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Judge: Officials must testify

Bush advisers face subpoenas over the leaking of classified information.

Associated Press
Published November 3, 2007


WASHINGTON - Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice and some of President Bush's top foreign policy advisers must testify about conversations with pro-Israel lobbyists, a federal judge ruled Friday in a trial over the misuse of classified information.

Two former American Israel Public Affairs Committee lobbyists are accused of passing classified information to an Israeli official and the press. They argue, however, that the U.S. regularly uses the pro-Israel group to send communications to others, and they say Rice can verify that unofficial but sanctioned role.

Lobbyists Steven Rosen and Keith Weissman subpoenaed Rice, national security adviser Stephen Hadley, deputy national security adviser Elliott Abrams, former Deputy Defense Secretary Paul Wolfowitz and a dozen others to testify.

Prosecutors unsuccessfully challenged the subpoenas. If the officials testify, the trial in federal court in suburban Alexandria, Va., could offer a look at the way U.S. foreign policy is crafted.

The lobbyists are accused of receiving and relaying classified information about the al-Qaida terror network, U.S. policy in Iran and the bombing of the Khobar Towers dormitory in Saudi Arabia, prosecutors said.

U.S. District Judge T.S. Ellis III said the lobbyists have a right to argue that "they believed the meetings charged in the indictment were simply further examples of the government's use of AIPAC as a diplomatic back channel."

Facing subpoenas

Some of the current and former officials who face subpoenas:

Condoleezza Rice, secretary of state

Richard Armitage, former deputy secretary of state

William Burns, U.S. ambassador to Russia

Marc Grossman, former undersecretary of state for political affairs

Lawrence Silverman, deputy chief of mission of the U.S. Embassy to the Slovak Republic

Matthew Bryza, deputy assistant secretary of state

Marc Sievers, political officer, U.S. Embassy to Israel

David Satterfield, senior adviser to the secretary of state and coordinator for Iraq

Stephen Hadley, national security adviser to President Bush

Elliott Abrams, deputy assistant to the president and deputy national security adviser for global democracy strategy affairs

Kenneth Pollack, former director for Persian Gulf affairs for the National Security Council

Paul Wolfowitz, former deputy secretary of defense

Douglas Feith, former undersecretary of defense

Michael Makovsky, former employee of the Office of the Secretary of Defense, Office of Near East and South Asia

Lawrence Franklin, former Department of Defense employee


[Last modified November 3, 2007, 01:22:21]

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