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WorldNetDaily's Favorite Traitor

Aaron Klein leads his "news" organization in agitating for the release of convicted spy Jonathan Pollard.

By Terry Krepel
Posted 9/14/2011

One would never think of the super-patriots (in their own twisted way) at WorldNetDaily taking the side of someone who spied against the United States, but that's exactly what WND has done in championing Jonathan Pollard.

Pollard is a former Naval Investigative Service analyst who in 1986 pleaded guilty on espionage charges for passing thousands of pages of classified documents to Israel and was sentenced to life in prison. Pollard's then-wife, Anne, was also sentenced to prison for her role in the espionage, but was released after three years; Jonathan later abruptly divorced her, supposedly so she could get on with life without him. Pollard later declared himself married to a woman named Esther, with whom he had been corresponding with, despite apparently lacking a formal marriage. (Esther claims the two were married "in a secret ceremony, performed by a rabbi, according to halachah.")

Leading the Pollard defense brigade at WND is Aaron Klein, who has published 34 articles since 2004 that reference Pollard -- which is of a piece with his efforts to whitewash the violent backgrounds for right-wing Israeli activists. In fact, just a month after his May 2004 WND debut, Klein penned an article uncritically repeating Pollard's claim that former President Clinton, in his autobiography, "lies about his promised release of" Pollard as part of a proposed prisoner exchange with the Palestinians as part of the 1998 Wye River Accords.

Klein followed that up a month later with an article about how "Sex and the City" actor Chris Noth was "accosted yesterday while visiting the Western Wall by supporters of convicted spy Jonathan Pollard," citing "a source from Justice for Pollard."

By November 2004, Klein was apparently hanging out with Pollard in prison, from where he passed along Pollard's opining about how "Israel has been grooming convicted killer Marwan Barghouti to become the next Palestinian Authority leader" and touted a speech written by Pollard "to be delivered on his behalf in Jerusalem at a demonstration rally" Klein did not explain why Pollard could claim to know so much about internal Israeli affairs when he has been in prison in the United States for nearly two decades.

Klein worked in a little Pollard advocacy as well, claiming: "Pollard's sentence is considered by many to be disproportionate to the crime for which he was convicted – he is the only person in the history of the United States to receive a life sentence for spying for an ally. The median sentence for this particular offense is two to four years."

In a May 2005 article, Klein's advocacy went full-blown, reporting uncorroborated claims by Pollard that he suffered "years of abuse and torture" in American prisons. Klein quoted Esther Pollard repeating the claims, calling her "Jonathan's wife" without noting the apparent lack of an actual marriage. Klein made no attempt to contact prosecutors or other government officials for a response to Pollard's allegations.

Klein continued to serve as a media mouthpiece for Pollard and his supporters:

  • He promoted a letter by "female members of Israel's Knesset" to then-first lady Laura Bush lobbying for Pollard's release. Klein curiously didn't name any of the signatories to that letter, but he did note the letter stated that ""Jonathan and his wife were also prohibited from having conjugal visits throughout all the years of his incarceration, and they have thereby been prevented from establishing a family with children."
  • He highlighted Pollard's request to the Israeli Supreme Court "to grant him special prisoner status, which likely would be a major boost in his fight for freedom."
  • He uncritically repeated an attack on then-Israeli Prime Minister Ariel Sharon by Esther Pollard for purportedly not making "a genuine effort to secure the release" of Pollard.
  • He highlighted another request by Pollard for release, this time to the U.S. Supreme Court to obtain "classified information used to sentence" him.

Klein continued to advocate for Pollard in 2007, when he wrote an article claiming that former CIA director George Tenet's claim that "he is responsible for nixing a deal to free" Pollard "has been contradicted by a number of sources, including some who say Tenet personally told them otherwise." Klein followed up a month later by dutifully reporting Pollard's "exclusive communication" to him that "Israeli presidential hopeful Shimon Peres lied to the U.S. about his involvement in the Jonathan Pollard spy operation, turned over all the evidence to prosecute Pollard in order to save his own career; and may have testified falsely under oath regarding the affair."

