SPY CASES - UNITED STATES

Lawrence A. Franklin

Materials arranged chronologically.

Graham, Bradley, and Thomas E. Ricks. "FBI Probe Targets Pentagon Official: Analyst Allegedly Gave Data to Israel." Washington Post, 28 Aug. 2004, A1. [http://www.washingtonpost.com]

Government officials said on 27 August 2004 that the FBI "is investigating a mid-level Pentagon official who specializes in Iranian affairs for allegedly passing classified information to Israel.... The name of the person under investigation was not officially released, but two sources identified him as Larry Franklin. He was described as a desk officer in the Pentagon's Near East and South Asia Bureau.... Franklin worked at the Defense Intelligence Agency before moving to the Pentagon's policy branch three years ago." See also, James Risen, "Pentagon Official Suspected of Giving U.S. Secrets to Israel," New York Times, 28 Aug. 2004.

Ricks, Thomas E., and Robin Wright. "Analyst Who Is Target of Probe Went to Israel." Washington Post, 29 Aug. 2004, A1. [http://www.washingtonpost.com]

Officials say that Lawrence A. Franklin, "a career analyst at the Defense Intelligence Agency who specializes in Iran," is at the center of an FBI "investigation into whether classified information was passed to the Israeli government.... Officials and colleagues said [on 28 August 2004] that Franklin had traveled to Israel, including during duty in the Air Force Reserve." According to a former co-worker at the DIA, Franklin "may have been based at the U.S. Embassy in Tel Aviv on those tours,... but was never permanently assigned there."

Wright, Robin, and Dan Eggen. "Leak Inquiry Includes Iran Experts in Administration." Washington Post, 4 Sep. 2004, A4. [http://www.washingtonpost.com]

"FBI counterintelligence investigators have ... questioned current and former U.S. officials about whether a small group of Iran specialists at the Pentagon and in Vice President Cheney's office may have been involved in passing classified information to an Iraqi politician or a U.S. lobbying group allied with Israel." Pentagon officials insist that "FBI questions about key policymakers did not mean they were the subjects of the intelligence leak investigation. Senior Pentagon officials have said they were told by the FBI that the investigation is focused on just one suspect..., Lawrence A. Franklin, an Iran specialist in [Undersecretary of Defense for Policy Douglas J.] Feith's office."

Johnston, David, and Eric Lichtblau. "Pentagon Analyst Charged With Disclosing Military Secrets." New York Times, 5 May 2005. [http://www.nytimes.com]

On 4 May 2005, Pentagon analyst Lawrence A. Franklin was arrested on charges of "illegally disclosing highly classified information about possible attacks on American forces in Iraq to two employees" of the American Israel Public Affairs Committee (AIPIC). Franklin made "a brief appearance ... in federal court in Alexandria, Va., and was released on $100,000 bond. A preliminary hearing ... is scheduled for [27 May 2005]. If convicted, Mr. Franklin could be sentenced to a maximum of 10 years in prison."

Markon, Jerry. "Defense Worker Charged Again in Secrecy Case." Washington Post, 25 May 2005, A4. [http://www.washingtonpost.com]

Lawrence Franklin, the Defense Department analyst charged previously by federal prosecutors in Alexandria, Virginia, with disclosing classified information, was charged on 24 May 2005 with "possessing classified documents," according to papers filed in U.S. District Court in West Virginia.

Markon, Jerry. "FBI Tapped Talks About Possible Secrets: Case Against Ex-AIPAC Officials Could Focus on Several Contacts With Defense Analyst." Washington Post, 3 Jun. 2005, A7. [http://www.washingtonpost.com]

In July 2004, Defense Department analyst Lawrence Franklin met at the Pentagon City mall with an American Israel Public Affairs Committee (AIPAC) official, Keith Weissman. Sources familiar with the meeting said that Franklin "warned that Iranian agents were planning attacks against American soldiers and Israeli agents in Iraq." Weissman "left the mall and went to the office of colleague Steve Rosen. The two men then relayed the information to the Israeli Embassy in Washington and a reporter for The Washington Post. What the AIPAC officials did not know, the sources said, was that the FBI was listening in -- to both the meeting and their subsequent phone calls -- and that ... Franklin[] was cooperating in an investigation of whether classified U.S. information was being passed on to the government of Israel."

