Who's Afraid of Jonathan Pollard?
Links Between the "Blue-and-White Scare"
& the Pollard Affair
U.S. security agencies are paranoid about dual loyalties
among one certain well-defined ethnic American group.
And to drive their message home, they are holding one as a hostage.
A report and commentary by Hannah Newman
last revised 14/mar/02
There are spies, and then there are spies. Nothing made this more clear than the U.S. Defense Department advisory memo, sent out in late 1995 to 250 military contractors, warning of spies for friendly countries. That is, friendly countries like France, Japan and Germany... and then there are "friendly" countries who are not really our friends. There's one in particular that needs a unique label. The memo went out of its way to list America's ally Israel in a separate category of "non-traditional adversary", and warned that Israel "aggressively" uses its "ethnic allies present in the U.S." for spying. It cited Jonathan Pollard as a prime example of the "damage" American Jews are capable of doing to U.S. security.
And for 17 years, the American government has made Pollard an "example" of what the U.S. is capable of doing to American Jews who dare to love Israel. Did his love for Israel lead to wrongdoing? Yes. But Pollard's debt to American justice was paid in full 13 years ago, and still the mere suggestion of his release sends American justice officials into spasms of objections and threats. Angelo Codevilla, a member of the Senate Select Committee on Intelligence, acknowledged that something else is involved here when he criticized the U.S. government's "assertion that a spy for an ally should be treated as harshly as one for the enemy, just to send the right 'signal'" to certain people who might be tempted to imitate him. ("Pollard Was No Pelton", _Forward_, Dec.8, 00)
The uniqueness of Pollard's treatment (detailed later) shows that this "signal" is not aimed at all spies for allies, but to a very specific audience: the Jewish community in America. There are two messages being conveyed via Pollard, as clearly as if they were notes pinned to his chest:
(1) Jews who love Israel don't have to be guilty of the crime for which they are punished - any illegal act by a Zionist will be enough to justify whatever punishment the authorities care to measure out. This is borne out not only in Pollard's case, but in the experience of the 60 Israelis caught working illegally after the September 11 terror attacks (a message which the Israeli Embassy in Washington internalized and even supported).
(2) Jews who love Israel may be guilty of no wrongdoing at all, but the shadow of Pollard falls on them all the same, in the form of presumed guilt. They are considered fair game for false charges, harassment, character assassination and banishment from positions touching on security and intelligence. Indeed, Pollard himself is a victim of several false charges, as will be seen below, and some of these were never brought up in court but consist of rumor and speculation.
The purpose of this article is to help readers become familiar with what Pollard has experienced, with a view to understanding what "signal" the American government is sending out, and why. It is a companion article to a longer report which puts Pollard into the larger picture of other American Zionist Jews and the Jewish State, all of them at the mercy of a prevailing mentality in the U.S. intelligence community. That mentality is a socially engineered atmosphere of paranoia which I have dubbed "the Blue-and-White Scare".
The following close-up on Pollard appears elsewhere in fragments throughout the Web and print media. For the less informed, it will provide a well-rounded background of detailed documentation in one convenient document. But even those who are familiar with his case may find that this assembled composite, along with my own perceptions, offers some new and useful information with which to carry on the fight for his release.
Pollard's Crime: Depends on Who You Ask
The story of Jonathan Pollard, an American Jew who was arrested in 1985 on charges of spying for Israel, is fraught with contradictory information and mixed messages. The World Jewish Congress has called it "one of the most troubling episodes in the history of Israeli-American relations." (Policy Dispatch 25, Jan. 98) It may qualify as the most outrageous case of miscarried justice in U.S. legal history. Without question it is one of the most mis-reported cases in U.S. media history. Following are the clashing voices which claim to tell the "truth" about Pollard.
1. The U.S. government continues to characterize him as a dangerous super-spy who caused untold damage to U.S. security, as Defense Secretary Caspar Weinberger wrote to the court shortly before Pollard's sentencing: "[It is] difficult to conceive of a greater harm to national security than that caused by the defendant." (letter to Justice Aubrey Robinson Jr.) According to former CIA Director R. James Woolsey, Pollard "stole cubic yards of classified material" which was "highly damaging". (_Forward_, Dec.11, 98) The specifics, listed in a 47-page memo to the court, have been withheld to this day from the public, from Pollard and even from Pollard's lawyers who have the appropriate security clearance. But over a few years, enough alarming hints have been dropped to satisfy many Americans, including added "crimes" from former prosecutors, none of which had been mentioned in court but were aired in the media.
2. The U.S. media has obligingly spread the colorful details leaked to them by sources who are ostensibly privy to Pollard's file. The _Wall Street Journal_ (Feb.24, 94) revealed that Pollard had forwarded documents helpful not only to Israel but to South Africa and China as well; the CBS network (Dec.18, 98) repeated this and added Pakistan, along with the news that Pollard was still receiving payments from Israel for his services. _WSJ_ reporter Albert Hunt also quoted years-old information from CIA official George Carver printed in the _New Republic_ (no date cited), that Pollard had stolen "ultra-sensitive, highly classified internal U.S. documents that in their raw 'un-redacted' state the U.S. could never show to any foreign power without grave danger to its own security." These included vague but ominous-sounding "U.S. military capabilities, training plans and projected movements", and last but not least, "the likely identities of human agents". Some sources reported that Pollard was continuing to pass Israel secrets while in prison.
Probably the most alarming news was leaked early on, when United Press International reported in Dec. 87 that "sensitive intelligence material relayed to Israel by Jonathan Pollard had reached the KGB" via the Mossad, which had been penetrated by a Russian mole at the top levels. They cited nameless "American intelligence sources" for their scoop. (The source was later revealed as CIA counterintelligence, at the time headed by Aldrich Ames.) The story of Mossad betrayal was considered by U.S. sources the "hardest blow ever sustained by Western intelligence services". Israeli intelligence called it a "baseless and wicked" rumor. (_Ma'ariv_, "The Great Conspiracy", (Hebrew) Dec.8, 00. See my translation.)
The single most damning secret document that Pollard had supposedly passed to Israel was detailed in _Time_ ("Inside Washington", Dec.6, 93): a National Security Agency (NSA) directory of communication frequencies used by nations all over the world, which was "thought" to have gotten to the USSR via Israel - "believed to be" nabbed by Pollard and/or a highly placed accomplice. Evidence linking this intelligence loss with Pollard was never forthcoming, nor was the source identified. However, the idea of Pollard having access to any NSA intelligence had already been examined and debunked by independent investigators John Loftus and Mark Aarons (_The Secret War on the Jews_, p.402, citing U.S. security officers as their source). The final debunking of that accusation came with the Oct. 98 arrest of NSA analyst David Boone, the real culprit. But the juicy accusation lingers on, exacting its price from Pollard.
The prize for the greatest number of top-secret details spilled into public view would have to go to Seymour Hersh of the _New Yorker_, who impressed readers with a details of the intelligence said to have been exposed by Pollard: spy satellite capabilities, interception of Hebrew communications, naval surveillance of the Middle East and of Soviet communications. Hersh somehow knew about the classified Defense Intelligence on-line system. He was able to relate details about the super-secretive NSA - its intercept station, its Sigint Requirements List and even RASIN (a 10-volume radio-signal manual used to compile the parameters of every known communication signal) which is classified as "Umbra" (beyond top-secret). His scoop was in fact filled with the kind of information denied to Pollard and his attorneys because it was too vital to U.S. security - now provided to Hersh with remarkable liberality for the public record. (Pollard's former attorney Alan Dershowitz, _Jerusalem Post_, Jan.31, 99) Even more remarkable, somewhere in America there walks a government official who with impunity passed to the American press (and thereby to the world, friend and foe alike) the very same information for which another man is spending life in prison, without parole, after allegedly passing it to Israeli intelligence (though it is confirmed that he did not have access to it).
It is no wonder that media treatment of Pollard the man, when he was finally allowed interviews with the media, inevitably cast him in the role of "traitor", though he had never been charged as one. _Salon_, interviewing him in Nov. 98, described Pollard as "a smart political strategist and an even better spinner" because he insisted on talking about "what he characterizes as a malevolent brew of fear, loathing and covert anti-Semitism in the U.S. intelligence community" directed against him. When a traitor speaks of being framed, what seasoned journalist would take him seriously? And there lies the likely motive for all those fabulous and fabricated leaks to eager journalists from "authoritative sources" about the Jewish "traitor". [It worked with David Tenenbaum too.]
3. Joseph E. diGenova, lead prosecutor in the Pollard case, backed President Clinton's refusal in 1996 to grant clemency after 11 years, citing "the enormity of his crime, his lack of remorse and the incalculable damage he caused U.S. national security.... He revealed our most sensitive sources and methods data, threatening not only technical intelligence but also our human sources." ("Should Pollard Go Free?", _NY Daily News_, Aug.18, 96) DiGenova describes the volume of Pollard's transferred material as "one of the largest losses of classified information in U.S. history", enough to fill "a room 10 feet by six feet by six feet", carried out of the classified libraries stuffed in suitcases. But a brief cross-examination of the lead prosecutor reveals several oddities here.
