Moon of Alabama Brecht quote
April 01, 2014

The Pollard "Deal"

AP sources: US considers release of spy Pollard

The United States is talking with Israel about releasing convicted spy Jonathan Pollard early from his life sentence as an incentive to the Israelis in the troubled Mideast peace negotiations, people familiar with the talks said Monday.
In return for the release, the people close to the talks said, Israel would have to undertake significant concessions to the Palestinians in Middle East negotiations. Such concessions could include some kind of freeze on Israeli settlements in disputed territory, the release of Palestinian prisoners beyond those Israel has already agreed to free and a guarantee that Israel would stay at the negotiating table beyond an end-of-April deadline.

Besides a ton (literary) of other stuff Pollard stole daily reports about the position of nuclear submarines in the Mediterranean and gave them to the Israelis. He was largely motivated by money and had also offered his service to other countries. The Israelis sold the nuclear subs reports the got from Pollard to the Soviet Union. This at the height of the cold war.

Given Pollard to the Israelis would be a huge gift for which they will, guaranteed, give nothing significant in return.

Encouraged by such a deal the NATO foreign ministers are currently mulling over a similar idea. They want to offer Russia all Russian prisoners in their jails if it promises to behave nicely in Ukraine. Just kidding.

Israel, the abusive husband, wants to stay married while the Palestinians, the wife, urgently want a fair divorce. The U.S. plays the divorce judge. The Pollard deal getting done is similar to the divorce being rejected, the husbands continued abuse of the wife plus him getting custody of and alimony for the judges kids.

Now that's some deal.

Posted by b on April 1, 2014 at 17:01 UTC | Permalink


Imagine how many shekels/dollars that is behind this lobbying.

Posted by: Anonymous | Apr 1 2014 17:04 utc | 1

"Israel, the abusive husband, wants to stay married while the Palestinians, the wife, urgently want a fair divorce."

I doubt Palestinians would appreciate being called a wife of Israel.

Posted by: scalawag | Apr 1 2014 17:14 utc | 2

My understanding is that Pollard is personally responsible for the deaths of several US intelligence assets. I predict the only way he comes out of jail is in a wooden casket. But who knows. Anything is possible.

Posted by: hilmi hakim | Apr 1 2014 17:23 utc | 3

Are pretend negotiations still going on? In any case, Pollar or not talks are dead in the water and will continue be so until Israel is forced to negotiate based on and with Palestinians as equals. Not going to happen in foreseeable future.

Posted by: Harry | Apr 1 2014 17:28 utc | 4


Why? is there something demeaning about being a wife to someone?

Posted by: Pirouz_2 | Apr 1 2014 17:34 utc | 5

"Israel, the abusive husband, wants to stay married while the Palestinians, the wife, urgently want a fair divorce."

this needs to be deleted.

the u.s. plays at judge but is a puppet donkey.

Posted by: 5 dancing shlomos | Apr 1 2014 17:37 utc | 6

the connection between jews and palestinians is one of war.

aggressor/invader and victim.

Posted by: 5 dancing shlomos | Apr 1 2014 17:41 utc | 7

I've seen this ploy trotted out twice before during this current season of jackass shuttle stupidity. I've seen it used in exactly the same way during previous 'negotiations', as a spoiler, because the story always turns out to be entirely Israel-originated, there is never any official US confirmation that the idea is even being 'considered', and the most you can say is that the State Dept spokesperson gets tired of denying it. But that doesn't mean it's true. It isn't true, for multiple reasons. First of all, Pollard has nothing to do with the deal. Second, Pollard has declared himself to be unwilling to be traded for the release of Arab prisoners (see here). Third, Abbas and his PA team would exploit it as a sordid bribe. Fourth, Pollard would become a nuisance, since he has many tales of previous sordid deals, which of course never finally achieved his release but all were sordid even in outline. And so on.

Posted by: Rowan Berkeley | Apr 1 2014 17:45 utc | 8

Posted by: Pirouz_2 | Apr 1, 2014 1:34:10 PM | 5


Why? is there something demeaning about being a wife to someone?"

Predictable prejudiced zionist trolling.

How would you like it if someone claimed Jews were the wife of nazis?

Posted by: scalawag | Apr 1 2014 17:45 utc | 9

B. Please provide a link or three to sources which will authenticate your statement that Israel sold reports on position of US subs in the Med, to the Soviet Union.

Posted by: george | Apr 1 2014 17:48 utc | 10

@george - I was wrong with "U.S" submarines. It was the position of soviet ballistic missile submarines in the Mediterranean that were shadowed by U.S. submarines. My source is this report by Richard Sale.

I have now added a link to that in the post above as well as a link to the official, still partially censored, damage assessment.

Posted by: b | Apr 1 2014 18:04 utc | 11

george @ 10 -- "B. Please provide a link that will authenticate your statement that Israel sold…positions of US subs…to the Soviet Union."

B. has enough to do without Googling for you. Just type in some key words and see what you come up with, or try this:

Posted by: Ken Nari | Apr 1 2014 18:08 utc | 12


If you think I see any difference between victims of Nazies (Jewish or non-jewish) and the victims of Israelies, you are mistaken; I see none.
Incidentally I don't see anything demeaning in calling Jews the abused wife of Nazies. In case of Jews and Nazies though, perhaps the murdered wife (by the husband) would be a better description.

