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The Truth of Jonathan Pollard

Jonathan Pollard, the former United States navy intelligence analyst who pleaded guilty to spying for Israel, was released from prison on parole on November 20th upon completion of a 30-year prison term. Pollard, perhaps uniquely among convicted felons, left the federal penitentiary in North Carolina and traveled to New York City where an apartment in Manhattan and a job at an unidentified investment bank were awaiting him. He was united with his second wife Esther, an Israeli citizen whom he had met and married while incarcerated. By some accounts, Pollard likely has a million-dollar-plus nest egg waiting for him in a bank account somewhere outside the United States, representing his accumulated earnings dutifully deposited for him by the Israeli intelligence service Mossad to compensate him for his arrest and the time spent in prison. Pollard’s first wife Anne, who also did prison time, is currently suing [1] the Israeli government for compensation for her own pain and suffering now that her former husband has been released.

Pollard is on parole and is required to wear an ankle bracelet that monitors his movements, designed to prevent his fleeing to Israel. He cannot leave the United States for five years even though he has been granted citizenship [2] by the Knesset and has both a town square and a residential building in Jerusalem named after him. Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu has declared [3] an unofficial holiday in his honor and there will no doubt be a victory parade, as he is regarded as a hero by most Israelis.

Pollard has according to some reports offered to renounce his U.S. citizenship. Two congressmen from New York, Jerrold Nadler and Eliot Engel, as well as the Israeli government of Prime Minister Netanyahu have called on [4] President Obama to let Pollard immediately emigrate to Israel, but there is no indication that the Justice Department will agree. The Pentagon and intelligence community have reportedly voiced strong objections over the risk that Pollard continues to represent due to his alleged photographic memory and his ability to provide context to the documents that he stole.

As I have been following the Pollard case for a number of years, I carefully read many of the media reports on the parole and release from prison. Most were fairly offhand in their coverage, but a number focused on what they discerned to be the main points in the story: that Pollard was spying for an “ally,” that his sentence was alleged to be disproportionately harsh, that anti-Semitism might have played a part in that sentence, and that the information stolen related only to Israel’s enemies. In short, Pollard was a good man only working to help a beleaguered Israel by obtaining intelligence that was being held back by the United States government and who, when caught, was more severely punished than other comparable spies.

As much of the narrative being promoted by the mainstream media is completely false and even hypocritical, it is important to correct the record to demonstrate just exactly what Pollard was as well as what damage he did. Those who are calling for Pollard’s freeing from probation both in Israel and among Israel’s friends in the U.S. should look to the example of how Israel has itself treated Mordechai Vanunu [5], who revealed the existence of Israel’s nuclear arsenal in 1986. He was drugged and kidnapped, convicted in a secret trial, and spent 18 years in prison, 11 of which were in solitary confinement. Since his release in 2004, he has not been allowed to leave Israel or speak to journalists and has been re-arrested a number of times.

It is difficult to find a moral high ground when it comes to spying, but Pollard’s friends pretend that the espionage was carried out to help a small and vulnerable ally better defend itself. There is no evidence that Pollard ever thought in those terms himself, and the Pentagon investigation concluded that he was only motivated by money [2]. He reportedly wanted to get rich and before he approached the Israelis he offered to sell his information to several other countries, including Pakistan and then-under-apartheid South Africa. After Pollard was caught, he pleaded guilty to one count of mishandling classified information and was sentenced to life imprisonment in 1987.

Over the years since Pollard was sentenced I have had the good fortune to speak to several former senior intelligence officials who were involved in doing the damage assessment of what the Israeli spy exposed. They were sworn to secrecy on the details of what actually occurred but were able to make some general comments. They agreed on several points, namely that Pollard was the most damaging spy bar none since the Rosenberg espionage ring betrayed U.S. nuclear secrets to the Soviets in the 1940s; that Pollard exposed entire intelligence collection and deterrent systems that had to be recreated or abandoned at a cost of billions of dollars; and that Pollard, who has never shown any genuine remorse for what he did, should never be released from prison.

