Why is the US justice system continuing to punish Jonathan Pollard even as they announce the date of his incarceration?
Now that he has served his unjust thirty years prison sentence, they are insisting that he must remain in the states for a further five years even though his wife lives in Jerusalem, the capital of Israel. This is where he wants to spend the rest of his life and end his days.
This is double-down cruel justice by the US Administration heaped on top on an unjust sentence to begin with.
If you want to see American injustice, take the Pollard case as a perfect example.
Let’s begin by studying the crimes that Pollard committed and compare them and his sentence to other, more dangerous spies for the United States.
The information he passed to Israel, an ally of America, were details on Iraqi and Syrian weapons of mass destruction, Soviet arms shipments to Damascus and Libyan air defenses. These are all enemies of both Israel and America and all information that the United States withheld from Israel in violation of the 1983 Memorandum of Understanding between the US and Israel.
Simply put, Pollard did not pass damaging us military secrets. Nor did he compromise, damage or harm CIA or other US intelligence personnel. It was all information that America should have delivered to their Main ally in the Middle East, Israel, according to this agreement, but didn’t!
In truth, Pollard was poorly represented by his legal team, but they did strike a plea bargain which pointed to a 20 year maximum term, if not less.
In other words, Pollard came clean but got clobbered with a hugely disproportionate sentence for spying for an ally, as opposed for spying for an enemy.
Aldrich Aimes, as an example was convicted in 1994 for spying for Russia. He did betray CIA sources and several agents were killed as a result of his betrayal.
While Pollard remained incarcerated, the US handed back to Russia ten Soviet spies, including Anna Chapman, Donald Howard Heathfield, Tracy Lee Ann Foley, Patricia Mills, Richard and Cynthia Murphy in a spy exchange with Russia.
Nobody has been sentenced to such an unjustly long sentence for spying for an ally. Usually the sentence is less than ten years. It is so outlandish that questions have been asked. Former CIA Director, James Wolsey, has said that, in his opinion, that Pollard was being punished excessively because he is a Jew. Clearly there is a hint of a warning to American Jews about dual loyalties.
There is also evidence that Pollard has been cynically played by the US Administration as a political hostage, or a pawn, against unfolding events in the Middle East.
Last year, Israel acceded to demands to release murderous Palestinian terrorists with a Pollard release as a sweetener. The process was disrupted by obstruction from the PA in Ramallah. Pollard himself pleaded not to be traded for Palestinian murderers and terrorists. As such, Pollard exhibited a higher moral stance than the US Administration.
That Pollard is a hostage to persuade Israel to make dangerous concessions was divulged by negotiator, Dennis Ross, in his book ‘The Missing Peace.’ He admitted that he advised President Clinton against releasing Pollard in the framework of the 1998 Wye Accords negotiated by Israel’s Netanyahu.
Ross argued that Pollard was simply far too valuable as a bargaining chip with Israel to be released so cheaply.
Israeli TV investigative reporters told Israeli viewers that there is no law on the US statute books that insist that a released prisoner be retained in the country and not free to leave America. This is merely the prerogative of the parole board of the US president.
Going forward, it is my impression that Jonathan Pollard will continue to be used as a political tool in the 2016 Presidential Race. If needed, the permission for Pollard to be allowed to join his wife in Israel will be used for political gain if it is felt necessary for the Democrats to win over more of the Jewish vote.
Quite simply, the details of his incarceration and further post-release punishment of Pollard is morally repugnant.
It also serves as an example that the US will defend its perceived best interests even if that means punishing an ally by not fully supporting Israel as it should.
It also means that Israel must defend its own interests for survival even if that means not relying on our most important and major ally in the world.
Barry Shaw is the author of ‘Fighting Hamas, BDS and Anti-Semitism.’ He is also the author of ‘Israel Reclaiming the Narrative.’ Both are available on Amazon in paperback and Kindle format.