On Jonathan Pollard’s Release

Those who know me or follow this blog know that I have always looked forward to Pollard’s release, and I thank God it finally happened. However, I don’t participate in the Pollard mythology, namely that he saved all our lives by giving critical information and he is therefore a hero.

He is a bit of a hero, for sticking the middle finger to the US government, but I’m not convinced he ever did anything all that important. Judging from the snippets I read of his personality, it seems more likely that the Israeli government simply took advantage of a sucker and they knew they could chew him up and spit him out when they needed, and that’s what they did.

If someone can provide evidence that he actually saved lives in Israel, then go ahead. I’m open to hearing it. The standard narrative is that he gave Israel “critical information” about the Iraqi nuclear reactor, which seems silly. It was no secret that Saddam Hussein was building it. No need for Pollard on that.

The true story is probably closer to some guy that the Israeli State thought it could take advantage of for some low level information, whatever it was.

States have no right to keep secrets. Any secret stolen from them is legitimate, Israel or America. Not that I am advocating that, and I would not do it myself because I do not take those kinds of risks or advocate that others should either. You can lose your life doing something like that, or at least 30 years of it. Don’t do it.

In any case, the lesson here is that we should hate Israeli politicians for setting the poor guy up and losing 30 years of his life probably for nothing. No surprise that the politicians are trying to spin themselves as heroes for this, when nothing can be further from the truth.

Jonathan Pollard is free. Thank God for that. But anyone who is asked to spy for the Israeli government should know that if you get caught, you will be left to rot by the Jewish State, or any other for that matter. And if you ever get out, it is that very State who will spin it like they are the heroes of the whole situation, when they are nothing but cowards. Pollard was just naive enough to be part of the show, and he paid for it.

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11 thoughts on “On Jonathan Pollard’s Release

  1. There very well may be some mystique surrounding Pollard, which would do Am Yisra’el to “get over.”

    But, this does not preclude the possibility that Pollard may know some secrets which TPTB do not want revealed.

    Stay tuned. I do not think that this saga is over, not by a long shot.

  2. “anyone who is asked to spy for the Israeli government”

    Most reports say that he did it for the money. Some reports say that he was also willing to spy for other states in return for money.

    • I’m sure he did. But I don’t think doing things like stealing state secrets for money is a bad thing. A stupid thing, yes. Will get you in trouble, sure. May get you killed even. A bad thing, no.

  3. The Wikipedia page on his story is very interesting. He comes across as totally bumbling and hapless, and through sheer government incompetence simply rose to the point where he had access to pretty good intel. Not great, as you point out. But a fascinating story. From my perspective, he was the recipient of a great deal of siyata d’shmaya. I don’t know what Hashem’s plan for him is, but there is no way he should have logically been able to provide ANY intel at all. His clearance was actually yanked and he was regarded as damaged goods early on. Incredible.

  4. Well, it’s worse than you think regarding the so-called “Jewish State,” and that’s even without getting into theories about those in control who would just assume have Pollard stay locked up forever, due to the secrets he supposedly possesses.

    But, I think the bottom line is why did Pollard sit in a U. S. prison for about six times longer than anyone else convicted of the same “crime?” Correct me, if this is not the case.

    Inquiring minds want to know…

  5. I’m all with you, in so far that you believe as I do that there should be no such things as state secrets. Mr. Pollard, however, DID believe in state secrets, and he had agreed to keep them as part of the terms of his employment. However, he chose to sell those secrets, proving himself to be corrupt. I, too, am sworn to keep secrets. The trade secrets of the company I work for are closely guarded. I know some of them, and if I reveal them I can be terminated, and possibly prosecuted (depending on the nature of the information I reveal).

    It has happened at least once in the recent past that an employee left the company, but not before downloading all of the financial data and turning it over to his new employer. Lawsuits ensued. That ex-employee is not thought of highly by those who knew him, though they were all friends just six or seven years ago. They think of him as corrupt.

    I’d put Pollard in that boat. Should he have gone to jail for 30 years? No, not from my libertarian standpoint. But I find it contradictory that my Jewish friends who are also neo-con Republicans and very big on national security, the NSA, and the CIA, and very critical of Snowden, are supportive of Pollard.

    • Ron – I don’t know what Pollard revealed to Israel or if it was important or what his motivations were. He probably thought he was helping save Jewish lives. I wouldn’t hold him to libertarian standards.

      You are sworn to secrets in the private sector – secrets that have a right to be kept. Pollard was sworn to secrets that have no right to be kept, so morally I can’t say he did anything wrong.

      Your Jewish friends who rail against Snowden but not Pollard are hypocrites, that’s true. Jewish support for Pollard is more a tribal thing and the infuriating fact that he was jailed for so long for spying for a non-enemy state. It makes Jews feel insecure and that they are still hated, which I can’t deny. I’m not one to rail about anti Semitism like the ADL, but there must have been some element of that in his sentencing.

      • Can’t prove it, but, I wonder if perhaps it was an Israeli gov’t official(s) who encouraged the continued incarceration of Pollard. Jew-hatred may have been at play, too, or may have been used to keep focus off of the collaboration of Israeli officials.

        I’m concerned for Pollard’s life, and that’s all I’m gonna say for now about that.

      • In reading Seymour Hersh’s account of Pollard (and the critics of Hersh’s article) it seems that TPTB considered the security leaks so severe that Pollard deserved the max sentence and no clemency. Exactly what was leaked is still classified, but Hersh’s CIA contacts indicated that some of the information Pollard sold to Israel ended up in Russia, including information that exposed U.S. intelligence methods and the order of battle against Russia. Hersh says the CIA does not know if Israel was hacked or infiltrated by Russia (a Russian double spook who handled Pollard material was just assassinated in Moscow this week) or if it was given to the Russians in trade for the emigration of Russian Jews with highly technical skills. In any case, it was considered the largest security breach in U.S. history. By Pollard’s own account, the amount of information was massive, amounting to tens of thousands of pages

        Without knowing the particulars it is not possible to say if anti-Semitism played a role in his sentencing. He may have sold information to Israel, but he also shopped it around to other countries, which makes him less of a Jewish patriot and more of a victim of his own opportunism.

      • Could be. I don’t know. It’s hard growing up with the Pollard mystique to consider that maybe he was just some guy looking for a few bucks. People here believe we would all be dead had he not done what he did. But the fact is nobody on either side knows what the hell happened. It doesn’t sound like he was a trained spy, but just a guy who fell in Israel’s lap and the Israeli government didn’t want much to do with him since it seems they didn’t initiate the relationship.

        I’m trying to come out of the whole Pollard mythology myself, and I’m pretty good and stepping outside my own prejudices. But it’s hard even for me to think of Pollard as just some nebuch shmo. Maybe he was. Heartbreaking if so, if only because of what everyone believes here.

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