Israeli agent Jonathan Pollard received a life sentence because he violated a plea agreement he had signed, by giving an unauthorized interview to The Jerusalem Post, according to the newly declassified 1987 CIA damage assessment of the Pollard case, published Friday by the National Security Archive at George Washington University.
Judge Aubrey Robinson sentenced Pollard to life in prison in March 1987 despite a plea agreement in which Pollard agreed to cooperate with the investigation against him, in return for a promise that he would not receive such a sentence.
The CIA document surmised that Robinson delivered the sentence because of the plea bargain violation, along with his perception of the severity of the espionage offense.
“Pollard’s willingness to grant an interview to journalist Wolf Blitzer for The Jerusalem Post without obtaining advance approval of the resulting text from the Justice Department violated the terms of his plea bargain,” the document said.
“In the Blitzer interview, which was held on November 20, 1986, at Petersberg Federal Penitentiary, Pollard provided extensive information on his motives and objectives in conducting espionage for Israel. He also provided Blitzer a general account with important examples of intelligence he passed to the Israelis, and emphasized that the Israeli government must have been aware of and approved of his activities.”
The interview was first published over several months in the Post and was then reprinted in The Washington Post and The New York Times. Pollard’s then-wife Anne also angered the judge, according to the document, by giving an unauthorized interview to CBS’s news magazine 60 Minutes on March 1, 1987, three days before Pollard was sentenced.
The CIA speculated in the damage assessment that by giving the interviews, the Pollards were trying to mobilize support among American Jews and the Israeli government, but that strategy backfired.
Newly declassified CIA documents reveal former Israeli agent foremost sought information about Arab countries, not US. PHOTO: COURTESY
Jonathan Pollard delivered nuclear, military and technical information to his handlers on Israel’s Arab adversaries and their Soviet benefactors – not on the United States – when he spied for Israel from June 1984 to November 1985, according to the newly declassified CIA 1987 damage assessment of the Pollard case, published on Friday by the National Security Archive at George Washington University.
The damage assessment includes new details on the specific subjects and documents sought by Pollard’s Israeli handlers, such as Syrian drones and central communications, Egyptian missile programs and Soviet air defenses.
The Israelis asked for a signals intelligence manual that they needed to listen in on Soviet advisers in Syria.
They wanted to know about Arab and Pakistani nuclear intelligence, Arab chemical and biological weapons, Arab military readiness, and Soviet aircraft, missiles and air defenses.
The 166-page assessment notes that Pollard volunteered delivery of three daily intelligence summaries that had not been requested by his handlers, but which proved useful to them, and ultimately handed over roughly 1,500 such messages from the Middle East and North Africa Summary, the Mediterranean Littoral Intelligence Summary, and the Indian Ocean Littoral Intelligence Summary, in addition to the more than 800 documents on other subjects that Pollard delivered to the Israelis in suitcases.
“We believe that Pollard responded effectively to the general Israeli taskings, but that he himself exerted the strongest influence on what was compromised by virtue of his own access, interests and collective intelligence,” the document states.
Under the heading “What the Israelis Did Not Ask For,” the document said Israel “did not request or receive from Pollard intelligence concerning some of the most sensitive US national security resources” and did not express interest in US military activities, plans, capabilities or equipment.
This only strengthens my belief that the government of the United States is keeping Pollard in prison because he is a Jew. It may be that the Arabs are demanding it, or it may be simple Jew hatred.