First there's the obvious logistical problem of Pollard leaving his workplace with what amounts to a truckload of documents, one suitcase at a time, without ever being noticed. Moreover, diGenova waits 11 years (until this article) to complain, "The Israelis never returned to the U.S. the material Pollard sold to them," despite the fact that this material was returned and was in fact used to convince Pollard to confess. The prosecutor's account of Pollard's crimes is peculiar on several points as well. The image of Pollard as a spy who caused severe damage to U.S. security, including the deaths of 25 U.S. agents in the USSR, was originally advanced by CIA officer Aldrich Ames, who was discovered to be doing so in order to cover up the wreckage of his own spying activities for the USSR [see my translation of the Ma'ariv article which outlines that story; also a Dec. 95 editorial in _Moment_]. This charge by diGenova against Pollard comes a full two years after Ames publicly admitted to it in an interview with the _NY Times_. And diGenova has continued to repeat, as recently as Dec. 00, that Pollard "had done the gravest kind of damage to the United States." (_NY Times_, Dec.13, 00)
4. The activists working for Pollard's release portray him as a brave Zionist who sacrificed his job and reputation to pass vital information to Israel which was being withheld, none of which compromised U.S. security but was merely intelligence due them by agreement. The main organization, "Justice For Jonathan Pollard", states that he never had access to much of the material he is presumed to have stolen, such as "sources and methods" and code information. They also state that there is no evidence that he harmed U.S. security, since he did not spy on the U.S. at all. In fact, Israel had asked Pollard for intelligence on the U.S., according to his wife Esther, and he had refused. The activists also note that Pollard never had a proper trial, since he was convinced to waive his right to one and sign a plea bargain (which was promptly violated). Pollard's wife Esther has charged the intelligence community with publishing non-existent charges such as treason, harming the United States, and spying for monetary benefit - all of which are formal charges which could have been brought against Pollard but were not. ("Interview with Esther Pollard", _Canadian Jewish News_, Sep14, 94) Regarding his decision to violate the law, Pollard's attorney Larry Dub writes that Pollard resorted to passing the information illegally to Israel only after trying in vain to have it legally released, appealing "all the way up the chain of command in the Pentagon." (_WorldNetDaily_, Sep.26, 01)
5. The most confusing reaction has come from the country which benefitted from Pollard's actions. The Israeli government, at the time led by Prime Minister Shimon Peres and Foreign Minister Yitzhak Shamir, at first refused to acknowledge any relationship with Pollard at all. But Defense Minister Yitzhak Rabin was identified as responsible "beyond any doubt" for Pollard in a 1987 report by the Knesset Foreign Affairs and Defense Committee under MK Abba Eban (quoted by Dr. Aaron Lerner and Uri Dan). [Inexplicably, parts of this committee's report remained undisclosed as late as Jun. 00.] Over the years since Pollard's conviction, Israel gradually admitted (under pressure of a lawsuit by Pollard in Israel's Supreme Court in May 88) that Pollard had spied for them, and years later (on Jan.24, 96 and under sustained public pressure) awarded him Israeli citizenship. However, with the exception of Rabin and Netanyahu as Prime Ministers, and Ariel Sharon as MK, official government efforts to have him released have been sporadic and promptly dropped after an American refusal. Later claims of "quiet diplomacy" by PM Ehud Barak were refuted by Pollard's attorney Larry Dub. The convicted Israeli spy received his first visit from an Israeli government minister only after 12 years in prison. The Israeli refusal to support Pollard with badly needed medical and financial help, or even to release the master-list of documents he passed to them (which would exonerate him from the charge of causing damage to U.S. security), resulted in Pollard suing the Jewish State a second time in Sep. 99. Among the charges presented by attorney Dub was "unfair discrimination", demonstrated by recent cases of other Israeli agents held in foreign countries who were swiftly brought home in anywhere from a few days (Jordan) to a few months (Cyprus). Dub also contended that Barak had publicly abandoned Pollard by calling his case "an internal American problem, best left for American internal deliberation." (Arutz-7 News, Sep.7, 99)
In radical contrast, the Israeli public has consistently shown strong support for Pollard, with several activist groups cooperating to constantly remind the public of his plight and to keep his case on the government agenda. On the Israeli street, Pollard is known fondly as "the ghost of the sealed rooms", a reference to his documents which revealed Iraqi chemical weapons and prompted Israel to send its citizens into sealed rooms with gas masks during the Gulf War. A few individual Knesset Members demonstrated the same kind of long-term support (most notably the late Minister Rehavam Ze'evi), but without official government backing.
6. John Loftus and Mark Aarons, the authors of _The Secret War on the Jews_, undertook their own investigation of Pollard's case (Loftus is a former attorney for the U.S. Justice Department). They characterize him as a "hopeless amateur" who was employed by Israeli politicians rather than the Mossad, and who demonstrated his incompetence in part by bragging about spying for Israel. Although his act was "despicable", his motives were understandable: he had discovered that the U.S. was withholding up to 75% of available intelligence, and was even passing on disinformation. (Loftus, "Unlocking the Pollard Puzzle," Apr.2, 95) But Pollard's low-level job not only did not give him access to what he was accused to have passed, these independent researchers concluded that Aldrich Ames added incriminating evidence to Pollard's file in order to deflect suspicion from himself. (_Secret War_, p.402) This was later confirmed by Ames himself in a 1994 interview with the _NY Times_, where he says that his betrayal in 1985 was so blatant that he knew he would have to cover his tracks somehow. [The fact that Ames was in charge of Pollard's damage file was confirmed by Angelo Codevilla, former member of the Senate Intelligence Committee. Nevertheless, the official CIA statement is: "Ames played no role in the damage assessment that was done on Pollard." - CIA spokesperson Anya Guilsher, responding to _Forward_ reporter Seth Gitell, Dec.11, 98]
Not only was Pollard's contribution less important than the CIA claims it was, say Loftus and Aarons, it was not nearly as good as what the Mossad already had through other operatives. One example was Pollard's satellite photos of Iraq's Osirak reactor: Israel's surgically precise bombing raid showed far greater knowledge than what could be gleaned from exterior photos, and was more likely planned from detailed internal blueprints of the plant. "They [the Mossad] simply did not need Pollard." (_Secret War_, p.401) This low assessment was echoed with regard to Soviet intelligence as well, according to Pollard's former supervisor in Naval Intelligence, Jerry Agee. In an interview with journalist Wolf Blitzer, Agee said that Pollard's inventory of stolen documents only contained Soviet-supplied Arab weapons, remarking: "It didn't take a fool to find out that the Soviets were not buying back all their own information." (quoted by Forster & Kirschenbaum, _Heritage Southwest_, Nov. 25, 94) And as far as a Soviet mole in the Mossad, Loftus points out in his article ("Puzzle") that if there had been one, the U.S. surprise raid on Lybia would have certainly been exposed by the Mossad agents who were on location and took part. "As it turns out, American secrets were safer in the Mossad than they were in the CIA while Ames was around."
With all the conflicting "facts" and rumors accumulated over 17 years and continuing to fly around, it can be said that more heat and less light have been generated in discussing Jonathan Pollard than any other spy in U.S. history. Nevertheless, I have attempted to organize a coherent picture from sources both pro and con. I also attempt a reasonable explanation for points of confusion surrounding his case, and possible motives among those in authority who seem determined to keep things confused.
Pollard: A Reality Check
To gain a clear view of the special treatment accorded this Israeli spy and American Jew, it's necessary to compare Pollard's experience with (1) U.S. treatment of other spies for both "friendly" and "enemy" countries; (2) U.S. treatment of those who otherwise harmed American interests; (3) quotes from key players in the Pollard case that show lack of objectivity; (4) protests from observers regarding Pollard's guilt and punishment.
First, a detailed chronology of Pollard's experience. Placing all the charges, counter-charges, facts and fictions in chronological order reveals with startling clarity the effort that certain parties have invested in muddying the picture of Pollard and the basic facts surrounding his case. The chronology also reveals government "promises" left unfulfilled and appeals gone unanswered, which activists in both the U.S. and Israel can use for added pressure on key officials. [Source for most details is the authorized Pollard website, called "Justice for Jonathan Pollard", but other sources offer a slightly different accounting which may also be reflected below. Some dates are incomplete in the sources.]
Position: analyst in U.S. Naval Intelligence, in charge of monitoring weapons in terrorist hands. Spied for Israel for 1-1/2 years beginning May 84, by passing documents once routinely shared (but lately refused) on Arab and weapons capabilities, particularly Iraqi chemical weapons capabilities. [For Pollard's own explanation of his motives, see the quote in the companion article.] Some of the information withheld from Israel was in violation of a memorandum of understanding signed in 1983. Total volume of material was 11 "drops" via a small briefcase. [The discrepency between this and government claims is explained in an article posted at the Betar-Tagar UK website: If a page from a document was copied and passed to Israel, or even a single sentence, the entire document - conceivably up to a 50-volume set - was counted by the prosecution.]
- Nov.21, 85. About to be arrested by FBI agents following him, Pollard and his wife flee to the Israeli Embassy, where asylum is refused and the guard bars him from the premises. Was arrested at the site, for spying for "friendly country" Israel by passing unauthorized documents on terrorist weapons, manufacturing sites and stockpiles. Specific indictment is violation of U.S.C. 794c against delivering classified information to a foreign government, citing "to the advantage of a foreign nation" but omitting "to the injury of the United States". Usual sentence is 2-4 years in prison.
