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12/18/2007 AIPAC Espionage Trial
Case Thrown Out before Trial?
Leonard Charles, Inn World Report:  Before we have to go, let's talk for a moment about the Steve Rosen- Keith Weissman case which comes back into court in April.  This is, to most people who have seen it, a blatant case of AIPAC's involvement in stealing US secrets.  The Espionage Act comes into play.  How is this developing, and once again, will those closely associated with AIPAC be let off the hook?

Grant Smith:  Well, this is a very high stakes trial, and basically, what we are talking about is that if Rosen and Weissman, along with their Department of Defense, and press, and collaborators gone forward, we might very well have American sons and daughters fighting a ground war in Iran.  This is all about Iran. 

But when you look at the maneuvers in the court, we've seen almost two years of very savvy legal maneuvering trying to get this thrown out of court on numerous pretexts.  And what we see is that the press is very much in favor of seeing this go away.  The Wall Street Journal had a major editorial about how new attorney general Mukasey's first job should be throwing this out of court.  We've seen the Washington Post and others saying that this is about free speech and that these lobbyists are the equivalent of reporters who should not be denied access to information, or any (classified) information they can find, and the judge himself has set extremely high standards.  Although the act that they are being prosecuted under states that they should be shown to have either advantaged a foreign country or harmed US interests, he is insisting that it be shown that these actions taken by Rosen and Weissman actually harmed the United States.  So it is extremely...if the case follows any historic pattern, we will not see this ever get to court.  Certainly not April 29.  The Bush administration has too much to lose, the mainstream press has too much to lose, Congress has too much to lose, and, of course, AIPAC.

Audio File (MP3) Windows Audio (WMA)  Windows Media Video (WMV) Transcript (HTML)
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12/28/2007 Spotlight on International Nonprofit Money Laundering
Interpol to Get Involved in 2008?
Ronald Noble, the Secretary-General of Interpol, has a difficult decision to make in 2008.  On August 14, 2005 USA Today and other news organizations broke the news that Israeli prosecutor Talia Sasson had uncovered a massive international money laundering network, though it received little Congressional or law enforcement attention in the United States.  Sasson detailed how nonprofit charitable funds were used to illegally confiscate and develop Palestinian lands across the Israeli occupied West Bank in direct contravention of Israeli, US and international law.

On March 18, 2005, the Jewish Daily Forward had already revealed that as members of governing bodies of the World Zionist Organization, US divisions of Hadassah, B'nai B'rith and other tax exempt organizations were directly linked to this criminal activity.  Unfettered US nonprofit money laundering continues to finance a major source of grief and violence that generates international terrorism.

US law enforcement agencies are hobbled by outside domestic lobbies and internally by political appointees determined to proactively take major law enforcement issues involving Israel "off the table."  Fortunately, Interpol remains well situated to pursue law enforcement solutions where individual nation-states fail and the global stakes are high.  2008 is a good year for Interpol action as the US turns inward to the November elections and law enforcement agencies continue to turn a blind eye on American nonprofit money laundering as a systemic terrorism generator.

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11/28/2007 Radio France Internationale - Interview
Annapolis Conference - Why Now?
RFI:  What is the significance of a peace conference right now?

Grant Smith, IRmep:  Let's look at it from a strategic vista.  At the very same time Bush administration is reinitiating a dormant process that has been of no interest for their entire term in office, they are also announcing direct negotiations for semi-permanent US military forces to be stationed in Iraq.

In Annapolis, one interested party that was not invited won't fail to notice that the "negotiations" are taking place in a military installation, specifically, that of the US Navy.  The Navy has been proposed as the "tip of the spear" in any bombing attack on Iran's nuclear facilities and to maintain the movement of petroleum tankers.

RFI: So is this serious, or not?

Grant Smith, IRmep:  The Bush administration's overt alliance and coordination with the Israelis is so encompassing that this, along with other important factors, negates this as a likely forum for truly productive negotiations, painful compromises, or the US emergence as some kind of a neutral arbitrator.  At real negotiations, you invite all parties with legitimate interests and effective veto powers over that which is to be negotiated.  In this case, elevating Mahmoud Abbas and leaving out Hamas, which has real representation among Palestinians, means it is not an inclusive enough negotiation.  Iran, which also has influence and interests in the outcome was not invited. 

The Bush administration is triangulating a positive counterbalance to two initiatives that are already extremely unpopular in the US: continuing the military occupation of Iraq and finding pretexts for hitting Iran.  If you don't see this negotiation as their chance to score some public relations wins to provide cover for their more favored but unpopular projects, then you're missing the whole point.

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11/21/2007 Discussion of the book "Foreign Agents"
Weak US Law Enforcement Key to AIPAC Operations
"...although it's quite a dry book, it makes very gripping reading
for what it reveals....the whole thing is a kind of network, a nightmarish network that is brilliantly revealed in this book...""  Abe Hayeem, Architects & Planners for Justice

"One of the facts that Grant reveals in his book, is the reason that AIPAC can function with impunity in the US is that anyone who dares to oppose it is knocked over by an onslaught of bile and money." Tim Llewellyn, former BBC Middle East correspondent