Posted by: Pirouz_2 | Apr 1 2014 18:12 utc | 13

While I think Rowan Berkeley is right, the fact that Pollard is on the front pages again does provide proof, I think, that "jackass shuttle stupidity" is about to fly off the rails.

The Obama administration is in free fall. November is going to provide a cruel reckoning.

Posted by: Mike Maloney | Apr 1 2014 18:27 utc | 14

I always thought the more effective evil potus would be the one to release the traitor and use the Palestinians as cover. I'm sure this news must make the old guard cia happy and does this mean Snowden gets to come home free of any charges?

Posted by: Ken Nari | Apr 1, 2014 2:08:11 PM | 12

My thought also

Posted by: jo6pac | Apr 1 2014 18:28 utc | 15

@scalawag, Pirouz_2, 5 dancing shlomos

Cut the stupid discussion about my metaphor and about what "needs to be deleted". You do not have to read here and I do not have to publish your comments. Back to the issue.

Posted by: b | Apr 1 2014 18:31 utc | 16


There was no need to resort to insult in order to stop me from commenting on your blog.
I wish the best of luck and more and more success in blogging.

Posted by: Pirouz_2 | Apr 1 2014 18:51 utc | 17

@ george and B...
I had a source in the Navy at the time who was absolutely livid over what the Isreali's had done. According to that source, what Pollard gave the Isreali's was the means of how the US was able to detect Soviet Subs (the Soviets didn't know that we knew where their subs were), in other words the technique/ technology the US used to find Soviet boomers.

Posted by: skuppers | Apr 1 2014 18:58 utc | 18

The message is the Cold War is over, and Pollard is a relic of a bygone era. The reality has changed. We live in a new world in which Pollard is no longer relevant. The Soviet Union is long gone, and the diminutive shadow of it, the Russian Federation, is a limited regional power and only a threat for strategy of tension purposes.

What's more relevant, applying the same logic to contemporary spying, is what Russia give for Snowden? Instead, the West gave Russia Snowden and Crimea…and all of Ukraine if Russia wants it and so much more. Plus, more handouts to come. Russia's racking it up. It's as though Obama and Putin are teammates, and the tension is for show. Behind the curtain, they're high-fiving and doing flying chest bumps.

Posted by: Cold N. Holefield | Apr 1 2014 19:12 utc | 19


And the Israelis gave that information to the Soviets? It's of little intrinsic interest to the Israelis themselves.

Posted by: Demian | Apr 1 2014 19:12 utc | 20

@skuppers #18:

Never mind The New Yorker piece #12 gives a link to answers that question.

#19: The US and RF still have submarines that carry ICBMs, so the traitor Pollard is still very much relevant.

Posted by: Demian | Apr 1 2014 19:24 utc | 21

@ Demian,
ya exactly; guess I should have added that ;-) I hadn't read the New Yorker article until after I posted above, but ya Hersch hit it dead on. And yes, your comment @ 21 also hits it - we all still have boomers so it's very much relevant.

As a side note, has anyone taken the "opportunity" to check out Cold N.Hole's (aka Cornhole) blog? Talk about an unhinged mind...

Posted by: skuppers | Apr 1 2014 19:41 utc | 22

@22 Some kind of Post-modern Zen Pyrrhonism?

Posted by: dh | Apr 1 2014 19:45 utc | 23

I'd only release Pollard if the Zionists evacuated ALL of their illegal settlements. Period.

Posted by: karlof1 | Apr 1 2014 19:56 utc | 24


Indeed, + releasing Mordecai vanunu

Posted by: Anonymous | Apr 1 2014 20:45 utc | 25

@24 We would need one hundred thousand more Pollards for them to accept that deal.

Maybe more.

Posted by: Massinissa | Apr 1 2014 20:46 utc | 26

I am appalled that they are even considering this. Firstly, Pollard is responsible for several American deaths. Secondly, Israel never lives up to its side of any agreement so doing this prior to any concessions is crazy. Thirdly, Kerry coming from a Jewish background shouldn't be the one responsible for this. And the reasons go on and on.

Posted by: Michele | Apr 1 2014 21:12 utc | 27

I think it would be a great idea to release Pollard to the Israelis. It might jolt a few more Americans out of their slumber. ;)

Posted by: scalawag | Apr 1 2014 23:54 utc | 28

How many times has Pollard (as a pawn in some negotiation) been trotted out over the years? Probably, he is as unlikely to be traded for anything, as he ever was. Pollard has become like a code word in the diplomatic etiquette; but the significance his name assumes is maybe something on the order of a diversion, a lightning rod, to divert inquiring minds from whatever things are really up for trade.

Or perhaps naming this spy in the context of US-Israeli talks, is just another way of burning up time, and putting off any settlement over the land, further frustrating Palestinian pursuit of justice.

Posted by: Copeland | Apr 2 2014 0:56 utc | 29


My understanding is that Pollard is personally responsible for the deaths of several US intelligence assets.

Tens of hundreds, not several.

Posted by: MRW | Apr 2 2014 1:37 utc | 30

"Release Pollard At the Nation's Peril" by former past directors of Naval Intelligence, William Studeman, Sumner Shapiro, John L. Butts and Thomas Brooks, Washington Post, December 12, 1998

"Jonathan Pollard is serving a life sentence for stealing massive amounts of highly classified and extremely sensitive U.S. national security information. In terms of sheer volume of sensitive information betrayed, Jonathan Pollard rivals any of the traitors who have plagued this nation in recent times. Nobody is clamoring for the release of traitors like Aldrich Ames, John Walker or Jerry Whitworth, but Pollard, by manipulating his supporters and conducting a clever public relations campaign both here and in Israel, has managed to generate a small but vocal movement advocating that he be released and allowed to emigrate to Israel, where he expects to be something of a national hero.

