Tuesday, April 1, 2014

Don't Do It, Mr. President: My Philadelphia Inquirer Piece on Not Pardoning Convicted Spy Jonathan Pollard

In my last post, in light of a rumor that Secretary of State Kerry is making a deal to release convicted spy Jonathan Pollard to the Israelis in exchange for their release of Palestinian prisoners, I offered a look back at the Pollard spy case with a link to my interview with Ronald J. Olive, the Naval Criminal Investigative Service (NCIS) special agent who investigated, arrested and interrogated Pollard - http://www.pauldavisoncrime.com/2014/04/a-look-back-at-jonathan-pollard-spy-case.html.
The negotiated release of Pollard, a former Navy analyst who spied for the Israelis, has come up before. When President Clinton was thinking of releasing Pollard in 1999, CIA Director George Tenet threatened to resign if Pollard was released. The threat killed the deal.
When rumors of Pollard's negotiated release floated in 1999, I wrote a piece in the Philadelphia Inquirer stating that it was a bad idea.
You can read the piece via the piece via the below link:
It is still a bad idea.
Note: The above U.S. Navy photos show Pollard at his desk, gathering material to sell to the Israelis.  

1 comment:

  1. Spies -- regardless of their motives -- normally should not be excused or pardoned. However, trading spies/prisoners is a diplomatic game is as old as civilization. If it must be done -- and sometimes it must -- then it must be done discretely (secretly). Any publicity further taints the already difficult issue of spy-swapping. If Pollard must be traded, and there might be good reasons for doing so, especially given the U.S.-Israeli situation, the trade should never be known by anyone. The fact that people know about the possible trade is where the U.S. government is once again bungling the problem. While your arguments are persuasive, I can see that I could be persuaded in favor of the trade. Again, though, I have a problem with the "publicity" involved. No one has the "need to know" anything about this one.