"Our main point is election law enforcement in the United States is so stunningly weak, that it doesn't take very much tipping, or PAC (political action committee) coordination, or other illegal maneuvers to make a great difference in key districts. And US politicians are aware of that. And that's the whole point of the book. The book talks about four different laws (Foreign Agent registration, Logan, election laws, and the Espionage Act) which, if properly enforced, would fundamentally change US policy. We view this, in some respects, as largely a law enforcement failure...." Grant F. Smith, Director of Research, IRmep
Audio File (MP3) Windows Audio (WMA)  Windows Media Video (WMV) Google Video
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11/21/2007 Dissident Voice Excerpt from the book "Foreign Agents"
Why AIPAC took over Brookings
By targeting and taking over Middle East policy at Brookings in 2002, Saban and Indyk were able to "leapfrog" AIPAC messaging from second to last in the think tank market (WINEP had only 2%) to first place. Taking over Brookings also made it appear to Americans that there was now an "expert consensus" from "right to left" on the key Middle East policy issue of the year: the US invasion of Iraq on weapons of mass destruction pretexts.  Brookings is often portrayed as a "centrist to left think tank" in the corporate news media. According to FAIR, "Progressive or Left-Leaning" media citations were a small but important segment of the marketplace of ideas, but combined with "centrist", they represented the majority. For Saban and Indyk, taking over Brookings Middle East policy in 2002 meant penetrating the 63% of the marketplace of ideas that was generally not beating a drum for war in Iraq.
Full Excerpt (HTML)
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11/2/2007 AIPAC Espionage Case Ruling opens door to Executive Privilege Dismissal
Presiding Judge T.S. Ellis ruled against most of the prosecution team's efforts to limit Rosen and Weissman's broad subpoena list of high US government officials in the prosecution of the former AIPAC officials.

The prosecuting attorneys wanted to block the 16 subpoena requests including the testimony of Secretary of State Rice and Stephen Hadley, President Bush's national security adviser, allowing only four. Others that Rosen and Weissman may now subpoena include Elliott Abrams, former Iran Contra conspirator convicted on two counts of misleading Congress and Bush's top adviser on Middle East policy, Richard Armitage, and Paul Wolfowitz.

While compelled testimony from the authors of the most disastrous foreign policy in the nation's history may seem to be a welcome ray of light, it is unlikely to ever happen. The defense may be counting on this as a "graymail" strategy to get the case thrown out, thereby avoiding the embarrassment of current and former officials. Judge Ellis gave AIPAC reason hope it may work. It is likely that the subpoenaed witness will not appear on grounds of "executive privilege". If Ellis reads the news, he knows that this has already occurred when Bush administration officials refused to appear before Congress to discuss the firing of US attorneys. If this happens again, the case against AIPAC will be over, as Judge T.S. Ellis plainly stated:

"The government's refusal to comply with a subpoena in these circumstances may result in dismissal or lesser sanctions."

There are multiple concurrent behind-the-scenes efforts that would likely result in getting this case thrown out. New legislation purporting to strengthen "protection of reporters" and the real possibility that government agencies won't declassify enough of the wiretap and surveillance data documenting Weissman and Rosen's alleged espionage activities are only two. The US attorney who originally brought the charges against Rosen and Weissman unwound the very guidelines that kept the prosecution moving, before he was jettisoned in the ensuing Attorney firing scandal.

An examination of Attorney General nominee Michael Mukasey's record also indicates additional allies of AIPAC may enter the fray to help drop the case. While hard on convicted terrorists, Mukasey's sentencing docket reveals a light touch for tie-bearing criminals. If confirmed, he would be very likely to order US Attorneys to drop the case entirely.

In "Foreign Agents" IRmep documents the sordid history of AIPAC, an organization that since its founding has routinely flouted important US laws including Foreign Agent registration, the Logan Act, election laws, and possibly the 1917 Espionage Act. It is now more likely that AIPAC will not face any criminal consequences for employing espionage as a tactic to influence US policy development on Iran. However, the generally underreported details of the trial should not escape the attention of citizens committed to cleaning up Washington.
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Grant F. Smith: These are stifling times at college campuses
More than a decade later, I stand in awe over how intolerant of diverse views higher education and research institutions have become. The educational ferment is being purposefully watered down as cowardly administrators prioritize endowment over education.

John Mearsheimer, a professor of political science in Chicago, is now something of a pariah for his recent work on the Israel lobby, unwelcome and disinvited from numerous relevant venues. I now agree with much of what he says, but also value the opportunity to consider opposing views.

Complete OpEd (HTML)
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10/09/2007 Excerpt from the book "Foreign Agents"
Where did AIPAC Come From?
...The break between Ben-Gurion and Eshkol occurred over Ben-Gurion's insistence on fully investigating and learning lessons from the sordid Lavon Affair. Eshkol was insistent that investigating the affair was a waste of time, and wished to bury it as soon as possible. On December 13, 1964, he addressed the issue to the Mapai Central Committee.

"If I vote in favor of an inquiry into the Lavon Affair�We would be opening a Pandora's box of troubles. It will not end with this affair or with this investigation. We'll be spending the next fifteen years dealing with investigations into various unsolved matters."

Levi Eshkol, the Jewish Agency executive overseeing funding for the establishment of the Israel lobby in the United States, successfully quashed Ben-Gurion's demand to appoint a judicial inquiry into Israel's false-flag attack on America when he became prime minister of Israel.

Full Excerpt (HTML)
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9/28/2007 Voice of America - Inter American Forumvoa.jpg (1492 bytes)
US Financial War against Iran joined by Rhetorical "Surge"
IRmep: Iranian President Ahmadinejad can travel to Venezuela, he can travel to Bolivia to talk about developing their natural gas.  He can travel to Nicaragua to gift new housing, tractors, etcetera.  However, Iran, in this moment, is under economic sanctions, led by the US Treasury Department, whose members are traveling through every part of the world, trying to intervene in any major foreign investment in Iran.  Treasury says to banks, for example, "if you are facilitating these types of projects (like South America), you're going to lose access to the US financial system", as well as possibly confidential and reliable access to global financial facilities and consortiums in Europe (such as SWIFT).  Meanwhile, there is another intense behind-the-scenes action outside of the United Nations, building at the state level in California, Texas and fifteen other US states declaring that no state pension funds can be invested in companies that have anything to do with Iran.  In California, that equals $350 billion dollars.  So the "rhetorical" war surge is layered on top of an existing and very real financial war.  While Ahmadinejad can travel through South America after his UN activities garnering political support, his promises are going to crash against the reality that Iran has diminished access to the financial and corporate levers they need in order to honor promises and announced aid packages in Latin America.
Windows Media Video (WMV)   
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9/16/2007 Radio France - The Petraeus Report - Analysis
Politicized Troop Movements?

