Kerry’s failed attempt to leverage Pollard
By Rachel Ehrenfeld
Friday, April 4th, 2014 @ 4:45AM
John Kerry’s latest desperate attempts to broker, or more accurately, impose peace between Israel and the Palestinians, resulted in a great embarrassment for himself and the U.S.
Kerry tried to use Jonathan Pollard as a bargaining chip with Israel. Accordingly, the U.S. would release Jonathan Pollard from prison, while “demanding” that Israel give major concessions to the Palestinians: halt the expansion of settlements in the West Bank, extend negotiations through 2015, and release hundreds of Palestinian terrorists from Israeli prisons.
His offer was rejected by all sides, including President Obama. Pollard himself refused to play the badly scripted role assigned to him by Kerry, and rejected the offer to appear in a parole hearing that could have freed him in 2015 .
Kerry’s futile efforts to negotiate a peace agreement between the Israelis and the Palestinians are best described by Benny Avni in the NY Post:
“Secretary of State John Kerry worked behind the scenes in the last few days to pull off a cascading set of maneuvers worthy of ‘House of Cards,’ the Netflix blockbuster. But it turns out Kerry is no Frank Underwood. As brutally selfish as Underwood’s ambitions may be, his plotting, while creative, is always reality-based. When Kerry gets as creative as Underwood, as he did this week, he also tosses realism out the window. Sooner or later, his dream of negotiated Mideast peace will collapse like, well, the house of cards that it is.”
In addition to Kerry’s absurd plan, the involvement of Pollard in it has led to the resurfacing of the old rancorous objection by the US intelligence community, as well as to a justified outrage over the unprecedented and vengeful prison term Pollard is serving.
ACD has received, by email, a statement regarding Pollard’s unjustifiable prison sentence from Howard Laitin, who worked with then Defense Secretary Caspar Weinberger, with the disclaimer that “this is not an official statement of any U.S. government department or agent.”
Laitin wrote: “I have had no connection ever with Jonathan Pollard or with his prosecution. I was not a close follower of the case in the media. My original reaction was “he is a traitor, lock him up and throw away the key.” Also, I was extremely upset at Israel for utilizing a Jewish agent which gives the anti-Semites in State, CIA, etc. (who are plentiful) the ability to voice the mantra of “dual loyalty”. (Internet examples: Zionist Spies Against America, Jewish spies against America: A Long Tradition, Pentagon: We thought engineer was Israeli spy because he’s a Jew
After 25 years, the CIA has declassified documents that show that the multitude of public “leaks” and Weinberger’s accusations against Pollard were all false–Jonathan Pollard never spied on the U.S. for Israel. The 1987 CIA report reveals that Israel never requested information from Pollard concerning “US military activities, plans, capabilities or equipment,” and that Pollard did not procure secrets about the United States. Pollard did not compromise agents. He did not compromise means and sources. He did not compromise any information relating to US forces.
All the information he transmitted to his Israeli handlers consisted of the information that the United States had acquired relating to Arab equipment, capabilities, etc. In other words, very simply he compromised “defense information” but did not spy against the United States.
U.S. Defense Secretary Caspar Weinberger (long regarded by most of us who worked with him as antagonistic toward the Jewish state) intimated to the court that Pollard gave information to the Soviets. The assumption was that “means and sources” information was being transmitted to the Soviet Union. When the Soviet Union fell we found out that our assumptions that the Soviet Union had penetrated Israeli intelligence and that US intelligence going to Israel was in fact ending up in the Soviet Union were false. Later, we came to learn that this was the doing of Robert Hanssen and Aldrich Ames.
What was Pollard actually indicted for? What was he actually guilty of? In a recent article appearing online, Prof. Angelo Codevilla, a staff member of the Senate Intelligence Committee at the time Jonathan Pollard was arrested is quoted as saying: “Having been intimately acquainted with the materials that Pollard passed and with the sources and methods by which they were gathered, I would be willing to give expert testimony that Pollard is guilty of neither more nor less than what the indictment alleges.
The actions of the prosecution were criminal and are a threat to the
foundations of America’s criminal justice system.
* Judge Aubrey Eugene Robinson, Jr., illegally conducted back channel
communications with the prosecution who inflamed the judge by telling him (falsely) that Pollard had provided security information to South Africa.
showed that Pollard’s spying on behalf of Israel had caused significant damage to American security interests.
* Pollard’s defense (regardless of the level of their security clearances)
were never given access to these charges nor afforded an opportunity to rebut them. As individual accusations leaked out they have been all successfully rebutted.
What is the appropriate and comparable punishment for his actual transgressions?
During the same time period, a spy caught working for Saudi Arabia (a Navy officer named Schwarz–not Jewish where the intelligence did in fact go to an enemy power and was very harmful to US military interests) received a dishonorable discharge and nothing further as punishment.
One of the major reasons for incarcerating Pollard–and thus holding him as hostage–was the widespread belief (spread by Aldrich Ames to cover his own tracks) that there was a second Israeli mole inside the CIA. U.S. officials repeatedly claimed publicly that Pollard was not working alone when he spied for Israel and the United States therefore should make Pollard’s release conditional on Israel’s acknowledging this “baseless” claim.
What adds to this outrage is that the current administration knows full well the facts and has explicitly elected to continue Jonathan Pollard’s imprisonment in order to keep him, as Dennis Ross said, as a “bargaining chip” [to use to gain Israeli concessions during John Kerry’s peace talks-Ed.].”