Skip to comments.US Ambassador Jones: 'Be Happy We Didn't Execute Pollard'
Posted on 05/21/2007 4:13:41 PM PDT by Nachum
(IsraelNN.com) Pollard supporters are enraged at US Ambassador to Israel Richard Jones for his remarks Monday morning, implying that Jonathan Pollard committed treason or sold US secrets to Israel.
Speaking at a conference at Bar Ilan University on Israeli-American relations, Jones said, "Pollard took money and sold out his country... The fact that he wasn't executed shows that he was treated mercifully."
"Malicious incitement against both Jonathan and Israel" is how an infuriated Esther Pollard, Jonathan's wife, described it.
"For one thing," she told Arutz-7, "the U.S. has no death penalty for the charge on which Jonathan was accused or convicted. It has a death penalty only for treason - and Jones knows that Jonathan was never accused of treason. It is merely because Israel seems to have abandoned its agent in the field that the American Ambassador feels he can get away with talking like this."
"And where is Israel?!" she asked. "How can it be that the US Ambassador says that an Israeli agent deserved to be executed, and Israel is silent?!"
Arutz-7 contacted the Foreign Ministry for its response, and was told that the matter would be checked. The Ministry later issued a statement to the effect that Ambassador Yoram Ben-Ze'ev, the head of the North American Division of the Foreign Ministry, had asked for a meeting with Jones, "in which Ben-Ze'ev reiterated the Ministry's well-known policy on Pollard." Asked to elaborate on the details of this policy, the Ministry spokesman told Arutz-7, "It is well-known."
Such a reaction did not mollify MK Uri Ariel, the head of the Knesset lobby for Pollard. MK Ariel demanded that Foreign Minister Tzipi Livni herself demand an immediate apology from Jones. "For spying for a friendly country," Ariel wrote to Livni, "no one has ever received a sentence even close to the sentence that Pollard has served thus far - 22 years! ... The remarks by Jones border on anti-Semitism and a hostile attitude towards Israel..."
"Israel was forced to employ Pollard as its agent," Ariel continued, "only because America betrayed our trust and hid critical information from us regarding chemical weapons and anti-Israeli terrorist plots in Arab nations, in blatant violation of agreements we had with the US which we kept in full... The fact that Israel does not demand his release even after 22 years is endangering an agent that Israel sent on a mission - and also paves the way for statements like those made by Jones."
Mrs. Pollard said, "The remarks by Ambassador Jones fly in the face of former CIA director James Woolsey's opinion that Jonathan should be released already. He is also contradicting former Defense Secretary Caspar Weinberger, who said that the charges against him were inflated to begin with."
New Bumper Sticker Campaign
At the same time, a new grassroots campaign is underway to "express the nation's desire" to see Jonathan Pollard home - via bumper stickers. The organizers hope to "stick" 100,000 cars.
Eliana, a 19-year-old from Be'er Sheva doing a year of national service in Raanana, is one of the driving forces behind the new campaign. "It's only been about a week, and we estimate that some 5,000 cars already have the new sticker. We have been shocked at the amount of people calling in or emailing us, asking for the stickers. And it's not just high schoolers who have free time and can give them out at intersections - there have also been many office workers asking us for 50 or more that they can give out to their fellow employees. People really want Pollard home already!"
The campaign comes on the heels of reports that Pollard's health, long impaired, has deteriorated severely in recent weeks. He is simply "living on miracles," his wife summed up.
The bumper sticker campaign organizers explain that given the fact that the Israeli government shows no sign of taking any initiative to seek Pollard's release, "we ask: How can we express in the fastest, strongest, and most effective way, the will of the nation to free Jonathan Pollard?" Their answer was to "very quickly distribute and post 100,000 or more bumper stickers on cars throughout the country. With this many bumper stickers on cars traveling the length and breadth of the country, it will be impossible to ignore the message: We Want Pollard Home Now!"