(That was part of a series of articles by Klein attempting to undercut Peres' campaign for Israeli president. By contrast, Klein devoted no original articles to highlighting rape and sexual harassment allegations against Peres' predecessor as president, conservative Likud Party member Moshe Katsav. Katsav was later convicted on those charges.)

Klein was still lobbying for Pollard in 2010, reporting that "Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu has decided to appeal directly and publicly to President Obama for the immediate release of imprisoned Israeli agent Jonathan Pollard."

Klein, however, is not the only Pollard advocate at WND. A July 2001 column by Anthony LoBaido -- best known for his ties to white supremacists in South Africa and his unhinged screed blaming America for 9/11 -- portrayed Pollard as "a faithful Jew who risked all to save the women and children of Israel." A post-9/11 column by Larry Dub, one of Pollard's attorneys, claimed that Pollard was engaging in "desperate and futile attempts ... to save America and Israel from just such a catastrophe" and decried "the demonstrable injustices of the Pollard case."

WND published a 2005 column by Esther Pollard in which she drew a dubious parallel between Jonathan Pollard and George Washington, and a November 2006 column in which she claimed that Jonathan "has been lynched in the court of public opinion." WND published another plea for Pollard's release by Esther Pollard in 2008 and 2009.

WND's Les Kinsolving brought up clemency requests for Pollard in 2008 White House press briefing.

And in 2008, WND published a sympathetic retelling of the Pollard case, in which author Richard Cummings declared that "Pollard repeatedly was denied his day in court, on a technicality only, from the lower court to the Court of Appeals all the way to the Supreme Court."

What you won't read at WND is any unvarnished description of what Pollard did to earn his life sentence. Other parts of the ConWeb will, however. Newsmax's Ronald Kessler wrote in an Aug. 22 column responding to a pro-Pollard column by attorney Alan Dershowitz:

As chief of the Justice Department’s counter-espionage section, John L. Martin supervised the prosecution of Pollard and 75 other spies. Only one case resulted in acquittal.

He tells Newsmax that no other spy for a friendly country has ever been prosecuted for espionage, as Pollard was. “No spy for a U.S. ally has engaged in anything like the magnitude of the Pollard case and been charged with espionage. There are no cases comparable to Pollard’s.”

Indeed, Pollard gave Israel access to classified documents that would fill a space 10 feet by 6 feet by 6 feet. “The enormous amount of material he turned over to the Israelis applied to just about everything imaginable, including communications intelligence information and some of our most closely guarded secrets,” Martin says. “A good deal of it did not relate to Israeli security.”

Whether Pollard spied for a friendly country is irrelevant, Martin says: “There are no distinctions in the law between those who spy for allies or for adversaries. Once the documents are taken out of the custody of the U.S., you have no control over who may see them. People who have access to them would not necessarily be limited to the Israelis.”


In his Newsmax piece, Dershowitz argues that the problem was the two judges who upheld the sentence were Jewish. “The non-Jewish judge, who had no fear of being accused of dual loyalty, was correct,” Dershowitz writes. “The two Jewish judges were dead wrong.”

To Jews like myself, that argument is insulting. It presumes that Jews, whether judges or not, make decisions about criminality based on their religion.

“What a wonderful legal argument,” says Joe diGenova, who was the U.S. attorney who prosecuted Pollard. “This is from a Harvard Law professor: Jewish judges are dangerous. And the non-Jew was the only one who had a balanced brain. Do you think he learned that in law school or what?”

The Washington Times further quoted DiGenova:

Mr. DiGenova said Pollard received about $500,000 a year plus expenses for giving intelligence documents to Israeli agents.

“By the time he was caught, he caused enough damage to U.S. intelligence that, according to the Defense Department, it cost between $3 billion and $5 billion to fix because of what he compromised,” Mr. DiGenova said. “That the country he spied for is seeking clemency is not only unprecedented, it is a joke.”

WND, though, has had a long history of whitewashing extremists, from Klein's embrace of right-wing Israeli extremists to fawning over an anti-abortion extremist who appeared to condone the killing of abortion doctors to lionizing an abusive father whose family lived in squalor because he homeschooled his children.

No wonder WND likes this borderline traitor and is working to whitewash his apparent treason.

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