Jonathan Pollard discussion is a sign of John Kerry desperation

posted at 8:01 am on April 1, 2014 by Jeff Dunetz

John Kerry rushed to Israel yesterday to try slap another layer of duct tape on the failing peace talks between Israel and the Palestinians. In a huge surprise, rumors began to surface that the United States is dangling jailed Israeli spy Jonathan Pollard as bait for Israel’s cooperation in extending the talks. A release of Pollard, who was arrested in November 1985 after passing secret documents to Israel while working as a civilian analyst working for U.S. Navy, would mark a reversal of almost three decades of official U.S. policy.

The United States and Israel each want this round of  peace talks to continue. The Palestinians are insisting on additional “good-will” gestures to continue talking.  Each time talks have started over the past few years there has been an Israeli release of people jailed for terrorist acts, a construction freeze, or some other gesture.

If the U.S. is even thinking of releasing Pollard it means that Israel is refusing to make another one-sided gesture and the talks are within a hairsbreadth of falling apart.

The Jerusalem Post is reporting:

In return for the release [Pollard’s], 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.

A Pollard release has much support in the United States; former White House counsel Bernard Nussbaum, former Secretary of State George Schultz, former Undersecretary of State Elliot Abrams, former CIA Director James Woolsey, former Congressman Allen West and former V.P. Dan Quayle have all written letters to President Obama calling for clemency.

Pollard’s supporters will say the information he passed to Israel was supposed to go to Israel anyway, that the U.S. had already agreed to pass that data to Israel according to a 1983 Memorandum of Understanding between the two countries. Which is 100% true. But before one thinks of him as some sort of martyr, understand he got well paid to pass the documents along. The bottom line is  he was not authorized to pass along the information and deserved to go to prison. However, one can argue that he has served long enough.

There are probably two reasons Pollard is still in prison: Caspar Weinberger and Jonathan Pollard.

Prior to sentencing, then-Secretary of Defense Caspar Weinberger delivered a 46-page classified memorandum to the sentencing judge. Since then, neither Pollard nor any of his cleared attorneys have ever been allowed to access the memorandum to challenge the memorandum, a clear violation of Pollard’s constitutional rights.

The day before sentencing, Weinberger delivered a four-page supplemental memorandum to the sentencing judge. In it, he falsely accused Pollard of treason, which by definition is passing along information to an enemy in time of war. Also in the supplemental memorandum, Weinberger advocated a life sentence in clear violation of Pollard’s plea agreement.

Weinberger’s motivation may very well have been his personal bias: He was afraid that people would think he was Jewish. Weinberger had a Jewish grandfather, but given his surname was always quick to stress to people that he was not Jewish, according to “Jewish Power,” a book on the relationship between American Jews and the U.S. government by J.J. Goldberg.

When Weinberger became secretary of defense, a position he held from 1981 to 1987, he visited Israel for the first time. At Yad Vashem, Israel’s Holocaust memorial museum, his guide, who was a prosecutor in the trial against Adolf Eichmann, told him, “If you were in Germany at that time, this would have happened to you, too.”

“Weinberger said in a loud voice, ‘I am not a Jew,’” Rothman said, adding, “His ambivalence on his Jewish identity had a huge impact on him.”

Even close aides agree that Weinberger’s apparent discomfort may have played a role in his occasional tilt against Israel in debates within the Reagan administration.

Pollard was given life in prison not by the suggestion of the prosecutor, but after the presiding judge read the Weinberger documents. No one else in the history of the United States has ever received a life sentence for passing classified information to an ally, only Jonathan Pollard.

To put it in perspective, Bradley Manning was sentenced to 35 years in prison for passing hundreds of thousands of classified military documents to WikiLeaks. It is believed that some of Manning’s revelations led to deaths of American sources across the world. There has never been evidence that the secrets Pollard handed to Israel were ever made public or used against the United States in any manner.

Beyond Weinberger, Pollard may be his own worst enemy. The Washington Post once described him as smug, patronizing, and alternating between feeling guilty and being completely unrepentant — not exactly the behavior of someone who wants to get out of prison.

Will a deal to release Pollard happen? I would be very surprised if it did, but stranger deals have come out of the Middle East. Also keep in mind that Pollard has said he did not want to be released in exchange for Palestinian prisoners, but that won’t matter if a deal can be made. He is eligible for parole from his life sentence in 2015.

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I can’t believe has a thread discussing the martyrdom of Pollard. Disgusting. The man’s a traitor. Bradley Manning got off light, Pollard wasn’t over-sentenced. That’s really the end of it no matter how much revisionists want to paint Pollard as some kind of victim.

Happy Nomad on April 1, 2014 at 8:08 AM

What does Netanyahu gain….really?

workingclass artist on April 1, 2014 at 8:08 AM

I can think of very few other actions that would angrily inflame the passions of people who are otherwise supporters of Israel.

In a world where the allies of Israel are few and far between, they should think long and hard about the real cost before engaging in any exchange involving the release of Pollard.

Marcus Traianus on April 1, 2014 at 8:10 AM

I can’t believe has a thread discussing the martyrdom of Pollard. Disgusting. The man’s a traitor. Bradley Manning got off light, Pollard wasn’t over-sentenced. That’s really the end of it no matter how much revisionists want to paint Pollard as some kind of victim.

Happy Nomad on April 1, 2014 at 8:08 AM

Manning got off light because he became a Gay Martyr for the media…Remember this happened at the height of Obama’s undoing of DADT Military Policy….During the fallout…

workingclass artist on April 1, 2014 at 8:11 AM

Happy Nomad on April 1, 2014 at 8:08 AM

Couldn’t have said it better.

BallisticBob on April 1, 2014 at 8:12 AM

I may have underestimated Lurch. This actually looks like a really good way to get the ball rolling on Israeli concessions. Using Pollard as a carrot just might produce some movement on the peace process.

