Now that the cases have been dropped against AIPAC leaders, Steve Rosen and Keith Weissman, former Pentagon analyst Larry Franklin has recently begun giving interviews.  In interviews with the Forward and the Congressional Quarterly, Franklin presents himself as a naive analyst who felt that his boss, Douglas Feith, wasn’t conveying his important information to the White House, so he tried to deliver it by another channel — contacts at AIPAC.  In the process, he was betrayed both by the contacts at AIPAC and by the FBI.  But even though he feels betrayed by the AIPAC leaders for not only not getting the information where they had promised to deliver it (the White House) and for delivering it to a foreign government (Israel), his greater blame is reserved for the FBI’s anti-Semitism and Conspiracy Theories for conducting investigations into how Israel is accessing classified American information.
According to the Forward:

For Franklin, ties with Rosen and Weissman were instrumental. He had grown frustrated with decisions made by his Pentagon bosses on Iraq and Iran, believing that regime change in Iran was the course America should pursue.

Franklin warned that Americans “would return in body bags” from Iraq because of Iranian intervention, and called for a preliminary show of force against Iran before invading Iraq, but got no response. Viewing the AIPAC lobbyists as well connected, Franklin bypassed his superiors and asked Rosen to convey his concerns on Iran to officials at the National Security Council, to whom he believed the influential lobbyist had access.

“I wanted to kind of shock people at the NSC,” he said, “to shock them into pausing and giving another consideration into why regime change needed to be the policy.” Franklin’s attempt to reach out over the heads of his bosses was unsuccessful and eventually got him in trouble.

Franklin’s attempt was worse than unsuccessful, according to the CQ,

Rosen assured him he would get his Iran information to Abrams, Franklin said.

“But he didn’t do that. He went to The Washington Post and the political officer at the Israeli embassy.” (Rosen’s indictment spelled out those acts.)

The Forward article details how the FBI then set Franklin up with false classified information for Weissman, which he took to Rosen who gave it to the Israelis:

Though Weissman didn’t take the document, he read its content, which was allegedly classified, and the sting operation succeeded. Weissman hurried back to AIPAC headquarters with the supposedly classified information disclosed it to Rosen, who subsequently relayed it to an Israeli diplomat. Even without Weissman taking the actual paper, prosecutors, who were wiretapping all the players, felt they had enough of a case to press charges against both Rosen and Weissman for communicating national defense information.

For the CQ, even though Rosen had bragged about all of his contacts in the NSC and State Department, Franklin doesn’t blame Rosen for the first incident:

“He was duped — he was duped real, real good,” said a senior law enforcement official involved in the case. Another said, “My feeling was that they took advantage of him.”

Franklin shook his head.

“No…this was my initiative. I was not directed by him,” he said.

But to the Forward, Franklin does place some blame on Rosen and Weissman for the second incident:

Franklin said he felt betrayed by the two former AIPAC staffers. He believed that he was sharing information with them so that they could pass it to other government officials, and was disappointed to learn they conveyed it to Israeli diplomats and to the press. “I do think they crossed a line when they went to a foreign official with what they knew was classified information,” Franklin said.

Franklin reserves the bulk of his criticism for the FBI.  He appears to have good reason for that in several regards, especially about his right to legal representation.  While it certainly is possible that some FBI agents are anti-Semitic, is it fair to characterize their investigation of Rosen and Weissman as motivated largely by anti-Semitism?

“I was asked about every Jew I knew in OSD [Office of the Secretary of Defense], and that bothered me,” Franklin said. His superiors at the time were both Jewish: Paul Wolfowitz, deputy secretary of defense, and Douglas Feith, undersecretary of defense for policy, whom Franklin believes was a target of the investigation. “One agent asked me, `How can a Bronx Irish Catholic get mixed up with…’ and I finished the phrase for him: `with these Jews.'” Franklin answered, “Christ was Jewish, too, and all the apostles.” “Later I felt dirty,” he added.

Some in the government, he believes, “had some fantasy of a conspiracy” that had continued, unabated, after the 1985 arrest and 1987 conviction of Pentagon intelligence analyst Jonathan Pollard on charges of spying for Israel.

According to Franklin, the investigators he dealt with believed “that Pollard had a secret partner, a mole, probably in the OSD.” This quest to expose the mole, Franklin said, was, in part, “energized by a more malevolent emotion — antisemitism.”

In part, it was also fed by a deep suspicion toward Israel. “In the intelligence community,” he said, “you refer to Israelis as `Izzis’ and it doesn’t have a pleasant connotation. They can’t get away with kikes, so they say Izzis.” This suspicion became clear to Franklin as he learned of the way investigators viewed activists of the pro-Israel lobby.

Calling Israelis, “Izzis” is more akin to calling Palestinians, “Pals” than what Franklin contends.  Certainly, it is discriminatory to assume that every Jew in the Defense Department is a potential spy for Israel (especially considering that some Christian Zionists might volunteer).  However, Franklin is ill-informed if he thinks that the FBI has no basis to believe that the US has been spied on by Israel lately.

