Is Anyone Listening?

The Cox Report: Chinagate and Jonathan Pollard Revisited

Editorial Friday, June 4, 1999 Jewish Press (NY)

The remarkable revelations contained in the newly released Cox Report on Chinese espionage in the United States once again suggest the necessity for a full court press for the pardoning of Jonathan Pollard. We are not the only ones who are now saying that the Clinton Administration systematically ignored evidence pointing to perhaps the greatest American spying debacle ever. We are joined by a committee of the United States Congress. And we are not the only ones who are now hinting that the Clinton Administration turned a blind eye to it in order to avoid uncovering Clinton reelection campaign contribution purchased access to the Clinton Administration. We are joined by incredulous members of Congress.

Of course, the fact that the Clinton Administration may have acted purposefully to shield embarrassing, connections to the Chinese does not in any way mitigate Jonathan Pollard's crimes. But what it most certainly does is to place the issue of espionage in its proper political context. After all, the Chinese have missiles pointed at us! And the Justice Department apparently quashed FBI requests for wiretaps and other action to be taken against the suspected spies who are still walking around free as birds. Yet the hapless Pollard spied for an ally of the United States and has languished in solitary confinement in a federal prison for almost 14 years!

Many on the President's national security team debunk the notion that there was any domestic political motive in the obvious down playing of the Chinese espionage. They say that the real motive was to avoid antagonizing the Chinese who are important players on the world scene and who could enhance America's position in the world.

In our view this only provides additional reason for a pardoning of Pollard. If policy interests dictate the treatment of such a serious espionage breach, there is no legitimate reason to continue the absolutist approach to Pollard's crimes - which pale into insignificance when compared to what the Chinese espionage suspects are thought to have done - insisted upon by that pardoned accused perjurer, Caspar Weinberger.