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FBI probe into leaked secrets takes aim at AIPAC [View All]

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seemslikeadream Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Mar-25-05 11:18 AM
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FBI probe into leaked secrets takes aim at AIPAC
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By Nathan Guttman

WASHINGTON - Pentagon analyst Larry Franklin was reinstated a few weeks ago, after sitting at home for half a year and being barred from returning to his job on the Iranian desk in the Department of Defense's policy division. Franklin was at the center of a lengthy FBI investigation after suspicions arose that he transfered classified information about U.S. policy on Iran to members of the pro-Israel lobby AIPAC (American Israel Public Affairs Committee).


While Franklin is back at work, and, say well-placed sources, is expected to reach a plea bargain, the spotlight has moved to the AIPAC officials - two senior members were suspended for the duration of the case and four other senior officials were forced to testify at length before the special investigative jury in Virginia (whose proceedings are classified) appointed for the case.


The intended breadth of the investigation is also evident from the FBI's dramatic moves - raiding AIPAC offices in December and issuing subpoenas to its four top executives. Executive Director Howard Kohr, Managing Director Richard Fishman, Research Director Rafael Danziger and Communications Director Renee Rothstein appeared before the investigative jury and were questioned at length.

Investigators also reportedly tried to use Franklin, after the affair erupted, to incriminate as many senior AIPAC officials as possible. The Jerusalem Post reported four months ago that investigators informed Franklin of the suspicions against him and asked for his cooperation. In a sting operation, he received information from the FBI agents that Iran was planning to attack Israelis operating in the Kurdish region in Iraq. Franklin, on the FBI's instructions, telephoned AIPAC's Rosen and Weissman and gave them the information, and they rushed to pass it on to Israeli diplomats, thereby falling into the FBI trap.

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