Sunday, August 29, 2004

No story here, folks - move along, move along 

I posted a comment on Artios this weekend that when one guy passes secrets, its espionage; when a group does it for more than a year, its policy. And it doesn't matter whether the policy is both unannounced and unconscionable.
Washington Monthly describes this as Iran-Contra II, and I wouldn't be surprised if this is true -- another secret foreign policy authorized and run by the Pentagon, outside the purview of the State Department.
It appears that there are even many of the same guys involved, again.
But we'll likely never know unless the democrats are elected -- or unless Washington Monthly keeps going -- because the FBI investigation is being shut down -- back to harassing demonstrators, I guess.
The excuse is that the media publicity made the investigation impossible to pursue -- Officials Say Publicity Derailed Secrets Inquiry Here's the key portion of the story:
"The disclosure of the inquiry late on Friday by CBS News revealed what had been for nearly a year a covert national security investigation conducted by the F.B.I., according to the officials, who said that news reports about the inquiry compromised important investigative steps, like the effort to follow the trail back to the Israelis. As a result, several areas of the case remain murky, the officials said. One main uncertainty is the legal status of Lawrence A. Franklin, the lower-level Pentagon policy analyst who the authorities believe passed the Israelis a draft presidential policy directive related to Iran. No arrest in the case is believed to be imminent, in part because prosecutors have not yet clearly established whether Mr. Franklin broke the law. But the officials said there was evidence that he turned the classified material over to officials at the American Israel Public Affairs Committee, a pro-Israel lobbying group. Officials of the group are thought to have then passed the information to Israeli intelligence."
Excuse me -- they have had more than a year to "follow the trail back to the Israelis" -- if they haven't done it by now, its not going to happen. But its pretty damned convenient for the Bush campaign that the story is now being declared officially dead.
And actually, I think it IS all the media's fault for breaking the story -- not because this made the sources dry up, but because this alerted the Bush administration to the situation, thus resulting in immediate kibosh.
UPDATE: Hmmm -- Google News shows 1,400 stories about this spy scandal - its obviously struck quite a chord. So one story in the NYT may not be enough to shut it down after all. It may, in fact, just lead others to same speculation that I have made.

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