Dual Loyalties

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Thursday, December 16, 2004

Maariv International: FBI Stings AIPAC Traitors

Maariv International: "FBI initiated bogus entrapment operation against AIPAC

Classified information allegedly handed over to AIPAC available from other sources. No secret or sensitive documents ever handed over to AIPAC.
Maariv International

A senior Jewish source claims that the FBI investigation of AIPAC was, from the beginning, an improper sting operation aimed at targeting the organization. “The FBI was never investigating a potential threat to US national security interests, the entire operation was entrapment from its inception”, he said.

According to the source, Pentagon analyst Larry Franklin had come to the FBI’s attention during an investigation totally unrelated to AIPAC. During the course of this investigation, investigators discovered that he maintained a sporadic acquaintanceship with some senior AIPAC officials in Washington.

At some point he was pressured and perhaps even coerced into cooperating with an FBI sting operation against AIPAC, in return for leniency for some minor technical infractions he may have committed, such as careless and improper storage and handling of classified information.

According to a knowledgeable source, the FBI decided to see if information given to AIPAC from a US government source would end up in Israel. Franklin was asked to set up a meeting with the AIPAC official he occasionally met with, and wear a wire to the meeting.

During that meeting Franklin, on the instructions of FBI agents, told his AIPAC acquaintance that there was reliable information regarding kidnapping and murder threats to Israelis in northern Iraq. The information subsequently reached the Israeli media. The US intelligence community had no evidence of any such threat, other than general information that was far from limited to the FBI or any other US intelligence agency. “The bottom line is that the FBI, via Franklin, was deliberately trying to set AIPAC up by the use of bogus information”.

The source categorically claims that at no point were documents exchanged, and that it was not made clear that the information was classified. Under those circumstances, AIPAC saw no reason why it should not pass on what seemed to be genuine information of a serious threat to Israeli citizens.

As soon as the information appeared in the Israeli press, the FBI began an official investigation into AIPAC, the justification being that information it had received from a Pentagon analysts had been given to a foreign power.

The truth is that the information was neither classified nor sensitive, and there is no proof that AIPAC was the source, as it was available at the time from a variety of information sources.

Moreover, even if an AIPAC official did pass it on to Israel, that does not constitute any wrongdoing, since the information was never accompanied by a caveat that it was to be considered either classified or sensitive. The bottom line is that there never were bona fide grounds for an FBI investigation of AIPAC. “The entire case was a sting from the beginning, designed not to plug a dangerous security leak, but to embarrass and compromise AIPAC, and perhaps negatively impact Israeli-US relationships and the standing of American Jews working for US national security agencies”.

Franklin has since ceased cooperating with the FBI.

The FBI declined to respond, saying it did not comment or release information regarding ongoing investigations."

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