Saturday, January 21, 2006

NYT: "Former Military Analyst Gets Prison Term for Passing Information" (David Johnston)

A federal judge sentenced a former Defense Department analyst to 12 years and seven months in prison on Friday after the analyst admitted passing classified military information about Iran and Iraq to two pro-Israel lobbyists and an Israeli diplomat.
The sentence given to the analyst, Lawrence A. Franklin, by Judge T. S. Ellis III of Federal District Court in Alexandria, Va., was at the low end of the federal sentencing guidelines. Judge Ellis said at the hearing that he did not excuse the actions of Mr. Franklin, 59, but that Mr. Franklin had been motivated by a desire to help the United States.
[. . .]
The lobbyists, Steven J. Rosen and Keith Weissman, were senior staff members of the American Israel Public Affairs Committee, a pro-Israel lobbying organization known as Aipac that was close to officials in the Bush administration.

The above is from David Johnston's "Former Military Analyst Gets Prison Term for Passing Information" in this morning's New York Times.

We have two highlights from the New York Times in this entry and both are by David Johnston.
They're being grouped together because they buck the notion of those "National Security Republicans." Franklin pleads guilty in a case involving national security and Franklin, until recently, served in whose administration? No, don't be a Bill O'Lielly and scream "Bill Clinton!" The answer is that Franklin was Bully Boy's boy.

The Bully Boy administration has many claims to be ashamed of and certainly the passing of national security, classified information to a foreign government ranks high. For more background on this, you can see Amanda's highlight, James Petras' "AIPAC on Trial" (CounterPunch):

In August 2004, the FBI and the US Justice Department counter-intelligence bureau announced that they were investigating a top Pentagon analyst suspected of spying for Israel and handing over highly confidential documents on US policy toward Iran to AIPAC which in turn handed them over to the Israeli Embassy. The FBI had been covertly investigating senior Pentagon analyst, Larry Franklin and AIPAC leaders, Steven Rosen and Keith Weissman for several years prior to their indictment for spying. On August 29, 2005 the Israeli Embassy predictably hotly denied the spy allegation. On the same day Larry Franklin was publicly named as a spy suspect. Franklin worked closely with Michael Ledeen and Douglas Feith, then Undersecretary for Defense in the Pentagon, in fabricating the case for war with Iraq. Franklin was the senior analyst on Iran, which is at the top of AIPAC's list of targets for war.
As the investigation proceeded toward formal charges of espionage, the pro-Israeli think tanks and neo-con ideologues joined in a two-prong response. On the one hand some questioned whether "handing over documents" was a crime at all, claiming it involved "routine exchanges of ideas" and lobbying. On the other hand, Israeli officials and media denied any Israeli connection with Franklin, minimizing his importance in policy-making circles, while others vouched for his integrity.
The FBI investigation of the Washington spy network deepened and included the interrogation of two senior members of Feith's Office of Special Plans, William Luti and Harold Rhode. The OSP was responsible for feeding bogus intelligence leading to the US attack of Iraq. The leading FBI investigator, Dave Szady, stated that the FBI investigation involved wiretaps, undercover surveillance and photography that document the passing of classified information from Franklin to the men at AIPAC and on to the Israelis.

You can also check out Jeffrey Goldberg's "Real Insiders: A pro-Israel lobby and an F.B.I. sting"
(The New Yorker) from this summer.

But it's not just Lawrence Franklin, it also includes the one and only Scooter Libby. Remember Scoots? The Times does today in Johnston's "Lawyers in C.I.A. Leak Case Seek to Subpoena Journalists:"

Lawyers for Vice President Dick Cheney's former chief of staff told a federal judge on Friday that they would seek to subpoena reporters and news organizations to obtain additional documents that could assist in his defense in the C.I.A. leak case.
[. . .]
Mr. Libby was indicted in October on five counts of perjury and obstruction of justice, accused of lying to F.B.I. investigators and to the grand jury about his dealings with reporters in the leak case. Mr. Libby, who had been one of the most influential figures in the White House, immediately resigned.

Oh how proud Poppy and Big Babs must be.

Lynda e-mails to note that Amy Goodman is in Florida this evening, the Un-Embed the Media tour continues:

* Amy Goodman in Melbourne, FL:
Sat, Jan 21
*TIME: 6:30 pm
Gleason Performing Arts Center,
Florida Institute Of Technology,
150 W University Blvd, Melbourne Fl 32901
$10 advance/$15 at the door (if still available).
On sale at WFIT website,
or by calling WFIT at (321) 674-8950.
For more information: Call SCPA (321) 917-1960
Doors open at 5:30 pm

* Amy Goodman in San Francisco, CA:
Fri, Jan 27
*TIME: 12:15 pm
IPA 2006 Conference
Marines Memorial Hotel,
609 Sutter Street, San Francisco, CA

* Amy Goodman in Oakland, CA:
Fri, Jan 27
Alice Walker & Amy Goodman: Media Alliance's 30th Anniversary Kick-Off
First Congregational Church of Oakland
2501 Harrison Street,
Oakland, CA
Tickets are $15 in advance and $20 at the door.
Reception is $75 generally, and $40 for recent MA donors already possessing an event voucher. The Reception is reservation only, by phone, in advance.
Purchase tickets online:
Or purchase by phone at 510-832-9000
For more information:
Reception Information:
7pm - Join Amy Goodman and the Media Alliance Board for a wine and cheese reception to launch the 30th Anniversary
$75 admission includes reception, 1 preferred seat for 8pm talk, and commemorative poster
$40 admission for recent MA donors possessing event voucher

* Amy Goodman in Arcata, CA:
Sat, Jan 28
An Evening with Amy Goodman
Center Arts Van Duzer Theater
Humbolt State University
1 Harpst St.
Arcata,CA 95521
Tickets are $25 general, $20 Senior/Child and $15 for HSU Students
For more information:
Tickets are available by calling the University Ticket Office at 707-826-3928.
Doors open at 7:30

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