Wednesday, August 20, 2008

Why Bush will pardon AIPAC for espionage

Both the Republican and Democratic parties desperately need this case to go away long before the next president is sworn in. From their standpoint, it would be unseemly to have U.S. officials subpoenaed and actually put on the witness stand to reveal how Middle East policy is really crafted in the height of an election season dominated by narratives of hope, change, and restoring integrity. . . .

If President George W. Bush waits to pardon Weissman and Rosen until shortly before leaving office, it would be too late for AIPAC's most precious asset: its reputation as an entity engaged in lawful activities. The administration also has an overriding self-preservation interest in seeing this case vanish: it is the singular judicial process for determining whether AIPAC goes too far in agitating for wars – whether in Iraq, Lebanon, or Iran. . . . Pardoning AIPAC would mean that Col. Lawrence Franklin, a member of Douglas Feith's infamous Pentagon policy shop and a crucial witness for the prosecution, walks free.

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