Skip to comments.Esther Pollard Appeals to Obama for Her Husbandís Release
Posted on 06/04/2009 9:39:21 AM PDT by Avi Kane
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“We” were sure in a hurry to get rid of Timothy McVeigh ...
This is a tangent, of course, but I still wonder what he knew, and who wanted to silence that knowledge.
I am an Okie. The bombing shook my windows. I remember there was a John Doe #3, local news described as middle eastern, mentioned in the first few days, then silence about him. I have said all along that killing McVeigh was a mistake. Only if a cover-up was going on, would it make sense to get rid of him. author Jayna Davis has written a book about this, tho I have not read it. Yet.
“Why inject anti-simitism into Pollards treason? How does this apply for his spying for Pakistan and South Africa?”
Because Pollard is Jewish.
“BTW, rather than reducing Pollards sentence because others got lighter sentences, why not seek similar just sentences for others found guilty of treason against the US?”
I’m for that, but you have to announce it in advance. You can’t just arbitrarily and capriciously do it. Nor can you, of course, re-sentence someone already in prison to a harsher sentence.
“Someone mentioned to me that the damage Pollard caused was worse that Ames, Jannsen, the Walker Family and others COMBINED.”
Maybe, maybe not. A couple of things:
1. It appears that Weinberger relied upon an analysis of this case by Aldrich Ames. Gee, might there be something wrong with that?
2. 24 years have gone by since Pollard entered prison. Are these secrets STILL the crown jewels?
3. Others who have done critical damage have had far, far lesser sentences.
I’ll reiterate - my preference is that all traitors should be punished, and I’d like to see very, very severe punishments so as to completely discourage any repetition in the future. But you cannot have people convicted of similar offenses given grossly disparate treatment - such is anathema to our claim to have a “justice” system.
Cap Weinberger was never a friend of Israel's, not by a long stretch of the imagination. It was principally his influence that led to Pollard's severe sentence.
Also, as SJackson mentioned, since Aldrich Ames contributed heavily to the analysis of the damage caused, the amount of damage claimed (or believed) was probably skewed. It is not at all incredible to believe that Ames added a bunch of information that he stole to Pollard's list, to distract attention from himself.
We'll never know. I'm not big on conspiracy theories, but I suspect there was more to be learned.
Or it could mean that he didn't get any kind of payoff, or not near the payoff, that he was looking for. After all, unprincipled applies to a lot of things - sheer greed is as much a part of it as not caring about your nation's security.
Why, in your estimation, is he not doing so. And how come the certainty that he would get it....
And why ask for his release when hes not willing to go on a parole hearing himself.
Now there are some interesting questions. I was, frankly, unaware that he has never asked for parole, and that he is unwilling to do so. That changes the thing a bit for me - if he seems willing to sit and rot, why lift a finger for him, even in the presence of some very questionable actions surrounding his sentencing? Could there be some tactical legal reason why he won’t ask for parole?
“I cannot agree. He spied, he is a traitor, his neck should have been stretched.
I don’t care what the reasoning is behind the “other side” . “
Stretch his neck, and every other one. But do make sure you do it to everyone - not merely him. Others during the Cold War spied for enemy nations like the Soviets, East Germany and other Eastern European nations (effectively the Soviets), China, the Norks and Cuba (effectively the USSR) - so they should also have been executed...but they weren’t, they were sentenced to lesser terms and released early.
My issue here isn’t about coddling traitors - I, too, would like them all executed or serving life sentences - it is simply and ONLY about Equal Justice Under Law. Pollard, as thoroughly despicable as his actions were, hasn’t gotten that. There was an ex parte communication from the government, which Pollard didn’t know about and couldn’t contest in any fashion, and it was based on analysis and conclusions made by Aldrich Ames, later shown to be a Soviet spy. If we allow that kind of crap, what makes us better than a nation that simply shoots people in the back of the head on suspicion of treason?
Do you know how much, if any, he got paid for representing Pollard? I don't - it is a simple, unloaded, question.
Some people, yes. Not me, despite your suspicion/allegation.
Look, the guy spied against us. My preference is that ANYone guilty of that, NO MATTER what country they spy for, be executed. That'll cut down on spying, for sure. HOWEVER, here we have very disparate treatment, based largely on a letter from Weinberger - who was long known as being distinctly UNfriendly to Jews and Israel, despite (and maybe because of) his family history), all of which is based on a damage analysis by one of the worst of the Soviet spies, Aldrich Ames.
You tell me why. I merely put antisemitism out as a possibility. Just because the charge is spurious many times (and possibly here) doesn't mean it ALWAYS is so - just like the accusations that some State Department employees were Communists in the 1940s and '50s. An open mind is open to ALL possibilities - is yours?
