The 1938 Foreign Agents Registration Act is supposed to deter the most egregious foreign meddling in America. It does so through transparency. FARA doesn’t prohibit any foreign government from launching US public relations campaigns or lobbying initiatives. It only insists that the agents of the foreign principal behind such endeavors publicly reveal the control relationships, campaigns, and funding flows.
Perhaps no foreign government has violated the letter and spirit of FARA more than Israel and its US agents. They’ve had steady help from the US Department of Justice. In the late 1940’s DOJ stood by as the Zionist Organization of America executed immaterial changes in its organizing documents to sever the appearance of foreign control on paper though not in fact. DOJ ordered AIPAC’s founder to continue registering as a foreign agent in the early 1950s, but then did nothing to enforce the order. DOJ allowed Israel’s super-agent Abraham Feinberg to shut down his propaganda paper and move on to funding Israel’s nuclear arsenal rather than comply with a registration order. In the early 1960s, DOJ ordered the American Zionist Council to register, but let its lobbying division AIPAC slip away to incorporate just six weeks later. FARA, the best transparency law in America, has been bested by Israel. It is now time for the Attorney General recognize that by issuing a formal declaration of surrender.
Fortunately, there is now an easy way to do that.
An amendment to FARA allows an attorney general to admit defeat and formally exempt a foreign principal from all FARA oversight. Since the 1960s white shoe law firms such as Covington & Burling, where Eric Holder was once an attorney, have worked diligently to gut FARA and water down its investigative and enforcement mechanisms. If it wasn’t written for Israel, it’s hard to say who the exemption is for. Crudely abbreviated it reads, “The Attorney General may, by regulation, provide for the exemption..[if the AG] determines that such registration…is not necessary…”
Although the AG has not yet handed over this formal declaration of surrender to AIPAC or Israel, it is now quite easy to imagine why this ejection seat has been quietly installed in FARA. The next time AIPAC is caught red-handed stealing industry secrets or national defense information to touch off war with Iran , the AG can reach down and pull the FARA exemption handle. The AG and AIPAC can then float down to business as usual under a large blue and white canopy lettered “Israel is a vital interest to the US.”
Mr. Holder, FARA has been riddled with Israeli Ak-Ak and is now burning all around you. The Prime Minister is on the phone. The ejection handle beckons.
Grant Smith, IRMEP