- May 23, 86. Pollard is offered a plea bargain written by the U.S. government and carrying a substantial penalty of approximately 10 years, if he would waive his right to trial and plead guilty to one count of "conspiracy to commit espionage" on behalf of Israel. As added incentive, he is shown pictures of his wife Anne, who was seriously ill in prison (held on charges of spying for China, which later proved groundless), and is now hemorrhaging. Jonathan is told that his guilty plea is the only way she will be released from prison. Meanwhile, Anne is told that her confession of having aided Jonathan's espionage is the only way he will avoid a life sentence. Both give in to the pressure. ("Pollard is Still Seeking Justice", by Roberta Dzubow, _Jewish Exponent_; also an open letter to Israel's President Ezer Weizmann by Uri Dan and Dennis Eisenberg, reprinted in _Maccabean On Line_, Oct. 97)
- May 86. Israel (under PM Shimon Peres) agrees to return the Pollard documents to the U.S., on the condition that they are not used against him (a pledge agreed to and subsequently violated by U.S. prosecutors). However, Israel stops short of providing a "master list" of all documents.
- Jun.4, 86. Pollard pleads guilty, as agreed, to one count of "conspiracy to commit espionage, without harm" to U.S. interests.
- Jan.29, 87. Pollard, in prison, gives interview to _Jerusalem Post_ reporter Wolf Blitzer, after securing the required government clearance.
- Mar.4, 87. Pollard's hearing, taking the place of a trial. In advance of sentencing, he expresses remorse at having "cheapened the value of the democratic tradition by assuming to be above the law." As hearing ends, one hour before sentencing, U.S. Secretary of State Caspar Weinberger enters the court and delivers a memo to Judge Aubrey Robinson accusing Pollard of "treason" (defined as "giving aid and comfort to an enemy", a charge never brought up). An additional complaint is the "unauthorized" _Jerusalem Post_ interview of Jan.29, which "violated the plea agreement". Pollard's defense counsel (Hibey) agrees on this point. Weinberger's 46-page attachment of damning evidence becomes basis for sentencing Pollard to life, violating his plea agreement. Contents of affidavit are kept secret, although Hibey has government clearance to review classified material. U.S. prosecutor Charles Leeper argues that Pollard's damage to U.S. security is worse than that of Ronald Pelton (spy for the USSR), and since Pelton received a life sentence, so should Pollard. Weinberger demands the death penalty (according to a 1989 letter by Pollard). After the hearing, Hibey tells Pollard he will likely serve 30 years, but "you can handle it". This is the last time Pollard has contact with Hibey.
- Mar.6, 87. Pollard is sent to a federal medical facility for the criminally insane, where he stays for the next 15 months until Jun.10, 88, though not registered as mentally incompetent.
- 1987. Pollard files appeal to reduce his sentence. Prosecution opposes on grounds that the defendant did not "cooperate" until incriminating documents from Israel were shown to him. Pollard is unaware of U.S. agreement with Israel to not use these documents against him.
- Dec. 87. Soviet mole Shabtai Kalmanowitz is apprehended in Israel by Israeli intelligence, and claims Pollard had caused the collapse of the CIA's Soviet network. [Later it becomes clear that he lied, probably on orders from Soviet intelligence who was trying to cover star spy Aldrich Ames.]
- Jun.10, 88. Pollard is transferred to Marion Federal Penitentary, a maximum security prison, and is kept in solitary confinement underground for the next 5 years [another source: 6-1/2 years].
- 1991. Lawyer Dershowitz claims Weinberger's private conversation with Judge Robinson (an African-American) included false charges that Pollard had given classified documents to South Africa, but Robinson dies a few days before Justice Arthur Goldberg was to meet with him to clarify the issue.
- Mar.31, 91. Jewish organizational leader Seymour Reich visits Pollard, the first American Jewish leader to do so. He declares it is time to free Pollard.
- 1992. Pollard learns from a fellow-inmate that his lawyer violated his due-process rights by failing to appeal his sentence within 10 days.
- Mar.20, 92. Washington DC Appeals Court refuses, 2 to 1, to review Pollard's sentence. "Technical reasons" cited. Opposing sides present two extremes of opinion [see under nos. 3 & 4, below].
- Jun.16, 92. Casper Weinberger, responsible for falsely accusing Pollard of treason and securing a life sentence via undisclosed evidence, is indicted for perjury and obstruction of justice in the Iran-Contra Affair. Charges are dismissed on technicalities.
- Oct. 92. U.S. Supreme Court refuses second request to review Pollard's sentence.
- Nov. 92. Weinberger is re-indicted for perjury and obstruction of justice in the Iran-Contra Affair, a month later he is "pardoned" by outgoing President Bush (Sr.) before standing trial.
- 1993. President Clinton reviews Pollard's case, no change.
- May 4, 93. The New York Municipal Council, following similar actions in Los Angeles and Miami Beach, passes a resolution asking President Clinton to commute Pollard's sentence to time already served.
- Jun.21, 93. Pollard is transferred to Butner (NC) Federal Prison where he remains until today.
- Nov.12, 93. Israeli PM Rabin requests Clinton to pardon Pollard - the first Israeli request on record.
- Dec. 93. Weinberger relents. Originally responsible for bringing a life sentence on Pollard, he now officially withdraws opposition to Pollard's release.
- Feb. 94. First evidence of false charges. Senior CIA officer Aldrich Ames is arrested, admits passing intelligence information originally thought to have been Pollard's doing, refuting among other things the accusations of Soviet mole Kalmanowitz against Pollard [see Dec. 87].
- Mar.23, 94. Clinton refuses clemency for Pollard at the urging of Attorney General Janet Reno.
- May 94. Jonathan and Anne Pollard divorce, Jonathan marries Esther Zeitz.
- Sep. 94. Pollard's wife Esther says in interview with _Canadian Jewish News_ that since 1990, all his letters to her have been confiscated, and 70% of mail sent to others never arrived.
- Nov. 94. Israel's PM Rabin again tries to secure Pollard's release.
- Sep. 95. Pollard is eligible for parole in Nov. 95 (having served 10 full years), but diGenova and Weinberger are already filing strong objections - the latter apparently reversing his Dec. 93 declaration. [Per some sources, Pollard was denied possibility of parole at sentencing.] Defense Secretary Les Aspin accuses Pollard of trying to smuggle intelligence out of prison, but no evidence is provided.
- Oct. 95. Prime Minister Rabin suggests linking Pollard's release to concessions in the Israel-Palestinian peace process. [Other sources claim the idea originated with the Palestinians at Wye talks in 98.]
- Jan.24, 96. Pollard receives Israeli citizenship.
- Mar.25, 96. Israeli Consul in Atlanta, Eitan Surkis-Almog, visits Pollard.
- May 9, 96. Likud party leader Netanyahu urges Clinton to pardon Pollard.
- Jul. 96. Clinton refuses a second time to grant Pollard clemency, based on "the considerable damage that his action caused our nation."
- May 97. Pollard petitions Israel's Supreme Court to force Israel to recognize him as official agent. Israeli security chiefs rush to ban media coverage, but news of "Israeli Supreme Court Petition 2633/97" circulates for at least 12 hours. Two days later, Pollard is restricted by U.S. officials, "on orders from above", from seeing his lawyer and from signing the Hebrew documents required by the Israeli court. (_Jerusalem Post_, Jun.5, 97) Responding to the court petition, the Israeli government (now under PM Netanyahu) appoints General Moshe Kochanovsky to oversee Pollard's case.
- Dec. 97. First visit to Pollard by Israeli government ministers, led by former Soviet refusnik Yuli Edelshtein.
- Jan. 98. Kochanovsky quits after seven months, complaining he lacks the authority required to do his job.
- May 98. First official Israeli recognition. Responding to Pollard's year-old lawsuit, Netanyahu publicly recognizes Israel's obligation to Pollard as an Israeli agent, and expresses the government's readiness "to assume full responsibility accordingly". Pollard withdraws lawsuit. (Arutz-7 News) Netanyahu, appearing on CNN, calls on the U.S. to release him.
- Oct.14, 98. Second evidence of false charges. Associated Press reports the arrest of NSA analyst David Boone, who admits passing Soviets the top-secret NSA documents previously said to come from Pollard.
- Oct. 23, 98. The Wye deal double-cross. Unnamed sources (later identified by attorney Dub as CIA Director George Tenet) leak news that Pollard may be released in an agreement between Clinton and Netanyahu in the context of Wye peace talks. [Later accounts by eyewitnesses credit the Palestinians with the idea of offering Pollard, suggested in return for freeing 750 Palestinian terrorists and immunity for Ghazi Jabali.] Pollard is not consulted. CIA Director Tenet threatens to resign, and also predicts Clinton's political downfall, if Pollard is released. Tenet then enlists Senator Richard Shelby, Chairman of the Senate Intelligence Committee, to denounce Pollard's release. Prominent Republican Congressman Newt Gingrich and Senate Majority Leader Trent Lott urge Clinton not to put "traitors [sic] on the negotiating table", calling him "one of the most notorious traitors in U.S. history" and adding that his release "may well endanger American security." Jonathan and Esther Pollard accuse CIA of feeding these politicians disinformation, and condemn Israel for failing to publicize the facts. Clinton retracts his promise on Pollard right before Netanyahu signs agreement, Netanyahu and Ariel Sharon threaten to walk out. Clinton offers new private deal witnessed by Israelis and Palestinians, by which Israel would go through with signing, and Clinton would later make a "parallel gesture" - a "speedy review" of Pollard's case, followed by his release after a few months. Israel signs, Pollard is never released, and the White House accuses Netanyahu of trying to insert Pollard into the Wye deal at the last minute. The Israeli PM retaliates by releasing 200 Palestinian criminals rather than the expected terrorists. (Later, new PM Barak fulfils the original PA demands, but without demanding Pollard in return.)
