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Israeli Pentagon spy jailed

Crazy Horse

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US spy scandal involving current mid-east policy, our great ally Israel and the biggest political action committee in the country. But funnily enough, there's not much mention of this on the US news websites. Can't imagine why. One more for Dubya's pardon list presumably.




Pentagon man jailed over spying


A former US defence department analyst has been sentenced to 12 years and seven months in jail for disclosing classified information. Lawrence Franklin passed information to an Israeli diplomat and two pro-Israeli lobbyists about a Middle East country. No details were given, but that country is believed to be Iran.


Franklin has agreed to co-operate with the prosecution in a separate case against the two lobbyists, and could have his sentence reduced as a result. The sentence Franklin received was already at the low end of the sentencing parameters for his offences.


As he handed down the sentence, US District Judge TS Ellis III said he was satisfied that Franklin had been driven by a desire to help, not damage the US. Judge Ellis said Franklin had believed that the US National Security Council was not sufficiently worried by the threat posed by an unspecified Middle Eastern nation.


Franklin, a policy analyst whose field of expertise included Iraq and Iran, was also fined $10,000 (£5,600). He was accused of passing information to Steven Rosen and Keith Weissman of the American Israel Public Affairs Committee (Aipac) from 2002 to 2004. The two Aipac officials have pleaded not guilty to conspiring to communicate the information given to them by Franklin and are due to go on trial in April. Aipac has fired the two men and denied any wrongdoing.


BBC Pentagon correspondent Adam Brookes says the case has sent a chill through Washington. It has made American officials more sensitive than ever about what they say on the subject of foreign policy and to whom they say it, and it has raised the question of just how much Israel conducts espionage against its greatest ally, the US, our correspondent adds.

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