Saturday, January 21, 2006

Former Military Analyst Gets Prison Term for Passing Information - New York Times

There has been surprisingly little publicity about this case despite the fact that it strikes right at the heart of the most powerful foreign affairs lobbying group--AIPAC, the registered pro-Israel lobby. It is hard to believe that this case would have moved forward unless Bush wanted to push AIPAC down a peg or two. The next trial is for two senior AIPAC staffers--who were hastily fired by AIPAC when the accusations surfaced--and with a twelve year prison sentence hanging over his head I imagine Mr. Franklin will show little reticence to spill the beans. It will be an important trial to watch.
Former Military Analyst Gets Prison Term for Passing Information - New York Times: "Mr. Franklin's sentence was the government's first victory in an unusual case in which prosecutors have also indicted the lobbyists to whom he gave the information. The charges against Mr. Franklin and the lobbyists were offenses under the Espionage Act.
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.
Their prosecution represents a novel case because neither Mr. Rosen nor Mr. Weissman held security clearances that required them to protect classified information. Neither was a government employee nor had any official connection to any foreign government.
They operated in a circle of lobbyists who had traditionally traded gossip, political insights and intelligence with administration officials, Congressional aides and journalists. But prosecutors have suggested that their actions took them beyond the accepted boundaries of information swapping to include the passing on of military secrets whose disclosure could have damaged the United States."

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