Sunday, April 24, 2005

Rosen and Weissman Refuse to Take the Fall for AIPAC

First, let me apologize for my lack of posting the last few days -- I've been sidetracked on some urgent family issues which I had to attend to. But now I should again have time to post more.

The news this week that Steve Rosen and Keith Weissman, the two senior AIPAC staffers who are in legal jeopardy as a result of the FBI investigation, aren't willing to take the fall is definitely not the outcome that AIPAC wanted.

The immediate issues of illegal receipt of classified information, possibile espionage, and failure to register under the Foreign Agents Registration Act (FARA) are bad enough, but the larger issue is the exposure of AIPAC's operating methods. The FBI has a couple of years' worth of wiretap evidence, and the information initially leaked to Rosen and Weissman by Larry Franklin was linked to the push for war with Iran (a rather timely issue, to say the least). The Israel lobby knows good and well that if the transcripts of their conversations with Capitol Hill staff get publicized by way of a trial, they are going to be a lot less effective. Their power has rested on being able to promote Israel's interests (as they see them) away from public view -- i.e. they didn't have a position on the Iraq War resolution, but everyone in Washington of any degree of political sophistication knew that they were making an "unofficial" effort to secure its passage. If most Americans knew the extent of this sort of "hush hush" political arm twisting, and the damage it does to American interests, there would be a movement to counterbalance AIPAC, particularly now that a clear majority of Amercians believe the Iraq War was a mistake, and have an interest in knowing who was responsible for misleading us into it.

So anyway, a trial is a good outcome for those of us who want to see a national debate about this. AIPAC is clearly trying to distance itself from Rosen and Weissman, and will be making the "couple of bad apples" defense of the organization, but it isn't likely to work. Steve Rosen was one of the key players in AIPAC over the last 24 years, not just another employee.

Frankly, I don't care so much about the outcome of the trial -- it may be the case that they're about to make an entrapment defense which will stick (though I don't think that's the most likely outcome). What is important is the exposure of AIPAC's influence and operating methods. Once the American people see AIPAC's operations unveiled, there is going to be a lot more public debate about whether the U.S. is being forced to sacrifice our own interests for those of the Israeli Right.

Of course, the most important unanswered question is -- will this happen in time to help derail the sales pitch for war with Iran?


Anonymous Anonymous said...

Dear FBI....

leak the tapes, leak the tapes, leak the tapes....mail them to some bloggers....

we all want to hear the conservations between our patriotic politicans and AIPAC

5/10/2005 01:30:00 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

..sounds like Franklin had a longer history of being an Israeli gofer( maybe a paid one?) than just the current AIPAc affair...

U.S. Aide Arrested Amid Signs That Lobby Probe Widens
By Ori Nir
May 6, 2005

WASHINGTON — A recent FBI interrogation of an Israeli defense expert may indicate that the Justice Department's investigation into the contacts between America's pro-Israel lobby and a Pentagon analyst is broader in scope than previously believed.

The expert, Uzi Arad, head of the Institute for Policy and Strategy at Israel's Interdisciplinary Center Herzliya, said that two months ago FBI agents interviewed him about his contacts with the Pentagon Iran specialist, Larry Franklin. During the hour-long interview, he said, the FBI agents brought up the name of an American Jewish Committee official, Eran Lerman, who is a former senior official in Israeli military intelligence.

Franklin was arrested and charged Wednesday with "disclosing classified information related to potential attacks upon U.S. forces in Iraq to individuals not entitled to receive the information." The Justice Department did not name the individuals who allegedly received the classified information from Franklin, but media reports claim they are Steven Rosen and Keith Weissman, two former officials at the American Israel Public Affairs Committee who were recently dismissed by the pro-Israel lobbying organization.

Arad's comments, an unusual disclosure of a small wrinkle in the otherwise ultrasecretive FBI investigation, may suggest that the FBI is investigating more than the alleged unlawful contacts between Franklin and Aipac officials. Franklin is the first person to be indicted in the FBI investigation. Rosen and Weissman have not been charged.

Initially, press reports said that Rosen and Weissman's alleged transfer of secret information by Israeli diplomats was the focus of the investigation. The questioning of Arad may confirm speculation by some in the Jewish community that the investigation is related to a larger inquiry into Israeli or pro-Israeli attempts to influence America's security establishment and its policy in the Middle East.

