Skip to comments.Is It Not Torture When the Prisoner is a Jew?
Posted on 12/23/2010 10:29:03 AM PST by Sioux-san
Why is this man still in jail? Why was this man forced to spend seven years in solitary? Why is he still confined, languishing, festering in jail for a total of twenty five years?
Solitary confinement is the most barbaric of punishments. Few people can withstand this form of torture without becoming very ill, both physically and mentally.
Am I talking about the Soviet Gulag? Or about some hell-hole in Afghanistan or Iran?
Last year, The New Yorker ran a piece about solitary confinement. The article concludes that this punishment amounts to torture, that it can even induce acute psychosis with hallucinations. The article describes the cases of two political prisoners or prisoners-of-war: APs Middle East correspondent, Terry Anderson, who was put into solitary by Hezbollah in Lebanon for six years. Anderson felt himself disintegrating; his mind went blank; he had hallucinations; he started to become neurotically possessive about his little space; he felt his brain was grinding down. He also describes Senator John McCain who said that solitary confinement crushes your spirit and weakens your resistance more than any other form of mistreatment. And he said that even though he had his arms broken and was subjected to other forms of torture.
Clearly, the New Yorkers man, Atul Gawande, opposes this practice.
He does mention the cases of two unnamed inmates: one was convicted of felony-murder and spent five years in isolation. After a few months he began talking to himself, pacing back and forth, having panic attacks, and hallucinating. After a year he was hearing voices on the television who were talking to him. In another case, Gawande describes another American man in solitary whose initial crime was armed robbery and aggravated battery but who then misbehaved at a medium security prison for which he was was put in solitary or in isolation for almost fourteen years. This man stopped showering and began throwing his feces around his cell. He became psychotic.
Even he was released after he served his sentence of fifteen years.
Gawande does not mention the man I have in mind, a man whose living head is on a pike in the public square for all to seea message, a warning to us alla man who killed no one.
I am talking about Jonathan Pollard.
What crime did he commit? Did he spy against America for the Soviets or for the Chinese communists? Did he do so for money, sex, or for ideological reasons? American Navy Seaman, Michael Walker, operated a Soviet spy ring; he was arrested in 1980, pleaded guilty, was sentenced to 25 years and released after 15.
CIA Agent David Barnett sold the Soviets the names of thirty American undercover agents. He was arrested in the mid-1980s, sentenced to only 18 years, and paroled after only ten years. In 2001, John Walker Lindh, who joined the Taliban and received training as a terrorist in Pakistan, was captured and sentenced to 21 years. Kedar Helmy, an Egyptian-born American, transmitted classified materials to Egypt used in a joint weapons program with Iraq to vastly increase the range of ballistic missiles, including Scud missiles, which were later fired on U.S. troops during the Persian Gulf War. In 2010, Chinese-American engineer Dongfan Greg Chung operated as a spy for China against America for thirty years. He received a 15 year sentence.
What is different about Pollard? Unlike Walker, Barnett, Lindh, Helmy, and Chung, Pollard is the only Jew. The others are Christians or Muslims or atheists.
What else is different? Pollard is the only one who shared secrets with an American ally with whom America was not and is not now at war. Pollard shared information with Israel.
What else is different about Pollard? There is one more thing. Like the Rosenbergs, Pollard was the proving grounds, the scapegoat, for another man, also a Jew, but a Jew who did not like being mistreated as a Jew, as a Jew who wanted to prove how tough the was or how hard he was ready to be on another Jew and on the Jewish state.
The Rosenbergs (who were guilty) had their Jewish judge who chose to have them electrocuted. Pollard, poor Pollard, had Secretary of Defense Caspar W. Weinberger whose paternal grandparents were Jews and whose father was a Jewish lawyer. When Caspar was a boy, he was taunted for supposedly being Jewish. His mother was a Christian and he was raised as a Christian. When he visited Yad Vashem, the Memorial to the Jews who were murdered in the Holocaust, he said loudly: I am not a Jew. He said this in response to the guard who told him that he, too, would have been murdered in the Holocaust.
Weinberger submitted a 40 page affidavit in which he insisted that Pollard should be harshly sentenced. In later years, he said that the Pollard matter was comparatively minor. Weinberger is now dead and no doubt roasting in Hell. One wonders: What did he have over CIA head George Tenet (who threatened to resign when President Clinton suggested pardoning Pollard)? What did Weinberger have over President Bushs Dick Cheney and Donald Rumsfeld, both of whom went along with Weinbergers revenge?
