In 2005, the FBI filed criminal charges against a Pentagon official, Colonel Lawrence Franklin, and a former National Security Council analyst now working for the Brookings Institution, Kenneth Pollack. Both men were suspected, independently, of turning State secrets over to two top agents of the American Israel Public Affairs Committee (AIPAC), Steve J. Rosen and Keith Weissman who seemingly transmitted them to the Chargé d’Affairs of the Israeli Embassy in Washington, Naor Gilon.

The FBI investigation pinpointed the facts, but failed to qualify them. Were such secrets provided freely or as part of an information swap? Was espionage committed or was it a leak? Did the outing of these secrets damage the United States for the benefit of its Israeli ally?

Accidentally, computer equipment and files seized by the FBI disclosed that AIPAC, which defines itself as "a pro-Israeli lobby in America", had funded the career of French political leader Nicolas Sarkozy. At that time, the Israeli Ambassador in Paris had raced to the Elysée Palace to assure President Jacques Chirac that Israel was in no way involved in such interference, attributing it to certain over-zealous friends in the United States.

Whatever the case may be, caught up in an internal political storm, Lawrence Franklin was given a mandatory sentence of 12 years and 7 months for espionage, which was however reduced to 10 months and 100 hours of social work.

Having stood by its employees for a long time, AIPAC ended up dumping them. Left jobless and in the throes of several judicial proceedings, Steve J. Rosen [left in the photo, walking with his lawyer] turned against his former employer, giving rise to a huge unpacking. It transpires that AIPAC frequently receives from various sources classified information that it uses to promote Israel’s interests.


All the documents related to the case of Steve J. Rosen v. AIPAC can be accessed on the Institute for Research: Middle East Policy website.