Condi, AIPAC, and the A1 Cut-Out

You’ll recall that the AIPAC defendants called Condi and Stephen Hadley to testify about how they routinely leak classified information. Well, the government claims that these two, at least, don’t have to testify.


Secretaryof State Condoleezza Rice and other senior intelligence officialsshould not be forced to testify about whether they discussed classifiedinformation with pro-Israel lobbyists, federal prosecutors argued in aclosed-door court hearing Friday.

Two former American IsraelPublic Affairs Committee lobbyists facing espionage charges havesubpoenaed Rice, National Security Adviser Stephen Hadley, DeputyNational Security Adviser Elliott Abrams and several others to testifyat their trial next year.

If their testimony is allowed by U.S.District Judge T.S. Ellis III, the trial could offer abehind-the-scenes look at the way U.S. foreign policy is crafted.

(Note, it’s unclear whether the government is claiming just Hadley and Rice don’t have to testify, or whether they’re making the same claim for the others who have been subpoenaed, including Richard Armitage and Anthony Zinni.)

Basically, the Administration is arguing it should be able to keep its strategy of using A1 Cut-Outs secret. By A1 Cut-Out, I’m referring to the Administration’s practice of leaking classified information to a journalist–usually at the NYT and, until she was gone, often to Judy Miller–who then publishes it on the front page of the paper. The Administration then points to that story, pretending that they don’t know the information remains highly classified. The Administration famously did this with the aluminum tubes story, but it comes in really handy when you’re trying to drum up wars against countries whose names have four-letters starting in "Ira."

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