- Dec. 98. Pollard's attorney, Larry Dub, accuses CIA of antisemitism and a "witch-hunt to rid the agency of Jews holding security clearances." (Arutz-7 News, Dec. 6) CIA spokesperson calls the charge "completely ridiculous." (_Forward_, Dec.11) Dub also condemns a 1995 Defense Department "ethnic ties" memo for "labeling all Jews as unreliable citizens," using Pollard as their rationale.
- Dec. 98. Former Senate Intelligence Committee member Angelo Codevilla confirms that Aldrich Ames framed Pollard with damage he himself had caused. Codevilla writes to Clinton calling for Pollard's release. Netanyahu again appeals for his release on humanitarian grounds. Clinton agrees to consult with security advisors and "make a decision in a prompt way."
- Dec.14, 98. The Israeli Knesset calls on Clinton to release Pollard, passing a resolution signed by 80 MKs who span the political spectrum from left to right and religious to secular.
- 1999. Weinberger, speaking to _Middle East Quarterly_, says he filed the secret affidavit against Pollard "at the request of the U.S. District Court." Pollard's prosecutor diGenova calls Weinberger a liar.
- Jan.11, 99. The "Lieberman Letter", initiated by orthodox Jewish Senator Joseph Lieberman and signed by 60 other senators, urges Clinton to refuse a pardon to Pollard. Among the reasons: "the enormity" of his crime; the advisability to not lend credence to "Pollard's specious claims of unfairness and victimization"; the danger that allowing him to serve only 14 years "would imply a condonation of spying against the United States [sic - non-existent charge] by an ally"; and the damage to American "ability to act as an honest broker throughout the world".
- Jan. 99. Bnai Brith calls on Clinton to release Pollard on humanitarian grounds, and castigates the U.S. for hypocrisy, citing Israeli Major Yosef Amit who had been spying on Israel for the U.S. [Amit received seven years in Israeli prison.] Meanwhile (Jan.13), attorney Dub calls on White House Legal Counsel to clear Pollard of charges proven false by Boone's arrest. Various government bodies submit position papers to Clinton, all of them objecting to Pollard's release.
- Jan. 99. Pollard's file leaks to media. Attorney Alan Dershowitz (Pollard's third lawyer) writes to U.S. Justice Department demanding an investigation of _New Yorker_ journalist Seymour Hersh after he publicizes leaks from sealed Weinberger affidavit, the same material denied to Pollard due to "national security" concerns.
- Jul. 99. Pollard receives a CAT scan at Duke University Hospital for undiagnosed growths in his sinuses, after seven years of being denied permission. The turnabout is credited to efforts by Congressman Jerold Nadler and Rabbi Pesach Lerner of Young Israel. Earlier this year, Pollard was denied permission to be transported to Duke for emergency treatment of a back injury, forcing prison doctors to cope as best they could. Meanwhile, White House spokesman Joe Lockhart says a panel is examining Pollard's case, with no recommendations expected "in the near future".
- Aug.15, 99. NY Mayor Rudolph Giuliani says Pollard's sentence is especially unfair after Clinton's pardon of 16 FALN terrorists.
- Sep.7, 99. Pollard sues Israeli government in Israel's Supreme Court for the second time, over Israel's failure to secure his release as a recognized agent, revealing that since PM Barak took office all government contact with him had ceased. He demands that Israel produce the missing "master list" of documents he had handed over, which would refute charges of harming U.S. security and "will reveal who on the Israeli side is preventing" his release. He also petitions for an emergency hearing due to his poor health. The Court gives the government until Oct.10 to respond. Barak in response names a government official to handle Pollard case - Kochanovsky, who had quit in frustration two years earlier.
- Oct. 99. NJ General Assembly Majority Leader Paul DiGastano urges Clinton to pardon Pollard "in light of the recent clemency given to 14 [sic - actually 16] terrorists" whose bombings caused multiple deaths. DiGastano also cites violation of Pollard's plea bargain as further grounds for a pardon. (Arutz-7 News, Oct.11, 99)
- Feb. 00. Pollard petitions Israel's Supreme Court to force Israel to fulfill legal, moral and financial obligations to him as an agent. Petition is rejected on grounds that "the Court believes that the government will fulfill its obligations... and that the petitioner will be freed from prison in the near future." (Arutz-7 News, Feb.6, 00) At the same time, the Israeli paper _Ha'aretz_ reports that Pollard is receiving generous monthly payments from the Israeli government ("Pollard's War Against His Benefactors"), and also that he had offered to spy for other governments. The Pollards respond by suing _Ha'aretz_ for libel.
-Mar. 00. Pollard learns from attorney Dub of U.S. Supreme Court decision that a defense counsel's failure to file a prompt Notice of Appeal violates the defendant's constitutional rights. He also finds out that his original counsel (Hibey) ignored his right to an evidentiary hearing, where the government would have been forced to prove allegations, and that Weinberger's last-minute submission entitled him to receive an adjournment of sentencing. His new attorneys file for a review of Pollard's sentencing.
- Apr. 00. Pollard is ordered to spend first night of Passover washing toilets and floors. Refusal means solitary confinement for up to 90 days. (Arutz-7 News, Apr.23, 00) The news sparks protests and demonstrations in Jerusalem opposite U.S. Consulate, featuring toilets and brushes.
- May 00. Israeli Knesset passes a second resolution, this time unanimous, calling on Clinton to release Pollard.
- Jun. 00. First outsider sees secret Pollard file. NY Senator Charles Schumer becomes one of the few individuals to gain access to Weinberger evidence which earned Pollard the maximum penalty for treason (although never charged). Schumer reports seeing nothing that justifies a life sentence. Pollard's wife Esther appeals to Clinton, and Jonathan appeals to American Jewish leaders to fight for his release based on Schumer's declaration. Most decline, including Senator Joseph Lieberman. Meanwhile, newly released details from a 1987 Knesset committee under Abba Eban reveal for the first time that the U.S. violated an agreement not to use the documents returned by Israel to incriminate Pollard. (Jay Shapiro, Arutz-7, Jul.11, 00)
- Aug.28, 00. Pollard appeals for resentencing, based on his original attorney's incompetence in not informing him of his right to appeal. [another version dates this Sep.20] Court rejects appeal after two months, citing "statute of limitations". [another version dates rejection Aug.7, 01]
- Sept 00. Pollard submits motion for an evidentiary hearing and unsealing of secret Weinberger evidence. Court orders U.S. government to respond by Dec. 5.
- Dec.6, 00. ACLU backs Pollard's motion to unseal all the evidence against him. The U.S. government opposes it, on grounds that the evidence is "top secret" and could cause "exceptionally grave damage to the national security", and also because "the defendant and his two attorneys [sic] were given full access to these classified documents before sentencing." [Pollard and Hibey were shown the Weinberger memo once briefly, right before sentencing, with no time to study it.] Former prosecutor diGenova repeats that Pollard had caused the "gravest kind of damage" to U.S. security.
- Dec.12, 01. Motion to unseal Weinberger affidavit denied by DC District Court, even for Pollard's lawyer, who has top-secret clearance. Decision is based on government's claim of "risk to security" and that defense "has not established the 'need to know'." Court says that "only presidents" may see contents, despite Senator Schumer's access more than a year ago.
- Jan. 01. Public pressure increases on outgoing President Clinton to include Pollard in the traditional last-minute list of those granted clemency.
- Jan.19, 01. Clinton's last act as President, pardons 140 convicted prisoners, some of which are protested by U.S. Justice officials. Marc Rich is among them, although he has not been arrested or tried - Clinton cites pressure from Israeli PM Barak as reason. Pollard is not mentioned.
- Feb.8, 01. Pollard writes to PM Sharon, urging him to "collect" on old U.S. promise at Wye to release him. [see Oct.23, 98]
- Feb.11, 01. Speaking on Meet the Press, diGenova says that Israeli PM Barak was given a choice between Pollard and Marc Rich.
- Feb.27, 01. Former Likud politician Andrzej Kielczynski, recruited by CIA in 1985 to spy on Pollard and Israel, and to pass nuclear secrets and names of agents, sues CIA for reneging on promised benefits for his activity. He loses suit, Israel declines to charge him.
- Feb.28, 01. Israeli Minister Dani Naveh, Wye negotiator and eyewitness to Clinton's commitment to free Pollard, sets down the details of that betrayal in the Knesset Record.
- Apr. 01. Israeli PM Sharon prepares to meet President GW Bush, receives assurances through informed sources that Bush would be open to pardoning Pollard. Sharon does not bring up issue at their meeting.
- Apr.20, 01. Second outsider sees secret Pollard file. Representative Anthony Weiner reviews Weinberger affidavit and is briefed by CIA, concludes that the evidence does not support a life sentence and calls on President Bush to intervene.
