Franklin Met Israeli Intelligence Attaché

Ben Kaspit - Maariv International - Sept. 6, 2004

Israeli officials confirm report, say he was giving Franklin information, emphasize that everything was open and above board.

Larry Franklin, the Pentagon analyst suspected of possible negligence and improper handling of classified materials met with several Israeli diplomats, including Col. "Y", the Military Intelligence attaché. This has been confirmed to Maariv by senior diplomatic sources.

The sources add that OC Military Intelligence (MI) Maj. Gen. Aharon Ze'evi-Farkash was aware of these contacts. They emphasized that the meetings were held openly, no attempt was made to hide them in any way, as there was nothing to hide.

Col. Y is an accredit intelligence attaché, known to US authorities, and stationed in the US with the full knowledge and approval of the US government, as part of the long standing intelligence cooperation between the two countries. "Col Y's prime function is to ensure information obtained by MI is shared with relevant US agencies. Any meetings he had with Franklin were within this context".

"Most countries have intelligence and military attaches as part of their diplomatic missions", said a senior diplomatic source. "Israel and the US have several such functionaries at their respective embassies. These include both military intelligence attaches and representatives of their civilian intelligence agencies (CIA, Mossad). This is common practice, and is quite straightforward and above board as long as both sides play by the agreed upon rules, and do not abuse their privileges. No evidence of any such abuse has come to light in this case", said the source.

IDF sources have confirmed this. "The two held work-related meetings, which were conducted according to guidelines, well within the parameters of appropriate diplomatic norms and conduct", said a senior IDF source.

Last week, CBS revealed that the FBI has been investigating a Pentagon employee on suspicion he had passed on classified information to Jewish or Israeli officials in Washington. The Washington Post and Los Angeles Times, the two main papers covering the case subsequently reported that the prime target of the probe was AIPAC, the powerful Washington based pro-Israeli lobby.

A western intelligence source intimately familiar with Washington has told Maariv International that the most remarkable aspect of the probe that generated the entire affair is its broad sweep. "Whoever is behind this has already succeeded, with nothing more than a sophisticated application of smoke and mirrors, in impugning the entire top advisory level of the Pentagon, including Deputy Defense Secretary Wolfowitz, Undersecretary of Defense Douglas Feith and Deputy Undersecretary William Luti. The latter is perhaps the ultimate target, as he founded and oversaw the "Office of Special Plans", a newly created Pentagon unit deeply involved in intelligence analysis and policy formulating pertaining to international terror, Iraq and Iran".

"The unit has repeatedly come under fire from anti administration forces both within and outside the US intelligence community, who claim it was set up to enable the Pentagon hawks to bypass the CIA".

"The possibility that a disgruntled US intelligence element, feeling itself sidelined by the administration decided to strike out by making sensational allegations against Israel, in order to discredit the entire Bush policy team cannot be ruled out at this stage, in light of the fact that all that has come out so far are innuendo unsupported by facts. The most important and potentially toxic aspect of this innuendo is the implied link between the current scandal and the Pollard affair. The clear implication is that US policy making at the highest level is being manipulated by Israel, couching in polite PC terms the same sentiments called ZOG by the politically incorrect who openly flaunt their racist, anti-Semitic and white supremacist ideologies. This could cause Israel incalculable, and possibly irreversible harm, even if in the end it transpires that the FBI has no case, and that no wrongdoing was done, other than perhaps a bit of negligence and all too human lapse of judgment. Whoever is behind this is playing a very dangerous game, lighting a fire next to a gas station".

"It is unclear whether the leaking of the probe was done by someone with a political agenda, interested in boosting Kerry's chances by creating an atmosphere in which charges that US policy under Bush may not have had US interests at heart could be leveled at the administration. Another possibility is that the initial leak may have been connected to inter-agency turf wars within the intelligence community, the subsequent spin was politically motivated".

  • See Also: The Franklin/AIPAC Spy Case Page