Former Pentagon analyst pleads guilty
Iran specialist gave classified info to Israeli official, group
From Terry Frieden
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ALEXANDRIA, Virginia (CNN) -- Former Defense Department analyst Larry Franklin pleaded guilty Wednesday to conspiracy to divulge U.S. defense information to unauthorized people, namely an Israeli official and members of a pro-Israel lobbying group.
Franklin also pleaded guilty to the illegal possession of national defense information.
The 58-year-old said he had taken the documents to his West Virginia home to read them and prepare for questions about them.
He faces between 10 and 15 years in prison and a possible fine. The government agreed to recommend Franklin serve his time at a minimum security facility in Cumberland, Maryland.
Judge T.S. Ellis scheduled sentencing for January 20.
"It was never my intention even for a moment to harm the United States," Franklin told the court.
As part of a plea agreement, the government agreed to drop three other charges involving the sharing of national defense material.
Franklin admitted to sharing information with two officials who worked for the American Israel Public Affairs Committee, a pro-Israel lobbying group known as AIPAC.
AIPAC later fired the officials, Steven Rosen and Keith Weissman. They have pleaded not guilty to charges of unauthorized communication of national defense information and conspiracy involving such information. (Full story)
Franklin, who once worked on the Iran desk at the Pentagon, told the court he shared information with Rosen and Weissman so they could convey it to officials with the National Security Council.
"We talked about my frustration with the policy. I suggested strongly that they speak to people on the NSC," Franklin told the court, without identifying the policy in question.
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