- May 2, 01. Israeli MKs Pines and Eitan visit Pollard, who says he wants to give up, due to Sharon's failure to speak up for him and his deteriorating health.
- May 24, 01. New appeal by Pollard to vacate case on grounds of incompetent counsel, with amicus briefs filed by former NAACP head Benjamin Hooks, former Attorney General of NY Robert Abrams, and several law professors, is rejected by U.S. court. No reason given.
- Jun.8, 01. Congressman Bill Pascrell, Jr. calls on President Bush to pardon Pollard.
- Aug.31, 01. Media reports public announcement by Israel of $1 million to be paid to Pollard, but Pollard says he knows nothing about it and would reject it if offered. The Pollards call on PM Sharon to secure his release instead. PM's office says the news story is false.
- Oct.5, 01. Retired judge George N. Leighton submits sworn declaration to court supporting Pollard's appeal of his rejected motion for resentencing.
- Oct. 01. Pollard writes to Israeli Minister Shimon Peres, asking him to honor a handwritten note from 1996 promising to do "everything" in his power to seek Pollard's release. Pollard adds that high-ranking U.S. officials have passed word that a request from Peres to President Bush would be looked on "most favorably."
- Nov.23, 01. Israeli media reports that PM Sharon will ask Bush to pardon Pollard in upcoming meeting. PM's office insists that this be corrected to: Sharon "will continue to raise the issue."
- Nov.26, 01. Pollard's wife Esther reports that Israeli government is offering Pollard $2 million to release them from all responsibility for him. In response, 20 Israeli ministers send petition to PM Sharon to push for Pollard's release.
- Dec.24, 01. Pollard writes open letter to Israeli Minister Dani Naveh, who is officially in charge of his case, to publicize his private admission that he has no authority or access to do anything for Jonathan. [Naveh did not sign the ministers' petition - see Nov.26.]
- Jan.6, 02. At memorial dinner for assassinated Israeli Minister Rehavam Ze'evi, a letter is read from Pollard, who eulogizes Ze'evi for "always being there" for him, noting that he alone publicly challenged Clinton to release Pollard when the President visited Israel, and that Ze'evi had added Pollard's name to the six Israeli MIAs on the dog-tag he constantly wore.
- Jan.8, 02. Former PM Netanyahu visits Pollard, the highest-ranking official to visit since his arrest.
- Feb.10, 02. Sharon returns from meeting with Bush and asking for Pollard's release. No answer was given.
- Feb.21, 02. Israeli MK Michael Kleiner visits Pollard, bringing a letter signed by all 120 MKs calling on President Bush to pardon him.
Today, Pollard is well into his 17th year in prison, having never received a proper trial. He is suffering from deteriorating health but has been rejected repeatedly for clemency, parole, a hearing review, or a sentence review. He continues to appeal for release, now dealing with a fourth U.S. president and a sixth Israeli prime minister.
From the above reckoning alone, no thinking person can imagine that this is business-as-usual in the United States of America. And the Pollard story becomes even more bizarre when juxtaposed with true business-as-usual in the "Land of the Free and Home of the Brave".
(1) Comparison with others convicted of spying, in order of time served in prison:
[This order reveals a remarkably arbitrary treatment of spies, which nevertheless shows a distinct pattern. It leads to specific implications for Pollard and Israel, and more general implications for U.S. foreign policy. Follow the bold print.]
- Unnamed scientist at Lawrence Livermore National Lab. Suspected of spying for "enemy" country China, passing neutron bomb technology. When confronted Mar. 99, suspect resigned, no further details made public. Incident was covered in _Times_ story ("China Stole Nuclear Secrets for Bombs").
- Abdel Kader Helmy, senior propulsion engineer with Defense Dept. Spied for "friendly" country Egypt, passed highly sophisticated secret ballistic missile technology which was then shared with "enemy" country Iraq. Arrested Jun.24, 88. All spy charges dropped at the insistence of State and Defense Depts.
- Michael Schwartz, U.S. Navy lieutenant commander. Spied for "friendly" country Saudi Arabia, passed intelligence summaries during 1992-94. Arrested Sep. 95. No trial or sentence, discharged from service.
- Peter Lee, Chinese scientist at Los Alamos Nuclear Lab. Spied for "enemy" country China, passed classified laser technology in 1985 and 1997. Arrested Oct. 97. Under plea bargain sentenced to 12 months in halfway house. Violated plea bargain by being "uncooperative", but U.S. kept deal, and also refused to wait for analysis of damage to U.S. security. U.S. intelligence is accused of covering up links between China obtaining secrets and campaign contributions to Clinton's re-election (dubbed "Chinagate" by media).
- Daniel King, NSA cryptologist. Spied for "friendly" country Russia 1994, passed sensitive data compromising U.S. eavesdropping and submarines. Arrested Oct. 99, held 15 months in jail. Conviction overturned on grounds that King's constitutional rights were violated in court procedure. In Feb. 01, prosecutors dropped charges in return for King's cooperation, allowing him to retire with full pension.
- Edwin G. Moore Jr., retired CIA employee. Tried to sell classified documents to "enemy" country USSR in 1976. Arrested Apr. 76, sentenced to 15 years, released on parole after 3 years.
- Douglas Groat, former CIA officer and cryptographer. Spied for two unnamed countries in 1997, passed classified information on programs that targeted their code systems, then tried to blackmail CIA regarding further disclosure. Arrested Apr. 98. Sentenced to 5 years, then charge was changed from "espionage" to "extortion" (reportedly to avoid revealing classified information), with sharply reduced but unspecified sentence.
- Joseph G. Brown, former U.S. airman and martial arts instructor. Spied for "friendly" country Philippines 1990-91, passed CIA information on Iraqi terrorists and Philippine assassins. Arrested Dec. 92, sentenced to 6 years.
- Mariano Faget, U.S. immigration officer. Spied for "enemy" country Cuba, passed classified material, tried to infiltrate secure facilities. Arrested May 00. Sentenced to 6 years.
- Robert Kim, Navy computer specialist. Spied for "friendly" country South Korea, passed secrets, citing ethnic loyalty as motive. Arrested Sep. 96. Sentenced to 9 years.
- Clayton Lonetree, U.S. Embassy guard in Moscow. Spied for "enemy" country USSR. Arrested Feb. 86. Sentenced to 30 years, sentence reduced three times, released after serving 9 years.
- David Barnett, CIA officer. Spied for "enemy" country USSR 1976-77, exposed one of CIA's most successful undercover operations. Arrested Apr. 80, sentenced to 18 years, released on parole after 10 years.
- Steven Lalas, Greek national working at U.S. Embassy in Athens. Spied for "friendly" country Greece since 1977, compromised identities of CIA agents in Balkan war zone, endangering lives. Arrested Sep. 93. Violated plea bargain. Sentenced to 14 years.
- Michael Walker, Navy seaman. Spied for "enemy" country USSR 1983-85, passed secret communiques, caused "extensive damage" to U.S. security. Arrested 1985. Sentenced to 25 years, released Feb. 00 after 15 years.
- Albert Sombolay, U.S. soldier serving in artillery during "Operation Desert Storm". Spied for "enemy" country Iraq while at war, passed deployment plans and chemical protection, resulting in high death toll. Arrested July 91. Sentenced to 35 years. No details made public, but Congressman Lee Hamilton investigated and found sentence was later reduced to 19 years and is likely to be reduced further.
- Harold Nicholson, CIA trainer, former station chief who served in five countries. Said to be the highest ranking CIA officer to spy against the U.S. Spied for "friendly" country Russia since 1994, exposed all new CIA case officers and many informants. Arrested Nov. 96. Was offered plea bargain for cooperating, sentenced to 23-1/2 years.
- David Sheldon Boone, NSA cryptology traffic analyst. Spied for "enemy" country USSR 1988-91, passed global compendium of communication frequencies and nuclear target plans originally thought to come through Pollard. Arrested Oct. 98. Sentenced to 24 years.
- Earl Pitts, FBI supervisor. Spied for "enemy" country USSR since 1987. Arrested Dec. 96. Sentenced to 27 years.
- Aldrich Ames, Chief of CIA Counterintelligence for Soviet Eastern Europe Division since 1983, with the CIA 31 years. Said to be highest-paid spy in U.S. history. Spied for "enemy" country USSR beginning in 1985, passed lists of U.S. agents within Soviet Union, resulting in deaths and total collapse of U.S. network there. Compromised at least 10 agents and over 100 operations. Found to be responsible for much of the damage thought to be caused by Pollard. Arrested Feb. 94. Sentenced to life.
- Robert Hanssen, senior FBI counter-intelligence agent and associate of FBI Director Freeh. Said to be the most dangerous spy in FBI history. Spied for "enemy" country USSR (and later post-Soviet "friendly" Russia) since 1979, passed top-secret documents including NSA's newest surveillance methods. Also exposed spy tunnel under Soviet Embassy, betrayed double agents who were then executed, passed on nuclear war plans, helped verify information sent by Ames. Was implicated by convicted Pitts in 1997 but not investigated. Arrested Feb. 01. Sentenced to life.
- Ronald Pelton, retired NSA communications specialist. Spied for "enemy" country USSR since 1980, passed classified information on "Ivy Bells", a top-secret listening and collection project aimed at the USSR. Arrested Nov. 85. Sentenced to life-times-3.
