That Syria was stuffed to the brim with nerve agents, sold by the west, was what Pollard went to jail for blowing the whistle on.
On Pollard, from Wiki—
In 1979, after leaving graduate school, Pollard began applying for intelligence service jobs, first at the Central Intelligence Agency (CIA) and then the US Navy. Pollard was turned down for the CIA job after taking a polygraph test in which he admitted to prolific illegal drug usage between 1974 and 1978. He fared better with the Navy and on 19 September 1979 he was hired by the Navy Field Operational Intelligence Office (NFOIO), an office of the Naval Intelligence Command (NIC), as an intelligence specialist working on Soviet issues at the Navy Ocean Surveillance Information Center (NOSIC), a department of NFOIO. A background check was required to receive the necessary security clearances, but no polygraph test. In addition to a ‘Top Secret’ clearance, a more stringent ‘Sensitive Compartmented Information’ (SCI) clearance was required. The Navy asked for but was denied information from the CIA regarding Pollard, including the results of their pre-employment polygraph test showing Pollard’s excessive drug use. Pollard was given temporary non-SCI security clearances pending completion of his background check, which was normal for new hires at the time and assigned to temporary duty at another NIC Department, the Naval Intelligence Support Center (NISC) Surface Ships Division, where he could be employed in tasks not requiring SCI clearance. NOSIC’s current operations center and the NISC were co-located in Suitland, Maryland (inside the Washington D.C. “Beltway”, the forerunner to today’s National Maritime Intelligence-Integration Office.
Within two months after Pollard was hired, the technical director of NOSIC, Richard Haver, requested that he be terminated. This came after a conversation with the new hire in which Pollard offered to start a back-channel operation with the South African intelligence service and lied about his father’s involvement with the CIA. Instead of terminating Pollard, Haver’s boss reassigned him to a navy human intelligence (HUMINT) operation, Task Force 168 (TF-168), an office within Naval Intelligence Command (NIC), the headquarters for Navy intelligence operations (located in a separate building, but still within the Suitland Federal Center complex.) This was apparently because Pollard had a friend from graduate school in the South African intelligence service. In the vetting process for this position, Pollard, it was later discovered, lied repeatedly: he denied illegal drug use, claimed his father had been a CIA operative, misrepresented his language abilities and his educational achievements, and claimed to have applied for a commission as officer in the Naval Reserve. A month later Pollard received his SCI clearances and was transferred from NISC to TF-168.
While transferring to his new job at TF-168, Pollard again initiated a meeting with someone far up the chain of command, this time with Admiral Sumner Shapiro, Commander, Naval Intelligence Command (CNIC) about an idea he had for TF-168 and South Africa. (The TF-168 group had passed on his ideas). After the meeting, Shapiro immediately ordered that Pollard’s security clearances be revoked and that he be reassigned to a non-sensitive position. According to The Washington Post, Shapiro dismissed Pollard as a “kook”, saying later, “I wish the hell I’d fired him.”
Because of the job transfer, Shapiro’s order to remove Pollard’s security clearances slipped through the cracks. However, Shapiro’s office followed up with a request to TF-168 that Pollard’s trustworthiness be investigated by the CIA. The CIA found Pollard to be a risk and recommended that he not be used in any intelligence collection operation. A subsequent polygraph test was inconclusive, although it did prompt Pollard to admit to making false statements to his superiors, prior drug use, and having unauthorized contacts with representatives of foreign governments. The special agent administering the test felt that Pollard, who at times “began shouting and shaking and making gagging sounds as if he were going to vomit”, was feigning illness to invalidate the test, and recommended that he not be granted access to highly classified information. Pollard was also required to be evaluated by a psychiatrist.
Pollard’s clearance was reduced to Secret. Pollard subsequently filed a grievance and threatened lawsuits to recover his SCI clearance, and subsequently began receiving excellent performance reviews. In 1982, after the psychiatrist concluded Pollard had no mental illness, Pollard’s clearance was upgraded to SCI once again. In October 1984, after some reorganization of the navy’s intelligence departments, Pollard applied for and was accepted into a position as an analyst for the Naval Intelligence Command.
Surveillance video frame of Pollard in the act of stealing classified documents
Shortly after Pollard began working at NIC/TF-168, he met Aviem Sella, an Israeli Air Force combat veteran who was at the time a graduate student at New York University, on leave from his position as a colonel in order to gain a master’s degree in computer science. Pollard told Sella that he worked for U.S. naval intelligence, told him of specific incidents where U.S. intelligence was withholding information from Israel, and offered himself as a spy. Though Sella had wondered whether Pollard was part of an FBI sting operation to recruit an Israeli, he ended up believing him. Sella then phoned his air force intelligence commander in Tel Aviv for further instructions, and the call was switched to the air force chief of staff. Sella was ordered to develop a contact with Pollard.
Within a few days, in June 1984, Pollard started passing classified information to Sella and received, in exchange, $10,000 cash and a very expensive diamond and sapphire ring, which Pollard later used to propose marriage to his girlfriend Anne. He also agreed to receive $1,500 per month for further espionage.
Naval Criminal Investigative Service (NCIS) investigator Ronald Olive has alleged that Pollard passed classified information to South Africa, and attempted, through a third party, to sell classified information to Pakistan on multiple occasions. Pollard also stole classified documents related to China on behalf of his wife, who used the information to advance her personal business interests and kept them around the house, where they were discovered by investigating authorities when Pollard’s espionage activity came to light.
During Pollard’s trial, the government’s memorandum in aid of sentencing challenges “defendant’s claim that he was motivated by altruism rather than greed”, asserting that Pollard had “disclosed classified information in anticipation of financial gain” in other instances:
The government’s investigation has revealed that defendant provided to certain of his acquaintances U.S. classified documents which defendant obtained through U.S. Navy sources. The classified documents which defendant disclosed to two such acquaintances, both of whom are professional investment advisers, contained classified economic and political analyses which defendant believed would help his acquaintances render investment advice to their clients... Defendant acknowledged that, although he was not paid for his unauthorized disclosures of classified information to the above-mentioned acquaintances, he hoped to be rewarded ultimately through business opportunities that these individuals could arrange for defendant when he eventually left his position with the U.S. Navy. In fact, defendant was involved in an ongoing business venture with two of these acquaintances at the time he provided the classified information to them...
During the course of the Pollard trial, Australian authorities reported the disclosure of classified American documents by Pollard to one of their own agents, a Royal Australian Navy officer who had been engaged in a personnel-exchange naval liaison program between the U.S. and Australia. The Australian officer, alarmed by Pollard’s repeated disclosure to him of data caveated No Foreign Access Allowed, reported the indiscretions to his chain of command, which in turn recalled him from his position in the U.S., fearing that the disclosures might be part of a “CIA ruse”. Confronted with this accusation after entering his plea, Pollard only admitted to passing a single classified document to the Australian; later, he changed his story, and claimed that his superiors ordered him to share information with the Australians.
The full extent of the information he gave to Israel has still not been officially revealed. Press reports cited a secret 46-page memorandum, which Pollard and his attorneys were allowed to view. They were provided to the judge by Secretary of Defense Caspar Weinberger, who described Pollard’s spying as including, among other things, obtaining and copying the latest version of Radio-Signal Notations (RASIN), a 10-volume manual comprehensively detailing America’s global electronic surveillance network.