“Not really, attorneys (and judges) have necessary security clearances”
Which is my point. Guilt was admitted to. It was only the sentence that was in question. The letter delivered by Sec of Def is classified. It was only necessary for people to see it on a need to know security basis, meaning the judge.
“The information in the letter is declassified, theres no reason not to declassify the letter”
From what I’ve read the letter is not declassified. Your stating the info in the letter is declassified but then stating they should declassify the letter. That doesn’t seem logical. How would anybody know what is in the letter if it’s classified still, which it is, to my understanding.
Again: The physical evidence of what he copied and sold is damning...more of the excerpts from the Jewish investigative reporter commissioned for Jewish newspapers Note the RASIN information and the US losing not only information but the ability to use that information:
“Ironically, no one has ever been able to reliably identify exactly what secrets Pollard sold to Israelnot even generically. Jewish leaders, such as Anti-Defamation League national director Abraham Foxman, who have been briefed by trustworthy sources have constantly been told the same refrain: “If you only knew how severe the damage was!” Despite reams of guesswork, media speculation and Washington’s porous nature, the details are still undisclosed.
But those details are clearly enumerated in a 46-page sworn declaration to the sentencing judge by then-Secretary of Defense Caspar Weinberger, most of which has been classified top secret. The secret affidavit includes a classified analysis of twenty illegally disclosed documents.
Although the Weinberger declaration was presented as the prosecution’s most powerful sentencing memo, it was in fact specifically requested by Judge Robinson. “The judge requested, the court asked, for a confidential, highly-classified summary to report the damage done,” Weinberger told me in an interview. Although the declaration was signed by Weinberger and submitted as the Secretary’s personal affidavit, the damning document was in fact assembled piecemeal by an inter-agency group of intelligence officials independently assessing Pollard’s damage to their own operations. A redacted copy of that sworn 46-page declaration, obtained by this reporter, together with information and analysis reported by several of the actual contributors, indicates that Pollard indeed compromised the most sensitive aspect of American intelligence. More than just intelligence substance, Pollard revealed the carefully guarded aspect of American intelligence, known as “sources and methods.”
Three classifications govern U.S. intelligence: confidential, secret and top secret. Beyond top secret is a special designation called Sensitive Compartmented Information [SCI]. SCI represents the highest stricture on America’s greatest intelligence secrets. Beyond even the highest security clearance, SCI limits access to those with a demonstrated “need to know” the specific files. Adding a “code word” to a top secret/ SCI classification, restricts access to those not only with a top secret clearance but also code word-specific authority.
As a key analyst in the Office of Naval Intelligence, Pollard enjoyed SCI multi-codeword access to many of the nation’s most sensitive intelligence projects and daily cable dispatches. “More than 1000 unredacted messages and cables,” of which a significant number were not just top-secret but “codeword sensitive,” were delivered to Pollard’s Israeli handlers, according to the Weinberger Declaration. These messages and cables displayed source references. By piecing those dispatches together, a foreign source could theoretically narrow the identities of specific sources overseas. That said, no U.S. intelligence agents to date have actually been harmed by Pollard’s disclosures, intelligence sources concede. Actual harm to sources is an important consideration in assessing the damage.
In addition, Pollard gave the Israelis more than 800 unredacted reports and publications. The many reports and publicationssome of them dozens of pages long and featuring satellite photos—also displayed tell-tale source identification. These publications are typically redacted to protect sources and methods, and only then shared with the intelligence agencies of other countries under what the Weinberger Declaration calls, “a quid pro quo basis... in exchange for desired information or other valuable assistance.” Recipient nations are required to safeguard the information. Pollard’s disclosures meant America lost horse-trading leverage with Israel’s intelligence services. But more importantly, Israel was suspected of re-editing and then itself trading the information with other intelligence services under its own quid pro quos. Washington resented that its secret information was no longer under U.S. control. It could theoretically end up anywhere, including Moscow, as a bargaining chip while Israel was trying to free Soviet Jews.
One of the largest of copied documents was a special Compendium of intelligence community documents, classified secret, according to a former Navy intelligence source who personally reviewed Pollard’s disclosed reports. The special Compendium outlined for the Israelis exactly how much Washington was withholding under a March 1982 Israeli-American intelligence sharing agreement, profoundly restricted after Israel bombed Iraq’s Osirek nuclear reactor. The Compendium was in many ways an index to the voluminous coded and numbered documents Pollard’s handlers asked him to retrieve.
Numerous intelligence reports about Soviet missile systems, delivered by Pollard, exposed the way America analyzed Soviet weapons.
