By JAMES G. ABOUREZK
(James G. Abourezk is a lawyer practicing in South Dakota. He is a former United States senator and the author of two books.)
Where’s the Justice at the Justice Department?
The big news last week was the defection of Republican Senator Arlen Specter to the Democrats; the bankruptcy filing of the Chrysler Corporation, and finally, the retirement of Justice David Souter from the U.S. Supreme Court.
A much smaller news item competing with these sensational stories was that the U.S. Justice Department announced that it is dropping the espionage charges against two former AIPAC agents. The story was so small that it barely was a blip on the media’s radar, bringing absolutely no comment on the network news and talk shows.
That’s known as clever public relations. Announce the bad news on a day when it won’t be noticed.
Steven Rosen and Keith Weissman had been charged in 2005 with the crime of espionage; specifically, handing over to Israel secret information they had retrieved from Larry Franklin, who was then a policy analyst in the U.S. Defense Department, working for Douglas Feith and for Paul Wolfowitz.
Related article: Lawyers credit Obama team for dismissing AIPAC case
Franklin pleaded guilty to relaying top secret information on Iran to Rosen and Weissman, and was sentenced to 12 years and 7 months in prison, a term he is currently serving.