Radio France Internationale:  The US President George W. Bush Hill announced the withdrawal of 30,000 US troops deployed in Iraq.  This message is directed at two audiences.  In the US Congress the commander of US troops in Iraq, general David Petraeus, warned legislators that a rushed withdrawal would have grave consequences, and announced that "surged troops" could be withdrawn in the summer of 2008.  For his part, Bush said his Iraq policy is base upon recommendations from his commanders in the field. However the questions raised are whether the troop movements are political in nature or part of a military strategy.  The answer of Grant Smith, Director of Research of IRmep in Washington, DC.

Grant Smith, IRmep:  Many in America perceive the Petraeus report and forecast troop reduction as a purely political move.  That's because, number one, the net affect of withdrawing troops sent as part of the so called "surge" basically leaves the same number of troops that were there before the escalation.  Number two, now that the political season of US presidential campaigns is arriving, if there is no positive news and moves with respect to Iraq, it will have a negative effect on Republican candidates.  But there is a building domestic public opinion that these heavily publicized numerical troop movements have been all but completely politicized.

Full Broadcast (MP3) in Spanish
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9/1/2007 New Book FOREIGN AGENTS:
The American Israel Public Affairs Committee from the 1963 Fulbright Hearings to the 2005 Espionage Scandal
"In this book, Grant Smith renders a vital public service by providing chapter-and-verse evidence that the American Israel Public Affairs Committee--Israel's U.S. lobby--is the agent of a foreign government and has violated public law for years in ways that seriously harm U.S. national interests."-Paul Findley, former US Congressman

"For those who want to understand how AIPAC and the Israel lobby have hijacked the American political process, Grant Smith's Foreign Agents is required reading.
-Jeffrey Blankfort hosts the international affairs program "Takes on the World" on KZYX Pacifica Radio in Mendocino, California.

"Wealthy, powerful, almost covert, with the proven capability of strongly influencing the media as well as both parties in Congress and the White House, AIPAC's omnipresent, little-known activities demand the public scrutiny that Foreign Agents initiates." -Ambassador Edward L. Peck is former Chief of Mission in Iraq and Former Deputy Director, White House Cabinet Task Force on Terrorism

"AIPAC has proved itself to be a danger to our democracy by using money and political power to benefit a foreign government, all at the expense of the American taxpayer. Grant Smith has done a great deal of powerful research to bring facts that will benefit us all when making decisions as to who we vote for." -Senator James G. Abourezk

"Grant Smith has produced a momentous scholarly work that reveals an eye-opening picture of the carefully guarded operations of the Israeli lobby and its unparalleled influence over US policy in the Middle East. What makes this daringly debunking research work convincing and its arguments irrefutable is the fact that it steers past the dangers of the conspiracy theories surrounding the Israeli lobby by drawing exclusively on official government and/or public sources of information. Foreign Agents is a must read primer for anyone interested in making sense of our government's policy in the Middle East and its implications for our domestic politics and priorities." -Ismael Hossein-Zadeh Ph.D. is Professor of Economics at Drake University and Author of the book "The Political Economy of US Militarism"

"In Foreign Agents, Grant Smith has drawn together the historical threads of a foreign lobby group that has managed to slip between the cracks despite its connection to numerous illegal activities in the United States. Foreign Agents reveals what every American citizen should know about AIPAC, the Israeli lobby which holds sway over many US politicians, and hence US politics, often to the detriment of US interests. A must read book."
-Kim Petersen is the co-editor of the Dissident Voice newsletter

"Grant F. Smith's book provides a superb review of the efforts that have been made to expose the Israel lobby from 1963 to 2005. Smith's work is extremely well researched. He gathers together documents, testimony from closed-door hearings, and news articles that most Americans have totally forgotten... His work is monumental."
Richard Curtiss executive editor of the Washington Report on Middle East Affairs

Paperback $14.95 Hardcover $26.95  Purchase Online with Free US Shipping
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Pacifica Radio New York
8/19/2007 Shelton Walden Interviews Grant Smith about Foreign Agents  (MP3) (WMA)
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8/17/2007 Voice of America - Inter American Forumvoa.jpg (1492 bytes)
Iranian Aid to Nicaragua - Inflating the Threat to the US....Again?
Roger Noriega (American Enterprise Institute) and former undersecretary of State: "You really have to go out of your way to reach out to one of the four biggest rogue states in the world, Iran, which is recognized as a pariah by all the respectable countries of the worldSo unfortunately, President Ortega seems to be going back to the past." Grant Smith (IRmep): "Let's just look at who is saying that. Noriega (Roger) was up to his elbows in the US Contra war against Nicaragua in the 1980's. He's got his agenda, but I don't think his agenda is either open or very rationally thought out....Ronald Reagan after all told us that Nicaragua had the capability to invade Texas...."

