"Following Mr. Cacheris's agreement to defend Mr. Franklin, the bureau offered a deal whereby Mr. Franklin would plead guilty to the lesser charge of mishandling classified material, or section 793 of the U.S. Code. The lesser charge carries a maximum penalty of 10 years in prison. Mr. Cacheris said he refused the deal and that he intends to take the case to trial. Despite turning down the offer and ceasing to cooperate with the FBI, Mr. Franklin was charged with only mishandling, not espionage, on Tuesday."
"Mr. Cacheris told the Sun yesterday that he believed the FBI did not originally intend to investigate Mr. Franklin. 'We believe there was a pre-existing investigation that Larry Franklin is not involved in,' he said yesterday."
and (the best part; my emphasis in bold):
" . . . Mr. Franklin first approached Messrs. Rosen and Weissman in February or March 2003 for a meeting at the Ritz Carlton Hotel in Pentagon City, Va., with the intention of passing on threat information regarding Iran's plans for American soldiers in Iraq.
According to one source familiar with the case, Mr. Franklin was told by an aide to an undersecretary of defense, Douglas Feith, that the two Aipac lobbyists could get the threat information to the National Security Council. Mr. Rosen, in particular, has a reputation for high-level contacts with policy-makers in the executive branch. According to sources familiar with the case, the three men at this 2003 meeting discussed passing the threat information to National Security Council official Elliott Abrams."
So the story is now that Douglas Feith decided that the best way to get information to his colleague and fellow ultra-Zionist Elliott Abrams was to have it delivered through Franklin to AIPAC and then to Abrams? Very strange. Note that the story that Franklin was trying to pass on information concerning threats to Israeli agents in Kurdistan is now that he was trying to pass on information concerning threats from Iranians to Americans in Iraq. The idea that Franklin was trying to protect Americans from Iranians simultaneously makes Franklin more sympathetic and focuses the blame on Iran (which is of course on the current Zionist hit list), but has the disadvantage of making no sense. Why didn't Feith just pick up the phone and call Abrams? Mr. Rosen's "high-level contacts" may have been excellent, but they weren't better than Feith's. While this part of the new cover story makes no sense, AIPAC's continuing efforts to spin this scandal have now led directly to two big admissions:
- Israel was indeed using intelligence agents to manipulate events in Kurdistan; and
- Douglas Feith was behind the Franklin-AIPAC scandal (although probably not exactly in the way described in this article).
Is this why Feith had to leave the Bush Administration? Can we expect to see charges leveled against Feith? Was Franklin only charged with mishandling classified material because a more serious charge would also involve having to charge the guy who put him up to it, Feith?