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Tuesday, September 6, 2011

Whatever Happened to Jonathan Pollard

Nadene Goldfoot
Israel's Mossad is rated #3 as a secret spy agency by the world's spies when I thought it was #1.  The top dogs turn out to be  Britain and the USA. Britain and the USA share lots of information and people, but don't seem to do this with Israel.  She's on her own in finding out things.  Usually Israel is the scapegoat for their mess-ups.  Then we have an amateur spy that was not even a member of Mossad who is serving 45 years in prison having been deemed one.

In 1985 the USA found out that an American intelligence officer was spying for Israel, or so they thought.  It was Jonathan Pollard, born in 1954 and a Stanford graduate.  He was accused of leaking secret satellite photos the would help Israel in attacking Iraq's Osirak nuclear reactor.  He was denounced for leaking hundreds of boxes of US secret codes, plans and operations. He got information from the US Navy data banks on ocean shipping.

 He had stumbled onto arms shipments to terrorists, which was routine material.  He had noticed a pattern of vessels traveling from Greece to Yemen where the PLO had a major base.  He did manage to get this information to Israel who checked on it with their Interpol and West German sources.  In 1984 the Greeks then seized an entire shipload of arms destined for the PLO.

 His name became a word used for wholesale leaks of every kind that damaged US intelligence.  Secretary of Defense Caspar Weinberger wanted the maximum sentence for espionage.  In 1987 he was given a life sentence. 

The information Pollard stumbled onto should have been passed onto Israel by the USA as we were friends.  Instead, CIA director, Bill Casey, had refused to give Israel satellite photos that they needed of Lebanon to counter Palestinian and Moslem terrorists who were attacking Israel across the border.  The USA also withheld information from Israel on German sales of chemical warfare equipment to Libya and Iraq. 

Reliable intelligence in the USA says that Mossad had more and better sources of spies, and that Pollard wasn't a member of Mossad at all. Israel has said all along that he was not a Mossad member as well.   Israel was able to raid the Osirak reactor without the aid of the photos that Pollard had procured.  Pollard's photos were of the outside of the reactor shell.  Israelis actually had blueprints of it and knew where the construction was most vulnerable to their air attack.  The attack was justified as was recently proved. 

Mossad had agents inside West German intelligence already who gave them a lot more details than Pollard had from NSA wiretaps.  Pollard may have thought he had something important when he found these items and had no way of knowing that he could actually be interferring with Israel's Mossad network.  He was thought to be only an amateur trying to be important.  His "helping out" gave Israel grief in the end. 

The CIA had built his position up possibly to be covering for their own spying for the Russians.  What he had done in 1984 was stumble onto our government's first shipment of arms to Iran arranged by the British secret service. The money for this sale was to be used to ransom American hostages in Lebanon.  What the governments of USA and Britain decided to do was to shift all the blame onto the Jews.

 The old saying that most of the evil in the world is done by good men with the best of intentions.  This could be true of Pollard in this case as well as others involved in this story.  If anything, Jonathan Pollard's eagerness to be a spy revealed the tip of the iceburg of the  CIA and British M16 involvement in spy work that they keep undercover from Israel. 

The TV series, NCIS has romanticized the character of Ziva David, the Mossad liason officer played by Cote de Pablo.  She is faithfully working with Jethro Gibbs, played by Mark Hammon, the lead special agent from the Naval Criminal Investigative Services.  In reality, Mossad and the USA may not be this amicable but should be.   

Resource:  The Secret War Against The Jews; how Western espionage betrayed the Jewish people,  by John Loftus and Mark Aarons

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