoid of debate on the amazing role of this small nation in critical U.S. policy. Members are fulsome in public praise of the Jewish state, but no politician mentions the illegal behavior of Israel or the staggering burden it imposes on our country.
How did Israel gain this influence?
It all started 40 years ago. On June 8, 1967 , the U.S. commander-in-chief, President Lyndon B. Johnson, turned his back on the crew of a U.S. navy ship, the USS Liberty, despite the fact that the ship was under deadly assault by Israel ’s air and sea forces. The Israelis were engaged in an ugly scheme to lure America into their war against Arab states. They tried to destroy the Liberty and its entire crew, then pin the blame on the Arabs. This, they reasoned, would outrage the American people and immediately lead the United States to join Israel ’s battle against Arabs.
The scheme almost worked. It failed because, despite the carefully-planned multi-pronged assault, the Liberty crew managed to broadcast an SOS over a makeshift antenna. When the appeal reached U.S. aircraft carriers nearby, the commanders immediately launched fighter planes to defend the ship. Informed of the launch, President Johnson ordered the rescue planes to turn back immediately.
For the first time in history, forces of the U.S. Navy were denied the right to defend a Navy ship under attack. Johnson said, “I don’t care if the ship sinks, I am not going to embarrass an ally.” Those were his exact words, heard by Navy personnel listening to radio relays. The ally Johnson refused to embarrass was Israel . To him, saving Israel from embarrassment was more important than saving the lives of the Liberty crew.
The day yielded infamy—deceit, lies and cover-up at the highest level. When the SOS reached the top military commanders in Israel , they immediately cancelled ousHous the assault, claiming it was a case of mistaken identity. ousHous At the White House, Johnson accepted Israel ’s claim, even though he knew it was a lie. Then Johnson magnified the day’s infamy by ordering a cover-up of the truth. Liberty survivors were sworn to secrecy. Even those in hospital beds and badly wounded were threatened with court martial if they told anyone what actually happened. The cover-up has been continued by every administration since Johnson’s.
It proved to be a fateful turning point in Israel ’s power over U.S. foreign policy. The Liberty experience convinced Israeli officials that they could get by with literally anything—even the murder of U.S. sailors–in their manipulation of the U.S. government. Financial aid to Israel began to pour like a river, all of it with no stings attached. According to The Christian Science Monitor, this outpouring has now cost U.S. taxpayers over $1.4 trillion. Costs go far beyond money. Thousands of American families are blighted forever, with America ’s once high moral standing in shambles. Because of its unqualified support of Israel , Washington is hated worldwide as never before.
The principal source of Israel ’s influence is the fear it seems to instill in every sector of our society. The most effective instrument of intimidation employed by its lobby is the reckless accusation of anti-Semitism, often leveled at anyone criticizing any aspect of Israeli behavior. Several organizations, fundamentalist Christian as well as Jewish, lobby for Israel , but the principal one is the American Israel Public Affairs Committee [AIPAC]. I can personally certify that for many years it has cast a blanket of fear over Capitol Hill and blocked any semblance of unfettered discussion.
I unintentionally contributed to that fear in 1985 when my book, They Dare to Speak Out: People and Institutions Confront Israel’s lobby, was published. It reports in detail the efficiency of Israel ’s U.S. lobby, its history and tactics. Most of the text arose from my personal experience as AIPAC’s prime target during my last five years as a Member of Congress. It also details the lobby’s important role in the defeat of Senators Percy and Adlai Stevenson, and U.S. Rep. Paul “Pete” McCloskey. In a rare burst of public candor about its partisan activities, AIPAC claimed credit for defeating reelection bids by myself in 1982 and Senator Charles Percy in 1984.
My book became a bestseller. I hoped it would inspire public officials and other citizens to revolt against the lobby’s influence on U.S. policy, but several of my former colleagues told me it had the opposite effect. One said, “After what AIPAC did to you and Percy, I vote with the lobby every time.”
Israel ’s grip on America seems impervious. Two distinguished political scientists, John Mearshiemer of the University of Chicago and Stephen Walt of Harvard, strode resolutely into the Middle East minefield a year ago by co-authoring a paper on Israel ’s lobby. More recently, Palestine: Peace Not Apartheid, a book written by former President Carter, revered worldwide for his effective work on international conflict resolution, was published.
These brave statements should have produced a groundswell of public protest demanding America ’s liberation from Israel . Although the professors and Carter have pursued the lecture circuit, no tide of outrage has developed. With few exceptions, America ’s major editors, producers, commentators, academics and politicians have given these courageous initiatives the silent treatment. Democratic leaders on Capitol Hill simply said, “Carter doest not speak for the Democratic Party.”
Nationwide, the lobby’s influence is pervasive, sustained and deep, a phenomenon unprecedented in U.S. history. Because of that power, the “other” Israel is almost never discussed openly and candidly any place in America , even in private conversation. It is impossible to explain the silence except as a reflection of profound fear.
The situation is highly dangerous. America has already paid a towering price for our subservience to Israel , and great additional burdens seem inevitable. If the United States is involved in acts of war against Iran , anti-American protest will rise to new heights, especially throughout the Islamic world. It will inevitably deepen the widely-held belief among Muslims that America seeks to undermine Islam.