When Pollard was awaiting sentencing his lawyers sought to influence presiding Judge Aubrey Robinson into agreeing to minimal jail time, claiming that the espionage was really only a misguided bid to aid a beleaguered friend and ally Israel. Pollard’s wife Anne also appealed directly [6] to the Jewish community to support her and her husband, claiming on “60 Minutes” that “our moral obligation was as Jews.” Secretary of Defense Cap Weinberger responded to the pleas by submitting to the judge a letter [7], which is still classified, detailing precisely the immense damage that Pollard had done. After reviewing the letter, Judge Robinson refused to consider any mitigation and immediately sentenced Pollard to the maximum possible sentence.

In January 2014, M.E. “Spike” Bowman, who was at the time the liaison between the Departments of Defense and Justice and coordinator of the damage assessment, wrote an op-ed [8] entitled “Don’t Trust This Spy” for the New York Times and also provided his assessment of Pollard in a paper [9] presented at the March 7th 2014 National Summit to Reassess the US-Israel Special Relationship. Bowman confirmed the unique damage done by Pollard, observing that there has been no other American spy who provided “information of the quantity and quality that Mr. Pollard has.” To cope with the volume, the Israelis had to install high speed copiers in a safehouse apartment they used with Pollard and it is estimated that he stole 360 cubic feet of documents, enough to fill a room. And it was nearly all information that was beyond secret, meaning top secret and SCI or codeword, which is the most sensitive information that the United States government possesses. The Israelis were delighted and were able to request specific documents from a Defense Intelligence Agency catalog of available intelligence reports that had been given to them by another of their spies in the government, who has never been publicly identified but is generally believed to be a top-level official who served in both the Clinton and George W. Bush administrations.  Pollard’s high-level clearance meant that he could get his Israeli Washington Embassy-based case officer Colonel Avi Sella, who was also running spy Ben-Ami Kadish at the Picatinny Arsenal in New Jersey, anything that he wanted.

For those who hint at anti-Semitism to make their claim that Pollard was treated with disproportionate rigor Bowman notes that it was not a normal espionage case. The conviction was under a special statute (18 US Code 194) that protects information related to “…nuclear weaponry, military spacecraft or satellites, early warning systems, or other means of defense or retaliation against large scale attack; war plans; communications intelligence or cryptographic information.” In other words, information that would make the United States vulnerable to attack by an enemy or would limit its ability to respond.

Pollard had provided intelligence to Israel relating to nearly every one of the key national security elements detailed in 18 USA Code 194 and, most particularly, had provided the Radio Signal Notations Manual, which contained details of how the United States collects signals intelligence as well as the known parameters of the systems used by the Soviet Union. The information would enable an adversary to avoid collection by American codebreakers and, if in the hands of a sophisticated adversary like the Soviets, would permit penetration of U.S. systems. Former CIA Director William Casey and others believed that the Israelis provided at least some of the stolen information to the Soviet Union in exchange for the expedited emigration of Russian Jews.

It should also be recognized that the focus on Pollard has obscured the duplicitous behavior by the Israeli government and its proxies in the U.S. I recall when I was in Turkey shortly after Pollard was arrested a delegation of the American Jewish Committee came through town and met with the Consul General and later the Ambassador, insisting that Pollard was some kind of nut and assuring all who would listen that Israel would never spy on the United States. That spin prevailed in much of the media and among the punditry, calling it a “rogue operation,” until Tel Aviv finally ‘fessed up in 1998. The fact is that the Pollard spy operation was approved at the highest levels of the Israeli government and to this day Tel Aviv has reneged [10] on its agreement to return all of the material stolen to enable the Pentagon to do a complete damage assessment. And Israel continues to spy aggressively [11] on the United States, ranking first among “friendly” countries in that category.

Philip Giraldi, a former CIA officer, is executive director of the Council for the National Interest.

33 Comments (Open | Close)

33 Comments To "The Truth of Jonathan Pollard"

#1 Comment By Fran Macadam On December 2, 2015 @ 1:49 am

I’m for tossing this traitor to Israel, where he can be celebrated and reveal to all of us here how friendly that foreign nation really isn’t after all. I’d rather not share the same continent with Pollard and think that tax resources are being spent in any way on him.

