To most people if you say Laurel, they’ll think of Hardy. If you say Simon, they’ll think of Garfunkle. In Israel if you say Marc Rich, many think of Jonathan Pollard.
At least that’s the way my knee jerked when I saw a news item featuring a picture of Marc Rich cutting a ribbon at the opening of something called the Marc Rich Israel Cinema Center in Tel Aviv and off to his right was a representative of our government, Limor Livnat, the sports and cultural minister.
What? This is the guy from the FBI 10 Most Wanted list that Bill Clinton pardoned 12 years ago when most Israelis thought he would give us Jonathan Pollard, the American who spied for Israel and got sentenced to life, as Clinton had promised two years earlier. What is a representative of our government doing disgracing herself at the opening of a Marc Rich anything?
This item came up in a search for something else; I found out it happened earlier in the year. I still get angry when I think of Rich grabbing the pardon we thought was meant for Pollard, now in his 27th year in an American prison. I don’t know why but I irrationally thought that anyone in government would not want to be caught dead being seen with Marc Rich. To me it was tantamount to insulting Pollard.
On second thought I came to the conclusion that Marc Rich does rate being honored by the state. Like Pollard he had spied for us. Ehud Barak, then prime minister, revealed that Rich had “helped out” the Mossad in a phone conversation with the US president when trying to persuade him to pardon Rich. Rich and his far-flung empire apparently was a valuable asset to the Mossad.
It’s 12 years later after that dark day that Clinton shunned Pollard in favor of Rich. Everyone thought that Bush II, the best friend in the White House Israel ever had blah blah blah would surely give us Pollard. But no one really asked him when the time came because we were too busy bashing heads of the bad guys in the Gaza War so he just walked away. Now here we are again with Obama who doesn’t even like us. Pardon me, but I don’t think we’re going to get Pollard that way.
Standard procedure for a simple article is that you tell the people what you are going to say, say it, and tell them what you said. I can’t do that here because I have encountered a technical problem I’ve not encountered in my 50 years of scribbling. Writing consists of a writer and a reader, a transmitter and a receiver. It’s every kind of writing. You make a grocery list, you have to make sure the kid understands what you wrote, or you won’t have supper that night. You scrawl some music notes on a sheet, you have to make sure that the kid can read those notes, and you won’t hear music coming out of your piano. It’s up to writer to first understand the subject and then transmit his findings in such a way that the reader gets the gist. That’s called being on the same page. My problem is that I can’t get a fix on the subject, Jonathan Pollard. I’m not getting an image but static, distortion, and interference. He seems to be so deeply immersed in a force field of negativity that everything is off the chart, just like negative numbers are off the chart of everyday life. This was the Communist dream, never achieved, but which the Americans have now achieved — turning an enemy of the regime into a non-person. There is no such thing as a non-image so in the place of his image all I can pick up is static, distortion, and interference. In practical terms it means that this vehicle, otherwise known as the article, won’t start. What I’m going to do is roll it down the hill slowly in the hopes that at some point I’ll get the spark that is Jonathan Pollard and at that point we’ll be off to the races.
Rich was wanted for what prosecutor Rudy Giuliani called “the largest tax evasion indictment ever” which was done in the 80s. There were 65 charges against Rich which would have landed him in prison for 300 years. The US tried to extradite Rich from Switzerland and Spain, where he lived at times. The Swiss said we don’t extradite on fiscal crimes. The Spanish said we don’t extradite citizens. He also has an Israeli passport. The US asked Israel to extradite him if he showed up. According to the record of the congressional hearings the Rabin administration replied we don’t extradite for income tax evasion. (Meir Lansky was sent back on that very same charge 20 years previously so someone was pulling someone’s leg.) US marshals tried rendition, essentially kidnapping, several times but Rich slipped through the net or in the case of Switzerland, local police were tipped off where the marshals were and threatened to arrest the arresters. The justice department put a $500,000 reward on his head causing him to be stalked also by assorted bounty hunters and other freelancers. Protecting him was a crack team of Israeli security guards; some say they were all ex-Mossad, others that they were the Mossad.
Rich and his partner Pinky Green invented spot trading in oil. Producers sold it to them; they sold it to the customers. When the ayatollahs took over Iran they honored the shah’s contracts. Rich shipped to Israel Iranian oil and was the major supplier of oil to the country until he shed the company in 1994. Marc, a suave sophisticate, now 77, was born in Belgium né Reich and brought to the US as a boy. Green, now 73, was a wisecracking Farsi-speaking dropout from Brooklyn with a photographic memory. The odd couple was a perfect match. Green is now retired to Jerusalem. Rich married Denise, daughter of a wealthy Massachusetts shoe manufacturer named Emil Eisenberg in 1966. She bore him three children and became a successful songwriter; her first hit to top the charts was “Frankie” sung by Sister Sledge in 1986. When he began cavorting with a long blonde German babe named Gisela Rossi she divorced him.
Pollard was a naval officer who spied for Israel. He got caught, copped a plea and was sentenced to life in 1987. The average sentence in the US for spies employed by a friendly country is two to four years. Many people believe the only reason Pollard is still in there is because he is a Jew and I’m one of them. In 1998 it appeared that Benjamin Netanyahu, then PM, had gotten Clinton to release Pollard in return for concessions in the peace talks held at Wye, Md. Clinton backed off he said because of the extremely negative reaction from the intelligence community. Nonetheless the expectation was that Clinton would keep his word to Netanyahu on his way out the door at the end of 2000 with a pardon or more likely a commutation of sentence also called clemency. After all Clinton in the face of wall-to-wall opposition from justice and law-enforcement agencies had pardoned 16 unrepentant FALN terrorists who had set off 130 bombs, robbed banks, threatened their judges, and killed several people seeking independence for Puerto Rico. Some had been behind bars for 19 years.
The Rich pardon drama played out like a reprise of the fabled tortoise vs hare race only this time the hare won. There was Pollard, the tortoise, plodding ever so slowly towards the finish line when at the very last second soaring out of nowhere as in a whirlwind Rich, the hare, passed him and got the prize. But there was no guarantee that Pollard would ever had made it to the finish line. What is true is that the large crowd that had showed up who might have been expected to cheer for Pollard were cheering almost entirely for Rich.
If you go down the lists of pardons or commutations by presidents those for world famous offenders are very rare. Most recipients are people who had done petty stuff. You were never going to get both Rich (piggybacking Green) and Pollard. Clinton was going to toss one Jew into the crowd and why wouldn’t he throw the one that the crowd was calling for led by the guy with the megaphone, Barak.
Lenny Ben-David was Israel’s number two diplomat in Washington in the late 90s. In Haaretz in 2007 Ben-David revealed that “I drafted a confidential memo to Israel’s leadership early in 1999 presenting a comprehensive strategy for securing a presidential pardon for Pollard” from Clinton. No major co-ordinated campaign was launched to support Pollard but to support Rich, there indeed was. Ben-David said, “With a great sense of disappointment, I sensed that the strategies presented in my memorandum might have been redirected to secure the pardon of Marc Rich.”