Adriana Amat: And so you say Iran is obviously a terrorist state?
Grant Smith: No, I didn't say that Iran is a terrorist state, the Bush Administration is naming them, indirectly.
Adriana Amat:
Fine, the Bush administration and ambassador Paul Trivolli.  But where I'm going with this is the following, Grant. Iran is a threat for the United States, but the fact that they are allying with persons such as Daniel Ortega, or Hugo Chavez, really should be worrisome?
Grant Smith:
No. Before anything, I am not in agreement that Iran is some big threat to the United States.
Adriana Amat:
But you agree that it is a dangerous partner for country like Nicaragua
Grant Smith: Sure, it is an ally that the Bush administration considers dangerous. But let's look at who says they are such a dangerous ally. Let's look at who is saying that. Noriega (Roger) was up to his elbows in the US Contra war against Nicaragua in the 1980's. He's got his agenda, but I don't think his agenda is either open or very rationally thought out. The US can have a great deal of problems with Iran, in the Gulf, if there is an armed conflict, because the Iranians have the capability of shutting down petroleum flow through the Gulf. The US is preoccupied by the nuclear program. But Iran the great threat? Right now? Against the United States? And our domestic interests? I think it's a little inflated sometimes the rhetorical warfare that's coming out of Washington.
Adriana Amat: Excellent, for clarifying that point.

Video    Interview Transcript (HTML)
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8/16/2007 Inside Higher Education
International Arab Students not receiving full benefits of a US Education
But by and large, the recent history of Saudi-U.S. interaction on U.S. campuses is characterized by "broad failures," says Grant Smith, director of research for the Institute for Research: Middle Eastern Policy, a Washington think tank supportive of increased relations with the Arab world that conducted an online survey this spring of Saudi students in the United States. The results suggested that Saudi students are spending more time with other Saudis than they are with either American students or foreign students from other countries, and many feel they're receiving only "average treatment" from tutors and teaching assistants.

"Some of the reasons that you'd think we'd want these students here in terms of integration, getting to know us, our way of life � they're not happening," says Smith.

Inside Higher Education article (HTML) Full Student Survey Results (PDF)
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8/1/2007 Kaleej Times - US Arab Trade Outlook
US exports to Arab world set to hit $45 billion in 2007
Sales of American merchandise to the Arab world in 2006 topped $35 billion, a 28 per cent increase over the previous year. The outlook for 2007 is even more promising, with estimated US sales surging to $45 billion, according to the Institute for Research: Middle Eastern Policy.

US-Arab bilateral trade reached $109 billion in 2006, an increase of 25 per cent over 2005 levels. Total Arab market imports are expected to reach $405 billion, an 11 per cent increase over year 2006.

According to the report, the single most important factor in the rise of US exports in 2006 was the depreciating dollar, which made US goods very competitive against comparable products from Europe, Asia, and elsewhere. In 2006, the value of the dollar fell about 10 per cent against the euro, and a further decline is taking place in 2007. The continuing weakness of the dollar will cause US global exports to grow by double digits throughout 2007, according to the Economist Intelligence Unit.
Kaleej Times report (HTML) Full Trade Report (HTML)
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7/16/2007 Radio France - US Led Regional Peace Conference - Full Interview
A Good Faith Peace Effort?
Radio France Internationale: The American proposal to have a regional peace conference in the coming months has been immediately rejected by the radical Palestinian movement Hamas....

The reactions of Grant Smith, director of the Institute for Research: Middle Eastern Policy.

Grant Smith:  It is a step in which president Bush is moving somewhat toward reinitiating the peace process. Until now, this administration has made no credible effort to make parties adhere to the "roadmap for peace" and this is an opportunity to do that.

Systemically, all American lame duck presidents have a moment in which they can safely ignore the Israel lobby and attempt to do the right thing in the region. Clinton took advantage of this moment, and Bush could as well.  It remains to be seen, however, whether Bush is only using this so-called initiative as yet another club against Hamas.

Unfortunately, with the conditions between Fatah and Hamas, and the Bush strategy of only supporting Fatah and shutting out Hamas, make it difficult because this strategy does not address the true power centers, and will not be recognized as a legitimate effort to reconcile the two factions.

In 1948 when Israel was formed, its most active terrorist groups such as Lehi and Stern were folded into the new Israeli government, with little opposition by world powers.  It was controversial and difficult, particularly for the British, to simply "move on" and forget about the rampant assassinations, bombings and terror campaigns.  Bush could "move on" as well.  He could recognize and address the legitimate and real grievances that fuels Hamas.  Bush could begin to act on behalf of the American people, rather than the narrow domestic interest groups and Israel lobbyists he is typically surrounded by.  Now is the moment for a major, if only temporarily sustainable, improvement in US policy formulation.
Full Broadcast (MP3) in Spanish
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6/17/2007 Radio France - Outside Military Support for Palestinian Factionalism - Full Interview
Installing Fatah in exchange for Withheld Tax and Customs Revenue
RFI:  The Palestinian president, Mahmoud Abbas, signed a decree in the early hours this Sunday a decree creating a new emergency Palestinian government.  The new cabinet which will assume power within hours is composed of ten ministers, none of which are members of the Islamist group Hamas, rival of president Abbas. Nevertheless, we are informed that neither will they be officially recognized as Fatah party members of the president.