MJBrutus on April 1, 2014 at 8:14 AM

This is why Manning got off light…

“In a meeting with the heads of the five service branches in 2010, President Obama offered the leaders a choice: Support my efforts to end the military’s Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell policy, or resign.

In a video obtained by BuzzFeed via a Freedom of Information Act request, Coast Guard Commandant Adm. Robert Papp revealed that Obama was unwilling to compromise with service leaders over DADT during a meeting in 2010. “We were called into the Oval Office and President Obama looked all five service chiefs in the eye and said, ‘This is what I want to do.’ I cannot divulge everything he said to us, that’s private communications within the Oval Office, but if we didn’t agree with it — if any of us didn’t agree with it — we all had the opportunity to resign our commissions and go do other things,” he said…”

http://weaselzippers.us

workingclass artist on April 1, 2014 at 8:14 AM

I may have underestimated Lurch. This actually looks like a really good way to get the ball rolling on Israeli concessions. Using Pollard as a carrot just might produce some movement on the peace process.

MJBrutus on April 1, 2014 at 8:14 AM

Syria…Ukraine…

Kerry is desperate

What does Netanyahu gain?

workingclass artist on April 1, 2014 at 8:16 AM

workingclass artist on April 1, 2014 at 8:16 AM

MJBrutus on April 1, 2014 at 8:14 AM

Gotcha :-)

MJBrutus on April 1, 2014 at 8:17 AM

I can’t believe has a thread discussing the martyrdom of Pollard. Disgusting. The man’s a traitor. Bradley Manning got off light, Pollard wasn’t over-sentenced. That’s really the end of it no matter how much revisionists want to paint Pollard as some kind of victim.

Happy Nomad on April 1, 2014 at 8:08 AM

Treason is spying for an enemy. Hence, Pollard is a traitor only if you define Israel as an enemy.

If you define Israel as your worst enemy, it’s just fine to support the hardest spying sentence since the Rosenbergs. If not, you are a hypocrite of the highest order.

Masih ad-Dajjal on April 1, 2014 at 8:18 AM

US legal definition of treason at the link:

http://legal-dictionary.thefreedictionary.com/treason

workingclass artist on April 1, 2014 at 8:22 AM

Gotcha :-)

MJBrutus on April 1, 2014 at 8:17 AM

OOF!

: )

workingclass artist on April 1, 2014 at 8:23 AM

A release of Pollard, who was arrested in November 1985 after passing secret documents to Israel while working as a civilian analyst working for U.S. Navy, would mark a reversal of almost three decades of official U.S. policy

…change!…you can believe in!

KOOLAID2 on April 1, 2014 at 8:25 AM

What will Netanyahu give up?

In the past, the Israelis have been very generous in making concessions.

The only thing I can think of that Netanyahu doesn’t want to do which releasing that piece of scum Pollard might convince him to is eliminating the settlements.

But, even if that happens, the Palestinians will not be satisfied. They will never be satisfied until they force the Jews out of Israel or kill them all. I think they prefer the latter.

NavyMustang on April 1, 2014 at 8:25 AM

The fact is he should have never been given such a sentence in the first place.
He is not a traitor since the definition of a traitor, as stated, is giving information to an enemy like the Walker spy ring.

Actually, everything he gave was required to be given to the Israeli’s under previous agreements.

Pollard may have been paid, but he understood anti-semitism very well and that is what motivated him.

This administartion is really disgusting no matter how you look at it…

Janovus on April 1, 2014 at 8:26 AM

Treason is spying for an enemy. Hence, Pollard is a traitor only if you define Israel as an enemy.

Masih ad-Dajjal on April 1, 2014 at 8:18 AM

You trying to piss me off this morning? Because using legalisms is a damned good way to do it. Pollard was put in a position of trust and betrayed that trust on behalf of another nation. It may not meet the exact standard of treason but Pollard is a traitor to this nation no matter how much you want to hide behind nuance.

And the reality is that using the bastard as a bargaining chip is useless so long as the Muslim animals on the other side of the table refuse to even acknowldege Israeli Jews have a right to exist.

Happy Nomad on April 1, 2014 at 8:30 AM

john feckless kerry (who served in vietnam, by the way)

rightside on April 1, 2014 at 8:31 AM

Manning got off light because he became a Gay Martyr for the media…Remember this happened at the height of Obama’s undoing of DADT Military Policy….During the fallout…

workingclass artist on April 1, 2014 at 8:11 AM

Yeah, he fit the narrative of those pushing repeal of DADT. Nevermind that Manning’s actions undermined the theme that gays were all honorable individuals who just wanted to serve their nation. The gay little traitor did it, in part, to impress his boyfriend.

Happy Nomad on April 1, 2014 at 8:32 AM

john feckless kerry (who served in vietnam, by the way)

rightside on April 1, 2014 at 8:31 AM

Kerry’s a veteran? I didn’t know that. What service? ;0

Happy Nomad on April 1, 2014 at 8:33 AM

Actually, everything he gave was required to be given to the Israeli’s under previous agreements.

Janovus on April 1, 2014 at 8:26 AM

So what? That’s a moot point. Pollard betrayed the trust that was placed in him as a civil servant. You might not realize that even as a DoD civilian he took an oath to protect and defend the United States against all enemies foreign and domestic. That doesn’t include spying for a so-called friendly nation.

Happy Nomad on April 1, 2014 at 8:36 AM

I doubt this will go any further than rumor and allegation. While Pollard was sentenced harshly, Netanyahu isn’t going to give the farm away for him. At least I hope he isn’t.

mjk on April 1, 2014 at 8:37 AM

As long as “we” have a State Dept. that appeases the Palestinians, there will never be a “peaceful solution” in Israel. Despite Israel’s insistence that the country be recognized as a Jewish State, even as late as this March 9th, our American State Department is not on the same page with Israel:

The U.S. State Department does not consider it necessary for Palestinians to recognize Israel as a Jewish State, said spokesperson Jen Psaki, according to an interview in the Palestinian daily newspaper Al-Quds Saturday.

