Jonathan and wife Esther
a Navy analyst, Pollard illegally provided Israel with classified
documents concerning activities of Arab countries, specifically the
chemical, bacteriological and nuclear program in Iraq. This information
had not been transmitted to Israel despite a Convention of Reciprocity
signed between the United States and Israel. In spite of leniency pledges
by the Justice Department in exchange for his cooperation with the FBI, he
received life imprisonment, an extremely harsh punishment for spying on
behalf of a friendly nation. In sentencing him, the judge allegedly was
influenced by a confidential and still not revealed letter from former
Defense Secretary Caspar Weinberger.
Page has been placed on the web for the supporting of Jonathan
Pollard. My contribution to this effort is to provide the most
relevant links and a concise information about Jonathan Pollard in order
to join the international move to release Jonathan from his prison cell.
beyond the matter how much time he has to serve in the prison, and
acknowledging the fact that Pollard was ready to sacrifice his career or
even his life for the sake of Israel, Israel has to act more seriously for
his sake. Nobody else can do so but the state of Israel! But he was
betrayed many times by all parties. Instead of acknowledge his role in
favor of the nonproliferation efforts towards Iraq, he was over-punished
much beyond anybody else in the democratic world! Why it was happened to
him? Because it was easy to frame a Jew serving the interest of Israel
instead of the USA. This is very sensitive issue among the American Jews.
However, nothing to shame on. This is the extreme situation when an
excellent navy officer decided against his supervisors, of what is better
to the free world. The Gulf war provided the final proves that he was
right and Ames-Weinberger-Bush were wrong if not worse than that. It's too
bad that the United States still doesn't fully acknowledge the fact that
Israel and US sharing common interest on the matter of nonproliferation
second issue I want to raise here is related to the fact that Pollard has
been sentenced for life in the prison, while in the free world things
going on like nothing were happened. Why we can't expect, at least from
the Israeli government, to apply the same efforts to free Jonathan
Pollard, as they did in order to free Ron Arad?
arguments of Jonathan Pollard's friends.
Iraqi chemical manufacturing plants.
terrorist projects against Israel.
satellite pictures of hostile neighboring countries (Lebanon, Syria,
technical information about Soviet armament sold to these same countries.
Pollard's only motivation was the moral duty he felt to help Israel to
protect its population.
Pollard has been accused of having received "important amounts of
money" from the Israeli government on "accounts in
Switzerland". It has to be recognized that if there has not been any
monetary fine imposed on Jonathan Pollard, it is precisely because the
Jury could establish that he did not get any material profit out of his
Weinberger was Defense Secretary of State at the time of Jonathan
Pollard's trial. He was employed (like George Bush) by the company BECHTEL
which is well-established in Saudi Arabia.
Weinberger was probably Jonathan Pollard's worst enemy. He bears a great
part of responsibility in the harshness and disproportion of the sentence.
(On March 4th 1987, one hour before the sentence hearing, Caspar
Weinberger transmitted a 47-page memo to Judge Robinson asking the
stiffest sentence possible "commensurate with Pollard's
'TREASONOUS' behavior" ignoring that Jonathan Pollard was NEVER
accused of treason)
calumnious statements against Jonathan Pollard were complete non sense.
He describes Jonathan as "the worst spy in American history"
in December 1993, Weinberger said he would not oppose Jonathan
Pollard's liberation as he did not represent a danger for the national
security any more.
of Pollard's Sentence With Others
following tables show how grossly disproportionate the life sentence meted
out to Jonathan Pollard is when compared with the sentences given to
others that committed similar offences by spying for allied nations.
life sentence is also disproportionate even when compared to the sentences
of those who committed far more serious offences by spying for enemy
I: American Allies
median sentence for this offence is 2 to 4 years.
Ames: A Case In Point
Ames who spied for an enemy nation (the Soviet Union), committed
treason, and was responsible for the deaths of at least 11 American
agents, received the same sentence as Jonathan Pollard. Pollard's
only indictment was one count of passing classified information to an
ally. Pollard spent 7 years in solitary confinement, in the harshest unit
of the harshest prison in the Federal system - FCI Marion.