In terms of the odiousness of the crimes of the two in the eyes of the American people there was not much to choose. Why should Rich get away with not paying his millions in taxes when every working stiff gets nicked on every dime he makes. And Rich enriched the ayatollahs during the very months they were endangering Americans whom they held hostage in the US embassy. Rich also had a reputation as a union buster; this should have made him a pariah for a Democratic administration. In 1990 Rich locked out the 1,700 workers at the Ravenswood aluminium plant in West Virginia, members of the United Steelworkers of America union. He replaced them with scabs and surrounded the plant with goons armed with riot gear, clubs, tear gas and video cameras used to constantly monitor the workers’ pickets. Local and national union leaders were threatened by phone and in person. “You’d better stop or you’re going to get hurt. … You don’t know who you’re up against.” Shades of the 1930s (except for the video cameras.) But unlike then when a union would have responded with violence, the steelworkers adopted a strategy of causing trouble for Rich in his holdings all over the world from Slovakia to Rumania to Jamaica to Venezuela. They got big customers like Budweiser and Coca-Cola not to buy his aluminium. The steelworker investigators were astounded at who they actually were up against. This guy, they said, “owns 49 per cent of the world.” Ken Hill, the US marshal who indefatigably stalked Rich for 15 years until 1997, confirmed their impression in Vanity Fair. “From Nigeria to Russia, everyone was on the payroll of Marc Rich. Dollar for dollar in his time, no one, including sheikhs, had more money than Marc Rich. You have no idea the strength this man had in the world economy.” The congressional committee estimated his companies were worth $30 billion. They describe his dealings country by country; if it was illegal he was doing it. Said the committee, “Rich built his fortune doing business without legal, ethical, or even moral restraints. He regularly dealt with corrupt officials, dictators, and rogue regimes. US and international embargos and sanctions were not barriers to Rich, merely hurdles to be climbed over, under, or around. … Marc Rich built his fortune by trading with many enemies of the United States.” Meanwhile for 20 months the folks in that West Virginia community lived on handouts; families endured hard times. Rich blinked first; the union won.
As for Pollard a man in uniform is held to higher behavioral standards than a civilian. He dishonored the uniform and passed on classified information to a foreign country. The difference between the two is this. Rich never spent a day behind bars and was living in luxury. If he didn’t get a pardon, nothing would have changed in his life. Pollard was chained in a dungeon and this was his only hope to get out. He had already paid down his debt to society with 15 years of his life. Who should be helped?
There were a 100 letters half from Israelis and most of the rest from prominent Jews in the US and Europe that were put in a packet supporting a pardon for Rich. The New York Times said the letters represented “a virtual who’s who of Israeli society and Jewish philanthropy.” In Israeli politics Rich and Green had covered the waterfront, Rich supporting left-wing causes, read peace process, and Green, right-wing causes, read settlements. The politicians on the list ranged from rabble rouser Shulamit Aloni on the far left to Yaacov Ne’eman on the right, the current justice minister. But there were also cultural icons such as Zuban Metha, conductor of the philharmonic, and heads of everything from museums to hospitals. The diversity of support was astounding — it made it appear as if Marc Rich was the most popular man in the land. Money can’t buy you love but it can buy you letters of support. Maariv at that time reported that Rich’s foundation had given nearly $80 million to Israeli hospitals, museums, orchestras, and universities. It called Rich “the biggest donor to artistic and cultural institutions in Israel” over the past 15 years. He also gave to political parties especially Labor, the party of Barak.
We’ll never know which of those who were contacted were told what the letter was for and which were not. But all the letters were bundled together. Avner Azulay, a former Mossad agent, is the point man for Rich’s foundation in Israel. When he called Jonathan Halevy, the head of Shaare Zedek Medical Center in Jerusalem, Halevy told the New York Times, Azulay merely said they were preparing a “book in honor of Mr. Rich and the foundation.” Halevy said, “I’m obliged, if I got a donation from someone, to confirm that I got it in writing. But I think it would have been very fair to tell me … the purpose.” The congressional committee concluded: “Many of these letters were obtained under false pretenses, and the writers of the letters were not told that they were being used to obtain a presidential pardon. In addition, a number of individuals who wrote in support of Rich and Green received large amounts of money from them.”
Rich swiped $48 million (not counting interest) from the IRS and another $137 million (counting interest) those same years from the NY state tax authority, according to documents it filed in a civil action. He did cough up $200 million in a settlement involving two companies although I don’t know what that was for and it didn’t get him off the hook.
Rich entered the race for the pardon at the 11th hour. For 15 years he had employed mostly Jewish Republican lawyers such as Scooter Libby to try to make a deal with no jail time. Now he needed to cross the road. Rich had forked over $365 million to Denise in their divorce settlement. She’s a Democrat who lavished donations on her party and was tight with Hilary and Bill. Initial reports said it was she who got Rich his new lawyer Jack Quinn, a former White House counsel. But Quinn was on board months before Denise, responding to pleas from her two surviving daughters, decided to help their father. A third sister had died of leukemia three years earlier. The idea to approach Denise came from Abraham Foxman, head of the Anti-Defamation League. Azulay went to talk to Foxman about the foundation continuing to support the ADL, got off on Rich’s problems, and Foxman suggested, “why don’t you have Denise talk to Clinton?” Azulay relayed the idea to Quinn and months later Denise was on board, famously presenting Clinton a golden saxophone to go with her contributions to Hillary’s NY Senate campaign and the Clinton Library. Quinn had placed at Denise’s right hand Beth Dozoretz, finance chairwoman of the Democratic National Committee who had been to the White House 96 times in the previous two years and was always on the phone with Bill. The two women grew up together in Worcester, Mass., Denise the senior by seven years. Dozoretz told Denise how much to put in the envelopes and what cubicles they go to. When the congressional committee wanted to probe whether Denise’s largesse was connected with efforts to get her ex-husband a pardon, she took the fifth. So did Dozoretz.
How did they get the pardon? To make an analogy to football, four players moved the ball down to the one-yard line with a series of razzle dazzle moves unseen since the days of the Four Horsemen of the Apocalypse at Notre Dame but the defensive line they met there looked to be impregnable and with the game on the line time was about to run out. The first three players were Barak, Quinn and Denise. The fourth was one of the weirdest drops of water ever to slither down a drain-pipe. They needed an end run. He would be handed the ball. His name: Eric Holder.
This guy is what you would get if you built Pinocchio with a normal nose. Every time he goes before a congressional committee he lies. He is the only American in history who needed executive privilege orders from two different presidents to extract his ass from a sling. He is devoid of any discernible sense of decency or of fairness, any trace of a conscience or even human feeling. Perfect. Just what the doctor ordered.
