More subterfuge in our discourse. The Washington Post published an op-ed piece yesterday on the importance of finding a legal basis for an attack on Iran. Not surprisingly, the op-ed’s authors, Jeffrey H. Smith and John B. Bellinger III, lawyers at Arnold & Porter, supplied such a basis.
Grant Smith sent me this letter that he had sent to the Washington Post:
Would it be too much to ask that WAPO reveal that according to the Justice Department’s Foreign Agent Registration Act section, Arnold and Porter has been serving as Israel’s registered foreign agent since June of 1964? Would it be a lot more to mention that since 2010 the firm has been receiving a $10,000 per month retainer for advisory services and “special projects?” Could WAPO possibly trouble itself to inform readers that according to FARA filings the firm earned $1.2 million in fees in 2010 alone from the Israeli government? Arnold and Porter is now Israel’s largest and longest serving registered foreign agent (not that there aren’t more than a handful of unregistered ones).
More to the point, why should Americans believe such legalistic and non-contextual Iran attack propaganda courtesy of Israeli foreign agents?
Smith wrote about Arnold & Porter in his book Divert. Excerpt:
Arnold & Porter represented several Israeli government officials in US courts by arguing that sovereign immunity mandates provide blanket protection from legal liability for their actions. In 2007 the firm won dismissal of war crimes and crimes against humanity claims brought by Palestinians against former General Security Service head Avraham Dichter. In 2005 the firm won dismissal of similar claims against Israeli Prime Minister Ariel Sharon and other senior officials, Israeli military forces and an intelligence agency. In 2006 Arnold & Porter also won dismissal of similar claims focusing on a single Israeli official’s actions that resulted in civilian casualties in 1996. In 2008 Israel’s Treasury paid Arnold & Porter $483,401 to defend such actions. In the year 2010 the firm signed a renewable contract with Israel for a $10,000 per month retainer for legal and advisory services and “special projects” with $8,000 in allowed travel expenses. Arnold & Porter reported $1.2 million in fees from the government of Israel for the year 2010.