From Justice For Pollard:
- Jonathan Pollard was a civilian American Naval intelligence analyst. In the mid 1980's (circa 1983-1984), Pollard discovered that information vital to Israel's security was being deliberately withheld by certain elements within the U.S. national security establishment.
- Israel was legally entitled to this vital security information according to a 1983 Memorandum of Understanding between the two countries.
- The information being withheld from Israel included Syrian, Iraqi, Libyan and Iranian nuclear, chemical, and biological warfare capabilities - being developed for use against Israel. It also included information on ballistic missile development by these countries and information on planned terrorist attacks against Israeli civilian targets.
- When Pollard discovered this suppression of information and asked his superiors about it, he was told to "mind his own business", and that "Jews get nervous talking about poison gas; they don't need to know."
He also learned that the objective of cutting off the flow of information to Israel was to severely curtail Israel's ability to act independently in defense of her own interests.
- Pollard was painfully aware that Israeli lives were being put in jeopardy as a result of this undeclared intelligence embargo. He did everything he possibly could to stop this covert policy and to have the legal flow of information to Israel restored. When his efforts met no success, he began to give the information to Israel directly.
- Jonathan Pollard was an ideologue, not a mercenary. The FBI concluded after nine months of polygraphing that Pollard acted for ideological reasons only, not for profit. This fact was recognized by the sentencing judge who declined to fine Pollard. (See the addendum for further details.)
Furthermore, on May 11, 1998, Israel formally acknowledged Jonathan Pollard had been a bona fide Israeli agent. This fact wiped out any remaining doubt about Jonathan Pollard's motives. Being an official agent is, by definition, the polar opposite of being a mercenary.
- In 1985, his actions were discovered by the U.S. government. His instructions from Israel were to seek refuge in the Israeli embassy in Washington. When Pollard and his former wife sought refuge there, they were at first received and then summarily thrown out into the waiting arms of the FBI.
- Jonathan Pollard never had a trial. At the request of both the U.S. and Israeli governments, he entered into a plea agreement, which spared both governments a long, difficult, expensive and potentially embarrassing trial.
- Jonathan Pollard fulfilled his end of the plea agreement, cooperating fully with the prosecution.
Nevertheless, Pollard received a life sentence and a recommendation that he never be paroled - in complete violation of the plea agreement he had reached with the government.
- Jonathan Pollard was never indicted for harming the United States.
- Jonathan Pollard was never indicted for compromising codes, agents, or war plans.
- Jonathan Pollard was never charged with treason. [Legally, treason is a charge that is only applicable when one spies for an enemy state in time of war.]
- Jonathan Pollard was indicted on only one charge: one count of passing classified information to an ally, without intent to harm the United States.
Pollard is serving his 23rd sentence with nor end in sight, even though the average sentence for passing info to an ally is about 4 years. Pollard received a comparatively harsh sentence.
For example, compare and contrast the treatment of Jonathan Pollard with that of Steven Lalas, a Greek American who compromised the identities of American agents in the Balkans. Although Lalas did not cooperate, the Government still honored his plea agreement and sentenced him to only 14 years. Pollard's less serious offense and full cooperation with the Government netted him a life sentence, in complete violation of his plea agreement.
Worse still is the case of Lcmdr Michael Schwartz, a non-Jew who spied for Saudi Arabia, an ally of the US, and who got not a single day in prison. Compare that to the life sentence Pollard, a Jew, received for spying for a different ally, Israel. Schwartz was treated with kid gloves and given only a slap on the wrist and a kiss good-bye for his offense - dismissal from his Navy job and loss of rank and pension. Compare and contrast that with the life sentence Pollard received for a similar offense.
Even those who committed far more serious offenses and who spied for enemies of the US received far less severe sentences than Pollard. For example, compare the case of Clayton Lonetree who sold the floor plans of the American embassies in Moscow and Vienna as well as the identities of American agents to Soviet Union, a hostile country. Lonetree's 25 year sentence was soon reduced to 20. Lontree, convicted in 1987, the same year as Pollard went free in 1996, after serving only 9 years. Pollard remains in prison in the 21st century with no end in sight.
Or take the case of Albert Sombolay who spied for Iraq during the Gulf War and endangered the lives of American soldiers by selling samples of American chemical protective gear to the enemy. Sambolay got 35 years and subsequent reductions in his sentence brought it down to 19 years with further appeals pending until it just dropped off the screen. Or the case of Aldrich Ames, a high ranking CIA official who spied for the Soviet Union. Ames was responsible for the deaths of at least 11 American agents and for compromising a number of American programs. Although his crime was far more serious, Ames received the same sentence that Pollard received for his 1 count of passing classifed information to an ally - life in prison.
The stark contrast between the Pollard case and other recent cases of espionage readily illustrates why Appellate Court Justice Steven Williams described the Pollard case as, "a fundamental miscarriage of justice."
Israel has released hundreds of Arab prisoners at the behest of the United States, encouraged by George Bush. Jonathan Pollard has served more than enough years for giving Israel critical information that it was legally entitled to. When Bush comes to visist Jerusalem this week, let him bring Jonathan Pollard, prisoner of Zion, with him.
Jonathan can be now be e-mailed at email@example.com. Please send him letters of encouragement and thank him for his self-sacrifice on behalf of the entire people of Israel.
"And the ransomed of HaShem shall return, and come with singing unto Zion, and everlasting joy shall be upon their heads; they shall obtain gladness and joy, and sorrow and sighing shall flee away." (Isaiah 35:10). Amen, speedily in our days.
Cross-posted to Goat's Barnyard