Arad said the FBI agents asked him, among other things, why he had sent to Franklin, less than a year ago, a research paper by Lerman on ways to re-energize America's relationship with Israel. "They asked me who was Eran Lerman, although they clearly knew who he was," Arad told the Forward in a telephone interview.

Arad was a policy adviser to former Israeli prime minister Benjamin Netanyahu and once headed the research department of Israel's Mossad intelligence service.

Lerman joined the staff of the AJCommittee in 2001. Kenneth Bandler, a spokesman for the AJCommittee, said he had no comment on the FBI's questioning regarding Lerman.

Arad said that his strategic policy institute had commissioned Lerman to write the paper. He said that he did not remember sending the article to Franklin but that the FBI investigators showed him a letter that accompanied the article, carrying his signature. Arad said he explained to the investigators that this was a mechanized signature on an information package sent en masse to a mailing list of several hundred former participants in the Interdisciplinary Center's annual strategic-affairs conference, commonly known as the Herzliya Conference.

Franklin attended the December 2003 Herzliya Conference, though he did not deliver an address.

In his paper, Lerman wrote that the once-dynamic U.S.-Israel strategic relationship had fallen into a "maintenance mode" in recent years and ought to be re-energized for the benefit of both countries. At the December 2004 Herzliya Conference, Lerman delivered an address based on his research paper.

Arad said the FBI agents asked him about his conversations with Franklin at the conference and several months later at a meeting between the two in the Pentagon cafeteria. He also said that both conversations were brief and that he could hardly remember their content. The FBI interview was also brief, as well, he noted.

It was arranged in haste, as Arad was rushing to catch a plane from New York to Israel, and took place in a car while he on his way to the airport.

This week, Franklin handed himself in, and was scheduled to make an initial appearance at a Northern Virginia court by press time.

In a statement, the Department of Justice said that Franklin, 58, surrendered to authorities at the FBI's Washington Field Office following the filing of a criminal complaint Tuesday and the unsealing Wednesday of the indictment against him. The statement notes that the violation Franklin is charged with carries a maximum penalty of 10 years in prison.

Recently Franklin was transferred from the Office of the Secretary of

Defense, where he served as an Iran desk officer, to a less sensitive position in the Pentagon.

The criminal complaint filed in the U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Virginia, alleges that on June 26, 2003, Franklin had lunch at a restaurant in Arlington, Va., with two individuals, identified as "U.S. Person 1" and "U.S. Person 2."

At the lunch, according to the Justice Department, Franklin disclosed classified information that has been designated "Top Secret" and related to potential attacks upon American forces in Iraq. The government claims that neither of Franklin's lunch companions has the security clearance to receive the information.

Allegedly Franklin told the two individuals that the information was "highly classified" and asked them not to "use" it, according to the Justice Department statement.

This portion of the Justice Department statement implies that Franklin's lunch companions — alleged in press reports to have been Rosen and Weissman — knew that they were handling information from a highly sensitive document. According to press reports, the FBI is investigating claims that after the lunch the two former Aipac officials transferred the secret information to an Israeli diplomat in Washington.

The Justice Department statement says that a search of Franklin's Pentagon office in June 2004 found the June 2003 classified document containing the information that Franklin allegedly disclosed to the two individuals.

The criminal complaint against Franklin also alleges that on other occasions he disclosed, without authorization, classified American government information to a foreign official and to members of the news media. In addition, according to the Justice Department statement, about 83 separate classified American government documents were found during a search of Franklin's West Virginia home in June 2004, most of them classified as top secret or secret.

The dates of these documents spanned three decades.

The investigation into this matter is continuing, the Justice Department stated.

The charges against Franklin disclose several other new details:

• According to an FBI affidavit that accompanies the charges, Franklin admitted during an FBI interrogation in June 2004 that he provided the information contained in the secret document to the two individuals.

• The information that Franklin is charged with disclosing is related not to Iran — contrary to previous reports — but to "potential attacks upon U.S. forces in Iraq." The government's main concern, according to the FBI affidavit, is that such information could be used to harm the United States by "a country's discovery of our intelligence sources and methods."

• Contrary to previous media reports, charges against Franklin do not allege the transfer of a secret document. Instead it is charged that he "verbally disclosed" information that "was contained" in a top-secret document. The distinction is important, legal experts say, because verbally transferring such information is a less serious offense.

