Wednesday, April 2, 2014

Can You Keep A Secret?

For your information, the Israelis used Pollard to obtain our attack plan against the USSR, all of it. The coordinates, the firing locations, the sequences. And for guess who? The Soviets! ---William Casey, director of the CIA, 1981-87

    Everybody spies on everybody all the time. When allies get caught snooping on each other, the penalty is usually a slap on the wrist. At worse, the culprits get a couple of years in the jug.
    That was going to be the fate of Jonathan Pollard, an American caught spying back in 1985 for our good buddy Israel. But then Casper Weinberger, our then Secretary of Defense who was a Jew and a staunch supporter of Israel, stepped in. He wrote a letter to the sentencing judge detailing what Pollard had purloined and where some of it ended up.  The judge read it and threw away the key. Pollard got life in prison, where he still sits today. But maybe not tomorrow.
    The Israeli government and Pollard’s supporters have always claimed that the secrets he filched while serving as an intelligence analyst for the Navy were about stuff the Israelis needed to know to help defend themselves and be a better ally of the U.S. In other words, their intentions were benign.
    What we do know is that Pollard swiped everything in sight: documents occupying some 360 square feet of floor space. Worse, what a lot of knowledgeable people say is that, right in the middle of the Cold War, the Israelis were peddling parts of the Pollard trove to the Soviets in exchange not only for bucks but for Russian Jews, tens of thousands of whom settled in Israel in that period.  It was their double dealing with our communist enemies that that got Weinberger, the judge and our spooks so ticked at the Israelis.
    Ever since, the Israeli government and Pollard’s supporters in the states have been campaigning to spring him. For all these years, they have stuck to the line that Pollard’s spying was not as bad as it looked and that the stories about Israel peddling our secrets to the Russkies weren't worth a reply. What they were worth was a cover-up with the complicity of the American media that remains until today.  Thus we find ourselves in a situation where its okay to report that our spies are furious about the Pollard case, but bordering on treason to say why they're still so angry.        

     Every time an American president looked like he would cave into to the Israelis and free Pollard, the CIA and the Pentagon would rise up in outrage. Caught between the military-intelligence complex and the Israeli lobby, the White House would yet again back burner the issue and change the subject.
    But it won’t stay down.  A page one story in the NY Times of April 1 says that Obama will soon release Pollard. In exchange, Israel will pretend to negotiate with the Palestinians into 2015 to make it appear that the  peace talks are moribund rather than in rigor mortis.  But even this last effort looks like a still birth
    There’s no serious purpose here. Anyone with half a frontal lobe knows that “Israel will never allow the emergence of a Palestinian state.” Still, there’s something in the heads of American pols that demands endless peace talks between Israelis and Palestinians, no matter how phony and futile they are.  It’s probably a nervous disorder related to the one that has them nonsensically warning for decades that Iran is minutes away from getting the bomb.
    I wouldn’t mind seeing Pollard go free--so long as it activates truth telling about his case and the reasons for the prolonged punishment he earned.  It’s been obvious for years that while we Americans are all for Israel, so are the Israelis all for Israel. It’s time we grow up about a part of the world where we really have no friends, let alone trustworthy ones.