Spy Crisis Launched AIPAC’s Think Tank

Many who have now seen creepy event video clips featuring Washington Institute for Near East Policy (WINEP) Research Director Patrick Clawson listing "crisis initiation" pretexts such as the Gulf of Tonkin phantom torpedo attacks, or false blame for the sinking of the USS Maine, felt it was a subtle call for false flag attacks that would drag a reluctant United States into war with Iran. The full video of the think tank’s event is well worth watching. Dennis Ross struggles mightily to answer reporter Barbara Slavin’s simple question into how WINEP will move beyond diplomatic "red lines" against Iran when polls reveal the majority of Americans have now grown tired of costly elective wars in the Middle East. At one point former American Israel Public Affairs Committee lobbyist Steven J. Rosen’s seemingly disembodied head eerily floats across the screen.

Those seeking background information about WINEP on its official website are informed that WINEP was founded in 1985 by a small group of visionary Americans committed to advancing U. S. interests in the Middle East. Like much of the website’s content, this information isn’t actually true. WINEP was actually incorporated during an espionage investigation crisis that enveloped AIPAC in 1984. The spin-off is eerily reminiscent of AIPAC’s own crisis-driven formation two decades earlier as the Senate struck back against the same types of false flag incitement now emanating from WINEP.

Between 1982 and 1985 English/Australian immigrant to America Martin Indyk busily served as deputy research director at AIPAC. Under Indyk’s reign, AIPAC pumped out a steady flow of lobbying booklets arguing for ever greater U.S. military support to Israel such as "The Strategic Value of Israel" (1982), "Israel and the U.S. Air Force" (1983), "Israel and the U.S. Navy" (1983), "Israeli Medical Support for U.S. Armed Forces" (1983) and "U.S. Procurement of Israeli Defense Goods and Services" (1984). Securing duty-free Israeli access to the entire U.S. economy was the AIPAC research division’s most important project in 1984. But trade negotiations were going badly at the beginning of 1984. Undercutting the arguments of today’s pundits who opine that U.S. industry is the eager driver of ever more dangerously entangling economic and military ties, the majority of U.S. companies providing formal input didn’t want any special trade preferences granted to Israel, an economy then dominated by state-run industries. Monsanto even suggested that if the U.S was even going to bother with trade negotiations to boost volumes through comparative advantage, it should do so with a worthwhile economic partner such as Taiwan, Hong Kong or Japan.

Help soon arrived in the form of Israeli Minister of Economics Dan Halpern. Halpern provided AIPAC a stolen copy (PDF) of a secret International Trade Commission report outlining the precise objections supported by arguments using internal industry and secret market data provided in confidence to the US government by American companies opposed to Israeli concessions. It was an indispensible resource for AIPAC’s counter-lobbying and public relations. Unfortunately, by August 3, 1984 the Washington Post broke the news that the FBI was investigating how AIPAC "obtained a copy of a classified document that spells out the American negotiating strategy in trade talks with Israel…" By November 1, 1984 the U.S. Bromine Alliance was in urgent talks with the International Trade Commission Chairwoman, publicly demanding to know how much of their industry’s secret trade and market data had been leaked to AIPAC and Israel’s state-run producer. Perhaps ominously for Indyk and other staffers, an August 13, 1984 FBI report stated "files contain an unsubstantiated allegation that a member of the Israeli Intelligence Service was a staff member of AIPAC…"

The very same month – on November 14, 1984 – the Washington Institute for Near East Policy was incorporated in Washington D.C. (PDF) WINEP was formed not by "prominent individuals" but Martin Indyk’s wife Jill along with Marilyn Edeson and Elizabeth Chotin according to original articles of incorporation obtained from the D.C. Department of Consumer and Regulatory Affairs. As the FBI’s espionage and theft-of-government-policy dragnet tightened around AIPAC during the "Year of the Spy" spurred by revelations of Jonathan Pollard’s espionage bonanza against the Defense Intelligence Agency, Martin Indyk jumped the burning AIPAC ship and quietly regrouped research production within WINEP. By 1986 WINEP was doing public relations work for the disastrous Lavi jet fighter program while providing a Washington perch for a visiting Shimon Peres to chastise Soviet immigration policy. Thwarted by Israeli diplomatic immunity claims, the FBI quietly shut down its investigation in 1987 after learning much about AIPAC and Israeli officials’ various roles in duplicating and handling classified economic documents – all to the detriment of democratic process in the US.

Although WINEP’s founding myth is that its "scholars" simply wanted to do serious research independent of AIPAC (while funded by AIPAC’s major donors), history indicates that survivability is a more compelling reason for its quiet launch in November of 1984. In a worse-case scenario, espionage or theft of government property indictments would have likely destroyed either AIPAC or WINEP – but not both. Splitting up was the same survivalist strategy that led to the spinoff of AIPAC just six weeks after its parent organization, the American Zionist Council, was ordered to register as an Israeli foreign agent in 1962 – which brings this latest Israel lobbying and covert action saga full-circle.

AIPAC’s parent was ordered to register as a foreign agent (destroying it, though it took a few years) as a result of a Senate Foreign Relations Committee investigation into the activities of foreign agents in the U.S. and abroad. The key reason given for the investigation was the Senate’s fear of foreign agents calling out for Israeli false flag attacks to goad the U.S. into action against the broader national interest. According to a declassified 1961 memo chartering the Senate investigation "In recent years there has been an increasing number of incidents involving attempts by foreign governments, or their agents, to influence the conduct of American foreign policy by techniques outside normal diplomatic channels…..there have been occasions when representatives of other governments have been privately accused of engaging in covert activities within the United States and elsewhere, for the purpose of influencing United States Policy (the Lavon Affair)." The "Lavon Affair", mentioned twice in the memo, refers to Israel’s "Operation Susannah" terror attacks on U.S. targets – not to goad America into attacking Iran – but to keep a U.S. presence in a neutral Suez Canal zone. No other country is mentioned as a false flag "crisis initiator" in the declassified memo.

WINEP’s sordid history and current calls for "crisis initiation" means it is once again time for Americans to be extra vigilant and ready for action against the movements and machinations of Israel’s most deceptive and dangerous foreign agent duo.