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Reader comment on item: The End of Treason

Submitted by Marigold (United States), Aug 22, 2005 at 01:18

What about the indictment of the two staffers at AIPAC and the fellow who gave them information that the government considered classified? Are they being indicted for treason?
Please comment.

I have been a contributor to AIPAC for many years, and I think these 3 men were set up. What do you think?


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Daniel Pipes replies:

There has not been the slightest accusation of treason in the Rosen-Weissman case, just the allegation of mishandling classified materials.

And note this analysis by Eric Lichtblau and David Johnston, "Administration Takes Broad Reading of Espionage Law," The New York Times, August 6, 2005:

In the circular, echo-chamber world of official Washington, where government policy makers, members of Congress, analysts, lobbyists and journalists are forever seeking to cull information from one another to gain an edge, such conversations are a routine part of doing business and influencing public policy. But in this case, the Justice Department is maintaining that the conversations involving Mr. Rosen and Keith Weissman, both former senior staff members at the American Israel Public Affairs Committee, and Lawrence A. Franklin, a former Defense Department analyst who became friends with the two lobbyists, amounted to a criminal pattern of sharing classified information. Prosecutors, relying on a seldom-used statute under espionage law, maintained in a case brought Thursday that the lobbyists and the former Pentagon analyst had crossed "a clear line in the law." …

The prosecution reflects an aggressive use of espionage law at a time when the Bush administration has been increasing the classifying of documents and has been seeking to crack down on the public leaking of such material. But some legal analysts, lobbyists and media lawyers said Friday that they were troubled by the government's broad reading of the law. They said the government's indictment in the case and the strong message it sent could be read as signaling that anyone receiving classified information - including lobbyists, private policy researchers and reporters - might be committing a crime, even if the aim was to further public policy debate. "I think this has an absolute chilling effect," said Lucy Dalglish, executive director of the Reporters Committee for Freedom of the Press.

(see http://query.nytimes.com/gst/abstract.html?res=F00B16F83D5A0C758CDDA10894DD404482&incamp=archive:search)


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