Where are all the anti-torture activists on Pollard? How can it be that our most prominent American political prisoner has never made it onto their honor roll of causes with which to browbeat America?
Yesterday, Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu formally asked President Obama to pardon Jonathan Pollard, at long last. I stand with him in this matter.
Update: Based on a recent article by Leo Rennert which critiques yesterdays coverage of the Pollard case, it is now clear that Pollard, in failing health, has been the victim of a CIA cover-up of a massive intelligence failure, with the agency blaming Pollard for the damage caused by a real mole inside the CIA who passed to Moscow the names of more than a dozen U.S. informants in the Soviet Union namely Aldrich Ames, the head of CIAs Soviet-Eastern Europe division, who fingered Pollard to keep the CIA from discovering his own treachery.. The CIA did not discover Ames role until well after Pollard was behind bars and it still isnt willing to acknowledge its mistake in blaming Pollard for Amess crimes.
He committed Espionage and was convicted in a US Court of Law. Personally I'd let him out of prison just long enough to hang the son of a bitch.
Because of that his contact with other people who may be let out of jail has to be very limited.
I guess it's something he should have thought about when he did the crime.
It's also a very good reason to NOT give clearances to people who might as well be mem-sticks.
Maybe we could give him Assange as a roommate for a couple of decades. They could talk about it.
You do not know what you are talking about - information is available to show you that you are operating under false premises — why so trusting you of what the Guvmint says? Sad...
Did anything come out this from the wikileak documents?
Let us know how you feel, Phyllis.
When he visited Yad Vashem, the Memorial to the Jews who were murdered in the Holocaust, he said loudly: I am not a Jew. He said this in response to the guard who told him that he, too, would have been murdered in the Holocaust.
Weinberger is correct. You are Jewish if your Mother is Jewish. Jewish-ness does not flow from your Father. Sorry Phyllis.
It doesn't matter his Nationality, he ethnicity, or his motivation. He passed secure information about the U.S. to people who did not have the clearance to have it. Pollard is a traitor. Period.
“Why is he still confined, languishing, festering in jail for a total of twenty five years?”
Because we didn’t have the balls to execute him ?
Bullcrap. This American Jew believes Pollard should rot in prison for his treason.
Pollard wasn't convicted of Espionage? Please cite the case number where he was found not guilty.
He also took cash and jewelry in exchange for his 'selfless' service to Israel. That was admitted at trial. His conviction date, that's a CONVICTION, was 4 June 1986.
I repeat myself. I'd let him out of prison just long enough to hang the son of a bitch.
You are one sick puppy, what did you do when you were in the military?
Treason is treason. Mr. Pollard is right where he belongs.
I think enough is enough and Pollard should be released on condition of exile for life in Israel.
Did Pollard have access to any of Obama's records?
I don’t believe that the Nazis would have cared to make the distinction about ol’ Cap, had he been in Germany at the time.
Mr. Pollard is guilty of espionage, but not of treason, at least not in the eyes of an American Constitutional Conservative: “Treason against the United States, shall consist only in levying War against them, or in adhering to their Enemies, giving them Aid and Comfort.”
Passing secrets to an ally is neither levying war against the United States, nor adhering to our enemies, nor giving our enemies aid and comfort.
Don’t turn like the ‘Rats in your disregard for the plain meaning of the Constitution.
There *is* something very perverse, and possibly anti=Semetic about the fact Mr. Pollard has been treated more harshly than some who engaged in espionage against the U.S. on behalf of enemy powers.
I think since the spying was for Israel is more the issue. If Pollard was spying for the UK, Canada, or even South Korea, he’d be out by now. He rots as a token to the Jew-hating world, whose epicenter, unfortunately is Israel itself. If he was Black, Gay, or female, he’d be out too.
Be that as it may, no ally should decide their own level of access, but considering the way BO has been behaving, I wouldn’t blame Israel for spying right now. What a mess...
he was and is a spy and a traitor....put him out of his misery, stand him up against a wall and shoot him...I do not care what happened to others. I do feel they should have also been put up against a wall and shot. Traitor is as traitor does...shoot him
Just like Phyllis, you try to move the point away from Pollard being a traitor. The hatred of Weinberger does not mean that Pollard should not be hanged.
Pollard is a traitor. Period.