On the sad side, what Phil outlines reveals that Ed Snowden ain’t ever coming home, unless to spend at least as long as Pollard imprisoned.

It really makes me wonder what good all this military, national security state and empire building has done for us. I would assess after a lifetime of experiencing it, disillusionment has set in about it being in any way worth more than what’s been sacrificed. What’s been sacrificed in terms of lives, livelihood and liberty wasn’t worth it – and now, no end in sight to American foreign wars and their collateral damage.

#2 Comment By EliteCommInc. On December 2, 2015 @ 5:52 am

Having given my housemate a good dose of my consternation two weeks ago when i first heard this on NPR. I can only reiterate my response provided last week.

Whatever my care for Israel, on Mr. Pollard’s release . . . it was reason of a stunning magnitude.

Grrrrrrrrrrrr . . .

#3 Comment By Montana Marvin On December 2, 2015 @ 8:14 am

Tell me again why the relationship between Israel and USA is so sacred and essential? And for whom?

#4 Comment By Chris Chuba On December 2, 2015 @ 9:04 am

I understand the anti-Pollard feeling but I don’t see a need to extend this to Israel. As the article says, Israel did not recruit him, he went out fishing for them. If someone approached the U.S. and offered us a similar opportunity to get this type of intelligence on another country, including Israel, I doubt that we would have turned it down.

#5 Comment By JLF On December 2, 2015 @ 9:05 am

To answer Montana Marvin’s questions, according to Pew research figures 70% of all Americans are Christian, and of that number almost 60% are Protestants for whom Israel has claims to Palestine that trace back to Abraham. For a large percentage of that 60% (though not measured by Pew) Israel itself also has an eschatological role that requires American support. Though I suspect Marvin’s use of the term “sacred” was meant sarcastically, for that sizable number, most of whom I would suspect are voting Republicans, the term is accurate.

#6 Comment By Fred Bowman On December 2, 2015 @ 9:30 am

What’s so sacred about the relationship? Just ask the politicians that AIPAC owns and the Evangelical crowd? Sarcasm definely implied.

#7 Comment By Uncle Billy On December 2, 2015 @ 9:56 am

So Israel is our “ally” and we have this special relationship with them? Exactly, what do we get out of this relationship?

#8 Comment By Ron Goodman On December 2, 2015 @ 10:00 am

I don’t see a need to extend this to Israel. As the article says, Israel did not recruit him, he went out fishing for them.

I’ll be sure and try that defense the next time I get busted for buying crack from the guy who approached me on the street corner.

#9 Comment By Eric On December 2, 2015 @ 10:04 am

The agency Pollard worked for, the Naval Investigative Service, had a Keystone Kops reputation in the 1980s. They fouled up a number of high-profile counter-intelligence cases. Things were so bad they changed the name of the agency to Naval Criminal Investigative Service (NCIS). The Navy public affairs command probably was behind the idea to make the silly TV crime drama NCIS to improve the public image of the agency.

#10 Comment By EliteCommInc. On December 2, 2015 @ 10:28 am

“If someone approached the U.S. and offered us a similar opportunity to get this type of intelligence on another country, including Israel . . .”

Hence the powerful counter example of, Mordechai Vanunu . . . that and the fact Israel was a trusted and well cared for ally is troubling. Whatever my issues with the US, including my desire to study in the Soviet Union eons ago, I am a US citizen. No few small number of my fellows have given life and limb for her birth, and maintenance and there was a time when every day in school I and millions of others pledged allegiance to her.

And by golly gee wow, I expect my fellows to honor her membership, no exception. If million of black service members can give their loyalty, when it was not returned, if millions of poor and destitute could give up their lives knowing upon return their fates not be much better

Then by Golly gee wow . . . from the Halls of Montezuma to the shores of Tripoli in all her glory and hypocrisy every citizen should demand allegience to the same.

One care not if it be one file or the mountains delivered by Mr. Pollard — no nation that disvalues loyalty of its members can survive.

#11 Comment By Mike Schilling On December 2, 2015 @ 11:30 am

Pollard worse than Aldrich Ames? Worse than Robert Hansen? Pull the other one, it’s got bells on.