Ames' treatment was far more benign, and (except for a relatively short
period of time during debriefing) did not include the rigors of long years
of solitary; nor was he ever subjected to the harsh conditions of
"K" Unit at Marion - even though his offence was far more
CONSPIRACY AGAINST POLLARD
18, 1994 - Chezi Carmel - Maariv Weekend Supplement: pp. 8-9
Washington, anxiety lingers over Aldrich Ames, the director of U.S.
counterintelligence revealed as the highest-ranking Russian agent to
operate in American intelligence.
details are still unknown, but some suspect Ames mounted a conspiracy
against Jonathan Pollard to allay Panic in U.S. intelligence circles over
the infiltration of a mole and to deflect all suspicion from himself.
appears Ames spread the word about a Russian mole in Israeli intelligence
and claimed Pollard was responsible for the arrest and execution of dozens
of agents that Ames himself had exposed.
Russian mole has infiltrated the Mossad and is transmitting highly
sensitive American intelligence information to the Russians," stated
the UPI report of December 14, 1987, which landed like a bomb in the
bureaus of 400 daily newspapers around the world.
UPI writer, relying on "American intelligence sources," reported
that the chiefs of United States counterintelligence had learned that
"sensitive intelligence material relayed to Israel by Jonathan
Pollard had reached the KGB."
past week it became clear that the false report was part of a
disinformation campaign - and perhaps of a conspiracy - conducted by
Aldrich Ames, Director of U.S. counterintelligence, to blame Jonathan
Pollard for the arrest and execution of dozens of American agents that
Ames himself had unmasked before he was recently exposed as the
highest-ranking Russian agent ever to have infiltrated American
was sentenced to life imprisonment in 1987 primarily because Secretary of
Defense Caspar Weinberger alleged that he caused extensive damage to
America intelligence as a result of the exposure and execution of numerous
agents working for the United States in Russia.
true story is altogether different.
Like all tales of espionage and intelligence, some parts are clear and
open; most are obscure, buried deep inside the safes of a half a dozen
obscure part is the one we aim to reconstruct, like a mosaic, from pieces
of information and the evaluation of possibilities.
Director of Counterintelligence Aldrich Ames was recruited in 1984 by the
Russians and handsomely paid. For 10 years Ames supplied staggering
amounts of information. The precise extent of the damage he caused may
never be known. For the moment, what we do know is that in the early years
he gave the Russians a great deal of information about the activities of
U.S. intelligence agents in Russia. A good number of them, probably many
dozens, were discovered, arrested and killed.
the summer of 1984, CIA Director Bill Casey received a top secret briefing
from the CIA bureau chief in Moscow concerning the collapse of the bureau.
Bob Woodward, who investigated the affair, relates that the Moscow bureau
chief’s report resembled the opening paragraph of a spy novel.
had been arrested, electronic intelligence systems rendered inoperative,
and four members of the intelligence bureau in Moscow, including the
undersecretary of the American Embassy, were declared personae non grata
and expelled from Russia. Adolf Tulkgachev, a Soviet aeronautics and
ballistics expert and CIA agent who supplied the West with copious
information about sophisticated Russian weapons systems, had been arrested
and executed. It appeared a general collapse had occurred. The American
espionage network in Russia was virtually destroyed.
doubt a red light flashed at the highest echelons of American intelligence
with the dissolution of a major sector of their espionage network. Several
began to suspect the existence of a Russian mole. But it is highly
unlikely, even though the facts sound as if they came straight out of Le
Carré, that anyone suspected Ames of being the mole - the very man
charged with ferreting out Russian spies.
about Russian moles had circulated more than once in the intelligence
agency. One of Ames’s predecessors and a director of
counterintelligence, the legendary James J. Angleton, was accused
(falsely) by his rivals in the FBI of being a Russian agent.
seems the investigation into the debacle in Russia created serious
problems for Ames and the Russians. Ames searched frantically for a
scapegoat that would keep him out of danger. The opportunity arose much
sooner than he expected.
