Aug. 10, 2006 --
Rumsfeld and Israeli spy Larry Franklin reported to have been very close.
Larry Franklin, the Pentagon Office of Special Plans Iran and Defense Intelligence Agency (DIA) analyst and reserve Air Force Lieutenant Colonel who was temporarily posted at the U.S. embassy in Tel Aviv, served as a virtual personal liaison for Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld, according to U.S. intelligence sources who have spoken to WMR. Franklin, who pleaded guilty to passing classified information, including CIA Sensitive Compartmented Information (SCI), to two America Israel Public Affairs Committee (AIPAC) officials who passed the information to an Israeli embassy Mossad agent, was sentenced to twelve years and seven months in prison and a $10,000 fine in January. The two AIPAC employees, Steven Rosen and Keith Weisman, were indicted for illegally receiving classified information. Franklin and other neo-con cell members -- Harold Rhode and Michael Ledeen -- conducted secret negotiations with the knowledge of Rumsfeld and Pentagon policy chief Douglas Feith -- with the Iranian government through the offices of Iran-Contra co-conspirator Manucher Ghorbanifar. According to U.S. State Department sources, Rhode is also very close to Iranian neo-con ally and Iraqi oil industry majordomo Ahmad Chalabi and that the relationship is said to be more than merely professional.
Although the Pentagon quickly distanced itself from Franklin after his arrest and revelations of the AIPAC-Mossad espionage program, U.S. intelligence sources report that Franklin accompanied Rumsfeld on his May 1, 2003 and February 26, 2004 trips to Kabul, Afghanistan and acted as his personal Pushto and Dari interpreter with Afghan officials. The sources claim that Franklin had a collegial photograph taken of himself with Rumsfeld and Afghan President Hamid Karzai during the Afghan visit. Franklin also speaks Farsi, Urdu, Arabic, and Hebrew. Franklin boasted to his colleagues that he learned the languages from his Pakistani, Afghan, and Iranian colleagues and bosses while working as a tax cab driver in New York City.
Convicted Israeli spy Larry Franklin (l.) and Donald Rumsfeld (r.) reported by U.S. intelligence officers to have been "extremely close."
U.S. intelligence officials also revealed that Franklin repeatedly attempted to recruit other U.S. intelligence personnel to work in a "NOC" or "non official cover program." Later, it was discovered the "NOC" program was not American but Israeli.
The fact that Franklin was so close to Rumsfeld, whose coterie of advisers has been very small and largely non-inclusive of uniformed military personnel, makes Rumsfeld a prime suspect in the AIPAC espionage case and a possible severe national security risk.