Friday, December 10, 2004

FBI macho and the Franklin Affair

The Washington Times has a story about the Larry Franklin,AIPAC case. It is alleged that Larry through AIPAC was passing American secrets to the Israeli Embassy. It still seems to me that this is no ordinary espionage case.

In 2001, the FBI discovered new, "massive" Israeli spying operations in the East Coast, including New York and New Jersey, said one former senior U.S. government official. The FBI began intensive surveillance on certain Israeli diplomats and other suspects and was videotaping Naor Gilon, chief of political affairs at the Israeli Embassy in Washington, who was having lunch at a Washington hotel with two lobbyists from the American Israel Public Affairs Committee lobby group. Federal law enforcement officials said they were floored when Franklin came up to their table and sat down.
What is so strange about this is that after the Pollard Affair Israel claimed it undertook to shut down all spying efforts against America.
AIPAC has consistently denied any wrongdoing in the affair. In a public statement, the group said its continuing access to the White House and senior administration officials would be "inconceivable...if any shred of evidence of disloyalty or even negligence on AIPAC's part" had been discovered.
So it looks to me like some one is playing a deep double game. This is especially true in light of the recently announced American/Israeli free trade zone. And the obvious alliance between America and Israel in the current war. Who benefits from a strain in American/Israeli relations?
.... a former federal law enforcement official said Israeli spying against the United States had been "widespread" for many years, and that during the Cold War, Israeli penetration of U.S. operations was second "only to the Soviet Union."

"Few people realize that the Israeli Counterintelligence Desk at the Bureau was second in size only to the CI Soviet desk," he said.

A former very senior CIA counterintelligence official told UPI that in 1998-99, the CIA discovered an Israeli couple, who were subcontracted to a U.S. phone company, were working for Mossad, the Israeli intelligence service.

"They did incredible damage -- they got incredibly sensitive data, including key words identifying individuals or projects," this source said, adding he himself gave the case to the FBI.
Now the question is how such information going to an ally could damage American interests? In the normal course of events allies keep an eye on each other. Such spying is usually never considered serious and is often overlooked. There have been incidents of the British spying on America. This usually got a hand slap and a two to five year jail term if it ever came to official notice. The most notorius British spy, Kim Philby, who was actually a Russian Agent was officially the British liason with the CIA. Which would make him a mole rather than an ordinary spy.
Perhaps the most notorious Israeli operation was the recruitment of Jonathan Jay Pollard, a former U.S. Navy analyst, who was convicted in U.S. federal court and sentenced to life in prison for selling military documents to Israel. UPI reported in 1987, quoting FBI officials, the FBI had traced stolen Pollard data up into the Eastern Bloc where it was traded in return for the Soviet Union raising the emigration of Soviet Jews to Israel.
This brings up a point I made earlier about this affair being an FBI effort to see that Pollard does not get released from prison.I had some ideas on this a few days ago.

In the Washington Times article a CIA man comments on the FBI:
Vince Cannistraro, a former CIA counter-terrorism chief, who has good ties with law enforcement officials said, "The FBI was extremely displeased."

An FBI consultant told United Press International: "The FBI were hopping mad. The FBI had been kicked very hard in their macho. They are very, very macho."
Yet at the same time the Sibel Edmonds case of what seems like Arab infiltration of the FBI is going no where. From Anti-War.Com which I would normally consider the home of libertarian moonbats comes this recent bit by Edmonds:
I have reviewed the recently released redacted and unclassified version of your department's audit of the FBI's Foreign Language Program. Your report helps to bring badly needed attention to serious problems within the FBI's translation department; problems that must be corrected for the department to be effective in its role on the frontline of the war on terror. As you are aware, over two years ago I reported serious issues and problems within the FBI's translation units, with serious consequences to our national security and the war on terror. I am still awaiting the results of your long due report on the specific cases and issues I reported to your office and to the United States Senate. On one hand, this report draws attention to the problem of the backlog of untranslated intelligence by putting forth shocking numbers. On the other hand, other equally or more serious problems with even more significant consequences were completely ignored. Inaccurate translations due to incompetence and/or intentional acts, intelligence sabotaged by high security risk translators with questionable loyalties, criminal activities ranging from serious security breaches to facilitating the acts of sabotage, corrupt hiring practices, and serious mismanagement are among those issues that greatly impact the reliability and integrity of intelligence gathered and analyzed on the front lines, for as you state in the report.
Now my question in all this is: have our enemies compromised the FBI such that they turn a blind eye to Arab infiltration and instead focus on imaginary Israeli spies? Now here is an interesting Iranian connection to all this. The Edmonds letter goes on with a question:
What is the number of "translated documents/audio" that were inaccurately translated due to incompetence and unqualified translators?

Example 1: Three Iranian translators were given the task of translating sensitive intelligence (both audio and documents) in another Middle Eastern language for over five years. These translators were not qualified in that language (had no training, had no background) in any way, and repeatedly refused to submit to proficiency exams requested by FBI headquarters. The agent in charge of that particular Middle Eastern country repeatedly complained and then notified the FBI of the potentially dire consequences that could result from inaccurate translations performed by these translators. Tens of thousands of pages inaccurately translated (mistranslated) by these individuals over the years are considered translated in your audit and by the FBI, and are thus misleading. Exactly how many pages are these mistranslated documents/audio, which should be added to the backlog your report depicts, since these documents have to be reviewed/retranslated?
Curioser and curioiser.


Roger Simon has more plus a link to this piece.

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