Saturday, August 28, 2004

What Does It Take?

From the Washington Post:

The FBI is investigating a mid-level Pentagon official who specializes in Iranian affairs for allegedly passing classified information to Israel, and arrests in the case could come as early as next week, officials at the Pentagon and other government agencies said last night.

The name of the person under investigation was not officially released, but two sources identified him as Larry Franklin. He was described as a desk officer in the Pentagon’s Near East and South Asia Bureau, one of six regional policy sections. Franklin worked at the Defense Intelligence Agency before moving to the Pentagon’s policy branch three years ago and is nearing retirement, the officials said. Franklin could not be located for comment last night.

One government official familiar with the investigation said it is not yet clear whether the case will rise to the level of espionage or end up involving lesser charges such as improper disclosure or mishandling of classified information.

According to other news reports (which refuse to mention Franklin’s name), this man works under Paul Wolfowitz and Doug Feith, the architects of Bush’s foreign policy.

Correct me if I’m wrong, but if this had occurred during a Democratic administration, there would be congressional hearings and conservative pundits screaming from the top of the Washington Monument for the head of the Secretary of Defense to be delivered on a stake. But it’s Rummy, so….

Let’s not jump to any conclusions about Mr. Franklin or what he did or didn’t do; which is a benefit of the doubt you’re not likely to hear from the conservative side. And there’s going to be attempts at espionage regardless of who’s in the White House. But given the track record of this Pentagon, you have to wonder what does it take before someone who really matters gets their ass handed to them.