“Our position is that Israel is a Jewish state, but it is not necessary for the two sides to agree on this in the final agreement,” Psaki told Al-Quds, in a translation from Arabic produced by the Times of Israel on Sunday. (link)

Mz. Psaki couldn’t be more wrong, and offering up Pollard will not make a difference.

Rovin on April 1, 2014 at 8:40 AM

Be careful Israel – working for this guys release is a BAD MOVE

jake-the-goose on April 1, 2014 at 8:41 AM

That article is disgusting. All traitors should get what Pollard got. He sold US secrets. There is no rationalization. If Pollard were to receive a lighter sentence under the pretext that he only passed information to Israel that was part of an intelligence sharing agreement, then every country the US has such an agreement with would have received a green light to spy on the US. Also, there is information that Israel traded some of the secrets to the USSR for increased immigration quotas and a human intelligence network was compromised by Pollard that would never have been shared with Israel. Anyone who makes excuses for Pollard is naive.

Aplombed on April 1, 2014 at 8:43 AM

Actually, everything he gave was required to be given to the Israeli’s under previous agreements.Janovus on April 1, 2014 at 8:26 AM

So what? That’s a moot point. Pollard betrayed the trust that was placed in him as a civil servant. You might not realize that even as a DoD civilian he took an oath to protect and defend the United States against all enemies foreign and domestic. That doesn’t include spying for a so-called friendly nation.

Happy Nomad on April 1, 2014 at 8:36 AM

Under Janovus’s premise, Lois Lerner should be anointed to Sainthood.

Rovin on April 1, 2014 at 8:45 AM

Actually, everything he gave was required to be given to the Israeli’s under previous agreements.

Janovus on April 1, 2014 at 8:26 AM

So what? That’s a moot point. Pollard betrayed the trust that was placed in him as a civil servant. You might not realize that even as a DoD civilian he took an oath to protect and defend the United States against all enemies foreign and domestic. That doesn’t include spying for a so-called friendly nation.

Happy Nomad on April 1, 2014 at 8:36 AM

Pollard like Manning had dual citizenship…and apparently dual and conflicting allegiance(s)

Spying for a foreign entity (No matter the ideological rationalization) is what it is.

workingclass artist on April 1, 2014 at 8:45 AM

“The Palestinians are insisting on additional “good-will” gestures to continue talking.”

This is the reason and the only reason the “peace process” is stalled and no amount of Israeli concessions will change that. Why should the Palis many any concessions at all when they can contine to demand more and more unilateral Israeli concessions, firm in the knowledge that Obama will continue to pressure Israel to do so? The PLO has made clear they will never agree to recognize Israel as a Jewish state and this is a point Israel can never agree to. So why should Israel implement any more “good faith” concessions when the PLO has made it clear they have no intention of ever coming to an agreement?

tommyboy on April 1, 2014 at 8:45 AM

I doubt this will go any further than rumor and allegation. While Pollard was sentenced harshly, Netanyahu isn’t going to give the farm away for him. At least I hope he isn’t.

mjk on April 1, 2014 at 8:37 AM

I’d be surprised if he did.

The Pollard incident was a big diplomatic embarrassment for both the US and Israel as I recall….

workingclass artist on April 1, 2014 at 8:47 AM

How many presidents have wasted time and money on the stupid “Palestinian plight” nonsense. There is no peace process. This is a slow moving war process.

rhombus on April 1, 2014 at 8:50 AM

“The Palestinians are insisting on additional “good-will” gestures to continue talking.”

This is the reason and the only reason the “peace process” is stalled and no amount of Israeli concessions will change that. Why should the Palis many any concessions at all when they can contine to demand more and more unilateral Israeli concessions, firm in the knowledge that Obama will continue to pressure Israel to do so? The PLO has made clear they will never agree to recognize Israel as a Jewish state and this is a point Israel can never agree to. So why should Israel implement any more “good faith” concessions when the PLO has made it clear they have no intention of ever coming to an agreement?

tommyboy on April 1, 2014 at 8:45 AM

The Palestinians Jordanians are insisting on splitting Jerusalem as their capital. The US currently doesn’t officially recognize Jerusalem as the capital of Israel. Appeasing the Muslims…

This goes nowhere.

workingclass artist on April 1, 2014 at 8:51 AM

Time to poison Eric Snowden with some tainted vodka. A runaway Lada with brake failure would also do the trick. How long can the little pr@$k hide?

Krupnikas on April 1, 2014 at 8:51 AM

If I were Israel, I’d be spying on America too. Why would anyone ever trust America again?

rhombus on April 1, 2014 at 8:51 AM

If I were Israel, I’d be spying on America too. Why would anyone ever trust America again?
rhombus on April 1, 2014 at 8:51 AM

Given the Snowden NSA revelations, the US is in no position to object to any country spying on America.

tommyboy on April 1, 2014 at 8:54 AM

The guy betrayed his country and needs to stay in prison. Kerry needs to stop thinking about his “legacy”.

Punchenko on April 1, 2014 at 8:55 AM

I think this is much ado about nothing. His release date is 11/2015. Normally, federal prisoners are released into to a half way house their last year of a sentence to help them transition back into society. Since Pollard has no intention of sticking around, I suspect the issue is allowing him to return to Israel rather into a half way house.

Blake on April 1, 2014 at 8:57 AM

This is extortion with peoples’ lives, which is a close relative of kidnapping with ransom note.