I’m waiting for Jones to make the same comments regarding Carter, Clinton, Pelosi, Reid and Murtha.
Right on Jones!
I know nothing about Pollard. I’ll have to research it.
Perhaps that is exactly what Jones meant. Perhaps authorities wanted to make sure that it wasn't possible for a judge to impose the death penalty and so they chose an option that would prevent that.
I’m obviously as pro-Israel as a person can get, but Pollard was a spy and deserves to rot in prison.
I’d like to buy Richard Jones a bottle of grand cru Bordeux. Pollard is a punk and a traitor. You can’t serve two masters.
Right there with you, I support Israel, but Jones is right.
A lot of those secrets ended up in the hands of the ChiComs.
That remark by our Ambassador to Israel was gratuitous and ill-considered. But it should be noted that the headline was not an accurate quote.
I’ve always been a big supporter of Israel, but the Pollard and Liberty situations have always hit my hot buttons.
After you do, you will porobably agree with me:
I know nothing about Jones, but I like him!
thats what you gamble when you play high stakes spy game.
he knew the risks
he accepted a large sum of money
let him rot, or it will encourage others
"For spying for a friendly country,"
Indeed true. However, if sensitive information is stolen from country A and given to country B, country A can no longer contain that information. Once Pollard passed on the information, the US needed to assume that it was in the ether.
"no one has ever received a sentence even close to the sentence that Pollard has served thus far - 22 years!
This is a lie. Many Americans have been executed for treason in history.
The remarks by Jones border on anti-Semitism and a hostile attitude towards Israel..."
This is pathetic and sad. Especially considering the real anti-Semitism that rockets over the northern border every few years.
"Israel was forced to employ Pollard as its agent," Ariel continued, "only because America betrayed our trust and hid critical information from us regarding chemical weapons and anti-Israeli terrorist plots in Arab nations, in blatant violation of agreements we had with the US which we kept in full...
I don't know to what extent this is the case. Certainly the pro-Pollard forces claim it. But Pollard, as a recipient of a very high security clearance knew the risk he was taking. This is the only way the government has to deal with violations of security clearances. If Pollard is given a deal because of international pressure, then there's no end to this.
The fact that Israel does not demand his release even after 22 years is endangering an agent that Israel sent on a mission
Actually, Israel should not demand his release for a simple reason: To send a message to their spies that if they get caught, the Minister "will disavow any knowledge."
He is also contradicting former Defense Secretary Caspar Weinberger, who said that the charges against him were inflated to begin with."
Well, Cap's boss didn't pardon him. And come to think of it, Mrs. Pollard missed her big chance. I guess she couldn't scrape up as much cash as Denise Rich.
I agree. I am a big supporter of most things for Israel, but this is NOT one of them. I say we send Pollard’s body back to Israel after he is DEAD.
Maybe not, but I like plain-speaking folks myself. I hate diplomatic mumbo-jumbo myself.
Or oral dick-tation either!
I too am pro-Israel. I am also Jewish, and that makes me particularly furious when the name Pollard is brought up. I am disgusted with that man and, having heard her before, with his wife as well.
Anyone who sells out my country --- whether for money or ideology, I don't care --- should rot in jail.
I'm fairly fluent in diplo-speak. The ambassador could have said something like - "Israel is a great friend and ally with the United States - but that was not the issue in the Pollard case. The laws of the United States have severe penalties for espionage on behalf of a foreign nation - even if that nation is a close ally. The Pollard case was handled according to our laws, and should not be construed as a threat to our close relationship, blah blah blah blah, etc."
From the article, we should be able to box him up and send him home shortly.
And you have no interest in finding out either, do you?
You've obviously decided "my country, right or wrong," because you've had no trouble concocting condemnations even to the point of altering quotes to do it.
You would have made a "good German."
Huh? Am I missing something here?
