Dubai, United Arab Emirates -- The latest spy tale in Washington, D.C.,
involving Larry Franklin, an intelligence analyst at the Defense
Department, and some of Israel's most important lobbyists in America, is
becoming deeper by the week.
Spy stories are always like that, but this one packs an intricate tale of a
trusted ally betraying America, a White House intent on using the misstep
to leverage its influence, and an American intelligence community that
feels it has been made to wear horns.
Clearly Israel has aroused the formidable bull and will be made to pay a
price. One can speculate from what we already know.
It started in late July this year, when a Catholic Pentagon analyst,
Franklin, telephoned a Jewish acquaintance of his who worked at a
pro-Israel lobbying group, the very influential American Israel Public
Affairs Committee (AIPAC).
The two men knew each other professionally. They spoke of U.S. policies on
Iran and Iraq periodically. That call was monitored by American
intelligence authorities who did not like what they heard, and it led to a
chain of events including an investigation of passing secret intelligence
information to Israel via intermediaries.
A report published by The Jewish Telegraphic Agency (JTA) last week asserts
that matters have progressed to a point that a grand jury investigation is
underway and may lead to the indictment of several prominent Jewish
lobbyists in the United States on charges of passing secret information to
But whenever greed and hubris take over, Israelis have gotten themselves
and their friends in trouble. With this particular White House of George W.
Bush, which takes no prisoners, the price Israel may be forced to pay is
make some concession to the Palestinians