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Was Pollard framed?
Posted by David Turner, Director of Justice for the Pollards, 1989-90
In Israel to promote his book, ex-FBI agent Ronald Olive may have provided a smoking gun in the Pollard Affair. He is quoted in a recent Jerusalem Post interview, Footage shows Pollard stealing files, 13 November, 2006, saying that Pollard was taped by Naval Intelligence (NI) security cameras stuffing documents into a briefcase. Olive even provided a video clip to prove the point. Since Olive explains that Pollard "slipped through the cracks," of Naval Intelligence and was not even suspect until the time of his arrest, how can you explain that he was apparently videotaped throughout his career as a spy? In effect, NI permitted Pollard to steal the files he was later charged with stealing. Olive refers to US intelligence incompetence, but how incompetent for NI to observe espionage in action, and allow it to continue for a full year and a half? What only a week or so ago would have been dismissed as conspiracy theory, that is that Pollard may have been set up, that Israel might have been caught up in a sting operation, thanks to Agent Olive is today a credible possibility worth serious investigation. In his series of television and print interviews Olive also raised other issues which I will discuss below.
The agent informs us that "Jonathan Pollard not only passed classified information to Israel, but also to Pakistan and Australia." Fact or fable? In an April, 2005, Jerusalem Post interview, retired CIA Director James Woolsley said, "Pollard was not suspected of having transferred secrets to governments other than Israel." Facts, Mr. Olive, please. Or are you suggesting that your source of information goes higher than that of the retired Director of US Central Intelligence?
Clearly not impressed with Pollard's abilities as a spy, Olive generously gives full credit for his success to "an absolute failure for the American security establishment." The article continues, "despite the damage Pollard inflicted, his methods were amateurish." Without a doubt; many walk-ins, ideological volunteers, are amateurs. In fact, his being an amateur only reinforces questions regarding the motives of Naval Intelligence, first in hiring the Zionist soon after being rejected by CIA, and second, assigning him a job as terrorism analyst, thereby providing him access to precisely the intelligence which would allow the committed Zionist to turn to espionage, given reason and opportunity. And to make matters even more suspicious, NI then assigned him to the team responsible for deciding what intelligence should or not be disclosed to Israel. Put another way, Naval Intelligence provided Pollard direct knowledge of how much information was being withheld from America's ally via the team, and access to the illegally deleted materials via his job. Reason, and Opportunity!
And finally, to keep these comments short, "Olive goes on to compares Pollardâ€¦ to Judas Iscariot, who betrayed Jesus for 30 pieces of silver." So, according to Olive, Pollard's motives for helping Israel were mercenary and not ideological. Olive's implied message is that, since Pollard acted selfishly and for personal gain, he does not deserve sympathy or support from Israel. And since Pollard's motives have been questioned over the years, this assertion deserves a response. Did Pollard accept payment, yes. Did he ask for payment, no. Did his handlers pressure him to accept payment, yes, butâ€¦. In 1989 in my capacity as Director of Justice for the Pollards I brought Carol, Jonathan's sister, to Israel to promote support for his release. In a discussion with a retired intelligence official involved in the operation I was told that payment to recruits is a control mechanism commonly used by intelligence services around the world.
As to Olive's questioning Jonathan's motives for assisting Israel, consider this: Since 1989 I have maintained that Jonathan stood little chance of release from prison through the US judiciary. The sentence and the nature of its administration were evidence to me that some in the bureaucracy consider him too important an asset to lose. Some mechanism, originating in Israel, was the only possible alternative. And Israel would have to offer the US something of equal value to succeed. Over the years I proposed several possible prisoner swaps. Finally, prior to the elections in the Territories, and aware that Fatah would likely lose to Hamas without an alternative head for their ticket, I suggested Israel consider releasing Marwan Barghouti, something likely to occur eventually, and that the US be asked to release Pollard for saving Palestine from a chaotic election the Administration forced on Israel and the PA. It appears that, over the past few weeks the US requested Barghouti's release, and that someone from the Israeli side suggested that in exchange Bush agree to release Pollard. But speaking through his wife, Esther, Pollard said he wanted no part of such a deal: he would rather remain in prison than be party to the release of a man accused in the murder of Israelis. How mercenary is that, Agent Olive?
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