Wednesday, March 07, 2007

AIPAC, SAcooter Libby, and little boys

From inside the halls of Congress to the offices of Democratic politicians around the country there is increasing criticism of the stranglehold the America Israel Public Affairs Committee (AIPAC) and its political allies have on the Democratic Party's agenda and political message. WMR has spoken to a number of Democrats off-the-record and the story is much the same: Democratic leaders, from House Democratic Caucus Chairman Rahm Emmanuel to Senators Hillary Rodham Clinton and Dianne Feinstein -- pursuant to dictates from pro-Israeli political interests -- are curbing debate on the withdrawal of U.S. troops from Iraq, impeachment, and generally, any strong or effective reaction by the Democrats to the Bush administration's and the neo-cons' disastrous war in Iraq. In various congressional districts, the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee (DCCC) is bypassing progressive Democratic candidates and replacing them with "centrist" and less anti-war candidates for the 2008 election.

Criticism within the Democratic Party of AIPAC is carried out very quietly. The consequence for any Democratic politician who is identified as speaking ill of the powerful lobby group is a political death sentence. However, from Washington DC to California, the message is much the same -- AIPAC and its allies are wearing down the patience of a number of Democrats who see the organization as a Republican and neo-con Trojan Horse within the Democratic Party. Next week, AIPAC will be holding its annual convention at the Washington, DC Convention Center. The gathering is bound to create more angst among Democrats -- with both Democratic presidential frontrunners, Hillary Clinton and Barack Obama, tripping over themselves in seeking AIPAC campaign support.

The schism within the Democratic Party appeared when House Speaker Nancy Pelosi refused to allow ranking member of the House Permanent Select Committee on Intelligence Jane Harman of California to become chairman. Pelosi was backed by powerful House Defense Appropriations Committee chairman John Murtha. That set off a battle for the House Majority Leader position between Murtha and Steny Hoyer of Maryland. Hoyer handily won the election while Pelosi supported Murtha. Hoyer's sister, Bernice Manocherian, has served as an executive president of AIPAC.

The controversy about Harman arose after she attempted to interfere in the Justice Department's investigation of AIPAC for espionage. Harman's links to AIPAC sank her chances of becoming HPSCI chair. Harman reportedly agreed to work with Republican chairman Peter Hoekstra to avoid an investigation of the cooked up pre-war intelligence on Iraq in return for the Bush administration going easy on the investigation of AIPAC officials Steve Rosen and Keith Weissman, both later indicted for receiving highly classified documents from Israeli Pentagon spy Larry Franklin. After the Libby trial, the next major bombshells are expected to come from the Rosen and Weissman trial, set for June 4. The AIPAC conference next week will undoubtedly be readying for public relations spin for June's "perfect storm" -- sentencing for Libby is scheduled for June 5, the day after the Rosen and Weismann trial commences.

The last straw for some Democrats is quiet but firm backing from AIPAC-allied politicians and special interests for a presidential pardon for convicted former Vice President Chief of Staff Irving Lewis "Scooter" Libby. Even as Libby was being found guilty, the Libby Legal Defense Fund announced a new member had joined its advisory committee. He is Charles Heimbold, Jr., former Chairman and CEO of Bristol-Myers Squibb Company and a former U.S. ambassador to Sweden. Advisory Committee Chairman Mel Sembler, the former U.S. ambassador to Italy whose fingerprints are found on the transmittal of the bogus Niger documents from Italian hands to the Bush administration -- one of the incidents that led to CIA Leakgate -- said the following about the conviction of Libby: "Scooter is a good man and a distinguished public servant who has been wrongly accused."

Other Libby Defense Fund advisory committee members who continue to support the convicted felon include Mary Matalin, former aide to Dick Cheney and wife of Democratic Party insider and Hillary Clinton supporter James Carville; former Education Secretary William Bennett; former HUD Secretary Jack Kemp; former Attorney General Edwin Meese III; former Senator Don Nickles; former Rep. Bill Paxon; former Clinton Middle East envoy Dennis Ross; former Senator Alan Simpson; Hollywood straphanger and former Senator Fred Thompson; and former CIA Director James Woolsey. The one question that can be asked of all these and other Libby Advisory Committee members is: "Why do they hate America so much?"

Libby Defense Find features this photo of Libby with Afghanistan President Hamid Karzai. Libby once penned a novel titled "The Apprentice," which featured pedophilia, bestiality, and rape. Karzai is rumored by our Afghanistan sources to be an aficionado of "boy dancers," underage male strip dancers that are popular with Karzai's fellow Pashtun warlords. One reason the Taliban banned music and dancing was to eliminate the attendant sexual exploitation of boys by the Pashtun elite.