We, who are painfully familiar with the case, feel obligated to go on record with the facts regarding Pollard in order to dispel the myths that have arisen from this clever public relations campaign aimed at transforming Pollard from greedy, arrogant betrayer of the American national trust into Pollard, committed Israeli patriot.

Pollard pleaded guilty and therefore never was publicly tried. Thus, the American people never came to know that he offered classified information to three other countries before working for the Israelis and that he offered his services to a fourth country while he was spying for Israel. They also never came to understand that he was being very highly paid for his services -- including an impressive nest egg currently in foreign banks -- and was negotiating with his Israeli handlers for a raise as he was caught. So much for Jonathan Pollard, ideologue!"

Posted by: MRW | Apr 2 2014 1:43 utc | 31

Partially Declassified CIA Assessment Does Not Exonerate Jonathan Pollard
by Grant Smith, December 20, 2012

Posted by: MRW | Apr 2 2014 1:45 utc | 32

Interview with agent who caught US-Israeli spy Jonathan Pollard

Posted by: MRW | Apr 2 2014 1:49 utc | 33

Israel wrong to demand Jonathan Pollard's release
By Roland Martin, CNN Contributor
June 22, 2012

Posted by: MRW | Apr 2 2014 1:50 utc | 34

The Strange Campaign to Secure the Release of Convicted Spy Jonathan Jay Pollard
By Allan C. Brownfeld

Posted by: MRW | Apr 2 2014 1:53 utc | 35

A New Twist on an Old Spy Case
The feds accuse an octogenarian of informing for Israel.

Newsweek, 2008

Posted by: MRW | Apr 2 2014 1:55 utc | 36


Posted by: MRW | Apr 2 2014 1:57 utc | 37

Mr. President: Do Not Free Jonathan Pollard
by Martin Peretz, New Republic, December 25, 2010

Posted by: MRW | Apr 2 2014 2:02 utc | 38

MRW @ #36,

Link is dead. Here is the article at another location:

Posted by: JerseyJeffersonian | Apr 2 2014 2:02 utc | 39

Ex-diplomat: US thinks Israeli spy Pollard was not acting alone

Posted by: MRW | Apr 2 2014 2:08 utc | 40


Thanks, JerseyJeffersonian. Looks like that was the one link I didn't verify. Appreciate the help.

Posted by: MRW | Apr 2 2014 2:10 utc | 41

Hmmm...I guess not all in the American security establishment are zionists then, there's still a few hold-outs left over.

Posted by: scalawag | Apr 2 2014 2:14 utc | 42

Free Pollard Now, Pay Later
Declassified FBI file reveals cost of ignoring Israeli espionage

by Grant Smith, September 27, 2010, IRMEP

Posted by: MRW | Apr 2 2014 2:22 utc | 43

Archive root:
USA v Jonathan J. Pollard:
Sentencing Declarations, Filings, Clemency Drive

" was the established policy of the Department of Justice not to prosecute U.S. citizens for espionage activities on behalf of Israel."

Posted by: MRW | Apr 2 2014 2:26 utc | 44

The case against Jonathan Pollard.


The New Yorker paywalled this, retained a copy.

Posted by: MRW | Apr 2 2014 2:33 utc | 45

What's so bad about CIA agents and the traitors they pay being busted in the countries they betray? Similarly, so the Soviets were able to use the info Pollard provided (through deals with the Israelis) to safeguard their nuclear deterrent? That's good, we all know what happens when Americans think they have enough of an advantage to attack retribution free. Ask the people of Iraq.

Pollard was probably one of the least effective Israeli spies in the USA, he got prosecuted for it. The effective ones are still active. And making billions.

Giving Pollard to the Israelis will infuriate Americans maybe enough that they will start taking hard looks at the zionist lobby and the damage it is doing. That's a big maybe, the American dumbing down process has been very thorough.

As for the CIA types feeling butthurt about fellow war criminals being made involuntarily "redundant", turn yourselves into The Hague, better yet, hang yourselves and save the decent world the trouble.

Posted by: scalawag | Apr 2 2014 3:01 utc | 46


If Israel attacking the USS Liberty, killing dozens of American sailors, didn't infuriate Americans, why should releasing a traitor do so?

Posted by: Demian | Apr 2 2014 3:15 utc | 47

BTW, what happened to the Merkel mannequin? Look at its jaw and ghin:

Are the plastic compounds on the facial surface failing? It looks like deep, unnatural fissures are forming. How long has it been since the Merkelbot has had its servicing?

Posted by: scalawag | Apr 2 2014 3:25 utc | 48

Ah, so the united states, knowing that the Israelis are not budging an inch in the peace negotiations are going to thrown in the release of Pollard? Next a murderers punishment will be what - that he gets to fuck his victims's wife?

The US is obviously looking for any excuse to justify the release this scumbag. Now look - we did it "for peace".

This WILL leave a bad taste in the mouth of a great many military and intelligence professionals. A rebellion on theory part is long overdue - Obama should be wary of making such a stupid move.

