New York Times Hides Cheney Spy

· Edgewise, Paleoblogs, Yellowcake!

Hid him in plain sight, I might add, on the back page of the Saturday national edition. And here’s the bland headline to David Johnston’s inscrutable article on Paul Wolfowitz’s former minion in the Department of Defense’s “Office of Special Plans” who has just been sentenced to 12 years and seven months in prison (and the question is why a confessed spy gets such a short sentence) for handing over state secrets to Israeli “lobbyists” (spies): “[Former Military Analyst Gets Prison Term for Passing Information](http://www.nytimes.com/2006/01/21/national/21franklin.html?ex=1295499600&en=988d9ac6424c56ca&ei=5090&partner=rssuserland&emc=rss).”
Just to refresh, in 2001 Larry Franklin, a U.S. Air Force Reserve colonel and former attaché to the U.S. embassy in Tel Aviv, seems to have been in Rome and, along with Michael Ledeen (former Reagan “Iran-Contra” scandal figure and friend to Karl Rove) and to have talked with Italian officials about Iraqi WMD at about the same time that Paul Wolfowitz was setting up his Office of Special Plans in the Pentagon with Douglas Feith (then Bush’s Under Secretary of Defense for Policy) and William (Bill) Luti (former staffer to Dick Cheney and at that time Deputy Under Secretary of Defense, Special Plans & Near East and South Asia Affairs). Bill Luti later hired Larry Franklin to work in the secretive and highly influential Office of Special Plans which was the main dissementator of the bogus intelligence about Niger “yellowcake” sales to Iraq.
Bill Luti, Larry Franklin’s boss at the Office of Special Plans, was also, according to the U.S. Senate Select Committee on Intelligence, one of only two people allowed to read reports coming from the Iraqi National Congress in 2002. The other person was John Hannah, Dick Cheney’s Senior National Security Advisor. After “Scooter” Libby was indicted for obstruction of justice and lying to the FBI in connection with the Yellowcake/Valerie Plame scandal, Cheney appointed Bill Luti to replace one-half of Libby–the National Security Advisor half–while David Addington was appointed by Cheney to be Libby’s other half–Chief of Staff and Assistant to the President.
So, Larry Franklin was Bill Luti’s errand boy and Luti was Cheney’s errand boy and they all were dealing in classified intelligence from the CIA, along with their own private lines of “intelligence” from Iraqis working in a program funded by the U.S. State Department (Paul Wolfowitz), and who-knows-what from the Italian secret service.
Also in 2001, the FBI was conducting a sting operation in New Jersey and New York City to uncover Israeli spy operations (Israel officials deny they spy on us) and, while FBI agents were watching a restaurant in New Jersey where the suspected Israeli spies were lunching, they noticed Larry Franklin walk in and sit down with the suspects. The spies, who call themselves “lobbyists” (note to self) were Steven J. Rosen and Keith Weissman, both senior staff members of the American Israel Public Affairs Committee (AIPAC) which, as stated in today’s Times article “…was close to officials in the Bush administration.”
Years pass… we go to war on Iraq based on fake charges they are going to nuke us… and the FBI decides to “investigate” Larry Franklin because he refuses to cooperate with their continuing sting operation of Israeli spy cells. The FBI raids the offices of AIPAC in Washington (where else) and recovers hard drives and files that show Larry Franklin was passing classified information to the AIPAC “lobbyists”. On May 4, 2005 the FBI arrests Larry Franklin for violating the Espionage Act.
Larry Franklin then admits to passing classified information to the AIPAC “lobbyists” and an Israeli diplomat (unnamed) and, on January 19, 2006 Franklin is given a 12-year and 7-month sentence by Federal District Court Judge T.S. Ellis III who says at the sentencing that Mr. Franklin only desired to help the United States. Excuse me?!!
Since Franklin turned in “lobbyists” Rosen and Weissman, he won’t have to start serving his sentence until their trials are completed, at which time, according to Franklin’s lawyer “…the court will entertain a motion to reduce his sentence”. Entertain a motion, indeed. Perhaps Bush will entertain a notion to award him a medal of honor.
So, amongst all the hysteria about foreign terrorists and presidents spying on google users, you gotta hand it to the ol’ J. Edgar Hoover-Better Dead Than Red-Eleanor Roosevelt Was A Commie-FBI to catch actual spies who happen to be operating about as openly as Jack Abramoff at a Signature’s Restaurant fundraiser. The ol’ FBI. No fancy dancy Department of Homeland Security here. Just some Israeli spies…er lobbyists, a Cheney-affiliated Pentagon mole, and lots of classified documents.
What was in those documents anyway?? Oh, right. They’re classified.