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8/31/2004

New York Sun Article

The Village Voice adds some significant new information to the Larry Franklin picture:

The New York Sun reported Monday that the Franklin inquiry has its origins in a search for the person who leaked top secret war plans for Iraq published in The New York Times in early July 2002. At the time, Secretary of Defense Donald Rumsfeld was highly irritated by the leak and declared at a July 21, 2002, press conference, "It's inexcusable, and they ought to be in jail." Later, in a memo to Pentagon staff, Rumsfeld wrote, "I have spoken publicly and privately countless times about the danger of leaking classified information. It is wrong. It is against the law." According to the Sun, it's unlikely Franklin will be charged with espionage. "This is not a matter of U.S. security being damaged," a senior law enforcement official told the paper. "And the material wasn't of a top secret nature—it was draft policy papers and position papers and stuff like that. The Israelis could have gotten the same stuff from conversations with their counterparts at State or the White House."
I'm not sure that this is correct. Franklin specialized in Iran at the DoD, and by all means was much more an anti-Iran hawk than anti-Iraq. The article points to a New York Sun article that I would really like to see. It requires a subscription, though, and the Sun isn't available on Lexis past 8/20. Update, 6:13: via Rozen, the article is here. She explains that the leak of the Iraq war plan may have triggered the initial monitoring of AIPAC, into which Franklin stumbled.

Additionally, Mitch2k2's Kos diary links to a UPI article: Washington Times/UPI, 8/30:
Other sources briefed on the case, however, said another meeting occurred in Paris in June 2002 when Rhode "accidentally" bumped into Ghorbanifar, a meeting attended by Franklin, Rhode and Ruel Marc Gerecht, a former CIA operative, now a scholar with the American Enterprise Institute, and an assistant to Richard Perle, a former senior Defense Department official during the Reagan administration.
Ruel Marc Gerecht, aka Edward Shirley, is a former CIA case officer that has been harshly critical of the Agency since the mid-nineties. He is associated with PNAC and AEI, and is frequently published in the Weekly Standard.

 

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