Posted by: guest77 | Apr 2 2014 3:33 utc | 49

Theory = Their

Posted by: guest77 | Apr 2 2014 3:34 utc | 50

@46 even war criminals have their code, i presume.

The release of a spy such as he was shows no respect for the intelligence community - in fact, it shows them that they are less thought of than the lobby. The repercussions for such a move could be great and well deserved if it goes through - though simple justice demands that it shouldn't.

Posted by: guest77 | Apr 2 2014 3:40 utc | 51

Posted by: Demian | Apr 1, 2014 11:15:00 PM | 47

"If Israel attacking the USS Liberty, killing dozens of American sailors, didn't infuriate Americans, why should releasing a traitor do so?"

Good point. The dumbing down of Americans (their enthusiastic acceptance of it) is not something recent, but is probably a long standing genetic defect.

It certainly looks like Monsanto have their perfectly genetically engineered customer in America right now.

Posted by: scalawag | Apr 2 2014 3:43 utc | 52

Que tal?
Don't take it so hard my friend, he did kind of lash out at you. But your a good commentator no need to leave, continue posting and show how you are the bigger person.

Posted by: Fernando | Apr 2 2014 3:55 utc | 53

@53 Much agreed.

B has had a rough job lately, we can't take all of his snaps to heart. I can't speak for him, but I'm sure your leaving wasn't the point of that.

You are very valuable here, I learn a lot from each of your posts. I very much hope you stick around.

Posted by: guest77 | Apr 2 2014 4:21 utc | 54

"we will prevail", gracias Fernando, "we always do."

Posted by: scalawag | Apr 2 2014 4:23 utc | 55

So the result of this would be more internal distrust within US intelligence and more antipathy to Israel within said "community"? Can we clone Pollard to release more of him?

Posted by: mutantsushi | Apr 2 2014 4:44 utc | 56


Pollard was probably one of the least effective Israeli spies in the USA

Your basis for saying this is conjecture, supposition, not hard info. The Secretary of Defense at the time who did know the circumstances, understood the consequences to the nation, would beg to differ, and filed a brief to get this guy killed asap as result.

Posted by: MRW | Apr 2 2014 4:48 utc | 57

Posted by: MRW | Apr 2, 2014 12:48:15 AM | 57

Are you retired, or still active? or is that a moot question?

Posted by: scalawag | Apr 2 2014 5:11 utc | 58

b, Pollard will not be released early. The release of Pollard has been the desire of successive Israeli govts but it will not come about. The defence and intelligence communities are unequivocally opposed to Pollard's release. Not even Obama is so stupid to risk the ire of the domestic intelligence and defence communities for temporary concessions that would benefit Palestinians, not Obama himself or his administration. The US knows that the peace talks are just going through the motions and that nothing will come of it. They're doing this to save face and make it seem like they are doing something important. My suspicion is that this info has been placed by Israeli intelligence or political operatives in a silly attempt to place pressure on Obama/Kerry. It won't work but then these are the same people who have been feeding us the 'Iran is minutes away from nuclear capability' since the early 1980s so I'd believe they'd be stupid enough to think it might.

Posted by: Inanna | Apr 2 2014 6:04 utc | 59

The dumbing down of USAians (their enthusiastic acceptance of it) is not something recent, but is probably a long standing genetic defect. It certainly looks like Monsanto have their perfectly genetically engineered customer in USAia right now. Posted by: scalawag | Apr 1, 2014 11:43:21 PM | 52
No, it's much more obvious than that. I can't understand why people don't see this. It is the product of hearing Bible stories, and often being taught to recite prayers, as fairly small children. And even 'agnostics' do this with their children, possibly out of a sort of vague hope that though acknowledged to be mere fairy-tales, the stories will instill simple morals.

Posted by: Rowan Berkeley | Apr 2 2014 9:04 utc | 60

israel is being asked to release palestinian murderers by the the name of "peace".why not release pollard in the name of "quiet"

get it.......... peace and quiet

america,s new new foreign policy is called "peace and quiet" please,uncle sam is sleeping

syria ......peace and quiet
crimea.......peace and quiet
korea ..........peace and quiet
egypt .......peace and quiet

but in israel it will be peace for quiet

Posted by: mcohen | Apr 2 2014 10:12 utc | 61

Re Jews and Palestinians as a married couple, my mother used to tell me that a Jew was just an Arab on horseback.

Posted by: William Bowles | Apr 2 2014 10:55 utc | 62

@ Posted by: MRW | Apr 2, 2014 12:48:15 AM | 57

The Secretary of Defense at the time who did know the circumstances, understood the consequences to the nation, would beg to differ, and filed a brief to get this guy killed asap as result.

Not according to M.E. Bowman who was the man who briefed Weinberger:

First he gives his background:

I am a lawyer, but I've not always been a lawyer. I was for six years a naval intelligence officer. And then at that point, the Navy decided I would be better as a lawyer and sent me to law school.

I only had a couple of years as a lawyer before I had unexpected transfer orders to the National Security Agency. I was the first Judge Advocate to go to the NSA and the reason I went -- the Director of the Agency at the time was Admiral Bobby Inman. Smartest man I've ever met in my life. And as soon as I got to NSA, he pulled me into his office and he said I made a mistake in my life. I always went to one particular lawyer for advice and we both made Admiral and we never had time to talk to each other again. He said, "I want you to learn everything you can about intelligence operations and how to support them with legal -- with your law degree. And go out and train other people to do it." And so that was my direction at first. From there I -- after I left NSA, I got a second law degree and the -- I went and became the legal advisor to Naval Intelligence.

