I would have posted this as blog response to statements made and issues raised in your present blog, Another hero, also flawed, but was dismayed to find no response option. Which is why I decided to contact you by email. I have rewritten parts of my response to you for readability by my blog audience.

I recently responded to Fred Burton of Stratfor on much of the same territory covered by you in your article so will leave that out of my present response. You wrote: "What he [Pollard]provided to Israel exposed US sources of information within the Soviet Union, set back US intelligence efforts, and resulted in the death of informants."

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To my understanding this falls into the problem of Aldrich Ames, CIA mole and chief of East Europe who provided his masters in Moscow the names, etc of agents known to him. “Somehow” responsibility for the deaths of those agents, the compromise of CIA agents and methods remained mysteriously on Pollard’s head justifying presidential inaction over the decades to release him (remember Pollard as possible release at Wye River only to face CIA Director George Tenant’s threat to resign should Pollard be released.


"Early on, Pollard boasted about his affinity to Israel. His supervisors should have taken notice of a man showing strong commitments to another country and emotional instability, and reviewed his access to sensitive material. What he provided to Israel was material that the US would have supplied, if asked officially."

The second issue first: What the US was NOT providing Israel. In my discussion in the Burton/Stratfor article I responded to this same question: why would Israel take such risks since there was in effect a Memorandum of Understand covering intelligence sharing. The obvious answer immediately suggests itself, that the MoU was not being adhered to by elements in the US intelligence community and for present discussion Department of Defense supervising Naval Intelligence, the agency for which Pollard was an analyst.

Which brings up the first part of your question regarding the "lack" of vetting evident in the hiring of Jonathan Pollard. As an outspoken Zionist one might have expected Jonathan Pollard to have been flagged a security risk from the start. Instead he was hired, serially promoted and increased in security clearance until his assignment to the team tasked by NI to oversee the exchange of intelligence with Israel.

Hopefully this raises at least some doubt regarding US motives and actions regarding Pollard, particularly when one takes into consideration events surrounding his arrest: Irangate(for readers not familiar with the term it describes Reagan Administration criminal activity spanning several years and involving the sale of arms to Iran while using the profits to fund Nicaraguan terrorists called “Contras).”

Why the Reagan Administration hullaballoo over Pollard and Israel? After all, Dr. Sharkansky, as you acknowledge the United States does, has since pre-statehood days, spied on Israel. How is reciprocal espionage a "breach of faith" by Israel? AS you certainly know, at the time of Pollard’s arrest the American CIA was running its own Israeli spy, former IDF Major of intelligence, Yosef Amit!

"Pollard violated a pre-sentencing agreement with respect to not talking to journalists. He spoke with Wolf Blitzer, and the violation was instrumental in an extended sentence."

I agree that Pollard violated the letter of his pre-sentence agreement. But who authorized a reporter for an Israeli journal, Jerusalem Post, access to the high security prison that housed him? Surely not the warden. And considering that the US Government gave Blitzer access, twice (a follow-up interview!) were you Pollard would you not at least feel that the visit and intended interview were approved by Justice? And keep in mind that Blitzer was not only approved by appropriate authorities to meet with the prisoner, twice, but was provided “courtesies” possibly unprecedented such as allowed to bring with him a tape recorder and camera!

I leave aside the questions you raise regarding the Israel Government’s role in the Pollard Affair. You are better positioned than I, an American, to address that.
 
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