A veteran Pentagon analyst who admitted using his Defense Department position to illegally disclose classified information to officials of an influential pro-Israeli lobbying group was sentenced yesterday in federal court to 121/2 years in prison.Lawrence A. Franklin, 59, was named in a six-count grand jury indictment handed up in May in U.S. District Court in Alexandria. He was accused of disclosing the information to two officials at the American Israel Public Affairs Committee (AIPAC). He pleaded guilty to the charges in October.
Franklin is going to get a chance to reduce his sentence by tattling big time on accused co-conspirators and former AIPAC employees Steven J. Rosen and Keith Weissman. Franklin is smaller fish compared to Rosen and Weissman.
Plato Cacheris, a lawyer for Mr. Franklin, said, "Mr. Franklin will not have to commence his sentence until after he completes his cooperation, at which time the court will entertain a motion to reduce his sentence."
The US grand jury indictment of Franklin, Rosen, and Weissman makes for interesting reading. Note the US government officials who were passing along classified information as far back as 1999 when the FBI started watching them.
In furtherance of the conspiracy and to effect the object thereof, defendants FRANKLIN, ROSEN, and WEISSMAN did commit overt acts in the; Eastern District of Virginia and elsewhere, including but not limited to the following:
1. On or about April 13, 1999, ROSEN had a conversation with Foreign Official 1 (FO-1) and told FO-1 that he (ROSEN) had "picked up alt extremely sensitive piece of intelligence" which ROSEN described as codeword protected intelligence. ROSEN then disclosed to FO-1 national defense information concerning terrorist activities in Central Asia.
2. On or about May 12, 1999, ROSEN and FO-1 met for lunch and further discussed the disclosure ROSEN made on April 13, 1999.
3. On or about June 11, 1999, WEISSMAN had a conversation with FO-1 and told FO-1 that a "Secret FBI, classified FBI report" on the Khobar Towers bombing had been prepared and that he (WEISSMAN) had gotten this information from three different sources, including United States government officials.
4. On or about June 11, 1999 , WEISSMAN had another conversation with FO-1 and told FO-1 that he (WEISSMAN) had gotten a member of the media interested in the abovereferenced classified FBI report on the Khobar Towers bombing
5. On or about December 12, 2000, ROSEN and WEISSMAN met with a United States government official (USGO‑1). Following the meeting, ROSEN had a conversation with a member of the media to whom he gave information about classified United States strategy options against a Middle Eastern country and the internal United Stales government deliberations on those options. USGO‑1, with whom ROSEN and WEISSMAN met, had access to the classified information ROSEN disclosed.
6. On or about January 18, 2002, ROSEN met with another United States government official (USGO‑2). After the meeting and on that same day, a memorandum containing information ROSEN had obtained from USGO‑2 was sent to fellow AIPAC employees. The memorandum contained classified information provided by USGO‑2.
7. On or about January 23, 2002, ROSEN had a conversation with a foreign national and disclosed classified information provided to ROSEN by USGO‑2 during their January 18, 2042 meeting.
If Rosen and Weissman get convicted and face long sentences will either of them be willing to turn on some of their informants in the US government?
The two former AIPAC lobbyists, Steven Rosen and Keith Weissman, are scheduled to go to trial in April.
Their lawyers have argued that they were engaged in routine lobbying work and were not trafficking in classified information.
I hope these prosecutions eventually lead back into the US government but at higher levels than the level Franklin worked.
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