Eggen, Dan, and Jamie Stockwell. "U.S. Indicts 2 in Case of Divulged Secrets: Both Worked for Pro-Israel Lobby." Washington Post, 5 Aug. 2005, A1. [http://www.washingtonpost.com]

On 4 August 2005, Steven J. Rosen and Keith Weissman, former employees of the American Israel Public Affairs Committee (AIPAC) "were indicted ... on charges that they illegally received and passed on classified information to foreign officials and reporters over a period of five years.... Although no foreign government is named in the indictment, U.S. government sources have identified Israel as the country at the center of the probe."

Johnston, David. "Israel Lobbyists Facing Charges in Secrets Case." New York Times, 5 Aug. 2005. [http://www.nytimes.com]

The 4 August 2005 indictment against Steven J. Rosen and Keith Weissman, former employees of the American Israel Public Affairs Committee (AIPAC), says that "the two men had disclosed classified information about a number of subjects, including American policy in Iran, terrorism in central Asia, Al Qaeda and the 1996 bombing of the Khobar Towers apartment in Saudi Arabia."

The indictment also contains additional charges against Lawrence Franklin. It accuses him "of using his position as a desk officer to gather information to hand over to Mr. Rosen or Mr. Weissman, or to an unidentified foreign official, who government officials and lawyers involved in the case have said was Naor Gilon, an Israeli Embassy political officer. The indictment refers to two other foreign government officials, but does not identify them. Both are Israelis, a government official said."

Lichtblau, Eric. "Pentagon Analyst Admits Sharing Secret Data." New York Times, 6 Oct. 2005. [http://www.nytimes.com]

On 5 October 2005, former senior Defense Department analyst Lawrence A. Franklin "pleaded guilty in federal court" in Alexandria, Virginia, "to three criminal counts for improperly retaining and disclosing classified information.... The offenses carry a maximum of 25 years in prison, but as part of a plea agreement, prosecutors are expected to recommend leniency" in return for Franklin's "cooperation in a continuing investigation in the January trial of ... Steven J. Rosen and Keith Weissman," former lobbyists for the American Israel Public Affairs Committee.

Johnston, David. "Former Military Analyst Gets Prison Term for Passing Information." New York Times, 21 Jan. 2006. [http://www.nytimes.com]

On 20 January 2006, a federal judge sentenced Lawrence A. Franklin "to 12 years and seven months in prison ... after the analyst admitted passing classified military information about Iran and Iraq to two pro-Israel lobbyists and an Israeli diplomat." The lobbyists, Steven J. Rosen and Keith Weissman, "are scheduled for trial in April."

Markon, Jerry. "Pentagon Analyst Given 12 1/2 Years In Secrets Case." Washington Post, 21 Jan. 2006, A1. [http://www. washingtonpost.com]

The sentencing in U.S. District Court in Alexandria on 20 January 2006 of Lawrence A. Franklin "closed one chapter of a long-running investigation into an alleged conspiracy to obtain and illegally pass classified information to foreign officials and reporters. But with the case still shrouded in secrecy, [the sentencing] hearing cast no new light on the information Franklin provided, whether its transmission harmed the United States and whether anyone will be charged other than the two lobbyists, who ... are awaiting trial."

Lefebvre, Stéphane. "Spying on Friends? The Franklin Case, AIPAC, and Israel." International Journal of Intelligence and Counterintelligence 19, no. 4 (Winter 2006-2007): 600-621.

Does not see any lasting effect on U.S.-Israeli relations coming out of this case.

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