August 27, 2004
Yet Another Scandal, Possibly

As if we really needed another. Some kind of "top Pentagon analyst" is under investigation for allegedly spying on us for Israel, passing on in particular secret information about the administration's Iran policy.

According to the Toronto Star, the analyst worked for Doug Feith, #3 man in the Department of Defense, and arrests could be made early in the coming week.

There are slightly more than a handful of people in Feith's office who specifically work on Iranian issues.

...So it shouldn't be too hard to work out who this chap is.

The New York Times has a story.

The Pentagon analyst who officials said is under suspicion was one of two department officials who traveled to Paris for a secret meeting with Manucher Ghorbanifar, an Iranian arms dealer who had been a central figure in the Iran-contra affair.

...And I've no idea if that's really relevant to anything, but it should make the suspect even easier still for any interested party to finger. If anyone's actually interested at all.

The Washington Post has a story.

The investigation has been underway for more than a year. Defense Secretary Donald H. Rumsfeld and top Pentagon lawyers were informed of it some time ago, officials said. But many other senior Pentagon officials expressed surprise at the news when it was first reported last night on CBS.

...

Even so, the case is likely to attract intense attention because the official being investigated works under William J. Luti, deputy undersecretary of defense for Near East and South Asian Affairs. Luti oversaw the Pentagon's "Office of Special Plans," which conducted some early policy work for the 2003 invasion of Iraq.

A law enforcement official said that the information allegedly passed by the Pentagon suspect went to Israel through the American Israel Public Affairs Committee, a pro-Israel lobbying organization. The information was said to have been the draft of a presidential directive related to U.S. policies toward Iran.

We already knew Feith and his Office of Special Plans were liars; I guess now we know some in that circle are crooks, too.

MSNBC says: "'It's a big deal.'"

If the senior official is charged, it would be the biggest Israeli spy case since U.S. Navy intelligence analyst Jonathan Pollard was arrested in November 1985. Pollard is serving a life sentence despite frequent requests from Israel to release him.

Naughty Israel! Maybe now the US government will consider pulling its tongue out of Israel's anus.

I had you going for a minute there, didn't I? You and I both know that'll never happen.

CNN seems to give the story top billing on its website at the moment. And they make it sound rather more important...

The suspect could have been in a position to influence Bush administration policy toward Iran and Iraq, the senior official said.

CBS apparently broke the story, and their account can be found here.

CBS sources say that last year the suspected spy, described as a trusted analyst at the Pentagon, turned over a presidential directive on U.S. policy toward Iran while it was, "in the draft phase when U.S. policy-makers were still debating the policy."

This put the Israelis, according to one source, "inside the decision-making loop" so they could "try to influence the outcome."

The case raises another concern among investigators: Did Israel also use the analyst to try to influence U.S. policy on the war in Iraq?

With ties to top Pentagon officials Paul Wolfowitz and Douglas Feith, the analyst was assigned to a unit within the Defense Department tasked with helping develop the Pentagon's Iraq policy.

Well, well. We'll see how this develops.

Posted by aloysius at August 27, 2004 08:10 PM | TrackBack |