ITWASSOOTED: Plea bargain for analyst who gave information to AIPAC

Thursday, September 29, 2005

Plea bargain for analyst who gave information to AIPAC


Pentagon analyst Larry Franklin charged with providing officials in the pro-Israel lobby (AIPAC) with classified defense information, has struck a plea bargain with the prosecution and is expected to testify against the former AIPAC employees in the case. Franklin will enter his guilty plea next Wednesday at the US District court in Alexandria, Virginia.

This latest development in the AIPAC case makes it clear that the main target of the federal investigation are now the two former lobby staffers – Steve Rosen, who was the policy director, and Keith Weissman, the senior Iran analyst. Both were fired from AIPAC last April and were indicted in August by a grand jury on charges of conspiring to receive and transfer classified information.

Reaching a plea bargain with Franklin will enable the federal prosecutors to strengthen their case against Rosen and Weissman by calling Franklin to the stand and having him testify that he had informed the AIPAC staffers that the information he was giving them is classified. This could weaken the AIPAC staffers defense, which is based on the claim they were not aware of the fact that the information they got was classified and that their contacts with Franklin should be seen as common practice for lobbyists in the US capital.

The indictment also mentions the fact that the AIPAC officials were in touch with Israeli diplomats and that they have transferred information they got from Franklin to the Israelis.

thanks wayne madsen report
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