Wednesday, March 30, 2005

Background Reading: Serving Two Flags

For those of you who follow the neocons and/or Middle East closely, this may be old news, but for those of you who are new to these issues, this article by Stephen Green will be highly useful to fill you in on the history of the suspicions surrounding the neocons and counterintelligence concerns. How many Americans would believe that a guy (Stephen Bryen) who was observed offering classified information to the Israelis in 1978-79 was later appointed to a senior-level job in the Pentagon overseeing technology transfer, where he bypassed normal review by the State Department's Bureau of Politico-Military Affairs ("Pol Mil" for us inside-the-Beltway types) on weapons technology transfers to Israel? And, even now, he still has access to highly-classified information as a member of the U.S.-China Economic and Security Review Commission (USCC), along with his good buddy Michael Ledeen. Even if they declined to prosecute Bryen, you'd think they'd at least make sure he never got a security clearance again? And there have been investigations of more prominent neocons as well, such as Paul Wolfowitz and Richard Perle. (Another article mentioning Stephen Green is Laura Rozen's piece in The American Prospect about the FBI's soliciting Green's advice in their investigation last year.)

If there were similar questions of espionage surrounding, let's say for the sake of argument, a group of Chinese-American officials, do you think it would be swept under the rug like this has been for the past 35 years? And isn't it sort of ironic that the USCC, founded late in Clinton's second term in response to concerns about Chinese spying, was used as an excuse to give a Top Secret clearance to a guy observed passing classified information to Israel?

Also, speaking of background reading, for anyone new to this blog, be sure not to miss my posts on the Office of Special Plans and the current state of play in the FBI's investigation of AIPAC.

Disclaimer: While Stephen Green's article is good, I don't endorse all of the content on CounterPunch's website. I'm a pretty mainstream Democrat on most issues, and their politics are significantly to the left of mine.