A LOT OF PEOPLE ARE GOING TO BE ASKING ABOUT LARRY FRANKLIN in the next few days. Josh Marshall has been working on a related story for a long time and will be offering a lot on this — so do check what he says about this when he posts.
However, I have spoken this morning to someone this morning who has confirmed what CBS, CNN’s David Ensor, and Knight Ridder’s Warren Strobel and John Walcott have reported.
No one seems to want to mention names yet, but what has been reported is that the alleged high level “mole” working for Israeli interests worked for Douglas Feith, the Pentagon’s No. 3 official. The ‘person of interest’ is “a veteran of the Defense Intelligence Agency who moved to the Pentagon’s policy branch three years ago and had been nearing retirement,” according to the Washington Post.
The FBI is apparently investigating not only the flow of high level secrets from this individual to Israel, possibly through the American Israel Public Affairs Committee, but also meetings with and sensitive information passed on to Ahmed Chalabi and Manucher Ghorbanifar — which AEI scholar and Iran-Contra player Michael Ledeen helped set up.
I have to be a bit careful here because Josh Marshall is sitting on a ton of information that he needs to get out, but he is working with other people and news bureaus and has to handle some protocol.
What I have shared above comes from news reports on the web — the bulk of which I have just confirmed with sources of my own in the government.
As this story was breaking last night, one person instantly recognized the possibility that Larry Franklin, who participated with Harold Rhode in a secret meeting with Ghorbanifar, might be the target of the investigation.
I do not have confirmation that Larry Franklin has been fingered — but I was informed that Larry Franklin’s profile does in fact closely match the profile of the individual under investigation.
In fact, I was strongly encouraged that this might be the right track to follow. We should hear more today.
I just got a call from another source who finally confirmed for me that Larry Franklin is the target of the investigation.
This is going to open a big can of worms — and hopefully get the nation back into asking big questions about the Iraq War and how we got into it rather than refighting Vietnam.
— Steve Clemons