Wednesday, October 05, 2005

Spies among us

Lawrence A. Franklin pled guilty to giving classified information to an Israeli embassy official and members of a pro-Israel lobbying group.

He "admitted giving classified information to a political official at the Israeli embassy, but said the information he received from the official was far more valuable than what he gave.

"'I knew in my heart that his government had this information,' Franklin said. 'He gave me far more information than I gave him.'"

Now, from what I understand, Israel has quite an extensive Intelligence capacity, so it mightn't be a huge stretch to believe that what he knew in his heart was actually true. However, he sold out his country, and the weak premise that he got more than he gave doesn't excuse his behavior and it shouldn't assuage any sense that he betrayed his own country.

He currently faces up to 25 years in prison for espianoge, but is expected to receive a far lighter sentence, according to the link above. This makes me ill. His sentence is most likely mitigated because he's a high level official with high level connections. Had he been an Air Force Master Sergeant who exchanged sensitive documents with any other nation, he'd most certainly face the stiffest penalties. If we are serious about controlling our security, then we need to dole out the heaviest punishment irrespective of the connections of the guilty party.

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