Skip to comments.Israeli PM weighs public plea for spy's release
Posted on 12/21/2010 8:18:26 AM PST by wideawake
JERUSALEM Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu is considering a public plea to the White House for the release of Jonathan Pollard, an Israeli spy jailed 25 years ago, an official said Tuesday.
Pollard's wife Esther at a meeting with Netanyahu in Jerusalem on Monday passed on a message from her husband urging Israel to move on from the quiet diplomacy of the past quarter-century and to make a formal and public request for his release.
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(1) he wants Pollard to be pardoned because a pardon would greatly enhance Israel's intelligence-gathering capabilities (i.e. people are more inclined to provide intelligence when they see the intelligence recipients successfully going to bat for their informants).
(2) Because of Wikileaks, there is now a bizarre atmosphere of official leniency and broad media support for American traitors. The current environment is the best possible one for Pollard's trademark spin.
That being said, I hope Pollard dies in prison. Most likely he will not be pardoned by this administration - but sadly that will be on account of this administration's anti-Zionism, not because of any newfound pro-Americanism.
Right on!!! I consider myself a supporter of Israel but I support my country more.
I guess if I were Israel, I’d spy on the US too.
No. He can leave prison feet-first in a bag.
In the goold ol' days, we used to shoot terrorists too. Now we keep them locked away on a tropical island.
Eff Pollard, Aldrich Ames, Walkers, The Rosenbergs, Kim Philby and all the other spies especially those spying for cash.
I also love my brothers and sisters - but if they do me wrong, I will call them on it. Doesn't mean I don't love my family.
My biggest issues with Pollard are twofold:
(1) He has never expressed the slightest remorse - he acts as if he is a great but long-suffering hero who has been wronged by both the United States and by Israel. He is a purely evil piece of human detritus.
(2) At the time Pollard was spying, Israel was communicating with both the US and the Soviet Union. I'm not criticizing Israel - dealing with both was a necessary process of survival - but Pollard is not stupid and he knew that much of the information he was handing over was of tangential interest to Israel, but of strong interest to the Soviets. He gave US information to Israel knowing that its only value to Israel was in trading it to the Soviets.
His claim that he was "only helping a US ally" is repulsive and insulting to the intelligence.
Put him and Manning and Jane Fonda, in the same chair and I will volunteer to pull the switch.
Oh Hell: Let John kerry sit in their laps too.
Jonathan Pollard is a spy who delivered American secrets to Israel, and he was certainly guilty as charged. In his defense, nothing that he released harmed America or even was intended to harm us. I’m ready to release him . . . after 23 years in prison. Obama’s potential sympathy is a different story. Pollard is on the wrong side in the battle between good and evil to get any consideration from the thug in our White House. Jonathan Pollard will have to wait until we have a real president again for his release. I’m hoping that President Palin will pardon him, 25 months from today.
Wrong and wrong.
Im hoping that President Palin will pardon him, 25 months from today.
Unless Sarah Palin is as stupid as the MSM is making her out to be, she will not pardon any traitors - let alone make the pardon of a traitor one of her first acts in office.
Techsical Information that Pollard gave to Israel went directly to the Soviet Union. The Soviet Union would then let Jews immigrate to Israel.
No punishment is adequate for this guy. He should rot where he is.
That works both ways.
But of course.
Everyone but rabid anti Semites today know that was not true.
Former U.S. deputy defense secretary: Jonathan Pollard must be freed now
Lawrence Korb - The Los Angles Times - October 28, 2010
J4JP Note: The following op-ed is presented as it appeared in the LA Times today. While we may beg to differ on certain points, we are refraining from adding J4JP comments or clarifications, so as not to distract from its thesis. That is, the 25 years Jonathan Pollard has served in prison is far too long; Pollard should be freed without delay.
About 25 years ago, Jonathan Jay Pollard, a U.S. naval intelligence analyst, betrayed his country by providing highly classified information to Israel. Even though Israel was and still is a U.S. ally and is routinely supplied with U.S. intelligence, Pollard deserved to be severely punished for his actions. However, the punishment should fit the crime. In his case, it does not.
After his arrest and indictment by a grand jury, Pollard agreed to plead guilty to one count of giving classified information to a U.S. ally. In return for his guilty plea - which spared the government the embarrassment of conducting a trial involving highly sensitive information - and his cooperation with the U.S. government, the U.S. attorney pledged not to seek a life sentence for Pollard.