When Holder walked into justice in 1997 as deputy attorney-general he came with an agenda. Free the FALN and their associated group, Los Macheteros (the machete-wielders), These people had planted a bomb at the Fraunces Tavern, Manhattan’s oldest bulding, which blew up during mid-day killing four diners and wounding 55; they had gunned down four sailors; they staged the biggest cash robbery in American history up to that time making off with $7 million from a Wells-Fargo armored car; the money has never been recovered. Everyone called them what they were, terrorists, but not Holder. To him they were “nationalists.” Margaret Colgate Love was the pardons officer who called the shot on whether the FALN convicts should get clemency. The shot was “no way Jose.” Holder fired Colgate Love. He brought in Roger Adams and ordered him to change the policy to favoring clemency. Adams examined the matter and informed Holder they don’t deserve it. Holder sent him back to the drawing board. This time he gave Holder what he wanted but noted his own severe reservations. Holder changed the policy at that time to open. Meanwhile for two years he met with interested groups nine times; all of these were advocates of clemency; victims requested meetings, they were turned away. He talked with no one who had actually worked on cases. He saw his opening when Hillary decided to run for the Senate in NY. There are 1.3 million Puerto Ricans in the naked city most of whom regarded the FALN nasties as “nationalists.” Her doting husband gave them all a get out of jail free card; not requiring information on their confrere Víctor Manuel Gerena, then as now on the FBI’s Most Wanted list and believed to be in Cuba; or the whereabouts of the $7 million stolen in the Wells-Fargo heist.
Congress was incensed. Both houses condemned the clemency. The vote in the Senate was 95-2. Holder was summoned to do some splainin’. Clinton claimed executive privilege and it was smooth sailing to the Senate race for Hillary.
Holder entered the Marc Rich picture a few months later. Rich wondered whether a high-powered public relations campaign could help his cause. He hired Gerson Keikst who flaks for the high and mighty. Keikst concluded there is only so much you can do to make a sow’s ear appear as a silk purse and it couldn’t be done here. Rich kept him around to see if he could help find a well-connected Democratic attorney. One night Keikst was at a social gathering in Washington and saw Holder. He sidled up and told him of the case of an unnamed acquaintance who had been “improperly indicted by an overzealous prosecutor.” A person in that situation, Holder advised, should “hire a lawyer who knows the process, he comes to me, we work it out.” Kekst wanted to know if Holder could suggest a lawyer. Holder pointed to a former White House counsel sitting nearby. “There’s Jack Quinn,” he said. “He’s a perfect example.”
Keikst reported back but they decided they’d go first for Warren Christopher, the former state secretary. He declined. Quinn was next and he accepted. What was Holder’s game in tossing work from a high roller to Quinn? Holder’s ambition was to be attorney-general. Quinn was tight with Al Gore running for president. So said the house committee on government reform. At that point Holder didn’t know that the guy they were trying to help was Marc Rich.
Quinn contacted Holder. At first Holder played by the book. The Rich idea as always was to try to strike a deal not involving jail time. Not a chance, Holder discovered. The team decided finally to go for a pardon right after the election which Nov. 7. But it had to done on the hush-hush. Normal procedures meant getting the justice department pardons officer and the NY DA’s office involved as well as the FBI and CIA. These would have torpedoed the idea and maybe leaked it to the press.
Rich seems to have sent in the decision to go for the pardon himself. Gisela, the current wife, showed up at a gala in Washington for Mikhail Gorbachev on Oct. 11. Quinn, Denise, and Hillary were there. Hillary, according to Fox News, made an effort to avoid being photographed with Gisela. No phone or email records, no paper trail, linking Rich himself directly to the Clintons. Nice move. They had three months to get it done; the new president took over Jan. 20.
Holder although number 2 was running the justice department. His boss Janet Reno was ill with Parkinson’s and simply not around; no one bothered to bring her into the loop. Holder answered to no one. There is absolutely no question but that he was in cahoots with Quinn. Holder held one of the most responsible jobs in the US government but the oath of office that he took to “well and faithfully discharge the duties” of that office meant nothing to him. He was obliged to make sure that pardon petitions were exhaustively vetted; he did the exact opposite, facilitated a circumvention of the entire process. Later the house committee would condemn Holder’s actions as “unconscionable.” That word graphically defines the nature of this beast and should be engraved on his tombstone.
Quinn notified his co-conspirators in an e-mail entitled “Eric” on Nov. 18 that “Spoke to him last evening. He says go straight to WH. Also says timing is good.” (WH for Hebrew-speakers and others for whom English is not your first language is an abbreviation for White House). On Nov. 21 Quinn and Holder had a meeting with US marshals on an unrelated matter. When they left Holder told Quinn to send the petition to Beth Nolan, the WH counsel and to request her to call him. Quinn asked Holder if he wanted a copy. Holder replied no. This was a brilliant move. If he introduces a copy into his work-space, he can’t guarantee it won’t be sent on to the pardons officer Roger Adams; a staff member might do that out of routine, and that’s game over. Above all else they had to maintain a cordon sanitaire around the White House. That way the contest would just be between Holder and Clinton’s praetorian guard and they’ve got a thousand other things besides pardons on their minds with a transition coming up. With Nolan in the praetorian guard were her deputy Bruce Lindsey and the chief of staff John Podesta. If they were to go along with the request for pardon, it would be smooth sailing; if they balk, he’s Holder, who speaks for the vast justice system which (they will assume) had examined this petition from every angle with input from all interested parties and is proclaiming their verdict. And they might go along with it. Another pardon case then on the table was that of Harvey Weinig, a NY lawyer. He laundered 19 million for a Columbian drug cartel, stole 2 million from the cartel, and was lucky the FBI was one step ahead of the hit men coming for him and all he had to do was confess and he’d be safe. The praetorian guard was recommending yes to time served for Weining, half his 11-year sentence, against the no of Holder and justice. Weinig was a member in good standing of the NY Democratic establishment.
On Dec. 11 Quinn delivered the petition to Nolan and suggested she talk to Holder. The 31-page document was what we call in Canada a “snow job.” There is a definition on the Internet, “an effort to deceive, overwhelm, or persuade with insincere talk.” Anyone who would grant a pardon solely on the basis of that petition would also answer an e-mail that began, “The late dictator of Nigeria, General Sanni Abacha, has died and now his widow wants your help in getting his $80 million out of the country.”
Quinn informed Azulay that the fat was in the fire and right away Ehud Barak was on the line asking for Clinton. They talked of all the important issues of the day for 20 minutes and then at the end Barak got to the point. It was the first of three calls.
Barak: “One last remark. There is an American Jewish businessman living in Switzerland and making a lot of philanthropic contributions to Israeli institutions and activities like education, and he is a man called Marc Rich. He violated certain rules of the game in the United States and is living abroad. I just wanted to let you know that here he is highly appreciated for his support of so many philanthropic institutions and funds, and that if I can, I would like to make my recommendation to consider his case.”
Clinton: I am going to take all of them up at the same time. I know about that case because I know his ex-wife. She wants to help him, too. If your ex-wife wants to help you, that’s good.”
On Jan. 6 Beth Nolan asked Holder for his opinion on the Rich and Green pardons. He answered he was “neutral.” Holder attended a school for precocious children but I don’t know if you can call him a genius. In the realm of the diabolical he is a genius. His move here was exactly the same one he made on the FALN when he dumped the pardons officer who opposed clemency and got a new one to sign on to “open.” That put him in a position where he could move in either direction; if he got a chance to go forward the way was clear; and if the wind was blowing back too strongly, he could give way.
The justice department’s policy on pardons (as distinct from clemency) to fugitives was set out in regulation 28 CFR 12 which states: “No petition for pardon should be filed until the expiration of a waiting period of at least five years after the date of the release of the petitioner from confinement.” On that basis pardons officer Adams rejected a petition from Fernando Fuentes Coba who was a fugitive exactly like Rich. Adams wrote that because Coba has served none of his prison sentence, he fails to meet this most basic eligibility requirement for pardon consideration.” There is nothing neutral about that; Holder invented a new policy and didn’t tell anybody.