November 22, 1985, nearly 2 years after Ames had begun working for the
Russians, Jonathan Pollard was arrested and charged with spying for
Israel. President Reagan was on the plane heading back for America,
following a summit meeting with President Gorbachev in Geneva, when he
received the top-secret FBI briefing about Pollard’s arrest.
received the news shortly after the President did and immediately
recognized its tremendous potential and advantage. Soon thereafter Ames
began assembling the file that - based on false information - was used to
hold Israel responsible for leaking the data it received from Pollard
to the KGB, a leak that Ames claimed blew the cover of American
the year he worked as an agent, Pollard passed on considerable
intelligence to Israel about Russia weaponry in Arab states, among other
things. The data about Russian arms and instructions for their use were
gleaned, at least in part, from American agents in Russia.
order to shift the blame onto Pollard and Israel for exposing the agents
that Ames himself had delivered to the Russians, it was necessary to
manufacture the story that a mole in Israel’s Mossad was retransmitting
Pollard’s information to the Russians.
According to Ames, the receipt of that information enabled the Russians to
zero in on, and subsequently eliminate, all the agents who leaked out
Defense Department bought the story. So did Justice, since Ames’s
allegation was the primary basis for the sentence of life imprisonment
imposed on Jonathan Pollard on March 4, 1987 - an exceptionally harsh
sentence when compared with those imposed on far more important and
dangerous spies than Pollard.
over the mole engulfed American intelligence again. Ames exploited the
information he had shared on Shabtai Kalmanowitz as a Russian agent, and
leaked the news about a Russian mole in the Mossad a week before
Kalmanowitz was unmasked in Israel. Yet Ames was unsure if the complete
collapse of the Russian intelligence network in Moscow could be wholly
attributed to Pollard’s activity.
the Russians had tried to deceive the Americans differently in a ploy that
had proven successful in the past, whereby an agent pretends to defect to
the West, discloses information, and returns to Russia once the mission is
July 1986, KGB agent Vitali Yurchenko "defected" to the West.
For four months, Yurchenko had numerous conversations with Ames’s boss,
CIA Director Bill Casey. Yurchenko sold the Americans a large quantity of
information that included some truthful data mixed with a generous dose of
disinformation. The primary goal was to keep the most highly prized
Russian agent - Ames - out of the line of fire.
an Expendable Agent
fact, the ploy temporarily misled U.S. Intelligence. To the Americans,
Yurchenko "revealed" the existence of a mole in the CIA whose
code name was "Robert." With Yurchenko’s descriptions of
"Robert" as their guide, the CIA (who else but Ames again?)
tracked down their man, Edward Lee Howard, whom the CIA had recruited in
he was 28, he underwent intensive training to become an "agent
activator", and was ready to join the Moscow CIA branch as an
activator of special agents in 1983. Ames had made the appointment so that
the Russians could obtain inside information about U.S. intelligence
operations in Moscow. But shortly before Howard was to leave for Moscow,
he underwent a polygraph test that indicated he was a liar, heavy drinker,
drug user and womanizer. The profile of a consummate agent…
was immediately dismissed from the agency. His training for the Moscow
post afforded him considerable information, but nothing that the Russians
didn’t already have through Ames. For the Russians, Howard was
expendable and they had no difficulty sacrificing "Robert" in
order to shield their senior agent, Ames.
FBI entered the picture. Its agents located Howard in New Mexico, where he
was placed under close surveillance in order to discover who his contacts
were. But "Robert", forewarned by Ames about the FBI’s plans,
managed to circumvent the sophisticated surveillance and slip out of the
United States undetected. Several weeks later he surfaced in Moscow, which
granted him political asylum.
the Americans had information about a mole allegedly operating in the
ranks, but couldn’t identify the individual to ascertain what caused the
collapse of the America intelligence system in Russia.
the ever-suspicious Casey didn’t buy any of the merchandise the Russians
tried to sell him. At one point, it seems that despite
"Robert’s" exposure, suspicions about the existence of a mole
within the CIA didn’t abate and actually intensified. The Senate
subcommittee on intelligence affairs blamed Casey for the Russia debacle
and sought to investigate if another Russian mole had burrowed its way
into American intelligence.
order to stem the new wave of panic engulfing U.S. intelligence over the
mole, and to deflect suspicion from himself, Ames had to heighten the
accusations against Pollard, and pad them with scenarios about a Russian
mole in Israel’s Mossad.
the information he already had about Shabtai Kalmanowitz as a Russian
agent, (about 2 weeks before the story was released by UPI on December 14,
1987), Ames betted astutely that the anticipated arrest of Kalmanowitz,
who was in fact jailed a week after the story broke on December 23, 1987,
would buttress the false report about a mole in the Mossad who leaked
Pollard’s information to Russia.
