Lindsey Graham asks whether AIPAC, which comes to Capitol Hill in ‘droves,’ is a foreign agent

US Politics
on 38 Comments

This morning the Senate Judiciary Committee held a hearing on enforcement of the Foreign Agents Registration Act, and out of the blue South Carolina’s Lindsey Graham brought up AIPAC — the Israel lobby group the American Israel Public Affairs Committee. AIPAC comes to Capitol Hill “in droves” and has a lot of contacts in Israel so maybe it should be considered a “foreign agent?” Graham asked.

Then Graham tacked and said, AIPAC doesn’t do anything wrong, “quite the contrary,” it’s just a group of Americans banding together to exercise influence; and “we all know how the game’s played” at AIPAC conferences. His comments are at 1:04.

Graham:

Here’s the deal. AIPAC– are you familiar with AIPAC– American Israeli Political Action Committee [incorrect name]. They come up here in droves lobbying Congress to do things in their view good for the US Israel relationship. I know they have a lot of contacts in Israel. Should somebody like that be a foreign agent?

[It’s not appropriate to comment, says Adam Hickey, the deputy assistant Attorney General for the national security division].

I’m not suggesting AIPAC’s doing anything wrong, quite the contrary. They’re a group of Americans who have banded together to maximize their influence to speak about something important to them that involves a foreign ally. So I think the AIPAC model is a good thing and that’s not my concern. Because they’re very transparent, they have conventions, and we all know how the game’s played there. So I just want to make sure that lobbying on behalf of a foreign government or a US relationship with a foreign government is not a bad thing so long as you do it right.

I wonder if there’s a secret meaning here Graham is sending. Just because AIPAC is American citizens doesn’t mean they’re not acting as proxies for a foreign government. “Droves” is one of Benjamin Netanyahu’s words: Arabs are coming out in droves, he warned his voters before the last election.

And yes, Graham, part of Joe Lieberman’s neoconservative gang, knows how the game is played. Two years ago as a presidential candidate he had a glass of wine or two and joked that he was going to have an “all-Jewish cabinet” if he won because of all the pro-Israel money he was raising.

“If I put together a finance team that will make me financially competitive enough to stay in this thing…I may have the first all-Jewish cabinet in America because of the pro-Israel funding. [Chuckles.] Bottom line is, I’ve got a lot of support from the pro-Israel funding.”

Thanks to Susie Kneedler.

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38 Responses

  1. eljay
    July 26, 2017, 3:35 pm

    … I just want to make sure that lobbying on behalf of a foreign government or a US relationship with a foreign government is not a bad thing so long as you do it right. …

    So what is the “right way” to do this and as long as it’s being done the “right way” is it OK to lobby on behalf of Iran, North Korea and Russia as well as Israel and Saudi Arabia? If not, why not?

    • Tuyzentfloot
      July 26, 2017, 4:22 pm

      There is an implicit model that lobbying can be tolerated from countries you have a friendly relation with but it can not be tolerated if the relationship is hostile.

      I’m not sure if those who oppose the Israel Lobby fit into that model or not.

  2. AddictionMyth
    July 26, 2017, 4:34 pm

    The mention was gratuitous and the tone was somewhat disparaging. I think it reveals a loss of respect for the group and willingness to expose their tactics that didn’t exist just a month ago. What changed? The recent Kotel and conversion decisions – we discovered that Israel may not be the ‘best friend’ and ‘loyal ally’ and ‘only true democracy in the middle east’ that we were long assured.

  3. italian ex-pat
    July 26, 2017, 5:50 pm

    I think I’m starting to like Lindsey Graham. Compared to other Reps anyways.

  4. JosephA
    July 26, 2017, 7:09 pm

    Interesting, and odd. I wonder if there’s finally a tiny micro-crack in the façade.

  5. LHunter
    July 26, 2017, 9:17 pm

    My first take on why Graham said what he said is that he may be trying to soften the argument that Russia is meddling in US affairs.

    Graham is a kiss ass and wants to stay loyal to King Trump so he mentions AIPAC as a possible foreign agent knowing full well that his colleagues would brush this off as ridiculous (which it clearly isnt). Now when the democrats bring up Russia as meddling into US affairs he can simply point at the support the democrats give to AIPAC and say no one thinks Israel is meddling why point the finger at Russia when their agents have done much less meddling than AIPAC has. I may be stretching things here but I can’t imagine a Graham that is not completely in bed with the Zionists

    • echinococcus
      July 27, 2017, 2:55 am

      Imagine again. He is the main and deadly enemy of Trump & gang, the closest sidekick to the McCain horror as a leading figure of the CIA-led Neocon color revolution, and fully deserving of sharing an even more deadly disease if there was one. He was just trying to define acceptable lobbies.