Buddahpundit on April 1, 2014 at 8:57 AM

I think this is much ado about nothing. His release date is 11/2015.

Blake on April 1, 2014 at 8:57 AM

That is the first day he is eligible for parole, not his release date.

Aplombed on April 1, 2014 at 8:59 AM

The United States do not take hostages. Why are we suddenly treating Jonathan Pollard as one?

BigGator5 on April 1, 2014 at 9:02 AM

The day before sentencing, Weinberger delivered a four-page supplemental memorandum to the sentencing judge. In it, he falsely accused Pollard of treason, which by definition is passing along information to an enemy in time of war. Also in the supplemental memorandum, Weinberger advocated a life sentence in clear violation of Pollard’s plea agreement.

Weinberger’s motivation may very well have been his personal bias: He was afraid that people would think he was Jewish.

Well, that’s one way to prove you’re not a Jew. But dass ist so 1940ish.

whatcat on April 1, 2014 at 9:02 AM

I think this is much ado about nothing. His release date is 11/2015. Normally, federal prisoners are released into to a half way house their last year of a sentence to help them transition back into society. Since Pollard has no intention of sticking around, I suspect the issue is allowing him to return to Israel rather into a half way house.

Blake on April 1, 2014 at 8:57 AM

No, he received a life sentence.

Pollard was sentenced to life for one count of espionage in 1987.

Punchenko on April 1, 2014 at 9:03 AM

The United States do not take hostages. Why are we suddenly treating Jonathan Pollard as one?

BigGator5 on April 1, 2014 at 9:02 AM

I agree, Pollard should remain in prison and be forgotten. Convicted American spies betraying their country for another are not bargaining chips.

Punchenko on April 1, 2014 at 9:06 AM

The United States do not take hostages. Why are we suddenly treating Jonathan Pollard as one?

BigGator5 on April 1, 2014 at 9:02 AM

Say it again, people here are missing the point.

The United States do not take hostages. Why are we suddenly treating Jonathan Pollard as one?

BigGator5 on April 1, 2014 at 9:02 AM

Yep. One more time.

The United States do not take hostages. Why are we suddenly treating Jonathan Pollard as one?

BigGator5 on April 1, 2014 at 9:02 AM

Precisely. We’re acting like scumbag Palestinians.

M240H on April 1, 2014 at 9:12 AM

The United States do not take hostages. Why are we suddenly treating Jonathan Pollard as one?

BigGator5 on April 1, 2014 at 9:02 AM

The douchebag betrayed the United States. How is doing 30 years on a lifetime sentence treating Pollard like a hostage?

Happy Nomad on April 1, 2014 at 9:15 AM

The United States do not take hostages. Why are we suddenly treating Jonathan Pollard as one?

BigGator5 on April 1, 2014 at 9:02 AM

Precisely. We’re acting like scumbag Palestinians.

M240H on April 1, 2014 at 9:12 AM

Right. Convicted spies have never been exchanged for political consideration. The naivete on this board is striking.

Aplombed on April 1, 2014 at 9:17 AM

Yeah, and what about Bush - remember the burning bush?

How did this this crap get posted?

corona79 on April 1, 2014 at 9:19 AM

Time to poison Eric Snowden with some tainted vodka. A runaway Lada with brake failure would also do the trick. How long can the little pr@$k hide?

Krupnikas on April 1, 2014 at 8:51 AM

Not a lot of subtlety in a runaway Lada. How about if Snowden gets poked by a poisoned umbrella instead? Snowden can’t stay in hiding forever. If there is any justice, at some point there is a drone with a hellfire missile in his future.

Happy Nomad on April 1, 2014 at 9:19 AM

Let’s face it, after the wide publicity of our listening in on Merkel it isn’t as though we hold the moral high ground wrt to spying on our friends and allies.

MJBrutus on April 1, 2014 at 9:19 AM

The guy betrayed his country and needs to stay in prison. Kerry needs to stop thinking about his “legacy”.

Punchenko

John Forbes Kerry betrayed his country far more profoundly, and with greater lasting damage, than Jonathan Pollard. Just saying.

werewife on April 1, 2014 at 9:20 AM

You trying to piss me off this morning? Because using legalisms is a damned good way to do it. Pollard was put in a position of trust and betrayed that trust on behalf of another nation. It may not meet the exact standard of treason but Pollard is a traitor to this nation no matter how much you want to hide behind nuance.

Happy Nomad on April 1, 2014 at 8:30 AM

“Betraying trust” is not treason, and is hardly what gets you life without parole.

And legalisms aside: the amount of gestapo-like virulent hatred directed by you and your ilk towards Pollard DOES imply you see Israel as an enemy.
Otherwise you wouldn’t be that worked up and obsessed with this case. I mean, there were thousands of military and industrial spies for friendly and not-so countries, and the fact that none of them got life without parole doesn’t seem to bother you.

Masih ad-Dajjal on April 1, 2014 at 9:21 AM

The United States and Israel each want this round of peace talks to continue. The Palestinians are insisting on additional “good-will” gestures to continue talking.

Pollard is a red herring. The fact is, there are no peace talks and haven’t been for decades. Peace talks require both sides to implicitly agree that the other side has a right to exist. We had peace talks with Germany and Japan in WWII because we were willing to accept that those two countries would have a continued existence.

The Palestinians are insistent on the destruction of Israel as a Jewish state. Peace through annihilation is not acceptable, ergo this is just kabuki theater.

rbj on April 1, 2014 at 9:21 AM

The United States do not take hostages. Why are we suddenly treating Jonathan Pollard as one?

BigGator5 on April 1, 2014 at 9:02 AM

The logic is as follows: freeing Pollard for humanitarian or legal reasons is unspeakable evil, but freeing Pollard on a condition that 1000 terrorists also get freed in the Middle East is acceptable.

