Tuesday, September 06, 2011

Breaking: US Caught Spying On Israel,Lefty Bloggers Involved

It's common knowledge that even the best of allies conduct espionage on each other, and this breaking story provides a window on how the US spies on Israel.

What's particularly egregious about this one is that there were two notoriously anti-Israel bloggers involved and only one of them is sitting in jail for violating the Espionage Act.

Shamai K. Leibowitz, a contract FBI Hebrew translator was sentenced to 20 months in prison for releasing classified information and raw, unredacted transcripts obtained from FBI eavesdropping on the Israeli Embassy in Washington to blogger Richard Silverstein. Those overheard by the eavesdroppers and listed on the transcripts included American supporters of Israel and at least one member of Congress, according to Silverstein.

For most eavesdropping on embassies, federal law requires the F.B.I. to obtain an order from the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Court, which meets secretly at a federal courthouse in Washington. By law, if an American citizen calling an embassy turns up on a recording, the F.B.I. is required by law to redact the American’s name from intelligence reports, substituting the words “U.S. person.” That didn't happen here, and Leibowitz simply stole the unredacted material to give to Silverstein.

What Leibowitz saw was an opportunity to injure Israel's position in the United States.The link between Leibowitz and Silverstein is that they are both anti-Israel Lefty bloggers, with Leibowitz holding forth on his blog Pursuing Justice and Silverstein on the far better known anti-Israel blog Tikun Olam ( sorry, I won't link to these).

Leibowitz was born in Israel, retains dual US and Israeli citizenship and is the product of a far Left academic family. To give you an idea on how far off the charts and self-hating he is, Leibowitz acted as pro bono lawyer for 'Palestinian' Fatah terrorist Marwan Barghouti, who was convicted in Israeli civil court of masterminding the murder of five Israelis and is now serving a life sentence. Leibowitz described Barghouti as 'like Moses'. Leibowitz used to be a lawyer in the state of New York as well, but his law license was yanked for some of his activities and has not been reinstated.


As you can imagine, he and Silverstein had a real man crush on each other.

“I see him as an American patriot and a whistle-blower, and I’d like his actions to be seen in that context,” Mr. Silverstein said. “What really concerned Shamai at the time was the possibility of an Israeli strike on Iran, which he thought would be damaging to both Israel and the United States.”

Silverstein removed the blog posts containing the illegally released material from his site and says he burned the transcripts in his back yard once Leibowitz came under investigation.

A couple of questions remain. For instance, since Leibowitz was actively associated with terrorists, how did he get a job as an FBI translator? Was it because he was already a US asset while he was still in Israel? It's pretty safe to assume he was.

Silverstein, by his own admission also violated the Espionage Act by receiving classified intel, disseminating it, and not informing the authorities until Leibowitz gave him up as part of a plea bargain. Silverstein thus was a co-conspirator in the events that sent Leibowitz to jail. Why wasn't Silverstein prosecuted?

I'll bet you my dollar to your dime it's because the Obama Administration is aware of Silverstein's point of view and considers him a 'friendly' when it comes to Israel. I doubt they'd be so accommodating if Silverstein were a pro-Israel conservative.

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1 comment:

jbraunla said...

There is a special place in Hell for these people.