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Leibowitz Leak Story In NY Times – OpEd


I’ve kept silent till now about the publication of Monday’s front page story in the NY Times about my collaboration with Shamai Leibowitz in leaking U.S. surveillance of a covert Israeli campaign to drum up hostility in this country toward Iran.  I’ll have more to say about it by and by.  Right now I’m just trying to absorb what’s happened.  But suffice to say it’s been quite a whirlwind.  Today alone, I was interviewed by the BBC World Service, AP, Hurriyet, Al Quds, Salon, Jerusalem Post and the Seattle Times.  Though not, curiously enough, by Haaretz.

Haaretz’s first Hebrew language report said that Shamai worked for the Defense Department!  It’s headline predictably focussed on the fact that the U.S. was spying on Israel (shocking!) instead of on the real story, which was that Israel’s diplomats were finding out who was naughty and nice to Israel in the U.S. Congress in order to prepare for a possible run-up to a war against Iran.  When you think about the fact that Israel’s leading so-called liberal newspaper couldn’t be bothered to hear my own perspective on the story, it’s well, almost dumbfounding.

The far-right pro-Israel blogosphere is shreying for blood saying I should be prosecuted for obstructing justice.  Even Dan Sieradski, who prides himself on being quite a radical snarkily amplifies the right wingers, saying he hopes I have a good lawyer.  I’ll tell you what Dan, you tell me who your lawyer is and then I’ll tell you who my lawyer won’t be.  And sorry fellas, the government has known for almost two years what I did with the documents.  Not to mention, it would quite something to prosecute a journalist for publishing a leaked document.  If they did it would close down political reporting in this country for quite some time.

My BBC World Service interview on The World Today program with Max Pearson is here (audio).  Thanks to those readers who helped locate it.

Finally, I want to make crystal clear that Shamai Leibowitz has played no role in my current decision to make this matter public.  Until yesterday, I had had no contact with him whatsoever since well before he was indicted.

This article was published at Tikun Olam

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Richard Silverstein

Richard Silverstein is an author, journalist and blogger, with articles appearing in Haaretz, the Jewish Forward, Los Angeles Times, the Guardian’s Comment Is Free, Al Jazeera English, and Alternet. His work has also been in the Seattle Times, American Conservative Magazine, Beliefnet and Tikkun Magazine, where he is on the advisory board. Check out Silverstein's blog at Tikun Olam, one of the earliest liberal Jewish blogs, which he has maintained since February, 2003.

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