Pollard Particulars Relevant to Sentencing - Legal Text

January 18, 1999

Part Two of a series of selected legal texts excerpted from the Pollard Memoranda in Aid of Sentencing.

Titles in this Excerpt:

  • Access to Classified Documents
  • Decision to Provide Information to Israel
  • Pro-Israel Viewpoint
  • Frustration over Terrorism
  • Limitations on Delivery of Information

Excerpted from: Criminal No. 86-0207 [Redacted]
Jonathan J. Pollard 2nd Memorandum In Aid of Sentencing

Author: Richard Hibey Esq.
Submitted February 27, 1987

A. Mr. Pollard's Access to Classified Documents

Mr. Pollard commenced his employment with the Department of Navy in 1979 as an intelligence analyst. He immediately attracted the attention of his superiors because of the depth of his analysis and his enthusiasm. Consequently, Mr. Pollard was given extremely favorable reviews and received several awards and promotions. In 1984, he was assigned to the Anti-Terrorist Alert Center, first as a watch officer and later as a research analyst. From the beginning of his tenure until his arrest in November of 1985, except for a brief period in 1980, he held clearances* up to the TOP SECRET level, which permitted him access to a variety of classified documents. *[Justice4JP Note: These clearances did not include access to codes. Jonathan Pollard did not have the training or the clearances required for access to codes or any cryptological information.]

As stated in the United States' memorandum, analysts in the US intelligence community operate on an honor system, in that the analysts voluntarily limit their access to only those documents which they perceive a need to inspect. Unlike the defense establishment, the intelligence community does not have a structured procedure establishing a "need to know" restricting the access of those possessing security clearances to specific categories of information. The primary reason for the more relaxed procedure in the intelligence community is a need for the analysts and researchers to have a ready exchange of ideas and a general awareness of events in parts of the world other than those for which they are responsible. In the intelligence community, there is an overriding goal that analysis of world events not be made in a vacuum. To that end, Mr. Pollard would, as part of normal procedure, be permitted access to a wide variety of classified documents.

Not only would Mr. Pollard have access to documents dealing with subjects outside his assigned specialty - the Caribbean - it was assumed, and indeed expected, that he would keep abreast of developments in other areas of the world. As a watch officer, Mr. Pollard was obligated to monitor all incoming information germane to terrorist activities anywhere in the world. Furthermore, Mr. Pollard's superiors came to rely on his expertise in the Middle East, gained through his prior assignments with the Navy and his willingness to take the time to absorb available information, such that he was called upon on many occasions to deliver explanations of the significance of events in the Middle East. Indeed, Mr. Pollard's superiors sent him as the official Navy representative to two high-level inter-agency conferences dealing, in part, with developments in the Middle East. Because of his expertise in matters in that region, it was anticipated by Mr. Pollard and his superiors that he would be assigned to the Middle East desk as soon as a position became available, and that it therefore was imperative that he stay current on Middle East Affairs.

In spite of its full awareness of the above the United States has sought to depict Mr. Pollard as actively ransacking the intelligence libraries to provide information to Israel. Indeed, the United States intended that he have such access. While this distinction does not exonerate Mr. Pollard from the charge to which he pled guilty, it clarifies that his access to classified documents regarding the Middle East was facilitated knowingly by the US Government and was not the product of contrivance.

B. Mr. Pollard's Decision to Provide Information to Israel

. At the outset, the Court should be aware, and the United States has not disputed, that Mr. Pollard did not join the intelligence community with the intent of providing information to Israel. Instead, as explained in Mr. Pollard's version of the offense, his decision to become an employee of the US Navy was motivated by a desire to help the United States, to fight communism, and to have a meaningful impact on combating terrorism. It was only after several years of frustration over aspects of US policy that Mr. Pollard even began considering an approach to the Israelis. Finally, when events in the Middle East threatened the interests of both the United States and Israel, and when he felt that the United States was not providing to Israel that which was called for in the intelligence exchange agreements between the two countries, did he make an overture to the Israelis to provide them with the information. While one can scarcely condone the judgment to approach the Israelis and to provide them with such information, Mr. Pollard's motivations were ideological, not mercenary. The corruptive effect of money on his conduct, fully discussed in his statement, came later. In the beginning and for five months thereafter, Mr. Pollard received no money for his activity. Moreover as further testament to the non-mercenary motivation of his conduct, he was in service for six years before he made his fateful decision to help Israel. Lastly it must be noted that his motives were probed by polygraph and this issue he as found to be telling the truth - that he acted out of ideology, not for money.

