Feith Aide Arrested

From Holden:

Is the Neocon sweater beginning to unravel?

The FBI arrested a Pentagon analyst Wednesday on charges that he illegally passed classified information about potential attacks against U.S. forces in Iraq to employees of a pro-Israel group.

Larry Franklin, 58, of Kearneysville, W. Va., turned himself in Wednesday morning, FBI spokeswoman Debra Weierman said. He was scheduled to make an initial appearance in U.S. District Court in Alexandria, Va., later Wednesday, Weierman said.

The charge is the first in an investigation dating back to 2001 about whether Israel improperly obtained classified U.S. information.

Franklin, who specialized on Iran and Middle Eastern affairs, allegedly gave the information to two people not entitled to receive it at a luncheon meeting at a restaurant in Arlington, Va., in June 2003, FBI agent Catherine Hanna said in an affidavit accompanying the criminal complaint against Franklin. The people at the lunch were employees of the American Israel Public Affairs Committee, a law enforcement official said on condition of anonymity because they are not identified in court papers.

[snip]

A Pentagon official said Franklin continued to work at the Pentagon until his arrest, but he could not immediately say what kind of work he performed or who was his immediate supervisor. The official spoke on condition of anonymity because the matter is under FBI investigation.

However, Franklin’s top secret security clearance was suspended in June 2004, the Justice Department said. He formerly worked in the office of policy undersecretary Douglas Feith.

The suspension followed a search of Franklin’s West Virginia home that turned up 83 classified documents, Hanna said.