War and Piece:: “Franklin, a religious Catholic in his late 50s, lives in Kearneysville, West Virginia . . . [with] his wife Patricia and their five children . . . Franklin has a doctorate in East Asian studies from St. John’s University . . . and speaks Farsi, Arabic, French, Spanish, Russian and Chinese . . .

In conversations about Franklin with his colleagues, one of the words that comes up again and again is ‘naive.’ He is described as an ideologue who believes wholeheartedly in the neo-conservative approach . . .

The thesis that this is an ambiguous case, and that Franklin may not have known the seriousness of what he was doing, is gaining traction in articles in the Los Angeles Times, the New York Times, and the New York Sun. Several media are reporting today that Franklin, if charged at all, is likely to get charged with a lesser crime than espionage, most likely that of mishandling classified information.

Juan Cole is skeptical that a PhD, veteran DIA analyst, Office of Special Plans insider could be so naive. And Cole is extremely correct that the portrayal of Franklin as a ‘low level desk grunt’ is ridiculous: Franklin is the Pentagon’s top Iran analyst, he was specifically brought into the Office of the Secretary of Defense because he shared the neocon worldview of Feith, Luti and Wolfowitz, and he was very much part of the inner circle. He was also part of a rogue Pentagon Iran intelligence back channel that I have researched intensively”


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