Three articles on the “Israeli Spy”

Folks, as you know, the media is running with yet another allegation of an Israeli spy at the Pentagon. Over the weekend, the Washington Post reported that Pentagon analyst Larry Franklin was under investigation for slipping a draft Iran policy paper, known as a National Security Policy Directive, to members of AIPAC.

A senior law enforcement official and administration sources said the Franklin investigation stems from a two-year FBI probe into who leaked top secret war plans for Iraq published by the New York Times on July 5, 2002.

A scholar at the American Enterprise Institute and a friend of Franklin, Michael Ledeen, said, “Larry Franklin is a little person, he is not a political player. Think before you destroy a little person. When the FBI has a case against someone, they go to a grand jury, they indict him and arrest and put him away, they don’t go to Leslie Stahl [of CBS].” (New York Sun, 30 Aug 04) Here are three articles on the subject, compiled from Daily Alert:

  1. Is There a Jewish Conspiracy at the Pentagon? – David Frum

    Somebody sold CBS News, NBC, and the Washington Post a grand conspiracy theory of sinister Zionist influence in the Pentagon based on what really? The theory alleges that a) Two years ago, some Pentagon planners wrote a draft memo suggesting that the U.S. adopt a tougher policy toward Iran; b) One of those planners then supposedly informed a friend at the American Israel Public Affairs Committee about the memo – who in turn informed the Israeli embassy. The memo in question – a draft of a proposed presidential policy directive for Iran – was essentially rejected. The Bush administration has opted since 2001 for a policy of engagement and attempted compromise with Iran. For all practical purposes, the memo was an expression of something close to a purely personal opinion. Discussing policy options with knowledgeable people – and even with allied governments – is not “espionage.” Which is why, after 18 months of investigation, the investigators were about to drop the matter. It looks as if whoever leaked the story leaked it precisely because he or she was annoyed that the investigators were concluding that the whole thing was much ado about nothing. (National Review) See also The Israeli-Mole Story Doesn’t Add Up – Michael Ledeen (National Review)

  2. An Israeli Spy? – Editorial

    The draft “national security presidential directive” that Larry Franklin is accused of having given to AIPAC has been described as little more than a wordier version of a Wall Street Journal op-ed piece. If it was secret, it was because of American political sensitivity, not any genuine security concerns. The document may not have been labeled classified at all until some time after it was written. The existence of the draft directive was, in any case, no secret. A June 15, 2003, Washington Post dispatch by Michael Dobbs reported that “the national security presidential directive on Iran has gone through several competing drafts and has yet to be approved by Bush’s senior advisers, according to well-placed sources.” If some of Dobbs’s well-placed sources were in the State Department and arguing for a softer line against Iran, we’d like to see them subjected to the same FBI scrutiny as Franklin. (New York Sun, 30 Aug 04)

  3. Allegations of Israeli Spying Usually Disappear – Eventually – Alex Safian

    Reports that the FBI suspects a mid-level Pentagon employee specializing in Iranian affairs of conveying classified documents to the pro-Israel lobby AIPAC have led to a predictable storm of press coverage, much of it overheated. CBS led its Nightly News on Friday with its “scoop,” and ABC’s “Nightline” replaced its scheduled program with coverage of the story. For some unexplained reason, the “Nightline” program included a segment on the USS Liberty incident and an interview with discredited Israel-basher and conspiracy theorist James Bamford. (CAMERA) See also Did CBS Smear Israel and AIPAC? – Richard Baehr and Ed Lasky (FrontPageMagazine) .