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Betar-Tagar UK Supports the immediate release of Jonathan Pollard and continues to campaign for his release through petitions,demonstrations outside the American Embassy and by writing letters to American officials in London.

  1. Jonathan Pollard was a civilian American Naval intelligence analyst. In the mid 1980's (circa 1983-1984), Pollard discovered that information vital to Israel's security was being deliberately withheld by certain elements within the U.S. national security establishment.

  2. Israel was legally entitled to this vital security information according to a 1983 Memorandum of Understanding between the two countries.

  3. The information being withheld from Israel included Syrian, Iraqi, Libyan and Iranian nuclear, chemical, and biological warfare capabilities - being developed for use against Israel. It also included information on ballistic missile development by these countries and information on planned terrorist attacks against Israeli civilian targets.

  4. When Pollard discovered this suppression of information and asked his superiors about it, he was told to "mind his own business", and that "Jews get nervous talking about poison gas; they don't need to know."

    He also learned that the objective of cutting off the flow of information to Israel was to severely curtail Israel's ability to act independently in defence of her own interests.

  5. Pollard was painfully aware that Israeli lives were being put in jeopardy as a result of this undeclared intelligence embargo. He did everything he possibly could to stop this covert policy and to have the legal flow of information to Israel restored. When his efforts met no success, he began to give the information to Israel directly.

  6. Jonathan Pollard was an ideologue, not a mercenary. The FBI concluded after nine months of polygraphing that Pollard acted for ideological reasons only, not for profit. This fact was recognised by the sentencing judge who declined to fine Pollard. (See the addendum for further details.)

    Furthermore, on May 12, 1998, Israel formally acknowledged Jonathan Pollard had been a bona fide Israeli agent. This fact wiped out any remaining doubt about Jonathan Pollard's motives. Being an official agent is, by definition, the polar opposite of being a mercenary.

  7. In 1985, his actions were discovered by the U.S. government. His instructions from Israel were to seek refuge in the Israeli embassy in Washington. When Pollard and his former wife sought refuge there, they were at first received and then summarily thrown out into the waiting arms of the FBI.

  8. Jonathan Pollard never had a trial. At the request of both the U.S. and Israeli governments, he entered into a plea agreement, which spared both governments a long, difficult, expensive and potentially embarrassing trial.

  9. Jonathan Pollard fulfilled his end of the plea agreement, co-operating fully with the prosecution.

  10. Nevertheless, Pollard received a life sentence and a recommendation that he never be paroled - in complete violation of the plea agreement he had reached with the government.

  11. Jonathan Pollard was never indicted for harming the United States.

  12. Jonathan Pollard was never indicted for compromising codes, agents, or war plans.

  13. Jonathan Pollard was never charged with treason. [Legally, treason is a charge that is only applicable when one spies for an enemy state in time of war.]

  14. Jonathan Pollard was indicted on only one charge: one count of passing classified information to an ally, without intent to harm the United States.

  15. At the last moment, just prior to sentencing, then-Secretary of Defence, Caspar Weinberger delivered an 85 page classified memorandum to the sentencing judge. In it he falsely accused Pollard of treason and of compromising codes even though Pollard did not have clearance to access such information. Also in the memorandum, Weinberger advocated for a life sentence in clear violation of Pollard's plea agreement.

    By allowing Caspar Weinberger to falsely characterise Pollard's offense as "treason", the implication that follows is that the country he served, Israel, is an enemy state.

  16. Pollard and his attorney were shown the Weinberger memorandum only once, just moments before sentencing - hardly adequate time to prepare an appropriate defence to rebut the false accusations in it. Since then, neither Pollard nor any of his cleared attorneys have ever been allowed to access the memorandum to challenge the false charges it contains, which is a clear violation of Pollard's constitutional rights.