Long story short in my 27 years of active duty, I only had two assignments that were not supporting intelligence operations. And as I neared the end of my career, I came back from a tour as a diplomat in Italy and I'd only been here a couple of months when the FBI came and said we want you to come and do the same thing for us that you did in the Navy. So I spent the next 11 years in the Senior Executive Service of the FBI.

The reason I give you that background is because I have worked every major intelli -- every major espionage operation between 1979 and 2009. And quite a few that weren't major operations as well. In my judgment there are four espionage agents who stand out as the ones who did the most damage to the United States. Chronologically they are John Walker, Jonathan Pollard, Aldrich Ames and Bob Hanson, who I knew personally. I never worked the Aldrich Ames case, that's the only one that I didn't work because I was transitioning from the Navy to the FBI at that time.

Then he explains that Pollard became a thief and a traitor for the money:

Now just to recap for a moment what Pollard was trying to do. He didn't start out to give information to the Israelis, he started out trying to sell anything he could, including classified information. He approached the Pakistanis, he approached the South Africans, he approached the Australians. He turned over classified information to a South African attaché just as a show of good faith.

So you know, he's not a person who was trying just to help the Israelis, he was a pretty venal person here. At one point when they were -- he was meeting with his handlers in Paris, he started commenting you know, I'm really taking a big risk, you know, all this sort of stuff. You know I can really get a lot of time in jail for what I'm doing, it's a big deal. And the Israelis said well, what is it you want? And he said up it by $1,000 a month.

So you know this is -- this is really what he is. He's a person trying to make money. Now what did he do to earn my suggestion that he's one of the top four? He took so much information to the Israelis, that they had to install two high speed copiers in an apartment to take care of everything that he brought them.

Then he explains about Weinberger wanting the death penalty:

Now the information that he turned over, some of it actually was information covered by 18 U.S. Code 194, which is mostly electronics communication information. It carries the death penalty. But at the time that Jonathan Pollard was -- did his espionage work, there was no death penalty in the United States. That had been ruled unconstitutional by the Supreme Court. And at that time, a life sentence was really in practice 30 years. So that's what we were looking at.

Jonathan Pollard was pretty good about telling us all the information that he had given over. And as a consequence of that, one of the things that we do usually with espionage agents, or at least that I did, is I would write an Affidavit for a senior officer to sign that explained what the harm was.

So of the things that he gave us, I selected 19 different documents that represented the different categories of information that he had turned over to the Israelis. And I -- just using each one, I explained what the harm is from this type of information, not from this document, but from this type of information and gave it to Secretary Weinberger. And Secretary Weinberger made his edits to it.

One of his edits -- I have to tell you about this. One of his edits was he put in a sentence in there that said that if the death penalty were available, I would have no hesitation in recommending it. I crossed that out. And the next version I sent in to him, he put the same thing back in. And finally I said Mr. Secretary, if we can't ask for the maximum punishment which is life, we can't say that death is appropriate. He finally got the picture.

But anyway, this Affidavit was then given to Judge Aubrey Robinson, who is now deceased and I took it to him personally. I sat in an out room while he read it and gave it back to me and said thank you very much, that's all he said. And then we went to sentencing. And at sentencing, the prosecutors really didn't say anything. They got up and they said he's done harm, he should receive a substantial sentence, but that's about the character of all they said.

Jonathan Pollard got up and talked about what he had done and how sorry he was, and by the way I really didn't do anything that caused any harm. And Judge Robinson said come up here young man. And he pulled out the Affidavit which he now had in his hand. And he pulled it open to a few pages and he said okay, now explain this one.

And Jonathan Pollard couldn't answer what it was, because it was a very big deal. In fact it has been made public now, so I can tell you what Judge Robinson was pointing at. It was something that's what we all the Raisin Manual. And the Raisin Manuel is -- was at that time, a document that described all of the communications capabilities of the Middle East and how the NSA could attack them. And Judge Robinson just said explain this one young man and he was done.

So at sentencing, Jonathan Pollard got life, which as I said, meant about thirty years. He has been there for about 27 or 8 years at this point. He has been eligible for parole for some time. He will not ask for parole because he wants clemency so as soon as he steps out of prison, he can leave the United States and go to Israel.

Source for all the above is here:

So no the then Secretary of State for Defense did NOT file a brief asking for the death penalty. With all due respect to you I'm going to believe somebody who was there and who was personally involved over some anonymous commenter on b's site about whose credentials, expertise, and veracity I know nothing.


Posted by: Dubhaltach | Apr 2 2014 11:44 utc | 63

Bowman has written other material which you can find here:

AFIO Intelligencer Summer/Winter 2010 - bowman_on_pollard_in_winterspring_2011_intelgr.pdf

and here:

Don’t Trust This Spy -


Posted by: Dubhaltach | Apr 2 2014 11:46 utc | 64

Posted by: Pirouz_2 | Apr 1, 2014 2:51:50 PM | 17

Not to shit-stir but I for one got really really tired of scrolling and scrolling and scrolling past endless self-referential monothematic 'commentary' and was downright delighted when b got rid mr pragma and kaltihea or whatever it was they called themselves. Your stuff with scalawag above was school of pragma. Like nearly everyone else who comes here I come here for good information and links not to read craw thumping. If you're that thin-skinned There's nothing to stop you setting up your own site ...


