Barak Orders Mission Doomed to Failure - Source: Ha'aretz

December 17, 1999

The Ha'aretz article that follows below describes a ploy by Prime Minister Ehud Barak to deceive a gullible Israeli public and its High Court of Justice into believing that an effort is currently being made to secure the release of Jonathan Pollard.

When attorney Moshe Kochanovsky was recently ordered by Prime Minister Ehud Barak to go to Washington to negotiate with officials in the US Justice Department to secure the release of Jonathan Pollard, Barak knew from the start that the mission was doomed to failure. Kochanovsky knew it too. In fact, Kochanovsky also knew it two years ago when he officially resigned from this same job because he does not have the authority or the standing in Washington necessary to resolve the case.

Following orders, Kochanovsky neverthless went to Washinton knowing that the Justice Department is as intransigent as the Intelligence community about Pollard. Not only do these agencies have no interest in freeing Pollard, THEY ALSO DO NOT HAVE THE AUTHORITY TO FREE HIM, even if they were so inclined!

The only one with the authority to release Jonathan Pollard is the President of the United States, whose constitutional right to grant executive clemency is unlimited. This fact was recently demonstrated when, in the Fall of 1999, President Clinton invoked his constitutional powers to free 14 unrepentant FALN Puerto Rican terrorists IN SPITE OF THE OPPOSITION OF VIRTUALLY ALL OF HIS GOVERNMENT AGENCIES AND ADVISORS.

Invariably, Clinton is the only one who can make the decision to free Jonathan Pollard. Similarly, Prime Minister and Defense Minister Ehud Barak is the only with sufficient standing to deal with President Clinton directly on this matter.

Instead, Barak sent Kochanovsky, a low level functionary, to deal with other US functionaries, knowing full well that the mission was doomed to failure from the start.

If Mr. Barak set out to fail, and he succeeded, was the mission a success or a failure?

The real question is: what is Ehud Barak so afraid of that he goes to such lengths to deceive the Israeli public? Is Barak afraid of Jonathan Pollard? Or is he afraid of Bill Clinton? Or of both? In either case, the answer does not bode well for the people of Israel.

[The Ha'aretz Article Follows.]

Pardon for Pollard is Back on the Agenda

Aluf Benn, Ha'aretz Diplomatic Correspondent
Ha'aretz - Friday, December 17, 1999

WASHINGTON - Israel and the United States have begun a top-level dialogue on ways to put an end to the Jonathan Pollard affair. Pollard has been in jail in the U.S. for the past 14 years for spying for Israel.

Deputy director for special affairs at the Defense Ministry, attorney Moshe Kochnovsky, is currently in Washington talking to senior legal officials in the U.S. administration about the possibility of granting Pollard a pardon. Kochnovsky was appointed several months ago by Prime Minister Ehud Barak to coordinate the handling of the Pollard affair.

All of Pollard's pardon requests to date have been denied, due to fierce opposition from the U.S. intelligence community. However, during Barak's last trip to Washington in July, he and Clinton agreed to handle the affair through discreet channels rather than in public statements.

Relations between Clinton and former prime minister Benjamin Netanyahu were strained after the latter claimed that Clinton had promised to release Pollard at the same time as the signing of the Wye accord.

The current talks on Pollard's release might be a "prize" presented by Clinton to Barak, following the progress in the peace process and breakthrough in the talks with Syria.

See also:
  • Larry Dub Letter to Ehud Barak (Re Kochanovsky)- Sept 22 1999
  • Pollard's Request for Emergency Hearing (Rebuttal of Govt.)
  • The Washington Shuk - Pollard for Sale Again
  • Netanyahu Reveals Clinton Double-Cross on Pollard Release