The Israeli prime minister, Ehud Olmert said that his government would recognize a Palestinian government that did not include ministers from Hamas.  Olmert told journalists that the new government would represent a new opportunity for peace, and that he is willing to work with it. The statement from Olmert came after signs of western support for Abbas, who has been confronting Hamas in violent conflicts within the Palestinian territories. Washington announced on Saturday that it would lift a financial embargo over Palestinian territories established 15 months ago after the electoral triumph of Hamas, after the new government is in place. The "quartet" member countries, composed of the US, EU, UN, and Russia showed signs of support for the decision of Abbas to dissolve the Palestinian government and declare a state of emergency.  Europe could adopt the same position as Washington, and reestablish support for the Palestinian government, allowing funding to enter Gaza where Hamas won military engagements during this week. According to research director of the IRmep, this is the result of outside military support for the Fatah party under Abbas:

Grant Smith:  Before, Israel and the US unilaterally decided that they could no longer live with Fatah and its leader (Yassir Arafat). Now, they've decided that Fatah is the salvation of Israel. We can see that after a low intensity conflict, with the Bush administration helping Fatah elements with arms and money, they've been able to achieve a rather minor objective, something that would have been easily accomplished in 2005, that is actually supporting Fatah.  What would have been even better would be finding a way at that time to live with Hamas within a productive role in the coalition government. We need to remember that the Palestinian government was formed as a result of elections the entire world perceived as legitimate, and representative of Palestinian aspirations.

Now, Israel and the Bush administration have decided that they only want to work with one faction, whether the resulting government is considered to be legally constituted and legitimate or not, and they've chosen Fatah as the new strategy within the Israeli occupied territories.

The aid issue might seem like great news to some, and it certainly is circulating in the mainstream news outlets from Washington to Tel Aviv. But the fact of the matter is that the initial money being released are tax and customs fees that belong to the Palestinian people, more than $600 million, which the Palestinians desperately needed for social and other purposes, but were being deprived of by Israel in partnership and with full support of the Bush administration.

Full Broadcast (MP3) in Spanish
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5/3/2007 IRmep Center for Policy and Law Enforcement
IRmep - An Ex Parte Intervention in the AIPAC Spy Trial
On April 23, 2007, IRmep filed a formal submission urging that evidence presented by the US Attorney's Office in the AIPAC espionage case not be undermined or dismissed on public disclosure technicalities or behind-the-scenes pressure applied by big media companies.  IRmep also sent a copy of the article titled "Is the Media Sabotaging the AIPAC Spy Trial" to Judge T.S. Ellis III and the prosecution team, Kevin DiGregory and William N. Hammerstrom. 

On March 13, 2007 major corporate media companies filed an "emergency motion for leave to intervene" in the trial.  The corporate media giants demanded that the prosecution not be allowed to use any wire intercepts and other classified material in their prosecution under coded reference, unless it was declassified and made available to all members of the public, including the press.  The prosecution wanted to established CIPA procedures to avoid disclosing sources and methods the US utilizes to protect America against Israeli espionage.  These CIPA procedures would have  allowed defendants and the defense team access to all classified information.

It is IRmep's conclusion that the corporate media outlets involved in the motion are not intervening in good faith.  Several have been the recipients of classified information allegedly purloined by AIPAC, including the Washington Post and Reuters.  Their filing confirms their belief that newspapers must be free to publish stolen classified information selectively released by a foreign lobby.  But their belief is highly suspect.  A review of recent past cases involving demands to disclose classified information as well as sources and methods in espionage trials reveals that the press normally *universally condemns* this defense tactic as a type of "blackmail" (more precisely referred to as "graymail".)

IRmep's filing simply states the obvious:  Allowing a foreign lobby like AIPAC to systematically scour the US government for classified information, then divulging or trafficking it to further the interests of Israel is not in America's best interest.  The corporate media has shown time after time its willingness to be manipulated by selectively released classified information, pushed by both lobbies and government actors.  Mainstream media's highly compromised press coverage of the buildup to the Iraq invasion is only the most recent tragic case in point.

In a positive development, Judge Ellis ordered that copies of the April 23, 2007 IRmep filing and copies of  "Is the Media Sabotaging the AIPAC Spy Trial" be delivered by the clerk to all "counsel of record."   However, he also indicated that in the weeks before the trial begins (June 4, 2007), subsequent ex parte submissions from IRmep will not be accepted by the court.
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4/20/2007 Radio France - Chaos in Iraq: 4/21/2007 Graymail and Freedom of the Press
The Product of Flawed Strategies Is Mainstream Corporate Media subverting the AIPAC Spy Trial?
RFI: US defense secretary Robert Gates has traveled to Falluja even as criticism of the US troop escalation continue in Washington. Grant Smith, director of the Institute for Research: Middle Eastern Policy affirms the surge plan is a disaster.

Grant Smith: With the latest massive bombing attacking against Shiites, we can see that the escalation and presence of the United States, even with additional troops, have not been able to achieve the Bush administration's latest stated objectives: creating security and a new atmosphere of hope.

Meanwhile, we have a debate in Congress in which Democrats are insisting on milestones and measurable progress instead of providing funding entirely free of restrictions.

We see the two as running in parallel: a battle here in Congress over funding, and there against an escalation which is revealing that both the number of troops and strategy are not going to stem the violence.

Another AIPAC motion to intervene filer, the Reporters Committee for Freedom of the Press, clarified the mainstream corporate media's collective desire to continue serving as a willing conduit for selectively released classified information,  According to Lucy Dalglish, executive director of the Reporters Committee for Freedom of the Press, "Journalists who cover national security and defense receive classified information all the time, It's virtually routine. If that were the standard for bringing an espionage case, we'd be locking up a lot of people in this town and there would be fewer sources of information."

Notwithstanding the press's apparent willingness to be used to further AIPAC or any other lobbies' policy objectives by selective disclosure of classified information, secrecy in trials raises questions.  Does the elite media's own reporting record reveal a consistent industrywide commitment calling for disclosure of secret evidence in all high profile criminal trials?  It does not.

Full Broadcast (MP3) in Spanish Full Essay (HTM)
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4/14/2007 4/16/2007
IMF and World Bank Struggle to be Relevant Ousting Wolfowitz:
AL-EQTISADIAH NEWSPAPER Never Qualified to Lead the World Bank
The International Monetary Fund is struggling to both influence trade, monetary and fiscal policy in an age where it is becoming increasingly less relevant.

