Keeping spy Pollard in jail 'shameful' act

December 28, 1998 - USA Today, Page 14A - Gamaliel Isaac

Plea: Banner in Jerusalem during President Clinton's visit earlier this month.

Former prosecutor Joseph diGenova said in an article published by USA TODAY that convicted spy Jonathan Jay Pollard's crime was "one of the worst compromises of national security in history, if not the worst" ("U.S. ready to reject spy plea," News, Friday).

  • Worse than Peter H. Lee, a Taiwanese nuclear physicist who gave critical defense secrets to China and was sentenced earlier this year to only one year in a halfway house and three years' probation?

  • Worse than U.S. Navy Lt. Cmdr. Michael Schwartz, a non-Jew who spied for Saudi Arabia in the early 1990s and never spent a day in prison?

  • Worse than CIA agent Aldrich Ames, a traitor who gave critical defense secrets to the Soviet Union, secrets that resulted in the executions of at least nine Soviet citizens working as U.S. agents?

    At least Pollard gave secrets to an ally of America, while Ames gave secrets to an enemy of America.

Among those secrets disclosed by Pollard were the Iraqi preparations to arm missiles with poison gas and use them against Israel. America withheld that information from Israel, information America was obligated to share under an intelligence-sharing agreement made with Israel.

Pollard's compromise can only be seen as serious from the eyes of Americans who see Israel as the enemy.

Shortly after Israel, in June 1981, had bombed the Osirak reactor that had been the centerpiece of Saddam Hussein's nuclear weapons program, then-Deputy CIA Director Bobby Ray Inman went to Capitol Hill to criticize the Israelis, who had used U.S. satellite pictures to plan the bombing. Inman said they had harmed sophisticated U.S. efforts to build an important relationship with Saddam. For those such as Inman who see Israel as the enemy and Iraq as our friend, Pollard is a dangerous man.

But according to Boston University Professor Angelo M. Codevilla, former Navy and Foreign Service officer and a former senior staff member of the U.S. Senate Intelligence Committee, Pollard's real sin was "blowing the whistle on an embarrassing policy."

Far more embarrassing and shameful is Pollard's continued incarceration by our country.

Gamaliel Isaac
Highland Park, N.J.

  • See Also: The Admiral Bobby Ray Inman Page