Across the spectrum of opposition to American Middle East policy, no organization is seen as a greater opponent of ours than the American Israel Public Affairs Committee, AIPAC.
So, when the focal point of the “Israel Lobby” becomes embroiled in a sleazy scandal, one might expect that some of its opponents would succumb to the temptation to sink into National Enquirer-style writing.
And, indeed, that has been the case in many parts of the blogosphere (the mainstream media has not, as yet, picked up on the story). The leaked deposition of Steve Rosen (warning: that link leads to a very large pdf file) and various AIPAC
staffers and agents involved in his ongoing lawsuit against his former employers spends a lot of time discussing pornography in great detail, as well as Rosen’s sex life.
Rosen, a 23-year employee of AIPAC was fired in 2005 after being indicted for receiving classified information from a Defense Department employee and passing it on to Israeli officials, though the charges were eventually dropped. Rosen contended that he had done nothing out of the ordinary for AIPAC, while the organization, despite having no policy at that time regarding encounters with classified information, painted Rosen’s (and his fellow accused, Keith Weissman) actions as that of a rogue employee. Rosen responded by suing AIPAC for defamation.
Some of the issues at hand right now hint at matters of real potential importance: the fact that Rosen’s first response to hearing from the FBI wasn’t even to go to his bosses at AIPAC, but rather to his closest contact at the Israeli embassy; Rosen’s and Weissman’s comment to Washington Post writer Glenn Kessler that appear to show they were aware that they had sensitive material that could “get them in trouble”; and, most importantly, Rosen’s implication that he can prove AIPAC defamed him by revealing “about 180 internal documents showing that officials routinely gathered inside information from government officials about U.S. policy in the Middle East.” Continue reading