Larry Franklin – an Iran analyst at the Pentagon – has been arrested by the FBI and charged with a violation of United States Code Title 18 Â§ 793 – “Gathering, transmitting or losing defense information”. He made a brief appearance in U.S. District Court in Alexandria, Va., and was released on $100,000 bond under the condition he surrender his firearms and passport.
Franklin’s security clearance was suspended in June 2004 following a search of his West Virginia home that turned up 83 classified documents, according to an affidavit [PDF] by FBI agent Catherine Hanna that was made public today. According to the indictment, “approximately 38 were classified ‘Top Secret.’ 37 were classified ‘Secret,'” and “approximately 8” were marked “Confidential.” The real stunner: “The dates of these documents spanned three decades.”
But these documents may be only the tip of the proverbial iceberg. According to the Washington Post in a September, 2004 article:
“The counterintelligence probe, which is different from a criminal investigation, focuses on a possible transfer of intelligence more extensive than whether Franklin passed on a draft presidential directive on U.S. policy toward Iran, the sources said. The FBI is examining whether highly classified material from the National Security Agency, which conducts electronic intercepts of communications, was also forwarded to Israel, they said.”
Law enforcement sources reportedly said that the information passed concerned possible attacks against U.S. troops by Iranian-backed groups in Iraq. Franklin formerly worked in the office of policy undersecretary Douglas Feith.
Franklin is also reported to have met with an Israeli diplomat, Naor Gilon, who was apparently being watched by the authorities, according to this Newsweek report.
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