Hopefully Larry will have some very interesting things to say.
Larry Franklin to testify against two former AIPAC officials
By Shmuel Rosner, Haaretz Correspondent
WASHINGTON - Former Pentagon employee Larry Franklin has struck a deal with prosecutors, and plans to plead guilty next week to a number of charges against him.
Franklin was indicted in June on charges of leaking classified material - including data about potential attacks on U.S. forces in Iraq - to two members of the American Israel Public Affairs Committee (AIPAC) and an Israeli official.
Franklin will testify against former AIPAC officials Steven Rosen and Keith Weissman, both of whom deny charges against them. Rosen and Weissman are suspected of passing on the information they received from Franklin to a number of Israeli Embassy employees and journalists. The two have been charged with conspiring to obtain and disclose classified U.S. defense information. No plea hearings have been scheduled in their cases.
A spokesman for the U.S. District Court clerk in Alexandria, Virginia, Edward Adams, said a hearing to accept Franklin's guilty plea had been scheduled for Wednesday. The charge or charges to which he would enter the plea were not disclosed. Franklin was indicted on five counts.
The government is not accusing Franklin, Rosen and Weissman of espionage, although the FBI has questioned at least one Israeli official.
Rosen, a top lobbyist for Washington-based AIPAC for over 20 years, and Weissman, the organization's top Iran expert, allegedly disclosed sensitive information as far back as 1999 on a variety of topics, including al-Qaida, terrorist activities in Central Asia, the bombing of the Khobar Towers in Saudi Arabia, and U.S. policy in Iran, according to the indictment against them.
Franklin, an Air Force colonel, once worked for the Pentagon's No. 3 official on issues involving Iran and the Middle East. Weissman and Rosen viewed Franklin as a potential source of information, and cultivated him over the course of a year.
Over the past two years, the FBI has focused on whether Franklin passed classified U.S. material on Iran and other matters to AIPAC, and whether the group, in turn, passed it on to Israel. Both AIPAC and Israel deny any wrongdoing. AIPAC fired Rosen and Weissman in April.
The office of U.S. Attorney for the Eastern District of Virginia, Paul McNulty, McNulty's office declined to comment yesterday. His spokesman said that "at this stage, we have no intention of releasing a statement on this matter."
Franklin's lawyer, Plato Cacheris, did not return a phone call seeking comment.