China and Iraq - Political Parallels:
Response To Slate Online Magazine
Re: "Jews Vs Spooks", David Plotz, [Slate 03/12/1999]
by Esther Pollard (Mrs. Jonathan Pollard)
March 13, 1999
There is a curious symmetry between David Plotz and those government
officials who would like to see my husband, Jonathan Pollard, remain in
prison forever. Plotz presents his own damning opinions on the Pollard
case as if they were fact, in much the same way that these government
officials accuse my husband in the media of crimes for which he was
Jonathan Pollard did not commit, was not charged with, and was not
convicted of the outrageous charges now being hurled at him in the
media. There is no substance to the latest pack of lies proffered by
Seymour Hersh in the New Yorker, nor to the charges invented by David
Plotz in Slate. Moreover, no evidence to support any of these false
charges was presented 14 years ago when my husband entered into a plea
agreement with the American government. In other words, these charges
are very recent fabrications that have suddenly surfaced in the press to serve political ends.
Based on the evidence that the government presented 14 years ago, Jonathan was indicted on one count only - passing classified information to an ally, Israel. He was not charged with intending to harm the United States. He was not charged with treason.
The one count of passing classified information to an ally that Jonathan was charged with, usually carries a sentence of 2 to 4 years. No one in the history of the United States has ever received a
life sentence for this offense - no one but Jonathan Pollard.
As a result of a last-minute secret submission to the sentencing judge
by then-Secretary of Defense Caspar Weinberger - which Jonathan and his
attorneys have never in 14 years been given the opportunity to
challenge- the judge ignored the plea agreement and meted out a life
sentence without parole. Who plea bargains for a life sentence!
The "new" crimes Jonathan Pollard is now being accused of in the media
were, in fact, committed by a host of Soviet spies including Aldrich
Ames, David Boone and Ronald Pelton. But that has not stopped U.S.
officials from continuing to publicly blame Jonathan Pollard - and by
extension Israel - for the damage done by these enemy agents, nor has
it stopped irresponsible journalists from parroting these
What Jonathan Pollard did do is warn Israel that Saddam Hussein had
amassed American-approved and American-financed weapons of mass
destruction which he intended to use to scorch the Jewish State.
Jonathan deeply regrets that he broke the law in order to warn Israel
about this threat to her existence. He had tried everything in his power
to get the information released to Israel through legal channels, but
was thwarted every step of the way, right up to the top of the Pentagon.
It would appear that certain U.S. officials - Caspar Weinberger, Admiral
Bobby Rae Inman and others- were more concerned with the world finding
out that America was arming Iraq at that time, than they were about
covertly violating their information-sharing agreement with Israel. It
was in desperation that my husband acted on his fear for the Jewish
State and finally sought out the Israelis to warn them about this
Contrary to Plotz's contention, Jonathan has expressed his remorse
repeatedly, privately and publicly, and in various mediums. He deeply
regrets not finding a legal means to act on his concerns for Israel in
the face of the Iraqi threat.
There is still enormous embarrassment in Washington today over America's
arming of Iraq and the on-going threat from the "Madman of Baghdad".
The release of Jonathan Pollard, it is felt, would bring this shameful
episode to the forefront. For that reason fearful officials hurl false
charges at Jonathan Pollard in the media- never in court- to try to keep
him in prison forever, and to make people forget about how Pollard blew
the whistle on a secret American pro-Iraqi tilt, long before it became
Today the Clinton Administration is doing with China just what the
Reagan/Bush Administration did then with Iraq. For years, for
political/economic reasons a blind eye has been turned to Chinese
espionage in the U.S. As a result, China is now armed with nuclear
munitions that could pose a major threat to the U.S. This
Administration, just like its predecessors wants people to look the
other way, so they downplay the story in the media and give implausible
explanations for why a top-level spy who provided nuclear munitions
information to a hostile country should be fired from his job instead of
being brought to trial!
Interestingly enough, journalists like David Plotz don't see fit to
utter a peep of protest about the mishandling of the Chinese Spy case.
Mindlessly they swallow whole what they read in the press and continue
to focus their hostility and anger on the wrong target. Wen Ho Lee stole
American information on nuclear warheads for China and was fired.
Jonathan Pollard gave information to an ally, Israel, about a threat to
that country's survival and he got life. Proportional justice, or
Why is it that the same officials that are so relentless and vociferous
in their condemnation of Jonathan Pollard and Israel, are so utterly
silent about all the other recent spy cases where the charges were far
more serious and the damage was measurable. For examples,
By mangling the truth and presenting uninformed opinion as if it were
fact , Plotz and Slate have done a great disservice not only to the case
of Jonathan Pollard but to the on-going battle he is waging to restore
the principle of equal justice for all Americans.
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