The outlook for reform is grim. Elected officials of both major political parties in Washington seem hopelessly captured by Israel ’s agents. So does every serious candidate for the presidency in 2008. A senior U.S. Senator told me recently that Israel cannot expect to experience true security until Palestinians are secure in an independent state of their own, but he spoke off the record and has not made that wise declaration in public.
All U.S. citizens must accept a measure of responsibility for Israel ’s grip on America . Those of us who knew what was happening did not protest with sufficient force and clarity. Those who did not know should have taken their responsibility as citizens more seriously. They should have informed themselves.
The scene is likely to improve only if U.S. elected officials are criticized so forthrightly from home that they fear a constituent revolt more than they fear Israel ’s lobby. This, of course, will not happen until the countryside benefits from a rigorous and edifying public debate about Israel ’s role in our national life.
Paul Findley, a U.S. Representative from Illinois 1961-83, resides in Jacksonville, Illinois. He is the author of five books, including the Washington Post seven-week bestseller, They Dare to Speak Out: People and Institutions Confront Israel’s Lobby, Chicago Review Press [Lawrence Hill Books)
Additional at following URL:
Court Filings Assert Iran Had Link to 9/11 Attacks – NYTimes.com
|Ya’alon: Military strike may be needed to stop Iran nukes|
|Strategic affairs minister calls on “entire civilized world…to take joint action to avert the nuclear threat posed by Iran.”|
|Strategic Affairs Minister Moshe Ya’alon called on the world to prevent Iran from obtaining nuclear weapons, by all means necessary, including a military strike, the Associated Press reported on Monday. Ya’alon made the comments in an interview to Russian news agency Interfax ahead of a visit to Moscow.”We strongly hope that the entire civilized world will come to realize what threat this regime is posing and take joint action to avert the nuclear threat posed by Iran, even if it would be necessary to conduct a pre-emptive strike,” Yaalon said.RELATED:
US senators propose even tighter sanctions on Iran
Arab Spring diverting attention from Iran, PM warns in US
Ya’alon emphasized that not only Israel would be endangered by a nuclear-armed Iran. “An Iran possessing nuclear weapons would be a threat to the entire civilized world,” he stated.
Western analysts say increasingly tough sanctions on Iran as well as the Stuxnet virus and possible other sabotage have delayed Iran’s nuclear progress, even though they say the country now has enough low-enriched uranium for two bombs if refined more. Enriched uranium can be used to fuel power plants, Iran’s stated aim, or provide bomb material if processed much further.
Mark Fitzpatrick, a senior fellow for non-proliferation at the International Institute for Strategic Studies think tank, said last week that “the totality of the evidence indicates beyond reasonable doubt” that Iran was seeking a capability to make such weapons.
If Iran decided to “weaponize” enrichment, it would need about 16 months to yield the first bomb’s worth of highly enriched uranium at its Natanz enrichment facility, if all centrifuge machines were used for this purpose, he said.
At least six months would then be required to fashion the highly-refined uranium into a weapon, Fitzpatrick added. Developing a missile to deliver it would add to the timeline, the former senior US State Department official said.
An IAEA report last week said it had received new information about possible illicit military dimensions to Iran’s nuclear activities
“The latest IAEA report includes evidence that what originally were thought to be just paper studies also include actual experiments, including on triggers for a nuclear weapon,” Fitzpatrick said.
Israel wants to fast-track F-35 training (to attack Iran):
Israel firsters trying to link Iran to 9/11 to attack Iran next!
Obama’s mild defiance at AIPAC cost him $10 million in Jewish donations
by PHILIP WEISS on MAY 27, 2011
Adam Kredo in the Washington Jewish Week honestly addresses a central political issue that a far more prominent journalist, Robert Siegel on NPR, sought to mystify earlier this week. First Kredo:
One prominent Jewish leader who attended Obama’s AIPAC speech told me that “the Jewish community has a form of IBS [Irritable Bowel Syndrome] with the president. They’re unsettled.”
“It’s safe to say,” the source added, “that about $10 million [in Jewish donations to the Obama campaign] evaporated in that speech.”
Now here is Robert Siegel and Ron Kampeas of JTA talking about the same issue on NPR the other day. Note that Kampeas, who is a settler in occupied East Jerusalem, owns property there, is halfway honest about the money issue. But Siegel immediately makes it about voters. This is a lie, and Siegel knows it. Jewish voters can swing one state maybe, Florida. As the Wall Street Journal noted the other day, this is about money…
KAMPEAS: The issue is how it’s played with Jewish donors to the Democratic party and there, there has been some concern. There’s sort of three levels of Jewish donorship to the Democratic party. There are Jews that donate just because overall they favor the party and then on the right, there are Jews who only donate because of Israel….
SIEGEL: And is the degree of difference that we’ve seen between Mr. Obama and Mr. Netanyahu, do you think it’s substantial enough that republicans who are eager to peel away some votes from the Democrats in 2012 might actually have something to work with?
Israel Is The Ultimate American Welfare State
‘Pro-Israel lobby has stranglehold on US political system’
Additional via http://tinyurl.com/AIPACStrangleholdonUS