      • LHunter
        July 27, 2017, 9:29 pm

        Gotcha

  6. Citizen
    July 27, 2017, 12:29 am

    Maybe Graham should realize AIPAC is Still Our Biggest Foreign Agent & should have been filing under FARA all these decades since 1962: http://original.antiwar.com/smith-grant/2017/07/17/aipac-still-biggest-foreign-agent/

  7. DaBakr
    July 27, 2017, 2:00 am

    “Secret meaning”? Lol. More like LG forgot his medication or didn’t get enough sleep.

  8. Marnie
    July 27, 2017, 2:51 am

    Maybe he saw the incitement video of oren hazan and felt something – an attack of conscience perhaps?

  9. Tuyzentfloot
    July 27, 2017, 3:53 am

    Graham wanted to ask a rhetorical question and accidentally put his foot in it.

    • Citizen
      July 27, 2017, 9:42 am

      Yes, he did. Not to worry Zionists: not a peep about it in the US mainstream media TV news shows.

      • jackal
        July 30, 2017, 1:58 pm

        I’m not an American (thank goodness:))), so I rarely watch anything from there — tv, newspapers, or otherwise — but I read somewhere that six corporations control all of the media in the USA. If that is the case, it would be interesting for someone to do an ownership check of those corporations and see how many of them are zionist controlled. This would account for the lack of “tiny, unimportant” details like this. Just sayin.

  10. Kay24
    July 27, 2017, 7:10 am

    Lindsey Graham has always been a strong supporter of Israel, so this sudden show of concern is surprising. That said, it is obvious that AIPAC is a foreign entity, wearing the face of Americans. If you take a hard look at the funding, contributions to many members of Congress, who always end up doing Israel’s bidding even against the interests of their own country, the interference in our foreign policies regarding the Middle East, and seeing the strong arming of American politicians and leaders, there is no doubt that AIPAC is doing more harm than good for this nation. It is time we banned all foreign entities, lobbies, and others, from interfering in our country. Whether it is Russia or Israel, they make Americans act in very anti American ways.

    • Citizen
      July 27, 2017, 9:54 am

      When the Zionist organization was being forced to register under FARA in the early 1960s, AIPAC was an unincorporated arm of said Zionist organization. Somebody allowed AIPAC to swiftly incorporate as an independent legal entity, one that took no direct funding from the Israeli regime of that time. So it escaped the transparency reporting under FARA that its predecessor did not, and became just another domestic lobby like the Gun Lobby or AARP. The main media never points out to the US public that, unlike the Gun Lobby or AARP, AIPAC’s beneficiaries are non-resident foreigners, specifically, Jewish Israelis. SCOTUS POV on dual citizenship changed when the plaintiff became Jewish and the foreign country became Israel. Citizens United finished off the coup regarding US foreign policy.

      • Kay24
        July 27, 2017, 7:54 pm

        Very interesting Citizen..

        I agree no one ever mentions that AIPAC benefits non resident foreigners, and also their main interests are protecting Israel, and working to make sure it gets all it can from the US, including special privileges. AIPAC should be disbanded and not allow to operate here. It can be easily proved that their agenda does not cover the interests of the US. I doubt the congress will collectively reject AIPAC’s influence and campaign contributions, after all it is in their hands if they want to become puppets of an alien nation or not.

      • jackal
        July 30, 2017, 2:06 pm

        More Americans should read Grant Smith’s “Big Israel — How Israel’s Lobby moves America,” and Mearsheimer and Walt’s book, “The Israel Lobby and US Foreign Policy” — both of these books outline the control of Congress by lobby groups like AIPAC.

  11. Naftush
    July 27, 2017, 7:31 am

    Yeah, the “droves” thing again. What Netanyahu said in Hebrew was this:
    המצביעים הערבים נעים בכמויות אדירות לקלפי”
    “The Arab voters are moving to the polling places in huge numbers.”
    A translator colloquialized Bibi’s statement and the MW crowd is still trying to hypermile the result….

    • echinococcus
      July 27, 2017, 8:38 am

      I’ll be danged. A common-sense remark by a Zionist.

    • a blah chick
      July 27, 2017, 9:28 am

      I heard from other Hebrew speakers that the specific verb used (to move) has military connotations. Be that as it may what he said was vile and racist, but yeah let’s talk about bad translations.

    • John O
      July 27, 2017, 10:26 am

      And this makes a difference how? His message was designed to characterise Israel’s non-Jewish minority as the enemy within. He could have said, droves, huge numbers, busloads, family outings, flashmobs, waves, scarlet battalions. The message would remain the same.