Posted by: Dubhaltach | Apr 2 2014 11:54 utc | 65

Finally @ various links posted by MRW above - many thanks for providing so much useful info. I think it very important that those pushing back again Pollard being released be scrupulously accurate. Otherwise those who want to please the Israelis and the Israelis themselves will be able to seize the high ground.


Posted by: Dubhaltach | Apr 2 2014 11:57 utc | 66

@ # 2 " . . . . Palestinians would appreciate being called a wife of Israel."

I'll grant you, maybe not the most apt description, but the Palestinians are certainly getting fucked

Posted by: DonNeedNoSUserName | Apr 2 2014 12:25 utc | 67

It is tempting to connect the story of the senate CIA torture report with the Pollard one,
but it is probably mere coincidence.

Posted by: sasha | Apr 2 2014 12:27 utc | 68

Dubhaltach @ 63,

I completely agree with you about being accurate. My less than scholarly statement (because it wasn't sourced):

The Secretary of Defense at the time who did know the circumstances, understood the consequences to the nation, would beg to differ, and filed a brief to get this guy killed asap as result

referred, without my stating it, and working entirely from memory, to another Richard Sale article that he wrote about interviewing Caspar Weinberger numerous times after Weinberger retired. [Sorry, can't find it. It was on Colonel Lang's site. I am a great fan of Sale.] Sale said that he was surprised how upset Weinberger was over Pollard, how visibly angry and voluble Weinberger was still about the incident, years after it happened when Sale interviewed him on a number of occasions, and how Weinberger wanted the death penalty for Pollard, and had petitioned the court for same. He wanted Pollard dead. Sale reported (and I am not saying these were Sale's exact written words) that Weinberger was apoplectic about Pollard. The law that will let Pollard off for good behavior next year even in the face of a life sentence was changed as a result of Pollards arrest and sentencing.

Posted by: MRW | Apr 2 2014 12:35 utc | 69

What is needed is a banned-posters-tracker! Maybe an app will soon appear?!
Could anyone leave here or at Penny the spots where we can follow former posters?

Pirouz, I think you should not just submit to a very "cultural" reaction. You know how hypersensitive the Iranians are reputed to be, even though it is wrapped for people who live there in an ocean of hypocrisy. It is so easy to be banned that you should simply not take it personally at all, but of course, if it is your decision I respect it. Nevertheless, you should simply have read the comments rather than the posts! That's what I most always do.

Posted by: Mina | Apr 2 2014 12:38 utc | 70

@ Posted by: MRW | Apr 2, 2014 8:35:09 AM | 69

Thanks for that - I'm not a fan of Sale's ('though to be fair I haven't read much of his stuff). I think were I responsible for American security in any capacity that I too would be apoplectic about Pollard. Particularly as he did what he did for mercenary reasons. (I'd still be apoplectic if he'd done it for ideological reasons but not quite so contemptuous). My understanding is that quite a few American agents and intelligence assets died because of what he did. Thanks for the information about when the law was changed and why I had the impression that Pollard was sentenced to life (with a minimum tariff of thirty years) only because at the time the death penalty was not allowable by the American courts.


Posted by: Dubhaltach | Apr 2 2014 12:50 utc | 71

mother used to tell me that a Jew was just an Arab on horseback.
That would give them some Semitic semblance,they have none. Most are descendent of Turkish, Russian.

Posted by: hans | Apr 2 2014 13:19 utc | 72

I can't stand it any more! It's so boring here! Bring back Mr Pragma! (and Kalithea)


Posted by: Rowan Berkeley | Apr 2 2014 14:21 utc | 73

It still is rather surprising - wait a second, not in f*ckhead America it's not - that even at sites that have dedicated space to opining about the scum Pollard NO ONE seems to think it interesting that just a month ago the US feted Arnon Milchan a self-admitted Israeli spy who stole nuclear secrets by awarding him the Best Picture Oscar.

Nope. Nothing to see here, folks!!!Don't worry about all the other Israeli scum that have undercut American security just keep worrying about Pollard. Move along!

Slightly OT, but guest77 touched upon a point the other day about propaganda and I think that people really should start to realize that Hollywood has been replaced by Silicon Valley - or they are at least equal partners now - as the hub of propaganda creation/dissemination for the world. If the mindless desensitizing info-trash doesn't numb your conscience then Google et al have a glimmerstick for you to wiles away your hours in techno-onanistic bliss. Better get in line for the next tech launch, dipshit.

Wait a second, aren't ardent Zionists huge players in the technology field as well as the entertainment field? F*cking COINCIDENCE!!!

Posted by: JSorrentine | Apr 2 2014 14:21 utc | 74

Well, anyway, the mideast peace caravan has once again sailed into that golden, magical sunset that all visitors to the mideast so know and love. Because certain unnamed personages in the US administration do not rate Sec Kerry altogether highly, they have confirmed to both NYT & WaPo (anonymously), that, yes, Jackass was hot to trot with Pollard. But he still failed. Bye bye, Jackass.