In Latin America, borrower states such as Argentina have already refinanced IMF loans with cash rich Venezuela, while proclaiming IMF austerity programs are of little value in restarting the economy. In the Arab world, regionally generated foreign direct investment led by UAE and Saudi Arabia similarly overshadows the funding and terms available from the IMF.

Nevertheless, an explosive future currency realignment is on the horizon, If the Chinese Yuan and Saudi Riyal were free floating today, their value would be different. If China were not pegging the Yuan to the US dollar, the price of Chinese goods which are omnipresent in US consumer markets, would already have increased substantially over past years. The case for freeing the Yuan to allow it to rise against the dollar on the basis of basic economics of free trade is clear.

Asking for adjustments to the Saudi Riyal is not a clear cut case. The US benefits greatly from a world petroleum market based largely on the US dollar. The price of the dollar is propped up as buyer and supplier countries maintain adequate reserves of the currency for energy market transactions. If pressure from the US led to major exporters pricing and asking for major contract transactions in Euros or another currency, the US dollar would suffer.
Paul Wolfowitz has been blight upon the World Bank and a matter of shame for many Americans who are still seeking clarification over his role in developing and promoting fatally flawed US policies in the Middle East.

Wolfowitz has a long history of fraud against the United States. In the 1980's, he played a central role in inflating estimates of Soviet military threats in a successful bid to unnecessarily increase defense spending against what were later revealed to be non-threats such as stealth submarines and the Backfire bomber.

In 2002, Wolfowitz played a part in the Boeing air tanker scandal, in which US tax payers, on his recommendation, were to pay leasing margins for a new fleet of refueling tankers, rather than issue US government bonds for financing.  This blunder alone would have disqualified him from any serious position involving finance requiring integrity, knowledge of debt financing and transparency.  In Iraq his strategy, again fueled by disinformation, has played a critical part in the death of more than 600,000 Iraqi civilians and creation of two million refugees.

Wolfowitz has never been qualified to lead the World bank.

Even cursory analysis of his skills, moral standing, and accomplishments make his immediate ouster an urgent, though second best solution to never appointing him in the first place.
Full IMF Analysis (PDF) in Arabic
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4/11/2007 US Taxpayer Dollars and National Identity Going Down the Drain:
Cutting Off Funds for Flawed Neocon Fantasies
IRmep believes Congress needs to come together and staunch the steady bleeding of American taxpayers, which is now entering its fifth year.  While we've opposed the US invasion since before it began, there are five reasons why even supporters of a so-called "Global War on Terror" now need to pull the plug before the Iraq debacle brings America to its knees.

Reason #1:  A "Credit Card" War Drags on Future Generations.  The United States is financing the Iraq occupation with deficit spending.  In 2003 Americans rightly rejected the neoconservative plan for the Department of Defense to "lease" air tankers for Middle Eastern air wars.  That case rightly put Pentagon and industry officials (though not the authors of the plan) behind bars.  Americans saw the deal for what it truly was: corruption.  Americans are now rejecting the idea that the cost of the misguided Iraq war is being passed on to our future generations who will be repaying creditor nations such as China that purchase US government bonds financing this disastrous war.  Like the tanker deal, Americans usually reject the idea of paying interest above and beyond the base cost national security interests.  The Iraq war was deficit financed because it never was vital to the US's true defense needs.  The shell game of hiding the cost of the war to make it palatable to American taxpayers is no longer feasible as interest rates climb and the value of the dollar plunges.  The "credit card financed war" game is up.

Full Essay
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4/6/2007 Douglas Feith's OSP and Intelligence Falsification: Radio France Internationale
Pre-Invasion Neocon Propaganda
Intro: The Pentagon has confirmed in a report that Saddam Hussein did not have links with Al Qaeda, one of the principal arguments of President George Bush for invading Iraq in 2003.

There were no links between ex-Iraqi president Saddam Hussein and the Al Qaeda terror network according to a Pentagon inspector general report released this Friday. The alleged links between Hussein and Al Qaeda were one of the key arguments to justify President Bush's invasion of Iraq in 2003. The war was launched on the basis of manipulated information according to the Institute for Research: Middle Eastern Policy in Washington, whose director Grant Smith speaks to reporter Luis Eduardo Arizalde:

Grant Smith: "It is perfectly clear that the groups pushing the Iraq-Al Qaeda case, presented false information through different news media, and most importantly spokespersons such as Richard Perle, appeared constantly in all of the US news programs in 2001 and 2002 presenting the case for war, They had a lot of success propagating false information, and until now, none of these people have paid any price, in terms of criminal prosecutions. There are laws on the books in this country (the USA) against wire fraud, or rather, the dissemination of false information, but nobody has yet paid any price for this massive disinformation campaign."
 Audio Only (MP3) in Spanish
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3/30/2007 Kiplinger Magazine Profiles IRmep Arab Trade Report
Problems in Iraq aren't hurting U.S. exports to the Arab world. In fact, they're booming this year and are on course to far outdo last year's total of around $35 billion. The National US-Arab Chamber of Commerce, which closely tracks these trade flows, sees the export total reaching $45 billion this year.   (IRmep Forecast)
Kiplinger report (HTML) Full Trade Report (PDF)
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3/15/2007 Washington Post profiles IRmep Report
US Exports to Arab World Surging, Report Says
WASHINGTON (Reuters) - U.S. exports to Arab nations are forecast to reach a record $45 billion in 2007, shattering the previous high set last year, according to a report released on Thursday.

High oil prices boosted the Arab world's buying power at the same time a declining U.S. dollar made American goods more competitive, according to the report, which was prepared by the Institute for Research: Middle Eastern Policy.