*[Justice4JP Note: See Facts Page - point #21, point #6 and related link to The Mercenary Addendum. Also see The Big Lie Still Tainting Jonathan Pollard.]

C. Mr. Pollard's Pro Israel Viewpoint

Mr. Pollard has explained at length the circumstances of his upbringing and religion which inculcated a sympathy towards the State of Israel and which led him to provide information to it. His Jewish heritage, his trip to Israel, extensive reading of Jewish and Israeli history, and exposure to the attitudes of his family and friends naturally induced a strong pro-Israel posture. Mr. Pollard's work experience only intensified this feeling towards Israel. As an analyst privy to classified information, he became aware of the true danger to Israel from its enemies in the Middle East and thought that the US public underestimated or did not appreciate this danger. More importantly, Mr. Pollard thought that the US intelligence community was deliberately withholding information from Israel that was vital to its security, even though formal intelligence exchange agreements provided that the information be shared with Israel. He learned of the existence of these exchange agreements and their contours from his role as a delegate to several joint US-Israel conferences at which information was exchanged pursuant to the agreements. Mr. Pollard who had never hidden his feelings towards Israel, on several occasions challenged the failure of the US to provide certain documents to the Israelis, and demanded an explanation from his superiors. Not only did his superiors refuse to provide any reason for the policy of withholding information, their replies often contained anti-Semitic overtones. On one occasion, when he protested the failure to turn over the information regarding Soviet chemical warfare capabilities to the Israeli counterpart, Mr. Pollard was told that Jews are overly sensitive about gas because of their experience during World War II. *[Justice4JP Note: The Soviet chemical warfare capabilities were supplied to Syria and Iraq.]

D. Frustration over Terrorism

Concurrent with Mr. Pollard's growing alarm over the threat to Israel's very existence and the United States' reluctance to provide the information necessary to assist Israel was his increasing distress over the threat of terrorism to the United States. Mr. Pollard has always viewed himself as being a loyal son of both the United States and Israel. Accordingly when events like the bombing of the Marine barracks in Beirut occurred, Mr. Pollard felt a rage both that the US intelligence system failed to prevent such a tragedy and also that the United States failed to retaliate even though it was well aware of the culprits behind the bombing. Because Mr. Pollard questioned the political resolve of the United States to take the actions necessary to combat terrorism effectively, he thought it necessary to do all he could to assist the one country - Israel - that had demonstrated the fortitude to strike at terrorists. The fact that the major terrorist organization in the world, The Palestinian Liberation Organization, targets its operations almost exclusively at Israel and the United States, rendered the decision more justifiable in his mind.

E. Mr. Pollard's Limitations on Delivery of Information

Consistent with Mr. Pollard's motivation in providing information to Israel were the limitations he imposed on the type of documents he would supply. He did not adopt the blind attitude that what was good for Israel was good for the United States; rather he realized that the interests of Israel and the United States occasionally diverged. Mr. Pollard accordingly insisted, with the concurrence of the Israelis, that he would not divulge information concerning US military or intelligence capabilities, or take any other action deemed to damage the US national security. He provided only information he thought would benefit the defense of Israel, which fell into the following general categories:
  1. the weapon systems of Arab countries
  2. the intelligence structures and capabilities of Arab countries
  3. daily message traffic concerning events in the Middle East
  4. analysis of Soviet weapon systems which would probably be delivered to client states in the Middle East and
  5. analysis of Arab leaders, political intentions and governmental stability.

Restrictions on the type of information which Mr. Pollard supplied are hardly consistent with the United States' depiction of him. One who sells state secrets solely for money is unlikely to anger his benefactors by denying them access to certain documents. Yet Mr. Pollard flatly refused Rafi Eitan's demand [... US Govt. redacted this item, blanking out the text for about 3 or 4 lines...] On other occasions, Eitan asked for information regarding US intelligence sources in Israel [...US Govt. redacted section. Text blanked out for several lines...] Eitan also demanded documents concerning US knowledge of Israeli arms dealings with other countries, particularly China, and US knowledge of Israeli intelligence efforts in the United States. Each time Mr. Pollard would not provide such documentation or information, despite Eitan's threats of recrimination.

See Also:
  • Part I: Damage to the United States
  • Part III: Extent and Value of Cooperation
  • Part IV: Crime and Punishment - The Conclusion
  • Rule 35 Motion for Reduction of Sentence

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