  17. No one else in the history of the United States has ever received a life sentence for passing classified information to an ally - only Jonathan Pollard. The median sentence for this offense is two to four years. Even agents who have committed far more serious offenses on behalf of hostile nations have not received such a harsh sentence.

  18. Pollard appealed, but his appeal was rejected - not on substance, but on a technicality, namely: that the appeal had not been filed in a timely manner in accord with stipulated procedures.

    Appellate Justice Stephen Williams wrote a minority opinion, calling the case "a complete and gross miscarriage of justice."

  19. In November 1995, Israel granted Jonathan Pollard Israeli citizenship. The official presentation took place in January of 1996. This publicly signalled to the U.S., Israel's willingness to accept full responsibility for Pollard.

  20. U.S. government sources falsely accuse Pollard in the media of passing "rooms full of classified information" and "hundreds of thousands of documents" to Israel. This volume of information is an absurdity! Pollard would have needed to make numerous "drops" using a moving van to have transferred such a large volume of information. In actual fact, Jonathan Pollard made a grand total of eleven (11) "drops" to the Israelis, using only a small briefcase to hold the documents.

  21. The formula that the government used to exaggerate the volume of information that Pollard passed to Israel was: if only one page or a single sentence of a document was passed to the Israelis, it was counted as if the whole document had been transmitted. Even referenced documents and sources were counted as having been transmitted in toto. Using this calculation, a single page could be counted as 50 hard bound 500 page volumes!

  22. There is no Mr. "X".

    The CIA claim that another highly-placed spy in the U.S. had to exist in order to give Jonathan Pollard his highly specific tasking orders is a complete fabrication. To understand how Pollard was tasked by Israel to secure specific documents, see: Was there another U.S. spy tasking Pollard? - Mr. ‘X’ Exposed.

  23. On May 12, 1998 , in the same statement in which the Government of Israel publicly acknowledged Jonathan Pollard as an Israeli agent, it accepted full responsibility for him, and indicated its commitment to securing his release and repatriation to Israel.

  24. Jonathan Pollard has repeatedly expressed his remorse publicly and in private letters to the President and others. He regrets having broken the law, and is sorry he did not find a legal means to act upon his concerns for Israel.

  25. Jonathan Pollard is linked to the Middle East Peace Process. This linkage was established without Pollard's involvement or agreement.

    Historically, it was the late Prime Minister Rabin that first linked Jonathan Pollard to the peace process in October of 1995, when all the other more conventional means of securing his release had failed. Although President Clinton had promised Rabin that he would release Pollard as part of the final settlement, the President refused to honour his promise after Rabin was assassinated.

    Rabin's successor, Prime Minister Shimon Peres continued to link Pollard to the peace process, and even went so far as to include a spy swap as part of the deal for Pollard's release.

    Later, during the Wye Plantation negotiations President Clinton again promised to release Pollard in exchange for specific Israeli concessions. However, once the deal was signed, the president again reneged.

    Pollard's fate to this day remains emeshed and entangled in the Middle East peace process.

  26. Five Prime Ministers of Israel and three Presidents of Israel have all personally requested Jonathan Pollard's release from the United States. Each one pledged to be personally responsible for their agent who has served many years in prison under harsh conditions, and who has fully expressed his remorse. Between close friends and strong allies, that ought to be enough.

On November 21, 2000,
Jonathan Pollard entered
the sixteenth year of his life sentence,
with no end in sight.

Comparison of Pollard's Sentence With Others

The following tables show how grossly disproportionate the life sentence meted out to Jonathan Pollard is when compared with the sentences given to others who committed similar offences by spying for allied nations.

Pollard's life sentence is also disproportionate even when compared to the sentences of those who committed far more serious offences by spying for enemy nations.

Table I: American Allies

  • Jonathan Pollard is the only person in the history of the United States to receive a life sentence for spying for an American ally.
  • On November 21, 1998, Pollard entered the 14th year of his life sentence, with no end in sight.
  • The maximum sentence today for such an offence is 10 years.
  • The median sentence for this offence is 2 to 4 years.