It was all over but the shouting when on the evening of the 19th Quinn called Nolan’s office and said Holder had moved to “neutral but favorable.” She called Holder and he used those same words adding he was influenced by Barak’s interest. That comment on Barak was obviously window-dressing. Holder was in the end-zone and Clinton put up the score. Dozoretz got word and called Clinton to thank him for pardoning Rich.
Holder gave the same prepared statement to the House government reform committee and the Senate judiciary committee explaining his actions. Lie after lie after lie.
Holder said that when Quinn contacted him “Mr. Rich’s name was unfamiliar to me.”
Holder was the number one lawman in the country and Rich was on the Most Wanted list, but leaving that aside, let’s go back to 1989. Rich as a fugitive was barred from receiving a US government contract. He got one anyway with his company Clarendon winning the right to supply the US Mint with nickel, copper and zinc. During the lockout of the steelworkers, their investigators discovered this contract and blew the whistle. A house committee held hearings, all the dirty laundry was aired, and Rich was stripped of the contract. In 1995 Holder was federal DA in Washington. He decided to go after Rich for money he got illegally from that mint contract. Read the statement of claim, Rich, this, Rich, that, Rich the other thing, signed Eric Holder. They got a settlement and Holder boasted about it to anyone who would listen?
There’s more to this. George Becker led the steelworkers’ struggle against Rich. When it was over Becker visited Rich who congratulated him “on doing the impossible.” After that apparently they worked together for the good of the company. Holder was looking to Gore to make him attorney-general. Early in the campaign Gore needed the endorsement of the AFL-CIO. They were divided but Becker waded in on behalf of Gore and carried the day. Knowing who Rich was, which Holder did, and knowing how much suffering he had caused to the steelworkers and their families, and knowing how much help Becker was giving Gore, wouldn’t you think that Holder upon seeing Rich’s name thrust in front of him by Quinn would just tell him to take a hike? The unions are big supporters of the Democratic Party and Rich was the most notorious union buster of the decade. Not just Holder, but no one at the summit of the party even mentioned the steelworkers during the entire process leading to Rich’s pardon.
Holder defended recommending a pardon for a fugitive because he said he had already done so in the case of Preston King. This was a draft dodger from the 50s, there were extenuating humanitarian circumstances, he had lived an exemplary life in England. President Carter had given a blanket pardon to hundreds of thousands of draft dodgers. If you asked 100,000 lawyers, law professors, and judges if they thought this King case served as a precedent for granting a pardon to Rich despite the regulation barring it, I should think that 100,000 would say no. It’s a red herring, a logical fallacy meant to distract from the actual issue. Whenever Holder speaks he insults the intelligence of anyone who is habituated to using that intelligence.
Anyone with life experience knows that if you put an incompetent in a position of high responsibility sooner or later something terrible is going to happen. Up to now Holder has been able to get by with a mixture of deceit and duplicity but there is no place to hide at the top. He no sooner took over as Obama’s head of justice, an oxymoron if there ever was with him there, than he was standing knee-deep amidst dead bodies as far as the eye can see, innocent people that he killed by supplying guns to murderers; it’s nothing less than a peacetime My Lai. At first no one would ever dream that Holder himself was the culprit in the Fast and Furious debacle, but he convicted himself by stonewalling congressional oversight committees for more than a year. Who would he be trying to protect with a such a relentless cover-up if not himself? There’s a long tradition in parliamentary democracies of ministerial responsibility that if something in one’s department goes scandalously awry, the minister resigns even if he himself was innocent of any wrongdoing, and the new guy comes in and sorts thing out. If Holder were operating within a parliamentary system he’d be facing serious criminal charges by now. They say there may be 300 dead in Mexico and of course the two US border patrol officers with 2,000 of Holder’s guns unaccounted for in the hands of criminals.
Samuel Johnson made the statement that “patriotism is the last refuge of a scoundrel.” He was talking about false patriotism. With the advent of Obama you can update that aphorism to this: “A charge of racism is the last refuge of a scoundrel.”|Anyone who opposes the policies of Obama is sooner or later accused of being “racist.” Real racism has not gone away but it’s far less prevalent than in the days when it was institutionalized 50 years ago and all of the accusations against political rivals are baseless demagoguery. The smear especially coming from white Democrats has become so stylized that it is almost an art form now, a contemporary minstrel show. Even the blacks join along now in black face making caricatures of themselves and worse, the heroic Civil Rights movement. When Holder, whose parents were immigrants from the Barbados, became the first attorney-general voted in contempt of Congress, scoundrel-in-chief Al (“you Jew bastards”) Sharpton weeping crocodile tears sang this song, “The sun shines east. The sun shines west. It’s all because his mam-my, I said his mam-my, and his pap-py, were Bajanmy.” Then 100 Democrats all in black face forming a minstrel chorus waving their hands over their heads back and forth exited the auditorium singing to the accompaniment of banjos, “The sun shines east. The sun shines west. It’s all because his mam-my, I said his mam-my, and his pap-py, were Bajanmy.” If you needed an explanation of what was happening look no farther than George Santayana. “The world is a perpetual caricature of itself; at every moment it is the mockery and the contradiction of what it is pretending to be.”
You may think that all Holder is doing now is running around the country trying to make sure that illegals, fictions such as Mickey Mouse, corpses, and the mass produced ersatz registrants of the Democratic fraudulent voting machine Acorn stay on the rolls in order to tip the election, but he’s up to something far more nefarious.
When Obama took office the US had gone through its worst financial crisis in decades. It fell into two parts, Wall Street speculators loaded up with toxic assets and the collapse of the mortgage industry which saw countless people being tossed on the street. The number of crooks and swindlers who made enormous hauls is legion; next to some of them Marc Rich comes off looking like an amateur pickpocket. The last time something like this happened was in the 80s during the Savings and Loan crises. At that time the government swung into action. More than a 1,000 felony convictions were gained and financial kingpins were thrown into prison. Obama and Holder announced a task force in 2009 to go after the rotten apples that profiteered off the twin crises. Since then no one except for a few small fry have been arrested. Financial fraud prosecutions by the justice have fallen to 20-year lows down 39 per cent from when the much maligned Bush II went after Enron and WorldCom. In 2011 a Senate committee singled out a deal called Abacus by a firm called Goldman and called on the government to form a posse and ride after these guys. What happened next was that Goldman executives began streaming big sums to Obama’s election campaign and the whole thing went away. The situation in the area of mortgages is even worse. A register of deeds at one small city, Salem, Mass., sent 31,897 allegedly fraudulent foreclosure-related documents to Holder asking for a criminal investigation of servicers and their law firms that had filed the documents because they “show a pattern of fraud,” forgery and false notarization. Holder is a fat cat corporate lawyer and so is his deputy, head of the criminal investigations branch, Lanny A. Breuer. They have surrounded themselves by other fat cat lawyers. They are all sitting on their hands. Their goal is to protect masses of white-collar felons by creating a bottleneck at justice, not even extending statutes of limitations, because they don’t want to bite the hands that are going to feed them in the future.
