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US diplomat provided information to Israeli lobby

Published Aug 19, 2005 12:00am

NEW YORK, Aug 18: The diplomat holding the second highest position at the United States embassy in Baghdad is one of the anonymous government officials cited in an Aug 4 indictment as having provided classified information to an employee of a pro-Israel lobbying group, said the New York Times on Wednesday quoting sources.

The diplomat, David M. Satterfield, was identified in the indictment as a US government official, ‘USGO-2’, the people briefed on the matter said. They asked not to be identified because many of the matters related to the case were classified, the report said.

In early 2002, USGO-2 discussed secret national security matters in two meetings with Steven J. Rosen, who had since been dismissed as a top lobbyist for the American Israel Public Affairs Committee and charged in the case, the newspaper said.

The indictment said that Mr Rosen met Mr Satterfield on Jan 18 and March 12, 2002.

It did not describe Mr Satterfield’s activities in detail, nor did it specify what classified information the diplomat discussed with the lobbyist. The meetings were also confirmed by documents, sources said.

The indictment did not accuse Mr Satterfield of any wrongdoing, nor did it indicate whether he might have been authorized to talk with the lobbyist. He is not believed to be the subject of a continuing investigation. He is the first higher-ranking government official to be caught up in the criminal inquiry. The paper said Mr Satterfield’s role in the inquiry had been known within a small circle at the state department.