As Christopher’s Ketcham’s article, An Israeli Trojan Horse makes clear, the record of Israel’s spying on the US didn’t end when Pollard went to prison:

Since the late 1990s, federal agents have reported systemic communications security breaches at the Department of Justice, FBI, DEA, the State Department, and the White House. Several of the alleged breaches, these agents say, can be traced to two hi-tech communications companies, Verint Inc. (formerly Comverse Infosys), and Amdocs Ltd., that respectively provide major wiretap and phone billing/record-keeping software contracts for the U.S. government. Together, Verint and Amdocs form part of the backbone of the government’s domestic intelligence surveillance technology. Both companies are based in Israel – having arisen to prominence from that country’s cornering of the information technology market – and are heavily funded by the Israeli government, with connections to the Israeli military and Israeli intelligence (both companies have a long history of board memberships dominated by current and former Israeli military and intelligence officers).

Over the last decade, Amdocs has been the target of several investigations looking into whether individuals within the company shared sensitive U.S. government data with organized crime elements and Israeli intelligence services. Beginning in 1997, the FBI conducted a far-flung inquiry into alleged spying by an Israeli employee of Amdocs, who worked on a telephone billing program purchased by the CIA. According to Paul Rodriguez and J. Michael Waller, of Insight Magazine, which broke the story in May of 2000, the targeted Israeli had apparently also facilitated the tapping of telephone lines at the Clinton White House (recall Monica Lewinsky’s testimony before Ken Starr: the president, she claimed, had warned her that “a foreign embassy” was listening to their phone sex, though Clinton under oath later denied saying this). More than two dozen intelligence, counterintelligence, law-enforcement and other officials told Insight that a “daring operation,” run by Israeli intelligence, had “intercepted telephone and modem communications on some of the most sensitive lines of the U.S. government on an ongoing basis.” Insight’s chief investigative reporter, Paul Rodriguez, told me in an e-mail that the May 2000 spy probe story “was (and is) one of the strangest I’ve ever worked on, considering the state of alert, concern and puzzlement” among federal agents. According to the Insight report, FBI investigators were particularly unnerved over discovering the targeted Israeli subcontractor had somehow gotten his hands on the FBI’s “most sensitive telephone numbers, including the Bureau’s ‘black’ lines used for wiretapping.” “Some of the listed numbers,” the Insight article added, “were lines that FBI counterintelligence used to keep track of the suspected Israeli spy operation. The hunted were tracking the hunters.” Rodriguez confirmed the panic this caused in American intel. “It’s a huge security nightmare,” one senior U.S. official told him. “The implications are severe,” said a second official. “All I can tell you is that we think we know how it was done,” a third intelligence executive told Rodriguez. “That alone is serious enough, but it’s the unknown that has such deep consequences.” No charges, however, were made public in the case. (What happened behind the scenes depends on who you talk to in law enforcement: When FBI counterintelligence sought a warrant for the Israeli subcontractor, the Justice Department strangely refused to cooperate, and in the end no warrant was issued. FBI investigators were baffled.)

In 1997, detectives with the Los Angeles Police Department, working in tandem with the Secret Service, FBI, and DEA, found themselves suffering a similar inexplicable collapse in communications security. LAPD was investigating Israeli organized crime: drug runners and credit card thieves based in Israel and L.A., with tentacles in New York, Miami, Las Vegas, and Egypt. The name of the crime group and its members remains classified in “threat assessment” papers this reporter obtained from LAPD, but the documents list in some detail the colorful scope of the group’s operations: $1.4 million stolen from Fidelity Investments in Boston through sophisticated computer fraud; extortion and kidnapping of Israelis in L.A. and New York; cocaine distribution in connection with Italian, Russian, Armenian and Mexican organized crime; money laundering; and murder. The group also had access to extremely sophisticated counter-surveillance technology and data, which was a disaster for LAPD. According to LAPD internal documents, the Israeli crime group obtained the unlisted home phone, cell phone, and pager numbers of some 500 of LAPD’s narcotics investigators, as well as the contact information for scores of federal agents – black info, numbers unknown even to the investigators’ kin. The Israelis even set up wiretaps of LAPD investigators, grabbing from cell-phones and landlines conversations with other agents – FBI and DEA, mostly – whose names and phone numbers were also traced and grabbed.
LAPD was horrified, and as the word got out of the seeming total breakdown in security, the shock spread to agents at DEA, FBI and even CIA, who together spearheaded an investigation. It turned out that the source of much of this black intel could be traced to a company called J&J Beepers, which was getting its phone numbers from a billing service that happened to be a subsidiary of Amdocs.

What possible reason could anyone in the FBI have to be concerned about Israeli spying since Pollard went to prison in the 80s?  They must be a bunch of Conspiracy Theorists.

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