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Former Pentagon official sentenced 12 years for classified info leak

[JURIST] US District Court Judge T.S. Ellis III of the Eastern District of Virginia [official website] on Friday sentenced former Pentagon analyst Lawrence A. Franklin [Wikipedia profile] to 12 years and 7 months in federal prison for leaking classified information in 2003 about potential attacks on US forces in Iraq. Franklin, who pleaded guilty [JURIST report] in October, passed the information to an Israeli embassy official, Naor Gilon, and two former members of the American Israel Public Affairs Committee (AIPAC) [advocacy website] who allegedly disclosed the information to the press and foreign officials. He will not begin serving his sentence until after the trials of Steven Rosen and Keith Weissman [indictment, PDF; JURIST report], whose lawyers claim the lobbyists' discussions with Franklin are protected by the First Amendment. Ellis handed down a sentence, which could be decreased if Franklin cooperates in the Rosen and Weissman trials, that sits at the low end of federal sentencing guidelines because he believed Franklin's claim that he leaked the information to protect the US against threats from an unspecified nation in the Middle East. AP has more.

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