Dennis Ross is raising money for Scooter Libby’s Legal Defense Fund.
Some might ask why I’m bothered by this.
After all, James Woolsey, an alleged Democrat from Tulsa who once headed Bill Clinton’s CIA, was Ahmed Chalabi’s lawyer.
Former Undersecretary of Defense Douglas Feith — one of the dumbest people ever to work in government according the memoirs and recollections of too many people to recount — housed Chalabi’s Iraqi National Congress in his law office while also working with Israeli groups.
The now indicted and jailed State Department Israeli spy Lawrence Franklin facilitated cozy relationships between Douglas Feith, Harold Rhodes, Manucher Gorbanifar, Richard Perle, and Michael Ledeen.
Why should it be surprising that one of the titans of America’s Middle East Peace Business cartel would find himself beholden to Dick Cheney’s chief political and national security architect?
There’s just no other way around it. This looks damn slimey, with all due respect to Dennis Ross.
Libby is the first indicted White House official in over a century — and is involved in a crime that the President of the United States himself was an outrageous violation of our national security. The involvement on the Libby Legal Defense Fund of Ross — no matter how much he makes the case that he is a 25-year long friend of Libby — looks like he is there to reinforce the Cheney/Libby connection to Israel — and that those concerned about Israel should bail out Libby.
It’s just wrong.
I’m not all that happy with other members on the board of the Legal Defense Fund, but they have to make their own way on this issue. Former Senator Alan Simpson, former Senator Fred Thompson, Francis Fukuyama are all a cut above and a cut different than the hard-core neoconservative that Libby is.
But Ross can’t be considered as just a Libby personal pal in this.
He works and operates at the nexus of America’s relations in the Middle East — and those relations in Israel, Iran, with the Palestinians are fragile on all fronts and at all levels now.
His involvement with Libby’s funding needs won’t come off to anyone as just personal. He’s there for big time institutional reasons — representing Libby’s interests to another nation, and representing that nation’s interests to those in Libby’s circles — particularly Dick Cheney.
More on this soon, but this just makes more clear why Washington’s Middle East Peace Business cartel needs to be broken.
— Steve Clemons
Update: I should have posted this interesting NY Times piece from yesterday titled “Handling Hamas,” which is an interview with Dennis Ross.
I am all for people helping each other when in need — even bad guys who may be friends — but Ross symbolizes too much to have had anything more to do with Libby’s Defense Fund than a private donor.
More later. Thanks to LF for sending the NY Times link.
— Steve Clemons