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AIPAC Spy Figure Larry Franklin Describes Mafia-Style Murder Threat


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Somebody wanted Larry Franklin out of the way.

In court documents filed last week, a sketchy tale surfaced suggesting that someone wanted Franklin, the former Pentagon analyst who had agreed to testify against two pro-Israel activists on charges of espionage, dead.

In a Tuesday, June 30 interview, Franklin and his attorney Plato Cacheris, the famed criminal defense lawyer, elaborated on the shadowy incident.

"Somebody approached Larry and suggested it would be good if Larry could disappear and fake a suicide," Cacheris said, "and this person would assist him in doing that."

Franklin didn't take it that way: It was more like a page out of The Sopranos, which would end with him disappearing -- forever.

"Larry listened to him and called me," Cacheris continued: "And I said, 'You've got to report this to the Bureau.'"

He did.

It would seem a simple crime, something that could be made public, with an arrest warrant issued.

But now it's entangled in national security. Franklin and Cacheris are prohibited from identifying the person who made the "offer."

"It's under seal," said Cacheris, who is representing Franklin free of charge.

"There's some sort of investigation going on" by the FBI, Cacheris said. "There's something going on that they're doing that we don't know about."

Franklin, whose 13-year sentence was eventually suspended because of his cooperation with the government in the celebrated spy case involving the American Israel Public Affairs Committee, spoke publicly about the incident for the first time in an interview with SpyTalk earlier this week.

A man approached him at work, he said. It was sometime after 2005, when he was charged with providing classified information to AIPAC employees Steven J. Rosen and Keith Weissman, and their trial on espionage charges, which was repeatedly delayed by legal jousting over the past few years.

The charges against Rosen and Weissman were finally dropped in May, with the government saying the federal judge presiding over the case had set an impossibly high bar to prove the two intended to harm the national security of the United States.

But for four years, Franklin was slated to be the government's key witness against them.

In an interview on Tuesday, June 20, Franklin described the incident for the first time.

He was prohibited from naming the man who approached him.

"It was in West Virginia. I was parking cars at the time. He came to see me at the Charles Town Race Track. He said, 'Let's go to lunch and talk about raising money for my defense.'

"And we talked about all these rich people," Franklin continued. "But first I had to agree to a scheme...

"I was going to go somewhere, and it was going to be arranged that I could occasionally meet my wife. It was supposed to be on a bridge."

In Israel?

"No," he said. "Florida."

Who was the man who approached him?

"Well, the guy was definitely a Zionist," Franklin said. "And he was a true believer. And like a lot of true believers, he's beyond good and evil. They're not subject to the laws the rest of us are."

Like laws against murder.

"I felt this isn't real. This is a set-up," Franklin said.

"As I was saying to someone recently, I grew up on the streets of New York, and when you fake a suicide -- Well, if you're dead to everyone else, it's a lot easier to get rid of you."

"He wouldn't be a witness," Cacheris said.

"Did I let him know I took it that way?" Franklin added. "No. Did I take it that way? Internally, yes."

"He wouldn't be a witness," Cacheris said.

The FBI won't say anything about the Franklin case.

"There are some pending issues" with the Justice Department and federal court, a bureau spokesman said. "We won't be able to comment."

But to Franklin, it's open and shut: murder.
"Did I let him know I took it that way?" Franklin added. "No. Did I take it that way? Internally, yes."


Added: Jul-6-2009 Occurred On: Jul-6-2009
By: dan_man_
In:
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Tags: AIPAC, American Israeli Public Affairs Committee, Israel Lobby, spy, Florida, Zionist, Mafia, Franklin
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