Dated CIA Paper on Pollard Dragged Through Media Mud

The Jerusalem Post - November 22, 1994

On the ninth anniversary of his arrest, Jonathan Pollard was back in the headlines yesterday when a dated CIA statement was published by a defense newsletter, and then circulated by most American news organizations.

CIA documents say Pollard should be kept in prison because he knows too much and has shown he will still divulge national secrets, Defense Week reported yesterday.

In Langley, Virginia, the CIA sought to distance itself from the story.

"This is not new," said Mark Mansfield, a spokesman for the CIA.

The CIA statement on Pollard was written last April in response to a question that had been asked at hearings held by the Senate Select Committee on Intelligence, said Mansfield.

The CIA's answer, on behalf of "the whole intelligence community," Mansfield said, stated that Pollard was a continuing security risk.

In its official answer, the CIA also said, "Pollard is not a violent criminal. However, he retains the ability to harm our national security because of his intelligence, his power of recollection, his history of significant emotional instability, his history of drug abuse and his overriding loyalty to another country".

That material was part of the transcript that was sent to the US Government Printing Office on July 21 and became available about a week later, according to a committee staff member.

Defense Week's story indicated that the CIA comments were made in April.

"I don't know why it's news to either Defense Week or to the vast array of reporters who picked up on it," said Nancy Luque, who has been Pollard's attorney since the beginning of September. "It's no accident that these old, unsubstantiated claims are being trotted out on the day [Prime Minister] Rabin is in Washington".

It was unclear whether Rabin raised the issue of Pollard's release during his meeting with President Clinton yesterday.

Pollard, who was arrested in 1985 outside the Israeli Embassy in Washington, was convicted of spying for Israel in 1987 and was sentenced to life in prison. Last year, outgoing Defense Secretary Les Aspin recommended that Clinton not give leniency to Pollard, saying the one-time Navy analyst had tried to slip classified information into 14 letters.

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