Dual Loyalties

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Thursday, June 16, 2005

Pentagon Analyst Indicted For Leaking Information - The Jewish Week

Jewish and Israel News from New York - The Jewish Week: "Pentagon Analyst Indicted For Leaking Information
Still no charges against fired AIPAC pair involved in affair; lobby group apparently secure it’s not a target of probe.
James D. Besser - Washington Correspondent

The legal woes worsened this week for a Pentagon analyst accused of sharing classified information with representatives of a foreign country, but there is still no clear indication if and when federal authorities may move against two fired officials of the American Israel Public Affairs Committee who have been caught up in the case.

A longtime Jewish activist close to AIPAC said “there’s a feeling things are moving quickly now and there could be developments in the next few weeks,” but said it is too early to tell how the affair could affect the pro-Israel lobbying group’s standing on Capitol Hill.

Prosecutors on Monday unsealed indictments filed late last month charging Department of Defense analyst Larry Franklin with six new counts.

Franklin, a specialist in Iran policy, was charged initially with disclosing information involving possible attacks on U.S. forces in Iraq to “a person or persons not entitled to receive it” — reportedly the two AIPAC employees, policy director Steve Rosen and Iran specialist Keith Weissman.

Both were fired last month in what AIPAC watchers say was an effort to distance the group from the former employees before its annual policy conference.

The new charges, which allege Franklin conspired to provide classified information to a foreign government are more serious and could result in a prison sentence of up to 55 years.

The recipient of that information was not named, but press accounts say it was Naor Gilon, a political officer at the Israeli Embassy.

Franklin’s motives, according to the indictment, included “an effort to advance his own career, advance his own personal foreign policy agenda and influence persons within and outside the U.S. government.”

Several Jewish activists close to AIPAC say top officials of the lobbying group remain confident that AIPAC is not a target of federal investigators. But they do worry about a possible trial if, as some sources suggest, Rosen and Weissman are indicted."

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