JTA reported this morning that the federal case against two AIPAC staffers accused of passing classified information to Israel is most likely going to be dropped because of restrictions imposed by the judge that made the prosecutor’s job that much harder.
Read the brief here.
More information will be forthcoming, I’m sure. In the meantime, all advocates of free speech must be cheering. If the feds had won the argument based on this little-known law, it would have dealt a serious blow to how journalists operate when covering Washington.
Of course, the damage has already been done to Rosen and Weissman. Even if AIPAC offered them their old jobs back, I doubt they would take it. Rosen is currently suing the Israel lobby, while Weissman has reportedly grown his hair long and started wearing a keffeyeh around his shoulders. While he may not be on the friendliest terms with AIPAC now, Rosen has begun popping up again at Middle East lectures and other events around Washington. While at AIPAC he was considered a staple at such gatherings.
It is no secret that during my college years I interned with AIPAC and worked directly for Weissman (who in turn worked for Rosen). Mostly I was filing news clippings on Iran, Kazakhstan, and other countries in the Caucasus. Every few weeks or so Weissman would send me out to hear some speaker at Johns Hopkins, the Middle East Institute, or other forum. It was very educational and at the end he said I was one of the best interns he had ever had. Come to think of it, he still owes me a letter of recommendation. Now that he’s likely to be cleared, maybe it’s time to collect.
AIPAC’s annual policy conference – the World Series for Israel advocates – begins on Sunday. I’m sure this breaking news will add a little more cheer to the event.