Those factors helped U.S. exports to the Arab world grow rapidly, despite widespread criticism of U.S. policies in Iraq and frequent calls to boycott American products.

Despite the forecast for U.S. exports to the region to expand nearly 30 percent this year, the Iraq war is just one of many "storm clouds" on the horizon, the report said.

Washington Post report (HTML)  Full Trade Report (PDF)
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linktv.jpg (3148 bytes) 02/23/2007 Television Interview - "Viewpoint"
An Iraq War Subsidy financed by Deficit Spending
IRmep:  Larger companies, to some extent, and this is a really crass thing to say, but the calculation may be, "I can export microprocessors in PCs (personal computers) or smart bombs.  I can sell foodstuffs (processed) through supermarket chains or the KBR 'chuck wagon' on the military base."  There is a subsidy that is going on right now that has cushioned much of the Fortune 500, which is this deficit financed war, which has made them not feel this as much as smaller companies.  97% of exporters have less than 500 people (employees) in terms of company size.  They are definitely feeling it.  But there is a feeling, that up until now, there has been a "cushion" in the larger companies because all of this (US exports to the Arab market) is "dual use" technology.  

ViewPoint:  Is it possible we're not going to hear much more about this until those companies start to say something about it?

IRmep:  Well some of those companies are beginning to talk in generalities.  They don't want to go to this level (Visa Denied Report), a lot of them, because it really doesn't look good.  To tell the truth, there aren't a lot of executives who want to go on record saying, "we could have done a lot better in terms of our sales to the Middle East". 

Full Discussion (Windows Video 400 kbpsAudio Only (MP3) 
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2/23/2007 VOA Panel Discussionvoa.jpg (1492 bytes)
Is the US Considered an "Honest Broker" in the Middle East?
Adriana Amat: What possibilities for peace in the Middle East do you see, between Israelis and Palestinians, and returning to psychological warfare, children in school are taught from a very young age to hate "the enemy". The enemy is Israel, or the Palestinian. In an opinion survey, there are people who don't want to appear on camera, who have a strong opinion about this on the Palestinian side. One asks them "what do you want to happen" and they take out a map of Jerusalem and say, "this is my land. And I am going to teach my children to fight for this land." You go and ask an Israeli the same question, and get the same answer.

Grant Smith:
Well, for many centuries, Jerusalem was a city shared by three faiths. It is not impossible that it will return to that status. We are always directed to focus on "Palestinian terrorism" forgetting that in 1948, the terrorists were the Israelis.  Yitzhak Shamir was considered by Britain to be terrorist #1 of the Middle East. Israeli terrorist groups such as Irgun and Stern were integrated into the Israeli military. 

There was more consciousness and tolerance for the transformation of the "terrorist fighting for his land" toward a state. However, the world, particularly the US no longer has this same type of patience for the Palestinians, who are the true victims in this case.
Full VOA Discussion (Windows Video 400 kbps)  Transcript (English HTM)
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Report Analysis and Discussion
The United States continues to tie Free Trade Agreement (FTA) negotiations to political rather than economic objectives.   The US has shunned negotiations with existing customs unions such as the GCC in spite of Congressional Research Service studies revealing that negotiation time and resources would be better invested in negotiations with larger entities.

Although US exports to the GCC became more attractive in 2006 as the dollar fell 11% in value against the Euro, general US import tariffs on aluminum articles still range from 2.5% to 6.5%.  The Bush administration's trade promotion authority, the ability to negotiate on an accelerated basis with an up or down vote by Congress, expires on July, 1 2007.

Business leaders in the US are urging the administration to realign trade promotion to opportunities, job creation and efficient supply chain management.  As the GCC continues to transform from resource exportation to high value added production, it remains to be seen whether US trade policy will be able to align itself to new opportunities.
English Machine Translation (HTML) Arabic (HTML) Arabic (PDF)
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Report Analysis and Discussion
Al Jazeera: What are the direct and indirect economic impact of US visa obstacles in the Arab world?

IRmep: In this first detailed study we have estimated approximately $101 billion dollars in losses to manufacturing industries in the US. Losses for travel and tourism are approximately $1.8 billion. Higher education, which is not usually considered a service export, has had losses of around $2 billion which is equivalent to 9,000 jobs. This is problematic because the Arab market is extremely attractive to the United States. It has grown in terms of import demand from approximately $170 billion at the beginning of this century, or rather, the year 2000, to over $345 billion dollars estimated for this year. So as the US "locks out" industrial and commercial buyers, along with the students and tourists, the losses are mounting."
Video Clip (WMV) English Transcript (HTML)
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Report Analysis and Discussion
US Visa Policy Diminishing Exports and Manufacturing Jobs
The arrival of Arab visitors to the US peaked in 2001 at 315,000 thousand entries.  By 2005 the number had declined to less than 200,000.  According to the report VISA Denied, this barrier was a causal factor in the decline of the real value of exports from America to Saudi Arabia.  These exports reached only $6.8 billion dollars in 2005.  Absent growing barriers, exports could easily have reached $18 billion tracking pre 9/11 share growth trends.
English Machine Translation (HTML) Arabic (HTML) Arabic (PDF)
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1/25/2007 1/25/2007
IRmep Publishing Report Release Radio Interview Los Angeles
Visa Denied: How Anti-Arab Visa Policies Destroy US Exports, Jobs and Higher Education The Opportunity Cost of US Visa Denial
In the aftermath of 9/11 US visa processing in the Arab world has ground to a halt.   US consulates formerly striving to outsource key visa processes to travel agencies before the terror attacks are now paralyzed and fearful.  Under funded and insufficient security review processes leave Arab executives, prospective students, and vacation travelers in limbo for years or looking for alternative destinations.  Shabby treatment of those who successfully run the visa gauntlet leaves many vowing never to return to the US.  How much has it cost? The damage assessment is now in:
  • Total US manufacturing jobs sustained by Arab market demand reached 215,000 in the year 2005, but could have been 420,000 with more effective and non-discriminatory US visa policies.
  • Arab business and tourist travelers remained at half their 2001 levels, creating five year travel related service losses of $1.775 billion and 4,126 potential service jobs.
  • In 2005 Arab student enrollment in the US higher education system reached only 66% of the 2001 level. The US higher education system lost $1.989 billion in revenue and 9,000 education and support service jobs.