[Not a complete list. Many details are taken from the U.S. Defense Security Service site. No convicted Israeli spies were listed at this site, other than Pollard.]
(2) Others convicted of harming U.S. interests and/or security:
- Former Secretary of Defense Caspar Weinberger. Indicted in 1992 on four counts of "perjury" and one count of "obstruction of justice" for his involvement in Iran-Contra, an illegal weapons-for-hostages deal which greatly undermined U.S. integrity and supplied arms to countries that sponsor terrorism. He was never tried but was "pardoned" by President Bush (Sr.).
- 16 members of the Puerto-Rican terrorist group FALN. Convicted in 1985 of involvement in some 130 bombings of political and military sites in the U.S. between 1974-83. Sentenced to various terms, up to 90 years. In Sep. 99, President Bill Clinton commuted all 16 sentences to time served (less than 20 years), ignoring objections from CIA, FBI, Congress and Defense. _NY Times_ quotes White House spokesman Barry Toiv as saying that the President felt their sentences were "far out of proportion to the nature of the crimes" they had committed. (Arutz-7 News, Sep.23, 99)
(3) Reactions from U.S. figures to Pollard which show lack of objectivity:
- Assistant U.S. District Attorney Charles Leeper at Pollard's trial: Charged him with doing more damage to U.S. security than Soviet spy Ronald Pelton [see no. 1 above], who betrayed a multi-billion dollar cable intercept program that would have saved lives in war. [Leeper's main contribution to the case was to force a confession from Pollard using his wife Anne.]
- Secretary of Defense Caspar Weinberger during Pollard's trial: "The Pollards have succumbed to the same virus of treason as the Rosenbergs [Jewish Soviet spies caught in the early 1950s]." [The Pollards were never accused of "treason" or harming U.S. security, but this term appears in Weinberger's affidavit to the court - see Mar.3, 87.] Weinberger on Pollard: "He deserves to be hanged." (World Jewish Congress, "Policy Dispatch 25," Jan. 98) "He should have been shot." (to journalist Wolf Blitzer) Observation by Under-Secretary of Defense Lawrence J. Korb, writing to Morris Pollard, father of Jonathan: "I do know that Weinberger has an almost of viseral dislike of Israel and the special place it occupies in our foreign policy." [Maybe Korb doesn't realize that "viseral dislike" of Israel is driving foreign policy.] Observation by Mark Shaw, author of _Miscarriage of Justice: The Jonathan Pollard Story_: "While Weinberger crucified Pollard for breaking the law, he was doing so as well [committing perjury in the Iran-Contra investigations]."
- Judges Laurence Silberman and Ruth Ginsburg, on denying Pollard's appeal (Mar.20, 92): "There is simply no way that Pollard's sentence, harsh as it is, can be thought to stem from a fundamental defect that caused a miscarriage of justice." (_Wall Street Journal_, Feb.24, 94) Statement is in blatant contradiction to dissenting opinion of colleague Judge Stephen Williams [see under no. 4 below].
- Pollard's prison guards: His unusual treatment in prison was revealed during his trip to Duke University Hospital for tumors: shackled hand and foot in chains and accompanied by three armed vehicles and 11 Special Operations guards in full combat gear. (Arutz-7 News, Jul.18, 99) [The only possible explanation for this is that they feared an Israeli Entebbe-style commando rescue of Pollard - so unlikely on American soil as to be laughable, were it not for the fact that Pollard suffered more because of it.]
- James Schlesinger, former CIA Director and Defense Chief: "Given the historic generosity of the U.S. in intelligence as in other matters, until the Israeli government comes clean, I see no need for us to do anything [about Pollard]." (_Wall Street Journal_, Feb.24, 94) [Apparently, this relieved the U.S. of having to address their violation of intelligence-sharing agreements with Israel, as well as any obligation to correct the inhumane treatment of Pollard. And since nothing has been done about Pollard to date, we may assume that Israel has not yet "come clean" on those unspecified matters.]
- Joseph E. diGenova, lead prosecutor in the Pollard case ("Should Pollard Go Free?"): "His sentence, life with eligibility for parole in 10 years, was consistent with other sentences for equally serious espionage, contrary to his supports' [sic] claims." [Since someone in his position has to know that spying for an ally carries a maximum sentence of 4 years, and since diGenova personally filed an objection to Pollard's parole after 10 years, this statement can only be viewed as double disinformation.]
(4) Protests over U.S. treatment of Pollard:
- Oct.10, 88 - The International Association of Jewish Lawyers and Jurists: "[We] call upon the Government of the United States to recognize that the punishments meted out to the Pollards have been unduly harsh, and to... reduce Jonathan Pollard's sentence to one proportionate to those of others convicted of similar activities, and provide full protection of his constitutional rights as a prisoner, including confidential access to his attorney." [Implies that Pollard was being denied basic rights in prison.]
- Mar.20, 92 - Appeals Court Justice Stephen F. Williams, dissenting opinion in the refusal to review Pollard's sentence: "The government's conduct in this case resulted in a complete miscarriage of justice." [Ironically, Williams was the only non-Jew on the bench.]
- Sep.16, 93 - The European Parliament votes almost unanimously for a resolution urging Pollard's immediate release. They note his life sentence was handed down "without a full trial... despite the Government's promise not to seek such a penalty" and call it "grossly disproportionate". They express shock at his solitary confinement, and astonishment at the behavior and attitude of Defense Secretary Weinberger during the hearing. They point out that nevertheless even Weinberger "stated recently that he thought it was time that Mr. Pollard should be released."
- Jun. 95 - Reverend Benjamin Hooks, former judge and CEO of the NAACP: "I have rarely encountered a case in which government arbitrariness was so clear-cut and inexcusable." (quoted by Rabbi Avi Weiss, "American Justice at Stake in the Pollard Case", _Washington Post_, Jun. 95)
- Jun.4, 95 - _Washington Post_ columnist Milton Viorst: "I have no sympathy for Pollard... [but] surely no American should have to spend a life in prison on the basis of secret proceedings.... Why not release the Weinberger memo now?" ("A Second Look at the Pollard Case")
- Jan.25, 99 - _Washington Post_ editorial: "The uncomfortable fact remains that [Pollard] has not been able to test in court the official assertions that put him away... materials to which he had no access and proceedings of which he was not a part.... Cannot a way be found to pierce some of the secrecy and provide the public with a better means of judging whether fairness was achieved in this case?"
- Jun. 00 - NY Senator Charles Schumer, who succeeded in getting access to the secret evidence against Pollard, states categorically that there is nothing in his file to justify a life sentence. (Dr. Aaron Lerner, "Finally, the Truth About the Pollard Affair", _Jerusalem Post_, Jun.20, 00)
- July 00 - NY State Assemblyman Sam Colman writes in protest to Senator Joe Lieberman, "[Pollard was] arrested as an American but punished as a Jew.... We will not accept a double standard of justice." (Arutz-7 News, Jul.11, 00)
- Dec. 00 - Angelo Codevilla, one of the few with total access to the files of both Pollard and Soviet spy Ronald Pelton, comments on the prosecution's comparison of the two at Pollard's 1987 hearing: "To suggest that comparable amounts of harm were done and that the punishment should be comparable is either uninformed or dishonest.... Either [prosecutor] Mr. Leeper had no idea what he was talking about, or he outright lied." (_Forward_, "Pollard Was No Pelton", Dec.8, 00)
- Dec. 00 - Vladimir Krioshkov, the last Soviet KGB Chief (until 1991): "The KGB did not receive from Israel or from the Israeli Mossad any intelligence information which originated with the spy Jonathan Pollard.... It simply never happened." (translated from _Ma'ariv_, Dec.8, 00)
- Apr. 01 - Anthony Weiner, a congressman who viewed the entire Pollard file, writing to President Bush: "None of the information provided by Mr. Pollard resulted in the loss of lives or the utility of any agents, the need to replace or relocate intelligence equipment, the loss of sources of information, or the compromising of technology.... Mr. Pollard's sentence does not fit his crime."
- Dec.15, 01 - James Patterson, journalist for the _Indianapolis Star_: "What a shame he got life largely on the word of a man [Weinberger] indicted twice for lying."
"Deja Vu," Says Dreyfus
While many have referred to Jonathan Pollard as "America's Dreyfus", few are aware of just how appropriate the comparison is. There are only three basic differences: (1) Dreyfus was accused of passing secrets to an enemy country, while Pollard was accused of passing unauthorized materials to a friendly country; (2) Dreyfus was innocent, while Pollard had indeed done so; (3) Dreyfus eventually received justice from his country, while Pollard still waits.
Following are some of the striking similarities, mostly based on the research done by _Jerusalem Post_ reporter Abraham Rabinovich on Alfred Dreyfus, the French-Jewish military officer whose bizarre treatment by the French judicial system over 100 years ago sparked a violent controversy that went beyond the borders of his country. ("Soldier of Misfortune", _JP_ Magazine, Oct.1, 99)
1: The ordeal which Dreyfus suffered on Devil's Island after his conviction in December 1894 resembles that of Pollard. The French Jew endured over 4 years of solitary confinement, at the mercy of cruel guards who kept him tied to his bed in a stifling, insect-infested hut. His health deteriorated and he fought to keep his sanity.
