AIPAC versus FBI

Here's an interesting and even-handed account of the case against AIPAC's Keith Weissman and Steven Rosen for passing along classified information. Emotionally, I'm torn between amusement at the idea of seeing AIPAC's ox gored and the reality that the precedent the government is seeking to put in place here has some grim implications for press freedom. I am sure, however, that this line of argument is absurd:

“It’s absurd for anyone to think that the Israelis have to enlist people to spy,” says Sandra Charles, a former Pentagon and National Security Council official who consults in Washington for Persian Gulf Arab governments. “They can go to the highest levels of the administration if they want to find out what the thinking is on US policy.”

Charles might want to visit Jonathan Pollard in prison if she really thinks Israel would never try to enlist spies. The fact that so many US government officials are willing to talk to Israeli officials or Israel's friends is precisely the point, it makes Israeli espionage possible, not superfluous.

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Matthew Yglesias is a former writer and editor at The Atlantic.

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