The Forward reports:
The espionage case against two senior officials of the pro-Israel lobby in Washington was dropped last year. But it has not been forgotten, and is now threatening to draw the lobby into new depths of mudslinging.
Papers filed in the civil lawsuit of former lobbyist Steve Rosen against his previous employers at the American Israel Public Affairs Committee include mutual accusations of using pornographic material at the lobby headquarters, among other allegations. The papers, based on depositions taken from Rosen and from AIPAC principles, dig into the private lives of the involved parties. They also reveal in detail the close ties AIPAC officials held with Israeli diplomats based in Washington.
“After reading this stuff you feel like you need to wash your hands,” said one pro-Israel activist after skimming through the 260-page document, which is laced with graphic descriptions and invasive personal details. He declined to be named, out of a desire to avoid involvement in the case.
At issue is Rosen’s $20 million defamation lawsuit against his previous employers at AIPAC, who fired him and his colleague Keith Weissman in 2005 — several months after both had been indicted under a rarely used espionage statute because they allegedly received and passed on classified information. AIPAC, in a move that could be seen as meant to embarrass Rosen, revealed in its court filings extensive parts of the depositions, many of them dealing directly with Rosen’s personal life.
In an interview with the Forward after the court documents had been made public, Rosen said he was not deterred and promised that when he files his own motion next month, the information in it will put AIPAC on the hot seat. “Any embarrassment I suffered as a result of what they filed will be insignificant compared to the embarrassment they’ll suffer after we file our motion,” Rosen said.
“When this is all over we will do right by Steve,” AIPAC’s general counsel Philip Friedman is alleged to have told Rosen’s attorney Abbe Lowell. Indeed, as flag bearers for the pro-Israel lobby one might have expected the two parties to have reached an out-of-court settlement in order to minimize the damage caused by an ugly legal fight. Instead, AIPAC and Rosen appear to have opted to go on a path heading towards mutually assured destruction. The one thing that counts in their favor right now is that the mainstream media has thus far chosen to ignore the story. But the media’s silence can only last so long.
MJ Rosenberg writes:
Beyond the smut, the most shocking revelation in the court documents is when Rosen reveals that immediately upon being told by the FBI that he was in serious trouble, and being warned by AIPAC’s counsel to come immediately to his office and talk to no one in advance, he immediately ran to meet with the #2 at the Israeli embassy!
Now it’s war. AIPAC is putting out everything it has on Rosen and Rosen is about to put out everything he has on AIPAC. If he does — he won’t, it appears, if AIPAC pays him off — it is probably the end of the organization. Why? Because Rosen’s claim, which he will back up with documents in his possession, is that his operations — which AIPAC claims was more like those of “a secret agent than a lobbyist” — were standard operating procedure for the lobbying powerhouse. And that would mean that AIPAC is not a domestic lobbying organization at all, but something very, very different.
AIPAC is on the brink.