This seemed like a reasonable resolution. The average sentence meted out to individuals convicted of giving classified information to an ally is seven years, with average time served about four years.
Despite the terms of the plea bargain, in 1987 Pollard was sentenced to life, a sentence generally reserved for spies such as Aldrich Ames, who pleaded guilty to giving classified information to the Soviet Union during the Cold War, information that led to the loss of many lives.
The question is why Pollard received such a harsh sentence and why he still languishes in prison despite the pleas of hundreds of U.S. legislators, dozens of distinguished attorneys (including a former solicitor general), a former CIA director, one former chairman of the Senate Intelligence Committee and several Israeli leaders to have him released.
There are at least three reasons for this state of affairs.
First is the victim impact statement of my former boss, Caspar Weinberger, the secretary of Defense at the time of Pollard's arrest. The statement, much of which remains classified, implied that some of the information that Pollard had supplied to Israel made its way to the Soviet Union. Weinberger argued that Pollard was no different from spies who provided information to the Soviets and was guilty of treason.
Second, at the time of his arrest, the Israeli government refused to acknowledge that Pollard was one of its agents, claiming that he was part of a rogue operation. Not surprisingly, the Israelis also steadfastly refused to return the reams of documents that Pollard had delivered to them or debrief the U.S. about their contents. This added fuel to the notion that Pollard was working for the Soviets or another U.S. enemy rather than for an American ally.
Third, Pollard was an unsympathetic character. He not only took about $45,000 from the Israelis in exchange for the information he handed over, he gave two highly publicized interviews from jail before his sentencing, one with Wolf Blitzer and another with Mike Wallace. In these interviews, which the government claimed were not authorized, he didn't express remorse but instead attempted to rationalize his behavior.
But none of these conditions exists now. Weinberger's contention has been debunked. Information that Pollard gave to Israel did not make its way to the USSR. Instead, the information that the Soviets received during the 18 months Pollard was spying for Israel most likely came from Ames and Robert Hanssen, a onetime FBI agent who spied for the USSR and Russia from 1979 to 2001.
R. James Woolsey, the CIA director from 1993 to 1995, stated after examining the Pollard case file that none of Pollard's information went to the Soviet Union. Moreover, Woolsey now believes that Pollard has served long enough and should be released. And in a 2004 interview, Weinberger himself admitted that in retrospect, the Pollard matter was comparatively minor. In fact, he does not even mention it in his memoirs.
In 1998, the Israeli government finally admitted that Pollard was one of its agents, granted him Israeli citizenship and has sought clemency for him from three U.S. presidents. Finally, Pollard himself not only expressed remorse before the sentencing judge but has done so several times publicly over the past 25 years (and the government has conceded that the jailhouse interviews had to have been authorized).
One president actually agreed to grant clemency to Pollard. In October 1998, President Clinton and Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu worked out an agreement to release Pollard as a way of facilitating an Arab-Israeli peace agreement. However, the deal was scuttled when George Tenet, the CIA director at the time, threatened to resign. Tenet was apparently concerned about the signal Pollard's release would send to the intelligence community and believed he still had information that could jeopardize national security.
Some now argue that Pollard should be released because it would improve U.S.-Israeli relations and enhance the prospects of success of the Obama administration's Middle East peace process. Although that may be true, it is not the reason I and many others have recently written to the president requesting that he grant Pollard clemency. The reason is that Pollard has already served far too long for the crime for which he was convicted, and by now, whatever facts he might know would have little effect on national security.
Lawrence Korb, a former assistant secretary of Defense in the Reagan administration, is a senior fellow at the Center for American Progress.
He gave Israel information that helped Israel attack the PLO/Arafat headquarters in Tunis in 1985. The information he gave was about Israel's enemies.
Pollard stole US secrets and what he did we call spying but he didn't spy on the US (which has a connotation of gathering information to do damage to the US).
I have always seen Pollard as several steps below outright traitors like Aldrich Ames, who clearly hurt our defense and cost agents their lives. Pollard did neither. But I am curious to see what EVIDENCE exists that proves this. One of you says there is, the other says their isn't. One must be wrong. How about PROVING it? Thanks.
That is a fair question, but I'm going to dodge it. In general, I approve of life without parole (at least) for traitors. In this particular case, I held a clearance at the time, with access to the information that he released, so I can't comment on the details behind my position. Still, 23 years behind bars strikes me as enough in this case.
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