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By thisistwitchy  •  April 21, 2005 07:59 AM

The American Israel Public Affairs Committee has fired two senior employees who are involved in a long-running federal investigation of possible Israeli spying in the United States, according to a New York Times article:

Officials have said Mr. Rosen and Mr. Weissman knew Lawrence A. Franklin, a Defense Department analyst who is suspected of giving them classified information that was subsequently provided to the Israelis…..

A spokesman for Aipac, Patrick Dorton, said on Wednesday, “The action that Aipac has taken was done in consultation with counsel after recently learned information,” adding that “the conduct that Aipac expects of its employees” was also considered. Mr. Lowell’s comment about Mr. Rosen and Mr. Weissman “represents solely their view of the facts,” Mr. Dorton said.

Mr. Franklin cooperated with the authorities at one point. In recent months, he has chosen not to help.

The espionage investigation was downplayed by conservative commentators when the story was first publicized last summer. Aipac’s disimssal of two high-ranking employees and Frankin’s unwillingness to cooperate with investigators should give pause.

Moreover, even some of Franklin’s defenders concede that classified information probably was mishandled. As many of my fellow conservatives noted in the Sandy Berger case, this is not a trivial offense–especially when our nation is at war.

Update: John Little at Blogs of War has extensive links and background.

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