Masih ad-Dajjal on April 1, 2014 at 9:25 AM

Masih ad-Dajjal on April 1, 2014 at 9:21 AM

Pollard did not get life in prison without parole.

Facts matter. Emotions do not.

Aplombed on April 1, 2014 at 9:28 AM

That is the first day he is eligible for parole, not his release date.

Aplombed on April 1, 2014 at 8:59 AM

He hasn’t shived anyone in custody or attempted an escape, etc. He’ll be paroled.

No, he received a life sentence.

Pollard was sentenced to life for one count of espionage in 1987.

Punchenko on April 1, 2014 at 9:03 AM

A life sentence is considered 30 years in the federal system. Unless there is some pressing need to keep him, it would be an abuse of discretion not to release him. And before you and others jump all over me, I didn’t write the laws/regs.

Blake on April 1, 2014 at 9:29 AM

Convicted American spies betraying their country for another are not bargaining chips.
Punchenko on April 1, 2014 at 9:06 AM

He was never convicted, there was no trial.

whatcat on April 1, 2014 at 9:30 AM

“Betraying trust” is not treason, and is hardly what gets you life without parole.

Masih ad-Dajjal on April 1, 2014 at 9:21 AM

You don’t seem to understand that Pollard was not sentenced to life without parole. He is eligible for parole in November of next year. Do some goddamned research before you act like a know-it-all prick. 30 years for betraying this nation is a light sentence as far as I’m concerned- no matter who he was spying for.

Happy Nomad on April 1, 2014 at 9:31 AM

JONATHAN JAY POLLARD
Register Number: 09185-016
Age: 59
Race: White
Sex: Male
Located at: Butner Medium I FCI
Released Date: 11/21/2015

http://www.bop.gov/inmateloc/

Blake on April 1, 2014 at 9:32 AM

The Palestinians are insistent on the destruction of Israel as a Jewish state. Peace through annihilation is not acceptable, ergo this is just kabuki theater.

rbj on April 1, 2014 at 9:21 AM

Agreed. Even if Pollard were to be freed as a “goodwill gesture” and the Muslims suddenly agreed to the two-state solution. The reality is that Israel would never agree to “right of return” and re-establishment of the 1968 borders. To do so would be a suicide pact for the Jews.

Happy Nomad on April 1, 2014 at 9:35 AM

Israel to US: Release Pollard because it’s the right thing to do. Screw any more concessions…

vnvet on April 1, 2014 at 9:37 AM

I’m too lazy to look it up but didn’t Pollard try to sell some secrets to other countries besides Israel? And didn’t Israel sell some of the secrets Pollard sold them to another country?

Blake on April 1, 2014 at 9:37 AM

JONATHAN JAY POLLARD
Register Number: 09185-016
Age: 59
Race: White
Sex: Male
Located at: Butner Medium I FCI
Released Date: 11/21/2015

http://www.bop.gov/inmateloc/

Blake on April 1, 2014 at 9:32 AM

Bernie Madoff is there serving 150 years. Omar Abdel-Rahman is there serving a life sentence for the ’93 WTC bombing.

I guess that the Pollard supporters would consider these individuals being held hostage too.

Happy Nomad on April 1, 2014 at 9:40 AM

A life sentence is considered 30 years in the federal system. Unless there is some pressing need to keep him, it would be an abuse of discretion not to release him. And before you and others jump all over me, I didn’t write the laws/regs.
Blake on April 1, 2014 at 9:29 AM

Since he got shafted in the plea agreement they could drum up any excuse to keep him in past 30 years, if they so choose to do so.

whatcat on April 1, 2014 at 9:49 AM

Supporting Israel and having sincere disgust and disdain for someone who betrayed an oath to their country are two different issues.

Pollard knew what he was doing. Not only did he sign the very explicit disclosures, but he was eminently aware what he was doing was spying.

When a person discloses classified information they have been entrusted with, under which one of the primary premises are it will be kept secret, from anyone not authorized to see it, especially a foreign power, that is- any foreign sovereign power, it is treachery of the highest order.

Anyone, irrespective of alleged intent, religion or any other demographic, who violates their allegiance to our country should either swing from a rope or rot in jail. Not just as a sign to others who may consider such actions, but as just punishment for abandoning the people of our country.

Marcus Traianus on April 1, 2014 at 9:51 AM

Right. Convicted spies have never been exchanged for political consideration. The naivete on this board is striking.

Aplombed on April 1, 2014 at 9:17 AM

Naivete is the only consistent theme of our foreign policy these days. That you want to see Pollard released in some Faustian quid pro quo that leads to the Israelis making concessions to child murderers tells me all I need to know about your brand of ‘worldliness’.

Bl** me.

M240H on April 1, 2014 at 9:52 AM

r

Since he got shafted in the plea agreement they could drum up any excuse to keep him in past 30 years, if they so choose to do so.

whatcat on April 1, 2014 at 9:49 AM

He didn’t get shafted and no they can not drum up any excuse to keep him. Don’t be silly.

Blake on April 1, 2014 at 9:54 AM

Man, Jim Steinman is not aging well.

Lanceman on April 1, 2014 at 9:59 AM

I always thought a life sentence was too harsh, particularly since one of the prosecution’s selling points was that Pollard would keep spilling secrets if he were ever released. In effect he was locked up permanently for allegedly knowing too much.

But, and btw, constitutional rights are limited when it comes to sentencing. In any case, why blame Weinberger’s obsessions for the sentence and not the Jimmy Carter-appointed judge?

Seth Halpern on April 1, 2014 at 10:03 AM

He didn’t get shafted

Even if this is the first you’ve heard of the case, I assume you read the blog entry here:

“Weinberger advocated a life sentence in clear violation of Pollard’s plea agreement.”

they can not drum up any excuse to keep him.

