Tuesday, March 25, 2008

Feds to appeal ruling in AIPAC Treason Case

There's several odd aspects to this case. Why is Israel so interested in finding out info about the Khobar Towers bombing in 1996, in which 19 US personel were killed by a bomber that blew up a barracks in Saudi Arabia?

Notice it wasn't a "suicide" bomber, since the perps escaped.

We got the standard line about how it was "Arab" terrorists wanting to kill Americans, blah, blah, blah.

But with the Jewish Lobby trying mightly to sniff out info on this case, it points the finger of blame for this bombing directly at Israel.

And notice the paragraph at the end, in which some country's name was to be forbidden to say at the trial, instead that country was to be given an alias, going by the name of Country A.

Hmmm. wonder what "shitty little country" they're referring to?

Feds to appeal ruling in AIPAC case
By MATTHEW BARAKAT, Associated Press Writer
Fri Mar 21, 7:03 PM ET

ALEXANDRIA, Va. - Yet another delay is expected in the trial of two former pro-Israel lobbyists accused of disclosing U.S. secrets after prosecutors told a judge Friday they plan to appeal a critical ruling on how classified information will be introduced at trial.

The ruling issued this week by U.S. District Judge T.S. Ellis III is sealed, but a lawyer for one defendant portrayed prosecutors' decision to appeal as the latest in a series of setbacks to the government's case.

Steven Rosen and Keith Weissman, former lobbyists with the American Israel Public Affairs Committee, were accused in 2005 of illegally disclosing sensitive national defense information. Their trial originally was set for 2006 but will now have to be rescheduled an eighth time — the latest date had been set for next month.

"It's now pretty clear that the government does not want to try this case," said Rosen's lawyer, Abbe Lowell. "They filed these charges without thinking them through, and there appears to be no one in government with enough authority or courage to admit they made a mistake."

A spokesman for the U.S. Attorney in Alexandria declined to comment.

Even if the 4th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals in Richmond hears the appeal on an expedited basis, it will likely take at least several months.

The charges against Rosen and Weissman fall under the 1917 Espionage Act, a rarely used World War I-era law that has never before been applied to lobbyists. They are not charged with espionage.

The indictment alleges that Rosen and Weissman conspired to obtain classified reports on issues relevant to American policy, including and U.S. policy in Iran, the al-Qaida terrorist network and the bombing of the Khobar Towers dormitory in Saudi Arabia, which killed 19 U.S. Air Force personnel. The men are accused of sharing the information with reporters and foreign diplomats.

Rosen and Weissman have argued that the information in which they traffic is commonly traded by Washington insiders, and that government officials tacitly support such disclosures.

Over prosecutors' objections, Rosen and Weissman have already won the right to subpoena Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice and other top administration officials. The defense believes their testimony will support their claim that the United States regularly uses AIPAC to send back-channel communications to Israel.

Lawyers have been meeting for weeks in secret hearings in an effort to take classified evidence and develop unclassified substitutes that can be used at a public trial. The process is frequently unwieldy, but has been especially so in this case.

Ellis has voiced frustration several times at the inability of prosecutors and the defense to agree on the wordings of the substitutions.

Ellis previously rejected an earlier proposal by prosecutors to use a series of secret codes to conduct the trial, in which lawyers would have referred to "Country A" or "witness B" to keep classified information out of the public realm. Defense lawyers had said the plan would have been tantamount to holding a secret trial.

Source: Yahoo News

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