sentence as that handed down to Aldrich Ames, the KGB's supermole inside the
CIA whose information over a 10-year period was directly responsible for the
execution of nine clandestine U.S. agents operating inside the USSR.
In fact, some of Pollard's supporters argue that his lengthy sentence
resulted from a secret memo from former Defense Secretary Caspar Weinberger.
The memo may have alleged a link between Pollard and some of those nine
deaths--deaths that investigators now know resulted from Ames' treason, which
was not revealed until 1994. Weinberger refuses to comment on his memo, which
In Israel, government officials strongly reject any claims that Pollard's
espionage had high-level government approval. They insist, as before, that he
worked for a rogue operation.
"I can't blame anyone in his situation for being bitter and seeking to put
the guilt where it doesn't necessarily belong," said David Bar-Illan, a
spokesman for Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu.
Israeli officials also echo previous statements that the government is
doing all it can to work for Pollard's release.
When Pollard's wife staged a 19-day hunger strike in downtown Jerusalem
last year, for example, Netanyahu issued a statement, saying in part, "Tell
Jonathan not to despair."
Amnon Dror, an elderly Israeli in Tel Aviv, who led the campaign for
Pollard's release until a few years ago, doesn't put much faith in a prisoner
"Since he was in prison, we have been trying to exchange spies in vain,"
Dror explained. "If such a thing would have been possible, it would have been
done as we did in the past, quietly."
As for the campaign to free Pollard, Dror said he and others "knocked on
every door in Washington."
From Israelis, and the Israeli government as well, he said the effort
raised about $3 million. He would not say, however, how much exactly came from
the government. Nor would government officials.
"Our problem was never money," Dror explained. "If you told me, 'Give me a
million and Jonathan is out,' I would have the money in a short time."
Dror quit the campaign several years ago when Pollard and his new wife
began claiming that the effort to free him really was an attempt to silence
him, and keep him behind bars.
Esther Pollard, a special education teacher in Toronto, now runs what she
describes as a shoe-string effort to release her husband.
Several years ago Pollard divorced his first wife, Anne, who served a brief
prison term for her role in the spying.
Since taking Pollard's case three years ago, Dub said he has worked as a
volunteer. But he has also submitted bills for several hundred thousand
dollars worth of services to the Israeli government. The bills have not been
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