2: The social controversy which followed the ups and downs of Dreyfus over the next years went far beyond the man's guilt or innocence; like Pollard, Dreyfus became a symbol for the Jews of his nation. As the possibility of his innocence increased, antisemites began to oppose Dreyfus' acquittal because of the power they feared it would give to the French Jews and their supporters. The official Jesuit publication, _La Civilita Cattolica_, expressed regret that the Jews had ever been granted French citizenship. [This is not much worse than the U.S. security assessments which brand American Jews as ethnic liabilities to be kept under surveillance.] The reaction of the French Jews, like the early response of their American counterparts, was to distance themselves from the convicted man, while the non-Jews spoke out boldly on his behalf.
3: Dreyfus' conviction was spearheaded by the French head of counterintelligence, who produced false evidence that convicted him (similar to Aldrich Ames, who was responsible for presenting the counterintelligence evidence against Pollard and who also included false information). The same accusation that keeps Pollard under a life sentence without parole also kept Dreyfus in prison, and the document that tipped the court's verdict against him was presented at the last minute, as in Pollard's hearing. A highly placed but anonymous French government official (possibly French War Minister General Auguste Mercier, who like Weinberger had rammed through Dreyfus' arrest and conviction with the help of counterintelligence officers) insisted to a local newspaper that the evidence against Dreyfus which resulted in the unanimous verdict of guilt was "far weightier than what the public knew", but neither the public nor Dreyfus nor his attorney were permitted to see it for urgent security reasons. However, unlike Pollard's case, this revelation led the French justice system to finally acknowledge the illegality of Dreyfus' trial and order a retrial nearly five years later.
4: As we have seen (and _Ma'ariv_ journalist Carmel shows in detail), all the damage to national security attributed to Pollard was actually done by someone else, who was still spying while Pollard served time. In the case of Dreyfus, the "high treason" was actually committed by one Major Ferdinand Esterhazy. It was the new head of French counterintelligence, Lt. Col. George Picquart, who realized that a German spy was still at work while Dreyfus languished in prison, and his integrity drove him to pinpoint the source.
5: Acting on priorities that were every bit as morally corrupt as those behind the CIA's treatment of Pollard, the French High Command covered up the new information that would have cleared Dreyfus and tried to silence Picquart. But Picquart out-maneuvered the ambush of his military superiors when all the information was passed to a powerful and respected French senator, who gave it the attention it deserved. [U.S. senators with the same high standards have tried to act on behalf of Pollard, but the unelected authorities in the U.S. government have proved more than a match for them thus far.]
6: It was two years before anyone besides the initial trial judges got a look at the "secret documents" which had condemned Dreyfus. The first was Picquart, who noticed them while cross-checking the Dreyfus file with his new suspect Esterhazy. Picquart immediately recognized the "secret evidence" to be flimsy at best, and some of it appeared to be falsified and/or culled from other cases of espionage. [Compare the conclusions of Senator Schumer, the first outsider to get a look at Pollard's file, not after 2 years but 15 years of secrecy.]
7: The retrial of Dreyfus in September 1899 included the already-discredited "evidence" against him, along with continuing hints of damning secret evidence which could not be discussed due to national security. [Pollard was refused a second hearing on the same grounds.] Dreyfus' second trial concluded with another guilty verdict, but this time "with extenuating circumstances" which were never specified. [Pollard was refused a rehearing due to equally vague "technical reasons" which were likewise never explained.]
8: It was because of the Dreyfus Affair that a lone reporter who was covering the events realized that the only place where the Jews could be free of antisemitically motivated accusations was in a Jewish homeland. He was a modernized, secularized Jew named Theodore Herzl, and he dedicated the rest of his life to that need, resulting in the modern Zionist movement. The Pollard Affair will carry the same conviction to those Jews who are paying attention.
American Jews Get the Message
That the "Blue-and-White Scare" had been accepted by the American Jewish leadership was obvious in their reaction to Pollard's plight. The World Jewish Congress noted the reluctance of mainstream organizations to get involved, in contrast to the grassroots Jewish community - especially religious leadership - which was far less intimidated. (Policy Dispatch 25, Jan. 98) In spite of the almost immediate protest from the International Association of Jewish Lawyers and Jurists, the "Justice for Pollard" group writes (in a footnote to their reprint of a Feb.11, 00 _Jewish Press_ article) that panels of prominent Jewish organizational heads were convened to search for signs of antisemitism in Pollard's treatment, and like a similar panel in Ciralsky's case, they gave the U.S. government a clean bill of health. It was 5-1/2 years before Jewish community leaders began to realize that Pollard was truly being denied justice, and that the suspicion of dual loyalty must be defied in order to maintain community integrity on his behalf.
The ice was broken for community leaders in Mar. 91 by Seymour Reich, who summoned the courage to visit Pollard at the maximum-security Marion State Penitentiary. This was followed a month later by the first Jewish call to commute Pollard's sentence to time already served, issued by the American section of the World Jewish Congress (Apr.29). That call was echoed in an open letter to Clinton in Nov. 93 signed by 1000 rabbis. WJC Secretary-General Israel Singer visited Pollard in prison in 1997. Drawing on the defiance that comes more easily with youth, the National Council of Young Israel took to maintaining daily contact with Jonathan.
Although some might criticize the American Jews for their slow response, it predates by more than two years any response from Israel, which didn't issue an official request for Pollard's pardon until Nov. 93. But as in the U.S. Jewish community, Israeli grassroots support for Pollard was vocal and immediate, and has not waned over the years.
Were American Jewish leaders overreacting in their fears that association with Pollard would backfire on them? Not if the _NY Times_ (known as "the Paper of Record") is a reliable barometer. As recently as 1999, an op-ed piece by one Peter Beinart insinuated that American Jews who lobby for Pollard's release are not exhibiting moral integrity but dual loyalty. (cited by Richard Chesnoff, _Jewish World Review_, Mar.5, 99) [Polls over the last 30 years indicate that up to 50% of the American public may agree with Beinart concerning the loyalties of Zionist Jews.]
Joe Lieberman Draws His Own Conclusions
Determined to stay far from the Pollard stigma of dual loyalty, Senator Joseph Lieberman is one American Jew who has gone out of his way to reassure the Beinarts of America that his personal loyalties are above reproach. This Vice Presidential candidate, whose public image centered on fearless practice of his orthodox Jewish faith, has consistently refused to speak out on behalf of clemency for Jonathan Pollard.
He has been frank about his reasons. According to a report by "Justice for Pollard" (Aug.8, 00), repeated by Arutz-7 News (Aug.21, 00), Lieberman explained to Pollard's father that he must keep his distance because of the dual-loyalty issue, apparently assuming that the Pollards would understand and gracefully let him off the hook. We should note that this was several months after Senator Schumer's declaration that the much talked-about yet unpublicized "evidence" of treason by Pollard was non-existent.
But Joseph Lieberman did not merely avoid the humanitarian efforts of other congressmen working for Pollard's release. Two years ago (around the time of Ciralsky's case, which he has also refused to support), he took the lead in Senate opposition to any clemency whatsoever for the Jew who faces life imprisonment for a crime punishable by a maximum of four years. The 60 signatories on this letter to President Clinton (Jan.11, 99) actually begins with Senator Richard Shelby, a long-time Pollard opponent, but the Jewish community knowingly refers to it as the "Lieberman Letter". Repeated protests from Lieberman's colleague Senator Coleman went unanswered, even after former CIA Deputy Director Bobby Ray Inman confirmed (and justified) his unauthorized embargo of information that had been promised to Israel during Pollard's tour of duty. It was this startling hostility to Pollard which may have given Jewish admirers the first twinge of uneasiness about Joe Lieberman's integrity, not only as a Jew but as a moral pillar in general. (See more on Lieberman's response to the Blue-and-White Scare, in my main article.)
In light of the spine-dissolving effect the fear of dual loyalty had on the Great Jewish Hope of American politics, we should be thankful that he did not get into the White House after all. But he was re-elected to the Senate. And meanwhile, Hillary Clinton, campaigning at the time for the post of NY Senator, justified her opposition to Pollard's release by referring to Senator Lieberman's stand. (Arutz-7 News, Jul.10, 00)
So, What was Pollard's Crime -- Really?
According to Loftus and Aarons ( _Secret War_; also Loftus' article, "Puzzle"), it was true that Pollard passed on information that was promised to Israel but was being withheld. However, they say his real assault on U.S. interests was made without his knowing or intending it, and few Pollard supporters may be aware of the picture which these authors present. While performing his routine task of monitoring weapons shipments to terrorists, Pollard had noticed and reported to Israel a pattern of arms deliveries through Greece to the PLO in Yemen. This would later turn out to be a secret, illegal and ill-fated weapons-for-hostages deal, concluded between the U.S. Special Situation Group under Vice President George Bush (Sr.) and Lebanese terrorists, through British mediators.
