Episode 13: Above the Law
AIPAC learns the more entangled and influential its funders become in elite political circles, the less likely its operatives will be prosecuted for electoral fraud and joint espionage operations with Israel's government.
Foreign Agents Registration Act enforcement gradually becomes a cudgel to wield exclusively against out-of-favor foreign governments as elite law firms and associates of high officials such as Marion Javits and Billy Carter are paid to lobby for Iran and Libya. Courts rule that attorney-client privilege can shield key communications between foreign principals and their U.S. agents, further eroding FARA.
The anti-Zionist American Council for Judaism's leadership and George Washington University legal scholar William T. Mallison pressure the Justice Department to obtain the Jewish Agency's foreign financing and control documents. After its 1953 covenant with the Israeli government (which also finances the Jewish Agency) is filed with the Department of Justice, the Jewish Agency suddenly stages a suspicious paper "reconstitution" claiming it actually has an entirely different foreign principal with no Israeli government linkages.
Liberated from White House, DOJ and Senate scrutiny, AIPAC engages in a joint espionage operation with Israel's Minister of Economics against U.S. industry in 1984. In 1986 two AIPAC officials rig the California senate race to install Alan Cranston, who goes on to lavishly fund aid to Israel. In 1988 AIPAC illegally coordinates "independent" stealth PACs with misleading names to advance other Israeli government preferred candidates. In 2004 AIPAC executives Steve Rosen and Keith Weissman try to tripwire the U.S. into war with Iran using stolen classified Department of Defense information, even as an Israeli prosecutor finds the Jewish Agency continues to launder billions into Illegal Israeli settlements.
AIPAC quietly works to gut U.S. lobbying laws and enact special carve-outs for itself over lobbying junkets as Foreign Agents Registration Act enforcement slowly crumbles. The 2002 book Jewish Polity and American Civil Society declares that AIPAC is now free to engage in unlimited U.S. lobbying in concert with Israel's government.
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