Satterfield Named in AIPAC Indictment

Nathan Guttman - The Jerusalem Post - August 18, 2005

David Satterfield, who served as the second-ranking Middle East officer in the State Department, is the US government official who is mentioned in the American Israel Public Affairs Committee indictment.

The US Justice Department is accusing two former officials in the lobby, former AIPAC policy director Steve Rosen and Keith Weissman, of unlawfully receiving classified information and passing it on to Israeli diplomats and to members of the press. Satterfield is not described as the source of this classified information in the indictment, which focuses on information the two AIPAC lobbyists received from Larry Franklin, an analyst in the Pentagon's Iran desk.

The New York Times reported Thursday that Satterfield was the person who was in touch with Rosen and that he was the one who discussed classified information with Rosen. Legal sources close to the case confirmed that Satterfield's name has come up in the context of the investigation.

The indictment, handed down on August 4, does not mention Satterfield by name, but refers to him as "Government Official 2" (USGO2). The indictment details two separate meetings Satterfield held with Rosen, both in 2002, in which classified information was discussed, though it is not clear what this information was and whether Satterfield has broken any law by discussing the information with the AIPAC lobbyist.

According to the report, the State Department consulted with the Department of Justice prior to appointing Satterfield to his new post, as deputy chief of mission in Baghdad, and was informed that Satterfield is not a suspect in the case and that it should have no effect on his new assignment.

As a senior official at the Near East bureau of the State Department, Satterfield was in close contact with all those who deal with the Middle East, including representatives of AIPAC.

Another US official is mentioned in the indictment as "Government Official 1" (USGO1). This official's name was not available, but it is presumed that he too is a former employee in the State Department Near East bureau.

Three Israeli diplomats are also mentioned in the case, and referred to by code names "Foreign Official" - FO1, FO2 and FO3. Israeli and American sources have identified FO3 as Naor Gilon, the former political officer at the Israeli embassy in Washington, and FO1 as Rafi Barak, former deputy chief of mission at the embassy. Israeli sources emphasized that, contrary to prior media reports, ambassador Danny Ayalon is not the diplomat referred to in the indictment as FO2.

The trial of Rosen, Weissman and Franklin is due to begin on January 3 at the US federal district court in Alexandria, Virginia.

  • See Also: The Franklin/AIPAC Spy Case Page