Due to the number of people Holder caused to be killed in his private My Lai in Mexico and the thousands of Wall Street swindlers and mortgage ripoff artists he has shielded from prosecution in the financial scandals Holder is certainly the frontrunner for the title Fiend of the 21st Century in US governance although we are still in early innings. He still has a long way to go to catch the Fiend of the 20th Century for the all-time title. That’s Evil Incarnate himself, Casper Weinberger.
I have to admire Ronald Reagan’s stagecraft, inadvertent as it may be. It is at the level of Alfred Hitchcock only in real life. As one despicable villain Weinberger who pole-axed Pollard at the beginning of his saga skulks off stage right, Reagan enters stage left accompanying by another despicable villain Holder who would dog Pollard’s tracks the rest of the way and unto this day. Reagan appointed Holder as a judge in Washington introducing him to public life.
What can you say about Weinberger? The latest news is that Israeli botanists have reserved his name for a special type of excrement that if you try to use it in your garden as fertilizer its stink alone will kill your seeds. Weinberger is the only US defence secretary who was charged with a felony, actually four felonies worth 20 years in prison in a 640-page indictment, and the only American pardoned by a president, Bush I, on the eve of his trial.
The US and Israel have been spying on each other from the beginning and it no doubt it continues to this day. Yitzhak Rabin, defence minister in the 80s, said every now and then they catch a spy; rather than make a big deal of it they just deport him. But in 1987 the year the Americans went ape with Pollard, the Israelis did make a bigger deal than usual putting one of the American spies on trial, closed as it was, Yosef Amit, former intelligence officer, former private eye, who said he was recruited by a naval officer who debarked with one of the war ships that visits Haifa. His handler was the CIA man in Tel Aviv, the Jew Thomas Waltz. Amit supplied troop movement information. The maximum penalty for ordinary espionage in Israel is 15 years; Amit got 12 and was sprung after 7.5. About that time two American scientists sticking their noses in places where they shouldn’t were given the bum’s rush. One spy no one knew about until 2001 whom Waltz recruited was the colorful Angie Kielczynski, a gadfly who was high up in the ruling Likud’s inner circles. Kielczynski claims he tipped off the CIA to Pollard. Could be. He sued the CIA in NY in an attempt to get his pension but was denied. The Israelis had Ben Ami Kadesh, who served in both the British and American armies in WWII and was an armaments expert working in US army research in the 80s. The Americans waited 23 years to charge him from the time they discovered him; the judge wondered why and simply fined Kadesh, then an old man.
But the vast extent of the spying of America on Israel came to light when students captured the US embassy in Teheran. At least 60 volumes of secret and top secret documents were captured. They were published by Iran. The report on Israel intelligence tells all: methods, sources, and there is even an organizational table of top personnel with their pictures and salaries. It describes Israeli spying activities in China and Kenya. Where did the information come from? It could only have come from moles who had to be Israelis working for the US inside the Israeli agencies. The documents noted that the Mossad has an “eighth department” whose very job is to “collect” information in foreign countries not excepting the US.
There’s been a lot of psychobabble written about how Weinberger had it in for Pollard because his grandparents were Jewish. You are what you identify with. It’s possible that he felt his pedigree an irritant when he was younger particularly if it caused him to be baited due to his name. But Weinberger rolled off the same assembly line as Wesley Clark, Madeleine Albright, John Kerry, William Cohen, and Elvis Presley with genealogy playing no discernible role in their personalities. What made Weinberger into the very symbol of anti-Semitism in America, what Bull Connor was to blacks at the time of the Civil Rights Movement, is acculturation.
Weinberger was legal counsel to Bechtel, a conglomerate with gigantic projects all over the world especially active in Arab countries. If they said boycott Israeli products, Weinberger heeded Arab law not US law and boycotted. If the Saudis said no Jewish workers allowed at Jubail, an industrial city done from scratch, a construction project probably more labor intensive than the building of the pyramids, Weinberger heeded Arab law not US law. If the Arabs said jump, Weinberger would reply, how high?
Saudi Arabia is the most anti-Semitic country in the world. The only reason there is no persecution of Jews is because there are no Jews. Last December Fox News reported with proof that new textbooks for grade 9 students state that the annihilation of the Jews is imperative. This is entirely unrelated to Israel — Jews wherever they are to be found are to be annihilated, the same expression as the Nazis used. It only takes one student embracing this idea rising to a position of power at some point in the future and Israel has a security problem. Or the indoctrination may bear fruit in other ways, such as the bombing of a Jewish cultural centre in Argentina. If that textbook represents the attitude in the education establishment, you can bet it’s the same throughout the land.
Weinberger believed what is good for Bechtel is good for America. The Saudis were good for America, they had vast reserves of money to lavish on projects; the Jews on the other hand were beggars with one miserable little state always interfering with America’s highest goal, doing business with the Arabs.
George Schultz was president of Bechtel when he became state secretary under Reagan after Weinberger became defence minister. Schultz however did not have an anti-Semitic bone in his body and at the end of his term was remembered fondly in Israel. (Technical digression. There are two main groups who don’t know the meaning of “anti-Semite;” Arab anti-Semites who don’t want to know and dunces. You need a scorecard to tell one from the other. Nonetheless this has to be read into the record because the Arab anti-Semite says, how can I be an anti-Semite since I am a Semite. The word “anti-Semite” is an import from German meaning “Jew-hater.” That is the beginning and the end of it. It stands alone like “antidote.” As for “Semite” that refers to language groups. Pseudo-racial theories have applied it to “race” but they are nonsense from start to finish. F. Max Muller invented the word “Aryan” to refer to that language group. When he saw which way that word was drifting he was appalled. “There is no Aryan race. Aryan is in scientific language utterly inapplicable to race. It means a language and nothing but a language. … I have declared again and again that if I say ‘Aryan’ I mean neither blood, nor bone, or hair, or skull. I mean simply those who speak an Aryan language. To me an ethnologist who speaks of Aryan race, Aryan blood, Aryan eyes and hair, is as great a sinner as a linguist who speaks of a dolicocephalic dictionary or a brachycephalic grammar.”) The difference between Schultz and Weinberger is this; when Schultz became a public servant he put Bechtel behind him; Weinberger made Bechtel’s goal of keeping on good terms with the Saudis and other Arabs at all costs the goal of the government even when opposed to the will of the president.
The Los Angeles Herald-Examiner reported that Weinberger was so incensed at Israel invading Lebanon he tried to create an incendiary incident. He sent an unmarked helicopter into the war zone filing no flight plan. An Israeli gunboat tracked it requesting it to identify itself and then two jets made two passes, When the chopper landed Israeli troops detained and searched the six personnel on board. This drew a diplomatic protest but this incident could have been a total disaster. Weinberger was prepared to sacrifice the lives of six US servicemen in order to sour US-Israel relations in favor of closer ties with Iraq and other Arab countries.
