Did Dickie Commit a Crime?
A number of weeks ago, anti-Israel blogger Richard Silverstein expressed his satisfaction at Rachel Neuwirth’s libel claim against him being dismissed by the Los Angeles Superior Court (http://www.richardsilverstein.com/tikun_olam/2011/08/19/court-dismisses-neuwirth-libel-claim/).
But the joy may be short-lived, because if my spidey senses prove to be correct, Silverstein is now on record as admitting to a crime.
When Shamai K. Leibowitz, an F.B.I. translator, was sentenced to 20 months in prison last year for leaking classified information to a blogger, prosecutors revealed little about the case. They identified the blogger in court papers only as “Recipient A.” After Mr. Leibowitz pleaded guilty, even the judge said he did not know exactly what Mr. Leibowitz had disclosed.
Now the reason for the extraordinary secrecy surrounding the Obama administration’s first prosecution for leaking information to the news media seems clear: Mr. Leibowitz, a contract Hebrew translator, passed on secret transcripts of conversations caught on F.B.I. wiretaps of the Israeli Embassy in Washington. Those overheard by the eavesdroppers included American supporters of Israel and at least one member of Congress, according to the blogger, Richard Silverstein.
In his first interview about the case, Mr. Silverstein offered a rare glimpse of American spying on a close ally.
He said he had burned the secret documents in his Seattle backyard after Mr. Leibowitz came under investigation in mid-2009, but he recalled that there were about 200 pages of verbatim records of telephone calls and what seemed to be embassy conversations. He said that in one transcript, Israeli officials discussed their worry that their exchanges might be monitored.
Obstruction of justice?
Here’s hoping Dickie needs to change the name of his blog from “Repairing The World” to “Picking Up The Soap.”
Update: It gets better (hat tip: Victor)