Au contraire, a person can railroaded on just a speeding ticket. Could be just a matter of which side of the bed someone got out of in the morning. But fortunately for Pollard, Weinberger isn’t around with his need to prove that Ol Cap’s not a Jew – so that works in Pollard’s favor.

whatcat on April 1, 2014 at 10:10 AM

In any case, why blame Weinberger’s obsessions for the sentence and not the Jimmy Carter-appointed judge?

Seth Halpern on April 1, 2014 at 10:03 AM

It was Weinberger’s issues that moved the judge to ignore the plea agreement. So the blame could be split 50/50.

whatcat on April 1, 2014 at 10:12 AM

Pollard is a traitor.
Let him rot.
Next!

annoyinglittletwerp on April 1, 2014 at 10:17 AM

M240H on April 1, 2014 at 9:52 AM

Where did I say I want to see Pollard released? You are purposely misrepresenting what I said. I hope he is never released. To anyone. I was trying to make the point that he deserved the sentence he received. Period. If he were to be released in exchange for considerations, it would certainly not be the first time for such activity. BTW, as the Israelis probably see it, they have released thousands of prisoners for far less, so why not try to get something for it. I certainly don’t blame the Israelis for trying.

Aplombed on April 1, 2014 at 10:18 AM

Supporting Israel and having sincere disgust and disdain for someone who betrayed an oath to their country are two different issues.

Pollard knew what he was doing. Not only did he sign the very explicit disclosures, but he was eminently aware what he was doing was spying.

When a person discloses classified information they have been entrusted with, under which one of the primary premises are it will be kept secret, from anyone not authorized to see it, especially a foreign power, that is- any foreign sovereign power, it is treachery of the highest order.

Anyone, irrespective of alleged intent, religion or any other demographic, who violates their allegiance to our country should either swing from a rope or rot in jail. Not just as a sign to others who may consider such actions, but as just punishment for abandoning the people of our country.

Marcus Traianus on April 1, 2014 at 9:51 AM

THIS^^^^!

annoyinglittletwerp on April 1, 2014 at 10:20 AM

A life sentence is considered 30 years in the federal system. Unless there is some pressing need to keep him, it would be an abuse of discretion not to release him. And before you and others jump all over me, I didn’t write the laws/regs.

Blake on April 1, 2014 at 9:29 AM

Unimportant. Treason is a special crime against every citizen in the United States, passing classified information to a foreign power. He offered this same information to three other countries before settling on Israel.

He sold his soul and his son’s as well for money. Let him rot.

itsspideyman on April 1, 2014 at 10:30 AM

“Weinberger said in a loud voice, ‘I am not a Jew,’” Rothman said, adding, “His ambivalence on his Jewish identity had a huge impact on him.”

I would be annoyed too if people subscribed to me a religious and ethnic identity based solely on my name — especially when demanding a political conviction I might not share.

bobs1196 on April 1, 2014 at 10:33 AM

Even if this is the first you’ve heard of the case, I assume you read the blog entry here:

“Weinberger advocated a life sentence in clear violation of Pollard’s plea agreement.”

Why on earth would any intelligent person rely on a blog post for legal information? I have read the court opinions. This issue has been litigated up the wazoo. Pollard lost.

they can not drum up any excuse to keep him.

Au contraire, a person can railroaded on just a speeding ticket. Could be just a matter of which side of the bed someone got out of in the morning. But fortunately for Pollard, Weinberger isn’t around with his need to prove that Ol Cap’s not a Jew – so that works in Pollard’s favor.

whatcat on April 1, 2014 at 10:10 AM

You’re nuts. Pollard was not railroaded. He was sentence to a life sentence which is the equivalence of 30 years. He will be released on 11/21/2015. My bet is that in lieu of releasing him to a half way house a year or 6 months early which is standard, they will just deport him to Israel.

Blake on April 1, 2014 at 10:46 AM

The United States and Israel each want this round of peace talks to continue. The Palestinians are insisting on additional “good-will” gestures to continue talking.

Pollard is a red herring. The fact is, there are no peace talks and haven’t been for decades. Peace talks require both sides to implicitly agree that the other side has a right to exist. We had peace talks with Germany and Japan in WWII because we were willing to accept that those two countries would have a continued existence.

The Palestinians are insistent on the destruction of Israel as a Jewish state. Peace through annihilation is not acceptable, ergo this is just kabuki theater.

rbj on April 1, 2014 at 9:21 AM

Kabuki Theatre with loads of cash aka foreign aid involved

workingclass artist on April 1, 2014 at 10:48 AM

Unimportant. Treason is a special crime against every citizen in the United States, passing classified information to a foreign power. He offered this same information to three other countries before settling on Israel.

He sold his soul and his son’s as well for money. Let him rot.

itsspideyman on April 1, 2014 at 10:30 AM

What on earth are you babbling on about? He pled to one count of conspiracy to deliver national defense information to a foreign government and the district court sentenced him to life imprisonment. Again, life imprisonment under the feds is 30 years. He will soon have served his sentence. He is entitled to be released. That you and others disagree is irrelevant.

Blake on April 1, 2014 at 10:52 AM

This post constitutes a scurrilous smear on Caspar Weinburger, one of the finest SecDefs this country has ever had. Implying Weinburger’s ‘ambivalence’ regarding his Jewish roots caused Pollard to be unfairly punished is just plain wrong, and does not constitute journalism in any sense of word. The best thing for the author of this hit piece on Weinburger would be to retract and apologize. You smeared a better man and a greater patriot than you can ever hope to be.

And Pollard? He’s a traitorous little scumbag, no better than Hansen, Aimes, Walker, and the rest, and deserves every minute of the time he’s served. Personally, I’d like to see him (and them) imprisoned for the entirety of their lives, with no hope of release, ever. But that’s just me.

