The defense team in the coming trial of former AIPAC employees Steve Rosen and Keith Weissman plan to demonstrate that the conduct of the two former AIPAC employees was no different that what occurs routinely in Washington DC with journalist and lobbyists- that the US government uses their contacts to get messages out. And they plan to call many government officials to make this case.
According to this report, the defense intends to show argue that the defendants had no way to know this was an unauthorized disclosure of classified material; that it was the sort of back channel revelation that top officials use with lobbyists and newsmen. According to this report, the defense intends to show argue that the defendants had no way to know this was an unauthorized disclosure of classified material; that it was the sort of back channel revelation that top officials use with lobbyists and newsmen.
Lowell plans to paint what he calls "the big picture" - the way the market of information and ideas, public and secret, works in Washington. In order to show how the process works, the defense has subpoenaed a number of present and former high-level officials, among them Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice; National Security Adviser Steven Hadley; former deputy secretary of Defense Paul Wolfowitz; former deputy secretary of state Richard Armitage; William Burns, U.S. ambassador to Russia; Marc Grossman, former undersecretary of State for political affairs; David Satterfield, now the State Department's coordinator for Iraq; Elliott Abrams, deputy national security adviser; and Douglas Feith, former undersecretary of Defense. Lowell will argue that all of them have at one point or another discussed sensitive information with Steve Rosen and Keith Weissman, in order to promote an American interest, such as informally testing an idea with the Israeli government.
Lowell warns that it may be not in the national interest to have all those individuals expose the complexity of U.S.-Israel relations, and suggests that it could lead to some embarrassing disclosures for Washington. But the trial has implications that reach far beyond the role that Israel, AIPAC and other lobbies play, says Lowell, contending that it could also curtail freedom of the press. "This trial is a terrible precedent for the media," he said. "The media inform the public of a lot of classified information. The books Bob Woodward [of the Washington Post] writes are a prime example."