January 27, 2006

Israel-U.S.: Larry Franklin Sentenced to 12 Years

Pentagon analyst Larry Franklin was sentenced to 12 years in prison as part of plea bargain stemming from accusation that he provided classified information to lobbyists working for the state of Israel. He pleaded guilty to conspiracy and improper handling of classified material.

Yes, I know Larry Franklin. I worked with him at the Pentagon when we he was a DIA employee and I was assigned there in the late 1980s and early 1990s. He mostly worked Iran issues, as well as some involvement in our support to the Iraqis in the late 1980s.

At some point after my association with him and prior to the invasion of Iraq in 2003, he worked in the Office of the Secretary of Defense in the office that made the assessments that led to the recommendation to invade. After the invasion, he worked in the office responsible for reconstruction in Iraq - he offered me a job, but at the time I had accepted a position with NBC News (specifically with CNBC).

As I recall, he believed that we need to support Israel at all costs. It appears that is what got him in trouble. You're supposed to work WITH the Israelis, not FOR the Israelis.

Unfortunately, Larry is a colonel in the Air Force Reserve; I hope he does the right thing and resigns his commission.

Perhaps the former NSA employee who disclosed classified information to the New York Times should take note....