Wednesday, October 05, 2005

Oh, And Then There's This
Indictments, Indictments Everywhere, Nor Any Drop to Drink

Geez, it's all coming down fast and furious; from CNN:

Former Defense Department analyst Larry Franklin pleaded guilty Wednesday to conspiracy to divulge U.S. defense information to unauthorized people, namely an Israeli official and members of a pro-Israel lobbying group.

Franklin also pleaded guilty to the illegal possession of national defense information.
As part of a plea agreement, the government agreed to drop three other charges involving the sharing of national defense material.

Franklin admitted to sharing information with two officials who worked for the American Israel Public Affairs Committee, a pro-Israel lobbying group known as AIPAC.

AIPAC later fired the officials, Steven Rosen and Keith Weissman. They have pleaded not guilty to charges of unauthorized communication of national defense information and conspiracy involving such information.

Franklin, who once worked on the Iran desk at the Pentagon, told the court he shared information with Rosen and Weissman so they could convey it to officials with the National Security Council.

For more details, check out the report by NPR's Mary Louise Kelly (available in Real Audio at this link; best bit transcribed below):


Robert Siegel: Did you learn any more in court today about the sustance of this case, what material actually is at the center of the charges, and how damaging it may or may not be to national security.

Kelly: We learned a bit, yes. The central allegation here all along has been that Franklin leaked intelligence about Iran and about Iraq. And the people he was leaking this intelligence to were people who were either sympathetic to Israel or actual Israeli officials. Today, we got confirmation for the first time about that. Larry Franklin told the court that he met with the political officer of the Israeli embassy in Washington. That's a man named [didn't catch name] Gilan (?). Franklin said he and Gilan met 8 or 9 times, perhaps up to a dozen times, over the timespan of a couple of years. And we also got some insight into Franklin's motives in all of this. He said he was frustrated with a particular policy and he wanted it communicated to the National Security Council. We didn't get details on that policy, but he is known to favor a more hardline stance against Iran than the US currently takes.


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