Rice Sought for Testimony in Spy Case


The Associated Press
Sunday, March 12, 2006; 5:45 PM

ALEXANDRIA, Va. -- Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice and national security adviser Stephen J. Hadley are among the witnesses defense lawyers want to subpoena in the case of two pro-Israel lobbyists accused of receiving classified information.

Attorneys for Stephen J. Rosen and Keith Weissman filed the notices of subpoena with the U.S. District Court in Alexandria. Rosen and Weissman, former officials with the American Israel Public Affairs Committee, are scheduled to go on trial next month.

There is no indication whether the judge in the case has considered the subpoena requests. Under court rules, he must approve before Cabinet-level officers can be subpoenaed.

The names of Rice, Hadley and a number of other people the defense wants to call appeared on the online docket for the case Friday afternoon but by Sunday had been removed and replaced with the word "Witness." The docket indicated that the notices of subpoena had been made "in camera," or in private before a judge, and under seal.

Telephone calls to Rosen lawyer Abbe Lowell, Weissman lawyer John Nassikas, and to a spokesman for the federal court, Edward Adams, were not immediately returned on Sunday.

Along with Rice and Hadley, others named in the notices of subpoena filed last Wednesday included Elliot Abrams, deputy national security adviser; Richard Armitage, former deputy secretary of state; David Satterfield, deputy chief of the U.S. mission to Iraq; William Burns, U.S. ambassador to Russia; retired Marine Gen. Anthony Zinni; and Kenneth Pollack, a former CIA officer and current Mideast expert at the Brookings Institution in Washington.

Also listed was Lawrence Franklin, a top Pentagon analyst who was sentenced to more than 12 years in prison on Jan. 20 for giving classified information to Rosen, Weissman and an Israeli diplomat. Franklin had pleaded guilty to three felony counts in exchange for prosecutors dropping three other counts.

Attorneys for Rosen and Weissman have argued that the former AIPAC officials were engaged only in routine lobbying work. However, Franklin acknowledged that he met periodically with Rosen and Weissman between 2002 and 2004 and discussed potential attacks on U.S. troops in Iraq and other classified information.

During Franklin's sentencing, Judge T.S. Ellis III said Franklin believed the National Security Council was insufficiently concerned with the threat posed by an unspecified Middle Eastern nation and that leaking information might spur more serious action.

Evidence in the Franklin case suggest the unspecified nation was Iran. Weissman was AIPAC's top Iran expert before he and Rosen were fired in April 2005.