Seeking a retraction of J4JP's release, "Malcolm Hoenlein's Dirty Little Secret Revealed" [06/04/04], Malcolm Hoenlein claims that he did publicly disclose, in a timely manner, information which was critical to fate of Jonathan Pollard. The public record proves otherwise.
Hoenlein claims that he never kept it a secret that George Tenet telephoned him immediately after the Wye fiasco in 1998. He claims that he publicly disclosed in a timely fashion the assurance he received from Tenet at the time, that he never threatened to resign as the head of the CIA if then-President Clinton fulfilled his commitment to free Jonathan Pollard.
If Hoenlein had in fact publicly disclosed this information in a timely fashion, the public record would reflect it, and the Pollard case might have had a very different ending, many years ago.
But Hoenlein did not go public and Clintonian spin prevailed in the aftermath of Wye. Consequently, to this day the media and the general public remain convinced that George Tenet's threat to resign was the greatest single obstacle for any President, past or present, to free Jonathan Pollard.
Also to this day, Jewish leaders defend their inaction with the rationale that, if Tenet as head of the CIA is so opposed to the release of Jonathan Pollard that he was prepared to resign, then all initiative to free Pollard is in vain; therefore no effort should be expended on this 'lost cause'.
Without a doubt, Hoenlein's silence in the face of this big lie has effectively devastated organizational support for Jonathan Pollard since 1998, and completely obviated both public and private action on his behalf by the Jewish leaders.
It has also prevented anyone from ever confronting Clinton then, or President Bush now, with the spuriousness of the excuse used to renege on the American commitment made to free Pollard at Wye. The promise to free Pollard made by President Clinton was an integral part of the Wye Accords. It remains legally binding upon the U.S. to this very day.
Why then did Hoenlein break his silence on this devastating piece of information after hiding it for so many years?
He broke his silence in defense of George Tenet!
In an interview following the resignation of George Tenet, Hoenlein brazenly defended Tenet's role at the Wye Summit, and attempted to mitigate the accusation that Tenet had torpedoed Jonathan's release. To that end, Hoenlein portrayed Tenet as a sensitive guy, who "tearfully" telephoned him immediately after the Wye Conference to insist that he had not been the obstacle to Pollard's release; and that he had not threatened to resign if Clinton freed Pollard.
Apparently Hoenlein was so engrossed in exonerating Tenet that he gave little thought to the impact this revelation would have on Jonathan Pollard and his team. Stunned by Hoenlein's duplicity revealed so many years after the fact, and in light of the damage done and still on-going, J4JP issued the release, "Malcolm Hoenlein's Dirty Little Secret Revealed: Tenet No Obstacle to Pollard Release."
Hoenlein responded by demanding a retraction and claiming that he had publicly disclosed this information previously, in a timely fashion.
Asked to produce proof that he had publicly disclosed this information in a timely manner, Mr. Hoenlein has thus far produced nothing but his own insistence that he did not hide it. His contention is unworthy of serious consideration. After all, Tenet's threat to resign over Pollard was big news when the story first broke in the New York Times. If, at the time, Mr. Hoenlien had publicly revealed that he had first-hand confirmation from Mr. Tenet that the story was not true, it would have been even bigger news and covered by all of the media. And Jonathan Pollard might be a free man today.
What is more, in response to the J4JP Release "Malcolm Hoenlein's Dirty Little Secret Revealed" readers have come forward with additional information.
One individual, a member of the Conference of Presidents, supportive of Jonathan Pollard, but frustrated by the inaction of his Conference colleagues, responded to the J4JP release with his own report.
This individual informed J4JP that he had attended a briefing that George Tenet gave the Conference of Presidents after the Wye Summit. At this briefing, he recalled, Tenet was asked if it were true that he had threatened the President that he would resign if Pollard were released. Tenet declined to answer. He deflected the question by responding that his conversations with the President are privileged and confidential.
"Malcolm," said this individual, "never told any of us who were at that meeting, that he personally knew that Tenet had not threatened to resign. In fact Malcolm never said a word about receiving a private phone call from Tenet after Wye. He did not say a word to us about it then, nor after the meeting with Tenet, nor ever. Frankly I am stunned."
Another individual who has come forward in response to the J4JP release offered to give a sworn statement about an encounter with Hoenlein some years back. As the story goes, it was at a society charitable event which Hoenlein attended (not in the U.S.) that this individual approached him to ask what could be done to help Jonathan Pollard.
Hoenlien cautioned this person against involvement with Pollard. What he said approximated: 'If you knew what I know about Pollard, you would want nothing further to do with him, and you certainly would not be interested in helping him.'
This is a story that J4JP has heard numerous times over the years, but this is the first time that the person volunteered to give sworn testimony and have their name used publicly.
Jonathan Pollard plans to consult with his advisors, legal and religious, in regard to pursuing action against Malcolm Hoenlein.