Retract this hit piece. If Weinburger were alive it would be libel, straight-up: unwarranted, unfair, unjust, and based purely upon flawed reasoning and pure speculation.

troyriser_gopftw on April 1, 2014 at 10:53 AM

“Weinberger said in a loud voice, ‘I am not a Jew,’” Rothman said, adding, “His ambivalence on his Jewish identity had a huge impact on him.”

I would be annoyed too if people subscribed to me a religious and ethnic identity based solely on my name — especially when demanding a political conviction I might not share.

bobs1196 on April 1, 2014 at 10:33 AM

I think you miss the point. This conversation took place at Israel’s Holocaust memorial museum.

It was HITLER & Germany who decided who was and was not a Jew; the protestations of seculars with Jewish heritage notwithstanding.

Had Weinberger been a German citizen in 1941, he would have been a Jew whether he wanted to be “subscribed… a religious and ethnic identity based solely on … name” or not, and would likely have shared that ethnic identity in the camps.

Pless1foEngrish on April 1, 2014 at 11:20 AM

Unimportant. Treason is a special crime against every citizen in the United States, passing classified information to a foreign power. He offered this same information to three other countries before settling on Israel.

He sold his soul and his son’s as well for money. Let him rot.

itsspideyman on April 1, 2014 at 10:30 AM

What on earth are you babbling on about? He pled to one count of conspiracy to deliver national defense information to a foreign government and the district court sentenced him to life imprisonment. Again, life imprisonment under the feds is 30 years. He will soon have served his sentence. He is entitled to be released. That you and others disagree is irrelevant.

Blake on April 1, 2014 at 10:52 AM

Tell me what part of my statement is untrue.

Furthermore, from aish.com:

Pollard had supposedly given Israel a list of every American spy inside the Soviet Union. On several occasions Soviet agents in New York had posed as Israelis. The CIA reasoned that that was also true in Israel: The Mossad had been infiltrated by one or more Soviet spies. In the trade this is called a “false flag” operation: Your enemy poses as your ally and steals your secrets. In this case, the CIA reasoned in attempting to explain its horrendous losses, Pollard had passed the information to Israel he had stolen, which in turn fell victim to the “false flag” operation. Soviet agents in Israel, posing as Israeli intelligence agents, passed the information to Moscow, which then wiped out American human assets in the Soviet Union.

Pollard hadn’t meant for this to happen, but the result of the “false flag” mistake was mass murder. In a matter of months, every spy we had in Russia — more than 40 agents — had been captured or killed. At least that was the accusation, but the basis for it had been kept secret from Pollard and his defense counsel.

So his sentence is 30 years. For the deaths of our agents in Russia, let him serve them all.

itsspideyman on April 1, 2014 at 11:51 AM

So his sentence is 30 years. For the deaths of our agents in Russia, let him serve them all.

itsspideyman on April 1, 2014 at 11:51 AM

Those agents Pollard betrayed were our bravest and best and it’s because of his treason, his treachery, that they died horrible deaths, many no doubt under the most extreme forms of torture the Russians could devise. For their sakes and the sakes of their families, let Pollard die in prison. Seeing him set free and given a hero’s welcome in Israel is more than those families should be forced to bear.

I simply don’t understand why some of you have sympathy for this rat, these piece of slime, this traitorous little weasel.

troyriser_gopftw on April 1, 2014 at 12:02 PM

You trying to piss me off this morning? Because using legalisms is a damned good way to do it. Pollard was put in a position of trust and betrayed that trust on behalf of another nation. It may not meet the exact standard of treason but Pollard is a traitor to this nation no matter how much you want to hide behind nuance.

And the reality is that using the bastard as a bargaining chip is useless so long as the Muslim animals on the other side of the table refuse to even acknowldege Israeli Jews have a right to exist.

Happy Nomad on April 1, 2014 at 8:30 AM

“Using legalisms?”

What he did is not treason. “Betraying trust” is not remotely the same as treason. The distinction between an ally vs an enemy is not legalistic hair-splitting. There is an enormous difference between committing a selfish and reckless act, vs cooperating with enemies who are actually interested in harming our nation. This is not a subtle, hair-splitting difference. The constitution very clearly classifies the latter as treason. To equate the former with treason requires flagrantly ignoring both the letter and spirit of the law.

Our national security is not to be taken lightly, and someone who violates it for personal gain deserves a significant penalty. Pollard has lost decades of his life, which is pretty significant.

At this point, keeping him in prison is not about penalizing recklessness or greed – it’s about trying to elevate the secrecy of our national security apparatus beyond the level of a vital tool, and upgrading it to something that is sacred in its own rite.

RINO in Name Only on April 1, 2014 at 12:08 PM

RINO in Name Only on April 1, 2014 at 12:08 PM

Just to clarify, I have no objection to him serving out his full 30-year sentence. I object only to distorting the definition of treason.

Israel is not our enemy. Period.

RINO in Name Only on April 1, 2014 at 12:17 PM

Tell me what part of my statement is untrue.

Furthermore, from aish.com:

Pollard had supposedly given Israel a list of every American spy inside the Soviet Union. On several occasions Soviet agents in New York had posed as Israelis. The CIA reasoned that that was also true in Israel: The Mossad had been infiltrated by one or more Soviet spies. In the trade this is called a “false flag” operation: Your enemy poses as your ally and steals your secrets. In this case, the CIA reasoned in attempting to explain its horrendous losses, Pollard had passed the information to Israel he had stolen, which in turn fell victim to the “false flag” operation. Soviet agents in Israel, posing as Israeli intelligence agents, passed the information to Moscow, which then wiped out American human assets in the Soviet Union.

