After Attorney General Eric Holder ordered the dropping of all espionage charges against former American Israel Public Affairs Committee (AIPAC) officials Steve Rosen and Keith Weissman, it now appears likely that their Pentagon source of a number of Top Secret and Top Secret Sensitive Compartmented Information (TS/SCI) documents, convicted former Defense Intelligence Agency (DIA) officer and Army Reserve Lieutenant Colonel Larry Franklin, will also get a sweetheart deal that will see his his 12-year prison sentence commuted.
Franklin's main Mossad contact in Washington during his espionage activities for Israel was Uzi Arad, Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu's current National Security Adviser and, officially, a "retired" Mossad officer. The Bush administration barred Arad from entering the United States due to his involvement in the Pentagon spy ring, however, the Obama administration has lifted the travel ban. Arad is now able to freely enter and exit the United States in order to peddle Israeli influence and coordinate further espionage operations aimed at undermining America's opposition to the right-wing extremist and expansionist policies of the Israeli government. Franklin's other Mossad contact was Naor Gilon, whose Mossad official cover was as Minister-Counselor for Political Affairs of the Israeli embassy in Washington. Gilon remains in that position and has not been declared persona non grata for his espionage activities.
WMR has learned from informed sources that the acting U.S. Attorney for the Eastern District of Virginia, Dana J. Boente, who was instrumental in dropping the case against Rosen and Weissman, is now engaged in negotiations with Justice Department lawyers and U.S. Judge for the Eastern District of Virginia T.S. Ellis to hammer out a deal whereby Franklin will not be required to report to a minimum security federal prison in western Maryland and have the $10,000 fine imposed on him vacated.
On May 14, a sealed motion was filed by Boente and her team at the U.S. Court for the Eastern District. The sealed motion simply stated: "SEALED MOTION by USA as to Lawrence Anthony Franklin." A hearing before Ellis on the motion has been scheduled for June 12 at 9:00 am at the U.S. District Court in Alexandria, Virginia.
WMR has reported that Franklin has had a long association with Israeli intelligence and their interlocutors in Washington, DC.
On August 2, 2005, WMR reported: "An on-going criminal investigation in Italy has yielded copies of the minutes of meetings held at the U.S. Embassy in Rome in 1995 attended by a "Colonel Franklin" from the United States, leading Italian neo-Fascist politicians (including Deputy Prime Minister Giancarlo Fini), and Likud officials from Israel. The meetings were held to arrange for lucrative telecommunications and military contracts for Israeli companies with the U.S. government.
Air Force Reserve Colonel, Defense Intelligence Agency (DIA) and Pentagon Bureau of Near East and South Asian Affairs employee Lawrence (Larry) A. Franklin was recently indicted for passing classified information to two American Israel Public Affairs Committee (AIPAC) employees. The top Mossad official at the Israeli embassy in Washington and other Israeli agents are also under investigation by the FBI. Franklin served in the U.S. Air Force Reserves since 1976 and was posted to the DIA and Defense HUMINT Services. While serving his two week active duty stints, Franklin was intermittently posted to the Air Attache office at the U.S. Embassy in Tel Aviv. Franklin, who touted an aggressive military approach against Iran, also reportedly attended a December 2001 meeting in Rome on opening up back channels to Iranian dissidents. Attending the meeting, in addition to Franklin, were leading neo-con Michael Ledeen of the American Enterprise Institute and Karl Rove's chief foreign policy advisor; Pentagon neocon Harold Rhode; Iran-contra figure and known fabricator Manucher Ghorbanifar; Italian SISMI military intelligence chief Nicolo Pollari; Italian Defense Minister Antonio Martino; and a number of Iranian dissidents."
On November 17, 2006, WMR reported: "Federal law enforcement sources report that a senior retired Mossad officer is the subject of a sealed indictment in the Larry Franklin-America Israel Public Affairs Committee (AIPAC) espionage case. The retired officer, a former terrorism adviser to Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu, worked under a relatively new type of Israeli intelligence cover in Washington -- association with a think tank, in this case the neo-conservative Hudson Institute." That retired Mossad officer was Uzi Arad, now Netnayahu's top national security adviser.
On August 10, 2006, WMR reported: "Larry Franklin, the Pentagon Office of Special Plans Iran and Defense Intelligence Agency (DIA) analyst and reserve Air Force Lieutenant Colonel who was temporarily posted at the U.S. embassy in Tel Aviv, served as a virtual personal liaison for Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld, according to U.S. intelligence sources who have spoken to WMR . . . Although the Pentagon quickly distanced itself from Franklin after his arrest and revelations of the AIPAC-Mossad espionage program, U.S. intelligence sources report that Franklin accompanied Rumsfeld on his May 1, 2003 and February 26, 2004 trips to Kabul, Afghanistan and acted as his personal Pushto and Dari interpreter with Afghan officials. The sources claim that Franklin had a collegial photograph taken of himself with Rumsfeld and Afghan President Hamid Karzai during the Afghan visit. Franklin also speaks Farsi, Urdu, Arabic, and Hebrew. Franklin boasted to his colleagues that he learned the languages from his Pakistani, Afghan, and Iranian colleagues and bosses while working as a tax cab driver in New York City. U.S. intelligence officials also revealed that Franklin repeatedly attempted to recruit other U.S. intelligence personnel to work in a 'NOC' or 'non official cover program.' Later, it was discovered the 'NOC' program was not American but Israeli. The fact that Franklin was so close to Rumsfeld, whose coterie of advisers has been very small and largely non-inclusive of uniformed military personnel, makes Rumsfeld a prime suspect in the AIPAC espionage case and a possible severe national security risk.