we can assess that the report about Kalmanowitz’s intelligence work was
also part of Ames’s disinformation campaign. For the Russians, it paid
to sacrifice scum, and Kalmanowitz was no better than that, in order to
magnify Pollard’s "horrendous" guilt and keep Ames out of
staff changes took place at the KGB, and the new staff was no longer
interested continuing the game with the same players. Ames became the
chief party in the intelligence operation and specifically chief architect
of a defense to prevent his exposure. To that end, he had to sabotage any
attempt to free Pollard.
far as Ames was concerned, Pollard’s release could revive certain
questions that might blow his cover. Ames’s precise role in
Pollard’s suffering can only be determined when full details emerge
during his trial. But even at this stage, the Government of Israel
should demand the immediate release of Jonathan Pollard.
CIA engaged in espionage against Israel.
C.I.A. left intact in the embassy archive in Tehran an extremely damaging
47-page report on Israeli intelligence. Called: "Israel: Foreign
Intelligence and Security Services," the March 1979 was not only
classified SECRET, but carried the labels NONFORN (not releasable to
foreign nationals), NONCONTRACT, (not releasable to contract employees or
consultants), and ORCON (meaning the originator of the report, the
C.I.A.’s counterintelligence staff, controlled who in the American
government saw it).
report spells out in detail the sources and methods of Israel’s most
secret intelligence services - including the Mossad, Israel’s equivalent
of the C.I.A.; Shin Beth, Israel’s F.B.I.; and its other intelligence
schools and services.
report closely defines Israel’s foreign targets. It reveals tactics
used, such as "false-flag" recruitments (where Israeli agents
pose as NATO officers), surveillance and "surreptitious entry
operations" (where Israeli agents break into embassies). It even
reprints an organization table - including the names of top personnel,
their photographs and their salaries. And it describes Israel’s most
sensitive liaisons with foreign intelligence services in nations such as
China and Kenya, with which it does not have diplomatic relations.
incredible facts, which were secret up until the seizure of the Tehran
archive, came in large part from secret Israeli government documents and
investigations. Since they were not part of any public record, how did the
C.I.A. get them?
C.I.A. answers this question by explaining that "most of the
information in this publication has been derived from a variety of
sources, including covert assets of the Central Intelligence Agency."
Since "covert assets" is the term of art for spies, it becomes
evident how the C.I.A. obtained at least a portion of Israel’s secret
documents: it used its moles and other covert assets in Israel to furnish
appears from the data they provided that the spies were Israel government
employees with access to the most closely held intelligence secrets. The
C.I.A. was therefore engaged in espionage operations against Israel -
at least this was clearly the case from 1976 to 1979, when the report was
C.I.A. report also raises questions about the Jonathan Pollard case.
When Pollard was arrested in 1985 for stealing U.S. Navy documents about
Arab terrorists and selling them to Israel, the U.S. government denounced
Israel for organizing an espionage operation in America. The judgment that
allies don’t spy on allies turns out, in light of these documents, to be
activities were, like all espionage activities, clearly illegal; but they
were not unique to Israel. The situation is anything but one-sided when it
is revealed that American intelligence also routinely engaged in espionage
against Israeli intelligence. This hardly justifies Israeli espionage, but
it explains why it did not feel constrained in "collecting" the
data it needed, just as the C.I.A. does.
was the Pollard case as surprising as it appeared at first blush. The
C.I.A. knew about Israel’s collection activities in the U.S. The
report acknowledges matter-of-factly that Mossad routinely
"collects" intelligence in the United States throughout its
eighth department, noting without any indignation that Mossad’s
"collection efforts are especially concentrated in the Soviet Union
and the United States, as well as at the U.N..."
the damage that Pollard did to American intelligence remains questionable
(as far as is known, the intelligence data he provided Israel did not fall
into hostile hands), the damage the C.I.A. did to Israel through its
espionage is evident, since it not only compromised all of Israel’s
intelligence services with its report, but it left the report unprotected
and unshredded in the Tehran embassy. That the report was unnecessarily
captured and circulated among Israel’s enemies says something about
from Judge Steven William’s Dissenting Opinion1992 Appeal
2, 1992 - Forward
vote in the U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit was
2-1 against Jonathan Pollard on his appeal for a new hearing on his
had argued that he had been unlawfully coerced to plead guilty by the
"wiring" of his guilty plea to that of his wife, Anne; he had
also argued that the judge should have recused himself because of
allegations that he’d received an out-of-channels communication from
President Reagan’s secretary of defense, Caspar Weinberger. These
arguments were rejected by all three judges.