• The document in question, according to the affidavit, was marked "on the first and last pages with a caption in all capital letters," which identified it as "TOP SECRET with a denomination of its SCI [Sensitive Compartment Information] status" — the highest security classification.

5/10/2005 01:37:00 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Treason at a high level: Pentagon Zionists, AIPAC and Israel:

5/11/2005 12:57:00 PM  
Blogger truthseeker said...

Found at Kos

Time Line: Why Franklin Arrest May Be Bigger Than We Know
by LITBMueller
Thu May 5th, 2005 at 12:00:06 PDT

I thought it might be interesting to put together a timeline of events concerning the arrest of Lawrence Franklin and compare it to when certain Neocons like Feith, Wurmser, Luti, etc. either decided to leave or were shuffled around, and out of the DoD.
By just poking around on the net, I found a lot more than I bargained for! Forgive me if this has been explored before, but, personally, I had no idea that the people uor country has been trusting with top secret intelligence information have had a history of violating that trust. That is why I think the arrest of Franklin may be a sign of bigger things to come.

Below is the timeline I pieced together. * = new update!

Diaries :: LITBMueller's diary :: :: Trackback ::

1970 - An FBI wiretap authorized for the Israeli Embassy picked up Richard Perle, then a Senator's staffer and working on the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, discussing with an Embassy official classified information which he said had been supplied to him by a staff member on the National Security Council. An NSC/FBI investigation found the staff member, Helmut Sonnenfeldt, who had been previously investigated in 1967 while a staff member of the State Department's Bureau of Intelligence and Research, for suspected unauthorized transmission to an Israeli Government official of a classified document concerning the commencement of the 1967 war in the Middle East. (

1978 - While working for the Arms Control and Disarmament agency in 1978, Paul Wolfowitz was the subject of an investigation that alleged he had provided a classified document on the proposed sale of U.S. weapons to an Arab government to an Israeli government official via an AIPAC intermediary. However, the probe was eventually dropped. (

April 1979 - The Attorney General's office recommends that Dr. Stephen Bryen, then a staff member of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, be investigated by a grand jury because he had been overheard in the Madison Hotel Coffee Shop offering classified documents to Israeli Embassy official Zvi Rafiah, the Mossad station chief in Washington, in the presence of the director of AIPAC. The investigation was eventually shut down and Bryen resigned. He then served as Executive Director of the Jewish Institute for National Security Affairs (JINSA), and provided consulting services to AIPAC. (

1981 - Shortly before being appointed Assistant Secretary of Defense for International Security Policy (ISP), Perle was paid a consulting fee by an Israeli arms manufacturer, Soltam. Shortly after assuming his post, Perle wrote a letter to the Secretary of the Army urging evaluation and purchase of 155 mm. shells manufactured by Soltam. Bryen becomes Deputy to Perle and receives top secret clearances. Wolfowitz, as head of the State Department Policy Planning Staff, hires Michael Ledeen as a Special Advisor. (

1982 - Perle hires Douglas Feith to be his Special Counsel (he later becomes Deputy Assistant Secretary for Negotiations Policy). ( F. Michael Maloof also becomes an aide to Perle as Foreign Affairs Specialist. (

1983 - Feith is fired because he had been the object of an inquiry into whether he had provided classified material to an official of the Israeli Embassy in Washington. FBI had opened an inquiry into this allegation. ( Also, on the recommendation of Perle, Ledeen was hired at the Department of Defense as a consultant on terrorism, where his superior first became concerned that he was viewing classified material that he was not cleared to see. (

1984 - Ledeen leaves his position in DoD and joins the National Security Council (NSC) as a consultant. He suggests to Oliver North, his new boss at NSC "that Israeli contacts might be useful in obtaining release of the U.S. hostages in Lebanon." (

August 20, 1985 - Ledeen's Israeli intelligence contacts are used to broker Iran/Contra. ( ) He worked with an Iranian named Manucher Ghorbanifar to set up the deal. ( Concerned over his relationship with Israel, NSC downgrades Ledeen's security clearance. (

January 24, 1986 - North writes to John Poindexter of his suspicion that Ledeen, along with Adolph Schwimmer and Ghorbanifar, might be making money personally on the sale of arms to Iran, through Israel. (

1986 - Feith leaves ISP to form a law firm in Israel. ( Maloof becomes Chief of Technology Security Operations and, at the direction of Perle, creates a task force intended to respond to the growth of front companies created for the illegal diversion of technology for conventional and unconventional weapons. Serves in this role until 2000. (

