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Sunday, April 6, 2014
Newsmax Columnists Come to Pollard's Defense
Topic: Newsmax

WorldNetDaily is not the only place where Jonathan Pollard apologists have come out of the woodwork.

An April 1 Newsmax article promotes the views of one apologist:

The U.S. government's release of convicted Israeli spy Jonathan Pollard is justified, says prominent attorney Alan Dershowitz.

"You have to remember that he made a plea bargain, and in exchange for giving up his right to trial [by] jury, he agreed to plead guilty in exchange for the government making a solemn promise that they would not seek life imprisonment … The judge, however, gave him life imprisonment and so the position of the United States government back then — and it should be the same position now — is that life imprisonment was not warranted considering the amount of damage that was done by this spy," he told Newsmax TV's John Bachman, J.D. Hayworth, and Morgan Thompson on "America's Forum" Tuesday.

The former U.S. Navy analyst was convicted of spying for Israel in the 1980s and has spent 25 years in an American jail.

[...]

"He's only a year away from his next parole date where he'll probably be released, so the United States is not being asked to give up very much. Israel, on the other hand, is being asked to release hundreds and hundreds of terrorists who might go back to commit new crimes. Pollard's an old man. He's not going to do anything to hurt America."

As we documented, prosecutor John L. Martin -- in a Newsmax artile by Ronald Kessler responding to Dershowitz's previous defense of Pollard -- has said that the classified documents Pollard gave Israel access to would fill a space 10 feet by 6 feet by 6 feet, and the law makes no distinction between spying for an ally or an enemy. Former prosecutor Joe diGenova pointed out that Pollard received about $500,000 a year plus expenses for giving intelligence documents to Israeli agents, and that it "cost between $3 billion and $5 billion to fix because of what he compromised."

The Anti-Defamation League's Abraham Foxman went even further in an April 1 Newsmax column:

When the Pollard affair surfaced 28 years ago, there were claims by some that the sentencing of Pollard to life imprisonment was tinged with anti-Semitism. We at the Anti-Defamation League took that charge seriously, made our own investigation, and concluded there was no basis for such an accusation.

But as the years pass, and the world has changed many times over, and with more and more prominent Americans, including individuals from the intelligence community, saying "enough already," Pollard remains in prison.

Pleas for his parole are raised on a regular basis, but go unheeded. The whole thing at this late date makes no sense.

There surely is no information that Pollard possesses after all these years that can be harmful to American interests. The fact that Pollard shared information with an ally — Israel — was no reason for him not to be punished. But after this long imprisonment, the fact that it was such a close ally who received his information should have influenced a positive response when the subject of parole arose.

Foxman then plays the anti-Semitism card:

I am not one to equate what Pollard did, to betray his country, to the recent revelations that the United States has been spying on top Israeli leaders. Here too, however, these revelations add further context to the absurdity of the ongoing vendetta against this one man.

Yes, I use that word because that’s what it seems like at this point. If it were only a vendetta against one individual, it would be bad enough. But it has now become one against the American Jewish community.

In effect, the continuing imprisonment of this person long after he should have been paroled on humanitarian grounds can only be read as an effort to intimidate American Jews. And, it is an intimidation that can only be based on an anti-Semitic stereotype about the Jewish community, one that we have seen confirmed in our public opinion polls over the years, the belief that American Jews are more loyal to Israel than to their own country, the United States.

In other words, the underlying concept which fuels the ongoing Pollard incarceration is the notion that he is only the tip of the iceberg in the community. So Pollard stays in prison as a message to American Jews: Don’t even think about doing what he did.

I come to this conclusion with much sorrow and, as noted, as someone who resisted efforts early on to connect the Pollard affair to anti-Semitism. It is harder and harder to do so any longer.

But it seems the problem is not that Pollard was more loyal to Israel than the United States, it's thathe wasn't loyal to the U.S. at all. The ChristianScience Monitor's Peter Grier reports:

Pollard peddled secrets that included details of US spy satellites, analyses of foreign missile systems, and the extent of NSA surveillance of foreign governments.

He reportedly offered material to South Africa, Argentina, and Taiwan, and was in touch with officials in Pakistan. Then-Secretary of Defense Caspar Weinberger testified in court that the US national security community suspects that much of what Pollard stole ended up with the Soviet Union, through the USSR’s own network of spies and moles.

The US intelligence community has not forgotten or forgiven Pollard for his actions. Any move to release him will surely spark a furious internal reaction.

Grier also notes that Thomas Brooks, former chief of naval intelligence, says that the extent of Pollard's spying is exceeded only by Edward Snowden, and that much of what Pollard took did not involve Israel at all.


Posted by Terry K. at 9:26 PM EDT

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