A top Pentagon analyst with expertise in the Middle East (search) pleaded guilty Wednesday to giving classified information to an Israeli embassy official and members of a pro-Israel lobbying group.

Lawrence A. Franklin (search), 58, said during a plea hearing that he was frustrated with the government and that he had hoped the two members of the lobbying group could use their connections at the National Security Council (search) to influence U.S. policy.

He also admitted giving classified information to a political official at the Israeli embassy, but said the information he received from the official was far more valuable than what he gave.

Franklin, of Kearneysville, W.Va., pleaded guilty to two conspiracy counts and a charge of unlawful retention of national defense information. U.S. District Judge T.S. Ellis III set sentencing for Jan. 20.