on one of the defense arguments, Judge Stephen Williams filed an eloquent
dissent, asserting that Pollard should be granted a new sentencing hearing
before a new judge, because the U.S. prosecutors violated the spirit
and, in an important element, even the letter of the agreement they
had made with Pollard when he gave up his right to a trial and agreed to
plead guilty to spying for Israel. It was the most important assertion
to date that elements of the Pollard prosecution had gone awry.
from Judge Williams dissent:
Circuit Judge, dissenting in part: I agree with the majority that the
"plea wiring" was not an unlawful coercion of Pollard’s guilty
plea and that Chief Judge Robinson did not abuse his discretion in
refusing to recuse himself or to conduct a hearing into the claim of ex
parte contacts. But because the government’s breach of the plea
agreement was a fundamental miscarriage of justice requiring relief under
[federal law], I dissent. ... Pollard’s plea agreement required him to
plead guilty and to cooperate. On its side, the government made three
promises of significance here.
it would bring to the court’s attention "the nature, extent and
value of [Pollard’s] cooperation and testimony" and would represent
that the information supplied was of "considerable value to the
Government’s damage assessment analysis, its investigation of this
criminal case, and the enforcement of the espionage laws."
it would not ask for a life
sentence (this promise was implicit but it is not contested by the
government), though it would be free to recommend a "substantial
period of incarceration."
the government limited its reserved right of allocution to "the facts
and circumstances" of Pollard’s crimes. The government complied in
spirit with none of its promises; with the third, it complied in neither
letter nor spirit.
the government obliged itself to call attention to the "considerable
value" of Pollard’s cooperation, in its principal sentencing
memorandum, it buried its sole discussion of that cooperation in a section
entitled "Factors Compelling Substantial Sentence."
first paragraph of this section discussed the extent of Pollard’s
offense, saying that he had compromised "thousands of pages of
classified documents," and recommended a "substantial period of
second paragraph called Pollard’s activities a "flagrant breach of
... trust," a breach "all the more venal in that [despite
Pollard’s contrary claims] it is clear that the money and gifts provided
by the Israelis were significant, if not the primary factors motivating
third paragraph said that Pollard "will undoubtedly urge the Court
also to consider his post-arrest conduct i.e., [his] submission of a plea
of guilty and his cooperation..." and noted the obvious point that
plea bargaining and cooperation "may be considered by courts at the
time of sentencing."
paragraph four, the government provided nominal compliance with its
promise, saying that Pollard "revealed a substantial amount of
information regarding ... the espionage operation which was previously
unknown to the government" and that this cooperation "has proven
to be of considerable value to the government’s damage assessment
analysis, and the ongoing investigation of the instant case."
the fifth paragraph, though acknowledging that the defendant had been
candid and informative, the government told the court that Pollard delayed
his cooperation in order to assist the escape of three co-conspirators,
devoting more space to this caveat than to its favorable words for
Pollard’s cooperation. The rest of this section, of course, went on with
the government came forth with the magic words "of considerable
value," and even mentioned two of the three general areas of inquiry,
specified by the agreement, to which Pollard’s cooperation contributed.
But by placing the discussion square in the middle of its reasons why the
sentence should be substantial, and by its heavy stress on the
cooperation’s imperfections, it succeeded in conveying the impression,
that, overall, the value was not "considerable" but slight.
Perhaps the value was slight, but if so, then the government should not
have embraced an obligation to say the contrary. ...
the promise not to ask for a life sentence, the government coupled its
adherence to the letter with an even more flagrant violation of the
presented memoranda from Secretary of Defense Weinberger saying that
"no crime is more deserving of severe punishment than conducting
espionage activities against one’s own country," that "it is
difficult for me ... to conceive of a greater harm to national security
than that caused by the defendant," and that "the punishment
imposed should reflect the perfidy of [his] actions, the magnitude of the
treason committed, and the needs of national security."
these remarks did not expressly endorse a life sentence (or use a
synonym...) the repeated use of superlatives implied an appeal for the
maximum. Weinberger’s reference to treason took the point further.