In the espionage game you can never have too many boots on the ground. If there are gaps who knows maybe someone might fly right through and take down the Twin Towers. Reagan wanted close co-operation with the Israelis and the feeling was mutual. They signed a pact. Right away Weinberger sabotaged it. The Israelis being no fools also began holding back figuring Weinberger would send anything sensitive straight to the Saudis or the Iraqis, where Bechtel was also heavily invested. They regarded him as a spy. The opposite of what Reagan wanted happened. Israel had captured a lot of Soviet-made stuff in its wars and always shared with the Americans. Now it held back. Still when America needed Israel, it was there. When Reagan bombed Libya these three France, Spain and Italy closed their air spaces. Israel along with Britain pitched in. When the CIA agent William Buckley in Beirut was abducted by Hezbollah who slowly and methodically tortured him to death, Israel responded to a request to send US weapons to Iran in hopes that they would use their influence on Islamic groups holding several Americans hostage. (Israel had been a major supplier of weaponry to the shah and the ayatollahs knee deep in war needed resupply. That’s what Marc Rich was doing, giving the Iranians Israeli weapons for oil. But that’s a separate from Israeli shipping US weapons.)
How bad was Weinberger’s influence at defence? He was accused by government insiders of illegally training Arab pilots, direct communication with the PLO (then a pure terrorist organization out to kill as many Jews as it could), allowing the offensive use of U.S. weapons by the PLO, misleading the American public on the nature of the Soviet threat in the Middle East, usurping the powers of the secretary of state, damaging American intelligence collection abilities. A senior senator unnamed said, “Weinberger believes that what’s good for Bechtel is good for the US. A lot of people in the department of defense look at Israel as a pain in the ass. They never think of standing up for US rights in the Arab world. This is a very dominant way of thinking. They think Israel will get the US in trouble and hurt business.”
Angelo Codevilla is professor of international relations at Boston University, a former naval officer, but more importantly a staff member on the Senate intelligence committee when Weinberger reigned supreme. He had a front row seat of everything that happened. “We supplied Saddam Hussein with not only arms, but with intelligence and forbearance. I remember (Weinberger’s deputy) Bobby Ray Inman coming to the Senate intelligence committee and telling us that we had taken Iraq off the countries sponsoring terrorism. The senators guffawed at that one.”
That move made it much easier for Sadaam to obtain weaponry. Said Ted Koppel, “Iraq was able acquire sophisticated US technology, intelligence material, ingredients for chemical weapons, indeed, entire weapon-producing plants, with the knowledge, acquiescence and sometimes even the assistance of the US government. … It wasn’t just a tilt toward Iraq, it was an opening of the floodgates.”
Reagan wanted a full sharing of intel with Israel. The Israelis saw something suspicious going on at Samarra in Iraq and asked Weinberger what it was. He assured them that nothing was going on. Barefaced lie. He simply wasn’t sharing anything with Israel. The Iraqis were building a huge industrial plant meant to produce chemical weapons.
There have been three men who threatened the very existence of the Jewish people. The first was the pharaoh, the second was Hitler, the third was Weinberger. Only Weinberger had a chance of succeeding. Weinberger was a traitor to America in the service of Sadaam Hussein and the Saudis; not paid, he did it because he was a megalomaniac who subverted the will of his commander-in-chief and the security interests of his country for objectives he set in his own mind, a government unto himself. If no one had realized what he was up to there was a chance that a second Holocaust would have occurred circa 1990. There may have been Jewish individuals remaining after that, but the people would not have had either the will or the resiliency to recover after two such catastrophes within a half century. The Jewish people were done.
I’m delighted to announce that I have finally got a fix on the image of Jonathan Pollard, who he really is. Look over there. See that handsome knight approaching, lance drawn, on a white charger. That is he. We have travelled back into a distant time. Besides him rides his wife, the fair and courageous maiden Anne. They are about to save the Jewish people from destruction at the hands of the execrable Weinberger.
Here’s the scoop. The biggest problem I found in trying to come to grips with the Pollard phenomenon is that there are so very many trees it takes a long time to get back far enough to find a vantage point where you can see the forest. You measure the value of a person by asking the question, what if he wasn’t there. Here’s what could have happened. When Sadaam Hussein ended his war with Iran in 1988 his army was still mobilized; thanks to his agent Weinberger running interference for him he possessed stockpiles of chemical weapons and perhaps biological weapons as well. Sadaam had many ambitions; high on the list was the destruction of Israel. He said so publicly himself. If right after the Iran war instead of wheeling round into Kuwait, he suddenly turned on Israel and rained down fleets of scud missiles carrying nerve gasses day after day in high population areas, the people would have fallen like flies. Few had gas masks. There was no place to hide from the deadly vapors. (If I remember this correctly how nerve gases work is this. When you want to lift a finger a message goes from the brain to the finger. It lifts and the messenger neuron signals “stop.” When nerve gasses enter the body, they attack the messenger neuron preventing it from signaling “stop.” This happens a multiplicity of times. The finger never stops lifting, as well as everything else, and you shake yourself to death.) Seeing Israel reeling with the poisoned scuds continuing to fall, Syria mobilized and its tanks started rolling joined by those from Iraq. Riots broke out in Egypt and the government fell. The people wanted the Jews’ blood and a new government quickly formed ready for war. Israel was soon invaded by forces from all sides with columns of armed volunteers pouring in from as far away as Pakistan and Indonesia and although the fight was vicious, the outcome was inevitable. The Jews were driven into the sea.
Seeing that Weinberger was lying and seeing that the sprawling chemical weapons plant could threaten Israel’s existence, Pollard stepped up and got in touch with the Israelis. The year was 1984. That’s how it began. As a result of that information Israel quietly but urgently began a program to protect all its citizens in the event of a massive nerve gas attack. When the scuds did start to fall in 1991 everyone was equipped, everyone was ready, everyone knew what to do.
There are bomb shelters throughout Israel but they would have been useless against nerve gasses. The government came up with the strategy of the sealed room. Everyone had to make one or arrange access to one. When a siren announced a scud no matter what time of day or night, everyone went to their sealed rooms. Everyone had a gas mask the right size; small children were in blower-driven hoods and babies in cocoons. Everyone possessed nerve gas antidote, Antropine, and decontamination powder. Throughout the country were stationed ABC units of the army. It was the job of the units to identify incoming chemicals or class of chemicals. I was called up to an ABC unit just before the war. Every time a scud landed in our zone we had to jump into our monkey suits and run for the trucks ready for deployment if chemicals were reported. There were none but I did do a helluva lot of jumping in and out of monkey suits during that war. Thanks to Pollard and his head’s up the nation got through scuds landing day and night over weeks in an orderly fashion without chaos.
Pollard was responsible for other valuable information. Israel had been fighting a war on terror for years. The bad guys were like big-game hunters and it was always open season; Jews were their prey. By the fall of 1985 they had engaged in 8,000 terrorist attacks which cost the lives of 650 people, mostly innocent Israeli civilians. In the six months prior to Yom Kippur they carried out 650 attacks and on that day three Israelis on their yacht in harbor at Cyrus were surprised and killed. The government decided to hit the main hangout of the bad guys at Tunisia 1,300 miles away. To do that successfully they had to avoid both American and Arab listening posts. Pollard had supplied them with the data necessary to do that. Also if you don’t possess good maps you could go there and end up bombing the Chinese Embassy; it would have been a useless exercise. The maps were courtesy of Pollard too I believe. The raid was a resounding success: 60 bad guys were dispatched. How many innocent lives were saved of Israelis and Jews, because they made no distinction as the Leon Klinghoffer case demonstrated that same month. We don’t even want to know. Kinghoffer, a 68-year American Jew in a wheelchair was with his wife celebrating their wedding anniversary on a cruise ship with it was taken over by terrorists. They put a bullet in his brain simply because he was a Jew, dumped the body overboard, and issued a statement that the wife had killed him for the insurance money. (Years later when the Americans invaded Iraq, they caught up with the ringleader, and arrested him. He died in detention, it was said, “of natural causes.”)