Pollard hadn’t meant for this to happen, but the result of the “false flag” mistake was mass murder. In a matter of months, every spy we had in Russia — more than 40 agents — had been captured or killed. At least that was the accusation, but the basis for it had been kept secret from Pollard and his defense counsel.

So his sentence is 30 years. For the deaths of our agents in Russia, let him serve them all.

itsspideyman on April 1, 2014 at 11:51 AM

All of it. Try actually sourcing and reading in its entirety what you copy and paste. Sheesh!

So, he has almost served his 30 years. He probably is eligible for release to a half way house 6 months or a year early. Get over it.

Blake on April 1, 2014 at 12:17 PM

Had Weinberger been a German citizen in 1941, he would have been a Jew whether he wanted to be “subscribed… a religious and ethnic identity based solely on … name” or not, and would likely have shared that ethnic identity in the camps.

Pless1foEngrish on April 1, 2014 at 11:20 AM

I don’t believe that is true. Cap had one grandparent that was Jewish, which would have made him a quarter Jew or, under the Nazi’s grotesque legal system, a second degree Mischling. As long as they were not practicing Jews or married to a Jew, second degree Mischling were still considered Aryan.

Captain Kirock on April 1, 2014 at 12:19 PM

I don’t believe that is true. Cap had one grandparent that was Jewish, which would have made him a quarter Jew or, under the Nazi’s grotesque legal system, a second degree Mischling. As long as they were not practicing Jews or married to a Jew, second degree Mischling were still considered Aryan.

Captain Kirock on April 1, 2014 at 12:19 PM

I don’t think so. They were initially treated less harshly but eventually, they became slave labor and ultimately, they were going to kill them.

Blake on April 1, 2014 at 12:30 PM

We undersentenced Bradley Manning and so as a result of that mistake we are now somehow obligated to retroactively make that same mistake again? That line of thinking might fly on the playground but I don’t find it convincing.

alchemist19 on April 1, 2014 at 1:27 PM

I don’t think so. They were initially treated less harshly but eventually, they became slave labor and ultimately, they were going to kill them.

Blake on April 1, 2014 at 12:30 PM

Not true. Under the Nuremberg laws as long as they did not practice Judaism and did not marry Jews, second degree Mischling were considered Aryan and were German citizens who were allowed to serve in the armed forces. Their Jewish relatives, of course, were treated differently.

Captain Kirock on April 1, 2014 at 1:50 PM

I believe when there was a drop in concentrated Jewish population to murder, they turned their eyes on the military. However, the military complained vehemently and it didn’t happen.

I remember reading about how quarter mischling girls were used to clean up the bombing damage in Berlin. They were given little food and there were few shelters that would allow them in during raids and consequently many died.

Blake on April 1, 2014 at 2:06 PM

After we’ve released so many from Gitmo who have returned to terror, there is little argument for holding Pollard longer.

We even released Klaus Fuchs, part of the original Soviet nuclear spy ring, who lived to teach nuclear physics to Chinese engineers, including how to build the bomb.

But to blackmail Israel with his release would be a travesty.

Someone needs to take a horse whip to John Kerry. After a fair and impartial trial, of course.

Adjoran on April 1, 2014 at 3:32 PM

Pollard was lucky with the sentence he got. At the time, many were urging the death penalty for his crimes. There is a long back story to this, and to this day most of it is still highly classified. Pollard was spying not for Israel, but for the Soviet Union. A Classic false flag operation. Israel’s intelligence agency’s refused to carry out what the then prime minister ordered. Doing so would violate the U.S.-Israel 1983 intelligence agreement, so he ordered what amounted to a back door off the books operation run out of the prime minister’s office. Problem was one of their prime handlers was a deep cover KGB operator. So guess were all that information Pollard got from the Defense Department went to, cute right. Oh and here’s the kicker, the CIA told Israel counter intelligence who this guy really was way back in the early 1980’s. On top of that, as other commenter’s have mentioned, Pollard gave away the list of active sources working for both the FBI in the United States, and the CIA throughout the entire Soviet Union. To this day, many inside the Intelligence Community call this the single biggest loss of human intelligence ever. Pollard got off light.

flackcatcher on April 1, 2014 at 4:36 PM

He’s a spy.
He got caught.
He should be hanged.

Manning and his ilk; ditto.

Bubba Redneck on April 2, 2014 at 12:46 AM

Israel to US: Release Pollard because it’s the right thing to do. Screw any more concessions…

vnvet on April 1, 2014 at 9:37 AM

The right thing to do with Pollard is to let him serve out his sentence in a federal prison. In Leavenworth, not that country club in Virginia. It’s pretty pathetic to say that he shouldn’t be expected to be or held to the same standards of loyalty as anyone else in the armed forces of the United States, indeed, it’s spit in the eye to so many Jews who have served this country or given their lives for it.
…And the idea that it would do anything for the peace process is an insult to peoples intelligence, As is the idea that someone who was collecting tens of thousands of dollars from the Mossad spied on the USA all for warm and fuzzy reasons.

V7_Sport on April 2, 2014 at 2:45 AM

Bernie Madoff is there serving 150 years. Omar Abdel-Rahman is there serving a life sentence for the ’93 WTC bombing.

I guess that the Pollard supporters would consider these individuals being held hostage too.

Happy Nomad on April 1, 2014 at 9:40 AM

They aren’t being held to serve as leverages and bargaining chips.

US is no different than Hamas, in this respect, as both Hamas and the US:
A. Consider Israel to be an enemy
B. Hold captives as a bargaining chip
C. Use the aforementioned bargaining chips to free convicted terrorists and child murderers

Masih ad-Dajjal on April 2, 2014 at 6:37 AM

US is no different than Hamas, in this respect….

Masih ad-Dajjal on April 2, 2014 at 6:37 AM

And after that you can drop dead.

V7_Sport on April 3, 2014 at 11:48 PM