Dual Loyalties

My opinion on the people who shape our world

Monday, October 10, 2005

granma.cu -Light sentence for a Pentagon expert who spied for Israel

granma.cu -: "Light sentence for a Pentagon expert who spied for Israel

BY JEAN-GUY ALLARD—Special for Granma International—

ALTHOUGH he admitted having handed over classified information from the U.S. State Department to Israeli agents, it is already known that Pentagon analyst Lawrence A. Franklin, aged 58, who was personal advisor to Donald Rumsfeld, is to be given a sentence way below the 25 prison term established in law, according to an AP cable.

On the other hand, the five Cubans arrested by the FBI for infiltrating Miami terrorist groups in order to neutralize their acts were mercilessly sentenced to life imprisonment and lengthy prison terms for acts of "espionage" that the prosecution was never able to prove. Franklin is to receive a light sentence, AP affirms.

The official admitted to having handed over Pentagon classified information to Naor Gilon, a political official at the Israeli embassy, and to two U.S. citizens employed by the American-Israeli Affairs Public Committee, a pro-Israel lobby group.

The agency notes that he stands to receive a 25-year term but it is thought that he will be given a far shorter one, according to federal direction over the sentencing, and adding that District Judge T.S. Ellis is to pronounce the sentence on January 20.

Franklin, a resident of Kearneysville, Virginia, pleaded guilty to two charges of conspiracy and one of illegally retaining national defense information.


It is important to note that Franklin is not just any lowly U.S. government official: for a long period he worked directly with Under Secretary Douglas Feith, at the time described as the Pentagon No. 3, who advised on Middle East and Iranian issues.

Moreover, Franklin also stated to the court that he occasionally met with Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld and Paul Wolfovitz in an advisory capacity.

The AP article by journalist Matthew Barakat states that the two Americans acting as Israeli agents: Steven Rosen of Silver Springs, Maryland, and Keith Weissman, of Bethseda, in the same state, have been charged with conspiracy to receive and disclose information on U.S. Defense. He does not state whether they are under arrest.

According to court documents, Franklin met regularly with Rosen and Weissman from 2002-2004 and discussed classified information with them. From 1999 Rosen and Weissman informed the Israeli government on a series of issues such as: Al Qaeda, terrorist activities in Central Asia, the bombing of the Khobar Towers in Saudi Arabia and U.S. policies on Iran.

Franklin also confessed that he was hoping that his "contacts" would be able to influence U.S. policy via their links with the National Security Council.

Various high-ranking Pentagon and U.S. officials testified in the Five’s trial that had not even come close to a single sheet of classified information. Even though their trial has been annulled by the Atlanta Court of Appeals and their detention declared illegal by a panel of UN jurists, the five Cuban victims of Bush justice are still imprisoned in distinct U.S. jails.


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