Those engaged in espionage don’t normally get medals but I would award one to Pollard for his work in alerting Israel to the chemical weapons threat of Iraq and the data he supplied that insured the success of the Tunisian mission.
It’s very difficult to write about espionage. There is so much disinformation, misinformation, stuff they will never tell you, stuff they do tell you which are just tall tales. But the Pollard trial or non-trial is so central to the history of the event that I really wanted to obtain the most authentic reporting of it that I could find. I wasn’t having much luck on the Internet so I went to a Russian friend I had met along the way. Russians and Canadians of our generation love to reminisce about the great 1972 hockey series between our two countries and that’s how I met him. He admitted during a heavy night of slurping vodka that he had worked as a spy for the KGB. For this article I went to see him and asked him if he had heard of the Pollard case. Very famous case, he said. Everyone knew it. Did you ever talk about the trial itself? I asked. Oh yes, he said, very much so. In fact that was used as a teaching tool for the recruits to prepare them for the American justice system if they were ever arrested. Do you have a copy of what was taught? I asked. Actually he said it was the earlier trial. Not many people know that that there was a second trial that day because it was overshadowed by all the publicity the Pollards had generated. That is the one we studied, he said. Different judge; otherwise everything was the same. My friend went through some papers and found it in Russian. I brought it into English here. Remember this is the world of espionage; caveat emptor. The defendant was a young woman. This is the transcript of the trial.
Queen of Hearts: Now then, are you ready for your sentence?
Alice: But there has to be a verdict first.
Queen of Hearts: Sentence first! Verdict afterwards.
Alice: But that just isn’t the way.
Queen of Hearts: [shouting] All ways are…!
Alice: …your ways, your Majesty.
Queen of Hearts: Off with your head!
What happened at that travesty is well known. Pollard copped a plea to espionage for an ally, co-operated fully, expressed remorse, and expected what everyone else and I mean everyone else got for his class of offences; two to four years. In came the traitor Weinberger and accused Pollard of treason, a different offence which can only be committed against an enemy in wartime. He supplied a secret document listing all kinds of major crimes which Pollard had not committed. The judge instead of setting aside Pollard’s plea and calling for a new indictment, without giving Pollard a chance to defend himself, sentenced him to life and he was taken to a mental hospital for the criminally insane, not a prison. Pollard had one month to appeal; all his dunce of a lawyer had to do is sign one page and submit it. He didn’t meaning Pollard would be incarcerated forever. He was put in a hole for seven years three stories underground. The charges against him were sealed and to this day no one knows what they are.
Pollard is like someone taken to the public square and everyone gets to throw mud at him. Besides the charges fabricated by Weinberger, a serial perjurer, the mob convicted him of a thousand more crimes; any rumor or rumor of a rumor was good enough. He did that? No need to lay charges or do an investigation; he was automatically guilty. His character was not only assassinated but cut to ribbons.
It’s often said that Pollard is not Dreyfus, that’s Alfred, the French army officer who was convicted of treason on trumped-up charges, chosen because he was a Jew. History does not repeat itself exactly, but in terms of the colossal magnitude of the injustice and the fact Pollard was targeted by Weinberger, the arch anti-Semite, solely because he working for a Jewish state which Weinberger despised, Pollard in historical terms is the new Dreyfus. The difference is that Dreyfus was entirely innocent and Pollard had committed minor infractions — the word “minor” is how Weinberger himself described what Pollard had done in an interview late in his life. If he had been South Korean he’d have been sent home long, long ago as were so many other foreign spies for friendly countries in terms of time who had done worse things than Pollard.
It is the nature of anti-Semitism that you cannot answer all the multitudinous smears against you and your people. That’s why anti-Semitism falls under the heading of prejudice; you are pre-judged of everything no matter how outrageous the charge. Even if all Jews were angels in human form it would not make an iota of difference to the anti-Semites. Pollard is still in prison solely due to the anti-Semitism with which Weinberger, the Arab bootlicker, poisoned his judicial procedure. And once the fount of anti-Semitism was turned on, you cannot turn it off. Having said that, let’s take a kick at the can and sort out the wheat from the chaff in this case. Pollard was far from being an angel in human form. He was like everyone else who ever walked the face of the earth, a flawed individual. Too bad he wasn’t flawed enough. What he lacked was street smarts which you obtain as a kid if you keep getting into trouble with authorities for kid stuff. By the time you face real trouble you sort of know how to roll with the punches and not get clobbered by them.
– Pollard says he took documents that can be put in seven large suitcases. His persecutors say he took enough to fill the Library of Congress.
I’ll give you an analogy to explain the difference. A guy sees a book in a public library about his great-uncle who was a famous soldier of fortune. He takes it home and hides it; he intends to keep it even if he might go to jail for a few months. He is arrested. The judge says return the 300 books you stole and I’ll let you off with a fine; otherwise it’s one year for each book to be served consecutively. The judge is counting the name of each book listed in the bibliography as a separate theft. That sounds crazy, right? That’s what Pollard’s persecutors are doing.
– Pollard supplied the names of 40 CIA agents in the Soviet Union to Israel where moles passed them on to the Kremlin. All 40 were caught and either shot or arrested. The entire CIA network was wiped out.
In 1994 the spy who supplied most of the names Aldrich Ames was caught. That still left others and his persecutors maintained that those are Pollard’s. In 2001the spy Robert Hanson was caught. He had supplied the rest.
Naval intelligence, where Pollard worked, wanted to find out if Pollard could have gotten the names from the safe where they were kept at their agency. They concluded that with his low clearance level, there were so many hoops and loops and color codes to go through that he couldn’t have gotten within a country mile of that safe. If Pollard had been given a trial he could have subpoenaed naval intelligence to explode that charge. If he didn’t take the list, they didn’t get to Israel and from there to the Soviet Union via him.
– He stole a massive 10-volume manual which was a complete roadmap to America’s signal intelligence, called the “bible.” Sources say it cost billions to restructure America’s world-wide eavesdropping operation. They say he enabled it to fall into Soviet hands. This charge by Weinberger apparently is what caused the judge to go bananas. The judge never thought to ask Pollard if he would like to respond to the charge.
It appears to be certain that the spy John Walker and his ring supplied most of that bible to the Soviets.
– He compromised an operation to wiretap Soviet undersea cables.
The spy Richard Pelton did that.
