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The American Israel Public Affairs Committee (AIPAC) is attempting to block a brief filed by Director of the Institute for Research: Middle Eastern Policy (IRmep) Grant F. Smith in the DC Court of Appeals on February 3, 2012. The 78-page IRmep filing asserts “AIPAC has never abandoned its original role as an arm of the Israeli government in the United States.”
Citing declassified criminal investigations, IRmep underscores the public’s interest in the outcome of the case. “AIPAC’s observable standard for employees is ‘solicit, obtain and leverage classified information without being criminally indicted.’ AIPAC is never held publicly accountable for these types of activities which harm governance and public perception of rule of law.”
Exhibits include State Department files declassified on January 20, 2012 revealing in detail how former AIPAC Director Morris Amitay endangered US national security when he obtained Department of Defense secrets in 1974. The IRmep brief also analyzes ongoing financial damages from a 1984-1987 incident. The FBI investigated how AIPAC acquired an International Trade Commission report full of still-classified confidential business information.
AIPAC characterized the IRmep brief as “completely inaccurate portrayals of events that occurred decades ago” but seeks dismissal on procedural grounds.
IRmep argues for its acceptance even though oral arguments begin February 14, because “AIPAC is an organization that has long ‘had it both ways’” in functioning as an agent of the Israeli government without registering, influencing funding flows to political candidates while claiming charitable tax-exempt status, and rewarding employees who obtained classified information—until they are criminally indicted.”
Former employee Steven J. Rosen sued AIPAC and its board of directors for defamation in 2009. AIPAC fired Rosen after FBI wiretaps alleged Rosen had received classified national defense information. Rosen was indicted for espionage in 2005 though charges were later dropped. AIPAC claimed Rosen’s behavior “did not comport with standards that AIPAC expects of its employees.” Rosen immediately appealed after the defamation suit was dismissed in 2011.
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