The Robert Hanssen Spy Mess and Jonathan Pollard

Jewish Press, March 7, 2001 - Editorial

The continuing revelations about arch spy Robert Hanssen have a lot to say about the soft underbelly of U.S. intelligence. The damage this man was able to inflict for so many years is truly frightening. In addition, those revelations also have much to say about the injustice suffered for so many years by Jonathan Pollard.

Although Pollard's plea bargain called for a reduced sentence, he was given a life term. At that time, there was much talk that although he spied for a U.S. ally, his activities could account for many serious setbacks for U.S. interests around the world, especially within the then-Soviet Union. Those of us who campioned Pollard's quest for freedom were told with an insider's wink and nod that Pollard "had" to be the culprit, even though it couldn't be proven. Ergo, it was right to throw the book at Jonathan Pollard, even though not necessarily "correct."

Well, as it now appears from what is emerging as part of the Hanssen story, there were and are many Russian moles running around the CIA and FBI capable of having done the damage which Pollard was believed to have done. Indeed, even Hanssen himself may have been responsible.

Nor can one dismiss the distinct possibility that the Pollard file was larded up precisely by those in a position to do so, who wanted to protect their own espionage activity.

Perhaps we are partisan, but to our mind, the Hanssen case leads ineluctably towards the conclusion that Jonathan Pollard's case requires a full revisiting.

See Also:
  • Pollard Was No Pelton
  • Israeli Who Spied for CIA Loses Breach of Contract Suit
  • The Ames Case
  • The Facts Page