In fact, if there’s any evidence of anti-Semitism in the intelligence community, it’s the need to make Pollard’s crimes seem even worse than they were.

#12 Comment By a friend indeed On December 2, 2015 @ 11:48 am

Pollard is filth. He should be dead or in prison.

Any “American” who pushed for his release should be on a watch list and barred from government work.

Giraldi wrote: “And Israel continues to spy aggressively on the United States, ranking first among “friendly” countries in that category.”

It isn’t just first among the “friendlies”. It’s up there with Russia and China as among the worst.

Indeed, while we generally call Israel a “friend”, we don’t really mean it, even setting aside the major espionage threat it poses.

Despite its small population and relative prosperity, Israel takes more money from us than any country on earth. It has and continues to cause us horrific military, foreign policy, and diplomatic problems, more than Turkey, Saudi Arabia, and Egypt combined. It manipulates our politicians through its diaspora. When its prime minister visits he openly attacks and undermines our President.

One might charitably call that a “mooch” or a “parasite” rather than an “enemy”, I suppose. But not a “friend”.

#13 Comment By Lee On December 2, 2015 @ 11:49 am

Pollard has been an Israeli citizen since 1995 and attempted to renounce US Citizenship.

According to the US Department of State, there is no legal mechanism for a physically present US Citizen to renounce, hence no grounds for deportation.

#14 Comment By Reimer On December 2, 2015 @ 12:01 pm

That some of his fellows try to mitigate this venal traitor’s conduct with race-hustling, ludicrous relativism and eschatalogical obscurantism says a lot about the “friendly” status of this ally and its asymmetric “friendship” with the West. The mystification of Stockholm Syndrome is upon us.

#15 Comment By Fran Macadam On December 2, 2015 @ 1:15 pm

“Then by Golly gee wow . . . from the Halls of Montezuma to the shores of Tripoli in all her glory and hypocrisy every citizen should demand allegience to the same.”

The one per cent are extremely happy to hear that.

#16 Comment By Siarlys Jenkins On December 2, 2015 @ 1:26 pm

Some years ago, I heard from a Jewish American who had been born in Hungary and had fought for Israel in the 1967 war some perspective on what Weinberger put into that sealed letter to the judge.

Obviously there is some speculation here, but what he outlined is that, at the time, the U.S. defense establishment believed that a number of well placed U.S. informants in the USSR had been exposed and executed because information Pollard passed to Mossad had been picked up by Soviet moles in Israel. That was before Richard Hanson and the Aldrich-Ames spy rings were exposed, which more plausibly were the source of information that unmasked the American agents in Moscow. So the damage Pollard did may have been somewhat less than the judge believed at the time of sentencing.

Allies have always spied on each other, because allied seldom really fully trust each other. Its part of the game. What I think the U.S. government hated most about the revelations by Edward Snowden is having to admit they tapped the phones of every head of state in Europe.

I’m inclined to say, the man served a long sentence, it should certainly be a deterrent to anyone who thinks they’re going to get rich and live happily ever after by espionage, now let go and move on.

I don think our government needs to reassess the status of any “special relationship” with Israel. As Israel is a sovereign state with the right to develop its own policy as it sees fit, by the same token the American taxpayer has no obligation to write them a blank check for whatever the Israeli government chooses to do.

Comparison to Julius and Ethel Rosenberg is rather inept. The damage they did was de minimus. A few diagrams of a few lenses perhaps. Every major power in the world was researching nuclear power long before WW II. The real obstacle was how to separate U-235 from U-238, but given sufficient time, the “secrets” of physics are nobody’s monopoly. The nazis, fortunately, hadn’t a clue how to do the separation, but that isn’t what the Rosenbergs got their hands on — if they got their hands on anything significant.

It is noteworthy that they too were spying for an ally at the time, but they had the misfortune that the ally was an avowed enemy by the time of their trial.

#17 Comment By Lenny On December 2, 2015 @ 1:53 pm

what would have happened had he sold this to the Saudis?