There was no trace of remorse, not a hint of the possibility that, in retrospect, he might have been wrong when he ordered that vital information to be withheld from an ally henceforth.
His words: "In 1981, when the Iraqi nuclear reactor was bombed by Israel, I wondered where the Israelis got their targeting material. In Honoring our commitment to Israel's defense we provided satellite photography of potential direct threats, but when I checked, I found out that Israel had requisitioned data on areas that were quite a distance away - Iraq, Libya, Pakistan, etc. I made a decision to limit the process to within 250 miles."
Just like that. Period. End of issue. No need to consult the potential victim, even if it is a Jewish state whose survival is supposed to be national policy. The decision was made and that was that. He sneered at the furious protests by then Israeli Defense Minister Ariel Sharon as he told the press conference that Caspar Weinberger supported his decision, and that Safire complained in vain about the new policy to CIA Director Casey.
Question: who is the writer referring to? As a point of history, was this kind of retaliation for the Osirac bombing diplomatically defensible, particularly when it was in violation of well established security agreements?
I will not respond to your disgusting aspersions.
I altered nothing. I cut and pasted directly. If I left something out, it was only for brevity. If I left something else out that you feel is exculpatory, by all means include it.
As to complex agreements between nations, I am willing to stipulate that the US and Israel engaged in a treaty which required the US to give Israel information which the Israelis knew the Americans had but needed a spy to find out what they knew they didn’t have or to know what they didn’t know that they were supposed to know.
In any case, Pollard played the spy game and he got caught. Spies don’t get diplomatic protection.
He is a spy.
I’m sorry, I couldn’t get past the first paragraph, which is the most awful prose I have ever seen in print. As to the rest, I don’t know what the hell this writer is talking about.
Could you please quote something that has a bit less of a “third grade girl’s diary” feel to it? I’m quite serious. I don’t mind learning, but even for a polemic this is the most poorly-written piece of garbage I have ever seen.
I don’t say this lightly, that is just plain terrible.
Well I'll respond to yours...
From the article:
"For spying for a friendly country," Ariel wrote to Livni, "no one has ever received a sentence even close to the sentence that Pollard has served thus far - 22 years!
"For spying for a friendly country,"
Indeed true. However...etc.
"no one has ever received a sentence even close to the sentence that Pollard has served thus far - 22 years!
This is a lie. Many Americans have been executed for treason in history.
You made one statement into two, and by the way, what contemporary spy has been executed by our government, even working for an enemy?
I am willing to stipulate that the US and Israel engaged in a treaty which required the US to give Israel information which the Israelis knew the Americans had but needed a spy to find out what they knew they didnt have or to know what they didnt know that they were supposed to know.
That would be wrong. See my previous post with the long quote.
The SOB was CONVICTED. He should have been executed years ago.
Talk about third grade girls...would you like me to fluff your pillow and fetch your slippers too?
Try answering the questions for a start. And don’t give me this effete crap that you can’t read it. It made it past a real editor to get published already, so if you can’t read it, you can’t read.
Because of the nature of the security clearance Pollard held, the treason charge has a much lower threshold.
Tomoya Kawakita was convicted of treason and sentenced to death. His case is interesting because he didn't really give any particular benefit to the enemy. Eisenhower commuted his sentence. The Rosenbergs were, of course, executed.
Robert Hanssen would most likely have been sentenced to death for treason but confessed and plead down to a sentence that spared his life.
Sgt. Bryan Patrick Regan's case might lead to treason charges. A very interesting article at the FoxNews website details why treason is not pursued more often. Basically, it's easier to charge them with murder.
All of these were cases in which the countries were unfriendly, but I think it's clear that if the Rosenbergs gave the secret of the bomb to, say, Canada, they still would have been executed.
A junior high school doesn't count. You didn't provide even a source or a link. Please do me a favor, read it out loud. With a straight face.
Irrelevant. You altered the quote to call the Minister a liar: he was not.
