Pollard: FBI poses 'clear and present danger' to Jews
The Jewish Star - March 16, 2007
Jonathan Pollard lashed out at the Federal Bureau of Investigation last Sunday after a former bureau official compared Pollard to a Muslim espionage suspect who is accused of supplying U.S. secrets to terrorists.
Discussing the recent arrest of U.S. Navy sailor Hassan Abujihaad with Fox News, former FBI deputy director William Gavin said, "I have visions of the Jonathan Pollard case."
Abujihaad, 31, also known as Paul Hall, allegedly sent e-mails to London based terrorists in 2000 and 2001 while on active duty aboard the USS Benifold, a guide-missile destroyer. An FBI affidavit said the leaks included information such as the location of U.S. and Canadian warships and the best ways to attack them. Just weeks earlier al-Qaeda terrorists attacked the USS Cole in Yemen and killed 17 sailors.
Pollard, a former Navy analyst, is serving a life sentence for passing secrets to Israel, a U.S. ally.
"I have warned for the last 22 years that this organization, the FBI, is extremely anti-Semitic," Pollard said, in remarks posted on his website. "Apart from being anti-Israel, they are extremely anti-Semitic. Institutionally, they pose a clear and present danger to the viability of the American Jewish community."
Gavin denied drawing any comparison between Pollard and Abujihaad beyond the fact that both were working for the U.S. Navy when they were arrested.
"That was the analogy made - both were navy employees," he told The Jewish Star. "And one was proven to have committed a crime and one was alleged to have committed a crime. It still remains to be proven. I'm not willing to go any further."
Gavin's comment was "careless," at best, according to Rabbi Pesach Lerner of Far Rockaway, executive vice president of the National Council of Young Israel. Lerner follows Pollard's case closely, and visits him regularly at the federal prison in Butner, North Carolina. "If his only comparison was that they both worked for the navy, it was a
very careless quote, in context or out," he said. "Someone who was in the position that he was in should have known better, and should know the difference between an ally and an enemy."
"For years," Pollard wrote online, he has tried to tell people that a persistent theme of his FBI interrogators was to get him to implicate "co-conspirators," including AIPAC and the Anti-Defamation League, and "exhaustive" lists of American Jews which included, he said, every single state and federal Jewish legislator.
"It was clearly a list of prominent Jews that the FBI had compiled over decades," Pollard said.
FBI spokesman Richard Kolko said, in a telephone interview, "The FBI is categorically not anti-Semitic," and declined to comment further.
An organized effort to seek a presidential pardon for Pollard is gaining support among the Orthodox community, including, most recently, Agudath Israel of America.
Does Gavin support a pardon for Pollard? "No comment," said the former FBI official.