Have you heard about the flap in Washington concerning alleged Israeli spying on the U.S./Iran nuclear talks? No less a conservative source than Rupert Murdoch’s Wall Street Journal reported this week that Israel then shared that intelligence with U.S. lawmakers working to undermine any deal with Iran. The Journal reported that the White House caught onto the activity when our own spies intercepted Israeli communication that mentioned information that could only have come from the Iran Talks conference room.
Okay, that raises a couple of questions. One, is anybody troubled by Israel spying on the talks and sharing what it learns? There are indications the White House is bothered a bit. But on Capitol Hill, according to the Daily Beast, “if lawmakers were upset by this turn of events, they weren’t showing it Tuesday. Senate Foreign Relations Committee Chairman Bob Corker, for one, joked that he was more concerned that Israeli intelligence hadn’t shared what they learned with him.”
Number two, is anybody bothered by members of Congress working in league with Israeli intelligence to thwart diplomatic negotiations in which the U.S. is involved? A couple of guys who do a blog called The Young Turks are using the word traitor (and lots of other blogs are linking to the Young Turks’ post). But I haven’t seen any other papers or media outlets of record jumping on the bandwagon.
We’ve dealt harshly in the past with American citizens who aid, abet or otherwise hook up with spies from a foreign country, even countries we consider our friends. Case in point: Jonathan Pollard was convicted (in 1987) of selling confidential information to Israeli spies while he worked as a civilian intelligence analyst. He’s now serving a life sentence in a U.S. prison. Pollard was (probably still is) a Zionist who argued from the beginning that he passed classified information to Israel because they’re our friend. The U.S. government obviously didn’t see it that way.
Now we have evidence that U.S. citizens (U.S. Senators, at that, who’ve sworn to uphold the interests of the United States) have been working with Israeli spies once again. Will they be charged with treason? Jonathan Pollard never was, but his adult life has been spent in the slammer. And he has always contended that he only acted out of his dedication to Israel, with no intent to harm U.S. international policy or interests. The Senators involved this time around apparently were trying to act against U.S. interests by upending talks aimed at preventing Iran from obtaining nuclear weapons. That sounds pretty close to treason to me. Anybody wanna’ bet on whether these guys ever face any consequences for what some (including me) would see as ill-considered actions? I’d say it’s a very long shot, at best.