Underhanded Diplomacy:
Barak Agrees to Keep Pollard In Prison

Source: Washington Post - December 20, 1999

White House sources have revealed that President Clinton will attempt to defuse the Pollard case as an election issue for both his wife Hillary Clinton and for Al Gore, by turning down clemency for Pollard -

this time with Prime Minister Barak's tacit approval and cooperation


When Barak leaked news of an Israeli functionary's mission to meet with American legal officials about Pollard in Washington [see The Washington Post article below], it was not because there was any hope of a deal being realized, but only as cover for his complete sell-out of Pollard. Inside sources at the Embassy have confirmed this.

Said one Israeli official, who asked not to be named, "If Barak had wanted to secure a deal for Pollard, the last thing he would have done is to leak this so-called "quiet diplomacy" initiative to the media."

The same official noted that Barak also would have prepared the groundwork for Pollard's release by providing the media with accurate information about Pollard's operation. Instead, the American media continues to recycle all of the old lies about Pollard. The article below is a prime example.

A highly-placed Washington source, reacting to the false expectation that Pollard's release might be a "sweetener " for an Israeli- Syria/PLO deal, asserted,

"If Mr. Barak fails to secure Pollard's release for the right reasons - due process, equal justice, and equal treatment of an ally- there is no reason to believe that the Americans would consider freeing Pollard for the wrong reasons - suicidal Israeli concessions in the peace process."

The source further indicated that

"What makes it obvious that this is a put-up job by both Clinton and Barak, is that Clinton doesn't have to consult with anybody if he wants to use his powers of executive clemency to free Pollard, as he did for the unrepentant FALN terrorists. And Barak certainly doesn't have to use an underling like Kochanovsky to get the job done with Clinton."

[Washington Post Article Follows]

Barak Emissary Meets Clinton Aide To Lobby For Spy's Pardon, Release

Washington Post, National News Monday, December 20, 1999

John F. Harris

A senior emissary of Israeli Prime Minister Ehud Barak met with a senior White House official last week to lobby the Clinton administration for a pardon for convicted spy Jonathan Jay Pollard, U.S. officials said.

Moshe Kochnovsky, a senior official in the Israeli Defense Ministry, met with White House counsel Beth Nolan to make the latest case in a long-standing Israeli appeal that Pollard be freed from prison and allowed to emigrate.

Pollard's case is the subject of a nearly completed high-level review that President Clinton promised Barak's predecessor, Binyamin Netanyahu, at the Wye River peace talks more than a year ago. Government agencies, including the Justice Department and the CIA, have recommended against a pardon, but Clinton has not made a decision.

Given the negative recommendation, a release for Pollard is unlikely in the near future, White House officials said. But it is possible that a pardon, which would spark controversy in the United States, could emerge as a deal-closer if peace talks between Israel and the Palestinian Authority or Syria reach final stages.

Pollard, a former U.S. Navy intelligence analyst, has served 14 years of a life sentence after pleading guilty to passing U.S. military secrets to Israel in the 1980s. Over 18 months, he provided Tel Aviv with satellite photographs, intercepted messages about Arab states, sensitive code materials

[Not true - See the Facts Page]

and information on Iraqi and Syrian chemical warfare capabilities and Libyan air defenses.

Officials said earlier that much of the information came from spies inside the Soviet Union who could have been compromised by the documents.

[Not true - See the Facts Page.]

Pollard was arrested in 1985 and was sentenced two years later. Clinton has turned down clemency for Pollard twice, in 1993 and 1996.

The Israeli newspaper Ha'aretz first reported Kochnovsky's visit to Washington. Administration officials approvingly contrasted the quiet diplomacy Barak has used to push Pollard's case with the approach of Netanyahu, who frequently elevated the case into a public point of contention between the two countries.

See Also:
  • Kol Yisrael Radio Interviews Esther Pollard
  • Barak Orders Mission Doomed to Failure
  • Nice Try, Mr. Gore, but Clintonisms Won't Work
  • Senate Race Page
  • Facts Page