The bottom line is this. Almost all of what Pollard took was what Israel would have got if Weinberger had been following Reagan’s policy and not sabotaging it. There are anomalies but the damage appears to be light and certainly his work did not compromise the US in the Cold War with the Soviet Union, which would be the basis of any treason charge although even here, none of the master spies such as Ames were charged with treason, only espionage for an enemy power. This latter was the charge that should have brought against Pollard if they had evidence material he stole reached the Soviets and he would have beat it. Nor were any American agents compromised. His persecutors used him as a wild card; whatever cases they had open they pinned on him without a shred of evidence. As far as we know all charges leveled by Weinberger are still in the sealed documents and besides those solved later there may be others that have never been solved. Pollard is guilty until proven innocent of all of them and because his persecutors won’t show his attorneys what’s in the secret documents, they can’t apply for parole because they have no way of defending him against charges they have never seen.
What about continuing to seek clemency? It can’t hurt but I think the train has left the station on that option. On the other hand you can never rule out the unexpected because it is by definition unexpected.
I will say this. Republicans have not won a majority of Jewish votes in a presidential election since records were kept going back to 1916. Warren Harding won a plurality with 43 per cent in 1920 but that’s because the Socialists and Democrats split the rest..
If Romney were to announce in the campaign that he will grant Pollard clemency immediately upon being elected, I believe he would top Harding’s share of the Jewish vote and probably guarantee himself Florida. It worked in Canada in 1979. Pierre Trudeau and the Liberals had been in power 11 years; Jews overwhelmingly supported the Liberals then at the levels that Democrats do in the US today. Joe Clark and the Conservatives saw a chance to make inroads in six Toronto ridings with large Jewish populations that had gone 6-0 for the Liberals. Clark promised to move the embassy to Jerusalem, the hot topic then for Jews as Pollard is the hot topic today in the states. Those ridings went 4-2 for the Conservatives. Clark won the election but didn’t do it and was turfed out within a year.
It’s not like Romney would be out on a limb. On the stage with him when he announced would be Henry Kissinger and George Schultz, two former secretaries of state; John McCain, Newt Gingrich, Michael Muckasey, former attorney-general, Donald Quayle, former vice-president, James Woolsey, former CIA director, and a host of prominent Americans from academia and all walks of life. Many other political leaders who have spoken up for him would come forward, at least Republicans. Rabbis from every stream will march into the auditorium shoulder to shoulder; it’s probably the only issue they will ever agree on. And Jews in their multitudes who wouldn’t normally cross the street to attend a Republican meeting will break down the doors to get into the auditorium.
If Romney seizes the opportunity he has a chance to break the Democratic hegemony on the Jewish vote forever.
What about the Democrats? Obama as usual is leading from behind letting Biden draw the flak. Biden in 2011 said Pollard will be released “over my dead body.” I believe he was speaking for Obama since Obama has never come forward to contradict him. Hillary got into the act saying in Jerusalem that Pollard will never go free. She takes the Jews for granted unlike the Puerto Ricans. If you ask me I think everyone in the Democratic hierarchy takes the Jews for granted. Then there’s Eric (“the Unconscionable”) Holder, the guy who’s supposed to make the call.. To get Holder to recommend clemency Pollard would have to fall into one of the categories of people Holder does favors for. At the current time these include: criminal gangs in Mexico needing easy access to guns within the framework of Holder’s My Lai program; illegals who wish to vote as long as they vote Democratic and others including the dead who can be relied on to vote often; rich people, actually and exclusively filthy rich people, who commit larceny on a large scale on Wall Street and in the mortgage industry; and anyone who wants to put on black face and join the minstrel chorus singing the song that anyone who criticizes Holder about anything is “racist.” It doesn’t sound promising.
What’s Romney got to lose? Yes, he’d throw away the vote of the anti-Semites. But then Al Sharpton was never going to cast his ballot for Romney anyway.
Finally I’ve arrived at the point of this epistle.
There are two kinds of people in the world: victims and survivors.
Jews are frequently victimized, but they are first and foremost survivors. You don’t navigate through 3,500 years of history on this planet, much of time disarmed, scattered to the four winds, subject to every tribulation and torment imaginable, unless you find a way to cope. Nietzsche in his day was about the only one to make the call. He said, “The Jews are the toughest people in Europe.”
A victim when getting hit from all sides, not even knowing where the blows are coming from, will perish without help from outside. And you can only be a victim for a limited period both individually and collectively; the shelf life of a victim is not long.
To be a survivor you must first identify what it is you are up against and then develop a strategy and the means to overcome. There is no guarantee you’ll succeed but if not you, the next in line or the next.
A hostage is someone put in captivity by people who have the naked power to put him in captivity. They may be just seeking a commodity; they may want information; they may want to use him for a swap. They may just want to hold him because they can.
Jonathan Pollard is a hostage. There may be a name for what his hostage-takers put him through, a kangaroo court or a show trial, but there are no discernible attributes of a judicial proceeding worthy of the name. He pled guilty to espionage and was convicted of treason. He was put incommunicado for a year in an institute for the mentally insane although no psychiatrist sent him there. He was held three storeys underground in solitary confinement for seven years although he is not a violent man and no threat to the system or to any other person, guard or prisoner. Due to one picayune error of his attorney he may never appeal his sentence. He has never seen the secret charges levelled against him. He has never been given a chance to defend himself.
Once you identify Pollard’s true status, that of hostage, then you can do something about it.
About 10 years ago people became aware that the Bureau of Prisons had posted a release date, actual or projected, for Pollard — Nov. 21, 2015.
The reaction was entirely negative.
“It’s a fraud.” “It’s a fake.” “It’s a trick.” “It’s a trap.” “It’s a joke.”
Tell me. When did America replace George (“I cannot tell a lie”) Washington as the father of the country with Caligula?
I can understand supporters not wanting to get too excited about the date then — they were hoping for a release much sooner. But now it’s only three years and there is nothing else on the horizon.
If 100 other countries published the names of 100 different prisoners who would be released at a certain date, you can bet those prisoners would be released. Is America so utterly depraved that it will not?
The yellow ribbon has become the symbol of the hostage. Supporters of Pollard have tried everything; a petition with 70,000 names, demonstrations, dimming of lights.
It’s time to try the yellow ribbon as a part of a mass campaign to ensure that the Americans release him no later than Nov. 21, 2015.
Not everyone has a tree or a gate where they can tie a yellow ribbon, but enough do. What if you had 70,000 yellow ribbons suddenly festooned all over Israel and perhaps beyond. What if on the ribbons or signs beside them is publicized the date. What if ribbons were hung from windows throughout the land?
What if Israel declared 2015 the year of hostage Jonathan Pollard’s release and the day a national holiday?
All you are doing is taking the prison service at its word.?
That’s what I am calling for, as in the song written by Irwin Levin, “Tie A Yellow Ribbon Round The Old Tree.”
At the very least Pollard will know that he is not forgotten, not just by the elite, but by all the people.
And what if America in one last dirty kick withdraws the date? Israel has gas reserves coming on line. Financially that could mean a lot. From the days of the Lavi jet, there have been people who say we would be much better off shopping around for our military needs. We have a very creative scientific community who would be able to enter joint projects with China, India, Russia or France and could produce more wealth for the country in the long run.
But let’s concentrate for now single-mindedly on the goal, obtaining the release of hostage Jonathan Pollard. World-wide campaigns against another country, the Soviet Union, that would not let our Prisoners of Zion go, did work. The hard-heartedness of the American government and the injustice built into its system may exceed that of the Soviet but that just means we have to work harder.
Take it away, Tony Orlando and Dawn.