Posted by: Rowan Berkeley | Apr 2 2014 14:36 utc | 75

Dubhaltach @ 71,

I'm not a fan of Sale's ('though to be fair I haven't read much of his stuff)

Sale was the UPI Intelligence Correspondent for years. Before that a reporter at a number of venues. Don't really know his writing history. Incredible contacts, and equal insight into events .A literary insight into the people he was dealing with that was remarkable IMO. Perhaps it is because I identify with Sale's thinking the way someone can say 'Yes, I can stand at the same 3D coordinates within that sphere and see what s/he sees from the position he occupies' that I am so admiring of his work. So maybe it is just me. I think he is superb. One of those rare, rare journalists who can report and write history with gravitas and the perspective of time pulled back into the present. I don't know him. Never met him. Never communicated with him. He became recognizable to me because every time I would read something that impressed me and I would think, Who wrote this, I would look for the byline and it was Richard Sale. So I'm prejudiced from a distance. Twenty-nine years of distance. He broke the Pollard story while I was living in Manhattan.

Posted by: MRW | Apr 2 2014 14:59 utc | 76


"When Israeli-American Jonathan Pollard was arrested for spying in 1986, Tel Aviv assured us that he was not an Israeli agent but part of a “rogue” operation. That was a lie.

Only 12 years later did Tel Aviv concede that he was an Israeli spy the entire time he was stealing U.S. military secrets. That espionage—by a purported ally—damaged our national security more than any operation in U.S. history."

Israeli Operatives in the U.S.
by Jeff Gates

Posted by: John T | Apr 2 2014 15:15 utc | 77

Next time you hear that Lebanon or Jordan are "advanced" countries,
just think about this
Marital rape is now officially legal in Lebanon provided a stick is not used
I am not making this up. The Lebanese parliament yesterday passed a new family violence law (that refused to accept the category of battery of women) which makes it perfectly legal and sanctioned by the court for the man to rape his wife provided the rape does not harm the woman--the man is not encouraged to use sticks during the rape. Worse, the civil law in Lebanon now accepts that the wife has sexual "obligations" toward the husband. Furthermore, to prove rape in marriage, there has to be witnesses to prove the deed. For that, all acts of sex and rape in marriage will now be monitored by a special team of sexual police.

Posted by: Mina | Apr 2 2014 16:20 utc | 78

I can't believe the horseshit I'm reading in this thread about the "damage" which a scumbag from the second-most despicable moral sewer on the planet did or didn't inflict upon THE most despicable moral sewer on the planet.
Anyone who damaged Amerika, deserves the Nobel Peace Prize AND the Nobel Prize for Sincerity & Lofty Sentiments.
My only problem with Pollard is that there's very little evidence that he caused any real harm except to hurt a few utterly amoral people's feelings. His efforts certainly didn't change the course of history or save any non-US lives in the dozens of countries which the Yankees plundered, lied about and wrecked.

Posted by: Hoarsewhisperer | Apr 2 2014 16:39 utc | 79

Posted by: John T | Apr 2, 2014 11:15:18 AM | 77

How reliable is Jeff Gates as a source? ( ) That article seems a bit of conspiracy theorising. That's not to say it's not accurate conspiracies do exist, and just because we're paranoid doesn't mean the oligarchs aren't out to get us :-) but I get a bit suspicious when something as complex as such a conspiracy would have to be is presented to us all neatly wrapped up and with a bow around it.


Posted by: Dubhaltach | Apr 2 2014 18:22 utc | 80

@79 I agree with your doubts that Pollard's espionage, impressive as it was in it's volume, caused deaths of Americans. And more generally identify with your thesis and tone as well (perhaps adjusted downward just slightly to fit my advanced age.)

I thank all of you who have posted links to material on Pollard and hope to read them in the future. I would state my reservation that reports on intelligence matters in the MSM (or elsewhere for that matter) must be read with critical antennae fully extended. Very little in them can be corroborated and they serve as much to mask as to reveal selective aspects of the full reality, in this case, of Pollard's contribution to the Spy genera.

I recall meeting young Jay Pollard socially when he was a student at Stanford in the early 70s. He revealed himself as an ardent Zionist, and in a spiel that I suppose was meant to be cute, stated to the group that he was studying to become a spy for Israel.

I have only a passing interest in Pollard's case, but did some time ago read "Capturing Jonathan Pollard" by Ronald J. Olive, where I learned that Pollard had difficulties obtaining security clearance for his job in Naval Intelligence, and that somehow normal procedures were circumvented to get him the job. Also, for a rather long time he routinely took literally suitcases of documents from work to a safe-house for duplication. My conclusion was that someone(s) quite influential in the Navy was enabling him, but of course the book made no such inference. That should be the real story and take-home lesson of the Pollard Affair.

Some of the above quoted material emphasizes that Pollard was primarily motivated by greed and attempted to sell material to several other governments before actually doing so to Israel. My inclination is to doubt this, and that if other contacts were made (and they very well might not have been) they were made at the behest of Israel. (IMO) Pollard was a zealot, who, yes, took money for his work. "Doing well by doing good" in his mind.

So, a Zionist zealot greed head dope fiend idiot fool and traitor to one of his countries (or one faction thereof). My recommendation is to release him. He more than likely will be more of an embarrassment to both America and Israel if freed.


Posted by: oboblomov | Apr 2 2014 18:37 utc | 81

Dubhaltach @ 80,

Gates wrote that article in 2010, around 25 years after the fact. Why wouldn't it be "all neatly wrapped up and with a bow around it?"

