The following appeared on the cover of Heritage Southwest Jewish Press:
In light of our government's decision not to prosecute Lt. Cmdr. Michael Schwartz for spying on behalf of Saudi Arabia, could you please tell me why I'm still in prison?
Good question, Jonathan Pollard. Why indeed are you still in prison? Your letter asking a terrible question belongs on the desks of all leaders of government in America - leaders who talk of American justice while mocking its very spirit.
And so, I join in the accusation of government. Like a certain French writer, I exclaim "J'accuse!" Heritage readers are urged to read Si Frumkin's article on Michael Schwartz, the non-Jew who spied for the Saudis. And walked. … Caspar Weinberger is still out of jail.
Let me say right at the outset that I don't want to go back to the days when sailors were flogged. Neither do I suggest that we introduce keelhauling, hanging from yardarms, clapping in irons, confining below decks, on bread and water, or any of the other less than charming methods of enforcing discipline in what used to be a pretty tough Navy to serve in.
Those were the bad old days and I am glad that they are gone. What we have now is a compassionate, human, understanding Navy, a Navy with heart, a Navy that is willing to forgive, to live and let live, a Navy eager not to offend.
Just look at how nice the Navy was to Schwartz. It certainly was nicer than I would have been, but then I am not nearly as enlightened as the Navy is.
Mike Schwartz is a lucky guy to serve in today's Navy. In the olden days, he might have been shot or be rotting in prison, but we don't do this kind of thing anymore, do we?
Schwartz's full name is Lt. Cmdr. Michael Schwartz, and I hasten to say that he isn't Jewish. The reason I am mentioning this is that none of this could have happened if he had been Jewish - he got into trouble in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia, where he was assigned to a U.S. military training mission, and Saudi Arabia does not permit America Jewish officers to enter their country.
Also if he had been Jewish, there is the possibility that he might not have been treated as leniently - after all, there is that other case that involves the Navy and a Jewish employee, and there the justice system wasn't nearly as compassionate, humane and understanding. Still, the government and even some prominent Jews say that anti-Semitism wasn't involved, so who am I to doubt my government, right?
But back to Michael Schwartz and our great friend and ally, Saudi Arabia. That the Saudis are allies goes without saying. It also goes without saying that not all allies are equal, and some are much more equal than others. For example, when Saddam was about to attack and eliminate Saudi Arabia, we brought a massive military presence and ensured that the country would continue its existence as a humanitarian beacon of freedom in the Middle East. After all, this was the least we could do for an ally, right?
We didn't even complain when our troops were not allowed to fly the Star and Stripes outside their barracks, when our female military personnel were told not to be seen in public, when were not allowed to openly celebrate Christmas, hold Church services, or even display Christmas tress so as not to offend our allies' sensitivities.
Can you imagine what the reaction would be if another Middle Eastern ally - Israel, for example - had instituted similar policies toward U.S. military personnel on it soil? I doubt that we would have been as understanding, but then Israel isn't sitting on a sea of oil and we never had to risk a single solider to save its ass, right?
I would hazard a guess that you have never heard of Lt. Cmdr. Schwartz, a 43-year old from El Paso who is a 15-year Navy veteran. He is a spy. He was accused, confessed, tried and found guilty of four violations of the Uniform Code of Military Justice and other federal statutes for willfully delivering national defense information on documents and computer diskettes, over a period of two years, from November 1992 to September 1994, when he was caught to officers of foreign naval services "with intent or reason to believe it would be used to the injury of the United States or to the advantage of the kingdom of Saudi Arabia."
The documents included classified message to foreign countries, a series of military intelligence digests, intelligence advisories and tactical intelligence summaries. They were classified up to the secret level and specified "no foreign disclosure."
What happened next is heartwarming proof that our Navy is a kinder, gentler Navy. Schwartz is to lose his rank and his retirement benefits, and will be given a "less than honorable" discharge. He will not spend a day in jail.
So far there have been no expressions of outrage at Saudi Arabia's ingratitude and arrogance by the media, politicians or government spokesman, unlike the flood of abuse and disgust at Israel when Jonathan Pollard was caught doing for Israel what Schwartz did for the Saudis. The Schwartz case was largely ignored by the unusually disinterested reporters, commentators and pundits.
Jonathan Pollard has just finished his 10th year in federal prison, most of it served in solitary. Schwartz is a free man.
Like I said at the beginning, some allies are more equal than others, and some spies - especially if they are Jewish and try to save Jewish lives by helping a Jewish state - are very much less equal than others.