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September 2005 > Watchpost > Indictment

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Bruce Ticker AIPAC Reviews Some Policies in Wake of Indictment

by Bruce Ticker

The indictments of two former AIPAC staffers were followed by the lobbying group's admission that they need to rethink some aspects of its operation.

The Jewish Telegraphic Agency reports that AIPAC (American Israel Public Affairs Committee), the nation's most influential pro-Israel lobbying agency, announced on August 5 that it had hired former Justice Department officials who now work for Howrey LLP, a major Washington-based law firm LLP, a major Washington-based law firm that consults with organizations engaged in lobbying, to review its lobbying practices.

Paul McNulty, the U.S. attorney for eastern Virginia, handed down the indictment charging Steve Rosen, AIPAC's former policy director, and Keith Weissman, its former Iran analyst, with "conspiracy to communicate national defense information to people not entitled to receive it," which carries a maximum sentence of 10 years in prison, the JTA reported.

"The conduct of Rosen and Weissman was clearly not part of their job," an unidentified AIPAC official told JTA. "However, we made a decision that the events of the last year warranted an internal review of policies and procedures related to information collection and dissemination."

Rosen is also charged with actual communication of national defense information, also punishable by 10 years in prison.
AIPAC's review of some of its policies was reported by Jewish newspapers, but this news was downplayed in JTA stories carried by these newspapers. In the JTA story published by The Jewish Exponent, this news appeared in the eighth paragraph…on page 20.