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Lobbying blow to US democracy

      By JAMAL KANJ

    Thursday, January 10, 2013

http://www.gulf-daily-news.com/NewsDetails.aspx?storyid=345310

THE undue influence of single issue interest groups is bankrupting the essence of American democracy.

In the current debate over Chuck Hagel's pick to head the Pentagon, it is becoming self-evident that political appointments in US administrations must first pass Israel's litmus test.

In 2009 Barack Obama was forced to rescind the nomination of Charles Freeman to lead the National Intelligence Council.

The Zionist lobby's "thought police" was not happy with Freeman's score card on Israel.

Freeman blamed "... unscrupulous people with a passionate attachment to... a political faction in a foreign country (Israel)" for withdrawing his name from consideration.

While patriot Americans are harangued for their less than slavish submission to the Israeli lobby, citizens with "passionate attachment" to a foreign country have been able to serve unchecked in US administrations.

Obama's first Chief of Staff Ram Emanuel was a Zionist and proud son of a former member of the Irgun Jewish terrorist organisation. He volunteered to serve in the Israel army during 1991 Gulf War.

Dennis Ross and Martin Indyk co-founded the Washington Institute for Near East Policy (WINEP) in the mid-1980s.

The think-tank was sponsored by the American Israel Public Affairs Committee (AIPAC).

Ross's first paper at WINEP called on the State Department to appoint "non-Arabist Special Middle East envoy," meaning a unprofessional diplomat who would "not feel guilty about our relationship with Israel".

Less than ten years later, Ross became the first "non-Arabist" Middle East peace envoy.

In his new role, a senior department official described him as having a "bad habit" of pre-consulting "with the Israelis".

In early 80s, Indyk worked as deputy research director for AIPAC.

His American citizenship file was purportedly fast tracked in 1995 to become Clinton's ambassador to Israel.

In 2000 and while serving in Tel Aviv, his security clearance was briefly suspended - unheard of for a US ambassador - by the State Department on suspicion of mishandling sensitive materials.

In 2004 the US Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) uncovered information about an Israel spy working in the Department of Defence.

The bureau identified the mole as Lawrence Franklin who reported to Under Secretary of Defence for Policy Douglas Feith.

Franklin was accused of passing sensitive information to AIPAC staff and to Naor Gilon, political department chief at the Israeli Embassy.

His boss was also forced to resign from the Pentagon months later on related charges.

Ironically, Fieth was fired almost 20 years earlier from the National Security Council for apparently passing "classified material to an official of the Israeli Embassy in Washington".

Another Israeli firster, Richard Perleknown, as an Israeli agent of influence, was recorded in 1970 by the FBI "discussing classified information with someone at the Israeli Embassy".

A decade later he served as assistant secretary of defence for six years in the Regan administration and for two years as the chairman of the Defence Policy Board Advisory Committee under George W Bush.

During their sabbatical between two Republican administrations, Perel and Feith authored in 1996 a major policy document advising then Israeli prime minister Benjamin Netanyahu on how to make "clean break" from the peace process.

Following the election of George W Bush, former Israeli prime minister's advisers became political appointees in the new administration.

Netanyahu's "clean break" became the blue print of Bush's foreign policy leading to the invasion of Iraq and ending America's direct involvement in the Palestinian-Israeli peace.

AIPAC-supported institutions in Washington are used as rotating doors for "unscrupulous" political appointees switching back and forth between Israeli think-tanks and alternating US administrations.

It is no secret AIPAC started seeding the State's Bureau of Near Eastern Affairs and Defence councils since the early 1980s. Replacing cadre of professional staff, the new advocates turned the Defence and State Departments into parochial Zionist dens driving America deeper into the quagmire of Israeli wars.