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Saturday, August 28, 2004

JMM Chimes In

Over at TPM, Joshua Micah Marshall (one of two collegaues Laura Rozen mentioned working with on the forthcoming Washington Monthly piece dealing with Iran) adds his uniquely educated perspective on the Israeli spy case:

A few thoughts though about this story.

I'm told the evidence the FBI has on Franklin -- at least on the narrow facts of case -- is quite strong and involves wire tap information, though why a career DIA analyst like Franklin would allow himself to get tripped up on a phone call mystifies me.

The main focus thus far has been on the highly sensitive and troubling allegation that an ally, Israel, was spying on the United States or the recipient of classified information from a US government official.

However, I strongly suspect that as this story develops the bigger deal will be less the alleged recipient of the information, Israel, than the country that is the subject of the information, Iran.

I don't mean to imply that it's an either/or. It can very much be both. But the reportage thus far has understated the degree to which this is an Iran story -- it grows out of the simmering and unresolved administration battle over policy toward Iran.

As regular readers will be plainly aware, I'm inclined to agree with Josh.

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