Monday, March 13, 2006


Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice and National Security Adviser Stephen J. Hadley are among the witnesses who defense lawyers want to subpoena in the case of two pro-Israel lobbyists accused of receiving classified information.

Attorneys for Stephen J. Rosen and Keith Weissman filed the notices of subpoena with the U.S. District Court in Alexandria. Mr. Rosen and Mr. Weissman, former officials with the American Israel Public Affairs Committee (AIPAC), are scheduled to go on trial next month.

There is no indication whether the judge in the case has considered the subpoena requests. Under court rules, he must approve before Cabinet-level officers can be subpoenaed.

The names of Miss Rice, Mr. Hadley and a number of other people who the defense wants to call appeared on the online docket for the case Friday afternoon, but by yesterday, the names had been removed and replaced with the word “Witness.”

The docket indicated that the notices of subpoena had been made “in camera,” or in private before a judge, and under seal.

Telephone calls to Rosen lawyer Abbe Lowell, Weissman lawyer John Nassikas III and a spokesman for the federal court, Edward Adams, were not immediately returned yesterday.

Along with Miss Rice and Mr. Hadley, others named in the notices of subpoena filed last Wednesday included Elliot Abrams, deputy national security adviser; Richard L. Armitage, former deputy secretary of state; David Satterfield, deputy chief of the U.S. mission to Iraq; William Burns, U.S. ambassador to Russia; retired Marine Gen. Anthony Zinni; and Kenneth Pollack, a former CIA officer and current Mideast specialist at the Brookings Institution in Washington.

Also listed was Lawrence A. Franklin, a top Pentagon analyst, who was sentenced to more than 12 years in prison on Jan. 20 for giving classified information to Mr. Rosen, Mr. Weissman and an Israeli diplomat.

Franklin pleaded guilty to three felony counts in exchange for prosecutors dropping three other counts.

Attorneys for Mr. Rosen and Mr. Weissman have argued that the former AIPAC officials were engaged only in routine lobbying work. However, Franklin acknowledged that he met periodically with the two men from 2002 to 2004 and discussed potential attacks on U.S. troops in Iraq and other classified information.

During Franklin’s sentencing, Judge T.S. Ellis III said Franklin thought that the National Security Council was insufficiently concerned with the threat posed by an unspecified Middle Eastern nation and that leaking information might spur more serious action.

Evidence in the Franklin case suggests that the unspecified nation was Iran. Mr. Weissman was AIPAC’s top Iran analyst before he and Mr. Rosen were fired in April 2005.

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