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Sunday, May 11, 2008

The Pollard Affair, a conspiracy theory

30 March, 2008

Thank you, Jerusalem Post, for yet another airing of events surrounding the imprisonment of Jonathan Pollard. The present article, The Pollard spat , was the most factual and level presentation I have read in recent years. But in order for readers to better appreciate those facts some background rarely discussed in print might be helpful. I will limit myself to just two issues never discussed or acknowledged, the Iran-Contra Affair and the involvement of then Secretary of Defense Casper Weinberger.

1. In the years preceding Pollard’s arrest the Reagan administration was embroiled in the highly illegal Iran-Contra arms debacle and were looking around for a victim to hang blame on. As sometimes happens when a US administration finds itself in a bind Israel is the designated fall guy (Iraq another and more recent example where administration officials and their neocon supporters accused Israel of instigating the war when, in fact, Israel advised Bush AGAINST the war). In the run-up to Irangate Israel was alleged to have been asked by Reagan to use its good offices to broker the arms end of Iran-Contra; the Saudis were asked to quietly provide the finances, in other words, to launder the money.

According to the planners Reagan and the administration were thereby conveniently distanced from illegality thanks to their foreign surrogates. At least until Iran-Contra began to unravel in the press.

2. Reagan’s Secretary of Defense was Casper Weinberger, one generation removed from the heritage his name suggests. Uncomfortable and insecure, Weinberger was known to distance himself as much as possible from both Jews and Israel. In fact some who knew him described Weinberger as both antisemitic and anti-Israel. It is at least coincidental that, having been turned down for employment by CIA that Weinberger’s Naval Intelligence would have hired Pollard, Jew and Zionist. Even more curious is that Pollard was assigned to participate as part of the NI team which actually met with Israelis to discuss and transfer intelligence information. In other words, Pollard was placed in a position allowing him oversight of what intelligence was being passed to Israel, and what was not being provided. Pollard could not fail to appreciate that critical information was being withheld from Israel in violation of the 1983 Memorandum of Understanding between the two states. Hard not to draw conspiratorial conclusions, hey?

So lets cut to the chase: in order to avoid an open trial which, if allowed, might have compromised sources and methods the US entered a plea agreement in which Pollard would receive leniency in sentencing if he would agree to a closed court hearing before a federal judge. Pollard agreed and, following Cap Weinberger’s dramatic pre-sentence race to the courthouse with his infamous “secret memorandum,” Judge Robinson supposedly acquiesced to the defense chiefs demand that the plea agreement be set aside, that Pollard be sentenced severely.

Following sentencing Weinberger addressed the press to denounce Pollard, described him a traitor, a crime he was not accused of nor sentenced for. Weinberger was quoted as saying that Pollard deserved death, not life in prison.

So we see that some incumbents and their protectors within government on both sides of the Atlantic might find exposure of the facts leading up to and following the employment of Jonathan Pollard and his subsequent life sentence embarrassing. And it is possible that, as those in the US bureaucracy never tire of reminding us, Pollard continues to have information that could be compromising. The only thing in question is what kind of information could so compromise, be so dangerous twenty-three years old? And the answer may well be that the “compromising information” is not related to the field of intelligence as assumed but rather compromising present day political incumbents, and the bureaucrats who serve their masters. That Pollard’s never-ending torture protects those who continue to argue against his release!

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