One shipment which Pollard discovered was being smuggled by the PLO through Greece in Apr. 84. He notified the Israelis, who passed word to the Greeks, who raided the ship full of arms in May. None of the players knew that this shipment was directly connected to an event two months previous (March), in which U.S. hostages had been kidnapped in Lebanon. The ship had not been commissioned by Arafat but by U.S. Vice President Bush. The weaponry was ultimately destined for the patron of the Lebanese kidnappers, Iran (transferred via a Syrian middleman, Monzer Al-Kassar). This shipment marks the true beginning of the infamous Iran-Contra scandal (a year earlier than commonly thought). The Americans gradually became aware that they were being manipulated by the Syrians rather than Iran, but they continued to negotiate, culminating with Bush himself flying to Damascus, only to be further humiliated. (_Secret War_, p.482-487)
Contrary to later publicity, Israel was not the initiator of the Iran-Contra operation to trade weapons for hostages. On the contrary, Israel was excluded by necessity, because its success depended on the cooperation of Monzer Al-Kassar, the Syrian go-between. In addition to his weapons dealing, Al-Kassar was the mastermind behind the murderous Achille Lauro hijacking and a long list of other terrorist acts committed by the PLO and Abu Abbas. The fact that he was high on Israel's wanted list meant he had to be protected from discovery by the Zionists. The U.S. recruited Israel only a year after Pollard's intercepted ship, in the spring of 1985, and then only to be the "fall guy" in the failing attempts to trade weapons for hostages.
Apparently even the Mossad didn't realize that it was Pollard who had tipped Israel concerning the Al Kassar-PLO shipping deal which they intercepted. (p.473) And for years afterward, neither Pollard nor the Israelis realized the significance of the arms-shipment intelligence he had passed to them (p.401-405), or the fact that Al-Kassar had been working for the White House.
So Why Pollard is Still in Prison -- Really?
The Iran-Contra Affair took place nearly two decades ago and has long passed from the memory of most political observers. But key American players apparently saw the need to muzzle Pollard in solitary confinement for years on end and deny him any chance of release, for fear of what he had seen and might reveal. It is noteworthy that Weinberger, Pollard's single most bitter adversary, who subverted judicial procedure in order to put Pollard away for life, was himself a key player in the affair unwittingly exposed by Pollard. No less noteworthy, Weinberger was indicted in the Iran-Contra investigation for "perjury" and "obstruction of justice", charges which precisely describe his interference in Pollard's trial.
That might explain Pollard's incarceration up until Weinberger's "pardon", which made any further revelations on Iran-Contra irrelevant. Why is Pollard still in prison today?
Some clues come from the American government, provided in the Victim Impact Statement, a document submitted to the court by Pollard's prosecution sometime between May 86 and Jan. 87, but which was not released to public view until 1997. Although Pollard's indictment deliberately omitted any reference to "damage" incurred to the U.S., the presence of the VIS shows that the U.S. considered itself a "victim" that suffered damage at his hands. This means that a radical change in the charge against Pollard went into effect after his guilty plea.
The VIS, in serving its purpose to summarize for the court the full damage assessment which would come later (the Weinberger affadavit), stated that Pollard's damage was in (1) threatening U.S. relations with its Arab allies, and (2) reducing U.S. bargaining leverage with the Israelis. Regarding the first charge, heavily redacted bits from Weinberger's secret memo which have been released specify that Pollard had endangered "sources" by exposing them to the Israelis - the logical implication being that Israel would consider these sources legitimate targets for elimination. Regarding the second charge, the tersely worded VIS accused Pollard of making Israel "too strong". (details from attorney Dub, _WorldNetDaily_, Sep.26, 01)
If we put together all of these diverse bits of information, an interesting theory emerges as to why Pollard has been locked up with the key thrown away. As of 1996, more than a decade after Pollard's arrest, lead prosecutor diGenova still spoke of a "fear inside the U.S. government that if released now, he would go there [to Israel] (as he has said he wants to) and further damage our national security due to his encyclopedic knowledge of intelligence data and photographic memory [of 11-year-old information]." ("Should Pollard Go Free?") Since Pollard's access to intelligence only involved arms shipments to terrorists (now nearly 20 years ago), and since Senator Schumer has testified that Pollard's file lacks anything that could threaten American security, the logical conclusion is that the U.S. government dares not release Pollard because he may have yet more damaging information relating to arms deals made with terrorists behind Israel's back. [This, by the way, may also explain the urgency to eject Ciralsky from his CIA post, where according to "60 Minutes" he primarily worked on "top-secret cases involving terrorism", and it can explain the urgency to prevent him by hook or by crook from working with the "terrorism experts" at the NSC.] One possible confirmation which relates to Iraq (Pollard's former specialty) is the flat statement by retired U.S. Navy Lt. Commander Al Martin that the U.S. was supplying Saddam "illegal weapons systems until three days before the beginning of the Gulf War." ("Behind the Scenes in the Beltway", undated) Such secret deals with Israel's enemies are not so hard to imagine today, given the long involvement of American intelligence with terrorists before and after their metamorphosis into the Palestinian Authority. Proving such deals with hard documentation, on the other hand, would indeed damage America's image among the Israelis and all people of integrity, if Pollard indeed has such a capability.
In spite of this potential revelation, or maybe because of it, Israel dares not push too hard for Pollard's release. As Loftus and Aarons put it, "the Mossad does not want him released." His clumsy attempt (as they see it) to help Israel put a near-fatal damper on the already limp relationship between Israeli and U.S. intelligence, a relationship which both sides knew had ruptured over a rare act of true Israeli independence regarding Iraq. The current intelligence cooperation between the two "allies", such as it is, could only suffer if Pollard should emigrate to Israel and expose more dirty American secrets. (_Secret War_, p.401, also p.626 note 66) The Israelis had already seen the tip of the ugly iceberg in some of the documents Pollard had passed to them, such as Syrian plans for unleashing chemical war on Israeli civilians... one of those documents the U.S. had neglected to relay to their ally. But neither Israel's PM Barak nor U.S. President Clinton wanted such documents publicized, because it would destroy their carefully spun image of Syria's Hafez Assad as a trustworthy peace partner, so as to justify handing him the Golan Heights. (_Makor Rishon_, "Quiet Diplomacy" (Hebrew), Oct.22, 99)
Let's take the "Pollard damage" theory one step closer to today's reality in Israel. News from Pollard (even 20-year-old news) that sheds more light on arms deals made behind Israel's back would certainly short-circuit the delicate arrangements put in place since Oslo - not only the above-mentioned rehabilitation of Syria (which has proved fruitless for now), but the more relevant and ongoing role of the CIA in "helping" resolve the Palestinian-Israeli conflict. Indeed, the entire American defense community is committed to "shaping circumstances" in Israel in order to "undermine" the dangerous element of "Jewish fundamentalism", as advised in a Defense Department study which labels any Likud-led government as that kind of danger. Nothing must be allowed to get in the way of this mission. Peace negotiations that leave Israel increasingly vulnerable must find a way around the Likud "hard-liners", if necessary through covert left-wing Israeli cooperation. But exposure of the full extent of secret betrayal by America could push even the most leftist Israelis past their tolerance for manipulation, resulting in a newly united Jewish nation that would be far "too strong" for U.S. agents to "shape". Therefore, those agents have multiple reasons to view Pollard as a threat to those particular U.S. interests.
Jonathan Pollard serves an added psychological purpose which is proving its effectiveness: that of a hostage to ensure Jewish cooperation in two nations. One of the most effective weapons available to hostage-takers is to maintain an atmosphere of uncertainty, and in this instance the uncertainty of Pollard's fate becomes the uncertainty of all Jews who love Israel. Another powerful intimidation tactic is ruthless treatment of a hostage as an "example" to others, and Pollard's experience speaks of ruthless and even sadistic punishment.
In his own country, Pollard is a handy excuse to keep the other "ethnic allies" of Israel under constant surveillance and intimidation, serving as a warning that any one of them could likewise be locked away and tormented without just cause or access to justice. According to J.J. Goldberg, Editor of the _Forward_, high-level Washington sources have said that Pollard's sentence was engineered by the Joint Chiefs of Staff, with Weinberger acting as courier, specifically in order "to send a message" to the American Jewish community. Moreover, Pollard's suffering continues in order to keep that message going out: "Pollard is still in jail, these sources say, not because his crime merits his lengthy sentence - it doesn't - but because too many American Jews still haven't gotten the message." (_LA Jewish Journal_, Apr.3, 98, quoted by Pollard's attorney Dub)
As for using Pollard on the Israelis, he is the "killer issue" , as Gerald Steinberg put it so well in a _Jerusalem Post_ column. He is the reminder of past sins against America, Israel's great benefactor; his fate (and the possibility that others could join him) causes Israeli objections to fade into guilty silence and meek surrender. As a living skeleton in Israel's closet, Jonathan the spy is brought out and rattled when necessary to cow unwilling Israeli leaders into accepting CIA involvement in their affairs, even when it carries no benefits to Israeli interests and a great deal of benefit to those who are trying to destroy the Jewish State.
It is clear that Pollard will remain in jail with no chance of parole, unless these particular U.S. interests suddenly become less pressing than the need to preserve what is left of America's democratic image. The U.S. still prides itself on being the symbol of freedom to the world. Only continuing, unrelenting and increasing public pressure from Americans - politicians, businesses, charitable organizations, academic institutions, religious leaders, and many ordinary citizens - will give U.S. officials the incentive to release their Zionist hostage.
[For more documentation on how how Pollard's treatment both reflects and directs U.S. policy on Israel, see the companion article, "The Blue-and-White Scare". Click here to go to the beginning of that article.]
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