Among the most sensitive materials were reports from the Sixth Fleet’s Air Reconnaissance Squadron TWO, codenamed VQ-2, headquartered in Rota, Spain. The forward-deployed squadron’s motto is “We deliver critical electronic combat information to our forces: Any place, any time!” In Pollard’s day, VQ-2 continuously deployed EA-3B Skywarriors and later the EP-3E ARIES over-the-horizon electronic eavesdropping aircraft across the Mediterranean. VQ-2 provided invaluable intelligence during the 1973 Yom Kippur War, the 1982-83 evacuation of Beirut, and America’s precision night-time bombing of Libya in April 1986. By providing unredacted VQ-2 dispatches, revealing America’s time and place acquisition methods, Pollard enabled Israel to virtually track America’s own intelligence capability in the Mediterranean and even over Israel itself. This was crucial in Israel’s 1985 bombing of the P.L.O. headquarters in Tunis, codenamed Operation Wooden Leg, which depended upon Israeli F-15s evading both American and Arab listening posts over North Africa.
But all of it together was dwarfed by photocopying for Israel the massive 10-volume RASIN Manual, according to a principal author of the Weinberger Declaration. An acronym for Radio and Signal Intelligence [RASIN], the precious manual is known as “the Bible,” according to the intelligence officer. The RASIN Manual details America’s global listening profile, frequency by frequency, source by source, geographic slice by geographic slice. RASIN was in effect, a complete roadmap to American signal intelligence. Pollard’s handlers required the spy to locate and copy the most up-to-date edition.
When Pollard’s attorneys tried to argue at the sentencing that although the spy had delivered volumes of classified papers, “the damage here is not serious damage,” Judge Robinson stopped them cold. Raising his arm, and cautioning them not to verbalize the sensitive information, the judge warned, “Well, then I would ask you to just think—and not articulate. ... I would ask you to think about the Secretary of Defense’s Affidavit, as it related to only one thingand I won’t even pinpoint it—as it related to only one category of publication.” Judge Robinson added, “Would you like to come to the bench, and I will refresh your recollection to what I am referring to.” A hushed classified bench discussion followed. Informed sources say Pollard’s RASIN Manual disclosure was the crux of that secret courtroom exchange held just moments before the outraged judge finally pronounced a life sentence. Some estimate the loss of the RASIN manual cost America billions of dollars, and many years, to completely restructure our worldwide eavesdropping operation.
By any measure, Pollard’s crime was lasting and inexcusable.”
The question isn't what Pollard did or didn't do, he might well deserve a life sentence, but the credibility of the judicial system. Not the arguements of what he did or didn't do from competing sides. And imo the system was just inside the rules here, but a just outcome, maybe, maybe not, which tells me the system failed.
Do you want the Obama administration sending letters to judges recommending sentencing on issues unrelated to the charges?
i don't know. Maybe he's trying to make a point, maybe he has a martyr complex of some sort. He'd probably like to be "vindicated", though if his sentencing was improper, he's still a scumbag.
“Do you want the Obama administration sending letters to judges recommending sentencing on issues unrelated to the charges?”
I don’t want Obama sending thank you cards out for my childen’s birthday lol.
That scumbag is part of my biggest fear in this situation. I could honestly see him putting immense pressure on Israel to prevent them from bombing Iran, interfering in their policy on settlements - and throw them a silly bone like pardoning Pollard. Interestingly, he wasn’t even a citizen of Israel until some time after he was caught.
>.Maybe, maybe not.
The latter, I believe is dead wrong. I do not think the extent of his damage is a debatable point at all.
rb’s detailed post spells out the damage rather well.
>>>24 years have gone by since Pollard entered prison. Are these secrets STILL the crown jewels?
Of course not. It’s a specious argument. Those were the Crown Jewels back then. That’s the important point.
Which then fell into the hands of the ChiComs. He should have been executed.
What I find funny, or ironic is the argument that since Israel is an ally, the spying was OK.
Wrong, it was worse.
Like finding your wife in flagrante delectico; hurts more than finding out that the wife of your scumbag neighbor was humping the gardening crew!
When friends f**k you over, it hurts more than an avowed enemy or antagonist.
The bottom line is, they may be your friends, but you are now at their mercy not to have that information fall into other hands, and as it did turn out, the Chinese did get that information.
>>It is not at all incredible to believe that Ames added a bunch of information that he stole to Pollard’s list, to distract attention from himself.
That is quite plausible, but then again, them’s the breaks in the espionage game. It may not fair and it may not be right, but when you play in the BigLeagues, the risks are self evident.
Pollard got caught. End of story.
“The wife of Jonathan Pollard read a letter to American President Barack Obama appealing for her husband’s release”
I would prefer to fry him.