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Thursday, October 06, 2005

Pentagon employee pleads guilty to spying for Israel


News Item:
A Pentagon employee has admitted in court he provided classified defense information to an Israeli diplomat and two employees of a pro-Israel lobby group.

Lawrence Franklin, 58, a specialist on Iran, Iraq and terrorism issues, worked at the time of the events for the number-three official at the Pentagon, Under Secretary of Defense for Policy Douglas Feith.

Asked how he pleaded on three charges against him, Franklin told US District Court Judge T.S. Ellis: "Guilty, your honor."

Franklin was charged in June with having transmitted secret information about an unidentified Middle Eastern country to an Israeli diplomat and two employees of the American Israel Public Affairs Committee (AIPAC) in 2003 and 2004, and with unlawful retention of classified materials.

Steven Rosen, AIPAC's former political director, and Keith Weissman, formerly an Iran expert at the organization, are suspected of having passed along information furnished by Franklin to Israel.

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