Free Jonathan Pollard

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Jonathan Pollard should go free at once. Thirty years ago, then-Defense Secretary Caspar Weinberger accused him of doing more damage to United States national security than any other spy. Weinberger accused Pollard in writing, then classified his written misgivings. A court, not even having all the evidence, then sentenced Jonathan Pollard to life without the possibility of parole. Now an executive appellate body has ordered the Defense Department to declassify what Weinberger wrote. And for that reason we now learn something stunning: Weinberger had nothing on Jonathan Pollard, other than causing awkwardness with Arab “allies.” That didn’t rate L-WOPP. Weinberger knew it. So he lied about it.

What Jonathan Pollard did

The details came out today, from Aaron Klein, Jerusalem bureau chief for WND, and Eliot Lauer and Jacques Semmelman, Jonathan Pollard’s lawyers. A word about those lawyers. Lauer and Semmelman have represented Jonathan Pollard pro bono from the beginning. They both have security clearances. Despite this, the government refused to let the lawyers see the Weinberger memo. They knew only that Weinberger felt Jonathan Pollard had done serious damage to national security.

Jonathan Pollard, early 1980s

Jonathan Pollard. Photo: U.S. Navy, later used by Wolf Blitzer in Territory of Lies.

Jonathan Pollard, according to Klein, worked as a civilian intelligence analyst for the U.S. Navy. In that position he discovered certain information about weapons the Soviet Union furnished to several Arab countries. Secretary Weinberger kept this intelligence from the Israel Defense Forces. In so doing he reneged on an agreement he had to share just this kind of information. So Jonathan Pollard took the matter into his own hands.

Klein lists exactly what Jonathan Pollard revealed to the IDF, and when, and what effect he had. He got this information from the Weinberger memo. (More on that later.)

He shared information on Soviet weapons and radar systems. Because the Arabs used Soviet equipment, the IDF found this helpful.

He then shared information about the Libyan air force, and its dispositions and order of battle. The Israeli Air Force used that information to plan a bombing raid on the Tunisia headquarters of the Palestine Liberation Organization, while not tangling with Libyan planes. The IAF did this after PLO pirates attacked an Israeli civilian yacht off Cyprus and killed the three people on board. Sixty-two Palestinians and twenty-seven Tunisians died in that raid.

That raid took place on 1 October 1985. This rankled Weinberger more than any other single thing Jonathan Pollard did or said. He called those deaths a “detriment” to United States regional interests in northern Africa. Weinberger than wrote something truly incredible. He called Moammar Qadhafi an honest broker in the “Palestinian” matter. Three years later, another terrorist team, that Qadhafi harbored, would plant a bomb in the cargo hold of an American-flag airliner. That airliner, the Pan Am Clipper Maid of the Seas, as Flight PA-103, blew up and fell in pieces onto the town of Lockerbie, Scotland, on 21 December 1988.

But before that “man-caused disaster” happened: American authorities arrested Jonathan Pollard. They charged him with one count of passing classified information to an ally. Not an enemy: an ally. He waived his right to a trial. Someone seems to have told him a drawn-out trial would embarrass the U.S. and Israeli governments in ways he would not want. In short, he “took one for the team,” or rather, teams. And the American team reneged on the agreement. They had him locked up for life. That happened in 1987. And a year later, Cappy Weinberger’s “honest broker” would aid and abet a crew of murderers as they blew an airliner out of the sky.

How this came to light

Happily for Jonathan Pollard, the government has a forum for fighting a classification. The government calls this forum the Interagency Security Classification Appeals Panel, or ISCAP for short. Lauer and Semmelman filed an appeal with ISCAP to declassify the Weinberger document. On 13 November 2014, they got their wish.

The Weinberger document clearly shows Weinberger exaggerated. According to Klein, Weinberger even admitted that before he died.

So why did Cappy Weinberger write that memo, then lie about what it really said?

Because Cappy Weinberger hated something called Israel, and felt Israel had too much influence over American foreign policy. This comes from at least three senior Reagan-era officials. They spoke to Aaron Klein and gave their names. They are:

  • Robert C. “Bud” McFarlane, National Security Adviser to the President.
  • Lawrence J. Korb, Assistant SecDef.
  • R. James Woolsey, Director of Central Intelligence.

All three told Klein: Cappy Weinberger disliked the Republic of Israel. Former DCI Woolsey laid it on the line: “anti-Semitism.”

Forget that Pollard is a Jew … pretend he’s a Greek- or Korean- or Filipino-American and free him!

McFarlane said worse: that Weinberger often used “unbalanced reasoning” to criticize Israel. That could mean anything from logical fallacy to intemperate invective.

Weinberger died in 2006. Respect for the dead need not carry so far as to keep a man imprisoned without good cause, merely because said dead man locked him up and threw away the key in a fit of pique. But if anyone considers respect for Weinberger’s memory that important, let us “commute” Pollard’s sentence to “time served plus exile.” CNAV reposes 99 percent confidence the Republic of Israel would gladly accept him. In fact, a tour guide, an employee of the Ministry of Tourism, explicitly told CNAV that very thing, almost four years ago.

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Terry A. Hurlbut has been a student of politics, philosophy, and science for more than 35 years. He is a graduate of Yale College and has served as a physician-level laboratory administrator in a 250-bed community hospital. He also is a serious student of the Bible, is conversant in its two primary original languages, and has followed the creation-science movement closely since 1993.

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