And you have shown nothing to validate your assertion the friendliness of the country doesn't matter. Cite me some case law. Your gratuitous assertions are just as gratuitously denied.
That was kind of the point of asking who was being discussed. The larger point is if you don't know who, you don't know enough.
This guy knew the rules, played the game, and lost. He is a liar and betrayer of the deepest trust that a government can grant a citizen. No sympathy here, none at all.
Please return the favor. I would like very much to know the specific treaty obligation that required that every bit of information that Pollard passed on be passed on. You know, paragraphs, sections, etc.
I don't think so.
I have no intention of playing the foil for your little $h!thouse lawyer routine. Once you lose the moral high ground, you can't litigate it back.
Bobby Ray Inman unilaterally changed the foreign policy of this country, potentially threatening the very existence of Israel, and nobody did squat about it: except Pollard.
That being said, I have very little tolerance for the belligerent crying about how he got punched in the nose when all he did was spit in the other guy's face.
So they admit that they had an agent in the field? What's the problem then? He belongs in jail, period.
Actually, that's not true. In all of US history, there have been less than 40 treason prosecutions, fewer convictions, and even fewer executions. Many of those prosecutions are related to the Whiskey Rebellion, Thomas Jefferson's Embargo Act, and the Aaron Burr conspiracy. The Rosenbergs, for instance, were convicted and executed on espionage charges, not treason charges.
Of course, I asked the question because I knew the answer.
Furthermore, you’ve making a moral argument, but this is a legal question and, at every opportunity, Pollard’s case has been reviewed and clemency has been rejected at all levels. Particularly, when it would have been for easier to let an old man go off to Israel and forget it all.
The data I’ve been able to find suggests that intelligence people strongly believe that Pollard leaked huge swaths of classified info, far beyond the reactor. Codes, etc.
Most spies in America don’t get executed and the punishment has more to do with the nature of the information taken, the intent of the spy (mishandled vs. purposeful) and the level of cooperation. Pollard released very sensitive information, purposefully and was unrepentant and unhelpful, according to national security people in all subsequent administrations. Clearly, they view him as second only to Ames.
What must it say about Jonathan Pollard that Clinton would release Marc Rich but not Pollard? I fully expected it to bealast-minute pardon, at least.
As to you, you are at best ajerk and a bully and I have had it with your invective, abusive language and cherry-picking.
Clinton was willing to let him go initially, but others pressured him to keep in prison. Netanyahu was trying to make a deal during the Wye River accords. Israel has never tried since.
A few years ago, Jesse Jackson got into a rut where everything that displeased him was a reminder of Selma.
This was the rumor. It’s not clear to me that either Clinton wanted this or Bibi for that matter. I’d certainly think that if pro-Pollard forces had decided to “leak” this information, Bibi wouldn’t have wanted to deal with a political backlash if he downplayed how important it was to him.
So, Pollard would not have to have been changed with treason to be subject to death, or have the sentences changed since then?
Apparently the deal is that after the death penalty was revived in the late 1970s, espionage convictions weren't just automtically subject to it in the way they'd been before. I found something showing James Trafficant trying to get it passed in 1989--probably in the wake of Pollard. It's definitely on the table today--here's the DOJ worksheet to decide.
Of course, the other problem with a treason charge is that what it is is very explicitly spelled out in the Constitution."Treason against the United States, shall consist only in levying War against them, or in adhering to their Enemies, giving them Aid and Comfort. No Person shall be convicted of Treason unless on the Testimony of two Witnesses to the same overt Act, or on Confession in open Court." Did Pollard levy war against the US? Is Israel our enemy? The latter, at least, is a question that I can't see any administration wanting to get into.
I thought Denise jumped in the sack with Willie...
Right. For that reason, it would be almost impossible for Pollard to be charged with Treason and the only way is if they could argue that an enemy managed to get the information second-hand. Not only is that a stretch, but it’s hard to argue this because there wasn’t a state of war with virtually anyone at the time.
