Friday, January 14, 2005

Eli Lake's Smear of David Szady in JewishWorldReview.com

'Spy'case not what originally claimed: "‘Spy’ case not what originally claimed by GOTCHA! media

By Eli Lake

http://www.jewishworldreview.com | An investigation into a mid-level Pentagon analyst is likely to focus on the misuse of classified materials, senior law enforcement officials told The New York Sun, and not the much more serious charge of espionage on behalf of Israel.


The investigation into Larry Franklin, an Iran analyst who worked in the Pentagon's policy shop, is being led by David Szady, the head of counterintelligence for the FBI. Mr. Szady, who used to lead the CIA's counterintelligence espionage unit, has developed a reputation in the intelligence community for chasing phantoms. For years, Mr. Szady pursued CIA official Brian Kelly who was believed to be a Russian mole, when the whole time the FBI's own Robert Hanssen was Moscow's spy. Mr. Szady has also led investigations into Jewish American CIA employees believed to be spying for Israel that have also failed to persuade the Justice Department even to investigate the cases.


Mr. Franklin, who is not Jewish, has been a longtime analyst of Iran who one colleague described as "mild mannered and patriotic but at times exasperating." An avid practitioner of martial arts, Mr. Franklin was a former employee of the Defense Intelligence Agency where he often clashed with senior agency officials on their estimates of Iranian-directed terrorist activities.


Over the weekend, the Washington Post reported that Mr. Franklin was under investigation for slipping a draft Iran policy paper, known as a National Security Policy Directive, to members of the American Israel Public Affairs Committee. A former American official familiar with the document said it was classified "secret" and did not contain either intelligence sources or the methods of gathering intelligence.


A senior law enforcement official and administration sources told the Sun that 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.


This is not a matter of U.S. security being damaged," a senior law enforcement official said. "And the material wasn't of a top secret nature — it was draft policy papers and position papers and stuff like that. The Israelis could have gotten the same stuff from conversations with their counterparts at State or the White House.

At a July 21, 2002, press conference Mr. Rumsfeld said, "It's inexcusable, and they ought to be in jail." In a memo circulated to the Pentagon, Mr. Rumsfeld condemned the improper disclosure of classified information and encouraged staff members to put an end to the practice. "I have spoken publicly and privately, countless times, about the danger of leaking classified information," he wrote. "It is wrong. It is against the law."


More recently at a Senate Armed Services Committee hearing on August 17, Mr. Rumsfeld speculated, "I wonder if our government can keep a secret."


Senior law enforcement officials and administration sources told the Sun that the official under investigation, Mr. Franklin, would not likely be charged with espionage. The Washington Post and CBS News reports over the weekend mentioned the possibility of espionage charges.


"This is not a matter of U.S. security being damaged," a senior law enforcement official said. "And the material wasn't of a top secret nature — it was draft policy papers and position papers and stuff like that. The Israelis could have gotten the same stuff from conversations with their counterparts at State or the White House.""

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