Name Country Spied For Sentence Time Served
Before Release
Jonathan Pollard Israel Life imprisonment  
Wen Ho Lee China Job dismissal None
Michael Schwartz Saudi Arabia Discharged from Navy None
Peter Lee China 1 year in halfway house  
Samual Morrison Great Britain 2 years 3 months
Steven Baba South Africa 2 years 5 months
Sharon Scranage Ghana 2 years 8 months
Jean Baynes Phillipines 3.5 years 1.4 years
Abdul Kader Helmy Egypt 3.8 years 2 years
Geneva Jones Africa 5.2 years  
Joseph Brown Phillipines 5.9 years  
Michael Allen Phillipines 8 years  
Robert Kim South Korea 9 years  
Thomas Dolce South Africa 10 years 5.2 years
Steven Lalas Greece 14 years  
Time served before release is shown where known. Other cases of early release exist.

Table II: American Enemies

Jonathan Pollard spied for an American ally. This chart shows that Pollard's life sentence is far harsher than most of the sentences received by those who spied for enemies, and thereby committed much more serious offences and treason.

Name Country Spied For Sentence Time Served
Before Release
James Wood Soviet Union 2 years  
Sahag Dedyan Soviet Union 3 years  
Randy Jeffries Soviet Union 3-9 years  
Brian Horton Soviet Union 6 years  
William Bell Poland 8 years  
Alfred Zoho East Germany 8 years  
Nikolay Ogarodnikova Soviet Union 8 years  
Francis X. Pizzo Soviet Union 10 years  
Daniel Richardson Soviet Union 10 years  
Ernst Forbich East Germany 15 years  
William Whalen Soviet Union 15 years  
Edwin Moore Soviet Union 15 years  
Troung Dinh Ung North Vietnam 15 years  
Ronald Humphrey North Vietnam 15 years  
Kurt Alan Stand East Germany 17.5 years  
Robert Lipka Soviet Union 18 years  
David Barnett Soviet Union 18 years  
Svetlana Ogarodnikova Soviet Union 18 years  
Albert Sambolay Iraq & Jordan 19 years  
Richard Miller Soviet Union 20 years 6 years
Theresa Maria Squillacote East Germany 21.8 years  
Sarkis Paskallan Soviet Union 22 years  
Harold Nicholson Soviet Union 23 years  
David Boone Soviet Union 24 years  
Clayton Lonetree Soviet Union 25 years 9 years
Michael Walker Soviet Union 25 years  
Bruce Ott Soviet Union 25 years  
Kelly Warren Hungary &
Czechoslovakia
25 years  
Earl Pitts Soviet Union 27 years  
H.W. Boachanhaupi Soviet Union 30 years  
Roderick Ramsay Hungary &
Czechoslovakia
36 years  
James Hall Soviet Union
& East Germany
40 years  
Christopher Boyce Soviet Union 40 years  
William Kampiles Soviet Union 40 years 19 years
Veldik Enger Soviet Union 50 years  
R.P. Charnyayev Soviet Union 50 years  
Marian Zacharski Poland Life 4 years
Aldrich Ames Soviet Union Life  
Time served before release is shown where known. Other cases of early release exist.

Aldrich Ames: A Case In Point

Aldrich Ames who spied for an enemy nation (the Soviet Union), committed treason, and was responsible for the deaths of at least 11 American agents, received the same sentence as Jonathan Pollard. Pollard's only indictment was one count of passing classified information to an ally. Pollard spent 7 years in solitary confinement, in the harshest unit of the harshest prison in the Federal system - FCI Marion.

Aldrich Ames' treatment was far more benign, and (except for a relatively short period of time during debriefing) did not include the rigours of long years of solitary; nor was he ever subjected to the harsh conditions of "K" Unit at Marion - even though his offence was far more serious.

 


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