The Idiot

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Was Israel running a mole in the Pentagon? Newsweek, quoting an administration official, says the FBI investigation is "the most significant Israeli espionage investigation in Washington since Jonathan Pollard, an American who was imprisoned for life in 1987 for passing U.S. Navy secrets to the Israelis. The FBI and Justice Department are still reviewing the evidence, but one intelligence source believes Franklin may be arrested shortly."

Meanwhile, Israel's Ha'aretz quotes an official familiar with the investigation as telling the Los Angeles Times that the alleged mole, one Larry Franklin, "is not a spy, he's an idiot."

Well, the FBI was able to catch him, which must confirm that.

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  1. i’d only comment that wolfowitz, feith and the office of special plans seem to have been at the center of the chalabi thing, the plame thing, the iraq/wmd/yellowcake thing and now this.

    at some point — knowing that we will never see the evidence and that one must always analyze heuristically when analyzing a bureaucracy like our government — one must say that these men probably have an agenda in which the law, the ethical and their oath are secondary considerations.

  2. It’s generally been my experience that this adminstration releases damaging stories for Friday afternoons before long weekends, or when there is a press-hogging event scheduled for early the next week, and that they release said stories via a leak to a single news source, so that only one media outlet reports it initially.

    No way to tell whether this is a big story or not, but they sure are acting guilty.

  3. Hear, hear!, GM. Secondary considerations, indeed. But where are the references to Dostoevski. Fydor? Anyone?

  4. Damn, maybe Rick Barton was right all this time…

  5. Israel is such a useful knob for US presidents to fiddle with.
    Throw Israel some money: Get the US Jewish vote.
    Arrest an Israeli or pro-Israeli, and get Brownie points with Islamists.
    Very cost effective both ways.

  6. Last time I checked, National Review’s “The Corner” blog had exactly two posts about this spy at the top levels of the Pentagon, both of which were variations on the theme, “This can’t be true, because it sounds like something Bush-haters and/or anti-semites might say.” For all the yammering the Right does about Alger Hiss and the New Dealers, they don’t seem to have learned a god damn thing.

  7. At the same time, there are a couple dozen posts consisting of synonymns for “dirty” and “stupid,” used to describe NYC protestors.

    Good to know where their priorities are, eh?

  8. Juan Cole has an interesting take on this. It’s silly to think the guy is passing a draft of a policy document that was going to be made public anyway. Instead, Cole thinks they were passing it over for Israel’s input before it was finalized.

    I wonder if we sent a copy to France?

  9. Jeez, I check a post called “The Idiot” and I find that Ruthless, joe & Gadfly have already placed comments there.

    Hmmm, where does that leave me, I wonder.

  10. What happened to this post:

    The most recent reports are that no espionage charges will be filed and at most a charge of mishandling information will be the claim. It may not even rise to the misdeamenor level. The gist of the claim appears to be that Franklin gave information that he shouldn’t have to someone from AIPAC at a meeting which was authorized by the Defense Dept. These meetings go on all the time between government officials and representatives of lobbying groups. Hell, John Travolta even went to one from Sandy Berger, the NSA Director, concerning Germany, because he wanted to know about how Germany was treating Scientologists.

    Given that the head of FBI Counterintelligence for two decades of the Cold War was selling secrets to the KGB, and that if Pollard were any more obvious about what he was doing he would have had to wear a Black hat and Cloak with the word ‘SPY’ in big white letters on it, my vote is that Franklin is merely a boob.

    Comment by: Bart at August 30, 2004 10:34 AM

  11. Well, the evidence is starting to precipitate out into clear view:

    “Franklin has also been among the subjects of a separate probe being conducted by the Senate intelligence committee. Part of that investigation concerns alleged “rogue” intelligence activities by Feith’s staff.”

    http://msnbc.msn.com/id/5853706/site/newsweek/

    Douglas Feith is Undersecretary of Defense. Director of Policy

    Feith, was one of the authors, with a number of neocon biggies, of A Clean Break a 1996 policy advisory report written for Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and the Israeli government. The advisory advocated the elimination of Saddam Hussein as a primary goal. Baghdad was depicted as the lynch pin in the undermining of both Iran and Syria for the good of the Israeli State.

    Feith ran the Office of Special Plans, which was the fount of so many of the lies that motivated the war. It looks as if a number of people in the highest positions in the Pentagon may well have their greatest loyalty to the Israeli government. And, spying on us as well as lying us into a war that they think will benefit the Israeli government are part of their methods.

    This event recalls when Richard Perle, the man at the nexus of so many neo-con “pro-democracy” organizations that have a long history of advocating an attack on Iraq, in 1970 while working for Sen. “Scoop” Jackson’s office was caught on a NSA wiretap giving classified information to the Israeli Embassy.
    http://www.amconmag.com/03_24_03/cover.html
    http://www.theatlantic.com/issues/82may/hershwh2.htm

  12. If they get another Jonathan Pollard, then this may disrupt the balance for the perfect swap: Washington places Pollard on a flight for TLV while Jerusalem places Mordechai Vanunu on a flight for JFK.

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