Visa Denied quantifies the damage done to US exporters, travel related service industries and the higher education system.  Visa Denied recommends steps to correct and realign a severely degraded system to the true opportunity cost of flawed and sometimes discriminatory policies.  Visa Denied traces a path from freewheeling days of outsourced national security of the State Department "Visa Express" system exploited by 9/11 hijackers toward the secure, efficient, and color blind visa policy American stakeholders expect and deserve.

KPFK: Analysts at the Institute for Research: Middle Eastern Policy released a report today stating the US economy has lost as much as $101 billion by excessively denying visas to Arab business and tourist travelers since 9/11. Grant Smith is the director of research at the institute. He says there is a direct correlation between the percentage of visas approved and a downturn in relationships between US and Arab countries. As a result, the US is losing significant trading opportunities with Arab nations which are increasingly choosing to do business with more welcoming markets, such as those found in Asia.

IRmep: In this case, by having a "broad brush" approach, in which the executive who goes to visit Detroit to handle distribution of, say, the Ford Taurus, is being denied visas year after year after year, because he is being painted with the same broad (security) brush as tourists who have never come to the United States, that's too broad an approach. What we're arguing in the report "Visa Denied" is that the opportunity cost is much greater than the cost of simply having more sophisticated filters and security. In particular, we need more qualified personnel working in counselor offices. Right now the ratio is something like 1 person for every 4,000 applicants. Our argument is that the billions of dollars of trade potential that we lose for under manning and understaffing that key operation, is costing us dearly.
In Stock - Ships immediately   Audio Download (MP3)
Download Five Free Chapters Audio Download (WMA)
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1/11/2007 Escalation: Radio France Internationale 12/29/2006 Iraq: The New Nakba? VOAvoa.jpg (1492 bytes)
Ana Maria Corneja: President George Bush announced tonight that he would send 21,000 additional troops to Iraq, an unpopular measure opposed not only by Congress now controlled by Democrats, but also public opinion.  The new strategy by the commander in chief contemplates  4,000 US marines in Anbar province, and 16,500 soldiers in Baghdad.  The additional soldiers will bring the total force to 132,000 deployed in Iraq, where more than 3,000 have died since the invasion in March of 2003.

President Bush as rejected the recommendations of the independent Iraq study group led by ex-secretary of State James Baker and released a month ago, for a change in strategy in Iraq in order to withdraw troops by 2008.  Senator Ted Kennedy has introduced legislation to require congressional approval of any troop increase.  Reactions of Grant Smith, director of IRmep in Washington, DC. interviewed by Natalia Olivares.

Grant Smith, IRmep:  We are going to see public protests, and the new Congress is going to feel it. Obviously Senator Kennedy and others have already begun a discussion about how to restrict funding an escalation in order to have a real debate about the plan instead of simply approving it, as they have previously in Congress.  This is not the first time a troop increase has been attempted to achieve the objective of control over the capital city.  The strategic analysis of previous military generals who stated that at least 300,000 troops would be necessary by historical experience as a minimum number to "pacify" or control a country the size of Iraq were obviously more realistic.  There are many doubts about this new plan.

Adriana Amat, VOA:  Latin America is not really a priority for the United States, evidence of this includes the major foreign policy speech Bush Hill deliver in January will be about Iraq.  What do you think of that?

Grant Smith, IRmep:  I think we've got some clues from events occurring at the end of the year about where the Bush administration is headed.  UN resolution 8928 from the Security Council may form part of a larger strategy to broaden the Iraq conflict to other parts of the region.  The economic and other sanctions against Iran and inspections on the part of the IAEA in sixty days could be a tripwire component to do engage as the Baker Commission contemplated without seeing the real objective: expand confrontation in the region.  Not through consulting Iran, but rather confronting Iran.  Military observers have seen the dispatch of another aircraft carrier to the region to make its presence felt in the Persian (Arab) Gulf.  It is perfectly plausible, to those of us who studied the pretexts and steps leading to the US invasion of Iraq that there will now be sanctions, UN declarations that Iran is in violation of 8928, giving the Bush administration even more justification to increase troops levels in Iraq for "force protection" and then completely change the dynamic with Syria and Iran in a way not foreseen by the Baker commission. 

Adriana Amat, VOA:  How important is it that the number of US soldiers killed in Iraq has now passed 3,000?

Grant Smith, IRmep:  The crisis of losing 3,000 is relevant, and we must also compare it to the new Iraqi refugee crisis.  In the turmoil of 1948 when Israel expulsed Palestinians from their homes and land, *only* 711,000 were directly affected (UN number).  Right now there are almost 800,000 Iraqi refugees in Jordan, and another 800,000 in Syria.  The US has caused the second "Nakba" in the region, the second "tragedy".  I like visions of peace, but the Bush administration is not in the region to create peace.  The administration's "great thinkers" such as Michael Ledeen call for regional chaos in order to completely restructure it.

Audio Clip (WMA) (MP3) Full VOA Discussion (Spanish Real Video 256kbps) 
Transcript (English HTM)
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