Whereas treason carries the death penalty, and involves aiding the
nation’s enemies, Pollard was charged with espionage, carrying a maximum
of life imprisonment and encompassing aid even to friendly nations - here,
course the sentencing judge knew the difference, but the government’s
barrage expressed a viewpoint that the government had promised not to
express. Weinberger’s subtext was that the heaviest possible sentence
was the lightest that was just. ...
the government had reserved the right to seek "a substantial period
of incarceration" does not change the analysis. Of course the
government remained free to lay out the details of the crime and its
impact on national security. These, coupled with an explicit plea for a
substantial sentence, might well have secured the government’s
objective. But the availability of these methods scarcely entitled it to
wheel out the heaviest rhetorical weapons, calling for a life sentence in
all but name.
despite its agreement to confine its allocution to the "facts and
circumstances" of the offenses, the government told the district
judge that Pollard’s expressions of remorse were "both belated and
hollow" and "grounded in the fact he was caught (emphasis
in original); that Pollard was a "recidivist " who was
"contemptuous of this Court’s authority" and "unworthy of
trust"; that Pollard felt "blind contempt" for the U.S.
military, and had a "warped" and "skewed" perspective;
that Pollard was "traitorous," "arrogant [and]
deceitful," "without remorse," and "literally addicted
to the high lifestyle funded by his espionage activities."
assistant U.S. Attorney note that he (the assistant) had been brought up
to regard two sins as "unforgivable," arrogance and deception -
precisely the two sins that he repeatedly imputed to Pollard. Pollard’s
"loyalty to Israel transcends his loyalty to the United States,"
said Secretary Weinberger.
government devoted much space to marshaling evidence that Pollard was
driven by greed ("enamored of the prospect for monetary gain";
motivated by "the lure of money"), and not materially affected
by anti-terrorist concerns, or, by implied extension, by any sympathy for
government contends that in the phrase by which it retained "full
right of allocution at all times concerning the facts and circumstances of
the offenses," the limiting reference to "facts and
circumstances" was a nullity. This is hard to swallow. As the
majority points out, the contrast with the language in Anne Pollard’s
plea agreement suggests that here the parties intended to excluded some
otherwise acceptable elements of an allocution.
the government was free to relate not only the intelligence implications
of Pollard’s acts, but also details supporting an inference that his
motive was pecuniary. But if the limit meant anything, it could not allow
the government to wrap the raw facts in an inflammatory rhetoric,
endlessly alluding to its (necessarily subjective) opinions that Pollard
was greedy and immoral, depicting his conduct as the apogee of espionage,
naming him a traitor, and delivering a tirade on his "arrogance and
together, the government’s three promises worked a substantial restraint
on the government’s allocution. Its commitments to restrict itself to
facts and circumstances, and to assess Pollard’s cooperation as having
considerable value, closed off a means by which it might demand a life
sentence in all but name. ...
sentence should be vacated and the case remanded for resentencing. This
should occur before a new judge as [the Santobello case] indicates,
even though "the fault here rests on the prosecutor, not on the
sentencing judge." ...
I do not wish to be too critical of the government, and though the analogy
is inexact on some points, the case does remind me of Macbeth’s curse
against the witches, whose promises - and their sophistical
interpretations of them - led them to doom:
be these juggling fiends no more believed,
became aware that leading intelligence officer Aldrich Ames had used
Pollard as a cover to conceal his own role as the worst CIA traitor ever. Ames
made believe that it was Pollard's spying that resulted in an Israeli leak
to the KGB, causing the deaths of 25 US agents in Russia.
arrest embarrassed the CIA. So, to avoid another scandal over its
incompetence, it decided to ensure that Pollard stayed in prison
permanently - even though he has no knowledge of any moles.
there is tension between Israel and the US, Pollard's name gets dragged in
as yet another example of Israeli perfidy. As foreign policy strategist Gerald
Steinberg puts it, "this becomes the killer issue."
fares just as badly with the Israeli administration and its intelligence
said: "The only Israeli leader who ever made a real effort to have me
freed was prime minister Yitzhak Rabin. In 1995 Rabin reminded the White
House of its promise made a decade earlier, that if Jerusalem was muted
about my unprecedented sentence I would go free after 10 years."