Grant Smith continues his scholarly exegesis into the history of the American Israel Public Affairs Committee (AIPAC). His previous works included- "Foreign Agents: The American Israel Public Affairs Committee from the 1963 Fulbright Hearings to the 2005 Espionage Scandal" and "Deadly Dogma: How Neoconservatives Broke the Law to Deceive America." His latest study- "American's Defense Line: A Declassified History of the Justice Department's Battle to Regulate the Israel Lobby as Agents of a Foreign Power"- is based on heretofore unavailable classified government documents. Smith tells the depressing tale of how U.S. law was systematically undermined by base political motives and questionable loyalties. The Smith trilogy is timely and required reading by all Americans concerned about the integrity and future of the United States. Smith dispassionately reveals how United States foreign policy in the Middle East was high jacked by a cadre of agents representing a foreign country- Israel. While his current study documents how AIPAC and its predecessors successfully evaded U.S. law to register as a "foreign agent," is it also a study in the usurpation of national sovereignty. This challenge to American sovereignty can no longer be ignored, as the consequences to the United States have been disastrous. The intrusion of the Israeli lobby goes well beyond ensuring that Israel receives its customary tribute from hard working American taxpayers. The Iraq War demonstrates this danger where Israel lobby cadres and fellow travelers were able to manipulate a weak, poorly informed president after the 9-11 crises to effect a launch a long-planned invasion of Iraq. While Iraq presented no discernable threat to the United States, it was a long-term adversary of Israel, as outlined in another Smith book- "Neocon Middle East Policy: the Clean Break Plan Damage Assessment". Thus, Israeli regional interests were advanced at the expense of American lives and treasure. This story within the Israel lobby narrative still needs to be told. Once again we are witnessing a repeat of Iraq with Iran- the House of Representatives recently passed a non-binding resolution urging a United States blockade of Iran's gasoline imports- a clear act of war. This resolution was authored at AIPAC and transmitted to a spineless Congress for passage. I suspect it was largely conceived in Jerusalem. The prostration of all major U.S. candidates before AIPAC should shame Americans watching each candidate outbid the other in the annual "pandering" exercise¬- Obama pledges Jerusalem will never leave Israeli control; McCain would move our embassy there immediately regardless of the consequences to vital U.S. interests while Clinton promised to "obliterate" the nation of Iran if it attacked Israel!
"American's Defense Line" can be described as the "Pentagon Papers" of AIPAC. Smith has combed through hundreds of recently declassified documents- internal letters, legal briefs, analyses, reports- to produce the first objective, detailed analysis of the struggle of the Department of Justice (DoJ) to regulate the American Zionist Committee (AZC)- the precursor of today's AIPAC. The DoJ was determined that the AZC be classified as an agent of Israel. Its investigations along with those of Senator Fulbright's and the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, documented that the AZC was funded and directed by the State of Israel. As such, AZC was required to publicly disclose it's funding and all lobbying and public relations activity with the U.S. government. The AZC opposed this classification, as it would give lie to its claims to represent legitimate domestic political interests. "American Defense Line" is thoroughly documented having more than 437 footnotes and previously unpublished declassified papers, which allow readers to verify Smith's claims and undertake further research at their own leisure.
"America's Defense Line" is an admirably readable book. While the book deals with complex legal and historical issues spanning sixty years, the layman need not be dissuaded. No prior knowledge of law or Middle East affairs is required. Smith uses clear, concise prose and takes time to explain the historical context as each event in this sorry saga of American history unfolds. There are heroes in this book- Senator Fulbright, a rare political figure that courageously stood against the ruinous power of the Israel lobby and DoJ employees, such as Irene A. Bowman, who refused to subvert U.S. law to foreign interests to gain political favor. There are also cowards and cynics who compromised U.S. strategic interests to gain temporary political advantages. Smith neither plays partisan favors nor spares any of the players. The usual suspects will surface to discredit this book. Given the extraordinary documentation and research invested by Smith in "America's Defense Line," this reader looks forward to seeing Smith and his opponents do something the lobby avoids at all costs: an honest public debate.