Saturday, December 19, 2009

Couldn't Have Happened To A 'Better' Guy

What does Marwan Barghouti, PLO terrorist, and his lawyer have in common?

They've both been sentenced to jail terms.

Ha, ha, ha.

Ynet reports, Yeshayahu Leibowitz's grandson pleads guilty to leaking FBI documents and, as someone informed me, "Leibowitz worked for New Israel Fund, was one of Marwan Barghouti's lawyers, and campaigned heavily for divestment against Israel. In Boston he hooked up with the Somerville Divestment Project, gave public speeches, contacted members of congress and basically made himself a very useful anti-Israeli Israeli.

And?

Well:-

A former contract linguist for the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) pleaded guilty on Thursday to leaking classified documents to an Internet blogger, the Justice Department said. Shamai Kedem Leibowitz of Silver Spring, Maryland, who is the grandson of renowned Israeli philosopher Yeshayahu Leibowitz, pleaded guilty
in a federal court in Greenbelt, Maryland, to one count of disclosing classified information to an unauthorized person...[a]blogger, who was not identified.

The blogger then published information online derived from the documents, which were classified as "secret," the Justice Department said.

The department said prosecutors and Leibowitz had agreed that a 20-month prison term was the "appropriate sentence" in the case. The plea agreement and sentence remain subject to the approval of the court...Leibowitz was employed by the FBI as a contract linguist from January through August of this year. He held a top secret security clearance and had access to classified documents on communication intelligence activities...


Laura Rozen wrote and asked:-

Given that Leibowitz is an apparent Israeli American dual citizen, his heavy activism in both countries is easily found in a quick google search, his current role as a lawyer in various ongoing legal cases including one recently before the Israeli Supreme Court, and that he has a public blog and is cited advocating on various cases on legal and Israel matters, AND given that the FBI is known to be suspicious of US government employees with strong ties to foreign countries, this case screams: how in the world did he ever get a U.S. security clearance?


Maybe there are too may anti-Israel persons in the FBI or those who identify with anybody wishing Israel harm?


P.S.

Shammai, think of the alternative:-

After the invasion of Iraq, the U.S. military discovered that rebuilding the country and confronting an insurgency required a weapon not in its arsenal: thousands of interpreters.

To fill the gap, the Pentagon turned to Titan Corp., a San Diego defense contractor, which eventually hired more than 8,000 interpreters, most of them Iraqis.

For $12,000 a year, these civilians served as the voice of America's military, braving sniper fire and roadside bombs. Insurgents targeted them for torture and assassination. Many received military honors for their heroism.

At least 360 interpreters employed by Titan or its successor company were killed between March 2003 and March 2008, and more than 1,200 were injured. The death toll was far greater than that suffered by the armed forces of any country in the American-led coalition other than the United States. Scores of interpreters assisting U.S. forces in Afghanistan also have been killed or wounded.

An insurance program funded by American taxpayers was supposed to provide a safety net for interpreters and their families in the event of injury or death. Yet for many, the benefits have fallen painfully short of what was promised, an investigation by the Los Angeles Times and ProPublica found.

10 comments:

Judy Lash Balint said...

AND...Leibowitz was the pro-bono attorney for the International Solidarity Movement (ISM). In 2003 Leibowitz represented ISM when they sued me for libel (and lost...)

At the time, Israel's Ministry of Foreign Affairs reported that: "ISM members take an active part in illegal and violent actions against IDF soldiers. At times, their activity in Judea, Samaria and the Gaza Strip is under the auspices of Palestinian terrorist organizations."

With clients like Barghouti and the ISM, Leibowitz was a natural for the FBI, right??

YMedad said...

But of course. Seems the seeping of let's-play-ball-with-the-new-administration works well even in the US.

steve ornstein said...

@0 months or hopefully 20 years.

rlandes said...

and in his book Infiltration: How Muslim Spies and Subversives have Penetrated Washington, Paul Sperry notes that the FBI systematically refused sephardi jews who volunteered, on the basis of dual loyalty while accepting hundreds of people who were passed by security clearance with no checks.
Liebowitz probably made it in because his buddies were inside.
r

YMedad said...

but he's Ashkenazi. maybe that also helped?

NaomiP said...

Shamai Leibowitz never worked for the New Israel Fund, the article is wrong. He was a participant in the U.S.-Israel Civil Liberties Law Program co-sponsored by American University School of Law, and was asked to leave the program, which he did.

Eliyahu m'Tsiyon said...

It seems that a lot of folks, even ultra-establishment Laura Rozen, want to know why the FBI hired young Master Leibowitz. Maybe young Master L was working for an FBI associated agency unofficially before getting his official post as "linguist" with the FBI.

By the way, the title "linguist" is probably just a job title or classification, not a scientific description of his knowledge of languages [other than English and Hebrew] or of linguistics.

It is hard to feel sorry for the incarceration of somebody who never showed much concern for the unjust sentence handed down to Jonathan Pollard. Young Master L never objected to the length of Pollard's sentence or tried to defend Pollard's human rights. Like Amnesty and human rights watch.

Adon Medad, why don't you link to the Globes article on this incident which identifies the web site that he shared the document with as Electronic Intifada.

All in all, it couldn't happen to a more deserving guy.

Eliyahu m'Tsiyon said...

Young Master L probably got his FBI job through connections. That works in the USA like Proteksya in Israel. He has enjoyed forms of proteksya all of his life, methinks.

And he still enjoys proteksya. After all, a 20-month sentence is pretty light for a security offense. Furthermore, he won't have to start serving his sentence until March 3 of next year, according to one of the articles that I read on the affair, maybe in Globes.

Rakiah said...

Are you saying that the ISM and Barghouti shouldn't have a defense team?

And if you are going to complain about Leibowitz for this, then what about Alan Dershowitz and his defense of OJ Simpson among other trash?

That is the way of trials in a democratic system, everybody has the right to a defense before the law. How can you criticize someone for doing just that?

YMedad said...

Rakiah,
you are mixing up two different things.

sure every defendant deserves a defense attorney. i just think it ironic that Barghouti got the lawyer he deserved - an idiot who is a political activist for the wrong side and eventually, his hubris got the better of him and now he is in jail for a non-Pal. terror related matter, I think.