The New York Times
According to the Times, Larry Franklin was cooperating with investigators when he was exposed. And he didn't have much access to Wolfowitz, anyway. And he didn't have any input into policy. He was just a grunt, a bottom feeder, a low level employee. No arrest in the case is imminent, because it's not clear whether Franklin broke the law. Plus, AIPAC says they never got anything, and Israel says the same, and it's all a load of insinuations and falsehoods.
Okay. So the guy who wasn't doing anything wrong when he did it, and didn't do it anyway, was cooperating with investigators as a matter of fact, and now we won't be able to catch the people he was contacting when he wasn't doing anything illegal and neither were they, because they weren't doing anything at all.
You know, this story sounds incredibly like what happened to the al-Qaeda operative that Pakistan caught in time to be announced by the Bush administration on the day John Kerry accepted the nomination...except that he'd been caught a few weeks earlier, and his exposure sent British officials scrambling to arrest the al-Qaeda cell the operative had been setting up. And now it turns out that Franklin had been cooperating too! Yeah, that's the ticket!
I love this: in the paragraph where "prosecutors have not yet clearly established whether Mr. Franklin broke the law," the very next sentence is:
But the officials said there was evidence that he turned the classified material over to officials at the American Israel Public Affairs Committee.So giving people without security clearance classified material is not clearly against the law? I'm not going to pretend that all classified material should be classified - people with power to classify must be tempted to classify personally embarassing information all the time.
But a draft of a presidential directive about policy towards Iran? That sounds like something that should be kept under wraps.
So here's what we're looking at. This is a bunch of smokescreen that the Times repeated, with just enough information to make those paying attention say, "Wait a minute..." What this means is:
A) Franklin was doing just what people higher up in the "food chain" wanted, and can prove it
B) this type of information sharing happens all the time between mid-level officials and friendly foreign countries, and Franklin's exposure threatens everybody's payola
Which do I think it is? Since the article floats the idea of Franklin getting off scotfree, the first seems more plausible to me. Time may tell...