Trump Justice Department to Lift Pollard Parole, End Case of Most Damaging Spy Operation in U.S. History

If Israeli security journalist Yossi Melman is correct, Pres. Trump’s Department of Justice is expected this week to remove all parole restrictions on ex-Israeli spy, Jonathan Pollard. Pollard served 30 years in prison and was freed conditionally in 2015.  The Justice Department restricted him to living in New York City and not leaving the U.S.  This prohibited him from his goal of moving to Israel, where the far-right Likud government could be expected to lionize him for his betrayal (of U.S. interests).

On Friday, those restrictions expire.  Melman posted a series of tweets explaining that he queried DOJ about whether they might be extended and the response he received was that there was no expectation they would be.

Melman also noted that Pollard’s lawyer, accused pedophile Alan Dershowitz, told the reporter that he was cautiously optimistic that Pollard would be free on Friday and leave for Israel soon.

This will end a decades-long saga which found Pollard to be one of the most damaging Spies in U.S. history.  He sold U.S. Navy top secret plans to the Israelis who, in turn, exchanged them with the Soviets to barter for the release of Soviet Jewish dissidents.

Pollard was “run” by another infamous Israeli spy Master, Rafi Eitan, who kidnapped Eichmann and also ran State Department analyst, Larry Franklin, who offered secret government documents to Aipac lobbyist, Steve Rosen.

Officials in the Reagan administration felt so betrayed by Israeli promises that they would not spy on their chief ally, that they insisted on prosecuting Pollard under charges that brought a conviction and life sentence.  He spent three decades in prison during which both Bill Clinton and George Bush refused to commute his sentence despite enormous pressure applied by the Israeli government and its domestic agents, the Israel Lobby. The U.S. Intelligence apparatus was adamant that Pollard’s crimes never be mitigated.  CIA director George Tenet even threatened to resign if Clinton commuted Pollard’s sentence.  After his release, the former spy spent several years living under parole restrictions.

If Trump and his attorney General, Bill Barr, free Pollard, it will mark yet another favor the U.S. has done for Israel’s right-wing Likud government.  Those include moving the embassy to Jerusalem, recognizing Israeli sovereignty over the city, legitimating Israel’s illegal settlements in the West Bank, and recognizing Israel’s illegal annexation of the Golan.

It will also offer Israel a green light to continue and intensify its ongoing intelligence operations against this country, realizing that no matter what happens Israel can manipulate the U.S. and mitigate whatever punishments are involved.  These operations, as Melman notes began in 1948 and continue to this day.  They included the theft of enriched uranium from a U.S. storage facility in a plot devised by then Israeli-spy (now Hollywood producer), Arnon Milchan.

The freeing of Pollard would mark yet another betrayal by this administration of its intelligence services. Trump has spent the past four years braying at the FBI, CIA and NSA, complaining that they refuse to be pliant to his demands. He has run through multiple directors of each of these agencies who’ve fallen afoul of him.  This is yet another way in which he can humiliate them and their interests.

Finally, the Pollard case buttresses arguments of anti-Semites who claim that American Jews harbor a dual loyalty conflict between the interests of Israel and the U.S.  In fact, in cases like this some Jews like Pollard choose the interests of Israel above those of America.  They may somehow justify to themselves that those interests are the same, but they’re not.  And a life sentence for betraying U.S. intelligence secrets should bring that home.  But what Israel did in running Pollard seriously endangered American Jews.  There is absolutely no evidence that Israel understands this or even cares.  And that is offensive and a schandeh.


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Articles by: Richard Silverstein

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