#18 Comment By Sigmund Derman On December 2, 2015 @ 2:06 pm

I have a lot of trouble understanding why so many of my fellow American Jews campaigned for Pollard’s release or why they now are pushing to soften his parole terms.
I will grant that there is a lot of controversy about the harm caused by his spying. One can find plausible discussions indicating that his treachery cause over 100 American deaths. Also, you can find seemingly authoritative articles showing that all he gave them was irrelevant information, most of it already in the public domain that caused no harm at all.
Also, other supposedly comparable cases have been raised by both sides of the controversy. But I see little relevance to them either. What Israel did to Vannunu and how the United States has treated other spies, are based on completely different cases with different circumstances . I believe it is a reasonable assumption that the judge who sentenced Pollard had a realistic idea of the degree of harm Pollard caused and handed down his sentence accordingly.
But actually, even the actual degree of harm he caused may not be the most important factor. He did something that was clearly illegal and a violation of his duty as an intelligence analyst. It had, at least, the potential for great harm. If I burn down someone’s house and they manage to escape unharmed, do I get off the hook? Well, maybe I would escape the death penalty but I would still be liable for severe punishment. The fact that he gave the information to a friendly power is irrelevant because once it gets out of US control there is no way to tell where it ends up. He deserved the severe sentence that he got. Had he been executed for his activities, I do not think that the sentence would have been excessive. Life imprisonment was an acceptable sentence, however.
Personally, I am not happy that he has been released but apparently the release was “mandatory” given the terms of his sentence. So I accept it. He is unlikely to do further harm. But we don’t absolutely know that he will not do further harm. So he should be monitored. That’s a standard precaution. Also, some of the people he might mingle with now that he has been release could lead us to other spies that we should now about. No exception should be made, especially so early after his release.
Let them monitor for a few years. If the monitoring then seems to be a worthless waste of resources, the stop and let him go to Israel. I then would say “good riddance.” But it should be a decision based on what is best for United States’ security, not a decision based on what helps him. The United States owes him nothing. He owes us.

#19 Comment By Ralph Raico On December 2, 2015 @ 3:41 pm

I feel indebted to Mr. Giraldi once more for his expertise and clarity of presentation. But it’s hard for me to believe that Pollard acted solely from financial considerations and not out of love of the Jewish state.

#20 Comment By The Other Sands On December 2, 2015 @ 3:45 pm

Interesting to see soft apologists even here in the comments for a traitor to the United States. Also his home and job awaiting him in New York.

He is a traitor who actively sought out a way to violate his oath and pass on classified documents, in return for money and no higher purpose. Those are the facts and equivocating is not really necessary.

Hopefully one of our intelligence assets from that era is still active and angry enough to see justice served by other means before he slinks off like the dog he is.

#21 Comment By Clint On December 2, 2015 @ 4:53 pm

Ben-Ami Kadish spied for Israel from 1979-1985 and provided an official from the Israeli consulate in New York with U.S. national defense information, including restricted nuclear weapons data, classified jet fighter weapons system data and key information on the Patriot missile system.
Kadish’s Israeli handler was the same man who dealt with Jonathan Pollard.

#22 Comment By libertarian jerry On December 2, 2015 @ 6:45 pm

If truth be told most of the “aid” that goes to Israel comes back to the United States in the form of Israeli purchases from U.S.arms manufacturers. The u.s taxpayers,in an around about way,are really subsidizing McDonnell/Douglas,Raytheon etc. With that said,I believe that Pollard should have been hung for treason.

#23 Comment By Mitchell Freedman On December 2, 2015 @ 7:08 pm

Phil, you lost me with the Rosenberg reference. It is now pretty damned clear the Rosenberg’s execution was not warranted, and as the Smyth Report acknowledged, just knowing the US had detonated a nuclear weapon meant the Soviet scientists would have a bomb by 1950. They got it by 1949 which is in the margin for error, and frankly, it was Fuchs who gave the important information–as someone who worked in Los Alamos–not Julius Rosenberg. The rest of the article one searches in vain to support any assertion of danger to American interests compared to Aldrich Ames, Robert Walker or the like. Pollard deserved prison time. He served it, longer than most every other convicted spy.

And really, his photographic memory of information from 30 years ago is so important to our national security? If I was Obama, I’d say Pollard can leave but Vanunu can go where he likes even here.

