Monday, May 09, 2005

The Larry Franklin / AIPAC Case -- A Memo to the Media

I'm sure all of my regular readers have heard about Pentagon analyst Larry Franklin surrendering to the FBI today to face charges of illegal disclosure of classified information to AIPAC. This post is some background for members of the media, since I'm starting to get a decent amount of traffic from media-linked domains via Google, and want to clue you in to the questions you should be asking to get to the bottom of this story and not fall victim to AIPAC's attempts to "spin" this.

Here's what you should be aware of, and some questions you should be asking over the next few weeks:

1) The charges made public today are just the tip of the iceberg. Franklin was only charged with one count of improper disclosure of classified information, apparently related to potential dangers to U.S. forces in Iraq. A much larger issue relates to Iran, since it's already come out that Franklin also gave senior AIPAC officials Steve Rosen and Keith Weissman a draft presidential decision directive which would have (if approved) made regime change rather than negotiation official U.S. policy toward Iran.

2) The "big picture" in this case is much more about what intelligence types call an "agents of influence" operation rather than just espionage. The reason Franklin (and possibly whoever at a higher level sent him) wanted AIPAC to know about the draft directive was to coordinate pressure on Congress and the Bush Administration to back military strikes on Iran, a major policy goal of the Israeli government.

3) The draft presidential directive was written by Michael Rubin, a former mid-level Pentagon official in Doug Feith's office who is now at the American Enterprise Institute, a neoconservative think-tank. One of the big questions is: Did anyone "send" Franklin to leak this, or did he just do it on his own?

4) Franklin was cooperating with the FBI's investigation in mid-2004, then stopped, and retained the services of Washington superlawyer Plato Cacheris. The obvious question is who approached Franklin to get him to stop cooperating? And who is paying for his legal defense? Franklin has been working for a government salary his entire life, and he's not a rich man. Did pro-Israel interests or donors offer to finance his defense in order to secure his non-cooperation with the FBI?

5) Apart from the charges, what else does the FBI have on AIPAC? If they have wiretaps of years of conversations, they probably know a lot about what the pro-Israel lobby did to help support the push for war in Iraq. After all, the Office of Special Plans at the Pentagon was very heavily staffed with political appointees with very close personal ties to Israel. (This is the truth that dare not speak its name, but it's critical to understanding how the U.S. got snookered into invading Iraq.) AIPAC never had an overt policy of pushing for a U.S. invasion of Iraq, but anyone with friends on Capitol Hill knows that AIPAC's members were buttonholing congressmen in 2002 to secure their votes for the war resulution "unofficially." If the wiretrap transcripts become available in the trial, that should shed some light on this. AIPAC is going to try to spin this as being about two individuals, that's why Steve Rosen and Keith Weissman were fired in April. Don't buy it. Steve Rosen is one of the main people who built the lobbyibg powerhouse into what it is. Their Board of Directors dumped him in a last ditch attempt to avoid the storm that is coming, adopting the "couple of bad apples" defense for the organization.

6) Larry Franklin also was on the trip to Europe in December 2001 that included Harold Rhode and Michael Ledeen, the purpose of which was to meet with Manucher Ghorbanifar about the sales pitch for a war with Iran. This trip also just happens to have happened at the same time the Italian military intelligence service (SISMI) started circulating the bogus Niger uranium document which was instrumental in misleading the U.S. into war in Iraq. Clearly, that document came from somewhere. Who was trying to feed disinformation to us? Does Larry Franklin know?

I know that these questions lead in directions where the media generally doesn't go -- did we really invade Iraq at least in part as a result of the influence of the Israel lobby? Are we being pushed into a confrontation with Iran the same way? That's the real question raised by this case. AIPAC and its defenders are going to try to spin this investigation as motivated by antisemitism. I would urge you not to buy into that without carefully evaluating such charges yourself. They've been caught receiving classified information illegally so that they could lobby for war with Iran, and now they're trying to change the subject.

To the regular readers of my blog: Please forward this to news outlets if you have a chance, especially your local newspapers. Use the email button at the bottom right corner of this post, so that they get the full text with all the links.


Blogger truthseeker said...

This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

5/09/2005 01:14:00 PM  
Blogger truthseeker said...

Treason at a high level: Zionist (JINSA/CSP/PNAC) Pentagon Neocons, AIPAC and Israel

5/13/2005 03:55:00 PM  
Blogger truthseeker said...

For AIPAC: FBI Probe: More Questions Than Answers

5/15/2005 04:32:00 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

The neocons and this wing of zionists are not representative of majority thought in either instance.

The big money needs these groups to provide hedge and distraction so the usual power plays work.

Nobody gets mad at Sauds if Israel thrives.
Follow. The. Money.

Oil depreciation allowance.

"Indiviualism is gone. Never to return."

"Thus the federal government, in a somewhat schizophrenic fashion,actively participates in the oil industry as a financially interested partnereven while it regulates...the same industry."

This is the kicker, the crux of modern foreign economy, consumer costs, and real cost inflation:

"It protects the domestic oil industrythrough improt quotas to encourage oil exploration within the US at the expense of the consumer."
(Oil Barons: Men of Gredd and Grandeur, Richard O'Connor, Little, Brown, and Company, 1971)

SOmeone said BP doesn't want people putting things which reflect on the petroleum industry into editorials?

Hint: the above is what they fear.
Taxpayers subsidize oil companies' profit margins in North America.


5/24/2005 05:55:00 PM  

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