      • eljay
        July 27, 2017, 11:19 am

        || Naftush: Yeah, the “droves” thing again. What Netanyahu said in Hebrew was this:
        המצביעים הערבים נעים בכמויות אדירות לקלפי”
        “The Arab voters are moving to the polling places in huge numbers.”
        A translator colloquialized Bibi’s statement and the MW crowd is still trying to hypermile the result…. ||

        drove: a large number

        Good point. Bibi’s “huge numbers” should have been colloquialized as swarms, masses or hordes. Those words are much scarier – which, of course, is appropriate when talking about non-Jews.

    • Elizabeth Block
      July 27, 2017, 10:48 am

      He was still saying that Arabs voting in large numbers was sinister. Whether the language was colloquial or not doesn’t change that.

      • RoHa
        July 28, 2017, 4:43 am

        Everything Arabs do is sinister, isn’t it?

      • Mooser
        July 28, 2017, 4:33 pm

        “Everything Arabs do is sinister, isn’t it?”

        Just ask Lady Diana Mayo.

    • YoniFalic
      July 27, 2017, 10:55 am

      I don’t always precisely perceive the nuance, but droves seems far less threatening to me than כמויות אדירות.

    • Talkback
      July 27, 2017, 11:55 am

      Yeah, Nathan. Say the same thing after 1945 in Germany against Jews and you are done not only being the head of the state. In Israel you’ll climb up the ladder. Like in Germany before 1945.

    • italian ex-pat
      July 27, 2017, 11:41 pm

      But of course Ahmedinejad’s words (in Farsi) translate EXACTLY to “Israel must be wiped off the map”, right? That’s what Israel still repeats to this day.

    • biggerjake
      July 28, 2017, 11:26 am

      “A translator colloquialized Bibi’s statement and the MW crowd is still trying to hypermile the result….”

      Hypermiling refers to a collection of driving techniques aimed at improving your car’s fuel efficiency by reducing the demands placed on the engine.

      I think we need a translator for your posts.

  12. YoniFalic
    July 27, 2017, 11:04 am

    AIPAC is the agent of hyperwealthy American Zios like the Adelsons or the Falics.

    AIPAC is simply an upgrade to shtadlanut.

    We must be careful not to mistake the employee for the employer.

    Netanyahu works for hyperwealthy American Zios just as AIPAC serves them.

  13. ritzl
    July 27, 2017, 6:40 pm

    Lindsey Graham, FFS. South Carolina.

    I know people in my non-redneck circle are tired of the Russia!!! baloney, without mentioning any of Israel’s unquestioned influence. All of em.

    I can only imagine what Graham’s constituency is expressing.

    Quite the sea change…if it is a change.

  14. Kris L Doyle
    July 27, 2017, 9:36 pm

    Of course AIPAC is a foreign agent!
    Dictating foreign policy and pulling every US presidents strings for decades.
    This terrorist affiliation needs to be purged from American political control, along with ALL the dual Israeli/US citizens in Congress.
    Without Zionists using Judaism for protection, these people would have been labelled the terrorists that they are decades ago!

  15. Ellen
    July 27, 2017, 11:51 pm

    Hmmm, this was interesting. Do you remember the hearing on the Chuck Hagel when Graham repeated “Israhl” a hundred times and acted like their personal attack dog?

    His question was prepared by others and staged for a purpose beyond this hearing. (Maybe he does not want to be Israel’s in house pooch anymore as he knows it will soon come to bite him hard.) And more interesting is Adam Hickey’s clear statement in response that they would love to have more information on what is going on behind closed doors.

    LG then went onto cleanse himself for now and say how transparent AIPAC is, right after Hickey indicated that this is not the case and they needed more information on what is “going on behind closed doors.”

    Then there was Grahms’s rapid fire statement for the record on the wrongs of the opinion piece written by Lt. Gen Flynn calling for Gülen’s extradition to Turkey when he was on Turkey’s payroll. Grahms was making a shot across the bow, saying this stuff should not happen. AIPAC operatives cover the media with opinion pieces. Sometimes is disclosed and sometimes not when a surrogate is used.

    Speculation here: Russian and Israeli Oligarchs are close and work together. The probes (even if politically motivated) into so-called Russian involvement in the US election will uncover much that may be very toxic for Israel’s relationship and influence with the US political machine.

    Graham knows. He is preparing himself.

  16. Citizen
    July 29, 2017, 9:59 am

    Seems, apropos Grahm’s comments last week at the Committee hearing on FARA status, mostly re Russia, he hopes for some assurance that his long dalliance with AIPAC is still OK.

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