1987 - After leaving the ISP in 1987, Perle goes to work for Soltam. (

1988 - Bryen is the key figures behind the attempted export of "klystrons," small microwave amplifiers that are critical missile components, to Israel. Bryen resigned his post with DoD in late 1988 and worked for several defense technology consulting firms. (

1992 - The first Bush Administration launches a broad inter-departmental investigation into the export of classified technology to China. During the investigation, it is discovered that Wolfowitz, as Undersecretary for Policy under Dick Cheney, was promoting the export to Israel of advanced AIM-9M air-to-air missiles. The Joint Chiefs of Staff, aware that Israel had already been caught selling the earlier AIM 9-L version of the missile to China in violation of a written agreement with the U.S. on arms re-sales, cancels the proposed deal. Feith writes in Commentary magazine, "It is in the interest of U.S. and Israel to remove needless impediments to technological cooperation between them. Technologies in the hands of responsible, friendly countries facing military threats, countries like Israel, serve to deter aggression, enhance regional stability and promote peace thereby." (

1998 - Harold Rhode reportedly had his security clearances at DoD suspended, based on allegations he had given classified information to Israel, according to UPI in 2004. (

2001 - As Deputy Defense Secretary, Wolfowitz helped Feith obtain his appointment as Undersecretary for Policy. Feith then appointed Perle as Chairman of the Defense Policy Board. ( Rhode was officially assigned to the Pentagon's Office of Net Assessment, but was later involved in OSP. (

April 2001 - With the support of Wolfowitz and Sen. Richard Shelby, Speaker of the House Dennis Hastert appoints Bryen a Member of the United States-China Economic and Security Review Commission (his appointment is later extended through December of 2005). The Commission had been created in the last months of the Clinton Administration due to concerns about the continuing transfer of advanced U.S. arms technology to the burgeoning Chinese military program. It is suspected that this position, again, gives Bryen Top Secret clearance. Likewise, Ledeen is appointed to the China Commission and, with the support of Feith, he has also been employed as a consultant for the OSP. Again, both positions involve the handling of classified materials and require high-level security clearances. (

June 2001 - Rhode meets with Ghorbanifar in Paris and discusses regime change in Iran. He had been introduced to Ghorbanifar by Ledeen, who had maintained his ties with him. (

September 2001 - Feith and Rhode recruit David Wurmser, the director of Middle East studies for the American Enterprise Institute, to serve as a Pentagon consultant. He helped create the secret Pentagon intelligence unit involved in developing Iraq intelligence. ( Maloof is also assigned to assist with the organization of the unit. ( raq?pg=2)

* December 2001 - Rhode, Lawrence Franklin and Ledeen have meetings in Rome with Ghorbanifar and other Iranians and discuss regime change in Iran. White House officials OK'd what they believed was a Pentagon effort to gather info about Iranian terrorist activity in Afghanistan, but they didn't know Ghorbanifar was involved. ( and

Early 2002 - Wolfowitz and Feith create an Iraq war-planning unit in the Pentagon's Near East and South Asia Affairs section, run by Deputy Undersecretary of Defense William Luti, under the rubric "Office of Special Plans" (OSP), into which the Wurmser-Maloof intelligence unit is folded. Luti had come to DoD by way of Cheney's office. Wurmser becomes senior adviser to Undersecretary of State John Bolton, who was in charge of the State Department's disarmament, proliferation, and WMD office and was actively promoting the Iraq war at State. OSP begins a relationship with Ahmed Chalabi, from whom they receive intelligence. ( Rhode also serves as a liaison between the Defense Department and Ahmad Chalabi. (

* February 2002 - Stephen Hadley learn about the involvement of Ghorbanifar in the 2001 meetings, and that regime change was on his agenda. They decide further contacts were "not worth pursuing," but Ghorbanifar continues to communicate with Rhode, and sometimes Franklin, by phone and fax five or six times a week (the contacts were not authorized by top Pentagon officials). ( and

January 2003 - Maloof meets with a Lebanese-American friend, Imad al-Hage, who had been recruited by Maloof to assist in the War on Terrorism. Hage had met a Syrian intelligence official who had expressed frustration to him about the difficulties Syria faced in communicating with U.S. officials. Maloof arranged for Hage to meet Perle. (

