Top classifiers to testify for AIPAC staffers


The two most recent U.S. classification czars will testify for  the defense in a case against two former AIPAC staffers.

William Leonard, who led the Information Security Oversight Office until last year, and his predecessor, Steven Garfinkel, were listed Friday on the docket of the U.S. Court for the Eastern District of Virginia as among eight expert defense witnesses in the case against Steve Rosen, the American Israel Public Affairs Committee’s former foreign policy chief, and Keith Weissman, its former Iran analyst.

The oversight office implements classification directives, so recruiting two of its former bosses is a coup for a defense that will argue that the information Rosen and Weissman allegedly received and relayed is not classified.

Also on the defense witness list is Carl Ford, the State Department’s top intelligence official from 2001 to 2003. Ford’s leadership coincides with much of the timeline in the indictment against Rosen and Weissman.

Other defense experts include Samuel Lewis and Edward Walker, former ambassadors to Israel; Mark Parris, a former ambassador to Turkey; Morton Halperin, the State Department’s top policy planner in the Clinton administration; and Max Frankel, the former executive editor of The New York Times.

Prosecution experts announced in December include Maj. Gen. Paul Dettmer, the Pentagon’s assistant deputy chief of staff for intelligence, surveillance and reconnaissance; William McNair, a retired top CIA official; and Dale Watson, the FBI’s former executive assistant director for counterterrorism and counterintelligence, who headed the agency’s investigation into the Sept. 11, 2001 attacks.

The case against Weissman and Rosen became known in August 2004 when the FBI raided AIPAC’s offices. The pair were indicted a year later; the latest of many trial dates is April 29.

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