Skip to comments.If Jonathan Pollard Spied for Iraq
Posted on 07/11/2003 12:36:09 PM PDT by yonif
Jonathan Pollard transferred classified information, vital to the national security of Israel, to the government of the Jewish State in 1983. This information was about the weapons of mass destruction programs of rogue states in the Middle East, including Iraq, Syria and Libya, who are likely to target Israel with chemical and/or nuclear weapons should they possess the capabilities to do so. The information was legally entitled to Israel under the 1983 Memorandum of Understanding between America and Israel. Pollard has repeatedly expressed remorse for his actions, and pled guilty to one count of "Passing classified information to an ally, without intent to harm the United States." He was never convicted or indicted on charges of treason or espionage. In complete violation of his plea bargain with the government, he was sentenced to life in prison, with the recommendation of no parole, the heaviest sentence ever handed down for such a case. Today, the maximum penalty for this offense is 10 years, with the median sentence ranging from 2-4 years. Pollard is currently in his 18th year of imprisonment.
If Pollard wanted to be a free man, he should have spied for Iraq. Albert Sombolay, an American soldier, was convicted in 1991 of spying for Jordan during the first Gulf War. He also admitted to giving sensitive materials to Iraqi intelligence officials, and was paid for his actions. The information he revealed included deployment locations of US troops and samples of US chemical weapons defense systems. This information could have led to the deaths of thousands of Americans. Sombolay pled guilty to "espionage and aiding the enemy," yet he was sentenced to only 39 years in prison, and that sentence was commuted to 19 years in 1992. It is suspected that Sombolay has already been released from his incarceration, though the government refuses to publicly comment on the issue. One thing is certain: Jonathan Pollard will serve more time in US prison than Albert Sombolay.
Yesterday, Khaled Abdel-Latif Dumeisi, of a Chicago suburb, was arrested and charged with transferring sensitive information to Iraqi officials that benefitted Saddam Hussein´s regime. US Attorney Patrick Fitzgerald grouped Dumeisi with, "Those who gather information in the United States about people living in America for the purpose of providing the information to hostile governments." He was responsible for secretly gathering information about Iraqi dissident groups based in the United States, and then transferring that information to the Iraqi government. His actions could stifle the democratization of Iraq, and could lead to the deaths of American citizens involved in Iraqi opposition should they return to their homeland. If convicted, Dumeisi will receive a maximum sentence of ten years in prison. Jonathan Pollard will serve at least twice the amount of time in US prison than will Khaled Dumeisi.
Then there is the case of Mohammed Alawi, the United Nations correspondent for the Iraqi News Agency. A State Department official, speaking on the condition of anonymity, stated that there was enough "evidence" to arrest and convict Alawi for spying for Iraq. "This was espionage," claimed the official. But the American government, fearing negative backlash against American reporters in Iraq, simply expelled Alawi, and allowed him to freely return to Baghdad. Assistant US/UN Ambassador Patrick Kennedy rationalized the deportation, stating in a letter to Alawi that he, "threatened the security of the United States." Keep in mind that Jonathan Pollard was convicted of a crime "without intent to harm the United States." Yet Alawi will avoid prison altogether, while Pollard remains damned to live out his life behind bars.
The Jonathan Pollard case is troubling at best. Court of Appeals Judge Stephen Williams called the case "a fundamental miscarriage of justice," and expressed his desire to completely pardon Pollard. Jonathan Pollard passed along information to Israel that may have saved many lives, and for it he is serving a life sentence. In accordance with the history of similar cases, had he passed illegal information that aided the murderous Iraqi government, he probably would be a free man today.
Richard Dorfman is president of the Michigan Student Zionists, a pro-Israel group at the University of Michigan. He can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Albert Sombolay, an American soldier, was convicted in 1991 of spying for Jordan during the first Gulf War. He also admitted to giving sensitive materials to Iraqi intelligence officials, and was paid for his actions. The information he revealed included deployment locations of US troops and samples of US chemical weapons defense systems. This information could have led to the deaths of thousands of Americans. Sombolay pled guilty to "espionage and aiding the enemy," yet he was sentenced to only 39 years in prison, and that sentence was commuted to 19 years in 1992.
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Pollard passed on classified material of the US goverment against his sworn oath as a federal employee.
Duweisi was not a government employee, had no access to classified information, and spied on private individuals. According to the prosecutors his actions don't even constitute espionage.
I think Duweisi should be shot, but the two cases are not identical.
And we know that this is what he gave the how? Because he said so?
Friendly Spy? Isn't that somewhat of an oxymoron?
Of all the things I've read from you Yonif I presumed you knew the rules of the game .
I never said Pollard was not a spy, or a traitor to our republic. What I did say that I dispute the sentence he got in relation to the rest of those in same circumstances (most of which are not in this article). If the US wants to give a life sentence to a spy, without parole, that is fine with me (even for Pollard). But I ask that it be consistent.
I am well aware of the rules, and the rules show Pollard was a traitor to the US and he breached his code of employment with the Federal government. He is currently surving his punishment. But I am disputing his punishment in relation to others.
This is not about being PC my friend . Oh I've read a truck load of why Mr. Pollard is this & that guy got 1/2 the time till I became bored .
Go back to when the OSS was founded . Or think back to some of those check point charlie exchanges in the 70's . It's a hard nosed game Yonif .
Just because someone else may have gotten off lighter than he did doesn't mean he shouldn't get exactly what's coming to him.
Now that was an interesting case !
My answer is:
(1) Every case is different and for national security reasons we may never have all the details. He may have done things deserving such harsh punishment.
(2) He has shown zero remorse - which is often a factor in commutations and sentence reductions.
(3) He may have had nothing to bargain with. The others who got off more lightly may have had information that the US decided was worth bargaining for and Pollard may not have been able to provide such negotiating material.
Pollard is a big boy, he played a very dangerous game, and he lost. He will never get any sympathy from the American public and it frankly hurts the Israeli cause in this country when Israel and Israelis are seen advocating for him.
I understand that the State of Israel cannot abandon him because it would hurt Israel's ability to recruit intelligence operatives if the Israel was perceived to not care about their fate. But others would be better advised to spend their time and treasure on more worthwhile pursuits, like derailing this suicidal "road map".