I remember well when this story broke. When Russia fell in the early 90s a high-ranking US intel official (who had complete WH roaming access) told me that now he 'could exhale'. He told me directly that he lived in terror of what Russia could do as a result of what Pollard did.

Allan C. Brownfeld of the American Council on Judaism wrote in the article I linked to above:

So damaging to U.S. security was Pollard’s role that Defense Secretary Caspar Weinberger told Israeli Ambassador Meir Rosenne in 1987 that Pollard should be executed. Joseph di Genova, the prosecutor who handled the Pollard case, said that the damage he did to U.S. security was “beyond calculation.” [...] In an affidavit, Secretary Weinberger said: “It is difficult for me, even in the so-called year of the spy, to conceive of a greater harm to national security than that caused by the defendant in view of the breadth, the critical importance to the U.S. and the high sensitivity of the information he sold to Israel.”


The U.S. government said that the damage resulting from Pollard’s spying exceeds that caused by Ronald W. Pelton, a former NSA employee, who was convicted in 1986 of selling classified electronic surveillance secrets to the Soviet Union.


Ronald Pelton was sentenced to three life terms plus 10 years for selling secrets to the Soviet Union about electronic eavesdropping that he learned in 14 years as an NSA technician. A memorandum prepared by U.S. government prosecutors Leeper and David Geneson said: “Pelton disclosed no classified documents to the Soviet Union. Rather, following his retirement, he met with Soviet agents on approximately nine occasions over a five-year period during which he orally relayed classified information he could recall.”

Pollard delivered a 10 ft cube of highly classified documents that contained--and this is only what was being admitted to at the time--our global nuclear missile sites, launch codes, NATO missiles sites, our complete nuclear defense plan, the names of all CIA assets behind the Iron Curtain, and our NOC agents.

Posted by: MRW | Apr 2 2014 22:29 utc | 82

Pollard's block mate is Bernie Madoff. That's who he's sitting in jail with.

Posted by: MRW | Apr 2 2014 22:38 utc | 83

Dubhaltach @ 80,

I found it. On October 2, 2010, Richard Sale wrote Pollard 2 – A Brief Comment Richard Sale

I was quite taken aback by the posted comment that “Pollard's defense claims Weinberger made a statement before his death that The Pollard Affair was a relatively minor matter.”

I talked with Weinberger, who was up at his residence in Maine, over a period of years until just before his death. I won’t quote him, but his reaction to Pollard’s treason was consistently one of implacable outrage. Let me add that anyone who would believe the declaration of a defense attorney about anything appears to be someone who suffers from the disease of mental gullibility. If a defense attorney told me the time I would immediately look at my watch.

Former senior DOD and CIA officials told me that Weinberger gave a secret statement to the court, before Pollard’s sentencing, that detailed the trading of stolen US data to the Soviet Union and the extent of the damage that trading had caused.

The former senior CIA officials told me of the KGB-Sharon deal that took place on Cyprus in 1981 The KGB and the Israelis held regular meetings there. Weinberger never confirmed this, but we spoke on condition that he would correct what was false or mistaken in my writing. He never corrected this. It has to be understood that the trading of the Pollard information had a dual purpose. The first was to get more Jews out of the Soviet Union, but the second was to recruit Jews working for the Soviet Union on sensitive missile and/or nuclear issues.

But what the soviets got in return was severely damaging to US security. The Soviets were ravenous to find out anything about US ballistic missile submarines, to them the most sinister threat, and Pollard gave the Soviets a great deal of data. Soon, like the aftermath of John Walker’s treason, Soviet attack subs began to turn up at critical rendezvous points for US ballistic subs on patrol which then were forced to hastily abort. This clearly impairedUS war fighting capability, at least for a time. (As a point of fact, I was the first US reporter to break this story as well.)

However, Pollard’s most damaging gift to the Soviets was that of the US. war plan against the Soviet Union. including firing locations, sequences, and coordinates.

It should also be remembered that Mossad has no station in Moscow, and that 99.9 percent of its information came from what one Mossad agent called, “positive interrogation” – interviewing Jews emigrating from the Soviet Union and analyzing their information. In addition, there is a super-secret division of Mossad, called Al which in Hebrew means “above” or “on top.” Al is so secret that most Mossad employees did not know of its existence, and the few that did had no access to its computerized files. Al operatives use fake U.S. passports and if they are caught in the U.S. they are jailed as spies. They have no diplomatic immunity.

Al operates stations all over the world, but one of Al's functions was to take data from Jews emigrating from the Soviet Union and repackage it to make it more attractive to the Soviets by inserting things like radar information from the Danes or reports of troop movements in West Germany and other NATO chit chat to provide a fuller, more enticing picture. Al agents most certainly played a part in repackaging the Pollard thefts to make them more attractive to the Russians. . . .

Posted by: MRW | Apr 2 2014 22:49 utc | 84

Correction: Richard Sale says the 10 ft cube I claimed from memory was "Six feet long, six feet wide, and ten feet tall." So I stand corrected.

Posted by: MRW | Apr 2 2014 22:51 utc | 85

@83 MRW

Why do you suppose the Israelis aren't asking for the release of Bernie Madoff too? ;-)

Posted by: oboblomov | Apr 2 2014 23:29 utc | 86

Dubhaltach @ 71,

I heard around 2500 because it included the asset's family members, but I don't recall where I heard it and it was in the early 90s when I did.

Posted by: MRW | Apr 3 2014 1:55 utc | 87

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