#24 Comment By Junior On December 2, 2015 @ 7:47 pm

“Pollard, perhaps uniquely among convicted felons, left the federal penitentiary in North Carolina and traveled to New York City where an apartment in Manhattan and a job at an unidentified investment bank were awaiting him.”

We have OVER a half-million homeless Americans. We have UNTOLD millions of Americans without jobs. Meanwhile the vile Traitor Pollard that wants to renounce his citizenship has both an American job and a home within our borders?!

If the Traitor Pollard wants to renounce his citizenship then I think we should send him slithering to whatever nation that would take a plague such as himself. It seems to me, keeping him in the US on parole as a punishment is not worth the risk of having his proven treasonous self walking around up to god-only-knows what manner of treachery trying to “infect the body politic” and “undermine the pillars of the city.”

They should have kept him locked up. He got a life sentence and shows no remorse so how in the HELL did he get paroled?! Since they made the disgusting decision of releasing him, I think they should have accepted his renunciation and get him the hell from within our borders. It’s akin to being bitten by a poisonous snake in your house and then forcing it to stay slithering around in your house just to spite the snake.

The argument that he is still a risk because he can provide context to the stolen documents does not hold water with me because there is nothing stopping him from providing context now while he’s walking around on parole. And the argument of looking at how Israel treats Mordechai Vanunu holds even less water for me because it’s no reason to debase ourselves by acting like Israel. If I’m wrong about there being information that he can’t just relay to someone or if there are some extreme restrictions to his parole that I am unaware of like having an army of FBI agents monitoring him all day or something, I pray that someone explain them to me. What is to stop him from sitting in his lavish Wall Street office and doing nothing all day EXCEPT providing context to the stolen documents? Unless this is some type of elaborate trap to catch other spies, it makes absolutely no sense to me for us to keep him on US soil. And I wonder who is this Wall Street Investment Bank that hires a remorseless traitor to handle American’s financial interests and whether our tax dollars are paying the traitor because of the bail-outs.

In regards to his million-dollar-plus-nest-egg that he has waiting for him, does anyone who is more familiar with International Law know whether there is some way for us to recoup damages or something to prevent him from financially benefiting from his treason?

I HATE that it would be giving him exactly what he wants, but IS his staying in the country living lavishly on parole, enjoying our security that he tried to destroy and due to his remorselessness may STILL try to destroy further, while taking a job and home away from an American who WANTS to be an American, truly punishment? I think we’re cutting off our nose to spite our face. The Traitor Pollard says he wants to give up his rights as a citizen and leave. I say good riddance and that we should put him to the curb, like the trash that he is, for the garbage-men to haul away to their bloody-apartheid-made-dump.

“A nation can survive its fools, and even the ambitious. But it cannot survive treason from within. An enemy at the gates is less formidable, for he is known and carries his banner openly. But the traitor moves amongst those within the gate freely, his sly whispers rustling through all the alleys, heard in the very halls of government itself. For the traitor appears not a traitor; he speaks in accents familiar to his victims, and he wears their face and their arguments, he appeals to the baseness that lies deep in the hearts of all men. He rots the soul of a nation, he works secretly and unknown in the night to undermine the pillars of the city, he infects the body politic so that it can no longer resist. A murderer is less to fear. The traitor is the plague.” – Marcus Tullius Cicero

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#25 Comment By adam On December 2, 2015 @ 9:24 pm

Jonathan Pollard was arrested in 1985 the year of the spy. While he certainly deserved to serve time to give him 30 years was a complete travesty of Justice and did make him a Martyr more then anything else. Some conservative politicians do recognize this by the way.

Pollard was a minor spy who had GS-12 who made 40,000 according to Angelo Codevilla who is a conservative Republican. A GS-12 does not have clearance for vital secrets. The normal sentence for what he did is 2-5 years. He was treated as if he spied for an enemy country which there are those who feel this way about Israel. I find it wrong to call him a traitor since he has never wished harm on the USA and his only goal was to give info relevant to Israel. He didn’t have the right to do this but I don’t think this makes him a traitor.

