- The Washington Times - Sunday, August 7, 2005

A former official of a pro-Israel lobbying group indicted last week boasted that his Pentagon source was a “real insider” and promised to “do what I can” to help the source get a job with the National Security Council, court records show.

Steven J. Rosen, former director of foreign policy issues for the American Israel Public Affairs Committee, faces charges of conspiracy to give national defense information to persons not entitled to receive it. Also indicted was Keith Weissman, former senior Iran analyst at AIPAC.

Mr. Rosen, 63, of Silver Spring, and Mr. Weissman, 53, of Bethesda, are scheduled for arraignment Aug. 16 before U.S. District Court Judge T.S. Ellis III in Alexandria. They are accused of passing information from classified documents, although not the documents themselves. AIPAC fired the two men in April.

The 26-page indictment outlines an extensive FBI undercover investigation dating to 1999, when conversations between Mr. Rosen and Mr. Weissman with officials from foreign countries and others were monitored.

It said the AIPAC officials illegally disclosed information from classified reports, including data on terrorist activities in Central Asia, the Khobar Towers bombing in Saudi Arabia, U.S. strategy options in the Middle East and al Qaeda terrorists.

It said they also passed the information to reporters, who were encouraged to write stories.

In one exchange, according to the indictment, Mr. Rosen told a reporter about a classified draft internal policy document, saying, “I’m not supposed to know this,” but suggesting that it was a “considerable story.” In another instance, the indictment said, Mr. Rosen told a reporter that his information came from the “agency” and had been provided to him by “an American intelligence source.”

That intelligence source, the indictment said, was Lawrence A. Franklin, a veteran Pentagon analyst arrested in May by the FBI on charges of illegally disclosing classified information.

The indictment said Mr. Rosen first talked with Mr. Franklin in August 2002 after he called the Pentagon and asked for the name of someone with expertise on Iran. He was given Mr. Franklin’s name and left a message, which later was returned.

According to the indictment, Mr. Franklin disclosed at a February 2003 meeting national defense information on a draft report concerning “a Middle Eastern country.” Two days later, the indictment said, Mr. Rosen and Mr. Franklin discussed the Pentagon analyst’s prospects for a job with the National Security Council, with the AIPAC official saying that if he got the job, Mr. Franklin would be “by the elbow of the president.”

The indictment said Mr. Franklin asked Mr. Rosen to “put in a good word” for him, to which Mr. Rosen replied, “I’ll do what I can.” The indictment does not say what Mr. Rosen did, if anything, to help Mr. Franklin.

It said Mr. Rosen referred to Mr. Franklin as a “real insider” and that Mr. Weissman described him as a “friend of ours.”

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