A prosecution under the Espionage Act threatens the First Amendment.Read the rest.
Early in June 2004, an employee of the American Israel Pubic Affairs Committee, AIPAC--better known by its media tag, "the powerful Israeli lobby"--received an urgent phone call. Pentagon analyst Lawrence Franklin, a specialist on Iran, informed AIPAC lobbyist Keith Weissman that they had better meet because he had news of the most important kind to disclose. Mr. Weissman not surprisingly agreed to the rendezvous, held in Pentagon City, Va., where he was told about an imminent, Iran-directed assault on American troops and Israeli agents in Iraq. First, though, Mr. Franklin delivered a warning whose purpose would be clear only later. What he was about to tell him was highly classified, "Agency stuff," and having it could get him into trouble, he informed Mr. Weissman.
Mr. Weissman didn't know for some time that his trusted Pentagon informant--a man he and his AIPAC colleague had met with several times before--had, at this particular meeting, been wearing a wire for the FBI. Or that his warning that he was sharing highly classified stuff had been spelled out for the purpose of evidence gathering. Neither of the AIPAC lobbyists knew, then, that they had been entrapped in a sting, to lead ultimately to a remarkable legal show.