Pollard Said To Have Worked Only For Israel

Middle East Newsline - January 5, 2011

Washington [MENL] -- The U.S. Navy has determined that Jonathan Pollard worked only for Israeli intelligence.

A former U.S. Navy officer said an examination of the Pollard case determined that the former analyst did not work for any intelligence agency other than Israel. When he was arrested in 1985, Pollard was accused of working for several intelligence agencies, including Pakistan and South Africa.

"My own recollection is that there was nothing that we came across to indicate that Pollard gave information to any country but Israel," [Ret.] Maj. Donald Levy said.

In a letter to President Barack Obama, Levy said he worked on the damage assessment team in wake of Pollard's arrest in Washington. Levy said he participated in the review of Pollard as a member of the National Security Agency.

"Further, the information he probably disclosed consisted primarily of daily operational intelligence summaries, information that is extremely perishable," Levy said in the letter, dated Dec. 20, 2010.

This marked the first time a member of a U.S. review panel detailed the findings of the Pollard case. In 1986, then-Defense Secretary Caspar Weinberger called Pollard one of the most dangerous spies in American history and convinced a judge to overturn a plea bargain for a 10-year sentence. Instead, Pollard was sentenced to life.

"It did not appear to me at the time that the information he gave Israel should have resulted in a life sentence," Levy, now a rabbi, said.

Over the last three months, dozens of members of Congress have signed an appeal to Obama to commute Pollard's sentence. They have been joined by former U.S. defense and intelligence officials, including CIA director James Woolsey and Assistant Defense Secretary Lawrence Korb, the latter who worked for Weinberger.

On Jan. 4, Israeli Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu appealed to Obama for Pollard's release. Netanyahu, in an appeal during a session of parliament, said Israel was no longer conducting espionage operations in the United States.

"Israel will continue to abide by its commitment that such wrongful actions will never be repeated," Netanyahu said.

  • See Also: Former US Navy Cryptologist & Damage Assessor Joins US Officials Calling for Pollard's Release