When you're already the
biggest stealth lobby of
any foreign government, respecting the law just doesn't pay. Many lobbyists
work aggressively to get their way on Capitol Hill by bundling donor
contributions, passing inside information that lawmakers can profit
from before ordinary investors and creating a favor bank. Some of those
activities are unethical, but surprisingly few are actually illegal.
AIPAC tactics fall into a
different category. The lobbying group never bothered to incorporate until
its parent organization was ordered to register as an
Israeli foreign agent
in 1962. AIPAC hurriedly spilt off and quietly incorporated just six weeks later
to continue the public (and secret) work of its defunct parent organization
the AZC. AIPAC flouts U.S. laws for its foreign patron--the
government of Israel--when the stakes are high enough. If other lobbies tried
any of these tactics, their executives would go to jail.
Unsurprisingly, few domestic
American causes require spying, smearing opponents and fixing elections. More
worryingly, AIPAC now
has enough elected and political appointee friends embedded in high places,
along with establishment media power--that warranted investigations can be quickly quashed.
The following five "dirty
tricks" are undoubtedly being carefully considered by any Congressmember thinking
of voting against AIPAC's
drive to entangle the U.S. in wars against Syria and Iran:
AIPAC Fixes Elections &
Illegally Coordinates Donations to Beat Opponents
In 1986, AIPAC needed Alan
Cranston to win the California senate race. So ex-AIPAC Director
Michael Goland illegally funneled campaign cash to
spoiler candidate Ed Vallen. The crooked ploy worked. Vallen drew
enough votes from Cranston's opponent for Cranston to win. Although
Goland was later convicted and given a slap on the wrist, Cranston shoveled
billions in U.S. aid to Israel, none of which was affected by the criminal
boost to his election.
The same year, AIPAC Deputy
Political Director Elizabeth Schrayer
illegally coordinated supposedly
"independent" political action committees (in fact set up by AIPAC) to
contribute funds to support AIPAC-favored candidates. Decades of court
actions, which rose to the level of the Supreme Court, resulted in no
accountability for AIPAC. AIPAC continues to "score"
each vote in Congress.
Even as campaign finance laws
loosen, all U.S. politicians know AIPAC is willing to use almost any means--legal and
not--to get its candidates into office.
AIPAC Falsely Claims Charitable
Religious Status & Ignores IRS Disclosure Regulations
AIPAC applied for tax-exempt
status as a
religious charity in 1967--essentially
lying to the IRS (PDF).
Omitted from its application was the required disclosure that AIPAC was led by a
former foreign agent of the Israeli Ministry of Foreign Affairs. That
AIPAC's parent organization folded after being ordered by the Justice
Department to register as an Israeli foreign agent. That AIPAC's
start-up funding came from the Jewish Agency (an arms-smuggling
organization), laundered through the
Near East Report.
Because the IRS never
properly investigated or challenged the application, AIPAC received
tax-exempt status in 1968. Instead of opposing legislation of a
foreign government's lobby," Congressional reps have to consider
whether they want to be perceive taking on a
"religious charity." Since 2009, AIPAC
no longer provides donor names and amounts as required to the IRS.
AIPAC Steals & Uses Opponents'
Secrets Against Them in the Media
In 1984 the Israeli
government wanted the privilege to export--tariff free--into the US market.
The majority of US industry and labor groups were
opposed and compiled
their most closely held trade and market secrets into a report to the
International Trade Commission. AIPAC, with the help of an Israeli
"diplomat," stole the classified report and used it against the complainants
in a massive public relations campaign. Israel unfairly won the trade
concessions, which through May, 2013, have cost the U.S.
The FBI investigated the espionage and theft of government property, but the
Reagan administration Justice Department wouldn't prosecute.
What member of Congress
(or opposing lobby) wouldn't be terrified of having AIPAC steal their own darkest secrets to be used
against them in an orchestrated media campaign?
AIPAC Places U.S. National
Defense Secrets into Israel's Service
In 1975, AIPAC director
Morris Amitay almost drove Jordan into the arms of the Soviet Union when he
obtained and leaked classified
Defense Department data on missile sales (According to the State
In 2004, AIPAC employee
Steven J. Rosen passed classified U.S. national defense information to the
Washington Post (and "Israeli diplomats") aimed at convincing Americans that Iran was engaged in
"total war" against the U.S. in Iraq.
Members of Congress have
authorized access to classified briefings, but unlike AIPAC, they are compelled not to
leak secrets to constituents or the media for political gain. What member doesn't fear being "end-run" by
a foreign lobby with no restrictions on how it obtains and spreads U.S. national
secrets to friends in the media? AIPAC requires members of Congress
accept its vetted interns as staff, creating a foreign interest intelligence
network unsurpassed on Capitol Hill. Members of Congress are under
AIPAC Quashes Prosecutions Gaining an Aura of Criminal
Back in the 1940s, only a
handful of American "smugglers for Israel" funded by the Jewish Agency were
prosecuted as investigations were quashed by a "war chest" and movements of
Fast forward to 2006 when
Congresswoman Jane Harman was picked up on a federal wiretap telling an "Israeli
agent" she would "waddle into" and quash the Justice Department's espionage
prosecution of two AIPAC employees. The Justice Department later dropped the
under pressure from a massive Israel lobby pressure campaign.
Members of Congress know
AIPAC can do almost anything, and never be held to account. Elected
officials wanting to serve broader American insterests must tread carefully.
Those members of Congress
opposed to AIPAC's drives to tripwire America into war with Iran and Syria
realistically fear a combination of spying, covert action and rigged
elections will bring them down if they fail to follow AIPAC--and by extension
the Israeli government's--marching orders.