Friday, December 23, 2005

Indicted Former Employees Consider Suing AIPAC

This will help keep this issue in the news next year.

Indicted Officials Consider Suing Pro-Israel Lobby
Bad Blood Spills Over In Aipac Spy Scandal

WASHINGTON — Two former employees of the nation's main pro-Israel lobby, who are facing trial for allegedly receiving classified information and relaying it to foreign diplomats and the press, are considering lawsuits against the lobbying powerhouse.

Steve Rosen, former director of foreign policy at the American Israel Public Affairs Committee, and Keith Weissman, Aipac's former Iran analyst, are considering suing Aipac over its stopping payments of legal fees to their attorneys, sources close to the two said. They are also considering a defamation suit against Aipac, if they are exonerated, for accusing them of unbecoming conduct.

Indications that Rosen and Weissman were preparing to sue Aipac have caused the collapse of negotiations between their attorneys and Aipac's attorneys over the lobby's coverage of the two men's legal fees, sources close to both sides said.

To the dismay of many Aipac members and supporters, relations between Aipac's leadership and its two former employees have deteriorated sharply in recent months, to the point of bitter exchanges of accusations and threats of legal action.

The hostility between the two dismissed officials and Aipac's leadership is expected to peak at the two men's trial, scheduled to start in late April 2006. Defense attorneys will try to establish that the men were following the organization's routine practice and that Aipac's top officials were fully aware of their actions. "The evidence in this case will show that Dr. Rosen and Mr. Weissman always acted in Aipac's interests, never were on their own and acted with the knowledge and approval of their superiors," Rosen's lawyer, Abbe Lowell, told the Forward.


The defense's intention to bring Aipac into the courtroom — both physically and figuratively — is causing concern and resentment within the organization, sources close to Aipac said. Rosen and Weissman, said one former Aipac employee with connections to the organization's current leadership, are perceived as acting "like Samson, trying to bring the house down on everybody." Rosen and Weissman, on the other hand, in conversations with confidants in recent months, have been fiercely critical of Aipac's leadership for withdrawing moral support for the two, for accusing them of wrongdoing and for suspending payment of lawyers' fees.

I am very suprised AIPAC has stopped paying the lawyers fees. Their only response is to point the finger back at AIPAC. If there are any skeltons in the closet these two will know about them.



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