Leading Defense Aide Says U.S. Lies About Pollard
Middle East News Line - July 24, 2000
WASHINGTON [MENL] - A leading strategist who served as a staffer on
congressional intelligence committees has accused the U.S. intelligence
community of lying about convicted spy Jonathan Pollard.
Angelo Codevilla, a U.S. professor who for years served as a Senate
staffer with access to classified intelligence, says the CIA and FBI
have lied regarding Pollard's role and his help to Israel during the early
Pollard, sentenced to life in prison in 1986, was a low-level naval intelligence analyst without any access to sources or codes that could
damage U.S. security, Codevilla says.
Last year, President Bill Clinton ordered a review of Pollard's life
sentence, but the results were never announced. Israeli Prime Minister
Ehud Barak said that unlike his predecessors he would not raise the
Pollard issue with Clinton.
Israeli and Arab diplomatic sources, however, said Barak has asked
Clinton to free Pollard as part of any Israeli-Palestinian agreement.
Codevilla, a staffer on the U.S. Senate Intelligence Committee in the
1980s, said Pollard provided Israel with intelligence long supplied by
Washington but severed by the CIA after Israel's destruction of the
Iraqi nuclear reactor in 1981. The Israeli operation, which employed U.S.
intelligence, angered then-deputy CIA director Bobby Ray Inman, who
ordered a halt to the intelligence and accused the Israelis of damaging
U.S. relations with President Saddam Hussein.
Pollard, then an analyst in the Office of Naval Intelligence, decided to
maintain the supply of U.S. intelligence to Israel. Codevilla said this
consisted of satellite photographs, reports, electronic directories.
"What he gave out was satellite pictures," Codevilla said in an
interview to the Washington Weekly.. "These pictures were no different
in terms of sources from what the U.S. was still giving to Israel. The
U.S. was still giving Israel pictures of southern and western Syria.
Pollard was giving them pictures of eastern Syria and Iraq. So in terms of satellite
intelligence sources his impact was nonexistent. He gave them primarily
Middle Eastern information."
Codevilla served as a naval and foreign service officer and as a senior
staff member on the Senate Intelligence Committee from 1978-85. Since
1995 Codevilla has been a professor of international relations at Boston
Codevilla accused former Defense Secretary Caspar Weinberger, U.S.
intelligence and prosecutors of lying when they assert that Pollard
provided huge amounts of information to Israel. He said that in all
Pollard handed over seven briefcases of information to Israel, far less
than the accusations that the amount of documents he gave could fill a
"Seven briefcases do not a room fill, except in the imaginations of
insincere people," Codevilla said.
The former Senate intelligence staffer also said Pollard did not
compromise U.S. agents or U.S. operations that targeted the Soviet
Union. He said those who were found to have commited the crimes Pollard
was secretly accused of were given lighter sentences than Pollard.
"He [Pollard] was sentenced on the basis of things whispered in the ear
of a compliant judge," Codevilla said.
Codevilla said Weinberger lied about Pollard's role to the judge who
rejected a plea bargain and sentenced Pollard to life in prison.
Codevilla said Weinberger, a former senior executive of the Bechtel company, which
constructed numerous factories in Iraq, had long advocated a pro-Saddam
policy that led to Baghdad's development of missile and nonconventional
"They [Bechtel] built one of the factories that later on made chemical
weapons," Codevilla said. "Now, what is Jonathan Pollard's role in all
of this? He gave to Israel U.S. satellite pictures of these factories,
together with U.S. intelligence assessments of what these factories were doing.
These pictures and intelligence assessments contradicted what the U.S.
government was officially telling Israel. So the Israelis were coming to
America, and in official meetings were calling people like Weinberger
liars, which of course these officials did not appreciate."
- An Interview with Angelo Codevilla