Dual Loyalties

My opinion on the people who shape our world

Monday, October 24, 2005

AIPAC Spys To Subpoena Israeli Diplomats (Mossad)

Diplomats' testimony sought by lobbyists: "Monday, October 24, 2005 ยท Last updated 4:13 p.m. PT

Diplomats' testimony sought by lobbyists

By MATTHEW BARAKAT
ASSOCIATED PRESS WRITER

McLEAN, Va. -- Two former lobbyists with a pro-Israel group who are charged with disclosing classified U.S. defense information are seeking testimony from Israeli diplomats, according to court documents.

Lawyers for Steven J. Rosen and Keith Weissman, formerly with the American Israel Public Affairs Committee, filed motions made public Monday indicating they plan to subpoena the three diplomats, if necessary.

The motion indicates that because all three are out of the country or are planning to leave, it may be difficult to secure their testimony on the ex-lobbyists' behalf.

The diplomats are not identified, but one is known to be Naor Gilon, a political officer at the Israeli embassy who allegedly received classified information in the case.

Spokesman David Siegel said Monday that the embassy had just gotten notice of the defense request and that it would be reviewed. Generally, though, he said the Israeli government has promised to cooperate in the case.

An indictment charges that Rosen and Weissman discussed classified information with Israeli diplomats as far back as 1999. The information allegedly was passed along by a Pentagon analyst who has pleaded guilty in the case.

Rosen and Weissman's lawyers do not specifically say why they want the Israelis to testify. In an unrelated motion, however, they argue that a full airing of the contact between Rosen and Weissman and the Israelis would demonstrate that the pair were engaged in routine lobbying work and their discussions are protected under First Amendment free speech guarantees.

Rosen, of Silver Spring, Md., and Weissman, of Bethesda, Md., were fired by AIPAC earlier this year. Their case has been watched closely in Washington, where AIPAC is an influential organization on foreign policy issues related to Israel.

Former Pentagon analyst Lawrence A. Franklin has already pleaded guilty to disclosing classified information to Rosen, Weissman and Gilon. Franklin is scheduled to be sentenced Jan. 20."

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