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
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
(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
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"
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
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
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
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"
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
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
- 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
- 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
- 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
- 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,
- Sept 00. Pollard submits motion for an evidentiary hearing and unsealing of
secret Weinberger evidence. Court orders U.S. government to respond by Dec.
- 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
- 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
- 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
- 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
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
- 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
- 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
- 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.
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
- 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
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
- 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
- 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
- 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
- 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
- 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_,
- July 00 - NY State Assemblyman Sam Colman writes in protest to
Lieberman, "[Pollard was] arrested as an American but punished as a
Jew.... We will not accept a double standard of justice." (Arutz-7 News,
- 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_,
- 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
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_
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
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
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 --
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
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
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
benefits to Israeli interests and a great deal of benefit to those who
are trying to destroy the Jewish State.
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