In fact I would think by those trying to blame Pollard for the sins of other spies gave a false sense of security when the real dangerous spies were still working for the NIS. They blamed Pollard for the sins of Ames, Boone, and Hannsen. When I read some of these other spies I read real accounts of the dangers they created. With Pollard it is all vague and claims that are not believable and sound like they are made up out of whole cloth for one man to do in a year and a half that would have required Pollard to have some truck to do with some vague claim of taking x number of documents.

It is sad reading some of the hate here as in no way a 30 year sentence for a year and a half of spying for an ally is just,

#26 Comment By Clint On December 3, 2015 @ 11:44 am

“According to classified briefings on legislation that would lower visa restrictions on Israeli citizens, Jerusalem’s efforts to steal U.S. secrets under the cover of trade missions and joint defense technology contracts have “crossed red lines.”

#27 Comment By Thomas O. Meehan On December 3, 2015 @ 4:50 pm

“…..Intelligence Agency catalog of available intelligence reports that had been given to them by another of their spies in the government, who has never been publicly identified but is generally believed to be a top-level official who served in both the Clinton and George W. Bush administrations.” !!!

Who if anyone is following up on this? Does “Never been publicly identified,” mean that it is known by authorities but subject to some sort agreement. Or is this just one of those things that is known but cannot meet the standard of proof required in a trial?

Clearly this would be a massive story if successfully pursued.

#28 Comment By Noizpots On December 3, 2015 @ 5:05 pm

Some ally, that Israel. The alliance is more like a bad (horrid) marriage, that we stay in because its cheaper to keep ‘er, meaning if we ever broke ties they’d make our life an even greater living hell. With friends like that, who needs enemies?

#29 Comment By EliteCommInc. On December 4, 2015 @ 12:14 am

“In fact I would think by those trying to blame Pollard for the sins of other spies gave a false sense of security when the real dangerous spies were still working for the NIS. They blamed Pollard for the sins of Ames, Boone, and Hannsen.”

Yawn and yawn. I am not sure it matters what his relaionship is to other spies or them to him. A member of the US operating in an official capacity for the US government, the offical body of the mechanisn representing his country and his intrerests, violated his oath to the government and the people of the US.

Your right, trying to configure the interconnected web of betrayal among these similar players could be difficut if such connections existed at all. And while accuracy is important to dismiss the over-riding , attempting ameliorte the damage and the vetrayal, becase yuor view, his GS rating doesn’t rate what you consider access to damaging material is a peculiar advance.

You use f the term hate to describe understandable disappointment and anger of the betrayed is also peculiar. May be some do hate him, maybe no one does.

But hate or not his behavior is rightly condemned.

#30 Comment By Boris M GARSKY On December 4, 2015 @ 10:36 am

This is far Flung, but one has to wonder whether Pollards treason had anything to do with the Beirut Embassy bombing and the Marine Compound bombing and the French Barracks bombing in Lebanon in 1983?

#31 Comment By EliteCommInc. On December 4, 2015 @ 12:30 pm

“Barracks bombing in Lebanon in 1983?”

Curious why you ask.

#32 Comment By Clint On December 5, 2015 @ 6:49 pm

“Barracks bombing in Lebanon in 1983?”

Victor Ostrovsky, a former Israeli secret agent says in his book, By Way of Deception: A Devastating Insider’s Portrait of the Mossad,that the Israelis had advance notice of the suicide attack that killed 241 Marines in Beirut in October 1983 but withheld the information from the United States in the hope that the attack would poison American Arab relations.

However, there wasn’t a mention of Pollard being involved,as far as I have read.

#33 Comment By Technomad On February 22, 2016 @ 11:56 pm

Part of the reason for coming down hard on Pollard was to discourage others from doing as he did. If the KGB (or whatever they call it these days) doesn’t have people who can pass themselves off very convincingly, as Israeli, they’re a bunch of incompetents. And I’d bet that quite a few Arab and Islamic secret services have people who can do the same trick. “False flag” recruitment is as old as espionage.

He also passed along a lot of material of no interest to Israel…but of great interest to the Soviet Union. Now why do you think the Israelis would ask for such things? Could it be that they were trading that stuff for more exit visas for Jews?