Monday, March 03, 2014

Netanyahu turns up lobbying heat for Pollard release

Netanyahu turns up lobbying heat for Pollard release

As the American Israel Public Affairs Committee (AIPAC) convenes its annual lobbying meeting this week in Washington, DC and as Israeli Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu, once again, pays his usual visit to Washington during "AIPAC Week" to bring American Jewish pressure to bear on President Obama's Middle East policies during the president's obligatory meeting with Netanyahu in the Oval Office, the issue of freeing convicted Israeli spy Jonathan Pollard from U.S. prison has also reared its head.

The Israel Lobby is turning up the heat, as it does for every annual AIPAC policy conference, on the White House to grant clemency to Pollard, who is serving a life sentence for espionage for Israel. at the Butner Federal Corrections Center in North Carolina. Every U.S. president since Ronald Reagan has refused to grant Pollard clemency. And for good reason. WMR has discovered in archived declassified CIA files information that points to the extreme damage Pollard did to U.S. national security by handing over to Israeli intelligence was amounted to a 10 feet by 6 feet by 6 feet garage full of classified documents. It is ironic that those who have called for the head of NSA whistleblower Edward Snowden, people like former CIA director James Woolsey, are at the forefront of calling for President Obama to free Pollard and let him emigrate to Israel.

Anti-Defamation League executive director Abe Foxman will be strutting around the AIPAC conference this week in DC with his Zionist feathers on full display as he calls  those who oppose Pollard's release "anti-Semitic." Foxman's and his ilk's din of shouting "anti-Semitism" is now as normal in Washington, DC during the annual AIPAC meeting as the honking of car horns on Pennsylvania Avenue. And Washingtonians are apt to equally ignore both Foxman's wailing and the car horns.

One of the most insightful comments from the Pollard trial in 1987 was the following: "I should have recognized the infectious nature of an ideology, Zionism." Now, given Foxman's predictable shouting of "anti-Semitism" anytime someone mentions the word "Zionism," the ADL propagandist-in-chief may be surprised to know that the aforementioned comment was made by none other than Mr. Pollard, himself, at his sentencing hearing before Chief U.S. Judge for Washington, DC Aubrey E. Robinson, Jr.

Pollard called Zionism an "infectious ideology."

At the sentencing hearing, Assistant U.S. Attorney Charles S. Leeper, in asking for a life sentence to be imposed on the convicted Israeli spy, revealed that after Pollard and his attorneys pledged that Pollard would not discuss any further national security information without the court's permission, Pollard revealed further classified information to then-Jerusalem Post correspondent Wolf Blitzer. Blitzer now reports for CNN on the appeals for Pollard's clemency without disclosing his own obvious journalistic conflicts-of-interest on behalf of Israel in the case. In fact, Blitzer spends much of his time during AIPAC week ensconced with Israeli leaders visiting Washington, including Netanyahu, who Blitzer affectionately addresses on the air as "Bibi."

Secretary of Defense Caspar Weinberger was so incensed at Pollard revealing additional critical national security information to Blitzer that he submitted two sealed affidavits to the court on the damage caused by Pollard's disclosures to Blitzer. Although the second Weinberger affidavit was later released in a heavily-redacted form, it is believed that the Secretary of Defense wrote in his first affidavit that much of intelligence Pollard gave to the Israelis was turned over to the Soviet Union in return for Moscow increasing the quota of Soviet Jews permitted to emigrate to Israel. In addition, it is widely believed that Weinberger passed the contents of Pollard's later classified disclosures to Blitzer to Judge Robinson in the first Weinberger sealed affidavit. The first Weinberger affidavit has not been disclosed to the public.

Pollard maintained during his trial that the information he stole only went to the Israelis, no other third parties. However, it was also known that Pollard was in communication with South African intelligence, itself riddled with not only Israeli Mossad agents but also Soviet KGB and GRU spies. The classification of the second Weinberger affidavit as Top Secret UMBRA indicates that signals intercept of Israeli and Soviet, and, possibly, South African communications, and intercepted by the National Security Agency, were used to build the case that Pollard was providing intelligence to Moscow, as well as to Tel Aviv. It can be assumed that Weinberger's first affidavit was also classified as Top Secret UMBRA.

The two Weinberger affidavits may also contain information on Pollard having a senior Israeli intelligence "handler" in the Reagan administration. One suspect was Stephen Bryen, an assistant secretary of defense in Weinberger's Pentagon. In 1978, while a Senate aide, Bryen was overheard by FBI agents offering Israeli intelligence officers classified U.S. documents. Bryen had been under suspicion ever since. Other suspects included Douglas Feith, fired from his National Security Council job by Reagan National Security Adviser Judge William Clark for passing classified documents to a known Mossad officer serving at the Israeli embassy in Washington. Feith was immediately rehired by Assistant Secretary of Defense for Policy and Plans Richard Perle, who also remains a suspect as Pollard's handler.

The real damage of Pollard's espionage for Israel was the compromise of a number of CIA and other U.S. intelligence agents within friendly Arab governments. It was assumed that Pollard's disclosures resulted in these agents being approached by Israeli and Soviet intelligence and threatened with exposure to their own governments if they did not agree to work for the Israelis and Soviets. CIA archives indicate that the U.S. lost several valuable agents who worked inside the governments of Egypt, Tunisia, Jordan, Saudi Arabia, Lebanon, Morocco, Sudan, Iraq, Kuwait, United Arab Emirates, Oman, Qatar, and Bahrain.

Meanwhile, this week in Washington, AIPAC and its own Israeli handlers will be brushing aside the impact of Pollard's espionage on the United States. Official representatives of pro-Israei American Jewry continue to maintain the myth first promulgated in 1986 by Kenneth Bialkin, the director fo the Conference of Presidents of Major American Jewish Organizations. Bialkin described Pollard's espionage as follows, "the nature of the secrets obtained does not go to elements of U.S. defense and U.S. preparedness. They touch primarily on elements primarily of Israel's interest to defend itself -- that is, information about the deployment of Arab forces and the nature of American strength."

Bialkin and his successors were and remain dead wrong about the nature of Pollard's treason but no one will breathe a word of its during AIPAC week lest they be shouted down by Foxman and his cohorts as "anti-Semites." Yawn.