Come to think of it, I don’t know that any of the Soviet spies were charged with treason. A half-decent lawyer could easily argue that there was no state of war.
Jon Pollard, a civilian intelligence analyst in the Navy, wanted to be a spy so badly that he even seemed to think he was a spy long before he actually was. As a college student at Stanford he boasted that he had contacts in the Israeli intelligence services and that his father was a CIA agent who worked in Prague. Both claims were false. He entered phoney education and employment information on job applications and mailed himself telegrams under aliases he made up for himself. Strangely, none of the odd details about Pollard’s personality were noted on his Navy background check report.
Pollard became a Navy analyst in 1979, after leaving a graduate program in law at Tufts University. Initially, he was given an unusually high level of security clearance, but it was revoked within a few months after Pollard made unauthorized and suspicious contact with an attaché from the South African Embassy. It is unclear what business Pollard had with the embassy official, and it was never investigated.
In 1984 Pollard was promoted to a position as an analyst in the Naval Criminal Investigation Service (NIS), and his security clearances were reinstated. He was placed in a new, high-priority unit, the Anti-Terrorism Alert Center, where he gained access to satellite photographs and CIA reports. At least three of Pollard’s acquaintances recall that within months of his assuming his new post he mailed them unsolicited collections of classified information for no apparent reason.
Shortly after he began working at the NIS Pollard met an Israeli intelligence officer in New York named Avi Sella, who was posing as a graduate student at New York University. Sella requested classified information from Pollard — any information he could deliver — and told him that he would be paid for whatever he could provide.
A few days later, Sella and Pollard met in Washington. Pollard provided detailed information on chemical warfare manufacturing plants in Iraq. For this initial transaction Pollard was given a $10,000 diamond and sapphire ring for his fiancée, Anne Henderson, and paid over $10,000 in cash. Sella also agreed to pay Pollard $1,500 a month for his espionage activities as long as they continued.
For about a year after the time Pollard met Avi Sella, he gathered computer printouts, satellite photographs, and classified documents from his department three times a week and brought them to various Washington apartments. There, they were copied and returned to Pollard, who restored them to the Navy the following day. In exchange for his services Pollard received, in addition to the agreed salary, a lavish collection of gifts for himself and his wife, including a honeymoon in a private compartment aboard the Orient Express.
By his own estimates Pollard passed to his Israeli handlers more than 800 classified publications and more than 1,000 cables, probably the largest cache of materials ever passed through espionage. At one point, when Pollard’s new wife was hoping to clinch a job interview at an international public relations firm with branches in China, he brought home five secret studies on China. Her presentation was assessed as brilliant.
Pollard was eventually captured on November 18, 1985, rather unceremoniously, walking out of his office with 60 top-secret documents in his briefcase. His supervisors had become suspicious of his voracious consumption of materials. Commenting not as much on the massive loss of classified documents to Israel and elsewhere but more on the extraordinary lack of security surrounding Pollard’s carefree espionage activities, then Secretary of Defense Caspar Weinberger said, “It is difficult for me...to conceive of greater harm done to national security.”
Pollard pleaded guilty to espionage and was sentenced to prison for life. His wife served a five-year sentence for unauthorized possession of government documents. Upon her release, Anne Henderson Pollard divorced her husband. In 1993 Secretary of Defense Les Aspin reported that Pollard had tried 14 times to disclose classified information in letters written to various recipients from his prison cell.
That's not true. We allow the death penalty for other crimes. Murder is the most obvious one.
It is merely because Israel seems to have abandoned its agent in the field that the American Ambassador feels he can get away with talking like this... And where is Israel?!" she asked. "How can it be that the US Ambassador says that an Israeli agent deserved to be executed, and Israel is silent?!"
If you don't understand the reactions of either side, maybe it's because your perspective is a bit off.
Thank you. He sounds like a real winner. /sarc