Poor Larry Franklin. For some years, the line between Israel and the U.S.-in terms of policies, of perceived national interests, of patriotic fervor-has been slowly disappearing, and in the circles Franklin travels, among the coterie of neocons inside and outside the Bush administration, there never was a line at all. Aren’t Israel’s interests U.S. interests? Isn’t it true that what’s good for the U.S. is good for Israel? (Or maybe that should be the other way around.) Why shouldn’t he give classified documents to Israel? Why shouldn’t he traffic in secret material with Israel’s principal lobbyists in Washington? It’s really all the same country anyway.
Yet here is Franklin, just doing what comes naturally, minding his own business (Israel’s business is his business, as it is the business of his boss Douglas Feith and of his boss’s boss Paul Wolfowitz) caught up in an anachronistic bureaucratic snafu by some FBI agents who actually still seem to believe that Israel is different from the U.S.
What’s a guy to do?
But not to worry, Larry. You’ll undoubtedly be rescued by the boss of those FBI agents. John Ashcroft knows there’s no line between Israel and the U.S. What God-fearing, bible-thumping, Christian fundamentalist wouldn’t? If Ashcroft doesn’t come through, there are all your bosses: Feith and Wolfowitz and Donald Rumsfeld himself. And Dick Cheney knows what’s what. And don’t misunderestimate George Bush’s own fealty to his buddy Ariel Sharon.
And if John Kerry somehow gets himself elected and all those Bush administration defenders flee the scene, you’ll still probably be safe. Kerry himself regularly swears loyalty to Israel. Kerry gets it. He calls himself a friend of Israel “by conviction and at the deepest personal level.” The cause of Israel, he says, “must be the cause of America.” What more could a double agent want? Who needs the neocons?
Don’t worry, Larry. You’ll get off.
Note: The Christisons are scheduled to be on a local Santa Fe, New Mexico radio station from 4:00 p.m. to 6:00 p.m. on Thursday, September 2, which will be broadcast on the internet. The show is the Diego Mulligan Show on KSFR, Santa Fe’s public radio station. (Since they are in the U.S. Mountain time zone, that would be 6:00 to 8:00 p.m. Eastern Daylight Time, 3:00 to 5:00 p.m. Pacific Time. In Europe and the Middle East, this would be quite late: 11:00 p.m. in the UK, midnight in France, 1:00 a.m. Friday in Amman and Jerusalem.)
They will talk about rebuilding a Palestinian home demolished by Israel in the West Bank village of Anata and about U.S policies toward Israel and Palestine.
Since the radio station puts all shows on the internet in “real time,” anyone who has the Windows Media Player on his or her computer can listen to the show at http://www.ksfr.org at the correct time. When the website comes up on your screen, click on “Listen Live,” and then again on “Click to Launch Stream.”
Bill Christison was a senior official of the CIA. He served as a National Intelligence Officer and as Director of the CIA’s Office of Regional and Political Analysis. He is a contributor to Imperial Crusades, CounterPunch’s new history of the wars on Iraq and Afghanistan.
Kathleen Christison, a former CIA political analyst, is the author of Perceptions of Palestine: Their Influence on U.S. Middle East Policy and Wound of Dispossession: Telling the Palestinian Story. They can be reached at: firstname.lastname@example.org.