February 19, 2003 - Hage faxes a 3-page report on his Baghdad trip to Maloof. He indicates that the Iraqis have pledged to (1) cooperate in fighting terrorism; (2) give "full support for any US plan" in the Arab-Israeli peace process; (3) give " first priority [to the U.S.] as it relates to Iraq oil, mining rights;" (4) cooperate with US strategic interests in the region; (5) allow "direct US involvement on the ground in disarming Iraq." (

March 7, 2003 - Hage meets with Perle and Perle tells him he wants to pursue the matter further with people in Washington; a few days later, he tells Hage that Washington refused to let him meet with Habbush or discuss any peace offers. As the month goes by, Hage continues to pass on urgent messages from Iraq to Maloof and others. Perle and others have knowledge of the peace overtures, but no action is taken. (

May 2003 - Maloof is stripped of his security clearance after the FBI link him to a Lebanese-American businessman under investigation by the FBI for weapons trafficking. A handgun registered to Maloof had been found in the possession of Hage, who is suspected of dealing arms. Investigators begin to seek to learn whether Maloof's alleged contacts with Hage and a hard-line former Lebanese general, Michel Aoun, may have been part of a back-channel effort to destabilize Syria, which has occupied Lebanon for nearly two decades. ( raq?pg=2 and

June 2003 - Rhode meets with Ghorbanifar in Paris and discusses regime change in Iran, but his communications with Ghorbanifar end shortly thereafter. The meeting had not been authorized by the Pentagon. (

June 26, 2003 - FBI observes Franklin divulging secret information re: Iraq to AIPAC's Steven Rosen and Keith Weissman while having lunch. (,1413,234~24410~2853235,00.html)

June 30, 2003 - FBI find the document Franklin disclosed in his office, pursuant to warrant, and Franklin admits his guilt in an interview. FBI search Franklin's home and find 83 documents of various levels of classification being held illegally. Franklin is stripped of his security clearance. (

September 2003 - Wurmser is moved from State to Dick Cheney's office, under Scooter Libby, as Middle East adviser. (

August, 2004 - FBI gets Franklin to pass a fake tip re: a plan by Iran to attack Israeli operations in the Kurdish regions of Iraq. Rosen and Weissman pass the info on, and fall into the trap. FBI raids AIPAC offices. Franklin later stops helping FBI, fires his public defender, and hires a top a D.C. defense lawyer. (

August 24, 2004: UPI reports that Rhode and Luti are being investigated by FBI for passing classified material to Israel. (

August 27, 2004 - CBS reports on the Franklin case, and it becomes public. (

December, 2004 - FBI raids AIPAC once more. Grand jury subpoenas are issued to four top staffers: Howard Kohr, executive director; Richard Fishman, managing director; Renee Rothstein, communications director; and Raphael Danziger, research director. ( page=1)

January-February 2005 - Several of the above four top AIPAC staffers testify before a federal grand jury convened by U.S. Attorney Paul McNulty. ( page=1). AIPAC places Rosen and Weissman on paid leave and Franklin is quietly rehired at the Pentagon, against the FBI's wishes, in a non-sensitive position. (

Late January 2005 - Douglas Feith announces he is leaving his post later this year, (, but he will still be involved in setting defense policy. Specifically, the Quadrennial Defense Review (QDR). (

* February 8, 2005: A "team" that includes CIA search the documents of Sen. "Scoop" Jackson stored at the University of Washington, reportedly to remove any classified materials. ( Besides Perle, Feith is a former Jackson staff member ( (Thanks to Miss Devore and the Kos diary of Thistime) March 7, 2005 - Bolton nominated to be next UN Ambassador. (

* March 2005: Former Mossad senior official and head of the Institute for Policy and Strategy at Israel's Interdisciplinary Center Herzliya, Uzi Arad is questioned by FBI in connection with the Franklin probe. He is told that his name came up three times in connection with Franklin. ( and April 16, 2005 - Paul Wolfowitz is announced to be the new head of the World Bank, ( although he, like Feith, will still be involved in the QDR. (

Late April 2005 - AIPAC dismisses Rosen and Weissman. (

May 3, 2005 - Luti is moved over from DoD to the NSC. (

5/11/2005 04:01:00 PM  
Blogger truthseeker said...

Fired AIPAC Official Foresees Indictment

5/16/2005 05:46:00 AM  

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